Steering committee ends discussion

by Deborah Bernstein | 11/1/99 6:00am

The steering committee wrapped up a bulk of their discussions on what to recommend to the Board of Trustees for the Student Life Initiative after meeting in Hanover this weekend with students representing the Coed Fraternity and Sorority Council and minority interests.

The committee is bound by a confidentiality policy and would not reveal the details of the discussions or the meetings, but Committee co-chair Trustee Peter Fahey '68 said the group has finished collecting input from student groups, and for the most part, finished deciding what to recommend to the full Board of Trustees.

What the report will look like, however, as well as when it will be finished, remains uncertain. Fahey called the task of writing the report "considerable" and how it will be written has not been determined yet.

Trustee Susan Dentzer '77, the steering committee's other co-chair, said the report process does not mean all deliberation and discussion is complete.

The committee has to take "what we've decided on conceptually and put it on paper," she said. "It's not a two-day process, it's a long-term process."

While Dentzer and Fahey had previously told The Dartmouth that the report would likely be presented to the Trustees by the end of Fall term, they were reluctant to predict last night when it would be completed.

Dentzer said as a journalist, she has learned it is "dangerous" to predict how long it will take to write anything, but said this lesson is especially relevant with "a document with as much substance in it" as the committee's report will have.

Dentzer called the report "the work of many hands" coordinated by Fahey and herself.

Prior to their finalizing discussions, the committee also met with students to discuss previous proposals and new ideas, Dentzer said. The meetings were the result of requests from both the minority groups and the CFSC, according to Dentzer.

Olivia Carpenter '00, president of the Afro-American Society, said that she was among students of minority groups who spoke with the committee in its hour-long sessions with the two student groups, but would not comment on the nature of the discussion or who else attended with her.

Dentzer said the meeting was to share feedback and thoughts from last week's discussion on the Initiative as it relates to minorities at Dartmouth.

The Dartmouth reported last week that CFSC President Jaimie Paul '00, CFSC Treasurer Kevan Higgins '00, Delta Delta Delta sorority President Caroline Fayard '00, Alpha Theta coed fraternity President Mike Holmes '00, Kappa Delta Epsilon sorority President Anne Mullins '00 and Psi Upsilon fraternity President Teddy Rice '00 would be speaking to the steering committee to represent the CFSC.

Higgins confirmed yesterday that these students spoke to the committee but would not comment on the nature of the discussion.

Paul told The Dartmouth that the CFSC requested the meeting to give the steering committee a chance to hear from the CFSC's senior leadership and to balance students advocating the Greek system's elimination who had spoken to the committee at its last meeting.

The steering committee has maintained a confidentiality policy throughout the process regarding who specifically meets with the committee and what the discussions involve.

Fahey said the committee met this weekend on Friday and Saturday, and the full committee was in attendance.

Fahey's commitment to the meeting meant he broke a more than 30 year record of attendance at the Harvard-Dartmouth football game, held this weekend in Cambridge.

The steering committee is formally known as the Committee on the Student Life Initiative.

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