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With all that is happening in the world today, it is easy to get lost in what seems to be an endless slew of hopeless news. Between rising cases of COVID-19 and the ugliness of police brutality in the United States, it seems there is little reason to be hopeful for America’s future. I, however, look to the future not with despair, but with hope; the Black Lives Matter movement has renewed my faith in our ability to improve American society.
On July 14, federal judge Landya McCafferty gave final approval to the $14 million settlement in the class action sexual harassment lawsuit against Dartmouth. The settlement’s approval follows a fairness hearing held last week during which the judge heard statements from three of the nine plaintiffs named in the case to determine the fairness of the settlement.
On July 8, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania to uphold a regulation that allows employers to deny women access to birth control coverage. Specifically, the decision allows employers with a “sincerely held religious or moral objection” to appeal to the Trump administration for the right to deny their employees insurance coverage for contraception. Previously, under former President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, employers were mandated to provide insurance coverage for contraception with no out-of-pocket expenses. The Supreme Court’s new ruling broadens the already existing exceptions to this mandate, allowing most employers to seek exemption from paying for employees’ contraception on religious grounds. The court’s decision is both patriarchal and anachronistic. It is time for decision-makers to stop restricting the rights of women and realize that infringing upon women’s reproductive rights sets back the United States as a whole.
In response to the joint statement from the Board of Trustees and College senior leadership on taking steps to address systemic racism at Dartmouth, a group of Black Dartmouth alumni penned a letter and started a petition on July 3 calling for “anti-racist campus-wide work and deliberate actions.” The petition has garnered upwards of 1,500 signatures as of July 16.
Last week, a letter titled “A Letter on Justice and Open Debate” was published in Harper’s Magazine. The letter was undersigned by 153 scholars, writers and political theorists, including Dartmouth’s Eli Black professor of Jewish Studies Susannah Heschel. J.K Rowling, Noam Chomsky, and Margaret Atwood were among the signers of the letter, which warns against a perceived growing societal trend in public shaming and ostracism for holding opposing views. The Dartmouth sat down with Heschel this week to discuss her views on ideological conformity and the importance of open discourse.
In an email sent to the Dartmouth community last Thursday sharing the College’s plan to cut five varsity athletic teams, College President Phil Hanlon also announced the permanent closure of the Hanover Country Club, citing financial deficits.
Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, some students have committed to returning to the Upper Valley to live in off-campus housing for the upcoming year.
Updated July 17, 2020 at 2:16 p.m.
Ever since the College announced its reopening plan for the 2020-21 academic year, it feels like we’ve been sent into a tailspin. The emails from the Office of Institutional Research are still languishing in our inboxes, as we frantically attempt to draw a full picture of the undergraduate student body: Who will be on campus in the fall, winter and spring? What will life look like on the “Hanover Plain”? How will our D-Plans morph around our priority terms?
As the College gears up for fall term, student groups are adjusting their operations to a new campus reality. Whether service or performance based, clubs face challenges in adapting to COVID-19 restrictions and to the hybrid format of an in-person and remote fall term.
Lately, I have spent more time than ever before thinking about the future — not just my individual plans, but what the concept of the future means. As a history major and art history minor, my mind is usually focused on the past. These historical perspectives are perpetually useful for understanding the present moment, even the “unprecedented” present moment we face today. Recently, I have been trying to translate my inclination to ask and answer the question, “How did we get here?” into the question, “Where are we going?”
It can be difficult to acknowledge the near-ubiquitous prevalence of sexual abuse when victims are nameless, shapeless and unfamiliar. Released on June 24, “Athlete A” forces a recognition of this rampant abuse, as the victims are the young women that America champions as Olympians. Through the bravery of the female gymnasts and the brutal, but necessary look into the bleak world of USA Gymnastics, “Athlete A” is an illuminating, tear-jerking, must-watch documentary.
The Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have agreed to reverse a controversial July 6 order that would have barred international students from staying at U.S. universities offering only online courses.
Last week, both the Ivy League and the Dartmouth administration made crucial announcements regarding the short- and long-term future of Dartmouth athletics. On Wednesday, the league announced the cancellation of all fall sports amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The next day, the College announced that five varsity sports — men’s and women’s golf, men’s lightweight rowing and men’s and women’s swimming and diving — would be eliminated.
In the wake of new federal guidance that would prohibit international students taking online-only classes from remaining in the U.S., Dartmouth filed an amicus brief in support of a federal lawsuit filed by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order to prohibit enforcement of the federal guidance.
As the College continues to follow its reopening plan, it has increased the presence for some employees on campus, while also offering early retirement packages.