Forum, Feb. 2: Dartmouth should reconsider

Published: 2/2/2022 10:58:48 AM
Modified: 2/2/2022 10:57:19 AM
Dartmouth should reconsider

Dartmouth College held a webinar-based meeting for the community on Jan. 20 to discuss its plans to build an undergraduate housing complex on Garipay Field. The community pushback has focused on the uncontemplated development east of Route 10 and the concurrent loss of a valued open space. To these concerns, I would add my own. Speaking as a former student, a parent and a grandparent, the idea that you can isolate several hundred young adults aged 17-22 with no expectation of attendant behavioral problems is magical thinking.

The community understands that Dartmouth has a facility problem, especially on-campus undergraduate housing. From 1972 to 1976, Dartmouth expanded the undergraduate student body from 3,400 to 4,400 to go co-ed. Unfortunately, Dartmouth did not have the necessary facilities to accommodate this expansion, hence the implementation of the Dartmouth Plan in the 1970s and the purchase of the hospital facility on Maynard Street in the early 1990s.

In November 2020, Dartmouth published and distributed its framework (“Planning for Possibilities: A Strategic Campus Framework”). Page 10 of the Framework projects that Dartmouth could add between 3,870 and 7,395 staff, faculty and students to its current 10,780 over the next 30 years, which will only add to the current facilities stress.

The framework describes itself as a “flexible tool,” a “living document” and “a roadmap ... to guide decision-making ... in [an] ... adaptable ... way.” Or in the immortal words of Captain Barbossa in Pirates of the Caribbean, “more what you’d call guidelines than actual rules.”

In the spirit of flexibility and adaptability, I would propose the following: Move the entire Tuck School (administration, classrooms, single student housing, alumni relations, fundraising, dining, library, Bridge and Executive Program, everything) to the north end of the golf course on the west side of Route 10. This would allow continued expansion of the Tuck School and would revert much-needed facilities to the undergraduate school in the heart of the main campus.

If someone else has an idea of how to accommodate Dartmouth’s growth plans and build the appropriate facilities, I think the community would love to hear it.

Peter C. Paquette


Vermont delegation has it right

Late in 2021, Vermont Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) voted for the Build Back Better Act in the U.S. House because he understood that we cannot wait any longer to invest in clean energy, energy savings, well-paying union jobs and clean air and water for everyone. I want to thank Senators Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sanders (I-Vt.) for their support for the Build Back Better Act. We still have the chance to pass vital elements of this bill, and residents of Vermont are counting on them to do this.

The Build Back Better Act will save the average family $500 a year on their energy bills, with major investments in energy efficiency and clean energy. Also, it makes vital investments to modernize our economy and create millions of well-paying jobs.

That means real jobs right here in Vermont. Vermont just adopted a Climate Action Plan. Now we need the federal government to invest in a clean energy future for all.

The Build Back Better Act takes bold steps to dramatically reduce climate pollution for everyone. But it also begins to address decades of unchecked environmental injustice, ensuring at least 40% of the benefits of this bill go to those communities hardest hit by pollution and climate change.

The stakes could not be higher; this may be our last best shot at real climate action. Rep. Welch and Senators Leahy and Sanders understand that we have to respond to this crisis with bold investments in our future — and that we can do it while reducing costs for everyday people and creating millions of well-paying jobs. This is a win-win-win for Vermont’s future.

Let’s support Senators Leahy and Sanders in working with their Senate colleagues to ensure we take strong climate action by getting the job done on the Build Back Better Act.

Linda Gray

Vermont Conservation Voters Board


Museums are an asset

We should be grateful for the varied museums close to our area now widely open to all those immunized and eager to roam. The Currier Museum of Art in Manchester is free for veteran’s families or with passes from libraries.

It has Saint-Gaudens sculptures and an increasingly wide range of paintings from the 18th to 20th centuries.

It now has a loaned, broad display of Islamic carpets and Tomie dePaola drawings intended for his books.

Also close are the Hopkins Center for the Arts, the Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park, the Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, the American Precision Museum, the Enfield Shaker Museum, the Muster Field Farm Museum and the Orozco murals in the Dartmouth Baker-Berry Library.

Andrew L. Taylor


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