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On June 14, Dartmouth students received an email from the Office of Residential Life stating that “as expected, demand [for housing] has exceeded our capacity.” So began a student scramble to find off-campus housing for the fall. The most alarming part of this crisis was just how predictable it was — housing has been in short supply for years. The administration has ignored the need for more housing for nearly two decades, and the Town has failed to implement simple measures that would enable more students to live off campus. The solution is easy: both must immediately prioritize the construction of more housing units.
The 2016 Republican National Convention saw the formal nomination of Donald Trump and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as the Republican presidential and vice presidential candidates, respectively. From Texas Sen. Ted Cruz being booed off the stage for not endorsing Trump to accusations that Melania Trump’s speech was plagarized, the convention was more reminiscent of reality television than a political event. Critics point to the dark tone of Trump’s nomination acceptance speech and lack of concrete policy recommendations as a major flaw in the overarching message of the convention. The convention, as John Oliver’s July 24 episode of “Last Week Tonight” addressed quite poignantly, showed that for the Trump-led Republican Party, “believing something to be true is the same as it being true.” In short, feelings are as important as facts.
Although the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union — “Brexit” — may feel far removed from our isolated lives in the Dartmouth bubble, its consequences for those of us on this side of the pond are clear. Since the British government held the referendum on June 23, global stock markets are plummeting, with a record $3 trillion wiped from global markets the Friday and Monday following Brexit.
During this hot and busy summer, students inboxes included several emails from the administration requesting that they minimize usage of lights, air conditioners and computers. The email does not state concerns about the environment — like one would expect — but rather, with lowering the College’s “annual cost.” Students, on Yik Yak and in conversation, have overwhelmingly expressed dissatisfaction. With students paying as much as $72,000 a year to attend Dartmouth, the request seems unreasonable.
At the time of writing, Thursday’s GOP debate hadn’t taken place yet. So, although we cannot recap the debate, there are a couple things we can guarantee almost with certainty: Hillary Clinton will be bashed, Reagan will be invoked and Donald Trump will be orange. While we’re sure there will be many interesting moments to discuss when the debate is over (like all the different ways one can say “I will repeal the Iran deal”), there is an issue that is largely glossed over when discussing a debate like this: the shortcomings in the nature of the debates themselves. Viewers and pundits spend so much time and energy on the clever catch phrases and mortifying gaffes that the structure of these primary debates, which is beyond flawed, is completely ignored.
The Atlantic recently published an article with the sensational title, “Rich Kids Study English,” which explores the results of a study that show a correlation between parental wealth and student major. It appears that nationally, college students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds choose majors in “hireable” fields more often than their wealthier peers. Because wealthy students do not have to worry as much about landing a job solely based on their major, the study suggests, they pursue less practical fields of study. At Dartmouth, we are often sold the idea of the holistic, liberal arts education. The admissions office advertises this ideal, and our professors and deans, among others, tell us from day one of orientation that we should major in something we love. But that is often easier said than done.
Hillary Clinton’s recent visit to Hanover should be a wake-up call to campus — it’s election season. Students at the College on the Hill are in a position from now until next November to get up close and personal with candidates. What’s more, students have the opportunity to pose questions to candidates that could help shape the debate. We know, that sounds fantastic, but being a student in New Hampshire comes with the benefit of being able to vote here without residency. New Hampshire voters get to set the tone early with the First in the Nation Primary.
Four years, twelve terms, thirty six classes, one hundred and twenty weekends and one glorious sophomore summer. That is all the time most Dartmouth students get here. The question is how to make the most of it. The temptation this summer is obvious — take the easier course load and enjoy the summer with your friends. It’s possible to lose sight of the fact that summer term is still a term, one of only 12 we get. While taking two layups and concentrating on drinking, hiking, swimming or tanning does have a certain appeal, we ought to still respect this term for what it is — one of our quickly dwindling opportunities to take classes from the world-class professors here.
Newly announced off-campus programs in Ghana and Sante Fe, New Mexico, mark exciting additions to Dartmouth’s study abroad opportunities. With historical student participation rates of over 50 percent, studying abroad is as part of Dartmouth as the Homecoming bonfire, Dartmouth Outing Club first-year trips and mozzarella sticks at Late Night Collis. Yet the practice faces an uncertain future — enrollment dipped significantly with the Class of 2013. To reverse this trend, the College must reassess its approach to study abroad programs.
Conversations about the Greek system are ubiquitous on this campus, as well as in the pages of this publication. Despite its relentless presence, however, campus discourse consistently overlooks a significant portion of students who belong to the Greek community. Coed houses and undergraduate societies — both of which are listed in the GLOS handbook — experience significantly lower visibility on campus than those houses awarded “mainstream status” — those that are single-sex. Although 96 percent of affiliated students join single-sex houses, the remaining 4 percent cannot be ignored. Excluding coed organizations from both campus consciousness and tangible privileges is harmful to both coed members and the greater Greek system.
As new Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson spends her first few weeks familiarizing herself with Dartmouth and assessing student needs, we hope she focuses particular attention on reforming the advisory system, which, in its current form, fails to meet the needs of the student body.
Summer may be a full academic term for sophomores, but the rest of the campus is certainly taking things a little easier. There are fewer courses available, fewer places to eat and fewer open hours at the gym. We concede that, given the smaller student body, some service cuts may be necessary. The trouble is, however, that these cuts have been extended to Dick's House, and have effectively shut down the Good Samaritan policy for the summer months.
This summer, as sophomores settle into new leadership positions on campus, several new administrators will also adjust to their offices at the College. With a new dean of the College, incoming directors of Greek Letter Organizations and Societies and the Center for Women and Gender, three new trustees and a variety of other new administrators, many of Dartmouth's top offices will soon see major personnel changes.
Last week, College President Jim Yong Kim appointed Harry Sheehy as the College's new Athletic Director, filling a position that had been vacated by former Athletic Director Josie Harper more than 19 months ago ("Sheehy appointed as new Athletic Director," Aug. 6). Sheehy inherits the directorship of an athletic department that inspires little fan interest on campus and often seems divorced from Dartmouth community life.
Despite projections of a $2.5 million deficit in the College budget for the 2010 fiscal year, we have ended the year with a $5.6 million surplus ("Dartmouth Ends Year with Surplus," July 23). Throughout the budget reduction process, College President Jim Yong Kim continually stressed changes to "back of the house" spending that would preserve the quality of the student experience at the "front of the house." Nearly half a year later, it seems that the College has followed through on its promise. Course options remain varied, support for the 31 varsity sports teams remains strong and a wide variety of extracurricular activities continue to thrive. Furthermore, Kim followed through on his stated goal to make all necessary cuts as quickly as possible instead of prolonging them over several years unlike several fellow Ivy League institutions.
This week, the College announced the formation of a second search committee to find an interim director for the vacant Director of Greek Letter Organizations and Societies position after a Spring term search failed to find and hire a suitable candidate ("Carney position remains vacant," July 13). The unfilled GLOS directorship is only one of a long line of job gaps that have emerged in administrative, student life and student services departments as a result of budget cuts and other efforts to restructure the administration. Even more troubling than these job vacancies, however, is the subsequent lack of transparency that surrounds the committee appointment process and the decisions that these committees make.
Last week, the administration issued its new river policy barring students from swimming off of college property in the Connecticut River. Communicated to students in an e-mail from Associate Dean for Campus Life April Thompson on June 23, this decision was met with outcry from students ("Students criticize river dock policy," July 2). While the policy itself is unpopular for a host of reasons, the manner in which the administration crafted this decision should also be disconcerting to students. Formed behind closed doors and without any student input, this policy raises doubt as to how seriously the administration takes its own goal of transparency.
Following legal disputes surrounding the construction of the Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center, the College's recently released plans for a new visual arts center have drawn criticism from Hanover residents. While maintaining a cordial relationship with Hanover is in Dartmouth's best interest, such a relationship cannot come at the expense of needed institutional development.
Dartmouth's Good Samaritan policy aims to encourage students to act responsibly in difficult situations. Its creation was motivated by a sincere desire to ensure the health and safety of every Dartmouth student. The College, acting as a guardian, gives students the autonomy to make their own decisions, and incentivizes students to make the right ones.
After the "Unity" slate's sweeping victory of the Association of Alumni election, the question is no longer whether the Association's lawsuit, filed against the College last October, will be withdrawn, but when. It is time to abandon all divisive legal action in favor of collaborative discourse.