Dartmouth’s Speech Code—Removed?

Two important documents which outlined Dartmouth’s speech code have been removed from the College web site:

  • President James Wright’s “letter to the Dartmouth community,” which declared that students lack “‘rights’ [which] trump the rights, feelings, and considerations of others.” The letter, originally available as a press release and on the Student Life Initiative web page, also explained that “speech has consequences for which we must account.”
  • Dean of the College James Larimore’s letter, which argued that “the rules and standards of our community” trump the right to “expressive conduct,” since to do otherwise would be “corrosive of the very idea of a residential college.” His letter was also available as a College press release and on the SLI website, but it is likewise unavailable from either location.

Is this an effort to re-write history? Other releases from May 2001 are still present on the press office website. The letters’ removal appears recent, since a search of the Dartmouth website still returns results for both documents. Fortunately, both have been preserved in their entirety by the Internet Archive: Wright’s letter; Larimore’s letter.

The Review
covered both letters, and their potential consequences for speech on campus, in the issue of May 14, 2001.

Update: Joe Malchow ’08 posits that this is a Trustee election gimmick by the administration.