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The D Does Dartblog
The D seems finally to have understood that the return of dormitory continuity is the single most important step that the College can make to improve student life, even if the folks who wrote the recent Strategic Plan do not. And I know where the editors got the idea.
A proposal for “living learning communities” misses the point of student complaints about college housing. Increasing intellectual engagement in dormitories is not the answer to student frustration with the transient, hotel room atmosphere of upperclass dormitories.
— The D, Verbum Ultimum: Confused and Mistaken, March 8, 2013
At a Dean’s Office xTalk on the state of the College last Monday, a fair portion of time was spent on the quality of life in Dartmouth’s dorms — or the lack of life, really, given that our residence halls now more resemble transient hotels than social communities. As loyal readers know, the loss of dorm continuity for undergrads has long preoccupied this space.
— Dartblog, Dorm Continuity Interest Grows, February 22, 2013
Too bad about the comma after transient in The D’s editorial. Perhaps the young writers there do not know what a transient hotel is.
But let’s give credit where it is due. Jim Wright’s now forgotten Student Life Initiative highlighted in no uncertain terms Dartmouth’s need for dormitory continuity:
Finally, life in the residence halls is marked by a stunning lack of continuity, resulting in an ongoing sense of upheaval and rootlessness for students. Testimony from students, faculty and administrators alike suggested that a lack of residential continuity and identity is a major reason many students are motivated to seek a sense of community by joining CFS organizations. For example, because of the Dartmouth Plan, year-round operation, and the comings-and-goings of hundreds of students each term, it is not unusual for sophomores and juniors to live in a different room or even a different residence hall each term. Another 300-500 students take a leave term or study abroad, paving the way for them to move yet again when they return to campus.
All of this movement creates significant personal hardship for students as they seek to move their possessions and locate storage space between terms and during off-terms. Most important, this movement also causes a great deal of discontinuity, undermining the sense of home, community and esprit de corps in the residence halls. For example, very little remains of the once-flourishing dormitory-based intramural sports program that drew hundreds of students from residence halls to compete against one another. Intramural sports teams, particularly coed teams, still flourish, but without the grounding of a residency-based competition. A telling sign of this is that the rosters of dorm “championships” in various sports, which for years were posted on signs in dorm hallways, cease recording any results as of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
As a result of its examination of the strengths and weaknesses of residential life, the committee reached these conclusions:
…The highest priority should be to create a sense of community in the residence halls by re-instilling a sense of continuity. Although it may not be feasible or desirable to assign students to the same rooms throughout their Dartmouth careers, it would be optimal if they could elect to return to the same residence hall or cluster for at least two years and preferably three—with the possibility of all four years if the student so wished.
Are you listening, Phil?
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
August 23, 2009
Fare Thee Well, Tom Crady
And now Dean Tom Crady has precipitously announced his departure from the College after only 20 months on the job. How to read this? By way of background, prior to coming to Dartmouth, Crady had…
May 31, 2009
Kangaroo Court, Indeed
In an interview with The Dartmouth, alumni-elected trustee T.J. Rodgers ‘70 explained his reasons for declining to participate in future evaluations of trustees up for “re-election,” namely the “kangaroo court” nature of such discussion in…