In light of recent racial tensions on college campuses, including Dartmouth and Harvard as well as Tufts, incoming Dartmouth president Dr. Jim Yong Kim told a group of about 50 students at a Harvard forum last week that he hopes to act as a “referee” and let students with different perspectives duke it out.
Every Dartmouth student should have the experience of debating classmates with opposing perspectives, said Kim, a Harvard medical school professor and the first Asian-American president of an Ivy League school. Only with honest, spirited debate and conversation can true understanding occur, he said during the event sponsored by The Harvard Foundation.
“I want every Dartmouth graduate to know their own views and be able to defend it to anyone,” Kim said. “And not hide behind name-calling.”
While he said students should take advantage of their time in college to interact with and learn from classmates from different backgrounds, minority students should not have to shoulder the burden of constant engagement in such discussions, which are often uncomfortable.
“African-Americans are not on campus to be the condiments in the lives of white students,” Kim said. “We are not here as students of color to enhance the lives of the ‘real’ students.”
This article is from the Boston.com