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Dartmouth students aren’t so great at most of the sports they play. Not on a national level anyway. Barring specific winter sports, which we often excel in, as well as a few other exceptions, our athletic performance isn’t anywhere near as impressive as our alumni’s professional and academic showings are. Don’t argue with that; the last time our roughly 100-man football team produced an NFL player was a full 15 years ago, and the last time our basketball team produced an NBA player was in 1990. And yet, we hand out some of the most coveted seats in higher education to recruits in the name of upholding the strength of our athletic programs: over a fifth of the current student body is comprised of varsity athletes.
Given Dartmouth’s proximity to the Connecticut River and the White and Green Mountains, it’s easy to see why the outdoors is such a big part of campus culture. It’s even in our motto, “vox clamantis in deserto” — “a voice crying out in the wilderness.” Almost every student’s first experience with Dartmouth — First Year Trips — is an outdoor one. And that focus on the outdoors continues while back on campus. The Dartmouth Outing Club, the oldest and largest college outing club in the U.S., boasts over 1,500 student members. Students walk around campus clad in flannels and Patagonia jackets and go for runs, hikes and ski trips. This is a campus that clearly values its connection to the outdoors.
I like discussion-based classes. They facilitate closer interactions between students and professors. But judging from my classroom experiences and several conversations with students, the student body is not quite as enthusiastic about discussion-based classroom environments.
Last week, I was fortunate enough to be invited to celebrate Passover at a professor’s house off campus. During the Seder, I had the opportunity to interact with my professor’s elderly parents and young kids. I participated in lively discussions about world affairs and listened intently to cherished family stories. Importantly, none of these conversations were centered around Dartmouth or dominated by the perspectives of Dartmouth students. If only for one night of food, song and prayer, I escaped the infamous Dartmouth bubble.
To most people walking through Robinson Hall on any given day, Room 110 wouldn’t seem to be anything but ordinary. If anyone did stop by, they might notice that the small, rectangular chamber has a few lopsided old couches and a rickety wooden table accompanied by four creaking chairs and a layer of dust.
On Monday, April 15, people around the world watched as emergency responders struggled to halt the flames tearing apart the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. The Notre-Dame fire was likely caused by accident. However, in the same month that the cathedral burned, cultural and religious institutions around the world experienced very deliberate attacks. Consider church burnings in Louisiana or the recent terrorist attack in Sri Lanka. The damage to Notre Dame is no doubt a tragedy. But the present destruction of spaces of communal worship reflects a larger and far more concerning pattern throughout history regarding the circumstances that enable some sites to survive and not others.
Solemn crowds of Parisians gathered on April 15 to watch as one of the city’s greatest icons, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, burned. The news sent shockwaves around the world and has prompted immense sorrow for one of the greatest emblems of France and a marvel of Gothic architecture.
We arrive at Dartmouth in all our intensity and meet an equally intense schedule. The D-Plan does not let its presence go unnoticed: It smothers both our academic and social lives. As we are broken into quarters, with breaks in between each quarter, our time here is sectioned off from itself. In my own experience, this makes each term, each parcel of time, feel like its own lifetime. Each quarter seems to have its own narrative arc framed by its clear beginning and its ever-looming end. And that transforms the way we think about our relationships with one another. That said, what I term as the “let’s grab a meal” mindset is a clear case study of the problems that result from this transformation.
On Monday, Luke Cuomo ’20 narrowly defeated Tim Holman ’20 and Sydney Johnson ’20 to become the next Student Assembly president. In what was one of the closest presidential races in recent years, the candidates proposed and defended their respective platforms at Monday night’s debate moderated by The Dartmouth. The candidates largely proposed similar solutions to long-standing campus issues, including the hiring of more counselors at Dick’s House and the adoption of the new United Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures.
If you’ve never been to a Supreme Court hearing, I would highly recommend it. There are some things that even recordings miss. I did not learn in my constitutional law class that the justices sit through much of oral arguments with their faces cupped in their palms, eyes almost closed. They behave like bored students in a 9L lecture, bouncing and swiveling in the nation’s most esteemed wheelie chairs. If not for seeing it with my own eyes, I would not have believed that Justices Stephen Breyer and Clarence Thomas (one liberal and one extremely conservative) could lean back almost out of view of the public and giggle together at their inside jokes.
Last week’s Final Four generated an estimated $142 million of revenue in its host city, Minneapolis. And that was just the start; CBS and Turner Sports made $1.32 billion in advertising revenue last year, and advertising revenues have consistently increased each year since 2014, which means that this year’s total may be even higher. Social media platforms and live streams allowed American workers to spend an average of six working hours per year watching the NCAA tournament, which would present a problem if their bosses weren’t also watching.
There’s no shortage of pop psychological drivel that claims that one can tell a lot about people by what they eat. But in my experience, the more interesting question is how people react to what others eat. I have been Muslim my entire life, and I’ve rarely, if ever, experienced skepticism or pushback when I’ve declined to eat pork and bacon. What I chose to eat or not eat was my business, between me and my beliefs.
Last Thursday, the students of Georgetown University voted in favor of a measure to impose a $27.20 fee per semester in honor of the 272 slaves once sold by the university. Proceeds from the fund would directly benefit the descendants of those slaves. This news comes just as multiple Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls have come out in support of reparations for descendants of slaves. While no major candidates have called for direct compensation, many have proposed reparations in the form of reduced monetary strain. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) has advocated for tax credits to middle- and working-class citizens of any race, and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) came out in favor of free or reduced-price child care for low-income families.
“The temple bell dies away/The scent of flowers in the evening/Is still tolling the bell.”
Hovering over our packs slung on the bus station bench, I count the cars as they pass by and wait for one of them to slow down. My traveling companion, Noah, and I rifle for snacks in my 45-liter Osprey, which holds all of my possessions for the next two months. These are the first stages of our survival plan. If our host doesn’t show, we will camp out at the bus stop until a car heading in the right direction comes by the next morning and then we’ll catch a train to a major city. Fifteen minutes pass, then 20.
The body is where things happen, and the body makes things happen. But in light of Sexual Awareness Month, I am thinking about how a body is also a burden. Your body is your heaviest baggage, bearing the scars of physical strain or perhaps even trauma — and in spite of that trauma, the body is daring to feel longing and lust. Everyone has a theory of their body whether or not this theorization is conscious. It comes from watching cinema, scrolling through social media feeds and simply existing. All of these activities happen in spite of and in relation to the emotional history of one’s body. Survivors of sexual assault often struggle with body image and the feeling of being objectified. But the sexualization of the female body, along with the reality that women are disproportionally affected by sexual assault, means that simply existing in a female or femme body is difficult even for those who have not faced sexual assault. So how does one live in a marginalized body with agency and without fear?
Dartmouth publicizes a wide-ranging curriculum with room for exploration for undergraduates, but that openness doesn’t seem to extend to the career choices the College promotes through its Center for Professional Development. Last week, the CPD hosted its Employer Connections Fair, where Dartmouth students had the opportunity to meet potential employers. Those employers came mostly from finance and consulting firms, and there was little representation from the public sector. This imbalance between private and public sector jobs is mirrored in a slant in jobs that Dartmouth students choose to take after graduation; 56 percent of the Class of 2018 took jobs in either finance, consulting or technology.
The coffee shop is a privileged space. Since coffee was exported from Ethiopia to Mecca and Medina in the 10th century, coffeehouses have been a staple of cosmopolitan life around the world. People have used coffeehouses as local meeting places, cornerstones of an interconnected and reflective neighborhood.
On March 22, special counsel Robert Mueller delivered his report on the two-year long investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election. Many Democrats have spent the previous two years on the edge of their seats, hoping Mueller’s report would allege that the Donald Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election. Two days after Mueller submitted his report, attorney general William Barr submitted a four-page summary of the report to Congress — a decision that many Democrats decried as indicative of a lack of transparency and oversight. Given Barr’s public skepticism of the investigation, Democrats aren’t wrong to question whether Barr held back details that could have hurt the President’s standing. But even if Democrats have grounds to pursue a full release of the report, they dwell on the issue at their own peril.