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My first term at Dartmouth was mostly spent grabbing meals. Like many, I was unaccustomed to, but excited by, the ability to eat at all hours of the day. The Class of 1953 Commons and Collis Café saw much of my DBA in my first few weeks here. More engrossing to me, though, was the chance to meet and talk with people from so many different backgrounds. Hearing my new classmates tell stories of places I’d only once imagined was both exciting and overwhelming.
The coffee shop is a privileged space. Since coffee was exported from Ethiopia to Mecca and Medina in the 10th century, coffeehouses have been a staple of cosmopolitan life around the world. People have used coffeehouses as local meeting places, cornerstones of an interconnected and reflective neighborhood.
This column was featured in the 2017 Homecoming Issue.
What is an American? This question might not even make sense. Rarely do we argue about any fundamental qualities that define Americans, because there are so few. However, roughly once in a generation, Americans are forced to interrogate our national project and decide who may partake in it. The moment in which we live demands that we grapple with such questions.
This article was featured in the 2017 Freshman Issue.
Six months into the Trump administration and The Donald has little to show for himself. Signature campaign promises such as the Definitely-Not-Muslim Travel Ban and “The Wall” have been bogged down in courts or have yet to even begin materializing respectively. Republican attempts to “Repeal and Replace” the Affordable Care Act have failed twice now, largely due to the lack of executive leadership or comprehension of the issue. The President’s meetings with foreign leaders, both at his private resorts and abroad, have unilaterally weakened America’s global standing and eliminated any notion that Trump understands or cares what a good political “deal” for the country would entail.
Today, the town of Hanover will have its annual ballot to vote on new zoning articles and town officers. Potential new laws are of special interest to the Dartmouth community. This year, Hanover’s town meeting is acutely relevant to the College, thanks to one high-stakes petition article.
Dartmouth is a strange place. We could politely call the College “unique” or “exceptional,” but positive connotations would discourage any self-reflection on the strangeness of the place we inhabit. It should be obvious to anyone in the Dartmouth community that students, faculty and alumni have a special intimacy with the College rarely seen outside our borders.
I was recently informed that I’m no longer a millennial. The inexact art that is generational studies has apparently rechristened those born from 1995 to 2012 from the ever-aging “Millennial” generation to a new, vastly different “Generation Z.”
The end of this spring term will mark the first year of Moving Dartmouth Forward’s full implementation on campus. Despite the establishment of flagship policies such as the budding housing system and the hard alcohol ban, students seem to have adapted when MDF affects us and forgotten its existence when it does not.
According to statistics from the Department of Defense, fewer than 0.5 percent of Americans serve in the armed forces while less than seven percent of the population have ever served in the military. Of the country’s veteran population, approximately half are over the age of 60. More elected officials in the United States have never served before than at any prior time in our history while the shrinking pool of families that shoulder the burden of armed service are disproportionately generational fighters hailing from middle- and working-class backgrounds.