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Dartmouth has finally instituted long overdue changes to its medical leave policy, which has been renamed to the “time away for medical reasons” policy. Some of these changes went into effect immediately, while other provisions will become active in January. These changes are a victory for students and place the College one step closer to an environment that puts the health of its community first. However, there are still major problems with the policy that have not been directly addressed. As an Editorial Board, we would like to review the changes which we believe are worthy of special commendation, but also highlight several concerns that may jeopardize the new policy’s ultimate effectiveness.
This article is featured in the 2023 Commencement & Reunions special issue.
As the end of the term approaches rapidly, many students on campus are asking themselves a very important question: Who is crushing on me on Last Chances? The popular website, which usually launches in the spring, allows students to enter the name of their campus crush. The entries are anonymous unless two students add each other’s names, in which case the website reveals to both that they have “matched.” It is common to hear about students who match, but far less common are stories of people who are willing to make the first move. Heading into formal season and Senior Week at Dartmouth, we at the Editorial Board are here to encourage you to send a flitz — a flirty blitz — to that special someone. While websites like Last Chances help students find potential dates, it is still up to students to approach their crushes. Be bold, be brave and make the first move.
This week, the College will host its annual Green Key music festival. Concerts will kick off early this afternoon at Phi Delta Alpha fraternity and Collis Center, followed by the Programming Board-sponsored show tonight featuring headliners Neon Trees and Cochise. Festivities will continue throughout the day tomorrow, with live music offerings practically every hour after 11 a.m. This Editorial Board hopes that students will take a well-deserved break from their studies to get outside, enjoy the music and soak up the sunshine with friends. However, we also hope students will keep in mind the potential risks this weekend brings, and we ask that everyone does their best to keep themselves and others safe.
This morning, The Dartmouth published this week’s Verbum Ultimum, an opinion piece written by the editor-in-chief, executive editors, opinion editors and opinion staff columnists. This week’s Verbum Ultimum was intended to be published tomorrow. However, due to an error, it was published at 12 p.m. today and remained on the website for a few minutes until it was taken down to correct this error. We have decided to re-publish the Verbum Ultimum today for full transparency. We did not edit the piece between the time it was taken down and the time it was re-published, and we apologize for the mistake.
On April 27, Provost David Kotz sent an email to campus with the JED Foundation's findings and recommendations regarding the state of mental health and well-being at the College. Dartmouth commissioned the report in May 2021 in response to heated student-led calls to re-evaluate college mental health policies after a wave of tragedies on campus. However, despite the College’s promise that this survey is a “comprehensive assessment of our campus mental health and well-being environment,” according to Kotz’s email, the report fails to adequately address concerns regarding the College’s mental health infrastructure and lacks meaningful suggestions for how to improve mental health on campus.
On April 21, the Office of the Provost informed the campus community that a swastika — a hate symbol representing antisemitism, genocide and Nazi ideology — was discovered drawn in the dirt on the side of the Green. Safety and Security found the swastika just days after the campus community commemorated Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, on April 18 with a reading of the names of every child who died in the Holocaust. As an Editorial Board, we stress the severity of antisemitism — both on campus and nationally. Antisemitism is rising at alarming rates, and it is critical that people learn to recognize antisemitism — in all its forms — and condemn it without qualification.
On Wednesday, the Elections Planning and Advisory Committee announced the results of the 2023 undergraduate student elections. Besides the hotly contested elections for senior class president and vice president, the majority of races were either uncompetitive or nonexistent. Only two candidates were running on the ballot for three seats on the Class of 2026 class council, and four out of six Housing Communities did not have a full slate of balloted candidates for their respective class senator positions. Zero students ran for the Committee on Standards or Organizational Adjudication Committee seats, leaving these crucial roles in Dartmouth’s student disciplinary process temporarily undecided while the Elections Planning and Advisory Committee evaluates write-in candidates. Even in elections that managed to secure a full slate of candidates without write-in votes, there was only one contested election other than senior class president and vice president. Student indifference towards undergraduate elections hinders Dartmouth Student Government’s ability to represent the student body properly, and students should put in more of an effort to engage with their governing bodies — by voting in elections at a minimum, and by running for positions themselves if they want to effect positive change.
On Wednesday, the Graduate Organized Laborers of Dartmouth won their vote to unionize by an 89% margin. Although this week’s vote was a triumph for the rights of student workers, the path to arrive at this point has been ridden with attempts by the College to derail GOLD-UE’s unionization efforts. Prior to this week’s vote, the College announced it would continue its efforts to delay its recognition of GOLD-UE, claiming that large portions of the graduate student population were ineligible to vote based on the technicalities of how they are paid. The lengths that the College has gone to in order to impede graduate students’ rights to unionize are embarrassing and unbecoming for a school of Dartmouth’s standing and resources. We call on the College to end its union-busting methods and take steps to ensure that student workers’ rights to unionize are never infringed upon again.
Last week, the Dartmouth community learned that the College possesses the remains of 15 Native American individuals — a discovery resulting from the re-inventories of the Hood Museum and anthropology department archives. Since then, the College has created a task force to ensure these remains are returned to their respective tribes. This announcement directly impacted students who had interacted with these bones in ANTH 43: “Human Osteology” and ANTH 50: “Forensic Anthropology” last fall. In addition, many Native students on campus grieved in reaction to the news — and rightfully so.
As the March 24 deadline for professors to input winter grades rolled around last week, students checked DartHub with anticipation to see how they performed in their courses. But even as students received letter grades denoting their overall performance in their classes, not all of them had access to the final papers and examinations that supposedly finalized the marks on their transcript.
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.