DOC unveils 2018 Trips directorate

by Saba Nejad | 1/25/18 2:30am

On Tuesday, Dartmouth Outing Club First-Year Trips director Lucia Pierson ’18 and assistant director Dalia Rodriguez-Caspeta ’18 announced the 19-member 2018 Trips directorate.

This year’s Trips directorate is notably different than past years’ with only four male members on the 19-member directorate. This year’s applicant pool was broad and diverse — 44 people applied for directorate positions compared to 32 last year, according to Pierson.

“I am incredibly excited about the fact that identities and perspectives that have been historically underrepresented and under-served within the Trips program are more represented on [the] directorate than in the past,” Pierson said. “But I also want to make it clear that these 19 people were chosen purely based on merit.”

While the majority female Trips directorate was not intentional, the directors “were intentional in the way [they] read the applications” in order to create the best directorate for the Class of 2022, Rodriguez-Caspeta said.

According to an email sent out to campus, the directorate’s goal is to make Trips “as inclusive, accessible, welcoming and fun as possible for each and every ’22 joining this community in the fall.”

The group includes outreach coordinators Brianna Beach ’20 and Rachel Kesler ’19 with outdoor logistics coordinators Anna Ellis ’19 and Sophie Smith ’20. Eric Greenlee ’18, Megan Larkin ’19 and Dorothy Qu ’19 will serve as this year’s trip leader trainers. The Grant Croo will be led by Caroline Cutler ’19 and Jordan Sandford ’19, while Karen Cao ’19 and Ethan Isaacson ’18 will lead Hanover Croo. Klymbing Croo will be directed by Regina Yan ’19, and Laura Hutchinson ’19 will serve as Oak Hill Croo captain. Mallory Byrd ’19 will serve as this year’s risk management coordinator, and Kate Salamido ’19 will be this year’s sustainability coordinator. David Ringel ’19 and Maddy Waters ’19 will be focused on safety as Vox Croo captains. The two students in charge of the Trips’ concluding days at Moosilauke Lodge will be Lodj Croo captains Emma Chiu ’19 and Paula Mendoza ’19.

“We inevitably had a lot of very difficult decisions to make, but the overwhelming enthusiasm from such an unprecedentedly large number of people who all wanted to pour their time and energy into making this program the best it could possibly be was so exciting,” Pierson said.

She added that had there been a lack of diverse identities in this year's applicant pool, similar to those in the past, she and Rodriguez-Caspeta would have considered various identity representations in their decision-making process.

“I was really conflicted about taking [the assistant director position] as a queer woman of color and also coming from a first-generation background with low-income undocumented parents, so a lot of those identities affect me and how I navigate spaces,” Rodriguez-Caspeta said.

Deputy director of the Dartmouth Outing Club Brian Kunz A&S’00, who works closely with and oversees the Trips program, believes a big challenge with the program this year will be going back to the Lodj after being away from it last year while it was under renovation.

The renovated Lodj can support a greater capacity this year, so there is a chance that the Trips program may run with fewer but larger sections, Kunz said, though nothing has been decided yet.

Pierson said that the new Lodj poses both a challenge and an opportunity for the re-examination of its role during Trips.

Both Pierson and Rodriguez-Caspeta said they are looking forward to coming up with new ideas for the program, which Kunz said he welcomes and will help implement.

One of their new ideas is to increase financial accessibility for both incoming students and volunteers because outdoor activities and their required gear is expensive, imposing financial barriers for incoming students and volunteers.

“We need to improve both the ease and social acceptability of gear rental program for trippees,” Pierson said. “I’m looking to improve and create programs that relieve some of that burden.”

According to Pierson, this year’s Trips will aim to foster a more inclusive environment for incoming freshmen.

“I want to ... [create] a Trips program in which each and every ’22 — regardless of race, gender, ability, socioeconomic status or any other identity that has been historically marginalized on Trips and at Dartmouth — feels comfortable, welcomed and loved,” Pierson said. “I want each of them to believe there is a place for them here and I want this community to hold true to that promise.”

Correction Appended (Jan. 26, 2018):

The original version of the Jan. 24 article "DOC unveils 2018 Trips directorate" stated that Pierson said the directors consciously considered identity representations in this year's decision-making. However, that decision-making process would have only come into play had there been a lack of diverse identities in this year's applicant pool. The article has been updated to clarify this detail.