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A recent analysis by the American Historical Association revealed that nationwide, the number of students who pursue an undergraduate degree in history has dropped precipitously in recent years. With only 5.3 history degrees awarded per 1000 students, the discipline is shrinking rapidly with no end in sight. Though the study identified several reasons for the sharp decline, Benjamin M. Schmidt, the analysis’ author, believes that most can be condensed into reduced receptivity to the holistic philosophies of a liberal arts education. Students and parents, he contends, are now looking for a faster and more profitable return on their investment into higher education than ever before.
This year, Dartmouth is celebrating its 250th anniversary. And at first, I thought it had absolutely nothing to do with me.
“Winter Carnival” was a low-budget Hollywood production set at Dartmouth that was released in the summer of 1939. It was an escapist romance movie that included a fleeing heiress, a heartthrob professor, plenty B-reels of ski jumps, ice sculptures and historically accurate newspaper headlines that exclaim “SMOOTH BABES INVADE CAMPUS.”
“From Gurgl and Obergurgl to New Hampshire comes Dr. Wolfgang Schlitz. Touring the White Mountains, he sees Mount Washington, famous for high winds, terrific storms, many climbing tragedies.”
Dartmouth enters a tumultuous time as it celebrates 250 years of world-class instruction this winter. The College grapples with a widespread culture of sexual assault, intense competition for prestige from larger research universities, divisive proposals to expand the student body, beleaguered traditions like the Homecoming bonfire and perennial questions of diversity. History is in the making — these are the times that will determine Dartmouth’s legacy and identity for generations to come.
Art is a medium that contains within it the passage of time. It is something that remains. A piece of art is how it was, how it has been since its creation. It is the same object seen by innumerable different sets of eyes, through myriad ages, and yet still the lift of the artist’s brush flicked up a peak of paint that rose above the canvas. The paint dried in its miniature topography and the action of an instant was preserved through time. Do you remember standing in a museum to view for the first time a famous piece of art that has been reproduced in countless photographs, on postcards, t-shirts and posters? Did you look closer and imagine the artist painting it, stroke by stroke? Did you retrace the line of their brush with your eyes and follow it up to a peak of dried paint?
Dartmouth’s history is a complicated one, and making the official record reflect the experiences of all students is difficult. Yet that is exactly what the Rauner Special Collections Library’s SpeakOut project has set out to do. The oral history endeavor, which Rauner has worked on since 2015 in collaboration with former Dartmouth LGBTQIA+ Alum Association president Brendan Connell Jr. ’87, aims to recording the experiences of LGBTQIA+ alumni. It was recently launched to the public, who can access the audio files digitally.
If you have ever been inside Rauner Special Collections Library, then you have gazed up at the four glass stories towering over that lovely, sun-lit hall, and probably wondered what they contain. Among other incredible things, the stacks at Rauner hold extensive archives from Dartmouth history: letters, memos, photographs and personal narratives from past students and employees of the College.
Uuganzul Tumurbaatar '21 celebrates the Lunar New Year.
For a long time, Spotify was nothing more to me than the obscure, Swedish-born music streaming platform that my artsy older sister used. But five years later, it’s almost impossible for me to envision listening to music without it. I spent a few weeks over winter break with my old iPod Classic. In comparison to the luxurious, adaptively intuitive world of Spotify, listening to music on what had once been my most coveted possession (as an 11 year old, I had opted for the Classic over the Nano because that is what I believed the more “serious” music listeners used) had become taxing. The motion was not a click, but rather an arduous scroll. Playlists were harder to access. Navigation was more cumbersome, and I felt less flexible in my listening. To jump even further back in musical history, to a time when music was something people held in their hands and had to be retrieved from the store or library, is even harder to grasp.
In the op-ed “Red, White and Offended” published in The Dartmouth on Jan. 31, Peter Leutz delves into the issue of free speech in comedy and declares that infamous comedian Louis C.K.’s recent jokes and their offensive content “should be of little concern” as long as they’re for comedic purposes. I applaud Leutz for his defense of free speech and his analysis of modern comedic discourse, but as a person who both preforms and enjoys comedy, I disagree with his thesis entirely. While many comedians rely on “shock value” and often tread the grey area of “too far” and “just enough,” C.K. should be heavily criticized, and his jokes, such as his most recent mocking of Parkland shooting survivors, have no place in modern comedy.
I have never been tasked with breaking a story — that’s not my job. My job is to write hot takes for The Dartmouth. To be slightly more pretentious, I am a columnist for the opinion section of America’s Oldest College Newspaper.
I have no qualms about claiming that “Parks and Recreation” is the best sitcom of the decade. Those who know me are certainly unsurprised by this claim. If my obsession with this show was not brought up in our first conversation, I have certainly quoted, referenced or forced you to watch at least one of my favorite scenes. “Parks” is my go-to pick-me-up — Andy’s gleeful silliness is contagious. “Parks and Rec” is my go-to for motivation — Leslie Knope’s boundless determination is enough to inspire anyone to do their homework. And it’s definitely my go-to for a laugh — the different characters that make up Pawnee, Indiana are hysterical. Basically, “Parks and Rec” is my go-to any day, any time.
Monik Walters ’19 wears many hats. As Student Assembly president, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People at Dartmouth, leader of the Dartmouth Alliance for Children of Color, Hopkins Center curatorial fellow, a member of Ujima and choreographer for D-Step, Walters has made an impact on various spaces on campus, especially in the arts.
During this year’s winter recruitment cycle, 117 women received bids from sororities, which includes 111 bids during the rush process and six during continuous open bidding. These numbers are up by one from last year’s 116 extended bids, according to the Office of Greek Life.
On March 28, thousands of high school students will find out whether they have been admitted to Dartmouth. The College hit a record number of 23,641 undergraduate applications for the Class of 2023, marking a 7.3 percent increase from the 22,005 applications received for the Class of 2022.
Last year, Hanover’s downtown retail scene and identity as a college town were imperiled as Hanover lost its only two new books retailers. After 146 years of business, the Dartmouth Bookstore announced its imminent closure in September, prompting responses from students, faculty and community members. At the end of 2018, Wheelock Books closed its doors after 26 years in operation. Now, a Dartmouth alumna plans not only to fill the void, but also to reinvigorate the book-buying experience in Hanover.
We have different ways of dealing with stress. Some will write down everything they need to get done in the next 24 hours and go down the list, chipping away at a seemingly large mountain of to-dos and don’t-forgets. Others will push off what they need to get done — “Hey, I haven’t cleaned my room in a while, let me rearrange my shelves instead of starting this paper due on Friday.” But it’s almost universally understood that being told to “chill out” is, in most cases, unhelpful. No, taking a chill pill won’t help me ace this test or interview tomorrow. Wow, does it sound like we need to calm down? Excuse you, it’s week six, the part of the term when things aren’t fun anymore. If you’re like us and are in desperate need of a break, explore this week’s issue and chill out with us.