Time to Restructure
A critical flaw in Dartmouth Dining Services is apparent to students as soon as they are given a choice of meal plans -- when they are confronted with a fine, disguised as a "service charge," for selecting the smallest plan. Compared with the inflated amount of bonus dollars offered for the larger plans, the fine is especially startling. Low-spending students should not be forced to provide subsidies for those with heartier appetites. Even DDS Director Tucker Rossiter admits that this is unfair.
At a time when the College faces budget cuts in its most vital services, DDS continues to grow unabated. New services fill niches without regard to profitability and students eat the costs at the register. The shortcomings are obvious when students are expected to pay as much for a cafeteria experience as for a sit-down meal in town.
DDS needs to re-evaluate its focus; its goal should be to provide quality food service to students at the lowest cost possible, and it needs to do so in a fair manner. DDS should overhaul its meal-plan system to create an equitable price-structure without fines.
Keep the Symposium
Explaining the 2003 Class Council's recent decision to severely cut back the annual Senior Symposium, class president Jason Ortiz said, "I don't think the Symposium will be missed."
For the past 23 years, the Senior Symposium has brought a broad array of public figures and preeminent intellectuals to campus each Spring term for a series of themed lectures. Unofficially serving as the seniors' "intellectual gift to the College," the program was unique as a rare instance of a successful student-initiated, student-organized academic forum.
The Council's current plan to organize minor discussions with professors in the shadow of other campus events will do nothing to foster the student excitement and intellectual energy of previous Symposiums.
There is still time to save the program. With or without administrative support, the senior class council should immediately begin planning to have this year's Symposium do justice to its predecessors.
Examining Title IX
The Bush administration's commission to re-evaluate Title IX legislation has reopened the important discussion of gender equity in education. We support Title IX because of the opportunities it provides to female athletes and the benefit it has for academic communities as a whole. The Bush commission should examine Title IX closely to ensure that it is fulfilling its potential to enrich education, but any move to eliminate or drastically weaken the legislation would be a step backward.
The nationwide discussion also provides a chance to look at Dartmouth's commitment to fairness in college athletics, where an analysis of team funding shows glaring problems. When one incorporates the cost of coaches' salaries and recruiting, the football team and the women's basketball team stand out with per-player spending startlingly higher than the Dartmouth average. Does each of the 13 women's basketball players deserve funding nearly equivalent to a year's worth of tuition? Does the football team provide sufficient return to the community on an annual $1 million investment? We say no on both counts, and we believe the College needs to rethink its priorities.