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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.
Twenty of the bills proposed during the current New Hampshire legislative session have been flagged as potentially threatening to the autonomy of local governments by the New Hampshire Municipal Association, a group that advocates for the interests of towns and localities at the state capitol. Many of the bills would result in the state exerting more control over local affairs in policy areas ranging from gun control to immigration enforcement.
On April 18, over 1600 viewers tuned in as candidates for Student Assembly president and vice president participated in a live debate. The debate, which was streamed on The Dartmouth’s Facebook page, featured SA presidential candidates Jennifer Qian ’22 and Attiya Khan ’22, with Maggie Johnston ’22 and Sebastian Muñoz-McDonald ’23 as their running mates for vice president, respectively.
Since April 9, roughly 400 off-campus students enrolled in classes have been accepted through a waitlist process offered by the College for on-campus access to facilities including Baker-Berry Library, the Hopkins Center for the Arts, the Collis Center and Alumni Gym, according to College Health Service director Mark Reed.
At the end of a Dartmouth student’s fifth term, they are required to begin the tedious but all-important task of declaring their major. The idea is that by the time a student has taken roughly 15 classes within their first five terms, they will have identified a department in which they would like to major. Most schools across the country have similar timelines, but the process by which students actually declare their major varies from institution to institution. At some universities — for example, Columbia University and Harvard University — students simply notify the department of their choice using online forms that take minutes to fill out. Dartmouth’s process, on the other hand, requires an extensive amount of work on the student’s part — work that does not involve students actually reflecting on the interest they have in their chosen department. Indeed, the majority of work Dartmouth students must put into the process of declaring their major is not for the purpose of finding and solidifying an area of interest but instead for fulfilling unnecessary administrative requirements.
On Friday night, the Elections Planning and Advisory Committee informed Student Assembly candidates Attiya Khan ’22 and Sebastian Muñoz-McDonald ’23 of its decision to temporarily suspend the Khan-Muñoz campaign until midnight on April 17. Khan and Muñoz-McDonald, who are running for SA president and vice president, respectively, were suspended by EPAC for a “tier three” violation of the committee’s election code, an infraction causing “serious harm to the fairness of the election process,” according to EPAC’s 2021 codebook.
Students often demean Dartmouth Dining Services for its quality, but DDS is undeniably convenient and reliable. However, the pandemic has increased the number of students living off campus while restricting DDS to students in dorms. No longer can off-campus students, like myself, walk to the dining hall after a long day of classes. We are out in the real world to fend — and cook — for ourselves.
Over the past few years, Netflix has capitalized on people’s fascination with the macabre. From the 2015 hit “Making a Murderer” to “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes,” “The Ripper” and then this year’s “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel,” recent Netflix originals have focused on a darker side of human nature. On April 2, this trend continued with “The Serpent.”
Last week, Dartmouth announced its admissions decisions for the Class of 2025, and every high schooler admitted in this historically competitive year deserves a hearty congratulations. As students across the world consider where they will spend their next four years, the admissions office is no doubt already casting an eye toward prospective members of the Class of 2026. As it does so, Dartmouth should adopt lessons learned from this year’s strange cycle.