Wright Misrepresents—Again

Speaking recently to alumni in Denver and Chicago, College President James Wright reiterated some of his usual soothing words and casual misrepresentations.

For example, he denied that the Student Life Initiative targets Greek houses:

Is the College in the middle of a campaign to eliminate or to significantly curtail the Greek system? No, not at all. Although there are those who persist in arguing that there is a secret plan to do just that.

Really, it’s no wonder that people claim the SLI is designed to curtail Greeks. In fact, there’s a plethora of evidence: the recently-revealed documents from the Committee on the Student Life Initiative suggesting the fraternity system be dismantled; the inane alcohol regulations imposed on houses; the derecognition of Zeta Psi fraternity on trumped-up charges; the hoops Phi Delta Alpha fraternity had to jump through for re-recognition; the College’s long history of battling the Greeks; &c.

President Wright also claimed Dartmouth lacks speech codes:

Does Dartmouth have speech codes that curtail free expression on campus? No we do not. There are no codes.

In a way, he’s right. There are no written codes per se. Instead, there are a series of arbitrary rules and regulations applied unevenly and unequally to Dartmouth students and alumni, often in the name of “community.” Indeed, Wright himself said in 2001 that “speech has consequences for which we must account.” So he’s right: there are no codes, but expression is stifled anyway.