A Letter from the Editor

by Lindsay Ellis | 10/16/14 10:16pm

Every Friday, The Dartmouth editorial board prints a weekly column — our Verbum Ultimum — on page four. Today, we changed things up.

An understanding of what’s at stake drove this decision. The presidential steering committee will soon release its recommendations on social life to the Board of Trustees and to College President Phil Hanlon, who has spoken openly of his commitment to ending Dartmouth’s social woes. As an editorial board, we have discussed these same woes for months, debating how Dartmouth will move forward as an institution. Despite the meaning many find in the Greek system — which, as an affiliated woman, I’ve witnessed firsthand — we kept returning to the same conclusion. The Greek system has to go.

Printing a front-page editorial was not a decision that I took lightly, especially because of how deeply I care about objectivity in journalism.

Indeed, our news and opinion content are separate in many ways. Each section is overseen by different editors, who report separately to me. Do not confuse the opinion of The Dartmouth editorial board — which is composed of our opinion editor, our two executive editors, our publisher and me — with The Dartmouth’s news coverage. We require our editors and reporters to remain objective in their reporting conduct, a tenet we reinforce in weekly meetings and in our ethics code.

But today, our editorial board had to put it all on the table, and we had to do it on page one. Printing The Dartmouth’s editorial on the front page over Homecoming weekend — when hundreds of alumni flood back to campus — aims to show our readership how much is at stake. We urge community members to give more weight to what we feel is the right path forward. Think through what could be accomplished at Dartmouth if we abolish the Greek system. Now let’s talk about it.

Lindsay Ellis is the editor-in-chief.