Sunday, June 3, 2007

Stolen Comment

Up on the Student Assemblog, there's a funny, over-the-top comment to an article about Jim Wright's work with wounded soldiers:
SLI! SLI! HE'S AN EMBARASSMENT TO THIS SCHOOL! I'LL NEVER BE PROUD! SLI! FUUUUUCK HIM!!!!
I don't agree personally, but I wonder to what extent the author reflects the general sentiment of alumni. Have people really gotten over the Student Life Initiative, or will it forever mark Wright's reign? As a student, it feels like a long time has passed since SLI (obviously I wasn't here). But in the lifetime an alumnus/a, it's a very short period of time.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

You might think that the SLI is past, but the College budget still includes millions of dollars each year for its various bureaucratic manifestations, the harsh alcohol policy was born of it, and the restrictions on new frats and sororities (national ones only, please, i.e. no alcohol) come from it, too.

Jim Wirght should be appointed the College's ambassador-at-large, and he should sally forth doing good works - kinda like Jimmy Carter. Let Wright be a great ex-President; he has been a flop as a leader.

Anonymous said...

The legal drinking age in New Hampshire is 21. Most Dartmouth students are underage. It should not be surprising that the president of Dartmouth would want to encourage social activities that do not include alcohol. Students who are "caught drinking" come to the attention of authorities for an obvious reason, not 1 or 2 beers or glasses of wine over dinner.

Anonymous said...

Some school are a little smarter about these things. Look at Joe Asch's column on this subject:

http://thedartmouth.com/2007/02/16/opinion/thirsty/

By the way, I have had friends nabbed in their dorms while they were nursing their first beer...

David Nachman said...

James Wright officially supports the coalition of college presidents against the 21-year-old drinking age. I don't think it's the role of the college president to discourage drinking. We're not in high school anymore, etc. He's lucky that an academically amazing school like Dartmouth has such a reputation for being a fun place socially. It's a good selling point. Harvard, for example, hired a "party czar" a few years ago to make social life more fun.

Anonymous said...

Dartmouth students are not in high school anymore, it's true, but they cannot be drunk and puking in public. Sometimes there is a learning curve here which should be dealt with gently and sometimes there are chronic bad habits which are simply unacceptable and very unhealthy.

Anonymous said...

What makes you the author is an alum?

David Nachman said...

Hmm, well I never straight out said that the author was an alumni, but I guess that was implied by my post. I don't know, I don't think that SLI is on the tips of everybody's tongues at Dartmouth now. It's not exactly top of mind, because none of us were here when it happened. I guess I just automatically assumed that the author was an alumni, which probably doesn't make much sense since the SA blog isn't really the first stop for alums.

Anonymous said...

The singular of "alumni" is "alumnus" or "alumna" depending on gender.

David Nachman said...

Anonymous 10:07 - I know, I'm just an idiot. What's worse is that I took Latin for about five years. At least I can pronouce "alumni" correctly.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dave,

You are refreshingly humble.

Wiseass said...

He has much to be humble about.

Anonymous said...

I think that individuals (students and alumni alike) who define their experience at Dartmouth College on the basis of fraternities really didn't get a handle on the Dartmouth experience at all.

If you define your experience by frat parties and drinking then you wasted your four years at the college.

If I were president of the college I would do an improved Student Life Iniative and I would mandate the elimination of all Greek Life on campus. We have such a gigantic problem with housing so I would knock down all the fraternity houses and erect state of the art dorms in order to guarantee 100% on campus housing for all students for all four years.

Dartmouth should not be defined by "Animal House" or take pride in the unofficial mascot of Keggy The Beer Keg. That is disgusting. The college experience is supposed to be about the people we meet, the experiences we have inside and out of classes, and what we as individuals learn during our time here.

I know full well that many alumni dislike President Wright for the Student Life Initiative and that the college would lose much money if the Greek Life system were eliminated...but I feel that alumni who dislike President Wright or would not give money to the college if the Greek system were ever eliminated should not have been Dartmouth students in the first place.

The Greek life system is a blemish, a disgusting and immoral stain upon our campus. And the sooner it is eliminated the better it will be for the college as a whole.

Anonymous said...

End the Greek Life System on Campus Now!

Anonymous said...

Any organization obviously benefits its members, and non-members who desire to share the benefits will obviously complain. People can drink if they want to, and it is expected that they be able to congregate in doing so.

Dartmouth's real social problems are the "economics" of popularity and the synthetic, baseless means for maintaining structure and convention. Fraternities are not a problem because of drinking (though drinking can magnify the ugly), fraternities are a problem because each constructs and controls value and status.

This principle would happen even if fraternities disappeared. The "strong" and "those with direction" control the "weak" and "those without definitive direction." Those in the middle will float their way toward what they want (which, of course, is largely dictated by the strong). Little can change because there is no new force strong enough to overthrow the structure in place.

It's just the way things work in a small, islolated place. At larger schools, if you don't like a scene, you go somewhere else, end of story. There are enough people to go around that the douchebags can maraud around in their own little world and harm only those who really choose to be a part of it.

Movements with promise at Dartmouth derive spirit at least in part from outside the college. One such movement that transcends the fraternity system is anchored at Panarchy and BG and glued together by organizations like Friday Night Rock, buoyed by off-campus residences. The main shared interests are music, style and gettin' tore up (alas, back to evil drinking! and drugs!). Some of its venues are within Dartmouth, but escape valves exist. (Sophomores, feel lucky, because 07X will be one huge esape valve.)

Finally, people are just nicer in the Midwest.

Anonymous said...

Sheesh, you should ignore Joe Asch's column on this subject -- he doesn't always know his head from a hole in the ground. The Yale Police not only do enforce the drinking age but also are not even an arm of the university. They are city police, an arm of the New Haven government.

http://thedartmouth.com/2007/02/16/opinion/thirsty/