"We Are Not Anonymous" campaign targets campus bias

by Anthony Lafontant | 2/4/13 11:00pm

by Anna Davies and Anna Davies / The Dartmouth

The "We Are Not Anonymous Campaign" is the Inter-Community Council's latest efforts to combat recent bias incidents and provide a forum for those who have experienced discrimination. The display also features a slide show that highlights each written message. Cards describing how to report acts of bias via the College's online bias incident reporting form are located by the slide show.

Students are invited to share their personal accounts throughout the week by submitting written messages in a box near the display.

"These additional stories will be added to the display throughout the week. We encourage community members to attach their names to their stories," ICC co-chair Elise Smith '13 said in an email.

The campaign intends to create a space for community members to share their experiences of discrimination at Dartmouth.

"ICC wanted to provide a space for students to share their experiences and to take a stand against discrimination on this campus and help build a stronger, safer community," Smith said in the email. "We hope to encourage students and community members to report instances of bias and intolerance."

In response to recent incidents of bigotry, the Office of Pluralism and Leadership held an open discussion on Jan. 25 on the impact of discrimination on campus. The event encouraged students, faculty and administrators to participate in small group discussion at the meeting, OPAL director Alysson Satterlund said.

"It's very important not to dismiss these instances when they happen to students, staff, faculty and administrators because if you keep asking people to deny their experiences, the community can't move forward," she said.

The ICC first shared their concept of the "We Are Not Anonymous Campaign" at the Jan. 25 meeting, which was attended by more than 100 students, faculty and staff.

Lorea Barturen Tu'14 said that the display is an important first step to creating change on campus.

"These stories sound like just the beginning of a dialogue, and this presentation seems like the first step in a much larger discussion that needs to happen on campus," she said.

Courtnie Crutchfield '13 said she appreciated that students signed their names in the display.

"I think it's incredible when these things happen," she said. "When the topics are sensitive, people tend to want to be anonymous, but it is seen as much more honest and powerful when the names are attached."

Sadia Hassan '13 said the presentation is a powerful way to confront unnoticed acts of aggression.

"I think it provides a way for students to speak to their experiences and have others be forced to contend with it because it's in a public space," she said.

The ICC will be hosting another meeting to discuss different projects that may contribute to campus discussion of bias on Friday in Kemeny Hall, according to Satterlund.