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Dartmouth's Assets

(10/19/00 9:00am)

During day after day of freshman orientation events, not only was I physically exhausted, but believe it or not, left thinking about a few things. Various speakers, students, administrators and alums reminded us that the Class of 2004 would make a tremendous impact on this school during a pivotal time in its storied history. My first reaction was of course, since we are the smartest, most diverse, coolest, most amazing class in Dartmouth history this was a no brainer. But after I got over the admissions office propaganda I discovered the substantial truth in this statement. I have been here only a few exciting weeks and have already observed that change is in the air. From the opening or at least attempted opening of Berry Library (a.k.a. the hospital behind Baker) to the dismantling of that architectural gem known as the Kiewit Computation Center, the College is embracing tremendous amounts of physical change. It is apparent this is merely the framework for a much greater plan to change various institutions within Dartmouth as we know them.

Vouchers and Values

(10/19/00 9:00am)

Certain commentators in The Dartmouth seem to believe that vouchers for religiously based schools would introduce students to a reality that hadn't existed previously. Jared Alessandroni's point, if I'm not mistaken, was that religious schools by the very notion of being founded by Jesuits or Jews may indoctrinate a student into certain belief patterns. Yet any school that teaches well indoctrinates a student into certain belief patterns. Civic service, respect for authority, and mental discipline were all values which were unconsciously bestowed upon me by my private and secular high school. Honesty, discipline and respect for democracy are taught -- or should be taught -- by good public schools; shall we then say that schools ought not to focus on ANY value system and rather focus on strict learning? No, because if we did then kids could learn from correspondence courses. School imparts values to kids. And therefore we ought to allow parents to choose the values that the kids are taught.

D-Plan committee hits bump

(10/19/00 9:00am)

When the Trustee Initiative report last year recommended a campus-wide discussion on revising the College's D-Plan, two committees were formed to consider such a change. One at the administrative level was charged with completing a feasibility assessment, and one, made up of Student Assembly members, had the task of collecting and analyzing student opinion on Dartmouth's unique quarter system.

Deck's in the City

(10/18/00 9:00am)

Dear Reader: As I am residing in New York City for the term, and many Dartmouth students will experience an internship in a big city at some point, and/or work in the big city after graduation, I thought it appropriate and beneficial to offer a few pointers about city life. One can't get by in the big city without the "street smarts," the "know-how" that I will present to you. Today's topic: transportation.

McCain's Camelot

(10/18/00 9:00am)

As I stood in a packed room precariously balanced on a chair at nine o'clock on a Tuesday morning, listening to Senator John McCain speak, I had only one question: Why is this man not on the presidential ballot next month? It takes a pretty special individual to get Dartmouth students out of bed this early, and that is what we had in our presence. John McCain, a proud conservative, got so many people -- including myself, who openly disagrees with him on many issues -- to support him and his cause. His campaign and his ideals transcend targeted tax cuts and special funding programs which the nominees for the presidency base their campaigns on. He was campaigning to change politics, and to give people what they wanted -- a government that they could trust was looking after their interests, not only the interests of the rich and well-connected. He bucked the trend of increased political apathy and drew people that never before had an interest in politics to the polls.McCain accomplished this by talking to people honestly and directly. His now famous "Straight Talk Express" bus criss-crossed the primary contested states as he spread his message of reform and public service. He not only inspired voters, but also the media. He was open and frank with them, and by doing so he earned their respect and thus was portrayed in a tremendously positive light by them. The media of course loved the story, an American war hero and trusted senator campaigning to end the abuses in Washington and inspire a generation to "causes greater than self." It is in so many ways similar to the story of John F. Kennedy. Unfortunately, for now at least, my generation will not have their JFK in the White House. We will not be told on the third Monday of January to "ask not what your country to do for you, ask what you can do for your country." Instead, we will be told about targeted tax relief and ambiguous foreign policy objectives. We will have a leader who runs away from the tough choices so as not to lose percentage points in the overnight polls.

Point/Counterpoint - No

(10/18/00 9:00am)

Liberals in a traditional political definition are thought of as people looking to change the status quo in order to create a better system, while conservatives are generally defined as people looking to preserve the current system. The major parties' positions on education reform are a glaring example of how, in practice, these definitions have been turned on their heads. Both parties will agree that the level at which American children are being educated must be raised. By thinking out of the box, Republicans like George W. Bush have proposed bold new ideas that challenge traditional notions of the role of public education. Meanwhile, Democrats are hopelessly stuck in the quagmire of a failed education system, afraid to revamp it because of their subservience to teachers' unions.

Point/Counterpoint - Yes

(10/18/00 9:00am)

The danger, of course, is the fool who believes in his heart that what he is doing is good. Consider Ted Kaczynski. Here is a man, obviously marred by his experience at his second-rate college and rendered socially useless by his field of study, who decided to send political commentary of a most volatile nature. As a Dartmouth student and a veteran of ORL training, I can assure you that I do not judge the man's ideas. Instead, I only wish to posit that if you give explosives to a well-meaning psychopath, you shouldn't open your mail.

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