I am writing in support of the Greek proposal to address some of the most visible and pressing issues at Dartmouth today. From the time I arrived on campus ten years ago to my graduation six years ago, my experiences on the Hanover plain were nothing if not idyllic, something every Dartmouth student should have the opportunity to enjoy. Even including the opportunities to study with world-renowned scholars, kayak along the Connecticut, and participate in intercollegiate athletics, the most significant factor in the positively formative experiences by which I and so many of my classmates were shaped took place because of our affiliation with and leadership in the Dartmouth Greek system. In fact, my primary philanthropic motivation in giving back to Dartmouth, as I have every year since graduation, is to enhance the academic, athletic, extracurricular, and Greek experiences–the same experiences that I once enjoyed–of Dartmouth’s current students. Today, the campus climate appears hostile and detrimental to learning, creating bonds, and building academic, athletic, and extracurricular community. While I believe that change is imminently necessary to resolve issues that divide race and gender on campus, it is deeply embarrassing as an alumnus to see the Dartmouth student experience negatively portrayed on the national stage over the last several months, without an appropriate response by Dartmouth’s administration denouncing those who would seek to divide campus and supporting those who are working to unify it. During the Civil Rights Era, the Dartmouth Greek system improved upon its tradition of excellence and exemplified resilience and leadership by example through its rejection of racially discriminatory admittance policies imposed by national fraternity chapters. By all accounts, the newest generation of Dartmouth’s Greek leaders are presently working in concert to mitigate campus divisiveness and eradicate unacceptable and criminal behavior from the Greek system’s ranks. It is incumbent upon Dartmouth’s academic leaders and their delegates on the Steering Committee to work with the leaders of the Dartmouth Greek system to improve the campus climate and the Greek system, not to dismantle both.
2008 / Phi Delta Alpha