Religion Department Faculty Response to Events of May 1st, 2024

May 6, 2024

Open Letter to President Beilock, Provost Kotz, and Dean of the Faculty Smith:

We, the faculty of the Department of Religion, join our colleagues across the Dartmouth campus in expressing our dismay and condemnation of the actions undertaken by the Dartmouth administration on May 1st. Dartmouth College has a long history of peaceful student protests—including encampments—being met by the administration through open dialogue, negotiations, and peaceful resolutions, rather than by state police wearing riot gear, armored vehicles, weaponry, and police dogs. We condemn the arrests of students, faculty, staff, and community members—including our colleague, Christopher MacEvitt. As the House Professor for the East Wheelock Cluster, Christopher went to the college Green to check on the well-being of his students—as any House Professor should be expected to do—and was arrested within minutes of stepping onto the Green. This is absolutely unacceptable. Peaceful student protests—even those in violation of official College policy—should never be met with militarized violence that threatens the safety and well-being of the entire campus community.

We stand in solidarity with Professor MacEvitt and affirm his commitment to the welfare of our students. We call for the charges against him and all protestors to be dropped and urge the administration to uphold the values of community care, respect for individual rights, and academic freedom that Dartmouth has long stood for.

We urge the Dartmouth administration to engage in a transparent and constructive dialogue with the College community to address these issues and to ensure that our campus remains a safe, inclusive, and respectful environment for all.


The Department of Religion, Dartmouth College