Dartmouth May Punish Protesters Subjected to Rape, Death Threats
More than a week after activists interrupted Dartmouth’s “welcome show” for prospective students to highlight issues of sexual assault, racism and homophobia at the prestigious New Hampshire school, the uproar hasn’t subsided. The student protesters have been hit with vicious online threats. Neither a day of canceled classes nor a campuswide letter sent out by the chairman of the school’s board of trustees seems to have eased the situation. And some are suggesting that real change requires an overhaul of the school’s Greek life.
In his letter, Chairman Steven Mandel appeared to equate those making rape and death threats with the protesters who interrupted the April 19 welcome show as examples of a decline in Dartmouth’s campus climate. He warned that both could potentially face punishment.
“Neither the disregard for the Dimensions Welcome Show nor the online threats that followed represent what we stand for as a community,” Mandel wrote.
The online threats directed at the welcome-show protesters called them “faggots” and declared they would be raped, lynched and shot. The worst of these threats, the students said, were posted anonymously on the bored@baker forums, a website restricted to people with a valid Dartmouth email address.
The posts were “terrifying,” said Anna Roth, a Dartmouth senior who was part of the group that received threats. “Many of the protesters were too scared to go to class,” Roth said.
Anderson said that the administration is in contact with bored@baker and the student newspaper whenever threatening comments are made on their websites.