June 3, 2010

DeLorenzo '10 almost costs Dartmouth $100,000

In a stunning move that simultaneously demonstrates the insignificance of an individual, the uselessness of symbolic protest, and the generosity of Dartmouth alumni, the class of 1960 has agreed to donate the $100,000 reward for 100% participation to the 2010 Senior Class Gift (SCG) despite the fact that it fell short of that goal by 1 single person. That single holdout, perhaps a Rip Van Winkle character who slumbered through the high profile SCG collection process, is Laura DeLorenzo '10, and she's become the darling of Bored@Baker, displacing Phil Aubart, Sarah Koo and the SAE 3 as the queen supreme.

The Senior Class Gift, a traditional fund-raising campaign held by the graduating class, this year sought to break the 2009 class record on the curiously scaled graph from its website, reproduced on the right (dammit, we didn't break 120% again!). Incentivizing the annoying and self-congratulatory hecklers in charge of collecting funds and distributing flairy retro-sunglasses, was the class of 1960 (the '10s mentor class) who agreed to pay $1,000 for every percentage of the class who gave, and an extra $100,000 if all 100% donated. But just as sure as every theme park needs its one molesting mascot, so too does every ointment need its fly. And that's where DeLorenzo comes in.

After the jump, color-commentary and her anti-Dartmouth tirade in full.
Apparently Ms. DeLorenzo withheld her $1 donation, the one that could provide $100k in scholarships for disadvantaged students, or perhaps be used to rehire laid off workers (and now still will if only because of the '60s' dislike of people like DeLorenzo shitting on their parade), for political reasons. In a explanatory tirade sent around, DeLorenzo pins her disapproval of Dartmouth on the Greek system which she believes "teaches us to devalue the individual in favor of a 'groupthink' mentality" thereby leading to a "pervasive lack of a sense of community responsibility." This despite the fact that compared to its peer schools with their fractured, exclusive, and extremely hierarchical social systems brought about by eating clubs and societies, Dartmouth's social scene is remarkably fluid and comparatively homogeneous-- one of its most famed aspects.

In his last opinion for The Dartmouth, the venerable Zachary Gottlieb roundly demolishes each of DeLorenzo's points, from her argument that financial support is equivalent to complete endorsement of everything anyone at Dartmouth ever does, to her belief that one dollar of her (or anyone else giving on her behalf) money is too high a cost to give the '14s a 100,000-fold richer tomorrow.

I would add that there are two appropriate responses to dissatisfaction with Dartmouth. The first, endeavor to fix it. Don't like the frats? Work to organize your own social group! See a dirty kitchen, clean it! (given the speed with which janitors clean things and fine us, I find this kitchen scenario highly doubtful)

The second option is to leave. There is no honor in being a parasite, sucking off money and time from people who are trying to better you when in reality you don't want to be there. There is certainly no political value in trying to fuck over an entire fund-raising campaign because you weren't having a good time and couldn't think of one constructive way to tell us. No, Laura. We are measured by what we create, not what we destroy, and if intentions mean anything, you're not even worth the one measly dollar that you wouldn't give.

It's a shame that attention from the SCG has shifted from the fact that 99.9% of seniors gave to the fact that one space-cadet did not. I'm guilty for giving her ideas a forum. But at least we know that from the numbers, views like DeLorenzos -- that Dartmouth is a negative place -- are statistically insignificant. Hey, using sigfigs we might still get to 100% yet.




Delorenzo asked that if we quoted her at all, we do so in full, so here is her emailed manifesto:

 I believe that when one donates money to an institution/organization, one implicitly embraces the values held by that institution/organization. After having spent four years at Dartmouth, I am comfortable with my conclusion that the values I see displayed by our student body on a daily (and especially a nightly) basis are not values that I endorse. Although Dartmouth does not openly promote such actions, I feel that Dartmouth does little to encourage a change in the culture of the student body.

I would not recommend Dartmouth to any prospective college student precisely because of what I feel is a pervasive lack of a sense of community responsibility on this campus. I think this is most obviously demonstrated by the fraternity/sorority system, which on the whole teaches us to devalue the individual in favor of a 'groupthink' mentality. This mentality in turn encourages stereotyping and also unseemly actions, for which the individual forsakes responsibility. Even in a bar filled with people I do not know, if a man begins to make unwanted advances on me, he is constrained in how far he will go because he knows that when he goes too far, other people will openly disapprove and stop him. There is no such social responsibility exercised in a fraternity/sorority basement. People who do speak up are often vilified rather than revered by their peers. However, I believe this behavior is not limited to these social spaces only, but in fact is reflected in many other aspects of Dartmouth life as well. Just walk into any dormitory common room and look at how dirty the kitchen area is to see the lack of respect many Dartmouth students have for one another. While I realize that many people on this campus do not act in an irresponsible manner, I feel that the percentage who do is too high and little is done to keep them from dominating campus culture.

I know that similar problems exist at other universities, but there are few campuses whose social life is as completely controlled by the fraternity/sorority scene as Dartmouth's is. At many other schools, dormitory/personal parties are more prevalent. At parties like these, people tend to have known one another before hand and to feel more responsible for each other's well being. Additionally, when one or two people host a party, rather than an organization, those individuals have no umbrella organization to hide behind when things go wrong. People's actions are motivated more by their individual beliefs than by loyalties to a social group. I think most individuals will choose to act in responsible and morally upstanding ways, when they act as individuals. But because Dartmouth is so dominated by the Greek system, this type of individual thinking is discouraged. Repressing of individual thoughts and responsibilities becomes characteristic of Dartmouth culture as a whole, and not just something one witnesses at fraternity/sorority parties.

I understand that many of my peers love this institution, and I respect that sentiment. I especially respect those, such as many involved with the senior class gift, who have taken the time to think through their beliefs and who are willing to put time and effort into achieving what they believe. I know that many people, even those who dislike Dartmouth, believe that the 'goodness' of donating to a scholarship fund should supersede my personal disapprovals of Dartmouth. I disagree because there are other worthy choices to which I can and do donate my money. My decision not to donate to Dartmouth reflects my personal conclusion that the negative aspects of Dartmouth outweigh the positive, and nothing more. Where other people choose to donate their money is their decision and I fully respect their right to make it. I resent the pressure that was applied to me as an individual because the class of 1960 promised an additional gift if the SCG reached 100% participation. If the class of 1960 believes in Dartmouth, they should donate that money regardless of my failure to do so, and if they do not wish to donate, they should not feel any obligation to do so based on a 100% participation rate in SCG.

63 comments:

  1. "Wake up in the mornin' feeling like L-Delorenzo..."

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  2. Anonymous11:50 AM

    I mean, she might be a dick, but this entire article is an exercise in cruel, mean-spirited ostracization. You might disagree with her characterization of Dartmouth's social scene or her personal decision to refrain from donating, but this diatribe just makes you look like an enormous douche.

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  3. Anonymous12:27 PM

    Donation, I recall, is a voluntary act. This attempt to shame someone who has chosen - for whatever reason - not to engage in such a voluntary act is in extremely poor taste. There comes a line between a critique and a personal attack. It was unnecessary to name this woman, and further uncalled for to display her picture. This isn't journalism, it's a case of embarrassing yourself by being a sore winner.

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  4. Anonymous12:31 PM

    I didn't want to give to the SCG, I only gave so they'd stop bothering me. I have not really enjoyed my time at Dartmouth although I do feel I have gained important skills here. To ostracize someone simply for not following the group is totally uncalled for.

    The SCG campaign infuriated me. It was full of peer pressure tactics and came at a time when many students are struggling to find jobs in order to pay off student loans. For plenty of students, donating money is no big deal. For others, even a few dollars is a worry.

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  5. Anonymous1:24 PM

    "Donation, I recall, is a voluntary act. This attempt to shame someone who has chosen - for whatever reason - not to engage in such a voluntary act is in extremely poor taste."

    Just because something is a voluntary act does not mean someone can't be criticized for that action (or inaction). We're not asking her to take out a second mortgage on her home. No matter what your circumstances, as a graduate of Dartmouth you should be able to spare one dollar, so as not to jeopardize 100k in support for the incoming class. I don't understand how DeLorenzo can simultaneously take advantage of numerous and expensive Dartmouth resources, such as the WISP program, while attempting to deny Dartmouth the very funds that support those programs. In my view, this is the height of hypocrisy.

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  6. Anonymous1:28 PM

    This campaign is probably one of the best things to hit Dartmouth in a long time. Coming from an underprivileged community and knowing what's it's like to have to face the economic burden of college tuition, the SCG campaign is a good thing. Laura and those agreeing with her are beyond selfish - they're heartless. It's understandable that you may not have enjoyed your Dartmouth experience and may not agree with the way things are done here, but at the end of the day it comes down to this: you chose to come here, and above all, stay here. No one forced you to stay at an institution that you disagreed with to such an extent for four years.

    This "manifesto" against the masses is painful and unnecessary. Karma is a bitch...I just hope this doesn't come back to bite her in the ass...

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  7. Anonymous1:35 PM

    "Coming from an underprivileged community and knowing what's it's like to have to face the economic burden of college tuition, the SCG campaign is a good thing. Laura and those agreeing with her are beyond selfish - they're heartless"
    Just because she chose not to donate to the SCG DOES NOT IMPLY that she does not believe in scholarship funds in general. Her decision is a rebuke of Dartmouth, not of charity as a whole.

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  8. Anonymous1:39 PM

    "Just because she chose not to donate to the SCG DOES NOT IMPLY that she does not believe in scholarship funds in general. Her decision is a rebuke of Dartmouth, not of charity as a whole. "

    Who cares what she believes? Judge people by their actions. The fact of the matter is that she put at risk 100k in tuition support.

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  9. Anonymous1:41 PM

    "Who cares what she believes? Judge people by their actions. The fact of the matter is that she put at risk 100k in tuition support. "

    She DID NOT put tuition support at risk. What the class of 1960 does in ON THEIR HEADS ONLY. It is completely WRONG to bring this down on one individual.

    And in any event, you CAN'T judge her by her actions because you don't know them. You have no idea what she has or has not donated to.

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  10. Anonymous1:45 PM

    "She DID NOT put tuition support at risk. What the class of 1960 does in ON THEIR HEADS ONLY. It is completely WRONG to bring this down on one individual. "

    Are you serious, or are you being sarcastic?

    They explicitly layed out the criteria for bonus funds. Given this knowledge, it can definitely be put "down on one individual," because she's the only one who didn't donate.

    "And in any event, you CAN'T judge her by her actions because you don't know them. You have no idea what she has or has not donated to."

    I certainly do know what she has done. She did not donate to the SCG, and, again, this put the bonus funds at risk.

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  11. Anonymous1:47 PM

    Look at the D article. The class of 1960 had already agreed to donate the extra money the week before the campaign ended.

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  12. Anonymous1:52 PM

    "Laura and those agreeing with her are beyond selfish - they're heartless"

    Absurd. The SCG campaign was annoying as hell, and the 100%/100k promise was an idiotic gimmick that she saw through.

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  13. Anonymous1:52 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  14. Anonymous1:55 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  15. Anonymous2:12 PM

    "If we can't abide the person in the first scenario, why should we in the second?"

    That's a ridiculous analogy. Of course we can't abide murder, and of course we can abide someone withholding money from a cause she doesn't believe in.

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  16. Anonymous2:18 PM

    @2:12

    False.

    The correct comparison is that we should not abide someone withholding the life preserver from a person she doesn't believe in. But we do abide it. (wtf is this, a country western?)

    With all the I-bankers running around Hanover you might not realize it, but $100 grand is a shitload of money. Wrongful death suits are routinely settled for less. Laura tried to deny the future underprivileged students of Dartmouth the equivalent of one life in value. Is her $1 protest statement really worth the $100 grand in good that those other kids could have got... the new horizons they could have explored, the better life they could lead? Thank god for the good ol' 60s that she wasn't successful.

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  17. Anonymous2:32 PM

    "With all the I-bankers running around Hanover you might not realize it, but $100 grand is a shitload of money. Wrongful death suits are routinely settled for less. Laura tried to deny the future underprivileged students of Dartmouth the equivalent of one life in value. Is her $1 protest statement really worth the $100 grand in good that those other kids could have got... the new horizons they could have explored, the better life they could lead? Thank god for the good ol' 60s that she wasn't successful."

    Those students have already chosen to go to Dartmouth so I have to assume they have their financial situation figured out. I did before I went to college.

    If they can't afford it, then they should have gone to a state school. In most states their education would be just as good and they would likely earn an academic scholarship so they pay little or nothing.

    Why does everyone see this as her denying money to the 14s? How about looking at as the '10s denying money so some other charitable cause that '60s may have otherwise donated too.

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  18. Anonymous2:51 PM

    It is called the Senior Class GIFT. It is not the Senior Class FEE or the Senior Class ASSESSMENT. If someone doesn't want to donate, that should be the end of it.

    Where does the Class of 1960 get off giving anybody else ultimatums? The Class of 1960 participation rate for the Dartmouth College Fund this year was 72.5 percent according to the website of the Fund which I just checked. Not so hot for a 50th Reunion Class by the way.

    Why couldn't they just make the SCG challenge 73 percent and nobody gets bent out of shape?

    The Class of 1960 went to Dartmouth when Eisenhower was the president and the tuition was $950 per year and the reputation of Dartmouth was just as good as Princeton. Now Dartmouth is the last chance Ivy and it costs $52,500.

    Why is the Class of 1960 playing this cat and mouse game with the Class of 2010? This is incredibly mean-spirited. Just give the college the money or don't give it, who cares; the trustees will probably just lose it in the stock market by the close of business tomorrow anyway.

    This incident is blowing up into a big embarrassment for Dartmouth. I blame the Imperial Storm Troopers in the Development Office.

    I can't believe how vicious this is getting toward this one brave, principled twenty-one year old girl. She is your Dartmouth Classmate!

    As Kipling said "...if you can keep your head while all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you..."

    The Class of 1960 has to march right through the Class of 2010 in the Commencement Procession; this might be a good time to reinstitute The Gauntlet, like we had when I was at the joint.

    Alumnus of the Blackman Era.

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  19. Anonymous3:00 PM

    "Why does everyone see this as her denying money to the 14s? How about looking at as the '10s denying money so some other charitable cause that '60s may have otherwise donated too."

    Exactly.

    If we really cared about people who are struggling to afford their education, there are many causes that could be donated to. A lot of these would make a bigger impact than donating to a Dartmouth student who, though perhaps poor now, in the future will likely be able to use the prestige of his or her education to find a job to repay loans. Many other students across the world do not have this same degree of privilege.

    Who knows where the $100,000 would have gone if the '60s had, for some bizarre reason, decided not to donate to Dartmouth because of one student. My guess is that it had already been collected, and would have been given to another charity. If not, I bet that many of the alums who pledged to this fund had already set the money aside personally, and would have individually donated it to charity.

    I find it incredibly presumptuous to assume that Dartmouth is the absolute best charity to donate to, and that all its students should feel this way. Even if this woman did happen to cost the school $100,000 (which she DIDN'T), I don't think it's absurd for her to feel that this particular cause is not worthwhile. I applaud her for thinking individually and taking a stand, even though I don't agree with her sentiments about Dartmouth.

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  20. Anonymous3:11 PM

    Alright Laura, tell us. To which better charity did you donate $100,001? And why is your budget so tight you couldn't donate $1 to both?

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  21. Anonymous3:12 PM

    "The Class of 1960 went to Dartmouth when Eisenhower was the president and the tuition was $950 per year and the reputation of Dartmouth was just as good as Princeton. Now Dartmouth is the last chance Ivy and it costs $52,500."

    Yeah, Dartmouth is surely the last chance Ivy, y'know because it's not like we were ranked #1 in undergrad education or anything. And it obviously costs more because Dartmouth admins are dicks, not because of something like I don't know, inflation? Because I'm sure Princeton still costs $950 a year.

    If you don't like it, get the fuck out.

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  22. The real questions now proliferate: What did Laura do during her time at Dartmouth to try to change the culture she so despises? Why not try to transfer to another elite college, most likely equal in its social challenges and alcoholic predilections? She vaunts room parties, why didn't she try to have some, or attend them (she must not be thinking of the (40% or so of Dartmouth students who are not Greek affiliated and hold their own parties, off-campus or in their rooms.) She must also not have ever gone to an eating club at Princeton, a raging frat party at MIT, dropped LSD at Caltech, sat at home crying about how much you hate going to Harvard, or truly observed the myriad of less-that-perfect social behaviors at other schools. She must also not have been playing Ultimate Frisbee, or IM Tennis, or in a musical group, or any one of the dozens upon dozens of non-alcoholic, non-Greek activities that serve as unique experiences to bond with your fellow classmates. Are these too part of the “completely controlling” force of the Greek scene? I also wonder if she visited Greek houses at all, really-- considering that there are often examples of upstanding behavior by brothers and sisters to defend their house from inappropriate behavior (which, by the way, has far more liability than individuals-- you do understand what happened to Zeta Psi as a result of members' actions, don't you?)

    The reality is that "groupthink" is not a Dartmouth tendency. Nor is disrespect to women, minorities, or any other ostracized group. These are tendencies in people everywhere—Laura has made the fallacy of believing that this theoretical world outside Dartmouth is somehow better because it isn’t dominated by the Greek system. I've been gone from Dartmouth 2 years and I can tell you, finding respectful behavior from drunk men in a bar isn't this pastoral experience where men "know that when they go too far, other people will openly disapprove and stop them." In fact, I had a lawyer stalk me out of a bar. I almost had to call a cab to walk 3 blocks home, he was so persistent. There were 50 people at the bar, and no one did a thing.

    I won’t deny that bad things happen at Dartmouth but I completely disagree that no one does anything about them. MAV successfully introduced gender-related violence training into EVERY pledge term. I do not believe there is this pandemic of indifference—or, if there is, it’s only because Laura refuses to acknowledge the good at Dartmouth. The invaluable connections. The all-night conversations that you’ll remember 30 years from now. Going on ASBs to Katrina, Juarez, DC. What I really wish Laura would contemplate is the direct professional, monetary benefit she will leverage as she enters the “real world”—that benefit alone should be worth a dollar.

    Laura, you don’t have to love Dartmouth. There are lots of complex issues about this place. As a woman also, I can understand your frustrations with the frat basement. I hope you are prepared for a world much worse than Dartmouth could ever dish out. But something I hope you’ll consider is that the first women of Dartmouth still give to the school. I’ve met a lot of them. They were spat on, called unprintable names, and treated unbelievably horribly. Can you look one of those women in they eye and tell them this school is still indifferent? That we’re all guilty of “group think?” What about the first brothers of houses like Alpha Theta, who first admitted African Americans? What about veterans of recent wars? Can you tell these people, imperfect though their Dartmouth experience might have been, that the education of future classes of Dartmouth students is not worth a Starbucks latte?

    I appreciate principles. I’m glad you took the time to write to someone about them. I wish you the best of luck, but I have a sinking feeling the world you’re leaving Dartmouth will pale in comparison to your expectations. I just wish you understood what an enormous privilege you’ve had going to Dartmouth.

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  23. Anonymous4:01 PM

    It's reactionary scumbags like 2:51 who are sending Dartmouth down the drain. His or her laughably stupid analysis (c.f. 3:12), ad hominem attacks, and appeal to tradition reflect poorly upon Dartmouth alumni as a whole.

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  24. Anonymous4:36 PM

    A little perspective may be in order.

    I don't think she was wrong in not donating. You CAN'T be wrong in not DONATING. Donating is something that's nice and all, but the idea is that you voluntarily give up something to help someone else, a cause, whatever. Ideally you'd believe in it, too. Forcing, bribing, or otherwise coercing a donation is counter to the very idea of a donation. She has grounds, on principle, not to donate, regardless of what the class of 1960 promises to do. Their matching/doubling promise is a nice way to get people hyped and excited, but it was never meant to rouse animosity and negativity, and certainly was never intended to be seen as coercion.

    That said - have a little perspective. Principles are principles, but you need to take into account the situation where they can or can't be bent, based on the consequences of your actions. In this situation a small donation could help a whole lot of people, make a lot of people happy, and prevent all this uproar of negativity that is HURTING Dartmouth (not to mention Laura). It's okay not to like Dartmouth - plenty of people aren't crazy about the place. If you want, don't consider it a monetary donation to Dartmouth (a dollar is hardly anything anyway), but rather consider it a donation of happiness, excitement, and pride to your classmates. The 100k thing is a bonus but it wouldn't be your doing, it'd be EVERYONE's doing. No one would be the wiser. I can understand someone wanting to stay firm to their principles, but really in this case I think the ends justifies bending the principle.

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  25. Anonymous5:31 PM

    I really like the commentary from 4:36. This reminds me when you do something for your parents "because it makes them happy," even if it frustrates, angers, or displeases you. You don't have to do that thing because you agree with it, but because your parents will be pleased. In this case, it's not really about getting the $100K extra from the '60s (as stated before, getting such high participation accomplished that goal), it's about doing it for the happiness of other '10s who take value in knowing everyone they went to school with contributed, even if a symbolic or nomimal amount. At the end of the day, this should be a celebration of all that did contribute, not just one who didn't for whatever reason.

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  26. Anonymous5:47 PM

    @2:18

    That's pretty messed up. "Not going to college" and "dying" are scenarios too far apart to be bridged by analogy.

    And I donated.

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  27. Anonymous7:33 PM

    More power to the '10 who didn't "give".

    AND ALSO. I hope the percentage figure wasn't made by a dartmouth student. WTF is 120% doing up there? Learn how to add and use Excel.

    -Anonymous graduate student who didn't give to his Alma mater's class-gift-toilet-bowl.

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  28. Anonymous9:45 PM

    @4:36 and 5:31
    There is no doubt at this point that it would have been easier for everyone if she had simply donated the dollar, but I think this is a little like blaming the girl who got raped for choosing to attend the party in the first place. She can't have known that she would be the only person not to donate, (in fact, WHY did this become public information?!?), and the way that people react to her decision is up to them.

    Maybe the campaign wasn't meant to be extortionist and coercive... But frankly the entire thing was based on peer pressure. How many e-mails began with, "x percentage of your peers have already donated!" or "YOU could be the reason why 100K is not donated to a scholarship fund for the 14s!"? Once the list of non-donors got down to around 40, campaign members began offering to pay the dollar themselves (bribery?), and once it got down to around 10 (or maybe even earlier), the list of non-donors was simply forwarded around so that these individuals could be singled out and pressured by their peers. There is no doubt that many people who donated had no intention of doing so, and in fact, just did it to end the constant stream of peer pressure. As is evident now, those people made the decision that was in their best interests.. (who would envy Laura's current position?) She probably regrets not doing the same.

    But at the end of the day, what did the Senior Class Gift campaign prove by doing this-- that people will cave to peer pressure? Is the Dartmouth community REALLY proud that it's possible to get a 99.9% participation rate when you exert enough leverage on those who normally would just not donate? Instead of celebrating those who truly wish to give back, these sort of practices instead shift the focus to the people who have no interest in donating, and put an unnecessary pressure on them to change their minds. Maybe their decisions could have be treated with a little more respect and a little less hostility.

    I think I have received an excellent education from Dartmouth, but at the moment, the Senior Class Gift has left a sour taste in my mouth. It will not effect my opinions long term because I do not believe it is reflective of Dartmouth's overall mission and practices. But I think it's obvious that in the future, these particular campaign techniques ought to be avoided, and then we can continue to celebrate the class gift as a true donation to Dartmouth-- the way it was meant to be in the first place.

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  29. Anonymous8:08 AM

    Has anyone considered offering to give $1 to the campaign in Laura's name?

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  30. Anonymous9:01 AM

    She disgusts me.

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  31. Anonymous3:23 PM

    I'm extremely ashamed and discouraged at the hate that has been showered at a member of our Dartmouth family. This is exactly what's wrong with Dartmouth: We're a tight community but that also means that we can single handedly ruin the experience of our classmates and make them into social pariahs. Think DeLorenzo, Phil. These people stood for a principle (no matter how misguided or not thought out) in the face of peer pressure and groupthink. And this is how we reward them, by criticizing them and making them the talk of the school. We're a fucking cult and whoever disagrees with us is quickly and cruelly cast out.

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  32. dumbLogic5:20 PM

    @ anon 3:23
    Even if we accept the argument that she acted on principle and not because she was having a hissy-fit, you have two holes in your logic so big I could drive Mack Trucks through 'em.

    ONE: She can have shitty principles. Mussolini applied a principled philosophy of fascism to Italy, as did Tojo in Japan and Hitler in Germany. That doesn't mean that we should celebrate the fact that their bad deeds were motivated out of deep inner conviction instead of passing fancy. Aubart turned in the SAE 3 out of conviction for the law. What was the conviction Laura stood for? That her one-woman pity-party was more important than the massive good her dollar could otherwise do?

    TWO: Principles should not be inflexible. We can all agree that lying is bad. But what if you're talking to the Nazis and they ask if you have Jews in your attic? What if your mother is bedridden, dying of cancer and she asks you how she looks? Wouldn't we carve out exceptions for those instances? If $1 can create $100k for a charity, shouldn't we put aside inflexible dogma and look at the practical outcome.

    I know this is Laura on here defending herself in the comments, and I want her to know that no one is impressed with your 'principled stand' because it's obvious you didn't give it any thought. I'm sorry that you feel negatively towards Dartmouth. I'm sorry that you've given up on it. Especially because Dartmouth has never given up on you.

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  33. Anonymous9:13 PM

    "Especially because Dartmouth has never given up on you."

    The sheer hostility generated by her decision not to donate indicates to me that it has, actually. People ARE going to boo her at graduation, which is really cruel to both her and her family.

    While conceived with the best intentions, it's clear that the incentive structure of the Class of 1960's attempt to increase participation has gone awry. Some of the analogies that individuals have attempted to draw are grossly misstated. It really bothers me that those individuals who hadn't donated had their names emerge and were singled out by their peers. The SCG organizers shouldn't have resorted to such tactics, even if (once again) they had good intentions. Kudos to the Class of 1960 for donating the extra money anyways, as they should have once they realized what the 100% participation target resulted in.

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  34. Anonymous5:40 PM

    You people are quite extraordinary. Do you really not realize that she's right, that the "Animal House" Dartmouth is what keeps really bright and interesting people from applying every year? That Harvard and Yale and other Ivy schools are full of kids who never thought for a second about applying to Dartmouth? The ugly vituperation aimed at this young person -- not just here, but in other web discussions -- shows exactly why Dartmouth is a loser school: the entering class comes from a self-selected population of applicants who talk about "douche" and "dick" and "space cadet." And if one, realizing what a miserable mistake she's made, decides to (1) tough it out, and (2) not participate at the very end in some gung-ho exercise in alumni herd-think, this is what she gets. Well, it's good you types stick with each other. Nobody who went to a better school would want anything to do with you.

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  35. Anonymous9:07 AM

    I applaud Laura DeLorenzo regardless of her motivation. Any fund drive that uses these tactics will, in the long run, backfire on the institution. If I was one of those who gave-in to the pressure and donated a small amount to end the harrassment would vow to never again have anything to do with any future fundraising for that institution after graduating. I'll be surprised if future participation continues for those classes subject to this while seniors.

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  36. Dartmouth grads are morans.

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  37. This young lady has a lot of guts. I have no doubt she will be very successful in life.

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  38. Anonymous6:30 AM

    Hooray for Ms. DeLorenzo! Even if it is for a good cause, bullying is still bullying, and her critics are bullies.

    And to all the Dartmouth clowns who feel they are morally entitled to even a single cent of Ms. DeLorenzo's money: don't despair. You have a lucrative future on Wall Street, creating the next bailout crisis with that attitude.

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  39. Arvind8:24 AM

    I agree with Laura. She is RIGHT in not donating to the fraudulent crowd trying to make a quick buck. Those who call her selfish are probably scamsters who appoint themselves as do-gooders and knock off the money raised in the name of others. Recently, Red Cross raised hundreds of millions of dollars in the name of the victims of Haiti but only parted with a very small fraction of that money.

    The Bush-Clinton fund likewise sent some cheap tents and some perishables and even told Americans not to send stuff in kind. (how will they make money if you send things in kind?) All fundraising schemes are meant for those tho raise the funds to lead a lavish lifestyle.

    Laura did the right thing!

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  40. Anonymous10:33 AM

    Just want to thank you guys. As an outsider who did not attend your lovely school, I will make sure to remember not to hire any 2010 grads from Dartmouth, except DiLorenzo, as she clearly has the stones to go against peer pressure - and none of the rest of you do.

    A gift is not a gift if it is coerced. I know, it really seems like a big chunk of the rest of you have ethical challenges and issues with critical thinking.

    What worries me is that if there's such a big stink over $1 towards your school fund, what else are some of you willing to do?

    I google the people who I want to have work for me. Believe me, I dig deep. Dilorenzo has nothing to be ashamed of, but those of you pillorying her in this blog might want to reconsider how your name-calling over a dollar bill will impact *your* career in the long run. I learned about you from reading the Washington Post article. Think about it.

    If that's true about less than 3/4 of the 1960 class alums donating to the fund, you have no right to coerce or humiliate someone for choosing to step aside from a "gift".

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  41. Anonymous1:42 PM

    The campaign for 100% donations is a manifestation of the groupthink Laura spoke out against.

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  42. Anonymous1:45 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  43. Anonymous3:30 PM

    To those who attack Laura, IMO she has more character than the rest of the bullies who have exposed her and smeared her have put together.

    Whether she chooses to donate or not is her business and not yours, and she is entitled to her reasons, whether anybody else, or everybody else, agrees with her or not.

    You are bullies, nothing more and nothing less, and I hold the lot of you in total contempt.

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  44. Anonymous3:42 PM

    This whole thread has a very Reservoir Dogs feel to it:

    MR. PINK

    Hey, I'm very sorry that the
    government taxes their tips.
    That's fucked up. But that ain't
    my fault. it would appear that
    waitresses are just one of the
    many groups the government fucks
    in the ass on a regular basis.
    You show me a paper says the
    government shouldn't do that, I'll
    sign it. Put it to a vote, I'll
    vote for it. But what I won't do
    is play ball. And this non-
    college bullshit you're telling
    me, I got two words for that:
    "Learn to fuckin type." Cause if
    you're expecting me to help out
    with the rent, you're in for a big
    fuckin surprise.


    MR. ORANGE

    He's convinced me. Give me my
    dollar back.

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  45. Anonymous7:25 PM

    Whoever wrote the opening statement is a pompous, bullying prick. You should be ashamed of yourself and reprimanded by the school. I don't blame her for not donating if you are any indication of the student body at Dartmouth.

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  46. Anonymous8:59 PM

    lol dartmouth and cornell suck. you guys are all douchez. STANDFORD RULEZ!

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  47. As a Umass alum, fellow physics graduate, and independent freethinker, I show my solidarity with Laura against what she calls 'groupthink' and what I usually call 'borg-mentality'. I'm just really surprised that these people were able to get 99.9% of people to participate with only her being the outlier. When I was in college more than 10 years ago, my circle of friends would have told these people to go fuck themselves. Doesn't Dartmouth have a Science Fiction Society? They are filled with contrarians, outliers, free-thinkers, and even anarchists. Most of them would not have donated even a nickel.

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  48. Anonymous4:30 PM

    Donation is a personal choice. Delorenzo showed courage in defying peer pressure. It would have been far easier for her to give in and donate a buck than to stand on principle.

    Can everybody stop acting as though Dartmouth is a kitten rescue shelter or something? It's a school. Just because you went there doesn't mean you have to like it.

    And finally: Delorenzo's statement, I'm sure, was heard loud and clear by the administration. Perhaps now they will do something to break the frat culture.

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  49. Anonymous12:16 PM

    She's a horrifying, narcissistic piece of self-important garbage and the twisted excrement of an indulged life. Just awful.

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  50. Anonymous10:14 PM

    This is completely absurd. Totally blown out of proportion.

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  51. Anonymous4:50 PM

    I had no idea that this blog even existed. I read a story today in my newspaper that detailed what happened and it mentioned your blog. What I find somewhat ironic is in your sophomoric villification of a Dartmouth senior for not doing what you so pompously think is the right thing to do you have taken a giant crap on your University. Way to go ass clown!

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  52. Anonymous5:09 PM

    Wow, talk about proving Delorenzo's point. Nicely done. I cannot say I've read much positive news about Dartmouth lately. I'm guessing this young woman's "manifesto" (as you put it) is just and sound - especially after reading your thoroughly unjustified attack on her.

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  53. Anonymous10:14 AM

    @ Anonymous 10:33am
    You are a bully, threatening to google and blacklist graduates from the Dartmouth Class of 2010 because none of them have the stones to go against peer pressure except the young woman who chose not to donate $1. The Class of 1960 presented a ridiculous charge for 100% participation and I would guess they realize that now and will change their tactics. There were offers by many to contribute the $1 in her name but she refused because she was trying to make a point and had every right to do so. Some students made imperfect pleas for her cooperation for the greater good of future students needing financial aid at Dartmouth. Who knows the identities of all the anonymous posters on this site or the pseudonyms they use?

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  54. It's interesting that most of the comments here are "anonymous," possibly a reflection of the fear of the kind of peer pressure that essentially made this whole incident so unbelievably frightening.

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  55. Anonymous5:55 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  56. Anonymous3:30 PM

    Hahaha! I love it when a (conservative) fox in the hen house pees all over a liberal parade!

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  57. Anonymous3:34 PM

    Laura was one of the smartest people I've ever met at Dartmouth

    you go girl

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  58. Good for the class of 1960.

    For all those who criticize the 10 for withholding her $1 at the cost to others of $100k, why not flip the question around and ask if the class of 1960 really wants to withhold $100k because of the holdout of a single person and a single dollar.

    To its credit, the class of 1960 was apparently satisfied with the 99.9% participation that their pledge induced.

    The life preserver analogy is misguided. The Class of 1960's pledge is an artificial condition that they're free to relax if they want to--and they did.

    The holdout's statement isn't the most eloquent thing in the world, but no one should be pressured in the way she was. The way this ended reflects well on the class of 1960, but makes a handful of the 10s look like giant douches.

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  59. Anonymous11:22 PM

    Honestly. DeLorenzo's piece exhibits far more reason and composure than the Blog entry itself.

    I only donated because I had friends on SCG who asked....and continued to ask even after I donated. After everything that's transpired in relation to the SCG I wish I hadn't.

    It's ironic that this blog entry essentially proves Laura's point by exhibiting the exact behaviors and attitudes criticized by Laura.

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  60. Last spring, when I was deciding on which college to attend, Dartmouth was on the top of my list, not only because of its superb academics and facilities, or high median income upon graduation (Big green, whoop whoop!), but also because of the sense of community I felt on the campus. People seemed friendly and down to earth and honestly content here. Now as a '14, I was completely unaware of this transpiration until just a few hours ago. To see a Dartmouth class lash out against and ostracize a member of its own family like this sickens me. I personally cannot sympathize with DeLorenzo at all in terms of her experiences with the frat scene or anything, because I've simply not been here long enough or been in a frat basement enough to assert that she's either correct or incorrect.

    However, I can neither sympathize nor empathize with the actions of this SCG committee. The entire idea of a "gift" is the implication that the gesture of giving is willing, not coerced or the exasperated response to pestering. I'm sure there were others in the class of 1100 people with similar experiences to DeLorenzo who donated anyway, out of fear or indifference or whatever. Essentially, 1100 students will not have the same experiences at Dartmouth, let alone all positive ones. The class of 1960 should have foreseen that, and to request an entire class to undergo a uniform action despite varied experiences is simply unrealistic.

    Personally I would have donated despite the hassling because I believe in the cause. However, the withholding of $100,000 by the class of 1960 precipitates two thoughts: firstly, that such an action in response to an individual's negative experience is both stingy and childish; secondly, that Dartmouth has like an $3 billion endowment. That money would be about... .0033% of that. So.. yeah.

    It saddens me to see fellow members of a community act so immaturely. Come on, Dartmouth. Don't make me rethink my reasons for coming here.

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  61. Anonymous11:57 AM

    I think Delorenzo is right in basing her decision to donate only on her opinion of the institution to which to give, not on the pressure placed upon here by here dear peers ... her decision deserves respect, even from those who do not approve of it.

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  62. Anonymous10:40 AM

    Its the class of 60 who are holding the 14's to ransom, not this woman. Why can't it be 99%?

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  63. Anonymous3:02 AM

    I know Laura well and she is principled, thoughtful, and extremely bright...more power to her!

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