MDF: A Progress Report

The Presidential Steering Committee, charged by President Hanlon to develop recommendations to curb high-risk behaviors, has completed the community re-engagement portion of the process launched in May. Our goal during this phase was to interact with the community to ensure all voices are being heard, share some of the ideas we’ve received, and discuss the feasibility of concepts as we head toward the delivery of the final recommendations that we believe will Move Dartmouth Forward.

As a reminder, our charge is to present our final recommendations to President Hanlon in January. The conversations we’ve had during the re-engagement period have been most helpful as we finalize our package of proposals. (You can review the full committee timeline here.)

The re-engagement period spanned September, October and November, and committee members had the opportunity to meet with dozens of student groups and countless individual students. At the same time we’ve continued the dialogue established with colleagues at peer institutions and nationally-known researchers and experts. On our website, we have posted updates on what we have learned on the News page, links to survey information on the Resources page, and issued summaries of student feedback.

What has become very clear during the re-engagement phase is that there is no easy solution to the problems of high-risk drinking, sexual assault and lack of inclusivity. We know that virtually every college campus across the country suffers from the same issues and that no one has found the silver bullet. These problems exist at big universities and small colleges, institutions with Greek systems and those without, rural and urban campuses.

As we head into the final weeks of our work, it is important to know that we take our charge very seriously and the progress we have made to date would not have been possible without the input and ideas of so many of you. We thank every student, faculty and staff member, parent, alumna and alumnus who came forward to share not only their solutions, but also their concerns. We thank the student groups who organized and spent many hours compiling thoughtful proposals for the Committee to consider, and we thank those who remained engaged in the process by courageously speaking up and voicing their opinions.

Throughout this process, we reviewed more than 2,600 emailed suggestions, heard from more than 45 student groups, hosted 53 conference calls and meetings with alumni groups, and consulted with many experts on the issues of high risk drinking, sexual assault and inclusivity. Every letter, phone call, email, conversation, and critique has been instrumental in informing our deliberations and shaping where we are today and where Dartmouth will go in the future.

Each of us wants to preserve and enhance what makes Dartmouth great. We want to build an even better Dartmouth, and we will continue to work toward that goal in the weeks ahead.