Daily Debriefing

Cornell University students can now choose to live with a roommate of the opposite gender through the campus housing lottery, The Cornell Daily Sun reported. Cornell president David Skorton and Student Assembly passed a resolution to adopt the gender-inclusive housing policy in October. So far, 87 of the 3,340 students currently registered in the housing lottery indicated an interest in the new residential option. The program is expected to improve student understanding of gender and sexuality, but is not exclusively geared toward the LGBT community. Students living in program houses, language houses, University co-ops or on West Campus can elect this option beginning in spring 2013. Cornell will be the first school to have a computer application with this option, as most schools use hand-written gender neutral housing applications. Cornell may set another precedent by introducing random housing selection, through which students will not be able to choose their roommates or suitemates.

In a student election earlier this week, 93 percent of students at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government voted on a proposal to appropriate 0.1 percent of the university’s $30.7 billion endowment to a new social choice fund, The Harvard Crimson reported. The fund will be created on July 1, but the university has not yet decided whether to appropriate any of its endowment to the fund. Approximately half of the 1,000 students at the Kennedy School voted in the election. A similar referendum was approved during a November election held by the Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition.

The American Association of University Professors published a report stating that faculty members should play a more influential role in dealing with sexual assault on college campuses than university staff members or law-enforcement officials, The Chronicle of Education reported. Although students sometimes notify professors of sexual assault incidents, professors are not obligated to report alleged cases to the authorities under the Clery Act. Professors should be familiar with institutional policies and help victims navigate resources, the report says. The report includes 12 recommendations for universities to improve sexual assault policies, including defining sex crimes more clearly, collaborating with local authorities and publicizing incident reporting procedures. In light of the Yale University sexual assault investigation and 2011 publication of the “Dear Colleague” letter by the Department of Education, universities have increasingly modified their sexual assault policies.

State to consider legalizing marijuana

In the upcoming months, the New Hampshire state legislature will consider four separate bills that would alter existing state marijuana laws. HB 573, which would legalize medical marijuana, is expected to pass in both chambers and make New Hampshire the last state in New England to permit marijuana for medical purposes in mid-March. The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee heard testimony on the three bills Thursday in Concord.

Medical marijuana supporters said they are optimistic that the bill will pass. While former Gov. John Lynch, D-N.H., vetoed two medical marijuana bills after the legislature could not reach a veto-proof majority, Gov. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., has said she will not veto the bill.

State Rep. Donna Schlachman, D-Exeter, who introduced the bill, said the New Hampshire House of Representatives should hold a vote by mid-March. “Crossover day,” the final day for the legislature to act on any remaining legislation, is April 4.

If the bill is passed, patients with qualifying medical conditions, ranging from cancer to glaucoma, will be required to establish a “three-month relationship” with the medical provider who proscribes them marijuana treatment, Schlachman said.

“These aren’t people who say, Oh, I have pain. Give me a prescription for medical marijuana,'” she said.

The bill is stricter than those of other states because it mandates patients to acquire a registration card from New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services.

Once approved, patients may visit one of five alternative treatment centers that will open throughout the state after the bill is signed into law. The bill will also allow patients to grow their own marijuana plants.

“There are people who live way up in the North Country who may not have access to the centers, and transportation is an issue for some patients,” Schlachman said. “And it’s cheaper to grow your own.”

The bill has “excellent” odds of passing in both chambers of the legislature, Schlachman said. The bill was drafted in a bipartisan effort.

After hearing accounts from patients who suffered from debilitating diseases, State Rep. Will Infantine, R-Manchester, said he supports the legislation.

“Marijuana can let them die in peace, and if this helps them, so be it,” he said.

Legislators understand that they need to reform marijuana laws and avoid a legal “free-for-all” that could complicate drug reforms, Infantine said. For the bill to function effectively, legislators must work to ensure that marijuana is properly dispensed to patients and collaborate with non-profit medical marijuana companies to ease the process, he said.

The legislature will also consider three other marijuana-related bills, all of which were introduced by Republicans. HB 492 would legalize marijuana possession up to one ounce and allow individuals to grow up to 6 marijuana plants, HB 337 would legalize marijuana with no restrictions and HB 621 would reduce the punishment for the possession of less than one ounce of the drug.

State Rep. Bernie Benn, D-Hanover, said that federal officials have not been prosecuting people who possess less than one ounce of marijuana, despite existing federal statutes that prohibit possession.

While opponents to legalization argue that state legislators should not pass a law that contradicts federal policy, supporters said they believe states can influence the national drug debate.

“It’s time for states to move and tell the federal government they got it wrong,” Schlachman said.

Full legalization is the most sensible solution, Benn said.

“If we do it, do it all the way,” he said. “I personally would love to see marijuana legalized, would love to tax it and would think it’s a revenue for our state that we sorely need.”

Generational changes have led to looser marijuana laws, Infantine said.

“My generation isn’t afraid of it, but can understand it can be abused,” he said.

Infantine wonders how much time law enforcement officials devote to marijuana cases. Last year, Infantine received a letter about a Keene State College student who had been arrested for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana and subsequently lost his scholarship eligibility.

“We shouldn’t worry about someone with an ounce on them and cost them their lives,” he said. “I’m almost 50 years old, and I’m turning to going after hard drugs and getting realistic on marijuana.”

Hassan has not commented on whether she would veto bills that decriminalize marijuana possession.

Hassan may sign a bill that legalizes marijuana if budget concerns emerge, Benn said.

“If there’s money involved, and it could help the budgetary needs of the state, then that’s an incentive beyond the sense that some people think that we should be allowed to smoke marijuana,” he said.

Students interviewed said they support legalizing medical marijuana for patients suffering from debilitating illnesses.

“In some states it’s legal for recreational use,” Kelly McHugh ’14 said. “If it’s legalized, it’s going to be standardized, and it’s not going to have impurities. I don’t think there’s any reason for medical marijuana not to be legal.”

Almost 80 percent of New Hampshire residents support legalizing medical marijuana, according to a poll by WMUR-TV and the University of New Hampshire. Currently, 18 states and Washington, D.C. permit the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

In November, voters in Colorado and Washington approved ballot initiatives that legalized the possession, delivery and distribution of marijuana.

Film FSP in Los Angeles to begin in 2014

Film and media studies professor Mark Williams will be leading a foreign study program to Los Angeles next winter.

Starting next winter, students will have the chance to live and learn in the center of the American media industry. A new film and media studies program in Los Angeles, subject to final approval by the College, will provide 16 students hoping to follow in the footsteps of filmmaker Shonda Rhimes ’91 with the chance to learn about the film industry and connect with professionals in the field.

Participants will complete an independent research project for course credit in addition to taking two classes, Topics in Television and Race and Place and Los Angeles Media. The FSP will emphasize media industry studies, providing context for students considering both film internships and archival research projects.

“The opportunities in L.A. for original and primary research in film and media studies, and the opportunities to have direct interface with media artists are perhaps unprecedented in this country,” film FSP head professor Mark Williams said.

As part of the required courses for the FSP, students will participate in an independent study program and will pursue a related internship.

Students will travel across California to visit archival museums and production sites as part of the film history course.

In Los Angeles, the film department will use Ithaca College’s classrooms, which are in walking distance from many major production companies, Williams said.

The film department has not yet finalized the FSP’s production projects, since media productions are often prone to change. The department will pursue the most relevant projects next winter, Williams said.

“The opportunities are absolutely dynamic. You can’t assume that X, Y and Z will happen,” he said.

Film students look forward to the chance to study in a center of U.S. film production.

“L.A. is the place to go if you want to be a filmmaker,” film and media studies major Alex Stockton ’15 said.

Offering a program in Los Angeles is a good decision for Dartmouth because it has a strong film program but is disconnected geographically from the industry, Stockton said. Participants can use extensive academic libraries for research and make connections with media professionals, and potentially come out with job opportunities, he said. Stockton is currently working with members of the Dartmouth Alumni in Entertainment Media, who are excited to lend a hand to program participants.

Stockton, who attended the Edinburgh FSP last summer, said the two programs provide different experiences for film students.

While the Los Angeles FSP is focused predominantly on research, the Edinburgh program is more production-oriented, focuses on international films and offers students the chance to develop filmmaking skills.

The first film FSP to Edinburgh was held last summer and the film department hopes to continue it in addition to launching the Los Angeles program.

While the Edinburgh FSP gave students a chance to study in a foreign environment, the Los Angeles FSP will allow students to make important connections and build a foundation for their careers, said Eddie Zapata ’14, a film and media studies major and Edinburgh FSP participant.

“In the film industry a lot of it comes down to contacts,” he said.

The film department has just begun advertising the new offering.

“We’ve received one or two emails about it, but neither of them have been very detailed,” film and media studies major Jeremy Thibodeau ’14 said.

SPCSA, GLC hold talk on sexual assault policies

Surrounded by One Wheelock’s signature warm ambience, roughly 10 students gathered on Thursday afternoon to discuss the College’s new sexual assault policy in a meeting co-sponsored by the Greek Leadership Council and the Student and Presidential Committee on Sexual Assault.

The new policy, which places uniform sanctions on individuals found responsible of sexual assault by the Committee on Standards, was passed by the GLC earlier this week. Representatives from GLC and SPCSA hosted the meeting in an effort to expand campus awareness of the new policy and answer students’ questions, SPCSA president Elizabeth Hoffman ’13 said.

SPCSA’s symposium on sexual assault, originally planned for Winter Carnival weekend, was canceled due to the snowstorm. The rescheduled symposium will most likely take place April during Greenways, the College’s celebration of the 40th anniversary of coeducation.

The small group discussion focused on the College’s accountability system for sexual assault. To hold a perpetrator of sexual assault responsible, victims can consult with Safety and Security and Sexual Assault Awareness Program coordinators who will hold a potential perpetrator accountable if the victim pursues a case and initiate hearings through the Committee on Standards and individual Greek houses’ internal adjudication processes.

“We’re trying to work with existing processes to improve the system, rather than abolishing the Greek system as a whole,” SPCSA vice president Anna Fagin ’13 said. “There’s a common sentiment about working within the existing system, in addition to bringing in new structures.”

Students at the meeting shared their views on the sensitive nature of sexual assault and potential changes to the adjudication process that could ease the stress for victims.

In the current COS trial process, the accuser files an account of the incident, which the accused then reviews and responds to.

Students expressed concerns that this process could lead to bias in the investigation.

In the fall, the Dean of the College’s Office and the President’s Office supported SPCSA’s Key Informant Environmental Assessment, a research project regarding sexual assault and reporting at Dartmouth, Hoffman said.

“One of the main findings of the review was a deterred reporting based on how difficult it is to go through the COS process,” Hoffman said. “It can be very uncomfortable and very trying for the survivor.”

Due to these difficulties, SPCSA has worked to increase alternative options for students, Panhellenic Council secretary Maia Matsushita ’13 said.

Although the accused is required to be present during the COS hearing, the student pursuing the proceeding can participate in absentia or request a divider to avoid facing the accused student, she said.

Students can consult SAAP coordinators confidentially rather than report incidents directly to Safety and Security officers. Under the Clery Act, Safety and Security is required to investigate alleged incidents when presented with accusations that identify a possible perpetrator.

“For many survivors, the most important part of their healing and recovery process is a sense of control,” Hoffman said. “SAAP coordinators are not going to initiate anything with the information you give them without your explicit permission.”

SPCSA’s review was one of many initiatives that has resulted from meetings with students and College administrators, Fagin said.

Other additions include the Safe Ride program, a second SAAP coordinator and the Dartmouth Bystander Intervention program.

Under the new GLC policy, Greek organizations are required to participate in sexual assault education training. The Dartmouth Bystander Intervention program, crafted by clinical psychologist Jennifer Sayre specifically for the College, is one option for Greek houses, Panhellenic Council president Sarah Wildes ’13 said.

“Training members of Greek houses to be bystanders teaches everyone how to be more conscientious and responsible,” she said. “We’re trying to use the Greek structure in a positive way by giving Greek leaders tangible ways to affect issues in their own houses.”

All future new members of Greek houses will be required to sign judicial release forms to allow Greek Letter Organizations and Societies to access their judicial histories, in the same way members are currently required to release their academic records to the GLOS office.

Jillian Mayer ’14, who attended the event, said she only heard about the new GLC policy because her friends contributed to its creation.

“As a person who is outside of the Greek system, I tend to antagonize it a lot,” she said. “But knowing that really articulate, powerful, driven men and women are invested in making the system better makes me feel so much safer. I’m so grateful to them.”

Michael Tree ’13, another participant, emphasized the need for a cultural shift at the College.

“Dartmouth started off as an all-male school, and there seems to be some residual from the transition to being coed,” he said. “There needs to be a change in the way people think, even in the world at large. Why not start at Dartmouth?”

SPCSA has worked closely with the Dean of the College’s Office and the President’s Office as a conduit between students and administration, Fagin said.

“Through meetings like this, we’re able to send specific suggestions to COS, and the administration has been very responsive,” she said. “We’re all on the same team, and it really does feel that way.”

Overheards

’15 Girl: I thought I was at my Freshman Formal, but I was really at a College-sponsored alumni event.

’14 Girl on the Thursday of Winter Carnival: I just want to fast foward to the part of my night where I order EBA’s.

’16 Girl: I want to start a band called Dartmouth Weekend. All the songs would be about sex and drinking.

Government professor discussing the law: If you’re reading Marbury up to this point, you’re thinking, great! But then comes the “Legally Blonde” stuff it’s the bend and snap!

’13 Girl: Sometimes I imagine living 100 years ago, so I wouldn’t have to do anything.

’13 Guy: Thesis stops for no one, like Harbor.

’13: I’m pretty anti-feminist because of my ex-girlfriend.

’14 Girl: Back in Africa, when I was a hard guy…

Top 5 Movies From Childhood That Deserve a Second Viewing

  1. “The Color of Friendship,” an intense reflection on race relations and Apartheid that offered a lot more than your average Disney Channel Original Move.
  2. “Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest.” As obvious as the overwhelming environmental message was, we might have missed it as kids. It was “Avatar” before anyone had bright blue side-boob.
  3. “Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century,” even if the hit single “Zoom Zoom Zoom” by Protozoa isn’t as great as we remember.
  4. “The Sandlot.” You’re killing me, Smalls!
  5. “Space Jam.” No explanation needed.

A Tradition of Service

If you’ve been paying attention, you probably noticed students wearing Army combat uniforms while you were passing through FoCo, walking by the Green or going to the gym. Quite conspicuous in the vast sea of J. Crew, Patagonia and L.L. Bean, they stop every so often to receive a handshake and a thank you from complete strangers.

Now imagine between 300 and 400 students wearing the exact same uniforms crossing the streets of Hanover. You may think this situation is solely the stuff of movies, but this was in fact not an uncommon occurrence during the early and mid 20th century at Dartmouth. These students are the men and women of the Dartmouth Reserve OfficerTraining Corps, a college-based program for training commissioned officers of the United States armed services.

Upon completing training, these officers have the opportunity to serve in all the branches of the armed forces. Dartmouth has a rich history of producing officers for service starting as early as 1918. At the height of its popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, Dartmouth ROTC enlisted almost 400 men from each class, comprising nearly half the student body. These cadets participated in numerous events, from drills on the Green to public commemorations for national holidays that featured military marches around Hanover.

Despite its storied history and numerous scholarship opportunities, ROTC has dwindled from its original numbers to become a smaller, but still important, entity on campus. While this group enrolled just six cadets in 2008, it has recently seen a resurgence in numbers and interest. There are currently 15 cadets, led by 1st Sgt. Brian Holekamp ’12 and Commanding Officer Dan Harritt ’13 and directed by Sgt. Derek Gay and Maj. Matt Aldrich. Each week, cadets undertake three physical training sessions, spend one hour in the classroom and participate in two hours of leadership laboratory, a course designed for practical applications of leadership skills.

Holekamp and Josh Rivers ’15 have both signed contracts to serve in the Army for four years upon graduating. Both receive Army scholarships that pay for tuition and provide a monthly stipend of $350 to $500.

The two took significantly different paths to get to ROTC. Rivers initially wanted to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point, but Dartmouth pulled him away.

“I never even thought I had a chance at Dartmouth,” Rivers said. “Once I visited here, and had the chance to go to a top-level college, I came.”

Despite a change in plans, Rivers’ intentions to serve in the Army never wavered.

“Since I was little, I was always interested and wanted to do it,” he said. “It seemed exciting. I had always wanted to serve my country.”

Although he had always had a personal interest in the Army, Holekamp said his exposure mostly ended there.

“My family did not have a military tradition by any means,” he said.

Unlike Rivers, who joined the program immediately in his freshman year, Holekamp was encouraged by a friend to try the program during sophomore year. A positive experience with both the program and his fellow participants prompted him to stay.

Austin Duncan ’16 and Chase Gilmore ’16, currently on ROTC scholarships, have not yet contracted but said they are still completely dedicated and intend to.

Gilmore expressed appreciation for the commodity and likened it to his life-long experience with team sports.

“ROTC has been my biggest time commitment at Dartmouth,” he said. “As a group, ROTC cadets spend a lot of time together, both in and outside our ROTC commitments. Being in the same, intimate group as upperclassmen has given me the opportunity to find mentors to whom I can go with issues or advice about ROTC or life at Dartmouth in general.”

Duncan agreed that ROTC has had a significant positive impact on his life.

“It definitely keeps you on track,” he said. “It adds structure. If you are a scholarship student, you cannot let your grades drop.”

Despite the huge time commitment ROTC requires, many members participate in other spheres of Dartmouth. Holekamp is a member at Phi Delta Alpha fraternity while serving as president of club lacrosse. Rivers is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, sings in the Gospel Choir and participates in the Afro-American Society. Gilmore is a Great Issues Scholar, a member of the Students Hearing and Responding Effectively leadership program and plays intramural hockey. Duncan is a varsity lacrosse player and a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Both the ROTC administration and cadets agree that the organization could benefit from an increased presence on campus. Many students still do not know what ROTC is, despite recent efforts to expand visibility, including a flag lowering ceremony last Veteran’s Day and training exercises at the nearby military academy at Norwich University. These efforts have had moderate initial success, adding two students since the beginning of winter term, but room for improvement remains.

Moving forward, Sgt. Gay said he hopes for even greater progress.

“I see ROTC growing at least a little more,” he said. “Our small goal, our feasible goal for the next year or two would be 36 to 40 participants.”

ROTC has been revitalized by current Dartmouth undergraduates and recent campus spirit of embracing service. The cadets who choose to actively involve themselves in ROTC not only get to serve their country, but also get to continue the storied military tradition at our College on the hill.

Moderately Good Advice with Gardner and Kate

Dear Gardner and Kate,

How can I let someone know that I’m interested in them without coming on too strong?

Fiona Freshman ’16

Gardner: You may not believe this, but there was a time not that long ago when this wasn’t a problem at all. Then flitzing died. It was a slow death that started with the appearance of cell service in the Upper Valley and concluded with the fact that we now live in a terrifying place where over half of campus has never used old (read: the real) blitz. At one point, a series of blitzes, which you probably know as “emails,” could easily escalate from “What’s the reading for class tomorrow?” to “Yeah let’s definitely play pong after meetings tonight” with both parties seeming completely indifferent. The trick: always end a blitz with a question. It keeps the conversation going without making you seem like you are coming on too strong. It’s never too late to try it out.

Kate: Unfortunately, I’m still seeking ways to fill the void that flitzing has left in my heart. I can only tell you what not to do. Don’t triple or, even worse, quadruple text. In the texts you do send, don’t abuse smiley faces. If seeking someone in a fraternity, limit the times you stare at them as they play pong with other people. Stop asking them why they’re single, or telling them how much you’d like to take someone like them home to your mother. Don’t continually ask your mutual friends to set you up for every possible event where you could conceivably bring a date. Don’t laugh maniacally at things they say that aren’t funny. Never venture into someone’s room while they are sleeping. No, not even to declare your love at four in the morning. In all seriousness, no rational man or woman would take a straightforward request for lunch or dinner as anything but complimentary. And please, ask over blitz. Continued commitment to flitzing is one old tradition that cannot fail.

Dear Gardner and Kate,

I ran out of meal swipes this week and swiped in using DBA Sunday night. Does it seem reasonable to you that a FoCo dinner meal swipe is $13.95?

Swiped-out Suzie ’15

Gardner: At times, Dartmouth students see DBA as something they are forced to buy and need to get rid of and forget that it is actually real money. I’m going to list things that you could get for the same amount of money within a five minute walk and you can decide if this seems fair: a Murph Burger, two 12-packs of Shipyard Pumpkinhead at Stinsons, an original Boloco burrito with a milkshake, three pounds of chicken breast from the Co-op Food Store or six minutes and 31 seconds of your 10A. So unless you row heavyweight crew team or play a contact sport, it probably isn’t reasonable.

Kate: The only days I don’t feel physically and emotionally dissatisfied leaving FoCo is when I am provided with a quality “World View” item, perogies, chocolate chip banana bread and some classy pizza with goat cheese. However, the vast majority of the time, $13.95 is just not giving me that. Thus, I provide an alternate scheme for dealing with the issue. Leaving FoCo, stuff a bunch of fresh mozzarella in your to-go container, backpack or clothing to resell on the thriving cheese black market in Norwich. People start to get a little desperate for their lactose fix when it’s not farmers’ market season in these parts.

Hey Gardner,

Are you going to be here for the next 20 minutes? Great, can you watch my stuff?

Acquaintance Alice ’13

Gardner: I can definitely watch your stuff if you’re going to be gone for 20 minutes. However, if you’re actually going back to your dorm, the gym, FoCo and a meeting for your group project, I will not watch your stuff. While you may find this form of “holding table” acceptable, I refuse to condone your actions, as you are the reason that I can never get a seat in the Periodicals when I arrive at the reasonable hour of 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Dear Kate,

I just got broken up with by someone I wasn’t dating. What?

Super Single Sally ’14

Kate: If you were my friend, I would respond to this question with “Oh my God, that’s absurd, he/she had a really weird last name/pair of eyebrows/ex-girlfriend anyway.” However, even my general suspicions of everyone who doesn’t want to date my friends cannot blind me to the fact that this just demonstrates the lose-lose nature of terminating non-relationships at Dartmouth. Telling someone face-to-face that whatever you have is finished is preferable to leaving them in limbo that will only be resolved when they see you publicly making out with someone else. All I can say to you, Sally, is that you need to realize the awkward kindness of the gesture. Also, try to answer in a way that shows just how nonchalant you are by the whole thing. I suggest, “Is that all you wanted to talk about?” accompanied by a placid smile.

Dear Gardner and Kate,

I have a bunch of final papers and projects that I know I need to work on. But, I just can’t. Can you help?

Procrastinating Peter ’14

Gardner: I’ll suggest a few strategies that I’ve tried to avoid procrastination. You can set “mini-deadlines” along the way and then ignore them because deep down you know they aren’t real. You could install self-control on your computer, then waste time on websites you never knew existed. Hopefully the thought of how miserable your finals period will be can goad you into action, but beyond that I’m also trying to figure this out.

Kate: I actually put off trying to answer this until a day after the column was due, so no. Sorry, Pete.

Send pressing questions in need of moderately good advice to:[email protected]

Rebel With a Cause

A grey SUV rolls slowly past you on Tuck Mall. Crap. You know with just a glance that it’s Safety and Security, and you’re not sure if the College permits making snow angels on the street.

Safety and Security often seems omnipresent on this campus and often at the worst times but many students, myself included, don’t know a lot about what goes on behind the scenes. The officers may get a bad reputation for their disciplinary relationship with students, but a lot of institutions on campus that we take for granted are products of the hard work of these employees, and one woman in particular.

Safety and Security Sergeant Rebel Roberts has been at Dartmouth since 1983, demonstrating decades of commitment to the College and its continually changing student body. As an undergraduate, Roberts said she was disappointed in the safety information she received, lacking specifics and practical instruction. When she discussed this displeasure with the head of security at her college, he decided to offer her a job. Since then, Roberts said that working with college students and helping those in need has been a passion, and that each day at Dartmouth has offered her a different experience.

Roberts is a very busy woman. She works with the Facilities Operations and Management office to monitor access control on campus, which includes any entry into a College-owned building. Every time you swipe your ID card to grab a forgotten book from your dorm between 11s and 12s, or scan into your cluster with only enough energy to collapse into bed, Roberts is there, helping that process work smoothly and safely.

She is a supervisor for that same group of omnipresent officers patrolling campus 24/7 to address various student and faculty-related needs. She has also spent the past several years working with architects to improve safety and efficiency of the campus’s landscape and design.

If you’ve ever walked down Tuck Mall and noticed how open it looks, you’ve seen an example of Robert’s work, intended to make the space safe at night and when shared by cars and pedestrians. Roberts was instrumental in the installation of the blue safety lights, a classic highlight on campus tours.

Roberts investigates all sexual assault and bias incidents reported at the College. To help prevent these situations, Roberts teaches an annual self-defense class that counts towards physical education credit. Any seniors out there looking to cram in one more PE class before graduation should take note, as well as those looking to learn the basics of self-defense. At the end of a lengthy list of responsibilities, Roberts also advises the student-run Dartmouth Emergency Medical Services team. With this busy schedule, Roberts influences much of our campus life without many students even knowing it.

Is all this hard work really necessary, and is it having an impact? Dartmouth seems to have a safe campus. After all, let’s not forget that we are located in Middle-of-Nowhere, New Hampshire. Nevertheless, the Safety and Security team always seems to be busy. Roberts stressed that it is important that students aren’t walking around in a cloud of fear, because our campus is relatively secure. On the other hand, Roberts said she doesn’t want people to let their guard down. The fact of the matter is that Dartmouth, like any institution, has safety issues that could be improved.

When asked if she could change one thing about the College, Roberts, perhaps unsurprisingly, said safety has remained her top priority.

“I would have people stop hurting each other,” she said. “I would want students to learn to respect one another and take personal responsibility.”

Roberts believes that the school can improve security at both the individual and College level if students continue to trust Safety and Security, and if they can feel comfortable coming to Safety and Security for help. Most calls that Safety and Security responds to come from students, and Roberts said she takes pride in this fact that students are able to come to her department when they need help.

Unfortunately, Safety and Security cannot prevent every dangerous situation on campus. Roberts’ least favorite part of the job is when the College loses a student. Such events are difficult for the entire campus, but as Safety and Security are often the first responders in fatal and near fatal situations, the incidents are especially salient. Roberts emphasized that Safety and Security’s top priority is helping, not punishing students. If you find yourself in a dangerous or potentially harmful situation, Safety and Security has resources that can help.

“You are not alone,” Roberts said.

No one would say that the relationship between Safety and Security and students is absolutely perfect, nor would they say that our campus is completely devoid of danger. Maybe the fact that students lack awareness about what the department is doing behind the scenes means that they’re doing their job right. Regardless, Safety and Security is deeply connected to the issues of sexual assault, binge drinking and violence that this campus confronts and debates on a regular basis, and Roberts and her team will be people that deserve a closer look for years to come.

The Dartmouth Bucket List

If you saw last week’s issue of The Mirror, you might remember reading that “natural selection has spent hundreds of years getting rid of people like your friend, who think it is a good idea to jump through the ice and into the water of a frozen pond,” or that the Polar Bear Plunge is exclusively for “morons.” Moderately passive aggressive challenge accepted, though I had already planned to do the plunge since I never had before, and my last opportunity as a Dartmouth undergraduate had finally arrived.

When Friday morning finally came around, I lay in bed praying that impending blizzard would roll into town and cancel the event, subsequently depriving freshmen of new profile pictures and saving me from icy agony. But alas, the plunge was set to proceed as planned, and there was no backing out.

I would definitely look like a moron if I wrote a column called The Dartmouth Bucket List and didn’t complete the plunge. I convinced myself that those freezing seconds would be worth it for a column topic and an awesome picture of myself mid-jump into a frozen pond. My excitement was neck-and-neck with my anxiety, and was even managing to pull ahead. As the great Yogi Berra once said, “90 percent of the game is half mental.” If my peers could turn out in droves to hurl themselves into a frigid abyss, so could I.

In a stroke of genius, I wore a fleece onesie quick to put back on and it covers your entire body in fleece and drove to Occom Pond. Some might think of it as cheating to run straight into a warm vehicle instead of enjoying a scenic walk home as your hair turns to miniature icicles. I call it proper planning.

The process of preparing to plunge seems specifically designed only to increase the anxiety one feels at the prospect of jumping into a hole in the ice. First, there’s the waiver. A waiver makes any activity seem at least three times more intense. There are the people running the event, wearing flair. At Dartmouth, we are conditioned from the outset to trust people wearing strange outfits with our safety (example: Vox Croo) but elsewhere, wearing flair is known as looking unprofessional. No one who’s going to give you CPR in real life wears a tutu. Then, there’s the wait, which we luckily didn’t have to endure. You don’t want to have to think about doing something like this. I jumped practically as soon as the rope was around my waist.

I would describe the actual swim calling it a “plunge” is false advertising, since you have to actually swim across the decently sized square hole but I blacked it out due to trauma. The next thing I remember is climbing as fast as I could up the ladder and my feet freezing on the ice as I hurried to put my onesie back on.

As we hurried back to the car, my friends and I were exhilarated by what we had just done, and very eager to get into hot showers. The Polar Bear Plunge is the epitome of tier two fun, or fun after the fact, like DOC First-Year Trips for people who hate the outdoors or guys’ pledge term.

Then why do so many of us take the plunge? To say we did? Because other people do it? Because we’re insane? For an excuse to run to your room in Hitchcock sans pants during a snowstorm? I would venture to say it’s a combination of all three. It’s weird and exhilarating, like, well, college.