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On a morning in early February of this year, I walked into Baker Library at 9:17 a.m. I entered from the west, and I paused to take in the scene. Checkered tiles receded hypnotically into space; low winter sun slanted in from the windows. Blobby was quiet, serene. I hadn’t been inside any of Dartmouth’s libraries since sophomore summer, and suddenly, I had my favorite study spot all to myself. I experienced such intense joy, coupled with such poignant grief, at returning to a place I had loved throughout my first two years at Dartmouth, that I immediately stored the memory of that moment as a quasi-religious experience.
My life as a college student was dead, to begin with, to paraphrase one of my favorite opening lines from Charles Dickens. While the time of death of the last time I felt like a college student is a little more vague than Marley’s in “A Christmas Carol,” the fact is just as certain.
The pandemic has affected students of all ages in different ways. Although it's easy to claim that one Class had it worse than another, we have all had our college experiences irreversibly altered. And for the Class of 2021, they will be graduating from Dartmouth in just a few weeks following over a year of largely remote learning.
In 2013, shortly before the last conflict between Israel and Gaza, the population of Israel’s West Bank settlements stood at just under 325,000 people. Eight years later, by the start of the most recent conflict — an 11-day war that claimed the lives of more than 200 — the population has surged to 475,000, and in the process, thousands of Palestinians have been displaced and seen their homes destroyed. Though last month’s conflict was centered in Gaza, where Israel has no outposts, the violence was precipitated by Israeli police raids and crackdowns on Palestinian protests — including protests against planned evictions of Palestinian residents from their homes in East Jerusalem — as well as violence from a far-right Israeli settlement organization, Lehava. Illegal Israeli settlements are the main problem, and the U.S., through the billions in foreign aid it offers to Israel each year, has unique leverage to stop them. Israel's continuing encroachment on the West Bank leads to violence and directly infringes on Palestinian human rights and sovereignty. The U.S. should halt foreign aid to Israel until it commits to ending settlement of the area.
On May 18, interim athletic director Peter Roby announced the hiring of Liz Keady Norton as head coach of the Big Green women’s hockey team. Keady Norton has coached at Boston University since the 2017-18 season, including the last two years as head coach. During those four years, the Terriers went 59-39-18, including 8-1-1 against ECAC teams.
The fallout of recent allegations of cheating at the Geisel School of Medicine is not likely to alter the school’s selective admissions or national ranking, though it may impact applicant perception and affect the ability of students who are involved in the cases to secure clinical residencies, according to multiple medical school admission consultants.
On May 12, Dartmouth announced that beginning with members of the Class of 2026, students from families with an annual household income of $125,000 or less will qualify for full-tuition scholarships without loans. The threshold marks a $25,000 increase from the previous $100,000 threshold, according to Presidential Commission on Financial Aid co-chair Julie McKenna.
The Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health has sparked controversy on both sides of the political aisle. The central issue of this case is whether the state of Mississippi can outlaw abortions after the fifteenth week of pregnancy, which is before a fetus is viable to live outside of the womb. For thirty years, the Supreme Court has never upheld a “pre-viability” ban of this kind. If the Court were to uphold this Mississippi statute, it would mark a distinctive shift in its attitude toward abortion. Yet, regardless of the Court’s decision, the extent to which the Court’s ruling will impact access to abortion — both in Mississippi as well as the United States as a whole — remains unclear.
On May 16, Dartmouth announced that former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe ’81 and Nike CEO John Donahoe ’82 gifted $20 million to the College to support underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering and math. According to Dartmouth’s press release, the gift’s namesake is “pioneering biologist” and valedictorian of the Class of 1907 E.E. Just.
Ever since Dartmouth decided to become a coeducational institution in 1972, providing on-campus housing options to all students enrolled in classes has proved challenging, if not impossible. While the College’s adoption of an academic calendar divided into quarters was supposed to ameliorate the housing “crunch” caused by admitting female students, it has been clear for years now that the D-Plan has not been a viable solution to the problem. Even in normal years, the College simply cannot accommodate every student’s desire to live on campus.
Those closest to Elizabeth Reimer ’24 remember her as a selfless and genuine friend, brightening the people and places she touched with her spontaneous, hilarious and fun-loving nature.
Three additional graffiti incidents occurred early Friday morning — and unlike the red paint left on Parkhurst Hall and in front of College President Phil Hanlon’s home last week, the markings have yet to be removed.
Last Thursday, the Dartmouth community received word of the death of Elizabeth Reimer ’24. Her death — the fourth of an undergraduate student this academic year, and the third of a first-year student — has only deepened the grief within a community that had already been mourning the losses of three peers. Though now is the time to grieve, change must soon follow. For far too long, student calls for increased mental health resources and changes in policy have been met by woefully inadequate responses from the College, even as the pandemic has exacerbated the mental health crisis on campus and made these cries for help all the more urgent. Dartmouth must repair its dilapidated mental health infrastructure or risk further tragedies.
This spring, fewer COVID-19 restrictions and warmer weather have allowed the Dartmouth football team to enjoy its most frequent regular practice schedule since the beginning of the pandemic. Although many restrictions remain — including the continued requirement of masks underneath players’ helmets — low case counts and high vaccination rates brought about fully-padded practices for the first time in over a year.
On May 5, interim athletics director Peter Roby ’79 announced that Alex Kirk had been rehired as head coach of Dartmouth women’s golf.
On Tuesday evening, over 1,000 Dartmouth community members attended Dartmouth Remembers, a candlelight vigil commemorating the lives of the four undergraduate students who have died this academic year: Beau DuBray ’24, Connor Tiffany ’24, Lamees Kareem ’22 and Elizabeth Reimer ’24. The event, held on the Green, was recorded and posted on the College’s YouTube channel.
After a year marked by changing plans and missed connections, members of the Class of 2021 will be able to participate in a mix of in-person and virtual Senior Week and Commencement activities.
On Monday evening, the College rejected a resolution from Student Assembly requesting the cancellation of Tuesday classes for all students and Wednesday academic obligations for members of the Class of 2024 to grieve the loss of four classmates since November. The legislation, titled “Resolution on Academic Accommodations for a Community in Mourning,” was sent to College President Phil Hanlon, Provost Joseph Helble and Dean of the Faculty Elizabeth Smith on Monday morning.