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If you had seen me this past Sunday afternoon, you might have thought that I was in need of serious medical attention. I sweated profusely, my hands shook and my heartbeat reached levels it hadn’t attained even during my earlier gym. My New England Patriots — whose star quarterback Tom Brady has been the subject of my idolization for the entirety of my conscious memory — were trailing their rivals the Denver Bronocs, led by Brady’s rival Peyton Manning, 20–12 with just about six minutes to go in the AFC Championship. As the Patriots’ season ultimately slipped away and we failed to go to the Super Bowl for the second year in a row, I felt devastated.
My friends often joke that I spend more time socializing in the KAF line than I do actually getting my order. KAF London Fogs are just as addictive as good company, and unfortunately, my friends have a point. With so much to get done, I’ve had to set clear start and end times for socializing. In these first few weeks of winter term, I’ve become increasingly dependent on my phone calendar. In these first few weeks of winter term, I’ve become increasingly dependent on my phone calendar. Previously, it was just a tool to keep track of midterms and vacation days. Now, it’s also littered with lunch and coffee dates. As Dartmouth students, we often feel pressure to balance working hard with playing hard.
Winter is the season of doing nothing. Squirrels, hedgehogs, bears and even a kind of lemur recognize this and go into long periods of hibernation. In his article “In Case of Blizzard, Do Nothing,” David Dudley writes, “A snowstorm rewards indolence and punishes the go-getters, which is only one of the many reasons it’s the best natural disaster there is.” Winter term can feel like a 10-week blizzard, but with an intense lineup of classes and extracurriculars to accompany it. And, due to some great evolutionary tragedy, we do not hibernate. In fact, despite the pitfalls of the season, Dartmouth students seem to believe they can beat nature. I, too, thought I could outlast the season. It was a terrible idea.
On Feb. 9, New Hampshire voters will head to the polls for the first national primary of the 2016 election. Coming days after the Iowa caucus on Feb. 1, the New Hampshire primary draws the nation’s attention to the Granite State.
Most people, I find, are happy just to have a day off. The six most common paid holidays among businesses in the United States are New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Memorial Day and Christmas Day. Not on the list, however is the government holiday Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is acknowledged by some non-federal businesses and private schools, including Dartmouth. The College offered several King related events this week, including a speech by Rev. Leah Daughtry ’84 and a student panel on studying abroad. Despite the many events and opportunities, they weren’t very well publicized, my residence hall’s attempts to attend an event as a floor were unsuccessful, and some students still had to attend labs. While it is good that the College as a whole acknowledges Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the lack of follow-through demonstrates apathy about the holiday both on campus and in the U.S. in general.
Do you think Dartmouth does enough to help us find internships and jobs? If not, what more could they be doing?
It is 9 p.m. on a Saturday night. You are back home for break, so instead of going to a frat party or cramming for a midterm, you sit down on the couch to watch TV with your family. You pet your dog and grab another bite of the Chinese food you just ordered. Everything seems just fine, quite pleasant even, until you turn your attention to the screen and hear the melancholic piano soundtrack. A woman’s grave but saccharine voice asks you to sponsor a child by donating to some non-governmental organization. Her pleas accompany video footage and photographs of barefoot, skinny African children with tears in their eyes.
Although the 10-week term can get busy, I do make an effort to attend events that candidates host on campus. These are immensely valuable to all students, regardless of political affiliation. Students who lean right should go out and see Democrats, just like students who lean left should go out and see Republicans. In such a polarized political climate, we should be making every effort to listen to what the other side of the aisle has to say, instead of dismissing it as white noise. Campaign events are the perfect venue for such dialogue. Likewise, events on campus are a great way to get past the talking heads that populate the political arena. By attending, we have the opportunity to judge candidates for ourselves instead of relying on outside analysis. We can ask questions and think critically about candidates’ responses. To an extent, we get to set the agenda. With the New Hampshire primary quickly approaching, this is a chance that no Dartmouth student should pass up.
Eight years have passed since Abigail Fisher introduced her case against the University of Texas at Austin’s admission policies, and yet, we are all still waiting to hear the latest verdict from the Supreme Court regarding affirmative action. Though UT Austin’s policies have previously been found to be consistent with the guidelines set out in Grutter v. Bollinger — essentially, that race-conscious admissions policies are legal — the Fisher case still has supporters of race-based affirmative action biting their nails.
If one of our goals as a student population is to receive consistent, complete, ideologically neutral and change-making news, we are failing miserably. There are, right now, two sources of news on campus: The Dartmouth and The Dartmouth Review. Neither is consistent — one in publication, the other in quality. Neither is complete — both are missing vital features a vibrant and informative newspaper should have. Neither is ideologically neutral. Neither changes the world around it. Today is the day we must hasten the end of this trend, and forge a new path forward in campus news.
Last week, the newly established Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives released its first annual report on faculty diversity, which discusses the office’s work in recruiting, retaining and supporting underrepresented minority faculty. Their stated goal is to increase URM faculty from 16 percent to 25 percent by 2025, which would require the hiring of about 60 new minority faculty members. The college has set aside $22.5 million in endowment funds to support URM recruitment and retention. This comes at a time where diversity on campuses has been prominent in the national consciousness, with a great deal of airtime being dedicated to racial issues at colleges around the country, including our own. While we view faculty diversity initiatives as a crucial step in the right direction, there are others who believe that these kinds of initiatives are not only unnecessary, but also wasteful of the College’s funds. It is no secret that the Dartmouth student body is far from reflective of the country as a whole when it comes to URM students, and it is alarming that faculty representation doesn’t even live up to our currently skewed student demographic. Diversity in the classroom is incredibly important; so many facets of a liberal arts education are built on strictly Western ideals, and a lack of diversity in our education could lead to a narrow understanding of a broad world. Many people argue that this concern over diversity shouldn’t extend to faculty, that race shouldn’t be a factor in education. In a completely post-racial world that might be the case, but we don’t live in a post-racial world by any means. Every instructor is going to offer a different perspective, and the exact same material can be seen in countless different ways through different people’s eyes. It is important that all of us, minority students or not, come to see the world just a little bit through different perspectives. An understanding of the world around you that has only come from people similar to you is an extremely narrow one, if it qualifies as understanding at all. Faculty diversity is also incredibly important when it comes to mentoring. Again, people will argue that a student should be able to find a mentor in anyone with similar academic interests, and theoretically this is true. However, research has shown time and time again that minority students perform better under minority teachers. This is often attributed to the “role-model effect.” Put simply, students have been shown to set higher goals and expect more from themselves when they see that people of their race, gender, nationality or class in positions of prominence. Whether consciously or unconsciously, we all make assumptions about ourselves based on people that we perceive to be similar to us. So, if a URM student has little to no exposure to professors of their same race, they might operate with the unconscious understanding that, “People like me just don’t become professors”. Many critics of diversity hiring initiatives argue that going out of our way to hire minority professors could end up hurting the students in the long run — the best professors should be hired, regardless of race, end of story. Unfortunately, the best professors often aren’t hired when race enters into the equation. Studies have proven that most companies and organizations tend to choose candidates that they assume are white based on names over minority candidates with identical resumes. So, perhaps it isn’t that URM candidates don’t stack up, but rather, that URM candidates are being overlooked. This initiative is a good first step in boosting faculty diversity. It dedicates roughly a million dollars a year to recruitment and retention efforts, which we assume will most likely go towards recruiting expenses (trips, meals, tours, etc.), salary increases and signing bonuses. Recruiting top talent to come to a small, isolated town is hard enough, but getting minority professors to come to an institution that has a track record of racial and cultural homogeneity would likely cost every penny of that money. Some of the resources are also being dedicated to maintaining the existing pre-doctoral fellowships dedicated to the study of minority issues and establishing one new one, and hopefully these efforts will serve to bring up a class of new professors who get their start at Dartmouth and commit their careers to the College. This report is not going to solve the faculty diversity problem on campus. However, it’s a good start. It sends a message to up-and-coming professors around the country that Dartmouth is a place that cares about diversity, and that we are willing to back it up with more than just words. It brings an issue that is often ignored by the majority of campus to light and gets an important conversation started. Hopefully, going into the future, this initiative will serve as the groundwork for a comprehensive effort by Dartmouth to recruit the best minority faculty in the country. Each professor has a different and fascinating perspective, and any college student should be dedicated to seeking out as many of them as possible.
I visited my old high school over break and found that some changes had been made. Most notably, the administration had recently enacted a rule banning all cellphones from school, not only during class time but also during free periods and off-hours. Some teachers were so eager to enforce this rule that one even tried to take mine from me while I was on campus. I politely informed her that I was an adult with all the accompanying privileges. Still, she seemed wary and eyed me with suspicion, which got me thinking: Is banning cellphones a productive policy?
On January 2, self-proclaimed “militiamen” took over the federally-owned Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. The cause of this federal property takeover can be traced back to the imprisonment of two cattlemen for arson, father and son — Dwight Hammond, Jr., 73, and his son Steve, 46.
People often refer to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as simply “Hillary.” Whereas her male counterparts are rarely, if ever, identified by their first names. How often do you hear people say “Ted” instead of “Ted Cruz,” or “Jeb” instead of “Jeb Bush?” Apparently, Americans know Hillary Clinton well enough to be on a first name basis with her.
There was one positive to my trip to see Donald Trump’s rally in Claremont, New Hampshire, last week: I got a free pin emblazoned with Trump’s face and the words “Haters Gonna Hate.” Unfortunately, that nifty souvenir did not make up for having to listen to Trump alternatively stroke his own ego, insult all the other presidential candidates and make racist comments. Much like his campaign up until this point, the rally was all pomp and no substance. Despite Donald Trump’s own opinion of himself, I really do not believe him to be the interloper messiah – come to save politics from itself – that so many Republicans are making him out to be.
I don’t exactly look forward to the beginning of the new year. The excitement of the Christmas season is over, classes and homework assignments start to make appearances on the daily agenda after a long period of absence, and Mother Nature promises at least three months of gray skies and freezing temperatures. One thing, however, brings a smile to my face and a spring to my step: the NFL playoffs. Even though God has apparently condemned my beloved New York Jets to eternal mediocrity, there’s nothing quite like tuning in every Saturday and Sunday to see football’s best slug it out on the path to the Super Bowl.
Today, President Barack Obama will give his final State of the Union address. He will likely reflect with pride on how far we have come as a nation and call our attention to the even longer road ahead. He will speak about our revival following the still-recent global financial crisis, about these past eight years’ political milestones and about the pervasive violence and hatred that have yet to be eradicated. He will also likely use his last months of administrative influence and political capital to urge Congress to pursue the legislative initiatives he wishes to see implemented after he leaves office. Among these initiatives is the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Over winter break, I had the privilege of visiting Israel for ten days as part of a Birthright trip to bring Jewish young adults to their biblical homeland. On this trip, my group visited Yad Vashem, the Israeli national Holocaust museum dedicated to the six million Jews who died in the genocide. Along with the graphic footage of Auschwitz-Birkenau and death marches, one aspect of the museum that really struck me was the story of the MS St. Louis, a boat that carried 937 Jewish refugees from Hamburg, Germany to off of the coast of Florida in 1939. Upon arrival there, the United States government, under the Immigration Act of 1924 which restricted immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe, denied entry to the passengers, whose trip is now known as the “Voyage of the Damned.” With no place left to go, the boat was forced to head back to Europe. Historians now estimate that a quarter of its passengers ultimately became Holocaust victims.
This break I had the distinct pleasure of considering the various ways I could become legally incapacitated. As part of granting my parents power of attorney, I was forced to consider several grave scenarios. My reasons for doing so were fairly simple — not only do my parents have my best interests at heart, but they’re also uniquely well-suited for the task, as both both of them are doctors.
Purchasing a lottery ticket at the neighborhood bodega the moment you hit 18 is just as much of a rite of passage and a sign of adulthood as getting your driver’s license. State lotteries and casinos are open only to adults, largely for the same reasons. Like cigarettes and alcohol, lottery tickets are a potential gateway to addiction.