Is this any way to treat a guest?

The Dartmouth features two web updates in the online Opinion section, including one letter from alumnus Robert Marchant ’57:

Despite the recent incidents involving the Dartmouth community and the Native
American students, the College did invite the University of North Dakota hockey
team to a tournament in Hanover. UND hockey is one of the premier hockey
programs in the nation with a proud tradition. For Director of Athletics Josie
Harper to apologize to the Dartmouth community for inviting a team with the
mascot of Fighting Sioux is, to this alum, quite offensive (“Apology for hockey
tournament mascot,” Nov. 21). The UND tradition is theirs and not Dartmouth’s.
The UND hockey team is the guest of Dartmouth at the holiday tourney and should
be accorded every respect that a visiting team deserves.

I find this to be a strong argument against Dartmouth AD Josie Harper’s recent letter to the editor. In her approach, the Dartmouth administration and community as a whole is not communicating with the UND AD or President, and we are not having a dialogue with the students of UND. These are tried and true strategies that we see around campus to confront problems of intolerance and misunderstanding, and they are being completely ignored by a high-ranking member of our administration.

Instead, we are being warned about the upcoming pain and suffering that will surely follow the UND hockey players. Unfortunately, the truth is that those hockey players have a very small hand in perpetuating the mascot–surely, if there is blame it falls squarely on the UND administration and Ralph Engelstad, who donated $100 million for the construction of the new arena on the condition the “Fighting Sioux” name remained.

Yet it is clear from the tone of Harper’s letter that the focus of the controversy is on the arrival of the hockey team, who are the ambassadors of UND whether they like it or not. As a result, they will be greeted with letters of apology from Dartmouth administrators and perhaps a one or two page spread in The Dartmouth when I presume all they want to do is continue being a world-class college hockey team and play in the Ledyard Invitational. against other world-class college hockey teams.

As the above opinion piece makes clear, these are our invited guests, and as ambassadors of Dartmouth, I would hope that AD Josie Harper, the hockey team, and the entire Dartmouth community treat them with the respect and tolerance that we hold dear as a campus, and that they deserve.