The Wall Street Journal on the Freedom Budget

President Hanlon attempts to engage in a conversation with Freedom Budget supporters.

President Hanlon attempts to engage in a conversation with Freedom Budget supporters.

An article in the Wall Street Journal‘s weekend edition came out swinging against the Freedom Budget and the protesters supporting it. While there are certainly a myriad of legitimate problems surrounding our campus, the WSJ deftly illustrates the hypocrisy displayed by the Freedom Budget protestors. The article accurately describes the “anti-liberal campus left” protesters as “hostile to free expression, open debate, and due process.” Indeed, the protesters displayed incredible disrespect for President Phil Hanlon and his call for a conversation on campus issues while un-ironically citing the “oppression” of such dialogue.

The WSJ article includes various other gems about the Freedom Budget protests. It describes the protesters as “little tyrants” whose rhetoric better describes Syria than Hanover, NH. In addition, the article details how Dartmouth, a “tolerant-to-a-fault” institution, already has an “elaborate diversity bureaucracy [designed] to accommodate any need or desire.” Through this effective illustration of the reality of life at Dartmouth and the incredible entitlement of these Ivy League college students complaining about oppression, the WSJ swiftly discredits these protesters.

While criticizing the Freedom Budgeters, the article also rightly criticizes the administration. President Hanlon has done a great job in the past year attempting to understand students with diverse perspectives, and (as the article suggests) it is entirely understandable that he was unable to response effectively to such relentless extremism. Still, the administration could have very well made a moderate but firm stance against protesters who were clearly violating college policy and should be subject to disciplinary action.

Dartmouth faces many problems and challenges regarding academics and student life. However, ultimatums, trespassing, and attempts at coercion contribute to the problem rather than the solution. The administration should provide a dignified response to this animosity and strongly defend the institution while protecting constructive discussion in order to protect real campus issues from being drowned out by a few destructive individuals.