Dartmouth College cancelled classes on Wednesday in order to hold a public forum addressing some students’ concerns that the esteemed member of the Ivy League supports social ills such as sexism, racism and capitalism.
The aggrieved students are part of a group called Real Talk Dartmouth that crashed a college recruiting event last week to protest what they believe is a toxic climate on campus. Dartmouth responded by giving in to the group’s demands. School officials canceled classes on Wednesday and encouraging students to attend a series of community building sessions.
In a promotional video, members of Real Talk held signs bearing messages that accuse the university of actively supporting evil causes.
“Dartmouth supports violence against queer students,” asserted one sign.
“Dartmouth supports sexism,” charged another.
“Dartmouth supports capitalism,” declared another.
The students did little to explain their complaint against capitalism, or what is wrong with supporting it, particularly when undergraduate tuition, room, board and fees at the august institution are just under $58,000 per year. The school’s endowment is about $3.5 billion.
Student protesters also did not list what actions the college had taken to support sexism or anti-gay violence.
The Daily Caller did find evidence supporting one protester’s claim that “Dartmouth supports racism.” Dartmouth considers an applicant’s skin color when making admissions decisions, according to Charlotte Johnson, dean of the college.
Several students also held signs alleging that other students had made sexist, racist, and homophobic comments to them.
Johnson expressed concern that the protesters had been mistreated by other students.
“We are concerned because students who participated in the protest–as well as many students not involved in any way–are reporting that they are being harassed by other members of our community,” she wrote in a statement to Campus Reform. “Threats and intimidation — even if made anonymously or online — violate our standards and expectations for the Dartmouth community. This kind of behavior is never justified.”
But other students said the members of Real Talk were the ones breaking school rules. Their actions at the recruiting event last week appear to have violated the terms of the Dartmouth Student Handbook, which prohibits behavior that “prevents or disrupts the effective carrying out of a College function or approved activity, such as classes, lectures, meetings, interviews, ceremonies and public events.”
By giving Real Talk what they wanted, Dartmouth capitulated to rule breakers argued senior Teddy Reed in a statement to the Valley News, a local newspaper.
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