Association to Reform Election Rules

According to an article in today’s Daily Dartmouth, the Alumni Association may scrap the highly-restrictive rules that govern alumni Trustee elections:

Many accused Alumni for a Strong Dartmouth of violating the strict election rules on campaigning. As per the trustee election guidelines, “campaigning by the candidate or his/her supporters beyond the two e-mails is inappropriate.”

According to Walters, the Alumni for a Strong Dartmouth clearly violated the spirit of the guidelines, but the ballot committee can only restrain first-party campaigning.

These campaign restrictions, ironically part of an election that focuses on free speech, have raised questions of their purpose. [Association President John] Walters [’62] said they were an attempt to maintain the dignity of the process, but admitted that given the impossibility of enforcement and the growth of online campaigning, they were obsolete.

“We’re going to have to do some significant restructuring of those guidelines,” Walters said. “Frankly, I would be in favor of more opportunities for open dialogue.”

Walters did not say whether the new rules would permit candidates themselves to campaign. The current restrictions hamper outsiders like petition candidates Peter Robinson ’79 and Todd Zywicki ’88, who lack ties to establishment groups like Alumni for a Strong Dartmouth.

Voting in this year’s alumni Trustee election ends in five hours.