The focus of session five, titled “Leadership for Others (Part II),” of D-LAB was on community concerns at Dartmouth. Participants came to the session having reflected on what problems or campus issues they have seen or confronted at Dartmouth at the institutional and/or community level. Each group then looked over a list of common community concerns that included: academics, body image, bullying, cultural inclusivity, financial inclusivity, hazing, high risk drinking, mental health, sexual violence, traditions, unhealthy relationships, and a lack of balance.
After individually reflecting on this list, participants worked in pairs to choose the top 5 concerns to the Dartmouth community. Participants then came together as a group to rank their collective top 5 concerns. Throughout the activity participants voiced discomfort at having to rank concerns, as they felt they could not rank concerns for the entire community. As a facilitator, it was personally rewarding to see my group reach this conclusion on their own – it is impossible to rank concerns without leaving out certain experiences of the community as a whole; rather, all of the concerns on the list are important to all within the Dartmouth community.
To wrap up the discussion, participants discussed possible solutions to combat community concerns. This last activity acted as a transition for participants to begin to reflect on how community problems may affect their goals for their roles within the Dartmouth community.
Written by Sarah Han '17, D-LAB Student Facilitator