October 19, 2010

A Sign of the Times

Observers of the Dartmouth political climate have commented on, or critiqued, the perceived negativity of recent campaigns for trustee or Association of Alumni seats. The Board claimed that its 2007 expansion, which reduced elected trustees to permanent minority status, was in part a response to the increasingly expensive and negative campaign efforts by petition candidates. Recent elections, such as the contest between John Replogle '88 and Joe Asch '79, were no different, with each side accusing the other of taking the low road.

Over the coming weeks, your servants at LGB will consider the merits of contested elections for alumni positions. Understandably, there are a plethora of opinions on the subject which we hope to uncover. Yet, as we posted yesterday, moving the College forward will require partisans to sit at the table and compromise.

A letter submitted to The Dartmouth by former Alumni Council president Rick Silverman '81, and the ensuing sniping in the comment section, are discouraging. Bickering over the use of dangling modifiers does little to move Dartmouth forward.

This is, admittedly, a small dispute -- but it is indicative of a deeper problem in College politics. Progress will forever be bounded by the maturity of those who seek to advance it. We have plenty of big issues to tackle; let's stop arguing about grammar.

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