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I own a cap that was passed down to me by a sorority sister. Neatly sharpied on the inside of the brim, it says, “When you love an institution, you should consistently question its value for the sake of its own validity.” I was probably not allowed to keep this hat, but it somehow made its way with me to Washington D.C., a city that I moved to less than six months ago. With the the controversy surrounding Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh happening right where I call home now, and for many other reasons, I have not been able to get much sleep — nor this quote out of my head.
“Hey, how are you?” “I’m good!” “How was your off term?” “It was really nice. It feels good to be back though.” “That’s good. Grab a meal?” “Yes! What’s your class schedule?” “I have a 10, an 11 and a 3B.” “How about lunch after 11s next Wednesday?” “Sure!”
I’ve only recently found my personal style. After I moved to the United States from a country where it’s summer all year round, I had to completely recalibrate what it means to dress myself. But the process of starting my wardrobe afresh taught me many lessons, including knowing what looks good on my body.
Walking around this week, I’ve seen more people wearing their Greek letters than usual. Despite some dismissing the wearing of letters as too passive a mode of protest, it was a reminder to many of us of the news that broke last week: the suspension and subsequent derecognition of the historic Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.Over the past year, two of the most controversial Greek houses on campus have been derecognized by the college. Last year, Alpha Delta fraternity of “Animal House” (1978) fame was derecognized and now SAE, infamous after Andrew Lohse’s “Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy: A Memoir” (2014), has also been dissolved.
This spring marks the first full term since College President Phil Hanlon announced the “Moving Dartmouth Forward” policy initiative. Students on campus have already been noticing changes both small and large. Beyond the availability, or lack thereof, of hard alcohol at on-campus parties — arguably the most visible change in student life — students have increasingly noticed the College’s focus on strengthening academic rigor. The plan to hold Saturday classes this fall term no doubt contributed to a discontent among students, most of whom were dissatisfied with the prospect of having to spend Friday nights in the library finishing work for their classes early the next morning. Yet none of this compares to the proposals of the ad hoc committee on grading practices and grade inflation to completely revamp the grading system, with the goal of making As and Bs more difficult to achieve and the potential elimination of the non-recording option.
The much-anticipated Green Key has finally arrived — students have been posting about their excitement for the weekend on social media outlets for days. As excited as students may be, however, there are many others who say that they feel an intense feeling of “FOMO,” or “a fear of missing out,” for the upcoming weekend, much of which seems to stem from a desire to feel included in a crowd, to feel as though they are part of a group. Social inclusion is something many of us value highly, and it’s astonishing how much we fail to pay attention to it in our daily lives.
We’re halfway through spring term, and the time has come in which women in the Class of 2018 are able to discuss the formal Panhellenic Council recruitment process without being met with passive aggressive comments of “It’s only winter term, you guys still have so much time!” As an ’18 woman beginning to consider the possibility of rush more seriously, I have a few words I’d like to put out there for my fellow first-year sisters.
“Excuse me, why have the engines stopped?” “I shouldn’t worry madam, we’ve likely thrown a propeller blade, that’s the shudder you felt.” This is a line from the iconic film, “Titanic” (1997), inspired by the disastrous sinking of the “unsinkable” RMS Titanic, which yesterday marked its 103rd anniversary. Today marks another sad occasion — the first anniversary of the sinking of the MV Sewol — with a touch of historical irony of occurring just one day after the anniversary of the Titanic disaster. The ferry capsized, taking the lives of 304 passengers, the majority of whom were high school students on a school trip to Jeju Island. Not only is it ominously reminiscent of the Titanic, but it is also an opportunity to reflect on how different nations and their people react to disasters. In particular, the United States deserves more credit for its ability to keep the memories of tragedies in its people’s hearts forever.
It’s been a long time coming for Hillary Clinton. As former First Lady of Arkansas and later the United States, Senator of New York and U.S. Secretary of State from 2009 until 2013, many have speculated that she’s now aiming for the office of Commander-in-Chief as her next role. Though times have been rough for the Clinton camp following the scandal around her use of a private email account while Secretary of State, she looks better than ever — at least according to stylists like Tim Gunn.
On the evening of Feb. 26, the Islamic State released a video that featured militants using sledgehammers to smash several priceless artifacts held in a museum in Mosul, Iraq, to pieces. What is most disturbing about these actions is that the pieces were not targeted with the intent of random, gratuitous destruction, but rather with a more specific and honed religious mission — to establish a global Islamic polity — in mind, as a representative of the Islamic State says at the beginning of the video. The Islamic State is more than a Middle Eastern terrorist group — it is a group motivated by a collectivizing, brutal and fundamentalist theology that poses a real threat to safety and stability throughout the world.
As I write this column, I’m sitting in One Wheelock with two empty containers in my workspace — one a 130-calorie coffee-flavored Greek yogurt, the other an 120-calorie gluten-free, vegan chocolate pudding. At the back of my mind, I think to myself, “I’m feeling peckish, but if grab a muffin right now, how many calories does that leave me for dinner?” I fear that my calorie counting is not an unhealthy habit that only I have, but one that I share with many other students here at Dartmouth.
With President Obama’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia to pay respects to the late King Abdullah, the Islamic practice of women wearing hijabs has received attention from Washington Post, Time Magazine and several other media outlets. First Lady Michelle Obama came under fire from many observers for her choice not to wear a hijab, a religious expectation for women within the region.
Wherever we are, racial divides and tensions are bound to exist. Yet the contributions of several individuals, ranging from this Monday’s holiday namesake Martin Luther King Jr. to the lesser sung W.E.B Dubois, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde and Bayard Rustin, have helped make the world a more equal place. Despite this progress, we must recognize that achieving equality requires more than just superficial change.
Within the first four days of its Internet release on Dec. 23, “The Interview” (2014) has garnered over 2 million views and an excess of $15 million in revenue. The intense publicity the movie has garnered from media outlets, public figures and human rights organizations has only increased with recent allegations that North Korea engaged in cyber attacks on Sony Pictures and the brief shutdown of North Korea’s internet, the perpetrators of which are still unconfirmed. Even a cursory glance at your Facebook feed will show that people are interested in more than simply the plot. Despite the hype, the movie only demonstrates the all-too-common Western tendency to divert attention away from the very real and serious issues that currently exist in North Korea.
The six-week ban on first-year students entering Greek houses serving alcohol is over for the Class of 2018, but serious scrutiny of its effectiveness should continue. Whether or not the ban should stay in place next year for the Class of 2019 is a question that deserves serious consideration. Given that the ban was implemented to deter high-risk drinking and reduce incidences of alcohol-driven sexual assault on campus, I believe that its effectiveness — or, as I will argue, lack thereof — should determine whether the ban is continued.
The New York Times calls her “a symbol of defiance.” Obama said she possesses “character far beyond her years.” Shakira considers her one of education’s strongest advocates. I call Malala Yousafzai a thunder stealer.
Winter is coming — meaning the Hinman line will get longer with students anxiously stocking up on their hooded bombers, Patagonia jackets and SmartWool socks. But before we make these purchases, we must understand the implications behind the products we buy. We must realize that the things that keep us warm may actually support a cold, dark industry.
I recently arrived to Dartmouth as a part of the Class of 2018 — my first time in the U.S. Despite the warm welcome that most at Dartmouth provided, I could not rid myself of the impression that the College considers international students a commodity rather than an addition, an extension rather than a part of the community.