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Even the most cynical of persons will agree that the foundation of any free republic rests entirely upon the freedom of speech. Only with the provision of such freedom can a nation hope to prosper, for it is the ensuing clash of ideas and thoughts from which innovation is born. The same ingenuity that has defined America’s finest moments from independence to the Apollo 11 moon landing did not spring from a vacuum, but from the free movement of ideas and beliefs. We owe most everything that we are as a nation – social, scientific, and everything in between – to our commitment to our First Amendment.
The 2016 Republican National Convention saw the formal nomination of Donald Trump and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as the Republican presidential and vice presidential candidates, respectively. From Texas Sen. Ted Cruz being booed off the stage for not endorsing Trump to accusations that Melania Trump’s speech was plagarized, the convention was more reminiscent of reality television than a political event. Critics point to the dark tone of Trump’s nomination acceptance speech and lack of concrete policy recommendations as a major flaw in the overarching message of the convention. The convention, as John Oliver’s July 24 episode of “Last Week Tonight” addressed quite poignantly, showed that for the Trump-led Republican Party, “believing something to be true is the same as it being true.” In short, feelings are as important as facts.
Many people see the Olympics as a chance to boost the host country’s economy and display its soft power through its venues and tourism. When hosted in a rising country, such as Brazil or, in the last decade, China and Russia, the Olympics raise the host country’s international status and improve its economy. However, it also has huge inherent risks that can result in loss of reputation and the displacement and loss of lives. The International Olympic Committee can combat this issue by keeping it in one country — Greece, the birthplace of the Games.
In the last few weeks, four police-related shootings received national attention. In Texas, Micah Xavier Johnson killed five police officers at a Black Lives Matter protest. In Minnesota, police officer Jeronimo Yanez shot an African-American man, Philando Castile. Two police officers, Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II, shot an African-American man, Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, LA. More recently, Gavin Long killed two white policemen. Jinsung Bach ‘17’s July 15 column “A Bloody Reputation,” highlighted the recent deaths of police officials and linked them to the Black Lives Matter movement. He posits that, because of the recent shootings of police officials, the entire Black Lives Matter movement has lost all credibility.
Following the vicious killings in Dallas, an entire nation has been left reeling in its tracks. In the midst of such horrid violence, it is impossible to look upon the situation without also addressing the Black Lives Matter movement.
Dartmouth’s mission statement says that the College “educates the most promising students and prepares them for a lifetime of learning and of responsible leadership.” The faculty, for the most part, prepare us by teaching students how to think broadly on a large range of issues. Yet the Center for Professional Development promotes the idea that there are only a few opportunities out of college, namely finance or consulting. As a college that touts itself as a liberal arts school, Dartmouth must extend its career services so that it truly prepares all students for “a lifetime of learning and responsible leadership.”
Western society has come a long way in redefining and refining its way of looking at Asian and Middle Eastern societies and cultures. Yet despite a reformed method of examining “Eastern” societies and cultures in scholarship, the Orientalist framework still continues to be subtly and unintentionally used on a day-to-day basis, in debates over assimilation and even in the relatively worldly and well-traveled student body at Dartmouth.
To mention the words “Second Amendment” is to cast a spark into a powder keg. Merely referencing the right to bear arms can incite the passions of an entire nation, as people on both sides of the gun debate emerge from the woodwork to throw their two cents onto an ever-growing pile. There is no shortage of daily flame wars waged on every corner of the internet, no dearth of politicians bellowing out their opinions for all of Washington to hear. Amidst these opinions, an increasing number of voices have begun to call for an overturning of the Second Amendment. Surely, they tell us, the United States is better off having fewer guns. Isn’t it worth pursuing if we can prevent just one more murder or one more massacre? The children, man! Think of the children!
Although the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union — “Brexit” — may feel far removed from our isolated lives in the Dartmouth bubble, its consequences for those of us on this side of the pond are clear. Since the British government held the referendum on June 23, global stock markets are plummeting, with a record $3 trillion wiped from global markets the Friday and Monday following Brexit.
To My Beloved Dartmouth Community:
When the American Civil War ended over a century ago, a shattered nation was made whole. North and South came together once more, as the United States became a unified country again. But the newly reunited America was fraught with new problems, not least among them a lingering hostility against the people of the South. With the defeat of the Confederacy came cries for retribution, and vengeance after so many years of tears and bloodshed. Justice, clamored the enraged voices of the past, justice! There was no place in America for Southern traitors! Punishment was their only just reward!
The Moosilauke Ravine Lodge has the unique distinction of being haunted by both the dead and the living. I first became aware of its ghosts at the inauguration of Jessica Griffin ’11 as Lodge manager. I had been on an overnight hike with a friend of mine, an avid outdoorsman, and he’d brought me along to the Lodge for dinner. It was the first time I’d been back since a year earlier during my Dartmouth Outing Club first-year trip. At the time, I wasn’t sure I was interested in the Outing Club culture — or the outdoors itself, for that matter. The inauguration proceedings involved a delicate ritual of celebration and ridicule, and there is a part where all the Lodgelings dance in a spinning circle as the Kitchen Witch beats her steel drum to rhythm of an ancient song. The ghosts came out of the woodwork.
Content warning: The following contains images and content that may trigger survivors of violence or sexual assault.
Over the past few weeks, many of my friends have asked me how it feels to be so close to graduating, and what I’ve learned from my time at Dartmouth. I’ve yet to provide a satisfactory answer to the question, even though it’s a question I’ve spent plenty of time considering. I had barely formed a rough conception of what my Dartmouth experience has meant to me in my head, let alone found a way to formalize my experience into words that could serve as a proper conclusion to my time here. So to everyone who’s asked me this question, what follows is my best attempt to date at reflecting on my Dartmouth experience.
Dear President Phil Hanlon:
On the last day of Freshman Week 1962 — some 54 years ago — we sat in Webster Hall for a lecture by professor Francis Childs, on the history of this College. He told us of Dartmouth’s founder Eleazar Wheelock, and notable alumni Daniel Webster and William Jewett Tucker, and he concluded his presentation with this: “You are now a part of Dartmouth, and for as long as your lives shall last Dartmouth will be a part of you.”
I have a friend from home who just graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. He is especially reflective and keen to proffer advice. Just a few months before he entered the real world, he sent me an article from Sociology of Education titled “Career Funneling: How Elite Students Learn to Define and Desire ‘Prestigious’Jobs.” Of everything he’s ever told me, from “don’t take dumb classes freshman year” to “don’t worry, you’re at Dartmouth — you can always sell out,” this article was the single most enlightening piece of information.
As the spring term comes to a close, there are various things on the minds of Dartmouth students. Storing their belongings and moving out of their rooms, preparing for final exams and final papers and wondering if their bodies will ever fully recover from Green Key may be just a few among them. As finals loom closer and closer, students prepare themselves not only for their tests, but for another, equally concerning possibility: that their final may get streaked. For decades, it has been a time-honored tradition for Dartmouth students to run through the biggest finals on campus completely naked, save for the occasional mask. Even though everyone who does this probably means to carry out a funny, well-intentioned prank, it can actually be a lot more harmful than people realize.