Dartmouth’s chickens come home to roost — in the president’s office

The Dartmouth students known as “Concerned Asian, Black, [email protected], Native, Undocumented, Queer, and Differently-Abled students” have followed through on their threat to take “physical action” if the College’s administrators don’t reply to their demands. Their physical action consists of occupying the office of Phil Hanlon, Dartmouth’s president.

The demands of these activists are so absurd that when I first reported on them some very intelligent people told me that this was a hoax. Here are some of the demands:

Incorporate into each department at least one queer studies class.

Commit multi-millions of dollars to increase faculty and staff of color in all departments, and create a “professor of color” lecture series.

Require ALL professors to be trained in “cultural competency” and the “importance of social justice in their day to day work.”

Ask faculty to use preferred gender pronouns. Allow body and gender self-determination.

Provide gender-neutral housing to all students. Provide gender-specific and gender-neutral bathrooms in every building on campus.

Provide free legal assistance and financial aid for undocumented students to “better understand each of their unique legal statuses.”

Require that every Dartmouth student be taught and made aware that the land they reside on is Abenaki homeland.

All male-female checkboxes should be replaced with write-in boxes to make forms, surveys, and applications more inclusive for trans, two-spirit, agender, gender-nonconforming and genderqueer folks campus-wide.

But even ridiculous demands deserve an answer. “Are you crazy?” would be a good response. A simple “no” would suffice.

Instead, President Hanlon has served up condescending mush. To that extent, the resort to “physical action” is, perhaps, understandable.

But here’s my question? Are “Concerned Asian, Black, [email protected], Native, Undocumented, Queer, and Differently-Abled students” making demands like this and backing them up by occupying offices at other elite and semi-elite colleges?

After all, every college sits on land where Indians once roamed. Surely no college includes a “queer studies” course in every department (Queer Physics?). And virtually every college is admitting minority students who, prior to admission, have not demonstrated the ability to compete academically with regular admittees and thus are likely to become alienated after matriculating (if not before).

So again, is what’s going on at Dartmouth — absurd demands followed up by physical coercion — occurring at other colleges? Or have decades of muddled thinking, misguided attempts at accommodation, and lack of adult supervision by Dartmouth administrators and faculty produced students whose infantile radicalism and/or sense of empowerment produces demands and physical action that exceed the level to be found at most comparable colleges?

JOHN adds: I confess that I was among those who thought the “Concerned…students'” demands were a clever parody of juvenile campus leftism. Alas, they were for real–some things just can’t be parodied.


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