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U.S. citizens are some of the busiest people in the world. Workaholism, anxiety and packed schedules define most of our lives. Alongside being either full-time students or employees, many of us strive to keep up with a long list of hobbies, maintain friendships and stay connected with our families. It’s no secret that we’re experiencing a social epidemic. According to the American Psychological Organization, 27% of Americans describe themselves as stressed to the point that they can’t even function. An extremely anxious society naturally has a hard time maintaining and sustaining a balanced lifestyle. As most are aware, living in this “go-go-go” mode every single day comes with significant trade-offs. For many, this takes the form of sacrificing the time it takes to cook meals for oneself. However, it may be easier to incorporate cooking into daily routines than we think.
Within 24 hours of the vote to strike by the Student Worker Collective at Dartmouth, news broke that the College had suddenly changed its mind on the union’s package proposal and verbally accepted it. Let that sink in. After all the time and lawyers’ fees wasted on stalled negotiations, which began all the way back in May 2022, all it took was one email threatening a strike for the house of cards to tumble down. The outcome sure seems inevitable, at least in retrospect.
Today marks the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and yet, many Americans still don’t understand the recent historical events that have culminated in the eruption of the ongoing war. Moreover, numerous people have yet to fully digest that — depending on the war’s outcome — there is a grave potential that strong states across the world might feel comfortable regressing to imperialistic behavior. If Vladimir Putin emerges victorious, or if there is a ceasefire agreement in which any part of Ukraine’s territory is conceded to Russia, a precedent of allowing countries in the modern era to wage wars of conquest will be set. The world would be catapulted right back to the early 20th century, when powerful nations’ annexation of smaller countries was still prevalent and accepted. This is a terrifying future.
Moonstone, formerly Farmington State Bank, once served local farmers in Washington state. However, over the last few years, the bank has expanded its services into cryptocurrencies.
As proud alumni, we believe in the moral principles upon which Dartmouth College was founded — among them, the dignity of the individual, the right to seek redress for injustice and protection from economic and social harm. These ideals align with the Hebrew Bible and lie at the heart of the mission of the modern state of Israel. They dovetail with the concept of Tikkun Olam, which means “fixing the world” — a rallying call for young Jews today in the U.S. and around the globe.
To start this winter term at Dartmouth, I took an Amtrak from New York City to White River Junction. As I sat on the train for the seven-hour journey, I couldn’t help but imagine how little time a similar route would take in a place like Europe or Southeast Asia. In Japan, a train ride from Tokyo to Osaka — a journey 30 miles longer than New York City to White River Junction — would take just over two hours. Now, this may not be the best example, as White River Junction is much more rural than Osaka, but let’s apply this comparison to a 300-mile train ride from Boston to Philadelphia, an equidistant journey to the Japan example. I found that a $125 (at the cheapest) Amtrak train ride would take up to six hours. For 35 dollars less, a 300-mile ride from Paris to London would take about two hours. In Europe, traveling via train is incredibly efficient and cheap.
The Student Worker Collective at Dartmouth is more than just a union. We recognize ourselves to be, first and foremost, an organization that aims to make Dartmouth a more democratic and equitable school. We want to give students, workers and faculty more say in how the school is run. We are frustrated with the Board of Trustees system, in which a handful of business executives unaccountable to the Dartmouth community command dictatorial power over a campus they typically visit twice a year. We are distraught by the financialization of higher education, which creates immense inequalities across the country and makes education subservient to the enlargement of endowments.
Last month, The Dartmouth reported some of the challenges students face when trying to do laundry in their dorms. From dryers that require several cycles to dry, to washers that leak or don’t adequately wring out clothes, to machines that don’t work at all, the current laundry system sets students up to fail. When adding in the exorbitant cost that students incur when these machines don’t work properly — it is clear that the current laundry service provider, CSC ServiceWorks, is not able to keep up with student needs, at least in its current state.
You head up East Wheelock Street, passing by the gym and South House residences. Perhaps you’re on the Dartmouth Coach or driving yourself. Suddenly, there it is — the Green, Rauner’s Corinthian columns and, of course, Baker Tower. What better welcome could you expect than the panoramic image in front of you?
Dialogue around poor mental health on campus largely centers around Dartmouth as an institution, focusing on the administration’s failings, faulty healthcare and lack of academic support. The College deserves this scrutiny, and these criticisms have successfully pushed for institution-wide positive change, as seen by the College signing a four-year partnership with the youth mental health nonprofit JED foundation. Yet, these conversations around mental health frequently omit crucial parts of students’ well-being — peer support, perceived acceptance and belonging.
All of us here at Dartmouth are familiar with the core values that bind us together: our mission of learning and growing; our sense of community and collegiality; our commitment to integrity and equitability and our love of the outdoors, to name a few. Thus, all of us should be shocked and even outraged that the Dartmouth administration is on the verge of starting a major new construction project that is utterly inconsistent with those core values — namely, the proposed housing complex on Lyme Road. The clock is ticking, but it’s not too late to consider the pitfalls of this project. The scarcity and quality of student housing is truly abysmal, so the administration urgently needs to consider other remedies that don’t conflict with Dartmouth’s core values.
Both right- and left-wing economics envision a world where economic growth is the norm, and contraction or stagnation are aberrations. Though there is disagreement on the particulars, politicians and policymakers across the political spectrum agree that the American economy will continue to grow overall. Unfortunately, the relatively assured growth in the U.S. of the past century may be coming to an end. As the American population ages and exits the workforce in greater numbers, they will place greater strain on the social safety net, weighing down economic productivity. I argue that this oncoming demographic shift will force a dramatic change in our national economic thinking — and both the right and the left are woefully unprepared for a low-growth future.
Re: “Repeated fire alarm activations in Fahey and McLane Halls lead to student frustration” (Feb. 9, 2023)
This column is featured in the 2023 Winter Carnival special issue.