Dartmouth College: Administrators Force Andy Ngo Event Online, Citing Safety Concerns | The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression

Dartmouth College: Administrators Force Andy Ngo Event Online, Citing Safety Concerns

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Dartmouth College

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Case Overview

On January 20, 2022, Dartmouth’s College Republicans, Turning Point USA, and Network of Enlightened Women chapters planned to host an event with conservative journalist Andy Ngo. Dartmouth’s administration unilaterally canceled the in-person event, citing “information” from local law enforcement, and required the event be conducted online. No protesters appeared. FIRE wrote to Dartmouth on January 26, asking for clarification about what specific threats or security risks precipitated the decision. 

Dartmouth claimed that student safety concerns informed by law enforcement forced it to cancel the event, but FIRE’s open record requests to the local Hanover Police Department revealed that the university’s administration unilaterally moved the event online, despite no evidence of any serious threats to disrupt campus. Dartmouth then imposed $3,600 on the College Republicans for the security the university hired for the event. FIRE wrote again to Dartmouth in April explaining how it may not financially burden student groups for holding expressive events.