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As an environmentalist, I had come to think of the organic label as the pinnacle of sustainable agriculture. In my mind, an organic sticker signified that produce comes from small, multi-crop farms, without synthetic inputs or excessive water and energy use, and that animal products are raised in free-range, humane conditions. Organic means more environmentally ethical — or so I thought. As it turns out, organic agriculture standards have expanded in recent years to encompass alarming practices that few would consider to be true to the original values of organic farming.
Almost every weekend at Dartmouth, you can find me scrambling up mountains, skiing through the woods, or running and biking along quiet roads lined with pine and birch forests. Yet I have only recently begun to declare myself an “outdoorswoman,” despite having fallen head-over-heels for the out-of-doors almost immediately after joining the Dartmouth Outing Club at the end of my freshman fall. At first, my deniability was somewhat plausible — I was simply an amateur trying out a new novelty. As time wore on, though, I was forced to admit that my hours spent in the forests and on the mountaintops of the Whites were more than just a passing whim. I loved the mountains and felt most in touch with myself and those around me when outside.
Now is an interesting time for Ethiopia. The country has emerged in the last year as the sweetheart of the developing world, in large part due to the leadership of its new reformist Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed. But a central issue has threatened the country’s new-found prosperity: ethnic nationalism. At the moment, Ethiopia’s budding progress is being diluted by the secessionist ambitions of its myriad ethnic minorities. However, this is not the time for individual nationalist ambitions to be entertained by the central government. Rather, it is time to establish a functioning national government that can enable a well-oiled, growing economy.
The Democratic left has been punching well above its weight recently. Its ideas have dominated the primary season — of the candidates currently averaging over 10 percent in Democratic primary polling, only Joe Biden is associated with the moderate wing of the party (though he, to be fair, maintains a sizeable lead over his rivals).
The most nuanced conversations I have about current political issues are private. In large groups, I nod in agreement. With close friends, I engage.
Here at Dartmouth, the idea of a liberal arts education guides our institution like a north star. It’s why the distributive system plays such a prominent role, akin to “general education,” in our academic experience. And it certainly would explain why pamphlets and tour groups boast of the metamorphosis into well-rounded intellectuals (ergo capable within both STEM and the humanities) at every chance they get. The goal of our education is to cultivate the totality of our abilities, not just our respective disciplines.
Food is a needlessly controversial topic at Dartmouth. Still, there seems to be a strong consensus against the current state of campus dining. For the most part, this hostility stems from the limited food options that students find themselves left with. To be clear, this scarcity of variety should not be wholly surprising, as we are, after all, inhabiting a small New England town. However, the situation could be vastly improved in a way that benefits everyone involved. The solution is simple: Dartmouth meal plans should be usable in Hanover’s restaurants.
Sophomore summer is a heralded time — our wonderful academic romp about the woodlands of New Hampshire. You’ve likely read about it in pamphlets or associated propaganda, wherein the administration lauds this time of community and kinship. “The region around Hanover is ripe for exploring,” they say. And I suppose it is; it has to be. You can’t afford to have students looking inward when you essentially shortchange the summer-dwellers in regard to on-campus dining. That’s right. The Courtyard Café’s once miraculous kitchen lies vacant, collecting dust bunnies rather than quelling our voracious appetites. The Collis Café’s beloved Late Night operates on truncated “summer hours.” The Cube, the only of the three snack bars left alive, has seen its hours of operation dwindle. When the summer rolls around, it’s the Class of ’53 Commons or bust. And it shouldn’t be.
What if it were possible to get better job opportunities by doing less recruiting? That would be a godsend for many of my friends who are spending their sophomore summers trying to game the corporate recruiting process into offering them jobs in which they have no interest. Many of my friends feel intensely pressured to get jobs in consulting, private equity or investment banking. Some are in it for the money and others to appease an over-zealous parent. Some are drawn by the promise of status-security and others are running from the prospect of unemployment. But very few have a genuine interest in these professions. This thoughtless pursuit of high-status jobs is a problem that has fueled the “snake” stigma against consulting, finance and even the economics major.
Protests and acts of civil disobedience have the power to make history. Anti-Vietnam war protests served to show the world that many Americans did not support the war effort and ultimately led lawmakers to consider how to end the war altogether. The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement — one woman, Rosa Parks, took a personal risk to stand up against a discriminatory law. The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom that culminated in Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is the stuff of history books. Protesting is part of a great American tradition of speaking out for what we believe in, no matter the consequences.
From the time you learned about sex in grade school until wherever you find yourself now, I’m sure that you have come across porn. Perhaps you have even thought twice about your own consumption. In front of a computer screen, it can feel so easy to disconnect ourselves from our actions. Clicking a link seems inconsequential, completely unattached both physically and emotionally from something recorded or photographed by strangers. And besides, most people watch porn — even if they won’t talk about it or admit it.
There’s a lot to learn at the intersection of academic subjects. Different fields offer different worldviews, and understanding how they overlap gives us a better understanding of issues. As a liberal arts college, Dartmouth should celebrate the overlap between disciplines and encourage students to seek out an interdisciplinary education.
If you’re concerned about the ideological balance of the current Supreme Court, you’re not alone. After the retirement of nearly-centrist Justice Anthony Kennedy last year, followed by President Trump’s nominations of highly-conservative Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, the court has swung considerably further right and cemented a conservative majority. This change has major potential implications for a variety of controversial issues, including abortion and affirmative action.
“We have the world’s most loyal alumni ... it’s the talent of our alumni body coming back.” As soon as I heard that I knew I had to stand up. Pushing through my racing heartbeat, I got up out of my seat in Spaulding Auditorium, walked towards the stage and began to sing: “People gonna rise like the water, we’re gonna calm this crisis down.”
The situation in Venezuela is dire. Beset by years of mismanagement, the country now faces economic and social crisis. Over four million have fled Venezuela. Shelves are empty at grocery stores. Power outages flicker across the country as hospitals struggle to operate medical equipment — not that the hospitals have much access to basic medication anymore.
Earlier this month, the College held its commencement ceremony for the Class of 2019. The event, highlighted by a speech and musical performance by renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, marked the successful culmination of four years at Dartmouth for the outgoing senior class. Thousands of family, friends and alumni gathered on the Green on a sunny day to view the ceremony and celebrate with the graduates.
Affirmative action as we know it may be on the chopping block. Depending on the outcome of the Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard case, a lawsuit in which Asian American students are suing the university for alleged discrimination, diversity as a consideration in admissions will end. This means minority enrollment in universities may drop as a result. Take the case of the University of California Berkeley: After California passed Proposition 209, a law which prohibited the use of race in admissions, outreach and financial aid considerations at California state schools, the number of African Americans enrolled dropped. African Americans today make up only three percent of the student body at UC Berkeley. Tellingly, after the state of California ended affirmative action, graduation rates of African Americans also dropped. From 2013-2016, there was a 16 percent difference between the overall graduation rate and the graduation rate of African Americans.
I hardly need to introduce U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand ’88. The famous Dartmouth alumna, a senator from New York who is also running for president, has stood out among Democrats as one of the fiercest critics of President Donald Trump. She boasts the most votes against Trump’s cabinet nominations of any Democratic senator running for president. Her progressive record should position her to be a competitive contender in the upcoming election. She was, after all, the first senator to insist Al Franken resign after evidence of inappropriate sexual behavior surfaced. And she has voiced firm support for the Green New Deal and some version of Medicare for All. She’s denounced the Trump administration’s “outrageous and unacceptable” treatment of immigrants and has also expressed urgency in ending America’s gun violence epidemic.
On May 11, Harvard University’s dean of the college Rakesh Khurana announced that the faculty dean of Winthrop House, Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr., would be removed from his position. The news comes five months after Sullivan, a professor at Harvard Law School, announced that he would serve as a lawyer for Harvey Weinstein, who currently faces multiple criminal charges for sexual misconduct.