David Pichler


Upper Valley chic: Region holds artistic, cultural treasures

Dartmouth students spend hours each day studying culture. But those bored with books should venture beyond the confines of campus, to some of the dozens of museums and attractions in this area. New England offers a variety of options for those looking to expand their cultural horizons.

Renovated Robinson Hall opens tomorrow

Robinson Hall will fully reopen to the public tomorrow after undergoing more than a year's worth of renovations, according to Assistant Director of Facilities Planning John Wilson. The building, which houses several student organizations, was never entirely closed to the public -- instead certain sections of the building were closed and the student organizations housed there were temporarily moved. The renovations were made because the building was not handicapped accessible, there were poor means of egress and the buildings systems -- such as heating and electricity -- were run down, Wilson said. To make Robinson Hall fully handicapped accessible, an elevator was added to the building, as was an enclosed staircase in the rear to aid in rapid evacuation in the case of a fire, Wilson said. The renovations were completed nearly on schedule and were very close to being on budget, he said. Wilson said Facilities Operations and Management had hoped to be done with the renovations by Aug.

OSHA clears DDS of wrongdoing

Dartmouth Dining Services has been cleared of all wrongdoing following a recent investigation of temperature and humidity conditions in Thayer Dining Hall, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration Area Director Paul O'Connell. At a meeting on Friday afternoon that included DDS Director Pete Napolitano, Director of Environmental Health and Safety Michael Blaney, and an OSHA investigator, OSHA presented a report of its findings from the investigation, and said no punitive actions would be taken against DDS. "All measurements were within the allowable ranges," O'Connell said. Two weeks ago, OSHA responded to a complaint filed by a DDS employee alleging that conditions behind the grill and in the kitchen of Thayer were unsafely hot and humid. An OSHA investigator visited the College and took measurements in several areas, O'Connell told The Dartmouth at that time. Although the OSHA report mandated no sanctions against DDS, Blaney sent a letter to Napolitano that included several suggestions on how conditions in the investigated areas could be improved. Blaney said DDS had already implemented some of the suggestions and was considering others. "The College has implemented some measures to prevent heat stress during the summer months," the OSHA letter stated. OSHA suggested that employees be allowed to drink fluids whenever there is hot weather -- not just during Summer term.

AAm hosts discussion on grades

In an open discussion Wednesday night nearly 40 students met to discuss how race affects students' performances and experiences at Dartmouth. Several students felt that minority students at Dartmouth often do not academically perform as well as their white counterparts and the discussion focused on the causes and ramifications of this disparity. Tikia Hamilton '98 moderated the discussion, titled, "Is Dartmouth Our Place?" which took place in the lounge of Cutter-Shabazz Hall.

DDS worker files complaint with OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating Dartmouth Dining Services after an employee complained working conditions in the kitchen and behind the grill in Thayer Dining Hall are too hot. The Concord Area Director of OSHA, Paul O'Connell, said the investigation involves collecting temperature and humidity measurements and comparing them to a federal standard, O'Connell said. Data collection took place Thursday and Friday and analysis should finish by the end of the week. OSHA will reveal the results of the investigation to DDS management at a closed meeting, News Service Public Information Manager Rick Adams said. Adams and DDS Director Pete Napolitano said they cannot yet comment on the investigation. O'Connell said he does not expect DDS to be sanctioned. "From a quick glance of the information, it doesn't look so bad," he said. Although OSHA can fine non-compliant institutions up to $70,000, O'Connell said he expects only to "send them a letter with some suggestions" about ways to lower the temperature. Union 560 Local President Earl Sweet, who represents all DDS employees, said the union was not involved in the complaint, and that he does not know of any problems with excessive temperatures at Thayer. "They're taking every precaution as far as the Union can see"

Commencement has brought some oddities in its 225 years

Since the first Commencement in 1771, the ceremony has brought its fair share of drunks, charlatans and American presidents to campus. Only four students graduated at the College's first Commencement ceremony, which was held outdoors where Reed Hall now stands, according to a history of Dartmouth Commencement written by College English Professor Francis Lane Childs '06. The earliest Commencement weekends were social events attended by locals from miles around.

College aims to keep need-blind admissions number-one priority

Roseanna Taormina '99 said she cannot even fathom how students can attend Dartmouth without receiving financial aid. For a large part -- they don't. More than one-third of Dartmouth students receive financial aid in one form or another; last year 1,781 students benefited from more than $24 million in College grants and an additional $8 million in federal and College loans. College President James Freedman said financial aid is critical to the well-being of the College. "It allows us to assemble the type of class we want," he said, emphasizing that were it not for the College's need-blind financial aid program, many academically capable students would be precluded from attending the College because of the $28,000 yearly price tag on a four-year Dartmouth education. Freedman said despite the challenges need blind admissions has faced, it is safe for now.

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