May 15–17, 2014
The meeting was called to order by JB Daukas ’84, Student Affairs Committee Chair. Laura Hicks Roberts ’85 was elected to serve as the committee’s Vice Chair in 2014-2015. The current Vice Chair, Matt Hoffman ’82, will become the chair on July 1st.
Dean of the College, Charlotte Johnson, announced that this will be her last presentation to the Alumni Council as she will transition from her post as Dean of the College at Dartmouth to Vice President at Scripps College in Claremont, California. Johnson announced that despite 3 years of constant administrative transition the Office of the Dean of the College was able to cover a lot of ground. During her tenure we have seen the hiring of 4 new additional deans, which has helped to lessen the advising/mentoring load for undergraduate deans and significantly increase student contact. The advising 360 pilot program has been successfully implemented and has redefined the way students are advised before they declare their major in their sophomore year. The First Year Student Enrichment Program (FYSEP) is in its 4th year and the College has observed a 0.5 GPA increase in First-Generation College students who are involved in the program versus those who are not. Dartmouth’s Career Services Office has a new Director in Roger Woolsey and he has rebranded the office as the “Center for Professional Development” (CPD). Woolsey believes that professional development and advancement should take place over all four years of a student’s college experience and should not only be addressed during senior year. The CPD has partnered with Alumni Relations to create a series of Career Immersion trips that aim to expose Dartmouth students and young alumni to careers/professions of interest with day-long workplace visits and panels.
Major strides have been taken in the area of student health and wellness. Dartmouth Cares launched a suicide prevention program and over 300 students attended a depression screening workshop. Four new counselors have been added to Dick’s House, which has cut down counseling wait times from 3-4 weeks to roughly 3-4 days. The Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students program (BASICS) has proven to be a success with alcohol-related medical transports, seeing a decrease from 36 to 7 in a calendar year. Dean Johnson attended a White House meeting focused on the reduction of sexual assaults on college campuses. The meeting showed that Dartmouth is on the cutting edge of sexual misconduct prevention and have the top 3 suggestions already in place.
Casey Dennis ’15 and Frank Cunningham ’16 made a presentation on behalf of the Student Assembly. They decided to run for Student Assembly (SA) leadership offices about 4 months ago while they were both on off terms in Washington, D.C. Dennis and Cunningham saw SA as the ideal body of student leaders to “Take Back Dartmouth.” Dennis and Cunningham have taken on the work of reuniting a campus that has been fractured by the media and external forces. They are firm believers that “Everyone Bleeds Green Together” and that every voice, opinion, and perspective on Dartmouth’s campus matters and is valued. Over the next year they hope to rebrand SA and have it serve as an organization that is truly representative of the student body. Dennis and Cunningham hope to restructure SA and have four committees to address student issues and concern. The four committees will encompass public affairs, diversity and community, student affairs, and academic affairs.
Esteban Castano ’14 and Alex Leach ’14 spoke to the committee about Dartmouth Roots, a student group that helps to implement ideas to help improve Dartmouth. To date, Dartmouth Roots has helped to optimize commons spaces in dorms, proposed new upgrades to Sarner underground, and launched the website ImproveDartmouth.com. ImproveDartmouth is a crowdsourcing website used to focus student opinion on pressing issues on campus. Users are able to vote up or down on an idea and the most voted-on ideas bubble to the top. Ideas and initiatives that garner the most student support are shared with a committee of administrators who assess its feasibility and when viable, will implement them. ImproveDartmouth.com requires individuals to log in and post ideas with their name and class year associated with it. Knowing that some of the most radical and useful ideas may not be well received, Dartmouth Roots has also created the website Improve Dartmouth On the Ground (OTG.improvedartmouth.com), which functions in the same way as Improve Dartmouth but allows community members to post anonymously.