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This year marks exactly 100 years since 1920, when the 19th Amendment was ratified and women in the United States were granted the right to vote. 1920 marked the end of a centuries-long battle by women to secure their ability to voice their opinion and fight for their political rights. In the 100 years since, the women’s rights movement has seen many more successes, like equal opportunities in higher education and equal pay, but it has also encountered many more setbacks, like the recent restriction of reproductive health rights. And lingering beneath everything that has happened over the past 100 years is a consistent undercurrent of oppression of those who identify as female, which makes achieving success difficult and each setback disheartening.
Where do you feel the most included on campus?
There are more than 350 Planned Parenthood Generation Action chapters across the country. The Dartmouth chapter of PPGA was founded in fall 2016. While it is fairly young, PPGA has taken on a wide variety of tasks and initiatives surrounding advocacy and education surrounding a wide range of reproductive rights and issues — though not just abortion, as the media tends to focus on.
Like the rights of women, fashion is constantly evolving. Trends in the fashion industry can be indicative of the social state of women at a given time. For example, the trend of women wearing corsets in the 19th century represented the lack of freedom women had during this time; flapper dresses in the 1920s reflected the increasing freedoms of women; and housewife attire reflected the gender expectations of women in the 1950s. Fashion is often used for self-expression, but retroactively it can also be used to tell history.
Dartmouth opened its doors to women in 1972 in a decision met with much resistance from both staff and male students. Since coeducation, Dartmouth has graduated 47 classes of women, many of whom have pursued careers in politics.
Students at Dartmouth tend not to leave.
Discussion surrounding race and diversity is often centered around the most inflammatory issues that make the headlines. What often isn’t covered is the day-to-day interactions and experiences that racial and ethnic minorities face that make them feel unwelcome in places that they want to call their home.
At Dartmouth, courage is ubiquitous. Students and faculty members alike are constantly summiting new peaks, both literal and figurative. Because courage is so common here, it can often go unnoticed or unrecognized. However, there is one award that recognizes courageous acts in a unique way. The C. Everett Koop Courage Award was established in 2005 to honor students and faculty members who have shown courage in the quest for better health care.
Traditionally, the outdoors have been a male-controlled space. History remembers men as the explorers, the athletes, the scientists and women as the teachers, the nurses, the wives. However, the lines between men and the outdoors and women and the indoors have been blurred and bent in recent years — empowering women to take on roles in spaces where society had not commonly accepted them. The Dartmouth Mountaineering Club has contributed to this movement in its own small way, the best way it knows how: by climbing cliffs and breaking ceilings.
What part of your identity is most important to you?
The cliché of “finding yourself” never feels as real as it does during the four years of college. Many of us may have completely different conceptions of our identities than we did when we first stepped foot on Dartmouth’s campus. Perhaps this is because Dartmouth pushes you to develop as a person or because you experience a great deal of change over the course of the four years you spend here — or maybe because at a place like Dartmouth, you are virtually guranteed to interact with people whose identities differ from your own.
College is a time when students assert their independence. When arriving on campus, many students must grapple with their religious identities on their own for the first time, considering questions such as: “Should I go church today?” or “Should I pray before I eat?” Here, there’s no one forcing you to do anything; if you want to escape religion, you can.
The outdoors are an inherently expensive space, leading many people to associate outing clubs, like Dartmouth’s, with privilege. Today at 7:30 p.m. in One Wheelock, the Dartmouth Outing Club will be hosting an event called “Identity and the DOC” which aims to facilitate a conversation about privilege and the outdoors and take steps toward making the DOC an increasingly inclusive space, according to DOC president Sarah Kolk ’20.