Student petition asks for Cunningham's resignation, Cunningham sends apology to campus

by The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 5/6/15 5:54am

Student Assembly president-elect Frank Cunningham ’16 sent an email to campus apologizing for his behavior during a protest this weekend, when he moved within several inches of one of the demonstrators and yelled “I can't breathe" ather. The incident was recorded and posted to YouTube multiple times—one of the videos has nearly 500 views, while another has over 300.

Since the incident, student members of Big Green Microaggressions have created a petition asking for the resignation of Cunningham. The petition currently has 202 signatures. Since Cunningham sent his apology to campus, the number of signatures has more than doubled.

The petition links to the video and says that Cunningham “taunts, mocks, screams and forces his way into the face of a female Dartmouth student protestor,” calling the behavior “embarrassing.” It calls for his resignation because it says his behavior is “counter to the values of mutual respect encouraged and protected by Dartmouth’s mission statement.”

In his apology email to campus, sent via the Student Assembly listerv, he writes he “had no business approaching a female member of our community in that way” and understands that his behavior appears “threatening.” He attributes the incident to an emotional reaction after he was called a derogatory name, but admits that his behavior was “inexcusable.”

The incident took place at a protest outside of Kappa Delta Epsilon sorority's annual Derby event. Roughly 20 students chanted "Black lives matter" and "I can't breathe" in solidarity with the protests in Baltimore.