We want to give you a very special update. It has been a dramatic few weeks for Princetonians for Free Speech (PFS). We ran a full-page ad in the Princeton Alumni Weekly, which generated a huge response and resulted in many new subscribers to PFS. Our two founders, Stuart Taylor and Ed Yingling, then had an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal’s October 18 print edition (it had been published online the previous afternoon), announcing the creation of the new Alumni Free Speech Alliance by PFS and free speech groups founded by alumni of four other prestigious schools. The WSJ op-ed, together with a press release that we sent to other publications, has resulted in a massive wave of interest around the country in the alumni free speech movement.
When a few alumni started PFS a little over a year ago, our primary goal was to develop a large number of Princeton alumni (and students, and faculty) subscribers who could be organized to fight for free speech, academic freedom, and viewpoint diversity. We thought then and think now that the very future of our alma mater (as well as other universities) is at stake. Recent events have dramatized the need for these efforts. The Princeton administration’s mandatory orientation for new students actually denigrated free speech, and Princeton came in last in the Ivy League in FIRE’s annual free speech rankings.
The recent surge in PFS subscribers is giving us the critical mass to have a real impact. We will soon be a thousand strong, and growing. We urge all of our alumni subscribers to spread the word and ask other alumni to sign up as subscribers (for free) and join our cause!
While our focus will continue to be on Princeton, we had hoped from the start that alumni of other colleges and universities might join the cause by forming their own free speech groups. But we were unaware that any other such groups existed. Then, a few months ago, we connected with preexisting organizations of alumni of the University of Virginia and Washington & Lee University and with individual alumni of Cornell University and Davidson College who were interested in forming free speech groups and soon did so. The five alumni free speech organizations formed the Alumni Free Speech Alliance so that we could share ideas and information and help other interested alumni set up their own free speech groups.
We did not expect such a large response when we announced this new Alliance through our Wall Street Journal op-ed. It has been overwhelming. The new Alliance been contacted by alumni from over 50 colleges and universities wanting to set up alumni organizations like ours, including every Ivy League school. Members of the Alliance have been asked to meet with members of the House Education Committee, and there has been great media interest. As the word continues to spread, every day we are being contacted by alumni from more schools wanting to go forward.
It is clear that there is tremendous frustration and concern among alumni around the county about the attacks on free speech and related values at their schools. They have lacked the organization to do much about it. But now that we and our allies have showed how it could be done, the response has been instantaneous.
Update 11/8/21: The new Alliance has now been contacted by alumni from over 70 colleges and universities, and a number have already started organizing alumni free speech organizations.
Thank you for your continuing support!