Let's Do This

by Brett Theisen | 4/29/03 5:00am

My campaign for Student Body President is about fresh leadership, fresh ideas and results. George Bernard Shaw once said, "Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will." We can make changes on this campus. None of the administra-tion's policies are beyond our ability to change, if we approach them with imagination and determination. We can mold Dartmouth into whatever we wish, but we must do it together; we must be able to speak with a broad student voice and let the administration know that we, the students, are Dartmouth, not the administrators.

I believe I can improve student involvement in the major strategic decisions the College makes. On major issues of policy change, the entire student body should have the right to voice their opinion. In the case of the alcohol policy, I believe students have the right to vote on the passage and implementation of any future changes. Through a referendum like this, we could be sure that the policy would be applicable and acceptable to the entire college, not just the Greek community.

In addition to getting more student involvement, I have a number of issues I'd like the Student Assembly to consider in 2003. One example is parking. I want to find a way to improve the parking situation on campus, making it easier and more convenient for students to have cars. Currently, the only parking option for students other than their respective Greek houses is A-lot. Does the College actually believe that a student parking lot a mile off campus is acceptable? This is ridiculous, especially in winter, when walking from your dorm to A-lot could give you a pretty bad case of frostbite.

Budget difficulties are going to be a giant hurdle to the Student Assembly in the coming years. Getting more money from alumni is going to be extremely important and as a student-athlete I am in a unique position to work with the group of alumni who have recently been the largest contributors to the college: former athletes. In the past few years, there has been a drop in alumni donations, from 60 percent of Dartmouth alums giving money to the College to only 40 percent donating. I believe I can bring this number back up.

Finally I want to address a situation on campus that I'm very passionate about, the Committee on Standards. Right now I don't believe COS affords students a fair enough hearing, considering the implications of suspending students from the College. I'd like a committee to review COS, as well as other disciplinary panels at other, similar institutions. In the past few years, other Ivy League schools have made sweeping changes to their disciplinary committees, and Dartmouth is lagging behind.

One way to fix COS would be by raising the standard for finding responsibility. Right now, if 3/5 members are 51 percent sure that the student is responsible, even if the other two members are 100 percent sure the student should be cleared, the student will be found responsible. We could add a third student member to every hearing panel (making it two professors, an administrator, and three students; a panel closer to a "jury of peers") and then change the required vote for finding responsibility from a bare majority to 2/3rds.

I'm exited about the opportunity to see these changes through in 2003. Together we can find creative and imaginative ways of making what we desire here at Dartmouth a reality. Let's Do This!