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Say, Didn’t There Used To Be A Blog ‘Round Here?

A quick glance at the official blog of the Alumni Governance Task Force — the group which drafted a proposed new constitution for Dartmouth’s Association of Alumni — reveals a major change of heart. Not as regards the text of the document, or the ideals that text represents. But of whether or not they want their blog to be easily accessible. The front page, you’ll note, has been scrubbed clean. Comments are disabled. The archives — where a half dozen alumni spent, literally, months refuting each and every point made by the task force in defense of their well-intentioned but ultimately flawed document — seem inaccessible unless one knows the date of the entry which one seeks, and scrolls to the bottom of the page to find the list of entry date archives.

To the left, I present two views of the blog for your reference. One, as it appears now. The second, as it used to appear.

The move is disappointing. For months folks have been saying that the new constitution, which re-envisions the trustee election process in a way that constructs many barriers for petition candidates, is an attempt at silencing opposition. The road the constitution has taken just to get to this point — where, on September 15 it will arrive in alumni mailboxes for a vote — has only reinforced this perception. Recall the sudden need to lower the threshold for ratification. Recall the cancellation of the annual elections. The desire to whitewash the constitution blog is understandable. The group envisioned it as a forum for discussion, but the discussion simply did not go the group’s way. But actually to scrub clean the front page and hide the archives beneath different directories? Disappointing.

As the editorial board of the Daily Dartmouth wrote in reference to an earlier ‘dirty trick’ to nudge along the constitution, “This is behavior that should not be tolerated among current Dartmouth students. That is why it is shocking when our graduates act contrary to the values they fervently work to pass on to future classes.”

UPDATE: An e-mailer supposes that the reason the AGTF washed the front page of its website is because the top entry, for a month or more, had read, “Alumni Council Unanimously Approves AGTF Constitution”. As Dartblog readers know, this is no longer true. The Council re-voted and one or more minds were changed. Here is a letter, posted yesterday, from a Councillor who had a change of heart after revisiting the issues.

UPDATE: A reader notes that the archives for December 2005 and January 2006 have been deleted entirely.


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