Wright: No Speech Codes at Dartmouth

Astonishingly, in the latest Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, President James Wright asserted that Dartmouth students enjoy full freedom of speech:

We have no speech codes at Dartmouth, absolutely none. Anyone who spends any time here knows that there is free speech on this campus. This was a major theme of my convocation address this fall.

This statement, oddly enough, lies immediately below his justification of the derecognition of Zeta Psi fraternity, which published a newsletter the administration didn’t like:

The fraternity newsletter was actually a series of newsletters that targeted and named individual students. The fraternity violated its own standards of conduct and engaged in intense personal harassment.

He blames Zete for derecognizing itself, apparently.

In his letter announcing Zete’s 2001 derecognition, Dean of the College James Larimore wrote that speech should be restricted. He said he disagreed

with those who “argue that anything that an organization can characterize as expressive conduct must be tolerated even though it violates the rules and standards of our community.” Larimore rejects this idea as “corrosive of the very idea of a residential college”.

This seems to contrast with President Wright’s vision of “free speech on campus.”

TDR interviewed Harvey Silverglate of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education about speech codes a year and a half ago.