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Days before the start of my senior year at Dartmouth, I went out for a run in my suburban Chicago hometown to celebrate my 21st birthday. Awaiting me after my run were not birthday messages celebrating my newly minted adult status, but rather news that would brand my class as part of Generation 9/11. Terrorists had just brought down the World Trade Center and hit the Pentagon. Days later, the halcyon senior fall we had long anticipated gave way to conversations about recovery efforts, military campaigns in Afghanistan and rising discrimination against Muslims.
On July 24, Julia Griffin, the Hanover town manager, penned an op-ed in The Dartmouth titled “Selfish Students.” In this article, Griffin warns students to “smarten up” and attempts to scare them by discussing the potential reversal of students’ future on-campus privileges. While I strongly agree that students must socially distance, Griffin neglects to address other Hanover community members who blatantly ignore guidelines. Instead, she bitterly characterizes Dartmouth students as the main threat. All of us, as a community, have the responsibility to uphold social distancing regulations. To point fingers in discourse, to cast blame and to depict Dartmouth students as enemies rather than community members does not protect Hanover; it divides us and dooms our community’s future.
In her recent guest column entitled “Selfish Students,” Hanover town manager Julia Griffin criticized Dartmouth students currently living in Hanover for not wearing masks and not following social distancing guidelines. As a student currently living on-campus, I have also received many emails from college officials conveying a similar message, such as a July 3 email from Dean of the College Kathryn Lively informing us of “increasing … complaints from faculty, staff and other local residents” who have seen Dartmouth students ignoring the various recommendations. From my experience, however, Griffin’s sweeping claim is untrue at the macro level and the warnings of college officials — while well-intentioned — are biased and misguided. In fact, I see local Hanover residents committing social distancing violations just as often as Dartmouth students. By antagonizing students, the town and the college fails to acknowledge that local residents are part of the problem, putting us all at risk.
Given the current state of the world — an unprecedented global pandemic, the ongoing ecological disaster of climate change and the social justice crisis of systemic racism — it is not surprising that the more religiously inclined among us have sounded warning bells that the Apocalypse is near. A New York Times article from April provided a concise snapshot of how widespread this sentiment is today, as well as how historically rooted the notion of the “end times” is in many religious traditions. Culturally, many of us in the United States are captivated by this idea of an Apocalyptic event and its fiery aftermath. Movies famously depict such events: from the nightmarish depictions in “The Road” to the more light-hearted and hopeful scenes in “WALL-E” to the all-too familiar totalitarian state in “V for Vendetta.” Despite some thematic differences, all of these portrayals of the Apocalypse conceive of it as a singular future event which is shared by an entire community or even an entire planet. However, this focus on large scale societal calamities distracts from the reality of what an apocalypse actually is: a personal reckoning with the tragedies of life. Perhaps, if this were better understood, we as a society would be less willing to sacrifice the lives of those around us merely to maintain some semblance of normalcy.
As Dartmouth prepares to welcome back a portion of the student body to campus in September, the rate of COVID-19 infections around the nation continues to skyrocket. This latest spike in the spread of COVID is marked by one particular difference: young adults are getting infected at much higher rates than they were during the spring. Why is this the case? As The Hill reports, many young adults have a misguided impression that the virus cannot cause them harm, consequentially risking their health and that of their family and friends.
With all that is happening in the world today, it is easy to get lost in what seems to be an endless slew of hopeless news. Between rising cases of COVID-19 and the ugliness of police brutality in the United States, it seems there is little reason to be hopeful for America’s future. I, however, look to the future not with despair, but with hope; the Black Lives Matter movement has renewed my faith in our ability to improve American society.
On July 1, the Board of Trustees, College President Phil Hanlon and his senior leadership group sent an email to campus that emphasized the administration’s commitment toward racial justice.
If there was one benefit to going to college in rural New Hampshire, away from big city amenities, it was King Arthur Flour. Specifically KAF, the cafe that occupied the physical and spiritual heart of Baker-Berry Library.
When I was a junior in college, the issue of the day on campus was an innovative new technique that the Hanover Police were threatening to deploy to crack down on underage drinking. The police department had announced that if underage students were found to be drinking in college Greek houses, the students themselves would not be the only ones held responsible — the Greek houses that supplied the alcohol would be held responsible as well. In this case, “held responsible” meant that they would be fined. The fine could be as high as six figures.
From the bed they sleep on to the apparel they wear, the lives of many Dartmouth students are influenced by a few dozen of their peers: Dartmouth’s student-business owners. But for years, Dartmouth women have been boxed out of student-business ownership. It’s not an act of intentional exclusion. Women have merely been forgotten as the traditional student-business structure has evolved without them. Currently, only six women have been able to establish themselves as student-business owners, out of a total of around 60 student-business owners at Dartmouth.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis. Its impacts are felt around the world, and stopping this virus will require global cooperation. Last month, The Dartmouth published a story about how Dartmouth students, parents and alumni donated a large supply of personal protective equipment to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and the Upper Valley. This was an admirable act of charity, one that demonstrated the Dartmouth community’s willingness to mobilize and respond to public health challenges — many in the Upper Valley will likely benefit as a result. But we, as a community that benefits from connections throughout the world, must also think about supporting the pressing needs of our global partners.
Dartmouth has just accepted the Class of 2024. But already, attention has turned to the next admissions cycle. In an unprecedented time of fear and uncertainty, there are many questions around what the admissions process will look like for the coming year. Chief among them: How will applicants take the SAT or ACT?
My daughters are big fans of Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” album. Having been forced to listen to the songs over and over again, your humble economics professor has internalized the lyrics and has found the words speak to us today in so many ways. Two songs — “The Story of Us” and “Better than Revenge” — are particularly relevant to the class that I am teaching this quarter, ECON 39, “International Trade.”
Sophomore summer has become the latest casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the entire term now to be conducted online. Yet despite this, the College has preserved a modified version of its requirement that sophomores spend the summer “in residence.” The new requirement forces sophomores to either take class remotely this summer or to be on campus next summer.
The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a public health issue. The outbreak has upended many aspects of our lives. It has exposed the realities of class disparity, highlighting unequal access to resources like food and housing. In the face of this crisis, many people have had to turn to unions, rent strikes and community organizing for survival.
Dartmouth recently decided to suspend standard grading for the upcoming spring term and move all courses to a credit/no-credit grading system. We urge the Dartmouth administration to reverse this decision. The College’s argument is fallible, peer institutions have moved to more flexible grading systems and there will be a detrimental effect on post-graduate opportunities as a result of the new policy.
In response to the spread of COVID-19, Dartmouth joined with peer institutions and announced that its entire spring term would be conducted remotely. This move, although disappointing for many, should be considered a necessary step in securing the wellbeing of Dartmouth students and residents of the Upper Valley. However, in moving to online instruction, the College must continue to prioritize the educational success of its students. One way to do this is to institute a mandatory pass/fail grading system for the spring term. Here, I echo the sentiments of The Daily Princetonian’s Editorial Board and of the student-run National Intercollegiate COVID-19 Coalition and urge Dartmouth to take that step.
Last week, Daniel Bring ’21 and Alexander Rauda ’21 wrote an apology in The Dartmouth in response to the criticism they received regarding their handling of the College Republicans’ attempt to bring U.S. Senate candidate Bryant “Corky” Messner to campus. The vast majority of the criticism they received focused on the inflammatory subject line “They’re bringing drugs…,” which introduced the campus-wide email inviting students and other members of the Dartmouth community to the event with Messner. While their apology is appreciated and long overdue, their removal from positions of leadership will likely do little to ameliorate the polarization plaguing this campus.
Last week, at the invitation of the Dartmouth College Republicans, U.S. Senate candidate Bryant “Corky” Messner — who is running against incumbent senator Jeanne Shaheen (D) — was scheduled to deliver a talk titled “Building a Wall Against Drugs: The Need for Border Security to End the Opioid Crisis.” I was involved in the planning of a two-pronged peaceful and educational protest against this event; that is, before the College Republicans cancelled it due to alleged “security risks.” I will speak briefly about my own political opinions and my personal motivation to protest peacefully. However, I also want to challenge the College Republicans’ cheap strategy of condemning the figure of the liberal protester rather than engaging in real political discourse with opposing ideas.
We are the former leaders of the Dartmouth College Republicans, and we regret the impact of our actions and decisions on that organization and on the Dartmouth community. Let us make one thing perfectly clear: It was never our intention to hurt the organization that we worked so hard to build and grow. We recognize that recent events have brought scrutiny to the College Republicans, and we take any and all responsibility for the organization’s failures during our tenure.