Trustees explain function

by Nathaniel Leclery | 11/11/94 6:00am

Three members of the College's Board of Trustees answered questions from students yesterday on topics ranging from alcohol and the Greek system to the way in which the Board hears student opinions.

About 50 students attended yesterday's hour-and-a-half forum, which featured Chairman of the Board E. John Rosenwald and Trustees Ann Fritz Hackett and Kate Stith-Cabranes.

Rosenwald, vice chairman of The Bear Stearns Companies in New York, opened the panel by saying, "If you think of the College as a corporation, the Board of Trustees governs while the administration manages.

"We are concerned with the budget, we're concerned with the endowment, we're concerned with fundraising, we're responsible for setting the tuition," Rosenwald said.

He said College administrators consult the Trustees on major policy changes -- like the new curriculum -- then discuss the matter and vote.

A good portion of yesterday's discussion focused on the amount of influence student opinions have on the Trustees' decisions and how those opinions are heard.

Fritz Hackett said the Board listens to the student representatives who serve on the Trustees Committee of Student Affairs and hosts a breakfast with students when members come to Hanover to meet.

Stith-Cabranes said students can informally express their concerns through their reactions to campus events and that she reads The Dartmouth to stay in touch with campus news.

Rosenwald said the Board needs to listen to student opinion. "We're running a store here and you are the customers," he said.

He said the Trustees listened to all opinions before their decision last spring to continue the College's Reserve Officers' Training Corps despite objections that the program discriminated against homosexuals.

Chair of the Rockefeller Student Council Jim Brennan '96, who moderated the forum, asked the Board members about their opinions of the Greek system.

Without taking a specific stance on the issue, each of the Trustees voiced a concern with alcohol, but added that drinking is not exclusively a Greek problem.

Stith-Cabranes discussed the dilemma in the Greek system that stems from competing interests of prohibiting sex discrimination while endorsing an individual's freedom of association.

John Meyers '96 raised concerns about the ethnic and gender makeup of the Board, which is composed of three women and one minority member.

Fritz Hackett said the Board tries to diversify its composition by using its nomination power but has had difficulty doing so.

Stith-Cabranes said, "As Board members we're not representing anybody. I'm not representing women, or women's points of view. I am doing the same as my male and female colleagues, which is looking [at] what's best for Dartmouth students."

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