SA closes term with final meeting

by Ann Baum | 12/3/08 4:03am

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Student Assembly members pass legislation at their Tuesday night meeting, the Assembly's final meeting of the term.
by Grey Cusack / The Dartmouth

Heading into Winter term, the Assembly will make recommendations to the administration regarding upcoming budget cuts at the College. In initial talks, Assembly members brought up important aspects of a Dartmouth student life that should not be adversely affected by drops in the College's spending. Assembly members have specifically emphasized the importance of the Office of Pluralism and Leadership, the overall out-of-classroom undergraduate experience and College traditions, such as the three "big" weekends and other traditions. The Assembly also noted areas in which expenses could be spared, such as the extended hours of Collis Late Night and Food Court.

Earlier this term, the Assembly solicited feedback on the presidential search committee's leadership statement, which details criteria for Dartmouth's next president. In particular, Assembly members pointed out the statement's failure to mention important aspects of undergraduate life, such as the Greek system and extracurricular activities.

At the time, Student Assembly President Molly Bode '09, the only student member of the search committee, described the statement as a "living and breathing document." She added that she plans to relay the Assembly's concerns to the committee, which hopes to appoint Dartmouth's next president by the time College President James Wright steps down this June.

"Personally I have enjoyed working on the budget and with the presidential search committee the most because I have gotten to know Dartmouth in such depth and have really recognized the uniqueness and incredible nature of the Dartmouth experience while pressing for its continued excellence and improvement for the future," Bode said in an e-mail to The Dartmouth.

Bode also mentioned the importance of the Assembly's statement addressing student concerns about the College's new Alcohol Management Policy proposal. The Assembly took issue with the proposal's restriction on events that are not planned in advance, as well as the requirement that Greek organizations register their weekly meetings. Approval of the proposal was originally scheduled to be decided upon by the end of the Fall term but the decision has been postponed to allow further review.

In an effort to facilitate carpooling among Dartmouth students, the Assembly introduced Zimride -- a ride-sharing application on Facebook -- at the beginning of the term. By Tuesday, Zimride had 649 Dartmouth users, though the program has been met with mixed reviews. Some students found the application to be very easy and convenient to use, but others had trouble finding rides. The Assembly also continued to provide bus service to and from New York City over Thanksgiving. Bus service will also be provided for winter break, though prices will increase slightly because the Assembly lost money sponsoring the Thanksgiving bus services, according to Assembly member Uthman Olagoke '11.

The Assembly also continued to focus on establishing alternative social spaces on campus. This fall, the organization hosted "Thayer Throwdown," a party in Thayer's Hovey Grill, which was attended by more than 200 students. During last spring's Assembly elections, Bode's campaign platform focused on increasing social opportunities outside of the Greek system.

The Assembly also recently hosted alcohol education programs for freshmen living in the Choates residence hall cluster.

"The programs were pretty successful, kind of boring," Jennifer Argote '10 said in Tuesday's Assembly meeting.

Argote is a member of The Dartmouth Senior Staff.

Student Assembly passed legislation at Tuesday's meeting to host a "Stress Free Day" this Friday -- the Assembly will provide 32 massages to the first students who sign up and The Dartmouth Moose will also walk through the libraries and provide treats to cheer up students, according to Olagoke.