March 15, 2011

Dartmouth's (latest) meaningless election

The Dartmouth Association of Alumni must really be trying to reach me. They sent me an email, they mailed me a letter, and they sent me another email all to get me to cast my ballot in the 2011 Trustee and AoA Executive Committee election! And the deadline is only a month away!! With all that effort, this election must be pretty important, so I signed in using the codes they sent to view this ballot:

That's right, one vote for every one candidate. No write ins. No democracy. They even made a handy little button you can press to automatically vote for all of the preselected, election-guaranteed 'candidates'.

Not only is this a waste of my time, it's also a perversion of democracy. The reason we have a democratic process ingrained in our government and society is because when public opinions/desires conflict we appeal to the masses as the most just method of choosing a winner. In the era of petition trustee candidates, there was a real difference in opinion among alumni: one that could be well settled by elections. But when confronted with unfavorable election outcomes, the board declared that the alumni wrong, democracy was flawed, and that they alone should be king.

So they inflated their control of the Board by suddenly and arbitrarily packing on sympathetic new members. They destroyed democracy in the name of making elections 'efficient'. And they had the nerve to beg alumni for money even after they shredded their 1891 agreement. Even if we like the mandatory choices on this particular ballot, the process is undeniably sketchy and the legitimacy of it inevitable victors, shaky. Just because you check a box doesn't mean it's a democracy. So this year, I suggest that you check none.


  1. Anonymous4:52 PM

    It's democracy, Saddam Hussein-style. Too bad we had him hung in 2006.

  2. Anonymous8:54 PM

    The Board has to hold elections by law. It needs a certain response rate to make the election valid. Your only option is to NOT vote and try to deny them the required quorum. Not likely to work, but you can persevere.

  3. Anonymous7:30 PM

    I doubt if there is a rule about a quorum. Another good option is to register a vote for no one.