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The Dartmouth
February 24, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Vox Clamantis

To the Editor:

Hopefully, the newspaper's Verbum Ultimum, "Your Opinions Here," Sept. 23, will not be a "last word," but the beginning of a lively debate as to what the opinion page of The Dartmouth should look like.

While the invitation to students to become engaged in writing commentaries is a good start, that enjoinder is a bit narrow. There is a larger "Hanover community" that includes faculty, staff, Upper Valley residents, alumni and perhaps a wider Internet audience. While the newspaper shouldn't lose its primary focus upon Dartmouth students and the issues that most concern them, many of those issues overlap wider societal concerns and therefore invite other voices from the wilderness.

Here in China, where our newspapers are controlled by the government, it's impossible to get unapproved views or points of view critical of the Party published. Maybe The Dartmouth could become a free press forum for the disenfranchised.

The Dartmouth might also consider initiating debates along side other college newspapers. Is there a better newspaper model in the 21st century for readers than there was when the paper began publishing in the 18th century? Could the electronic newspaper provide updated links to other college newspapers? Are there topics that the mainstream media is either overlooking or avoiding that would be appropriate for The Dartmouth?

The Dartmouth has rightfully solicited a wider array of student voices for the op-ed pages. The newspaper might set places at the table for an even broader scope of folks and views.

Patrick Mattimore '72

Mattimore is an adjunct professor of law in the Temple University/Tsinghua University LLM program in Beijing and a frequent contributor to English language newspapers in China.