College responds to ‘Freedom Budget’

College President Phil Hanlon and Interim Provost Martin Wybourne released a statement Thursday night responding to the “Freedom Budget” and outlining plans for increased diversity at the College, including changes to financial aid and programs to bring “diverse perspectives” to campus.

“Recently, a presentation of the ‘Freedom Budget’ document highlighted for us that we, as the administration, must engage the campus more effectively in current and future action to achieve our shared vision for Dartmouth,” the statement, released Thursday evening, read.

The student-authored “Freedom Budget,” released to campus last month, outlined over 70 demands for changes regarding issues of diversity and inclusivity.

The document demands that the College increase enrollment of black, Latino and Latina and Native American students to at least 10 percent each and increase the number of faculty and staff of color across departments. Other proposals include banning the Indian mascot, providing pro-bono legal and financial assistance to undocumented students and expanding gender-neutral housing and bathrooms on campus. The document also demands that residential life spaces on campus be accessible to all students.

Writing on behalf of Human Resources Vice President Lynda Baker, Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Maria Laskaris, Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Equity Evelynn Ellis and Dean of Faculty Michael Mastanduno, the statement addressed concerns about issues of diversity and inclusivity.

The release cited the “Moving Dartmouth Forward” series, the Improve Dartmouth website and the strategic planning process as evidence of the administration’s willingness to engage with community suggestions.

Following suggestions presented in these forums, the statement said that the office of financial aid will help to offset the costs of foreign study programs and that the College will allocate $1 million to hire faculty “who bring diverse perspectives to campus.”

Based on a recommendation from the Alumni Council’s ad hoc committee on diversity and inclusion, $30 million will be invested in bringing post-doctorates to campus through the Society of Fellows program. The E.E. Just Program, which supports minority students in STEM fields, will be expanded.

As part of a three-year pilot program, the Dartmouth Outing Club will receive funding from the Office of the President to subsidize activities for students receiving financial aid.

The “Moving Dartmouth Forward” sessions will continue in the spring, and the College is planning to launch a new website to explain its efforts.

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