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The inequality in grades at Dartmouth is almost as big a problem as income inequality in our nation. While several students now graduate with extravagant 4.0 GPAs — the hated Top 0.1% — other worthy students have grades that can be as low as half of this figure, and students even routinely leave the College because they are unable to succeed academically. As an institution, just as we are trying to do as a nation, we cannot allow such disparities to continue.

I call upon President Hanlon to institute a school-wide program of grade re-distribution. Students who have high GPAs should have their grades “taxed” heavily, so that, for example, the Registrar can drop the A of a high-scoring student to a B+ and give the extracted 0.67 GPA points to a needy student whose GPA is not what it should be. In this way, as student who ordinarily would have received a C would now be accorded a more respectable B-.

Achieving poor grades is soul-destroying, especially for students who have poor study skills or who do not apply themselves in class. By adjusting their grades upwards, the College can not only improve their self-esteem, but such a move will improve weak students’ entire experience at Dartmouth. Besides, do students who almost always achieve top grades in a class really need such a high GPA? Isn’t it greedy of them to arrogate to themselves over and over again all the A’s given out by professors in a course. Sharing the wealth would make them better people, and make Dartmouth a better place.

We all know that students who receive high grades don’t really earn them on their own at all. High GPA’s are really only a reflection of privilege in earlier education, tutoring, and the support of the community. As both President Obama and, more recently, Hilary Clinton have pointed out, businesses and their owners don’t create jobs. The argument can certainly be made that Dartmouth students don’t actually earn their own grades either. To hold such an idea is to falsely attribute merit to students with high grades, when in fact, all Dartmouth students are worthy of our support.

Some people may advance the distracting idea that taxing high grades in support of lower-scoring students will take away the incentive of top students to work hard. We know that this is not true. Grinds will always grind away; this is their nature, and society as a whole, and especially other students, can benefit from their diligence.

Perhaps we can take the idea of reducing grade inequality further by instituting a minimum grade in all courses. Just as many communities are moving to a minimum wage of $15/hour, the College should make C the lowest grade for any student who signs up for a course.

I hope that people remember this first day of April as the one on which Dartblog announced its most important idea.

Addendum: I am not the only person to celebrate the day:


I tried to respond to your e-mail, but the address was not valid.

Is Phil seeking to inspire the campus with this springtime e-mail entitled, “Turning the Page”?

Phil's Message 300315A.jpg

If so, I don’t think that he has succeeded.

Addendum: Phil begins his sixth paragraph with this statement:

Indeed, earlier this month I spoke with the assembled faculty in the Arts and Sciences about how to more energetically make use of the academic opportunity space.

“… the academic opportunity space”??? In 1975 that kind of jargon would have earned a swift reprimand from an English 5 professor — and I hope that it would today, too.

Addendum: A wit writes in:

To more energetically make use of the academic opportunity space … or not to more energetically make use of the academic opportunity space? Those are the things that we might, or might not, “pursue with renewed vigor efforts to up our academic game.” Hey, I’m on board! And, hey, Spring is coming!

Addendum: If I were writing, I’d say “fresh spring air” — but if I had nothing more to say, I’d not write at all:

Folt Twitter.jpg

The IP is all atwitter.

Addendum: A reader sends in a thorough critique of Phil’s letter:

Hanlon’s e-mail is disappointing for a number of reasons.

1) I count at least 10 different references to the changing seasons.

2) The two different quotes seem like crutches.

3) Repetition of stock phrases: “time to turn a page,” let us welcome the turning of a page” and “efforts to up our academic game,” “time to raise your game”

5) The phrase “more energetically make use of the academic opportunity space” (how can this be described as a space?)

But the section where he talks about academic rigor is by far the most troublesome portion of this letter.

First of all, while the rhetoric here suggests that the college is not currently measuring up to some standard of academic excellence, he does not establish the ways in which we’re failing to meet that standard. Are we falling behind our competitors? Are we not reaching internal metrics of academic performance? In other words, how do we know, from a qualitative or quantitative perspective, that we’re not doing well enough? The call to action doesn’t make sense unless we’re currently coming up short, and he fails to show how that’s the case.

Secondly, none of these ideas are anywhere close to concrete goals. He doesn’t provide us with a picture of what would it would really look like if the college were to achieve academic excellence and innovation. How would we know if the faculty is able to “think about big, bold ideas” or for students to “embrace intellectual risk” (if, again, we take him at his word that these qualities are currently lacking on campus)? It seems that he’s merely dropping a bunch of buzzwords rather than articulating a vision for the institution, a map of how to get there, or how to know that we’ve arrived at the promised land.

Perhaps this communication is not the place for discussing more measurable shortcomings and goals for the college. Nevertheless, the lack of these aspects does not increase my confidence in his leadership or in the substance of these new initiatives.

Addendum: Another alum has a (tongue-in-cheek?) thought:

Re: Phil’s letter… let’s cut him some slack; it has been a very long, very cold winter.

Today the College’s Department of Safety and Security’s has thirty-eight (38) employees operating out of its premises at 5 Rope Ferry Road, as it reports in the 2014 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report:

Eighteen (18) Security Officers and Guards are trained to patrol the campus on foot, in vehicles and on bicycles, and are actively involved in the personal and physical security of the campus. Seven (7) Communication Officers provide continuous coverage of the Communications Center where they answer questions, provide information, and dispatch personnel to answer calls for service and to provide assistance in routine and emergency situations. Assisting the Director in administering all of the responsibilities of the department is an Associate Director; nine (9) supervisory personnel, which include two (2) full-time investigators; a special investigator for sexual assault and bias incidents, and one administrative assistant.

Thirty-eight employees! ‘Twas not always so. The Dartmouth Alumni Magazine had a well researched report about the growth of the College’s Safety and Security force over the years in its January 1977 issue (pp 6-7). Here’s how S&S has evolved over the years:

1769-1920: no campus police
1920-or-so-1931: George “Bud” Spray
1931-1947: Spray and Nelson Wormwood
1947-1949: Wormwood and Theodore Gaudreau
1949-1963: Gaudreau, a lieutenant and two officers
1963-1964: John Carey, a lieutenant and two officers
1964-1975: John O’Connor, a lieutenant and two officers, and, I imagine, others
1976—1977: Robert McEwan, eight men in uniform and two female office staff (two uniformed officers missing below):

Dartmouth S&S.jpg

In short, for the first 200 years of its existence, the College made do with a maximum of eleven S&S employees, though mostly it had none. Since the late 1970’s the staff has ballooned to well over triple that number, even though the number of undergraduate students has remained unchanged? Sound familiar?

Addendum: As we have noted in the past, Brown University — as befits its urban location in Providence — has 80 campus police officers. Unlike Dartmouth’s potentially inexpensive private security guards, Brown’s force is armed and has arrest powers. Even though Brown has more than double the security personnel that the College has, and it has a third more students and faculty than we do, last year its total wages and benefits bill was $85,457,000 below Dartmouth’s — 17.4% less (see the College’s accounts and Brown’s).

Addendum: The archives of the Alumni Magazine are now on-line, and they are searchable. For a free history lesson, open an old edition and leaf through it page by page. A great many things have changed in Hanover.


The sexual assault controversy seems to be swinging back in the opposite direction. UVA student “Jackie’s” account of her alleged rape appears to be made of whole cloth, and the depredations of campus adjudicatory boards and the procedures and rules that they follow have been harshly criticized. Now comes the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, an organization that helped end speech codes at the College. It has published a guide to student rights at institutions of higher learning.

Fire Guide Comp.jpg

Fire Due Process.jpg

The alumnus who brought the document to my attention observes:

I would urge that the college itself provide this guide to every student who enters. “Warning — all ye who enter these gates…. even in the event of demonstrably false allegations, you may become subject to institutional abuse that will wreck your future prospects.”

You can download FIRE’s 221-page guide here.

Addendum: George Washington University Law School law professor John F. Banzhaf III recently asserted that university administrators could well be held personally liable for improper actions taken in the prosecution of students for sexual assault:

So, to help counter, or counterbalance, this pressure from the federal government, Banzhaf said he planned to work with others to put college president and other administrators on notice that they must begin providing students facing dismissal for date rape the fundamental procedural protections required by the Due Process clause of the United States Constitution, or face potential legal liability.

If they refuse, he plans to help attorneys representing the student to “SUE THE BASTARDS” - with law suits being brought not only against the school, but also its responsible administrators.

They must understand that being sued in one’s individual capacity is very unpleasant and taxing, even if the university promises to reimburse the administrator for any adverse judgments.

Being named as a defendant in a law suit can affect a person’s credit rating where the notation can remain for many years, regardless of the outcome of the litigation.

Many such individuals may also find it necessary to hire their own attorneys, not completely trusting that university lawyers will give their interests the same priority as their employer’s.

Finally, they may have to submit to pre-trial discovery.

Addendum: The Boston Globe is reporting that FratPAC, the lobbying group of the nation’s Greek houses, is asking the Congress to step in and regulate the adjudication of campus sexual assault cases:

College fraternities and sororities, concerned that students accused of sexual assault are treated unfairly, are pushing Congress to make it harder for schools to investigate rape allegations.

The groups’ political arm plans to bring scores of students to Capitol Hill on April 29 to lobby for a requirement that the criminal justice system resolve cases before school administrators can look into them or decide punishments, according to an agenda reviewed by Bloomberg News.

”If people commit criminal acts, they should be prosecuted and they should go to jail,” said Michael Greenberg, leader of the 241-chapter Sigma Chi fraternity, one of many participating in the legislative push.

The Fraternity & Sorority Political Action Committee, or FratPAC, and two other groups will also ask Congress to block institutions from suspending all fraternities on a campus because of a serious incident at a single house. In addition, they want a rule against ”any mandate” for chapters to go coed.

Addendum: In a first for the Ivy League, Cornell is being sued for improperly and unfairly adjudicating a sexual assault charge against one of its students by another student. Read the details here. There have already been numerous suits of this type at other schools, and as the trial bar gains expertise in this kind of litigation, we can expect many more, even in Hanover.

Addendum: An alumnus writes in with a Hanover persective:

I have to say that as an advisor to one of the Fraternities, I share a number of these concerns both on behalf of individual students and organizations. I’m a little worried that the fraternities lobbying for due process and fundamental rights will be perceived as a way to deny the problem of sexual assault, and they definitely should be looking inward at how to fix the problems there, but nonetheless individual and organizational rights are vitally important in a fair and just system.

The college simply does not afford these rights to organizations, that is a matter I am unfortunately all too experienced with. I also find it disheartening that the college PR machine makes it a best practice to make public comments on an accused organization before a judicial outcome has been adjudicated (let alone before a full investigation has been completed). It seems to me that hints at a presumption of guilt and a blatant attempt to taint public opinion of the matter before all the facts have been examined.

Furthermore, there is way too much discretion on the part of the judicial affairs office and the OAC to both subjectively determine the “spirit” of the rules and impose sanctions. For organizations, the range of punishments is not at all clear and historical precedent has been completely ignored over the past few years.

Not the deep blue sea. On a recent visit to Venice we saw a large Francesco Guardi Venice-scape in the Ca’ Rezzonico, and simultaneously we could look out the window at the Grand Canal. At that moment my longstanding puzzlement at the color of the water in paintings by Guardi and Canaletto merged with an understanding of the color of the Venice lagoon. The water in my unretouched photo below and in Guardi’s (next in line) and Canaletto’s (last in line) views of the Grand Canal, is of a similar hue. One can surmise that today the water in Venice is as clean as it was in the 18th century, or that it is just as dirty.

Aqua Verde Comp.jpg

Venice appears in fine form these days. La Serenissima, despite hordes of tourists in San Marco, is still a wonderful place through which to wander.

Addendum: A well-travelled alumnus reports:

When I was there a few years ago, I saw them cleaning canals. They block them off, pump out the water, and excavate the accumulated detritus.

I was told this was regularly done during the Middle Ages, but has only recently been taken up again. The deeper more open canals allow more tide water to flush through, and thus the water is cleaner, and you no longer have the bad smells from stagnant water that used to prevail in some parts of the city.

The other important development was when they began to pipe water in from Mestre, and closed down all the wells in the city, the city quit “sinking.” Or so I was told.

This fall the University of Pennsylvania Law School will install a plaque in memory of a member of its Class of 1924: Theodore Milton Selden of the Dartmouth Class of 1921. Selden finished second in his class at the College with a 3.8 GPA, winning Dartmouth’s Barger Gold Medal for Original Oratory, and being elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He had come to Hanover for one year after graduating first in his class from historically black Lincoln University, because, as a Dartmouth administrator put it at the time, he “desired [a second B.S .degree] from an institution of better standing.”

Selden was killed in 1922 in a train crash. Working as a Pullman porter, he was in the car immediately behind the engine. In the incident, his car rode up over the steam engine, and when the latter exploded, Selden was killed instantly and his body disfigured beyond recognition. He was identified only by his Dartmouth Phi Beta Kappa ring.

Theodore Selden Comp.jpg

Penn has long noted the demise of its active students. The plaque will be installed in Silverman Hall:


Addendum: The above photo of Selden comes from the July 1919 edition of W.E.B. Dubois’ magazine, The Crisis, A Record of the Darker Races, which was published by the NAACP. It noted Selden’s graduation from Lincoln University. An article on The Year in Negro Education by Dubois lists African-Americans receiving bachelors degrees from only three Ivy League schools in that year: Harvard, Brown and Dartmouth.

Addendum: After his death, an obituary for Selden was published in The Phi Beta Kappa Key, Vol. 5, No. 1 (OCTOBER, 1922) on page 69:

Selden Phi Beta Kappa Obit.jpg

The Phi Bets had an error in their document: the accident took place at Winslow Junction, New Jersey — not New York. The train was travelling from Philadelphia to Atlantic City.

Addendum: Penn Law’s current Dean of Students, Gary Clinton, is responsible for bringing Theodore Milton Selden’s history to the attention of the Penn community. Read his well researched article here.

Paul Mirengoff ‘71 at Powerline blog riffs on the profiles of many of the College’s newly hired professors — as self-depicted in the print publication Dartmouth Life, which is mailed to alumni. He sees a pattern of radicalism and a departure from traditional seriousness:

Powerline Hiring.jpg

His conclusion:

The good news is that Dartmouth has hired three new Economics professors, none of whom tips off his ideological leanings. Perhaps there’s a causal relationship here: the Economics department is beefing up because students like taking courses about non-quirky subject matter from professors who aren’t on a political/ideological mission.

Unfortunately, unless you want to major in Economics, Mathematics, or a hard science, it’s probably even more difficult now than it was in my daughter’s time (2006-10) to fill one’s schedule with such courses.

Our new Provost, Carolyn Dever, seems fixated on the problematic subject of diversity, even though the College is deluged with more pressing concerns, but she has not revealed an ideological agenda. I know, I know, the two go together, but let’s cut the lady a little slack. For the time being we will trust but verify.

Katie Van Syckle.jpgFreelance journalist Katie Van Syckle ‘05 will be coming to Dartmouth next week to work on a story about Phil Hanlon’s Moving Dartmouth Forward initiative. As her website notes, “She contributes regularly to New York Magazine and Rolling Stone. She has written for Bloomberg Business Week,, Nylon, the New York Daily News, The Daily,,, and the New Orleans Times-Picayune.” Over the last year she has focused her writing on sexual assault on campuses.

Needless to say, Bored@Baker’s energetic tipsters had the story first:

RS B@B1.jpg

Katie can be reached by e-mail at:

Addendum: An alert read notes that last year Katie Van Syckle published an extensive report in Cosmopolitain on cyberbullying at Dartmouth entitled: How Cyberbullying Is Making Sexual Assault on College Campuses Even Worse, As Dartmouth makes efforts to combat sexual assault, posts on an anonymous online forum have students terrified.

AD’s attorney George Ostler ‘77, who frequently represents students in their disciplinary disputes with the College, has issued a statement to the press regarding the branding incident that is receiving so much attention:

AD Statement.jpg

The Valley News has an extensive story today on the ongoing drama.

Addendum: ABC News reports on the story, beginning with a regrettable lead:

Dartmouth College is cracking down further on one of its most notorious fraternity houses in response to accusations of the branding of new members.

Addendum: A faculty member notes that branding is common among black Greek houses across the country.

Esserman New Haven Comp.jpgWhile we are on the subject of outstanding members of the Class of 1979, on March 12 the Wall Street Journal ran a profile of New Haven Chief of Police Dean Esserman ‘79 entitled Putting Police Officers Back on the Beat. Dean is a recognized expert on community policing, a concept that he has supported since his days working closely with then-and-now NYC Chief of Police Bill Bratton. The idea involves taking police officers out of their hermetically sealed squad cars and having them walk a regular neighborhood beat, where they can interact with and earn the trust of citizens.

After working in New York City with Bratton, Dean first put the concept into practice on his own as chief of police in Stamford (CT), followed by Providence (RI), and New Haven (CT). In each place crime of all types dropped in a manner completely out of synch with local and regional trends. As the Journal notes: “In New Haven… the total number of crimes in seven categories shrank 17% from 2010 to 2013, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation data. The U.S. had a decline of 3.8% in the same period.” And “Overall crime in Providence fell 30% during his eight years there.”

Dean took over the New Haven Chief’s position in October 2011, and the two histograms on this page tell the tale in more detail: since his arrival homicides are down by almost two thirds in Yale’s hometown, and violent crime of all types has fallen:

New Haven crime WSJ.jpg

Beyond his responsibilities as chief, Dean sits on three national boards: the National Police Foundation (NPF), the VERA Institute of Justice, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. He works closely with the Justice Department, consulting and advising on troubled police departments. He’ll soon be part of a team from the NPF that has been contracted by the Justice Department to work on policing issues with the St. Louis County Police Department — which encompasses the town of Ferguson, Missouri and surrounding jurisdictions. In addition Dean teaches courses to students at Yale College, the Yale Law School, and the criminal justice program at the University of New Haven.

Addendum: Dean likes to say than when he is faced with a particularly difficult policing problem, he gathers together all of America’s Ivy-League-educated, Jewish police chiefs to discuss the matter at hand. Needless to say, he is the only member of that club.

Addendum: A old friend from Hanover writes in:

You never mentioned that Dean was never a “beat” cop.

True. Dean went to NYU Law and worked in the Brooklyn prosecutor’s office before becoming Assistant Chief in New Haven at the start of his law enforcement career.

Bemis Photo.jpgThe College has a new Chief Human Resources Officer (but no Dean of the College): Scot Bemis has come to Dartmouth from Brandeis, located in the Boston suburb of Waltham. Interestingly enough, Bemis is neither a creature of the academy nor the private sector, as Dartmouth Now reports: “Prior to his work at Brandeis, Bemis held three senior human resource positions with the U.S. Army. He was a director of the National Guard Human Resource operations in Washington, D.C.; Director of the Leadership Center in Tikrit, Iraq; and Senior Director of Human Resources in Baghdad, Iraq… From 1999 through 2002, Bemis was an associate professor of studies in leadership and management at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.”

The Dartmouth Now announcement has another nugget worth discussing:

Bemis Brandeis.jpg

Brandeis details on its website that it has 504 faculty members (its Common Data Set notes 498 professors), leaving it with over 1,500 staffers according to Dartmouth Now (though Brandeis itself says that it has 1,150). But let’s stick with the 2,000 total employees number, and compare Brandeis to the College.

Dartmouth has 3,443 staff members and 1,059 professors according to the Dartmouth Factbook. However the structure of Geisel inflates that number with 233 non-tenure track clinical professors — practicing physicians who assist in the training of young doctors but who are not paid by Geisel. So the College really has about 826 professors. Based on those numbers, the College has a total of 4,269 employees. That figure is 2.13 times the number of employees at Brandeis.

Now if we start with Brandeis’ total compensation figure of $140 million (a figure that Dartmouth Now put forward, even though the details of employee compensation do not appear in Brandeis’ 2014 financial statements), let’s take a rough whack at estimating what Dartmouth’s annual compensation might be. Of course, keep in mind that the cost of living in suburban Boston is higher than rural New Hampshire: Massachusetts’ personal income tax (5.15%) and sales tax (6.25%) and the cost of Boston-area real estate see to that.

On the other side of the ledger, the College has a medical school, a business school and a large Economics department, so we can assume that the number of well compensated faculty members at the College is higher than at humanities/undergraduate-focused Brandeis.

Given that Dartmouth has more high-priced professors, I’d say that even though we have 2.13 times more employees than Brandeis, our wage bill should probably be 2.5 times higher. That would provide for an extra $35 million of compensation for our expensive profs (assuming there are 200 stars at Geisel, Tuck and in Econ and we pay them an extra $175k each — a absurdly high figure, I know).

An estimate based on a 2.5 times co-efficient would bring us to a total compensation budget at Dartmouth of $350 million ($140 million times 2.5).

What’s the real figure in the College’s 2014 accounts? Total compensation was actually $492 million — an excess of $142 million over our estimate. We are overcompensating the staff the we have chosen to hire by about 50%.

The good times continue to roll in Hanover.

Addendum: We’ve looked at this kind of metric before. Schools comparable to the College like Brown, Tufts, Boston College and Williams spend far less money on per-employee compensation than we do.

Addendum: The Dartmouth Now story also noted:

During his time in Baghdad, Bemis oversaw human resources for a 4,000-soldier task force under wartime conditions and was recognized for improving personnel retention rates by 64 percent. He was also recognized for his ability to perform under extreme duress while conducting all human resources operations, and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious performance.

Yikes. A Bronze Star for personnel management? I am going to have to ask Bemis about that one. Maybe there is more to the story than Dartmouth Now is letting on. After all, the last time we talked about someone from Dartmouth winning a Bronze Star, we referred to Joseph Young ‘45 charging across the bridge at Remagen in March of 1945.

Addendum: A Dartblog reader writes in about Army commendations:

Hey Joe — I do so enjoy your website — it’s a hoot and very informative.

As to the Bronze Star award for “Meritorious Performance” — I got one of those as well and it went something like this. Awards Clerk: “We’re gonna give you an award. Do you already have the Army Commendation Medal?” Me: “Yes, I do.” Clerk: “Ok — we’ll get you the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service.” Me: “Cool.”

What was I doing that was so meritorious at that time? — playing trombone in the 1st Division Army Band — but I had a little rank (E5) and we were in Vietnam after all. Officers got an even better shot at these kinds of awards, and they were often given out for being present and not screwing up too badly. Bronze Star with “V” for valor is a different animal all together, one that I respect tremendously. That’s likely the award given to Joseph Young — and what a great story that is.

Lest you think that my service in Vietnam was all rosy, I did spend the first six months in an infantry unit, and while I wasn’t in direct combat, we did get shelled routinely — not a fun experience and detrimental to the health of those caught in it. So, I get the Bronze Star for playing in the band — doesn’t surprise me that Bemis would have gotten such a low-level award for keeping his hands clean.

Addendum: Another veteran reader comments:

Reference the Bronze Star - I can tell you from my own army experience, that the Bronze Star is authorized for meritorious conduct/performance while deployed in the war zone, even for administrative or clerical excellence. This is to recognize the contributions or merits of the deployed soldiers who might have been called REMFs back in the day ( or more recently had be coined “Fobbits”). Let me know if you’d like definitions of either term.

Anyway, the “V” device for valor is awarded along with the Bronze Star when there is need/desire to distinguish the award for soldiers who actually faced enemy fire or hazard.

Essentially, the Bronze Star can be had in lieu of the more traditional Army Commendation medal (ARCOM) given Stateside, merely by virtue of being in the combat zone.

[My only regret is I never had the appropriately considerate chain of command to award me one..]

Gawker is reporting (and the College’s spokesman Justin Anderson has confirmed) that the ongoing suspension of AD has been extended after a pledge was discovered to have been branded on the backside last fall. It seems that the brand became infected, and when the pledge sought medical care, word got back to the administration. Gawker was informed of the incident by a tipster, and chat about the event has been extensive on Bored@Baker.

Gawker branding.jpg

Addendum: An AD alumni advisor writes in:

The Gawker article you cite is so full of misinformation that we are discussing the possibility of a libel suit. I don’t want to point out the inaccuracies at this time, but they are many.

Addendum: The Daily News has picked up the story, and it has included an amusing photo juxtaposition in its article:

Belushi Hanlon1.jpg

The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Mail, The Independent, and many papers subscribing to the Associated Press feed have run stories on AD’s conduct.

Or perhaps the College has inaugurated a special Interim President’s area for portraits in the Rauner Special Collections Library? The more recent members of the Wheelock Succession are grouped together to overlook the main room at Rauner:

Rauner Presidents1.jpg

Carol, in contrast, is off by her lonesome to the right of the Rauner stacks:

Folt Rauner1.jpg

Personally, I’d recommend a back staircase at Baker.

After Rolling Stone magazine ran an extensive piece alleging the horrific, premeditated gang rape of a UVA undergraduate by fraternity brothers, the magazine withdrew its story, citing reportorial lapses. Yesterday the Washington Post published the results of the Charlottesville Police department’s investigation of “Jackie’s” allegations. The police found no evidence to corroborate her accusations, and it noted numerous factual inconsistencies in her story. The investigative report concluded as follows:

Based on the information known to investigators at this time, we find no substantive basis of fact to conclude that an incident occurred that is consistent with the facts as described in the November 19, 2014, Rolling Stone Magazine article.

The department’s investigation cannot rule out that something may have happened to “Jackie” somewhere and at some time on the evening of September 28, 2012. Yet, without additional evidence we are simply unable to reach a definitive conclusion.

This investigation remains open, yet suspended in the event additional evidence should come to light.

Rolling Stone has undertaken an analysis of its reporting of the incident, which should be published in the next few weeks.

Addendum: The NYT report is here:

After a review of records and roughly 70 interviews, Police Chief Timothy J. Longo Sr. said at a crowded news conference here, his investigators found “no evidence” that a party even took place at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity on Sept. 28, 2012, when the rape was said to have occurred. Instead, he said, there was a formal that night at the house’s sister sorority, making it highly unlikely that the fraternity would have had a party on the same night.

Despite “numerous attempts,” he said, his officers were unable to track down the man Jackie had identified as her date that night. And several interviews contradicted her version of events. The chief said he was suspending, but not closing, the investigation, and he left open the possibility that some kind of assault might have occurred, saying additional information could still come to light.



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