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The Dartmouth
May 26, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Dartmouth clarifies stance on trial for student protestors

The College noted that it will refrain from intervening in the trial of Roan Wade ’25 and Kevin Engel ’27, two students arrested on criminal trespassing charges on Oct. 27.

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Hanover Police Department officers arrest Roan V. Wade ’25 and Kevin Engel ’27 outside their tent encampment.

On Feb. 25, Dartmouth clarified its position regarding today’s trial for Roan Wade ’25 and Kevin Engel ’27, stating that the College will not interfere in the legal proceedings. The trial will begin at 1 p.m. at the Lebanon District Court. 

“The Grafton County Attorney’s Office has prosecutorial discretion in this matter,” the Office of Communications wrote in an official press release. “On the evening of the arrests, the administration engaged the students in hours of conversation. It is our position that we must let the legal process run its course, without interference from Dartmouth.”

Wade and Engel were arrested on Oct. 27 while participating in a sit-in on the front lawn of Parkhurst Hall to protest the Israel-Hamas war and advocate for the Dartmouth New Deal — a document released by Sunrise Dartmouth demanding that the College make efforts to divest from fossil fuels and military entities, among other points. The two students later faced misdemeanor counts of trespassing. 

In its statement, the College reiterated its commitment to freedom of speech and dissent, which are protected under regulations, including its Freedom of Expression and Dissent Policy. 

“Dartmouth prizes and defends the right of free speech and the freedom of the individual to make their own disclosures, while at the same time recognizing that such freedom exists in the context of the law and in responsibility for one’s own actions,” the College wrote. 

Dartmouth added that these protections do not extend to “force or threats of force.”

“Protest or demonstration shall not be discouraged so long as neither force nor the threat of force is used, and so long as the orderly processes of the institution are not deliberately obstructed,” the statement noted. “Membership in the Dartmouth community carries with it, as a necessary condition, the agreement to honor and abide by this policy.”

Although Engel and Wade faced College probation for their sit-in, Engel said that neither student was “found in violation of any policies regarding violence,” according to The Dartmouth’s past coverage

The statement concluded that the College will continue to offer support and resources to the two students, “regardless of what happens in the legal process.”


Ben Fagell
Ben (‘24) is a news writer for The Dartmouth. He is from Bethesda, Maryland, and plans to major in government and economics.