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Your Criticism of this Document Hurts Dartmouth!

May I observe a stunning bit of intellectual inconsistency? Over and over, proponents of an intensely controversial proposed constitution for Dartmouth’s alumni have attempted to argue that those who disagree with the constitution—those who point to this paragraph and that line and say, “That isn’t good law.”—merely dislike Dartmouth and harm it by expressing their criticism in public. What, I wonder, did these people have to say about Republicans who challenged the patriotism of anti-war Democrats?

They spoke swift condemnation of such folly, I am certain. In The Dartmouth today, Austin Lord ‘06 slashes this argument precisely as it deserves to be slashed. “In recent Dartmouth history,” Austin writes, “it has seemed all too easy to relegate intelligent student dissent — on the Student Life Initiative, the swim team, enrollment sizes and the Alumni Constitution — to the status of petty complaint.”

He continues: “Yet, all too many have swallowed the widely advertised belief that anti-constitution sentiment is inherently anti-Dartmouth, or that their school is being “threatened” by dissent. In truth, the vast majority of those who oppose the new document are in agreement that change in the alumni structure is both necessary and inevitable for the College to progress.”

UPDATE: A reader e-mails:

President Wright oftens speaks of wanting to “heal divisions” within the Dartmouth Community. I get the impression that he thinks these divisions are unnatural and unhealthy, rather than a sign of legitimate disagreement among people who dearly love the college.

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