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In their first competition since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, seven Dartmouth athletic teams will return to action this weekend. It has been 407 days since a Big Green team last competed, and although Ivy League competition this spring has been canceled, the conference has permitted Dartmouth teams to compete in non-Ivy competitions within 100 miles of Hanover.
The town hall featured questions on the college's "hiring freeze" and new dorm construction.
On April 21, executive vice president Rick Mills moderated a virtual town hall to discuss the College’s finances, athletics and the impacts of COVID-19. The event, which was livestreamed via YouTube, had over 800 views by Thursday afternoon. Due to the virtual format, questions from the audience were fielded by Mills and presented anonymously.
Each year, at the outset of Dartmouth’s Student Assembly election period, the Elections Planning and Advisory Committee publishes its annual election code. In recent elections, this rulebook — which outlines the regulations by which candidates’ campaigns and their supporters must abide — has grown increasingly complex and draconian, expanding into spheres of students’ social lives that a student-run committee should have no business occupying. This year and last, in the name of “ensur[ing] equality, equity, fairness between all candidates” after the pandemic forced campaign activities online, EPAC has only tightened its already stringent rules. Many of these more recently imposed regulations — as well as many of those already in place — are decidedly undemocratic and stand in direct conflict with the committee’s mission statement that EPAC exists to facilitate “open and fair” student elections.
The health of the environment is one of the most pressing issues of this century. If we do not make drastic changes soon, we will be left with a planet that is difficult to recognize — one plagued by rising sea levels, melting ice caps, bleached coral, loss of animal habitats, floods and heatwaves. Given the existential crisis we are facing, it is understandable that books, articles, documentaries and social media posts urging people to take individual action against climate change have become commonplace in recent years, pushing them to shift to a plant-based diet and reduce their carbon footprint, to recycle and reduce their waste and to limit their use of gas, water and electricity to reduce energy consumption. Yet while all of the above are commendable, environmentally-conscious habits, they leave out an important piece of the puzzle — the responsibility corporations bear for getting us into this mess in the first place.
Some of Dartmouth’s most accomplished athletes decided to transfer in the past year due to canceled seasons and the Ivy League’s policy against graduate athletic participation. Although the Ivy League Council of Presidents voted in February to allow current seniors admitted into graduate programs at their schools to compete as fifth-year players, it was too late for a number of Big Green athletes. Men’s basketball player Chris Knight ’21, who will play at Loyola University Chicago next year, criticized the timing of the Ivy League’s decision, noting that he and his teammates did not believe they had enough time to apply to Dartmouth graduate programs.
On April 14, President Joe Biden announced an unprecedented change in American foreign policy toward Afghanistan: instead of a conditional withdrawal of troops, the United States will commit to a concrete timeline for bringing its forces home. While prior administrations have stipulated that the United States would need to ensure the long-term stability of the Kabul government before withdrawing troops, the last two decades have proven that there can be no such military solution in Afghanistan. With a timetable in place for when the U.S. will withdraw its troops, the Biden administration can finally build a sustainable peace without the need for intervention or its more sinister counterpart, occupation. The United States should supplement this decision with a renewed commitment to diplomacy and support the Afghan people in their nation-building efforts without direct military intervention.
On April 14, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation named Dhwani Kharel ’22 a 2021 Truman Scholar. Kharel is one of 62 students from 51 U.S. academic institutions to receive the award.
Twenty-three participants across six teams participated in Dartmouth Design Collective’s second annual Designathon from April 9 to April 15. Although last year’s Designathon took place over a weekend, this year’s challenge lasted one week and focused on the theme of educational equity.
Every year, ten of the most promising voices in literature receive the Whiting Award, a prize that Vanity Fair has dubbed the “crystal ball of the literature world” for its tendency to go to up-and-coming writers early in their careers. Past winners have gone on to receive other prestigious awards including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. On April 14, English and creative writing professor Joshua Bennett won the award for his work in both poetry and nonfiction.
When New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu announced that starting April 2, COVID-19 vaccinations would be available to New Hampshire residents over the age of 16, Dartmouth students scrambled to schedule their appointments. The initial excitement of the news quickly subsided, however, when the governor added that this expanded eligibility would not include out-of-state college students. Though Sununu ultimately reversed this policy and said that non-residents would be allowed to get the vaccine in New Hampshire beginning April 19th, the weeks between the two announcements resulted in a range of frustrating, confusing and stressful COVID-19 vaccination experiences within the Dartmouth community.
Dartmouth is known to all for its community and culture of tradition. The homecoming bonfire, the BEMA twilight ceremony for freshmen, the annual campus-wide snowball fight, First-Year Trips — the list of cherished traditions is long. But perhaps no tradition is as ubiquitous in the everyday lives of Dartmouth students as Dartmouth slang. It’s no secret that students have a proclivity for embracing an expansive, unwritten dictionary of lingo, be it in reference to spaces like the dining hall (“Foco”) and the first floor of the Baker-Berry Library (“Blobby”) or to attributes of other students (the dreaded label of “facetimey”).
Students have elected Jennifer Qian ’22 and Maggie Johnston ’22 as Student Assembly president and vice president, respectively. The Qian-Johnston campaign ran on a platform of elevating student voices, increasing access to academic, financial and emotional resources; fostering an inclusive campus culture and bringing together the Dartmouth community.
Whoops! Following the recent snowfall, it appears our verdict in last week’s issue that “spring has sprung” may have been a bit premature. However, an April snow shower is nothing novel to those native to New England, and for some, one last snowfall might even have come as a welcome anomaly. Regardless, with midterms now in full swing and extracurricular commitments building up, we most likely won’t be spending much time outside anyway.
On Monday, April 12, Muslim students and faculty in the Upper Valley awoke and enjoyed suhoor — a traditional meal eaten early in the morning before starting a day of fasting. Then they headed off to practice, logged onto their Zoom class or began the mountain of work that was due the next day — such is the Dartmouth experience. Yet, unlike the large majority of our community, they were fasting — refraining from eating, drinking and engaging in habits such as smoking, engaging in sexual activity and drinking alcohol — until the sun fell back behind the mountains. At that point, they broke their fast with the iftar, another ritualistic, spiritual meal. For all Muslims observing the holy month of Ramadan, this is their routine for the next 30 days.
On March 31, President Joe Biden unveiled the American Jobs Plan, a landmark legislative proposal that would allocate $2.3 trillion toward infrastructure projects over the next eight years. If the proposal is ultimately passed by Congress in some form, local New Hampshire town leaders in the Upper Valley said that they will seek to use the funding to support local infrastructure improvements for transportation, bridges, broadband access and energy systems.
Out of the 18 Student Assembly positions up for election this year, only two are actively contested — and both of these are in East Wheelock House. For the other 16 positions, there’s either one candidate running or none, leaving voters with a write-in as their only option. As I’ve written previously, the near-total dearth of electoral competition is a serious threat to the legitimacy of SA. It’s clear that electing senators by house is a key part of this problem. The concept of running elections by house is arbitrary and results in a nonsensical electoral process, with only a handful of contested races and others lacking even a single candidate. Then there is the question of fairness: while houses are randomly sorted and have no unique interests, their differing sizes mean that the principle of “one person, one vote” is blatantly ignored.
Since my last column, not much has changed outside of a couple of injuries in the NBA and Hideki Matsuyama’s triumph in the 2021 Masters. But we’ll get to the NBA much more in the next few weeks, and I don’t feel like talking about golf until I can consistently hit my driver more than 100 yards; maybe in a few years I’ll write about the PGA Tour.