On May 11, 2017, graduate student leaders from the Graduate Student Council and graduate student organizations met with President Phil Hanlon and Gail Gentes over lunch at the President's residence and discussed several advances at Dartmouth, including the newly recognized School of Graduate and Advanced Studies. The student leaders brought their passion to enhance student life at Dartmouth and were met with much enthusiasm from President Hanlon and his wife Gail Gentes.
President Hanlon began the meeting by thanking all the graduate student leaders for their commitment to enhancing student life across campus and recognized the positive influence that graduate students have had on undergraduates. Hanlon explained that undergraduate and graduate students learn from one another, and the Residential Fellows Program, in addition to one-on-one training and teaching positions, are allowing the interactions between the student bodies to grow and flourish at Dartmouth. Hanlon then expressed his enthusiasm towards the recognition of the School of Graduate and Advanced Studies and applauded the efforts of Dean F. Jon Kull and his team on this milestone for Dartmouth.
The graduate student leaders then asked President Hanlon questions about some of the latest developments and student life issues at Dartmouth, including the restructuring of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Dartmouth’s commitment to the sustainable energy, further integration of graduate and undergraduate students, and fostering volunteer service. Hanlon explained that Dartmouth has a bold and positive look to the future and is always looking for ways to enhance student life, education curricula, administrative efficiency, and accelerating the use of sustainable energy.
Clearly Dartmouth has been excelling on all of these fronts with the Geisel School of Medicine’s rankings improving, new student life programs such as the Residential Fellows being met with much interest, and the inauguration of the School of Graduate and Advanced Studies in July 2016. Further, Dartmouth is well on its way to meet its initiative to reduce carbon emissions on campus.
The efforts made by the Graduate Student Council in regard to the Graduate Student Mental Health Awareness Week, organized earlier in the year, was in line with those being made by the College as a whole. Hanlon acknowledged that mental health is one of the most important issues that students in higher education face, and is one of the main student life issues that Dartmouth is committed to addressing. The recent “Fresh Check” day was one example of programs giving greater visibility to the importance of mental health on campus.
The graduate student leaders were pleased to have been given this opportunity to meet with President Hanlon and discuss key issues in an intimate setting. Clearly, Dartmouth is heading towards an even more prosperous future and with the leading efforts of President Hanlon and Dean F. Jon Kull and their teams, there is no doubt that Dartmouth will continue moving forward.
By Gilbert Rahme