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The Dartmouth
May 28, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Dartmouth Student Government Senate meeting plans transit extensions, considers wellness resources

The Senate is attempting to add an hour to campus bus times and debated hiring a new counselor for Dick’s House.

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On Oct. 8, the Dartmouth Student Government Senate met for its fourth weekly meeting of the fall term. Senators discussed the possibility of extending service hours on Advance Transit, a transportation service in the Upper Valley, along with hiring a new counselor for the Dick’s House Counseling Center and piloting the RADical Hope program. 

Previously, DSG announced in September that Advance Transit would extend its campus service hours on weekdays and add transportation on Saturdays. 

During the meeting, DSG Hanover town liaison Nicolás Macri ’24 proposed extending the service’s Saturday operating schedule by an hour, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., which received unanimous Senate support when taken to a vote. 

“The train from New York City arrives each day at 6:15 [p.m.], so when the bus stops service from White River Junction at 6 [p.m.], all the passengers on the train have to rely on car transportation to get to Lebanon and Hanover,” Macri said during the meeting. “And that’s just silly, given that they chose to take a train.” 

On Oct. 14, the Senate will host an open house with Advance Transit at Collis Center at 10 a.m. According to student body vice president Kiara Ortiz ’24, the forum will demonstrate how to use the Advance Transit app and routes, while guiding students through any challenges preventing them from accessing the service. After the event, students who opt to can take a shuttle ride to the Norwich Farmers’ Market along the Green Line, Ortiz added.

Chief of staff Anthony Fosu ’24 also discussed hiring a new counselor at the Dick’s House Counseling Center following the departure of Paris Palmer, a former counselor who left the College in September. 

“A lot of students of color, particularly students in the Black community, went to her when they needed counseling,” Fosu said. “Students are concerned about the College not having [many Black] counselors at all now that she’s gone.” 

Following Palmer’s departure, Dick’s House employs seven counselors of color, including one Black counselor, out of 14 counselors in total. 

Student body president Jessica Chiriboga ’24 outlined the process for hiring a new counselor, which would include endowing the position and organizing a capital fundraising campaign. 

“We shouldn’t be satisfied,” she said during the meeting. “We need to be keeping an eye on the retention of counselors that represent different identities and languages.” 

School House Senator JJ Dega ’26, a member of DSG’s Mental Health Committee, discussed progress on the collaboration with RADical Hope, a foundation aimed at providing mental health resources and skill training to young adults. 

The Senate discussed whether RADical Hope’s program should be proposed as either a Wellness credit or mandatory exercise for first-year students but did not vote on the decision.

The DSG Senate meetings occur weekly on Sundays at 7 p.m. in Collis 101 and are open to all students. 

Correction Appended (Oct. 17, 11:10 a.m.): A previous version of this article stated that following Palmer’s departure, Dick’s House employs only two counselors of color and no Black counselors. The article has been updated to reflect that following Palmer’s departure, Dick’s House employs seven counselors of color, including one Black counselor, out of 14 counselors in total.