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Freedom Budget: Fringe Elicits Cringe

In his response to the grab bag of grasping demands from the usual radical suspects — the unsigned Freedom Budget was authored by a tiny group of fringy malcontents — Phil showed us what it means to be a cringing, guilt-ridden white man. Nowhere does he defend Dartmouth’s long-ongoing, extensive and costly efforts to accommodate the groups involved in drafting the document: preferential admissions quotas, expensive administrative support, special faculty and administrator recruitment efforts, etc.

Not only that, but the below campus-wide letter written by Student Assembly President Adrian Ferrari expresses the widespread student sentiment regarding the sly timing of the administration’s response (only after classes had ended and The D had ceased publishing for the term):

Adrian Ferrari.jpg

Phil’s share price is falling in the market. Dartmouth needs a lot more leadership these days than nibbling around the edges of reform and caving in to radical pressure groups who don’t even sign their names (but do threaten “physical action”). In this case the administration had a chance to engage in thoughtful debate about diversity, one of the College’s core values. That didn’t happen. Instead, Phil responded with a pathetic statement that can best be summarized as, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. We’ll do more. I promise.”

I look forward to Freedom Budget II next year. Maybe the administration can cancel classes again so that we can all wring our hands and gnash our teeth.

Addendum: An alum who follows the College closely writes in:

The goings-on at the College remind me of Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave”. Here is the Wikipedia summary:
“Plato has Socrates describe a gathering of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to designate names to these shadows. The shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall do not make up reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners.”

Unless Hanlon is playing a winning game of three-dimensional chess with the various constituencies, it’s time to address reality as opposed to shadows on the wall.

When things appear to be out of control, they usually are. Hanlon’s first six months (really a year) aren’t providing much evidence of a sensible new approach. Instead, to all appearances, he’s doubled down on support for the very problems he was supposed to solve. Is he just another Freedman, Wright or Kim?

I’m from a class in the mid-‘60’s and, if you judge by payment of class dues and Alumni Fund giving, half of my class has basically given up. Those of my classmates with whom I stay in touch are somewhere between deep distress and “enough is enough”. Hanlon has been receiving a free ride because he’s an alum. I suspect that is about to end.

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