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The Dartmouth
February 22, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Helman calls on Student Assembly for opinions

Correction appended

Student Assembly members discussed what they hope to see in the next College president with Chair of the Presidential Search Committee Bill Helman '80 at Tuesday's meeting. Helman discussed the committee's plans for the future and emphasized the importance of student input in selecting the College's 18th president.

The Presidential Search Committee will be formed in the next three weeks and announced at the end of May, and Helman hopes to announce a selection for the presidential post by the end of the calendar year, he said. The new College president is expected to take office on July 1, 2013.

Many students said that the next president must be present on campus, have a background in academics and be familiar with Dartmouth culture. Some also criticized the committee's expected inclusion of only one student representative.

There is a "natural tension" between an efficient group and one that encapsulates everyone's interests, Helman said. For a group to function effectively, it should not contain more than 12 to 15 people, limiting the capacity for student representation, Helman said.

"We have to work very hard to keep the search committee very tight in terms of numbers," he said.

He said students can participate in the search in other ways, by attending forums, visiting the website and even communicating with him directly.

Students said they hope the next College president has a longer tenure than current College President Jim Yong Kim, who will step down on June 30 having served a three-year term. Helman said that the committee will attempt to ensure that the president will stay for a term that "makes sense," on average seven to 10 years.

"I don't think we view Dartmouth as a stepping stone to anything for anyone," Helman said. "We view this as a stepping stone to making Dartmouth great."

Student Body President Suril Kantaria '13 asked how the trustees think the future president should allocate his or her time between responsibilities like fundraising, the graduate schools and undergraduate students.

Helman said that although there will not be a specific breakdown, the committee is assessing the importance of these different aspects of the president's job. By engaging in "pattern recognition" of frequently voiced concerns, the committee will determine the issues that are important to the most people, he said.

Members of the Board of Trustees have met several times since Kim was appointed to the World Bank presidency, according to Helman.

The committee will compile a "leadership statement" describing the qualities necessary for the future president and plans to contact "different constituencies on campus and off campus to find out what people are thinking," Helman said.

The eight voting Assembly members present at the meeting also unanimously passed four motions at the Tuesday meeting.

The first, introduced by former Student Body President Max Yoeli '12 and former Student Body Vice President Amrita Sankar '12, proposed a downloadable interactive map titled "Roammeo" that will enable students to search for campus events in a variety of ways. The program will cost $6,000 to create, with the cost also covering maintenance for the first year, Sankar said.

Next, the Assembly voted in favor of a new version of the Student Assembly Course Guide created by Cole Ott '12.

The new Course Guide will be "prettier and more well-organized than the original Course Guide," Ott said. "It will also be much simpler because it will not ask students to rate a class in an excessive number of categories."

The project will be completed on Thursday or Friday and Ott said he hopes for a "big launch" that encourages students to submit additional reviews.

The project marks a return to the previous system of ranking courses from the Course Rank system that was instituted two years ago but never became popular with students.

The production of the new Course Guide will cost the Assembly $2,000.

The Assembly voted in favor of a new bicycle policy, presented by Bike Project interns Ben Hughey '12 and Laura Kier '12. The new legislation seeks to increase ridership, facilitate campus bicycle use and decrease the accumulation of abandoned bikes, according to Kier.

The new legislation will create a "self-sustaining cycle" in which bikes that have been abandoned for an extended period of time two weeks after they are noticed and tagged are taken, repaired and sold to students on campus. The new policy will also encourage students to register bicycles, Kier said.

Finally, the Assembly voted to allocate $765 dollars for the Seoul Food event, hosted by Alpha Phi Alpha and the Korean Students Association.

**The original version of this article incorrectly stated the Kim will step down having served a less than two-year term when in fact he will have served a three-year term.*