Dartmouth's Daily Blog
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The Choates Hole
The administration never misses an opportunity to shoot itself in the foot. Each year hundreds of eager high school kids come to Dartmouth for summer camps. My son attended the debate camp a couple of years ago, and this year he enjoyed rugby in Hanover. Where does the College lodge these potential applicants — kids who will go back to their schools and tell the world about the wonderful College on the Hill? Not the elegant Gold Coast dorms, nor solid Mass Row, nor even the functional Fayers. Nope. The powers that be put the soon-to-be PR emissaries in the moldy, decrepit Choates. Oh, the stories they will tell back home.
Is anyone thinking in Parkhurst and McNutt? Or are the folks there just spending time calculating their pension benefits and how to spend their five weeks of annual vacation? Sloppiness is the rule almost everywhere in the administration. How sad.
Back in the late 1970’s we considered the Choates to be a cross between a cheapo municipal hospital and a federal housing project. Since then they have not aged with grace.
Addendum: At least the girls’ summer soccer camp puts its kids in Ripwood Smith.
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
The Choate Road dormitories may have been degraded into a “hole” by the late 1970s, as you write, but when I resided in them in 1960-1962, along with Ron Schram and others, they were comfortable and, dare I say, well-designed.
The cluster opened in 1958. Our only complaint was perceived distance from the rest of campus. The Choates were divided into suites, each composed of three doubles, two singles, a common room for socializing and late-night study, and showers/toilets. In addition, there was a faculty apartment connected to the cluster, and the faculty member annually invited all of us to dinner and conversation in small groups, and many of us informally sought advice from him throughout the year.
In 1995, a student invited me to revisit the Choates, which I had not seen for over three decades. The common rooms and faculty residence had disappeared, subdivided into additional sleeping rooms. Perhaps worse, institutional memory of a the Choates as a pioneering student residential cluster with a contiguous faculty apartment appears to have evaporated as the College in the 1990s introduced various top-down initiatives to “redesign” student life.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
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…