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Oh, 2020. For a year that took so much from us, it certainly wasn’t lacking in news. From the advent of remote learning to a nationwide reckoning with racial injustice, the College grappled with new challenges and longstanding issues alike. Here’s a look back at the headlines that shaped this historic and unconventional year.
Dartmouth’s mask requirements, weekly testing and restricted gatherings seem to have successfully staved off the virus this fall. Even as students returned to campus for the College’s first term of on-campus operations amid the pandemic, COVID-19 positivity rates remained below a tenth of a percent. However, some students and parents raised concerns that the regulations came at a cost to mental health, as gathering rules meant many students weathered the pandemic largely alone.
Newly admitted members of Dartmouth’s Class of 2025, many of whom had to get to know, apply to and interview with the College entirely remotely, faced unique challenges in what proved to be an especially competitive early decision admissions cycle. Out of a record-breaking 2,664 applicants, the College admitted 566 students on Thursday.
Updated Dec. 11, 2020 at 4:56 p.m.
Updated Dec. 11, 2020 at 4:39 p.m.
Even as positive COVID-19 cases at the College remain in the single digits, 56 students are currently in quarantine and five are in isolation, according to Dartmouth’s COVID-19 dashboard. The current total is a spike from the dashboard’s totals on Saturday, when 29 students and seven staff members were in quarantine, and a total of 25 students and staff were in isolation.
The Ivy League announced on Thursday that all winter intercollegiate athletic competition has been canceled, with the start of spring sport seasons delayed until at least the end of February. The league added that postponed fall sports — including football — will not be moved to the spring. For the third time this year, the Ivy League became the first Division I conference to cancel its upcoming athletic season.
Known for his popular jewelry and amiable personality, Rod Swain — also known as the “Ring Man” who sells jewelry at an outdoor stand between Molly’s Restaurant and Hanover Town Hall — has long been embraced by students as a member of the Dartmouth community. As he approaches his 12th year selling jewelry in Hanover, Swain sat down with The Dartmouth to talk about how his business, Sterling Silver, has played a part in the community.
Citing a lack of social spaces and harsh consequences for violating the College’s COVID-19 policies, nearly 300 Dartmouth parents have signed on to a petition to loosen on-campus restrictions for the winter term.
All winter intercollegiate athletic competition has been canceled, the Ivy League announced on Thursday evening. Additionally, spring sports have been postponed through at least February, and the conference has ruled out the possibility of allowing fall sports to play this spring.
As COVID-19 cases rise across the country and in New Hampshire, Dartmouth has largely kept on-campus case numbers low.
In a normal fall term, students wrap up exams before Thanksgiving. This year, however, the final examination period will run from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 — after both the holiday and fall move-out. While the College says the delay — which allows for students to travel during lower-traffic times — will reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, many students and professors have raised concerns.
As the town braces for winter weather, outdoor dining on Main Street in Hanover officially closed on Oct. 31. In an effort to offset an anticipated decline in business this winter, local restaurants have begun to consider alternative ways to increase profits.
Students returning to campus this winter will face new COVID-19 precautions from the College. In addition to the initial two-week quarantine and staggered move-ins seen during the fall term, next term will bring a delayed start date and increased regular testing.
As ballots continue to be counted in several states and the outcome of the 2020 election hangs in the balance, students at Dartmouth have anxiously awaited results.
Dartmouth’s campus lacked its regular fraternity parties and student gatherings this Halloween weekend, but some students still found unsanctioned ways to celebrate. Over 70 students participated in large off-campus gatherings — at least one in Hanover and another in Lebanon. Nineteen of the students who attended the Lebanon party received underage drinking citations, and many students from both parties have since been sent home for the year.
As one of only two college skiways in the entire country, the Dartmouth Skiway faced unique demand as it determined its reopening plan for this upcoming season. After closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March, the Skiway plans to reopen for its winter operations on Dec. 19 with limited capacity.
As COVID-19 cases rise across the region, voters in Hanover and neighboring towns can expect a different experience at polling stations this Election Day. Despite the need for pandemic-related precautions, election officials are optimistic that the thousands of absentee ballots already cast will make for a manageable day at the polls.
Within Dartmouth Dining and the College’s custodial staff — both of which have experienced drastic changes due to COVID-19 — no employees have been laid off, furloughed or had their hours reduced so far. However, new shifts, new locations and new jobs have shuffled the lives of Dartmouth service employees.
With three weeks remaining in the fall term and graduation quickly approaching, some seniors have already secured post-graduation jobs, while others are still deep in the search. Amid the pandemic, this year’s recruiting process has been very different than in years past.