April 2, 2012
To Dartmouth students, faculty, and staff:
In light of the recent press about hazing at Dartmouth, I want everyone to understand that there is nothing more important to the Board of Trustees and to the entire Dartmouth community than the safety and well-being of our students. High-risk drinking, hazing, and sexual assault are unacceptable behaviors that are contrary to our mission and have no place at Dartmouth.
When President Kim initiated the Learning Collaborative on High-Risk Drinking, the Board applauded the candid conversation it provoked and the well-thought-out approach to identifying strategies that work. We cannot confront high-risk behaviors on our campus without broad engagement. A culture of excellence depends upon dynamic debate of the thorniest issues, and the Trustees encourage this throughout our community.
Because young adults make mistakes, there will always be violations of the high standards of any educational institution. Our goal must be to work together to encourage behaviors and adopt programs that reduce these violations to the minimum and sanction them appropriately when individual members or organizations do not live up to our common expectations. The College has clear policies that address violations and is constantly improving existing programs to reduce high-risk behaviors.
The Board has confidence in the College's leadership and efforts underway to ensure the well-being of our students. We will be working with senior leadership to improve our engagement with these issues. Dartmouth is our shared community, its reputation is our shared trust, and the answers to any shortcomings in the way we treat each other is our shared responsibility.
Steve Mandel '78
Chair, Dartmouth Board of Trustees
Last Updated: 4/2/12