December 1-3, 2011
The meeting was called to order by the committee chair, David Wagner ’99, who introduced the newly appointed dean of the College, Charlotte Johnson. Dean Johnson gave a brief summary of her journey to Hanover and opened the floor to questions. In learning mode, Dean Johnson asked for councilor input to better understand what, as dean of the College, she is stewarding. A general discussion commenced of what makes Dartmouth, “DARTMOUTH,” and why our alumni have such a strong affinity for the College. It was determined that there is an amalgamation of intangible factors that creates an almost palpable energy on the campus and among its alumni. A combination of the College’s isolated location, formidable weather, and unchanging traditions establishes bonds among its undergraduates that are unbreakable. These bonds are renewed every time Dartmouth alums interact with one another or make their personal pilgrimages back to campus. Dean Johnson is excited about the openness of Dartmouth to reach outside of itself for the best ideas and to innovate. One example she cited is the Learning Collaborative on High-Risk Drinking that President Kim spearheaded to better understand drinking on college campuses and to lessen the harm it causes.
Following Dean Johnson were reports from both the Student Assembly (SA) and the Graduate Student Council (GSC). SA President Max Yoeli ’12 and Vice President Amrita Sankar ’12 gave a summary of the many SA initiatives and committees. SA initiatives have helped to further manage alcohol usage on campus, including installing sober monitors at parties and distributing pocket cards that explain student rights. Another SA initiative focuses on diversity and community affairs by providing funding for events that bring together disparate groups on campus. The focal point for SA thus far has been helping to introduce the new dining plan to students; literature has been produced detailing how the new dining plan and schedule work as well as tips on proper and effective usage. The GSC reported on its continued growth and efforts to unify the graduate student population into a cohesive community. Acting President Wesley Whitaker ’12MALS reported on an increase in funding for six of the 15 graduate student groups. The GSC is continuing to work on establishing both dental and vision insurance for graduate students. The GSC has also increased its communication and online presence by revamping its Facebook and Twitter presence as well as developing an iPhone app. Other GSC initiatives include securing additional graduate student space, working with public transit to explore opportunities to adjust schedules to be more student friendly, and promoting events and gatherings to foster greater cohesion among the graduate student body.
The meeting concluded with a presentation from the Dartmouth Humanitarian Engineering program (DHE). DHE members Ted Sumers ’12, Alison Polton-Simon ’14, and Zach Losrodo’10, ’11Th, gave an inspiring and motivational presentation about their experiences in Africa. DHE focuses on bringing sustainable and affordable technology-based solutions to communities in need. Their engineering projects aim to improve personal health, promote environmental sustainability, and enhance community well being. Recent projects have included Pico-Hydro, which provides small-scale, efficient energy to villages through hydroelectric turbines and cook stoves and introduces efficient stoves and cooking technologies to communities that still cook in homes with open flames. More information on DHE can be found on its website, www.thayer.dartmouth.edu/dhe.