Protesters challenge Review at open house

Seven hecklers joined approximately 50 students who turned out at the Tavern Room in the Hanover Inn last night for The Dartmouth Review’s fall open house.

One protester said the conservative off-campus journal “makes many people at Dartmouth feel uncomfortable and we want to let them, especially the freshmen, know that there are people who strongly disagree with the opinions of The Dartmouth Review.”

The Review’s president, Douglas Beekman, addressed critics who say the journal is a bastion for the opinions of conservative, white men.

“If you’re a white male, please come up to the office, or else we’re going to start losing our reputation,” Beekman joked.

Following Beekman’s speech on the business side of the Review, staffers showed a video of clips from national television shows that featured the Review.

The clips, from news shows such as “Crossfire” and “60 Minutes,” included a “20/20″ interview with Professor William Cole, the former chair of the College’s music department, who resigned in 1988 following a controversy in which the Review staffers severely criticized his teaching methods in class and in the journal.

The video, which elicited much laughter from the audience, also included an interview with a former Review editor-in-chief who said Cole was “emblematic of one of the main problems at Dartmouth: if you seem oppressed you can get a job for life at Dartmouth.”

In his speech following the video tape, Review Editor in Chief Oron Strauss ’95 called the journal’s accomplishments “mighty” and cited the current absence of a gay and lesbian studies department at the College as one of the Review’s “great triumphs.” The College is the only Ivy League school that does not have a gay studies department.

Strauss also called the Review a model for more than 100 papers nationwide that “defy the politically correct, liberal orthodoxy.”

Protesters laughed when Strauss said, “The only hate at Dartmouth is the hate directed at the Review.”

Strauss also mentioned that he and other Review staff members are often called racist by administrators and faculty who have never met them.

Professor Emeritus Jeffrey Hart, a senior editor at The National Review, said the journal has kept the discussion on racism, sexism and homophobia going and “not let it sink to name-calling and intellectual bullying.”

He cited some of the achievements of former Review staff members and said “the editorship of the Review has been more diverse than [College President James] Freedman’s own office.”

Hart said, “To work for The Dartmouth Review is one of the best things you can do for Dartmouth College.”

Hart said the Review was responsible for changes made this year to Social Issues Night, an activity held during freshman week. Last year, Hart said, a professor opened the presentation by telling the audience he was gay, which Hart said was inappropriate.

Tim Edgar ’94 challenged Hart, asking if he thought people do not have the right to declare that they are gay. Hart responded that “part of civilization is that one’s private life stays private.”

Strauss said the Review was in good shape and that there were “many strong, intellectual and excited freshman.” Hart said the turnout was one of the best he had ever seen.

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