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As more people get vaccinated every day, Dartmouth underclassmen are looking forward to more normal terms with a full or nearly full student body on a campus free of COVID-19 protocols. For seniors, though, this spring is the last chance to have any sort of Dartmouth experience as an undergraduate.
Thank you to all who submitted questions this week! Submit your questions here for upcoming columns. Remember, your submissions are anonymous.
It has been over a year of remote learning and as more members of the Dartmouth community receive vaccinations, there is an air of hope following the College’s announcement of an expected return to in-person classes for fall 2021. Though there have been many discussions around what the loss of in-person classes has meant for students — academically, socially, emotionally — less attention has been paid to what the change has meant for professors.
As they say, spring has sprung. Near campus, April showers are in full swing, promising a lush and flowerful May. The crisp New England breeze is cut by the warm sunshine, and students are flocking to the Green. While many of us have settled into our new homes, be they on campus or nearby in the Upper Valley, some have returned back to old ones. The sudden start of a new term always catches us by surprise, but as we have done time and time again, we will eventually catch up on that little assignment that got away — don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, colleges across the country have been tasked with an unusual challenge: how to balance protecting public health, looking out for student mental well-being and preserving the college experience. Dartmouth has been criticized by some students for its strict limitations on socialization, small selection of in-person classes and unequal term prioritizations across class years. But is there a way for colleges to avoid these issues without sacrificing community safety? Let’s look at how Dartmouth’s reopening plan compares to its peer schools.
Even during a normal year, Dartmouth students are a mobile group. Between off-terms, study abroads and our extra-long winter break, many students find themselves changing housing situations relatively often. However, as COVID-19 continues to restrict the stability and availability of on-campus housing, students’ movements in and out of campus have shifted from periodic to constant.
Earlier this month, the College announced a partnership with the state of New Hampshire to begin vaccinating eligible students and employees for COVID-19. The vaccines are soon expected to become even more widely available, as Gov. Chris Sununu announced that all New Hampshire residents 16 and older will be able to register for a vaccine appointment starting April 2, this Friday. The Dartmouth spoke with Elizabeth Talbot, Geisel School of Medicine professor, infectious disease physician at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and New Hampshire deputy state epidemiologist, about vaccine efficacy and the implications for Dartmouth students.
As spring begins, many students are left wondering what they can expect from this upcoming term. After a fall term with low rates of COVID-19 transmission, the College loosened some restrictions on campus life for the winter; for example, students were able to visit other residential facilities following the quarantine period and no reservations were required to study in Baker-Berry Library. However, in the final weeks of the term, COVID-19 cases skyrocketed — with the number of active student cases reaching 143 at the outbreak’s peak — causing campus to revert back to phase two of arrival quarantine. Though that wave has receded, an air of uncertainty remains around what awaits students this spring.
And so we meet again, remote spring term. We’ve been navigating Zoom University for over a year now, yet the thought of joining a classroom from a computer screen is still strange. But whether it’s the change in the weather or the promise of imminent vaccinations, there is no doubt that this remote spring term will be different. With hope on the horizon, Dear Old Dartmouth is starting to feel familiar again.
Being a Dartmouth student is always challenging, and these days more than ever we could all use some guidance. This week, Mirror is excited to introduce “Dear Dartie,” an anonymous advice column that will run each Wednesday and respond to questions submitted anonymously by Dartmouth students.
Now more than ever, we all need a break. During the recent COVID-19 outbreak, students on campus found themselves trapped in dorms, isolated and anxious about impending finals. With case numbers beginning to drop, students are ready for a respite from the chaos. Luckily, spring break is only a week away.
With several indoor spaces closed and social interactions limited amid the College’s recent COVID-19 outbreak, many students have faced a particularly stressful end of term. Now that spring is approaching, some worry that another outbreak could make next term just as challenging.
This winter, a group of six engineering students are finishing up a yearslong project: an ultra-sustainable, tiny research station on wheels for ecologists working in the Second College Grant.
When people learn that I grew up in Norwich, they usually have a couple of questions. For my sake, and for the sake of everyone who’s curious, I thought I would start by answering those.
Over the past two weeks, more than 100 students tested positive for COVID-19, and hundreds were quarantined after suspected exposures. As the College reentered lockdown, outdoor activities ground to a halt, and the plunge in campus morale was palpable.
We’re in the final stretch of the term. This week marks many endings: the end of 21W, the end of a campus-wide COVID-19 outbreak and the final days of The Dartmouth’s 177th directorate. Here on campus, it’s nearly 50 degrees and sunny, and the promise of an imminent spring in Hanover has been getting us through the final days of the term (or distracting us from our work by tempting us to go outside — either way, no complaints here).
Among modern world leaders, women are still few and far between. Just 50 years ago, the world saw its first female prime minister — Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka. As of today, there are still only 23 female government heads.
As COVID-19 restrictions send students outdoors looking for fun, the Dartmouth Skiway has seen a particularly busy season this winter. High traffic on the slopes has meant an unusual term for Dartmouth Ski Patrol, the student organization that supplies the Skiway with patrollers to maintain the mountain and respond to medical emergencies.
On Friday, Feb. 5, I woke up with a mildly stuffy nose and a scratchy throat. At first, I thought my dust mite allergy had started acting up again. My apartment in Washington, D.C. is perpetually covered with a thin layer of dust, and forgetting to take my allergy medicine on a given night can ruin my sinuses. So, I grabbed the green bottle of Zyrtec on my bedside table and popped one in my mouth. In 30 minutes the symptoms would be gone and I could continue with my day, one filled with Zoom calls, readings and fast-approaching deadlines. I wasn’t looking forward to it, but clearing my throat and nose would make all of that easier.
Up until a year ago, the sound of ping pong balls and music could be heard echoing through Webster Avenue almost every night, weekend or not. Although there are a variety of social spaces at Dartmouth, you can find pong being played in almost all of them. Pong, whether you call it a drinking game, a ritual or even a sport, is an iconically Dartmouth phenomenon. In Greek houses, off-campus apartments and alumni homes alike there are huge tables — sometimes even made from specially ordered lumber — painted with colorful designs and occupied by four paddle-wielding players.