Clear Dialogue Needed
To the Editor:
I applaud Sara del Nido '08's attempt to defend one of her friends and analyze the Greek system at Dartmouth. Unfortunately, del Nido's account of what transpired is inaccurate and provides a weak foundation for speculation on the nature of brotherhood and sisterhood in CFS houses. This minimal event has been taken out of proportion, and with misrepresented information and a lack of facts, the reactionary response does not lead to constructive dialogue.
Del Nido characterizes the original blitz as a courageous attempt to speak out and the response as threatening and sexually charged. The complaint about white-trash 'tails may have been valid and justified, but "courageous" unnecessarily creates an image of victimization. The response blitz, mostly comprised of grammatical and spelling corrections, was crass, snide and stupid -- not threatening. Del Nido claims no apology was made. In fact, the issue came before a dean weeks ago, and the author of the offending blitz apologized to his "victim" in the presence of a dean. Del Nido is unsatisfied because each house, not viewing this regrettable incident as some horrible wrong fostered by the Greek system, chose to deal with the issue via internal dialogue rather than by issuing official statements. This does not mean they ignored the issue, and it certainly does not mean that the values of brotherhood and sisterhood are dead.
Inflammatory criticism, especially when not grounded in truth, inhibits the dialogue we need at Dartmouth regarding the Greek system. We want to ensure that students can engage in debate without fear of vilification, and that Greek houses can participate without fear of being misrepresented. There is a strong support system in Greek houses, and while much progress has been made regarding sexual assault, homophobia and inclusiveness, there is still a very long way to go. Any progress made has been enabled by a fair and civil dialogue that seeks to engage more than it alienates, and journalistic integrity is a vital component of this. Hyperbole, rhetoric, poor research and personal bias are all contradictory to our common interest in making the Greek system more respectful, safe and welcoming.