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Imagine the following: You’re a spectator at the first Olympics in Ancient Greece in 776 B.C. The spectacle of events like running, wrestling and chariot racing is unlike anything ever seen before. However, there is more to the Olympics than a scintillating display of physical ability, mental fortitude and strength; it was conceived to foster a peaceful environment, preventing war between city-states. Sports have since evolved considerably, but one thing that has remained constant is their ability to accelerate the formulation of diplomatic ties, propel people and nations alike out of impoverishment and strengthen multilateral relations.
I am extremely proud of all of my peers who have gone to inspiring lengths to become the first generation in their families to attend college. Indeed, 16% of Dartmouth’s Class of 2026 consists of first-generation college students. This group of students has faced unique challenges to get here, and it is imperative that they are supported and feel welcome at this institution. At the same time, new programming for students who aren’t first-generation but may not have had access to robust college preparation resources could help fill a gap for others who would also greatly benefit.
While the College has announced plans to build a complex at 25 West Wheelock Street to house 250 to 300 students, improvements are still necessary in older dorm buildings across campus. President Sian Beilock certainly is addressing the needs of students with her inaugural pledge to build 1,000 beds in the next decade, but the College cannot forget about its existing buildings. As long as students are still stuck living in older dorm buildings, the integrity of these facilities should be prioritized.
Sunrise Dartmouth, a student advocacy group on campus, recently released the “Dartmouth New Deal,” a document outlining broad demands of the College. The terms are wide-ranging, including sustainability efforts, financial aid, community outreach, Indigenous student relations and much more. These recommendations contain many good ideas to improve the Dartmouth community significantly, but many of its provisions are vague, impractical or financially arduous. These issues undermine the New Deal’s efficacy, and it does not represent the best way to improve Dartmouth.
The first thought you may have about this article is that the title leans on cliche. I would agree with you. But unfortunately, this cliche — that even the smallest can make fundamental change — must be repeated in our present day. It seems too often that students forget how important their voices can be. Indeed, we have a great privilege to be attending one of the greatest educational institutions in the world, and we have an obligation to act on that. I’m sure your professors have told you so numerous times over. Today, I want to illustrate a historical example of this cliche to show that it is absolutely true.
If you’ve ever been outside for any significant amount of time on Dartmouth’s campus, it's likely you’re familiar with the concept of littering. And if you’ve spent any time engaged with the idea of litter, there’s a particular image that comes to mind of the people who do it. The careless, lazy slob who tosses their trash wherever they see fit, regardless of how it affects the world around them. Considering how disgusting, frustrating and detrimental litter can be, it’s no surprise that those who do it are judged so harshly. Seeing the place you spend every day dirtied up can be an immensely annoying experience. However, rather than quietly accepting the presence of litter on Dartmouth’s campus, the student body and staff should take steps to reduce it.
This past summer, FEMA allocated more than $14 million in flood relief to Vermont residents. In the town of Barre, Vermont, floodwaters from a branch of the Winooski river destroyed hundreds of homes, businesses and livelihoods. And yet, the non-profit Friends of Winooski River has plans to remove several dams in the Winooski watershed. As of 2021, more than 140 dams have been removed from Vermont’s waterways.
In 2021, Dartmouth formally announced its intention to fully divest the endowment from fossil fuel companies. The decision followed years of student activism and placed the College among Brown University, Cornell University, Columbia University and Harvard University in making similar commitments. These universities are hardly alone in the divestment trend. According to the pro-divestment Global Fossil Fuel Divestment Commitment Database, nearly 1,600 institutions with combined assets over $40 trillion have committed to fully or partially divest from fossil fuels.
It seems like one topic of conversation that all Dartmouth students can agree on is that Dartmouth Dining is ripping us off. From high prices at cafes and other alternative dining locations to being forced into the Class of 1953 Commons for every meal on the weekends, many Dartmouth students would agree that they would like to see change in the dining services offered on campus.
The tradition of student protest at Dartmouth is one that has deep roots throughout the history of colleges and universities the world over, and often involves disparate movements that otherwise would have little in common. That is, with the exception of one thing: Students made their voices heard as a result of it. Now, in the modern day, when — thanks to social media — we can feel more disenchanted than ever before, it’s important to remember the history of student protests and their value as a part of campus life.
Since the evening of Thursday, Oct. 19, there has been a memorial in front of Parkhurst Hall. By now, I’m sure most of us are familiar with it — it consists of black flags and signs on the lawn. In this column, I don’t seek to judge the political or moral efficacy of this memorial, but rather our administration’s response to it.
Dartmouth College’s history with mental health is complicated. It’s undeniable that the administration has tried to create spaces for struggling students, but the availability, accessibility and quality of these resources are still insufficient. In a high-pressure environment where depression and anxiety risk factors are exacerbated, heavy workloads and constant conversation surrounding future plans and transitions, it’s vital that students are given the resources they need to stay healthy. It’s equally as important to provide these resources with as few barriers to access as possible to prevent students from becoming discouraged by too many referrals or excessive waiting times.
The adverse effects of our climate-changing Earth are indiscriminate and unpredictable in their assaults on human communities. Examples range from the devastating wildfires of Lahaina, Hawai’i, to the increasingly apparent lack of snow I’ve observed each winter from my home in Connecticut. Environmental policy may appear straightforward in its goal of mitigating ecological catastrophes. However, the Ambler Access Project in Alaska, which sees climate activists and biodiversity conservationists pitted against each other, illustrates its multifaceted nature. The fate of our Earth relies on the ability of dueling groups to recognize the inevitability of sacrifice and compromise in creating effective policy.
Free trade has defined the direction of Western economic diplomacy since the mid-1980s, integrating Western economies, strengthening the transition toward economic specialization and, seldom discussed, benefitting non-economic diplomatic relations between states. In this article, I am not hoping to change readers’ minds on free trade’s economic costs and benefits. Instead, I aim to expand the scope of the discussion to the impacts free trade has on other areas.
This article is featured in the 2023 Homecoming special issue.
The most recent publicly available information about the size of Dartmouth’s endowment puts the value of the school’s savings at almost double the GDP of Liberia at nearly eight billion dollars. If the College suddenly decided to split its total endowment value and divide it equally among each of its enrolled undergraduate population, every student would receive approximately 1.8 million dollars.
Dartmouth’s culture defines itself through its long-lasting traditions, which create a community of shared experiences. These traditions, such as the Homecoming Bonfire, Winter Carnival and First-Year Trips, are a vital part of what it means to be a Dartmouth student. Without the continuity of these unique traditions, the identity of the College and its students would be completely altered. In 2016, the College introduced the house communities, a change to student life that could potentially be ingrained in the school’s tradition. The system addressed complaints from alumni who claimed that, due to the D-Plan and other factors, they often did not know anyone on their floor in their respective residence halls while they were students. Consequently, many treated their room assignments as simply somewhere to sleep, rather than a community.
Dartmouth College recently made history with the inauguration of its first female president, Sian Leah Beilock. In her inaugural address on Friday, Sept. 22, the former Barnard College president and cognitive scientist introduced five major “imperatives” to address in her tenure at the College. Among them was a commitment to achieving “Real Carbon Zero” on campus. Beilock’s specific use of this term has links to innovations in the energy industry, specifically, green hydrogen — an alternative to fossil fuels. Should Dartmouth choose to invest in this technology, it would set a precedent for numerous other institutions and contribute to lowering investment costs in this costly yet effective solution.
In many aspects, Dartmouth culture is one of a kind in its ability to bring students of all backgrounds together and form a true community. While this in itself is undeniably incredible, such a diverse student body is inevitably going to have wealth gaps. For the most part, Dartmouth is working to address the wealth gap appropriately — seen recently in the elimination of laundry service fees and Good Samaritan Policy fees. However, the College still has a ways to go towards making the campus environment more equitable. As a freshman, I have been made most aware of this by the exorbitant prices for the Dartmouth Coach and the Ledyard canoe and kayak rentals, which represent both a necessary service — the Dartmouth Coach — and a leisure service, Ledyard water rentals. While these two examples are different, together they demonstrate how monopoly power in our campus’s secluded environment causes lower income students to be priced out of both necessary and leisure services and activities.
As American companies seek to limit their exposure to the pitfalls of making goods in China, some are moving production to Mexico. This shift has bolstered trade between both nations, reaching a remarkable $462 billion in the first half of this year and crowning Mexico as America’s top trading partner. Chinese companies are also investing in Mexico, capitalizing on an extensive North American Free Trade Agreement, now known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Following in the footsteps of Japanese and South Korean firms, Chinese companies are establishing manufacturing facilities in Mexico, enabling them to designate their products as “made in Mexico” before shipping them into the U.S. without import duties.