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From the time you learned about sex in grade school until wherever you find yourself now, I’m sure that you have come across porn. Perhaps you have even thought twice about your own consumption. In front of a computer screen, it can feel so easy to disconnect ourselves from our actions. Clicking a link seems inconsequential, completely unattached both physically and emotionally from something recorded or photographed by strangers. And besides, most people watch porn — even if they won’t talk about it or admit it.
There’s a lot to learn at the intersection of academic subjects. Different fields offer different worldviews, and understanding how they overlap gives us a better understanding of issues. As a liberal arts college, Dartmouth should celebrate the overlap between disciplines and encourage students to seek out an interdisciplinary education.
If you’re concerned about the ideological balance of the current Supreme Court, you’re not alone. After the retirement of nearly-centrist Justice Anthony Kennedy last year, followed by President Trump’s nominations of highly-conservative Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, the court has swung considerably further right and cemented a conservative majority. This change has major potential implications for a variety of controversial issues, including abortion and affirmative action.
“We have the world’s most loyal alumni ... it’s the talent of our alumni body coming back.” As soon as I heard that I knew I had to stand up. Pushing through my racing heartbeat, I got up out of my seat in Spaulding Auditorium, walked towards the stage and began to sing: “People gonna rise like the water, we’re gonna calm this crisis down.”
The situation in Venezuela is dire. Beset by years of mismanagement, the country now faces economic and social crisis. Over four million have fled Venezuela. Shelves are empty at grocery stores. Power outages flicker across the country as hospitals struggle to operate medical equipment — not that the hospitals have much access to basic medication anymore.
Earlier this month, the College held its commencement ceremony for the Class of 2019. The event, highlighted by a speech and musical performance by renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, marked the successful culmination of four years at Dartmouth for the outgoing senior class. Thousands of family, friends and alumni gathered on the Green on a sunny day to view the ceremony and celebrate with the graduates.
Affirmative action as we know it may be on the chopping block. Depending on the outcome of the Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard case, a lawsuit in which Asian American students are suing the university for alleged discrimination, diversity as a consideration in admissions will end. This means minority enrollment in universities may drop as a result. Take the case of the University of California Berkeley: After California passed Proposition 209, a law which prohibited the use of race in admissions, outreach and financial aid considerations at California state schools, the number of African Americans enrolled dropped. African Americans today make up only three percent of the student body at UC Berkeley. Tellingly, after the state of California ended affirmative action, graduation rates of African Americans also dropped. From 2013-2016, there was a 16 percent difference between the overall graduation rate and the graduation rate of African Americans.
I hardly need to introduce U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand ’88. The famous Dartmouth alumna, a senator from New York who is also running for president, has stood out among Democrats as one of the fiercest critics of President Donald Trump. She boasts the most votes against Trump’s cabinet nominations of any Democratic senator running for president. Her progressive record should position her to be a competitive contender in the upcoming election. She was, after all, the first senator to insist Al Franken resign after evidence of inappropriate sexual behavior surfaced. And she has voiced firm support for the Green New Deal and some version of Medicare for All. She’s denounced the Trump administration’s “outrageous and unacceptable” treatment of immigrants and has also expressed urgency in ending America’s gun violence epidemic.
On May 11, Harvard University’s dean of the college Rakesh Khurana announced that the faculty dean of Winthrop House, Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr., would be removed from his position. The news comes five months after Sullivan, a professor at Harvard Law School, announced that he would serve as a lawyer for Harvey Weinstein, who currently faces multiple criminal charges for sexual misconduct.
This past April, Swarthmore College’s fraternities found themselves in the middle of a crisis — old meeting minutes containing racist, derogatory and otherwise vile language were suddenly made public. Swarthmore’s two fraternities — Phi Psi and Delta Upsilon — responded by disbanding completely.
Alabama’s newest abortion law is a series of losses: for women, for science and for the Republican Party. On May 15, Alabama’s Governor, Kay Ivey (R) signed into law a near-total ban on abortion with the exception of when a mother’s life is at risk or the case of a lethal fetal anomaly. The law criminalizes abortion, with clauses indicating that doctors could face up to 99 years in prison for performing an abortion in the state. While the law clearly opposes the national strides made in legalizing abortion and liberating women’s bodies, it is not your routine Republican policy. Alabama’s restrictive abortion law is out of sync with just about every interest group and political party, and with its passing, the rallying power of the Republican Party’s pro-life posture is dwindling in intensity. Come 2020, Republicans will start losing districts if they do not abandon this hard-line stance against abortion.
I’m a student athlete. Upon reading Osman Khan ’21’s April 26 column, “Admitting Our Athletes,” in The Dartmouth, I felt two initial reactions. First, I felt angry and hurt that another student so strongly believed that my teammates and I might not belong at the institution we worked so hard to be a part of. And secondly, I felt resentment toward The Dartmouth for publishing an article demonstrating a concerning lack of awareness of how so many students felt about campus athletics.
When I first enrolled as a Ph.D. student at Dartmouth, I understood that I was choosing to do graduate work at an undergraduate-focused college. That was one of the main reasons I chose Dartmouth: If I ultimately wanted to teach and be a professor, why not learn from some of the best undergraduate instructors in the world? I didn’t anticipate that as a graduate student I would often be an after-thought — expected to shut up and do my work and not really be a part of the Dartmouth community. But make no mistake, graduate students are fundamental to the success of the College, and it is about time the institution acted like it.
China’s manufacturing prowess is no secret. In the 40 years since its market reforms, China has grown to become the world’s leading player in manufacturing, contributing 20 percent of global output. And the ubiquity of the “Made in China” moniker on everyday items is such that China’s preeminence often seems untouchable. This is, however, not the case. The features of the Chinese economy that have facilitated the country’s meteoric rise in manufacturing are dissolving. Manufacturing jobs are increasingly leaving China and moving abroad. And the ongoing China-U.S. trade war is only accelerating the flight of manufacturing from the Middle Kingdom.
Humans are the greatest threat to conservation and biodiversity today. The greenhouse gases that we generate alter the climate, and, barring any major changes, continued growth of the human population will increase the carbon footprint of our species. Better technology and decreased consumption can ameliorate this situation, but they cannot currently stop it. In order to curb our carbon footprint, people must begin to monitor their growth as a species, particularly in the United States, where overconsumption is the norm. Unfortunately, legislators are removing women’s rights to make that decision as government officials in some conservative states are pushing bills to severely restrict abortion. Not only does this unfairly govern women’s bodies; it also diminishes their control over their ecological legacies. An increasing human population presents a serious threat to the planet’s future, and without access to abortion, legislators are stealing women’s right to control their own personal ecological legacies.
This year’s Met Gala opened with the theme of “camp,” and the Gala’s attendants made attempts at capturing this aesthetic, some more successfully than others. Sontag, a pop culture theorist known for defining the term, explains the eponymous theme as a love of “artifice and exaggeration.”As it were, an object or event is more likely to be campy when it is unaware of its exaggerated, “so bad that it’s good” quality.
My experience with anxiety and depression is like the cinders that drift slowly down through the dark after a fireworks display. Where there had been light, noise, excitement and people, there is darkness, silence, sadness and loneliness. I felt it the worst during my senior fall.
Trump jokes are low-hanging fruit. They’ve been made before — they’re overdone, easy, trite and, after two years of constant digs at the President and everyone in his circle, they just aren’t funny anymore.
There is a tendency to instinctively link the forward passage of time with the forward progress of society. It is tempting, and certainly reassuring, to rest one’s faith in the long arc of the moral universe. We have an abundance of new technological and social innovations that have dramatically increased the quality of life of people around the planet. But too often, accepting these innovations without skepticism leads to a failure to reckon with the nature of power and how it is exerted onto those with less of it. This growing trend of so-called progress has facilitated the exploitation of new technology by employers to further manage and control their workers in ways that range from merely annoying to deeply disturbing. Without the proper caution and concern for people’s fundamental rights and dignity, what we know as innovation can be weaponized to undermine personal sovereignty, subjecting people to the whims of corporate interests.
For every fall, winter and spring term in the Dartmouth calendar, there is a single weekend reserved for celebration by the Dartmouth community: Homecoming for fall, Winter Carnival for winter and Green Key for spring. However, whereas Homecoming is a time to rekindle the Dartmouth spirit by reconnecting alumni with their alma mater and welcoming freshman into the community, and Winter Carnival showcases the achievements of Dartmouth’s winter sports teams, the College touts Green Key as a weekend to “celebrate the arrival of spring” — a purpose that is hardly Dartmouth-specific. Though at one point Green Key had a community service focus, its emphasis on social service has since slipped away. Now, the weekend more closely resembles earlier traditions of excessive drinking, substance abuse and revelrous traditions such as inebriated, rowdy chariot races across the Green using makeshift chairs and students as “horses,” as well as hazing of the freshman class.