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Right to Serve and Gay Rights Clash

(11/11/05 11:00am)

At the most recent Student Assembly meeting, the Gay-Straight Alliance put forth a resolution to encourage the College to reject all support of the ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps) on the Dartmouth campus. I encourage the GSA to distribute this statement for all students to read. The statement raises important issues, and I would like to see the College's trustees live up to their promise to put pressure on the United States government to overturn the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. I must, however, strongly disagree with the logic that compels the GSA to call for ROTC's removal from this campus. While in concrete terms it would probably not impact a single gay or lesbian student on this campus, the GSA's resolution will have a direct and dramatic impact on the lives of ROTC cadets and the future of the program. In the event that the GSA resolution is adopted, Dartmouth College will cease to produce U.S. Army officers. The nearest ROTC campus is an hour away, thus making participation in ROTC difficult and significantly hindering training.


(11/11/05 11:00am)

Both Student Assembly and Palaeopitus are organizations that provide student leadership on campus. And while both have reputations for ineffectual and wasteful programs, Palaeop's recent offenses, particularly their prominent red sweatshirts, have been relatively minor. The Assembly, in contrast, seems to have outdone itself with a number of questionable funding decisions that go beyond the doubtful efficacy of Big Green Bikes. These measures, particularly the decision to fund a documentary filmmaking project in Biloxi, Miss., and the possible partial funding of the party pack program, are not the best use of the Assembly's large budget. The more serious question raised, however, by the Assembly's liberal dispensing of funds, is why they have such a large budget in the first place and whether their money should instead be directly allocated to the groups that approach the Assembly for financial help. In the zero-sum world of student activities funding, money given to the Assembly is money taken away from other student groups and programs.

Graceful Lumet charms Dartmouth audience during tribute

(11/10/05 11:00am)

Sidney Lumet is one of the last great lions of the Golden Age of Film, a cinematic giant whose work has left its mark on both the history of the movies and the fabric of American life. Last night, Lumet also left his mark on the Dartmouth community, when he stood before the campus and accepted the Dartmouth Film Award before a packed theater of fans and film enthusiasts. In an illuminating, moving and occasionally hilarious evening, the audience witnessed a montage displaying Lumet's talent and caught a privileged glimpse of the man behind the masterpieces.

Opposition to Alito is Unfounded

(11/10/05 11:00am)

Since my last column two weeks ago, President Bush nominated Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court to replace the retiring Sandra Day O'Connor, touching off heated debate and apocalyptic political rhetoric from coast to coast. Not all dialogue is so pessimistic; one campus publication featured a segment comparing Alito unfavorably with burritos and mosquitoes. Why conservatives remain stereotyped as intellectually immature is beyond me.

The Ethics of Sharing

(11/10/05 11:00am)

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, Grokster shut down its file-sharing client as part of a lawsuit settlement with the two giant Internet cops, the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America. Groker's decision comes after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear its appeal from the lower courts. While it did not directly commit a crime, it was charged with promoting illegal activities, i.e., supporting a forum that allows people to commit crime. Because the primary use of their network was for illicit activities, the Supreme Court essentially held that it was a tacit participant in theft. The final word, however, will not come from the Supreme Court or the large industries. No. In this battle only the consumers can triumph. The abundance of such decentralized networks makes any possible enforcement of the current laws practically impossible. While Grokster has shut down, a myriad of other networks exist and programmers are busily creating others. The eDonkey, FastTrack and Gnutella networks, DirectConnect and the recently popularized torrent technology are just a few examples of how the expression of the public desire for sharing files on the Internet has supported the proliferation of new technologies.

Government prof. leads new journal on politics and gender

(11/10/05 11:00am)

Lisa Baldez, associate professor of government and Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean studies, has emerged as a leader in a growing field of political science as co-editor of a new scholarly journal, "Politics & Gender." The quarterly journal debuted this September as the official journal of the women and politics research section of the American Political Science Association.