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The other morning, I was chatting with a friend of mine who goes to college in a big city. About halfway through the phone call, he realized that he was out of milk and a few other groceries. “No worries,” he said, “I’ll just run across the street to grab some more.” Jokingly, I remarked, “Oh, off to the nearest CVS?” After a pause, he replied, “uh… why would I ever go to CVS for groceries?”
When I was sixteen, I broke up with my high school boyfriend in the worst way possible. Let me set the scene: It’s the week before Valentine’s Day and I’m sitting at the dinner table doing homework; I was reading “Pride and Prejudice” for class — all too ironic. My phone won’t stop buzzing because my boyfriend and I are text-arguing about whatever high schoolers fight over. The distraction is driving me crazy because at that time I cared about school more than most things — including relationships — and I got so annoyed that I just called him up and ended it. On the phone. The week of Valentine’s Day.
The year is 2007 and I am five years old, standing in a Blockbuster. My dad says I can pick out any movie I want, and I choose the original “Nosferatu” and an unmemorable B horror movie. When I try to fall asleep after our amateur double feature, I can’t. For the first and last time, I am truly frightened by a movie, so scared that I don't sleep the entire night. I consider this a watershed moment in my life — the first time a film evoked any emotion in me.
Like most adults across the world, my dad isn’t necessarily a tech whiz. He’s called me up before in efforts to figure out how to turn on the TV, install a new iPhone app or create a Spotify playlist. Of course, I happily oblige (although I couldn’t help being a little frustrated when he somehow managed to turn his phone’s default language to Croatian). Yet there is one element of his relationship with technology that drives me up a wall. For someone who spends hours of their daily routine on their phone, he’s intensely critical of me, and my other siblings, for the time we spend on our devices.
So here we are again: a week of compounding tragedies — and the feeling that very little of substance is going to change. As a student body, the outpouring of grief for the loss of both Joshua Watson ‘22 and Sam Gawel ‘23 has been visceral and physical; I’ve never seen more communities and campus organizations reach out, offer space and check in. The recent hate crime against a graduate student has also weighed heavily on campus. Top college leaders joined in this chorus, organizing a community gathering this past Friday.
Last Tuesday, the undergraduate candidates for the New Hampshire House of Representatives, Miles Brown ’23 and Nicolás Macri ’24, finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the Democratic primary — several hundred votes away from securing a spot in the general election. Last July, the current Student Government president, David Millman ’23, lost a race for Hanover selectboard by around 300 votes. The most recent student candidate to win a local election was Garrett Muscatel ’20, who ran unopposed in the 2018 Democratic primary for state house.
Many of us have seen the photos and videos coming out of the Kharkiv region of Ukraine over the past few days: abandoned tanks on roads, left-behind munitions, burnt-out wrecks of equipment littering fields and streets. Ukrainian forces have pulled off an incredible feat that hopefully will bring a swift end to Putin’s senseless and pointless war. But the fact of the matter is that wars do not truly end when peace returns. Wars end when societies have been healed, and that will take years. Now is the time to start planning to help heal Eastern Europe.
Life for Dartmouth students is busy and, in many ways, unpredictable. This is not news: Students take two or three classes — maybe even four — all the while juggling jobs, clubs, sports, friendships, family and all the other pressures of adulthood. Our days start early and end late, and despite our best intentions and meticulous planning, random inconveniences can happen without warning.
In spring 2021, I wrote my first column for this paper. I argued that if President Biden didn’t do more to pass his agenda, young voters would have little reason to vote for his party in the 2022 midterm election. Those midterms are now fast approaching, and I saw it fit to reexamine developments since then. My point in that column was limited to commenting on whether Democrats would see success with young voters in the midterms. I’d now like to expand on it. If President Biden and the Democratic Party cannot demonstrate to voters that they both can and will solve ordinary voters’ economic problems, America’s democracy will further, and perhaps irreparably, erode.
For the second straight quarter, the United States’ economy has shrunk, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. What does this mean? Conventional wisdom would say the economy is in a recession. But statements coming from the upper echelons of our government, such as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s denial of this fact, would lead one to believe that this is not the case. Their motivations for doing this are simple: If the economy is doing poorly, that bodes ill for the ruling Democratic Party come November. Official recognition of this fact would mean an admission of guilt, but no amount of hemming and hawing can disguise the fact that the economy is approaching a dangerous place. Instead of trying to cover up their mistakes, the Biden administration should own up to the situation it is in, or else they will be soundly rebuked in November.
The fact that insulin prices in the United States are ridiculous should surprise no one given how often the hormone makes headlines. High insulin prices are also a uniquely American problem — prices here are dramatically higher than in any other developed nation. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, insulin costs around 10 times more in the U.S. than the average across 32 other OECD countries. During his presidential run before the 2020 election, Bernie Sanders even went so far as to lead a bus full of Type 1 diabetics up to Canada to purchase insulin for a tiny fraction of what it costs in the U.S. He has a point — the price discrepancy is nonsensical.
For Dartmouth’s Classes of 2025, 2026 and 2027, the admissions office has instituted a “test-optional” policy, in which applicants may choose whether to submit standardized test scores as part of their application, but will not be penalized if they do not. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions’ website claims that “it is not the moment to restore the testing requirement” due to the pandemic. Recently, standardized testing has come under fire for two different reasons: access and equity. But these attacks do not hold up under scrutiny. Recent advancements in public health and technology, as well as extensive research, all show that these arguments are either inaccurate or wholly unfounded. Ultimately, Dartmouth will be less able to accept students who will succeed academically if it stays test-optional. The College should once again require applicants to submit standardized test scores.
Many are worried about the projected impending bankruptcy of the Medicare Trust Fund, which is currently spending more money than it brings in. Theoretically, if nothing changes, the fund will become insolvent in 2028 according to Medicare’s actuaries, and the Congressional Budget Office estimates by 2030. The worry is likely overblown. If Congress lets Medicare go insolvent, seniors backed by AARP — one of the strongest lobbying powers in America — would turn out in droves and all of Congress would be applying for unemployment. For its own sake, Congress can’t let Medicare go broke. Perhaps they will raise new taxes, lower benefits, or simply print more money, but they will do something. Seniors vote in higher proportions than any other age group, and Congress is rightly afraid of making them mad.
So there I was on Friday night — standing on Fahey lawn, on the outskirts of the huddled masses in front of the concert stage, waiting for Saint Motel to start its performance. The air was comfortable, the crowd bustling, the vibes good at the first Green Key since 2019. The seemingly random Spotify playlist that had been on since Doechii left the stage cut out, and Saint Motel ran out to cheers. That’s when lead singer A/J Jackson said it: “Let’s go, Big Green!”
Last June, I had the not-so-delightful experience of being randomly placed on the housing waitlist. Despite the College offering a $5,000 incentive for students to give up a claim to fall housing in June, I and 128 other students remained in limbo in July. It was only in mid-August that I finally learned I would live on campus. This persistent uncertainty, compounded by my work as editor-in-chief and re-entry into classes after a pandemic gap year, was exhausting.
While the administration recently promised to reorient its focus toward student health, there are still some critical gaps in campus support systems. Despite my love for this school, the illusion of care spread by certain professors and disability services is an aspect of Dartmouth that disappoints me.
It’s no secret that Dartmouth is practically swimming in cash: Our $8.5 billion endowment rivals many nation’s GDPs, and we have dished out an enormous sum of cash on recent capital improvement projects, such as the recently announced $88 million allocated for renovating the Hopkins Center for the Arts. But aside from these public pronouncements, where exactly do we spend our money?
Any student who is even remotely familiar with fraternity basements during on-nights knows there’s one guest who is almost always present: cans of Keystone Light beer. Inevitably, these cans end up in the trash — take a walk down Webster Avenue on a Thursday or Sunday morning and you’ll see the aftermath of frats’ clean-up operations. When you consider the amount of beer that just one frat consumes in one night, the total number of cans used across campus each weekend must be enormous.
I was planning to publish a column this week about free speech. In it, I intended to argue, among other things, that the core of conservative student groups’ complaints about the free speech climate on campuses is correct — that being in the minority opinion can be frustratingly hard in college today.
Get off social media. Delete your accounts, even. Social media is actively harming your mental and physical well-being. The constant stream of tailored content is like catnip, and social media platforms are algorithmically designed to hold your attention. These apps chew up your free time, actively harm your self-image and worsen your overall mental health.