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A friend of mine recently argued that you cannot be both a brother in a fraternity and a good runner. While I’m not here to dissect the scrupulous grind of long-distance running or the singular focus it requires, I raise the topic for a point: There is a particular lifestyle associated with being in a fraternity, and that lifestyle, at least to my friend, is counterproductive to athletic achievement, at least with regards to running. I disagree.
As a female chess player, I had to prepare myself every time I stepped into the tournament hall for one simple truth: I would most likely be the only woman there. Sure, there are women that play chess — the tournaments for younger children or lower ranked players are filled with them, but as they get older and the playing level increases, almost all drop out, unable to handle the pressure of having to constantly prove their worth in a field where few appreciate female effort.
We the rejects of sorority recruitment are here. We exist, in the flesh.
Western society has always placed a premium on debate. From the early forums of Rome to the current political boxing ring, intellectual activity has been consistently built on discussion. Yet this blind worship of discourse has its drawbacks, notably when it comes to how easily it can silence minority voices. We as a society are so insistent on proving our own points that we unintentionally silence those who need to be heard the most.
On Wednesday, I had breakfast with South House professor Kathryn Lively to discuss ways to improve the new housing system at the College. Before our meeting, I was admittedly skeptical: According to upperclassmen, the housing system was a device engineered by the administration to squash the Greek system and micromanage student life. I was told that the administration was opaque and sluggish; in short, good luck trying to get anything meaningful done on campus.
In the final sprint of arguably the most bizarre election in American history, every possible news source is beyond saturated with the words “Trump” and “Clinton.” Like many Americans, I am tired. I am tired of the political vitriol, the crude and indecent dialogue and the utter failure of the media and candidates to ge nuinely address matters of substance. I am tired of having to justify everything as a choice between the lesser of two evils. And most of all, I am tired of feeling embarrassed, as an American citizen, of the international laughingstock we have become.
I have never before spoken as much as I did during rush. Not even during Trips, Orientation or the first few weeks of freshman fall, when I was bombarded by a whirlpool of new stimuli and hundreds of eager fellow freshmen, did I speak that much. By the end of each day of rush, my mouth was dry, my throat hurt and my brain felt fried. Yet, I never would have thought it could actually be fun, especially considering my introverted tendencies and legitimate fear of small talk. Dartmouth is filled to the brim with outstanding, intelligent and bold women who each carry her own unique set of passions and interests. It was an incredible experience to finally meet them — after, unfortunately, an entire year at Dartmouth.
We are often told that diversity is a virtue to treasure. We must be welcoming of all cultures, we are told, and we must accept them with love and tolerance. And indeed, this is a most desirable outcome. Diversity is vital to a thriving society. But, I ask, do these oh-so fierce proponents of diversity understand exactly what it is? Do they, for all their buzzwords and Tumblr savvy, truly grasp what it means to be a “diverse” society?
Donald Trump’s son recently faced criticism for a tweet that compared Syrian refugees to a bowl of Skittles. Accompanied by a graphic of a bowl filled with Skittles, Donald Trump Jr. wrote, “If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful?” Most of the American public found that this image was offensive, trivializing the hardships of refugees and demonstrating a lack of sympathy. After deleting the tweet, Trump Jr. called his post a metaphor for “risk and probability” — but this doesn’t make the image any less problematic.
“I don’t need to go into office for the power. I have houses all over the world, stupendous boats... beautiful airplanes, a beautiful wife, a beautiful family... I am making a sacrifice.” One would probably think that these words belong to this year’s Republican candidate for the presidency, Donald Trump. Yet these words were said long before Trump, in 1994 when another businessman sought to govern his country. His name was Silvio Berlusconi.
When I first came here as a freshman, I had two goals for my college experience: get good grades and join a fraternity. I chose Dartmouth because I wanted the exceptional undergraduate education it offered. Outside the classroom, though, I just wanted a place where I could relax, maybe drink some beer and hang out with friends.
Upon coming to Dartmouth, I was excited for the glorious anarchy of college life. As a senior at a strict New England boarding school, I fantasized about college, where I could wear athletic leggings or jeans to class, spend Saturday mornings sleeping in, stay out past 10:45 p.m. and not have mandatory nightly study hall from 8 to 10 p.m. Although I begrudgingly understood that the 72 pages of rules detailed in my boarding school’s student handbook were meant to promote the academic, social and personal well-being and growth of all students, I felt like many of them were trivial or unnecessary. Thus, as I turned 18 during my senior year of high school, I was ready for college, where my “legal adult” status would be acknowledged and uninhibited by a handbook full of rules limiting everything I did.
This past spring term, I watched someone write an article for Ivy Beat titled “How to Take Notes in College — By a Dartmouth Sophomore” in front of me, in our Government 6 course. The second tip, “do not use a computer in class,” was probably chosen because computer users more easily succumb to distractions, mindlessly scribe the lectures word-for-word and are a detriment to their fellow students. I’m certain that at least one of your professors have hit you with the statistical studies that show how supposedly impossible it is to pay attention in class while your peer is messaging their mother — which, in the grand scheme of computer activities, is far from the worst you can do online in class.
High school seniors are entering an exciting times in their lives, one most of us have probably blocked from our memories — applying to colleges.
In his recent “Make Happy” tour, comedy prodigy Bo Burnham, whose inventive songs often provide commentary on social issues, took a moment to seriously address the audience. Burnham argued, with an impressive degree of awareness and charm, that we are all constantly performing. Social media, he asserted before transitioning back into the show, is the market’s solution to the underlying need we all feel to preform for an audience.
I recently came across my list of reasons of why I chose Dartmouth. Before enrolling in Dartmouth’s Class of 2020, I had scribbled out a few bullet points on April 24 while I was visiting campus independently of Dimensions. Two days later, on a rival college’s campus, I committed to Dartmouth.
In Sept. 480 BC, Greek citizens took a stand for democracy. Under the leadership of Themistocles, an Athenian statesman and general, an armada of hundreds of Athenian warships and other pledged forces fought in the straits of Salamis, the narrow waters just south of Athens. That day, the Greeks saved Western civilization in one of the seminal battles of the Greco-Persian wars.
Imagine this scenario: one Sunday afternoon, two friends are in the Collis Center discussing the controversial issue of police brutality towards African Americans. One student thinks that the entire police system needs to be revamped, while the other thinks that the problem is exaggerated by the media and that there are larger, more intrinsic issues at hand. When the latter states the point that black-on-black violence takes more lives than police brutality, the former is shocked. How dare the friend state such a fact! Suddenly, the first student becomes offended, targeted but most importantly indignant, not only because that student is uncomfortable with the opposing opinion, but also because that student possesses a different view.
I spent most of my first week at Dartmouth in the infirmary. None of my bones were broken and I wasn’t reeling from the flu, but I was still in a great deal of pain. Though most people couldn’t see it, if they looked close enough they could have noticed cracks, little fractures revealing the sickness within.
The year is 2079. I hear a knock, a soft two thuds landing on my door. My eldest daughter walks in, holding a transparent storage box haphazardly duct-taped together. She kisses me on the cheek and drops the box near my feet. We open it together, carefully tearing the tape away. When all the tape has been balled up, I take one end of the lid, and my daughter the other. We hear the click of release, and I hold my breath, wondering how many memories lay dormant and forgotten.