This article does not represent the entirety of Epsilon Kappa Theta; it is simply my opinion as an alumna of the organization.
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“There is a difference between regretting a sexual encounter and walking away from an experience feeling violated.”
We are writing as individuals who are deeply engaged in sexual violence prevention and response work at Dartmouth.
In a recent column entitled “Yes Means Yes,” Jillian Freeman ’21 laid out an argument against the phrase “unenthusiastic consent is not consent.” Unfortunately, this argument is disconnected from the power dynamics and pressures regarding sex and consent. All too often, propositions for sexual contact happen under circumstances of coercion, where unenthusiastic consent is often an escape route from a more unsavory outcome. The reality is that men control the power dynamic of potential sexual encounters and can pressure their partners to consent, even implicitly. Clearly, no one would fault the victim of a robbery for consenting to have their wallet stolen when threatened at gunpoint; obviously, their consent in that situation should not be considered valid.
I am writing this commentary as a reaction to The Dartmouth’s editorial piece, “Verbum Ultimum: Open The Playground,” published on May 11, 2018.
On Apr. 6, Dartmouth students “Took Back the Night.” Social spaces were asked to close in solidarity with survivors of sexual violence. All of them said they did. (While walking home I witnessed a group of guys run loudly into a fraternity shouting, “We’re gonna be late for our pong tourney!” I will let you speculate which fraternity it was.) While many community members took hosting events such as movie screenings, discussions and a march seriously, most saw Apr. 6 as a forced “dry night.” What do we have to show for it a month later?
Things have gotten bad for Facebook in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, so much so that Mark Zuckerberg voluntarily subjected himself to almost ten hours of questioning from members of Congress. Zuckerberg traded in his iconic t-shirt and jeans for a polished suit and tie during the trip to the Capitol. During two Congressional hearings, there were many revelations for Facebook, the U.S. government and the American people. It felt momentous, that after a virtually regulation-free beginning to the tech industry’s dominance, the sector’s star boy was finally answering to a greater authority. Experienced politicians and trained lawyers, Congressmen and Congresswomen, could finally hold Zuckerberg accountable as the representative of an industry grown arrogant, overconfident and prone to overstepping bounds that no industry had dared cross before.
Dear white people,
On Apr 6, 2018, The Dartmouth staff columnist Matthew Magann '21 wrote a piece entitled “Safety Under the Law” about gun rights. The column’s central premise that the National Rifle Association’s argument of a slippery slope toward gun confiscation is a falsehood. He cited my Apr. 1 column in “Townhall,” entitled “Yes, They Are Coming For Your Guns,” as a prime example of this position, but my column does not argue that point.
Following yet another shocking statement by Laura Ingraham ’85, Dartmouth once again finds itself as the alma mater of a conservative firebrand in the middle of an ugly debate. In a tweet posted by Ingraham on March 28, the Fox News host and former Dartmouth Review editor mocked and admonished Parkland survivor David Hogg for discussing his rejection from multiple colleges, claiming that he “whines about it.” Hogg has been one of the most prominent faces of the #NeverAgain movement started by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students who survived the February shooting.
“I don’t normally shop,” I said apologetically. As item upon item stacked by the till, I’m not sure the cashier believed me.
I was assaulted. He may claim not to remember it, but it happened. My friend was there; she saw what he did to me and stopped him before he could do any more. These situations are gray, and I get that, I really do. He was drunk, I was drunk — but my friend wasn’t drunk. She remembers that night a lot better than him or me, but her memory didn’t matter in the end.
Americans can no longer deny the opioid epidemic infecting our nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of fatal overdoses involving opioids quadrupled from 2000 to 2016, causing the deaths of 115 Americans per day, on average. As we enter 2018, this number continues to increase, with health news website STAT News’ expert panel forecasting that opioid overdoses could potentially kill 250 Americans a day in the near future. STAT News correspondent Max Blau put the data into perspective: If this increase in fatal opioid overdoses occurs, then “opioids could kill nearly as many Americans in a decade as HIV [and] AIDS [have] killed since that epidemic began in the early 1980s.”
Dartmouth has a problem: It self-segregates. In addition to the various diversity offices and committees that Dartmouth will forever adore, the College has institutionalized affinity houses, such as the Shabazz Center, the Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies House and the Native American House. It also has race-specific Office of Pluralism and Leadership advisors and academic programs that divide race into neat compartments. For example, by grouping together African and African American Studies, the College combines ethnic studies and area studies, two very separate fields with very different histories and theories. Despite these fundamental differences, Dartmouth merges them solely based on racial identity.
I am writing this contribution with some trepidation, as wading into a campus debate about an issue like First-Year Trips strikes me as a questionable idea for a faculty member. Nonetheless, one of my advisees asked me last week if I was aware of the controversy surrounding the recent selection of a Trips directorate. Since that time I have read the original Trips editorial as well as several responses. I do not have a dog in this fight, but as someone who teaches statistics at Dartmouth, I hope to see students on campus invoke statistical principles in their discussions and in public debates. Hence this letter.
We have been following the controversy on the Campus Events listserv over the last few days regarding Ryan Spector ’19’s Feb. 2 guest column in The Dartmouth. To be clear, we support diversity and inclusivity. That said, we are troubled by the nature of the debate itself.
I doubt that there is any Dartmouth student who has not yet read the Feb. 2 guest column titled “You’re Not Tripping.” Myriad conversations on campus have picked apart the author’s various claims to the extent that I question my ability to add anything novel to the dialogue. However, as a woman who doubted her leadership abilities for a long time and found her moxie through positions within First-Year Trips, I feel compelled to respond to Ryan Spector ’19’s claim that the Trips directors have prioritized “identity” to the detriment of the program.
When First-Year Trips director Lucia Pierson ’18 and assistant director Dalia Rodriguez-Caspeta ’18 told me that my failed candidacy for directorate was unrelated to diversity considerations, I almost believed them. Merit, they insisted in a private email, was the driving force behind their decisions.
My sophomore summer, I took a class taught by the wonderful professor Michael Sateia called Psychology 50.04, “Sleep and Sleep Disorders.” The thesis of the class? Sleep matters. It matters a lot more than we think it does. It affects everything we do — our mood, our cognition, our digestion, our movement. Sleep impacts just about every area of our lives. The great irony of the class? Our professor drilled us on the importance of sleep for two hours every Tuesday and Thursday, but the grand majority of the class was clearly not getting enough sleep. They would roll into class exhausted and lethargic, trying to stay awake on little more than caffeine and pure determination.
We’ve been here before. The presidency of Donald Trump is unprecedented in many ways, but not as many as most would believe. Aspects of this current administration strongly resemble those of an older presidency: that of John Adams.