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Alumni rebellion??

MADadMADad Registered User Posts: 2,011 Senior Member
edited April 2007 in Colgate University
Attended the accepted student days this week. As you drive north out of Hamilton, there is a HUGE billboard directing you to check out www.votecolgatetrustees.org.

This website is apparently set up by disgruntled at least one alumnus who doesn't like the direction Colgate is going and want to push through some initiative to change the make up of the board of trustees and how they do business.

They seem to be displeased with just about everything--core curriculum, success of Colgate graduates to get into grad school, moves made by administration vs. fraternities, etc. etc.

What's the sense out there? Is this just a bunch of "grumpy old frat boys" who don't like change, or do their complaints have merit?

D is leaning toward choosing Colgate, so I'm very interested.
Post edited by MADad on

Replies to: Alumni rebellion??

  • jrparjrpar Registered User Posts: 2,134 Senior Member
    MADad, I think the billboard has been there for a couple of years at least. There's also a large banner hanging on the DKE house.

    This alumni group became very active around the time the administration forced the frats to sell their houses to the school if they wanted to continue to be recognized organizations on campus. As you can imagine, there were a number of alumni not at all happy about this, but ultimately all but one frat agreed (alumni members of each frat had to vote to agree to sell their house to the school).

    There are plenty of alumni who are very supportive of what is going on at Colgate today. Alumni giving is up. Several recent large gifts from alumni are funding current initiatives on campus - and the new science building which should be complete by next year.
  • danalynnedanalynne Registered User Posts: 219 Junior Member
    It seems to me from reading the information that the group is conservative, Republican,pro Greek traditionalists. If you are so inclined then it may be an issue. However, my opinion is that most students that attend lacs are moderate to liberal in their politics and social philosophies. I cannot comment on some of the underlying issues eg. trustee issues as I have no basis to comment in fact. However as a moderate to liberal I have no problem with the school as long as all views are given a chance for open expression. I for one think that money from the school's general fund should not go to Greek infrastructure. My D is deciding among three schools and has visited three times and loves Colgate. My only concern is an obvious lack of diversity on campus(just look around) and a social life that is clearly centered on drinking and Greek parties.

    Dana's Dad
  • HSNHSN Registered User Posts: 400 Member
    For me this brings up a nagging worry I have about Colgate for my DD who has been accepted and can't make up her mind. It has a rep of being much more conservative than other LACs and yet people tell me that's not true. So how come the guidebooks classify it as politically leaning right or being more conservative than other similar schools? Was it more conservative and that's changed? My DD feels that there are more business majors at Colgate than other schools, but I don't know where she gets that from. Anyone know about this?
  • jrparjrpar Registered User Posts: 2,134 Senior Member
    I don't know why Colgate is characterized as more conservative - that is not consistent with what I have seen on campus. My son and his friends are, like many college students, pretty liberal, and I know my son feels that most kids on campus are as well. So I can't explain it. Perhaps it is attributable to the school's fraternity tradition. The alumni group above is a pretty conservative bunch - part of what they are objecting to is what they see as a shift to the left generally on campus. Many of them are probably still not happy that Colgate went coed 30 years ago. :)

    HSN, Colgate doesn't have a business major. It does have an economics major, which is pretty popular. I think English, Economics and Psychology are the three most popular majors.
  • HSNHSN Registered User Posts: 400 Member
    Thanks, jpar. I guess I meant kids who were heading towards business, rather than literally business majors. But your information is helpful. I really like Colgate, but finally it will be her decision and at this point I think she's really just trying to figure out if the fit is right, and I probaby have to stay out of it!
  • MADadMADad Registered User Posts: 2,011 Senior Member
    Thanks for all your input. Seems my perception about the "consevative grumpy old former frat members" is right on.

    When administrators tried to impress we parents at the open house with the quality of speakers that have appeared at Colgate, they mentioned Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama--not exactly the neo-cons, are they!! Again, this group used the term "leftist" to describe the liberal leanings of the faculty. Frankly, I was waiting to read the work "pinko" from this group. I think there is also an undercurrent of dissatisfaction with the presence of a female president as well. We had a group in a nearby town who wanted to oust the school superintendent, frankly, I feel, because she was a woman. Similar thinking.
  • Papa ChickenPapa Chicken Registered User Posts: 2,841 Senior Member
    MADad-- my son & I attended last week's AVD...he's leaning toward Colgate over his other choices as well. During our Weds breakfast with the administration, a parent asked Pres Chopp about the billboard. She did a great job in my book in not being condescending by explaining the views between a few alumni (although it might just be one guy with a lot of time on his hands I hear) versus her administration's vision of one Colgate community & how frat control (my term) fits in with that vision. I bought it (even as an ex-frat boy myself) & think this is a non-issue for my son's decision. As a parent, I am actually quite happy there is some control over the situation now.
This discussion has been closed.