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Glittering trays of chicken nuggets, steaming hot waffles fresh off the press and ice cream — so much ice cream — await behind the doors to Foco. At the start of your freshman fall, I’m sure you’ll eat one, two, three or maybe four meals a day in Dartmouth’s only all-you-can-eat dining location.
Freshman orientation: For most, it’s a time of awkward introductions, forced smiles, getting lost and, if you’re lucky, the feeling that you might just have met someone who could be your new best friend. It’s also a time when it seems like your entire life has burst open with the opportunity to become a new person, develop new skills or concentrate on an interest that you haven’t yet had the time or courage to put out there. And so it was for me for a few glorious days of freshman fall — that is, until I was struck down by what I like to call the Freshman Plague.
As a new freshman class arrives to campus every year, students come bearing differing academic visions for their next four years at Dartmouth: some pre-med, some engineering, some humanities, others perhaps more focused on languages or social sciences. However, many — like me — come to Dartmouth their freshman fall knowing next to nothing about what to pursue academically or professionally. This can make choosing one’s first term of classes quite an endeavor.
Once upon a time, some Dartmouth fraternity brothers playing table tennis rested their mugs of beer on the table while they played. A few stray ping pong balls landed in the cups by divine accident, until someone proposed that it was more fun to aim for the mugs of beer themselves.
The painter. The poet. The nerd who owns it. The swimmer. The hiker. The party-all-nighter. The baker. The maker. The family caretaker. The bundle-of-nerves-for-this-term-long-icebreaker. You all have unique experiences that have shaped your identities coming into college. Every Dartmouth student — from those who come from “Just Outside Boston” to those who come from Rwanda — has their own world of memories and skills to share with the Dartmouth community. You are all so different, yet you all ended up here, in middle-of-nowhere New Hampshire, for the most transformative years of your lives.
Academia has historically been a white and male sphere. According to the National Center for Education, in 2016, 53 percent of full time professors were white males, while another 27 percent were white females. Despite an increasingly diverse student body, Dartmouth’s own campus reflects these national trends. According to the Office of Institutional Research, 80 percent of the 316 tenured professors at the College in 2018 were white and 62 percent were men. By contrast, nearly half of the newly-admitted Class of 2023 are Americans of color and 12 percent are international citizens, according to the College Admissions Office.
Dartmouth has long been known for its small-town charm and picturesque New England campus. As the smallest university in the Ivy League, the College appeals to students who appreciate its quaint setting coupled with the academic rigor common among its peer institutions. But of all the charming towns scattered in the Northeast, why was Dartmouth founded in Hanover, and how does the College’s relationship with the town stand today?
Hanover has committed to becoming 100 percent dependent on renewably generated electricity by 2030, and renewably generated transportation and heating fuel by 2050. This decision, which the town has been working toward since 2017, came as a part of the Ready for 100 program designed by the Sierra Club in order to move towns and cities to transition to sustainable energy practices.
In April, Luke Cuomo ’20 and Ariela Kovary ’20 were elected as Student Assembly president and vice president, respectively. They ran on a campaign that advocated for the creation of a unified sexual misconduct policy, subsidized bus tickets for the Dartmouth Coach, and increasing the value of Dartmouth Dining Services’ meal swipes. They said that this summer they have begun laying the groundwork for creating a central network for class syllabi and organizing an orientation session for incoming freshmen to learn more about how to get involved in Student Assembly.
As we look forward to the 2019-2020 school year, new changes — from new meal plans to a new feature of the GET Funds app that would allow students to place food orders ahead of time — will affect students’ interactions with food on campus.
The “Dartmouth bubble” is a term heard frequently around campus among students who feel shut-in by the College’s close-knit community. For many, Dartmouth can seem like a world unto itself, disconnected from the usual distractions and connections that living in society entail.
New Hampshire is neither red nor blue. While the state’s representation in Congress is entirely Democratic, a Republican, Chris Sununu, has been governor since 2017. Although Dartmouth remains majority liberal, the range of ideologies among campus political groups reflects the swing-state nature of New Hampshire.
Last Saturday, Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, IN and a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, spoke at a campaign event at the Hanover Inn. During the 45-minute event, Buttigieg covered a wide variety of topics, ranging from mental health and gun control to cybersecurity and the use of military force.
Former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden campaigned at Dartmouth on Friday, promoting his health care plan and distinguishing his positions on the issue from those of President Donald Trump and some of his opponents in the Democratic primary.
On Friday evening, seven groups of either three or four hikers trekked across six peaks from Mount Moosilauke to Hanover — a total of almost 54 miles over the course of about 24 hours, according to directors Jaq Hager ’21, Derek Lue ’21 and Simon Oster ’21 .
This fall, the Class of 2023 will be the first group of students to experience the latest development in the College’s four-year-old house community system. Each first-year residence hall will now correspond to a specific house community, according to associate dean of residential life and director of residential education Mike Wooten.
The College’s new Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy will go into effect Sept. 1. While the SMP clarifies the College’s policies regarding sexual assault, it does not change much of the student experience, according to Title IX Office coordinator Kristi Clemens.
This Wednesday, the newest Montgomery fellow Michael Denning ’76 arrived on campus to present at the two-day “Reflections on the Afterlives of 1969” Conference. Denning is a professor of English and American studies at Yale University and will be on campus for the duration of the conference. He is the first of a group of prominent alumni the Montgomery program is bringing to campus for the College’s 250th anniversary, music professor and director of the Montgomery Fellows Program Steve Swayne said.
Beginning next Wednesday, Dartmouth will host a two-day lecture series as part of a conference titled “Reflections on the Afterlives of 1969.” The series of talks, which will feature speeches from professors at Yale University, The Free University of Berlin and several other institutions, will address a range of topics including student activism, black political thought, anti-Vietnam war protests and the implications of 1960s social movements on the world today.
Dartmouth and the nine women suing the College for allegedly failing to act on reports of sexual misconduct by three former psychological and brain sciences professors have reached an out-of-court settlement totaling $14 million, College President Phil Hanlon announced in an email statement this morning.