Motivated by bad faith, malice, and ill intent, the Dartmouth administration’s actions this year have revealed a pattern of egregious and discriminatory behavior toward the Dartmouth College Republicans. Our group has faced threats of violence from fellow students, has had a major event canceled by the Dartmouth administration, has been billed for thousands of dollars in security fees by the college, has been subjected to frivolous investigations, and now faces the threat of derecognition.
It started last winter when we attempted to host a panel with world-renowned journalist Andy Ngo and former Antifa member, Gabriel Nadales, titled ‘Extremism in America.’ The topic was meant to shed light on Antifa and its violent tactics. In response, a group of Dartmouth students created their own Antifa group and coordinated with Antifa in the Northeast to make violent threats against our event. At the last minute, Anna Hall, Senior Assistant Dean for Student Life, and Jim Alberghini, Associate Director for Conferences and Events, informed us our event had to be held online, citing new information from Hanover police and security risks, despite the fact over 100 police officers were present including New Hampshire S.W.A.T.
Instead, we were forced to host the event on Zoom in the exact same location. Alberghini turned our guests away at the door and gleefully threw people out of the building including our TPUSA rep, Sam Lee, grabbing him by the arm. Not content to just remove Lee, Jim also threw out our then-vice president’s father–whom he knew–and student volunteers staffing the event. None of it made sense.
That day, Dartmouth College capitulated to threats of domestic terrorism and gave leftists a blueprint for derailing and canceling future conservative events with zero accountability. Moreover, it’s terribly ironic that an event focused on Antifa violence was canceled over the threat of Antifa violence.
That was bad enough, but then Dartmouth released a statement blaming our group and suggesting the police had recommended it be canceled. However, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) conducted an investigation and refuted the Dartmouth administration’s arguments. Dartmouth continued to shift its arguments and make up new reasons for canceling the event, but FIRE saw through the bogus rationale and continued to expose the lies in a series of blog posts.
To make matters worse, Dartmouth then expected us to pay the security bill. No one at Dartmouth has been able to explain why we needed to pay security fees for an event that it canceled. Instead, we’ve been given the runaround and Dartmouth officials send us to different departments to take pointless meetings in which each department claims the debt is outside their purview and urges us to take the matter up with yet another department.
This outstanding debt prevented us from requesting any further funding from Dartmouth when we hosted James O’Keefe in April. Dartmouth refused to pay any money toward James O’Keefe’s honorarium or even cover our security fees for that event. We refused to be canceled again by the Dartmouth administration and held the event. But with the additional security fees we incurred from hosting the event, our debt is now nearly $5,000 and unless we cease any activity that could upset the radical left on campus, we will continue to incur debt for security fees until we reach the point where the debt would be so large as to prevent us from operating at all.
Since Project Veritas investigates fraud, waste, and corruption, we decided to turn their attention to the Dartmouth administration who sadly embodies all of these qualities. When James O’Keefe visited Dartmouth, he and his team decided to confront Anna Hall with our current President Chloe Ezzo. They filmed the confrontation in a public hallway. O’Keefe and Ezzo knocked on her office door. Another administrator, David Pack, came into the hallway, had a short exchange with them that lasted a few minutes, and returned to his office. Then everyone left. Pack was irate and immediately filed a report against Ezzo and our club with campus safety and security in order for our leadership to face disciplinary action.
When Pack initially met with campus safety and security to file his report, they told him that they did not believe our group had violated any state laws or college policies making the complaint completely pointless. Shortly thereafter, The Dartmouth, the school’s affiliated paper, released an article that strongly implied our members were guilty of wrongdoing.
It wrote college spokesperson Diana Lawrence stated the college is “investigating the incident” and that “[a]ny policy or legal violations, including the recording of individuals without their consent, will be followed up on.” It’s so strange that Dartmouth’s spokesperson felt it necessary to comment on a frivolous and nonsensical complaint. When we sent Eric Ramsey, Associate Dean for Student Life, screenshots of students making violent threats against our Andy Ngo event, we were told that “[f]or privacy reasons, [the College] cannot comment on questions about individual students.”
Further, it’s perplexing that Lawrence did not include the fact that campus police had already written a report detailing Ezzo and our group had not broken any rules. Unfortunately, based on college policy, campus police cannot give us this report that vindicates our group. How convenient for Dartmouth.
The college’s treatment of our group up to that point was disgraceful. However, the true breaking point came on May 5 when we received an email from the Council on Student Organizations (COSO), the student group that oversees clubs at Dartmouth and which is coincidentally led by Anna Hall, stating that our group was in violation of a number of its guidelines. In particular, it claimed our group had violated rules regarding logos, bylaws, and affiliation with a national organization. It was heavily implied at the end of this email that if we did not immediately comply with the demands, our group would face derecognition.
To justify its decision, it linked us to a page of rules we’d never seen before! Sure enough, after a quick investigation, we found the page had only been created on April 27, a week after the James O’Keefe event and the confrontation in the hallway. In other words, they had made up rules specifically designed to target our club and retroactively punish us.
This incident led us to take a closer look at each of the members of the COSO board. Unsurprisingly, almost all of them are partisan Democrats. However, to our disappointment, we discovered that Garrick Allison, a prominent member of COSO, liked a denouncement of our club issued by the Dartmouth Democrats on Instagram last fall. Likewise, other COSO board members including Pierce Wilson, Amanda Donald-Phillips, and Vitallia Williams liked a post denouncing our group issued by the Young Democratic Socialists of America, in which our speakers were called “fascist predators” and our group a “herd of white supremacists” “possessing murderous power.” Needless to say, that is completely inappropriate behavior for students on a board overseeing and allocating funds to clubs at Dartmouth.
Our experiences this year have sobered us to the reality of how the purportedly “neutral” bureaucracy of Dartmouth complements and encourages the left-wing radicalism that has attacked us all year. We, along with many third-party observers in the wider community—alumni, journalists, state representatives, and legal professionals—have been frankly shocked by the degree to which free speech is an issue at Dartmouth College, where the Heckler’s Veto is not only effective but institutionally supported, and where violence is not the fault of the instigator but of the victim.
We are asking you for your support. Reach out to us at [email protected].