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Dartmouth President Unveils Comprehensive Plan to Address Harmful Behavior and Transform the Student Experience

Immediate reforms enhance ongoing efforts to address sexual assault, high-risk drinking, and a lack of inclusion.

January 29, 2015

Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon ’77 introduced his Moving Dartmouth Forward Plan to address high-risk behavior on campus and create a safe and inclusive environment in which students can live and learn.
 
The plan has at its core a new housing model that will fundamentally transform the residential and social experience at the College.
 
President Hanlon presented the reforms as the capstone of work that began last spring when he called on the Dartmouth community “to create fundamental change in every place on campus where the social scene is carried out.”
 
In his April 16 address, Hanlon announced the formation of a Presidential Steering Committee of students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The committee’s work included crowdsourcing solutions from the Dartmouth community, investigating best practices, and visiting peer institutions. Committee members were also charged with consulting external experts in the fields of student life, student health and wellness, sexual assault, alcohol abuse, diversity and inclusivity, and campus safety. Committee members heard from more than 40 student groups and 50 alumni groups and reviewed more than 2,000 email suggestions before submitting their final report to Hanlon this month.
 
From this report, Hanlon identified the set of reforms announced today, which Dartmouth has begun to implement and will continue putting in place in the coming months and years.
 
“To be clear, no single action contains the consummate solution. If it did, these problems would have vanished from our campus and society years and years ago,” Hanlon said.
 
Hanlon outlined steps to ensure a safer and healthier campus environment for students, raise expectations for individuals and student organizations, create a more diverse set of social opportunities for students, foster a more inclusive campus environment, strengthen academic rigor, and increase opportunities for learning outside the classroom.
 
“Dartmouth has a long tradition of academic excellence,” said Hanlon. “This is our legacy. And as we move to the future, we will become ever more defined by this ideal. But this will happen only if we remove the barriers that keep us from fulfilling our potential."
 
Among the most notable reforms, Dartmouth will aim to lead nationally by eliminating hard alcohol from campus. Under Hanlon’s plan, hard alcohol will no longer be served at events open to the public, and penalties for underage students found in possession of hard alcohol will increase in severity.
 
Other initiatives include a four-year mandatory sexual violence prevention and education program for students; comprehensive sexual assault training for faculty and staff; an increased presence of faculty and other mature influences in the lives of students; a comprehensive Code of Conduct for all students; and the new housing model.
 
As part of the effort to increase accountability, the College will reinforce the rules for student groups—including Greek organizations—and hold all groups to higher standards than ever before. Organizations that choose not to live up to these higher standards will not be part of the Dartmouth community.
 
These steps are being taken to raise expectations for all students on campus, Hanlon said, and he warned that if substantive Greek reforms are not enacted within several years, the College will reevaluate the continuance of Greek life on campus.
 
To ensure accountability and adherence to the new plan, Hanlon also announced the formation of an external review panel chaired by Tufts President Emeritus Larry Bacow. Dartmouth will regularly reevaluate and retool the Moving Dartmouth Forward Plan, ensuring transparency and substantive reform throughout the process.
 
Link to frequently asked questions about the Moving Dartmouth Forward Plan.

Last Updated: 9/9/15