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Can’t Alumni Make Up Their Own Minds? — Round 2
By now, many Dartmouth alumni know that Peter Fahey ‘68 (who just a week ago claimed in The Dartmouth that, essentially, a vote against the constitution is a vote against Dartmouth College itself), through the organization strangely called Dartmouth Alumni for Common Sense, has sent out a mass e-mail to all alumni of Dartmouth. 66,000 folks. In it, he claims that “it is incumbent” on all alumni to vote ‘yes’ on a constitution which has inspired much controversy and debate.
Ben Mitchell ‘96 puts it just perfectly in this e-mail:
OK, I’m sure you’ve received this both directly and indirectly, but I just have to forward Peter’s message (see below) anyway.Another e-mail of note, this one from Dave Hemmer ‘96:
“It’s incumbent on all alumni to vote YES”? Hmmmm…
Here’s what Webster’s has to say about ‘incumbent’
Main Entry: 2 incumbent
1 : imposed as a duty : OBLIGATORY
2 : having the status of an incumbent
; especially : occupying a specified office
3 : lying or resting on something else
4 : bent over so as to rest on or touch an underlying surface
I’m thinking he’s applying definition #1 here, which is more than a little insulting. In his opinion it’s obligatory that all alums vote yes? This is so open and shut that there can be no room for reasonable people to disagree? Curious…
Frankly I think this whole thing is more closely related to definition #2. Protecting incumbent members of the current Alumni leadership hegemony, and the philosophies they support, from upstart “outsiders” who seek to use democratic means to effect change.
I feel a little torn because as Dartmouth alumns we should welcome open debate and a democtratic process. To me though this process has become completely unseemly. Multiple phone calls to my house at dinner hour by paid callers. Emails from various groups who refuse to tell me how they got my contact information, particularly whether Dartmouth is providing this information. I believe I cast the first “no” vote on the new constitution mere seconds after the polls opened. Can everyone leave me alone now!Were this whole thing a race for Senate, the lead stories in the papers this week would be about how the group which supports the constitution has decided to “go negative”.
There’s no Washington Post in little old Hanover, of course, but alumni seem to be coming to these conclusions by themselves.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
- The Dartmouth College Case
- 2007 Trustee Election
- Dartmouth Constitution
- Sunday Morning Sinatra
- The Indian Wars
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