October 23–25, 2014
Matt Hoffman ’82, student affairs committee chair, called the meeting to order.
There was a Student Assembly (SA) presentation by Casey Dennis ’14, student assembly president, and Speight Carr ’16, student assembly campaign director. The SA reorganized itself to be more useful and functional for student needs. The SA consists of 15 executive board members working across 5 committees. This year they had a record amount of applications (95) from students who were interested in being part of one of the committees. On September 23, the SA kick-started its year by releasing a “State of the Student Body” press release. The SA strives to be more transparent and is focusing on being an action-based organization center, collaborating and partnering with the Dartmouth administration. In an effort to bring more students into the fold, general body meetings have been replaced with campus debates. These debates allow students to discuss issues that truly matter to them and give the SA and the administration critical insight into campus life, climate, and needs. Two campaigns that had a huge impact on campus thus far are: It’s on Us and I’m Here for You.It’s on Us is a national campaign which has goals to recognize, identify, and intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given, as well as create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported. I’m Here for You is a student-driven campaign focused on mental health awareness.
Inge-Lise Ameer, interim dean of the College, presented to the committee and focused on the following items:
- Three years ago Dean Ameer was asked to look at the College housing system. Students wanted to know why they had to move so often and wanted more of a sense of residential communities. Dean Ameer and her team visited 15 college campuses to assess their housing systems and to see how they can improve Dartmouth’s current housing setup. As a result, the College hopes to launch a new housing model for the Class of 2019. This fall, the College offered opportunities for 624 students to reside in Living Learning Communities.
- Over the summer the College hosted an on-campus summit on sexual-assault issues. The summit aimed to bring sexual assault on college campuses to the forefront and to compare initiatives and programs. The summit took place over four days and more than 60 colleges were represented. Attendees will reconvene again in January to assess if their efforts were productive.
- The Center for Professional Development (CPD) is in its second year under the leadership of Roger Woolsey and its programs have been wildly successful. Over 1,000 students have signed up to be part of the CPD career accelerator. It has expanded its offerings for WINTERships, increased the number of immersion programs to include Non-Profits in DC and entertainment in California, as well as opened up DARTboard to both alumni and parents.
- Collis After Dark is in its second year and the program has showed both growth and success in offering additional social outlets for students. To date the most popular events seem to be BAR Hop (Student run pub spaces in the old drawing studios of the Hopkins Center) and live band karaoke.
- Looking to the future, Dean Ameer would like the College to be able to provide a student space that holds more than 400 students. Currently, concerts and other large events are held on the Gold Coast Lawn (on Tuck Drive), but the events become too dependent on weather conditions.
A student panel focused on student-driven programs followed. Kelsey Stimson ’15 discussed LinkUp, a Dartmouth student-run organization tasked with building a community of women in all parts of campus. First-year women are asked if they would like an upper-class mentor who they are connected to, based on interest. Four years ago the program had five people on the board with 100 members, today there are 15 board members and more than 600 students involved. LinkUp reaches beyond the Dartmouth community and mentors local girls in the Upper Valley via a Sister-2-Sister conference.
Evan Read ’16 discussed Improve Dartmouth, a student-run organization interested in implementing pragmatic chance on Dartmouth’s campus. The organization started in 2013 and launched ImproveDartmouth.com. The website acts as an open forum where students can post about what it is they would like to see changed on campus. Students are allowed to vote up or down on issues and the top voted suggestions or concerns are brought to the administration.
Alistair Glover ’15 discussed the Greek Leadership Council (GLC). The GLC exists to serve the needs and interests of students affiliated with Greek letter organizations and any open student society. The GLC focuses on maintaining the integrity of the Greek community and promoting Greek unity.
Maria Sperduto ’14 discussed Dartmouth on Purpose, a student group seeking to help every Dartmouth student thrive in Hanover. It has a holistic approach to health and happiness and strives to create a space, community, and culture that supports doing things “on purpose” to promote the individual success and goals of students. Delia O’Shea ’15 discussed the First-Year Peer Mentoring program. First-Year Peer Mentoring started as a SA initiative but it now functions as a free-standing organization and reports directly to the dean’s office. The program fills a gap for first-year students who may feel uncomfortable going to a professor or dean for advice but do not know older students. Upperclassmen interested in being a resource to first-years can sign up to be a mentor and engage in the type of close-knit friendship which one often only experiences on a sports team or in an a capella group. Currently there are 447 first-years in the program and 440 mentors.