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The Dartmouth
June 16, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

DSG holds first meeting of term

The Dartmouth Student Government appointed new executives and discussed safety protocols, Dartmouth’s settlement in a class-action lawsuit about financial aid and flag removals at their start-of-term meeting.

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On March 31, the Dartmouth Student Government Senate met for its first weekly meeting of the spring term. Led by student body vice president Kiara Ortiz ’24, the Senate discussed College news, brainstormed ideas for spring initiatives and appointed new executives for the term.

In the meeting, chief of staff Anthony Fosu ’24 said he believes the Senate should consider the way the College trains undergraduate advisors and student leaders about safety protocols in case of emergencies. He highlighted a lack of preparedness in UGA training and the College’s infrastructure in response to a fire in Topliff Hall on Jan. 28. 

“We had a fire in one dorm last term, and [UGAs] weren’t really prepared to move 200 students, which is also [a] housing issue,” he said. 

While Safety and Security currently offers active shooter response training by appointment, Fosu emphasized the importance of “getting that information to students” who may not be aware of it.

School House senator Alejandra Carrasco ’25 addressed the class-action lawsuit brought against Dartmouth and 16 other universities accused of conspiring to minimize financial aid for students from middle- and working-class families. According to previous coverage by The Dartmouth, the College agreed to settle the lawsuit for $33.75 million in February. 

North Park House senator Chukwuka Odigbo ’25 said the proposed settlement class includes enrolled undergraduates at any of the 17 named colleges. Qualifying students are U.S. citizens or permanent residents and who received need-based financial aid — but also contributed in some form to the cost of attendance — from fall 2004 through Feb. 28, 2024, Odigbo explained. In order to receive funds, settlement class members must file a claim after the settlement has been approved. 

Carrasco asked how the Senate could help eligible students navigate the process to access their share of the settlement, and Ortiz suggested discussing the issue further at the Senate’s monthly meeting with Provost David Kotz ’86, executive vice president Jomysha Delgado Stephen and financial aid director Dino Koff. 

Carrasco also responded to recent coverage by The Dartmouth about Safety and Security officers removing flags — such as the LGBTQ+ pride flag, the Palestinian flag and the Israeli flag — displayed from students’ rooms. She expressed concern over Safety and Security’s enforcement of the policy, referring to at least three students’ concerns that their flags had been taken down without prior notice.

“How do they know when students are not there [that] they can take down the flags, put it on their beds and put a copy [of the policy]?” Carrasco asked. 

In response, town affairs liaison Nicolás Macri ’24 suggested scheduling a meeting with Safety and Security in the near future. 

In an email statement to The Dartmouth, College spokesperson Jana Barnello referred to the Office of Student Affairs policy on Entry and Reasonable Search, which allows “designated College representatives” to enter an unoccupied residential space to “perform maintenance or repairs,” “recover College property,” “respect College property” or “respond to an emergency.” 

During the meeting, the Senate also appointed executives for the spring, which is a process that occurs at the beginning of every term. Fosu will continue his tenure as chief of staff and will be working with deputy chiefs of staff Matthew Kim ’25 and Odigbo. Roger Friedlander ’27 and Daniel Pruder ’27 will continue to serve as project directors. Carrasco will continue to serve as communications director. Macri will continue to serve as town affairs liaison. JJ Dega ’26 and Jonathan Pazen ’25 will continue in their roles as co-chairs of the Mental Health Committee, and Kim and John Wisdom ’26 will serve as co-chairs of the Student Life Committee. Odigbo will also serve as Emergency Planning Group representative. The finance director and deputy finance director positions will be filled at a later date. 

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


Correction Appended (April 9, 11:13 a.m.): A previous version of this article erroneously stated that the Student Government Senate appointed Daniel Cai ’26 as Deputy Town Affairs Liaison. The Senate did not hold a vote on the matter, as Cai was absent from the meeting. The article has been corrected.