College to release Initiative report today

by Deborah Bernstein | 1/10/00 6:00am

The steering committee's recommendations for the Student Life Initiative will be revealed for the first time to the Dartmouth community today.

At a 7:30 a.m. breakfast with approximately 30 student leaders, College President James Wright, Board of Trustees Chair William H. King Jr. '63 and steering committee co-chairs Trustees Susan Dentzer '77 and Peter Fahey '68 will unveil the report for the first time to the public.

The report will be posted on the College website between 7:30 and 8 a.m., while copies of the approximately 40-page document will be distributed in Thayer Dining Hall, the Collis Center, the Rockefeller Center and the Hopkins Center starting around 9 a.m.

Following the report's release on the web, a BlitzMail message will be sent to all students, including those not in Hanover this term, and to all alumni for whom e-mail addresses are known, alerting them to the fact that the report is available.

In students' Hinman Boxes this morning will be an executive summary of the report, outlining its recommendations.

Dean of the College James Larimore told The Dartmouth last week that the report will consist of an introduction that outlines the committee's views on College social and residential life strengths and weaknesses and a body of specific proposals.

From 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. tonight, discussions will be held at sites around campus, including Greek houses, academic buildings and residence halls.

Following the discussions' conclusions, a community gathering will occur in Collis.

Newly-elected Coed Fraternity Sorority Council President Eric Etu '01 said the CFSC will not be meeting as a board until its regularly-scheduled Tuesday meeting.

However, many houses will be meeting with their members following the Monday night campus discussions, Etu said.

Etu said that his fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, will have representatives from its national organization in attendance at its meeting.

Larimore told The Dartmouth yesterday that he assumed some ideas in the report would be provocative.

Larimore said he sensed on the eve of the announcement the community's both excitement and nervousness about the report's contents.

He said that he assumes students, faculty and administrators will be eager to read the report, and that he hopes people will feel optimistic about the opportunities to discuss the report throughout the Winter term.

Last week he called the Winter term "a stage of fundamental importance to the College" and "an opportunity to critique the work of the committee and propose other ideas that might hold more merit."

Yesterday, Larimore also discussed the new task force that will be responsible for producing an unedited and objective summary of student opinion.

The task force will be composed of six student members, three of whom will be selected by the Student Assembly and three of whom by Larimore. These names are hopefully going to be announced on Wednesday, Larimore said.

Assembly President Dean Krishna '01 and graduate student Andy Mengshol will chair the task force.

In its meeting last Thursday, the Assembly said its Membership and Internal Affairs Committee will be responsible for selecting the students. Applications to serve on the task force were due to the Assembly by last night.

Assembly Vice-President Margaret Kuecker '01 said the Assembly received between 15-20 applications, which will be evaluated on the basis of the time applicants can put into the task force, as well as the abilities and skills the applicants would bring to the group.

Task force members' personal views and groups they belong to on campus will play a smaller role in their selection, she said.

Kuecker said Assembly executives will be attending Wright's breakfast, as well as distributing the report from 9-4 in publicly trafficked places.

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