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Dartmouth has a problem: It self-segregates. In addition to the various diversity offices and committees that Dartmouth will forever adore, the College has institutionalized affinity houses, such as the Shabazz Center, the Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies House and the Native American House. It also has race-specific Office of Pluralism and Leadership advisors and academic programs that divide race into neat compartments. For example, by grouping together African and African American Studies, the College combines ethnic studies and area studies, two very separate fields with very different histories and theories. Despite these fundamental differences, Dartmouth merges them solely based on racial identity.
I am writing this contribution with some trepidation, as wading into a campus debate about an issue like First-Year Trips strikes me as a questionable idea for a faculty member. Nonetheless, one of my advisees asked me last week if I was aware of the controversy surrounding the recent selection of a Trips directorate. Since that time I have read the original Trips editorial as well as several responses. I do not have a dog in this fight, but as someone who teaches statistics at Dartmouth, I hope to see students on campus invoke statistical principles in their discussions and in public debates. Hence this letter.
We have been following the controversy on the Campus Events listserv over the last few days regarding Ryan Spector ’19’s Feb. 2 guest column in The Dartmouth. To be clear, we support diversity and inclusivity. That said, we are troubled by the nature of the debate itself.
I doubt that there is any Dartmouth student who has not yet read the Feb. 2 guest column titled “You’re Not Tripping.” Myriad conversations on campus have picked apart the author’s various claims to the extent that I question my ability to add anything novel to the dialogue. However, as a woman who doubted her leadership abilities for a long time and found her moxie through positions within First-Year Trips, I feel compelled to respond to Ryan Spector ’19’s claim that the Trips directors have prioritized “identity” to the detriment of the program.
When First-Year Trips director Lucia Pierson ’18 and assistant director Dalia Rodriguez-Caspeta ’18 told me that my failed candidacy for directorate was unrelated to diversity considerations, I almost believed them. Merit, they insisted in a private email, was the driving force behind their decisions.
My sophomore summer, I took a class taught by the wonderful professor Michael Sateia called Psychology 50.04, “Sleep and Sleep Disorders.” The thesis of the class? Sleep matters. It matters a lot more than we think it does. It affects everything we do — our mood, our cognition, our digestion, our movement. Sleep impacts just about every area of our lives. The great irony of the class? Our professor drilled us on the importance of sleep for two hours every Tuesday and Thursday, but the grand majority of the class was clearly not getting enough sleep. They would roll into class exhausted and lethargic, trying to stay awake on little more than caffeine and pure determination.
We’ve been here before. The presidency of Donald Trump is unprecedented in many ways, but not as many as most would believe. Aspects of this current administration strongly resemble those of an older presidency: that of John Adams.
Given any post-2A moment at King Arthur Flour, the monster that stretches from the counter to the door is usually a too-long line of students taking the exact same pose — back hunched, eyes glued to their phone, two thumbs tapping or swiping, the user’s face either pulled into a grimace or an attempt at stifled laughter.
Originally coined by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher Kevin Ashton in the late 1990s, the term “Internet of things” refers to the networking of small physical devices such as sensors, cameras and microphones through the internet. Enabled by recent advances in artificial intelligence and low-power microprocessors, technology giants such as Amazon and Google have brought affordable smart speakers — Alexa and Home respectively — to consumers. In addition, many companies are now producing smart lightbulbs and thermostats which can be operated through a smartphone app or devices such as smart speakers. The possibilities offered by these devices cannot be understated. IoT devices offer an economical means of collecting data, streaming music and making homes more energy efficient.
As we approach Homecoming this weekend, it is important to reflect on who does and, more importantly, who does not feel at home at this school and in this country. Home, whether it is a physical place or a feeling, means something different for everyone. For alumni returning to campus, Homecoming represents an opportunity to relive traditions of their college days. For the administration, it represents an opportunity to raise large sums through alumni donations. These donations, generated by alumni nostalgia, depend on students’ active participation in the time-honored traditions that celebrate Dartmouth.
Health, according to the World Health Organization’s Constitution, is defined as “complete physical, mental and social well-being.” Drug abuse can take all that away. Opioid addiction is not a “moral issue” as the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors claims. It is an illness and deserves to be treated as such.
If the enemy of our enemy is supposed to be our friend, what happens when this friend becomes increasingly indistinguishable from the common adversary we seek to delegitimize?
Welcome to the Dartmouth bubble! Or that’s what they call it, anyway. For you first-years here, if you haven’t heard this expression yet, you will very soon. You are, after all, in the middle of nowhere New Hampshire, population you. Despite the fact that I am now an alumna who graduated this past spring, the expression continues to follow me even now. I finally “escaped the Dartmouth bubble,” one person congratulates me, while another chimes, “Welcome to the real world.”
Most of us sympathize with the cute baby animal photos that the Dartmouth Student app conveniently provides. Many of us understand that meat production contributes to world hunger and climate change. And yet, most of us are neither vegan nor vegetarian.
As an incoming freshman, I don’t know a lot about Dartmouth. I’ve browsed Dartmouth’s official website, scoured admissions brochures and even went the extra mile to meet with some alumni in my area. But impressions can’t substitute for actual experiences. I’ve accepted that until Dartmouth Outing Club First-Year Trips, I’ll be an outsider looking in.
In light of the brutal accusations of anti-Semitism leveled against Native American studies professor N. Bruce Duthu ’80, I feel his detractors have refused to hear what hundreds of former students know and understand: For Duthu, the call to serve his students comes before all else.
I defended my senior fellowship project, the culminating experience of my undergraduate career, Tuesday morning. I’m taking one class this term and have a few edits to do on my thesis, but I walked out of my defense meeting feeling happy. I was essentially done with Dartmouth, and it had been an incredible time. Not three minutes later I was fighting back tears when I learned that something else was done with Dartmouth: the venerable late-night institution Everything But Anchovies.
I was delighted to read Eliza Jane Schaeffer ’20’s article on “the essence of the professor-student dynamic.” Schaeffer is exactly right about what empowers students — and what fosters learning. She writes that “building a relationship between students and professors, helping students engage with the material outside of the classroom [and] approaching learning as a collaborative endeavor” forms the basis of that relationship. These factors have long been a hallmark of the Dartmouth experience, and their importance is well-documented in the teaching and learning literature.
After midnight, the party in the fraternity basement had simmered to a dull roar. Most bedroom doors were shut so the brothers could get some sleep.
Today, Dartmouth students have a rare opportunity to improve the town they call home. Students make up about a third of eligible voters. Yet we rarely vote, missing critical chances to impact laws that will affect future generations of Dartmouth students. We can change that today. At its annual Town Meeting from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Hanover is holding a vote on proposed changes to Hanover zoning laws. Article 9 is a proposed ballot item that has the potential to positively impact both students and townspeople. A “yes” vote for Article 9 on Tuesday is a vote to improve Hanover.