Graduates experience a busy four years at the College

by James M> Hunnicutt | 6/11/95 5:00am

It has been a busy four years since the Class of 1995 first arrived in Hanover. Seniors have participated in the beginnings of a shift in Dartmouth's social climate and multiple protests against a myriad of campus, national and worldwide issues.

In retrospect, the period from September 1991 until today has been rich with experiences and changes -- both for the better and for the worse.

Freshman Year

More than 500 students rallied on the Green on May 5, 1992 to protest the verdict in the Rodney King trial. Throughout the week, students lambasted the verdict and racism in America by marching and speaking out.

Two other rallies were held that spring outside Parkhurst Hall. Each protest had over 200 participants and challenged the College's handling of five sexual assault cases reported that past March and April.

The protesters convinced Dean of the College Lee Pelton to pledge to reform the procedures of the Committee on Standards, the College's judicial body. They also asked for the abolition of the Greek system.

Freshman year was also the beginning of the College's $425 million capital campaign. The campaign was begun in order to finance plans for north campus expansion.

The College later increased the goal to $500 million and by January, 1995 had raised $396 million, 79.2 percent of the money in 76.4 percent of the time. The campaign will end June 1996.

Finally, moving away from past conventions, the College ended the more than 100-year-old tradition of smashing clay pipes on the Lone Pine stump during senior week, 1992. The College deemed the practice as derogatory to Native Americans, in whose culture the pipes are sacred.

Sophomore Year

Sophomore year also had its share of protests. Following trends of the last few years, students protested racism in The Dartmouth Review and the College's investment in Hydro-Quebec, a Canadian hydroelectric utility.

Hydro-Quebec's critics claimed it harmed Cree Native Americans living near the project and threatened the natural environment. The College eventually divested its holdings.

Student Assembly President Andrew Beebe '93 presented a plan for real social change when he proposed the coeducation of the entire Greek system.

Many students decried Beebe's motion and the administration never acted on it, but the coed fraternity Phi Sigma Psi divorced itself from the Greek system and became Panarchy, Dartmouth's first undergraduate society.

While some students moved away from the Greek system, the College issued a new alcohol policy in January, 1993, giving more privileges to Greek members, such as lifting the ban on common sources of alcohol and letting the Greek organizations enforce their own regulations.

Former College President John Kemeny died in December 1992 at the age of 66. President from 1970 to 1981, Kemeny orchestrated the implementation of coeducation and the Dartmouth-Plan. A renowned mathematician and co-writer of the BASIC computer language, Kemeny also brought the first computer system to Dartmouth.

Sophomore Summer

The summer was fairly quiet for '95s, except for a fire at Delta Gamma sorority and the death of recent graduate Lisa Chung '93, who died of a heart attack after a bout with cancer.

Students debated about the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps, the Hanover Green Card was created and the Untamed Shrews turned some heads.

E. John Rosenwald Jr. '52 became the new chair of the Board of Trustees. A well-known philanthropist, Rosenwald led the capital campaign's successful initial two years.

Junior Year

The fall began innocently enough as Peter Goldsmith became the new Dean of Freshmen, and the largest problem was the usual housing crunch.

But complacency changed to despair when news spread of the death of Dan Boyer '94, who took his life in a Lebanon gun shop on Oct. 26, 1993. The four crab apple trees in front of the Collis Center mark his passing.

The campus remained quiet when the Board of Trustees voted in November to reinvest in South African companies. The Trustees had divested in South African companies in 1989 amid student clamorings.

Winter term bore two alternatives to the Greek system -- the new Collis Center opened and Amarna, the College's second undergraduate society, was formed.

Amarna drew 31 members and attained a physical house from the College. Many administrators praised undergraduate societies as the way of the future.

On the heels of that sentiment, two brothers of Beta Theta Pi fraternity -- Nat Cook '94 and David Robb '94 -- were arrested in February of 1994 for allegedly violating a New Hampshire anti-hazing law, which was signed into effect less than a year before the incident.

Although criminal charges against Robb were dropped and charges against Cook were reduced from a misdemeanor to a violation, the College suspended Cook for four terms and Robb for two. The College also sentenced the house to a year of derecognition because of its involvement.

Despite the questioning of the Greek system throughout the year, more than 80 percent of the student body who voted pledged support for the continued existence of single-sex Greek houses in a fall Student Assembly referendum.

Protests seemed to be shrinking, because the opposition to the Trustees' decision that spring to keep ROTC at the College garnered only about 100 students. Protesters claimed ROTC violates the College's equal opportunity policy because of it follows the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" stance on homosexual members.

Always a source of controversy, the Assembly had its fill of conflict. In February, several representatives unsuccessfully tried to impeach former President Nicole Artzer '94.

The year drew to a close with Pelton's First-Year Experience committee recommending drastic changes to the College's residential life system, including the establishment of first-year dormitories.

Senior Year

Marking a sad low, Adam Brown '97 passed away from lung cancer in late September. A member of the fencing club, Brown was memorialized in an issue of the Forum, a campus publication for open discourse.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel spoke in October about his experiences during the Holocaust and how today's generation must not forget the atrocity. Reflecting Dartmouth's caring and intellectual characteristics, overflow crowds of 1,100 came to hear the renowned author speak.

During the fall, students expressed feelings of anger over the Hanover Police department's alcohol policy, which was recently made a state law. The "internal possession" law stipulates that if a blood or breath test reveals a minor has alcohol in his or her bloodstream, that is sufficient proof to arrest the minor for underage drinking.

Also Fall term, a woman living in French Hall woke up one November morning to find an unidentified male stranger in her room. Several other women during the year reported unknown men entering their unlocked rooms.

College President James Freedman enjoyed a six-month sabbatical during Winter and Spring terms. As the president rested and recovered from a bout with lymphatic cancer, Dean of Faculty James Wright served as acting-president.

Student government featured the fireworks and drama typical to any form of government. After a slew of political conflict during Fall term in the College's representative body, Danielle Moore '95 resigned from the Assembly presidency. The remaining executives asked for the resignation of the outspoken secretary John Honovich '97, who eventually was elected vice president.

Winter term, the Assembly voted to reform itself creating the Student Assembly External Review Committee, whose proposals were adopted this term.

This spring, Emily Stephens '97 stepped forward to accuse the College of mishandling a case of sexual abuse she reported last year. Two student coalitions formed to address the problem and propose changes to the COS.

In May students again protested, this time against the arrival of photographers from Playboy Magazine. About 35 students marched around the Green and rallied outside the Hopkins Center for the Performing Arts to show their opposition to pornography.

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