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March 4, 2008, Conference Call
- Continuation of February 28 Meeting
Participants: Bill Hutchinson, Kate Aiken, Frank Gado, Tim Dreisbach, Alex Mooney, David Spalding, David Gale, Marji Ross
Proxies: Cheryl Bascomb to Bill Hutchinson, Kate Aiken, David Spalding; Bert Boles to Frank Gado, Tim Dreisbach, Marji Ross, Alex Mooney, David Gale
Bill stated that where we are is a continuation of Thursday's meeting because we agreed we wanted more people on the call before taking a vote.Bill ruled that a vote had not occurred via email on the matter of Quentin Kopp.The challenge is now being heard of Bill's ruling that a vote had not taken place.
Frank has thought about this a lot and he has talked to David Gale.He would prefer not to push this through and appear to tilt the election. Tim stated that he had been asked to serve as secretary pro tem.Frank is willing to withdraw his challenge if Tim will agree to serve. David Spalding said he appreciated Frank's thoughtfulness on this and he would support Tim for the office of secretary pro tem.Frank said that the secretary would go to Maryland for the ballot count.Bill said that person has really been based on who had time to go down there.Tim said he asked David Gale to be secretary pro tem when it was discussed by the Balloting Committee, but David was not available.Tim is willing to take on this role and handle correspondence. He wasn't sure that he could go down to Maryland, but other members of the Balloting Committee would be invited as would candidates from both sides. Alex Money discussed that he was there for last year's trustee race, and there were very few ballots to judge, but there were judgments to be made.
Frank withdrew his motion challenging Bill's ruling.Frank withdrew his motion nominating Quentin Kopp as secretary pro tem.Frank offered the following motion: I move that Tim Dreisbach be appointed to the office of secretary pro tem of the Balloting Committee.
Kate seconded the motion. David Gale asked it be amended to clarify that executive secretary is not a title that bestows additional authority.Tim will support that and Frank agreed.
I move that Tim Dreisbach be appointed to the office of secretary pro tem of the Balloting Committee and acknowledge that constitutionally this makes him executive secretary of the Association, but the executive secretary title bestows no additional power or authority.
Nine voted in favor, and Tim abstained.
Frank's motion on the website was offered:
I move that a new Association of Alumni website be created, intended to serve as the official location for communications from the Executive Committee to Association members and the general public.We ask that the College refer alumni wanting official information to this new official site, and that all web pages under its control linking or appearing to link to the present website of the Association of Alumni be updated to link to dartmouthalum.org.
Alex seconded the motion.
David Gale said we discussed cost last week, and asked if there was an answer on that.Frank said the understanding was that the cost not be above $25 per month. Frank stated that this would be like Madison's notes on the constitution. David asked it be amended to put in that limit.[Bert joined the call.]Bert said if it's worth doing this, we should have a higher cap.David Gale thinks the cost actually should be lower than that.The motion was amended to deal with the cost - Provided that, this motion shall not go into effect unless the cost of operating the website is less than $25 per month.
Voting yes: Marji Ross, Frank Gado, Tim Dreisbach, Alex Mooney, Bert Boles, David Gale.Voting no: Bill Hutchinson, Kate Aiken, David Spalding, Cheryl Bascomb. The motion carried six votes to four.
Frank's motion two: I move that no anonymous posting be permitted on http://dartmouthaoa.blogspot.com, and that abuse of posting privileges through filibustering, vulgarity, or gratuitous personal attack be cause for denial of that privilege.
This was seconded by Alex Mooney.
David Gale asked if Anton Anderson owned this blog. Bert asked who Anton is. David Spalding said Anton was an Association of Alumni Executive Committee officer last time who set up the blog, but simply takes our direction on this. Bill agreed that was the case. Tim believes it's difficult to decide what crosses the line here because sometimes there's a personal remark combined with a real comment so it's hard to know whether to delete someone's post. Tim has initiated threads and asked for no anonymous posts, and that improved the quality of the discussion. Marji agreed.Tim said people can still make up names but we should trust them on the honor system. Frank believes that will invite abuse. David Spalding said there have been good quality anonymous comments. Frank agreed, but still has heard some are concerned about whether the College would retaliate if they gave money to support the lawsuit and the same sense may go to anonymous posting. David Spalding said that some paid a price for posting by name, like Eve Wallace who was Googled and her child looked up when she posted. [Alex left the call and his proxy to Frank Gado]. Frank said there is a balance here. David Gale said he agreed with the first part of the motion because in other chat situations where you have to log in under a name, the quality of discussion is better.He doesn't like the second part because he's not sure that bloggers can do this.Marji asked how we make the judgment. Frank said flames are prohibited now and people can judge it.Bill and Frank still disagree on a post of Frank's in 2007.
Frank said filibustering is defined as not staying on theme of the thread. Tim said sometimes people need to do that to get a new thought up.
David Spalding said this is a speech issue, and we should just let the discussion go despite infrequent foul language. David Gale said there are people who abuse that right and requiring log in helps cut that back. David Gale believes it's hard to hold a conversation with the anonymous parties and hard to track their personalities. Frank believes it raises the level of discourse and follows the rules for letters to the editor of the Valley News, The Dartmouth, or the Alumni Magazine.
David Gale said there are levels of log-in that can be used under this blogger system we use. Tim pointed out that you wouldn't have to log in to read it. Frank objected to pseudonyms.David Spalding said what's been up lately anonymously is fine. Frank hasn't read the blog lately.Frank believes his reflects badly on the Association and the College.David Gale believes we just need to be able to have a personality attached to posts. The discussion turned to the honor system here.David Spalding asked Frank to read the blog again to better understand what's happening there.He remains concerned about the Eve Wallace example. Tim believes some foolish and untrue things get posted anonymously. David Gale wants personalities attached.
Tim said we have three choices:leave them as they are; require actual name; or, just require registered users.You will be required to have an account and it will read through the account. To do it anonymously, go to Live Journal and create an account for these purposes. David Gale believes that is easy to do.
Bert wondered if this would also help the civility of the discussion.The Board referenced divisiveness when issuing their decision in September. Bert said we've all worked together on this committee and discussed items civilly. David Gale said in his experience assigning an account and a name accomplishes that.Frank said the motion should seek the ideal.Frank believes the current approach chases people away from the blog. Bill said the blog was created to allow unrestricted free speech allowing people to post anonymously. Bill said there are benefits to the kind of site they discussed, but he doesn't think it will work. We need an easy blog allowing people to say what they need to say. Bill said if we're going to do this, let's set up another site and people will go there if it's a better site.
Tim believes this is not an ideal site, in part because you can only see three threads at a time. Tim said let's encourage more people to establish threads with rules as to how to go on there.Frank disagreed.He won't go there. He stated that the site is poison.Frank wants it more like letters to the editor which reflects better on us.
Tim asked whether Bill and Frank like David Gale's approach.Neither of them did. Bill stated it needs someone monitoring, which does take time, especially given how complex it has become. David Gale doesn't think a monitor works when there are anonymous comments or people can fake a comment under a name. He believes registered users will help with that issue.
David Spalding asked why not just set something up as an alternative. Marji said we can try to improve it. Bill said it restricts use if you can't speak anonymously. Marji disagreed. David Gale said it's easy to become a registered user, and so no one would be limited from speaking on the blog.
David Gale does believe that the back part of the motion should be struck.This would allow pseudonyms. Frank would not accept the amendment, and David Gale is not asking that the motion be changed. He does not believe that we have the technical capability to enforce the second half of the motion to blacklist someone. David Gale said this would have to be decided by the committee because if that power exists, only Anton can do it. David Gale said he supports Frank's motion. Tim asked if David Gale believed this motion allows pseudonyms. David Gale said it does allow that given practice in chat rooms.
Voting yes: Frank Gado, Tim Dreisbach, Alex Mooney, David Gale, Marji Ross, Bert Boles; voting no: Bill Hutchinson, Kate Aiken, David Spalding, Cheryl Bascomb.
The motion carries six to four.
Tim asked David Gale to communicate with Anton and put the appropriate words up on the site to reflect the new policy.
Tim's motion was offered:
It is hereby resolved that all official records of the Association, as maintained by the Secretary and other officials, shall be accessible for review by any Association member in a reasonable manner.For those records maintained by the College on behalf of the Association, it shall mean the ability for alumni to review and make copies of any recordings or papers during normal business hours.The only exception to this policy shall be documents or other data that have been deemed confidential and "sealed" by an explicit vote of the existing or a prior Executive Committee.In particular, all results and aggregations of data from officer and trustee elections that have been delivered to the College or the Association by the election service provider (e.g. TruBallot or an equivalent) shall be accessible, as this data does not contain information pertaining to the identities of individual voters.
Tim believes this is more reasonable than his last motion on this.Bert said it is a pellucidly written motion. Bert seconded the motion.Tim said he tried to recognize things that were confidential.Bill said this doesn't change practice.Tim said that's good. Bill said this shouldn't apply to records from the past.Bill said that there weren't always explicit votes on this, but it was understood that committee minutes, for example, would not be disclosed.They would be among the committee.It would only go as far as those in the room, and not be made public.The past executive committees decided not to publish their minutes and the results of elections.The agreement among the AoA and candidates was that only the winner would be disclosed.Tim believes we need the information of the past to make the petition candidates more legitimate.Tim believes that the votes received by those who ran against Peter and Todd need to be disclosed.Tim said there have been aspersions cast against them. David Gale believes that the Association of Alumni Executive Committee that sets the voting system needs to have information on the votes cast to decide on the appropriate voting method.Bill said the AGTF was not given this information. Frank said the committee should have this information.Bill disagrees because privacy was the basis for the election at the time and people retain that expectation. Also, the data would not help.Tim disagreed.Tim agreed to amend his motion by removing the words "and trustee," so the final motion read as follows:
It is hereby resolved that all official records of the Association, as maintained by the Secretary and other officials shall be accessible for review by any Association member in a reasonable manner.For those records maintained by the College on behalf of the Association, it shall mean the ability for alumni to review and make copies of any recordings or papers during normal business hours.The only exception to this policy shall be documents or other data that have been deemed confidential and "sealed" by an explicit vote of the existing or a prior Executive Committee.In particular, all results and aggregations of data from officer elections that have been delivered to the College or the Association by election service provider (e.g. TruBallot or an equivalent) shall be accessible, as this data does not contain information pertaining to the identities of individual voters.
Voting yes: Kate Aiken, Frank Gado, Tim Dreisbach, Alex Mooney, Marji ross, Bert Boles; voting no: Bill Hutchinson, David Spalding.The motion passes six to two.
The meeting adjourned.
Association of Alumni