Voices in the Wilderness

A forum for discussion of all things Dartmouth.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Summer Break

To those still reading this page, all five of you, we Curmudgeons and Neophytes apologize for the lack of posting recently. Suffice to say our satisfaction in the result of the trustee election and the consuming nature of our own lives at present have temporarily stemmed our momentum. As soon as we get a moment free though, there will be more.

As the school year winds down in Hanover, it is important, though, to at least note what we would term an unsettled feeling wafting down on the hill winds. The latest goings on include an e-mail, which we will reprint below, that was sent to several alums we know, but strangely not us. The e-mail touts the giving participation rate of the graduating class of 2005 to their class fund, it is a respectable 53%. It also shames the prior two classes, which came in at 28% and 13% respectively. The most interesting part for us is that the 2005 senior class giving effort was spearheaded by Kabir Seghal, who is most well known for his inferiority complex toward other Ivy league schools. A year or two ago, Kabir created BuzzFlood, an organization whose mission was to raise the profile of the college through branding and advertising, because it seems Kabir felt that Dartmouth simply didn't have to recognition of HYP (Harvard Yale Princeton) set.

Now, it seems, Kabir has used his relentless energy and undernourished ego to whip these graduating seniors into shape, and to donate to their alma mater. Now, despite being a Neophyte and sharing sympathies with a Curmudgeon, we don't want to belittle the fundraising efforts of people dedicated to the college. Their hard work is laudable. However, two points need to be made. First of all, the 53% rate achieved by this class, while high by very recent standards, is still low when you consider even only ten years of history. Second, and perhaps more distressing, is that the only class that Dartmouth can currently reliably attain a 50% giving rate with is the one currently on campus, where they can be effectively badgered, cajoled, and even bribed (there was a competition among greek organizations and prizes for high participation rates) into 'supporting' their college.

Frankly, this is pathetic on the college's part. It speaks to the rank desperation they currently feel, as fewer and fewer alums support the agenda present in the current administration. Our frustration with President Wright and his minions is only met by their feckless attempts to pacify the alumni body, and it is as transparent as it is foolish. When the current students are being bribed into voicing support for an administration, Dartmouth has truly come to an ugly crossroads.

Here is the e-mail:

Dear [Alum],

I am thrilled to announce that 53% of the senior class have made gifts totaling more than $14,000 to the College through the Dartmouth CollegeFund. This is a milestone for the senior gift program; in comparison,overthe last two years, 28% and 13% of seniors made a gift through the Fund.This success comes from the efforts of a volunteer committee of 35students. The average gift was $24, with several seniors joining the1769society with gifts of $100 or more.

Greek houses were especially active in this effort, with eight of themachieving 100% participation: Alpha Chi Alpha, Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha XiDelta, Chi Gamma Epsilon, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Lambda UpsilonColony, Sigma Nu, and Sigma Phi Epsilon. Three houses raised $1,000 each for financial aid: Alpha Xi Delta, Kappa Delta Epsilon, and Kappa KappaGamma. In addition, the Senior Executive Committee achieved 100%participation and raised $2,000.

Kabir Seghal '05, a member of the gift committee, explained the successoftheir efforts in the Daily D: "Last year was 13% participation, sowe'rereally turning it around," Seghal said. "We're really trying to set thebar for future classes. The total money is nice, but we're looking fortotal participation. It shows that we're appreciative of our educationandwe're willing to give."I want to thank all 35 members of the senior gift committee for theirenthusiasm, commitment, and hard work, and I know that you join me inwelcoming them to the alumni body when they graduate on June 12!

Sylvia R. Racca
Executive Director
Dartmouth College Fund