Sentencing of Tulloch highlights spring news

by Charles Gardner | 6/20/02 5:00am

The unexpected guilty plea of Robert Tulloch dominated the news in an otherwise tranquil Spring term and brought an end to the murder case that began nearly a year and a half ago with the brutal slayings of Half and Susanne Zantop.

Pleading guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and a conspiracy charge on April 4, Tulloch received two consecutive life sentences without parole but avoided placing his family through a trial scheduled to take place just weeks later.

James Parker, Tulloch's accomplice in the killings, had pleaded guilty to reduced charges in December, agreeing in exchange to become a witness for prosecutors. He was later given a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

Although recent Spring terms have witnessed major changes within the Greek system -- Zeta Psi fraternity was derecognized by the College just over a year ago -- the spring of 2002 was notable for its relative lack of groundbreaking developments among coed, fraternity and sorority houses.

The College did provoke discussion with the controversial announcement that students would be prohibited from door-to-door distribution of campus publications under the new door-locking system, which has been activated for Summer term.

The Ad Hoc Working Group on Alcohol Policy also released a set of recommendations for revising the College alcohol policy in April, proposing a replacement of the current three-tiered system for social events with a simpler reservation system.

Spring term also saw a number of distinguished speakers visit the campus, among them former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barak and Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa.

Others, including former Israeli soldier and journalist Yehuda Yev and Nimrod Barkan, the former minister of public affairs at Israel's American Embassy, addressed crowds that turned out to hear them speak on the ongoingIsraeli- Palestinian conflict.

On April 19, a large crowd of students, faculty and community members turned out at a rally condemning Israeli human rights violations in the occupied territories, with attendees -- representing both supporters and critics of the policies of the Israeli government -- parading signs and listening to faculty and student speakers.

Later, in mid-May, Dartmouth Hillel drew the criticism of some within its own ranks for placing a pro-Israel advertisement in The Dartmouth. The advertisement, which read "Wherever we stand, we stand with Israel," was approved during a meeting attended by fewer than 40 of Hillel's more than 450 Dartmouth members.

In other news, Janos Marton '04 was elected Student Body President for 2002-2003 by the slimmest margin in seven years, with Julia Hildreth '05 capturing the vice-presidency. Marton, whose energetic campaign, appealing platform and effective outreach carried him to victory in the five-way runoff, will also serve as summer chair of the Student Assembly.

A electrical fire that broke out in Alpha Delta fraternity on May 23 caused thousands of dollars of damage to the house's basement and ground floor, but repairs were quickly carried out and residents were permitted to return to their rooms within days.

Natural disasters made at least one headline during the spring: a magnitude 5.1 earthquake that struck in the early morning hours of April 20 caused no damage at the College, but managed to rouse at least a few students from their Saturday night slumber.