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Who hasn’t heard of the campus left, those illiberals who shut down speakers, protest Halloween costumes for allegedly being oppressive and cast offensive speech as “discursive violence”? Countless writers have covered the movement, some in a critical light. After all, the current trends in campus activism can border on the surreal. But is it really so bad? For all their authoritarian rhetoric, campus movements have a noble goal in targeting discrimination. Besides, right-wing illiberalism just elected a president. Isn’t the alt-right a greater threat to liberal values than some fringe campus movements?
In the 21st century, authenticity has become a brand value. We seek products and personas that are real, whether it be in global cuisine or live singing. Yet the search for the real can blind us to the benefits of the synthetic. Making real leather harms animals, leather-tannery workers and nearby communities, while synthetic leather has no victims. While fur-free movements have made an impact over the past few decades, leather has often slipped under the radar. However, leather production is equally harmful to human health, animal rights and the environment.
In the week following the end of the government shutdown, American politics have been riddled with speculation and conjecture regarding the future of the Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals program. It seems that President Donald Trump — master of the art of the deal — has finally responded by proposing his own framework: DACA could survive and the children of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. at a young age could be given a special path to citizenship. However, the proposition comes with a caveat. A DACA revival would only come to fruition if Congress (particularly the Democratic aisle) agrees to fund the construction of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. This deal is expensive; it is ostentatious; but most importantly, it is worth taking.
Though campus jobs often have salaries barely above minimum wage, Dartmouth students are all too willing to take them. The difficulty of these jobs ranges wildly. Many entail simple tasks, such as filming varsity team practices, entering data into spreadsheets and swiping IDs at Dartmouth Dining Services locations. Yet there are also more challenging jobs, such as research assistantships that require advanced skills like statistical analysis. This latter group of campus employment is extremely cost-effective for the College and could be further expanded.
Sometimes the audience isn’t so receptive.
Dartmouth likes to tout its commitment to providing opportunities for students to expand their horizons. From joining clubs to volunteering to interning, we’re constantly being recruited, mentored, probed to try anything new. While Dartmouth facilitates the discovery of different interests, for students like me, coming here was already a bound out of our comfort zones.
Neocolonialism is a strong term, with implications of extractive and abusive control of a weak state by a strong one. It conjures up ideas of the dominant predator insidiously creeping up on its unsuspecting prey. It is also the term most frequently used to describe the fast-growing economic relationship between the People’s Republic of China and the African continent. But although this relationship certainly has grown quickly, with the value of Chinese trade with sub-Saharan Africa rising from $15 billion in 2003 to $100 billion in 2010, it cannot be described as neocolonialist. Despite how it is popularly portrayed, the relationship is not a destructive one. Africa’s industry and population have benefited from the rise of China.
The modern Republican Party is built on contradictions. Classical liberals and social conservatives never had much in common past a shared hostility toward communism. Yet the GOP alliance has proven strong. Republicans pander to bigoted elements within American society, but often as a means to an end; social conservatism rallies for a core policy of limited government and free markets. Republicans need to incorporate social conservatives in order to win elections and promote their agenda.
The National Football League is struggling and seems unable to get out of its own way. From controversies over national anthem protests to concussion research, recent public opinion of football has been far from stellar. The drop in ratings echoes this sentiment. However, one of the greatest impediments to the success of the NFL lies not in external factors, but within the very broadcast booths and media outlets which are supposed to foment enthusiasm for the sport. In their constant haste to render the game exciting through their commentary or discussions of the latest strategies or roster moves made by teams, these individuals have unwittingly managed to oversaturate the market with content. They have created an environment that feeds off of nostalgia, precipitating a sense of apathy that can explain many of the league’s recent quagmires.
Since the launch of the Virginia Slims’ cigarette campaign in the late 60s, feminism has sold in the mass market. Feminists today wear our pussy-hats to the grocery store, plaster our laptops with popular feminist witticisms, layer our “smash the patriarchy” sweatshirts over matching t-shirts and pin buttons printed with the female sex sign onto our backpacks. Our wallets bleed feminism. It soaks into the soap we buy, the makeup we wear, the tampons we carry. But in a market where feminism is thrown at us from all directions, it begs the question: Are we actually feminists, or are we simply buying a label?
What's a president to do when the government shuts down?
Politicians like to cast immigration as a partisan issue with stark alternatives and difficult trade-offs: open vs. closed, natives vs. outsiders, safety vs. liberty, efficiency vs. equality. But what if it was possible to give America the best of both worlds? The United States has a powerful set of core values that can lead this country to greatness if we have the courage and the ingenuity to apply them to the challenges of our day. With bipartisan immigration reform on the horizon, America has the rare opportunity to strengthen its economy and its democracy while answering the plea of the American worker.
I love America.
President Donald Trump’s mental fitness has come into question more than once. With his “bigly” vocabulary and “stable genius” behind the trigger of Twitter 24/7, individuals skeptical of the president feel that they have ample evidence to raise concerns. While many of my peers and I disapprove of the president’s actions and demeanor, is mental illness a just reason to remove Trump from office? The careless imprecision and accusatory tone we use surrounding the president’s supposed mental illness is frightening and further excludes those with mental illness from “normal society.” While one may not agree with or even disdain Trump, the reason for that opposition should not be his mental fitness.
The United States currently has a problem in the realm of academia, and for once it is not solely budget related. Instead, this particular issue stems from advanced placement courses, the likes of which have proliferated throughout the nation’s high schools. The dilemma is in the growing lack of curricular flexibility precipitated by their presence, which promotes adherence to a label rather than the pursuit of one’s interests.
Dartmouth is unique in that it has an unusually long winter break (appropriately called “winterim”), and I’m certainly not complaining. This chunk of time allows for productive activities such as a cappella tours, service projects abroad and training trips for athletic teams. It also allows for down time to unwind from the fall term. These activities are primarily student-directed, and the College remains relatively inactive during this six-week period.
Questions about the effectiveness of the new house communities tend to elicit responses of hearty ambivalence. Students refer to the communities’ irrelevance, their failings and their lack of utility. It seems glaringly apparent that the houses have little to no bearing on students’ lives, that they already exist outside of the zeitgeist. In fact, it often seems that their only relevance is found in the brightly-colored shields emblazoned on merchandise and hung from the ceiling of Foco.
This past December, I spent some time with the Dartmouth Outing Club in Big Bend National Park, out in West Texas along the Mexican border. We hiked through dry washes and over plateaus and camped out along bluffs by the Rio Grande. Driving out on the morning of the last day, I saw the sky flare up red along the horizon, a stark beauty against the desert.
In another installment of "Recollections, A Dartmouth Experience," winter sets in...
“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” This principle is said to govern the machinations of the entire universe. Scientifically or otherwise, it certainly makes sense: All actions have consequences. The United Nations does not seem to have accurately understood the principle in its responses to North Korea. Every North Korean infraction of global policy does not precipitate an equal and opposite response; No, every action gives way to a meager — and nearly always ineffective — set of sanctions.