The D Misses the Point

Well, a few days ago somebody anonymously distributed so-called “pledge notes” in the Choates Cluster, slipping them under doors. The notes, which had the name of the Greek organization, the name of the author, and the names of fellow pledges redacted, made clear references to pledge practices at Alpha Delta (the growing of mustaches, the performance of the Terribelles, the carrying of lunchboxes, etc.). The document was suppposedly found on a Blitz terminal in the fall of 2009, but is only now being made public. 

Today, The D carried a verbatim ultamatim that…criticized the “persistence of negative stereotypes and disrespectful attitudes toward women among certain members of the Dartmouth community.” In addition, The D’s editorial board “[feared] that inaction on the part of the Dartmouth community in light of this event and others like it will give a free pass to those who continuously perpetuate a culture of disrespect on campus and allow this type of objectionable behavior to continue.”

Eh? That’s the point they’re taking from all this? 

It seems their criticism is misplaced  given that the two page document was supposedly found in the fall of 2009 on a computer terminal around campus, but is only now being made public. How is anyone supposed to know if the document is genuine? Moreover, who on earth actually keeps a diary of their pledge term? The whole thing reeks of a setup/false flag operation, especially since the person(s?) who printed the document haven’t the courage of their conviction to sign their name to a denunciation of AD or frats in general. How about they put their name to a byline in an editorial rather than launching anonymous campaigns? Even Andrew Lohse had that amount of common courtesy. If they actually found that document over two years ago, they have nothing to fear by displaying the truth.

Instead, they slipped it under the doors of freshmen who might be considering rushing. This isn’t an honest attempt to reform the system so much as sabotage it. These anonymous crusaders ought to know better. The D’s editorial board ought to know better, as well. Maliciously spreading these falsehoods, even if they are “true in spirit” if not in fact–the way that Dan Rather defended the Bush National Guard papers–is wrong, but they chose instead the politically correct tack of criticizing sorority stereotypes in a document that…perpetuates stereotypes of fraternities. Brilliant. 

Are there problems with the Greek system? Yes. Everybody knows and agrees that exccessive drinking and sexual assault are big issues. Creating fictitious diaries of pledges, however, isn’t going advance the conversation, nor are misplaced editorials.

Sterling C. Beard