Recently, The Dartmouth Review had the opportunity to speak with Susy Struble, the organizing member of DartmouthChange. A member of the Class of 1993 and a concerned alumna, she recently cofounded the organization with the goal of understanding the extent of the sexual assault problem on Dartmouth’s campus and working with alumni, administrators, and current students to reduce its severity.
The Dartmouth Review (TDR): Please tell us a bit about yourself, your experience at Dartmouth, and how you came to be involved with Dartmouthchange.
Susy Struble: Well, I’m a 1993 graduate of the College. I grew up in a small town in Ohio, and it was just an enormous deal for me to come from a public school in a tiny, Midwestern farm town and go to Dartmouth College. It meant a lot to my family and it meant a lot to me. While I was there, I had an amazing experience and I deeply love the place. I was involved in the Greek System, and loved that. I definitely got involved in issues surrounding sexual assault [and I] was an early organizer with a group called Greeks Against Rape, which tried to facilitate open discussions in the sororities and fraternities and between sororities and fraternities about the problems of sexual assault and harassment and general relationships between the sexes. That was all during my junior and senior year, so that was about my level of my involvement when I was at the College. Since then, I’ve moved out West. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area right now and I’m a pretty active alumna, and when I became aware of the College’s ongoing problems with sexual assault, it was an obvious place for me to try to make a difference.
TDR: What were the origins of DartmouthChange and what made you decide to wade into the campus debate about sexual assault?
Struble: The genesis for DartmouthChange was certainly my experience on campus, and that of too many of my brothers and sisters as well. [I really ended up] getting involved after 20 years of being away from the campus after reading the Rolling Stone article that came out. Wherever the truth of all that actually lies, it just put a bug in my ear that things maybe haven’t changed so much on campus in the last 20 years. I can think back to the late 80’s early 90s [and] we were Neanderthals back then certainly, and I thought we cannot possibly be the same as we were then. So I started asking around and [trying] to find out what’s actually going on around campus to see if there’s anything we can do. In thinking about it, I don’t know that there’s ever been a real concerted effort to try to get all of the different constituencies of campus – alumni, faculty, students, employees, greater Hanover community members, and parents – together to have a dialogue and work to reduce the divisiveness of this problem.