Dartmouth Swimming Protests Program Cut with Goggle Demonstration

Dartmouth Team - Goldminds Swimming World August 2019
Dartmouth swimming

Members of the Dartmouth swimming and diving program orchestrated a demonstration at the college this week using hundreds of goggles to underscore its value to the community.

The Dartmouth swimming team chose to illustrate its impact by placing 853 pairs of goggles on the campus green Wednesday morning, a demonstration they called, “Goggles on the Green”. Each pair represents a young swimmer who has received swim lessons from team members over the last five years.

“It’s really important that the school knows that by eliminating the swim team, they have eliminated effectively the Upper Valley’s biggest water safety program,” junior Susannah Laster said in an interview with WMUR.

Dartmouth swimmers purchased the goggles for the demonstration and will donate them to Trident Swim Foundation in New York.

The team is slated to be one of eight programs cut by Dartmouth this month, citing budgetary reasons among other specious logic. A robust effort has risen in the program’s defense, including an online petition with more than 31,000 signatures and an Instagram account, @save_dartmouthswimdive.

The latter, in particular, has sought to counter arguments made by the administration to rationalize the cut, including the “second-class” status of a team with many walk-ons and qualms about Dartmouth swimming’s academic performance. Among the administration’s arguments is that the cut programs don’t contribute to the larger campus community. Highlighting Dartmouth swimming’s operation of swim clinics seeks to contradict that. It also highlights the fact that Dartmouth has a swimming test as a graduation requirement and would be the only Ivy League institution without varsity swimming if the cuts are upheld.

The Dartmouth swimming team has been slated for discontinuation before, in 2002. The campaign to save it then was successful, and the current team is using many of the same tactics.

“The administration is out of touch with its students and did not ask for any opinions,” Laster said. “And the way that they went about these cuts was really callous.”

Read more about the Save Dartmouth Swimming and Diving campaign here.

2 comments

  1. Keren Edwards

    My heart goes out to the swimmers and coaches and to the Class of 2020 commits – to have their program cut with no notice or consultation and then have to bear the unfair and disrespectful comments from the administration as well. 🏊‍♂️🏊‍♀️💔

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