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Accessibility is often a topic that is not talked about until it is questioned. For many of us, accessibility is taken for granted; we don’t think twice about opening a door, walking up a flight of stairs or reading a whiteboard. But for some, these seemingly mundane tasks pose obstacles that must be carefully and thoughtfully addressed. For those with disabilities, going to college can provide a whole host of new challenges and struggles, beyond just being in a new place.
Normally, when I work as a campus tour guide, everything goes smoothly. Worst-case scenario, I run a little over time or get asked a question about a “controversial” topic like student alcohol consumption, but nothing I’m not equipped to handle.
It was the first event of O-Week, and the stress of making friends mixed with my social anxiety formed a poisonous cocktail I could not keep down. The sounds of new voices began to stack on top of each other, causing the walls to slowly close in. My fingernails dug into my palms as I desperately tried to isolate my ears from the voices. Then, a new voice spoke into a microphone, silencing the cacophonous herd, and delivered a saving grace:
Dartmouth is known for its picturesque campus and historical buildings. Yet, some of its beautiful architecture cannot be universally admired: for students with physical disabilities or injuries, navigating Dartmouth’s campus can be a struggle.
Keeping Kosher is a varied process, depending on how strictly one follows Kosher laws and why one follows them. The laws of Kashrut deal with the preparation and consumption of food and outline certain practices that are not allowed. There are three main laws: avoid types of non-kosher animals, avoid having meat and dairy products together and only eat meat that was slaughtered in accordance with Jewish law.
The room was filled with hushed chatter and anticipation as the newly recognized Dartmouth Design Collective held the organization’s first gathering earlier this week. The kickoff event featured a panel of four professional designers, two of whom were recent Dartmouth graduates. The panelists provided answers to questions from students and shared their own unique paths to careers in design. Panelist Ben Szuhaj ’19 explained how his own interest in design thinking began with the introductory course ENGS 12, “Design Thinking” — a comment greeted with a chorus of knowing laughs. The panel was attended by students of various classes and even professors, many of whom seemed to already know each other.
From Dartmouth’s cult-like ceremonies, such as the Bonfire and Candlelight ceremony, to its quirky student challenges, like the polar plunge or Lou’s challenge, the College sets itself apart through its unique traditions. However, we cannot ignore the fact that many traditions at the College have not been paid the respect they deserve. Dartmouth stands on Abenaki land, yet for the much of the College’s history, it largely failed to uphold its commitment to Native individuals: Between 1769 and 1969, the College graduated just 19 Native students.
From a frybread baking contest to a panel on climate change, Indigenous Peoples’ Month at the College depicts a myriad of events centered on culture, collaboration and current issues. The month-long celebration also represents a feeling of community belonging.
Before coming to Dartmouth, meeting a political candidate was never on my radar. Candidates are rarely eager to come to my small town in Florida. Suddenly, however, in my first two months as a Dartmouth student, I have shaken Bernie Sanders’ hand and hugged Elizabeth Warren. Other students have had candid conversations with Michael Bennet and Cory Booker. As the nation’s primary election approaches, candidates are materializing on campus, and more are sure to appear. This practice has been in place since 1964, when New York Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller ’30 came back to Dartmouth to campaign in the New Hampshire primary.
Hallucinations, trench foot and intense sleep deprivation only touch the surface of the topics of conversation surrounding the legendary Dartmouth hiking event, The Fifty. A trek of 54 miles from the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge back to campus would be hard enough on its own; completing it over the course of roughly 30 hours without stopping to sleep seems downright insane. Yet many people on campus seem to have a lot of respect for this strange tradition, and even more seem to want to participate; it’s oversubscribed each term, and students have to be selected via lottery, according to co-director Mary Joy ’21.
The Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock is located just about three miles from campus. While students might attend workshops or lectures there, the annual CHaD Hero Fundraiser brings the spirit of the community to Dartmouth through a fun and meaningful tradition. The 2019 CHaD Hero took place on Sunday, Oct. 20.
At Dartmouth, we’re steeped in tradition. Whether it’s through big things like attending First-Year Trips or circling the Homecoming bonfire, or small ones like hearing the bells of Baker Tower play the alma mater every day at 6 p.m., we are constantly reminded that we are part of a larger community as we engage with the many rituals that foster commonality among our diverse experiences. As a community, we are well aware of this; we speak of tradition as one of Dartmouth’s major values, and we tend to refer to our many traditions with affection, excitement and pride.