Dartmouth College’s President Calls for an End to ‘Extreme’ Behaviors

Philip J. Hanlon, Dartmouth College’s president, on Wednesday called for an end to what he called “extreme” behaviors by students—such as excessive drinking and sexual misconduct—that he said had harmed the college’s reputation and contributed to a decline in the college’s applications in the last year.

Mr. Hanlon made his remarks at a presidential summit with student leaders, faculty members, alumni, and others. He said that the college’s promise “is being hijacked, hijacked by extreme and harmful behaviors, masked by their perpetrators as acceptable fun.”

Mr. Hanlon announced the formation of a committee that he said would “recommend actions to end high-risk and harmful behaviors.” The committee will include students, faculty members, alumni, and members of the administration.

“It is time for us to act in order to preserve what is unique, joyous and fun about the undergraduate experience at Dartmouth and to end the extreme behaviors that are in conflict with our mission and fundamentally harmful — to individuals and to the fabric of our community,” he said. “This is the right thing to do, and the time to do it is now.”

Hanlon, who took office in June, said he will form a Presidential Steering Committee composed of students, alumni, faculty and staff to consult with experts and suggest actions to curb harmful behavior. The committee’s recommendations will be presented to Dartmouth’s board in the fall, he said. The college has 6,300 undergraduate and graduate students.

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