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Just by looking at a charter school building in Manhattan, one can tell that they are not like New York City’s traditional public schools. Charter schools are funded with public money but privately run. The money that would support a student in a public school is instead used to support a charter school if they choose to attend one. In New York City, the 10 percent of students who attend charter schools are more proficient in math, learn to read at grade level much faster and graduate at higher rates than their public-school peers.
When I was little, I asked my mom what makes Democrats different from Republicans. She tried to figure out how to explain the difference in 10-year-old-friendly terms. My mother’s response, not entirely tongue-in-cheek, was that “Republicans are motivated by self-interest, and Democrats are concerned about what’s good for others.” The differences as I learned them were not political; they were moral.
Dartmouth sits right on New Hampshire’s border with Vermont; the College is, just barely, in one of the few “purple” states in the country. Election results that switch between parties year to year indicate that New Hampshire residents vote for people and policies, not just for parties. Nowadays, that is as rare as it is admirable. As a Dartmouth student and a passionate independent voter, I take great pride in this fact. However, with all of the talk about the Democratic primaries, I am reminded of an event that occurred last year during the midterm elections, which, I believe, threatened the fierce independence that defines New Hampshire.
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau is the latest public figure to fall from grace. A few weeks ago, a photo of him wearing brownface at a party in 2001 surfaced. He acknowledged that this was not the only time he had worn brownface or blackface. He apologized. The jury is still out on whether he will be forgiven.
The legalization of the birth control pill was one of the greatest victories for feminism in recent history: Its use is prevalent, and its effects are profound. Though they were aware of the pill’s potential for women’s liberation, the women who worked to legalize the pill strategically prioritized legal goals over making an ideological statement.
The most nuanced conversations I have about current political issues are private. In large groups, I nod in agreement. With close friends, I engage.
Protests and acts of civil disobedience have the power to make history. Anti-Vietnam war protests served to show the world that many Americans did not support the war effort and ultimately led lawmakers to consider how to end the war altogether. The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement — one woman, Rosa Parks, took a personal risk to stand up against a discriminatory law. The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom that culminated in Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is the stuff of history books. Protesting is part of a great American tradition of speaking out for what we believe in, no matter the consequences.
This past April, Swarthmore College’s fraternities found themselves in the middle of a crisis — old meeting minutes containing racist, derogatory and otherwise vile language were suddenly made public. Swarthmore’s two fraternities — Phi Psi and Delta Upsilon — responded by disbanding completely.
Trump jokes are low-hanging fruit. They’ve been made before — they’re overdone, easy, trite and, after two years of constant digs at the President and everyone in his circle, they just aren’t funny anymore.
The AUX cord in my car is broken. I know it’s a not a big deal. I could just listen to the radio. But the thing is, I’ve gotten pretty accustomed to listening to exactly what I want whenever I want. If I am bored with a song by the second verse, then I skip the next one. Or, if I want to discover something new, the geniuses at Spotify have a trusty algorithm for that: They deliver new custom playlists to my account every week. Spotify has created a musical universe that revolves around me, the consumer. And in doing so, Spotify has managed to construct the feeling that the broader universe, beyond just music, sometimes revolves around me too.
If you’ve never been to a Supreme Court hearing, I would highly recommend it. There are some things that even recordings miss. I did not learn in my constitutional law class that the justices sit through much of oral arguments with their faces cupped in their palms, eyes almost closed. They behave like bored students in a 9L lecture, bouncing and swiveling in the nation’s most esteemed wheelie chairs. If not for seeing it with my own eyes, I would not have believed that Justices Stephen Breyer and Clarence Thomas (one liberal and one extremely conservative) could lean back almost out of view of the public and giggle together at their inside jokes.
This summer at a family barbecue, conversation turned –– as it so often does –– political. At some point in the conversation, my dad divulged that he identifies as an independent voter, to which his friends responded with shock and horror: “But don’t you care about politics?”
This month, a study group created by the College will recommend a course of action regarding the Hovey murals. The murals, originally painted in the 1930s by Walter Beach Humphrey, a member of the Class of 1914, illustrate a drinking song written by another Dartmouth student, Richard Hovey. The murals used to decorate the walls of a faculty room in Thayer dining hall (now the basement of The Class of 1953 Commons), but are now locked out of view. Depending on the study group’s conclusions, the murals may remain where they are, be destroyed or be relocated. I hope that they will be relocated.
A few months after I turned 17, I dragged my mom with me to the crowded Harlem Department of Motor Vehicles in New York City. After three hours of waiting and a disturbingly easy test — think, “What does a red octagonal street sign mean?” — we made it to the front of the line, where I received my learner’s permit. Since I was to turn 18 before the end of that calendar year, the DMV employee recommended that I register to vote while I was there. I considered myself liberal and my parents were Democrats, so without much deliberation or discussion, I became a registered member of the Democratic Party in New York.
On June 5, 2018, a recall vote will be held in Santa Clara, California to determine whether Judge Aaron Persky will continue as a county judge. The recall efforts were led by Michele Dauber, a professor at Stanford Law School, who gathered enough signatures for a petition to force the vote. For the activists who campaigned to remove Persky, this is a huge success. However, for the criminal justice system, the recall vote is a travesty.
Buried among queries about ethnicity, GPA, extra-curricular activities and legacy status, high school students will find the following question on the Common Application: “Have you ever been adjudicated guilty or convicted of a misdemeanor, felony, or other crime?”
Some know Martin Shkreli as the “pharma bro” responsible for gouging the price of the life-saving drug Daraprim, relied on by vulnerable populations — pregnant women, cancer patients, people living with AIDS — by 5,000 percent. Some know him as the man who received a seven-year sentence for securities fraud this March. Some know him as the owner of the sole existing copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.”
A study published by Rutgers University found that until 2008, 97 percent of scholars who published academic op-eds in The Wall Street Journal and 82 percent in The New York Times were men. A byline survey conducted by Taryn Yaeger of The OpEd Project found that between Sept. 15 and Dec. 7, 2011, “women wrote 20 percent of op-eds in the nation’s leading newspapers — The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal.” Feminist news sources were quick to publish articles berating The Journal and The Times for being sexist and discriminatory publications.
“Sister survivors … the magic is in the power of your voice,” remarked Judge Rosemarie Aquilina at former USA Gymnastics national team doctor Larry Nassar’s sentencing hearing. As she addressed the 156 women who testified against Nassar, her language and tone were unsettling. Her remarks sounded more like something one would expect to hear coming out of a megaphone at an activists’ march than from the bench in a courtroom. Her theatrical comments toward victims like, “the monster who took advantage of you is going to wither much like the scene in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ where the water gets poured on the witch and the witch withers away” did nothing but put a spotlight on the judge herself.