Letter to the Editor: Please, Keep Up the Good Work, and Care for One Another

Dartmouth students should continue participating in dialogue around tough issues.

by Bruce Sacerdote | 11/3/23 4:00am

Re: College hosts two community forums to discuss Israel-Hamas War

Each morning, my inbox now fills with stories of antisemitism and islamophobia unleashed or brought to the surface by the Israel-Hamas War. The largest number of emails sent to me are public letters of justifiable outrage (usually written by people my age) over excesses, violence and threats of violence on college campuses. American college students have not covered themselves in glory, whether it’s posting violent threats, doxxing pro-Palestine students or even revealing plans to shoot up a kosher dining hall. University administrations are pilloried for their ham-handed, underwhelming or misguided responses to the crisis.

What has set Dartmouth apart has been students, faculty and staff working together to have open, respectful and non-vitriolic dialogue. Clear manifestations of this (obviously) better approach include the well-attended and well-respected forums co-hosted by our colleagues from the Jewish studies and Middle Eastern studies departments. College President Sian Leah Beilock addressed the faculty and spoke of her pride in how you, the students, have conducted yourselves. She described her frequent meetings with student body leaders, and with students on different sides of the issues. But perhaps what made her and the rest of the faculty most proud is the ongoing communication and interaction between students who hold opposing views, including students in Al-Nur, the Palestine Solidarity Coalition, Hillel and Chabad.

You are the message that we send forward to a better future that you will shape. Dartmouth students looking out for one another is the most important College tradition of all. For the sake of the alumni, faculty and yourselves, in this troubled time, please continue to uphold that sacred tradition. It’s still a small College, and yes, there are still many who love it.

Professor Bruce Sacerdote ’90 is the Richard S. Braddock 1963 Professor in Economics at Dartmouth College. Letters to the Editor represent the views of their author(s), which are not necessarily those of The Dartmouth.