Voices in the Wilderness

A forum for discussion of all things Dartmouth.

Friday, March 11, 2005

"Gray Area"

Yesterday's Valley News reports that a Dartmouth professor of religion and women's studies, and who is also a Dartmouth alumna, wrote an email from her account urging her colleagues and friends to vote against the petition candidates for trustee. She wrote that Peter Robinson '79 and Todd Zywicki '88 represent “the same sorts of reactionary ideologies as were represented in last year's elections by [T.J.] Rodgers.”

(If you read the article on T.J. Rodgers posted below, you might ask yourself how anyone who pledges $250,000 to help a children's hospital and whose least favorite person is John Ashcroft is a "reactionary.")

Further, she writes that "both petition candidates, in short, seem to me to long nostalgically for some ‘Dear Old Dartmouth' of the past, without admitting the idealized past they crave represents a Dartmouth that was often hard on women, gays and lesbians, and minorities; monolithic in terms of its social life; and fostered an anti-intellectual environment.”

In "short"? That speculation seems somewhat strong for two men who articulate their priorities as freedom of speech and a renewed focus on undergraduate education.

According to the Valley News article, "A Dartmouth spokesman said employees can use their e-mails for personal correspondence; John Walters, the president of the Association of Alumni and the chairman of the Balloting Committee, said Ackerman's e-mail fell in a 'gray area' between a college employee interjecting herself into the campaign and her own right, as an alumna, to express her views."

The question shouldn't be about whether this professor can express her views on the election. The question is why she is campaigning AGAINST two legitimate nominees rather than FOR another particular candidate who best represents her opinions.