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New Alumni Constitution Fails to Gain Support

Voter participation sets record

The proposed new constitution for the Association of Alumni of Dartmouth College failed to achieve the level of support necessary for passage in voting by Dartmouth alumni that ended Oct. 31. A total of 12,729 alumni (51 percent of those voting) rejected the proposal, while 12,041 (49 percent) voted to accept it. Approval by two-thirds of alumni voting was required to pass the new constitution and four amendments on the ballot.

The new constitution would have combined the existing constitutions and functions of the association and the Dartmouth Alumni Council into a single system. As a result of the vote, the two existing constitutions will remain in place. None of the four proposed petition amendments to the current constitution received more than 53 percent approval.

Some 38 percent of eligible alumni—by far the largest voter turnout for an alumni election in Dartmouth's history—participated in the vote, casting a total of 24,834 ballots. (Not all alumni voted on all five amendments proposed on the ballot.) All Dartmouth alumni, both undergraduate and graduate, are members of the association.

"We regret that the proposed reforms to the alumni constitution did not receive the votes necessary for approval," says Merle Adelman '80, first vice president of the association. "However, we are pleased to see the record number of alumni voices heard in this important decision and we understand that the alumni have clear concerns about the changes they were asked to consider. We look forward to working together to understand those concerns in greater detail. We want to thank the members of the Alumni Governance Task Force, who worked so hard over the past few years to create this proposal and bring it forward for alumni consideration."

"Throughout the course of this election, I have felt the deep regard my fellow alumni have for their College, regardless of which outcome they favored," says Board of Trustees Chair William H. Neukom '64. "Now, as chair of the Dartmouth Board, I look forward to continued work with all alumni and all members of the Dartmouth family to make this College ever stronger."

"The efforts of alumni on both sides in this election and the level of participation have demonstrated the passion Dartmouth alumni feel about their alma mater, which I deeply respect and applaud," says President James Wright. "Dartmouth has much to be proud of as we work together toward our shared goal of securing our college's future and seeing it continue to offer a student educational experience unparalleled anywhere."

For a detailed breakdown of the voting and more information on the specific amendments, visit Vox the Vote.

By DIANA LAWRENCE

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Last Updated: 5/30/08