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The time has passed for symbolic gestures. On Sunday, the Interfraternity Council announced the formal end of the traditional pledge term. While we commend this move to address hazing, one of the biggest perceived problems of the fraternity system, we urge the presidential steering committee to assume that no meaningful change results from the announcement when the committee recommends further reform. With no means to enforce the proclamation, and no added incentive for new or older members to stop hazing, announcing the abolition of pledge term is not an all-encompassing solution.
In a May 6 job posting for a director, the Center for Community Action and Prevention is described as a “critical element of the College’s commitment to preventing and addressing sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence.” Announced in February, the center was slated to open July 1, before its inauguration was pushed back to this fall. Now it has been abandoned altogether.
With all this talk about the College’s hijacked social scene, administrators have been sidetracked. Though high-risk student behavior undoubtedly merits senior-level attention, the College must also revitalize its academic vision. Yes, we are unbeaten in undergraduate teaching, but students must build academic expertise within the fast-moving D-Plan. We recommend that, upon arrival, incoming Provost Carolyn Dever propose requiring thesis projects for all seniors.
It’s not a coincidence that a lawyer defending Parker Gilbert ’16 dismissed the circumstances of the case as “drunken, awkward college sex” (our emphasis). Most view college as a time for experimentation — a period that exists in a vacuum, somehow outside of the real world. Drinking and partying are the norm — ambiguous, questionable and downright traumatizing sexual encounters are far too common. But why must drinking necessarily open the door for brutality, abuse or disrespect? We claim that no one condones sexual assault, but what do we condone?
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson will leave Hanover at the end of this academic year, and Dartmouth must find a new leader of student affairs. The time for change at Dartmouth is now. With the College’s social climate at the forefront of campus and national attention, we cannot wait on yearlong search committees — College President Phil Hanlon must fill this position permanently by November.
Important events and conversations take place on campus every day, and our responsibility as a news organization is to report them accurately, preserving them in the College’s history and sharing them with the broader public. Yet since we began as editors of the paper, we feel we have failed to do this job as best we can. Countless times we have found event organizers unwilling to allow a reporter the same access that other citizens receive, and we find this lack of accountability disturbing.
When hundreds of potential members of the Class of 2018 arrived at the College this week, they went to events advertising the D-Plan, attended classes and saw the annual Dimensions show — this time, uninterrupted. Each of these events purported to give the prospective students access to various “dimensions of Dartmouth,” or windows into the Dartmouth experience.
From casual conversations during office hours to funded lunch dates in town, from the Presidential Scholars program to other undergraduate research partnerships, a robust culture of student-professor interaction thrives at Dartmouth. At a college that has ranked number one in undergraduate teaching for the past five years, our faculty play a significant role as mentors to many undergraduates. We hope this never changes.
A few chalk campaign ads adorning campus sidewalks, vague promises to unify campus and pledges to address specific student demands — it’s election season. And we’re not convinced.
“Welcome to the president’s office. We’ve been expecting you,” an administrative assistant said to the group of students that would later take over College President Phil Hanlon’s office. “Make yourselves comfortable.”
Dear accepted students,
Watching a movie at The Hop: $5. Renting Dartmouth Outing Club gear for a weeklong hike: over $100. New member sorority dues: $335 to $647.
What does it say when a list of proposals for reforming Dartmouth’s culture is anonymously emailed to campus at 2 a.m.?
Russell Sage. South Mass. Topliff. North Fay. Woodward.
At 11:22 a.m. on the Friday of Winter Carnival, Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson emailed campus about a Jan. 10 Bored at Baker post that outlined the steps one should take to rape a female member of the Class of 2017. Within 20 minutes, the Office of Public Affairs published a press release announcing a new center for prevention of sexual assault.
This week, the College suffered a painful loss. Torin Tucker ’15 died Saturday while competing in a cross-country ski race in Craftsbury, Vt. His death is incomprehensible, but our community’s response has been one of warmth, support and reflection.
This week, investigators from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights visited campus as part of a Title IX investigation into the College’s campus climate surrounding sexual assault. Unlike other campuses’ Title IX investigations, this was initiated by the Department of Education. The visit follows a spring 2013 Clery Act complaint in which students and alumni alleged violations related to sexual assault, LGBTQ discrimination and hate crimes.
After receiving a draft of today’s column by Emily Sellers, the members of The Dartmouth Editorial Board realized that our online commenting policy had not been posted on our new website after it launched late last year. We apologize for this oversight.
Yesterday, the College announced its decision to join edX, a nonprofit online platform that was founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012. EdX offers free massive online open courses, or MOOCs, to anyone with a computer and the desire to learn. We understand the potential benefits of these online courses — particularly in expanding access to educational opportunities — but we are skeptical of Dartmouth’s decision to offer MOOCs.
Last week, five executive members of the Panhellenic Council announced their decision to abstain from winter recruitment, citing a desire to amend socioeconomic and racial inequities in the sorority rush process. The abstaining Panhell executives’ criticisms of the Greek system are not new, but the method by which they have chosen to express themselves, and the reaction their announcement has engendered, indicate a meaningful shift in campus culture. We are hopeful that this act of protest will push students to demand comprehensive and effective reform.