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NEW GROUP SLANDERS ALUMNI, INSULTS YOUR INTELLIGENCE

Said group first came to my attention this past Saturday when I saw the above pictured banner advertisement on The Dartmouth’s website.

The group is called Dartmouth Undying.

Its website appears to be the first prong of the Dartmouth bureaucracy’s attempt to push oversight a comfortable distance away in the Association of Alumni election this Spring. That’s what this whole debacle is about, really—oversight. From 2004 to 2007, four petition candidates won Alumni Trustee positions by promising to keep a close watch—and a firm hand—on the bureaucrats’ frivolous waste. The Board’s September, 2007 plan to pack itself was a rejection of this oversight. The Association of Alumni’s last-resort lawsuit was a rejection of this rejection—an insistence on oversight. This Spring’s election for next year’s Association of Alumni Executive Committee will determine whether alumni are in favor of their own 117-year-old right to oversee and check the Hanover bureaucrats’ actions.

Dartmouth Undying is a group of alumni that supports a Board-loyalist slate of candidates for the Association of Alumni Executive Committee. That is to say, it encourages alumni to gleefully and contentedly cast away their own traditional right of administrative oversight.

Some choice excerpts follow.

The “preamble” to the group’s “platform” begins: “Our College is being attacked. Its hard earned reputation as one of the nation ‘s most outstanding colleges is being sullied, its ability to attract the very best students and faculty potentially undermined, and its support base compromised.” I fully agree with all of that. Do you know who is attacking it? Shockingly, it is the College’s own Board, with its structural changes last September that would ruin its long tradition of alumni oversight. Do you know what is damaging Dartmouth’s reputation? Its stagnant leadership and bureaucratic bloat.

The “second plank” of the group’s platform begins: “We will fight vigorously and act constructively to repair the damage that has been done and we know is being planned.” They “know” that “damage… is being planned,” but they can’t tell us how, and they can’t tell us what it is. I see.

A bullet point under the second plank reads: “by countering the egregious slanders and continuing misinformation.” Egregious slanders… continuing misinformation… just to whom are they referring? They “know” that “damage… is being planned,” but they can’t tell us how, and they can’t tell us what it is? I see. Is this flagrant hypocrisy, or does slander only exist when somebody else commits it?

All three questions addressed on the group’s FAQ page portray Dartmouth alumni as eight-year-olds. Question 1 complains that “there ‘s this endless controversy among alumni, and it seems really complicated.” Apparently, many alumni don’t want “to really get involved in all this stuff.” Question 3 declares that “The alumni organization structure is all very confusing.” It asks, “Is there a simple, straightforward way you can explain this to me?”

The most slanderous statement comes in the group’s answer to question 1. “A very vocal minority of alumni has been successful in raising concerns that Dartmouth is ‘heading in the wrong direction’. They claim the Trustees and administration are trying to de-emphasize the focus on undergraduate teaching, thwart free speech on campus, reduce support for athletic programs and do away with fraternities and sororities. They offer no support for these allegations.”

This is a bold faced lie. (I will ignore that this “very vocal minority” is actually the majority of the alumni who vote, and that Dartmouth Undying is part of an even smaller “very vocal minority.”) Dartmouth Undying is free to contest our arguments, but it may not deny that our arguments exist. They are found in this blog, of course, as well as Dartlog, Stephen Smith’s trustee campaign website, two alumni-wide mailings Trustee Smith sent during his campaign, and many, many op-eds in The Dartmouth by myself, Joe Asch ‘79 and others. If you want proof, see for instance this piece, this one, this one, this one, and this one too. That’s no support?

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