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During Dartmouth’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration, the theme of “Hope and Action” shone through a variety of virtual events. This year's programming, which includes lectures, discussions and films, began on Saturday and will run through the end of January.
COVID-19 has posed challenges for Dartmouth professors with young children, many of whom have been asked to balance working from home and caring for their families.
While COVID-19 vaccination has begun in the Upper Valley, most college students in New Hampshire may not be vaccinated until May and beyond due to supply shortages and distribution challenges, according to the state’s vaccine plan.
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar ’88 will leave office on Wednesday to be replaced by California attorney general and President-elect Joe Biden’s appointee Xavier Becerra, pending confirmation by the Senate. Azar — whose resignation is effective at noon on Jan. 20 — leaves office as COVID-19 cases continue to hover at record highs nationwide. His response to the coronavirus pandemic has been widely criticized by health professionals and news outlets.
Once most students complete their quarantine on Jan. 26, the College plans to open a number of outdoor activities and opportunities for socializing as part of its “winter wonderland” programming. Students can expect to see two ice rinks constructed on the Green, heaters and fire pits with chairs set up around campus, free equipment rentals and cross-country skiing on the golf course.
Effective March 18, the College will prohibit smoking and the use of other tobacco products, including vaping products, on all Dartmouth properties. The policy will apply to all Dartmouth community members and visitors on campus in both indoor and outdoor areas.
As Dartmouth kicks off winter term virtually, some colleges have made adjustments to their own winter term plans amid a rise in nationwide COVID-19 case counts. Multiple institutions have announced changes to their academic planning, including eliminating spring breaks and altering the start dates of spring semester.
Despite some initial delays over the holidays, all students arriving on campus this weekend will have been cleared through the College’s pre-arrival COVID-19 testing program.
Despite staffing and pandemic-related challenges, the Campus Climate and Culture Initiative — which the College launched in early 2019 to assess the educational and work environments of its departments and revise sexual misconduct policies — is proceeding with its current initiatives.
Dartmouth students in search of mental health support now have the chance to talk with therapists via virtual counseling sessions, thanks to a collaboration between the student-run mental health app Unmasked and teletherapy platform Uwill. Announced in December, this partnership has enabled students to access Uwill’s large network of therapists after registering via Unmasked.
Though the pandemic marches on, Dartmouth has moved forward with multiple construction projects, including the completion of renovations to Reed Hall and Baker-Berry Library, the start of renovations on Dartmouth Hall and the continued construction of the new Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society.
As students prepare to return to campus this weekend, the College has warned that “more restrictive conditions” than originally anticipated may be required for those living on campus due to an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases at Dartmouth and in the Upper Valley.
In 1934, Ford Wheldon ’34 felt compelled to air a grievance to the College.
Dartmouth’s 14 recognized senior societies and various unrecognized ones are gearing up to pass the torches on to the next senior class in a process known as “tapping.” This winter’s fully remote tapping process, which will embrace text messages, emails and Zoom calls, comes nearly a year after many current members of senior societies themselves underwent tapping virtually.
With limited opportunities for social interaction, the demands of virtual classes and the ongoing instability posed by the pandemic, fall term saw students grappling with isolation and anxiety alongside their coursework. Now, as students gear up for a New Hampshire winter and another pandemic-era term, the College has taken recent steps to increase mental health support — yet concerns linger that resources may still be lacking.
With COVID-19 cases on the rise across the country and in the Upper Valley, some students have voiced concerns over the availability of support from the College should they become infected. According to several students who contracted COVID-19 during the fall term, the College’s academic and mental health support systems were inadequate during their illness and recovery.
As students prepare to return to campus in less than two weeks, the College has reported that a total of 20 students, faculty and staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week — a sudden spike after a fall term that saw generally low case numbers. As of Friday morning, there are 24 active cases of COVID-19 among students, faculty and staff, and 59 community members are in quarantine or isolation, either at their homes in the Hanover area or on campus.
The nation’s hottest commodity — Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine — can trace its roots in part back to a discovery made at the Geisel School of Medicine. Jason McLellan, a structural biologist who worked at Geisel from 2013 to 2018, identified structural aspects of coronaviruses that can be manipulated to give a person immunity — a discovery utilized in the development of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
Members of the Dartmouth community, including College President Phil Hanlon, professors and concerned students, have condemned Wednesday’s violent insurrection in Washington, D.C., in which a mob demanding the overturning of President Donald Trump’s November election loss stormed the Capitol during the certification of electoral votes.
On Dec. 18, Dartmouth published its 2020 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, also known as the Clery report, covering campus crime statistics during the 2019 calendar year. The report, which is mandated by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1990, found that gender-based violence crime statistics in 2019 were largely on par with previous years, while there was a decrease in liquor law violations and hate crimes.