D-LAB Recap: Freshmen Discuss Individual Values and How They Relate to the Community

This ongoing series shares the experiences of participants and facilitators in D-LAB (Dartmouth Leadership Attitudes and Behaviors), a student-facilitated program designed for first-year students to discover the relationship between leadership and personal values.

D-LAB's third and final session, "Know Your Community," prompted us to discuss our individual values and how these values relate to our membership in the Dartmouth community. In our first activity, we considered what three laws we would choose as guiding principles for a new society. This activity helped us mentally transcend Dartmouth's culture and consider what our ideal communities might look like.

Our next activity moved us into looking at Dartmouth's Mission Statement, Core Values and Principals of Communities. We discussed whether the communities we are a part of at Dartmouth embody these espoused values: when we identified incongruence, we considered, "How can we as individuals help Dartmouth live its values? How can we live our own values at Dartmouth?"

While we continue to work on answering these questions even as the D-LAB program comes to a close this term, one of the most positive takeaways from our time together was the exciting possibility of starting these conversations elsewhere, and having participants become facilitators among their own communities here on campus and beyond.

"Meeting other students who wanted to explore their own leadership and community was the best part...It can be difficult to find and create spaces on campus where you have the opportunity to meet and talk with peers about values, groups, and identity but D-ALB provided that safe environment," Kristina Heggedal '17 reflected.

D-LAB has been a wonderful way for me to bond with '17s this term and to reflect on my own values at Dartmouth. I hope that participants come away with new friendships and a willingness to keep reflecting on themselves as they become leaders in our community. 

--Sarah Waltcher '16, D-LAB Student Facilitator