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Affirmative action as we know it may be on the chopping block. Depending on the outcome of the Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard case, a lawsuit in which Asian American students are suing the university for alleged discrimination, diversity as a consideration in admissions will end. This means minority enrollment in universities may drop as a result. Take the case of the University of California Berkeley: After California passed Proposition 209, a law which prohibited the use of race in admissions, outreach and financial aid considerations at California state schools, the number of African Americans enrolled dropped. African Americans today make up only three percent of the student body at UC Berkeley. Tellingly, after the state of California ended affirmative action, graduation rates of African Americans also dropped. From 2013-2016, there was a 16 percent difference between the overall graduation rate and the graduation rate of African Americans.
I hardly need to introduce U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand ’88. The famous Dartmouth alumna, a senator from New York who is also running for president, has stood out among Democrats as one of the fiercest critics of President Donald Trump. She boasts the most votes against Trump’s cabinet nominations of any Democratic senator running for president. Her progressive record should position her to be a competitive contender in the upcoming election. She was, after all, the first senator to insist Al Franken resign after evidence of inappropriate sexual behavior surfaced. And she has voiced firm support for the Green New Deal and some version of Medicare for All. She’s denounced the Trump administration’s “outrageous and unacceptable” treatment of immigrants and has also expressed urgency in ending America’s gun violence epidemic.
This past April, Swarthmore College’s fraternities found themselves in the middle of a crisis — old meeting minutes containing racist, derogatory and otherwise vile language were suddenly made public. Swarthmore’s two fraternities — Phi Psi and Delta Upsilon — responded by disbanding completely.
Alabama’s newest abortion law is a series of losses: for women, for science and for the Republican Party. On May 15, Alabama’s Governor, Kay Ivey (R) signed into law a near-total ban on abortion with the exception of when a mother’s life is at risk or the case of a lethal fetal anomaly. The law criminalizes abortion, with clauses indicating that doctors could face up to 99 years in prison for performing an abortion in the state. While the law clearly opposes the national strides made in legalizing abortion and liberating women’s bodies, it is not your routine Republican policy. Alabama’s restrictive abortion law is out of sync with just about every interest group and political party, and with its passing, the rallying power of the Republican Party’s pro-life posture is dwindling in intensity. Come 2020, Republicans will start losing districts if they do not abandon this hard-line stance against abortion.
I’m a student athlete. Upon reading Osman Khan ’21’s April 26 column, “Admitting Our Athletes,” in The Dartmouth, I felt two initial reactions. First, I felt angry and hurt that another student so strongly believed that my teammates and I might not belong at the institution we worked so hard to be a part of. And secondly, I felt resentment toward The Dartmouth for publishing an article demonstrating a concerning lack of awareness of how so many students felt about campus athletics.
When I first enrolled as a Ph.D. student at Dartmouth, I understood that I was choosing to do graduate work at an undergraduate-focused college. That was one of the main reasons I chose Dartmouth: If I ultimately wanted to teach and be a professor, why not learn from some of the best undergraduate instructors in the world? I didn’t anticipate that as a graduate student I would often be an after-thought — expected to shut up and do my work and not really be a part of the Dartmouth community. But make no mistake, graduate students are fundamental to the success of the College, and it is about time the institution acted like it.
China’s manufacturing prowess is no secret. In the 40 years since its market reforms, China has grown to become the world’s leading player in manufacturing, contributing 20 percent of global output. And the ubiquity of the “Made in China” moniker on everyday items is such that China’s preeminence often seems untouchable. This is, however, not the case. The features of the Chinese economy that have facilitated the country’s meteoric rise in manufacturing are dissolving. Manufacturing jobs are increasingly leaving China and moving abroad. And the ongoing China-U.S. trade war is only accelerating the flight of manufacturing from the Middle Kingdom.
Humans are the greatest threat to conservation and biodiversity today. The greenhouse gases that we generate alter the climate, and, barring any major changes, continued growth of the human population will increase the carbon footprint of our species. Better technology and decreased consumption can ameliorate this situation, but they cannot currently stop it. In order to curb our carbon footprint, people must begin to monitor their growth as a species, particularly in the United States, where overconsumption is the norm. Unfortunately, legislators are removing women’s rights to make that decision as government officials in some conservative states are pushing bills to severely restrict abortion. Not only does this unfairly govern women’s bodies; it also diminishes their control over their ecological legacies. An increasing human population presents a serious threat to the planet’s future, and without access to abortion, legislators are stealing women’s right to control their own personal ecological legacies.
This year’s Met Gala opened with the theme of “camp,” and the Gala’s attendants made attempts at capturing this aesthetic, some more successfully than others. Sontag, a pop culture theorist known for defining the term, explains the eponymous theme as a love of “artifice and exaggeration.”As it were, an object or event is more likely to be campy when it is unaware of its exaggerated, “so bad that it’s good” quality.
My experience with anxiety and depression is like the cinders that drift slowly down through the dark after a fireworks display. Where there had been light, noise, excitement and people, there is darkness, silence, sadness and loneliness. I felt it the worst during my senior fall.
Trump jokes are low-hanging fruit. They’ve been made before — they’re overdone, easy, trite and, after two years of constant digs at the President and everyone in his circle, they just aren’t funny anymore.
There is a tendency to instinctively link the forward passage of time with the forward progress of society. It is tempting, and certainly reassuring, to rest one’s faith in the long arc of the moral universe. We have an abundance of new technological and social innovations that have dramatically increased the quality of life of people around the planet. But too often, accepting these innovations without skepticism leads to a failure to reckon with the nature of power and how it is exerted onto those with less of it. This growing trend of so-called progress has facilitated the exploitation of new technology by employers to further manage and control their workers in ways that range from merely annoying to deeply disturbing. Without the proper caution and concern for people’s fundamental rights and dignity, what we know as innovation can be weaponized to undermine personal sovereignty, subjecting people to the whims of corporate interests.
If we want to understand the state of small family farming in this country, we need to look beyond partisan fault-finding and demeaning stereotypes of farmers and their operations. Contrary to the suggestions of Thomas Knight ’22 in his May 9 column for The Dartmouth, titled “Trump and the Family Farm,” there are no economic indications that President Trump’s actions are worsening the decline of small family farming in New Hampshire or elsewhere.
What could be beautiful about a bad day?
“Only military action . . . can accomplish what is required. Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed.” That’s a direct quote from national security advisor John Bolton, and it’s referencing his preferred method of confronting Iran’s nuclear program. He wrote that in 2015 as the United States negotiated to curtail the Iranian nuclear program. Bolton’s views stood well outside the foreign policy mainstream, and rightly so — after the debacle of Iraq, who could seriously promote another invasion?
Dartmouth students come from all sorts of backgrounds. The College allocates substantial resources to those who identify as first-generation and low-income adjust to the Dartmouth environment. For example, the First Year Student Enrichment Program provides an orientation experience specifically for students of these backgrounds. This approach is commendable, but economics cannot fully capture a student’s identity. As someone from the rural South, I can attest that while socioeconomic factors are important, we cannot let its importance make us forget about how our geographic backgrounds also affect our experience of Dartmouth. Just as we actively promote other forms of diversity, we should also enthusiastically celebrate the Dartmouth student body’s geographic diversity and try to learn from the cultural perspectives it brings.
Countless articles have been written on the effects of social media on the lives and social interactions of young people. I, personally, thought I had heard it all before. Then, in my senior year of high school, a close friend of mine was diagnosed with derealization disorder. This condition makes people feel like an outside observer to one’s own life, as if there is a glass wall that separates them from their surroundings as time passes at an abnormal rate.
Just last fall, Ilhan Omar (D-MN) was elected as the representative of Minnesota’s 5th district. Since then, she has faced a relentless storm of personal attacks and death threats, and has featured in one controversy after another. Scandals and personal attacks are nothing new for anyone in politics, but the level of vitriol directed at Omar, a Somali-born refugee who moved to the U.S. as a teenager, seems to be especially extreme. Unfortunately, as Omar stands up for herself, politicians too often deliberately stoke fury towards her or idly stand by.
For hundreds of years, Dartmouth did not fulfill its commitment to Native Americans. Dartmouth’s campus is built on the land of Abenaki indigenous people, and Dartmouth’s founding charter outlines that the school’s principal mission is to educate Native youth. But in its first 200 years of existence, Dartmouth only graduated 19 Native Americans. When Native students finally did matriculate to Dartmouth in meaningful numbers, many of them were not exactly thrilled to see that Dartmouth had an Indian mascot, and they widely protested it. Native students Howard Bad Hand ’73, Duane Bird Bear ’71 and Rick Buckanaga ’72 were among those who led the call to end the use of Dartmouth’s Indian mascot in the 1970s, and in 1974, the Board of Trustees agreed with the protestors that the mascot was inconsistent with the values that Dartmouth is supposed to uphold.
Everyone’s favorite New England postcard is in trouble. For years, tourists have flocked to the Upper Valley, where antique barns are framed by the rough-hewn fences that rein in gentle and photogenic Holsteins. If they’re lucky, they might even get a glimpse of a farmer who charmingly lacks a few teeth and says “ayup” with that old New England agrarian accent. But you would be hard pressed to find that today. The reality is that the Upper Valley and many rural farming communities around the country are feeling the squeeze. Family farms found some success in the later years of the Obama presidency, but since then, profits have decreased by almost a third. There is no question that family-run agriculture has been in decline over the last half-century, partly due to the changing demands of ever-changing consumer tastes.