Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Greek Key Issue Now Online

Don't miss the latest issue of The Dartmouth Review, dedicated to the springtime phenomenon that is Greek (later changed to Green) Key. Among the articles awaiting your perusal, here are a few highlights:


Dartlog Observer said...

Rick Silverman sums up the governance debate well. Parity worked fine for a hundred years when a single nominee was closely vetted behind closed doors by a small group. It only began to fail after alumni were given a choice in open elections. Why? Because the alumni that vote are uninformed and those who are properly informed do not bother to vote. Timely dissemination of information and misinformation is no longer under the sole control of the Administration. Unstated but implicit in this, alumni are slow studies and not able to think critically for themselves. Restoring the “transparency” and “honesty” of the less democratic system will result in better alumni trustees; then, and only then, parity can be restored.

dartlog observer said...

Rick Routhier is spot on regarding the size of the Board. It must grow to accommodate the range of expertise needed by a complex institution. It must not become so large that it becomes unwieldy and requires an appointed executive committee that makes all the important decisions. This is totally unrelated to parity and elections by alumni.

He is not correct when he posits that the proposed changes will bring more diversity to the Board. The appointed charter trustees are predominately investment bankers and financiers. The only two trustees with academic experience other than the president were elected by alumni, after alumni petitioned them over non-academic candidates put forward by the nominating committee that Mr. Routhier headed.

For years under the closed no-election system, the Board's committee attention was focused on finance, physical plant, and succession (governance). Only with the visibility into issues, a visibility spurred by the alumni election of trustees, has the Board begun to consider committee focus on academics, student life, and alumni relations. Elections may create discomfort, but that does not mean they are not a net positive thing.

Rick the American said...

It's not my fight.

Victor Lazlo said...

Welcome to the war.

Ugarte said...

You despise me don't you?

howyoudoin? said...

Nobody should raise an eyebrow when a few untrained zealots manage to convince themselves of a legal conclusion. The fact that a few alumni think the 1891 agreement was a contract does not make it so.

Better to follow Todd Zywicki's "symposium" excerpt, which implicitly admits that there was no contract and asks the board to voluntarily comply with an unenforceable promise instead.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Hart writes that his father '21 "had similar feeling about Sigma Nu and fraternity row." But Sigma Nu's house on Webster Ave., let alone frat row, did not exist before 1925. Is he talking about some other fraternity row?

wiktor said...

Who is David Leimbach and why would he try to write a history of the two alumni groups that did not explain that the Council was created by the Association and was specifically charged with the role of nominating trustees? That's the history of the relationship in a nutshell, and its absence from a 1,200-word article is telling.

Also, how does he know that "Between 1913 and 1990, there were only seven petition trustees nominated"? If only one nominee was put forth during the pre-1990 period John Steel in 1980 was the only petitioner to join the board prior to Rodgers, does he know what happened to the other six?

alum said...

10:46, I have other concerns about Hart's essay. For one thing, he's never explained why he's a Dartmouth '51 and a Columbia '52. Maybe Columbia made him start over, or maybe he took a year off -- either is worth hearing, simply for biographical interest. The essay here is a remarkably rambling piece, and in some ways it contradicts itself: the son of a famous journalist (I know who he's talking about) would certainly be a candidate for a good club in the city, as would his dad, since his dad was old money himself. But doesn't the evidence of Prof. Hart's own eyes suggest that the clubbable are often ciphers? Remember that some Dartmouth alums from this period did make something of themselves, perhaps in part because they weren't old money. Yet Hart concludes "a fraternity should be a preliminary to a good club in the city"! Well, yes, if you want Stanford Rutledge IV, high on whatever. . .

Anonymous said...

@wiktor, regarding the Leimbach comments on the Association of Alumni and the Alumni Council. His concluding remarks point to a coming resolution:

Many feel that the results of the current AoA elections will be an important gauge of the issue. The election of a new Executive Committee opposed to the lawsuit might suggest that the Alumni Council better reflects alumni sentiments.

On the other hand, if the alumni elect leaders who continue the lawsuit, it will seem that something is broken with the way the Alumni Council selects its members­—as something was broken with the way the Council’s Nominating Committee was selecting its alumni-elected trustee slate. For the past four alumni trustee elections, the Council has nominated trustees which alumni have not voted into office; rather, alumni put forth their own petition trustees to counter the Council’s trustees, and each petition trustee has won his respective election.

Anonymous said...

Re Hart, a good club in the city is "preliminary to" a charter seat on the board of trustees.

Anonymous said...

gays consider protesting blood drive

Personal validation from all quarters is much more important than public health.

wiktor said...

@11:19, I think Leimbach had to end his editorial with some kind of conclusion, didn't he? Your quotation of two paragraphs is nonresponsive. They do not answer:

* Who is David Leimbach, out of curiosity? Is he a student, an alum, a professor, a parent?

* Why would he try to write a history of the two alumni groups that did not explain that the Council was created by the Association and was specifically charged with the role of nominating trustees?

* How does he know that "Between 1913 and 1990, there were only seven petition trustees nominated"? If those were the years when each seat got just one Council nominee, I guess we are to assume that all were defeated, except for Steel (not mentioned for some reason). No one else has come up with this statistic of six failed nominees before that I'm aware of – where does it come from?

Anonymous said...

You cite "FDA regulations that prohibit homosexuals from donating blood."

The actual description of the prohibition is: "Men who have had sex with other men, even once, since 1977."

You do get the difference, right?

The problem's not simply that the restriction is homophobic (nor, @ anonymous, does it have anything to do "personal validation," whatever that means), but that it's excessive and doesn't trust people to know their own HIV status. No, wait, it trusts straight people to know their HIV status but not gays, when of course straight people are infinitely less likely to bother getting a test.

But I suppose knowing the facts -- like, for instance, that the American Red Cross is fighting to have this restriction dropped as no longer warrated -- isn't as fun as mockery.

Anonymous said...

The policy doesn't trust anyone to know their own HIV status. When you donate blood, it's screened and analyzed, not just pumped into some hapless trauma patient.

"Men who have had sex with other men, even once, since 1977."

You say excessive, I say maybe overcautious, but empirically speaking, men who have sex with other men are more likely to have STD than the rest of the population. As the screening process isn't 100% effective, it makes sense to screen out some categories of higher-risk donors. The FDA explains it better here:

Among the statistics cited are the following:
* Men who have had sex with men since 1977 have an HIV prevalence (the total number of cases of a disease that are present in a population at a specific point in time) 60 times higher than the general population, 800 times higher than first time blood donors and 8000 times higher than repeat blood donors (American Red Cross). Even taking into account that 75% of HIV infected men who have sex with men already know they are HIV positive and would be unlikely to donate blood, the HIV prevalence in potential donors with history of male sex with males is 200 times higher than first time blood donors and 2000 times higher than repeat blood donors.
* Men who have had sex with men account for the largest single group of blood donors who are found HIV positive by blood donor testing.

If you don't understand the meaning of "personal validation," try reading this:

Some of the complaints challenge the medical/safety reasons behind the policy.

Mixed in with those complaints, however, is selfish whining about the implications of being rejected as a blood donor:

“It’s putting people in a certain category, saying gays have dirty blood,” Lavender said. Prostitutes are another population that is banned from giving blood for life, he said.

“The problem is they’re looking at a classification of people instead of at risky behaviors,” said Pam Misener, assistant dean of student life and an advisor to LGBT students. Both Lavender and Solomon agreed that the policy sheds a negative light on the gay community.

“Every time a blood drive comes around, it reminds the public that we’ve had a 20-year history of HIV,” Lavender said.

Solomon also recounted a conversation about a blood drive that led him to unwillingly reveal his sexual orientation.

“It’s a way to out people,” he said.

In other words, when considering whether to keep a policy designed to protect the public from nasty diseases, we're supposed to consider the feelings of rejected blood donors. Hogwash.

Anonymous said...

@ wiktor

It never hurts to look at the masthead.


wiktor said...

I thought it was typical to put a class year after a writer's name and save us the research.