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COS: The Truong Chair Incident

Read this memo and weep for Dartmouth:

COS Truong.jpg

Let’s try and re-construct the sequence of events here. Somehow, a study room chair found its way into a dorm room belonging to one Emily Tien B. Truong, Class of 2016. Evidence of the crime was discovered, I expect, by either a vigilant member of the College’s housekeeping staff or by a UGA, and the presence of the purloined chair was reported to the Office of Residential Education. That office duly notified Daniel C. Smith, Community Director for the Choates dorms, who then drafted a memo to Ms. Truong informing her that a hearing was required to discuss the matter, and that she could well be put on probation as a result of the infraction. Ms. Truong was invited to educate herself about the College’s disciplinary procedures.

When asked by Dartblog, Ms Truong informed me that the dispute had since been resolved “amicably.”

Back in the day, there were no dorm Community Directors, nor paid UGA’s, nor formal adjudicatory proceedings for this kind of thing. If someone had a piece of dorm furniture in a private space, the elected dorm president or perhaps the dorm janitor (in North Fayer, Frank was our janitor for all four of my years in Hanover) would have politely asked that it be returned to the common area.

Today, the heavy wheels of justice grind away, certainly at great cost in salary, benefits, office space and equipment, professional conferences, training, and management. Would the world implode if none of these people were on the College’s payroll?

And just who is Community Director Daniel C. Smith? This graduate of Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, styles himself as “managing” the 300 students in the Choates. He hopes to go on to a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration. Here is his LinkedIn page:

COS Daniel Smith Comp.jpg

We’ve written about Dartmouth’s Community Directors in the past. They are the College’s boneheaded, expensive response to the fact that there is no longer any continuity in dorm living, and therefore no sense of community or pride of ownership in the dorms.

The Office of Residential Life (ORL — known in my time as the Office of Ruining your Life) has eleven people on the Residential Education Staff: a director, an associate director, an administrative assistant, and eight Community Directors.

As Dave Barry used to say, you couldn’t make this stuff up.

Note: For the record, and to spare her possible retribution, Miss Truong did not participate in my investigation of this possible crime and punishment. The above memo was sent to me by an anonymous source using a spoof e-mail address. Miss Truong only commented regarding the resolution of the proceeding when I inquired of her where the matter stood.

Addendum: There is no truth to the rumor that Daniel Smith is planning to use confidential details of Emily Truong’s improper borrowing of a Dartmouth chair in his upcoming Higher Education Administration doctoral dissertation: Quasi-judicial Adjudication of Domestic Property Misappropriation in Shared Residential Facilities Among North American Undergraduates


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