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Dartmouth and I had a toxic relationship. From matriculation in 2008 to academic separation in 2015, it lasted for more than six years. I now realize that if I had drowned myself in the fall of 2014 as I had attempted, I would have been ultimately responsible for the decision — but Dartmouth, nonetheless, would have been the catalyst. The College works for some students. I was not one of them, and I know I am not alone. So let me state this plainly: the College is not a community, but a business originally designed for a particular clientele — and if you are a woman, person of color or a person (of any color) from a low-income family, Dartmouth may be structurally incapable of treating you the way you ought to be treated.
Throughout history, some critics of feminism have claimed that the ideology espouses nothing less than the wholesale destruction of men. As an ardent feminist and a male, however, I would argue that feminism actually seeks to reform a masculinity that is defined by the possession and exertion of power. In a society and world where our understanding of the human experience and social organization is transforming, men must evolve.
I believe Sean Schultz when he says he does not knowingly objectify women ("A Brother's Perspective," Feb 7). I also believe that the majority of fraternity members do not engage in acts that deliberately harm and humiliate other students. Yet, we must all understand that it takes more than a few "idiots spouting misogyny" in order for sexual assault, intolerance and hazing to continue at Dartmouth. It is for this reason that I found the tone of Schultz's recent article to be petulant and short-sighted. By framing critics of the Greek system as overzealous, bro-hating malcontents, Schultz risks diverting the focus from the real problems that people like Dani Levin ("The Secondhand Effects of Hazing," Jan. 30) and Andrew Lohse ("Telling the Truth," Jan. 25) sought to discuss. Moreover, blaming recent allegations of wrongdoing within the Greek system on a mere "violent minority" oversimplifies the situation and ignores the undeniably social nature of Dartmouth's quandaries. Finally, Schultz's article overlooks the unique social power that fraternity members wield on campus and the oft-neglected responsibility that comes with that power.
Following the publication of Andrew Lohse's recent column ("Telling the Truth," Jan. 25), many critics decided not to focus on his actual arguments or experiences but instead chose to rehash the mistakes he made in his past or attribute the abuse he claimed to suffer in the Greek system to his own weakness of conviction. Instead of raising strong rebuttals against Lohse's critique of Dartmouth's Greek culture and administration, they resorted to ad hominem attacks, a form of argumentation symptomatic of a society that would rather blame the victim of a structural problem or destroy the messenger who raises awareness about a social ill than come to terms with the possibility of their own potential culpability. Perhaps we resent those who remind us of our complicity in society's failings. Perhaps we despise those who make mistakes because we see similar mistakes in ourselves. Whatever the reason, the tendency to resort to ad hominem attacks is a powerful and destructive tactic that silences rather than enlivens needed dialogue.
One night, my girlfriend and I were taking an evening jog. When we stopped to take a break in front of the Rockefeller Center, a group of male students walked by. One looked over his shoulder at us and sneered, "niggers." One of his friends, not objecting to the insult, simply cautioned, "shh." Another night, just last term, I was walking up South Main Street when a group of students drove by in a car. Unmistakably, one male voice shouted out the window, "nigger!"