Sophomore Summer Sucks

by Sarah Johnston | 6/27/95 5:00am

Dartmouth is beautiful in the summer. Let's face it, there's a limited amount of time to enjoy sunshine and heat when you are in the middle of New Hampshire, and sophomore summer allows all of us, including a few non-sophomores, to delight in just that. Why then do I feel cheated? Why do I feel robbed by the D-Plan? Because Sophomore Summer--for all its rope swing excursions and '97 bonding sucks.

I arrived on campus on Tuesday, June 20, like most people. Although I was disappointed at having to leave home so soon, I really thought that spending the summer in Hanover would be a nice change from both my typical summer home life and my typical school life. But after being here for a week, I realize now that the summer requirement is just like the old freshman meal plan -- a blatant rip-off.

First, I went into my dorm room, and I found that my shade was broken, my dresser drawer didn't open, and my doorknob was loose. My friend had a similar experience: his window was broken, and his walls were dirty to a very curious extent.

I wonder if the College housed commencement and reunion people in our dorms, and if they had time to even take a look at the rooms afterwards. Maybe or maybe not.

Let's just assume that no one was housed in my room during Commencement and Reunion. Still, two weeks is a very short time in which to look at all the summer housing, especially when Clinton is in town.

So, we students have to be content with recently vacated rooms, in various states of disrepair, for the same rent that we pay during all the other terms in residences. That realization began my disillusionment.

Then I came across the new summer hours of the dining facilities. Home Plate is closed, Collis puts away all of its food at 3 p.m. and closes at 5 p.m., and both the Hop and Food Court shut down too early for an even moderately late summer dinner.

First, it is completely ridiculous that we must purchase a meal plan for the regular price and about one-third of the service. Why does Dartmouth Dinning Services need the same subsidy during the summer?

Furthermore, with Collis' and Home Plate's new schedules, Dartmouth operates with very little vegetarian food and not even a remote attempt at some kosher cooking. While all students must eat less often on campus, some are completely left in the lurch, with virtually no options at all. I guess many of us will be getting back our $100 at the end of the term!

But that isn't even the worst of it. The real sham, the most disgusting thing about the whole Sophomore Summer requirement, is the course selection situation. I have heard many people complain about Dartmouth's anti-intellectualism, and it is often implied that the current administration is attempting to combat it.

If the College is honestly dedicated to providing an education in the same league as other top schools, then the summer requirement is something about which to be embarrassed and ashamed. There are so few classes offered this term that all the books can be contained in one aisle at the bookstore, and many classes are severely oversized.

There is also an unusually large percentage of "gut" classes. And, conveniently, the College only requires 35 credits to graduate, making a two-course load a natural choice. But of course, we pay the same tuition for an academic schedule that at any other time would be considered outrageous and disgraceful.

Well, I am outraged right now, and I hope some people somewhere in the establishment of Dear Old Dartmouth feel ashamed. And disgraced. Oh, this school is making a lot of money off of us, while we are swimming in the Connecticut, or sitting on the perpetually sprinkled Green.

For an optional "summer school" this would be pretty good, but as a requirement, it is terrible. One of my friends still has yet to unpack. He says the place feels too much like camp. Is that what we are here for? Welcome to Sophomore Summer.

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