August 18, 2009

Implications of the Crady Resignation

David Nachman '09 of the erstwhile blog Super Dartmouth did some top-notch reporting in 2007 on Tom Crady's Ph.D dissertation and what it meant in light of his appointment to be Dean of the College. The work is titled "Written and unwritten rules: the use of alcohol by fraternities: a study of one college" and shows a refreshingly level-headed towards the Co-ed/Fraternity/Sorority system and campus alcohol policies.

Nachman quotes passages where Crady states...
I do not believe that colleges and universities should ban alcohol from their campuses, and alcohol education programming should focus on responsible drinking rather than abstinence.
and suggests that college administrators...
  • Assist Greek Letter organizations in emphasizing the positive aspects of Greek life. Many Greek letter organizations are developing and implementing impressive social justice and/or community service programs. These should be highlighted and reinforced on campus. Standards should exist for Greek letter organizations outlining activities they are expected to offer to the campus.
  • Provide Greek letter organizations with the resources and tools to accomplish their goals both on and off campus. Greek letter organizations should be fully supported by campus officials to ensure that resources are available to assist these organizations.
  • Develop positive and constructive interpersonal relationships with the leaders of Greek letter organizations on campus. Campus administrators should establish positive working relationships with Greek leaders before problems occur.
  • Resist the temptation to view Greek letter organizations as negative elements of student life and the campus culture. Resolve problems that arise quickly and efficiently while maintaining positive interpersonal relationships with students in Greek letter organizations.

Certainly Crady was a breath of fresh air for the oft-maligned CFS system as evidenced by his willingness to increase the number of sororities and work to reconcile with banned fraternities.

The questions now are how will Sylvia Spears approach Greek life in the short term and how will her permanent successor act in the long run? The Office of Pluralism and Leadership is known for its institutional disdain for all things Greek and for its perception that Greek houses directly threaten their social agenda. Hopefully we'll see Dean Spears build off the progress of Dean Crady instead of reverting to more antagonistic and dichotomous paradigms.

1 comment:

  1. Frances Vernon, bizarrely under the blitz address of "Conrad J. Farnham," does her cheer-leading routine for the administration in a campus-wide blitz. We have nothing to fear of Sylvia Spears, but fear itself!

    >From: "Conrad J. Farnham"
    >Date: Tue, 18 Aug 2009 15:39:06 EDT
    >Subject: Message from Frances Vernon
    >To: All Undergraduates:;

    Dear Students,

    I hope you are having a great summer term. I am writing in regards to the recent announcement of the resignation of Tom Crady as Dean of the College. As you know, Sylvia Spears will serve as Acting Dean for the next two years.

    I would like to take this opportunity to briefly address some immediate concerns and how this will affect our student body.

    After speaking with Dean Spears this morning, I believe she is well prepared for the job and she will act in the best interest of all Dartmouth students. In light of many changes on campus, her experience in the Office of Pluralism and Leadership and the Dean of the College Office will be of tremendous help and make her the best choice for this position.

    Orientation is a huge priority for the Dean of the College. Dean Spears would like to communicate to all students that the Office is ready to welcome the Class of 2013 and give them full attention.

    For those who are involved in dialogues or initiatives with Dean Crady, Dean Spears will be following up on major projects and initiatives in the near future.

    Dean Spears plans to be very accessible to students. She is excited about continuing to connect with students in important and meaningful ways. She assures me that she will be communicating more formally with students as soon as possible.

    As many of us come back to campus this fall our community will experience a number of historical transitions. During this time, there will be many new opportunities and I hope our undergraduate community will continue to play a significant role in shaping the Dartmouth experience.

    Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. I look forward to seeing many of you back on campus this fall!

    Thank you,

    Frances Vernon
    Student Body President