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The first time I went to a gym, I dropped a weight on my foot. I was a stick-thin, anxiety-riddled 18-year-old who had just arrived in Tel Aviv on a gap year program. The only reason I was at this strange, odorous facility in the first place was because my friends had somehow cajoled me into accompanying them, even though I was staunchly against actually joining the gym. When we strolled down the aisles of panting millennials on ellipticals and bulging Israeli Defense Forces soldiers pumping ungodly heavy curls, however, my perspective quickly began to change. Contrary to my expectations, I wasn’t being judged for my super-skinny arms at all. Nobody cared if I was barely able to wobble up a 20-pound weight— they were simply concerned with their own workout. When I attempted to lug a 30-pounder over to my bench, the weight rolled right off the rack, thunking onto my right foot. And yet, while my pain was very real, the expected accompanying embarrassment simply never came.
Professors, as well as the administration, love to tell us to put our health first. They tell us to sleep and to eat and to take care of our mental health — and to put all those things before our schoolwork. And yet, the incentive to sacrifice our physical, mental and emotional health on the altar of academia remains. If we want a culture of healthier and happier students, and people in general, then we need new norms. Extensions, understanding and academic flexibility must all become a deeper part of Dartmouth’s culture.
This editorial is featured in the 2021 Homecoming special issue.
This article is featured in the 2021 Homecoming special issue.
This article is featured in the 2021 Homecoming special issue.
On Sept. 13, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., attended the Met Gala, the most glamorous red carpet in America, parading a floor-length white gown emblazoned with the words “TAX THE RICH” in bright red. A week later, she reversed a “no” vote and abstained from voting on supplemental legislation that would provide $1 billion to the “Government of Israel for the procurement of the Iron Dome defense system” and “in support of Operation Guardian of the Walls.” From her performative attempt at sartorial activism to her last-minute vote switch, Ocasio-Cortez’s symbolic tactics underscore her failure to articulate clear, concrete principles.
Last Thursday, an article published in The Dartmouth reported that the Class of 2025, with a class size of 1,229 students, is the largest in Dartmouth’s history. This revelation comes only four years after the previous record-holder for the largest class, the Class of 2021, matriculated, and is only the second time in Dartmouth’s history that the number of newly enrolled students has surpassed 1,200.
Adopted by the faculty in 1962, Dartmouth’s Academic Honor Principle commands that “all academic activities will be based on student honor.” Since then, the Academic Honor Principle has been a foundational text in the lives of Dartmouth students: It is mentioned in nearly every syllabus and discussed by many professors on the very first day of class.
The beginning of this term represents a welcome return to the normal Dartmouth experience for many in the College community. Yet, this transition has nonetheless been accompanied by challenges and uncertainty. For example, last week The Dartmouth’s Editorial Board criticized the long lines at dining halls and argued that the current state of campus dining was untenable. The week prior, the Editorial Board urged students to be patient and kind and refrain from “discount[ing], delegitimiz[ing] and dismiss[ing] the experiences of [their] peers” following “a disrupted and tumultuous year.” To this end, what do you believe are some of the most prominent challenges students have faced so far this term, and, in your opinion, would these challenges have existed in a pre-pandemic world?
If you were in Hanover this past summer, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the pandemic was over. Masks came off, social interaction returned and Dartmouth dissolved its COVID-19 Task Force — all actions that seemed to emphasize the lack of a need to plan so intensely around the virus.
’53 Commons lines extending to Parkhurst. Courtyard Cafe lines snaking to Hinman. Crowds of students squeezing past each other to get to dining stations.
President Joe Biden has repeatedly denounced the ongoing “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” On Oct. 1, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will require immigrants who wish to become lawful permanent residents to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before their paperwork can be finalized. Similarly, federal employees will be required to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22. These new mandates — along with a vaccine mandate for companies with over 100 employees — are a continuation of the push by the Biden administration to increase vaccinations. While these moves are important, another necessary measure to fight the virus would be to vaccinate migrants caught entering the country.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
In the late hours on the first night of Sept. 1, the Supreme Court allowed Texas’s law banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy to go into effect. The decision leaves the door open for further litigation, but in the meantime, the consequences have been disastrous. Abortion services have ground to a near-halt in Texas, depriving thousands of people of access to a vital form of healthcare. The decision was a legal travesty, best summed up by a line in Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s sharp dissent — “a majority of Justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand.”
For the first time in nearly eighteen months, Dartmouth has welcomed a majority of its undergraduate students back to campus and into classrooms. Many returning students have embraced this development as a welcome return to the Dartmouth of pre-pandemic times. Yet, for many others, this development represents a clear divergence from the Dartmouth experience they have had thus far. In-person classes, non-socially distanced dining halls and open-to-campus events hosted by Greek houses are entirely foreign to many students. For them, the Dartmouth experience they are familiar with is not the one they have encountered upon returning for the fall term.
Established in 2016 as part of College President Phil Hanlon’s Moving Dartmouth Forward initiative, the house communities were designed to revolutionize the social lives of students. A way to subvert the influence of Greek life, the advent of the six house communities brought a Harry Potter-esque promise of camaraderie and continuity to what some would consider an otherwise disjointed campus.
Last month, an Islamic State sponsored attack on the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan killed dozens of people — among them, 13 American soldiers. As my immigrant mother watched the coverage in horror, she said it brought back painful memories of the 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Beirut, which she had witnessed first-hand.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, The Dartmouth made the necessary decision to suspend print production. Yet thanks to the tireless work of our incredible staff, who overcame distance and countless other hurdles presented by the pandemic, The Dartmouth’s daily coverage continued uninterrupted online as the paper pioneered a new digital-first strategy. By winter 2021, we were able to resume a revised print schedule, publishing a weekly edition of The Dartmouth every Friday morning.