Dartmouth's Daily Blog
News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
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Must the College Prosecute Lohse?
It goes without saying, based on his own admissions, that Andrew Lohse hazed and was hazed. But is the College obliged to prosecute him? One would think that some recognition could be given to the fact Lohse had the honesty to come forward; nobody else in recent years has had the courage to break the fraternity system’s omertà . But what leeway do Dean Johnson and Associate Dean April Thompson — and President Kim, if he finally decides to act — have in this situation?
To answer the question, I turned to someone in the big leagues: a former NYC prosecutor who served under Robert Morgenthau, the District Attorney for Manhattan from 1975 to 2009. The answer is simple: “in the interests of justice” a prosecutor can decide to bring forward or bury any case that he or she chooses. That is the only standard. My source cited examples where murderers who offered compelling evidence against senior Mafia leaders were left uncharged.
As we have seen before, the police have a great deal of discretion in dealing with offenses, too. The use of that discretion is why Harvard, Penn, Brown and Columbia did not have a single police arrest for underage drinking on campus in the 2008-2010 period — whereas at Dartmouth 263 students were arrested by the Town of Hanover Police. In fact, the total number of liquor violation arrests at the seven other Ivies totaled 131 over these three years, less than half the police arrests at Dartmouth, the smallest of the Ivy League schools. It goes without saying that students drink at the other Ivies, but the police there, in the exercise of their discretion, have decided that they have better things to do with their time.
If federal prosecutors and local police can choose to turn a blind eye to certain actions, one would think that at the College today the same judicious choices could be made. And they were in the past. As a former Dean of the College recounted to me, John Sloan Dickey used to put forward an amusing epigram:
Our goal is to teach students to have good judgment.
They learn judgment through experience.
And how do they get experience?
Through the exercise of bad judgment.
That Dean, and President Dickey himself, would often overlook an offense, though usually with the caveat that if the student got in trouble in the future, they would face the full force of College discipline. They, too, had a good sense of how to behave “in the interests of justice.”
President Kim, Dean Johnson, and all of Dartmouth’s Trustees could profit from this wisdom. Where are our leaders?
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
- The Dartmouth College Case
- 2007 Trustee Election
- Dartmouth Constitution
- Sunday Morning Sinatra
- The Indian Wars
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