Five caringly commited to the College community

by Amit Anand | 6/12/00 5:00am

As five seniors get ready to leave Dartmouth and move on into the real world, they look back on their four years at Dartmouth.

Remembering the positive and negative moments of their Dartmouth experience, these men and women talk about what they have learned and how they have contributed to the campus.

Kelly Bodio

Looking at the list of her accomplishments, there is little doubt that Bodio has been involved at Dartmouth: president of Panhell and the Senior Executive Committee, intern to the Office of the President, member of Green Key -- and the list goes on.

Bodio came to Dartmouth planning to major in genetics. However, those plans were abandoned freshman year. "I had a really bad experience with the sciences," she said. "So I decided to do a Bio major modified with Psych." However, after one of her internships, Bodio decided to switch to biochemistry, a major that she has stuck with.

During her freshman year, Bodio also got involved in a range of extra-cirricular activities. "I had hoped to be on the field hockey team, but because of some things that happened over the summer, I was unable to try out," she noted. "I joined SA and the class council, and that was what really got me going."

Bodio decided to rush her sophomore year. While rushing introduced her to many new people, Bodio said that being involved in her house meant that she had to cut back on other activities.

After going on a French language study abroad program in France during her sophomore winter, Bodio decided to become part of the Green Key Honor Society during her junior year.

"I really like community service and I helped out with DarCorps. I also ended up doing the Day-by-Day, and that was a lot of fun," she said.

After coming back from an off-term during her junior year, Bodio ran for Panhell president and subsequently won. She applied to be President Wright's intern, and was selected for the position. As the President's intern, Bodio became an ex-oficio member of Paleopitus.

Last winter, Bodio was selected to be on the Senior Executive Committee and was selected president of the committee.

Yet even though Bodio has had what many would call a successful Dartmouth experience, there have been many frustrating experiences along the way.

Bodio said that one of the things that has frustrated her is that change happens relatively slowly. "As a student, there are so many things that you want to do, but because of the way the College works, it's hard to do them."

She also said that the College needs to provide more support to student leaders. "Many times you sacrifice things, and you don't always get recognized," she said.

Looking back on her four years, Bodio said that there are many things that she would tell the future generations of Dartmouth students.

"The best advice that I've ever gotten is to take the time to smell the roses," she said. "The first two years, I was really focused -- getting my work done, filling out the applications on time, and I never took the time to rent a DOC cabin or to go on a hike. I've had a much less stressful year because I slowed down a bit."

Eric Buchman

As the president of the 2000 Class Council, Buchman is busy organizing activities until the day he graduates. In fact, if there's one piece of advice that he would like to impart on other students, it would be "don't do anything Senior spring. Drop everything -- you really should."

Buchman came to Dartmouth planning to pursue a Government or a Biology major, as he puts it, "just like 75 percent of my class." However, by the end of his freshman fall, he decided to pursue a major in Film Studies.

"I took three classes, and the only one that I felt confident coming out of was Film 1," he said.

Unlike his academic interests, Buchman stuck with most of the organizations that he got involved in during his first two years at Dartmouth. He joined the crew team, started broadcasting news on the radio and joined the Student Assembly, all of which he subsequently dropped. However, he did stay with class council -- eventually becoming its president -- COSO, the Programming Board and the Jack-O-Lantern magazine.

Buchman said that he has found his class council the most rewarding.

"It's one of the more laid back groups on campus. We have a lot of money and a lot of responsibility, but I like working closely with others."

The Programming Board has also been an organization that Buchman has worked with.

"I got involved in the Programming Board because I wanted to know how concerts were chosen," he said. "But little did I know that who we get has more to do with the availability of the group and the money, and not who we want."

In general, Buchman feels that he has had a good Dartmouth experience. "I've had things happen at home, and Dartmouth has always been very supportive," he said. "I haven't had any bad experiences."

His advice to the current and future students of Dartmouth would be to not rush into things.

"Don't do too much too soon. When people jump into things, they usually jump into all of them," he said. "It's very easy to do a lot of things, to try to do very much. I would recommend taking things on one at a time."

As graduation approaches, Buchman is still unsure of what he will be doing next year.

"The problem with staying active was that I was never forced to think about life beyond Dartmouth, so I really haven't had time to look for a job."

Gary Maslow

Talking to Gary Maslow, one cannot help but be inspired.

"The most amazing things about Dartmouth is that you get to dream of things and you get to create things," he said. "It's okay to fail. My advice is that you dream."

Over the last four years, Maslow has not only helped make his dreams of helping others come true, but has also fulfilled the countless dreams and wishes of children.

Maslow has had a fairly positive Dartmouth experience. In fact, he plans to stay in Hanover for at least four more years, as a student at the Dartmouth Medical School.

"I came to Dartmouth expecting to take advantage of the outdoors," he said. "I also knew that I was going to be pre-med."

"As a freshman, I didn't do very much. I wanted to start volunteering, so I started volunteering at David's House," he added.

Maslow was unsure what he wanted to do for his off-term. He evaluated going to Alaska on a dig, but decided instead to stay in Hanover and start the Wishing Well.

"Instead of going away and seeing different parts of the world, I thought I would concentrate on helping people around Dartmouth," he said.

"There are a lot of problems in the world, and there are a lot of things that we can do, but it was pretty important for me to stay here," he added.

Another project that Maslow started at Dartmouth is called "Help is on the way," which provides yardwork and housework for cancer patients.

Maslow currently keeps himself busy hosting "Mystery and Myth," a radio show geared towards children. The show broadcasts children's stories.

"One thing about New England is that there are stories that make up a big part of people's lives," he said.

Having accomplished so much at the College, Maslow has had his share of frustrations.

"There were definitely times when I was frustrated. It was difficult at times to get Dartmouth students to volunteer," he said. Maslow added that dealing with bureacracy and the speed at which things happen are also sometimes frustrating.

In spite of the obstacles that he has faced, Maslow is optimistic. As he says "I have enjoyed my time so much here that I want to stick around for another four years."

Yuhka Miura

Yuhka Miura describes her two passions as being involved in the Asian American community and dancing. Her accomplishments, which include being the College's Pan Asian Intern to being a member of Sheba, are a testament to those passions.

Miura came to Dartmouth primarily because of its location. "I decided to come to Dartmouth because I knew it would probably be the only time I would live away from an urban center," she said.

During her freshman year, Miura got involved in Sheba, a dance troupe at the College. The following year, she decided to try out the Dartmouth Asian Organization. She has followed through on both activities until the very end of her time at Dartmouth.

This year, Miura became the co-director of Sheba, and her involvement in the Asian American community led her to become the Pan Asian intern in the Office of Student Life, where she worked with the APA Programming Liaison Nora Yasumura. Miura continued to be involved in DAO, as she co-coordinated the organization's annual culture night during her junior year.

Even though Miura has had a relatively pleasant Dartmouth experience, she has experienced her share of frustrations and pitfalls. One of her frustrations has been trying to get people involved.

"I think at times it is frustrating because the Dartmouth Plan creates discontinuity in organizations and it's hard to have to motivate people each term," she said.

However, Miura's own D-Plan hasn't deterred her from being involved, which is due in part to the support that she has received from the organizations that she has been involved in, such as Sheba.

"The constant in my life here at Dartmouth has been Sheba. The members have been my family and I cannot imagine my Dartmouth experience without my involvement in Sheba," she said.

"There is nothing like having the opportunity to perform with talented people who I trust, admire and respect in all sorts of ways," she added.

While some Dartmouth students have managed to try a little bit of everything that the College offers, Miura said that her advice would be to focus.

"Choose the things you care about and do them to your best ability instead of taking on too many things," she said, adding that it is equally as important to take care of oneself, both physically and emotionally.

Brenda Withers

When The Dartmouth first contacted Withers for an interview, she replied with the following BlitzMail message: "I'm actually getting ready to open a show tonight, so I have almost no free time."

That basically describes how Withers has spent her four years at Dartmouth, doing what she likes most -- acting and keeping herself busy.

"The terms that I've tried to do less, I realized that I was not as happy," she said. "I've learned to enjoy work."

When she came to Dartmouth, Withers knew that she wanted to be a drama major. Unlike most people who come to Dartmouth with many possible majors in mind and narrow the list down, Withers saw the possibilities at Dartmouth and broadened her focus, she said.

"I found the religion department, and I decided to minor in it," she said.

During her first year, Withers also joined the Rockapellas, performed in a few plays and did some volunteer work.

To date, she has performed in twelve plays. Her last performance at Dartmouth was her senior culminating experience, entitled "UP."

"I really saw it as a building block for getting me on a new track," she said.

Withers, who is heading to New York City when she graduates, said that she had found her family and friends at Dartmouth a great source of support.

Many people wonder how Withers can do so many things at once, she said. However, she said her friends also work equally as hard.

"I latched on to others who do a lot of things," she said. "You can meet a lot of people by being active and doing things. It's allowed me a mobility in that way -- I have a diverse set of friends."

Withers said that it is sometimes difficult to balance her extra-cirricular interests with her academic work.

"I've taken a low-key approach to my classes. My parents know that when you're a drama major, no one is going to look at your transcript, and they have been very supportive," she said.

"Coming here, a lot of people are worried of not being the smartest -- I've learned how to enjoy learning and not to feel bad when I get a B," she added.

Her Dartmouth experience has also helped change her outlook on the College.

"I've become more critical of it, which I didn't think would happen freshman year," she said of Dartmouth. "I still love it a lot, though."

Reflecting back on the last four years, Withers said that she would tell people to "find a passion, to go for it and not be shy just because you're not the best candidate."

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