Verbum Ultimum: Vote Tanenbaum, Dildine

by The Dartmouth Editorial Board | 4/15/12 10:00pm

This year's Student Assembly elections have certainly been exciting, featuring far more candidates for both president and vice president than in recent years. As Dartmouth awaits a major transition with the imminent departure of College President Jim Yong Kim, the student body president will play a crucial role in ensuring that student interests are given proper consideration both during the transition period and in the search for the College's next leader. At the same time, issues surrounding student life have earned the College significant attention from alumni, the broader community and the national media. We need an Assembly president who is engaged with the wide variety of issues facing the Dartmouth community, who understands the challenges facing the Assembly and who is capable of being a strong advocate for students. We believe the candidate who is most qualified to serve in this role is J.T. Tanenbaum.

Tanenbaum understands that there is a diverse array of organizations on campus striving to improve the Dartmouth community. He knows that many students on campus are highly knowledgeable about specific issues, ranging from sustainability to accessibility to Greek life. Working alone, these individuals may not have a strong enough voice to effect meaningful change. We believe Tanenbaum is the presidential candidate most willing to listen to these diverse student voices and to represent them when communicating with the administration.

While numerous candidates have spoken about the importance of presenting a "united student front" to the administration, we are especially impressed by Tanenbaum's commitment to bringing together student organizations on campus. Tanenbaum recognizes that it is not realistic to expect student groups to participate in General Assembly meetings every week. Instead, he proposes sending Assembly representatives out to the groups to determine how the Assembly can best serve as their advocate.

Tanenbaum's proposal represents a positive step toward not only unifying the student body, but also allowing disparate groups to engage with one another and find common objectives, something that is often lacking on this campus. Tanenbaum recognizes that he doesn't have all the answers to Dartmouth's problems. However, he is willing to listen to and work with those organizations on this campus that do have good ideas.

While the student body president must approach the position with a vision and a plan to represent the student body to the administration, it is the responsibility of the vice president to improve the efficacy of the Assembly by increasing membership and improving cohesion and retention. It is crucial that the vice president understand the inner workings of the Assembly and can serve as a strong, approachable leader.

Among the vice-presidential candidates, we believe Troy Dildine has the greatest experience working in the Assembly and has proven to be a reliable leader. Dildine's focus on strengthening the Membership and Internal Affairs Committee especially in conjunction with Tanenbaum's emphasis on outreach to organizations within the community will help ensure that student voices are represented in the Assembly and heard by the administration as Dartmouth enters a critical transition period.

Advertise your student group in The Dartmouth for free!