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The Dartmouth
February 26, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Student Government Senate discusses emergency alert systems, activism and free speech workshops

In their second meeting on Jan. 21, DSG representatives clarified their role in informing the student body.

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On Jan. 21, the Dartmouth Student Government Senate met for its second weekly meeting of the winter term. Led by student body president Jessica Chiriboga ’24, the Senate discussed student body outreach and activism on campus. 

Chiriboga first spoke about a routine meeting with Provost David Kotz and Executive Vice President for Strategy Jomysha Delgado Stephen, where they discussed the active intruder training that will be held for students on campus on Feb. 15 at 9 a.m.

“We have received a couple of requests from students over the past couple [of] months about what to do in case of emergencies, so this active intruder training that’s coming up will be an opportunity for students to learn what is proper Dartmouth procedure in emergency situations,” Chiriboga said. 

According to Chiriboga, their meeting also discussed the best ways for the College to alert students, faculty and staff that an emergency is occurring on campus. The current methods include apps such as LiveSafe, which allows two-way communication between campus security and users; Alertus, which alerts users of emergencies through pop-up desktop notifications and the College’s Outdoor Mass Notification System, which includes sirens and loudspeakers intended to be heard in outdoor spaces. 

Chiriboga emphasized the importance of DSG’s role in informing students about emergency response procedures. 

“As Student Government, we want to consolidate all of this information centrally on our website and in [an] email to campus so students know, ‘What technology do I need to be downloading on my phone or on my laptop?’ and ‘What do I need to be looking out for when I’m walking around campus?’” she said. 

DSG is also planning initiatives for students to voice their concerns, including a student athlete round table and open mic on Jan. 31. 

The Senate then discussed student access to ice skates and cross country skis — which are currently available at Robinson Hall and James W. Campion Rink in West Lebanon — and expressed dissatisfaction with the limited time during which rentals are offered. 

Harper Richardson ’27, a student who attended the meeting, asked why rentals are not available at Robinson Hall on weekends, and student body vice president Kiara Ortiz ’24 thought it was “concerning” that Robinson Hall closes at 5 p.m. 

According to Dartmouth Outdoors, rentals are available in Robinson Hall’s basements Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

School House Senator Roger Friedlander ’27 suggested that DSG also inquire about extending the hours of the lights illuminating the ice rink on the Green, which are turned on at sunset and turned off around 9 p.m. However, Friedlander alleged that this hasn’t always been true.  

“Somedays the lights aren’t on at all, so people can’t skate after sundown, and some nights they’re on all night, even past the time you can get skates, which doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense,” he said.

The Senate concluded the discussion on skate rentals and cross country skiing by resolving to contact the Outdoor Programming Office about the possibility of organizing a free skate rental trailer on the Green with extended hours, or extending the hours skates are available for rent at Robinson Hall. Chiriboga also broached the possibility of a shuttle to Oak Hill Outdoor Center for students interested in cross country skiing.

According to The Dartmouth’s past coverage, the DOC House is no longer offering cross country ski rentals. Instead, students can rent for free with their student ID from the Oak Hill Outdoor Center at Storrs Pond. 

The Senate then discussed their response to the misdemeanor trespassing charges filed against student protestors Roan V. Wade ’25 and Kevin Engel ’27. 

According to the Valley News, Wade and Engel’s court date is scheduled for Feb. 26. In the meeting, chief of staff Anthony Fosu ’24 said he believes DSG should make another statement and “ensure that we have programming and support of the right for students to protest and [express] dissident [with] the College.” 

Fosu also emphasized DSG’s role as an intermediary between the student body and the College administration.

“We have to be very careful about what we do, given our unique position as both representatives of students to the administration, but also as part of the College,” he said. 

Fosu suggested DSG organize workshops and work with the administration to host discussions on freedom of expression and dissent at the College. 

Chiriboga expressed her personal belief in the importance of the workshops, including workshops that aim to educate students about College policy and for students to exchange diverse perspectives. She said that students should be properly informed about College policy, such as what it means to “disrupt.”

“Students had genuine questions — they weren’t necessarily trying to break the policy,” she said. “If there had been a robust education system that starts at [New Student] Orientation, that Student Government promotes through non-partisan sessions, we could have solved that and prevented [policy violations] from happening.”

Chiriboga also clarified that DSG would organize the workshops by inviting community and student activists and professors to speak about their understanding of the history of protest and activism at the College. 

“We want students to be able to learn how to express themselves … on our campus, as they will in the civic sphere,” she said. 

The senators also debated how the workshops should be conducted. 

School House Senator Alejandra Carrasco Alayo ’25 questioned whether the workshops should be sponsored entirely by DSG. She suggested that it should be a cooperative effort among student and community organizations instead. 

“Partnering with PEN America or other groups on campus that are actively political … [would] be a better way to create coalition on campus,”  she said.

North Park House Senator Sabik Jawad ’26 said he believes it is important that the workshops “remain student-led.”

“I feel like there is a general sense of distrust in the administration about the [arrests], which makes it more important that … however we deal with this, it’s student-led,” he said. “And if it’s student-led, then DSG should be involved.”

DSG-Hanover town liaison Nicolás Macri ’24 suggested that DSG also reach out to Engel and Wade to ask about their perspectives on the College’s disciplinary process. The College had not commented to DSG on the disciplinary processes of individual students for privacy reasons, Macri said. 

“The less we know, the less informed our advocacy will be,” he added. 

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

Correction Appended (Jan. 28, 5:20 p.m.): A previous version of the article incorrectly stated that Wade and Engel’s court date will be held in January. According to the Valley News, the court date is on Feb. 26. The article has been updated.