When we were approached to co-edit the Homecoming issue, our agreement was instantaneous. The Parker/Lauren partnership dates back to before we even matriculated — when forced to interact constantly as Trippees, we realized we had a love/hate relationship forged in heaven, strengthened on the stunningly rigorous trails of Hiking II and tested in the newsroom, the classroom and the frat basement (Lauren’s pong game is about as weak as Parker’s ankles, which he injured dancing on Trips). One year, a trip to Nantucket and countless arguments later, we had proven that our insult-based relationship would stand the test of time and thought it only appropriate to apply our combined powers to a subject that’s personal, relevant and yet, somehow, still difficult to tackle.
It’s come into vogue in the past year or so for national publications to cover issues related to mental health on college campuses. We’ve all seen stories about “excellent sheep,” “duck syndrome” and student suicide after student suicide. We set out to learn how these issues — and many others — present themselves here at Dartmouth, in our own home. It isn’t news that many of our peers suffer from depression, anxiety and eating disorders. The important question is how students at the College suffer, what resources are available to us and — perhaps more pressingly — what resources aren’t.
We know there is still a long way to go on campuses across the country. We hope this special issue will serve as a starting point on the path to understanding, a catalyst for difficult and overdue conversations. We thank the brave individuals who shared their stories with us; and we thank our readers for approaching this subject with empathy and care and our editors for their help.