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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.
Last week, the world watched in horror as Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Within days, thousands of Russians and Ukrainians were dead, and Europe was, and still is, experiencing a refugee crisis of catastrophic proportions. Despite the credible threat of arrest — indeed over 6,000 have already been detained — thousands of Russians hit the streets to chant “No to war!” in opposition to their government’s actions.
On Feb. 17, Librex — an app that allowed users from Dartmouth and other elite schools to post anonymously for all their peers to see — announced that the platform would be permanently shut down. This news sent shockwaves throughout the community. While some mourned the loss of a way to stay connected to Dartmouth culture, others celebrated the permanent end of the app. Why? Throughout its history, Librex allowed students to objectify peers, mock their friends and even target individual students with slurs. We cheer its end, and that of the harmful discourse it enabled — but we also caution the Dartmouth community against allowing yet another iteration of a venomous, anonymous app to rise from Librex’s ashes.
This term, students walking through the library have been met with a jarring sight: Usually bustling with energy, First Floor Berry has been a ghost town. The space, which has been closed since the start of the winter in response to low mask compliance during the fall, is slated to remain closed until the indoor mask mandate is lifted. This measure, however, has shown itself to be utterly ineffective. Without access to a key group study space, students looking to hit the books have simply moved to less supervised areas of the library, leading to overcrowding and, if anything, aggravating the problem of mask non-compliance.
This editorial is featured in the 2022 Winter Carnival special issue.
Last month, the College announced plans to construct apartment-style undergraduate residences on Lyme Road. The new dormitory will house roughly 300 students and, by creating more supply, allow the College to renovate “approximately 60% of existing undergraduate residence halls over the coming decade,” starting with the mold-ridden Andres and Zimmerman Halls and Brace Commons this summer.
On Tuesday, Jan. 25, College President Phil Hanlon announced in a campus-wide email that, after a decade at the helm, he will step down from leadership of the College in June of 2023. Shortly after this announcement, an email from the Board of Trustees praised President Hanlon for “steer[ing] the institution to ever greater academic excellence, inclusion, and impact.”
With over 1,500 new cases among faculty, staff and students since the term started and a testing positivity rate of over 14% this past week, one would be hard-pressed to find a friend group, class or dorm that has managed to entirely avoid the clutches of COVID-19. And, as Student Assembly first shared in its email communications and the administration continues to remind students, this should come as no surprise: Dartmouth anticipated this staggering caseload and adjusted its policies accordingly, doing away with isolation housing, setting up a shockingly high quality isolation dining experience and allowing people the chance to test out with a negative rapid test after five or seven days. The College has done good work in preparing for the inevitable, but glaring issues remain: Dartmouth must do more to ease the lives of those who, by virtue of the College’s decision to treat COVID-19 as endemic, have contracted the virus.