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Allard: An Unpopular Vote for the Electoral College

(10/29/20 6:00am)

When Indiana’s Democratic senator Birch Bayh launched his campaign to reform the American presidential election system in 1966, he aspired to dismantle the Electoral College by constitutional amendment. Recently, Bayh’s efforts have been reincarnated by Democrats whose presidential candidates have lost the presidency despite winning the popular vote. Instead of abolishing the Electoral College, though, both Bayh and the Democratic Party should take up a much easier, safer project that would achieve the same goal: abolishing the winner-take-all electoral system. 

Allard: The False Promise of "Believe Women"

(05/21/20 6:05am)

Last year, celebrities, politicians and many of my friends took to social media to spread the hashtag “#BelieveWomen.” Prompted by decades of not taking sexual assault against women seriously enough, the hashtag was used to promote the idea that women who shared allegations against men could expect to be believed. The campaign to “believe women” told survivors that even if their case wouldn’t win in court, they would be believed in the court of public opinion. Recently, many of the same people who were outspoken about the need to believe women have changed their tune now that believing women comes with unfavorable political consequences. 

Allard: A Remote Possibility

(04/09/20 6:00am)

When Dartmouth announced its intention to host the entire spring term online, many students and professors were both disappointed and anxious. It was nearly impossible to imagine how the Dartmouth experience would translate to a remote format. As expected, attending Dartmouth virtually has not been the same as the on-campus experience. However, in our first week and a half of remote learning, professors have been remarkably innovative and accommodating. The online format, and the hard work of professors to make it work well, have allowed many students to continue their education relatively smoothly in spite of the challenges of learning from home. If Dartmouth can accommodate all 6,500 of its students learning in a remote format with only three weeks’ notice, the College should be able to offer a remote option for undergraduates who might need to take a term at home in the future.

Allard: Chartering a New Course

(11/12/19 7:15am)

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.

Allard: The Summer My Mom Turned Libertarian

(11/05/19 7:14am)

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.

Allard: Get Out the Vote, Only for Democrats

(10/24/19 6:10am)

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.

Allard: In Protest of Protests

(07/05/19 6:10am)

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. 

Allard: Culture of Customization

(05/02/19 6:10am)

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. 

Allard: We Should Act More Like Justices

(04/19/19 6:05am)

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.

Allard: A Proper Exhibit

(09/21/18 6:05am)

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.

Allard: Independent for Independence

(05/17/18 6:15am)

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. 

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