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The current political moment is mired in vulgarity, partly engendered by the election of a walking parody of a reality show host notorious for sexual indiscretions to the presidency following a campaign that started by calling Mexican immigrants rapists. It isn’t particularly difficult to see why calls for a return to dignity ring true in the minds of many Americans. This is especially true for a certain class of educated liberals who are largely shielded from the cruelest policies now being enacted by federal and state agencies throughout the country. For these people, the deepest defining characteristic of the Trump era is a sense of embarrassment, the profound humiliation of waking up every morning to some fresh bizarre horror and thinking, “we lost to this.”
President Donald Trump has made a grand show of the Iran nuclear deal. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, often referred to by its acronym JCPOA, enjoys broad international support. The JCPOA isn’t perfect, but it includes about as many concessions as the Iranians are willing to give. So far, the deal has worked, significantly decreasing Iran’s capacity to develop nuclear weapons. And let’s not forget: the alternative to the JCPOA is not a better deal. The alternative is an unchecked Iran on a rapid path to a nuclear bomb.
Cook explores what leadership looks like in the year 2025.
Since the Jerry Sandusky scandal and Timothy Piazza’s hazing-related death early last year, Pennsylvania State University has walked on eggshells. Another safety infringement will send the university’s name right back into the news headlines while they cannot afford the negative publicity. Necessarily, they’ve examined safety procedures in organizations across campus in order to mitigate any future safety risks, assessed emergency procedures, set minimum requirements for medically-certified leaders to club participant ratios and reviewed the risks involved in each club’s activities. All of these measures may help keep the university’s name out of unwanted press headlines and ensure the safety of current and future Penn State students, but when precaution translated to shutting down of one of the university’s major clubs, the administration went a step too far.
A common perception at Dartmouth is that there is a plethora of opportunities for students to volunteer. Students are bombarded with emails inviting them to apply to programs like START, build and repair local homes or buy McDonald’s to help raise funds for a local nonprofit. But short-term or low commitment volunteer events are far and few between.
“You don’t have to agree with [T]rump but the mob can’t make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don’t agree with everything anyone does. That’s what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought.”
According to a recent survey by College Pulse, a majority of Dartmouth respondents have violated the law; until this past fall, they could have faced jail time. New Hampshire has since done away with that penalty, but every one of these students could still face substantial fines. Their crime? Smoking weed.
With his announcement of the College’s $3 billion capital campaign, “The Call to Lead,” College President Phil Hanlon acknowledged an obvious truth: Dartmouth is distinct. The College maintains a unique identity and educational opportunity among universities. In “The Call to Lead,” Dartmouth has shown it is intrepid enough to strengthen those aspects of the College that will further distinguish and advance the school while also acknowledging Dartmouth’s current shortcomings and steps for improvement. Regardless of the campaign’s self-congratulatory tone, this declaration exemplifies the direction and spirit that Dartmouth needs if it is to thrive. A confident vision for the future of the College has been set forth: will alumni and students be willing to answer?
Students wake up at around the same time, go to class, attend meetings, eat several structured meals, go out, go to bed and do it all again the following day. Then again the following week. Then the following term. Barring exceptions and unexpected circumstances, these terms of routine turn into years. In fact, a survey by OnePoll found that 67 percent of Americans feel like their lives barely stray from their routines. This routine extends far beyond the way people partition the time they have and permeate their mindsets and habits as well — all integral parts that represent individual identity.
I can count on one hand the number of times my parents and I have said “I love you” to each other. In Chinese culture, love is something people show through their actions; it is weird to express it with words. The action of love is not shown through hugs and kisses, either, but rather through sacrifice and diligence. It is something that I have never felt comfortable explaining.
As Dartmouth’s identity stands at the crossroads between liberal arts college and research university, College President Phil Hanlon’s Call to Lead campaign launches many ambitious initiatives that promise to improve Dartmouth’s mixed model. The campaign’s cornerstone proposal to turn the West End of campus into a hub for engineering, computer science, business and design radically rethinks this mixed model and pushes Dartmouth into uncharted territory. While integrating these connected fields into one community could foster interdisciplinary thinking and a liberal arts approach to business-oriented pursuits, the proposal could also geographically, culturally and academically divorce the traditional humanities and social sciences from their modern counterparts. There are tremendous potential academic and social benefits associated with this new vision for the West End, but if Dartmouth fails to prevent its new ecosystem from becoming an inward-looking bubble, the College will face an identity crisis and watch its mixed model collapse into division.
On June 5, 2018, a recall vote will be held in Santa Clara, California to determine whether Judge Aaron Persky will continue as a county judge. The recall efforts were led by Michele Dauber, a professor at Stanford Law School, who gathered enough signatures for a petition to force the vote. For the activists who campaigned to remove Persky, this is a huge success. However, for the criminal justice system, the recall vote is a travesty.
Caster Semenya has just come out of another winning streak. She easily captured gold medals in both the women’s 800m and 1500m events at the recent Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia. These successes have been added to her larger list of achievements, including multiple Olympic and World Championship medals. Yet her running career is now seriously threatened. New regulations issued by the International Association of Athletics Federations could see Semenya, and others like her, unable to compete in their respective events in the future. This is ludicrous.
It didn’t fully hit me until I was asked by a prospective ’22 about what the day of a “typical Dartmouth student” looks like; a normal and routine question. Following my response about attending classes, going to rehearsal, attending meetings and finally giving this tour, her response changed the way I think about Dartmouth’s student body: “Everybody who makes themselves available to talk is so visible on campus, so busy all the time and involved with so many different activities; it’s really overwhelming.” After all, she was right. Dartmouth cultivates an image of the “typical student” as one who is always involved, always busy and always unpredictable. This image of Dartmouth students as strong multitaskers with a wide and diverse range of passions is not only largely false, but also creates a self-selecting and problematic precedent for future classes and generations.
In its current mission statement, Dartmouth declares its commitment to preparing students for “a lifetime of learning and of responsible leadership,” qualities that have been integral to Dartmouth’s mission in one form or another since its founding. As a liberal arts college, Dartmouth achieves this by encouraging engagement with a wide range of subjects, often in intimate and dynamic contexts. In many ways, the College fulfills this successfully: Dartmouth has a student-to-faculty ratio of seven to one, boasts the highest participation rate in study abroad programs of any Ivy League institution as of 2014 and offers a plethora of opportunities for innovative learning and experience in and out of the classroom.
Many Dartmouth students run out of DBA with weeks still left in the term and have to figure out how to get their meals from free food events. Pricey fruits and vegetables lead students to choose fried food over fruit salad. These are common occurrences at Dartmouth, but are they symptoms of a larger problem?
In April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a number of fraternities at Dartmouth closed their basements on the Friday of the first weekend. While their effort to stand in solidarity with those who have been sexually assaulted is laudable, such basic initiatives, including the #MeToo movement, fail to capture the complexity of the issue. These initiatives do draw attention to the prevalence of sexual assault, but they are relatively unidimensional and do not engage with issues about sexual assault that are harder to face, creating a false sense of resolvability. It is important that fraternities at Dartmouth College are acknowledging culpability for perpetuating sexual violence, even if only in a small way. However, limiting action to the physical space of a fraternity removes responsibility from individuals. Furthermore, this limited action does not address the fact that many assaults happen outside of basements and in intimate spaces with familiar people.
I am writing in response to the article “College purchases $66 million in oil and gas fund” by Ruben Gallardo. I have not written to The Dartmouth since the fall of 1963, when the paper published a number of my letters concerning coeducation. In 1963, coeducation was far out of the comfort zone of the majority of undergraduates. Today, it appears that the challenges posed by climate disruption are far out of the comfort zone of many at the College. I would be very interested to learn what the current undergraduate feelings are with respect to the threat climate disruption poses to their futures. What does the Class of 2018 think Hanover will be like in 50 years?
If you are reading this, you are probably a Dartmouth student. You most likely view your education at Dartmouth as something you have worked especially hard for, and that you receive because you are a deserving, qualified individual. You were selected out of more than 20,000 Dartmouth applicants, and that is truly remarkable.