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In response to Trump’s proposed executive order

On Saturday, President Trump announced  his intention to issue an executive order requiring American universities to maintain “free speech” on their campuses and threatened to withdraw federal funding from noncompliant institutions. Practical considerations aside – it’s not clear how this plan would be enacted – Trump’s message should trouble Stanford students because of the ways it mischaracterizes the state of free speech at schools like our own. These mischaracterizations feed into a narrative that has the potential to stifle, rather than protect, free speech on Stanford’s campus.

ASSU creates Director of Academic Freedom position following free speech controversies

On Oct. 2, the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) reintroduced the goals for its cabinet positions this year, with one of the positions being the newly created ASSU Director of Academic Freedom. Among the position’s stated goals is to work with University administration to ensure free exchange of ideas while making sure speakers invited by student groups uphold the Honor Code and Fundamental Standard.

Stanford allows the criminal tobacco industry to influence its research

If you had a long-standing friendship with someone who you later discovered had been convicted of racketeering and fraud and had willfully misled you about their role in killing countless innocent individuals, wouldn’t you question whether the door to that friendship should remain open? Apparently that is not the case with Stanford University, who keeps the door wide open to its long-standing friendship with the criminal tobacco industry, remaining open to accepting tobacco research money, as justified by Stanford’s claim of “academic freedom.”