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Four months after the U.S. officially concluded its military withdrawal from Afghanistan, more than 50,000 refugees have been evacuated from the country and resettled in communities across the U.S., including the Upper Valley. Local community members have been providing support to help Afghan refugees settle down and welcoming them to their new homes.
Amid declarations by epidemiologists and public health experts that COVID-19 is shifting from a pandemic disease to an endemic one, Dartmouth professors and public health experts caution against this diagnosis due to the pandemic’s unpredictability.
In response to understaffing and other COVID-19 related complications, the Sexual Violence Prevention Project — a recent initiative aimed at combating sexual violence on campus — has canceled all planned programming for the Class of 2023.
In an email sent on Jan. 4, Interim Provost David Kotz encouraged students to take advantage of the outdoor activities the College has to offer. This year, those activities will include sledding and snowshoeing, as well as winter naturalist classes and cross country ski lessons — all provided for free by the College’s Outdoor Programs Office — according to a follow-up email from The Office of Student Life on Jan. 11.
Last Wednesday, student workers at Dartmouth Dining Services formally announced their intention to unionize by establishing the Student Worker Collective at Dartmouth. The student workers’ primary demands, outlined in an open letter to the College administration posted on social media, include that the College voluntarily recognize the union through a third-party card check agreement and that student workers are guaranteed paid sick leave.
Last fall, a team of 13 students representing Dartmouth’s economics department won the Boston Fed Challenge Regional Competition and placed third at the 18th annual national College Fed Challenge. Although the competition itself took place virtually, the 13 students who took ECON 78, “Fed Challenge” and represented the College formed a tight-knit community outside of the classroom.
On Jan. 12, the College announced a new universal need-blind admissions policy, expanding its existing practice to include international students. Applicants from abroad will now be evaluated under the same process as U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
On Jan. 10 and Jan. 11, approximately 700 booster shots out of the available 1,000 were administered to students, faculty and staff at the on-campus COVID-19 clinic in Alumni Hall, according to College spokesperson Diana Lawrence.
A lawsuit filed Sunday claims that Dartmouth and 15 other universities violated federal antitrust law by illegally colluding on financial aid policies through the 568 Presidents group, a consortium intended to standardize financial aid practices. According to the suit, these universities created a “price-fixing cartel” through the group in an effort to reduce financial aid, “artificially inflating” the price of attendance.
On Nov. 29, the New Hampshire government offered to send free at-home COVID-19 rapid tests to the homes of all residents who requested one. Within one day of the announcement, all 800,000 available tests had been claimed. While both rapid and PCR at-home tests were initially hard to come by, and state-wide testing initiatives sought to mitigate this problem, the state now has free PCR tests available to order online, according to Democratic state senator Sue Prentiss.
Anne N. Sosin ’02 is a public health practitioner and policy fellow at the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth, Sosin attended the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for her master’s in public health. She currently researches COVID-19 and rural health equity in northern New England, and remains active on Twitter and in the press, regularly calling on government officials to implement and enforce mask mandates and other policies to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
As a part of COVID-19 prevention measures for the start of the term, the College announced a suspension of indoor social gatherings until Jan. 18, a move that has prompted some Greek houses to adapt their winter rush processes. However, the College will not enforce the restriction, asking instead that members in houses hold one another responsible, according to Phi Tau president Kai Frey ’22.
In November, the College published the results of the 2021 Dartmouth Sexual Misconduct Survey. The survey, conducted by the Title IX Office, was completed by students in April 2021, and aimed to both measure the prevalence of sexual violence and misconduct on campus and gauge campus awareness of resources and processes.
Following long-standing complaints from the Lebanon community about the Upper Valley’s chronic housing shortage, and after only 667 new units of housing were constructed in Lebanon between 2010 and 2019, Lebanon is ramping up new construction on multiple major projects.
On Dec. 29, the College’s COVID-19 leadership team, led by interim provost David Kotz and executive vice president Rick Mills, announced that Dartmouth will move forward with in-person classes and move in despite surging COVID-19 cases across the nation due to the omicron variant.
Barring a major upset, Vermont’s sole seat in the House of Representatives appears likely to be filled by a woman in the next Congress. Whoever is elected to the seat will replace current Rep. Peter Welch, a Democrat, who is running to replace Sen. Patrick Leahy, also a Democrat, as he retires after nearly half a century in office. The 2022 election would, then, mark the first time the state has ever sent a woman to Congress and end its status as the last state in the country to have never done so.
As the New Hampshire state House of Representatives returned to session this week, representatives voted Thursday on several bills pertaining to COVID-19 vaccination and mask mandates. One of the most controversial of these bills, H.B. 255, would have prevented private businesses, schools, universities and government agencies from requiring COVID-19 vaccinations from people who object for medical reasons, religious beliefs or “personal conscience.” The bill was tabled by the House on Thursday by a vote of 213-142, meaning that it will be postponed for consideration until a later time.
After a three-year absence from campus, Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity will return to Webster Avenue this winter. The chapter’s return, originally scheduled for fall 2020, was delayed by over a year due to COVID-19, and will begin before the fraternity regains access to its house this summer.
The Dartmouth Asian Pacific American Alumni Association announced the launch of the College’s first Asian American and Pacific Islander Academic Enrichment fund in an email early last month. This fund is the latest achievement in a 25-year-old campus movement to establish an official Asian American studies department at Dartmouth.
Biology professor Elizabeth Smith has been reappointed as dean of the faculty of arts and sciences for a second five-year term, the College announced in a press release on Tuesday.