Thursday, May 1, 2008

Dartmouth Unbound

Two things happened yesterday that got me a'thinking about current affairs at the College on the Hill. First, there my post yesterday about Dean Zimmerman mangling of the English language in an email to students. Second, there's been the three phone calls over the past two nights (during dinner, no less!) from a push polling firm hired by the College to convince me to back their slate of candidates in an upcoming Association of Alumni (AoA) officers election.

So it hit me this morning; there's going to be an election for something and someone cares enough to hire a professional political consulting firm to influence this election. Who would be bankrolling the push polling? Well, I am. That is, I would be, if I bothered to give any money to Dartmouth College when they call for their perpetual appeals for donations to the student fund (usually when I’m only half-way through my first Gin Rickey for the night).

The point is someone cares enough about this election to spend millions of dollars of other peoples' money (OPM TM) to stay in power. And like a wave it hit me. Everything about that phone call radiated the festering smugness, insecurity and unabashed self importance that only grows in the stilted womb of the Ivy Tower.

I'm not sure I care one way or another who controls the AoA. Since there seems to be a growing bias against legacy admissions at Dartmouth, I have little self-interest in staying connected to the institution; why should I donate my hard earned $$ to subsidize a sorority of post-modernists, deconstructionists and technocrats in New Hampshire if it won't help my daughter's chances of admission?

But my instinct tells me that, if someone is spending millions of dollars of OPM TM to stay in power, they’re probably doing something wrong. And so I’m voting for the insurgents.

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