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Dartmouth's "Unofficial" Indian Symbols & Its Official Snivelling

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Dartmouth's Official Unofficial Snivelling
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Unofficial... But, Notwithstanding... Official!
 
 
FROM THE BEGINNING...
 
We're all familiar with memos like the one below.  It's the contrivance of an honest idea, "spun 'n scrubbed" by pr and legal, respectively, which becomes a slick document more notable for what it appears to say, than says.  More than the denial of the word "official," it was this last paragraph, just below, that ignited my Mascot Mission!

 
 

 
 
"During the past 25 years, various student initiatives have proposed numerous candidates for a tangible mascot, symbol or nickname that could be a companion or alternative to "Big Green" when identifying Dartmouth athletic teams. To date, none of these recommendations has received sufficient broad-based support from students or alumni to merit adoption."
 

 

I believe that it's outrageous for The College to literally blame any group or entity, but itself, for the absence of a replacement mascot, symbol, and culture.  And, rather than just accepting its responsibility and failure, The College is even willing to take-on a submissive, "other-directed" posture.  Big Green becomes Victim Green.  Victim Green means Little Green.  It's a sorry -- even pathetic -- stature to assume for one of America's top ten colleges.  Dartmouth Franchisees, on this matter, you can -- and should -- leave home without your College ID Card, that is unless one relishes being a "willing victim." 
 
My purpose in attacking the below document is to facilitate a new campus mascot and culture.  Perhaps, some truth will set everyone free, especially people holding onto an Indian past, which was more hype than substance. 
 
1.  Recognizing that many older alumni are unaware of this document and of the comparatively short reign of the Dartmouth Indian, I believe that it's necessary to illustrate how un-unique Dartmouth was in its Indian education.  Other prestigious private colleges, especially Harvard, could have (and still can) claimed and conjured and Native American tradition as strong if not stronger than Dartmouth's. 
 
2.  Recognizing that The College confesses to looking to alumni / students for its new mascot, I believe that it's appropriate to challenge The College that since IT was responsible for promulgating the Indian brand... IT therefore is responsible for leading the final constructive effort to select a replacement.  The College has been remiss in fulfilling this NEED of its people, who attend and support it. 
 
3.  Recognizing that there have been many administrations and people who have passed through Dartmouth since 1972, I have NO ONE PERSON in mind when I mention "The College."  How could I?  I KNOW NO ONE... and know nothing of internal efforts to address the mascot issue.
 
I KNOW BUT ONE THING... 
 
It's 30 years since the Indian tradition ended, and The College still doesn't have a new one.  This is squarely The College's fault; external efforts have been made to secure one.
 
 
 

The Dartmouth Indian
Release:  Dartmouth College Public Affairs

The first Dartmouth College intercollegiate athletic contest, a baseball game, was played in 1866. At that time, green was adopted by the students as the college color. Green has been associated with the College and its athletic teams ever since.

Starting in the 1920s sportswriters (primarily representing Boston's many newspapers of the day) began to regularly use the nickname "Indians" in their coverage of Dartmouth's football team as it achieved a position of national prominence. The usage was grounded in reference to the College's founding mission in 1769 - the education of American Indian youth (known today as Native Americans) in the region.

For about 50 years thereafter, the nickname "Indians," though never officially adopted by the College, was used actively and interchangeably with "the Green," "Big Green" and "Hanoverians" by the news media and in Dartmouth publications in coverage of the College's teams. The Indian symbol also appeared on uniforms of athletic teams during this period.

In 1972, Dartmouth renewed its commitment to the education of Native Americans. Recognizing the adverse effects of use of the Indian symbol upon the College's Native American Program and its students, an ad hoc committee of the Dartmouth Alumni Council encouraged reduction in use of the symbol. In 1974, the College's Board of Trustees stated that "use of the (Indian) symbol in any form to be inconsistent with present institutional and academic objectives of the College in advancing Native American education."

By the mid-1970s the Indian symbol, which had never been formally adopted by a College governing body, was discontinued.

Since that time, the primary nickname for Dartmouth teams, again never officially adopted, has been the "Big Green." PMS 349, a dark green referred to frequently in relation to the College as "Dartmouth Green," is the specific color used in publications relating to Dartmouth athletic teams and in other College publications.

During the past 25 years, various student initiatives have proposed numerous candidates for a tangible mascot, symbol or nickname that could be a companion or alternative to "Big Green" when identifying Dartmouth athletic teams. To date, none of these recommendations has received sufficient broad-based support from students or alumni to merit adoption.

^ END OF COLLEGE TEXT ^

MY COMMENTS FOLLOW

"Unofficial!"
Who's Zooming Whom?

mydartmouthindiansymbols75.jpg

CLOCKWISE FROM UPPER LEFT
ROTC, BAND, COLLEGE

IMPLIED CONSENT

Though Dartmouth's Indian Era is over, it insults one's intelligence to have The College attempt hiding behind its nuanced ("unofficial" vs "official") existence.

From the above statement, The College IMPLIES that it never OFFICIALLY convened a meeting and OFFICIALLY voted on the use of the Indian symbol.

As a factual statement, let's accept that the above is correct.

Nonetheless, budgets were OFFICIALLY APPROVED by duly AUTHORIZED PEOPLE (some would call them "officials") of The College corporation.  And, when uniforms with the Indian symbols that OFFICIALLY REPRESENTED The College in sport or whatever were purchased via College authorizations, the words "unoffical" and "official" became indistinguishable.

Make no mistake... the Indian image, symbol, symbolisms, and traditions (collectively "branding") WERE adopted by The College each time they were used at a College event,through the LEGAL CONCEPT OF IMPLIED CONSENT, which disallows an entity the ability to escape an obligation blessed through "a wink 'n a nod," or silence.

From the Law Dictionary" 2nd Ed.  by Steven H. Gifis (then Associate Professor Law at Rutgers) Published by Barron's Educational Seriees, Inc.

IMPLIED CONSENT... consent... "manifested by signs, actions, or facts, or by inaction or silence, which raises a presumption that consent has been given," 487 S.W. 2d 624, 629; or consent that arises from a course of conduct or relationship between the parties, in which there is mutual acquiescence or a lack of objection under circumstances signifying assent. 195 S.E. 2d 711, 713...

The College always had the right to stop "the press" from its using "Indians" to describe a team, or The College. It didn't excercise its right; it "officially" remained silent for 50 years.

*****
 
A PROBLEM IN FACT: It's the responsibility of a company or college to protect its trademarks and names. It's also its responsibility to protect against false respresentations. Therefore, Dartmouth must work to perfect its own image. Regarding a mascot or symbol, it can best do this pro-actively with a new, OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED REPLACEMENT.   Otherwise, it will have to do so reactively through cease and desist letters to scrub clean its past image. EXAMPLE:  Now that the below link is known, it is the responsibility of The College to challenge the publisher for alteration, otherwise it could be argued that it consents to its existence.