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In 1984, Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, making access to federal funding for transportation projects conditional upon whether or not a state had a drinking age of 21. If a state allowed the sale of alcohol to anyone under 21, they didn’t get their money. Regardless of what you think of the minimum drinking age, the law worked. By 1988, just four years later, all states had altered their drinking laws so they wouldn’t lose funding. To this day, no state allows the sale of alcohol to anyone under 21. There were complaints and controversies, but in the end, no state was willing to forgo their free cash for highways from D.C. over the drinking age. There’s an important lesson to be learned here is that the way to get states to act on matters generally considered out of federal purview is to tie their money to it.
I have a question for you: Do you think it is morally permissible for you to consume a bag of chips? A regular, plastic, and often half-filled bag of chips?
Criticizing Dartmouth is, admittedly, pretty easy.
Over winterim, I had the opportunity to visit my grandmother’s nursing home. While I was encouraged to sanitize my hands and wear a mask, neither measure was required, given my vaccination status. Within the home, residents, caregivers and visitors carried on with mild caution but, generally speaking, operated with little regard for the global pandemic. Due to the nature of the omicron variant — which is significantly less likely to spread to the lungs than earlier variants — the powerful immunity of a vaccinated population and the capacities of nearby medical facilities, this nursing home opted to loosen restrictions among the population most at-risk to COVID-19.
On Oct. 25, the Sudanese military seized power and declared a state of emergency. In response, thousands of civilians poured into the streets of the capital, Khartoum, in protest against the prospect of military rule. General Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan’s power-sharing “Sovereignty Council,” which constitutes a lead civilian-military institutional setup, launched the military coup and took the prime minister captive. Although prospects of a return to military rule loom over Sudan, the counterrevolution could still be reversed with extensive street protest coupled with firm international pressure.
I love the Choates.
President Joe Biden has repeatedly denounced the ongoing “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” On Oct. 1, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will require immigrants who wish to become lawful permanent residents to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before their paperwork can be finalized. Similarly, federal employees will be required to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22. These new mandates — along with a vaccine mandate for companies with over 100 employees — are a continuation of the push by the Biden administration to increase vaccinations. While these moves are important, another necessary measure to fight the virus would be to vaccinate migrants caught entering the country.
This column is featured in the 2021 Freshman special issue.
This column is featured in the 2021 Freshman special issue.
It is no secret that the College is facing a housing crisis: “As expected, demand has exceeded our capacity,” a recent email from associate dean of residential life Michael Wooten stated bluntly. Far from attempting to permanently resolve the problem presented by the lack of student housing, the administration instead sought to find short-term solutions — such as the “one-time lottery incentive” — for the long-term issue. This situation is only exacerbating Dartmouth’s poor performance in creating a socioeconomically diverse student body. In order to create a truly diverse and equitable student body, as it claims to value, the College must begin by solving the housing problem.
Two weeks ago, Dartmouth celebrated Student Employee Appreciation Week. As a token of the College’s “appreciation,” every day from May 10th to the 14th, the bells of Baker Tower played a different song, ranging from the Alma Mater to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
With the United States achieving universal COVID-19 vaccine availability for adults as of April 19 and Dartmouth recently deciding to mandate the vaccine for all students on campus in the fall, a return to normalcy seems to be on the horizon. In light of the recent progress, it’s fair to say that students are looking forward to in-person classes and social activities with minimal risk of catching or spreading COVID-19.
For decades now, America has been falling behind other advanced countries in terms of its physical and non-physical infrastructure. While the sight of crumbling roads and bridges, the prevalence of unsafe drinking water and the scarcity of well-funded public schools should not be accepted as the norm in any country — rich or poor — the startling reality is that the wealthiest country in the world is, in fact, complicit in the deprivation of essential services to its own people. Fortunately, the Biden administration recently put forth proposed legislation to tackle the uniquely American infrastructure crisis. The American Jobs Plan would invest $2 trillion in, among other things, creating “green” jobs, attempting to address inequities in transportation and initiating efforts to bring certain communities — particularly those in rural and underserved parts of the country — into the 21st century with high speed broadband.
Last fall, my jog around the Parcel 5 trail in Norwich was interrupted by a Listserv email about the death of a member of the Class of 2024. In the winter, I was falling asleep to my Zoom screen when my phone dinged, notifying me about the death of another member of the Class of 2024. Two weeks ago, I was biking around Occom Pond when I got a call about the death of my good friend.
On April 14, President Joe Biden announced an unprecedented change in American foreign policy toward Afghanistan: instead of a conditional withdrawal of troops, the United States will commit to a concrete timeline for bringing its forces home. While prior administrations have stipulated that the United States would need to ensure the long-term stability of the Kabul government before withdrawing troops, the last two decades have proven that there can be no such military solution in Afghanistan. With a timetable in place for when the U.S. will withdraw its troops, the Biden administration can finally build a sustainable peace without the need for intervention or its more sinister counterpart, occupation. The United States should supplement this decision with a renewed commitment to diplomacy and support the Afghan people in their nation-building efforts without direct military intervention.
On March 25, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu announced that all New Hampshire residents 16 years and older would be eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine beginning April 2. This expansion of eligibility allows college students hailing from New Hampshire or who have established residency here to receive the vaccine, but Sununu specified that out-of-state college students will not qualify. The governor’s office believes that limited vaccine supplies should go to the state’s residents rather than out-of-state college students.
Only a month after taking office, President Joe Biden’s administration has already shown that its policy approach to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia marks a distinct shift from the previous administration’s policies.
This column is featured in the 2021 Winter Carnival special issue.
Dartmouth has a love-hate relationship with Greek life. Despite various calls for abolition over the years, Greek life remains one of the most prominent aspects of the Dartmouth social scene. Around 67 percent of eligible students are affiliated, and even unaffiliated students often attend events hosted by Greek organizations. However, with the pandemic putting Greek life temporarily on pause and the rise of the “Abolish Greek Life” movement on other campuses, there is an increased risk that College will use the current circumstances as an excuse to crack down on Greek life once again. It is imperative that this does not happen. Banning Greek life would only make Dartmouth’s social scene more exclusive, dangerous and inaccessible.
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.