Re: Verbum Ultimum: An Apple A Day (April 15, 2022)
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Re: Verbum Ultimum: An Apple A Day (April 15, 2022)
To put it bluntly, Dartmouth’s grading system has failed. Enforcing medians is hypocritical for a college that purportedly encourages academic success and empowerment but more importantly, as a student, enforced medians are also disappointing. Many of my professors have expressed a similar disappointment with the system too.
While the administration recently promised to reorient its focus toward student health, there are still some critical gaps in campus support systems. Despite my love for this school, the illusion of care spread by certain professors and disability services is an aspect of Dartmouth that disappoints me.
It’s no secret that Dartmouth is practically swimming in cash: Our $8.5 billion endowment rivals many nation’s GDPs, and we have dished out an enormous sum of cash on recent capital improvement projects, such as the recently announced $88 million allocated for renovating the Hopkins Center for the Arts. But aside from these public pronouncements, where exactly do we spend our money?
The snow has melted, the sun is out and the flowers are beginning to blossom: Spring has arrived in the Upper Valley.
Any student who is even remotely familiar with fraternity basements during on-nights knows there’s one guest who is almost always present: cans of Keystone Light beer. Inevitably, these cans end up in the trash — take a walk down Webster Avenue on a Thursday or Sunday morning and you’ll see the aftermath of frats’ clean-up operations. When you consider the amount of beer that just one frat consumes in one night, the total number of cans used across campus each weekend must be enormous.
Noticing the billowing smokestack towering over the southern part of campus and the oil trucks that regularly make deliveries there, I decided to do some research. I discovered that Dartmouth’s heating plant, which has been supplying heat to campus since 1903, uses 3.5 million gallons of No. 6 fuel oil each year to heat campus.
Prestigious universities, such as Dartmouth and its peer institutions, have grown too comfortable with hoarding their billions in endowments as a status symbol, preventing students from benefiting from even the fraction it would take to improve campus facilities and programs. Just last year, the College boasted a 46.5% year-over-year return on its endowment, and instituted a few limited financial changes, including increasing student workers’ hourly minimum wage by $3.75 and eliminating an expected parent contribution in financial aid calculations. While these changes are commendable, institutions like Dartmouth continue to withhold funds from being used more directly for improving the academic and personal lives of their students. It’s past time for the federal government to step in with a stick and tax college endowments.
What comes to mind when you hear the words “Student Assembly”? Please take a moment to think about it.
As much as I love studying with my AirPods, there is a slight glitch that’s been bugging me: Siri is a bit too eager to chat. Usually, when the AirPods are in my ears and a new message comes in, Siri will announce its contents through the earbuds; it’s a useful feature, even if it sometimes catches me off guard. However, for about five seconds after I put my AirPods back in their case, any incoming messages will still be read aloud by Siri — but instead of coming through the pods, they’ll be announced on speaker to the whole world.
We’ve all seen the old recruiting posters in high school history class: Uncle Sam stares outwards, his eyes blazing with determination and his finger pointed straight at you. In all capital letters, “I WANT YOU FOR U.S. ARMY” is printed. Back then, the military was looking for young men to turn into soldiers. Now, we are — or more accurately, we should be — looking for more college students we can turn into primary care physicians. Across the US, we simply don’t have enough, and it’s hurting us.
A crucial component of the academic culture here at Dartmouth is our set of distributive requirements — the completion of which is a prerequisite for graduation. These classes fit into thematic bins — arts, international studies and quantitative or deductive sciences, among others. Through these requirements, the College encourages us to pursue our academic curiosity in classes that we might not otherwise take, ranging from ENGS 12, “Design Thinking,” to CRWT 10, “Introduction to Fiction.” And yet, nowhere on this exhaustive list of requirements is that of instrument practice. If the professed goal of the College’s distributive requirements is to expand the skills of undergraduates, I would argue that the skills that daily music practice develops — namely, that of creative license and the art of practicing — justify a spot for music education in Dartmouth’s pantheon of distributive requirements.
I was planning to publish a column this week about free speech. In it, I intended to argue, among other things, that the core of conservative student groups’ complaints about the free speech climate on campuses is correct — that being in the minority opinion can be frustratingly hard in college today.
Dartmouth Dining Services — the company that operates the dining halls and cafes on Dartmouth’s campus — has gotten heat for many issues throughout the years, from absurdly long lines at the beginning of the fall term to reducing the hours of many dining locations following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the company has swiftly addressed some of these shortcomings, another clear issue has yet to be confronted — the limited amount of affordable, healthy options at Dartmouth Dining locations.
“With 339 active cases on campus — and the others unaccounted for — some have questioned the College’s decision to lift asymptomatic testing requirements. Some have questioned whether, in the absence of this requirement, the College COVID-19 dashboard conveys any meaningful information at all. We ask: Do the 339 cases warrant concern? If so, how should the College respond?”