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The Dartmouth
June 17, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Pelton charters freshman review

Dean of Students Lee Pelton last week formed a committee to scrutinize the freshman year and suggest changes.

There are 25 members on the Committee on the First-Year Experience: nine administrators, six professors and 10 students.

"The overarching theme is to reinvest in the notion of an integration of the active and contemplative life of students," Pelton said. "What I mean by that is an integration of classroom experience with out of classroom experience."

Nine administrators have already agreed to be on the committee, but Pelton said two faculty slots are still open.

The student members have not been selected, but Pelton said two will come from the general student population, four will come from the Student Assembly and four from Palaeopitus, a group of seniors that advises administrators.

The committee is divided into three subcommittees that will focus on residential life, intellectual life and orientation.

Each subcommittee has a four person "core." Membership on the three cores is divided evenly between students, faculty and administrators.

Pelton chairs the residential life subcommittee, which is the largest committee and has 10 members

Pelton, Dean of Residential Life Mary Turco, comparative literature Professor Laurence Davies and a member of the Class of 1996 form the core of that committee.

The subcommittee will examine social activities for new freshman and will look for ways to incorporate academics in the residence halls.

When Pelton was at Colgate, he played a key role in the creation of two primarily freshman residence halls that put classrooms and students' rooms under the same roof.

Ronald Green, the head of the Ethics Institute, leads the eight-member intellectual life subcommittee. It will address academic issues, including the freshman seminar program and the academic advising process.

A member of the Class of 1994, Dean of Upperclass Students Dan Nelson and a faculty member are also part of the core group of the intellectual life subcommittee.

The orientation subcommittee is chaired by Dean of Freshmen Peter Goldsmith. The subcommittee will examine how students are introduced to the College. Included on its discussion agenda is Social Issues Night, a controversial required event for freshmen that discusses sexual assault, alcohol awareness and sensitivity issues.

"My belief is that orientation should be a year-long process," Pelton said. "I'd like to ask the committee what a year-long orientation would entail."

A senior, a freshman and a professor will fill out the core of the subcommittee.

The new committee will send a list of suggested improvements to Pelton when it is finished. Pelton said he hopes to have its recommendations by Spring term.

He said the first meeting of the committee will be during the first week of Winter term.