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Longhi on Tengatenga in Huff Post

Andrew Longhi ‘14 thoroughly summarized l’affaire Tengatenga in a detailed piece in the Huffington Post yesterday. He also added some information that had not previosuly been in the press:

However, homophobia at Dartmouth is a nontrivial issue. Dartmouth Professor Michael Bronski, who has taught LGBT studies for over a decade at the school and served as a counsel for students struggling with this pervasive issue, estimated that 60 percent of his gay male students over the last five years have been called “fag” in public or physically abused in fraternity basements at some point. During this time he has known five LGBT students who have committed suicide as undergraduates or soon after graduation. This situation demands nothing less than unequivocal leadership from this [Tucker Foundation] office…

And in his conclusion he pulled no punches:

Tengatenga’s appointment is deeply disrespectful to the Dartmouth LGBT community and its allies, who need leaders whom they can trust and learn from. I have no doubt that a man with Tengatenga’s experiences would have a lot to share, but absolutely not in this capacity.

Smart people, when presented with a morally dubious situation, will often find a way to rationalize and accept a situation that amounts to less than social equality. This is a clear instance in which legitimizing the status quo devalues other students. It sends the message that LGBT equality is an afterthought. Dartmouth deserves a dean who can challenge and develop our understanding of spirituality and service, not suppress it. We have a moral obligation to ensure that this position remains open for a candidate who can provide strong, principled position for our entire community.

Will the College and Bishop Tengatenga respond to the widespread criticism of this appointment, or will the administration just fold its arms and hope that the storm blows over?


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