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Dartmouth cancels classes after protest, threats

April 24. 2013 11:59AM
About 1,500 people gathered in front of Dartmouth Hall at Dartmouth College Wednesday afternoon to hear college officials talk after classes were canceled because of threats made toward students who protested social justice conditions at the school. (MEGHAN PIERCE/UNION LEADER CORRESPONDENT)

HANOVER - Dartmouth College canceled regular classes Wednesday after online threats were made against students who staged a protest during a college performance attended by hundreds of high school seniors.

Protestors interrupted the "Dimensions Welcome Show Performance" Friday night with chants of "Dartmouth has a problem!" according to the Dartmouth Review, the college newspaper. The protest was aimed in part to raise prospective students' awareness of incidents of homophobia, sexual assault and racism on campus, the newspaper reported.

The students and their "perceived supporters," however, later were targeted in a series of threatening and abusive online posts, according to the college. People were targeted because of their race or sexual orientation.

"We feel it is necessary for the community as a whole to have the opportunity to learn about all that has transpired and to discuss further action that will help us live up to our mission," students were told in a campus-wide email sent by college administrators.

As a result, Wednesday's classes were replaced with alternative programming designed "to bring students, faculty, and staff together to discuss Dartmouth's commitment to fostering debate that promotes respect for individuals, civil and engaged discourse, and the value of diverse opinions," the administrators said.

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