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Dartmouth president calls for end of high-risk behavior


HANOVER — Dartmouth College president Philip J. Hanlon called for an end to high-risk and harmful behavior on campus at a rare presidential summit Wednesday night at which dozens of student leaders, faculty, staff, and alumni gathered.

Hanlon laid out a process of reform that is part of his wide-reaching initiative known as Moving Dartmouth Forward.

He also announced the formation of a presidential steering committee to focus on three critical areas: sexual assault, high-risk drinking, and lack of inclusion. The steering committee is to be made up of representatives from the student body, faculty, administrators and alumni.

Sexual assaults, high-risk drinking, and lack of inclusion at Dartmouth hurt students, divide the community, distract Dartmouth from its core mission, and stand in the way of the college’s future, Hanlon said at the summit.

In his comments Hanlon echoed Dartmouth Board of Trustees Chairman Steve Mandel who wrote to the community in March on the matter, saying “enough is enough,” and asking the community to come together to move Dartmouth forward.

Moving Dartmouth Forward is an initiative that would promote change anywhere on campus there are social activities, including residence halls, Greek and affinity houses, and senior societies.

So far efforts by Dartmouth include a new sexual assault policy that is set to go into effect in June. The new policy includes mandatory expulsion and an external investigatory process. Other measures include a new center focused on violence prevention and community mobilization and training for students to recognize and prevent potential sexual assaults and high-risk, binge drinking initiatives that over the past three years have demonstrated progress.

“We have taken important steps forward over the last several years, but progress does not equal success,” Hanlon said. “We need to move faster. Risky and harmful behaviors stand between us and realizing Dartmouth’s amazing promise and potential. We cannot let that happen.”

mpierce@newstote.com

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