Ask Dartmouth Administration to Clarify that All Students Have Two Terms on Campus

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Ask Dartmouth Administration to Clarify that All Students Have Two Terms on Campus

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David Millman started this petition to President Hanlon and

Sign on to this Open Letter Below:

Open Letter to Dean Lively, President Hanlon, and Senior Leadership at Dartmouth College 


On July 31st, all undergraduates anxiously awaited the arrival of their term decisions. We had filled out the priority form by July 20th, and most of us agreed with the college’s plan to bring back half of the student population for each term. 


Unfortunately, many students were met with the notification that they were only approved for one term on campus. 


All communication up to this point had implied that all students would be granted two terms on-campus. Various community conversations and emails always mentioned that it was the college’s “goal” or “plan” to have half the student body back in Hanover per term and to give students the “opportunity” for two on-campus terms. When some students reached out to administrators for clarity, their responses even used the word “guaranteed.” 


I personally believe that the college is simply waiting to see if they can accommodate students’ preferred terms, as per Dean Lively’s email about Spring: “We will be deferring decisions on additional students who can be approved for on-campus enrollment during spring term in either late fall or early winter, the point at which we anticipate having additional information on potential campus capacity in the spring.” 


However, the college never stated that those who chose non-priority terms would not get two terms on campus, just that they may not get the term they listed. This is an important factor that would have changed many students’ decisions. I could be missing a piece of communication here, but, during this global pandemic, we all need clear information, especially low income and international students who are in need of housing.


All I ask is the Administration state clearly what I believe to already be the case: at this time, all students will be guaranteed two terms on campus, and those who did not get their preferred terms will be placed where space is available (most likely winter/summer). This message will put thousands of minds at ease.


This is an unprecedented time at Dartmouth for every student, faculty member, and administrator. We need to make sure to have clarity on the plans already in place now, and in the coming weeks. While I understand the intention behind getting something out as fast as possible and the sheer amount of work that goes into these plans, messages like these from the administration need to be intentional and thoughtful to avoid causing misunderstanding or confusion. I hope that all students who are uncertain will receive clarity on this issue soon.


Thank you for your time,

David Millman, Class of 2023

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