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The Dartmouth
February 26, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Student Government Senate recounts meeting with Secretary of Education, discusses ice skate rentals on the Green

In their first meeting of the term on Jan. 14, DSG representatives discussed meetings with College officials, new dining and technology initiatives and ice skate rentals on the Green.

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On Jan. 14, the Dartmouth Student Government Senate met for its first weekly meeting of the winter term. Led by student body president Jessica Chiriboga ’24, the Senate discussed recent meetings with College administrators and United States Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, as well as potential initiatives to provide ice skates at the rink on the Green. 

Chiriboga first spoke about her meeting with Secretary Cardona during his visit to the College on Jan. 10, where they discussed Islamophobia and antisemitism on college campuses. She said she shared her “insight on how Dartmouth is navigating campus dialogue since Oct. 7 and even before that” and her recommendation for him to encourage other institutions of higher learning to adopt clear freedom of expression and dissent policies. 

Student body vice president Kiara Ortiz ’24 then discussed the dining advisory group’s meeting with Dartmouth Dining leadership, which focused on providing more dietary support for students, the implementation of Byte payment systems for vending machines and hosting game nights and karaoke during late night.

Over winterim — the break between fall and winter term — Dartmouth Dining added a new gluten-free station in the Class of 1953 Commons, according to Ortiz. Dartmouth Dining has also now taken on full funding responsibility for funding the food shelf in the basement of Dick’s House, which provides 24/7 access to both shelf-stable foods and fresh foods such as dairy, meat and vegetables. Previously, DSG made $1,000 donations each term to help stock the pantry with shelf-stable foods and personal hygiene products, according to Ortiz.

The Senate also discussed DSG’s potential involvement in helping students access ice skate rentals for the rink on the Green. 

School House Senator Wenhan Sun ’24 said he spoke with Laura LaMontagne from the Office of Greek Life, who told him that the Outdoor Programs Office of the Dartmouth Outing Club, which usually runs the skate rentals, had not been previously notified that the rink would be built this year and only found out as construction began in early winter. 

“There’s been no discussion about ice skate funding or rentals,” Sun said. 

School House Senator Alejandra Carrasco Alayo ’25 pointed out that students had worked campus jobs related to skate rentals on the Green in previous years. She said that not only would providing rentals make the rink accessible for all students, but it would also provide winter job opportunities for seasonal student workers. 

It was not immediately clear if the OPO was struggling to find funding for providing skates on such short notice, or if the lack of skates was due to another aspect of managing rental distributions, according to Fosu. However, in the event that funding was the problem, West House Senator Samay Sahu ’27 suggested DSG make a partial donation.

“[This is] a very tangible thing that DSG can put their stamp on: helping students have fun over the winter,” he said. 

At the meeting, chief of staff Anthony Fosu ’24 also shared updates on DSG’s advocacy with the Office of Information, Technology and Consulting to increase technology access for students. He said that the GreenPrint printers DSG had previously recommended for the Fairchild Hall cluster of buildings will be installed in the Sherman Fairchild Physical Sciences Center in the next few months. Additionally, he outlined a long-term program to give iPads to “students who need them,” which would require Provost funds to be earmarked for the fiscal year 2025.

“It’s an exciting project, but it will take a long time,” Fosu said. “We want to start [by] doing this agenda-setting.”

DSG-Hanover town liaison Nicolás Macri ’24 provided updates on his recent meeting with College Vice President of Government and Community Relations Emma Wolfe and Senior Vice President for Capital Planning and Campus Operations Josh Keniston. During their meeting, which was also attended by Ortiz, Fosu and Allen House Senator Daniel Cai ’26, Macri said they spoke about progress on two zoning reforms in the town of Hanover. The first amendment would repeal parking minimums, while the second would allow for denser housing development, according to Macri.

Macri said Wolfe and Keniston “expressed interest” in the changes being made.

“They’re looking into how Dartmouth as an institution can support positive change in Hanover,” he said. 

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