Collins '53 to lead Alumni Association

by Julie Glasgow | 10/24/05 5:00am

Candidates nominated by the Association of Alumni overwhelmingly defeated a slate of prospective officers petitioned by the Association's members in elections for the Association's leadership Sunday.

Alumni present in Hanover voted to elect Allen Collins '53 over petition candidate D. Dean Spatz '66 Th'68 as Alumni Association president in a vote of 248 to 140.

"I am pleased that our slate won," Collins said as he stressed that the difference between the two slates is not that great.

Merle Adelman '80, Precious Stargell '85 and Stanley A. Colla '66 Tu'86 were elected first vice president, second vice president and secretary-treasurer, respectively. Kate Aiken '92, Albert Cook, Jr. '62, Ann Fromholz '90, William Hutchinson '76, Frederick Roesch '60, Kaja Schuppert '95 and Steven White '77 will serve as the new executive committee.

A heated debate between the nominated slate and petition candidates was at the core of this season's election. Petition candidates tried to mobilize support for what they called "The Lone Pine Revolution," a campaign that aimed to amend the existing constitution to allow all alumni to vote in elections, preserving the current election process for petition candidates and concentrating Dartmouth's resources toward maintaining the school's role as a liberal arts college.

"We had hoped to give the alumni a much more forceful opinion," Joseph Asch '79 said.

Asch lost the election for the Association's first vice president.

"The Alumni Council did a great job in turning out the vote," Asch said, adding that the results of this election do not match how alumni have voted in recent trustee elections.

Vice President of Alumni Relations David Spalding '76 said he looks forward to working with the new alumni leaders.

"There will always be differences of opinion about the best ways to keep Dartmouth at the forefront of higher education, but the administration is committed to working with the College's constituencies and their leaders in pursuit of that goal," Spaulding said.

Dartmouth's alumni governance organizations have been contested in recent years. In the spring of 2004, an Alumni Governance Task Force was created to review and make changes to the Alumni Association's constitution. The task force has drafted a revised constitution, major provisions of which include creating a new structure for the Association of Alumni.

The new structure would have an assembly representing alumni of all classes and viewpoints as well as an Alumni Liason Board. Under the proposed constitution, the election process would also be revised.

Following the elections, the Alumni Governance Task Force presented the draft constitution, which was then debated by those present.

"I found it to be a very cordial, much more upbeat debate than I expected," Collins said.

According to Collins, both sides agree that the current constitution should be improved.

Collins said he would "respect and support the constitution that whatever organization I'm with supports," and both sides agreed that the voting process itself needs to be changed.

Under the current constitution, only alumni who are physically present at the election will be able to vote. Collins hopes that multimedia voting will allow all alumni to have a say in future Alumni Association elections.

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