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One of the purportedly unique features of Dartmouth’s grading system is the ability to elect a non-recording option (NRO) for a class. Students can select a threshold for the lowest grade they are willing to receive in a class; if, upon completion of the term, they receive a grade lower than their limit (but still pass the class), an “NR” will appear on their transcript instead of the grade. This “NR” is not factored into GPA calculations.
From November to December 2022, the entire world’s attention was focused on Qatar, a small nation in the Persian Gulf. Fans from all over the globe flocked to Qatar for the chance to see a spectacle of colors, passion and the most prestigious football tournament in the world.
As climate change increases the frequency and magnitude of extreme temperatures, the need for climate adaptation places growing pressure on infrastructure. In the past few years, several power outages have occurred throughout the United States as city residents turned up the air conditioning or heating. Fossil fuel supporters blame renewable energy for the blackouts and propose increased use of fossil fuels to reliably meet higher energy demands. However, relying more on fossil fuels as a temporary solution will only exacerbate climate conditions causing blackouts.
To put it bluntly, Dartmouth’s grading system has failed. Enforcing medians is hypocritical for a college that purportedly encourages academic success and empowerment but more importantly, as a student, enforced medians are also disappointing. Many of my professors have expressed a similar disappointment with the system too.
Prestigious universities, such as Dartmouth and its peer institutions, have grown too comfortable with hoarding their billions in endowments as a status symbol, preventing students from benefiting from even the fraction it would take to improve campus facilities and programs. Just last year, the College boasted a 46.5% year-over-year return on its endowment, and instituted a few limited financial changes, including increasing student workers’ hourly minimum wage by $3.75 and eliminating an expected parent contribution in financial aid calculations. While these changes are commendable, institutions like Dartmouth continue to withhold funds from being used more directly for improving the academic and personal lives of their students. It’s past time for the federal government to step in with a stick and tax college endowments.
Justice Clarence Thomas has always been a contentious member of the Supreme Court. Completely ignoring the debates over his judicial philosophy and opinions, he donned the robe after a narrow confirmation beset by accusations of sexual harassment in 1991. In 2016, he was accused of yet another instance of sexual harassment at a dinner party in 1999. What is stirring the pot today, however, is his wife — Ginni Thomas — and her partisan political activities. The Washington Post and CBS News have recently obtained copies of text messages between her and former president Donald Trump’s top aide, Mark Meadows, in which she urges him on multiple occasions to find a way to overturn the 2020 election and sends him links to QAnon-associated conspiracy theories about ballot fraud. Enough is enough. Members of the Supreme Court are duty-bound to keep the political sphere at a significant distance, and it’s now beyond apparent that Justice Thomas can’t do that.
Ivy Day, the fateful moment on April 1 when thousands of students receive their admissions decisions from eight elite institutions, is less than a month away. As joyful as this day is for some, it also raises an important issue: The college admissions process in the United States is flawed and must change.
If you looked at the Tucker Center website, you would think Rollins Chapel were open. According to the site, the chapel — which has served as the College’s spiritual center for nearly 140 years — is currently “open for individual prayer and meditation.” Additionally, the site notes that the building, “utilized as an interfaith space available for Christian, Hindu, and Jewish services,” offers a Labyrinth prayer area which “[s]tudents, faculty, and community members are free to use” during regular chapel hours.
Never before had the Zuo household seen chaos like it did the week before I moved into college. In a hurricane of nervous shopping, my parents and I spent hours pouring over Dartmouth’s move-in guidelines, picking out the perfect twin XL bedding set and ordering textbooks. One by one, all of my earthly possessions were shoved into two suitcases, unpacked, added to and packed again. By the time the car was fully loaded, we had made our list, checked it twice, and then checked it a few more times just for good measure. At the end of it all, my parents — confident that I wouldn’t starve or freeze to death in my first week — finally took a step back, and there was peace in our living room again.
In 1984, Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, making access to federal funding for transportation projects conditional upon whether or not a state had a drinking age of 21. If a state allowed the sale of alcohol to anyone under 21, they didn’t get their money. Regardless of what you think of the minimum drinking age, the law worked. By 1988, just four years later, all states had altered their drinking laws so they wouldn’t lose funding. To this day, no state allows the sale of alcohol to anyone under 21. There were complaints and controversies, but in the end, no state was willing to forgo their free cash for highways from D.C. over the drinking age. There’s an important lesson to be learned here is that the way to get states to act on matters generally considered out of federal purview is to tie their money to it.
I have a question for you: Do you think it is morally permissible for you to consume a bag of chips? A regular, plastic, and often half-filled bag of chips?
Criticizing Dartmouth is, admittedly, pretty easy.
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.
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.
I love the Choates.
President Joe Biden has repeatedly denounced the ongoing “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” On Oct. 1, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will require immigrants who wish to become lawful permanent residents to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before their paperwork can be finalized. Similarly, federal employees will be required to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22. These new mandates — along with a vaccine mandate for companies with over 100 employees — are a continuation of the push by the Biden administration to increase vaccinations. While these moves are important, another necessary measure to fight the virus would be to vaccinate migrants caught entering the country.
This column is featured in the 2021 Freshman special issue.
This column is featured in the 2021 Freshman special issue.
It is no secret that the College is facing a housing crisis: “As expected, demand has exceeded our capacity,” a recent email from associate dean of residential life Michael Wooten stated bluntly. Far from attempting to permanently resolve the problem presented by the lack of student housing, the administration instead sought to find short-term solutions — such as the “one-time lottery incentive” — for the long-term issue. This situation is only exacerbating Dartmouth’s poor performance in creating a socioeconomically diverse student body. In order to create a truly diverse and equitable student body, as it claims to value, the College must begin by solving the housing problem.
Two weeks ago, Dartmouth celebrated Student Employee Appreciation Week. As a token of the College’s “appreciation,” every day from May 10th to the 14th, the bells of Baker Tower played a different song, ranging from the Alma Mater to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”