My Fellow Alumni,
During the October annual meeting of the Dartmouth Association of Alumni, it was made clear to the members of the newly-elected executive committee that a great many alumni would like to be able to vote on constitutional amendments without having to attend meetings in person.
To respond as quickly as possible to that request, we called a special meeting for February 12 at 11 am, Spaulding Auditorium, in Hanover. The purpose will be to vote on a proposal to change the alumni constitution to require that future amendment proposals be voted on by all alumni via all-media voting (as we do now during alumni trustee balloting). This would finally eliminate the current requirement to vote in person in Hanover on constitutional matters, providing alumni with a more democratic and transparent mechanism for change.
I urge you to attend this important meeting and have your voice counted.
Five years ago, the elected leaders of the association realized the need for a clearer, more participatory form of alumni governance. In response, the association and the Alumni Council charged an Alumni Governance Task Force to explore how this could be accomplished. As your representatives, we continue to be completely supportive of this process, and to carrying out the will of the alumni to achieve these objectives.
As we move forward with this process, it is important that the alumni be aware of the principles that guide their leadership. We will make every effort to commit ourselves to an inclusive association and address issues with as much fairness and understanding as we possibly can. We pledge to
- protect all alumni rights and privileges during a transitional period that is unprecedented
- encourage constitutional and procedural changes
- always provide fair and timely notice, so that all alumni can fully understand any proposals on which they are asked to vote
- provide universal and equal alumni enfranchisement opportunity
- follow all appropriate guidelines so that everyone knows and is governed by the same rules, but at the same time maintaining an understanding flexibility, as some situations may be unique or unforeseen
- continually strive to implement a fair process that is well publicized and easily understood.
It is essential that all alumni have the opportunity to understand well in advance the issues that will be addressed at an annual or special meeting of the association. Submission of agenda items must be made in a timely manner in order for alumni to not only review the content, but (under the existing rules) to make travel plans to come to Hanover to vote. Accordingly, your executive committee made a difficult decision last week on behalf of all alumni to not allow petition amendments to be placed on the February 12 agenda.
The proposed amendment allowing multi-media voting on constitutional issues is long overdue. However, this is your association and under existing rules you must be present to vote. So please join us on February 12 and cast your vote. For additional information about the meeting and to read the text of the amendment please visit http:///leadership/association/special.html or contact Patricia Harris '81 at (603) 646-3929
We remain committed to maintaining an ongoing and open dialogue with all members of the alumni association.
Allen V. Collins '53, President
Dartmouth Association of Alumni