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This year, Dartmouth celebrates 250 years since its founding. On Jan. 10, the College will kick off a series of events commemorating its anniversary and honoring its longstanding legacy. These events highlight moments of pride throughout the College’s history — academic milestones, building blocks for the Dartmouth education students know today (both in the expansion of opportunities and in the expansion of groups to which those opportunities have been made available) and memorable achievements by members of the Dartmouth community across the globe. For the most part, these celebrations are well-earned. Dartmouth has and continues to offer a valuable and rewarding education to its students. Faculty members remain committed to teaching and to nurturing students’ personal and intellectual development. And many alumni go on to lead successful lives, often bettering their communities aided by the foundations they cemented while at the College, their experiences on campus and the bonds they formed with one another. But while Dartmouth deserves to cherish these successes, it ought not to ignore its failures.
The emails seem to roll in on almost a daily basis, offering thousands of dollars to students looking to pursue “design your own” internship programs with Dartmouth organizations. Deans, professors and fellow students encouraged me to apply for programs with Rauner Library, the Center for Social Impact, the Dickey Center, the Rockefeller Center or even individual departments to secure funding for my upcoming off-term, which I had filled with an internship at a nonprofit law office in New York. Both the candor with which they spoke and the seemingly overwhelming number of resources available made me feel confident when applying for funding that was critical to me being able to take up my offer in Albany. However, not only was I declined funding during the initial application round, I discovered that many of my friends who depend on these funding sources had also been dismissed — highlighting a pernicious consequence of pursing nonprofit internships.
Before I’d ever set foot on campus, I knew about Dartmouth’s emphasis on bystander culture. I took the same sexual assault prevention courses that my peers did and clicked through the same slides on bystander intervention as the other members of the Class of 2022. (Do something yourself! Bring others in! Ingenious alternatives.) I sat through the same New Student Orientation talks on the College’s very rigorous, serious, vague efforts to combat sexual assault. The pen I almost exclusively used during my first quarter has the letters “DBI,” or Dartmouth Bystander Initiative, printed on it — if that’s not the ultimate sign of how ubiquitous DBI’s branding is on campus then I don’t know what is.
Over winterim, I was Christmas shopping on Michigan Avenue, nicknamed the magnificent mile, in the heart of downtown Chicago. Nothing out of the ordinary, as I grew up a 20-minute train ride from the city. After making my final stop at stores requested by my mom and sister, I was approached by a homeless man asking for a few extra bucks. I pulled out my wallet, noticed it was empty, and then in one of the more ridiculous moments of my life I asked if he had Venmo. I asked if a homeless man had Venmo. I then realized I hadn’t used or seen cash in weeks. I couldn’t imagine a situation when I would absolutely need it, unless I found myself in the unique predicament into which I had just stumbled.
Until July 20, 1969, a human being who gazed at the light of distant stars perforating the night sky had to do so on Earth. Neil Armstrong changed that forever. To him, our planet was a small blue dot mostly alone in a vast expanse of darkness. After Apollo 11 landed to unprecedented worldwide acclaim, the moon and everything else out there seemed like something we could do more than look at from Earth. Unfortunately, much like in any other place humans have landed, human apathy and thoughtlessness did not leave the Moon as it had been found.
Congratulations! You made it another year, another leap through time and space around the sun into a momentous 2019. As we approach this new year of life and experience, some of us take a moment to make resolutions that — hopefully — will stand the test of time. These resolutions reflect us with a rare authenticity — they are our highest hopes, our deepest insecurities and our most honest appraisals of our own selves.
Dear Student Colleagues,
Lines of increasingly restless people, who had been waiting for hours, wound around blocks and spilled into streets on a late night. A scene like this might suggest crowds queueing to attend, perhaps, an exclusive performance or speaker event. Instead, this exact scenario occurred all over the United States on Election Night as busy citizens carved time out of their workdays to attempt to exercise their right to vote (ideally, one of the least exclusive things ever) and faced endless bureaucratic and logistical nightmares. Missing voting machines, understaffing and delayed openings (or unexpected closings) plagued polling places all over America. “Dysfunctional democracy” has been given a new, more expansive definition, one that not only encompasses the outrageous actions of American politicians but their constituents’ inability to vote them out, and the broken voting machine is emblematic of it.
By now the world knows, or at least many of us do, that Thanksgiving is a holiday tainted by its unethical historical context. In tasteless celebration of the white man’s massacre of indigenous peoples, Americans gorge themselves annually on factory-farmed turkey, GMO-riddled green bean casserole and squash, artificially-sweetened cranberry sauce and all other sorts of American delicacies. Younger family members are told gilded tales about Squanto and falsified stories depicting the colonists and the indigenous peoples living in harmony. Swept under the carpet are the European diseases, the unjust exploitation of natives and the sick reality that the foundations of the world we live in today were ripped from the hands of the people who called this land home before us.
Last Friday, Nov. 2, the Dartmouth campus received a shelter advisory after a drive-by shooting on the intersection of School and West Wheelock Streets injured a 19-year-old male non-Dartmouth student. Until the shelter advisory was lifted, the entire community sheltered in place, sending flurries of texts and GroupMe messages to check on friends and family and seek more information.
The line between politics and self-identity has long been blurred in America, and this past midterm election has highlighted this. Politics are felt in every corner of the country, whether it is at the municipal, state or federal level. As such, the American political system has become intertwined with many citizens’ personal identities. Whether people wish to tune into politics or not, decisions made in the White House are inevitably going to affect their lives. As a consequence, there is a higher level of emotional energy directed into campaigning, political conversations and voting. This personal stake correlates with a higher level of ownership that I believe is good news for the future of American politics.
The anti-Semitic mass-shooting that targeted the congregation of the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue left me deeply wounded. Before anything, I must state that I condemn this atrocious hate crime and send my condolences to the nation and especially to the Jewish community, including the Jewish community at Dartmouth.
It’s Saturday morning. The cool fog wraps itself around me as I throw open the North Fayerweather door. Carried across campus by the thought of breakfast food, I find myself in the middle of the Green. Gazing at the black mark surrounding me, I smile, filled with humility and pride for this community of which I am so lucky to be a part.
This past January, in an inspiring acceptance speech at the Golden Globes, Oprah Winfrey preached the importance of “speaking your truth.” Leading the charge in the #MeToo movement, a wake-up call for the persisting problem of sexual assault in our nation, Oprah sought to inspire voices that had been silent for too long. I applaud Oprah and her counterparts for their bravery in breaking this silence. I agree that the first step to putting an end to these atrocities, committed behind the scenes by some of our biggest stars, is to start the conversation. I thank those courageous enough to share and challenge anyone who would have wished that they kept quiet.
“We have just received information that a single gunshot was fired in the area of School Street and West Wheelock Street in Hanover.”
I stared at question number 6 on the form.
Sometimes thoughts and prayers aren't enough.
You never think it will happen to you until it does.
In May of 2017, the United States Department of Justice launched an investigation into potential Russian attempts to influence the previous year’s American presidential election, as well as possible coordination between Russia and the Trump administration. Since then, as a country, we’ve reached a kind of impasse; a national gridlock, one born of a long, mired period of what for many feels like purgatorial waiting. During this time of opacity, reading and listening to the news has become, for many (including myself), a form of control. We get to latch onto the coverage of Mueller’s proceedings, assigning our own levels of significance to moments like the indictment of Michael Flynn and more recently, a foiled smear campaign to frame Mueller for sexual misconduct. People spend their time reading into his findings and framing them the way they want to see them. However, patience is running thin. Fortunately, for those of us feeling that we can’t take this much longer, reports of Mueller’s findings are expected to come flying back into the news following the midterm elections.