The empire strikes back

We followed the maverick campaigns of Dartmouth alums Peter Robinson and Todd Zywicki for election to the Dartmouth board of trustees with great interest. I wrote about their nascent campaigns in “Bucking the deans at Dartmouth” for the Standard and celebrated their election here this past May in “Green dreams come true.”
Robinson and Zywicki followed the long-established procedures for election to the alumni seats on the college’s board. The lesson the college has taken from the election is apparently that it is the procedures rather than the college that need to be reformed. This morning Dartmouth undergradaute Joe Malchow of Joe’s Dartblog writes:

…it doesn’t look good when you change the rules afterwards. I want to give you a heads up on this. T.J. Rodgers, Robinson, and Zywicki won the last three elections for Dartmouth trustees. They were all petition candidates. Alumni very clearly voiced dissent by strongly and consistently voting for the non-establishment candidates. And it was a watershed moment, inspiring similar “discoveries” of petition clauses in other college’s charters.
Now, very quietly, a new constitution has been drafted with outrageous new rules for trustee elections. Put simply, the college wants to make it so that another Peter Robinson or another Todd Zywicki can’t happen. And indeed, under these rules their wins would have been practically impossible.
I post a PDF of the proposed constitution and look at many of its problems at the post below, and alum Joe Asch has also helped initiate the debate with a column in the student newspaper this AM.

Joe’s post is “As though a rose should shut and be a bud again.” The Dartmouth Daily article by Joseph Asch is “Changing the rules.”


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