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Jim Kim: “I barely have any power.”

President Kim finally spoke out about hazing, and he did so with his now-expected combination of self-pity and bombast. Today’s story on hazing in The D includes quotations from an interview with Kim:

“This is not a monarchy,” Kim said. “I barely have any power — I’m a convener, and I’m a convener of people with very different views of where we should go. But the one thing that I will not compromise on is student safety…”

“Things that are as deep as getting rid of the [Greek] system that’s been here forever — that’s not something that I can do by fiat, nor that I would ever think to do by fiat,” Kim said.

Kim said his own ability to confront hazing issues within the Greek system is limited by his functional role within the College and the need for coordination between himself, other administrators, members of the Board of Trustees and faculty, which must be combined with input from students and staff.

At the same time, despite the observation that the College’s hazing problem is currently “not confined solely to the Greek system but also involves other student organizations and sports teams,” according to Kim, he believes that no changes are needed at the College to counter hazing:

Kim said that the College’s current hazing rules and judicial system are adequately prepared to handle student safety and the issue of hazing.

“I just want to make clear that we have very stringent rules against hazing,” Kim said. “We have a disciplinary system that has filed charges against four organizations in the last couple of years.”

Kim said he is as committed to preventing hazing and sexual assault on campus as he is to addressing binge drinking, an issue on which he has focused since becoming president of the College. Dartmouth has already begun collecting information about best practices regarding handling hazing on college campuses, according to Kim.

“We need to get a lot of information,” he said. “Our intention is to be a leader.”

In conclusion, Kim stated to The D that students must join the effort and report any hazing violations they may experience or witness. Forgive me for laughing out loud, but given that the Boston Globe has reported that whistleblower Andrew Lohse ‘12 is being charged with hazing despite the fact that he initiated the controversy by going to the administration to report abuse at SAE, it seems unlikely that anyone in the future will respond to Kim’s plea.

Addendum: The rumor mill currently has the College charging 28 members of SAE with hazing, including Andrew Lohse, in addition to the house itself.

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