Short Answer

by The Dartmouth Opinion Staff | 4/3/11 10:00pm

Friday's Verbum Ultimum discussed the restriction preventing formerly suspended students from running for student body president or vice president. What eligibility requirements, if any, should there be for elected Student Assembly positions?

Just because a student was suspended doesn't mean that person can't be an effective student leader. Even if a candidate were Parkhursted for some serious offense, we should allow people a second chance. The administration should merely disclose information about a candidate's violations and then trust the judgement of the student body.Roger Lott '14

The student body should have the ability to judge whether or not candidates are qualified for Student Assembly positions. So long as relevant information has been fully disclosed, there should be no restrictions on eligibility for office.Keshav Poddar '14

The only requirement should be that Student Assembly candidates must have no previous Dartmouth suspensions or arrests by the Hanover Police. If we can't even agree that deference to established regulations and good citizenship are essential qualities in our leaders, we might as well not even have a Student Assembly, as it would be far more likely produce embarrassment than good stewardship.Raza Rasheed '12

If students actually voted for the most qualified candidate during Student Assembly elections, then eligibility requirements wouldn't be necessary. But in reality, these elections are more or less popularity contests where anything can happen. Some basic requirements, like not having been suspended, are no doubt needed to ensure our student leaders are at least respectful of community rules.

Ethan Wang '13

Parkhursted students should not be allowed to run. After all, there are many other ways they can help further the goals of the student body without being the face of it.Jasper Hicks '12The student body president and vice president are, for better or for worse, the face of Dartmouth. They should therefore not only be of upstanding character, but also be in good standing with the College. For that reason, I can only think of one: any candidate should be able to run regardless of class year, academic status, etc. so long as he or she promises not to put the position on a resume if elected. Josh Kornberg '13

Suspension from Dartmouth can happen for honest mistakes, such as an improper citation on a paper, that do not necessarily reflect moral deficiencies. As long as a student is currently in good standing with the College, there is no reason that former suspension should block a potential candidacy.Sapna Chemplavil '11

The Verbum has it right. There should be no formal restrictions on who can run for office, but candidates should be required to disclose their disciplinary history, campus involvements, positions on relevant issues and any other information that can give students a fuller idea of who they are and where they stand.Brendan Woods '13

Official eligibility requirements for student assembly elections should not extend beyond enrollment at the College. Additional barriers turn objective eligibility requirements, which are EPAC's domain, into subjective "qualification" requirements. Qualification to hold office should be determined by voters alone, and unwritten but communally accepted and expected qualification standards will be naturally set by voter response during campaigns.Louis Wheatley '14

Since Dartmouth is primarily an academic institution, a minimum grade requirement should be the only requirement. This requirement ensures that the president understands and represents the academic standards of Dartmouth.Yoo Jung Kim '14