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With the exception of several houses that hosted events promoting awareness of campus sexual assault, self-care and gender inequity, Greek life spaces closed this past Friday night in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Termed the “Night of Solidarity,” Friday evening was meant to encourage Dartmouth community members to reflect on the ways that Greek life perpetuates sexual violence on campus. The night’s sentiment encourages steps toward ensuring safety and support for everybody on this campus, particularly because of its union with Dartmouth’s “Take Back the Night” march. However, in demonstrating support by prohibiting entrance to students for a single night, Greek houses risk feigning action with inaction. While the Night of Solidarity recognizes the reality of campus sexual violence, it ultimately offers no solutions for impactful change on this front. As several houses mentioned in their emails of solidarity, the next essential steps toward aggregating campus social change include strict and enforced intolerance of sexual violence.
It’s a powerful image: 18-year-old Emma González, standing resolutely at a podium, teardrops streaming down her face. She wears her hair closely cropped to her head and has small silver ball earrings adorning her ears. Over a white March for Our Lives t-shirt, she wears an olive green bomber jacket emblazoned with iron-on patches and pins displaying slogans such as “I Will Vote” and “We Call BS.” Combined, it makes for a modern, militant look — González is, after all, a general of sorts in the war against gun violence.
For decades, the National Rifle Association has advanced a slippery-slope argument. Give an inch on gun policy, the rhetoric goes, and gun control advocates will take a mile. In 1994, then-NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre termed waiting periods on gun purchases “just one more step in the march toward national disarmament.” The NRA similarly denounces most firearm regulation as part of a broader plan to eliminate Second Amendment rights. That argument is both deceptive and untrue. Far from a conspiracy to seize Americans’ guns, sensible gun restrictions are a widely-supported public safety measure.
Something is rotten in the state of American politics. On both left and right, an old idea is making its way back into vogue. On the right, nationalist and quasi-fascistic politics, the old school us-versus-them thinking that once came neatly packaged in black-and-red armbands over Hugo Boss-designed uniforms worn by goose-stepping soldiers, are back. On the left, socialism, Marxism and associated dogmas are coming back, all with talk of empowerment rather than of gulags and concentration camps. But all of this is essentially one idea: collectivism.
Little in life frustrates me — an ever-proud humanities major — more than the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. It’s hard to place exactly why that is, but I learned early on in life that the path of the scientist was hardly one that I wanted to follow. Sure, I played the game in high school: I padded my college applications with a myriad of AP and Honors STEM courses in the hopes of coming across as more accomplished and well-rounded to college admissions committees. But being able to succeed in a field and actually enjoying the subject matter are vastly different ideas. It’s safe to say that post-high school, I was elated to be finished with what I considered to be naught but tedious means to an end.
On February 27, the section of Wisconsin Avenue directly in front of the Russian Embassy in Washington was renamed Boris Nemtsov Plaza, in a tribute to its namesake Russian opposition leader. The Associated Press has called the renaming “a D.C. sponsored effort to troll the Russian government.”
Some know Martin Shkreli as the “pharma bro” responsible for gouging the price of the life-saving drug Daraprim, relied on by vulnerable populations — pregnant women, cancer patients, people living with AIDS — by 5,000 percent. Some know him as the man who received a seven-year sentence for securities fraud this March. Some know him as the owner of the sole existing copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.”
“I don’t normally shop,” I said apologetically. As item upon item stacked by the till, I’m not sure the cashier believed me.
Data breaches are not a novelty. They’ve existed ever since humans first started recording data and are an inherent risk of storing information. However, the rise of the digital age has made data breaches much easier to execute. Theoretically, an individual on the opposite side of the world could infiltrate any company’s database, siphon the data of millions of people with some nifty lines of code and sell it, all through a few clicks. Since 2005, there have been over 8,000 data breaches made public, with over ten billion records breached. The recent Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal at first seems like it should be just another unfortunate statistic, but its implications are foreboding for the future of digital privacy.
Rainer Maria Rilke wrote poetry as if it were life or death, and for him it was. He was a sickly man who wrote poetry of astounding power, but one of his ideas has particular relevance to life at Dartmouth.
Before writing for The Dartmouth, I was an opinion columnist for The Authored Ascension, my high school’s online-only newspaper. Though I lacked the authority to influence much, I had a clear vision for the paper’s direction. Up until that point, most written pieces were school-specific. News of homecoming events, sports match-ups and the like were the predominant topics for most writers. Few ventured out to tackle national hot-button issues. As a 16-year-old newly equipped with a driver’s license and many opinions, I planned on changing that.
Almost two years ago, a Scottish man named Mark Meechan made and posted a video of his girlfriend’s pug raising its paw in a Nazi salute while he recited hateful and anti-Semitic phrases. Like many, I found his antics offensive.
Dartmouth is more difficult than it used to be, and it isn’t because of the professors or the changing student body. Rather, changes to Dartmouth’s Advanced Placement course acceptance policy that were implemented for the Class of 2018 began to truly manifest themselves last year, as the Class of 2017 graduated and the Class of 2018 stepped into their positions for extracurricular and academic activities.
I’m going to be honest: I didn’t apply to any colleges in the South not due to a dearth of high-caliber institutions, but because of the labels I had heard about the region. The South is often portrayed as ultra-conservative, uber-religious and relatively poor. Even if I were in an urban area and the college campus were a diverse and inclusive place, I feared the implied racism and sexism that might surface if I were to step off campus or venture out of the city. As a West Coast native, I don’t know a lot about Southern culture. For too long, I’ve relied on stereotypes I had heard from others or seen in movies and other media to form an overall negative and foreign image of the region.
When you think of a typical economics major, who comes to mind? One of the predominant stereotypes is the “econ bro.” A glance around an economics classroom during my Dimensions experience last spring provided evidence of a gender imbalance in the major, a suspicion that was reinforced while taking economics courses my freshman fall and winter. Economics is Dartmouth’s most popular undergraduate major. As the gender gap in economics fails to shrink in graduate education and in the workplace, it needs to be addressed at its roots.
I do not believe in hurting others. It is important to me to live on a campus where the student body can feel safe and respected regardless of personal identifiers or beliefs, but I think there comes a point when political correctness begins to tread on people’s toes. When legitimate expression of political or otherwise controversial ideology becomes compromised or vilified on campus, students need to take a step back and understand the repercussions of responding with outrage. Equating disagreeableness with hatefulness intentionally smudges the line between exercising and abusing free speech, placing significant constraints on campus conversations.
The next installment of "Cartoon of Incompetence," Jessica Link's story of life.
A few weeks into winter term, I called my parents crying for the first time in my life. They were noticeably confused — I don’t cry often, but when I do, I never go to them until my tears are gone. As it was, I could not fully explain why I was so upset. My dad, a psychiatrist, immediately asked me if I had been feeling “blue.” I responded that I had. I was tired, unenthusiastic and reluctant to spend time outside of my room. I had trouble getting out of bed, not because I did not want to leave the bliss of sleep but because I did not want to face the world. Everything felt “meh;” I could hardly remember the last time I had felt anything other than malaise. My dad told me to get more sleep, see my friends more and exercise regularly. If I was still feeling this way in a week, he suggested options such as therapy or medication. I called back a few days later, happy to report that I was feeling much better. He told me that I had probably been going through a slump brought on by the winter weather or homesickness; whatever it was, he was glad for me that it had passed. He ended the phone call with a reminder that I could always talk to him about my mental state, and that was that.
Anything Can Happen During March Madness
The fourth installment of "Cartoon of Incompetence."