Taking a Cue from President Wright

Today’s Daily Dartmouth editorial on the Trustee election sounds a lot like the message President James Wright has been trying to sell to alumni: move along, nothing to see here.

There is no speech code at Dartmouth. The Greek system has not ended as we know it. While there are still issues worthy of great concern — oversubscription, for example — the general state of the College is strong. Each incoming class is stronger than the last, and current students and recent alumni are still among the nation’s greatest achievers.

The Daily D apparently believes there’s not much for students or alumni to be concerned about. The administration’s recent baby steps towards removing its speech restrictions and its failure to carry out its standing threat to abolish the Greek system represent, it seems, proof of the administration’s benign intentions. It does not bother the Daily D‘s editorial board that President Wright has not repudiated his commitment to end the Greek system “as we know it” nor his 2001 statement that students lack “‘rights’ [which] trump the rights, feelings, and considerations of others.” And they accept unquestioningly the admissions office line about each freshman class being “the best ever”—even though this is a slap in the face to previous classes, who are, by extension, worse.

The editorial then attacks the petition candidates and their supporters as simply nostalgic old men opposed to progress:

Those who pine for the bygone days of “Dear Old Dartmouth” should recognize that the current student body does not want a return to those days. We want to shape the College in our own way. Older alumni should be wary of subordinating the strides forward made by the College, current students and recent alumni to their nostalgia.

Who wrote that paragraph—Susan Ackerman?