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Dartmouth Students Protest at Ceremony

Hanover — A demonstration erupted at Dartmouth College on Monday when students, faculty and community members filled the stage of Moore Theater, many holding signs, before the planned Martin Luther King, Jr. Day keynote speech.

The event was meant to protest a number of racial and economic inequalities on campus, including that Dartmouth staff had to work on the national holiday, while faculty and students had the day off, according to a news release sent to the Valley News from Dartmouth student Abigail Macias.

The letter, which Macias wrote in conjunction with other students, pointed to numerous examples of alleged hypocrisy, including that Martin Luther King Jr. advocated for the Freedom Budget, which would include a redistribution of wealth, while Dartmouth’s Board of Trustees is filled with Wall Street executives.

The letter also accused the college of repressing dissent, citing that the college did not support a boycott of sorority rush after five members of the Panhellenic Council, the governing body of the college’s eight greek sororities, sent out an email stating they would not participate in winter recruitment because they feel the system is flawed, citing the “glorification of alcohol,” the superficiality within the recruitment process and sexual assault.

Afro-American Society President Jalil Bishop, a Dartmouth senior, led the protest, according to a report in The Dartmouth, the college’s student newspaper. Bishop spoke about how Dartmouth is “failing to break down the structure” that marginalizes people of color, and that the college has failed to address issues of race, sexual assault and the fraternity system, according to The Dartmouth.

Bishop remained at the podium for more than 20 minutes, during which time he asked the audience members to stand and invited people to come on stage with him, many of which held signs. One sign read, “Enough distraction — where is the action?” according to The Dartmouth.

— Sarah Brubeck