Princeton alumni group publishes letter criticizing event's lack of viewpoint diversity
1619 Project author Nikole Hannah-Jones was one of the guests slated to speak at the event.
Campus Reform continues to cover alumni pushback against woke ideology on college campuses.
Princetonians for Free Speech published a letter ahead of a Jan. 19 panel at the university, criticizing the event for its lack of "ideological diversity."
The panel, "Race, Speech, and the University," featured speakers Nikole Hannah-Jones, author of "The 1619 Project," Ulrich Baer, author of What Snowflakes Get Right: Free Speech, Truth, and Equality on Campus, and Stefan Bradley, author of Upending the Ivory Tower: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Ivy League.
Department of Politics Undergraduate Committee representatives Abigail Anthony and Myles McKnight penned the Jan. 11 letter "Students Praise Quality of Planned Panel But Prefer Ideological Diversity"
In addition to serving as the president of the Princeton Open Campus Coalition, McKnight is also a correspondent for Campus Reform.
In the letter, Anthony and McKnight praise Princeton for "organizing an impressive panel of speakers," singling out the university's openness to host Hannah-Jones as a representative of "voices deemed too unorthodox for some universities to sponsor."
However, the students criticized the event for its lack of "ideological diversity."
"We therefore express our disappointment at the sparsity of ideological diversity on the panel you have assembled," Anthony and McKnight write. "It is no secret that each of the panelists you are hosting hails from roughly the same, leftist school of thought on issues of speech and race."
The two students are disappointed with the panel’s “sparsity of ideological diversity.”
“It is no secret that each of the panelists you are hosting hails from roughly the same, leftist school of thought on issues of speech and race. To be sure, their voices add immeasurable value to any conversation on such issues. But these topics should and do invite healthy disagreement from people who occupy posts at the highest echelons of the academy,” the letter emphasizes.
Campus Reform obtained a Jan. 13 email from Princeton’s Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion Tennille T. Haynes, who addressed the students' concerns.
"The event will feature a panel of people presenting a concept and sharing their lived experiences, knowledge, skills, and research with the university community. The panelists' talk is not meant to be a debate but rather a discussion," Haynes' email reads.
“I was not pressuring the university to reform the panel because that would be logistically challenging,” Anthony told Campus Reform. “Rather, I want the university to sponsor a panel which reflects at least some diversity of thought on these important and controversial issues.”
Likewise, McKnight told Campus Reform that, “Students of color are not of one mind on issues of free speech and race."
McKnight also suggested that Princeton commit itself to “platforming a range of voices that actually represents the diversity of thought in the communities they allegedly serve.”
Campus Reform reached out to Princeton University and Dean Haynes for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.
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