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Election Reform and Communication Reform

In The Dartmouth, alum Frank Gado of White River Junction, VT, who is running for second vice president on the upcoming petition slate, complains rightly that dissent on the proposed constitution, which would severely limit petition opportunities, is being quieted.

Geoff Bronner advises “alumni to read the proposal themselves and not rely on someone else’s interpretation,” and I agree that “it deserves thoughtful consideration and an informed debate” (“Approaching the Alumni Constitution,” Oct. 5). But who is abridging such discussion and debate? Not those in opposition.

College publications steadily mention the new constitution in favorable terms. But when I asked the head of the Dartmouth Alumni Council to support giving opponents access to the same forums, Mr. Routhier refused. I assure Mr. Bronner that I will gladly co-sign any letter urging that all sides be provided the means to state their arguments.

The burgeoning independent media at Dartmouth is a partial fix: Dartblog was the first to report on the new constitution and its sundry mistakes, and I have since received many kind e-mails of thanks. But blogs and the like are certainly no solution. The process itself ought to be open: if a new constitution is to promulgated, it ought to come about out of a two-sided debate on equal ground, not proclamations over there and rag-tag dissent over here.

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