One Student Reflects on Challenges at Dartmouth

A soon-to-be-graduated Dartmouth College student submitted an op-ed to the school’s student newspaper this week lamenting her time on campus, where she said “being a poor, black woman ... is not conducive to much of anything.”

The Dartmouth published the piece authored by student Jennifer McGrew yesterday, the same day college officials reported the third incident of racism in as many months.

She writes, in part:

My situation is my situation. I cannot and will not speak for anyone but myself. I cannot say that all minorities have the same experience. I can, on the other hand, say that there is not one building on campus named after a black alumnus. I can say that when it comes to making institutional changes, the minorities are usually the first group affected and the last group to have a say in the matter.

Thus far, the op-ed has generated three pages of widely varying comments online, including agreement with — and strong objections against — McGrew’s assessment.

Others fall somewhere in the middle. “I sympathize with the author as a fellow minority, but as the commenter before said, there aren’t enough examples here. I feel like there’s something being left out for the sake of PCness or what have you. Hold your ground next time you’re on the sidewalk,” one wrote. (The person who wrote the post references this line from McGrew: “I no longer think twice about moving aside as my white counterparts walk past me on the sidewalk, because despite the right that I have to walk there, I always end up being forced to the side or risk being hit or run over.”)

Most recently, two Asian student told college officials on Wednesday that “a white student walked by them, made eye contact and verbally harassed them by speaking in gibberish seemingly meant to mock Chinese,” college spokesman Justin Anderson told the Valley News yesterday.

Valley News reporter Jon Wolper is on campus today, reporting student reaction to the allegations.

The college community is invited to a forum today that was scheduled in response to that incident; it will take place from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Kemeny Hall, and is closed to the public.