Josh Cetron ’16 named First-Year Trips director

by Alyssa Mehra | 1/7/16 10:30pm

Josh Cetron ’16 and Anna Gabianelli ’16 will serve as the new director and assistant director for the 2016 Dartmouth Outing Club First Year Trips. Currently they are still working through the applications for the other directorate positions.

While last year’s directorate emphasized community service, sustainability and a diversified body of Trip leaders and Croo members, Cetron said that many of the changes the two hope to make will only come through after the full directorate is complete.

“We definitely have our hopes and goals and ideals for trips this year, but we want that to be a consensus process that really is driven by the community and the directorate as a whole to come up with concrete changes and new ideas.” Cetron said.

The Trips directorate consists of approximately 20 students, including Cetron and Gabianelli. Typically the directors are chosen at the end of the fall by a search committee under the Dartmouth Outing Club and the Outdoor Programs Office. In the winter, the new director and assistant director choose the rest of the staff, which then creates the application for Trip leaders and Croo members, Cetron said.

At the end of winter, those applications are sent out to campus and are due shortly after spring break. In 2013, 284 Trip leaders 54 Croo members were selected from 707 and 249 applicants, respectively. In 2014, 282 Trip leaders and 64 Croos were chosen from pools of 618 and 200 applicants. In 2015, the number of applicants saw a slight decrease — 575 people applied to be Trip leaders while 154 applied for Croo.

Last year’s directorate emphasized outreach to recruit a diverse group of Trip leaders, hosting a number of information sessions for those potentially interested in volunteering for the program. Cetron emphasized that the selection process for Trip leaders will also attempt to eliminate biases. Applications are read blind by the members of the directorate.

“We have intense selection processes to go through so that everyone is accounted for fairly, that we get input from a lot of different angles and make judgements that we believe are reasonable and accurate when we’re choosing Croo members and Trip leaders,” said Cetron.

Both Gabianelli and Cetron have substantial experience with the Trips program. They each went on trips as first-year students , were Trip leaders after that, worked on support Croos and led Lodj Croo as captains. This last experience allowed them to build a strong working relationship before they were even elected as directorate, Cetron said. He added that this pre-existing relationship would help the two of them work more efficiently in the coming year.

Cetron said his passion for Trips was a reason why he wants to contribute to shaping it.

“It has helped me develop my own leadership skills but more importantly it’s helped me envision the role that upperclassmen can play in making new students at this school feel welcome.” said Cetron.

Trips is a program that makes the College unique, Cetron said. First-Year Trips have the incoming freshmen take advantage of the geography around Dartmouth by going on some type of outdoors trip for five days before they arrive on campus for orientation, he added.

Cetron said that although Trips has been a long-standing tradition at the College to welcome first-year students, the program itself has continually evolved over time.

“It really can break down some of the barriers and make people aware of just what a positive community this can be and how much potential there is and each year this program gets better and better and better and that in and of itself is such a hallmark of trips,” Cetron said.

Gabianelli said that part of the reason she wanted to be a part of the 2016 directorate was because of how Trips shaped her own experience as a first-year student.

“Trips is a huge important part of the Dartmouth community for me because it affected me from day one,” Gabianelli said. “When I was a Trippee I was so thankful that the program existed because I saw a lot of really good ways that it showed that this place was a community that people were enthusiastic about and seeing people enthusiastic about a new class coming to Dartmouth was really huge for me.”

Jamie Mercado ’15, the 2015 outreach coordinator, said that she applied for last year’s directorate because she wanted to recreate her Trips experience and help make new students feel like they belonged.

“When I was applying it was really clear to me that the only qualification I needed to have was that I needed to care about making first-year students happy,” she said.

She said Trips provides an instant community for new students at the College.

“When people come to Dartmouth everyone is coming from really different places,” Mercado said. “It lets people know that no matter where people come from or who they are or what it is that they like doing, somewhere at Dartmouth they’re going to find somebody else who is interested in being there to accept them for whoever they are.”