Four years of campus news seen by the Class of 2019

by Savannah Eller | 6/8/19 2:10am

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by Bridget Ma / The Dartmouth

2015-16

In September, African and African American studies and English professor J. Martin Favor was arrested on felony charges for possession of child pornography. Favor had been a professor at the College for 22 years. 

In September, Chi Delta sorority dissolved its affiliation with Delta Delta Delta, its national governing body, to become a local sorority. 

The academic department formerly known as women’s and gender studies added “sexuality” to its name in September to more accurately describe the program’s emphasis on studying the LGBTQ community. 

International applicants lost “need-blind” consideration starting with the Class of 2020 in favor of a “need-aware” policy in which financial considerations factor into the admissions process. 

In October, Dartmouth joined the Coalition online application platform along with 80 other colleges and all of the Ivy League universities. The Coalition application is intended to serve as a less stress-inducing, more engaging alternative to the Common Application.  

In October, the College installed the eduroam wireless network on campus. Few students were aware of the option and continued to use the Dartmouth Secure network. 

In January, the College’s Board of Trustees approved a motion to establish a School of Graduate and Advanced Studies. Over 800 Ph.D., M.S. and M.A. students at the College, in addition to about 200 postdoctoral students, came under the purview of the new school. The move had been approved by the faculty in November. 

In January, a fence was erected near the Collis Center in an effort to curb jaywalking and pedestrian safety issues. Pedestrian traffic between Collis and the Green was limited to the crosswalks at Robinson Hall and at the intersection of Main Street and Wheelock Street.

In February, Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity was suspended by its national organization for a minimum of five years for violations of health and safety regulations and failure to comply with the standards of its national organization. Members were also suspended indefinitely from SAE national. 

In April, The Hanover Zoning Board of Adjustment accepted SAE’s request to maintain its house as a residence, saying the derecognized fraternity had a right to be “grandfathered” under town ordinances. 

The Skinny Pancake opened in May to long lines of new customers.

2016-17

An unattended charcoal grill caused a four-alarm fire to break out in Morton Hall — a dormitory in the East Wheelock housing cluster — in October. No injuries were reported, but all residents had to be relocated immediately. 

In October, the first-ever renovation of the Baker Library Bell Tower was finished. Costing $5.5 million, the renovation was completed in time for Homecoming. 

In November, former students Sebastian Lim and Daniel Ro, who were members of the Class of 2019, admitted to causing the October Morton Hall fire in an online petition on the Care2 petition site. In the letter, the two apologized and asked for signatures on a petition to have themselves readmitted to the College following their expulsion. The letter did not change their disciplinary outcome, and the two students were expelled.

In November, over 300 students, faculty and Upper Valley community members marched to protest Donald Trump’s election as president, calling the protest a “Walk for Love and Justice.” 

A few days later, professors hosted a “teach-in” on elections in Carpenter Hall. Over 100 students, faculty members and town residents attended to discuss Trump’s election.  

According to financial statements released in January, the College suffered a financial operating loss of $112 million in the 2015-16 financial year due to rising expenses and flat revenue growth. Much of the deficit came from a reorganization of the Geisel School of Medicine, which cost $53.5 million.

In April, Native American studies professor N. Bruce Duthu ’80 was selected as the next dean of the faculty of arts and sciences but later declined the position following concerns regarding his co-authorship of a 2013 declaration supporting a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

Also in the spring, Kappa Delta Epsilon sorority was broken into. The perpetrator of the incident wrote a sexually explicit note inside the sorority house. 

In May, data were released indicating that the Class of 2021 had the highest admissions yield rate in 25 years, at 61 percent. Successful early decision applicants made up 43.4 percent of the class. 

Everything But Anchovies, a Hanover pizza restaurant in operation for 38 years, closed permanently in May. The closure followed a decline in business after the opening of a Domino’s Pizza franchise in West Lebanon that delivered to campus. 

2017-18

In October, the College announced that psychology and brain sciences professors Todd Heatherton, William Kelley and Paul Whalen were put on paid leave following allegations of sexual misconduct. A criminal investigation was opened on the professors by state and local law enforcement. 

In December, the College’s computer system was attacked by a strain of WannaCry, a ransomware virus developed by North Korea, according to the Trump administration. The College’s file sharing network was shut down until the virus could be wiped. 

In January, the New Hampshire Senate passed House Bill 372, which would redefine the term “resident” for purposes of voting or holding office in the state. Critics said the change could restrict the ability of students to vote in the state. 

In February, the official Winter Carnival snow sculpture returned to campus after a three-year hiatus. Corresponding with the carnival’s theme, “Snow Wars: May the Frost Be with You,” the sculpture depicted a Darth Vader helmet. 

Also in February, the College scrapped plans to build a new 750-bed residence hall in College Park due to cost concerns. 

Over 140 students participated in “Take Back the Night,” an annual march in solidarity with sexual assault survivors, in April. Nearly all fraternity, sorority and gender-inclusive Greek houses closed their doors during the march. Previous marches had seen much smaller turnouts. 

In May, a committee convened to determine the fate of the Hovey Murals, located in the basement of the Class of 1953 Commons. Controversial for their offensive depiction of Native Americans, the murals were under consideration for relocation to an off-site storage facility. 

In June, psychological and brain sciences professor Todd Heatherton, alleged to have been involved in sexual misconduct, retired from the College. Paul Whalen resigned later that month. Both faced revoked tenure and termination of employment.

William Kelley, the third professor implicated in the psychological and brain sciences allegations, resigned in July, marking the conclusion of the College’s internal investigation. Like the other two professors, Kelley faced revoked tenure and termination of employment. 

2018-19

The College announced in September that a new 350-bed undergraduate residence hall would be constructed at the corner of East Wheelock and Crosby Streets. The land currently houses House Center A, better known as “the Onion,” and three tennis courts.

Also in September, the owner of the Dartmouth Bookstore announced that the store would be closing at the end of 2018 following its decision not to renew its lease. 

The committee considering the future of the Hovey Murals recommended in September that the panels be moved to an off-site storage facility run by the Hood Museum of Art. 

In October, hand, foot and mouth disease infected over 50 students on campus, prompting the cancellation of an Alpha Chi Alpha fraternity chapter meeting and other events to curb the spread of the virus. 

In October, the College limited freshmen to running only a single lap around the traditional Homecoming bonfire amid safety concerns and a refusal from the town of Hanover to grant an outdoors activities permit for the bonfire until changes to the ceremony were made. 

A new $3.2 million house for Chabad at Dartmouth opened in October. The 9,000 square-foot facility is located two blocks from the Green. 

A non-Dartmouth student was shot in November outside the Christian Science Reading Room in Hanover, sparking an active shooter response from campus officials and local law enforcement. The alleged shooter, Gage Young, was later arrested and indicted on charges including second-degree assault with a deadly weapon. 

No students attempted to touch the bonfire during the Homecoming ceremony. 

In November, six current and former graduate women and one former undergraduate woman filed a $70-million federal class action lawsuit against the College. They alleged that the College, for more than 16 years, ignored claims of sexual harassment by former professors Heatherton, Kelley and Whalen. 

In January, the Hood Museum reopened after a multi-year renovation project. 

In February, at least three Dartmouth professors and 18 students were targeted by emails containing racial slurs and sexually explicit content. The emails were sent from fake email addresses that impersonated Dartmouth students.

In March, the Line@KAF app was launched to track the line at the King Arthur Flour Café in Baker-Berry Library.

In May, the College challenged the grant of anonymity to plaintiffs in the PBS lawsuit. Later in the month, Dartmouth and the nine women suing the College decided to pursue mediation.

On June 9, the Class of 2019 graduates. Nineteen-time Grammy award winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma speaks at the commencement ceremony.