Princeton Votes For Academic Freedom · 01 May 2006

By David Horowitz--Blog Post--04/28/06

Students at Princeton have won a historic victory for academic freedom. The College Republicans led by Alex Maugeri submitted a Student Bill of Rights based on the Academic Bill of Rights as a referendum to the entire student body. It won a 51% majority despite a somewhat hysterical opposition. In doing so Alex and the College Republicans demonstrated that a student bill of a rights on academic freedom is an idea whose time has come.

The following is the full text of the College Republican's proposed bill.

Princeton University Student Bill of Rights

Believing in the need to affirm the importance of the principles of academic freedom and intellectual diversity within the University community, and seeking to further promote an intellectual environment of free inquiry and free speech without intimidation of any given set of beliefs, the undergraduates of Princeton University do hereby declare their desire for the following principles to be observed:

1. We affirm that students should be solely graded on the basis of their reasoned answers and appropriate knowledge of the subjects and disciplines they study; professors must never allow a student's political affiliation or religious beliefs to negatively affect his/her academic performance.

2. Teachers are entitled to freedom in teaching their subject as they see fit, but not to the point of political, ideological, religious or anti-religious indoctrination, or to the exclusion of other opinions

or viewpoints. Such actions represent a violation of the principles of a student's academic freedom and the principles of free and open sharing of ideas.

3. It is an abrogation of the University's commitment to the pursuit of truth for the hiring, firing, promotion or granting of tenure to ever be based on their political philosophy, public notoriety, or personal connections. Instead, all faculty hiring and the granting of tenure should be based solely on their contributions to academic discovery.

4. Selection of speakers, allocation of University, and/or USG funds for speakers programs and other student activities must observe the principles of academic freedom and promote intellectual pluralism.

5. An environment conducive to the civil exchange of ideas being an essential component of a free university, the obstruction of invited campus speakers, destruction of campus literature or other effort to obstruct this exchange will not be tolerated.

While we have not the power to declare the above binding or irrevocable, it is the position of this body that any act in violation would contravene the "fundamental principles of free discovery" to which Princeton University is committed.