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As a member of the Dartmouth swimming and diving team, it is hard to put into words how incredibly upsetting it was to hear of the administration's decision to cut the team. It is clear that the current Dartmouth administration has completely neglected its primary responsibility — Dartmouth students — in its attempt at total reorganization and overhaul.
Blake Neff ’13 resigned from his position as Tucker Carlson’s writer after CNN exposed his misogynistic and white supremacist online vitriol. Few were surprised that he wrote for The Dartmouth Review, which proudly claims the likes of Dinesh D’Souza and Laura Ingraham. The Review creates a nice, cushy home for privileged bigots like Blake Neff. I should know. I wrote for the Review on and off my freshman year.
Days before the start of my senior year at Dartmouth, I went out for a run in my suburban Chicago hometown to celebrate my 21st birthday. Awaiting me after my run were not birthday messages celebrating my newly minted adult status, but rather news that would brand my class as part of Generation 9/11. Terrorists had just brought down the World Trade Center and hit the Pentagon. Days later, the halcyon senior fall we had long anticipated gave way to conversations about recovery efforts, military campaigns in Afghanistan and rising discrimination against Muslims.
On July 24, Julia Griffin, the Hanover town manager, penned an op-ed in The Dartmouth titled “Selfish Students.” In this article, Griffin warns students to “smarten up” and attempts to scare them by discussing the potential reversal of students’ future on-campus privileges. While I strongly agree that students must socially distance, Griffin neglects to address other Hanover community members who blatantly ignore guidelines. Instead, she bitterly characterizes Dartmouth students as the main threat. All of us, as a community, have the responsibility to uphold social distancing regulations. To point fingers in discourse, to cast blame and to depict Dartmouth students as enemies rather than community members does not protect Hanover; it divides us and dooms our community’s future.
“Opening an unconditional, fair and transparent investigation is our right and it is not an extraordinary measure as the school [has] claimed,” wrote Maha Hasan Alshawi in a July 24 Facebook post.
In her recent guest column entitled “Selfish Students,” Hanover town manager Julia Griffin criticized Dartmouth students currently living in Hanover for not wearing masks and not following social distancing guidelines. As a student currently living on-campus, I have also received many emails from college officials conveying a similar message, such as a July 3 email from Dean of the College Kathryn Lively informing us of “increasing … complaints from faculty, staff and other local residents” who have seen Dartmouth students ignoring the various recommendations. From my experience, however, Griffin’s sweeping claim is untrue at the macro level and the warnings of college officials — while well-intentioned — are biased and misguided. In fact, I see local Hanover residents committing social distancing violations just as often as Dartmouth students. By antagonizing students, the town and the college fails to acknowledge that local residents are part of the problem, putting us all at risk.
Given the current state of the world — an unprecedented global pandemic, the ongoing ecological disaster of climate change and the social justice crisis of systemic racism — it is not surprising that the more religiously inclined among us have sounded warning bells that the Apocalypse is near. A New York Times article from April provided a concise snapshot of how widespread this sentiment is today, as well as how historically rooted the notion of the “end times” is in many religious traditions. Culturally, many of us in the United States are captivated by this idea of an Apocalyptic event and its fiery aftermath. Movies famously depict such events: from the nightmarish depictions in “The Road” to the more light-hearted and hopeful scenes in “WALL-E” to the all-too familiar totalitarian state in “V for Vendetta.” Despite some thematic differences, all of these portrayals of the Apocalypse conceive of it as a singular future event which is shared by an entire community or even an entire planet. However, this focus on large scale societal calamities distracts from the reality of what an apocalypse actually is: a personal reckoning with the tragedies of life. Perhaps, if this were better understood, we as a society would be less willing to sacrifice the lives of those around us merely to maintain some semblance of normalcy.
As Dartmouth prepares to welcome back a portion of the student body to campus in September, the rate of COVID-19 infections around the nation continues to skyrocket. This latest spike in the spread of COVID is marked by one particular difference: young adults are getting infected at much higher rates than they were during the spring. Why is this the case? As The Hill reports, many young adults have a misguided impression that the virus cannot cause them harm, consequentially risking their health and that of their family and friends.
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 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.
As of late, political leaders have been painting an optimistic picture of a quickly recovering macroeconomy. These high expectations, however, are not always based on fact. Rather than forming these unrealistic expectations for the future, the prominent voices of today should focus on what we can do in the present moment.
In 2020, Black people are still being killed because they dare to be Black in America — because they dare to walk in their own neighborhoods or go for a drive. These killings, however, represent only a fraction of the violence the Black community faces. Current definitions of violence — specifically those regarding identity-based violence — are too narrow to accurately portray the violence that marginalized groups face. This violence goes beyond the physical and explicit — it lies in the subtext of individuals' language and behavior, outside of the traditional definition of violence. We must change our understanding of what constitutes violence so that Black people no longer have to be beaten or murdered in order for racial justice to be perceived as an issue worth pursuing.
On July 1, the Board of Trustees, College President Phil Hanlon and his senior leadership group sent an email to campus that emphasized the administration’s commitment toward racial justice.
Even before setting foot on campus, college students are warned about peer pressure. The danger of peer pressure is its ability to normalize harmful behavior. However, just as the development of the atomic bomb resulted in the creation of a clean energy alternative, our collective understanding of this psychological weapon gives us an opportunity to use its power for good. While peer pressure can normalize harmful behavior, it can also effectively normalize healthy behavior. The same way that there are dangers to the use of nuclear power, there are admittedly potential flaws to using peer pressure in the pursuit of a positive goal. However, it is overall an effective tool that acts as a guiding force for the uninformed in determining acceptable behavior.
If there was one benefit to going to college in rural New Hampshire, away from big city amenities, it was King Arthur Flour. Specifically KAF, the cafe that occupied the physical and spiritual heart of Baker-Berry Library.
When I was a junior in college, the issue of the day on campus was an innovative new technique that the Hanover Police were threatening to deploy to crack down on underage drinking. The police department had announced that if underage students were found to be drinking in college Greek houses, the students themselves would not be the only ones held responsible — the Greek houses that supplied the alcohol would be held responsible as well. In this case, “held responsible” meant that they would be fined. The fine could be as high as six figures.
According to Tom Friedan, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. could need up to 300,000 contact tracers to help contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Meanwhile, distributing any potential vaccine, especially to areas underserved by the current health care system, will require an unprecedented effort. In light of the current and future need for workers to help contain the pandemic, Dartmouth should consider giving a half-course credit to students who serve in such roles.
From the bed they sleep on to the apparel they wear, the lives of many Dartmouth students are influenced by a few dozen of their peers: Dartmouth’s student-business owners. But for years, Dartmouth women have been boxed out of student-business ownership. It’s not an act of intentional exclusion. Women have merely been forgotten as the traditional student-business structure has evolved without them. Currently, only six women have been able to establish themselves as student-business owners, out of a total of around 60 student-business owners at Dartmouth.
During a normal term, a Saturday night would bring a momentary respite from class work. In this remote term, this respite has become especially important amid the monotony of a virtual college experience. At home in the suburbs of Chicago, activities are few and far between. The weather here has turned from cold and snowy to cold and rainy, and in areas across the country that remain shut down, options for activity outside the home are often not available.
Last year, celebrities, politicians and many of my friends took to social media to spread the hashtag “#BelieveWomen.” Prompted by decades of not taking sexual assault against women seriously enough, the hashtag was used to promote the idea that women who shared allegations against men could expect to be believed. The campaign to “believe women” told survivors that even if their case wouldn’t win in court, they would be believed in the court of public opinion. Recently, many of the same people who were outspoken about the need to believe women have changed their tune now that believing women comes with unfavorable political consequences.