Senior standouts leave campus a different place
Trevor Burgess said he is looking forward to the time when his "job won't have to be being a professional homosexual."
Unlike most seniors who are reluctant to leave the comfort of college life, Burgess, the co-chair of the College's Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual organization, is ready to move on to his position in a consulting firm in Cambridge, Mass.
Coming into his senior year, Burgess said he wanted to change campus perception of DaGLO as a politically-oriented organization by having the group take on a more moderate, supportive role.
The change fit well with Burgess' character.
"I'm not a very radical person. Most people can relate to me. I'm like any other Dartmouth student," he said. "I tried to make [DaGLO] a very friendly environment. It was brought to a very personal level."
Burgess said his task was not particularly easy on a campus which he describes as "hostile" to gay students.
"Dartmouth is a very hard place to come out in if you're stuck here," he said. "You just don't have the anonymity. It is especially difficult if you don't feel comfortable with other gay students."
Burgess, a government major and film studies minor, grew up in Hanover.
"I chose Dartmouth because it would allow me to stay in control," he said. "I could stay in control, and I wouldn't have to deal with my sexuality."
Before coming out, Burgess served as president of Gamma Delta Chi fraternity during his sophomore summer. But he said he depledged his senior fall after "a couple unfortunate incidents," when it became clear that his brothers were "uncomfortable" with his homosexuality.
Dartmouth has "prepared me for what I am going on to," Burgess said. "Because it was difficult socially it developed my individuality. I am a stronger person. I know how to deal with adversity. But I won't be rushing back."
Burgess said his work in DaGLO has been the most important experience of his Dartmouth career.
"The focus of my work this past year has really been on improving the quality of life for gay and lesbian students," he said. "I hope the community at large can see that a gay person can be happy with who he is."
Christine Carter does not have to complete a major and does not have to fulfill her distributive requirements.
Instead, she has chosen an even more demanding path. As one of ten Senior Fellows, Carter spent her senior year writing a book on date rape.
"I have sacrificed my senior year. But I would definitely do it again," she said.
Coming to Dartmouth from San Francisco was a shock for Carter.
"I came from a very liberal high school," she said. "I learned about sexism here and how real it is."
Her freshman fall she became involved with the Rape Education Awareness Committee, and her experience with the group eventually led to the topic of her senior fellowship.
Her book, "The Other Side Of Silence," is an anthology of stories, documenting the real-life experiences of women who have been raped at Dartmouth.
"It's a very draining topic," she said. "Part of what is really draining is that this is not a campus where people who are serious about their academics are well accepted."Her work has also made it very difficult for her to feel comfortable in the mainstream Dartmouth social system.
"It is very difficult for me to socialize at Dartmouth. It's very hard for me to go to the frats," she said. "I have a hard time watching people abuse alcohol."
One of the founders of the College's second undergraduate society, Amarna, Carter has helped to pave the way for a different social system. Once a member of Sigma Delta sorority, she depledged to start Amarna.
She said she will spend parts of this summer and fall promoting her book and will also begin her job in marketing for Quaker Oats this fall.
Dan Garodnick has been a class leader since eighth grade.
"When I saw the ad about the Student Assembly in the freshman issue of The Dartmouth, as soon as I got on campus I called and found myself on their retreat before classes even started," he said.
Garodnick, president of his class all four years at Dartmouth, said the idea of unifying the class is what interests him most about his position.
"I like spending some of my time putting together events that bring people together," Garodnick said. "I like to be the type of person people can come to to answer their questions, which is probably one of the reasons I want to be involved in government."
Garodnick said much of his work is gauging the opinion of his class.
"I stop people on the street, often they are people that I only know as '94's," he said. "I met my current girlfriend when I asked her what she thought about the grand old senior buttons we were making."
Though his daily schedule is filled by meetings, Garodnick said he tries to keep focused.
"I really don't over-extend myself. I'm president of my class, I do my work and I have my friends." he said. "I made the conscious decision that my class was going to be where I was going to direct my attention, and in that way I hope that I had an effect on my class."
Garodnick said the interaction between faculty and students has had the most affect on him academically. A government major from New York City, he has completed three independent studies, two in government and one in religion.
"There is nothing like the personal attention of a prof teaching a one-on-one course or a one-on-two course," he said.
Garodnick said his future is "undecided" and he will worry when he "absolutely has to."
"Right after I graduate I'm going to take a trip across the country," he said. "After that I could be doing any one of a number of things. I could be working on a political campaign, or working in Washington for a representative of some sort or I could even be teaching in N.Y."
David Herszenhorn, former editor in chief of The Dartmouth, has known since a second grade book report that he wanted to be a journalist.
"We had to read a biography, any biography," he said. "And I read the biography of Adolph Ochs, who bought the New York Times in the 1890's."
Herszenhorn calls his choice "some stroke of luck." His freshman year he related the same tale in a job application to the New York Times and landed a summer job.
"There's something about putting together a story and telling it to people," he said. "To experience things first hand-- there's nothing that compares to that."
Herszenhorn credits his passion for journalism to an "incredible curiosity."
"Newspapers let me stick my nose in places where it probably shouldn't be," he said.
Herszenhorn said most people do not realize the commitment needed to put out a daily paper.
"It's such a demanding activity in so many different ways," he said. "For example, it's not enough to be a good writer. You have to be willing to put in the time and be able to endure the time you have to put in."
A native of New York City, Herszenhorn said he's found it hard to deal with the laid-back atmosphere of New Hampshire and considered transferring at the end of his freshman year.
"But you only have one chance to be working for a College newspaper and there's a lot to be learned from it," Herszenhorn said. "You will never again be in a position to shape a whole newspaper like that."
It's not surprising that Herszenhorn will freely admit that his work as a journalist takes priority over his academics.
"I don't really see myself as a Dartmouth student," he said. "My job is isolating in the sense that, especially in a small community, you have to be willing to walk the perimeters."
This summer Herszenhorn will take two courses at Columbia University to finish up his degree and will work at The New York Times as a clerk and street reporter.
He will also develop a working historical archives of The Dartmouth, a project funded by a $10,000 grant.
When Zola Mashariki arrived on campus her freshman fall she met "black students who had never met another black person, black students who were politically conservative, black students who weren't political at all."
"I come from a predominantly black neighborhood -- Brooklyn is a pretty homogenous place. It shocked me," she said.
President of the Afro-American Society this year, Mashariki had the responsibility of bringing together this very diverse group of students.
"Coming in [to the position] I wanted a new attitude," she said. "People were very disillusioned with the AAm. It was a hard task taking such diverse people and moving them to activism."
Mashariki said she feels the AAm has helped a lot more students become involved this year. By focusing on academic support she said the group has become a more tangible support network for students.
"But I think the AAm still has a long way to go," she said. "There's still a lot of apathy."
Though Mashariki said her job "hasn't always been easy" she has gained a lot from it "in good and bad ways."
"I've opened myself up to a lot of criticism. I learned how to play the political game," she said. "But I've become a more caring and more empowering person."
Outside both her academics and presidency, Mashariki has also contributed greatly to the arts at Dartmouth.
"The arts are the medium for social change," she said, adding that the arts are an educational medium that all races can relate to.
Mashariki was the director of the Black Underground Theater and Arts Association this year and has directed and acted in many plays. .
Mashariki evidently discovered the key to balancing her diverse extra-curricular activities with her academics. She will be attending Harvard Law School this fall.