You Can’t Hide Behind a Glossy Brochure

The College has, of late, determined that it hasn’t been effectively getting its message out to alumni, so it has made its newsletters glossier and its prose more flowery. But, as Joseph Asch ’79 points out, this sort of propaganda is no longer possible.

However, Dartmouth’s thoughtful alumni can see through this storm of self-congratulatory fluff; they have other, more direct sources of information about the College: alumni parents talk to legacies; young alums talk to student friends; alumni interview recent graduates in a professional context; they read The Dartmouth, the Valley News and Dartmouth blogs online; and they share what they learn with each other.

The information that they gather in these ways is the true basis for the alumni unhappiness at the present state of a Dartmouth education. Alumni actually know what is going on in Hanover, and to their deep disappointment, what they see is not pretty.

The alumni are well aware of the problems on campus, Asch says, including the “scant support” for athletics, the chaotic housing situation, the increasing administration bloat, the decline of student writing skills, and “the College’s unwritten but actively enforced Speech Code.” He concludes that Dartmouth’s graduates will continue their push for “a change of leadership,” which began last year with the election to the Board of Trustees of T. J. Rodgers ’70.