Petition calls for admin to step out of student life

by The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 5/16/16 6:36pm

Student leaders at the College released a petition on Monday critiquing the administration and urging the Board of Trustees and College administrators to “depart from the realm of student life” and instead focus on fiscal decisions they say will enhance campus intellectual and social climate. As of press time, 528 people have signed the petition.

Senior class president Danny Reitsch ’16, senior class treasurer Michael Beechert ’16, Palaeopitius senior society moderator Robert Scales ’16, Student Assembly vice president Dari Seo ’16 and junior class president Elisabeth Shricker ’17 signed the petition’s accompanying letter, which was published on change.org under the title “Take Back Dartmouth.”

The petition criticized the “lack of fiscal disclipine” at the College, pointing to the rapid increases in non-faculty staff without stated justification.The petition states that the number of non-faculty staff increased from 2,408 in 1999 to 3,497 in 2015.

The petition also expresses concern with the consistent increases in tuition and attendance fees. This year, the Board of Trustees approved a tuition increase of 3.8 percent, and the cost of attendance at the College has increased by 39 percent from the 2009-2010 to the 2016-2017 academic years.

Calling administrators “paternalistic babysitters,” the petition also argued that the administration has taken sides in sensitive debates and undermined a free exchange of ideas. The document cited the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s recent lowering of the College’s speech code rating from a green to yellow.

The petition calls for a reduction in tuition and “appropriate investment in student-oriented infrastructure and academic programming.”

This article will be updated with more information as it is reported.