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A great deal of commentary is being voiced about the Student Assembly’s misuse of student activity funds. Now there seems to be an organized way to give voice to your anger:

SA Petition.jpg

You can go to the petition here.

SA Fleece.jpgIf the Trustees can dip into the College’s endowment to fund their own investment companies (and garner prestige among their own potential investors by doing so), and the staff can score way-above-market wages and benefits (twice the compensation of their neighbors working the same jobs in the private sector), why shouldn’t the students working on the Student Assembly take the opportunity to use the SA budget to buy $80 Patagonia fleeces for themselves (customized no less)?

The jackets came to a total of $1,876 out of an overall SA budget of $40,000 — that’s 4.69% of the annual budget. Add to that a lovely Panera-Bread-catered lunch for 55 people for $966.23 and the prospect of a SA+dates-only formal (later cancelled) at $2,500 or so, and you would have had more than an eighth of spending going to fleece, food and fun for the student body’s hard-working representatives. No wonder the College has cut the SA’s budget from $76,250 to $69,500 to $58,000 to $40,000 over four years. As a result, the Undergraduate Finance Committee will now review all SA expenditures over $500.

The leaders of the SA, President Casey A. Dennis ‘15 and Vice President​​ Frank. M. Cunningham III ‘16, have written to the student body to say mea culpa (Latin for “my bad”):

SA Letter.jpg

One has to wonder if the student body’s mandatory $83/quarter activities fee couldn’t be put to better use, or just chopped by two thirds.

Addendum: Meet the leadership of the SA.

Addendum: On November 13 The D ran an article on the SA that included the following note:

[SA] Treasurer Forrest Beck ‘15 said the reduced budget has not changed the Assembly’s policy goals, but necessitated certain concessions, such as not fully catering events.

Beck said that the Assembly wanted to bring a guest speaker to discuss mental health in Greek organizations, but could not afford the speaker’s $4,000 fee.

Priorities, priorities…

Addendum: Meanwhile, in other news, the College’s total expenses in the 2013-2014 fiscal year were higher than Brown’s by $78,532,000, even though Brown has a third more students and a third more faculty members than we do. The sum of the College’s wages and benefits spending was $83,487,000 more than Brown’s expenditures on compensation. However, as of publication today Dartblog could not determine whether student leaders at Brown had purchased fleece jackets for themselves with university money.

Addendum: The D’s report on this latest scandal was thorough and well written. Do I detect signs of life in Robo?

Addendum: An undergrad writes in:

I must say I’m pretty incensed at what the SA did. Even if they wanted to foster a sense of community, couldn’t they have bought 9$ printed customized cotton T-shirts like everyone else on campus?

As for me, I’m planning on paying my tuition fees less 83$ when the statements are sent out later this month. I might as well save the cost of the student activities fee and buy myself a Patagonia instead — and I’d encourage other students to do the same until every last cent (or sweater) is returned. This is ridiculous.

If you are ever looking for proof that politics is a dirty business, one of your top exhibits would be the recent appointment of ex-Dartmouth CFO Steven Kadish as Chief of Staff for Massachusetts’ newly elected governor, Charlie Baker. At Harvard the word on Kadish was that he spoke softly so you would not hear his lies, and as Jim Kim’s right-hand man in Hanover, he justly earned a reputation for sleazy financial manipulation. As we predicted, Kadish and his wife left the College hurriedly in his mentor’s wake, probably out of fear that he would be run out of town on a rail had he stayed any longer.

Kadish Mass Comp.jpg

Last week we looked at two campus-wide messages from President Phil Hanlon and Provost Carolyn Dever about civil interaction and academic honesty; we found them weak. Today you might take some time to compare our administrators’ notes with Middlebury President Ron Liebowitz’s reaction to the destruction by a group of Midd students of a 9/11 memorial display that had been created by other students. If I had to share a foxhole with a college president, I know whom I would choose.

Middlebury President Statement Comp.jpg

The campus debate at Dartmouth on free speech has been wan and wanting, to say the least. Free speech is not an absolute right. To offer but a few examples, as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. opined, you cannot falsely yell “Fire” in a crowded theater; safety trumps speech. And you can’t park a sound truck in front of someone’s house and blast political messages at them 24/7; the right of quiet enjoyment in one’s own home trumps speech rights, too. In an academic community, a person has a right to speak, and replies must be civil and respect the right of the speaker to be heard and the audience to listen. That imprecation certainly includes the right to be free from vulgarity — at least as a matter of manners if not the law — most certainly when other forms of expression are up to the task.

English Professor Barbara Will, the leader of the Moving Dartmouth Forward effort, has sent two e-mails to the campus. Students received an extended one, and community members found a shorter version in their e-mail in-box. The biggest difference was the following paragraph, which only undergraduates saw:

What has become very clear during the re-engagement phase is that there is no easy solution to the problems of high-risk drinking, sexual assault and lack of inclusivity. We know that virtually every college campus across the country suffers from the same issues and that no one has found the silver bullet. These problems exist at big universities and small colleges, institutions with Greek systems and those without, rural and urban campuses.

The campus saw a shorter version:

Moving Dartmouth Forward.jpg

It appears that people voicing a concern that Professor Charlie Wheelan ‘88 so artfully articulated — that proof is lacking regarding the cause and effect relationship of the Greek system and the College’s social ills — have made themselves heard. At least students have been told so.

Addendum: The links in the above screenshot are:

Full committee timeline:
Moving Dartmouth Forward website:

Addendum: You can find the full e-mail that students received in the extended:

You can stop complaining about the absence of speakers on campus regarding your favorite topic du jour. Send in a suggestion:

PEP Projects.jpg

The Athletics department seems to be acting on its own to punish varsity athletes who were caught sending in a clicker with a friend to the Religion 65 class. Offenders are being asked to sit out one game or more of the department’s choosing. This posture seems fair, so as not to punish the entire team in a single game for the infractions of a few teammates.

Valley News reporter Tris Wykes made the following observation regarding this past weekend’s football game against Brown:

[Running back Brian] Grove, linebacker Eric Wickham and receiver Victor Williams were not on the sidelines for the game. [Football Coach Buddy] Teevens would say only that the trio violated team rules last week.

It is unclear whether other non-starting players did not dress.

No members of the men’s soccer team appeared to be sitting out in the 3-0 victory over Brown.

We’ll see who is not present for the season-ending football game against Princeton this weekend. If Yale beats Harvard, and then we lose to Princeton due to the absence of players who violated the College’s honor code — and thereby not share in the Ivy football title with Harvard and Yale, potentially our first title since 1996 — you can bet that athletes will tell the story for decades, and be more than adverse to breaking the College’s core rules ever again.

Addendum: The Athletics department’s sit-down punishment for athletes is independent of whatever sanctions the College will mete out. If players on winter and spring teams have to take terms off due to College sanctions, they will sit out contests when they return

Addendum: Today’s D reports on the number of athletes taking Religion 65:

Varsity athletes comprise just under 70 percent of the 272-person class, including more than half of the football team, or 61 players, more than half of the men’s hockey team, or 16 players, and more than two-thirds of the men’s basketball team, or 12 players. The men’s soccer team has 10 players in the class, and the baseball, women’s soccer and women’s lacrosse teams each have nine. Athletes in the class represent 24 of Dartmouth’s 34 varsity teams, and about a quarter of Dartmouth students are varsity athletes.

Who’s gonna play Princeton?

Erratum: The above post contained several errors of fact that have now been corrected as we gather more information.

There will come a point when the free association cue of “Dartmouth” will cause people to hold their nose. Perhaps in New Hampshire we are already there:

Union Leader.jpg

What a pleasure it would be if the College occasionally made the headlines for innovative programs, the arrival of exciting new professors, or the cutting of tuition.

Addendum: On and on and on:

CHE Cheating Comp.jpg

Munich Column.JPGMunich was bombed repeatedly (71 raids from 1940-1945) and fought over once in WWII — not that you could tell that fact on a visit today. Just as I was struck by Mainz’s material progress between 1976, when I lived there in the fall on LSA, and on a return trip to see my host family in 2004, so does Munich show all the indicia of wealth that one could hope to see: lovely, restored buildings; elegant shops; and a cleanliness that only Swiss cities can rival. Yet, unlike Berlin, or even our neighborhood in Paris, the civic fathers have chosen to scrub away almost all traces of the war, save for a few. The columns of the Palais an der Oper (right) and the nearby Opera itself show signs of shrapnel blasts from aerial bombing.

Erasing memories strikes me as the wrong approach to history. When the wounds of war are visible, passers-by can’t but think of their good fortune to live in a time of peace. Munich has come a long way since 1945:

Munich bombed.jpg

Addendum: The Wall Street bombing of 1920, thought to have been perpetrated by Italian anarchists, killed 38 people when an explosive device carried in a horse-drawn wagon was detonated across the street from the headquarters of the J.P. Morgan Bank at 23 Wall Street. That event, too, left its mark on masonry, and to this day the Bank has respectfully chosen not to patch the pockmarks from the terrorist attack.

Wall Street Bombing 1920.jpg

Addendum: An alumnus in the military writes in to note that the Ford Island control tower at Pearl Harbor has been preserved in memory of the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941.

Oahu Control Tower.jpg

The Navy itself notes:

The tower is where a radioman issued the first radio broadcast of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor at 8:05 a.m. on Dec. 7, 1941. Exploding bombs shattered lower-level windows during the assault.

“The tower is part of the Navy’s history and our country’s history, and it is important that we continue to preserve this historical site,” said Rear Adm. Dixon Smith, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. “As the history of Pearl Harbor continues with current and future generations to come, we need to have memorials and reminders of all the important history that happened here more than 65 years ago.”

Rauner, Kitzhaber and Wolf, oh my. They may be politicians, but they are Dartmouth politicians: Bruce Rauner ‘78 (R-Illinois), John Kitzhaber ‘71 (D-Oregon) and Tom Wolf ‘71 (D-Pennsylvania) were elected to the governorships of their states on November 4.

Dartmouth Governors 2014.jpg

In his first run for elective office, Rauner received the votes of 50.8% of Illinois voters. He won every county in the state, except for Chicago’s populous Cook County, which he lost by a 2:1 ratio. Kitzhaber won an unprecedented fourth term as Oregon’s governor with 49.4% of the vote, and if he serves his full term, he will be the nation’s second longest-serving governor. Another newcomer to elective politics, Wolf won in Pennsylvania with a 54.9% majority; in contrast to Rauner, he easily won his state’s urban areas, including 88% of the voters in Philadelphia County, which accounted for almost his entire margin of victory.

Addendum: There are four sitting U.S. Senators who graduated from the College: Angus King ‘66 (I-Maine); Rob Portman ‘78 (R-Ohio); Kirsten Gillibrand ‘88 (D-New York); and John Hoeven ‘79 (R-North Dakota).

One begins to get the feeling that Phil is going to be little more than a caretaker President, someone who nibbles at the edges of problems rather than taking the decisive moves that the College had needed for several decades. Reappointing Mike Mastanduno as Dean of the Faculty is a case in point. Like Phil, Mike spends little time with the faculty in their departments, and as a result, we see the kind of drift that marks the rest of the College. Sure, there is lots of talk about interdisciplinary this and that, but does Mike have anything substantive to show for his five years in office (or for his 28 years in Hanover?) — since he was predictably appointed by Jim Kim and Carol Folt? Can anyone recall field-leading professors moving to Hanover or exciting scholarly initiatives?

Beyond an overarching vision for the future (what George Bush called “the vision thing” — as evidence that he didn’t have one), a chief executive must have an eye for strong people. When Phil allows someone like Mastanduno to carry on, he tells us that he is comfortable with the mediocre status quo at the College. As I keep saying, Mike is a nice guy with a good sense of humor, but that isn’t enough.

Mastanduno Reappointment.jpg

The only questions remaining are whether the more accomplished members of the faculty will raise their voices against Mastanduno, and whether Phil will listen to them. Other than the usual set of sycophants, Mike has few supporters out in the trenches.

Fire and brimstone it ain’t, but there is a tad more muscle in Provost Dever’s solo campus-wide e-mail than there was in Phil’s and her missive about civilty on Wednesday:

Dever Honor Code.jpg

I hope that I am not the only person hoping for more forceful prose and rigorous argumentation from our top administrators in the future — particularly regarding issues that go to the heart of our democracy and academic life. For example, we could take more than “a moment” to think about the ethics of cheating.

Addendum: Here are the links to which Provost Dever refers:

The Academic Honor Principle can be read here:

The Standards of Conduct are contained here:

The Athletics Department and the administration are pressuring students to come forward and admit that they clicked the clickers of absent students in the Religion 65 class. Students whose clickers were clicked, even though they themselves were not present in the classroom, numbered 43. But who was doing the clicking?

If the College were serious about enforcement here, the situation could develop into an interesting, if distant, variation on the Prisoner’s Dilemma: the students not present in the class (but whose clickers were clicked by accomplices) could be offered a choice of two punishments: say, a three-term suspension if they don’t give up their accomplice, and a one-term suspension if they do. And all potential accomplices could be told that they would receive a one-term suspension if they come forward, but a three-term suspension if they don’t (and are denounced by a friend).

Of course, the students could game this situation by having one student (presumably well compensated by all the others) step forward as the fall guy/gal and falsely admit to pressing all 43 clickers for students who were not present…

Don’t get me started.

Addendum: The D has another thorough piece of reporting on the growing scandal: Religion 65 students identify culture of cheating.

John Barchilon ”60, M.D. could well become a name in the news in Hanover in the next few weeks. We wrote last week about how his Letter to the Editor of the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine had generated an on-line petition at (415 signatures as of this morning) that took the DAM to task for publishing his letter.

Also generating controversy at the College is a comment that Barchilon made on the website of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), which Wikipedia describes as “a politically conservative non-profit association founded in 1943 to ‘fight socialized medicine and to fight the government takeover of medicine.’” The AAPS site published what it described as a series of health care myths: “#11. There are 46 million or more Americans without “health care.”:

The 46 million are the “uninsured.” They lack “coverage,” not care…

In the U.S. 37% of people with below-average income reported that they were in fair or poor health, while only 9% of people with above-average income said the same. A similar disparity is seen in the UK, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia, despite their “universal coverage.”…

Insurance “coverage” is not the same thing as medical care. It is not necessarily the best way to pay for medical care—although it probably is the most expensive. And there is no actual evidence, only inference from uncontrolled observational studies, that increasing the level of insurance coverage improves health outcomes. If expanding coverage means restricting care, the opposite could occur.

In response, Barchilon wrote the following:

Barchilon AAPS Comment.jpg

How many speech/thought crimes has the good doctor committed with these words? He is attacking the poor. He is attacking immigrants. He is blaming people who are victims for their misery. In the politically correct litany of sins, these are clearly cardinal.

What remains to be seen is the upcoming reaction of the angry members of the campus radical fringe — the people who disrupted Dimensions, occupied Phil’s office, and insulted Rick Perry by asking intentionally vulgar questions. Given that Yale Medical School-educated Doctor Barchilon is not in town — he is based in Los Angeles — can we expect that the staff of the Alumni Magazine will be hearing from the College’s social justice warriors in some provocative fashion?

Addendum: Rianna Starheim ‘14, a longtime intern at the DAM, published in yesterday’s D an articulate defense of the magazine’s right to provide space for unpopular views.

Phil has written to the campus concerning the current free-speech scandals roiling Hanover, but he seems to be limited by an animating principle: first, do no harm to anyone’s feelings. Generalities are all well and good, but a leader takes a clear stand on the issues of the day, rather than adopting an attitude of platitudes:

Phil on Dialogue.jpg

If a student writing an essay for freshman English were asked to comment on the Rick Perry visit and other such controversies, I don’t think that this missive would pass muster. How about some examples? Some clear views on what is and is not acceptable on the Dartmouth campus? Elucidating principles is fine in an introduction, but after that, the College community would benefit from specific guidance. This ain’t it.


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