The fight over free academic speech at Princeton University

Princeton Open Campus Coalition's Solveig Gold on fighting against calls to remove President Woodrow Wilson's name from Princeton University's campus.

Free Speech Divides Princeton Students

By College Planning FOXBusiness

Princeton University students are fighting back after some of their peers demanded to remove Woodrow Wilson’s name from various buildings and facilities at the school because they say he was racist.

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During an interview with the FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney, Solveig Gold, who formed the Princeton Open Campus Coalition after the protests took place, said, “we wrote an open letter to President Eisgruber and we posted it online and in the days since that letter we’ve received an outpouring of support across the nation from college students who are also feeling the same silencing of dissent on their college campuses.”

Gold agreed that Woodrow Wilson was a “flawed man” but argued that he did many good things for the school and nation.

“I think it’s good that we acknowledge the sins of our ancestors but that doesn’t mean that we whitewash history and that we take his name off all of the buildings,” she said.

According to Gold, many students who opposed the protest were called racist, including black students who were labelled “white sympathizers.”

“There’s this idea that if you’re not supporting this kind of agenda that you are not black, you are not part of the community that they are actually trying to support,” she said.

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When asked how many students were in her group versus those camping outside of the university president’s office, she said, “we don’t really like to say that we are taking sides per say. We want to represent the entire Princeton student body.”

She added, “as we fight for free academic speech, we are also fighting for the free academic speech of the protesters… we represent students across campus.”

 

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