Letter to the Editor: In Response to the Palestine Solidarity Coalition Statement on the War in Gaza
Re: Palestine Solidarity Coalition: Statement on the War in Gaza
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Re: Palestine Solidarity Coalition: Statement on the War in Gaza
Re: Njaa: End Unnecessary Financial Barriers to Student Life
Regardless of your personal opinions on the Israel-Palestine conflict, we should all agree that justifying the murder and capture of civilians is inexcusable, especially considering the vulnerable populations of both Israel and Palestine. While Israel has undoubtedly committed mass violence against Palestinians — including against civilians — in the region since at least 1948, the specific tactics used by Hamas in this attack have rightfully shocked the world and demonstrate Hamas’s genocidal intent.
Any innocent life lost is a tragedy, regardless of ethnicity or nationality. We, the undersigned campus and community organizations, mourn with all those on this campus for the lives lost in the most recent war between Gaza and Israel.
Dartmouth College recently made history with the inauguration of its first female president, Sian Leah Beilock. In her inaugural address on Friday, Sept. 22, the former Barnard College president and cognitive scientist introduced five major “imperatives” to address in her tenure at the College. Among them was a commitment to achieving “Real Carbon Zero” on campus. Beilock’s specific use of this term has links to innovations in the energy industry, specifically, green hydrogen — an alternative to fossil fuels. Should Dartmouth choose to invest in this technology, it would set a precedent for numerous other institutions and contribute to lowering investment costs in this costly yet effective solution.
For the past few weeks, graduate students have been bargaining with the Dartmouth administration after graduate students overwhelmingly voted to unionize as the Graduate Organized Laborers of Dartmouth. Although Dartmouth faculty work closely with the administration and serve in administrative roles on the level of departments and programs, the faculty are not the party that we are negotiating a contract with, and we do not view them as our opposition. In fact, the opposite is true. We work closely with faculty every day to advance our research and develop as scholars. Many of us hope to be faculty in the future, and our relationships with our advisors are indispensable to the process of developing the skills needed to perform research. Most of us would not be here today if not for faculty mentors who inspired and guided us towards pursuing a career in academic research.
In many aspects, Dartmouth culture is one of a kind in its ability to bring students of all backgrounds together and form a true community. While this in itself is undeniably incredible, such a diverse student body is inevitably going to have wealth gaps. For the most part, Dartmouth is working to address the wealth gap appropriately — seen recently in the elimination of laundry service fees and Good Samaritan Policy fees. However, the College still has a ways to go towards making the campus environment more equitable. As a freshman, I have been made most aware of this by the exorbitant prices for the Dartmouth Coach and the Ledyard canoe and kayak rentals, which represent both a necessary service — the Dartmouth Coach — and a leisure service, Ledyard water rentals. While these two examples are different, together they demonstrate how monopoly power in our campus’s secluded environment causes lower income students to be priced out of both necessary and leisure services and activities.
As American companies seek to limit their exposure to the pitfalls of making goods in China, some are moving production to Mexico. This shift has bolstered trade between both nations, reaching a remarkable $462 billion in the first half of this year and crowning Mexico as America’s top trading partner. Chinese companies are also investing in Mexico, capitalizing on an extensive North American Free Trade Agreement, now known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Following in the footsteps of Japanese and South Korean firms, Chinese companies are establishing manufacturing facilities in Mexico, enabling them to designate their products as “made in Mexico” before shipping them into the U.S. without import duties.
The second GOP debate this past Wednesday saw Republican presidential hopefuls square off once more, with only four months until the Iowa primary. One topic, more than any other, seemed to take center stage: American identity. Regardless of the question asked, most answers — if they even did answer the question that was asked — invariably turned to talking points of what it means to be an American, often contrasted against the values of China.
Two weeks ago, I wrote about the 2023 farm bill, which stands to be reauthorized by Congress this fall. The bill, I argued, amounts to unnecessary corporate welfare for large industrial farms who do not need the assistance. Legislators should therefore implement sensible payment caps for farm bill programs to prevent needless and unfair spending. In this article, I want to situate the farm bill within our local New England agricultural context, and in doing so, add more detail to the arguments from my previous piece. Though New England-local agriculture is smaller and less productive than its counterparts in the middle of the country, it offers non-economic benefits to the community it serves that should be supported by the farm bill.
The senior thesis is, for many students, the culmination of their academic pursuits. Writing a thesis can be an invaluable experience and learning tool, providing students with the opportunity to engage in high-level research, collaborate closely with an academic in their field of interest and publish their own original research. Several members of this Editorial Board are currently pursuing theses. However, we have observed serious obstacles to finding an advisor willing to oversee a thesis. This can be discouraging, if not insurmountable, for students who are seeking to write one. The opportunity to write a thesis should be available to any student who has proven their capability and academic interest, and we believe that departments have the obligation to ensure that no student is denied the opportunity to pursue this academic endeavor. In order to accomplish this, we suggest that thesis directors for each department implement a matching process to pair thesis writers with appropriate mentors. This would ensure that no student who has the potential to write a thesis is denied the opportunity.
Around the country and the world, democratic institutions are decaying at an alarming rate. There is a fundamental lack of faith in political institutions of all kinds, and, looking around, it is easy to buy into that apathy. Many just believe that change is impossible through these systems. I felt the same when I first got to Dartmouth, and I imagine there are a good amount of first-years who do too. That all of this “student advocacy” is simply performative — something you slap on a resume and then call it a day.
At the present moment, trust in traditional institutions is dwindling in the United States. According to a Pew Research poll last July, 54% of Americans hold an unfavorable view of the Supreme Court — the lowest ever since Pew started tracking in 1987. Nonetheless, this disapproval for the Court is not a universally held belief. The same poll indicates that there is a clear gap of approval between Republicans and Democrats. Approximately 68% of Republicans hold favorable views of the Court, while only 24% of Democrats do. This strikes at the core of the issue that has plagued the Supreme Court in recent history: politicization.
Students who walk into Class of 1953 Commons have surely noticed one major change: Near the front of the dining hall, in place of the former sandwich station, is now “The A9” station, which serves food free of all top nine allergens — dairy, egg, fish, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, shellfish, soy and wheat. This station has been met with a variety of strong opinions, as well as some frustration that it was either unnecessary or insufficient for students whose dietary needs are still not met by the station. As an Editorial Board, we would like to express our view on the matter. Overall, we are excited that Dartmouth Dining has a food station that is more inclusive to students with food allergies, and we are impressed by the empathy and care that Dartmouth Dining puts into providing accommodations for students with dietary restrictions. However, we do have small suggestions to make the station, and Dartmouth Dining as a whole, generally more inclusive.
What is a university? English poet John Masefield said it “is a place where those who hate ignorance may strive to know.” Dartmouth says it is a “voice crying out into the wilderness.” But, in an age where universities have budgets larger than the GDPs — gross domestic product — of many small nations, I take a more practical approach: A university is what it spends money on.
President Beilock’s inauguration marks the beginning of a new era at Dartmouth. We ask: “What is one area or issue that you would like to see College President Sian Leah Beilock address during her first year?”
Dartmouth has finally instituted long overdue changes to its medical leave policy, which has been renamed to the “time away for medical reasons” policy. Some of these changes went into effect immediately, while other provisions will become active in January. These changes are a victory for students and place the College one step closer to an environment that puts the health of its community first. However, there are still major problems with the policy that have not been directly addressed. As an Editorial Board, we would like to review the changes which we believe are worthy of special commendation, but also highlight several concerns that may jeopardize the new policy’s ultimate effectiveness.