More Election Results Expected Today

The Association of Alumni is holding their annual meeting today in Alumni Hall at 1:30 pm. Directly after the meeting voting results will be announced in the race for the Association’s Executive Committee. Online voting closed on the 15th along with trustee voting, those who did not get a chance to vote online can vote at the meeting today.

The Association’s meetings have been plagued with controversy in recent years, the most recent controversy came to an end relatively recently with John MacGovern’s ’80 lawsuit against the Association being dismissed by the New Hampshire Supreme Court. I wrote in length about the disagreement between MacGovern and the Association here. To put it in a nutshell, the dispute revolved around disallowed proxy votes in the care of MacGovern—because there was no specific rule allowing proxy votes they were disallowed. Alumni had to be physically present at the annual meetings to have their votes counted. MacGovern, in turn, took the Association to court, trying to force them to accept the proxies. While in court, the Association changed their guidelines to allow for all-media voting. This had been the main contention of MacGovern who, along with others, argued that the lack of this option skewed the elections in the administrations favor, as many of the alumni who live in proximity to Dartmouth are actually employees of the College. In an interview before the NH Supreme Court’s decision was handed down, MacGovern told me, “in a sense, we’ve won the argument.” (Referring to the implementation of all-media voting).

In the election for the Association’s Executive Committee, just as with the trustee election, there is a nominated slate of candidates as well as a petition slate. This is the first election in which alumni can vote online. After the convincing win by Stephen Smith ’88 in the trustee race, it seems more than likely that the petition slate for the Executive Committee will also emerge victorious. At any rate, we’ll know soon enough.

What remains unclear, to me at least, is why the Association is important. As it is set up now it takes care of procedural issues like balloting in the trustee elections. The Alumni Council, and not the Association of Alumni, is responsible for choosing the nominated candidates for the Board of Trustees. There is no denying, however, the Association’s peripheral importance. After all, the fiasco that was last autumn’s failed constitution was largely pushed along by the Association.

UPDATE: The comments function seems to be broken again; I’ll see what I can do to fix it. Also, I’ve been informed by a reader that the power to nominate Trustee candidates resides in the Association, but the Association has freely delegated that power to the Alumni Council.