February 21, 1987
The Board of Trustees reaffirms its commitment to developing a residential life policy that supports and enhances the educational mission of the College through promoting and accommodating a healthy interaction and understanding among the diverse elements on campus.
While we have made progress in the last four years with the introduction of minimum standards for fraternities and sororities and the creation of clusters, interactive space and a faculty master program for the dormitories, the Board believes a faster pace of change is needed. To achieve our objectives for residential life in an intellectually challenging community, we need to hasten aggressively our progress and not rely on the evolution of the system.
In that regard, we have not yet succeeded in reducing the fraternity system's dominance of social life on campus; in reducing the role that alcohol plays as part of the social environment at the College; in creating an integrated residential system that breaks down the fragmentation between dormitories and fraternities/sororities; in encouraging meaningful interaction among many of the various interests and elements on campus; and in obtaining the full commitment of the faculty to our efforts to create a social life that promotes intellectual pursuits beyond the classrooms.
With the administration having consulted a broad cross-section of the community, including students, faculty, and alumni, the Board is convinced that the College's residential life system needs major restructuring to remedy these shortcomings and believes that it would be in the best interests of the College to accomplish this restructuring as soon as practicable. The Board has, therefore, requested the President to establish a special ad hoc committee on residential life consisting of faculty, students, alumni and administration, and with Trustee support and involvement, to examine the relationship between fraternities/sororities and dormitories and their impact on social and intellectual life; to review the quality of interaction between the diverse elements on campus and how to relate to the educational mission of the College; and to determine the optimum role of the faculty in residential life and how this can be achieved. The Board has requested that the committee provide its recommendations to the Board through the President not later than June 1987.
In further response to the report of the Council on Diversity, the Board will appoint a Trustee review committee to take a broader institutional look at diversity on campus. This committee will review programs, practices and facilities in the context of the Planning and Priority efforts in order to recommend to the Board changes that will support and reinforce the value of learning that takes place in a diverse educational setting. As part of this process, the committee will determine if adequate recognition and provision have been made within the institutional plans to encourage and promote the positive contributions that people with different backgrounds and ideas can make to a liberal arts education at Dartmouth. This Trustee committee will be asked to report its recommendations to the Board by June 1988.