Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism.
The Dartmouth
April 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Latest on the hunger strike: Remaining two students end their hunger strike

After the College announced that the remaining two students ended their hunger strike, the Dartmouth New Deal Coalition held the “Divest Don’t Arrest Rally.”

RKTrial-2.jpg

Remaining two students end their hunger strike

March 4, 2024

On March 1, Dean of the College Scott Brown announced in a campus-wide email that the remaining two hunger strikers — Roan V. Wade ’25 and Paul Yang ’23 — ended their hunger strike. In the email, Brown also acknowledged some of the demands that the eight hunger strikers delivered to the College administration when they initiated their hunger strike.

After the College’s announcement, the Dartmouth New Deal Coalition held the “Divest Don’t Arrest Rally” in front of Parkhurst Hall at 1 p.m. According to coverage from The Dartmouth, Wade and Kevin Engel ’27 — who both started the hunger strike on Feb. 20 and face misdemeanor counts of trespassing — stated that the “end goal of their pro-Palestine activism … is divestment.”

Six of eight student protestors end their hunger strike 

Feb. 26, 2024 

Six of the eight hunger strikers ended their strike today. The announcement was made before the trial for Kevin Engel ’27 and Roan V. Wade ’25, which was set at 1 p.m. at the Lebanon District Court. Outside of the courthouse, Engel, Ramsey Alsheikh ’26, Calvin George ’24 and Jordan Narrol ’25 broke their fasts. Wade and Paul Yang ’23 will continue their hunger strike indefinitely and will be supported by the other six, according to multiple strikers.

In an interview following today’s trial, Wade said that the decision to end the strike was “up to each individual striker.”

Engel added that the students who chose to end the strike will continue to support the remaining hunger strikers.

According to Engel, the strikers who chose to end their strike did so by consuming watermelon. Engel explained that the watermelon is symbolic because it was a way to symbolize the Palestinian flag when it was banned in Israel. 

“We were deciding ways to break the strike, and we ended up deciding that watermelon would be fitting because [of] the context of hunger striking, and … hunger striking in and of itself is an important form of protest in Palestine.”

In an email statement, College spokesperson Jana Barnello wrote that the College is aware that six of the hunger strikers have ended their strikes while noting that the College will “continue to provide daily check-ins” with the eight students.

“We are pleased that most of the students engaged in a hunger strike have chosen to resume eating,” Barnello wrote in an email to The Dartmouth. “Dartmouth medical and student life professionals will continue daily check-ins with them and the students who continue to go without food. Their safety and well-being are our top priority.”

According to Wade, she feels that the College’s offers of support, such as check-ins from Dick’s House, feel “performative.”

“Personally, it feels performative … It feels like a way to deny responsibility and [avoid] a liability issue and less [about] actually caring [for] our safety,” Wade said. “If they actually cared about our safety, they would meet our demands, because our demands have a lot to do with our safety and the safety of our community.”

Administration, hunger strikers met on Friday to discuss strikers’ demands 

Feb. 26, 2024

Updated (Feb. 26, 12:25 p.m.): This article has been updated to include quotes from one of the eight hunger strikers.

On Friday, the eight hunger strikers met with Provost David Kotz ’86, Dean of the College Scott Brown and Vice President for Government and Community Relations Emma Wolfe to discuss the demands outlined in a letter penned by three of the strikers, which they delivered to the administration on Feb. 19. 

In an email to the hunger strikers from Brown following Friday’s meeting, which The Dartmouth has obtained, Brown reiterated the topics discussed at the meeting, which included the administration’s response to the four demands in the letter. 

In response to the strikers’ demand that the College drop the charges against Kevin Engel ’27 and Roan V. Wade ’25 — who were arrested while protesting outside Parkhurst Hall on Oct. 27. 

— the College has released a statement that can be found on Dartmouth’s Student Affairs website. 

“The Grafton County Attorney’s Office has prosecutorial discretion in this matter,” the statement read. “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.”

One of the hunger strikers, Paul Yang ’23, spoke about his “disappointment” in reaction to the College’s refusal to drop the charges against the two student protestors during an interview on Monday. Yang said that he attended Dartmouth Student Government’s weekly Senate meeting on Sunday and that both he and DSG representatives were upset by this decision. 

Brown wrote in his email that he has followed up separately with two of the strikers regarding “threats that they mentioned at our meeting they have received.” 

Brown also wrote that the strikers can meet with the chair of the Advisory Committee on Investor Relations Josh Keniston in response to the strikers’ second demand in their letter — that the College divest from “Israeli apartheid.” 

“Part of this meeting will be a discussion of how Dartmouth arrives at ‘consensus’ on these matters,” Brown wrote about the potential meeting with Keniston. 

Additionally, Brown wrote that the College has agreed to the strikers’ fourth demand of reviewing an updated version of the Dartmouth New Deal — the original version of which was submitted to the administration by Engel and Wade on Oct. 27. 

In the email, Brown also addressed the strikers’ third demand that Dartmouth “recognize and protect Palestinian students,” as stated in their letter. 

“Palestinian students at Dartmouth are valued members of our community and we know they, and you, are hurting,” Brown wrote. “As President Beilock has said, Islamophobia — as well as antisemitism and other forms of hate — have no place on our campus.” 

Yang said that he felt the meeting with the College was unproductive because the administration only suggested “minor action items” that they claimed involved “long-term, bureaucratic” processes in response to the strikers’ demands. 

Yang added that he felt the purpose of the meeting was to appease the hunger strikers and “dissuade” them from continuing, which was ineffective, he said.

Brown’s email stated that the College welcomes the hunger strikers’ input on the College’s Freedom of Expression and Dissent policies. He cited Dartmouth’s efforts to promote civil discourse across campus through initiatives such as Dartmouth Dialogues and its special topic series, Middle East Dialogues. 

One of eight hunger strikers hospitalized on Saturday 

Feb. 25, 2024 

Six days after initiating a hunger strike, one of the eight strikers — Jordan Narrol ’25 — has been hospitalized following health concerns. In an interview, Narrol said that on Saturday, he woke up to back pain, shortness of breath and lightheadedness. After realizing his symptoms, he called a nurse at Dick’s House.

According to Narrol, he had declined to receive medical attention from the College, though he said they had offered it to him numerous times. Narrol said he does not think this gesture was “in good faith.” 

“I feel like it was very much orchestrated by the administration to say that they’re doing something and that they care when they really obviously don’t care because they aren’t working with us,” Narrol explained. 

Narrol added that his condition has improved since he arrived at the hospital and was given pain medication, but he is still experiencing some symptoms. 

“The breathing thing — that’s mostly gone,” he said. “I still have a little bit of shortness of breath. I’m definitely very lightheaded. So, cognitively, I’m not as there as I should be.” 

However, Narrol said he hopes to continue hunger striking. 

According to Narrol, the other seven strikers have been in good health, noting that they are taking electrolytes and vitamins and have been using a pulse oximeter to check their vitals.