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On Feb. 13, tragedy struck Michigan State University when a gunman killed three students and injured five others. This shooting, just like dozens of others in schools across America, highlighted the shortcomings of MSU’s emergency response plan — including that students were not notified of the threat for nearly 15 minutes, leading to rampant spreading of misinformation about the threat.
Within 24 hours of the vote to strike by the Student Worker Collective at Dartmouth, news broke that the College had suddenly changed its mind on the union’s package proposal and verbally accepted it. Let that sink in. After all the time and lawyers’ fees wasted on stalled negotiations, which began all the way back in May 2022, all it took was one email threatening a strike for the house of cards to tumble down. The outcome sure seems inevitable, at least in retrospect.
Last month, The Dartmouth reported some of the challenges students face when trying to do laundry in their dorms. From dryers that require several cycles to dry, to washers that leak or don’t adequately wring out clothes, to machines that don’t work at all, the current laundry system sets students up to fail. When adding in the exorbitant cost that students incur when these machines don’t work properly — it is clear that the current laundry service provider, CSC ServiceWorks, is not able to keep up with student needs, at least in its current state.
This column is featured in the 2023 Winter Carnival special issue.
This weekend, temperatures in the Upper Valley are predicted to drop to treacherously low levels, with some news outlets predicting wind chills between -20 and -30 degrees Fahrenheit. The College has taken many precautions to warn students about the risks of such low temperatures. Residential Operations sent an email explaining ways for students to keep their rooms warmer and Student Government emailed to inform students about a bus system that will pick them up and drop them off at their dorm clusters. And with a campus-wide email warning about the health risks of such cold temperatures — particularly when drinking —the College has taken important steps to ensure students are aware of the risks this weekend.
Mental health and wellness is always on the minds of Dartmouth students. Since it convened last March, this Editorial Board has published no less than four articles on various mental health topics, from the JED Foundation to the collective trauma of losing five of our classmates in less than three years. Similarly, David Millman ’23 and Jessica Chiriboga ’24, president and vice president of Dartmouth Student Government, ran on a platform of expanding and improving the mental healthcare options available to students.
Nothing gets college students angry like messing with their food. Aside from being essential, meals are a cherished moment to relax and socialize. Infringe on that, and there will be problems. Yet, that is exactly what Dartmouth Dining has done lately by increasing food prices and pushing students to purchase meal plans that give them less and less bang for their buck.
The Hopkins Center for the Arts is a hub for performing arts in the Upper Valley. From renowned guest performances to a capella groups and orchestral concerts to student productions and film screenings — and countless events in between — the Hopkins Center is a gathering place for those affiliated with Dartmouth and the broader area to engage with the arts.
It has been two weeks since the Day of Caring, a day in which the fast-pace of the Dartmouth term slowed to allow students to pause and grieve the recent deaths of several students, faculty and staff. Words cannot describe how vital the Day of Caring was for the Dartmouth community: The pandemic and all its resulting disruption has yielded nothing short of a full-blown mental health crisis among students, exacerbated by the College’s lack of action. A study of Dartmouth students found that symptoms of anxiety and depression increased in spring 2020 — the first full academic term of pandemic-era restrictions — mapping onto national trends from the early pandemic. What’s more, at least five Dartmouth students died by suicide from November 2020 to September 2022.
This Tuesday, Nov. 8, is Election Day in the United States. Across the country, every seat in the House of Representatives, 35 seats in the Senate, 36 governorships and hundreds of local elections are being decided on Tuesday. As with every election, this is a rare chance to contribute your voice to democracy. This Editorial Board encourages all students, faculty and staff to vote where they are legally eligible and where they think their voice will be most impactful — whether that be in Hanover or at home.
This past Monday marked Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the United States. Twenty states plus the District of Columbia and countless cities across the country officially recognized the holiday this year in an effort to acknowledge the historical mistreatment of Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian people throughout the history of the United States. In the places that celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the holiday replaces or coincides with Columbus Day, which was first designated a national holiday in 1934 but ultimately ignores over 500 years of Indigenous hardship and suffering at the hands of European colonizers.
Dartmouth’s “Greek Life Social Responsibility and First Year Student Policy” — more commonly known as the “frat ban” — is regularly in effect for the majority of the fall term. The policy, which was implemented in 2013 at the request of student leaders in Greek life, is meant to promote safety and community and decrease risks among first-year students as they transition into the College’s social scene. The frat ban forbids first-year students from attending events at Greek houses where alcohol is served until “noon on the Monday after Homecoming weekend, or the seventh Monday of the term, whichever is later,” according to the Greek Life website. It also hands out lofty punishments to students and Greek organizations where infractions occur — including preventing individuals from joining a Greek organization until after their sophomore year. According to an email sent to students on Friday, Sep. 16, this year’s frat ban will end on Monday, Oct. 31.
Dartmouth, to put it very mildly, is going through a rough patch. Last Monday, the Department of Safety and Security sent a campus-wide email alerting to the assault of a graduate student on Main Street. On Tuesday, The Dartmouth reported that the assault was being investigated as a hate crime by the Hanover Police Department. On Wednesday morning, interim Dean of the College Scott Brown sent a campus-wide email announcing the death of Joshua Watson ’22, who died in his hometown of Indianapolis on Aug. 27 while on leave from the College. At 6:19 p.m, the Office of the President at the College followed up by expressing “outrage” over the graduate student attack. Just two hours later, at 8:21 p.m., we learned of the death of a second classmate, Sam Gawel ’23, who died by suicide in Hanover on Wednesday. And just yesterday, College President Phil Hanlon announced that Luke Veenhuis, a Thayer researcher, died over the weekend.
This summer, the College announced that Sian Leah Beilock would be taking over as President of the College following current President Phil Hanlon’s retirement at the end of this academic year. This news represents an important milestone in Dartmouth’s over 250-year history, as Beilock is the first ever woman to serve in this position. This Editorial Board joins the many students who celebrated the long overdue decision to elect a woman to lead the College, and we believe that Beilock’s background as an accomplished cognitive science researcher, a previous college administrator and a mother make her particularly well-qualified for this appointment. Additionally, her extensive educational experience at public institutions provides her with an outsider perspective that makes her uniquely qualified to tackle some of the most salient issues on Dartmouth’s campus.
Earlier this week, The Dartmouth reported on the increased discussion of the use of “roofies” or date-rape drugs on campus. Although sources from the College suggest a lack of official reports to back up the rumors that date-rape drug use has increased, one thing is clear: Students fear that they or their friends will be roofied. In many ways, this fear is not unfounded; the idea of unintentionally blacking out for hours and never regaining the memory of that period is terrifying. After all, anything could have happened during that period of time, and you would have no memory of it.
This editorial is featured in the 2022 Green Key special issue.
The turbulence that was the 2020-21 academic year will not escape the collective memory of the Dartmouth student body. Last year, mental health for many students was at rock bottom; COVID-19 policies were strict and students were feeling the disruption of an ongoing pandemic. This was especially difficult for the Class of 2024, as they transitioned into a new space without much support. Three first-year students — Beau DuBray ’24, Connor Tiffany ’24 and Elizabeth Reimer ’24 — died by suicide, and a fourth student — Lamees Kareem ’22 — died of a medical condition.
Since its founding in 1769, “Vox Clamantis in Deserto” — or, “A voice crying out in the wilderness” — has been the motto of Dartmouth College, representing its unique place in rural New Hampshire and the tight-knit community that this setting creates. Understanding the origins of this motto, which we so proudly advertise, is integral to having a complete understanding of the College’s history — and of this place so many of us call home.
Dartmouth Dining Services — the company that operates the dining halls and cafes on Dartmouth’s campus — has gotten heat for many issues throughout the years, from absurdly long lines at the beginning of the fall term to reducing the hours of many dining locations following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the company has swiftly addressed some of these shortcomings, another clear issue has yet to be confronted — the limited amount of affordable, healthy options at Dartmouth Dining locations.
The JED Foundation is set to announce its strategic plan for improving Dartmouth’s mental health infrastructure by the end of the term. Representatives from JED — a nonprofit that, according to its website, “protect[s] emotional health and prevent[s] suicide for... teenagers and young adults” — visited campus in late February to meet with administrative offices and various student groups. The strategic plan will be informed by this feedback, along with findings from the Healthy Minds Survey — which was sent out to campus during the fall term — and recommendations from committees of students, faculty and leadership across Dartmouth’s undergraduate and graduate schools.