Lighten up, eh?

Just received this gem…in reference to Andrew’s comments:

“>Date: 22 Aug 2002 16:21:51 EDT


>Subject: Call for Concern

>To: (Recipient list suppressed)


Dear Dartmouth Community,

Recently we received several emails from Dartmouth community members (students, faculty, staff, and alumni) who have expressed concern about a message posted on “” on August 14th.

In further reviewing the statement, we are deeply saddened and concerned by the use of inaccurate, insensitive, and stereotypical statements made by a recent Dartmouth alumni.

Our offices strongly support freedom of speech and believe that this alumni has every right to express his personal opinions. However, we felt compelled to express our concern because we believe that these types of statements violate the Dartmouth Principle of Community and send a dangerous message that it is socially acceptable to make fun of and stereotypes One’s race and culture.

We commend Student Assembly (SA) and the Student Services Committee (SSC) for initiating the process of providing better equity for hair care services for all students. Bringing black hair care professionals, who specialize in working with different hair textures, to our campus is only the first and important step in meeting Students’ basic needs. SA and SSC’s leadership symbolize how we, as a community, can work together to help create an inclusive and welcoming institution for all.

We encourage our community to use this incident as an opportunity to reflect on the things that many of us take for granted at Dartmouth as well as the importance of avoiding passing judgment on others different than ourselves.

For those of you who have expressed an interest in responding to this incident, here are just a few ways to assist with this effort. Please don’t hesitate to contact any of us if you have any questions or concerns.


* Keep the Dialogue Going- have individual or group discussions with your roommate, siblings, parents, friends, hallmates, etc. about this issue. Talk about how this makes you feel and why you think it is harmful?

* Raise Awareness -send this email to anyone that you know to raise awareness and encourage them to do something pro-active about this. This helps to challenge the myth that we don’t have more work to do related to talking about equity issues.

* Take Action – use this as a learning moment and write an Op-Ed in the D (or send out a statement of your own) to help the entire Dartmouth Community understand why these types of stereotypes can really be dangerous even if they are meant as a joke.

* Agree to Disagree – share your concerns directly to the alumni as a way to express yourself but not to convince him he’s wrong (remember to use “I” statements).

* Take Care of Yourself and Pick Your Battles – it’s alright if you don’t have the energy to do something proactive at this time. However, if this incident has bothered you… we encourage you to reach out to a trusted friend, faculty or staff member to talk about your feelings and reactions to this statement.


Student Life Advisors and Directors at Dartmouth College

Orion Gillette

Dawn Hemphill

Alex Hernandez Siegel

Pam Misener

Giavanna Munafo

Nora Yasumura



* The D article entitled, “Black hairstylists fulfill minority student need.”

* What the alumni, Andrew Grossman ’02 wrote:

* A letter to editor in the D titled “Call for Concern” by Sam Stein ’04 on 8/21/02

* A statement that a student has distributed via blitz.

Freedom of speech? Yes by all means. Bigotry at MY Dartmouth? Absolutely not!

Such a destructive, close-minded, racist attitude as the one expressed on on August 14, 2002 has no place in a culturally enlightened learning

environment like Dartmouth College. Or at least I would like to think so.

We claim to be progressive and diverse. Yet how is it possible that one of our

fellow students could have gone through four years at $38,000 per year and

graduated with such astounding ignorance?

Respecting the needs of students on campus is not a militant movement. It is an

effort to acclimate this campus to the diverse student body that it prides

itself on.

Different textures of hair require different care and treatment. It is a shame

that many students come to Dartmouth only to find that some of their basic

hygienic and cosmetic needs cannot be met. Bringing a black hair specialist

from Burlington, VT is a significant step but still shows that we have far to go

before such service is available in Hanover more than one day out of the year.

Clearly the ignorance expressed on is rooted in deep insecurities

and lack of respect for differences among people. Associating “New York based crack

dealers” and an “authentic ‘Ghetto Party'” with the needs of African-American

and Latino students on campus is a clear act of racism and ignorance.

This type of destructive attitude should not be the goal of any student at

Dartmouth College on their graduation day. Apparently our effort to provide a

progressive, diverse environment to grow in has failed miserably. We have to

work harder.

I urge you to join me and say that this form of racist expression will not

be tolerated at Dartmouth College and on any form of literature associated with

our school.

Please feel free to pass this on to anyone you know.


Paola A. Peacock-Villada

Dartmouth College class of 2003


— End of forwarded text —


Keira S. Kant

Community Director

Dartmouth College

HB 6112

Hanover, NH 03755