Green Key Society has new role, plans events for alumni

by MICHAEL RIORDAN | 5/16/13 10:00pm

The Green Key Society plans events during the College's major weekends to promote campus unity. Founded in 1921 to provide the junior class with campus leadership roles and service opportunities, the society is trying to revitalize its role in campus life.

This year, the Undergraduate Finance Committee voted to allow the society to coordinate programming with UFC-funded organizations, allowing the group to streamline the calendar of Green Key events next year, society co-president Rohail Premjee '14 said. Since the weekend's scheduled events often overlap, the society will now be able to contact individual organizations, including Programming Board and fraternities, to resolve time conflicts.

As an independent organization, the society relies on fundraising and personal donations to maintain its budget, which typically fluctuates between $8,000 and $12,000, co-president Andres Ramirez '14 said.

The organization has planned two events for Green Key. On Thursday, the society held the annual Mr. and Mrs. Big Green event, awarding the two winners a prize to donate to the charity of their choice. Later that evening, the society hosted a formal dance party in One Wheelock.

In 1927, the organization held a Green Key Society Ball, one of the weekend's main social events.

The society has adopted a "three-prong" approach to expand its reach to campus, Premjee said. It added opportunities for bonding among its members, increased outreach events with faculty and administrators and continued to assist with events during big weekends.

Last summer, Premjee organized a retreat to promote inter-delegation bonding. He also hosted informal discussions with administrators, including Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson.

"While Class Council focuses on class bonding, we focus on campus unity as a whole," he said.

Premjee said that the Class of 2014 delegation has improved the group's organization.

"In the last few years, Green Key Society lost its place and didn't know what it was doing," he said.

Ramirez said he hopes that the Class of 2015 delegation will establish a "concrete goal" for the organization.

The group welcomes 30 members for each class delegation. While most are chosen through a nominating process, 12 members are elected by their class.

This year's elections, held alongside the student body races in April, were unusually competitive. The increased interest reflects the organization's potential to grow and become more active in campus life, Premjee said. He attributed the greater participation to recent outreach efforts.

"It's proven that Green Key Society is turning around for the better," Premjee said.

Rex Woodbury '15, who successfully ran for a Green Key Society position, said he appreciates how members interact with other classes, leading the Homecoming bonfire sweep and serving as ushers at Commencement.

"I just want to contribute to what makes Dartmouth special," he said.

2015 Class Council president Justin Sha '15 said in an email that he formally applied for the position even though the Class Council president is automatically invited to be a member. He hopes to increase involvement in the planning process for sophomore summer events.