We are covering Dartmouth College’s cancellation of classes, which was apparently prompted by a series of threatening and abusive online posts in the wake of the protest accusing the school of  “sexism, racism, capitalism, hate”.

Instead of classes, a “social justice and diversity” consultant will speak in Dartmouth Hall.  Students Nicholas S. Duva & J.P. Harrington offer some insights into the protest (which apparently interrupted a student-run production directed at prospective students) and its aftermath:

As articles in The Review and The Daily Dartmouth alike have already stated, these protests were not entirely non-violent. To give a short recapitulation: under false pretenses and explicit instruction not to come in, a group of students assaulted some upperclassmen trying to stop them from entering the main hall at the Class of 1953 Commons. The group then interrupted the middle of a skit in front of stunned prospies and students alike. Until they were inspiringly shouted down by a prospy-led chant of “We Love Dartmouth,” the protesters screamed a variety of slogans decrying the perceived level of sexual assault, racism, and homophobia on campus.

From almost every segment except the administration itself, there has been widespread condemnation of the protest. Students had worked tirelessly for weeks on end to prepare for the show: some of the participants visibly cried as the protesters took stage. Many prospies, especially the very students the demonstrators may have hoped to attract, will doubtlessly choose another school. What the protesters did was wrong.

Not only was it wrong – it was illegal. As pointed out by multiple commentators, the protesters broke more than one clause under Section VIII of the “Dartmouth Community Standards of Conduct,” which states that “students and student organizations must not intentionally disrupt, interfere with, or obstruct teaching, research, or College administration.” …

The protesters also can be punished under New Hampshire law. Chapter 644 of the Criminal Code notes that “a person is guilty of disorderly conduct if he or she disrupt[s] any lawful assembly or meeting of persons without lawful authority.” Section VI states that “disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor if the offense continues after a request by any person to desist; otherwise, it is a violation.” As a video posted on YouTube shows, more than one person attempted to persuade the group to stop, and has been noted, the protesters actually assaulted someone trying to halt them from entering the main hall.

In essence, what the protesters did was legally wrong and morally suspect. And most everyone except the protesters and the administration themselves have said as such. But as the events of the last few hours have shown, the administration has cancelled classes tomorrow without any statement as to whether the protesters will be held accountable for their actions.