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The JED Foundation is set to announce its strategic plan for improving Dartmouth’s mental health infrastructure by the end of the term. Representatives from JED — a nonprofit that, according to its website, “protect[s] emotional health and prevent[s] suicide for... teenagers and young adults” — visited campus in late February to meet with administrative offices and various student groups. The strategic plan will be informed by this feedback, along with findings from the Healthy Minds Survey — which was sent out to campus during the fall term — and recommendations from committees of students, faculty and leadership across Dartmouth’s undergraduate and graduate schools.
The sleepy cul-de-sac behind my childhood home in Alaska sat at the bottom of a long hill. One summer, with my scooter in tow, I would climb to the top of the hill and race down, reaching 10, 15 or even 20 miles per hour before I made it to the bottom. I felt like the King of the Cul-de-Sac. One Sunday afternoon, with the breeze of the hill wisping through my helmet, I took my hand off one of the handle bars to adjust my sleeve. Instead of stoically keeping my balance like the regal nine-year-old I was, I fell. Hard. My lips and knees were scraped raw, and a tooth was ground down by the asphalt. My parents rushed me to the emergency room, where my wounds were washed and I received a CT scan and several X-rays. Later that week, I went to my local pediatrician for a follow-up — and another X-ray — and my dentist, who gave me a filling for my chipped tooth. Thanks to Medicaid, we paid about 20 dollars out of pocket for these services — and that was just for gas.
When College President Phil Hanlon announced the elimination of five varsity sports teams in July of 2020, one reason he cited for the decision was the College’s desire to reduce the number of recruited athletes in each incoming class by 10%. Athletic recruitment, he wrote, “has begun to impact our ability to achieve the right balance between applicants who are accomplished in athletics and applicants who excel in other pursuits.”
Ivy Day, the fateful moment on April 1 when thousands of students receive their admissions decisions from eight elite institutions, is less than a month away. As joyful as this day is for some, it also raises an important issue: The college admissions process in the United States is flawed and must change.
If you looked at the Tucker Center website, you would think Rollins Chapel were open. According to the site, the chapel — which has served as the College’s spiritual center for nearly 140 years — is currently “open for individual prayer and meditation.” Additionally, the site notes that the building, “utilized as an interfaith space available for Christian, Hindu, and Jewish services,” offers a Labyrinth prayer area which “[s]tudents, faculty, and community members are free to use” during regular chapel hours.
Re “Election to create student dining worker union to be held in March” (Feb. 22, 2022)
Last week, the world watched in horror as Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Within days, thousands of Russians and Ukrainians were dead, and Europe was, and still is, experiencing a refugee crisis of catastrophic proportions. Despite the credible threat of arrest — indeed over 6,000 have already been detained — thousands of Russians hit the streets to chant “No to war!” in opposition to their government’s actions.
On Feb. 26, as Russian troops marched toward Kyiv, the United States government reportedly offered Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy a chance to escape the country. Zelenskyy apparently responded quickly: “The fight is here,” he said. “I need ammunition, not a ride.”
In a Feb. 21 press release, the College announced that faculty and administrators had voted 89-4 to delay the development of proposed undergraduate housing along Lyme Road. The reason? Faculty members expressed concern about the distance of the housing from the core of campus, arguing that it contradicted the commitments Dartmouth made in its strategic master plan and threatened the quality of the “undergraduate experience.”
On Feb. 17, Librex — an app that allowed users from Dartmouth and other elite schools to post anonymously for all their peers to see — announced that the platform would be permanently shut down. This news sent shockwaves throughout the community. While some mourned the loss of a way to stay connected to Dartmouth culture, others celebrated the permanent end of the app. Why? Throughout its history, Librex allowed students to objectify peers, mock their friends and even target individual students with slurs. We cheer its end, and that of the harmful discourse it enabled — but we also caution the Dartmouth community against allowing yet another iteration of a venomous, anonymous app to rise from Librex’s ashes.
Never before had the Zuo household seen chaos like it did the week before I moved into college. In a hurricane of nervous shopping, my parents and I spent hours pouring over Dartmouth’s move-in guidelines, picking out the perfect twin XL bedding set and ordering textbooks. One by one, all of my earthly possessions were shoved into two suitcases, unpacked, added to and packed again. By the time the car was fully loaded, we had made our list, checked it twice, and then checked it a few more times just for good measure. At the end of it all, my parents — confident that I wouldn’t starve or freeze to death in my first week — finally took a step back, and there was peace in our living room again.
Feb. 17 marked the end of an era: The anonymous online discussion forum Librex was permanently shut down. All posts were deleted and all user data wiped as the team behind the app decided to move on to new endeavors. Curiously, Librex’s tenure at Dartmouth mirrored that of the pandemic. A week after the app’s launch in March 2020, the effects of COVID-19 hit Dartmouth as the administration decided to move classes online for the upcoming spring term. Now, COVID-19 cases are on the decline and Librex has met its demise. Dartmouth students are currently looking forward to a spring term that resembles life before COVID-19 — perhaps the absence of Librex will help with that. During the pandemic, however, as students sought some semblance of community, Librex quietly became a fixture of Dartmouth’s culture. While Librex was not without its flaws and ugly moments, we should remember the app for its ability to connect students during challenging times.
Yesterday was my 19th birthday.
On Dec. 10 of last year, a tornado hit an Amazon warehouse in Illinois and collapsed its roof, killing six workers inside who were not able to find proper shelter despite advance warning of the tornado’s approach. The deaths renewed discussion about Amazon’s long-standing and, frankly, disgusting habit of mistreating its workers. I say “renewed” because anyone who follows the news has also heard about Amazon’s other workplace scandals, such as revelations that its executives know their delivery drivers are forced by Amazon’s productivity expectations to pee in bottles while on the job and that warehouse workers have been sent immediately back to work after a colleague, who wasn’t given help for a full twenty minutes, died on the job of a heart attack. The employee had even reported having heart attack symptoms at an on-site clinic beforehand, and yet Amazon still did nothing. Tragic stories like these illustrate how large and wildly profitable conglomerates like Amazon cannot be trusted to respect their employees without substantial corrective action to hold them accountable.
Recently, some of the bluest states in the nation announced the end of their mask mandates in an attempt to return to normalcy: “We recognize that we want to turn the page on the status quo,” Gov. Gavin Newsom of California said last week. As the end of winter term approaches, marking another term with some COVID-19 policies still intact, we ask: Should the town of Hanover drop its mask mandate? Should Dartmouth? Relatedly, how should COVID-19 policies change — or not change — at Dartmouth in the spring?