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AD Decision: The End of Greek Life?

Are the Greeks all but dead? If Hanover’s zoning ordinance remains as it is, the decision handed down on Wednesday by the NH Supreme Court in the case of Dartmouth Corporation of Alpha Delta v. Town of Hanover sure sounds like the death knell of fraternity life at the College:

AD Decision Cover.jpg

In essence, the Supreme Court’s affirmation of the Town’s Zoning Board of Adjustment ruling says that following the College’s derecognition of AD, its building is now just like any other Hanover residential property: no more than three unrelated people may live there.

With AD now deprived of the ability to generate revenue by renting out its two dozen or so beds on Wheelock Avenue, and with the College covetous of dormitory space, AD’s re-recognition is not likely any time soon.

Of course, the College’s faltering capital campaign might interfere with the implementation of that decision, but more likely is it that the administration will soon find pretexts to derecognize other houses. We can expect the fraternities that own their own plants to fall like nine-pins, probably at an ever-accelerating pace.

Don’t underestimate the resolve of the Hanlon administration. Phil and Carolyn Dever are diversity-obsessed to the marrow, and supposed bastions of white privilege like the frats are their bête noire. I bet that they lose sleep scheming about ways to do in the Greeks. The whole effort is part and parcel of their long-term goal to transform the College from a place focussed on undergraduates and old traditions into a research university — sort of a little Michigan or Vanderbilt. Undergraduates will be but a sideshow in a larger effort to garner prestige.

Today, I would not bet against them.

Addendum: SAE’s litigation is currently being heard by New Hampshire Superior Court Justice Lawrence A. MacLeod, Jr., the same justice who heard AD’s case. If SAE loses before Justice McLeod, it will appeal to NH Surperme Court, the same court that just handed down the decision adverse to AD. SAE asserts that it is offering a different factual record than AD, but it is hard to hope that the Court will see the matter differently.


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