Dartmouth Outing Club elects new directorate

by Savannah Eller | 2/21/19 2:45am

by Michael Lin / The Dartmouth Senior Staff

Fresh ideas may accompany the impending turnover of the Dartmouth Outing Club directorate. In a campus-wide email on Feb. 12, outgoing DOC president John Brady ’19 announced the names of students elected to lead the organization in the coming year. The positions of president, vice president, treasurer and secretary were up for election and have been filled through the end of winter 2020. The new directorate will take over beginning next term. 

The largest student organization on campus with over 1,500 members, the DOC is an umbrella club that encompasses over a dozen outdoor-oriented sub-clubs. 

Three students were elected as DOC president to serve in the four upcoming terms. Libby Decker ’20 will replace Brady as DOC president in the spring. Decker has been involved in the DOC as the chair of Cabin and Trail and Women in the Wilderness. In 2018, she was also the co-director of Sophomore Trips. 

Decker said she is eager to foster community between sub-clubs in the DOC, especially by making use of the DOC House on Occom Pond as a social space. Decker said she also wants to make Moosilauke Ravine Lodge more accessible to students, host more student volunteer events in the Upper Valley and work more closely with the Sustainability Office. 

“I think I’m going to be able to come back in the spring and be really excited and energetic about the position and really get stuff done,” she said. 

David Vonderheide ’21 will take over as DOC president in the summer. Vonderheide has been a part of the DOC as a Cabin and Trail leader and is involved with the Ledyard Canoe Club, Winter Sports, Nordic Ski and Woodsmen sub-clubs. He said that being president during the summer presents unique challenges and opportunities for the DOC directorate. He hopes to promote more interaction between sub-clubs through shared trips and to develop a risk management plan for The Fifty — a popular event that consists of a 54-mile hike from Hanover to the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge. 

Sarah Kolk ’20 will lead the DOC in fall 2019 and winter 2020. Kolk has been involved with the club since freshman year through the Ledyard Canoe Club, Winter Sports, Nordic Ski and Ski Patrol sub-clubs. This past fall, she was a first-year Trip leader for Climb and Hike and became the first DOC secretary when the position was created in fall 2018. Kolk said she wants to make the DOC more accessible to first-years. 

“I want upperclassmen in the DOC to really emphasize to underclassmen that they are welcome and they should come into any DOC space feeling like they are equal to anyone else there,” she said.

Kolk noted that she also wants to increase the technical competence of the DOC so that advanced members can push themselves more in the outdoors. 

Brady said he is proud of the DOC’s accomplishments during his tenure as president. Under his leadership, the DOC created a new student risk management director position for students to have more responsibility over the safe planning of trips and activities, Brady said. He added that the organization also created an environmental stewardship committee to help the DOC’s activities become more sustainable. 

Brady said he hopes the DOC will continue to reach out to more students on campus, especially those who might not have much experience with outdoor activities. 

“The biggest issue with the DOC as it stands right now is a lack of diversity and inclusivity,” he said. 

The DOC has already contributed to this goal by making day trips and DOC feeds free to students, according to Brady. He said the DOC could still do more to make entry-level events open to new students, especially by expanding its inventory of rental equipment. Brady also said he hopes the DOC will be able to streamline the trip planning and approval processes in the future. 

The position of DOC vice president will be filled by both Mary Joy ’21 and Simon Oster ’21 for the spring, and Emma Doherty '21 and Oster in the summer. Hunter Dominick ’20 and Ben Saccone ’20 will jointly take on the position in fall and winter. 

Oster said he is looking forward to taking on new projects and collaborating with others on the new directorate. 

“Meeting the other people that I’m going to be working with, getting to know other chairs of other clubs and hopefully making a positive change is going to be really exciting,” he said.

Oster is the captain of the Alpine Club Ski Team and has been involved with the Mountaineering Club and the First-Year Trips logistics planning group. Dominick is a former DOC vice president and has been involved in Cabin and Trail and the Ledyard Canoe Club. Saccone is the current chair of the Mountaineering Club and took on the role of DOC president in summer 2018. 

Jacob Chalif ’21 will be DOC treasurer in the spring, summer and winter, and Vonderheide will take on the position in the fall. Ben Schelling ’21 will each serve as secretary in the spring and summer terms, Kevin Donohue ’21 will be secretary in the fall and Maya Khanna ’22 will serve in the position in winter 2020. 

Khanna is a member of The Dartmouth. Chalif is a former member of The Dartmouth staff. 

Correction appended (Feb. 21, 2019): This article has been updated to reflect that Oster is the captain of the Alpine Club Ski Team, and to correct the terms of service for Chalif, Doherty and Joy.