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Student rights group slams Tufts president for free-speech hypocrisy

A week before Thanksgiving, Tufts University President Anthony Monaco signed an open letter to President-elect Donald Trump from university presidents, asking him to reaffirm freedom of expression as one of the “core values” of America.

The letter said they “commit ourselves to promoting” freedom of expression “on our campuses and in our communities.”

Yet Monaco is overlooking his own backyard, according to a group that defends civil liberties for students.

Students Advocating for Students President Jake Goldberg, a Tufts student, wrote his own open letter to Monaco Sunday, asking why the president had remained silent after the student government unanimously rejected Goldberg’s free-speech resolution.

Goldberg’s letter documents several Monaco statements going back five years where the president says Tufts is committed to freedom of expression or the free exchange of ideas.

Monaco publicized his signature on the Trump letter on his Facebook page a day after the student government vote, and he showed that he knew the vote’s results by sharing a student government video that recounted the meeting’s votes, Goldberg writes:

While you have a strong record of publicly supporting free speech, your university has a deplorable track record in protecting this right on campus.

Tufts scores near the bottom of Heterodox Academy’s rankings for viewpoint diversity and it has the worst speech rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Goldberg says. He asks Monaco to explain

how you reconcile the discrepancies between your public statements and Tufts’ on campus actions and policies. Are you comfortable with the fact that not a single TCU Senator supported protecting free speech policies on our campus? How do you reconcile Tufts’ national reputation of abysmal speech policies with your signature on a letter that is seeking to hold our President-Elect to a higher standard of defending free speech than you are prepared to uphold on your own campus?

Read the letter.

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