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Li Shen: First and Foremost

(11/07/17 5:30am)

 Every time I sit down to write an opinion piece for The Dartmouth, I have to wrack my brain for a topic or issue that is new, fresh and original. Most of the time, I am sorely disappointed. My ideas originate from mealtime discussions with my friends. My opinions are easily influenced by any number of well-written articles, and the concluding arguments to my pieces are hardly revolutionary. It seems that after centuries of literacy, everything that can be argued has been done. The advent of the internet has only made that more obvious: A quick Google search will bring up someone else’s pros and cons list for every opinion I’ve ever had. As I continue to write, I bury the disappointment accompanied by my unoriginality with the rest of my teenage angst, hoping that one day my brain will do me a favor and spark up something the world has never seen before. But recently I’ve begun questioning why I care about originality so much. Why is it so important that my thoughts about the world, myself and school have to be different from everyone else’s? Is originality really so valuable?


Magann: Sayfullo Saipov is Not an Animal

(11/07/17 5:45am)

The chief suspect in the recent New York City terror attack, which left eight civilians dead and more injured, committed an act of unspeakable evil. Such indiscriminate murder shocks us all, and we rightfully feel a deep sense of resentment toward the attacker. Soon after the attacks, President Donald Trump took to Twitter, blasting the attacker as “a very sick and deranged person”; a few days later, he called the suspect an “animal”while speaking with reporters. Trump’s comments echo a common sentiment: that those who commit horrific acts cannot possibly be motivated by ideas, and that any ideologies they espouse are a mere cover for their fundamentally violent, animalistic nature.


Verbum Ultimum: Big Green Favoritism

(11/03/17 4:45am)

Dartmouth, like most higher education institutions in America, is a funnel that sifts through its applicant pool, systematically favoring those of a higher socioeconomic background. Before access to higher education was extended to more people regardless of race or gender, this funnel also greatly favored the sons of College graduates, who were often white and male. Though there is now more diversity and access to higher education nationwide, the practice of giving preferential treatment to the children of alumni still exits in the form of treatment extended to legacy students.


Li Shen: Ten Percent of Ten Percent

(11/03/17 4:30am)

Logically, I am aware that Orientation only lasted seven days. Realistically, it felt like seven years. By the end of it, the word “transition” did not seem like a real word anymore, and I had perfected the reflex of telling people my name, hometown and intended major. Though most of Orientation felt like a repetition of information, there was one moment that stood out with unfortunate clarity: When the coordinators asked how many of us had graduated in the top 10 percent of our high school class, we saw that most of us had been in that percentile. The gravity of that exercise didn’t hit me until a few minutes later: If so many of us had been in the top 10 percent of our high schools, obviously we couldn’t all be in the top 10 percent at Dartmouth. Of course, I promptly dismissed that realization and reasoned that I could cruise on smoothly as always, because school was something that I’d always known how to do.


Bartlett: Enough with Twitter

(11/02/17 4:15am)

To say that the presidency of Donald Trump has been tumultuous is an understatement. As is the case with any first-term president, there have been highs and moments of excellence and there have been lows and shocking gaffes — the verdict is still out on which is more significant. Within the policy whirlwind that has occurred as Trump transitions from his gilded apartment to the White House, the president’s continued reliance upon Twitter stands out.





Truong: Dormitory Purgatory

(11/02/17 5:15am)

Housing arrangements vary widely here on campus: Some are ramshackle and old, some are luxuriously new; some are centrally located near Baker-Berry Library and Collis Center, some are practically in Vermont. Some dorm clusters have convenient snack bars and plenty of places to study, others force students to take a 10-minute walk to get food and feature a single study room in the basement accompanied by the lovely sounds and scents of washers and dryers. Despite these differences, every student who lives in a college-owned dorm or apartment currently pays the same price of $3,048 per term.


Adelberg: Victimless 'Crimes'

(11/02/17 5:00am)

Homecoming was meant to be a night of unity and tradition. The whole college and many alumni came together to celebrate our community and one of our most cherished traditions: the Homecoming bonfire. The energy in that ring as we ran our 21 laps grew stronger than the waves of heat from the roaring tower of flame. As enthusiasm grew, the call of tradition won over a few brave students: They were going to touch the fire. Laws, walls and officers could not shatter their resolve to keep tradition alive. They leaped over the barriers, dashed toward the fence — and got arrested. Chants of “let him go” filled the Green as students protested. The students caught could face criminal charges or four-figure fines. If any are international students, they may face deportation.



Shi: On Rupi’s Relatability

(10/31/17 4:20am)

Rupi Kaur is an Instagram and Tumblr poet you’ve likely read. Of the hundreds of thousands of young poets who share their work on the internet, the 25-year-old Punjabi-Canadian has been the most successful by far. Her first book of poetry, “Milk and Honey,” was self-published in 2014 and republished a year later by Andrews McMeel Publishing. It quickly topped The New York Times Bestsellers List and, in 2016, outsold the next best-selling work of poetry, “The Odyssey,” by a factor of 10.



Verbum Ultimum: A Write of Passage

(10/27/17 4:45am)

Writing 5 is a requirement and rite of passage for most Dartmouth students. While some students are required to take Writing 2-3 and others may opt to take the Humanities track, the majority of first-years are divided among sections of Writing 5 in the fall or the winter, with 36 in the former and 34 in the latter. There, the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric notes that students are introduced to “the writing process that characterizes intellectual work in the academy and in educated public discourse.”


Chun: Existence of Resistance

(10/27/17 4:30am)

Biosphere 2 was an interesting experiment. Built in Arizona and currently owned by the University of Arizona, it includes seven entirely self-contained ecosystems where plants, animals, soil, water, bacteria and animals can exist. But a fascinating issue arose regarding the trees that grew in Biosphere 2 — they died because there was no wind. Wind, and the resulting tensile and compressive stress placed on the tree, force the creation of stress wood in which the cells of the tree are arranged at angles rather than purely vertically. The tree is stronger for the adversity. This is a metaphor served on a silver platter for a lazy writer, and here’s how I’m going to use it: our most accepted, reasonable and applauded opinions are trees without wind; our biosphere is college. It is these simple laws we’ve come to accept — the equality of all people, the power of democracy and the dangers of isolation — that are the most endangered when we come to college.



Zehner: Ini Tidak Bagus

(10/26/17 4:30am)

We rarely hear about Indonesia in the same context as many other majority-Muslim countries. Yet with about 227 million adherents within its borders, Indonesia has the most Muslims of any sovereign state. Indonesia has had, in its 68-year history since its independence from the Dutch, a strong record. It has had a tradition of tolerance, state secularism and moderate Islam. However, these features of Indonesian society are faltering. Hardline Islamism is rising, and the success of the archipelago’s secularism and pluralism are, as a result, at risk.