Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Squash Heckling Incident

In response to the following incident, as reported by the Valley News -  Dartmouth Students Slur Harvard Athletes During Squash Match   - and ongoing conversation within the Dartmouth Community, the United Campus Minsters released the following statement:

A Statement from the United Campus Ministers
(Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, The Tucker Foundation)

We, as Dartmouth's United Campus Ministers, serve a broad constituency of students at Dartmouth.  Like others, we wish to express our deep concern and regret over the recent incident involving Dartmouth students and supporters at a recent Squash match with Harvard.  Regardless of intent, it was sad day for all of us who are part of this community.  We are grateful that those who engaged in this conduct have apologized and that the College has expressed both public and personal apologies to those who were the target of these remarks.

As a community of learning, we recognize truly transformational learning as a constant process - intellectual, social and moral.  We do not seek perfection, but cannot cease seeking something better.

The public conversation surrounding this event has largely centered on outrage, indifference or embarrassment.  However, as Campus Ministers, we believe that this presents a compelling opportunity for our community to engage in serious examination of language we use, whether at sporting events, in residence halls, fraternity and sorority houses, or throughout Dartmouth College. 

The problem, we believe, is more endemic than simply untoward remarks in the heat of a sporting event.  We have too easily come to accept the private use of language which is detrimental to the values of our Dartmouth community.

The December 2nd event provides all of us with occasion to examine, to reflect, and to transform our community both publicly and privately. Instead of receding into safe and private spheres, let us take this opportunity to engage with one another more honestly, more thoughtfully and more respectfully.  Only thus can we truly live up to our community's potential.  As campus ministers, we want to extend an offer to engage all segments of our community in whatever way that we may be helpful.

We pray that our community will strive to engage in a transformational learning process through both private, confidential group discussions as well as public forums.  Civil and meaningful discourse on the issues of prejudice, be it misogyny, homophobia, racism, or anti-semitism must be brought to light, for only then will the darkness of these attitudes dissipate.

Let us hope that we engage in such further discourse and thus reflect the best of what it means to be part of the Dartmouth experience.

No comments:

Post a Comment