September 22, 2006

A Battle for the Whole of Dartmouth

Riffing off Tim Dreisbach's letter "A Battle for the Soul of Dartmouth," I wrote a letter to the editor that appeared in the D today.

My basic point is that I still believe that there are ways in which the constitution could be improved to energize alumni (individually, and not collectively) and to create a trustee election process that does not produce a framework for discussions of Dartmouth's present and future that is relentlessly antagonistic, in the sense that one side must be defeated and its suggestions and criticisms rejected in order for Dartmouth to move forward in a coherent direction.

However, the draft is legitimately an improvement on the current system; alumni will have many more opportunities to join in alumni governance and to elect many more people to significant positions. The choice before alumni is if this progress is enough, or whether it is important to hold out for something more.

What that "more" should be is, therefore, an incredibly important question, and one I'm not prepared to answer at this time, but hopefully will have some suggestions soon.

1 comment:

  1. Karsten4:09 PM

    I'm very glad to see this post and your LTE. I had been wondering how you were feeling about the consequences of the joint op/ed. Kind of hard to believe...

    In the long-term, I look forward to discussing with you ways that alumni can be of service to the college through interaction with students.

    Meanwhile, I'm voting for the constitution. I think 5 years on this is long enough. Also, do you not feel that the proposed mechanism to allow petition candidates to become nominated candidates is enough to transcend the "victorious or vanquished" dynamic?