COS sees surge in candidates
Twenty-five sophomores and juniors are running for six seats on the Committee on Standards this week, a dramatic increase from past years. The number of students on the ballot is more than double the 11 that ran last year for the committee, a hike that COS candidate Diana Zhang '06 attributed to the amount of sophomores involved in student government and a greater awareness of the committee's responsibilities.
"People are just starting to realize that COS is a very important aspect [of student advocacy] with the past Parkhurst cases," Zhang said.
Russell Lane '06, who is also running for a seat on the committee, agreed. "It's a really powerful body, with a lot of people criticizing its decisions."
COS hears cases involving undergraduates concerning violations of the honor principle and the College's standards of conduct, as well as cases involving academic standing and requirements and appeals of registrarial actions.
The committee is composed of 12 faculty members and 12 students. Six of those 12 students will be decided in this week's elections, and the Dean of the College will later select the other members of the committee after receiving recommendations from the Student Assembly.
"COS is one of the most important ways to work for student presence and student voice on campus," Zhang said.
Lane said he was drawn to seeking the position by the negative stories he had heard about COS.
"I definitely want to represent the views students have in making fair decisions," Lane said.
Will Canestaro '06 said he hopes to add an athlete's perspective to the committee. Canestaro, a member of the lightweight crew team, said "not enough athletes have a voice on COS. I think there needs to be that perspective on the COS, and I'm qualified to give that." Canestaro also touted his involvement in Greek life.
Lotus Subhapholsiri '06 said she is running because of her experience on a similar committee at her Connecticut boarding school, where she saw the effect of student voice on judicial decisions.
"There were many cases where students' voices really changed the direction of the case, and the students ended up receiving a punishment that was more appropriate. I believe that a student representative offers points of view that the administration should take into account," Subhapholsiri told The Dartmouth.
Ben Schwartz '06 said his desire for "making the Dartmouth experience healthy and meaningful" propelled him to seek a position on the committee. Schwartz has already worked on the honor principle as part of the Judicial Affairs Office's Honor Education Committee, an experience he said will help him on COS.
"I truly care about the undergraduate educational experience at Dartmouth and believe that my experience on the HEC, as a UGA and in other capacities will contribute to a balanced and fair approach on the COS," Schwartz told The Dartmouth.
Zhang, however, highlighted some of the other issues COS addresses. "A lot of people don't realize that COS isn't just about the honor principle. It's also about standards of conduct in terms of alcohol and hazing," Zhang said.
"I consider myself to be a student who is very well aware of the events on campus and also the different rules that the school advocates. And I feel as if I'd be a pretty fair voice on this committee. I know that I'd do a good job," she added.
In addition to Zhang, Lane, Subhapholsiri and Schwartz, 21 other candidates are on the ballot. They are Claire Arthurs, Elana Bannerman, Eduardo Bertran, Kaethe Henning, Taica Hsu, Dana Jupiter, Spencer Lawley, Austin Lord, Brian Martin, Sarah McNally, Amisha Patel, Meredith Raucher, Charles Rittgers, Kristina Ross, Kwabena Safo-Agyekum, John David Schriffen, Megan Spillane, Vanessa Vega, Lucien Williams and Kirsten Wong.
Spillane is a member of The Dartmouth staff.