Dartmouth's Daily Blog
News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
Dartblog has learned that the Hanlon administration, in addition to changing the College’s logo and “branding,” has decided also to drop the long-used phrase Vox Clamantis In Deserto from all Dartmouth materials.
From now on, in its place, the following words will appear:
The phrase translates as: “Like Everyone Else.”
Addendum: Just kidding. But not really.
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
Joe: Please add something about Vox Clamantis in Deserto, and how inspired that phrase is for the future of Dartmouth as well as a reminder of its classical Latin past, beyond geography. A travesty to lose that!!! The world is still filled with virtual wildernesses that need pathways, and pathfinders, to enlightenment. The mission of the College must continue to be the education of those pathfinders. People who do not understand this do not understand Dartmouth.
Addendum: A close observer of the College writes in:
If the new logo was something interesting and inspired, I might be open to a fresh branding effort. But it is really not that creative or evocative. Its main asset is that it scales easily and is simple — but not in an effective way (like, say, Apple’s logo or Nike’s swoosh symbol). And I cannot imagine using it as the College’s crest. Who would want a “D” with a tree in it embroidered on a blazer?
I sound like a curmudgeon saying this. I am open to improving and refreshing things. But I don’t sense this logo accomplishes either of those objectives. It feels more like change for the sake of change, trading one of the College’s birthrights for a bowl of pottage.
College Pulse has the ability to slice and dice in many different ways all the data offered up by students responding to its surveys. Let’s take a look at the questions we reviewed yesterday, but in this instance to see how the responses vary between male and female Dartmouth students.
Q: Do you think it was okay for The Dartmouth to publish the article?
82.8% of Dartmouth men think that it was acceptable for The D to publish Ryan Spector ‘19’s article, but only 52.8% of women share that view:
Q: In general, do you agree with the writer’s position?
66.9% of men disagree with Spector’s position versus 91.1% of women:
Q: Agree/Disagree: Assuming that the applicant pool was evenly split in terms of gender, the decision to select an 80% female directorate is inherently unjust.
41.3% of men agree that a 15:4 gender imbalance would be inherently unjust if the applicant pool were balanced 50:50, whereas only 13.8% of women do:
Q: Do you think gender was considered in the directors’ selection process?
75.9% of men believe that gender was a factor in the Trips Director and Assistant Director coming up with a 15:4 gender imbalance among its members, but only 53.3% of women do?
So why the stark difference between men and women on these pointed questions?
I was going to speculate about an answer, but then from down in Cambridge I heard Larry Summers yelling, “Don’t do it!” So I won’t.
Any suggestions, dear readers?
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
You seem to need a fool to rush in where wise men fear to tread, so here are some speculations:
- Question 1: This was the closest vote, but those opposing publication may have been motivated by concern that “discussion” of the selection process could prove to be a Trojan Horse introduced by the forces of male privilege. These people would tend to see this issue as a struggle between male and female privilege, with no possibility of a middle ground.
- Questions 2-4: Women may have more likely than men to disagree with Spector, reject the idea that the 80/20 imbalance is inherently unjust, and doubt that gender was a criterion for selection because the opposite views might be taken to imply that women could not have won 80% of the positions based on merit alone. Given the history of male attitudes toward women, some women may have felt that they could not afford to concede on any of these three questions.
The thread that runs through all of these potential explanations is a distrust of men and a suspicion that men have still not accepted women as equals. Give a man an inch, and he’ll take a mile.
Addendum: And another:
I’m not a mathematician, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, so you might want to check my math, but if all things were equal (applicant pool had same number of male and female applicants of equal merit) and there was no unconscious (or conscious) bias, then the odds of selecting 15 females and 4 men would be the same as getting 15 heads if you flipped a coin 19 times and the odds of that happening is less than 1% (.00739 according to an online odds calculator).
Just saying …
Addendum: A (female) parent writes in:
Zombies are preferring to eat the brains of our girls? No, just kidding. But this is of course an extension of the concept of affirmative action, and that’s not, shall we say, an uncomplicated subject. With finite places for an infinite number of applicants, correcting historical injustice means making current generations pay for the sins of their foreparents.
And in a way of course that’s reasonable; a white male excluded, say, from Harvard so a black female can be accepted still has great odds of succeeding in the wider world, even without, perhaps, an Ivy League degree. The world is full of movers and shakers who got excellent educations at SUNY schools, for example. There’s the lifelong sting of not having that glittering diploma, perhaps, but not a huge detriment to a successful life.
But that black woman who did get it? That might have granted her the extra credibility her own talents might not have been sufficiently respected for.
This of course is the rosiest of spins, but it’s not invalid.
And perhaps, regarding the case in question here, the same shall have been accomplished, though on a less earthshaking scale, for the women accepted as Trips leaders. Mr. Spector can clearly advocate quite loudly for himself and does not slink off abashed into the night.
And it’s always possible they just didn’t like him, and with all things considered, and equal qualifications all around, they did what hiring managers do everywhere, every hour of every day — given two equally-qualified candidates, you go for the chemistry. Equal-opportunity, non-discrimination laws attempt to put bounds on this natural human impulse, to try to even out the playing field a little.
And what is just in theory is always going to hurt someone. Life is, you know, always going to be unfair, even if we try to pour salve on it 24 hours a day…
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
This whole “In Solidarity” dialog is terribly dispiriting. Tired identity cliches stacked one on top of another, together with gross mis-statements of Spector’s actual position. (And together with silly errors like not knowing how to use an apostrophe.)
Rachel Kesler ‘19, a member of Native Americans at Dartmouth, has penned a letter to President Hanlon, with copies to all of the College’s fraternities, pressuring them to come out against Ryan Spector ‘19:
Spector is a member of Alpha Chi.
Addendum: Curiously absent from the addressees of this email is Alpha Phi Alpha — the College’s African-American fraternity.
Addendum: Here is Alpha Chi’s letter of solidarity, which was published yesterday afternoon:
To the Dartmouth community,
We are writing in response to the op-ed published in The Dartmouth on Friday. The article asserts that the members of the Trips Directorate were selected not on merit, but rather because of their identities. These claims are unfounded and harmful, and we stand in solidarity with the Director, Assistant Director, and the entire Trips Directorate. We additionally wish to express our support for women, POC, those with marginalized identities, and all other individuals negatively impacted by its publication.
Many Alpha Chi’s have been heavily involved in the Trips program as leaders, croo members, and members of directorate. We know how important Trips is to shaping the incoming classes’ experiences, and we have the utmost faith in the current Directorate’s ability to provide a fantastic and welcoming experience to the class of 2022.
Although Dartmouth students are allowed to have differing opinions, we cannot condone attempts to discredit the accomplishments of hard working community members simply on the basis of their identities. This issue is not isolated to a single individual or a single opinion; we as a campus must constantly strive towards a more inclusive Dartmouth.
Alpha Chi Alpha
Addendum: Go to the College listserv to see all of the different letters penned by students groups opposed to Spector’s op-ed column.
In another example of how effective the College Pulse software is at measuring student opinion, the on-line survey platform rapidly gathered responses yesterday from 846 undergraduate students concerning Ryan Spector ‘19’s critique in The D of the Trips Director’s and Assistant Director’s choice of fifteen women and only four men for the Trips Directorate. A sample size of only about half that amount, 450 students, is considered statistically valid in accurately measuring the sentiments of Dartmouth’s undergraduates.
In response to the question, “Do you think it was okay for The Dartmouth to publish the article?”, an overall majority of 71% of all students believes that the paper was correct in printing Spector’s piece. However a fairly sharp divergence of responses to this question exists among students of different races, with only 50% of Black/AfAm student supporting The D’s decision to publish the article:
However 78.6% of all students disagreed with Spector’s critique of the Trips leadership in staffing the Directorate — a result that again has fairly sharp differences of opinion among students of different races:
To date the composition of the applicant pool for the Directorate has not been revealed, but one Pulse query asks students to assume that it is known: “Assuming that the applicant pool was evenly split in terms of gender, the decision to select an 80% female directorate is inherently unjust.” A full 72.5% of students somewhat disagreed or strongly disagreed with this statement, believing that an 80-20 female:male division was acceptable:
Finally, two thirds of all students felt that gender was a factor used in the Trip leader selection process:
What to say about the above? We can be glad that students support The D’s right to print a controversial article, but their acceptance of a self-evidently skewed end result in the selection process gives this observer pause.
But then, this stance should come as no surprise. After all, Phl Hanlon as much as told the assembled faculty that race and gender were the critical factors in his own selection of senior administrators, as he said at the May 9, 2016 faculty meeting:
My history in dean searches is probably relevant here. In my day I have conducted nine dean searches, all of them national searches. In every case I insisted that the search process generate a deep, talented, diverse pool of internal and external candidates from which to choose. In five of those cases I hired an internal candidate; in four of them I hired an external candidate. Of the nine, only two of the deans I hired were white males; four of them were people of color. So, that sort of tells you what I am looking for in the search… [Emphasis added]
Not long thereafter, Phil selected Native American Bruce Duthu for the Dean of the Faculty position, notwithstanding that Duthu did not hold a Ph.D, had a thin scholarly record, and had only served as the Associate Dean of the Faculty for International Studies & Interdisciplinary Programs for a scant ten months.
Addendum: Although there now seem to be a total of 37 open letters circulating on campus, virtually all of them condemning Spector and his column, when students can express their opinions on the Pulse platform, their views are more moderate.
In response to numerous calls for The D to retract Ryan Spector ‘19’s guest column, Spector: You’re Not Tripping, The First-Year Trips directors have gone nuts for diversity, the senior staff at The D has published an open letter to the campus:
To the Dartmouth Community,
A guest column entitled “You’re Not Tripping” was published this past Friday in The Dartmouth, resulting in campus discourse as well as questions about the newspaper’s editorial policies. The Dartmouth accepts guest column submissions from all members of the Dartmouth community and edits each in the same way. Guest columns, and any column published in The Dartmouth not under the authorship of “The Dartmouth Editorial Board,” do not represent the views of the newspaper or the editors who worked to bring it to publication.
The guest column policy, publicly available here, requires that submissions fall within a specific word count, disclose author affiliations with the subject material and comply with the newspaper’s standard editing procedure for accuracy and style. This process includes verifying all factual assertions and strictly prohibiting hate speech. The paper requires that writers provide sources, which are generally not published, for every factual assertion. Columns that adhere to these policies are published. If a factual inaccuracy is found following publication, a correction will be issued.
Every factual assertion in the guest column in question was reviewed to ensure that the piece is neither slanderous nor ad hominem in its criticisms. The Dartmouth published publicly-available names, in accordance with the practice of specifying individuals discussed when they are public figures or organizational leaders, and notified the individuals named both upon receipt of the guest column submission and prior to its publication. To these points, the guest column will remain online in its current form.
The Dartmouth, an independent newspaper, takes its role seriously and aims to continue to advance open discourse within the community. The paper encourages any interested individuals to direct questions, comments or concerns about the column or the paper’s policies to email@example.com. Individuals are also welcome to submit guest columns of their own to firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com. Submissions will undergo the same fact-checking and editing process and be published upon compliance with the guest column policy.
We encourage readers to continue to contribute to the discussion on our coverage and policies. We remain committed to fostering constructive dialogue and appreciate the feedback that has been provided both publicly and privately. We will continue to serve the Dartmouth community to the best of our abilities.
Ray Lu, Editor-in-Chief
Kourtney Kawano, Executive Editor
Erin Lee, Executive Editor
Parker Richards, Opinion Editor
Ziqin Yuan, Opinion Editor
Addendum: A parent writes in:
To the Editors I say bravo and well done.
Doomsayers and signs of the times nonetheless, a fair number of the kids are all right. The others (examples like Mark Bray notwithstanding) will grow up some day. I, too, was pretty dumb at that age; it takes life to teach you.
I’d wish some of our cable TV hosts might take note of what The Dartmouth’s editors wrote today, and the courage it required to do so, and that the courage was there. The rest of us should take good note too.
Dean Matt Slaughter is taking Tuck from strength to strength in the B-school rankings, in fundraising, and in alumni participation, yet he still has time to do scholarship that has present-day relevance — enough to merit a column in the Wall Street Journal:
Quite a guy.
Addendum: Read Slaughter’s complete report, How Withdrawing from NAFTA Would Damage the U.S. Economy.
Addendum: A College/Tuck alumnus writes in to share some news:
I am a Dartmouth and Tuck alumnus — and now give only to Tuck directly (although I continue to support undergrad organizations with which was affiliated). My confidence in Tuck’s leadership to use my money for the right priorities and in an efficient manner so far exceeds the undergrad side of things that I can’t justify splitting it any way but 100% to 0%.
What’s happening on the fundraising front down Tuck Drive is an interesting juxtaposition to Parkhurst’s woes…
Whenever someone asserts that the College’s problems are structural — too small, not urban, in an all-white part of the country — look at Tuck’s ongoing achievement.
On behalf of the more conservative members of the Dartmouth community, we would like to offer our support to both Ryan Spector and The Dartmouth in light of the recent publication of the op-ed entitled “You’re Not Tripping.”
While Spector’s column is not without flaws, we would like to condemn the numerous personal attacks he has endured, in addition to the dangerous rhetoric coming from many of the condemning organizations. While it is difficult to substantiate that the decisions regarding Trips executives were based on identity rather than merit, the issues he raises in his article are important, and it is important that an open discussion of the topic is held. Spector’s closing statement - that trips is “no longer for trippees… It is for ideology, no matter how cruel the implications” - indeed paints a picture of a troubling, yet very real state of affairs.
Furthermore, we find the notion that Spector’s column communicates any type of hate, racism, bigotry, or “toxic masculinity” to be wholly ridiculous. His words are not an attack on any population or any individual; they are simply raising awareness of a perceived problem. The many emails proclaiming solidarity for “victims” of his article have a warped perception of his ideas; nowhere does he convey the notion that “there is nothing meritable about a room full of women, WOC, or POC,” or that his article is an “attack on people of color, queer folk, gender non-conforming people, first generation, low-income students or women.” These perceptions are nothing but absurd. As such, any personal attacks directed back upon him - or anyone coming to his defense - are reprehensible.
Finally, and most importantly, we wholly support the decision of The Dartmouth to publish this article in the first place. It is an important step in assuring that all ideas, unpopular or popular, conservative or liberal, right or left, are heard on a campus that is overwhelmingly liberal and that often ignores unpopular, conservative, or right-leaning notions. We always stand for open discourse, and we condemn all those who seek its destruction.
Addendum: For further letters concerning the Spector op-ed, please see the extended:
1. Dartmouth Spectra:
We are sending this letter on behalf of the Executive Board of Dartmouth Spectra, in response to a recent op-ed published in The Dartmouth.
We would like to express our solidarity and support for the women of color (WOC) who were called out in the article. We, as a campus and as an organization, should be uplifting the voices of successful WOC who thrive in spite all of the extra labor it takes for WOC to succeed at here and in the U.S. at large. By repeatedly using their full names and class years, the op-ed endangers both the safety and the future job prospects of the women it bashes. We wish to express our wholehearted support for these strong, resilient, hard-working and amazingly qualified women. If Spectra as a community can provide space, resources, emotional support, or labor on behalf of these women, we offer all these and more.
We would also like to take a clear stand against the blatant racism and sexism apparent in the article, and on campus at large. This campus often feels hostile to women, WOC, people of color (POC), queer folk, and queer people of color. We as an organization strive to make Dartmouth a more welcoming place for the aforementioned groups, and thus we strongly reject hateful sentiments expressed on campus, particularly the hateful and harmful sentiments that are expressed in the op-ed.
The language employed in the article reflects a dangerous idea that there is nothing meritable about a room full of women, WOC, or POC. We reject this idea. It also suggests that there is something inherently uncomfortable or dishonorable about a room full of women, WOC, and POC. We reject this, too. The article proposes that a room full of women will somehow erase representation for men, but this idea is misguided, ahistorical, and irrelevant. We are worried that a campus that allows ignorance and privileged anger to be heard over the voices of marginalized groups will erase the safety and community that women, especially WOC, and POC in general have fought for for so long. Dartmouth must speak up in solidarity.
We call on Dartmouth to do better.
Yours in Solidarity,
2. Amarna Society:
To the members of the Dartmouth community,
We, the members of the Undergraduate Society of Amarna, would like to affirm our solidarity with the 2018 first year trips Director, Assistant Director, and the Directorate as a whole. We will not stand for the op-ed’s attack on people of color, women, queer folks, gender non-conforming folks, first generation , and low income students on campus. In this we join the other houses and organizations in supporting the values of diversity and inclusion in the trips program and condemning the stance of this article that perpetuates the misogyny and the racism that is present in large parts of Dartmouth’s culture. Amarna is dedicated to making underrepresented folks on campus feel safer, and that mission does not just apply to the people in our house, but to the entirety of campus.
We admire the Trips Directorate’s unique position to influence campus in a way that we cannot as a house. As they work towards a more inclusive and accepting campus, we stand behind them wholeheartedly.
Each and every one of Amarnites
3. Student and Presidential Committee on Sexual Assault:
To the Dartmouth Community,
The Student and Presidential Committee on Sexual Assault (SPCSA) stands in solidarity with the First-Year Trips director, assistant director, and entire directorate in response to the op-ed published in The Dartmouth attacking their credentials and the legitimacy of the directorate selection process.
This article’s hateful sexism and racism attacks marginalized identities who are already discriminated against at Dartmouth on a daily basis. Furthermore, this ad hominem attack promotes the vicious idea that marginalized people, women and people of color, can
not earn positions of power on merit alone. SPCSA condemns this attack and the rest of the article, which displays a fundamental misunderstanding of systematic oppression, power, and privilege on this campus.
We are confident that each member of the First-Year Trips directorate is objectively qualified for their role. Moreover, we firmly believe the refreshing breadth of diversity and inclusivity captured by this directorate was selected with every best intention
for the Dartmouth Class of 2022 and the Dartmouth community. While we are saddened that such rhetoric and ideas continue to exist at Dartmouth, we hope this article sparks conversations and reminds everyone that we must continue to be better.
4. Divest Dartmouth:
To all of campus,
Divest Dartmouth is writing to address a recent op-ed piece titled “You’re Not Tripping” that was published in The Dartmouth. We would like to stand in solidarity with the DOC Trips Director and Assistant Director; all of Directorate; and anyone who was affected, including the communities that were directly attacked, such as womyn of color.
Divest Dartmouth firmly supports WOC who tirelessly pour their time and energy into improving Dartmouth. We would like to remind Dartmouth that due to the societal construction of the U.S., in order for womyn, WOC, and POC to obtain levels of success so easily obtained by white men requires an incredible amount of extra labor and overcoming the odds. Any strides towards justice that have been made on this campus, including making the DOC a more accessible space to those who have been historically excluded, have been achieved not because of Dartmouth, but in spite of Dartmouth.
Other campus groups, such as the Inter-Community Council, Dartmouth Spectra, SPCSA, and Link Up, have already released similar statements condemning the violence of this article and the negligence on the part of The Dartmouth for publishing it. Rather than repeating previous sentiments, we thank these groups for expending time and energy to eloquently respond. We would like to support everything already stated, and reiterate how decisions like these — publishing articles that endanger the safety and wellbeing of marginalized students — only further perpetuates the culture of toxic, male, white supremacy at Dartmouth.
Yours in solidarity.
5. Asian-American Students for Action
To the Dartmouth community,
We, the members of Asian/American Students for Action, stand in solidarity with the First-Year Trips Director, Assistant Director, and Trips Directorate in response to a recent op-ed published in The Dartmouth.
In the very first sentence, the article calls out by name and class year the two female directors of First-Year Trips. The article then goes on to mention their names not one but nine more times. In doing so, the intention of the article is clear — to attack the Trips Directors’ abilities to make fair decisions as women in positions of authority.
This was a failed attempt to publicly shame and humiliate two women of color who dared to try to make Dartmouth more inclusive. This is a specific kind of violence that seeks to put women who have attained power back in their “place” for choosing to center marginalized people rather than appease privileged persons.
The article goes on to describe the Trips Directorate as “unrecognizable as representatives of Dartmouth’s student body.” This description invisibilizes people of color, women and trans folk, queer women of color, and other marginalized peoples on this campus. The article’s assertion that male students need male role models relies on the sexist and binary assumption that women and gender non-conforming people cannot serve as role models for men. A community that erases and silences the voices of its most vulnerable members is no community at all, but instead a space of violence that forces
marginalized peoples to forge creative methods of survival.
We condemn The Dartmouth’s decision to publish this article, given the author’s clear intent to harm. The editors must have known how widely this article would be circulated, yet they chose to not only publish this article, but also include the identities of the women being targeted without their consent. By giving hate speech a platform, they actively harm these women’s mental health and future prospects. We see this violence as an example of the additional emotional burden and labor demanded of women of color. On a campus where women of color have been targets of death threats and hate crimes for choosing to speak against injustice, the actions of The Dartmouth are yet another example of this institution’s systematic disregard for the safety and material well-being of women of color.
We urge The Dartmouth to issue an apology and retract the names of the directors from the article.
Redistribution is not injustice.
You cannot co-opt the language of oppression to stand with the oppressors.
White male tears will not stop women of color from thriving. We will continue to create communities of survival and resistance.
Asian/American Students for Action (4A)
Go to the undergraduate listserv and search your screen for the word solidarity to see letters from the Rockapellas, DOC President, Alpha Phi, Women in Computer Science, Sigma Delta, Chi Delta, Association of Women in Mathematics, Native Americans at Dartmouth, Dartmouth Student Mindfulness Group, Alpha Xi Delta, Kappa Delta Epsilon, La Alianza Latina, Outdoor Leadership Experience, Subtleties, Phoenix, and Link Up.
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
I think one good thing to come out of the Spector Op-Ed backlash is that so many Balkanizing groups on campus have come forth and displayed their infirm ideologies.
Two comments in the barrage jumped out at me:
Women in Computer Science: “We have seen them many times before, from the Google Manifesto of James Damore that claimed that gender imbalance in achievement is the result of biological differences, to the systematic exclusion of minorities from tech.”
Damore did not make that assertion. My understanding is that he said men and women, as general groups, have different vocational interests. Moreover, minorities certainly are not excluded from tech. I believe that every important tech firm in the country bends over backwards to recruit qualified minority employees. They should seize these opportunities. The best thing WiCS members can do to make their point that their is no “gender imbalance in achievement,” is to achieve! Dartmouth gives them the platform to do so.
La Alianza Latina: “As an organization that provides a space for Latinx students and other marginalized groups on campus …”
How pathetic to term themselves, and so many other groups mentioned in their letter, “marginalized.” Nobody can attain their best life while thinking of him/herself as a victim. The Alianza insults and - ironically - marginalizes itself by referring to its members in this way. It’s risible to think that anyone who’s matriculated at an Ivy League institution is oppressed. They should be encouraging their members to go out and succeed, not nurse their sense of victimhood.
As for all the discussion of “safety,” it’s preposterous to think that Spector’s piece created a climate of physical danger. And in terms of intellectual safety, that is the last thing a university should provide its students. If people leave Dartmouth never having dealt with new ideas and different perspectives, they will collapse. Young people don’t need protection from alternative ideas and debate, they need as much exposure to them as they can get so they can learn how to deal with challenging situations in a mature and responsible way. They need to develop resilience, not stagnate in a comfortable but ultimately untenable spot whose only virtue is that it is familiar.
It’s very bad for Dartmouth that it has splintered into untold numbers of identity groups in the way it has. This phenomenon can only produce a divisive campus. The people behind the “privilege” narrative are fantasists; they reject reality.« Return
Ryan Spector 19’s op-ed in The D, in which he decried the unfairness of a Freshman Trips Directory skewed 15-4 in favor of women, has elicited a series of angry public comments in Hanover.
Here is a letter from the women of Epsilon Kappa Theta, which styles itself “one of the most diverse and progressive sororities on Dartmouth’s campus”:
From: Epsilon Kappa Theta
Sent: Saturday, February 3, 2018 10:38 PM
Subject: Letter in Solidarity
A Message to the Dartmouth Community,
The members of Epsilon Kappa Theta stand in solidarity with the 2018 First Year Trips director, the assistant director, the chosen directorate and the decisions they have and will continue to make in their leadership positions.
We cannot and will not stand for any attack on people of color, queer folk, gender non-conforming people, first generation, low-income students or women. Let us be perfectly clear, “You’re Not Tripping”, the editorial featured in The Dartmouth was exactly that. This “op-ed” was not merely an opinion; it was a manifestation of the racism, sexism and homophobia that permeates this campus daily. The Dartmouth, instead of standing up for marginalized communities, chose to give a platform for the propagation of this violence. By publishing this piece, they were complicit in the reckless inflammatory rhetoric that attempted to invalidate the character, qualifications and ability of the members of the 2018 First Year Trips directorate. As an organization that carries the weight of Dartmouth College in their name, we demand that they reevaluate their criteria for the publication of opinion editorials so that they prioritize the safety of Dartmouth students by refusing to publish content that endangers the lives and dismisses the labor of those actively working to make this college a more diverse and inclusive institution.
Epsilon Kappa Theta is an organization that would have benefited greatly from the representation of the current First Year Trips directorate. We are a house made up people of color, gender non-conforming folks, queer individuals and women; we bear witness to the revolutionary change that the 2018 First Year Trips directorate is working towards. We acknowledge that this change would never have been possible had it not been for the immense amount of labor that queer people of color have historically and currently put into this institution without due recognition. We are angry. We are hurt. And we will not stand for the attack of one of our own. We, as Epsilon Kappa Theta, feel this intimately and will continue to fight against the hateful oppression that attempts to stifle and minimize the successes of our members and communities.
We know the influence of First Year Trips and how it can color the beginning of someone’s Dartmouth career. We support the program and its mission to welcome first year Dartmouth students into our community. We also recognize the work it takes to make Trips a successful and uplifting experience. This is why we so vehemently support the labor the 2018 First Year Trips directorate has put in to create a positive environment for not only the incoming class, but for our larger community as members of Dartmouth College. The inclusion of queer folk and people of color in Trips leadership is not as the editorial states, “a plate on the diversity buffet”, but instead a step towards the radical change this institution must make to recognize and uplift the voices of those that have often been excluded from Dartmouth’s historical narrative.
We ask you to stand with us.
Epsilon Kappa Theta [Emphasis added]
The notion of safety is by now a well worn one in certain circles at the College. Activists from the left continually cite their fear of violence when they are criticized in the media. “Death threats” is a favorite conversation stopper — though, at least at Dartmouth, these supposed threats are never reported to the police or to campus security.
A second group, the College’s Inter-Community Council, “an organization that seeks to build bridges across many campus communities,” has written to the campus decrying Spector’s op-ed, too. The I-CC is made up of 14 community liaisons representing the following constituencies: Environmental Justice, Accessibility, Greek Men, Women, Native American, Black, Latino, Socioeconomic class, Multi-Faith, International, LGBTQA, Pan-Asian/Asian-American, Athletes. The group’s letter is equally anguished:
From: Inter-Community Council
Sent: Saturday, February 3, 2018 7:16 PM
Subject: In Solidarity
To: The campus community,
We are writing to respond to the recent op-ed that was released in The Dartmouth claiming that the selection of the 2018 Trips Directorate was purposefully discriminatory towards men, specifically white men. The author of the article criticizes the Trips Directors for appointing a Directorate that is 80% female and finds it “impossible” that this selection was based only on merit.
The Inter-Community Council expresses its outrage towards this article and declares firm solidarity with the Trips Director, Assistant Director, and all of the members of the Directorate. As a group composed of campus activists who are focused on improving the Dartmouth experience for WOC and other marginalized communities, the ICC cannot stress enough how violent this article is in erasing the work of WOC on campus who have done nothing but make this institution a better place. This article specifically co-opts the vocabularies that WOC have used to critique systems of power and subverts their meanings to give credence to the very systems they aim to dismantle.
We would also like to express our disappointment towards the editors of The Dartmouth, who appear to have sacrificed the safety and wellbeing of students in favor of supposed non-partisanship. It is important to point out that in the past, anyone who has written a remotely organized, researched, and radical opinion piece and submitted it to The D has had to undergo extensive scrutiny prior to publication. We call into question the lack of citations and of substantive research in this piece. The fact that The Dartmouth’s protocols allow for publishing opinion pieces that slander members of the student body is highly problematic. They clearly had no regard for the impact that the op-ed would have upon being published. It is concerning to see how easily privileged grievances make their way into print.
The Dartmouth has suggested that those who disagree with the article write a response piece. However, a response would only validate the author and imply that his opinions are credible and worthy of debate. Opinions that perpetuate violence and systematic oppression do not deserve a public platform. Instead, we urge The Dartmouth to retract the article and issue an apology to those whom the article has harmed.
We stand by and offer support to all of those harmed by these violent actions.
The Inter-Community Council [Emphasis added]
Once again harm and violence are front and center in a critique of an op-ed piece that did nothing more than point out an obvious gender imbalance in the leadership of a popular campus organization.
As well, both open letters are critical of The D for even publishing Spector’s piece. Freedom of the press seems of little value to these students, and the vehemence of their critique will undoubtedly cause the Op-Ed editors at The D — Parker Richards ‘18, Ioana Solomon ‘19 and Ziqin Yuan ‘18 — to hesitate in deciding to run similar pieces in the future.
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
So sad that Dartmouth organizations, which presumably represent the collective wisdom of a group of students, would throw the first amendment away so fast. Their lack of historical context knowledge says they are not educated or properly fearful of tyranny. They’d live in a politically correct version of Iran, if they could. If we let them run our institutions of academia and eventually government, we all may to at some point. So sad.
Addendum: And another:
It’s frightening that so many young people seem to be making their way through Dartmouth believing the following fallacies: 1) That language equals violence; 2) That it’s never OK to criticize a person of color or a gay person, no matter how warranted; 3) That the USA, so rich and so full of opportunities, especially for Ivy League graduates, is nothing but a massive system of oppression leaving only victims in its wake.
Are these kids not getting any guidance from their professors and parents?
As for the issue of Trips leaders, all the directors have to do is release the demographics of the applicant pool to settle this matter once and for all.
As it stands now, it certainly looks like many Dartmouth undergrads believe not in meritocracy but in revenge. In their insistence on the primacy of group membership and not the individual, they have much in common with Maoists. They are heading down a dangerous path.
If you are coming to La Capitale this year, bring galoshes or even hip waders. The Seine is in flood for the second year in a row. In ordinary times the Square du Vert-Galant at the tip of the Ile de la Cité, where the Pont Neuf crosses the river, is one of my favorite places to watch the water roll by or to catch a bateau-mouche sight-seeing boat. Not this year:
However the paysage was a fair bit more inviting on the Stanford campus:
That’s the back of Memorial Church not far from the Design Studio. I took this picture two days ago.
A column in The D today, Spector: You’re Not Tripping: The First-Year Trips directors have gone nuts for diversity, by Ryan Spector ‘19, wonders why the Freshman Trips Directorate is made up of almost 80% women. His own application was refused.
If applications were about 50/50 between men and women — though Director Lucia Pierson ‘18 and Assistant Director Dalia Rodriguez-Caspeta ‘18 aren’t saying — out in the real world you’d be looking at a prima facie case of gender discrimination.
Good for Ryan Spector for speaking truth to power.
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
When I served on the trips directorate 5 years ago, the directorate I served on was almost 70% men. There was not a single vindictive op-ed from any of the many qualified women who were overlooked.
Make no mistake, this is more personal than it is principled. Spector asserts that “credentials matter not” in the minds of the directors, which is clearly impossible to substantiate. His piece makes half-baked attempts to suggest the process is biased against him using data he doesn’t have, and objections to muddy language. The reality is that the directors this year had to choose one candidate over two or three others for each role (as they have in most years past). If past Trips are any indication, then there are a variety of factors at play: interpersonal qualities, leadership abilities, relevant certifications, prior experience, etc. And, in addition to these candidate against candidate comparisons, the directors must also choose a team of people that will be able to work well together. Their rhetoric is equivocal, probably not because (as Spector conjectures) there is something foul afoot, but because it has to serve as a catch-all for how every decision was made.
Any reader is capable of speculation equal to Spector’s. Perhaps he would prefer the directors say to him outright that he was less qualified than the women who have the outdoor logistics roles, or the two women (and one man) who will serve as trip leader trainers. Perhaps he would rather them say that his entitled attitude lack of nuanced thinking, and penchant for jumping to conclusions would hamper the directorate’s outreach, sustainability, or risk-mitigation efforts. Perhaps he simply wanted to reprise his role on H-Croo (now as a captain), but was unfortunately less likable than his peers who were selected. For what it’s worth, only one of the H-croo captains is a woman. The other is, like Spector, a (white) man.
To allege he has been discriminated against, or has been the victim of a brutally imposed ideology is laughable. Spector is not speaking truth to power. He is whining.
I disagree. A ratio of 15-4 should smell bad to anyone. Lucia Pierson ‘18 and Dalia Rodriguez-Caspeta ‘18 need to let us know the mix of applicants to the Directorate.
The College is crowing about the 9.8% increase in the number of applicants that it has received for the Class of 2022, Admissions: Undergraduate Applications Hit Five-Year High:
Dartmouth has received the largest number of undergraduate admissions applications in five years.
The 22,005 applications for admission to the Class of 2022 are an increase of 9.8 percent over last year and represent the fourth-largest applicant pool in Dartmouth’s history.
The strong rise in the overall applicant pool—which includes both early decision admission and the current round of regular decision admission—is the largest one-year increase in seven years. It follows an all-time high number of applications this year—2,270—for early decision admissions, a 13.5 percent increase over last year’s early decision applications.
Spin. Span. Spun. While it’s nice to see an increase, does the jump in numbers have anything to do with Dartmouth, or are applications up everywhere? (As we reported the other day, applications to NYU were up 12%, Bowdoin 25%, and Middlebury 13.8% — and it was recently announced that Brown is up 8% and Yale 7.3%.)
Saying that this year’s group represents the “fourth-largest applicant pool in Dartmouth’s history” is chest-thumping that has no justification. Look at where everyone else in the Ivy League stood last year:
All of the other Ivies have been setting all-time applications records year after year. Yet the College isn’t even back to to the level at which it stood six years ago.
Addendum: Does the Office of Communications think that nobody will notice this kind of sleight of hand? And that we won’t be offended?
Addendum: We’ll look at the other Ivies’ progress when they have all reported their results.
After desultory, ad hoc efforts at a Carnival Snow Sculpture in the past couple of years, we might have something a little more substantial on the Green this time around. Either the below is a finished effort (the Dartmouth Pimple? Phil’s bold new symbol?) or students are readying a sculpture that will make us proud:
Let’s hope so.
I’m Done with Dartmouth
Unai Montes-Irueste — January 30, 2018
I resign as Vice President of the Dartmouth Association of Latinx Alumni.
I resign from the Board of the Dartmouth Club of Los Angeles.
I resign from the Board of my Class.
I will no longer donate any money or time to Dartmouth College.
I will not interview candidates for admission, or recommend that those accepted matriculate.
And while I will miss seeing my friends dearly, I will not attend Reunion.
In November of 2016, I wrote Dartmouth’s President, Phil Hanlon, its Provost, Carolyn Dever, and the College’s Executive Committee, urging that resources be allocated for the protection of vulnerable students. I made it quite clear that the motivation of this letter was neither partisan, nor political. It was merely a request that preparations be made should the incoming President of the United States reverse the policies of his predecessor.
This letter, signed by the presidents of the Black Alumni of Dartmouth Association, Dartmouth Asian Pacific American Alumni Association, Native American Alumni Association of Dartmouth, and representatives from the Dartmouth Association of Latinx Alumni, Dartmouth Coalition For Immigration Reform, Equality, and DREAMers, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. - Theta Zeta Chapter, La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. - Psi Chapter, and Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc. - Alpha Beta Chapter, went unanswered until I presented it to him in person.
His response was a restatement of a “community letter.” It contained no commitments.
Before the end of 2016 an organization of undocumented students and allies submitted a petition asking that President Hanlon declare Dartmouth a sanctuary campus. He said no.
In April of 2017, The Dartmouth,”America’s oldest college newspaper,” profiled three current undocumented students, including, Valentina Emilia Garcia Gonzalez. She shared the following:
“I wanted to run for Student Council, and I got a message from a student threatening my deportation.”
I need every single Dartmouth alum, current student, and prospective one to read that again.
Also in April of 2017, the Dartmouth Review, an odious publication that has harmed and humiliated good people for generations, and is largely responsible for unleashing the vile Laura Ingraham, and the repugnant Dinesh D’Souza on the world, wrote the following:
“Hanlon attempted to show empathy for the students by writing that “at this moment, some members of our community feel vulnerable and at risk,” but did not seem to support or oppose many of their demands… With their series of emails, President Hanlon and his administration have succeeded only in stirring up outrage… [their] response has accomplished little, if anything at all. Rather than offer tangible assistance to affected students, it has simply bragged about its broad commitments and values… If the administration truly cared, they would tighten their bootstraps and offer up some serious solutions for those students they believe are in danger.”
The hackneyed and cliché adage, “even a broken clock is right twice a day,” notwithstanding, I never thought that I would write the following words: The Dartmouth Review was right.
In September of 2017, the inevitable occurred. DACA was rescinded. Undocumented students presented President Hanlon with a list of immediate actions needed. They asked him for a guarantee that ICE/CBP would not be allowed on campus or on buses, unless they presented valid, court-issued warrants. They asked him to stop requiring DACA recipients to turnover their earnings to pay for tuition so that they could save money, since they would no longer be able to work after graduation. They asked for options to replace the foreign study programs, internships, and exchanges they were no longer eligible to participate in. They asked for help.
President Hanlon issued a statement weeks later. It didn’t commit to do any of these things.
Sadly, this was the last time anyone, including undocumented students would hear from him.
In October of 2017, the Valley News shared Valentina Emilia Garcia Gonzalez’s story. Here she is, taking a knee along with her teammates in defense of her rights and the rights of her fellow students who have been made vulnerable; in support of the Movement for Black Lives; and in solidarity with those who stood up against hate in Charlottesville, including, Heather Heyer, who was killed when a white supremacist used his car as a weapon against her.
Also in October of 2017, students desperate for the College to commit to a plan to support undocumented students helped to organize a Homecoming boycott and protest action.
In December of 2017, the New York Times profiled an “Ivy League immigrant family.”
Per Google that’s the most recent news mention of undocumented students at Dartmouth.
We are now days away from the February 8, 2018, Sophie’s choice vote that those members of Congress who have made commitments to undocumented youth must confront. As it stands, a path forward for DREAMers is on the table, but only in exchange for: 1) Drastic cuts to family immigration, 2) The elimination of the Visa Lottery, 3) A commitment of $25 billion toward the construction of a border wall, 4) A commitment to expedite deportation for two-thirds of the 11 million undocumented men and women who call the US home.
I, along with every human being with a soul, urge Congress to reject this Devil’s bargain.
And as a human being with a soul, I can no longer enable or condone the College’s inaction.
Despite all that has happened, no undocumented student has heard from President Hanlon.
Even though he, the Provost, and the rest of the Executive Team have had every opportunity to take action to support the DREAM Act eligible members of our community, they have not.
And so, until Dartmouth does right by undocumented students, I’m done.
Addendum: Remind me again just who thinks Phil Hanlon is doing a good job.
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
You know, if Phil were to do the things that Unai is writing about, I’d respect him (and Carolyn Dever) a lot more. I might not agree with everything he was doing; there would probably be a number of things I didn’t agree with. But still, at least I would be able to recognize that the man stands for something. Instead, he’s trying to pay lip service to people’s concerns, keep them quiet, so he can go about this ill-considered expansion plan with the goal of…doing what, exactly? Relieving this inferiority complex too many of our fellow alumni seem to have about not having gone to HYP? Because in the process of doing whatever it is he and the board are trying to do, he’s going to hamstring Dartmouth in no fewer than three crucial categories that US News measures in its rankings: Selectivity, Endowment per student and Alumni participation. Ugh!
Addendum: And another:
Phil is Aaron Burr as depicted in Hamilton: “Talk less, smile more…don’t let them know what you’re against or what you’re for.” Is there any better way to summarize his complete and utter fecklessness on every significant issue that he has had to face as President?
Addendum: And another:
A forthright response to Montes-Irueste would have been along the lines of Chicago President Zimmer: the university has no business taking a position on political issues; it is a place for study and discussion, not a bearer of righteous witness to assumed narratives. Doing the latter destroys its capacity for the former. But Hanlon is the sort that would waffle on everything.
Addendum: A student writes in:
I agree with the writer that colleges have little reason to involve themselves in political issues, but I think s/he fails to acknowledge a limit on that. There are a few sorts of issues that universities and colleges have an obligation to weigh in on. The first are the ones that impact universities directly (e.g., it would be perfectly reasonable for Dartmouth to comment on the proposed graduate student tax or endowment tax that were moving through Congress in December, since those would have a real impact on the College).
The second (a subcategory of the first) are issues that could fundamentally impact the school’s core mission — laws that could challenge free expression and free inquiry, mainly.
The third — and these are the policies at issue here — is the school’s obligation to protect its members, that is, faculty and students. In admitting a student or hiring a faculty member, a college enters into a pact of sorts. It can be voided — if a party violates the school’s community standards (e.g., sexual assault, cheating, plagiarism, etc) — but nonetheless it is a fairly sacred contract. Colleges are relatively powerful entities, and there is an extent to which they have an obligation to defend their members, particularly against attempts to remove those members from their engagement at the college through coercive means. NYU’s webpage has an interesting article on the concept of academic sanctuary, and how it is a longstanding concept used to foster debate and protect even those some see as undesirable so long as they contribute to a free discussion and free inquiry. The article approvingly quotes John Henry Newman, who said a university is a place “in which the intellect may safely range and speculate, sure to find its equal in some antagonistic activity, and its judge in the tribunal of truth. It is a place where inquiry is pushed forward, and discoveries verified and perfected, and rashness rendered innocuous, and error exposed, by the collision of mind with mind, and knowledge with knowledge.” To fulfill that goal, the university must protect those it admits, those it hires, and those who would speak within its walls. That is not a political goal in the traditional sense. Rather, it is the foundational role of a scholarly institution.
Whether a college should admit undocumented students — or any students with a criminal history — is a matter best left to administrators and the admissions office, but once the college does so, it owes those students its protection. Not necessarily protection to the extent some currently ask, but protection nonetheless.
Addendum: And another:
I vehemently disagree with the notion that Dartmouth’s president should remain politically neutral and not comment on the issues of the day. To be politically neutral would be a betrayal of the legacy of men like John Sloan Dickey, who was regularly consulted by leaders during his time as Dartmouth President, even serving on President Truman’s Committee on Civil Rights. It would also be a betrayal of Ernest Hopkins who while President of the College, served as an advisor during both World Wars.
There was a time in our country’s history when college presidents were considered intellectual leaders and regularly consulted on political matters. Given the rise of anti-intellectualism, this seems to be on the wane, but it would be a mistake to retreat to our ivory towers and not try to affect public discourse. Within the walls of academia, research is conducted that produces results that lead to recommendations, which ultimately leads to action. The academy has historically had a central role in the shaping our public policy and we should fight to preserve it.
I don’t see Donald Trump or the modern Republican Party being influenced by Phil Hanlon but his opinion, or at least the opinion of Dartmouth’s president, is sorely missed.
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
At the risk of being “branded” as insensitive let me state that I, too am “finished with Dartmouth” for exactly the opposite reasons of the South American alumnus defector. Like taking the undocumented immigrants (illegals) in the first place with no plan for the future, Dartmouth has opened its doors to controversy and ethnic strife by showering them with privileges and scholarships. We didn’t learn and now it will come back as ugly behavior in our schools and communities. I’m done, too.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
- The Dartmouth College Case
- 2007 Trustee Election
- Dartmouth Constitution
- Sunday Morning Sinatra
- The Indian Wars
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