Five Good Samaritan calls, no arrests at Homecoming 2021

The Classes of 2024 and 2025 experienced the bonfire celebration together.

by James Quirk and Siddharth Malviya | 10/14/21 5:10am

10-14-21-hoco1-oliverdejonghe
by Oliver De Jonghe / The Dartmouth Staff

This weekend, Dartmouth’s Homecoming festivities returned to the Green for the first time since 2019, with both the Classes of 2024 and 2025 sharing in this year’s bonfire celebrations. While this year’s celebration saw a slight uptick in Good Samaritan calls from last homecoming — five compared to three in 2019 —  no students were arrested, according to Hanover police chief Charlie Dennis.  

According to Hanover fire chief Martin McMillan, no students attempted to touch the bonfire, marking the third consecutive homecoming without such an attempt. Prior to 2018, when the College first introduced multiple fences around the fire’s inner ring, the practice had become an annual tradition. In 2017, when only a six-foot fence stood around the fire, seven students attempted to touch the bonfire, down from an estimated 50 in 2016. There were no attempts in 2018 or 2019.

Oliver De Jonghe | The Dartmouth Staff

Noah Dunleavy ’25 said that he did not think the fence’s construction negatively affected students’ bonfire experience. 

“I understand with… safety concerns, there are certain obstacles that they have to account for,” Dunleavy said. “While it does make it a different, and maybe less enjoyable, experience, I still enjoyed it.”  

Similarly, Garima Dubey ’25 said she found the fence “not a big problem at all,” adding that “the fire was so hot, I wasn’t going to get closer anyway.”

Unlike previous years, the bonfire celebration was shared by both the Class of 2024 and the Class of 2025 due to last year’s all-virtual festivities. Dunleavy said that “one part” of him wanted to walk around the bonfire with only the Class of 2025, he agreed that it wouldn’t have been fair for the Class of 2024 to not get the chance to circle the bonfire as well. 

Oliver De Jonghe | The Dartmouth Staff

Josephine Kim ’24 said she appreciated the College allowing her class to walk around the fire.

“I was honestly just grateful that Dartmouth cared enough to give us another bonfire,” Kim said. “Because we already missed so many first-year events… I was just really happy to have one.”

According to Department of Safety and Security director Keysi Montás, there were five Good Samaritan calls over the weekend, a slight increase from three during the 2019 Homecoming weekend. 

The increase in Good Samaritan calls came despite a policy change at Dick’s House: During this year’s Homecoming weekend, Dick’s House did not accept walk-in appointments, Safety and Security associate director Douglas Babcock confirmed in an email statement to The Dartmouth. Ahead of Homecoming, members of Greek leadership were informed by the Department of Safety and Security that medical emergencies, including Good Samaritan calls, would be handled by ambulances from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, according to internal minutes from the meeting obtained by The Dartmouth. 

Oliver De Jonghe | The Dartmouth Staff

According to Dartmouth’s Good Samaritan Policy, students seeking medical attention would normally be directed to Dick’s House and only be sent to DHMC in serious cases..

Babcock wrote in an email statement that Safety and Security officers were available to assist students this weekend, and that Dartmouth Emergency Medical Services and the Hanover fire department provided medical care and transportation to DHMC if necessary.

According to Phi Tau coed fraternity president Kai Frey ’23, Greek house presidents were informed that ambulances would only charge students based on their insurance if they required medical services. When several presidents raised concerns about the cost of calling an ambulance, Frey said that a Safety and Security sergeant present at the meeting emphasized that there is no cost for calling an ambulance and that students would be charged only if they ended up using the ambulance.

Frey called the updated Good Samaritan policy “ridiculous” and said that they believe many students would be dissuaded from calling an ambulance due to the potential cost, adding that some may choose to drive to the hospital in an emergency instead of calling an ambulance.

Representatives from the College Health Service and DHMC did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

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