To carry out the Board's charge—to propose changes designed to strengthen Dartmouth's social and residential system—the committee sought to determine which aspects of the current system worked well and which did not. The committee conducted the assessment in three ways. First, we reviewed available studies, surveys, data and other empirical information assembled by the College in recent years. Second, we spent many hours listening to students, faculty, administrators and alumni, as well as outside experts. Third, we toured campus facilities, ranging from residence halls to social spaces to Coed, Fraternity and Sorority houses (referred to as "CFS organizations" in the rest of this report).
Here we present a capsule summary of what the committee learned on a number of fronts. Although the balance may seem to tilt heavily in the direction of criticism, we believed it most useful to summarize the areas where the system was working well and to devote finer analysis to the areas where it was not. We also believed it important to avoid complacency and self-satisfaction and to take an objective look at the system, even at the risk of reporting back information that was not flattering. After all, the institution teaches its students to gather information carefully and to reason critically; the committee could do no less.