Skip to main content

Message to the Community

November 13, 2015

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

At its best and strongest, Dartmouth is a place where every person is treated with dignity and respect, where we move beyond stereotypes and caricatures and learn about each other as individuals, and where we discuss challenging issues with a shared goal of making our community--and our world--more inclusive and more just. Recent events at college campuses across the country serve as a reminder that there is more work to do to strengthen our community.

We have the opportunity to learn from the experiences of others, to recognize our own limitations, to broaden our understandings, and to see issues from new perspectives. That's why we're here.

Although we have more to do here at Dartmouth, we have a wealth of diversity on this intimate campus. Every day we have the chance to interact with classmates, professors, and staff whose experiences are dramatically different from our own. We must take advantage of these opportunities. But a diverse environment is only a first step; what we must continue to strive for is a diverse community.

This fall we inaugurated a Dartmouth citizenship pledge, drafted by students, faculty, and staff, in which we recommitted ourselves to these principles:

"We learn together. We teach one another. We create knowledge together. We treat ourselves and each other with dignity and respect. We recognize that our diverse backgrounds broaden our understanding of the world. We appreciate that an honest and civil exchange of ideas--especially conflicting ones--strengthens our intellect and makes for an inclusive community."

These are not just words on a page. The inclusion and safety of all members of our campus is a responsibility we each hold as citizens of the Dartmouth community. Each of us should play a role in confronting harmful and hurtful behavior. We should not tolerate acts of prejudice. We must be ready to listen with respect. And we should expect to be spoken to with respect. Free expression and the open exchange of ideas are the essential underpinnings of this, and every, academic community.

We have much to learn and much to do--here, and in the wider world--to make every person feel welcomed and valued, to confront acts of bias and ignorance, to engage in respectful conversations about challenging topics with people who have a diversity of opinions, and to increase our diversity in all areas of our community. Like so many in the Dartmouth family, I am committed to pursuing these goals. I ask you to join us, and thank you for your partnership.


Phil Hanlon '77

Last Updated: 11/20/15