Letter to The Editor: Don’t Dartmouth Students Deserve Better?
Re “Verbum Ultimum: Build it Anyway” (Feb. 4, 2022)
Dear Dartmouth Editorial Board:
Dartmouth’s plan to build on Garipay Field is a lose-lose proposition. Dartmouth students need and deserve decent housing. Dorms should have been a priority for the administration. Instead, the College chose to let the problem simmer for decades while it went ahead with other, more newsworthy building projects.
Now that the situation has become truly desperate, the College is ignoring its own long-term strategic plan. The proposed housing complex will isolate students and entirely change their Dartmouth experience. The project will remove recreational space used both by the community and by students. To promote the project, the College is telling a story that ignores reality. Transporting hundreds of students at peak times will require convoys of large-capacity buses, a need that can’t be met by existing Advance Transit vehicles. In extreme weather, the frequency of the convoy will need to increase for safety. In addition, the College’s story portrays the adjacent Co-op Market convenience store as a full-service supermarket that will meet student needs. The College also denies the environmental pressures of placing hundreds of people in an already fragile ecosystem.
The likely collateral damage of the proposed project is enormous — and the objections to building closer to campus are spurious. The College’s own “Planning for Possibilities” report identified several spots on campus for undergraduate housing. The only benefit of the Garipay Field location is that it would be less expensive to build there. But don’t Dartmouth students deserve better? Doesn't their College experience deserve at least as much consideration as an energy institute or an art museum? The College’s investment in student housing should reflect a higher value on its students than the Garipay Field project.