Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Absent Student Voice

Brian McMillan '08 wrote an interesting article in The Dartmouth last Friday, representing the views of Palaeopitus. McMillan is concerned about the lack of student voice in the debate over trustee governance and he urges students to get involved. Dan Belkin brought up the same issues in an op-ed several weeks ago, where he said students were disenfranchised and their opinions ignored. But I think the real issue is that students don't seem to care, which is unfortunate but makes a lot of sense. Because our time here is limited to four years, students are naturally going to be focused on short term issues, things that will affect them during their time at Dartmouth. The effects of the trustee governance struggle are unlikely to affect students in the immediate future, which creates an disincentive to care. So while the trustee changes are undoubtedly important, to the average Dartmouth student Da$h in vending machines is probably more important.


John Bruce said...

There's a potential problem here, because an alumnus as defined by the Association of Alumni (I believe) is someone who either has graduated with his class, or who hasn't graduated, but is more than four years after his matriculation. By definition, most students aren't alumni. You're right that their focus isn't going to be on alumni issues, which they won't see until they're having the living poop kicked out of them in the real world.

Anonymous said...

Every matriculant whose class has graduated is made a member of the Association of Alumni.

Anonymous said...

Every UNDERGRAD matriculant whose class has graduated is made a member of the Association of Alumni.

You don't get to vote as a grad student unless you have received a degree.

Anonymous said...

Every undergrad or professional school matriculant whose class has graduated is made a member. That means DMS/Th/Tu students will become members even if they drop out.

Grad students, probably because they have such a low likelihood of success and often end up as ABD For Life, are not made members unless they get their degrees.


Honorary degree recipients, adoptees such as President Wright, and honorary members are also members.