Had you asked me two terms ago whether I intended to run for vice president of Student Assembly, I would have laughed. I am running not because it falls along my expected life trajectory or because I have been involved with the Assembly. I am running because I care deeply about Dartmouth, and I think that you do as well.
The biggest problem currently facing Dartmouth students is our ability to normalize hurtful behaviors that prohibit us from forging meaningful relationships and, ultimately, from taking advantage of the single greatest resource with which Dartmouth provides us: each other.
As vice president, I will commit myself to community engagement. I pledge to reserve time for at least one meeting with every organization, team, house and independent student group per term. Students should not have to attend Assembly meetings in order to have their voices heard, nor should any individual be called upon to represent his or her community.
It is likely that Dartmouth will be going through a period of administrative transition over the next year. While this poses certain challenges, it also gives us the opportunity to reset institutional priorities. I want the College to start listening to student concerns, stop considering women a minority group and address problems head-on without first scrambling to the Office of Public Affairs.
The College is all too eager to blame the Greek system for sexual assault and hazing. The system does create environments conducive to violence and indignities, but the student body creates the system. Sexual violence and hazing are not limited to Greek houses; therefore, Greek reform alone is an imperfect solution.
By working together, we can improve financial aid, sustainability, accessibility, counseling and everything else that needs fixing. But only if we work together. As vice president, I can devote myself to giving strength to student concerns, but it will be for naught if students do not engage.
I do not claim to have all the answers, but I hope to have the honor of finding and pursuing them along with you over the next year. After all, we all want what’s best for Dartmouth.