Friday, July 12, 2013

Interview with Sharang Biswas '12

Excerpt from my May 12 interview with Sharang Biswas '12:
Callista Womick: Is there anything we haven’t talked about yet or that I haven’t asked you that you’d like to cover?
Sharang Biswas: I had a positive experience at Dartmouth. I don’t think everyone else does. I was listening a few days ago after the Stonewall Lecture. One girl was talking about how after she was part of the protest, everyone was treating her so badly she had to go to mental health issues—or, I mean counseling. It was terrible to think this one woman is having such a terrible experience at Dartmouth. It was horrible.
One of Talene [Monahon]'s pieces—one of the women she interpreted said, “More telling about Dartmouth is the reaction that these protests got.” And I’m, like, “Yeah.” Like, I disagreed with the protests. I did not think they way they happened was the right way to happen. I do believe that they have a right to protest, and I do believe the issues they were bringing up were very important. So, while I believe I didn’t like the way they did the Dimensions protests, I still think they had a right to do so.
And the backlash they’ve been getting is terrible. And I think if Judicial Affairs does something—because they might have broken some Judicial Affairs stuff, maybe—I think it’s totally between them and Judicial Affairs. It doesn’t involve anyone else. Just like any other person who breaks any other rule at Dartmouth. I don’t think the campus has a right to know what happens to these students. It’s their business. I don’t think they should be excessively punished because if they did break any rule, it’s not something heinous because they went into a function kind of thing. Like, that’s not a heinous rule they broke.
I think the issues they brought up are very important. But the telling thing was that a lot of people got really angry at them and gave all these death threats. And some people were, like, “Oh, yeah, but everyone gets death threats.” But that doesn’t make it okay. If I were to receive death threats, I wouldn’t think, Oh, I’m fine with it. I would be very upset about it. And so that one was very—the woman she was channeling during that piece was very—I think that was good. Like, more telling is the reaction people got.

Dartmouth Community and Dartmouth’s World is an ongoing oral history project that launched in 2012. The project’s goal is to document the changing nature of the Dartmouth community in the second half of the twentieth century with an emphasis on the concept of the insider and outsider and how those roles and perceptions change for various constituencies over time. Narrators will include members of the Dartmouth community from 1945 to the present, representing a broad spectrum of voices and perspectives.

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