Dartmouth College cancelled classes for the first time since 1986 yesterday, after 18 protesters disrupted an admissions event on Friday, hoping to call attention to what they perceive to be Dartmouth's abysmal track record of addressing complaints of rape, homophobia, and racism on campus.
Sadly, following the protest, a non-college-affiliated anonymous message board discussed the event and even threatened the protesters, suggesting "it's women like these who deserve to get raped," ostensibly because they dared to express a difficult criticism of the college.
Bored at Baker, the online message board that drew the attention of college officials, was down yesterday. A posting on the main page said, “I do want to make it clear that taking the site offline has nothing to do with the current dialog on any b@ site and has everything to do with server health.”
Comments on the Bored at Baker site in recent days included:
■ “Just saw the pictures of the protesters. Don’t think they have anything to worry about when it comes to being raped.”
■ “The protesters have shown us a perfect way to avoid sexual assault, get hideously ugly and make the whole campus hate you!”
■ “It’s official, I’m going to start referring to these protestors as terrorists.”
Dartmouth's administration has responded by canceling classes yesterday and calling for a "day of reflection," apparently to the chagrin of some, who resent that some students having to face homophobic and racist slurs is considered a problem.
What do you think? Did the protesters cross a line by disrupting an event intended to draw prospective students? Did the college overreact by giving them the requested day of teach-ins and reflection? Lay it down in comments.