Dear Prospective Dartmouth student,
My name is Karolina and I am one of the protesters who disrupted the Dimensions Show on Friday, April 19th. Some have blamed us for trying to harm Dartmouth, but I am proud of having stood in front of you precisely because I am trying to make Dartmouth a better place for you and me.
The protest on Friday was a culmination of events that have been heating up the campus for the past year and more. Dartmouth, like many similar institutions, has many faces. During Dimensions, we put on a happy mask and pretend that we are a loving community where everyone feels welcome at all times. For many of you, Dartmouth will, indeed, offer a supportive community, but most of you will also have to fight to belong, and question your ideas and beliefs. We wanted you to know about the challenges ahead, and have a chance to get ready before you arrive on campus in August. If you do decide to arrive, we will be hoping to watch you grow with us in the process of bringing about change.
Attempting to engage in a real conversation about the multi-faceted nature of the Dartmouth experience, a group of current Dartmouth students reached out to the prospective students on Wednesday and Thursday prior to Dimensions. Our efforts in reaching out to you were boycotted during the Dimensions weekend, however. We were well aware that attempts to speak truth on campus are controversial and often socially punished, but we did not expect to be systematically silenced.
We were forced to seek alternative means of speaking truth about issues of structural oppression and anonymous bullying at Dartmouth. The problems that are certainly not unique to Dartmouth have so far not been addressed adequately by the Dartmouth administration, and continue to be ignored and overlooked by the student body. Incidents of racism, sexism, homophobia, classism and ableism have been marked by inaction. Similarly, none of these issues were given space during the official programming of the Dimensions weekend.
Because we believe that you should not be fooled into imagining Dartmouth as an ideal community without issues to be solved, and because all our peaceful efforts to speak up were boycotted, we resorted to radical means of sharing the truth. In the aftermath of the dramatic events in Boston, however, the community’s tolerance for chaos might have been challenged, and we understand that this might have been traumatic for you as well. I personally apologize for any harm or distress our action has caused you. Despite all that, we hope that our action inspires you to join us in the fight for a better Dartmouth.
Should you find yourself in need of assistance or advice, there are many resources available to you at Dartmouth and beyond. Please find a list of resources available to you attached to this message, and don’t hesitate to use them. I will also welcome any of your questions and/or comments to my personal email address. Please feel free to contact me at Karolina.Krelinova.14@Dartmouth.edu.
Karolina Krelinova ‘14
Other Students involved in the campaign in support of this letter:
Stella Safari ’13
Allison Puglisi’ 15
Karenina Rojas ’13
Dani Valdes ’13,
Christine Miguel ’14
Viviana Ramos ’13
Maurice Johnson ’13
Yomalis Rosario ’15,
Nastassja Schmeidt ’15
Anna Roth ’13
Therese Kienemund ’15
Olumayowa Willoughby ‘14
Simone Wien ‘16
List of resources available to you:
1. Office of Pluralism and Leadership’s Central Office
This office is the bedrock of Dartmouth. It houses the advisors to various communities that reach out to students and make sure that they are thriving at Dartmouth. Please, reach out to someone if you need.
2. Counseling and Human Development
This center provides counseling and support to any member of the community. There are trained experts who can help you grapple with any problems you may have and help you develop strategies to cope.
Call (603) 646-9442
3. Undergraduate Deans Office
This office will support your general well-being and advise you on any academic issues you might be tackling. Specialized deans are trained to help people in many different situations, and most of them are likely to simply enjoy chatting with you.
Call (603) 646-2243
4. Report Incidents of Aggression:
This tool is absolutely necessary in combating hate on this campus. The data that is collected through this reporting tool will be used to gauge whether this college’s campus climate is conducive to learning for all students.