At the end of May, a renewed Civil Rights struggle for Black Americans emerged despite the complications and chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout June and the beginning of July, many Dartmouth students refocused their time and energy from the uncertainty of their future plans to take part in the antiracist work of the Black Lives Matter movement. Dartmouth Administrators in turn took this national moment to euthanize your beloved family dog.
As students used social media to spread and sign petitions, Dartmouth administrators had extensive meetings about the logistics of capturing, killing, and dumping the body of your eight-year-old Golden Retriever, Gordon.
“This was especially difficult,” said the Dean of Students, “because of the unforeseeable challenges of breaking into your home and kidnapping your pet that are unique to this unprecedented time.”
The College Provost agreed: “Last year, killing Gordon would probably have been easy. However, we wanted to strictly adhere to the spirit of CDC Social Distancing Guidelines, so we had to bide our time for when your family was out of the house. That was harder than expected, as you have been doing an excellent job of staying home.”
While you attended a protest, President Phil Hanlon left his multimillion dollar Hanover home and rallied his essential staff for a road trip to your neighborhood. These Dartmouth Administrators took advantage of your empty house, entering through the side door and luring Gordon out with a large pigskin chew. They then promptly put him down at the nearest vet.
“This is obviously a challenging and upsetting situation,” said the President’s Office in a statement, “but I hope all involved can recognize that the College has worked hard to make Gordon’s entirely unnecessary death as painless as possible. This is the system working.”
After successfully eliminating Gordon, the college was then able to refocus on sending out long, incomprehensible, and occasionally threatening emails to announce next to nothing, lamenting the preventable Hanover housing crisis, asking every person in New Hampshire for their input on the 2020-2021 plan except students, holding student belongings hostage in dorm rooms, eventually having recent high school graduates pack student belongings in decomposing boxes, only allowing limited and inflexible in-person pick up at a later date than initially announced, not shipping anything to some seniors, including next summer in their year plan despite a possible vaccine by then, only permitting students two quarters on-campus, reserving the right to cancel an on-campus term altogether on a whim, not fully using its testing capacity, forcing “lucky” students in residence to self-quarantine alone in their rooms for the first two weeks of campus, outlawing all clubs, gatherings, and communities that make the stresses of Dartmouth bearable, giving 24s a Hanover spring before 23s, briefly threatening to un-admit 24s who took gap years, making no clear plan for a modified or remote freshman trip experience or orientation, forcing 24s to do freshman fall mentally and physically alone with no plans to account for the potentially disastrous mental health consequences of making high-achieving, goal oriented teenagers live in isolation with no support system, attempting to evict international students living on-campus this summer, not guaranteeing in-person classes for international students now threatened with deportation, suddenly and permanently ending the Swimming and Diving, Golf, and Men’s Lightweight Rowing programs, closing the golf course, reopening the Hanover Inn for rich alumni to stay in but not using it as student housing, not telling the Guarini Institute about the status of abroad programs, not allowing fall online students to NRO, seemingly trying to use this pandemic as a way to phase out the Greek system, and not enabling people to know their new D-plans with advance notice.
“Also, um, Black Lives Matter,” announced President Hanlon in a campus-wide email in July. “Now that that’s done, please remember we are still charging full tuition and activities fees. Also we are accepting donations. Sorry about your dog.”