The fifth session of D-LAB focused on leadership in practice, by enabling participants to identify and reflect on concerns within the Dartmouth Community. Prior to the session, participants thought about what problems they experienced or witnessed on campus.
Keynote speaker Caitlin Barthelmes, director of the Dartmouth Student Wellness Center, opened the session. She stated that the peer health educators at UVA helped her find her path and lay the foundation for her career in wellness, and noted that D-LAB enables participants a chance to find their path. Caitlin expressed that emotions and behaviors are infectious and “how we feel, express ourselves, and act effect others”. Listening to a variety of perspectives leads to collaboration because one finds common ground and unites over passions.
Each group started their discussions by looking over a list of common community concerns that include: academics, body image, bullying, cultural inclusivity, financial inclusivity, hazing, high risk drinking, mental health, sexual violence, traditions, unhealthy relationships, and a lack of balance.Participants developed their stance on the concerns, and then chose the three most important ones.
Next, each group selected the five concerns most important to the Dartmouth community by discussing then voting on each issue. A concern for an individual does not always match up with the problems they felt impacted the community as a whole most. Many students wait to have conversations about problems until something goes wrong, so others assume these problems exist less frequently.
Finally, each group talked about possible solutions to combat community concerns. Possible methods to address these issues include: creating awareness and having small group discussions like those in D-LAB. These discussions set up participants for next week, in which they will find student groups that resonate with their values and give them opportunities to solves problems on campus.
Submitted by Rachel Inman ’19, D-LAB participant and writer for the Rockefeller Center