The email – titled “Vox Clamantis in Deserto” or “A Cry for Change” – frames the cuts of five varsity athletic programs as a symptom of what they call Dartmouth’s “obstinance and unwillingness to engage students in the decisions that directly affect us.”
“We hope to bring to bear pressure for positive change, not just to reinstate our program but also to raise and resolve the ongoing problems Dartmouth is having in listening to and learning from its students,” the email says. The Dartmouth athletes distributed a survey they say will help bring student voices to the administrators making decisions for the school.
Last month, Dartmouth cut five athletic teams: men’s and women’s swimming & diving, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s lightweight rowing. The school projected the cuts to save more than $2 million.
The email from the Dartmouth swimmers also raised diversity concerns, arguing that the five cut programs “represent nearly 50% of Asian athletes” at Dartmouth. Asian-American athletes comprise just 2% of NCAA student-athletes, the email says, arguing that cutting these five programs “contradicts the stated goal of improving diversity.”
Dartmouth swimmers and divers have organized a campaign in an effort to get the programs reinstated – that includes a website, a petition, a campaign to contact decision-makers and a way to pledge donations. The website lists almost $1.3 million raised so far.