Get To Know the Details

by Erika Sogge | 11/22/04 6:00am

To the Editor:

The description at the beginning of The Dartmouth's recent campus stereotype articles says that the articles profile "students who at first glance embody various Dartmouth stereotypes." The tone of this statement seems to suggest that the articles will tell us things about people that we never would have guessed. Yet, after these first two articles I am beginning to wonder if they are not just categorizing and enforcing stereotypes. With the article about Rory Gawler, I only found evidence for him being an outdoorsman. From the previous day's article about Battigpalia I was also left pondering the stereotype of a football player. While the Battigpalia article indicated that he has emotions and academic interests I did not fully see the depth of his character.

I wonder if stories of stereotypes at Dartmouth are worthwhile. I tend to think that many of us do not fit into any models: I love to hike, but I shower once or twice a day; I'm a science major who really loves history classes; I'm a partier who also likes to spend a calm night just hanging out and watching a movie; I dress casually but I have an unhealthy shoe obsession; I'm a very liberal person with the occasional conservative view. Every time I get to know a new person at Dartmouth I discover the intricacies that are a part of their personality. None of the jocks that I know are stupid; none of the artists that I know are snobby or out of touch with the world; the outdoorsy people that I know have other interests, etc. Sometimes these details may be small, but it is important to know more about people than what they spend most of their time doing.

Can we really find out anything about a person or a stereotype from a short article in The D? I would like to encourage people to truly get to know the others around them. Never label anyone with one single word, find out more about how they think. Every time you really get to know someone they will somehow surprise you.

Advertise your student group in The Dartmouth for free!