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Since the onset of the pandemic, many cherished aspects of the Dartmouth experience have remained on hold. One familiar feature of Dartmouth life, however, has not been sorely missed: the physical education requirement. Often derided as a waste of time at best and a hidden fee at worst, the PE requirement is most notable for bogging down students with mandatory — and often expensive — checkbox-filling activities. Eliminating the PE graduation requirement for the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 was a necessary move given the pandemic, but it’s time to go further. The College should permanently do away with the PE requirement.
Since German reunification, Chancellor Angela Merkel has led Germany for more time than all other chancellors combined. From November 2005 to the present, Merkel has led not only her center-right party, the Christian Democratic Union of Germany, but the largest economy and most populous nation in the EU. She has won widespread praise for her steady leadership in times of crisis: the Great Recession, the European migrant crisis and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic. She has governed as a moderate — and won the support of her fellow citizens in four separate federal elections — even as reactionary politics have gained a foothold in other European countries.
How should big tech companies such as Facebook and Twitter weigh preserving free speech against curbing the spread of misinformation? This is a pressing concern of the modern age, especially given Twitter’s recent ban of former President Donald Trump. However, before contending with this dilemma, one hurdle must first be overcome: Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a regulation that says providers of interactive computer services cannot be treated as the publisher of third-party content. Thanks to this obsolete law, lawmakers have been unable to determine how liable tech companies should be for regulating what appears on their social media platforms.
On day one of my dorm room quarantine, I watched my professor’s lecture through a laptop screen. My food was delivered twice daily by a person whom I never saw. I was only allowed out of my room in order to use the bathroom and seek medical help. Though the situation sounds eerily similar to the premise of a dystopian novel, it’s actually my college experience, taking place entirely through screens and six-foot distances.
When Aldous Huxley published his novel, “Brave New World,” in 1932, he had no way of knowing that his dystopia — a society in which children were essentially designed in a lab — would eventually become possible. While his readers could take comfort in knowing that the horrors of the “World State” were confined to the realm of fiction, our generation does not have that luxury. In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that commercial genome editing will affect us in one way or another and, if left unregulated, will very likely prove dangerous. Thus far, the advance of genome editing technology has outpaced our ability to produce legislation to regulate its use, so Congress must — without further hesitation — redouble its efforts to keep up.
From Daniel Webster, Class of 1801, onward, many Dartmouth alumni have gone on to serve in prominent public service roles. Alex Azar '88, the former Secretary of Health and Human Services under the Trump administration, is certainly one of them. But prominence and power do not mean admirability; Azar stepped down from his post earlier this week with the entrance of the Biden administration, ending four years of controversial health care policy.
“Callous and full of blatant disregard,” “doing everything possible to screw us,” “ridiculous” — over the past six months, these have been the words with which the members of the Class of 2023 have described the handling of the pandemic. As a ’23 myself, I agree — our class has been screwed over. We’re enduring an unmitigated surge in COVID-19 cases, a disastrously slow vaccine rollout and more than 400,000 deaths in the U.S. All of us are victims of a negligent response by the federal government and the misfortune of this virus arising in the first place.
On Jan. 6, the nation watched in horror as a group of pro-Trump insurgents stormed the U.S. Capitol in an event best understood as a pathetic attempt at a coup. The group, some armed with assault rifles, Molotov cocktails, bombs and even six-foot spears seized the Capitol building, forcing Congress to temporarily delay finalizing the certification of the electoral vote and President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
In the midst of a pandemic-exacerbated national mental health crisis, it comes as no surprise that wellness products are having a moment in the spotlight. Even before the pandemic, from 2015 to 2017, the global wellness industry had grown nearly twice as fast as the global economic growth rate, making it worth $4.5 trillion in 2018.
After four years filled with barely disguised racism, misinformation about COVID-19, denial of election results and impeachment (on a record-setting two separate occasions), President Donald Trump is finally leaving office. We voted him out in November, and in only a few days, President-elect Joe Biden will take office. But as damaging as Trump has been, he is not the cause of all of our political issues. Rather, he is a symptom of a wider right-wing movement that has come to play a major role in American political life.
Smoking is one of the leading causes of death in America, and the tobacco industry has concealed and obfuscated the dangers of smoking to protect its profits. As a former cigarette smoker, I learned the risks firsthand and quit for good when I had a precancerous growth removed from my inner lip in 2019. I have lost relatives to smoking, and I know how dangerous it is.
Just over a week ago, the U.S. experienced a national catastrophe. The Trump-incited siege on the Capitol, which used violence in an attempt to overturn a democratic election, was a galling attack on the heart of American democracy.
We’re only a couple of weeks into the new year, but fortunately, we now have promises from states across the country that the general public will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the months ahead. So, it seems reasonable to assume that the latter half of the year will usher in a badly needed wave of normalcy. However, if there’s one thing that the pandemic has taught us, it’s that so many of the things we hold dear are incredibly fragile: the presence of our loved ones, our ability to progress academically and professionally and our ability to socialize freely.
Shortly after 4 p.m. on Jan. 6, as law enforcement worked to secure the Capitol from a Trump-incited insurrection, the Associated Press projected that Democrat Jon Ossoff had won the U.S. Senate runoff election in Georgia. Ossoff and fellow Democratic senator-elect Raphael Warnock notched key victories in the previously red state, delivering the party a majority in the Senate — thanks, in part, to a consistent closing message advocating $2000 stimulus checks for all Americans.
In less than a week, Dartmouth students will awaken Hanover from its winter break hibernation. Many of the bright-eyed freshmen who were present last term will be gone, replaced by older students who have experienced Dartmouth at its best and most normal. How will these older students, with higher expectations of what a Dartmouth term should look like, react to the restricted and watered-down version being served? Not well, we can assume. This may put the community at risk from COVID-19 if frustrated students look to off-campus — and very likely non-COVID-19 safe — options for social life.
On Wednesday, the world watched in horror as a mob of right-wing insurrectionists launched a coordinated attack on the Capitol building, forcing the hurried evacuation of elected officials and leaving five dead — among them, a Capitol police officer. Broadcast live for all to see, this embarrassing display of antidemocratic chaos further tarnished the United States’ reputation as a champion of democracy. In its aftermath, some analysts have warned that the nation may face a new era of increasing political violence.