Letter: Please Update Dartmouth Situation
To the Editor:
On Jan. 20, the Valley News published a letter of mine regarding acts of racism that occurred at Dartmouth College on or near Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In one case, someone wrote the “n word” on a white board in a dormitory. Another incident involved someone invading the personal space of two Asian students in a dining hall and blabbing gibberish intended, apparently, to mock an Asian language.
Yes, how appalling.
In any case, since the initial reports about these offensive incidents, I have been unable to find a single word of follow-up in the Valley News. Am I to assume from the silence that racism just up and disappeared from the college? I’d be thrilled if that were true, but I suspect that’s not what happened.
I think what happened is that college officials convened some private meetings to discuss ways to prevent similar occurrences from happening in the future. But that’s not the same as making a very big, very loud public statement that the college will enforce a zero-tolerance policy toward racism — meaning that anyone caught committing acts of racism at Dartmouth will be banished from the campus with no hope of return.
Dartmouth College is an Ivy League institution of higher education that prides itself on serving an undergraduate student body of which 36 percent are students of color, according to the college website.
Valley News, please update your readers on this story. Dartmouth College, please come out in the open with the issue of racism on your campus. Everyone, but especially 36 percent of your students, deserves an open dialogue on this critically important national issue.
Carolyn M. Bardos