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A Message from Dean Johnson

July 12, 2012

Dear Dartmouth students,

Your well-being and success are top priorities for me, and for Dartmouth. Our commitment to harm reduction, student health, and safety is based on the fundamental belief that a thriving and fully engaged student academic community is directly related to student wellness. In the year ahead, we will continue to focus on harm reduction and efforts to significantly reduce high-risk drinking, sexual assault, and hazing. Not only do these behaviors cause significant harm, they are also absolutely inconsistent with the principles of a responsible and respectful community.

Since spring term, I have been discussing with Greek Letter Organization leadership several measures aimed at harm reduction, particularly as they relate to hazing.   These preliminary discussions have informed the development of proposed reforms that will help enhance the safety and well-being of members of our community. I am grateful to the fraternity and sorority members who have stepped up and are partnering with me to ensure that the measures we implement contain valuable student feedback. These students have been, and continue to be, excellent stewards. Their dedication to a strong, healthy Greek community is commendable.

It's important to note that neither the harm reduction initiatives nor the hazing reforms are focused exclusively on fraternities and sororities. Rather, they are aimed at creating a culture of individual responsibility and mutual respect across the entire campus.

The proposed measures seek to ensure that our policies are aligned with best practices. These measures, such as enhanced penalties for misconduct by student organizations or teams, will help to increase safety and shared accountability. Many of the measures, such as a clearer definition of hazing, and a bystander intervention program, are a direct result of conversations my team and I have had with students over the last several months.

Dartmouth intends to implement final reform measures this fall. As we work to develop the policies and practices that will comprise these reforms, there will be numerous opportunities this summer for students to provide feedback, ask questions, and make suggestions. I encourage you to share your insights. Students not on campus have an opportunity to comment on-line.

Here on campus, I and other members of my team will continue to meet with a broad range of students. Interested students are invited to an open forum at Carson L01 on July 31. We will begin the discussion at 5:30 pm. An additional forum will take place in early September.

I continue to appreciate the passion and commitment to excellence demonstrated by so many of you. Thank you for all that you do to ensure a vibrant and healthy community.

Sincerely,

Charlotte Johnson
Dean of the College

Last Updated: 7/23/12