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Dartmouth Graduate Student Ends Hunger Strike, As College Hires External Investigator

Britta Greene / NHPR (File photo)(

A Dartmouth College graduate student says she’s ending her hunger strike after 24 days. Maha Hasan Alshawi was on a strike in response to how the college handled her allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation for reporting that harassment.

This follows Dartmouth’s announcement on Thursday evening that they had named an external investigator to look into Alshawi’s case.

In a Facebook post Friday afternoon, Alshawi told supporters that, although she didn’t have answers to all her questions, she was ending her hunger strike.

“I am ending my hunger strike, and look forward to working, in good faith, with the independent investigator to ensure that my allegations are investigated fully and fairly.”

The investigator, Maureen Holland, is a former prosecutor who works with institutions dealing with allegations of sexual harassment and abuse. She also served as the interim Title IX coordinator at Baylor University in 2017.

On Facebook, Alshawi says she and Holland have been in touch.

Alshawi started her hunger strike on July 14, saying that Dartmouth’s Title IX office “conducted an unfair assessment on my case,” and that the college did not look into any information or evidence from her.

Initially, the college said it that no further investigation was warranted, but by July 20, Dartmouth said it would “take the extraordinary measure of engaging an external investigator to conduct another review of her allegations.”

“I remain committed to working to ensure that Title IX investigations at Dartmouth are conducted fairly and that all parties, including complainants, are treated with dignity and fairness," Alshawi wrote on her post Friday.

Dartmouth says it will not comment on the case further, until the end of the investigation, but it has said it will make the results of the investigation public.

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