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A normal Dartmouth spring means studying outside, Green Key and graduation, but there’s another spring tradition that encapsulates Dartmouth culture: bequests. All types of campus clubs and organizations share this tradition of passing down items between its members. Ceremonies vary, but every spring, seniors gather up items they wish to pass down and “bequest” — Dartmouth students tend to use “bequest” as both a noun and verb, though, technically, the verb is “bequeath” — them to younger members of their various organizations. It’s equal parts history and hilarity as meaningful years-old items sketched with alumni names change hands — followed by a dinosaur onesie from Walmart.
What was on your spring term bucket list?
Dartmouth is certainly no stranger to traditions. In its over 250 years, Dartmouth has accumulated dozens of quirky idiosyncrasies that its students have come to cherish. From the flair-adorned upperclassmen that greet freshmen on Trips to Senior Week festivities, one’s Dartmouth career is anchored by an assortment of traditions. As we approach the end to the (hopefully) last academic year of primarily remote courses, we can look forward to a return to these beloved traditions that have been disrupted by the pandemic.
Being in a long-distance relationship is difficult. Being in a long-distance relationship in college — with social, academic and extracurricular pressures — can be even harder. Maintaining a long-distance relationship in college during a pandemic? One might say that would seem impossible. But for many students, both at Dartmouth and beyond, keeping their loved one close despite the distance has proven to be a surmountable obstacle.
Nearly a year after the death of George Floyd, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Following the verdict, Native American studies program chair Bruce Duthu ’80 moderated a faculty-led panel titled “The Chauvin Verdict: A Community Discussion on Race, Crime & Justice.” Additionally, College President Phil Hanlon, Dean of the College Kathryn Lively and various campus organizations released email statements regarding the Chauvin verdict.
If you haven’t noticed by now, people have been spending a bit more time at home in 2020 and 2021 than in previous years. Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and HBO Max have been coming into their own as peoples’ main venues for consuming media in recent years, and the pandemic has only increased their number and extended their reach.
One thing the pandemic has given us is time. With many of our usual social and extracurricular activities put on hold, this past year has felt like somewhat of a twilight zone; time is passing around us, but our day-to-day lives move at a speed akin to running in a dream — time feels thick and resistant. Extra, undefined hours can sometimes be overwhelming, especially when our usual pastimes aren’t available. However, these extra hours have also given us time to think. The kind of thinking time we only get while taking a long, hot shower or on a solo run. This week at Mirror, we are taking some time to think and reflect.
At the end of 2020, the Magnuson Center for Entrepreneurship partnered with the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center to launch the Dartmouth Innovations Accelerator for Cancer, an initiative seeking to reduce the time it takes for cancer therapies to come to market. Teams accepted into the Accelerator took a 10-week course in drug and medical device product development. Following the course, each team developed a pitch for their cancer-related innovation, and an external review panel decided which teams were ready to receive funding for their innovation.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic putting much of campus life on hold, from in-person classes to Ivy League sports, one aspect of the College’s campus operations has been moving full-steam ahead even amidst the pandemic: construction.
Happy week 5! Thank you to everyone who provided submissions for this week’s column. Solicit Dartie’s advice HERE for a chance to be featured in her next column! All submissions are anonymous.
As we approach the midway point of the term, old routines are starting to solidify. The same long lines pile up in Collis each morning, and by the afternoon, students have migrated to the Green to bask in the sun after a surprisingly snowy start to spring. We end the day people watching in Foco or gearing up to finally finish that problem set we’ve been procrastinating all week. Maybe these routines give us comfort — something we can rely on in the midst of all this uncertainty.
From April 5-11, the Hopkins Center for the Arts held a symposium that brought together acclaimed speakers to discuss the issue of police violence and its ties to racial injustice. Since the symposium, Derek Chauvin’s trial has ended with his conviction of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. However, the end of the trial did not mark the end of police violence, nor the discourse surrounding it, in America; it remains an ongoing issue. This week, The Dartmouth sat down with art history professor and symposium co-organizer Mary Coffey to ask her to reflect on the event as well as provide insight into what students can do to remain engaged in the fight against police violence. These answers reflect Coffey’s personal views, and she noted that she avoids pushing any specific views onto her students.
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”).
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.
“I signed the lease!” I screamed excitedly over the phone back in November after agreeing to live off-campus in Hanover during 21W.
Of those recently admitted to Class of 2025, 17% are first-generation college students — a record-high for Dartmouth — and 48% identify as “Black, Indigenous or other people of color.” While these statistics demonstrate the College’s attempt to diversify the student body, they do not properly highlight the struggle behind the application process for first-generation, low-income students.
As the incoming Class of 2025 makes their decisions on where to attend college, I can’t help but think back to my own college application journey just over two years ago. As an early decision applicant to Dartmouth, I didn’t have to grapple with choosing which school to attend, but I can look back at how much has changed since crafting my own applications.
It feels like we’re not at the age where we should be losing peers this often. Within the past six months, three Dartmouth students have died. None of them had even celebrated their 21st birthday.