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de Wolff: Yes, This Is a Recession

(07/29/22 8:00am)

For the second straight quarter, the United States’ economy has shrunk, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. What does this mean? Conventional wisdom would say the economy is in a recession. But statements coming from the upper echelons of our government, such as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s denial of this fact, would lead one to believe that this is not the case. Their motivations for doing this are simple: If the economy is doing poorly, that bodes ill for the ruling Democratic Party come November. Official recognition of this fact would mean an admission of guilt, but no amount of hemming and hawing can disguise the fact that the economy is approaching a dangerous place. Instead of trying to cover up their mistakes, the Biden administration should own up to the situation it is in, or else they will be soundly rebuked in November. 


de Wolff: End Test-Optional Admissions

(07/08/22 8:05am)

For Dartmouth’s Classes of 2025, 2026 and 2027, the admissions office has instituted a “test-optional” policy, in which applicants may choose whether to submit standardized test scores as part of their application, but will not be penalized if they do not. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions’ website claims that “it is not the moment to restore the testing requirement” due to the pandemic. Recently, standardized testing has come under fire for two different reasons: access and equity. But these attacks do not hold up under scrutiny. Recent advancements in public health and technology, as well as extensive research, all show that these arguments are either inaccurate or wholly unfounded. Ultimately, Dartmouth will be less able to accept students who will succeed academically if it stays test-optional. The College should once again require applicants to submit standardized test scores. 



de Wolff: A New Approach to Sustainability

(04/29/22 8:00am)

Any student who is even remotely familiar with fraternity basements during on-nights knows there’s one guest who is almost always present: cans of Keystone Light beer. Inevitably, these cans end up in the trash — take a walk down Webster Avenue on a Thursday or Sunday morning and you’ll see the aftermath of frats’ clean-up operations. When you consider the amount of beer that just one frat consumes in one night, the total number of cans used across campus each weekend must be enormous.



de Wolff: So Long, Librex

(02/25/22 8:00am)

Feb. 17 marked the end of an era: The anonymous online discussion forum Librex was permanently shut down. All posts were deleted and all user data wiped as the team behind the app decided to move on to new endeavors. Curiously, Librex’s tenure at Dartmouth mirrored that of the pandemic. A week after the app’s launch in March 2020, the effects of COVID-19 hit Dartmouth as the administration decided to move classes online for the upcoming spring term. Now, COVID-19 cases are on the decline and Librex has met its demise. Dartmouth students are currently looking forward to a spring term that resembles life before COVID-19 — perhaps the absence of Librex will help with that. During the pandemic, however, as students sought some semblance of community, Librex quietly became a fixture of Dartmouth’s culture. While Librex was not without its flaws and ugly moments, we should remember the app for its ability to connect students during challenging times. 


de Wolff: The End of Covid?

(01/25/22 9:05am)

COVID-19 containment is over. In some parts of the world, it never really began, and in other parts, it has been finished for some time. Now, even longtime bastions of scrupulous public health measures, from the Ivy League to Israel, are turning away from their previous containment strategies. Faced with the seemingly unstoppable omicron variant, this is the only logical result. Now, the writing is on the wall: omicron will burn out soon, and it is time to decide how we will proceed.


de Wolff: ICE, Department of Immigration and Covid Exposure?

(09/23/21 8:00am)

President Joe Biden has repeatedly denounced the ongoing “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” On Oct. 1, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will require immigrants who wish to become lawful permanent residents to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before their paperwork can be finalized. Similarly, federal employees will be required to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22. These new mandates — along with a vaccine mandate for companies with over 100 employees — are a continuation of the push by the Biden administration to increase vaccinations. While these moves are important, another necessary measure to fight the virus would be to vaccinate migrants caught entering the country.




de Wolff: Put Students in Quarantine, Not on Flights Home

(04/09/21 6:10am)

In a year of online classes and limited in-person interaction, many students have skirted the restrictions of Dartmouth’s “Community Expectations” so they can socialize with friends. This behavior carries several risks — besides the danger of students catching COVID-19, there is always the chance that Safety and Security officers catch the students instead. When this happens, students are catapulted into an opaque disciplinary process that in the fall resulted in 86 students “disappearing.”


de Wolff: Two Doses, Two Standards

(04/01/21 6:00am)

On March 25, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu announced that all New Hampshire residents 16 years and older would be eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine beginning April 2. This expansion of eligibility allows college students hailing from New Hampshire or who have established residency here to receive the vaccine, but Sununu specified that out-of-state college students will not qualify. The governor’s office believes that limited vaccine supplies should go to the state’s residents rather than out-of-state college students.


de Wolff: The Right to Be Wrong

(01/26/21 7:00am)

How should big tech companies such as Facebook and Twitter weigh preserving free speech against curbing the spread of misinformation? This is a pressing concern of the modern age, especially given Twitter’s recent ban of former President Donald Trump. However, before contending with this dilemma, one hurdle must first be overcome: Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a regulation that says providers of interactive computer services cannot be treated as the publisher of third-party content. Thanks to this obsolete law, lawmakers have been unable to determine how liable tech companies should be for regulating what appears on their social media platforms.


de Wolff: Breaking the Ice

(01/12/21 7:00am)

In less than a week, Dartmouth students will awaken Hanover from its winter break hibernation. Many of the bright-eyed freshmen who were present last term will be gone, replaced by older students who have experienced Dartmouth at its best and most normal. How will these older students, with higher expectations of what a Dartmouth term should look like, react to the restricted and watered-down version being served? Not well, we can assume. This may put the community at risk from COVID-19 if frustrated students look to off-campus — and very likely non-COVID-19 safe — options for social life.


de Wolff: In-Person Classes Were Possible

(10/22/20 6:00am)

With winter term course selection coming up soon, it’s time for Dartmouth to rethink its decision to continue holding the majority of classes over Zoom. Currently, there are only 23 fully in-person classes offered. While there are only a limited number of classrooms able to hold socially distanced classes, there are 36 spaces on campus that can hold more than 13 socially distanced students at any given time. Dartmouth should fully utilize these spaces to provide students with a break from the strain of Zoom classes. The way forward is clear: Dartmouth should hold as many in-person classes as possible next term.




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