The Gender Research Institute at Dartmouth (GRID) was shut down on July 1st with "no prior warning." The closing marks an end to the institute's controversial track record, which most recently included the hiring of Mark Bray. Bray would then go on to make now infamous comments insensitively supporting the violent tactics of Antifa protesters.
"GRID provided food for the mind and for the soul," GRID director Annabel Martin said in a statement defending the institutes role in the academic life of The College.
Martin went on to say that the Institute was removed "inexplicably," but given the Institute's controversial past, it comes to many as no surprise. GRID's purpose was among the most dubious of other Dartmouth programs'. Modeled after similar gender research institutes at Brown and Columbia, the institute was founded in 2013 by Martin and a few other staff members.
Though Martin claims that the institute was among few who brought in scholars with actual social impact, it is important to note some of the radical ideas that were associated with past guest speakers. One of GRID's "scholars" was Jasbir Puar, a professor from Rutgers University who has been linked to anti-Semitism through comments and writings about Israel.
This move prompts questions as to power shifts within the Hanlon administration. There has even been speculation as to whether this was an early warning sign for Provost Carolyn Dever's departure from her post.
The College made a big step in defending free speech with Hanlon's denouncement of Bray's comments about Antifa. Hopefully this is a sign that Dartmouth is moving towards preserving free speech. It remains to be seen whether the Hanlon administration will be able to recover from such a rocky start, but hopefully those who helped end GRID's tenure at the College continue to make attempts to return balance to Hanover.