Friday, August 24, 2018

Disorientation 1972

Cover to Dartmouth DisorientationWhen the members of the Class of 1976 showed up on campus for their freshmen orientation in the fall of 1972, they were greeted with the usual enthusiasm that starts each year. Orientation is a time to introduce new students to college life, explain the workings of Dartmouth, and make some new friends. But in 1972, an underground group sought to shake up the feel-good experience with their very unofficial "Dartmouth Disorientation" guide. They make their intention clear right from the get-go:
"Let's get together!" sidebarWelcome! You are experiencing a week of Dartmouth "orientation." Before Dartmouth can begin to administer its four-year "education," you must be tested, photographed, registered, ranked, introduced, placed, and finally... accepted. We, the authors of this portfolio, would like to talk with you (not test you) and cooperate with you (not place you). As an initial contact we offer these pages..."
In classic '70s hipness, they go on:
Disorientation is often an enlightening experience. It is beautiful if it can help you discover a truer and more human orientation than you knew before.
What were they smoking? Maybe the truth! The articles inside offer a critique of the College on multiple levels but they mostly focused on the hypocrisies the authors saw in the college's obsession with money that created a complicit relationship with the military industrial complex and the CIA. But the deepest anger is directed at the Dartmouth Bubble. Quoting Mao, the authors launch into a series of diatribes against Dartmouth's insensitivity to the surrounding communities and exploitation of workers. It wraps up by saying "Let's get together! We will be at the Top of the Hop on Tuesday, September 26, 8:00pm."

Cartoon depicting community member with a large screw going through his body
The Valley News published an editorial that week fully endorsing the sentiments of the "group of long-haired former students." To see it, ask for the "Orientation" vertical file!

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