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Is Dartmouth conservative?

_Struggle__Struggle_ Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
edited August 2006 in Dartmouth College
Is it?
Post edited by _Struggle_ on

Replies to: Is Dartmouth conservative?

  • flagshipflagship Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    Not really, there are conservative students/organizations there however.
  • slipper1234slipper1234 Registered User Posts: 9,084 Senior Member
    Yeah not at all. Its about 80% liberal/ democrat and would be considered a "bill clinton" liberal school.
  • 1q2w1q2w Registered User Posts: 160 Junior Member
    Sounds cool.
  • godofcoffeegodofcoffee Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    Well, conservative status among universities is just another way of saying right of the far left. Dartmouth is probably conservative compared to Brown and the crowd, but not conservative as most of us know it.
  • FountainSirenFountainSiren - Posts: 2,503 Member
    Dartmouth has the first and most influential conservative student newspaper in North America, The Dartmouth Review Dozens and dozens of student papers have copied the Review.

    Even more, as college newspapers go, there are few with greater recognition or more influence than the Dartmouth Review--whether conservative or liberal--though to be fair, the liberal papers often function as the administrative mouthpiece on campus wherein one hand washes the other. Recently, there has been a book published about the Review and it significance and influence at Dartmouth and in academia generally http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1932236937/sr=8-1/qid=1155645965/ref=pd_bbs_1/103-0803445-5321404?ie=UTF8
    Editorial Reviews
    Book Description
    In 1980, disaffected editors from the student daily of Dartmouth College founded an off-campus conservative newspaper known as The Dartmouth Review. For twenty-five years, this renegade student publication, funded largely by discontented alumni, has made national headlines through its unique, provocative, and controversial brand of journalism. In doing so, The Dartmouth Review has shined a spotlight on the progressively liberal assumptions of Dartmouth College and of higher education, radically changing the terms of campus debate.

    This anthology presents the history of The Dartmouth Review in its own words, featuring the student writings of the leading conservative journalists of the Reagan era to the present. It also presents the story of a newspaper under constant attack by a liberal ideology that seeks to silence dissent--and the triumph of that newspaper over those attacks.

    Featuring additional commentary by William F. Buckley Jr. and Jeffrey Hart, this volume recounts an important chapter in the history of campus activism, Dartmouth College, and the American conservative movement.
    About the Author
    Stefan Beck, Dartmouth Class of 2004 and a former executive editor of the Dartmouth Review, is currently the associate editor of the New Criterion.
    James Panero, Dartmouth Class of 1998 and a former editor in chief of the Dartmouth Review, is currently the managing editor of the New Criterion.
    For this reason, Dartmouth is often thought to be a “conservative” college. It is not. If anything, it is likely to the left of most schools where it counts: departments and administrative policies.

    Although Dartmouth is quite liberal, institutions like the Dartmouth Review have helped to carve out an intellectual space for conservatives both in the classroom and on campus. That is to say, Dartmouth is a fine choice for a conservative and an obvious choice for a liberal.
  • columbia2007columbia2007 Registered User Posts: 906 Member
    There was a recent article in the Times about conservative alumni trying to gain more control over Dartmouth. I dug it up on LexisNexis...

    SECTION: Section A; Column 1; National Desk; Pg. 10

    LENGTH: 1318 words

    HEADLINE: Dartmouth Alumni Battles Become a Spectator Sport




    Back when Daniel Webster, class of 1801, defeated an attempt by the governor to take control of the Dartmouth College board, his argument before the Supreme Court gave rise to a line famous among Dartmouth students: ''It is, sir, as I have said, a small college. And yet there are those who love it.''

    Now those passions for the Ivy League institution have it embroiled in a new and bitter battle over its board, this time pitting alumni critical of the college against loyalists who have risen through the ranks of the Alumni Association.

    The fracas has drawn the attention of conservative bloggers and publications all over the country.

    It began when candidates for the governing board of trustees endorsed by the Alumni Association were unexpectedly defeated two years in a row by outsiders who got on the ballot by petition. The outsiders accused the college administration of sacrificing free speech to political correctness and of abandoning Dartmouth's historical focus on undergraduates to turn it into a ''junior varsity Harvard.''

    Now the officers of the Dartmouth Alumni Association have canceled a coming vote for new executive officers and are proposing a constitution with new rules for how candidates get on the ballot. Critics say the effort is intended to block outsiders from gaining yet more seats.

    Conservative publications and blogs that accuse academia of a liberal bias have lionized the three insurgents at Dartmouth and are tearing into the proposed constitution. The blog of one student, Joseph Malchow, describes the process of drafting the constitution in a ''Timeline of Dirty Tricks.''

    But supporters of the constitution say the effort began well before the outsiders' triumph and was spurred by simmering alumni discontent and a steep decline, until recently, in alumni donations to the college since the 1980's.

    John Daukas, a lawyer and an alumnus on the task force that drafted the rewrite, said, ''It might not be perfect, but it's definitely better than what we have now.''

    Dartmouth is not the only private college where dissidents are trying to get a foothold on the governing board through alumni elections. The unfolding controversy is being watched closely by other universities.

    ''The old way of doing business, where people get their degree, lead their lives and the only source of information about their institution is the alumni magazine, that's just gone,'' said Peter Robinson, Dartmouth class of '79, a speechwriter for former President Ronald Reagan and a research fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution, who was one of the insurgents who won election to the board last year.

    Conservative alumni at Colgate University and Hamilton College in upstate New York have also tried to reach the board as petition candidates, so far unsuccessfully.

    At Hamilton, the dissent flared after a campus club issued a speaking invitation to Ward Churchill, the University of Colorado professor who has called victims of the Sept. 11 attacks ''little Eichmanns,'' and after the college invited Susan Rosenberg to teach a seminar on memoir writing. As a leftist in the early 1980's, Ms. Rosenberg was linked to the armed robbery of a bank in which two police officers and a security guard were killed.

    At Colgate, the opposition reached critical mass over the college's efforts to curb Greek life by taking over ownership of fraternity houses.

    ''What we're seeing at Dartmouth, Colgate and Hamilton are alumni who are profoundly troubled by the direction of those institutions,'' said Anne D. Neal, president of the American Council for Trustees and Alumni, a group whose founders in 1995 included Lynne Cheney and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut. ''It's time for those looking in from the outside to provide some input.''

    Yale saw a spirited but futile petition challenge from the left in 2002 by a labor-backed minister who was a graduate of the divinity school.

    About 25 colleges and universities allow alumni to elect trustees directly. At Dartmouth, alumni elect half of the college's 18 trustees, either Alumni Association nominees or independent challengers.

    The alumni challenges have their roots, in part, in recent conflicts that grew out of the college's decision to strip the Zeta Psi fraternity of recognition after it published newsletters describing the supposed sexual practices of specific female students. Subsequently, the college president, James Wright, posted a letter on Dartmouth's Web site that was taken by conservative alumni to infringe on free speech.

    ''In a community such as ours,'' Dr. Wright wrote, ''it is hard to understand why some want still to insist that their 'right' to do what they want trumps the rights, feelings and considerations of others.''

    Alumni upset by the doings looked into petition candidacies, something that the first insurgent elected, T. J. Rodgers, said he was ''so pleased to find that Dartmouth had in its DNA.''

    In the last two elections, alumni voted in Mr. Rodgers, class of '70, a self-described libertarian and president of Cypress Semiconductor; Todd J. Zywicki, '88, a law professor at George Mason University; and Mr. Robinson.

    Their campaigns attacked Dr. Wright's letter, defended fraternities and strong sports programs and criticized efforts to shift Dartmouth's emphasis from undergraduates to research and doctoral programs. Dr. Wright said in an interview that the letter, since removed from the Web site, was never intended to police speech, and he has spoken publicly to support free speech unambiguously.

    For all the ideological fervor in the blogs, Mr. Rodgers, the first outside candidate who won, said he was irritated by groups and publications that portrayed the controversy as a left-right battle. He said his primary concerns were increasing the budget for teacher salaries and preserving the primacy of Dartmouth's role as an undergraduate institution.

    The proposed constitution would permit Internet voting for officers of the Alumni Association and allow alumni to elect directly half of the members of committees that nominate trustee candidates. It would also change the rules for petition candidates and, perhaps most important for both sides, the timing.

    Currently, petition candidates can declare their candidacies after the Alumni Association has announced its official slate. The new rules would reverse that, so the Alumni Association would know of any outside challengers before selecting its candidates.

    Mr. Daukas said the current system put the official candidates at a disadvantage because they did not know whether they would face outside challengers at all or who they might be. The chairman of Dartmouth's board, William H. Neukom, class of '64 and retired general counsel for Microsoft, in an interview called the proposed constitution ''a sincere effort'' to create ''a more democratic, more participatory form of alumni self-governance.''

    Merle Adelman, a vice president of the Alumni Association, said the election for new officers, which had been set for October, was not postponed to extend the terms of incumbents but because the new constitution would change the structure of the association's leadership and could render the election results moot.

    But critics said the changes upended the whole rationale for petition candidacies -- created as a mechanism for expressing discontent with the status quo -- and gave the official Alumni Association the upper hand.

    Editors of the on-campus Dartmouth Review and The Dartmouth Free Press, conservative and liberal publications that seldom agree, called the new constitution ''a slap in the face to open democracy'' that ''makes a mockery of the spirit of dissent and free speech.''

    Mr. Robinson agreed. ''This is as much a reform as when Joseph Stalin decided to hold elections in Eastern Europe,'' he said. ''Voting? Yes. Democracy? Not at all.''
  • flagshipflagship Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    It's funny to have conservatives at an institution that instructs people on how to be professionals.
  • TheKramerTheKramer Registered User Posts: 118 Junior Member
    It's funny to have conservatives at an institution that instructs people on how to be professionals.

    Well that's mature.
  • half_bakedhalf_baked Registered User Posts: 200 Junior Member
    That doesn't even make sense. The fact of the matter is, many of the most influential movers and shakers in society are people who are conservatives in the economic and political sense, not the social sense. I feel as though the word "conservative" has been hijacked by the image projected by the knee-jerk, reactionary religious right. I'm a fan of small government, individual enterprise, and the spread of institutions of freedom; where in my self-described conservatism do you find things like racism, sexism, or homophobia?

    Case in point - Bill Gates is the head of one of the most influential organizations to fight poverty, hunger, and disease in the developing world today. Microsoft has policies forbidding employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, race, or sex. At various times the company has even come out and supported equal rights legislation for gays. At the same time, do you really think Mr. Gates wants a large, inefficient federal government to hamper the competition and innovation of the free market?
  • columbia2007columbia2007 Registered User Posts: 906 Member
    Half Baked, you'd be more accurately described as a libertarian. "Conservative" is a very ambiguous term that isn't necessarily hijacked when applied to one of its myriad meanings in the American political context.
  • wisconsinguywisconsinguy Registered User Posts: 263 Junior Member
    Not necessarily, columbia2007. Halfbaked's theories would definitely fall within the scope of Burkean conservative thought; it's not as ambiguous a term as you say. And, indeed, it has been hijacked: most of the Bush administration's policies, for instance, are the work of liberals, not conservatives.
  • FountainSirenFountainSiren - Posts: 2,503 Member
    ^^^Well said…and yet, I am loathe to contradict the open minded musings and thoughtful insights of a--potentially--"ambiguous" liberal like Flagship.
  • dwinchodwincho Registered User Posts: 581 Member
    I truly feel that if you're 18-24 and a conservative, you are pathetic!!

    "A vibrant society is fueled by the idealism of its youth." Translation of a graffiti I read somewhere in Ecuador.
  • FountainSirenFountainSiren - Posts: 2,503 Member

    Not doubt because, as a liberal, you embrace diversity and tolerance, as does flagship--that is, unless diversity would have to include those who disagree with your exclusive point of view; interesting form of liberal “diversity” and “tolerance” you got going on there.

    Though I would not say so myself, it has been said that liberals often make great claims that they want to give a hearing to all points of view, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other points of view.

    ---perhaps someday, "diversity" will be more than a slogan for such slappy group-thinkers...but I'm not holding my breath, or opinions, waiting.

    A herd of stampeding individualist?
    -Of course.
  • dwinchodwincho Registered User Posts: 581 Member
    FountainSiren (or should I address you as "Your Majesty"),

    Funny how you completely choose to not defend your conservative stance, especially in regards to my post at #14. You write that liberals do not want to give a hearing to all points of view, yet you fail to make any...other than gratuitious attacks and self-gratifying posturing.

    Very respectfully,
This discussion has been closed.