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Conservative Paper Sparks New Unrest At Dartmouth

March 2, 1988

HANOVER, N.H. (AP) _ Pickets went up Tuesday outside stores that advertise in a conservative student newspaper at Dartmouth College, where an old dispute over racism on the Ivy League campus has been revived.

The latest dispute pits the Dartmouth Review against a black professor of music and supporters who believe independent weekly is racist and has been tolerated for too long by a lax administration.

Review staffers say they are the victims of bigotry and have been persecuted for strong stands, including their role in demolishing symbolic anti-apartheid shanties on the campus green in January 1986.

Four Review staffers were charged last week by campus officials with harassing William Cole, a black professor of music whose teaching performance was attacked in the Feb. 24 issue of the Review as ″academically deficient.″

On Thursday, the four confronted Cole in his classroom, asked him if he planned to rebut their article and demanded that he apologize for allegedly calling them ″white-boy racists″ during a class.

The incident ended with Cole allegedly breaking the camera flash of Review photographer John Quilhot. The Review published a photograph of an agitated Cole on its cover in its next issue with the headline, ″The Truth Hurts. Cole Explodes Over Review Criticism.″

Cole sued the paper in 1983 for libel over an article that said he ″looks like a used Brillo pad.″ He dropped the suit in 1985. He received no damages and both sides claimed vindication.

Cole has not publicly commented on the latest or past incidents involving the paper.

Hoisting signs that urged motorists to ″Honk if you don’t support the Review,″ about 25 to 30 people on Tuesday picketed the Dartmouth Bookstore and other stores in downtown Hanover that advertise in the Review.

Nearby, three policemen stood guard over the paper’s office on Main Street, a block from campus.

A march against the paper is planned Wednesday night, and a rally on Thursday.

Picket Laurie Adams, a white senior from Boothbay, Maine, said many of those who oppose the Review believe any anger Cole might have is justified.

″At some point, you stand against attack,″ she said. ″The Review will go to extremes to provoke. It just keeps pushing until people are provoked.″

Dartmouth President James Freedman, who assumed the post last year, said in an interview Tuesday that he would ″urge everyone in the Dartmouth community to take the high road to civility of expression.″

The four Review staffers who will face a college disciplinary board are Quilhot, a sophomore from Fort Wayne, Ind.; editor in chief Chris Baldwin, a junior from Hinsdale, Ill.; executive editor John Sutter, a senior from St. Louis; and staff writer Sean Nolan, a freshman from Lexington, Mass.

The four face punishment ranging from a fine to expulsion if they are found guilty of disorderly conduct, harassment, or violating Cole’s right to privacy.

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