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Bartlett: An Unworthy Sacrifice

(10/08/19 6:10am)

As I mill about the beloved Class of ’53 Commons (colloquially adored as “Foco”), I cannot help but stop and reminisce on a somewhat nostalgic cavalcade of bygone pizzas and one-off lobster dinners. It strikes me that this glorious facility — this Sistine Chapel of student sustenance — has proven the backdrop of my most iconic collegiate memories. 

Bartlett: Physical Education Redefined

(09/24/19 6:00am)

Dartmouth’s cornucopia of PE credits is nothing short of wonderful. The martially-inclined can hone their talents with taekwondo; the projectile-prone can refine their accuracy with archery; heck, the dancer in all of us can master the ineluctable romanticism of tango. It’s a smorgasbord of interesting options — but it’s not for everyone. Plenty of Dartmouth students don’t take well to organized physical fitness, some because of scheduling concerns and others because of sheer personal preference. Students who prefer the exhausting comfort of Alumni Gymnaisum do not receive PE credits for their accumulated hours, nor do students who amass a gaggle of their friends and acquaintances to participate in intramural sports. And this is a shame, as it reeks of twisted priorities. What matters more to the campus’s emphasis on fitness: that students are being active or that we’re active on their terms?

Bartlett: Building the Shallow End

(07/26/19 5:00am)

Here at Dartmouth, the idea of a liberal arts education guides our institution like a north star. It’s why the distributive system plays such a prominent role, akin to “general education,” in our academic experience. And it certainly would explain why pamphlets and tour groups boast of the metamorphosis into well-rounded intellectuals (ergo capable within both STEM and the humanities) at every chance they get. The goal of our education is to cultivate the totality of our abilities, not just our respective disciplines. 

Bartlett: Derelict Dining

(07/12/19 6:05am)

Sophomore summer is a heralded time — our wonderful academic romp about the woodlands of New Hampshire. You’ve likely read about it in pamphlets or associated propaganda, wherein the administration lauds this time of community and kinship. “The region around Hanover is ripe for exploring,” they say. And I suppose it is; it has to be. You can’t afford to have students looking inward when you essentially shortchange the summer-dwellers in regard to on-campus dining. That’s right. The Courtyard Café’s once miraculous kitchen lies vacant, collecting dust bunnies rather than quelling our voracious appetites. The Collis Café’s beloved Late Night operates on truncated “summer hours.” The Cube, the only of the three snack bars left alive, has seen its hours of operation dwindle. When the summer rolls around, it’s the Class of ’53 Commons or bust. And it shouldn’t be.

Bartlett: Establishing the Precedent

(10/18/18 6:05am)

With the appointment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the United States ushers in an entirely new era of legality. Chief among the staples of this paradigm shift: the retention of a conservative “political” majority. Mind you, I wholeheartedly believe that justices should serve as objective arbiters of the law, but I’m not so stupid as to presume that human beings suddenly eschew their beliefs and predilections the moment that they don those dapper, black robes. A consensus in viewpoint is thereby nothing short of monumental. But unlike the previous 5-4 majority, Kavanaugh represents a grand unknown atop the bench. His predecessor, Justice Anthony Kennedy, was renowned for his propensity to forego an automatic adherence to party lines. He was conservative, of course, but one couldn’t predict his judgement simply by glancing at the accompanying “Republican stance” on any given issue. Such is the sign of a great judge: putting objectivity before subjectivity. And Kennedy should be commended for it. 

Bartlett: Plight of the Foco Loner

(10/11/18 6:15am)

 Dark days are upon us of the Dartmouth Introvert. Dark days, indeed. Foco (the Class of 1953 Commons), that pristine chapel in which we worship the God of buffets most delectable, has succumbed to the latest in a long line of debilitating plagues: castigating the loner. Indeed, the bar-esque chair layout that once adorned the wall opposite the kitchen windows on the “light side” (for the common folk: the well-lit section of the first-floor seating area) has been supplanted by a series of two person-booths. Booth-table-booth; lather well, rinse thoroughly and repeat until the space, which I’ve termed “introvert row” lies filled to the brim. And quite honestly, the decision to do so befuddles me, as this (d)evolution lies more inefficient and inconvenient — to solitary foco-goers, at least — than its apparently maligned predecessor.

Bartlett: Legitimacy Lost

(09/20/18 6:05am)

Life isn’t fair; get used to it. My father’s favorite tidbit of “parental wisdom,” this brutal truth applies quite well to the realm of collegiate admissions. In fact, this sentiment colors how people gaze upon all of academia. It guides them to bemoan privilege, to champion the underdog, to seek true meritocracy. And yet here we stand, looming over an academic precipice which stands to plummet higher education downward and subvert the progress that has been made toward climbing Mt. Meritocracy. This generation stands privy to the death of standardized testing — the death of the great legitimizer.

Bartlett: A Shameful Conflict

(04/17/18 6:05am)

The saga of President Donald Trump vs. former FBI Director James Comey never fails to entertain. In what may be the most outspoken and belligerent case of a high-profile “he said, she said” in years, the two political elites continue to trade blow after blow with one another. For Trump, this obviously takes the form of Twitter-born diatribes. For Comey, his sentiment takes the form of subtle jabs and incendiary claims within his memoir, “A Higher Loyalty.”

Bartlett: The Gilded Age

(04/12/18 6:05am)

I remember an era — albeit barely — in which superhero movies used to be the spectacle. This was a time when even the most iconic titans like Batman or Iron Man would very seldom (if ever) make their way to the silver screen. At the theater, suffering through uncomfortably itchy and deformed seating was the price to pay to bear witness to the spectacle. Today, in light of the upcoming release of “Avengers: Infinity War,” I realize that this reality around superhero films hardly seems to hold true anymore. The superhero genre –– Marvel in particular –– has, in large part, been devalued by the rate at which the films are released.

Bartlett: Inhibitive Distributives

(04/05/18 4:15am)

Little in life frustrates me — an ever-proud humanities major — more than the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. It’s hard to place exactly why that is, but I learned early on in life that the path of the scientist was hardly one that I wanted to follow. Sure, I played the game in high school: I padded my college applications with a myriad of AP and Honors STEM courses in the hopes of coming across as more accomplished and well-rounded to college admissions committees. But being able to succeed in a field and actually enjoying the subject matter are vastly different ideas. It’s safe to say that post-high school, I was elated to be finished with what I considered to be naught but tedious means to an end. 

Bartlett: Learning the Art of the Deal

(02/01/18 5:30am)

In the week following the end of the government shutdown, American politics have been riddled with speculation and conjecture regarding the future of the Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals program. It seems that President Donald Trump — master of the art of the deal — has finally responded by proposing his own framework: DACA could survive and the children of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. at a young age could be given a special path to citizenship. However, the proposition comes with a caveat. A DACA revival would only come to fruition if Congress (particularly the Democratic aisle) agrees to fund the construction of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. This deal is expensive; it is ostentatious; but most importantly, it is worth taking.

Bartlett: The Decline of the NFL

(01/25/18 5:15am)

The National Football League is struggling and seems unable to get out of its own way. From controversies over national anthem protests to concussion research, recent public opinion of football has been far from stellar. The drop in ratings echoes this sentiment. However, one of the greatest impediments to the success of the NFL lies not in external factors, but within the very broadcast booths and media outlets which are supposed to foment enthusiasm for the sport. In their constant haste to render the game exciting through their commentary or discussions of the latest strategies or roster moves made by teams, these individuals have unwittingly managed to oversaturate the market with content. They have created an environment that feeds off of nostalgia, precipitating a sense of apathy that can explain many of the league’s recent quagmires.

Bartlett: The AP Arms Race

(01/18/18 5:45am)

The United States currently has a problem in the realm of academia, and for once it is not solely budget related. Instead, this particular issue stems from advanced placement courses, the likes of which have proliferated throughout the nation’s high schools. The dilemma is in the growing lack of curricular flexibility precipitated by their presence, which promotes adherence to a label rather than the pursuit of one’s interests.

Bartlett: Sanctions, A Fruitless Endeavor

(01/11/18 6:00am)

 “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” This principle is said to govern the machinations of the entire universe. Scientifically or otherwise, it certainly makes sense: All actions have consequences. The United Nations does not seem to have accurately understood the principle in its responses to North Korea. Every North Korean infraction of global policy does not precipitate an equal and opposite response; No, every action gives way to a meager — and nearly always ineffective — set of sanctions.

Bartlett: Fantasy's Harsh Reality

(11/09/17 5:20am)

The National Football League is struggling. Ratings are dropping and public opinion of the sport has fallen. Why this is happening is not clear. Some, like John Schnatter, the chief executive officer of Papa John’s, point to recent protests during the national anthem in which football players have kneeled to express dissatisfaction with police violence. Schnatter believes these athletes’ actions are “polarizing the customer.” Others are quick to blame recent discussion of concussions and the health risks associated with the sport that have driven a rapid decline in youth football participation. While both factors have contributed to the dilapidation of the once-pristine cultural monolith that is the NFL, one of the most injurious culprits behind football’s declining viewership is not so much political or health-related as recreational. I am talking, of course, about fantasy football.

Bartlett: Enough with Twitter

(11/02/17 4:15am)

To say that the presidency of Donald Trump has been tumultuous is an understatement. As is the case with any first-term president, there have been highs and moments of excellence and there have been lows and shocking gaffes — the verdict is still out on which is more significant. Within the policy whirlwind that has occurred as Trump transitions from his gilded apartment to the White House, the president’s continued reliance upon Twitter stands out.

Bartlett: Identity Crisis

(10/19/17 4:30am)

On paper, the 2016 election cycle was an overwhelming success for the Republican Party — one that saw the Senate, the House of Representatives and, most importantly, the presidency fall under GOP control. With control of the White House and Senate, the administration of President Donald Trump was able to appoint Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, all but guaranteeing a strong conservative presence on the nation’s highest court for decades to come. Yet, in spite of the resounding triumph within each of the United States’ three branches of government, the Republican Party remains more fragmented than it has been in decades. Typically, divisions within major political parties have coincided with the presence of a crushing defeat, not an overwhelming victory. However, the recent failures of the GOP are anything but innocuous for a party that, despite its legislative dominance, seems increasingly disunified.

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