Harvey Silverglate and Samantha Harris on Free Speech in ‘Princeton Alumni Weekly’

By on October 26, 2011

Check out FIRE Chairman Harvey Silverglate and Director of Speech Code Research Samantha Harris’ essay on free speech at their mutual alma mater in this week’s Princeton Alumni Weekly. Harvey and Samantha point out to Princeton alumni how their college’s policies leave today’s Princeton students subject to punishment for speaking their minds on controversial issues, or even for sending emails that administrators could deem "hostile."

In the article, Harvey and Samantha, who as alumni of Princeton are particularly concerned with free speech at the college they attended (FIRE Co-Founder Alan Charles Kors happens to be another notable alumnus), discuss what led to their writing this article:

In February of this year, we sent a letter to President Tilghman outlining our concern that, five years after the campus-wide discussion, Princeton’s policies do not live up to the standards of the school’s stated commitment to freedom of expression. The issue initially arose back in 2010 when one of us wrote a protest letter to President Tilghman, accompanying his Annual Giving check. Tilghman wrote back denying that Princeton maintained policies that clearly and substantially restrict students’ freedom of speech. Later, the other of us responded with a detailed analysis of Princeton’s speech codes, prompting yet another presidential response defending those codes. This piece for PAW followed.

FIRE is grateful to PAW for this unique opportunity to reach out to Princeton alumni, who of all members of the public have the greatest ability to give Princeton an incentive to change its free speech policies. If you’re a Princeton alum, please take this opportunity to comment on the article and, if you’re so inclined, to relay your concerns to President Tilghman at smt@princeton.edu.

Schools: Princeton University