HALT teaches seniors to how to stay actively involved in the life of the College after graduation. Committee members attend monthly luncheons, hear from guest speakers and receive an inside view about engaging with and volunteering for the College as alumni. HALT is also involved with several special projects over the year (ie., STOP Day), which are determined in consultation with various campus offices.
Vice President and Dean of Students Nancy Thompson and Associate Dean of Students for Student Engagement and Leadership Lisa Magnarelli spoke to HALT about the actions of the Dean of Students Office and the way Hamilton and its social environment has changed in the past few decades. Magnarelli, Class of 96' (and former PBX president), said her favorite change since she came to work here in 2000 was the renovation of Sadove and relocation of Student Activities to a central location. Magnarelli loves that her job allows her to do all sorts of things from Student Assembly to scheduling to working on the Sacerdote Great Names lecture series; her advice for similar jobs is to recognize you are never going to make everyone happy. Thompson arrived in '86, to a campus still very divided post-Kirkland merger and around the time of the apartheid divestment movement and sit-in. She discussed the work done over the years to unify the campus, physically and communally, mentioning the long way to go for diversity--expressing disappointment in Yik-Yak and Hamilton Secrets--but also the major progress made to making the campus more welcoming during the nearly 30 years she's been here.
Both of them spoke about the '95 Res Life decision, a decisive moment in the direction of this college, from which emerged the goal to have a 100% residential campus with all housing maintained by the college--a goal which will be completed when the former Minor Theatre has been turned into a residence hall. Magnarelli, a junior at the time of the decision, was in favor of it, describing the Greek houses as in disrepair, isolating to the student inhabitants who often did not socialize outside of their frats, and generally unsafe (especially for students perceived as female). Thompson remembers well the difficulties of making the decision, and the various options discussed; deciding to foster a community in which all students lived on campus emerged as the best choice, most in line with the values of this institution