To me, the goal of Princeton, or any other true university, should not be to espouse the most popular political flavor of the moment, whether liberal or conservative, but rather to encourage free and open dialogue and respect for all perspectives, including those with whom one disagrees. Rejecting opposing viewpoints without taking the time to understand and consider them is what has led to the polarization that plagues our country and much of the world.

Attending Princeton in the late 1960s, I experienced much political ferment on campus, particularly as a participant in ROTC, but at least as I recall it, the discussion was open and free, if heated on occasion. Four hundred protested President Lyndon Johnson when he came to open the Woodrow Wilson School in 1966, but he was made to feel welcome and was able to give his speech. SPIA is still here, but under a different name now of course.

What upsets me most is that the administration, by its actions, gives the appearance of having its thumb on the scale in favor of one political outlook and concurrently fails to strongly enough endorse open, but mutually respectful, dialogue among people with opposing views. I believe any speaker who does not advocate violence or promote hate speech should be equally welcome on campus, regardless of political persuasion or affiliation, and hope that in time the administration will see its way to endorsing, and enforcing, such a policy.

Charles C. Freyer ’69
Jenkintown, Pa.