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Culture matters. The sentence’s brevity belies its gravity. After a few frenzied days of threats and debates about targeting Iran’s cultural heritage sites, we’ve seen the triumph of legal frameworks and precedents that prevent the deliberate destruction of culture. These laws, treaties and conventions are all important, and to ignore them flagrantly is wrong and weakens our country’s moral standing.
As talk of “Medicare For All” begins to dominate the Democratic presidential primary, discussion of “Big Pharma,” or the pharmaceutical industry, become all the more frequent. The rising price of life-saving drugs contributes to a fast-growing sense of insecurity in the American health care system.
Last year, I arrived on campus as an excited freshman. A strong conservative with a wide background in Republican campaigning, I leapt at the opportunity to challenge the hegemonic liberal campus culture and grow the Republican Party here. I became involved with Dartmouth College Republicans and was fortunate to be chosen as the organization’s secretary that fall. It was 2018, and political groups on campus were gearing up for what would be a monumental midterm election cycle. The tactics used by these groups were varied, and I quickly realized that the Dartmouth College Democrats were using a mixture between guerrilla marketing and harassment.
Going to school in New Hampshire is a dream come true for any political junkie. As one of the last truly “purple” states, razor-thin margins decide our elections: Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire’s most recently elected senator, won by 1,017 votes, or about one class at Dartmouth. Our status as the first-in-the-nation presidential primary makes the Granite State a hotbed for grassroots campaigning and opinionated political action, and this political involvement has defined my time at Dartmouth.
“We have the world’s most loyal alumni ... it’s the talent of our alumni body coming back.” As soon as I heard that I knew I had to stand up. Pushing through my racing heartbeat, I got up out of my seat in Spaulding Auditorium, walked towards the stage and began to sing: “People gonna rise like the water, we’re gonna calm this crisis down.”
I’m a student athlete. Upon reading Osman Khan ’21’s April 26 column, “Admitting Our Athletes,” in The Dartmouth, I felt two initial reactions. First, I felt angry and hurt that another student so strongly believed that my teammates and I might not belong at the institution we worked so hard to be a part of. And secondly, I felt resentment toward The Dartmouth for publishing an article demonstrating a concerning lack of awareness of how so many students felt about campus athletics.
When I first enrolled as a Ph.D. student at Dartmouth, I understood that I was choosing to do graduate work at an undergraduate-focused college. That was one of the main reasons I chose Dartmouth: If I ultimately wanted to teach and be a professor, why not learn from some of the best undergraduate instructors in the world? I didn’t anticipate that as a graduate student I would often be an after-thought — expected to shut up and do my work and not really be a part of the Dartmouth community. But make no mistake, graduate students are fundamental to the success of the College, and it is about time the institution acted like it.
If we want to understand the state of small family farming in this country, we need to look beyond partisan fault-finding and demeaning stereotypes of farmers and their operations. Contrary to the suggestions of Thomas Knight ’22 in his May 9 column for The Dartmouth, titled “Trump and the Family Farm,” there are no economic indications that President Trump’s actions are worsening the decline of small family farming in New Hampshire or elsewhere.
For hundreds of years, Dartmouth did not fulfill its commitment to Native Americans. Dartmouth’s campus is built on the land of Abenaki indigenous people, and Dartmouth’s founding charter outlines that the school’s principal mission is to educate Native youth. But in its first 200 years of existence, Dartmouth only graduated 19 Native Americans. When Native students finally did matriculate to Dartmouth in meaningful numbers, many of them were not exactly thrilled to see that Dartmouth had an Indian mascot, and they widely protested it. Native students Howard Bad Hand ’73, Duane Bird Bear ’71 and Rick Buckanaga ’72 were among those who led the call to end the use of Dartmouth’s Indian mascot in the 1970s, and in 1974, the Board of Trustees agreed with the protestors that the mascot was inconsistent with the values that Dartmouth is supposed to uphold.
Everyone’s favorite New England postcard is in trouble. For years, tourists have flocked to the Upper Valley, where antique barns are framed by the rough-hewn fences that rein in gentle and photogenic Holsteins. If they’re lucky, they might even get a glimpse of a farmer who charmingly lacks a few teeth and says “ayup” with that old New England agrarian accent. But you would be hard pressed to find that today. The reality is that the Upper Valley and many rural farming communities around the country are feeling the squeeze. Family farms found some success in the later years of the Obama presidency, but since then, profits have decreased by almost a third. There is no question that family-run agriculture has been in decline over the last half-century, partly due to the changing demands of ever-changing consumer tastes.
Under Dartmouth’s 2018 “Telling Our Story” brand image guidelines, the College seeks to position itself as a “basecamp to the world,” where “scholars … love to teach” and “liberal arts [is] at the core.” Reading these three tenets of our identity, it is clear that the College places teaching and education at the center of its mission. And as the guidelines acknowledge, education is a broadly transformative force. At its best, the education system has the potential to expose students to new possibilities and remove their economic prospects from pernicious cycles of poverty. At its worst, the education system discourages critical thinking, reduces self-efficacy and reproduces inequality. With its ability to profoundly shape the development of its students, education deserves to be studied at the most comprehensive and rigorous level.
I am a student-athlete, and I received one of the “likely letters” that Osman Khan took issue with in his article last Friday in The Dartmouth. I’m not ashamed of that fact, nor am I ashamed that I wasn’t the top student in my high school class. That’s because, despite the derision with which Khan treats student-athletes at Dartmouth, I believe that our college is enriched by a diversity of experiences and abilities. There is a real and meaningful conversation to be had about increasing opportunity for historically disadvantaged groups at institutions of higher education. Unfortunately, this guest column does little to contribute to it.
In a recent Verbum entitled “Symbolic Sustainability,” The Dartmouth Editorial Board derides the campus fossil fuel divestment campaign as performative activism that undermines Dartmouth’s other environmental initiatives. This argument is misguided. Here’s why.
Dartmouth students aren’t so great at most of the sports they play. Not on a national level anyway. Barring specific winter sports, which we often excel in, as well as a few other exceptions, our athletic performance isn’t anywhere near as impressive as our alumni’s professional and academic showings are. Don’t argue with that; the last time our roughly 100-man football team produced an NFL player was a full 15 years ago, and the last time our basketball team produced an NBA player was in 1990. And yet, we hand out some of the most coveted seats in higher education to recruits in the name of upholding the strength of our athletic programs: over a fifth of the current student body is comprised of varsity athletes.
In the wake of last month’s horrific massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand, all of the usual media phrases and buzzwords that have grown so familiar and tired were put back into circulation. First came the expressions of shock and sorrow, peppered with words like “unimaginable” that have not been applicable for a long time. Then came the discussion of the responsibilities of the news media, wherein a number of very serious-sounding people have the same conversation about not showing the video of the shooting for what seems like the 30th time.
During the college application period, some parents support their children by reassuring them that hard work and good grades can get them into a good college. Other parents decide to support their children in a more unconventional way. Thirty-three wealthy parents, including Felicity Huffman from “Desperate Housewives” and Lori Loughlin from “Full House,” were recently involved in what the case’s prosecutors referred to as the “largest college admission scam” ever. These parents spent anywhere from $200 thousand to $6.5 million to get their kids into elite colleges such as Georgetown, Yale, Stanford and the University of Southern California.
People often don’t fully process deaths when they occur in wholesale numbers. Fifty Muslims killed. Men and women, young and old. Mothers and fathers, daughters and sons. Someone will have to tell a mother that her son was killed. She will probably have spent a few hours frantically calling his cellphone after seeing the news coverage.
On Oct. 23, 2018, the Dartmouth College Republicans hosted controversial speaker David Horowitz in an event titled “Identity Politics and the Totalitarian Threat from the Left.” Horowitz, founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, has a history of comparing Muslims to Nazis and believes that universities brainwash students with leftist propaganda. The talk received numerous protestors. Some highlights of the event included Horowitz stating that “the only serious race war in America is against white males” and telling a student “I wouldn’t help you if you were drowning” in response to being told that black Americans do not need his help.
On Feb. 16, 2019, professor emeritus of English Jeffrey Hart passed away at the age of 88. We are not writing to rehash professor Hart’s achievements or contributions to the conservative movement, but rather to decry the treatment that Hart has received after his death. The late professor was a man who valued consistency of thought, and took the issues of his time seriously, but never himself. The former brought him to support then Senator Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election (and later again in 2012), as Hart believed the Republican party had lost the intellectual seriousness that he himself undoubtedly contributed; after all, “successful government by either Democrats or Republicans has always been, above all, realistic.” The latter was exemplified by his carrying of a “motorized wooden hand [he] used to drum on the table when faculty meetings went on too long.”
What is Trips? That’s a big question. Trips is, among other things, an entirely student-run program, a chance to welcome first-years to Dartmouth, a challenge, a community, an unrealized dream, the reason I personally chose Dartmouth and a logistical endeavor requiring over 3,214 eggs.