The People Who Help Make Dartmouth 'Dartmouth'

by Eric Delpozo | 11/3/97 6:00am

So often we hear our peers and colleagues make reference to the "Dartmouth community;" yet so difficult is it to specify what qualifications serve to define this community we speak of. Be that as it may, it is safe to say that our community is currently and forever will be dynamic, and I believe that this can be attributed in no small part to the individuals who comprise it.

The following list is neither comprehensive nor complete, and it is not meant to be; it is simply a compilation of many of the people, in no particular order, who in my opinion contribute to our undergraduate environment. Each does so in a distinct, but altogether common way; distinct due to the varying natures of their individual achievements, and common, for in my view, each one of them has helped to make Dartmouth the experience that all of us are currently priveleged enough to enjoy.

  1. Asa Palmer '98 -- Asa's leadership on the basketball hardwood at Leede Arena over the past three seasons has earned him the team's co-captainship this year. However, don't be fooled by his intimidating on-court presence. For every rebound he pulls down or shot he blocks, he is equally likely to offer a friendly smile or greeting while out of uniform, whether it be in in class or while walking through Food Court. I don't think that I go out on a limb by saying that Asa helps to give athletes everywhere a good name; as Theta Delt Drew Hunter '98 puts it, "Think of a six foot, nine inch Santa Claus who can dunk, and you have Asa Palmer."

  2. Case Dorkey '99 -- "That's Case, like 'case of beer.' And Dorkey, like the insult," this Brooklyn native likes to say, though he's never had a drink or hurled an insult in his life. The only thing that overshadows Case's accomplishments, which include becoming the student administrative intern for both Dartmouth Dining Services and the Greek System (he's not even in a fraternity), as well as his status as perennial Class of 1999 Treasurer and respected Student Assembly superman, may be his good will and modesty. When I approached him for quotes, he heaped praise on many; the only thing he could come up with for himself was, "me, I'm overrated."

  3. Kevin Goldman '99 -- Boasting both partial editorship of the Stonefence Review literary journal as well as the title of Editor-in-Chief of the Jack-o' Lantern humor magazine among his credentials, Kevin has a fair amount of say as to what information is dropped on the doorstep of nearly every Dartmouth student each term. Or, as the Sexual Assault Peer Advisor and two-time UGA puts it, "I get to brainwash the public." Although he is in the position to use either magazine as a forum for his personal agenda, he does so with neither. He's also in a position to never have his work rejected from either magazine; a pretty good deal, all in all.

  4. Josh Green '00 -- You may not know who Josh Green is, but you probably will before too long. Without asking for or receiving much praise outside of the circles he operates within, over the past two years Josh has quietly done a large part of the work that has brought the Student Assembly back to the status of being the somewhat efficient, respected presence that it is on campus. Josh's commitment is not to politics, but to getting things done effectively. His work behind the scenes at SA, however, has kept his attention from his UGA group, which recently left a collective note on his door: "We want to do something fun as a UGA group, NOW. This is your first warning."

  5. Miles Bingham '98 -- Although Miles has gained much of his recognizance as the president of Tabard and as a member of the Aires, Dartmouth's most famous all male a capella group, as he puts it, "There's more to me than that. I don't get people coming up to me and thanking me for being in the Aires, or for being the president of Tabard, but I do get people coming up to me and thanking me for speaking out at Community Night (about homosexuality)." That means more to me." He goes on to say that "People reacted negatively, saying I was being a braggart and an egomaniac; I was just making a point." Point well taken, Miles.

  6. Mariam Malik '98 -- Although I have never personally met Mariam, her status as the president of the Panhellenic Council, which represents the largest group of women on campus, is certainly worthy of note. In Mariam's own words, "Panhell has worked to bring Dartmouth women a new house, run successful rush and does its best to provide social space for women. The new member education series which we implement encourages social resonsibility on campus and smoothens the transition (for women) to being a member of the Greek system." With the addition of a seventh soririty to choose from, undergraduate women joined sororities in record numbers this year, increasing further the role that Malik and her predecessors will play, as a part of Panhell, for years to come.

  7. David Parker '00 -- This "Dishroom Dreamboat, "as his female co-workers at Thayer have been known to refer to him, is certainly not one-dimensional. When not washing dishes, or performing his duties as the Student Hosting Co-ordinator, or spearheading the Student Assembly Communications committee, Mr. Parker is busy getting out his nervous energy playing rugby for Dartmouth. Amazingly, he still finds the time to be one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. As friend Josh Green puts it, "Dave is everything I wish I could be. He makes people feel comfortable about themselves while still earning their respect... of course, his hair leaves much to be desired."

  8. Zach Hafer, Scott Peach, Curtis Wilgosh '99 -- Aside from the aggressive, bruising style of play that they bring to the ice for the Big Green, these three hockey players from Chi Heorot share their insights and quick wit weekly on what is arguably WDCR's most interesting and popular show. Peach shows off such wit when he jokingly suggests that "Gengis Khan is my inspiration for everything." Opponents would probably rather deal with Gengis, however, than have Wilgosh skate right by them with the puck, or Hafer and Peach knock them senselessly into the boards. When asked what it is like to work with two Canadians, Hafer responded, "the problem (with Canadians) is that they never win anything at the Olympics. And if they do, they usually are stripped of their medals for steriod use."

  9. Elizabeth McGoldrick '98 -- Admittedly, nothing that Elizabeth (or "Goldie" as her friends and teammates call her) requires an anachronim to describe. However, this speaks no less of her natural leadership or initiative. Such leadership she displays whenever she picks up a disc as senior captain of the women's ultimate team, which is definitely on the rise as a club sport. Her initiative, along with her overall good nature, can be seen in what she gives back to the community. "I used to volunteer at pre school," laments Elizabeth, "but am now required to spend a sizable chunk of time in the elementary school--which is awesome but I just don't have time to do both." If she could do both, my guess is she probably would.

  10. Unai Montes-Irueste '98 -- Unai has been visible on campus since his freshman year at Dartmouth, when he rushed the field during the Homecoming football game. What I feel is more relevent than describing his many affiliations or colorful personality, however, is that Unai has become somewhat of a champion of minority causes on campus over the years. As he sums it up, "Dartmouth's education is only useful if it is applied to making positive changes in this world, whether those changes come from proactive programs or legislation or from reactive criticism and challenges to the system. Institutions must be fought from the top down as well as the bottom up."

  11. Nahoko Kawakyu '99 -- If you happen to notice the Asian girl with the spiked hair to compliment her decidedly winning smile picking up a late dinner by herself at Food Court or racing down the mountain to help out a skiier, then you've caught a glimpse of Nahoko's life. Her charm and enthusiasm payed dividends when she won the Student Assembly's Vice-Presidential position this past spring, as a write-in candidate. If you ask her a question, the mild-mannered intern to the Dean of Student Life can answer you in English, German, Japanese or French--along with Spanish and Chinese, once she finishes learning those. When I asked her about her choice of activities, she responded, "Basically, I just do. Just because I like to."

Maybe you already know and admire some of the people on this list. Maybe you admire people other than those who are on this list; I certainly do. Maybe you admire yourself. No matter what qualities you find important, you will most likely encounter people who embody those qualities at Dartmouth. It is up to the classes who will enter our community, as many of us move on from it, to continue the successful and colorful tradition set by their predecessors.

Some would argue that it is the institutions of our college that serve to shape our identities as we mature during our years here. While there may be some truth to this, my inclination is to believe that it is all of the people at Dartmouth, including the few I have just introduced to you, who themselves serve to shape the institutions that so many of us hold dear.