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In an age of digital reality, I find it vitally important to reevaluate, if not mourn, the many wrongdoings endured the previous year while celebrating the start of a new year. Without doubt, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi would be at the top of many journalists’ lists. On Oct. 2 last year, Khashoggi, an acclaimed Saudi journalist and an opposition to the Saudi government, was allegedly ordered to be assassinated by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as suggested by an audio recording. The news shocked the entire international community, especially given that the cold-blooded murder took place inside a consulate, symbolic of how tenuous and flimsy the idea of freedom of the press still is.
A sullen silence filled our kitchen in the early morning before I left the house to board our team bus for a cross-country meet in Duluth, Minnesota. A receipt for the Nov. 2017 SAT subject tests lay on the kitchen table next to my packed cross-country bag. My ears rang with shouts from the night before, disbelieving exclamations of “You want to skip your SATs to run in a cross country meet?”—angry and cutting, even in the quiet of the early morning. As time ticked away, I was reminded of my impending choice: the decision to continue as I always had, on the path that others had set for me. Or the opportunity to forge into the unknown territory of disobedience, alone. Closing my eyes, I picked up my cross-country bag and left the house without looking back.
Wearable technology is expected to be one of 2019’s biggest fitness trends. Many major companies and institutions are interested in promoting innovation in these areas, such as universities across the country. For instance, Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma requires students to purchase a Fitbit and walk at least 10,000 steps a day for a letter grade. As of September 2018 the insurance company John Hancock now provides discounted premiums to individuals enrolled in their Vitality life insurance program who use activity trackers and opt to report this data to the company. Individuals in the program automatically receive 20 to 40 percent discounts on these wearable fitness devices. While linking fitness to one’s health is a positive goal, however, insurance companies should not have access to fitness data because of data errors, privacy concerns and the negative impact of fitness trackers.
The emails seem to roll in on almost a daily basis, offering thousands of dollars to students looking to pursue “design your own” internship programs with Dartmouth organizations. Deans, professors and fellow students encouraged me to apply for programs with Rauner Library, the Center for Social Impact, the Dickey Center, the Rockefeller Center or even individual departments to secure funding for my upcoming off-term, which I had filled with an internship at a nonprofit law office in New York. Both the candor with which they spoke and the seemingly overwhelming number of resources available made me feel confident when applying for funding that was critical to me being able to take up my offer in Albany. However, not only was I declined funding during the initial application round, I discovered that many of my friends who depend on these funding sources had also been dismissed — highlighting a pernicious consequence of pursing nonprofit internships.
Until July 20, 1969, a human being who gazed at the light of distant stars perforating the night sky had to do so on Earth. Neil Armstrong changed that forever. To him, our planet was a small blue dot mostly alone in a vast expanse of darkness. After Apollo 11 landed to unprecedented worldwide acclaim, the moon and everything else out there seemed like something we could do more than look at from Earth. Unfortunately, much like in any other place humans have landed, human apathy and thoughtlessness did not leave the Moon as it had been found.
Congratulations! You made it another year, another leap through time and space around the sun into a momentous 2019. As we approach this new year of life and experience, some of us take a moment to make resolutions that — hopefully — will stand the test of time. These resolutions reflect us with a rare authenticity — they are our highest hopes, our deepest insecurities and our most honest appraisals of our own selves.
By now the world knows, or at least many of us do, that Thanksgiving is a holiday tainted by its unethical historical context. In tasteless celebration of the white man’s massacre of indigenous peoples, Americans gorge themselves annually on factory-farmed turkey, GMO-riddled green bean casserole and squash, artificially-sweetened cranberry sauce and all other sorts of American delicacies. Younger family members are told gilded tales about Squanto and falsified stories depicting the colonists and the indigenous peoples living in harmony. Swept under the carpet are the European diseases, the unjust exploitation of natives and the sick reality that the foundations of the world we live in today were ripped from the hands of the people who called this land home before us.
The line between politics and self-identity has long been blurred in America, and this past midterm election has highlighted this. Politics are felt in every corner of the country, whether it is at the municipal, state or federal level. As such, the American political system has become intertwined with many citizens’ personal identities. Whether people wish to tune into politics or not, decisions made in the White House are inevitably going to affect their lives. As a consequence, there is a higher level of emotional energy directed into campaigning, political conversations and voting. This personal stake correlates with a higher level of ownership that I believe is good news for the future of American politics.
The anti-Semitic mass-shooting that targeted the congregation of the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue left me deeply wounded. Before anything, I must state that I condemn this atrocious hate crime and send my condolences to the nation and especially to the Jewish community, including the Jewish community at Dartmouth.
I stared at question number 6 on the form.
In May of 2017, the United States Department of Justice launched an investigation into potential Russian attempts to influence the previous year’s American presidential election, as well as possible coordination between Russia and the Trump administration. Since then, as a country, we’ve reached a kind of impasse; a national gridlock, one born of a long, mired period of what for many feels like purgatorial waiting. During this time of opacity, reading and listening to the news has become, for many (including myself), a form of control. We get to latch onto the coverage of Mueller’s proceedings, assigning our own levels of significance to moments like the indictment of Michael Flynn and more recently, a foiled smear campaign to frame Mueller for sexual misconduct. People spend their time reading into his findings and framing them the way they want to see them. However, patience is running thin. Fortunately, for those of us feeling that we can’t take this much longer, reports of Mueller’s findings are expected to come flying back into the news following the midterm elections.
The photograph of Amal Hussein, an emaciated 7-year-old Yemeni girl on the brink of death, took America by storm when it was first published in the New York Times. Its wide circulation drew long-overdue attention to Yemen’s ongoing crisis — although crisis seems too small a word for it. Famine and cholera have swept the country; as of June, one million Yemenis were infected with cholera, and 18 million don’t know where their next meal will come from. Of the country’s population of 28 million, over 22 million live in dire need of humanitarian aid. The health and survival of over 80 percent of Yemeni children are at risk. The U.N. has dubbed this catastrophe the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and potentially the worst famine the world has seen in a century if the war continues.
With the United States’ midterm elections looming, the push to “get out the vote” is in full-swing. As it should be — only 61 percent of registered voters went to the polls in 2016. Perhaps even more surprising is that 2016 set the record for voter turnout in a presidential election. If we take a closer look at the 137.5 million voters who actually, well, voted, we see something else surprising: close to 90 percent of people reported they would vote along party lines. This tribalistic divide in the American civic body mirrors the partisan divide in Congress, where party unity voting has increased from sixty percent in the early 1970s to 90 percent in 2017.
Married to a Kardashian and boasting countless smash hit records along with an extremely successful clothing line, Kanye West is no stranger to the spotlight. Lately, however, Kanye has found himself in the limelight for a new reason: politics. Kanye West, along with Lil Pump, was the musical guest on this season’s premiere of “Saturday Night Live.” As the credits rolled, West rapped his song “Ghost Town” while sporting his bright red Make America Great Again hat. After the broadcast cut out, West delivered a Kanye-sized rant to the SNL audience about his support for President Donald Trump. Just two weeks later, West visited President Trump in the Oval Office, dazzling viewers with more ranting — this time, to an audience of the entire nation.
“What high school did you go to? Where are you from? What are you involved in on campus? What classes are you taking? What are you going to major in? What are you planning on doing with your life after Dartmouth?”
I received several attention-grabbing emails in my inbox last week. The messages advertised that conservative commentator David Horowitz would be coming to campus to discuss “Identity Politics and the Totalitarian Threat from the Left.” Potentially provocative email subject lines containing quotes by Horowitz included “Israel is the victim,” “Angry voices of the left” and “Identity politics is racist.” The planned format of the event was 40 minutes of prepared remarks, followed by a 20-minute question and answer session.
The Dartmouth College Republicans billed the talk as a double-hitter. Most emails advertised the hour-long lecture as “Identity Politics and the Totalitarian Threat from the Left,” and another proclaimed “‘Israel is the Victim,’ Hear David Horowitz’s Opinion on Tuesday, October 23rd at 6pm.” The president of the College Republicans opened for Horowitz, a controversial conservative figure, with an articulate speech calling for increased political dialogue on campus. He emphasized the importance of both listening and speaking up, but requested decorum in doing so.
In the ongoing battles over student voting in New Hampshire, the anti-vote side latches onto the claim that students aren’t “real” residents of New Hampshire, and so don’t deserve the right to vote. And they’ve acted on it. A court recently struck down Senate Bill 3, one of two recent voter-regulation bills, but House Bill 1264, another bill that effectively disenfranchises students, goes into effect on July 1. Unless something changes, many students will still essentially lose their right to vote.
This year, the Class of 2022 will run just one lap around the Homecoming bonfire. As a member of that class, I was aiming to write a piece about why this is unjust, and how Dartmouth will quickly lose its identity if it ditches defining characteristics in the name of safety. Then I thought, why even bother? An opinion piece written by a freshman will be far from convincing to the officials of the town of Hanover, who have already made up their minds about the possible dangers of this tradition. This internal dialogue illustrates a much darker reality in the world beyond the Green.
As we light the bonfire for the 125th time tonight, it is a perfect opportunity to reflect on the evolving environment for women at Dartmouth. Attending an all-girls school up until this year has fed my interest in the dynamics between men and women in the academic and social worlds on campus. Through personal experience and interactions with upperclassmen and freshman peers, my eyes have been opened to the reality of Dartmouth life for women: favorable in the academic setting, but not so much on the social scene.