Read a student's account of our PoliTALK event with Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson. For more information about our student discussion groups including PoliTALK, click here.
At Politalk, Dean Johnson opened up conversation about student issues on campus. Dean Johnson made a lot of good points about why certain issues are hard to solve. For instance, sexual assault is a huge issue on campus. The administration has been trying to implement changes since last year to reduce sexual assault and crack down on it harder. However, this has been harder than imagined. Dean Johnson told us about some of the suggestions that were made to add the writing on sexual assault, one suggestion being that witnesses will have to stand in front of the Committee on Standards if they are called for questioning. Dean Johnson explained that many students are opposed to this, but asserted that this should not be a problem if Dartmouth prides itself on being a community where everyone takes care of one another. Many comments like these came up again and again when we discussed issues like Hazing and making all Greek organizations co-educational. More issues were addressed such as LGBTQ belonging on campus, grade-oriented learning, and alternative social spaces.
With all of these issues, Dean Johnson reminded us that in order to implement policies that work for the students, the students have to get involved in the decision-making process as well. This worked really well in relation to the discussion about alternative social spaces. Dean Johnson asked us to think about what makes a good a social space, what does a god social space have, and what can we add to the places on campus for alternative social spaces. Many people in the group contributed ideas and suggestions as to how to create social spaces on campus thereby making this discussion the most effective part of the session.
-Dieynabou Barry ‘14