Letter to the Editor: Dartmouth’s Courageous Response to Protests and Conflict

We’re dismayed by The Dartmouth’s May 3 coverage of College President Sian Leah Beilock’s response to protesters unlawfully setting up an encampment on the Green. All four published letters presented unanimous condemnation, failing to represent students and alumni who support Beilock’s decision-making.

Unlike so many college administrators who failed to act when confronted with mobs of students and professors who created unproductive and unsafe environments, Beilock — with great clarity of purpose and moral conviction — warned protesters that their actions would have consequences.

In the wake of Hamas’s terrorist attack against Israel and the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war, Dartmouth heeded the words of our own Robert Frost by taking the road less traveled. The chairs of our Middle Eastern Studies and Jewish Studies departments convened the Middle East Dialogues — the first special topic series sponsored by the Dartmouth Dialogues Project — bringing hundreds together to learn about one of history’s most intractable conflicts in a series of courses and events.

Dartmouth’s response after Oct. 7, extraordinary in its simplicity, was profiled on CBS News’s 60 Minutes for getting right what its peer institutions got wrong. It was among Dartmouth’s finest moments in its centuries-long history, a voice crying out in the moral wilderness for civil discourse.

A beautiful term in the Muslim faith, Islah, refers to improving our world. In the Jewish faith, the same idea is referred to as tikkun olam. Dartmouth has a chance to live up to our ideals, to take the road less traveled, to use this crisis to teach and learn from one another and to show us we’re all more alike than we’re different.

We support our President’s courageous decision to send students from encampments back to their classrooms where, hopefully, they will learn how to implement lasting solutions to problems so many before them have failed to solve.


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