Alumni Democracy in Hamilton College Trustee Election:

Hamilton College is having its first Trustee election in 30 years this year. From what I understand, typically their Alumni Council nominates a slate, and if there is no opposition, there is no election. This year, however, a group of intrepid alumni have used a long-dormant petition process to get their names on the ballot and spur an election. I don't know any of the petition candidates, but from what I can gather, the restrictions on candidate speech appear to be quite severe. The candidates also have specified a number of very specific concerns about Hamilton that animated their candidacy, including their own Ward Churchill imbroglio and hiring Susan Rosenberg to teach a class (events which FIRE describes and has some links). FIRE and ACTA discuss the Hamilton situation.

The Hamilton College Alumni for Governance Reform has established a blog or bulletin board of sorts to cover election events. Interested Hamilton College alumni might want to check it out. I understand that balloting ends on August 15, and balloting there seems to be by paper ballot only.

I obviously have no opinion on the merits of this race and don't know or endorse any of the candidates. But, needless to say, I am intrigued by efforts at other colleges to open up the alumni trustee election process, especially through use of the ballot petition process.