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Cinderella Story (2 conservative underdogs victorious in Dartmouth's alumni trustee elections.)
The Weekly Standard ^ | 05/13/2005 | Duncan Currie

Posted on 05/13/2005 5:27:18 PM PDT by jocon307

THE PETITION CANDIDATES DID IT. In a stunning--at least to their critics--upset, Peter Robinson and Todd Zywicki each won an alumni seat on Dartmouth College's board of trustees. The results were made public yesterday afternoon, following two months of electronic and mail-in voting.

Chalk up another victory for the "New Media"--namely, for the conservative blogosphere. Robinson and Zywicki relied heavily on the Internet to publicize their efforts. They had been the insurgents in the race: the grassroots nominees who worked their way onto the ballot by garnering 500 signatures apiece. They entered a field with four other candidates handpicked by the school's alumni council.

Dartmouth trustee rules bar candidates from electioneering--but only once they've been certified. So as they labored to acquire the requisite 500 petitions, Robinson and Zywicki were free to tout their platforms on personal websites and friendly blogs. They called chiefly for ending Dartmouth's de facto campus speech code and improving the undergraduate experience.

Since Robinson and Zywicki are well-known conservatives--Robinson is a Hoover fellow and former Reagan speechwriter ("Tear Down This Wall" came from his pen), while Zywicki teaches law at George Mason University and blogs at the Volokh Conspiracy site--the race had political overtones. But both stressed that their principal issues--protecting free speech and renewing Dartmouth's commitment to its undergrads--were nonpartisan.

Yet almost overnight, blogs sprang up to denounce them. Concerned alums--including such groups as "Alumni for a Strong Dartmouth" and "Dartmouth Alumni for Social Change"--zinged Robinson and Zywicki for their "reactionary" politics and criticism of Dartmouth president James Wright.

They had a good reason to be startled by the two outsiders. In 2004, another petition candidate, Silicon Valley tycoon T.J. Rodgers, won election to the board of trustees--the first to do so since 1980. Rodgers, a self-described libertarian, ran on a platform similar to those of Robinson and Zywicki.

Now, thanks to the petition process, three center-right alums in two years have gained positions on the board by campaigning against the Dartmouth administration and against politically correct speech codes. To say this has raised eyebrows and ruffled feathers in Hanover would be an understatement. Robinson and Zywicki--like Rodgers before them--challenged the reigning academic establishment head-on and emerged victorious. They join the board officially in June, following Dartmouth's commencement exercises.

Robinson spoke to The Daily Standard Friday morning about the significance of his win. He emphasized the Internet angle above all. "The victory represents a victory for alumni participation in the governance of Dartmouth College," Robinson said. "What made that possible was the blogosphere." Blogs "made it possible for me to reach alums" and "keep up reporting and interest in the campaign."

More broadly, he added, blogs offer a novel way for graduates to stay in touch with their alma mater. "I learned more in three months of reading these blogs about the actual state of affairs in Hanover, New Hampshire, than [I did] in 25 years of reading the alumni magazine." Blogs thus pose a mortal threat to the "propaganda machines" of major universities, Robinson said. "That strikes me as a sea change."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; Miscellaneous; Politics/Elections; US: California; US: New Hampshire; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: academia; alumni; college; dartmouth; highered; highereducation; trustees; university
WOOO HOOOO!

Good on these fellows.

And see this related thread

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1402682/posts

There maybe hope yet, at the college level.

1 posted on 05/13/2005 5:27:21 PM PDT by jocon307
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To: jocon307; rmlew
More broadly, he added, blogs offer a novel way for graduates to stay in touch with their alma mater. "I learned more in three months of reading these blogs about the actual state of affairs in Hanover, New Hampshire, than [I did] in 25 years of reading the alumni magazine." Blogs thus pose a mortal threat to the "propaganda machines" of major universities, Robinson said. "That strikes me as a sea change."
2 posted on 05/13/2005 5:36:12 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative (Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Andrew Heyward's got to go!)
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To: jocon307

Now if PARENTS could get this involved at the local level with the government-propaganda schools maybe there would be some hope for our educational system at all levels.


3 posted on 05/13/2005 6:00:44 PM PDT by hardworking (I'm not sophisticated enough to be a Democrat - I believe in God.)
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To: hardworking

"Now if PARENTS could get this involved at the local level with the government-propaganda schools maybe there would be some hope for our educational system at all levels."

Oh I agree, and not just parents, ALL TAXPAYERS, they are footing the bill.

I'll tell you, this is one area where I think pretty swift progress might be made. Make that MIGHT be made.

Schools are not run by teachers unions, if I not mistaken they are not even run by local gov'ts directly, they get some standards from the states, and control, but most schools have local school boards that control them. As I say, this is true in the Northeast, not sure about other areas.

I do NOT understand why the conservatives (just the plain old conservatives, not the super religious ones, they're are gone from the public schools for the most part) don't start taking over the local school boards. It should be fairly easy to do, hardly nobody votes in those elections as it is.

Well, I'll shut up now, before I make a total fool of myself, but I think you get my gist.


4 posted on 05/13/2005 6:20:52 PM PDT by jocon307 (Irish grandmother rolls in grave, yet again.)
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To: jocon307

Conservative trustees and regents who take seriously their responsiblity to vote up or down tenure decisions are the solution to the left's entrenchment in academe.

Abolishing tenure, as many on this board advocate, would let the leftists bounce out any conservatives who are hired, even if they lay low for the beginning of their career, not vice-versa, and it would complete the destruction of science by the herd mentality already almost enforced by the grant funding agencies--the brave researcher who bucks the trend would not just have trouble finding money for his or her projects, but would be out of a job.


5 posted on 05/13/2005 6:22:27 PM PDT by The_Reader_David (Christ is Risen! Christos Anesti! Khristos Voskrese! Al-Masih Qam! Hristos a Inviat!)
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To: jocon307

How many are on the board? Do you know?


6 posted on 05/13/2005 6:24:56 PM PDT by Temple Owl (19064)
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To: The_Reader_David

I agree abolishing tenure is not the solution, nor is ending the lifetime appointment for Judges. Those would be changes that would surely come back to bite us (the right) in the rear end.

The truly frightening thing about the left is the nihilism, the relativism. The denial of any true Truth.

This is why I already like the new Pope, he spoke out against this attitude immediately. And the heathen media have made it a sound byte, God love them for it.

I guess it is plain that the educrats are the very last redoubt of the evil left of the 20th century. On another, unrelated thread, there was some slam against Louisa May Alcott for her writing in Little Women. I'm sure you can imagine the charge.

Yet that book has maybe the Ur Feminist Jo as the heroine (or hero as today's female "actors" like to call themselves except for the exact moment when they are accepting the best actress oscar [reg. trademark]); and LMA's dad was a famous forerunner of today's left.

Except that he wasn't, I'm pretty sure Branson Alcott was searching for the Truth, not denying it could ever be found, because in fact, it did not exist.

I'm rambling on this thread, but gosh darn I've watched this culture sink into the mire under the influence, the capricious and arbitrary influence of these people for my entire thinking life.

If they are not stopped we, well not we, probably our grandchildren, will be leading a life that the serfs of the middle ages would dread have forced upon them.


7 posted on 05/13/2005 6:34:31 PM PDT by jocon307 (Irish grandmother rolls in grave, yet again.)
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To: jocon307

Couldn't agree more. I put my child through private schools, at great expense, and said over and over that we parents would have been better off to have taken back our public schools that we were already paying for. Trouble is, many of us who recognize the problems just don't have the stomach to get involved with the half wits who tend to run for office. Until we decide to get involved I guess we have to watch the destruction of our educational system continue.


8 posted on 05/13/2005 6:38:29 PM PDT by hardworking (I'm not sophisticated enough to be a Democrat - I believe in God.)
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To: Temple Owl

"Alumni hold seven of the 17 seats on the Dartmouth board of trustees..."

Gosh, it's a lot I'm afraid. If the other petition candidate is still there this would give the right wing 3 out of 7 out of 17.

Still a distinct minority.

But hey, if these folks are so smart, which I guess they are, they went to Dartmouth didn't they? I hope they'll make some progress in their time.

We've just go to keep voting in the good (or better) and votig out the bad (or worse).

As my beloved Rumsfeld said on a different subject: It's going to be a long, hard, slog.


9 posted on 05/13/2005 6:42:07 PM PDT by jocon307 (Irish grandmother rolls in grave, yet again.)
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To: hardworking

"Trouble is, many of us who recognize the problems just don't have the stomach to get involved with the half wits who tend to run for office."

Well there's that. There's also the fact that the primary and secondary schools have parent populations who, by definition, are pre-occupied by raising small and teenage (ACK! HORRORS! MY EARS!) children.

So, let's blame the oldsters, esp. that so-called greatest generation. Esp. in the suburbs they should have held the line on some of this stuff, and they didn't.

Hey, don't flame me, my dad served in the Pacific.


10 posted on 05/13/2005 6:48:09 PM PDT by jocon307 (Irish grandmother rolls in grave, yet again.)
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To: jocon307

You are absolutely right. I must confess that I did spend some time on 'Boards' of schools (private, I admit) and frankly it drove me nuts sometimes because they could yammer on ad nauseum about the most trivial things. Making any significant changes is really difficult and I find the whole situation very disheartening. Interestingly, my child, now an adult, swears that my grandkids will never set foot in a public school because she saw what a difference her education made when she went to collete - she was well prepared and sailed through while kids from public schools struggles, particularly the first year.


11 posted on 05/13/2005 6:56:27 PM PDT by hardworking (I'm not sophisticated enough to be a Democrat - I believe in God.)
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To: hardworking

"...it drove me nuts sometimes because they could yammer on ad nauseum about the most trivial things."

Here's a true story I've told before, I think you'll appreciate it. I'll try and be concise!

I had my daughter, for years, in day care with the blessed Salvation Army in Jersey City, NJ. The children were, I'd say 97% black, there were a couple of white kids (including mine) and a couple of hispanics. (To my memory there were no Indians or other East Asians or Orientals, looking back that seems strange, but hey, it was almost 20 years ago now, so you know, immigration is out of control, but I digress).

I can never praise the Salvation Army enough, they are truly filled with the love of Jesus. They gave my daughter an excellent early-childhood education. The staff was racially mixed and there was never a hint of any racial dissention, not a hint. This place was such a gift to me and (more importantly in the long run I imagine) my kid.

Anyway...we used to have to go to these parents meetings once in a while. One night I was a one of these and, noticeably there was another white parent there. He really seemed to be quite the yuppie to me. (Remember the 80s?)

Anyway, after they got through the info about the fundraiser we had to do, etc. other business, they opened the floor for questions.

This fellow quickly stood up and said "I've noticed that most of the books in the classrooms have pictures of white kids, yet most of the children here are black. Maybe we need to get more books....with black kids....er...um..." That was his reaction as a roomful of VERY CONSERVATIVE, and mostly black parents (and me, the white chick) just glared at him.

He shut up, sat down, and I don't remember seeing him there again. I'm sure he very quickly put his child in an all-white liberal daycare/kindergarten, the better to learn about "diversity".


12 posted on 05/13/2005 7:15:54 PM PDT by jocon307 (Irish grandmother rolls in grave, yet again.)
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To: jocon307
"The truly frightening thing about the left is the nihilism, the relativism. The denial of any true Truth."

Yes. But you have to understand that liberals have their own absolute truths. They believe, for instance, that Western civilization is bad, that people of color are good, that abortion is good, that homosexuality is natural.

Sure, they fashion themselves nihilists and value relativists when they're attacking Western civilization. The rest of the time they're fanatics who have very definite ideas of right and wrong.

It's really the case that liberals are opportunistic nihilists. They're such self-satisfied lunatics that their value relativism only applies to things they hate.

13 posted on 05/14/2005 2:50:38 AM PDT by Reactionary
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To: jocon307

Great story!! They never change, do they?


14 posted on 05/14/2005 9:45:39 PM PDT by hardworking (I'm not sophisticated enough to be a Democrat - I believe in God.)
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To: Paleo Conservative
Happy to hear it.
I'd love to pull it off at Patrice Lumumba on the Hudson.
15 posted on 05/15/2005 1:01:31 AM PDT by rmlew (Copperheads and Peaceniks beware! Sedition is a crime.)
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To: hardworking

I'm glad to see this. I tend to separate colleges and k-12 though.


16 posted on 05/17/2005 5:04:54 AM PDT by moog
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To: hardworking
while kids from public schools struggles

That should be struggled if referring to the past tense or struggle if referring to the present.

17 posted on 05/17/2005 5:06:56 AM PDT by moog
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To: hardworking

Until we decide to get involved I guess we have to watch the destruction of our educational system continue.

I agree with this mostly. It's a big reason why I became a teacher. It's a big reason why I encourage parents so much to be involved in their kids' education, especially dads. It's a big reason why my father and mother recognized that THEY were the ones who were responsible for the values taught to their children, their religious training, what they learned in education, and the major influence in their children's lives. All eight of us received excellent educations in the public schools (including one at the present time) because my parents did things like limit TV, not getting cable TV, stressing the importance of family, taking us to church, making sure we did our homework, knowing where we were, and so on and so on. All eight of us have turned out pretty good, though I would say that I have a LOT of things to improve in.


18 posted on 05/17/2005 5:14:11 AM PDT by moog
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To: jocon307
can never praise the Salvation Army enough, they are truly filled with the love of Jesus.

VERY MUCH AGREED. I could NOT believe that some businesses were prohibiting the bell ringers.

19 posted on 05/17/2005 5:15:55 AM PDT by moog
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To: jocon307
WAH HOO WAH!

I am a Dartmouth Alum (class of 1972), and I voted for both of these gentlemen.

20 posted on 05/17/2005 5:20:29 AM PDT by chs68
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To: jocon307
So, let's blame the oldsters, esp. that so-called greatest generation. Esp. in the suburbs they should have held the line on some of this stuff, and they didn't.

Not quite sure what you mean here, but I still consider the greatest generation to be just that. It's the people after them that didn't hold on to those values. It seems like we complain so much about petty stuff nowadays, despite having probably more choices and posessions than ever before. There is an emphasis on the negative and a tendency to blame others. We also tend to not be content with the things we have or to be thankful for the good things in life that we enjoy. A lot of times we don't want to take responsibility for our actions or do what we can to get gain for ourselves (me,me,me thinking) at the expense of others (NEWSWEEK ANYONE?). I imagine some oldsters are up in heaven just shaking their heads. Yes, a lot of this applies to liberals, but people on both sides of the coin sometimes do these things, ESPECIALLY ME. I do try hard to improve myself each day though. I hope we can look BACK to the greatest generation and be thankful for the sacrifices they made for us and the freedoms they fought for that we enjoy now.

21 posted on 05/17/2005 5:23:08 AM PDT by moog
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To: jocon307
Oh I agree, and not just parents, ALL TAXPAYERS, they are footing the bill.

I'll tell you, this is one area where I think pretty swift progress might be made. Make that MIGHT be made.

Schools are not run by teachers unions, if I not mistaken they are not even run by local gov'ts directly, they get some standards from the states, and control, but most schools have local school boards that control them. As I say, this is true in the Northeast, not sure about other areas.

I do NOT understand why the conservatives (just the plain old conservatives, not the super religious ones, they're are gone from the public schools for the most part) don't start taking over the local school boards. It should be fairly easy to do, hardly nobody votes in those elections as it is.

Well, I'll shut up now, before I make a total fool of myself, but I think you get my gist.

You made some WONDERFUL points. Yes, at least in my state, it is the government that controls the community schools. The teacher unions do not even set the curriculum, it's the government.

I think, rather than sit on the fence and complain, that we should go down to the nearest school and ask how we can help. We should also recognize those students, volunteers, teachers, etc. doing positive things in education and for the community, not just emphasize the negative or blame teachers for all the wrongs of the world. I would like to see less government regulations and more community involvement in schools myself.

I too agree that true conservatives should run for school boards. No, I don't mean those with some political agenda against public schools, but those who truly think education is important and seek to truly improve it in positive ways. I would take it even further and say that conservatives should become teachers as well.

That's why this "old" conservative became a teacher and I put my ideas that parents, teachers, anc students should work together into practice in my own classroom. I REALLY enjoy associating and working with parents. I am fortunate to live in the area I teach so the parents become my friends and neighbors too to an extent. I enjoy going to things my students are involved in at times, including (especially actually) religious ceremonies. I love seeing my students improve or get excited about learning (esp. when they get excited about how well they are doing in reading). I think that I have an educator's dream job at times. It takes a LOT of extra work that others don't see, but it is all worth it if I help make a positive difference in the life of at least one child.

I was moved to tears the other day. A mom had taken the time to go around to different parents, past and present. She put together a little book with letters from these parents detailing ways how I had supposedly helped their children. There were about 30 letters. I was touched that someone would do something like that for me. It was worth a whole year of salary to me, no wait, it was priceless. Only one thing, it was not me doing anything, it was the parents and the man upstairs. I don't know why God blesses a person like me with so many faults and weaknesses so much each year.

All in all, what does this mean?? You have NOT made a fool of yourself, you have made some very valid points. You seem to be the kind of parent and person any child would like to have and any person would like to know.

22 posted on 05/17/2005 5:44:17 AM PDT by moog
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To: chs68

I too am Dartmouth (class of 56) and also voted for both of these gentlemen.
The college does not make it easy to nominate by petition. We are grateful
to those who will take the trouble to make a difference


23 posted on 05/17/2005 7:53:53 AM PDT by jfenner
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