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The Dartmouth
June 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Conditions of Annelise Orleck’s bail ‘corrected’

Following community efforts, the terms of history professor Annelise Orleck’s bail — which included a temporary ban from all of campus — have been corrected.

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The terms of history professor Annelise Orleck’s bail — including her temporary ban from campus after Wednesday night’s protests on the Green — have “been corrected,” according to an email statement to The Dartmouth from College spokesperson Jana Barnello.

After her arrest during the protests, Orleck announced on X, formerly known as Twitter, that she had “been banned from the campus where [she has] taught for 34 years.” The correction now bars Orleck from the Green, Parkhurst Hall and the President’s residence at 14 Webster Ave., rather than the campus at large — conditions which apply to all those arrested who are affiliated with the College, The Dartmouth confirmed.

While protesters without a connection to the College remain banned from campus, those conditions were improperly applied to Orleck. The College, however, only went as far as correcting Orleck’s bail bond, Orleck said.

“I asked the administration to get new bail bonds or drop the charges, preferably, and they wrote this morning to say they got new bail bonds — but that they were not asking for the charges to be dropped,” Orleck said.

Orleck said the College wanted her to “come back and teach in person” prior to the correction, but she chose not to after consulting with an attorney.

“The attorney said, ‘I don’t care what they tell you. If you step on campus with a legal document saying you can be arrested and jailed for stepping on campus, you do not walk back on that campus,’” Orleck said.

The change came the day after community members began circulating a letter addressed to College President Sian Leah Beilock and Provost David Kotz calling for the reversal of Orleck’s ban from campus and of all charges against her. By time of publication, the letter had over 1,250 signatures.

The letter, which was released on May 2, states that Orleck’s ban from campus disrupts academic activity because it prohibits Orleck from teaching her “students across multiple classes this term.” Paulina Calcaterra ’19, one of the organizers of the letter, wrote in an email statement to The Dartmouth that the letter is “the result of community organizing efforts.”

“It is a direct reflection of the Dartmouth community’s overwhelming outrage regarding the treatment of Professor Orleck and all of the students, faculty and staff who were brutally arrested and banned from campus for exercising their right to protest,” Calcaterra wrote. “We will not be silent bystanders in the face of the institution’s repression.”

Heid Erdrich ’86, a former visiting faculty member who signed the petition, said she recognizes why Orleck decided to attend the May 1 protest.

“I understand why Professor Orleck was present,” Erdrich said. “And I understand her motivation to be protecting and caring for and being present for students. And I would have done nothing less.”

Orleck was one of 90 people arrested at a pro-Palestinian protest held on the Green, according to past coverage by The Dartmouth. Her initial ban from campus was a condition “imposed by the bail commissioner” and not by the College, according to an email statement from Barnello. 

Footage posted on X by WMUR News correspondent Ross Ketschke and reviewed by The Dartmouth depicts Orleck walking up to police and pointing at them before one officer tries to grab her arm. In the video, she turns away, after which two officers grab her and pull her away. An officer then pushes her to the ground. Officers drag her for a few seconds before the video cuts out.

“I said, ‘I can’t breathe,’ and they [law enforcement] said, ‘You’re talking, you can breathe,’” Orleck told The Dartmouth.

A second letter was started on May 2 by Denise Lee ’25, who is currently enrolled in Orleck’s course HIST 32, “The Life, Death and Rebirth of Great American Cities.” The letter expresses concern regarding “how the administration plans to support the students who are directly affected by Professor Orleck’s unjust ban from campus.” Its signatories include students who are currently enrolled in Orleck’s classes or “receiving academic guidance from her,” according to the letter, which also calls for the reversal of Orleck’s ban from campus and for her charges to be dropped. 

On May 2, Orleck sent a Canvas message to students enrolled in HIST 32, stating that she was “told that [she] will again be allowed to teach in person on campus but there is paperwork that must be done first.” She added that she planned to teach class virtually before “hopefully” returning to in-person instruction on Monday.

Lee said she attended HIST 32 on May 3 over Zoom, adding that the College has not communicated directly with Orleck’s students on the matter. Orleck is also currently teaching HIST 19, “U.S. Political History in the Twentieth Century.” 

“At the end of the day, we pay so much money to be here and attend school,” Lee said. “So the fact that this is compromising our academic experience is absolutely unacceptable in addition to the injustice of her arrest in the first place.”

As a historian, Orleck’s areas of expertise include “women and American radicalism,” “race, ethnicity and immigration” and “Jewish immigration,” according to the history department website.

Orleck said the support she has received these past few days has been “incredible.”

“They’re not dropping the charges, not for me and not for the students,” she said. “So the ripples will continue.”