In this election cycle, how has money helped or harmed candidates?
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In this election cycle, how has money helped or harmed candidates?
This term has been rough. As a ’19, a lot of upperclassmen have told me that while freshman fall is all fun and games, things get serious come winter. Now, as a Massachusetts native, the cold weather hasn’t really bothered me (although I wish there were more snow so I could actually use the ski equipment I rented). I’m doing well in all my classes, so that’s not the issue either. They can stress me out to the extreme, but I’ve been able to cope with that pretty effectively.
I recently ate dinner with an ’84. During out dinner, he hearkened back to older, less regulated times. One comment stuck out in our conversation. Back then, he told me, dorms had their own identities. There was no freshman housing, and people rarely moved around. Intramural sports had a Greek league and a dorm league whose champions played each other. Dorms had the power and funding from the College to host their own parties. Freshmen knew the sophomores, juniors and seniors in their dorms and dorms existed alongside a vibrant Greek scene. In many ways, it was exactly what the new house system intends to create.
In light of the recent Yik Yak video highlighting offensive posts, should the app screen comments?
Do you think the College’s new housing community plan is viable?
Next Friday, students will receive their house membership letters. The assignments come as part of the College’s effort to revamp its current housing system. Next fall, students will live in one of six communities: Allen House, East Wheelock House, North Park House, School House, South House and West House. Living and learning communities will also remain a viable housing option for students. While the College’s plan to sort students into houses may call to mind scenes from “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (2001), Dartmouth isn’t Hogwarts, and unfortunately, the administration doesn’t seem to be as savvy as the Sorting Hat.
While much of the Grammy Awards consists of music mashups, cheesy acceptance speeches and minor upsets, something else came to the fore this year — politics. Both big winners at this year’s ceremony, Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar, have become political figures in the public eye. But, they’re not alone. Through their performances and speeches, pop musicians have become increasingly engaged in politics. In some ways, musicians have become pop culture activists. While the politicization of music might be conducive to highlighting important issues, there is a catch. At times, the intersection of music and politics oversimplifies the big picture and discourages deep thought about current events.
Campaign finance reform has been hotly contested this election season. Perhaps this issue has been widely discussed in previous election cycles, and I, as a young person, was not aware of it. Bernie Sanders’ promise of a political revolution relies heavily on this criticism. He consistently denounces our current political system as being corrupt and proudly touts the fact that the majority of his donations come from “average Americans.” Sanders has created a very distinct correlation in the minds of his voters between the origins of political contributions and a candidate’s integrity. Hillary Clinton, who, not long ago was thought to be almost guaranteed the Democratic nomination, has seemingly lost support because of the contributions she has received from Wall Street. Throughout this election season, it seems that voters have been less concerned with candidates’ foreign policy knowledge, political expertise or the feasibility of their promised reforms. Instead, they have focused on rough sketches of candidates’ characters. Indeed, perhaps the most common question among voters has been: Where is the money coming from?
An unhappy electorate is a dangerous electorate — at least for establishment candidates. The Feb. 9 New Hampshire primary was won by two anti-establishment candidates — real estate mogul and reality television star Donald Trump and the democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders. Sanders left New Hampshire with the most votes ever in the state’s primary, beating previous record holder, Sen. John McCain, and besting Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by 22 points. How is it in a state that gives President Barack Obama a 90 percent approval rating, a state with the lowest poverty and murders rates, where unemployment is hovering around 3.1 percent, two political outsiders walked away with such big wins? I can’t speak for the thousands of voters that turned out, but I can speak for myself and why I voted for Bernie.
Last week, The Dartmouth published two opinion pieces lamenting the recent crackdown on Greek houses that committed policy violations and decrying what their authors perceive to be the malicious administration’s latest attempt to cancel all fun and ensure that not a single underage human drinks a sip of alcohol. While Michelle Gil’s and Annika Park’s intentions are noble in condemning what they and others perceive as an affront to cherished traditions and friendships built at Dartmouth, their arguments betray a lack of critical thought all too common in defenses of the Greek system.
That is, if the plan goes through. Last Thursday, the Supreme Court voted to delay the plan’s enforcement. The vote was 5-4, with Scalia voting against the plan. As decisions had yet to be formally written, Scalia’s unfortunate passing made the vote 4-4. Now, the chances of the plan being struck down are now incredibly miniscule. This tie will probably lead to an affirmation of the lower court opinion, which was in favor of the CPP.
From elementary to high school, students are expected to regularly attend classes. “Roll call,” the process of taking attendance and penalizing students who are absent without a legitimate reason, is a common occurrence. This is a far cry from the classroom dynamic of higher education. In classes with over a hundred students, it is difficult and often unfeasible for professors to take attendance regularly. This unfortunately can lead to students skipping class. Oftentimes, large classes will see attendance steadily dwindle as the term progresses. Although students may not think that physically going to class is critical to their academic experience, they are actually doing themselves a disservice when they fail to attend lectures.
When Coldplay and Beyoncé released the music video for their new single “Hymn for the Weekend,” they were immediately accused of cultural appropriation. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, cultural appropriation entails the taking over of creative or artistic forms, themes, or practices by one cultural group from another. Generally, we use it to describe Western appropriation of non?Western or non?white culture. The music video, shot in Varanasi and Mumbai during the spring festival of Holi, has been criticized for exoticizing India.
For those of you who haven’t yet heard of the Pink Tax, prepare yourselves. A study by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs found that, on average, the “female” version of a product costs seven percent more than its “male” counterpart. The most well-documented examples of this inequity are found in health and beauty products. There’s the pink razor that costs more than the blue razor and the women’s shampoo that costs more than the men’s, despite being made of essentially the same ingredients. For the most part, there is no discernible reason — other than marketing — for the difference in price.
We need both online activism and concrete action to affect change.
Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance challenges the idea of activism.
Much ink has been spilled about student activism and the role it should have in policy discourse both on campuses and on a national level. From the coverage of the Dimensions of Dartmouth protests in 2013 to the media explosion surrounding the Black Lives Matter protests this past fall, Dartmouth has been one of the colleges at the center of the conversation about student activism. The discourse about the merits and methods of these actions and others is incredibly important, and it’s one that we hope can continue to exist in a constructive way. However, a discussion about another form of activism, the effects of which are equally as important and arguably longer lasting than that of the student variety, seldom takes place. Although it rarely comes up, we cannot ignore the importance of the role of faculty activism on campus and beyond. Between their continuous presence at the College over the years and the power and influence their positions afford them, faculty members can have a huge impact. As students we must recognize the role of faculty in activism and ensure that we do our part to help create an environment in which faculty members are comfortable publicly voicing their beliefs.
In the jungles of the strange wilderness known as the internet resides the very vocal, temperamental species that the media has christened the “Social Justice Warrior.” Indeed, they are all too happy to liken themselves to activists in the image of Susan B. Anthony or Rosa Parks. Ideology is their battlefield, the hashtag their weapon of choice. Their rallying cry echoes amidst the wastelands of the world wide web, from atop the soapboxes they call Facebook and Tumblr. They scream, they beat their chests, they raise a deafening yell before the final battle. Onwards, for social justice!
The current Republican presidential race features two first-term senators running for the most powerful office in the world. Are they really prepared for the position of commander in chief? Both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are highly intelligent people, but they have not had to make a single consequential decision from an executive position. Moreover, their time in office has been short and without significant accomplishments. The same 2008 GOP concerns over then Barack Obama’s lack of executive experience and lack of time spent in Washington cultivating relationships apply to both Rubio and Cruz. Both candidates’ non-existent executive experience and short history of holding office means they would have a difficult time bringing people together and would most certainly struggle in the White House.
Walking around this week, I’ve seen more people wearing their Greek letters than usual. Despite some dismissing the wearing of letters as too passive a mode of protest, it was a reminder to many of us of the news that broke last week: the suspension and subsequent derecognition of the historic Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.