This past Monday and email was sent out to every student and administrator at Dartmouth College that included a list of radical demands that more closely resembled a progressive wish list than rational concerns, and even came complete with threats of “physical action” should those demands not be met.
According to The College Fix, the email came from a group of disgruntled students and it claims the reasons for the demands is an atmosphere of racism and oppression. It’s eight pages, filled with grievances, and gives administrators at the Ivy-League school until March 24 of this year to meet their demands before they turn to violence. The group is self described as “concerned Asian, Black, Latin@, Native, Undocumented, Queer, and Differently-Abled students.”
“If the Dartmouth administration does not respond by the indicated time, those who believe in freedom will be forced to physical action” it says, warning that they’re demanding to know the college’s “exact commitment,” including monetary, to each demand by the stated deadline, which is the start of the spring term.
The goal of their demands is to end the “institutional violence” that’s been caused by “racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, and ableism.”
The laundry list of demands is as follows;
• Racial enrollment quotas for Black and Latino students to “at least 10 percent each”
• “Ensure that 47 percent of post-doctoral students are people of color”
• “Ban the use of ‘illegal aliens, illegal immigrants, wetback’ and any racially charged term”
• Mandate cultural competency and sensitivity training for professors
• “Ask staff/faculty to use students’ and employees’ preferred gender pronouns”
• Enroll more students in the country illegally (undocumented students); and provide them free legal assistance and financial aid
• Convert ethnic studies programs into full-fledged departments
• Incorporate into each department at least one queer studies class
• Increase the interdisciplinary academic focus on sexualities
• Enact curricular changes to force students to study social justice and marginalization in depth
• Provide gender-neutral bathrooms in every building on campus
• “Create a policy with serious consequences against hate speech/crimes”
• Create a policy penalizing and discriminating against students who use the Indian mascot
• Require school’s conservative paper give up “Dartmouth” name if they use term “Indian”
The group of students who drafted the letter believe that by enacting these changes the school will “eradicate systems of oppression as they affect marginalized communities on this campus.”
“We demand that Dartmouth challenge these systems by redistributing power and resources in a way that is radically equitable,” it says.
Students across campus have had a mixed reaction to the email, albeit most see it as radical.
The editor-in-chief of The Dartmouth Review, Nick Desatnick, said that most students can’t get past the phrase “physical action” and h personally sees it as “very radical.” He thinks the “ambiguity” of the letter is on purpose to make it an ultimatum for the school, although he did say that the authors of the letter seem to have backtracked a little.
His thoughts are that those responsible for the letter are “a pool of disenchanted individuals who transition between”some of the more radical student groups and he doesn’t recommend anyone take it too seriously. “There’s a sense that there are problems at Dartmouth and I think this an attempt to garner attention that will diffuse in a few weeks.”
Some of the other students thought the email was hilarious, while others were upset that students would be so bold. However most agree that to charge Dartmouth with racism is ridiculous and that to threaten terroristic acts is out of line.
While the origin of the email is unknown, Dartmouth has been the stage for radical liberal groups in the past. A radical group made a huge scene about racism, capitalism, and sexism last April and administrators caved, canceling classes and holding a public forum to discuss their issues.