Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism.
The Dartmouth
April 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Trustees launch initiative phase two

The Board of Trustees announced stage two of their controversial social and residential life initiative at a town hall meeting today -- the creation of a Trustee steering committee which will recommend to the full board a proposal on changing the College in accordance with the Board's goals.

This is the second step in the implementation of changes which will result from the Trustees' Five Principles. The current task force, chaired by Acting Dean of the College Dan Nelson, is only passing along all opinions and proposals to the Trustees. This new committee will actually recommend proposals to the Board.

"This is the end of the conduit," Trustee Peter Fahey '68 said, referring to Nelson's oft-quoted description of his task force. "This is the filter ... we will narrow it down with a report that will go to the Board."

Several calls were made by The Dartmouth to Trustees regarding the Board's other accomplishments this weekend, but none of the Trustees who were reached would comment on any aspect of the meeting.

Trustees Susan Dentzer '77 and Fahey will chair the committee of 14 people, including five students. Two undergraduates will be chosen by the Student Assembly to serve on the committee, with an additional two students chosen by the committee itself. One graduate student will also be a member.

Assembly President Josh Green '00 told The Dartmouth after the meeting that the new Assembly chosen in this week's election will determine how the two students will be selected.

The committee plans to determine its full membership within the next two weeks. It plans to meet with members of the community throughout the process and alumni during their reunions in June.

"The first thing the new committee will do is look at the evaluations from the existing committees," Trustee Chairman Stephen Bosworth '61 said.

The committee plans to present a report to the Trustees in August and will present its final report to the Board in the fall.

After the full Trustee board accepts the plan, it is scheduled to be made public for community comment.

Apart from the announcement of the committee, the Trustees announced little new information at today's hastily-called town meeting.

Bosworth said multiple questions from students about specific plans for change in accordance with the Five Principles were "premature." He declined to say if any single-sex Greek houses would survive the monumental changes.

"The initiative said substantially," Bosworth said of the principles' coeducational mandate. "That did not mean entirely and that did not mean a little bit ... I don't think we're prepared to go beyond that."

In response to a request for a student vote on the forthcoming plan, Dentzer said she did not feel the plan would be conducive to a student vote adding "these are the things that are the jurisdiction of the Board of Trustees ... The Board of Trustees own the College."

She also said the Trustees would also not vote on the plan in its entirety but would decide on the implementation piecemeal.

"They won't be put up to a vote by anyone," Fahey said but added "alternatives will be presented to the entire community for input."

Also at the meeting, Wright alluded to potential changes which would increase student involvement in decision making at the College especially at the student life area.

While he did not give concrete proposals, the mention of a greater institutionalized student voice signals last week's meeting between Bosworth and Green on student involvement might produce future results.