Student Body Gathers to Condemn Sexual Violence

Hundreds of Dartmouth students braved sub-freezing temperatures to meet at the center of the green at 9:30 last night, in response to the recent controversy over the posting of a “rape guide” on the website “Bored at Baker”. The site, an ostensibly anonymous forum for student discussion is usually filled with mildly funny jokes and banal trivialities, but in mid January a male student wrote a detailed and horrifying post in which he described at great length how to get drunk and sexually assault a female member of the Class of 2017, even including her name and dorm room information. When eventually driven to respond by student uproar, the administration proved something which many students were already aware of: the fact that Bored at Baker is not actually anonymous. The administration has identified the student responsible for the post and claims to be taking action against the guilty party. Whether that action will be meaningful or just an administrative slap on the wrist is unclear, as Dartmouth’s administration has a history of inadequate response to and punishment for sexual violence.

However, there are signs that this time the administration may actually find serious punishment for the responsible student necessary, especially given the mounting anger across the student body against sexual violence and its all-too-frequent occurrence on this campus. The student gathering of last night is the latest evidence of this momentum, as a decently sized crowd showed up regardless of the cold and midterms to listen to a short presentation by the Student Assembly and to sing the alma mater. Although this gathering itself was brief, we at the Review sincerely hope that it will have long-lasting effects and generate some notice amongst the administration that sexual assault is an issue this campus is beginning to take very seriously.

 

-Paul F. Danyow