April 20, 2014 - 11:25pm
BY SAM GRINGLAS
Former University Provost Phil Hanlon, the president of Dartmouth College, berated the Dartmouth community in a speech last week for failing to uphold the institution’s values amid the increasing prevalence of damaging behaviors.
“It’s time for Dartmouth to change,” he said. “And as your president, I will lead that change.”
Hanlon cited an array of issues that have dogged Dartmouth for decades, including sexual assault, excessive drinking and hazing.
Though Dartmouth’s challenges have been at the forefront of national attention, many institutions, including the University, have struggled with similar problems.
The University, like Dartmouth, is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights for alleged violations of Title IX.
In the fall, the Theta Xi fraternity came under fire for hosting a party branded with a racialized theme, later leading members of the University’s Black Student Union to launch the #BBUM Twitter campaign. Hanlon specifically mentioned similar incidents with racist and sexist undertones as a concern at Dartmouth.
“It is time for us to act in order to preserve what is unique, joyous and fun about the undergraduate experience at Dartmouth and to end the extreme behaviors that are in conflict with our mission and fundamentally harmful—to individuals, and to the fabric of our community,” Hanlon said. “This is the right thing to do, and the time to do it is now.”
He added that the behavior has also reflected negatively on the school’s reputation. Last year, applications to Dartmouth declined by 14 percent.
In the speech, Hanlon announced his administration’s recent achievements in finalizing a new sexual assault disciplinary policy, implementing a house model in the residence halls and launching a Presidential Steering Committee to launch high risk drinking, sexual assault and inclusivity.