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With more than 400 days until Election Day, an overlong list of Democratic candidates shows no signs of shrinking. The slate of candidates is polling at numbers as varied as their experience, policies, backgrounds and tones. At the forefront of the minds of presidential candidates and Democratic voters alike is how to beat President Trump in the 2020 election.
How many memes have you seen about “fake news” in the past year? While “fake news” has become a comical buzzword, this phenomenon of publishing blatantly false information has caused quite a stir in the world of journalism. Even though there is no substantial proof that the spread of “fake news” holds any significant influence over the population, some are advocating for a change in policy forbidding “misinformation” from being published. While it is important that the public reads the truth, striving for a lie-free media is not worth surrendering our freedom of the press in a vain attempt to stop the age-old and inevitable spreading of lies.
On Sept. 20, The Dartmouth reported the demographics for the Class of 2023 and detailed how the admissions office uses a “holistic process.” The Dartmouth Opinion Staff responded.
Dartmouth’s cornucopia of PE credits is nothing short of wonderful. The martially-inclined can hone their talents with taekwondo; the projectile-prone can refine their accuracy with archery; heck, the dancer in all of us can master the ineluctable romanticism of tango. It’s a smorgasbord of interesting options — but it’s not for everyone. Plenty of Dartmouth students don’t take well to organized physical fitness, some because of scheduling concerns and others because of sheer personal preference. Students who prefer the exhausting comfort of Alumni Gymnaisum do not receive PE credits for their accumulated hours, nor do students who amass a gaggle of their friends and acquaintances to participate in intramural sports. And this is a shame, as it reeks of twisted priorities. What matters more to the campus’s emphasis on fitness: that students are being active or that we’re active on their terms?
On Sept. 5, a Customs and Border Protection checkpoint was operated near Dartmouth’s campus on I-89. In late August, Ismail Ajjawi, a Palestinian student from Lebanon, arrived in Boston to attend Harvard University, and the New York Times reported that he was turned away by a CBP agent. The Dartmouth Opinion Staff responded.
This past Saturday, the College restricted students’ access to buildings only within their own House communities. The College said the policy change came in response to the number of “racial bias incidents” that occurred last October, characterizing the policy as a security measure.
Last Friday, actress Felicity Huffman was sentenced for her role in the college admissions scandal uncovered by Operation Varsity Blues. Huffman confessed to paying $15,000 for an SAT proctor to change her daughter’s incorrect answers before her test was submitted a pretty obvious case of education fraud.
Members of the Class of 2023 fresh out of First-Year Trips gave Divest Dartmouth a lot of attention during last week’s activity fair. Divest Dartmouth is a well-known brand at Dartmouth — they have almost 1,500 followers on Facebook and their stickers give MacBooks and Nalgenes around campus more personality. Divest Dartmouth also has a mission: “That Dartmouth College ceases to invest in coal, tar sands and the Climate Action List of the most harmful oil and gas companies identified by the Fossil Free Index and Union of Concerned Scientists.”
After a night out last spring, as I walked from Webster Ave. to Fayerweather Hall, I encountered a strange monument on the sidewalk between the Dickey Center and Baker-Berry Library. There, sprawled across the ground, torn and dilapidated, lay the official West House flag. More than likely stolen from the House professor’s residence and then dumped on the sidewalk by drunk students, the flag, to me, represented more than mild vandalism. Like the flag, the House system stands at the crossroads of the student body and administration — celebrated by Dartmouth’s administration but evidently resented by its student body. In the wake of Dartmouth’s most recent restrictions on building access, it is clearly time for the College to abandon its unpopular housing regime.
The legalization of the birth control pill was one of the greatest victories for feminism in recent history: Its use is prevalent, and its effects are profound. Though they were aware of the pill’s potential for women’s liberation, the women who worked to legalize the pill strategically prioritized legal goals over making an ideological statement.
While e-cigarettes are now, for the first time, attracting serious national attention, their popularity is nothing new to me. Nearly five years ago, there existed a sort of underground market for e-cigarettes at my private high school in Louisiana. The profiteers in this racket, a handful of sophomore boys, used all sorts of ingenious means to buy product to skirt legal age restrictions — fake IDs, siblings over 18 and online purchases made with Bitcoin.
Looking back now, I have very few regrets from my first year of college. After all, freshman year is meant to be a time of trial and error. From randomly choosing a dance partner for the “Salty Dog Rag” (a First-Year Trips tradition) to painstakingly selecting courses for the fall, Dartmouth freshmen are presented with a multitude of choices right off the bat that often define their first term.
I spent the summer before Dartmouth in a constant state of buoyancy. I was finally done with high school, which meant I was finally free to do whatever I wanted in college. The possibilities felt endless. I told myself, as Carey Mulligan did in “An Education”: “I’m going to read what I want and listen to what I want, and I’m going to look at paintings and watch French films and I’m going to talk to people who know lots about lots.” Early on, I set my heart on economics and comparative literature double-majors and a minor in music with the kind of confidence of someone who knew nothing. The D-Plan, with all its touted flexibility, seemed like the perfect vehicle for my academic plans. And as someone who wanted as much range in her studies as possible, I thought the combination I had chosen was perfect.
When I first stepped off the Dartmouth Coach in early September to begin my freshman year at Dartmouth, I thought that I was dreaming. It was the kind of afternoon that those of us familiar with northern New England’s erratic climate hope to experience once or twice a season. With golden sunshine reflecting off of the rooftops, brightly colored autumn leaves and a bright blue sky set against the silhouette of Baker-Berry Library, Dartmouth’s beauty enchanted me the second I laid eyes on campus. Heaven, I thought, could not be more wonderful than my beautiful new school.
Welcome to Dartmouth — a place of self-discovery, creativity and humility. Perhaps it was the very subtlety of students and professors’ intelligence that drew you to the school — it certainly was at the top of my pros and cons list a year ago. The College is composed of devoted intellectuals who prefer to walk the walk over talking the talk. But while humility is a uniting thread throughout Dartmouth — professors and students rarely share their accomplishments— I encourage you to be bold, brave and confident as you take on freshman year.