Daily Dartmouth Covers Faux Activism

Though it’s a popular College pastime, I’m not one to criticize the Daily Dartmouth‘s need to cover every banal coming and going in the life of Dartmouth and Hanover.  They’ve got column inches to fill every day. It’s a tough job. Nevertheless, I can’t resist poking fun at the lead for this gem in the D’s Tuesday edition:

As students headed to their 10 a.m. classes Monday morning, Alan Salas ’13 was approaching his 12th hour in the freezing cold with no food or sleep. Bundled in layers and holding a neon orange sign reading “Support the DREAM Act Now,” Salas greeted passersby who stopped in the middle of the Green to talk about his cause.

Twelve hours without food or sleep?! Sounds like….a busy College student. Salas and eleven compadres were out on the Green for a “36-hour hunger strike” (which turned into a 19-hour hunger strike) for the DREAM Act, a piece of legislation working its way through Congress that would provide legal residency for illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children and who spent two years in the military or two years in a four-year college. 

Nothing against the DREAM Act, but why was this “hunger strike” necessary? Apparently, strike organizers had written a single email to President Kim asking him to declare his support for the DREAM Act, and had not heard back from him in sufficient time (one week) because he was away from campus on business. When you’re desperate for an excuse to stage a protest on the Green, I suppose any will do.

(Might I also add that President Kim has no vote in Congress? Perhaps these young whipper-snappers need to review this classic school lesson.)

But it gets better: 

Representatives from the Dean of the College Office monitored the status of the students and ensured that they were consuming enough liquids, according to [Kim advisor David] Spalding.

You can’t make this stuff up. Aren’t there other things for Dean’s Office folks to do with their time than to hover protectively over fundamentally unserious “protestors” who couldn’t muster the wherewithal to write more than a single email to President Kim about an issue over which he has no control?

Say what you will about the campus radicals of previous generations — at least they were serious about their discontent, undirected as it often was. Not only are these activists in search of an issue, but they’re ones who do so under school supervision. President Kim, early in his tenure, invited students to “symbolically storm Parkhurst.” It’s comforting to know that, at this rate, when students one day actually storm Parkhurst, they’ll be able to do so with a special Safety and Security escort. 

Charles Dameron