Assembly backs Katrina relief with $7,000
The Student Assembly unanimously passed a proposal Tuesday night to help fund the College's education and service corps trip to Biloxi, Miss., this winter.
The Assembly also passed a resolution to establish a peer support system in the Undergraduate Judicial Affairs Office and heard remarks from a member of the figure skating team who is frustrated with the Athletic Department.
The Biloxi proposal called for the allocation of $7,000 from the Assembly's budget to finance the production of a documentary video chronicling the trip and to partially finance food expenditures. The proposal was sponsored by Nick Taranto '06, Kaelin Goulet '07, Elisa Donnelly '07, Jesse Brush '06 and Student Body President Noah Riner '06.
The sponsors plan to use the Assembly's student life, alumni affairs and Ivy Council committees to coordinate the distribution of the video to Dartmouth students, alumni and peer institutions. The video would use half of the money supplied by Student Assembly.
Many members expressed concern that the proposal would contradict the Assembly's precedent of not sponsoring specific organizations and student groups.
Sponsors, however, stressed that the trip is a campus-wide effort, and that the Assembly's efforts would be well-spent in helping the victims of such a tragedy.
"I have to see this as different. Extenuating circumstances call for extenuating measures," Goulet said. "When we consider the devastation, the Assembly should buck precedent and buck tradition."
Goulet further stated that the Assembly would be part of a unified effort including the Tucker Foundation, the Dickey Center for International Understanding and the President's Office.
Assembly members also questioned whether it is the Assembly's role to fund food expenditures. Taranto, however, reassured the Assembly that the food budget is a low one anyway.
"It's actually pretty low. We are only paying $3 per meal," Taranto said. "We just thought it would be a nice token gesture to say that the Assembly is feeding the students."
The proposal passed without opposition or abstention.
Daniel Dittrick '08, the secretary of the Dartmouth figure skating team, told Assembly members that the championship team has lost ice time to groups outside the College. Dittrick said the Athletic Department is breaking College policy by giving local groups priority over a Dartmouth team.
"The Dartmouth figure skating team is being discriminated against by the athletic department," he said.
Dittrick did not, however, ask the Assembly to intervene on the issue during his remarks.
The Assembly also passed a resolution to establish a "Student Judicial Network" in the Undergraduate Judicial Affairs Office.
Sponsors Adam Patinkin '07 and Karan Danthi '07 are working closely with director of Undergraduate Judicial Affairs April Thompson to develop a peer resource group for students facing disciplinary action.The proposal is part of the Assembly's continued effort, which included a mock Committee on Standards hearing two weeks ago, to reduce student anxiety surrounding the College's judicial affairs procedures.