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Darkness before the Dawn?

As Joe Asch mentioned, the lawsuit against the College’s board-packing scheme is dead. Has there ever been a darker hour at Dartmouth? In a time when budget cuts threaten academic programs and administrative bloat remains unchecked thus far, is there anything more important than ensuring an equal number of alumni-elected trustees are able to speak up as the Board of Trustees prepares to pare down the budget? Who is more likely to fight for students and the academic quality of Dartmouth: members who paid their way onto the board or trustees who were elected by alumni based on their ideas?

The answer is clear. Parity is still the best way of governing Dartmouth, just as it was before the lawsuit and for the hundred years before that. The only hope resides with the very board that voted to pack the board in the first place. But is there a glimmer of light?

I believe there is some reason to hope that we will return to Parity on the Board of Trustees. After all, there are several members of the Board that were not part of the decision to end Parity. President Kim and the Charter trustees appointed after the decision will be joined the two new trustees to be elected this spring. The Board, hopefully with a renewed push towards Parity by the Association of Alumni, could return the governance structure to Parity.

With this in mind it is vital that all candidates for Trustee announce their stance on Parity. Declining to state an opinion is not good enough in the new climate now that the lawsuit is dead. There is no other alternative to reach Parity; the change must come from within the Board.

Additionally John Replogle’s and Morton Kondracke’s appeals to discuss the matter with the Board before taking a stand on Parity is not what Dartmouth Alumni need to make their decision come election day. The Alumni don’t need more trustees who will allow the board to sway them on such an important issue. We need more trustees like Stephen Smith, T.J. Rodgers, Todd Zywicki and Peter Robinson who will stand up for alumni and urge the board to restore Parity from within.

Joe Asch has already declared his pro-Parity position. The other candidates must do the same so that Dartmouth Alumni can make an educated decision. Please Mr. Replogle and Mr. Kondracke, declare your full support for Parity today lest the light on the horizon turn out to be a fire rather than the dawn.


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