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The College was the butt of a humorous aside last week at the Google I/O 2013 developers conference:
“There are over 25 million users of Google Apps in over 200 countries all around the world, in schools and universities and so on. Just in the United States, 74 of the top 100 universities fully run on Google Apps. Seven of the top eight, seven of the Ivy League universities — for those of you who are from Dartmouth, you may want to start nudging your IT administrator there — seven of the eight Ivy League schools use Google Apps.” [Emphasis added] (see at 1:15:05)
The back story here is that when the College decided to upgrade its user software three years ago, it had to choose between Google Apps and a cobbled together set of programs from Microsoft. Rumor was that Mr. Softy offered the College a lot of dough to take its software, as it had done at other schools. But at the same time, specific recommendations came from the College’s Communication and Collaboration Tools Study Group: two thirds of that 18-member committee recommended at least a combination of Google Apps and Microsoft software. Additionally, the Student Assembly asked students if they wanted to replace Blitzmail with software from Microsoft or Google. The students wanted Google, especially juniors and seniors.
With that information in mind, Jim Kim’s buddy, Chief Financial Officer/Executive Vice President Steven Kadish, who hurriedly left town in Kim’s wake along with his wife, Vice President for Campus Planning and Facilities Linda Snyder, chose the money rather than listening to the voices of technical expertise and student experience. We are now saddled with Microsoft’s Online Services and Office 365, rather than a well designed suite of programs like Google Apps. And so it goes in Hanover.
How many ways can the administration figure out to offend people? When the College changed its e-mail address system to include class years (from Leslie.Smith@Dartmouth.edu to Leslie.Smith.12@Dartmouth.edu) it justified the change as allowing people to keep using a Dartmouth e-mailbox for their entire lives. And, in fact, many members of the Class of 2012 have kept using their Dartmouth mailboxes since then. Prior to the change, newly graduated students lost their e-mail addresses a few weeks after Commencement. A ‘12 writes in:
The Dartmouth Blitz mailbox remains the primary email account of many ’12s. I still use mine to this day. It stores thousands of emails, has all the conveniences of Microsoft Outlook, and makes it easy to find other Dartmouth people without typing in a full address. Changing to a new address is a hassle we were promised would not be necessary, and will result in us having to use less consistent and less professional-looking addresses. Why make this change when we were promised otherwise?
Martha Beattie sent out a notification to young alums yesterday morning:
Maybe the Folt administration decided to make this change in order to distract everyone from the College’s never-ending series of scandals?
Addendum: The Computing at Dartmouth web page continues to make the old promise to alumni:
Addendum: A commentator in a legal frame of mind checks in:
My thoughts on the discontinuation of Dartmouth email accounts for alumni.
1) They have reneged on a promise. Forwarding is nice, but it isn’t the same. You now have two email address, not one. To quote a line from 1776, promoting email forwarding as an acceptable alternative to the promised email account “is like calling an ox a bull. He’s thankful for the honor, but he’d much rather have restored what’s rightfully his.”
2) As the class of ‘13 graduates with their quarter-million dollar educations they are not so subtly reminded that the College is too cheap to continue their email accounts. I can’t think of a better way to create good will and life-long contact with graduates than providing a permanent link via an email account. Good luck with donations from this group.
3) I have to believe that this decision is related to the cost of keeping the alumni accounts within the ill-advised move to Microsoft 365. Of course I can only guess. No rationale or justification was provided. If the cost is prohibitive going forward, isn’t there a middle ground such as extending the email account for 2 years after graduation? Students that withdraw have email extended for a year, unless that is changing as well.
An AP filing has been picked up by newspapers all over the country. Headlines range from Complaints filed against 4 colleges over rapes (Wall Street Journal) to Four Colleges Hit With Federal Sexual Assault Policy Complaints (BloombergBusinessweek) to Activists accuse colleges of not responding to sexual assault complaints (LA Times). Here is the lead from the LA Time story:
Students and activists joined together Wednesday to file complaints against colleges and universities nationwide alleging that the schools have failed to follow federal laws, including those involving the reporting of sexual assault crimes and discrimination.
Attorney Gloria Allred announced that complaints were filed against Swarthmore College, Dartmouth College, USC and UC Berkeley on Wednesday morning.
Some of these were Title IX complaints alleging a hostile environment for women. Others charged the colleges with violating the federal Clery Act, which requires accurate reporting of campus crimes.
“We are asking the United States Department of Education to open an investigation into these complaints and take appropriate actions to force these colleges to comply with the law or risk losing their federal funding,” Allred said.
Complaints were filed previously against Occidental College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
As Dartblog has previously reported, RealTalk says that the suit against the College is based on Clery Act violations and not on Title IX.
RealTalk has announced on its Facebook page that it is part of a Clery Act complaint against the College. The federal government’s Clery Act mandates accurate reporting of crimes involving students on and around the campuses of institutions of higher learning. Recently Yale was fined $165,000 by the federal Department of Education for failing to note all student-related crimes, in particular several acts of sexual assault, in past years.
The announcement came at a news conference in New York that seems to have been marked by squabbling between the various groups present. The RealTalk Facebook page also reported that:
Transgender Latino Dartmouth students who drove down to NYC to participate in the joint press conference are told they are not allowed to speak even though it was their contacts who paid to fly all the other random students from across the country into NYC for the conference.
RealTalk also expressed its solidarity with the students who have occupied the president’s office at Cooper Union in New York. They observe about the College that:
Every year Dartmouth tuition rises without much resistance. It is getting absolutely ridiculous.
No word on the position of Students Stand With Staff on the latter issue.
Addendum: To learn how to review college crime stats, click here.
Addendum: Two RealTalk representatives from the College, Danny (formerly Dani) Valdes ‘13 and Karenina Rojas ‘13, read their list of grievances about Dartmouth at today’s press conference in New York:
At 3:30 an effort was made to eject the two students from the meeting.
Addendum: The D has a full story on the complaint:
Dartmouth students have filed a Clery Act complaint against the College with testimonies from over 30 students and alumni. The accounts document alleged Clery violations of sexual assault, LGBT, racial and religious discrimination, hate crimes, bullying and hazing at the College…
[Danny] Valdes said that College complainants include students, administrators and alumni both affiliated and unaffiliated with Real Talk.
Anna Roth ‘13, Anna Winham ‘14 and Nastassja Schmiedt ‘15 spoke at the conference, according to statements released by Allred’s firm.
“One of the goals of Dartmouth Clery complaints was to move the debate from sexual assault as a ‘white woman’ problem to a range of intersectional issues affecting individuals of all races, genders and sexual orientations,” [Karolina] Krelinova ‘14 said in the email.
Both The D and the Valley News have run stories on the Maurice Johnson ‘13 theft incident at Phi Delt, but for the most part, they have done little more than reprise College and Hanover Police press releases. My question: in this age of digital flexibility, why don’t these papers just reproduce (or quote in full) the notices distributed by the various police entities, rather than re-writing them?
It appears that some type of assault was involved in the event, too.
I wonder where this is going to go.
You know, if one person, just one person does it, they may think he’s really sick, and they won’t take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they’re both faggots, and they won’t take either of them. And if three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singing a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out? They may think it’s an organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day walking in singing a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out? And friends, they may think it’s a movement.
Arlo Guthrie, 1967
The administration is always too clever by half. While IP Folt, Vice President for Alumni Relations Martha Beattie ‘76, Trustee Annette Gordon-Reed and Board Chair Steve Mandel have made public statements to lead us to believe that COS prosecutions are underway regarding the recent disruptions by the RealTalkers and the threatening posts on Bored@Baker by anonymous writers, they always carefully note that College disciplinary proceedings are private matters. Mandel wrote the below to the Dartmouth community:
As Interim President Folt indicated Wednesday in her remarks in front of Dartmouth Hall, the administration is following established policies and procedures with regard to any possible disciplinary action in both cases. As in every case regarding a disciplinary investigation, this process is confidential and respects the privacy of our students. [Emphasis added]
Annette Gordon-Reed and Martha Beattie made essentially the same comment to members of the Alumni Council this past weekend.
Such statements serve to make the administration seem just, or even tough on misbehavior. And they are wrapped in the usual soothing buzzwords: “confidential,” “respect,” “privacy,” and “established policies and procedures.”
But, in point of fact, according to Dartblog sources, there are no COS prosecutions ongoing at the present time regarding the disruption of the Dimensions show and the bombastic B@B threats, and none are planned. That’s why Mandel carefully inserts the word “possible” above.
You can just see the scurvy administration crew sitting down to craft the party line on these issues. How can we have things both ways? We don’t want to prosecute the RealTalkers — just the thought has already generated national controversy. And we can’t get through B@B’s security screen to find out who the angry posters are — not to mention the sticky little point that there are no legitimate grounds for prosecuting threats not directed at specific individuals (at least not without having the national free speech organizations descend on the College again). So where to go?
That’s when Carol and Steve get crafty: “Why don’t we just let people think we are being rigorous, but in reality we won’t do anything?”
I hope that this kind of trickery will end when Phil Hanlon arrives in Hanover in a couple of weeks. It’s one thing to intentionally be misleading, but to do so when the folks on COS, the B@B posters, the RealTalkers, and all of these people’s friends and acquaintances know that you are fibbing, is another. What does that kind of spin do for the administration’s grassroots reputation? Hanover is a small community.
There is only one thing worse than being dishonest: being dishonest and stupid.
IP Folt wasn’t kidding when she said that she was short staffed and therefore couldn’t communicate with alumni and parents about the College’s April 24 shutdown. She is even now feverishly looking for a senior writer for such important assignments:
That said, Carol could have asked for help from the ten-person department of Advancement Communications and from Senior Managing Director for Alumni Communications Diana Lawrence. Or, here’s an idea: Carol could have written a letter to alumni and parents herself.
Interestingly enough, the proposed salary in the DRM D salary bracket is $39,500-$67,100. If the College can hire someone at the low end of that range, then the President’s new senior writer will be making $5,616 more per year than the lowest paid starting cook helper in Thayer dining hall, someone who doesn’t even require a high school education to get the job.
Is the cook helper overpaid, or is the speech writer underpaid? If you ask me, it’s the cook. Certainly the writer isn’t getting much payback from four years spent in college and five years+ experience in communications.
This past weekend the members of the Alumni Council were in town. IP Folt reported to them that all is well at the College. She said that she regrets not sending a letter to parents and alumni to explain the reasons for the College’s April 24 shutdown, but she did the best she could do with “limited staff.” LOL, as my daughter would text in such a situation. I wonder how long it took Folt to cast about and come up with that excuse. After all, the Dartmouth Directory lists 24 people in the President’s Office:
Maybe Folt needs another dozen or so people to help her write a letter about the state of the College. However, I would have thought that the present staff could suffice.
Addendum: Meanwhile, S&S officers manned all of the entranceways to meeting venues used by the Councillors. It was light duty for them. RealTalk seems preoccupied with other matters.
The Valley News has announced that Maurice L. Johnson ‘13 has been arrested in regard to the recently reported theft in Phil Delt. Johnson is listed by RealTalk as one of its campaign members. He is being held in the Grafton County Correctional Facility.
To date, RealTalk has not justified Johnson’s alleged crime as a protest against the College; according to a report on Jeff Sharlet’s Twitter feed, RealTalk has stated that “Above all, we believe in accountability.” Here is the group’s FaceBook note:
We saw Gustave Caillebotte’s Paris Street- Rainy Weather 1877 at the Met in New York as part of the Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity show (it will be there until the 27th). Normally the painting hangs at the Art Institute Of Chicago. A moment of recognition ran through us: “That’s our street!” Of course, Caillebotte seemed to take some liberties with the composition, but the various avenues and streets that converge on his central traffic circle closely resemble our neighborhood.
But there is a problem with our conclusion: Caillebotte painted his work in 1877, and our building — the second from the left — was built in 1899-1900. The building furthest to the left, almost out of view, was constructed in 1907, on ground where Victor Hugo had his residence until his death in 1885.
Addendum: Wikipedia, in its infinite wisdom, reports that the painting “depicts the Place de Dublin, an intersection near the Gare Saint-Lazare, a railroad station in north Paris,” which is a little more than two miles from our neighborhood.
Yesterday the campus received two e-mails from Safety and Security Director Harry Kinne:
From: “Harry C. Kinne”
Date: May 17, 2013 6:39:42 PM EDT
Subject: Dartmouth Safety and Security Alert
An alumnus has reported that on May 17th 2013 at approximately 1:57 AM a student entered a room where he was sleeping and made inappropriate contact with him while removing cash and valuables from the room. Hanover Police and Safety and Security have identified the student and valuables have been recovered. The investigation is ongoing.
and about three hours later:
From: “Harry C. Kinne”
Date: May 17, 2013, 9:20:25 PM EDT
To: All Students:;
Subject: Dartmouth Safety and Security Alert Update
This is update to the earlier Dartmouth Safety and Security Alert sent at 6:39PM today. The student involved in the incident below has been arrested by Hanover Police and is incarcerated in the Grafton County Correctional Facility. See below:
An alumnus has reported that on May 17th 2013 at approximately 1:57 AM a student entered a room where he was sleeping and made inappropriate contact with him while removing cash and valuables from the room.
Hanover Police and Safety and Security have identified the student and valuables have been recovered. The investigation is ongoing.
Rumors are flying around Hanover that the perpetrator is a prominent member of the RealTalk movement, but to date no information on the identity of the arrested person has been forthcoming from the Town of Hanover Police department. It seems that the theft took place in the Phi Delt fraternity, and the thief forced his way past a number of brothers as he fled.
National Geographic is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ascent of Everest, and the magazine has produced a list of the fifteen greatest American climbers who have been up the mountain. The College’s Freddy Wilkinson ‘02 makes the list.
Thirty-three-year-old Wilkinson is tied for being the youngest man on the list; Melissa Arnot, at 29, soon to summit Everest for the fifth time, is the youngest person.
One of the last gasps of the ancien régime took place at Monday’s faculty meeting: a new mandatory course was put forward that would replace one of the College’s three required physical education courses. This idea has been in the air for some time, as Dartblog has reported. Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson seems to be spearheading the effort, and she has spoken at length with Professor Claudia Anguiano about having the latter’s course, Speech 27: Intercultural Communication, serve as a model for the new initiative. Other initiatives were also proposed to ensure right-mindedness on the part of students.
The following document was distributed to all faculty members. It was drafted by History Professor History Annelise Orleck (photo).
If the course and other initiatives ever came up for a vote, I expect that there would be blood in the streets. A great many faculty members would bitterly oppose it. That said, a vote might not be a bad thing. Professors would have to stand and be counted, and a dispassionate viewer would garner a good sense of how many faculty members are concerned about academics and how many wish to advance a social agenda. I worry what a final tally would show.
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
August 23, 2009
Fare Thee Well, Tom Crady
And now Dean Tom Crady has precipitously announced his departure from the College after only 20 months on the job. How to read this? By way of background, prior to coming to Dartmouth, Crady had…
May 31, 2009
Kangaroo Court, Indeed
In an interview with The Dartmouth, alumni-elected trustee T.J. Rodgers ‘70 explained his reasons for declining to participate in future evaluations of trustees up for “re-election,” namely the “kangaroo court” nature of such discussion in…