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Where Have You Been For Three Years?

There’s oblivious, and then there are these students. From The D’s round-up of campus opinions on the selection of Phil Hanlon:

Some students expressed concern that Hanlon’s background will not lead to progress on social issues that are important to students, and others said they were disappointed that the search committee did not select a woman to lead the College.

“Having another president who is a white male alumnus and a member of a fraternity won’t bring the kind of social change that the student body is looking for,” Gillian O’Connell ‘15 said.

While some organizations such as the Office of Pluralism and Leadership may engender change on their own, Hanlon will likely maintain the status quo in the Greek system and other social areas of campus, she said.

“There was an element of safety to their choice,” O’Connell said. “They knew that he will not take Dartmouth backwards.”

Some students expressed a desire for a candidate that better represents the diversity of the College.

“Moving forward we should be trying to reflect the diversity that’s on our campus,” [Stuart] Ghafoor [‘14] said.

Jennifer Davidson ‘15 also pointed to the recent presidential search as an opportunity for the College to make a bold selection.

“This could have been a really good time for Dartmouth to break their typical mold and break outside where they’ve historically gone, because the president is really the face of the College,” Davidson said.

On the other hand, maybe these three students are simply ahead of the curve in overlooking the brief leadership of Jim Yong Kim and Carol Folt. That’s a tenure many of us are already itching to forget.

Joe Asch comments: Certain people’s single-minded focus on skin color and gender is well into the realm of obsessiveness — if not blind stupidity. Over the past several years, the College has had an Asian-American, male President; an Albanian-American, female Dean of the Faculty, Provost and interim President; two Deans of the College who were African-American women; and a female Athletics Director. Is that group not diverse enough for ya’?

Among the College’s recent Presidents, we’ve had a history professor from Illinois who spent time working in the zinc mines there, and who served in the Marines; a Jewish scholar of the law who grew up in gritty, decidedly non-Jewish Manchester, NH; a businessman who ran several major corporations, along with the Aspen Institute and the American Red Cross; and a Hungarian refugee mathematician who worked on the Manhattan Project and as Albert Einstein’s assistant. Yes, these men were all white. I would submit that they, too, were a diverse group by upbringing, experience and intellect.

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