Dartmouth Calls a Timeout After Student Protest Draws Hostile Reactions

Dartmouth Calls a Timeout After Student Protest Draws Hostile Reactions

May 05, 2013

Classes in the arts and sciences at Dartmouth College were canceled on April 24 after a student protest sparked violent online threats. Several days prior, a group of Dartmouth students burst into an event for prospective students decrying what they called incidents of homophobia, racism, and sexual assault on the campus. Current students pleaded with the protesters to leave, and they eventually did. After the protests, students went on Facebook and another online forum to share their opinions of the incident. Some comments were insults about the protesters' sexual orientations and appearance, and others called for physical violence against them

In lieu of classes on April 24, the college held a program to help foster healthy debate and promote respect for diverse opinion. While some students said the college's response to the incident was effective in educating students about social justice issues, others were more skeptical. "We're at Dartmouth to study and that comes first, and a lot of this gathering response could have occurred at a different time," such as a weekend or in the evening, said Suril A. Kantaria, Dartmouth's student body president. Kantaria also said some students are upset that administrators did not consult other students when deciding whether to cancel classes. In Dartmouth's student newspaper, an editorial argued that "The message seems to be that, if you fly a political banner, are sufficiently angry and manage to break enough college rules, you can gain a stranglehold over the administration." Dartmouth's interim president, Carol Folt, said, "We feel it is necessary for the community as a whole to have the opportunity to learn about all that has transpired and to discuss further action that will help us live up to our mission."

Dartmouth Calls a Timeout After Student Protest Draws Hostile Reactions
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The Chronicle of Higher Education
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