Palaeopitus' Work With Principle of Community Must Continue

by Holly Sateia | 11/4/97 6:00am

To the Editor:

Last year , Palaeopitus challenged all of us at the College to reaffirm our commitment to the Principle of Community. It seems that in light of recent events (cartoons in The Dartmouth, Fall issues of the Jack-O-Lantern, to name a few of the most visible incidents) that the work that Palaeopitus began needs to be continued. Dartmouth has a strong and long-standing commitment to protecting freedom of speech. Along with that freedom comes a responsibility to reflect and talk with each other about what it means to be a member of our community. Actions and words that are hateful and mean spirited have no place here.

I would hope that individuals would accept responsibility for their actions and make a commitment to learning how their actions and words can impact our community both positively and negatively. I also hope that organizations will look at their responsibility to our community and develop ways that they can monitor themselves and hold their membership accountable for actions that compromise our community.

I was pleased to hear of the many discussions this sparked, including the one held on the Collis porch on Friday afternoon between members of our community and the staff of the Jack-O-Lantern: It is encouraging to see that these incidents are not going unchallenged. I also hope that further discussions will continue and that through these interactions ,we will rededicate ourselves to being a community that ( in the words of our Principle of Community) is "sensitive to and respectful of the rights and interests of others and appreciative of the diversity of the community as providing an opportunity for learning and moral growth."