Petition statement to be delivered to Dr. Phillip J. Hanlon '77, President

Dartmouth College: Support All of Your Students. Make Campus Climate A Top Priority!

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Dartmouth College: Support All of Your Students. Make Campus Climate A Top Priority!

To be delivered to Dr. Phillip J. Hanlon '77, President

Petition Statement

Dartmouth College’s lack of full and sustained commitment to its statement of core values, code of student conduct, and oft-repeated promise “to foster an environment that is diverse, welcoming, and inclusive” will continue to fuel student protest. As proud Dartmouth alumni and allies committed to the College’s mission and all of its core values, we support the students. We urge you to embrace the student-led protest and call for action at Dartmouth’s 2014 Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. as an added stimulus for change that leads to the kinds of significant, comprehensive reforms needed to change the nature of campus life at Dartmouth. #MoveDartmouthForward
There are currently 199 signatures. NEW goal - We need 200 signatures!

Petition Background

We are concerned members of the Dartmouth family – global citizens, professors, doctors, dentists, lawyers, teachers, journalists, entrepreneurs, political officials, activists, executives, non-profit leaders, architects, artists, photographers, athletes, writers, managers, members of the greater community, and more. Most of us are indebted to Dartmouth College for the education but have contributed in many demonstrable ways to its legacy and standing. We have made a life of contribution and careers of purpose in part by the education we have received.

However, given the current political climate and a campus culture still rife with systemic oppression - racism, classism, sexism and other institutional systems of control that are not in the collective interest of the Dartmouth community, we share student concerns and are very disappointed that the College on the Hill is not leading by example.

The College must not lose sight of the broader message of the student coalition that protested against racism, sexual assault, homophobia, classism and other forms of hate and intolerance on Dartmouth’s campus in the Spring of 2013 and that underpinned the Clery Complaint. The intersectionality and institutionalized silence combine to repress anyone who tries to speak up. These concerns are the realities of Dartmouth student life. It is a 40-year-old culture of marginalization and intolerance toward a legitimate cross-section of students on Dartmouth’s campus. It is hurtful, hateful, and an anachronism in 21st century America. Dartmouth must change.

As Jalil Bishop ’14, president of Dartmouth's Afro-American Society, aptly put it in a speech he delivered at the Keynote Address of Dartmouth College’s 2014 Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr., after inviting audience members to join him on stage:

“As you stand here and they ask you why you protest, tell them you have attended their talks, you have served on their committees, you have allowed your face on their brochures and still they did not honor your voice…Tell them we know assimilation, being quiet, just fitting in, does not work unless we annihilate who we are. And for some of us, we learned through the trenches on this campus and bonds in our communities to love who we are. So we cannot erase it, we cannot hide it. We protest because there is no line between where our individual comfort and the oppression of communities around us, separates. Our lives and our freedom are too intertwined.” (The entire speech and video are available at http://blackpraxis.com)

We are saddened, but not surprised, that Dartmouth College currently is under investigation for Title IX violations. This investigation could have been avoided had the College taken proactive steps to eliminate the culture of intolerance that has permeated the Dartmouth campus for decades. The federal probe may be uncomfortable, but silence is complicity and complicity with oppression is toxic and poisons the environment on campus.

We all want a Dartmouth that exhibits a strong commitment to excellence, civility, and conscience.

Tell Dartmouth College it’s time to address student concerns and make campus climate a top priority.

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