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The Dartmouth
June 17, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Search Was Executed of a Room in Tabard, Not the Entire House

To the Editor,

In the May 23 issue of The Dartmouth, the bold, front-page headline read, "Police execute search of Tabard." The officers of the Tabard find the article not only in the poorest of taste, but also blatantly misleading and bad journalism. We would like to clarify our position.

First, The Tabard was not searched. The search warrant granted was simply to search one person's room in the Tabard. Your headline "Police execute search of Tabard" is obviously misleading. If the Police had searched one student's room in Gile Hall, your headline would certainly not be: "Police Execute Search of Gile Hall." Such an article would implicate that everyone living in Gile Hall, or a large proportion, were somehow involved in the police search. In both cases, such a statement would be misleading. Particularly so, however, when the physical plant in question is a fraternity house, as not all people living in a house are necessarily members. While it certainly reflects on the house's reputation that such a search was executed on our premises, Tabard, as a group, is not responsible for the individual actions of a member. Obviously, The Dartmouth has decided that the investigation of one person, for a matter that is in no way connected with the house or with Dartmouth, is an indictment of the whole house. Nowhere in the article was it made clear that only one person's room was searched, not the entire house.

Unfortunately, from the reactions we've received here at The Tabard in the last few days, the impression that the article has given is that the whole of the Tabard was somehow involved. The Dartmouth has consistently associated houses with members who have been involved in questionable activities (see stories about Alpha Delta, Beta Theta Pi, and Alpha Chi Alpha from last year alone). This type of reporting does not belong in a newspaper, especially when it has a complete monopoly on the news events that transpire on this campus.

The members of the Tabard will now be forced to suffer constant harassment and malicious attacks because of The Dartmouth's desire to have a catchy headline. Already, on Friday night, two men stood behind the Tabard and yelled, "Tabard you suck. You f--ing fags, have any 14-year-old boys in there?" Several people have blitzed members and officers of the house trying to figure out what happened and what is going on, all as a result of The Dartmouth's poor reporting of the events that transpired. Also, several members of our house have been approached in the past few days, and have been asked whether their rooms were searched.

While we will not lay the prejudices of others at your door, prejudices against the Tabard as a result of your article must be accounted for. Sensationalism without regard to the repercussions is simply wrong! No charges have been filed, and in the event that they are, due process ensures that a person is innocent until proven guilty. The Dartmouth is responsible for the content of its articles, and, in this case at least, the wrong impression was given. We realize that it increases sensationalism to implicate an entire house in a possibly illicit event, but The Dartmouth is a newspaper, not a tabloid.

As a result of this ill-planned article, something very easily described as a hate crime has been committed against a number of innocent people.

It seems to us that The Dartmouth owes an apology to the Tabard both as a collective entity, and as a group of individuals.