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It was going to be a normal Christmas. My family had plans to spend the holiday in New Hampshire with extended family, which — despite the surge of the omicron variant across the country — seemed reasonable enough with the right precautions. Snow resting delicately on the trees, frozen ponds ripe for skating, picturesque mountains begging for skiers to carve down their slopes — Christmas in New Hampshire is beautiful. I couldn’t wait.
In many cases, what 2020 took away, 2021 brought back — chaotically. As Dartmouth and the nation slowly emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic under the protection of increasingly widespread vaccines, the community has grappled with the long-term impacts of the “return to normalcy,” from a housing and labor crunch to a new awareness of mental health on campus. Here’s a look back at the stories that shaped the year.
Always radiating positivity, John Currier ’79 Th’81 was known for his dedication to his research and compassion for those around him. He worked as a research engineer at the Thayer School of Engineering for over 40 years at Dartmouth, and had a profound impact on his engineering students and colleagues through his work.
Carlos Wilcox — a former member of the Class of 2023 who left Dartmouth in the fall of 2021 — was indicted on Sept. 17 by a Grafton Superior Court grand jury for allegedly shooting a public menorah display and other buildings on campus with a BB gun during Hanukkah last year.
Citing a recent surge in delta variant cases and the impending spread of the omicron variant, interim provost David Kotz and executive vice president Rick Mills announced additional COVID-19 prevention measures in an email to campus Friday afternoon. The changes — which include grab-and-go dining, restrictions on gatherings and a booster shot mandate — are intended to “maintain in-person classroom learning and laboratory research and to keep campus as open as possible while also supporting the physical and mental health of our community,” Mills and Kotz wrote.
On Dec. 10, 530 early applicants, walking differing paths to acceptance from across the world, discovered that they had been admitted to Dartmouth’s Class of 2026.
On Friday evening, 530 members of the Class of 2026 learned that they would be coming to Hanover next fall, the College announced on Monday in a Dartmouth News article. Dartmouth selected them from an application pool of 2,633 early decision applicants. Additionally, 30 students were admitted through the QuestBridge program earlier this month, bringing the total number of known soon-to-be freshmen to 560.
As students depart for the holidays, the College has seen a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases among students, faculty and staff.
Thayer School of Engineering research engineer John Currier ’79 Th’81 died on Monday, College President Phil Hanlon announced in an email to the community on Tuesday evening. He was 64, according to an article about him on Thayer’s website.
This term, the Office of Greek Life, the Native American Program and the Tucker Center for Spiritual and Ethical Life have all operated without permanent directors, following the resignations of former directors Brian Joyce, Sarah Palacios and Daveen Litwin, respectively.
Over a period of at least five years, funds totaling more than $200,000 were taken from accounts belonging to The Dartmouth, Inc., according to reports and documents submitted to the Hanover Police department by The Dartmouth’s publisher and reviewed by reporters.
A record number of students living on campus this fall has placed heavy demands on College operations — including the College Health Service. This term, some students have reported weeks-long appointment waits and difficulties contacting Dick’s House staff.
The return to pseudo-normalcy has been accompanied by campus facilities becoming over-crowded and under-staffed. Despite these challenges, students can look forward to reuniting with their favorite staff members, like Souleymane Marzouk — the beloved Courtyard Cafe worker who has gained campus fame for his bubbly personality.
The Sexual Violence Prevention Project — the College’s four-year sexual violence prevention curriculum — is currently contemplating canceling all of this academic year’s curriculum for the Class of 2023. SVPP officials expect to make a decision “over the next couple of weeks,” director Amanda Childress said.
Hanover town manager Julia Griffin will retire next year after the May 2022 Town Meeting, capping a career that saw 25 years in Hanover and 39 years in municipal management. Her decision was first reported by the Valley News late Thursday; Griffin confirmed it in an emailed statement to The Dartmouth Thursday evening.
The six-week-long “frat ban” for the Class of 2025 was lifted this past Monday. A Greek Leadership Council policy, the ban prohibits first-year students from entering Greek houses with the exception of pre-approved dry events.
In the first in-person rush since 2020, both sororities and gender-inclusive Greek houses experienced a significant increase in rush participation. The Greek houses have also welcomed more new members into their houses compared to previous years.
As a resident of frat ban-era Mid Faye, I have learned to deal with loud music until troubling hours of the morning, a common room with a singular chair and the “freshman plague” that has been floating around campus. And although my personal bathroom is a bit grimy, it certainly can be worse — at least I do not have mold. Unfortunately, not everyone is as lucky.
When Morgan Curtis ’14 learned Dartmouth had formally announced on Oct. 8 its plans to divest its remaining fossil fuel holdings, she cried.
In this year’s rendition of the Granite Bowl, the inter-New Hampshire football rivalry between Dartmouth and the University of New Hampshire, the Big Green faced off against the Wildcats on Saturday in Durham. The game was a high-scoring affair with explosive plays throughout from both offenses, but the Big Green was able to walk away with a comfortable 38-21 victory, remaining perfect on the year at 5-0.