Phi Beta Cons

Background on Dartmouth

Kathryn and John rightly exult in the Wall Street Journal’s excellent editorial on the Dartmouth situation. Against this happy backdrop, a bit of background information may be helpful to those who have spent their summer following things other than the intricacies of alumni constitutions.

As regards the proposed constitution itself, one excellent source of info is the new website alumniconstitution.org. As it notes, opposition to the establishment’s attempted power grab is not a partisan affair, either on or off campus. On campus, newspapers and student groups from across the political spectrum oppose the new constitution; off campus, non-partisan organizations such as ACTA and FIRE have expressed grave concern. The website also includes a detailed critique of the constitution itself and links to many of the excellent missives of PBC colleague Joe Malchow.

Beyond that, the WSJ editorial mentions the establishment’s troubling decision to “postpone” the Dartmouth Association of Alumni’s scheduled October 15 elections, bylaws to the contrary notwithstanding. This move has occasioned a letter and two press releases from ACTA (here and here), an angry response on the part of the AoA, much discussion on the AoA blog, and a New York Times story on June 21, just to name a few.

Finally, accusations of intimidation and electioneering on the part of Dartmouth administrators are flying—despite the administration’s pledge of neutrality in the constitution affair. And there is certainly much more to come. Stay tuned as the crucial battle over this highly important institution continues.

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