Short Answer: Student on the Board

by The Dartmouth Opinion Staff | 4/18/10 10:00pm

Friday's Verbum Ultimum addressed the issues of parity and diversity on Dartmouth's Board of Trustees. Do you think there should be a student representative on the Board?

Absolutely not. We can't even get more than a handful of students to actually care about Student Assembly. What authority would a student representative to the Board of Trustees have if we can't even get involved in our own government?Chris Talamo '11

As the Verbum mentioned, all but one of the Board members graduated over 25 years ago. Students lack experience and financial foresight, but their presence on the Board would give invaluable insight into how Dartmouth works today.Spenser Mestel '11

Many of the issues the Board encounters in determining where investments should be made may result from a lack of student representation on the Board. To at least have a student advisor on the Board would help it fulfill one of its responsibilities to "serve Dartmouth as a whole, rather than the interests of any constituency."Julian Sarkar '13

I definitely feel that there should be a greater student influence on the Board. Perhaps if that person were the Student Body President, more students would take an interest in the actions of the Board and Student Assembly! Furthermore, the Board is not representative of the diversity of the College, and having a student or recent alumnus on the Board may be a way to add opinions that are more closely tied to the current campus.Emily Baxter '11

There should be as much student representation as possible at all levels of the Dartmouth administration and Board. Responding to the diverse set of student needs and concerns is critical to providing a world-class college experience. Including student representation on the Board would be a step forward in college governance that would reverberate throughout the higher education community.Jordan Osserman '11

Although the Board must work to increase diversity and include more recent graduates as members, I don't think it's necessary to go so far as to include a student representative on the Board. Students at Dartmouth already have enough on their plates and would not be able to devote enough time to understanding the intricacies of Board decisionmaking. Membership is much better off being left to adults who have experience past college and can make a significant contribution to the Board.Natalie Colaneri '12

Many students have two problems with the Board: that it doesn't represent the interests of students, and that the Board lacks real transparency. Adding a student representative would mitigate those concerns and add much needed perspective to a group that is many decades removed from their undergraduate experiences.Brendan Woods '13

Having a student representative on the Board would not hurt, but it probably would not bring much change either. Back in high school, there was a student member on our Board of Education, and although every year the candidates had many new ideas, none of them ended up doing much once they were seated. At the end of the day, electing one student who would probably change every few years among a few dozen old, powerful trustees may create a fresh voice but would not have a major effect on the Board.Ethan Wang '13

How could one or even several Dartmouth students be able to adequately represent the whole student body with its pluralistic composition? The Board should respond to the needs of the student body, but the idea of elevating a tiny portion of the student body to power over the remainder is preposterous.Charles Clark '11