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Current discussions over the Greek system are fixating on the wrong campus problem. Rather than quibbling over alcohol policy, Dartmouth fraternities should enter the 21st century by admitting women. This will preserve the best parts of Dartmouth’s culture, such as its remarkable ability to generate lasting friendships among large groups of people, while ending the anachronistic male domination of campus social spaces.
Ever since Captain Jack McDonald told me that my genetically irregular blood pressure rendered me ineligible for the Marines OCS program, I have wondered how one actually serves his or her country these days. After all, the nation reacted to Sept. 11 with anger and fear, not a call to duty. Even if there had been one, it is not clear what anyone could have done except help rebuild lower Manhattan, a task that remains unfinished more than four years later.
With all the commotion around the race for Student Body President, a true shout-out should go to David "Magic" Hankins, the hard-working senior who pushed Instant Runoff Voting through a skeptical Student Assembly. Instant Runoff Voting, in which students will rank their candidates, is the future of informed voting, and this race will mark Dartmouth as one of the first places to use it for a competitive race in the United States. And in a race that depends more than ever before on voter awareness, I felt the need to correct the charges being made against the best candidate for Student Body President, Paul Heintz '06.
There was a time in my younger days when I used to believe that Republicans were evil. Every time I think that age and wisdom has tempered my judgment, something like the Voter Outreach of America comes along. I have been working in Las Vegas for America Coming Together for the last several weeks, registering people to vote -- kids who just turned 18, immigrants who came to this country to lead a better life and hard-working middle-aged Americans who just never gave a damn before. We are going into neighborhoods that have been neglected for too long, inviting them back into a democratic process that this country has always been so proud of. That is why I was crushed when I saw breaking news on our local station Tuesday night.
Your article on September 29, "Registration Policy Shift Worries Greeks," was a dismaying but somewhat unsurprising update on the administration's continued battle to rein in Dartmouth social life to create a duller campus. What has come to bother me is not so much this goal, which is typical of middle-aged bureaucrats, but the insidious way in which Greek and alcohol policy creation is referred to as dialogue. The Student Life Initiative in its full glory has more or less come to a halt, but the administration has learned two valuable lessons from the experience. The first is that unpopular, detrimental policy can be enacted far more successfully piecemeal than it can with one sweeping change. The second is that whenever discontent swells, the administration should call together a group of students to form a committee, drag out meetings endlessly, publish a report during finals or Summer term and then subsequently ignore students' most important recommendations, extracting minor recommendations to tout as student-administrative collaboration.
Most of life's decisions are just Coke versus Pepsi," my professor once explained.
Life really is full of surprises. For example, I didn't realize how insanely cold beach temperatures could get until I tried to spend spring break in Myrtle Beach last year sleeping under a boardwalk. Perhaps a less interesting story to some, but a more relevant one given today's Student Assembly elections, is that I have come to an eleventh-hour decision to support the candidacy of Julia Hildreth.
To the Editors:
What is the point of holding the first-in-the-nation primary if the media and rabid Deaniacs are telling us that the election is already over?
Nothing can adequately describe the madness of college.
I usually reserve furious tirades for insidious Republicans, but the fact that the Green Party is still whimpering makes my blood curl. A week or two ago, Ralph Nader began entertaining the notion of another presidential run on the deflating logic that the Democrats aren't gonna win anyway, so why not screw them over a little extra? He can no longer make the argument that the views of extreme left America aren't represented.
For several years now, students have complained about Dartmouth's misguided alcohol policy, and the changes presented last January only exacerbated the administration's rift with reality. While several minor improvements have been made, it is worth highlighting one of the more nonsensical rules to emerge in the wake of the Student Life Initiative -- the ban on unregistered kegs.
It's easy to come up with a platform, but often tough to back up fine-sounding promises. A year ago I was elected on a mandate to make our student government more efficient, more representative and ready to tackle bigger issues. As student body president I've guided an ambitious Student Assembly, and in this article I will expound on some of our successes, as well as what needs to be done next year.
I love Dartmouth as much as anyone, but I've always been bothered by the great disparity between how much the College fawns over us and praises us as high school seniors, only to patronize us for the duration of our experience here. We are inundated with talk of community from the minute we set foot on campus, but it is apparently a community where students, the premise for this institution's existence, are not able to handle important decisions, control their own social lives or know how their own money is being spent.
Karl Marx once wrote, "Philosophers have only interpreted the world. The point, however, is the change it." While the social revolution of the 1960s is gone from most college campuses today, the amount of activism that still takes place is staggering, even overwhelming. There are over 200 organizations at Dartmouth, and as incoming students, you will undoubtedly sign up for at least a dozen that you will never participate in. Dartmouth College is filled with remarkable students, dead set on changing the world, and doing it before they graduate. What then, is the role of an undergraduate student government? It is likely that most of you are from high schools with token student councils that had little or no influence on the issues that really mattered to you, and come to Dartmouth with either great expectations or forgone disillusionment regarding student government. I will try to explain to you in my remaining 700 words, what the Dartmouth Student Assembly can mean to you.
The 21st century is off to a pretty bad start already, and the decision by Dean of Residential Life Martin Redman to ban door-to-door delivery of publications has not made things better. On May 13, 2002, The Dartmouth ran an article titled, "New Door Locks May Hinder Delivery." The article stated that, according to Dean Redman, "student publications will be treated as solicitors for the purpose of the policy and will be asked to cease delivery inside the dorms." This will apply to both independent and college-owned publications. As the newly-elected Student Assembly president, I believe that I speak for the vast majority of students in vigorously opposing this censorious new policy. The students I have spoken to agree that prohibiting the distribution of publications has absolutely nothing to do with campus safety. No Dartmouth student has ever been attacked or assaulted in their dorm by a publication deliverer. It has, rather, everything to do with the purported mission of this College -- the free and open dissemination of ideas. Claiming, as Redman does, that this sharing of ideas violates some presumed "right" to privacy -- and suggesting that this presumed "right" to privacy ranks more highly than free debate -- is a statement that is out of touch with the student body.
Have you ever woken up and wondered,
Hailing from somewhere in outer space, sci-fi surf rockers Man or Astroman? will play Dartmouth College for the first time tonight.
Die-hard readers of The Hardcore Truth, prepare for a new era. Now that fellow columnist Daniel Kay has sufficiently bitten my style, I can write about real issues, like professional sports destroying society.
I must confess that I haven't been watching a lot of sports recently, but if you haven't either, you can now get up to speed in The Hardcore Truth's Guide to Professional Athletics. For example, I have this friend who works in an Indian restaurant. He sees different faces every night, but the same result year after year: people choking on their food late in a meal. Because their players are always choking, the Boston Red Sox are the proverbial Indian restaurant of the baseball world.