A recent survey by Princetonians for Free Speech gave students an opportunity to comment on whether they thought it was always, sometimes or rarely acceptable to take various actions on campus. This chart groups all students that think it is ever acceptable to take those actions into a single group
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Three-quarters of Princeton students say it’s acceptable to shout down campus speakers they disagree with – while 16% say it’s acceptable to use VIOLENCE to stop a speech

  • A Princeton alumni group in favor of free speech polled 250 current students
  • 76 percent of students thought it was acceptable to shout at a speaker
  • 16 percent supported the use of violence to stop a talk 

More than three-quarters of Princeton students said it was sometimes acceptable to stop a campus speaker by shouting over them, a recent survey revealed.

And some 43 percent said it was acceptable to block other students from attending talks they disagreed with, while 16 percent supported the use of violence to stop a controversial speaker.

Responding to a separate question, 48 percent of students said a speech that uses discriminatory language or that a group finds offensive should not be allowed.

The survey of 250 students was carried out by the alumni group Princetonians for Free Speech, which has described it as the first comprehensive student free speech survey by a college alumni group.

The debate over free speech in academic institutions has been heated in recent years – in March Stanford Law School made headlines after students berated a federal appeals judge appointed by Trump who had come to give a talk.

A recent survey by Princetonians for Free Speech gave students an opportunity to comment on whether they thought it was always, sometimes or rarely acceptable to take various actions on campus. This chart groups all students that think it is ever acceptable to take those actions into a single group

A recent survey by Princetonians for Free Speech gave students an opportunity to comment on whether they thought it was always, sometimes or rarely acceptable to take various actions on campus. This chart groups all students that think it is ever acceptable to take those actions into a single group

In the 2022 College Free Speech Rankings by FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, Princeton (pictured) was the bottom-ranked school in the country

In the 2022 College Free Speech Rankings by FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, Princeton (pictured) was the bottom-ranked school in the country

The school’s dean of equity, diversity and inclusion then intervened ostensibly to instill calm, but in fact launched into an impassioned six-minute speech, which she had written down, in which she condemned his life work.

KEY FINDINGS OF PRINCETON FREE SPEECH SURVEY 

  • 40% of students said a sports team should be able to suspend a student with views others find offensive
  • 16% supported the use of violence to stop a controversial speaker
  • 43% said it was acceptable to block other students from attending talks they disagreed with
  • 76% said it was sometimes acceptable to stop a campus speaker by shouting over them 

Princetonians for Free Speech was founded by Princeton alumnus, journalist and lawyer Stuart Taylor Jr. in 2020 ‘with the mission of promoting free speech, academic freedom and viewpoint diversity,’ according to its website.

In the 2022 College Free Speech Rankings by FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, Princeton was the bottom-ranked school in the country. 

Another noteworthy result of the recent Princeton survey was that 40 percent of students said a sports team should be able to suspend a student with views others find offensive.

The students that were polled also suggested that in many situations they would be reluctant to speak their minds on controversial topics.

Some 70 percent of students said they would be very or somewhat uncomfortable publicly disagreeing with a professor in class on a controversial topic.

And 56 percent said they would be very or somewhat uncomfortable expressing their views on a controversial topic in class.

‘Our survey shows more needs to be done because most students neither support or understand free speech,’ said Edward Yingling, a co-founder of Princetonians for Free Speech, in an email to The College Fix.

In an opinion piece for RealClearPolitics Yingling expressed appreciation for steps the university has recently taken to embolden free speech, notably an orientation speech in September by Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber.

He did, however, say that ‘there is a huge gap between the rhetoric and the reality’ and that ‘most Princeton students neither support nor understand basic free speech principles’.

Princetonians for Free Speech was founded by Princeton alumnus, journalist and lawyer Stuart Taylor Jr. (pictured)

Princetonians for Free Speech was founded by Princeton alumnus, journalist and lawyer Stuart Taylor Jr. (pictured)

In March Stanford Law School made headlines after students (pictured) berated a federal appeals judge appointed by Trump who had come to give a talk

In March Stanford Law School made headlines after students (pictured) berated a federal appeals judge appointed by Trump who had come to give a talk

In September a Princeton student journalist published an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal in which she said the school issued an order on her preventing her from reporting on a group in which another student was involved after that student filed a complaint.

According to her article in the Journal, her only contact with the student who filed the complaint had been a cordial interview for a conservative student publication, The Princeton Tory.

‘While she disagreed on some points concerning context, she remained cordial throughout our exchange and never indicated that she felt threatened or wished to terminate our conversation,’ they wrote.

Last May a Princeton classics professor claimed he was fired for opposing ‘clearly racist and illegal’ demands from fellow faculty members after George Floyd’s death.

He alleged that he was fired for ‘publicly criticizing a number of “antiracist” demands, some of them clearly racist and illegal’ in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

Princeton said he had been fired after he ‘failed to be straightforward’ in a 2018 misconduct probe regarding his relationship with a student.

Source: DailyMail UK

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