Nazaryan's Column Missed the Point of Dartmouth Students' Complaints

by Heather Harnett | 10/13/98 5:00am

To the Editor:

I'm writing in response to Alexander Nazaryan's column "Students Should Stop Complaining" [The Dartmouth, Oct. 7]. Nazaryan complains through the entire column about how Dartmouth students simply love to complain about anything and everything rather than be thankful for their fortune in attending such a great school. First, I would like to point out that he bases almost his entire column on complaints that he has read in editorials in The D. Someone should point out exactly what editorials are: someone's opinions.

Secondly, he states that after reading all of these columns in high school, he formed such a negative opinion of Dartmouth that he was surprised when he arrived here at this "collegiate utopia." I find it humorous that a freshman, who has been here all of three weeks, believes that he has an accurate idea of what Dartmouth is like. Dartmouth students do realize how fortunate they are to attend one of the best schools in the country. That is not what they are complaining about.

I'd be interested in hearing Nazaryan's opinion after spending four years at this school and dealing with the bureaucracy here. After several encounters with the registrar, dining services, financial aid, student accounts or any other college office, I am sure he would have quite a different opinion. If only he could have been here last year to hear how dining services decided it was losing too much money and came up with the wonderful solution of forcing Dartmouth students to pay more for their DBA. I wonder how many random fines Nazaryan has had to pay to the College during his three weeks here.

How wonderful it must be to be an idealistic freshman, ready for all the wonderful opportunities Dartmouth has to offer! After a few illnesses when Nazaryan has to deal with Dick's House, he may realize that many offices of this college are not here to look out for the best interests of the students. In fact, students seem to be the last priority all too often.

He concludes his article by admitting that Dartmouth does have its problems "like every other aspect of humanity," but complaining about them does nothing to solve them. Actually, complaining about problems brings them to the attention of others, and that's what causes people to argue for change. He also doubts that "the students at any other school of our stature complain so much." Really? I'm a little confused about what he's basing this idea on. I think he may be surprised to find how similar Dartmouth students are to those at other colleges.

Finally, Nazaryan points out that after being accepted early decision to Dartmouth, he decided to read past issues of The D online and was disappointed with the results. If he places so much value on the topics of editorials in the school newspaper, perhaps he should have researched that BEFORE he applied to Dartmouth. Of course, then he wouldn't have had anything to complain about.