In the January/February 2014 issue of Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, Abbye E. Meyer, D’02, wrote about her lasting issues with the Dartmouth community — namely the exclusivity inherent in the social structure of Greek houses and senior and secret societies.
Then on Valentine’s Day, Judge Quentin L. Kopp, D’49, got in the spirit of the holiday and wrote Meyer an ode, of sorts:
“You claim feelings of ‘…loyalty and shame.’ I am ashamed of you.”
In three short paragraphs, the esteemed retired Judge Kopp, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor of San Francisco in ’79, attacked Meyer from all sides, even getting in a kick to The Huffington Post. Meyer’s article spoke about her cousin deciding not to apply to Dartmouth — and judging by the 14% drop in applications this year, he’s not alone in that decision. Good riddance, says Judge Kopp.
“I’m also pleased that your cousin is not applying to Dartmouth, lest he bring the same taint which you display in your article.”
Judge Kopp closes the letter with a syntactically complex section about “encourag[ing] the Office of Admissions to utilize color, national origin, and gender in admitting applicants, minus your cousin, to Dartmouth, so as to hasten the complete collapse of Dartmouth into just another pretty-named Ivy League college”.
We spoke with Judge Kopp yesterday about the letter, and what he meant in that final paragraph.
“What are [the other Ivies] like? I don’t know,” he said, but if he had a child applying for colleges now, he wouldn’t send him or her to an Ivy — well, maybe Cornell or Princeton, but otherwise he “[knows] enough about the others to know they’re comparable to [Meyer’s] attitude.” Judge Kopp does seem worried about the state of Dartmouth; he referred to the “Freedom Budget” protest as a sign of its downfall due to a complaining community of students.
“Dartmouth historically has been different from all seven schools,” but Judge Kopp does not believe that to be true anymore.
“I resented her whining tone and opinions,” Judge Kopp said about Meyer, noting that if she really didn’t like Dartmouth, she should have transferred. “It’s apparent she didn’t adapt well, she obviously came with a chip on her shoulder.” When asked if any of her arguments had merit, Judge Kopp admitted that he couldn’t be sure — he didn’t go to Dartmouth while it was co-ed so does not know what it’s like now — but he knows many women who have matriculated since the school went co-ed, all of whom “participated fully” in “classes, sports, sororities, social life,” and so on.
In fact Judge Kopp seemed to think that Meyer’s opinions derived from feeling outcast as a woman, rather than a student, and kept going back to that point, trying to figure out what gendered roadblocks were holding her back at the school, especially since she attended so long after the school had perfectly adapted to a co-ed student body. In any case, though, “she’s a whiner,” Judge Kopp said, and “she’ll transmit that whining to others” while pursuing her Ph.D.
The letter cc’s “Interested Alumni,” so we’re providing it here for those “Interested Alumni” to peruse. We’ve reached out to Meyer for comment.
Update, 4/19 Meyer has responded with the following:
I received a lot of feedback to the op-ed I published in the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, and most of the letters were both affirming and heartbreaking. I think that most Dartmouth alumni (and I mean both alumnae and alumni, and people of all ethnic backgrounds, and people of all socioeconomic backgrounds)—if they take the time to think and digest—want the school to be known as an elite institution of education (an accurate reputation which is now in danger because of the applicant drop!) as well as an institution in which ALL students feel safe and encouraged and free to pursue their academic goals and to grow as (politicized) human beings. Dartmouth College offers an unparalleled undergraduate education! Let that be how it’s known!