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The President's Plan

Moving Dartmouth Forward

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Message to the Community

May 15, 2016

To undergraduate students:

Freedom of expression is a fundamental value of the Dartmouth community. By its very nature, the exercise of free speech will include views with which some of us disagree or which we find hurtful.

The unauthorized removal on Friday of a student display for National Police Week in the Collis Center was an unacceptable violation of freedom of expression on our campus. Vandalism represents a silencing of free exchange, rather than open engagement. This was true of the vandalism of the Black Lives Matter display last November, and equally true of Friday's action. Any students identified as being involved in such actions will be subject to our disciplinary process.

Freedom to dissent lies at the heart of freedom of expression, and Dartmouth will always protect it. We encourage those who dissent to assert a counter perspective openly through one of many communications avenues available.

Robust and respectful debate will always have a home at Dartmouth College. Open inquiry and free debate are sometimes uncomfortable. As challenging as it may be, the passionate but respectful exchange of ideas is the foundation of an academic community--both at Dartmouth and on campuses across the United States.

Sincerely,
Phil Hanlon '77, President
Carolyn Dever, Provost
Rebecca Biron, Dean of the College
Inge-Lise Ameer, Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Last Updated: 5/15/16