Criticizing Dartmouth is, admittedly, pretty easy.
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Two years ago, our world was transformed with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As my boarding school in Massachusetts, like other institutions across the nation, shifted to online learning, I was forced to book an immediate flight home to Hanoi, Vietnam. From 8,000 miles away, I watched with an outsider’s perspective as America’s devastating COVID-19 response unraveled. From the previous administration’s denial of the pandemic and laissez-faire policy approach to citizens’ anti-masking protests and fatal shootings –– reactions incomprehensible to me given the grave death toll of the virus –– life in the US seemed surreal, almost dystopian.
Over winterim, I had the opportunity to visit my grandmother’s nursing home. While I was encouraged to sanitize my hands and wear a mask, neither measure was required, given my vaccination status. Within the home, residents, caregivers and visitors carried on with mild caution but, generally speaking, operated with little regard for the global pandemic. Due to the nature of the omicron variant — which is significantly less likely to spread to the lungs than earlier variants — the powerful immunity of a vaccinated population and the capacities of nearby medical facilities, this nursing home opted to loosen restrictions among the population most at-risk to COVID-19.
The Student Worker Collective at Dartmouth has — after three grueling months of organizing — secured the support of a supermajority of the student workers of Dartmouth Dining Services, a turning point in our work to create a union of student workers. On Jan. 5, the SWCD sent an open letter to the administration and requested a response by Jan. 17. We now await a reply that, ideally, will consist of the College’s acceptance of our demands, including voluntary recognition of our union through a card check agreement and quarantine pay for DDS student workers in COVID-19 isolation. If the College truly cares about its DDS student workers, especially amid the dramatic rise in cases on campus, it must agree to the SWCD’s demands to ensure the safety and livelihood of DDS student workers.
“We do not intend to police enforcement, but we expect all students to act responsibly and avoid indoor social gatherings,” interim provost David Kotz and executive vice president Rick Milis announced in an email this past Tuesday. This statement more or less sums up College leadership’s current response to the COVID-19 pandemic — absolving themselves of responsibility, while doing little to actually reduce transmission.
Over the past several months, two of Dartmouth’s peer institutions — Harvard University and Columbia University — saw members of their student unions strike. Harvard’s graduate student union went on a three-day strike in late-October, which later led to a contract that increased pay. Columbia student union began striking in early-November; that strike is still ongoing, upending academics as the union fights for fair pay and recognition of hourly student employees as union members.
Months after its catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan, the United States faces another major challenge to its unipolarity: a belligerent Russia.
There is no piece of advice more profound than to think before speaking. Yet this aforementioned wisdom has merely become an age-old adage — one that is mindlessly repeated by exasperated parents to their children in exactly the same manner that it was mindlessly repeated to them. The problem isn’t necessarily the cyclical nature of such advice, but rather the deaf ears onto which it falls, for the implications of forgoing this lesson are such that they fundamentally impact the influence and value that society places unto speech. When people simply speak in order to have something to say, any and all words begin to lose their meanings. Our problem: Are we, as a society, assigning relevance to words with actual meaning? Or are the words that we revel in mere nonsense, meant only to dispel the looming prospect of silence?
When I began working at a spunky, midtown startup last summer, I expected to slog through a hopefully rewarding, but probably boring, few months. I braced myself for long hours of worksheet organization, awkward water cooler small talk with 30-year-olds and the majority of my time spent twiddling my thumbs instead of actually accomplishing real, important work.
Last Friday, Dartmouth men’s hockey lost its opening game to Harvard University by a margin of 9-3. But before the Big Green and the Crimson faced off, Dartmouth faced an even bigger deficit: zero NHL draftees compared to Harvard’s 11.
On Oct. 25, the Sudanese military seized power and declared a state of emergency. In response, thousands of civilians poured into the streets of the capital, Khartoum, in protest against the prospect of military rule. General Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan’s power-sharing “Sovereignty Council,” which constitutes a lead civilian-military institutional setup, launched the military coup and took the prime minister captive. Although prospects of a return to military rule loom over Sudan, the counterrevolution could still be reversed with extensive street protest coupled with firm international pressure.
Who am I?
Dartmouth long snapper Josh Greene ’23 will be sharing his experience playing for the Big Green, covering topics such as the team’s preparation following COVID-19, the academic-sport-life balance required of an athlete at an Ivy League school and other musings on his experience in Hanover. This rendition reflects on Greene’s experience interacting with the team’s fifth-year seniors leading up to Saturday’s 20-17 win at Harvard.
Dartmouth is short on cash, or so it seems. Last year, the College cut the budget of its study abroad programs by 45% and permanently shuttered two of its five libraries. This year, the College is struggling with “labor shortages,” which they refuse to resolve by offering higher wages. The labor shortage is so bad, the College argues, that the students should excuse food lines that stretch down the block and Living Learning Communities where the students live with mice, exposed wires, no shower heads and a floor so tilted that items roll across the room.
Most current Dartmouth students remember the hell this campus went through last year: Dealt a bounty of pandemic-related stressors, students’ mental health suffered tremendously over the course of last year, and three first-year students — Beau DuBray ’24, Connor Tiffany ’24 and Elizabeth Reimer ’24 — died by suicide within a matter of six months. In response to these deaths and years of complaints from students about Dartmouth’s mental health infrastructure, the College announced a four-year partnership with the JED Foundation, a national nonprofit that promotes emotional health on college campuses. The partnership began last week when the “Healthy Minds” survey was fielded to students. Over the next two years, that survey and other findings will be used to implement interventions on campus before the survey is readministered in the 2024-25 academic year. Some community members see this partnership in a positive light; one student referred to it as “a step in the ‘right direction’” in a recent article.
Two weeks ago, I wrote about how the highly anticipated Giants vs. Dodgers winner-take-all Game 5 was the most crucial game of the MLB season. With 107 and 106 regular-season wins, respectively, San Francisco and Los Angeles had been battling all season for NL West supremacy. So surely the series winner, having overcome its most formidable obstacle, would coast to the World Series.
I love the Choates.
In a column for the fall, Dartmouth long snapper Josh Greene ’23 will be sharing his experience playing for the Big Green, covering topics such as the team’s preparation following COVID-19, the academic-sport-life balance required of an athlete at an Ivy League school and other musings on his experience in Hanover. This rendition reflects on Greene’s experience playing in front of a sell-out crowd last weekend at Memorial Field against Yale on Homecoming. The Big Green won, 24-17.
On Monday, Dartmouth announced that its endowment — the pool of money generated from donors and investments and used in part to finance the College’s operations — grew to $8.5 billion at the end of fiscal year 2021, a striking 46.5% increase from the previous fiscal year. When Dartmouth announced this growth, it also announced several ways it would use the endowment to support the student body, such as increasing financial aid to undergraduates, offering a $1,000 bonus to certain graduate students and raising the student minimum wage from $7.75 an hour to $11.50 an hour — a change College spokesperson Diana Lawrence estimated would impact around 1,000 student workers.
I find myself continually frustrated by the College’s ignorance of the problems it creates for itself. I’m struck by how the administration struggles to provide logical, effective solutions in a timely manner. It seems as if they don’t care. At all.