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Responding to Rick Routhier

Hush, now! The posts on this ponderous proposed constitution will end in just a few weeks. For now, though, this:

Rick Routhier, Class of 1973, a supporter of the controversial proposed constitution and the most recent president of the Alumni Council, had the good fortune some weeks ago to author a letter which Dartmouth College, at what I can only imagine is a massive expensive, mailed to all 65,000 living alumni. Nothing wrong with that, except that the envelope contained only that pro-constitution argument, and the College has solemnly pledged itself to neutrality. So perhaps there is something wrong.

The more interesting matter, though, is the substance of Mr. Routhier’s argument, which is that the constitution ought to be ratified because it is more democratic than the present one. This is weak stuff, and David Gale, Class of 2000, that ruthless logician whom I mentioned yesterday, shreds the letter’s argument in his latest article. Click here to read David’s piece, which goes paragraph by paragraph.

Also of note is a letter to the editor of the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine which Mr. Routhier penned just a few weeks ago. It seemed rather conspiratorial to me—alleging as it does that there is a secret and small cabal of people who desire to “take over” the Dartmouth Board of Trustees. (I have a few inquiries in to determine whether or not I am in this exclusive club, and if so, whether it has an open bar when it entertains. Will let you know what I learn.) Tim Dreisbach, Class of 1971, replies masterfully to these very strange allegations here.

I wonder if Tim is also in the club!

UPDATE: The editor of the Alumni Magazine kindly informs me that Mr. Routhier’s note was not a letter to the editor, but a regular column. Sorry for the inaccuracy.

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