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The afternoon of May 6, 1969 a group of about 40 students stormed the Parkhurst Administration building and forced everyone to leave. The students demanded the immediate abolition of Dartmouth Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, an end to military recruiting on campus and the replacement of ROTC scholarships with ones offered by the College. The students barricaded themselves inside the building for the rest of the night.
Dartmouth has seen its fair share of activism in years past — from the Dimensions protest in 2013 to the Parkhurst sit-in in 2014 to the recent Black Lives Matter protest during fall term. With the increasing calls for social justice, The Dartmouth released a survey to gauge student reactions to activism at Dartmouth and beyond.
Rianna Starheim ’14, avid traveler and human rights activist, believes in equality and freedom of speech. These concepts are pretty simple on paper, she acknowledges, but they are remarkably rare in the world.
As Shonda Rhimes wrapped up her insightful Dartmouth commencement speech back in 2014, she slipped in a little zinger admonishing social media activism — “A hashtag is not helping.”
My freshman fall in 2012, Dartmouth seemed like an unreal experience to me. Even though I knew that the utopia Dartmouth presented to me was not for people like me, I wanted to believe in the dream. It was easier to tell my friends and family back home that Dartmouth was great than to tell them I would rather sleep on the floor next to my mother, grandmother and brother in our studio apartment again than to have my own room and my own bed while living in a space where I felt hyper-invisible and unwanted. I wanted to tell them that I felt more broken and hopeless at this institution then I ever had before. But, I didn’t want to disappoint them because I knew my story, a story of a Black girl from the Southside of Chicago who had gone to Dartmouth, is one that they took immense pride in. So, even though I knew Dartmouth’s utopia didn’t include people like me, I thought that I was going to have the opportunity to make it include people like me. I was wrong.
I am a foreigner. Yes, I may be a citizen and may have been born in the United States, but I am still foreign all the same. I don’t fit the cultural norms of an American society that has constantly tried to shape the person I am, to shape me into a passively obedient, productive member of American capitalism. Yet, for most of my life I have tried. I have tried being quiet, being obedient. I have tried dating women. I have tried maintaining a low profile. And I have tried presenting in a masculine way. None of it helped. I was still a fish out of water, a person floundering in a society not made for them.
Emerging in 2012 from a social media hashtag, the slogan “Black Lives Matter” has become a rallying cry for larger issues related to police brutality, racial injustice and structural oppression that many feel disproportionately affect black communities. Many Dartmouth students, faculty, and staff have answered this rallying cry, participating in protests and demonstrations to stand in solidarity with the BLM movement and against alleged institutional oppression at the College.
Though activism around many issues is present at both Dartmouth and its peer institutions, the focus of this activism differs from school to school. The College, for example, has seen significant dialogue in recent months about race relations and diversity on campus, while students at other Ivy League schools said issues such as sexual assault and mental health occupy the campus spotlight. Similarly, administrative responses to such activism has varied across schools.
On a campus where most students do not stay longer than the usual four years, faculty members who stand with student activists in the push for increased diversity, inclusivity and equality at the College are the drivers of continued dialogue at Dartmouth. In the fall of 2015, following the Black Lives Matter protest in Baker-Berry Library, 150 professors and staff members demonstrated their solidarity with student activists by signing a letter of support addressed to the College administration.
Despite focusing on issues outside the Dartmouth bubble, student groups on campus dedicated to international activism still see high turnout and passionate student interest.
What's in Dartmouth's secret room of retirement? Read on to find out.
Did Joe enjoy himself at Jeb Bush's talk? Read on to find out.
How does a bright young pre-med become a convicted felon in four years? Read on to find out.
This week, Lucy Li '19 set out to explore how attractive humor is as a personal quality. Read on to find out what she discovered.
This week, Carolyn Zhou '19 explores what is and is not acceptable to joke about in comedy. Read on to find out more.
Are Caroline and Hayley actually funny — or are they just unlucky? Read on in their weekly editor's note to find out.
This week, The Mirror polled its staff about everything from their funniest moment at Dartmouth to the best joke they know. Read on to find out more.
What were Hayley and Caroline texting about this week?
What does an exorcism have to do with KAF and yoga?
How "crunchy" is Dartmouth's fashion, really? Nelly Mendoza-Mendoza '19 explores.