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As a result of significant spikes in cases of COVID-19 nationwide and in the Upper Valley over the past few months, and in large part due to the onset of the omicron variant, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center is reporting staff shortages and full intensive care units.
Omicron has found its way into nursing and retirement homes in the Upper Valley, which have reported rising cases and staff shortages.
On Sept. 7, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, sent an official letter to Amazon CEO Andrew Jassy expressing concerns that Amazon was spreading misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and treatments through its search function and “Best Seller” algorithms. The letter has earned her a lawsuit from Chelsea Green, the White River Junction-based publisher of a book related to COVID-19 Warren named in her letter.
As part of the 2022 New Hampshire state House of Representatives’ most recent legislative session, representatives voted on bills that would redraw the state’s congressional, state senate and state executive council districts. H.B. 52 would alter the state’s two congressional districts by redrawing the 1st district, represented by Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H., to become more Republican-leaning. Under the same plan, the 2nd district, represented by Rep. Ann McLane Kuster ’78, D-N.H., would become safer for Democrats.
Dartmouth Dining Services has converted the all-purpose student space and event hall, Sarner Underground, into an isolation meal pick-up center for students who have tested positive for COVID-19. Students getting their meals at Sarner swipe themselves in with their Dartmouth ID cards, while dining staffers – adorned in N95 masks and standing behind a plastic glass barrier — serve patrons one at a time.
On Dec. 31, interim provost David Kotz and executive vice president Rick Mills of the College’s COVID-19 Task Force announced in an email that students who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to self-isolate in their dorm rooms or current housing, regardless of whether or not they have a roommate. The decision marks a sharp turn from previous College policy, which mandated the relocation of students with COVID-19 to isolation housing in the Boss Tennis Center or to residence halls reserved for isolation.
After numerous delays, the west end of campus will soon open two new buildings: the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society and the Center for Engineering and Computer Science are set to open by this spring. The construction of both buildings was part of the $3 billion Call to Lead campaign, which surpassed its fundraising goal in October.
Rev. Nancy Vogele ’85 has been hired as the new chaplain and director of the William Jewett Tucker Center for Spiritual and Ethical Life. The decision to hire Vogele was made in November after a prolonged search last fall, according to associate dean for community life and inclusivity Bryant Ford. Vogele will be succeeding former chaplain Daveen Litwin, who departed the College in July 2021.
Two months after the announcement of Dartmouth’s partnership with online education service Coursera, one course has seen a successful start on the platform, and a second launched Jan. 17.
As students returned to campus for winter term beginning Jan. 2, many gym users were caught off guard by the sharp increase in crowds at Alumni Gym.
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.