“tbd dartmouth” Blitz Criticizes MDF

We're as confused as you are.

We’re as confused as you are.

In a campus wide blitz from a “tbddartmouth5@gmail.com” email account, a group by the name of “tbd dartmouth” voiced its criticisms of President Hanlon’s recent Moving Dartmouth Forward proposal. Who exactly this group is or what exactly “tbd” refers to – “take back dartmouth”? “to be decided”? – remains unclear. The full body of their email is replicated below:

President Hanlon’s Moving Dartmouth Forward (MDF) plan abuses a rhetoric of inclusivity and progress, exploiting terms of legitimate concern to produce an illusion of change that hides a lack of substantive action. His proposal is inadequate for the following reasons:

  1. MDF was unofficially influenced by and then released to selected students and faculty before its official release to the greater Dartmouth community, evidencing the unsolved exclusivity of the plan.
  2. Certain students, mostly Greek system leaders, have already been granted positions on the MDF committees without having to apply. Furthermore, an unfair burden is placed on individuals of systematically excluded communities who are expected to apply for these committees to educate their peers and incite change.
  3. MDF places any possible accountability on the student body. Rather than representing a “bottom-up” approach, this method allows decisions influenced by hierarchical structures within the student body (see points 1 and 2) to appear “democratic.”
  4. MDF does not acknowledge that a lack of inclusivity negatively impacts certain communities and groups as well as individuals. The existing structural oppressions that harm specific groups of people on our campus include racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, classism, cis-heteronomativity, elitism, white supremacy, and anti-intellectualism.* MDF does not address their impact on people’s daily lives at Dartmouth.
  5. MDF does not comprehensively address the concerns and actions explicitly outlined by the Freedom Budget which was composed of over 200 students from systematically excluded communities (see point 4).
  6. MDF does not adequately respond to the recommendations made by the 2014 Student and Presidential Committee on Sexual Assault.
  7. The few changes proposed to combat sexual assault are victim blaming. MDF does not address the fact that sexual assault is perpetrated by individuals and encouraged by a culture of entitled masculinity.*
  8. Anything deemed “alternative” to the Greek system reinforces the dominance of that system. Although residential colleges might have some positive effects, they will not change the social structure of Dartmouth.
  9. MDF fails to provide concrete methods of implementation. The open-ended nature of the plan ensures that administrators cannot be held responsible for its enactment.
  10. MDF vaguely aims to recruit faculty of color and students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds rather than ameliorating the existing structures that exclude them.

*Questions? More info to come.

If you feel that substantive action needs to be taken to tell the administration Moving Dartmouth Forward is inadequate, email tbddartmouth@gmail.com to find out more and get involved. You can also follow TBD Dartmouth on Tumblr or Twitter for updates.

The Review will publish updates on this development as they occur.