The Shanties

The Free Press did a piece on divestment during the 80s in their latest issue, and this is what they say about those Reviewers who tore down the shanties:

For four months, the shanties remained on the green as a symbol to some, an eyesore to others. One night in February of �86 the shanties were attacked. A group of ten to twelve students, wielding sledge hammers, destroyed three of the shanties before the police arrived to stop the violence. Most of the students involved in the attack were members of The Dartmouth Review, a conservative paper critical of the shanties and the actions of the DCD. Despite the overlap in membership, the group of students did not officially act in affiliation with the paper, instead referring to themselves as the Committee to Beautify the Green for Winter Carnival. They saw themselves as taking action in an arena that the administration was unwilling to become involved in.

In response to the attack, 175 students occupied Parkhurst Hall, invading the hallways, stairwell, administrative offices and even the office of the President. Over one hundred students spent the night to show their anger at the destruction of the shanties. The administration, calling for a moratorium, cancelled classes for a day to allow for a discussion series on intolerance.

A feature in Rolling Stone in March of 1986 included two opinion pieces on the controversy, one from the DCD and one from the attackers. Divestment movements on other campuses looked to what was happening at Dartmouth for direction. Leaflets were circulated that encouraged traditionally liberal Berkeley students to persevere in their divestment struggle, as Dartmouth�s traditionally conservative students had despite the attack. In April of �85 the college started to sell its investments in South Africa, but by no means did it appear to be interested in full divestment.

A debate erupted on campus during this time concerning the legitimacy of the shanties, the attack on them, and what punishment each side deserved. The Committee On Standards (COS) opted not to punish those who initially built the shanties, ignoring cries of trespassing violations by other students. The COS did, however, choose to punish those students who attacked the shanties. With initial suspensions ranging from 1-3 terms, the punishments for those students were later reduced to probations. Some of the students directly involved in the DCD and construction of the shanties were outraged by the reduction in punishment and in response took over the Baker Library bell tower for an afternoon. Many, from both sides of the debate, viewed their actions as immature. Those who had occupied the tower said that their action was not intended to inspire support of their cause; it was a reaction that expressed their anger at the reductions…. sort of

Forgetting a court case, are we?