Five Hackathon Ideas That Dartmouth Needs

By Caroline Berens, The Dartmouth Staff | 4/9/15 7:30am

As young, attractive, intelligent students attending Dartmouth and living in the 21st century, we live very privileged existences. We can meet world-renowned professors by simply going to class, observe stunning views walking anywhere on campus and have unlimited access to FoCo cookies — undeniably a wonder of the world.

#1 High-speed aerial tram from the River to the Green
Although I have the incredible fortune of living in Fahey (#blessed), I’ve made the miserable trek to and from the River my fair share of times. Other than inducing a sudden desire to drop out of school, it made me late to class, (almost) gave me frostbite and spurred an unprecedented hatred for Thayer. Having a high-speed aerial tram beginning near Judge and ending on the Green — complete with background classical music, cushioned seats and free snacks — would help compensate River residents for the crushing blow they received when they read their freshman housing information.

#2 High-tech fix-it robots
We’ve all felt personally victimized by GreenPrintat some point. Nothing beats when it spontaneously shuts down with a spectacular array of random noises and red flashes and you have to trudge into your 9L with only half of your paper or awkwardly glance at the endless line of people behind you and deliver the bad news. Having some sort of small robot placed next to each GreenPrint station — one that could fix any printer issue within a matter of seconds — would dramatically increase students’ happiness levels. At the very least, people around FFB would look a lot less angry.

#3 Cubbies at Collis
Collis is the Hermione Granger of DDS establishments — clearly the most valuable one, but underappreciated. Despite having higher quality food and friendlier employees than FoCo, Collis is barely one-fifth of FoCo’s size, and its subsequent crowdedness crushes the dreams of hungry, omelet-craving students daily. Although less advanced than a tram or robot, cubbies at Collis for your coat or backpack would not only increase the number of students eating there, but would also make the lines less claustrophobic. Most importantly, it would reduce the risk of someone’s backpack unintentionally knocking over a full cup of chili onto your white sweater (#neverforget).

#4 Portable chair and desk
There are few worse feelings than ambling around the library, lugging a heavy backpack while wearing your stifling outdoor coat, and being unable to find an empty seat. After your fifth lap around FFB, during which a dean asks if you’re a prospie, you are forced to return to your room where you halfheartedly attempt to work but end up binge-watching “Friends.” Having a soccer-mom chair and inflatable desk — both condensable featuring an outlet, cup holder and seat warmers — would allow you do work anywhere at any time, whether in the middle of the Berry hallway, on the sidewalk or in FoCo. Although people might be dubious (or even judgmental) at first, come finals these would be more popular than the shot fairies (#RIP).

#5 Novack Conveyer Belt
Although this would be useful at any DDS establishment, Novack indisputably has the greatest need. Replacing the counter with a conveyer belt would have innumerable benefits. It would be organized by type of food (sandwiches, soups, etc) and students could simply grab what they wanted and swipe their card at multiple stations nearby. Ridiculous Novack lines would be a thing of the past, and students could get food more efficiently and arrive at class earlier. Plus, without demeaning interactions with certain staff members, our self-esteem levels would inevitably rise.

Caroline Berens, The Dartmouth Staff