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The responses to the Association of American Universities campus climate survey certainly put the College above national norms or expectations regarding sexual assault awareness and reaction. Our campus is known to have a high incidence of sexual assault — this could either mean that we have more assaults than other schools or that assaults on our campus are reported more often than elsewhere. Either way, the recent survey responses prove that Dartmouth students, on average, are relatively more receptive to and likely to take action in the case of sexual assault or misconduct. These statistics and our status in relation to national averages, however, cannot make us complacent or distract us from our mission. Just because we are doing better than other schools does not mean we are doing well. Just because our students are more aware of, more likely to act on and even more likely to report sexual assault or misconduct, does not mean that we have reached our goal. We need to force ourselves to act without regard to our relative status. Receptiveness and awareness of sexual assault is not another Ivy League numbers game. It is not about competing with schools across the nation — it is about competing with ourselves. The survey gives us a good perspective on where we are, but it should not distract from where we are aiming to be.
Most College policies generate some mixed opinions among the student body, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one with such a unanimous opposition such as this. It’s also disastrous for our international appeal — Dartmouth’s name brand isn’t huge outside of the United States in the same way a big research university like Harvard University, Columbia University or even Duke University’s brand is.
We asked our Opinion Staff to reflect on Dartmouth's new "Citizenship Pledge."
While this doesn’t apply to everyone, I think in my case, I don’t wish I knew anything more than I did. For me, the process of discovery of the amazing world available to me at Dartmouth has made me who I am, with revelations of holes in my knowledge and understanding individual discovery spurring me to learn more and develop into a better person. After three years here, I have a greater appreciation of everything in life than I could have ever possibly hoped for before. My only regret is that because this process has taken my three full years, I only have one year left to fully appreciate everything — so I’ll make the best of it that I can and encourage everyone else to do the same.
Do you think Dartmouth students engage enough with the Upper Valley?
While it is still early in the race for the White House, several have already embarked on the campaign trail. Despite recent controversies surrounding his “luxury speedboat” (a 24-foot offshore fishing boat) and some ancient speeding tickets, Marco Rubio is the man to watch in the coming months. Not only does Rubio add much-needed diversity to the Republican field, he also relates to many working-class Americans. The son of poor Cuban immigrants, Rubio is in some ways the antithesis of his next-door neighbor, Jeb Bush. While the two Republican contenders hail from the same zip code, they could not be more different. Rubio’s story is not one of wealth and opulence, and it might be just what voters need to hear.
We asked our opinion staff: "What are your thoughts on the proposal to end the non-recording option? What are the benefits or disadvantages of the NRO?"
We asked our opinion staff: "What purpose does Student Assembly serve? What sorts of changes would you like to see from SA leaders?"
We asked our opinion staff: "What do you think Alpha Delta fraternity’s derecognition implies for the Greek system at large? Do you think that it will influence people’s behavior in the future? What are your thoughts on the campus’s response?"
Given the implications of “Moving Dartmouth Forward,” what is the role of an undergraduate advisor? Should they be responsible for strict enforcement of new College policies, or should they prioritize other goals?
We asked our opinion staff: "In a statement responding to its extended suspension due to branding allegations, Alpha Delta fraternity attorney George Ostler suggested that branding, as a form of self-expression, does not fully satisfy the definition of hazing. Broadly speaking, what criteria should determine the College’s hazing policy, and to what extent should they cover optional or personal choices?"
Should Greek houses go local? If so, should the College mandate it?
I can see why banning hard alcohol would seem like a sound solution for binge drinking, but it seems unclear what makes administrators believe it is feasible. It is already against state law and Dartmouth policies for underage students to drink, yet this clearly does not stop them from accessing alcohol. It is absurd to expect older students not to consume hard alcohol in College-owned housing, when such a practice is very legal just a few hundred feet away in downtown Hanover. Enforcing this policy will undoubtedly be a challenge.
What problems do you see with Dartmouth’s current grading scheme, and what changes would you suggest to College grading policies?
What limits to free speech, if any, are acceptable?
We asked our opinion staff if class attendance should be a part of one’s grade. Here's what some columnists had to say:
We asked our opinion staff members: If you could change Dartmouth's calendar, would you, and how? Here are some of their responses.
We asked our staff, should Dartmouth improve graduate student-undergraduate interaction?The editorial board weighed in on the matter last Friday.
While I do think Greek leaders should work to make the Greek community more inclusive toward those who identify as gender nonconforming, I think all houses going coed would be a rash response. Despite their many merits, coed houses do not currently provide the same range of social and philanthropic opportunities as single-sex houses. It is possible that other houses may lose this range should they go coed, weakening the system as a whole. Additionally, there are certain merits surrounding camaraderie and, in the case of sororities, female-dominated spaces (and the accompanying social empowerment) that are found in single-sex organizations — the same merits that prompt individuals to pursue other single-sex opportunities such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts or a single-sex education. As someone who always found it easier to make friends with girls and as a result had a disproportionately large amount of female friends growing up, I have enjoyed the newfound sense of brotherhood and male friendship that I have already experienced since joining my fraternity last week.
In light of the College's upcoming massive open online courses, we asked our staff members for their thoughts on the DartmouthX initiative.