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Cornell Alumnus Creates Free Speech Alliance in Lieu of Donation

If you say the wrong words, you could lose your position or be shunned.

-Carl Neuss

Universities and colleges across the country are starting to lose a major revenue avenue as alumni are refusing to donate until the principles of free speech are respected on campus. Cornell alumnus and California real-estate developer Carl Neuss, who graduated from the Ivy League school in 1976, refused to make a donation after learning about the “liberal indoctrination” on campus and the “declining tolerance toward competing viewpoints.” Instead, he used what would have been a seven-figure contribution to the university to create the Cornell Free Speech Alliance.


Talk about an excellent way to invest your funds. The organization is one of more than 20 alumni organizations that have developed across campuses over the past couple of years. One similar organization, Davidsonians for Freedom of Thought and Discourse, was formed at Davidson College in North Carolina and is headed by John Craig. According to Craig, “open and free expression is what makes our country great, and if we lose this, our country is in deep trouble.”


Our country certainly is in deep trouble, especially when you consider the fact that the principles of free speech aren’t even welcome at the university level. People have become so comfortable being told what to think that it nearly equates to violence in their minds when somebody disagrees. Education requires open and free expression, but open and free expression cannot exist if riots erupt anytime a “controversial” speaker is invited to speak on campus.


In an attempt to get Neuss onboard with donating millions of dollars to his alma matter, Cornell University officials gave him a tour of the campus and introduced him to some of their more “politically moderate” professors. According to Neuss, the plan backfired. While meeting with moderate professors, Neuss learned the amount of pressure they were under to conform. Some professors explained that they were “humiliated” during the diversity training and are “perpetually afraid” they may say something offensive, regardless if what they say is true or not.


Any institution willing to trample on human rights in their virtue signaling efforts certainly does not deserve a million-dollar donation. In fact, I encourage all philanthropists to cease donating to organizations that refuse to recognize our most basic of human rights. Alumni who donate are currently in a position to make demands. These schools depend on these generous donations to operate. Absent these donations, officials may become aware that changes on campus are necessary in order to keep the campus afloat.


College used to be a time in your life where you learn who you really are. You had the opportunity to take classes in subjects you’ve never been introduced to before. You met people from all around the country and the world whose views naturally differ from what you hold so dearly. In light of new information, you may have changed your position on certain subjects. Education has always been the key to our success, until recently.

College students are no longer being taught how to think; they’re being told what to think. Students and professors alike pressure conformity. Liberal views are welcome with open arms while conservative views are treated like terroristic threats. People aren’t engaging in honest conversations, because in the age of the internet, nobody risks their livelihood for authenticity. It has become much easier to just repeat what you’re told. What are the educational benefits in conformity?

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