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In a Thursday morning speech outlining a new social doctrine for Dartmouth, College President Phil Hanlon announced a campus-wide ban on hard alcohol — beverages containing more than 15 percent alcohol by volume — to be enforced the beginning of spring term and the mandatory presence of third-party bartenders and bouncers at parties hosted by Dartmouth or College-recognized organizations. Hanlon also reaffirmed the continuation of the Greek system, but said that its existence could be revisited in the coming years.
College President Phil Hanlon announced new initiatives for residential life, including a complete redesign of the undergraduate housing model. Beginning with the Class of 2019, incoming Dartmouth students will be randomly assigned to one of six dormitory clusters. Beginning their sophomore year, these students will live in these assigned clusters for the remaining three years of their undergraduate experience. The College will commit $1 million annually to fund the social, academic and intramural programming in these residence communities. Freshmen will live on first-year only floors, and first-year residential education will continue. Upperclassmen will have the option to live in Greek housing, affinity housing or in Living and Learning Communities, but will remain members of their original residential community. Interim Dean of the College Inge-Lise Ameer said that she hopes the transition to the new community system will be transparent. While the system will begin with the Class of 2019, current ’16s, ’17s and ’18s may be given the choice to opt-in to a community if they wish, she said. The initiative also aims to facilitate faculty interaction and academic support within the residential community system. In Thursday’s address, Hanlon said that the goal of the initiative is to create a campus that is more inclusive and cohesive between undergraduates, graduates and faculty. The residential communities will have faculty advisors and graduate students who live in the clusters, possibly along with their families. Review of faculty candidates will begin this February, Hanlon said. “I’m hoping that each house will have its own identity and its own personality based upon the faculty leadership,” Ameer said. Robert O’Hara, a consultant to colleges establishing residential houses, said that the difficulty of implementing such a system is most apparent in the first years before house identities form. Each house should represent a microcosm of the larger college student body. He said, however, that community can easily be fostered by having students coming together at weekly meetings that will kindle connections and friendships. O’Hara also said that the strength of a house or residential college system comes from the rich social and academic environment it fosters. The idea of membership, he said, is essential to the model’s success. Dartmouth is unique with its academic calendar, known as the D-Plan, which makes study abroad programs and leave terms for internships possible throughout the academic year. Many feel, however, that the system makes it difficult to create a sense of continuity on campus, as students frequently move between dorms and friends’ D-plans often do not match up.
Reactions to the announcement of a hard alcohol ban, new residential communities and increased academic rigor were mixed following President Hanlon’s unveiling of his Moving Dartmouth Forward policies Thursday morning. Faculty members interviewed generally supported the academic aspects while students were mixed on specific policies and the overall enforceability.
Yesterday, College President Phil Hanlon announced his “Moving Dartmouth Forward” plan to combat binge drinking, sexual assault and exclusivity. The plan includes a variety of measures that address sexual violence prevention, alcohol policy, residential life and academics.
It seems that few are completely happy with College President Phil Hanlon’s speech, but likewise, few appear completely unhappy. Yesterday morning, he presented a comprehensive — though perhaps not as far reaching as it could have been — plan to “move Dartmouth forward.” He started his address with a story about College President Emeritus John Kemeny and his visionary guidance of the school into coeducation. At this point, and based upon the fanfare leading up to the speech, I expected some drastic changes to be proposed that would fundamentally alter the course of our school and entirely reinvent the social system. I expected a set of changes that would be second only to coeducation, a visionary plan that would restructure the school’s very mission. He delivered lofty goals and ambitions for Dartmouth’s future that we can all agree with, but in terms of sweeping changes, Hanlon left something to be desired — that is, if sweeping change is what you were desiring.
College President Phil Hanlon’s “Moving Dartmouth Forward” address certainly has a number of noble ambitions, most prominently the effort to reduce high-risk drinking — but as the old adage goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Not only does his proposed ban on hard alcohol create a number of possibilities for dangerous situations with regards to risk-management, it will have the effect of increasing campus social stratification and further privileging those with access to alcohol.
Dartmouth’s strengths are in education and research. Our weaknesses are an overconcern with reputation and appearance. Although I applaud the “Moving Dartmouth Forward” presidential steering committee for its work and many of its recommendations, I’m afraid that when it comes to their initiative on alcohol, they have played to our weaknesses and ignored our strengths.
Thank you, College President Phil Hanlon, for allocating funds to residence hall clusters as part of your “Moving Dartmouth Forward Plan.”
A residential community system, a campus-wide ban on hard alcohol, a mandatory four-year sexual violence prevention and education program and a code of conduct are among the changes College President Phil Hanlon announced this morning as part of the Moving Dartmouth Forward plan.
This morning at 8:30 a.m., College President Phil Hanlon will announce his plans for Moving Dartmouth Forward. The plan is expected to address issues centering on alcohol policy, sexual assault and exclusivity at the College.
The moment we have all been waiting for is here. College President Phil Hanlon will address the Dartmouth community today at 8:30 a.m., presenting the results of the Moving Dartmouth Forward process and laying out his plan for how the College will address binge drinking, sexual assault and inclusivity. According to a campus-wide email sent Wednesday night from Bill Helman, the chair of the Board of Trustees, President Hanlon’s plan was unanimously endorsed by the Board. One can reasonably expect them to have a significant impact on Greek life. As such, the timing of the announcement is either remarkably tone-deaf or a deliberate attempt to depress the turnout of the students who may be most affected.
This past Tuesday, College President Phil Hanlon announced that the “Moving Dartmouth Forward” presidential steering committee submitted their final report. Hanlon will review their recommendations, formulate policy and present that policy to the Board of Trustees on Jan. 28. On Jan. 29, Hanlon will present his plan to combat binge drinking, sexual assault and exclusivity to the public.
As President Phil Hanlon gears up to present his final Moving Dartmouth Forward plan to the Board of Trustees next week, some student leaders and faculty members have expressed skepticism as to whether the new policies will effectively change student social life, while others are hopeful and supportive. His presentation to the public, which will take place on Thursday, Jan. 29 at 8:30 a.m. in the Moore Theater, represents the final step in a nine-month process to generate feedback and create new campus policies to combat harmful student behaviors and exclusivity.
Anticipation can be a strange thing. Soon the Board of Trustees will vote on the Moving Dartmouth Forward steering committee recommendations. For some, I suspect these feel like the last days of freedom to continue the harmless fun they have always enjoyed. For others, perhaps, this feels something like the last days of Sodom and Gomorrah. The committee and its recommendations, like the Greek system it will surely seek to reform, are divisive. It will be tempting for some to reject any sort of proposed policy changes, while others may be inclined to ignore the very real deficiencies of the committee’s methods. We must avoid the tendency to see the situation solely in terms of right and wrong. Instead, what we can do — and what we must do — is work harder to understand the experiences of those with whom we disagree.
Coming back from the last long break many of us will have for a while, I can’t help but notice how subdued our campus climate seems. More than a month of traveling, resting at home and enjoying a holiday devoid of papers or problem sets seems to have made us all more calm and collected. In many ways, winter term — the shortest term of the year — represents the epitome of our ability to focus and keep our Dartmouth experience in perspective. With such a short while on campus, we simply cannot afford to waste any time on unnecessary “excess,” whatever form that excess might take.
Following a meeting of Greek leaders and administrators on Sept. 17, Greek councils and presidents have seen their schedules filled with internal and external meetings on different proposals for Greek life reform.
In its most recent issue, the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine published a letter in which John Barchilon ’60 wrote: “The College accepts too many politically combustible women and minorities who fail to grasp that they were admitted to an elite traditional institution older than the United States. Instead of saying, ‘Thank you,’ they try to change the majority of Dartmouth students and traditions in ways that attract an endless stream of politically incorrect wisecracks.”
The College will transition away from No. 6 heating oil — an inexpensive but environmentally harmful fuel source — following last weekend’s approval by the Board of Trustees. Though a timeline has not been formalized, the College plans to abandon No. 6 fuel by 2018, campus planning and facilities vice president Lisa Hogarty said.