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In the op-ed pages of our various papers of record and on cable news political talk shows, it’s not uncommon to see policies proposed by public figures like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) referred to as high-minded and aspirational, but ultimately not pragmatic. For political pundits, the concept of “pragmatism” serves as a useful cudgel to wield against those earnest public figures with the aim of effecting meaningful political change. However, it is precisely this bold idealism that is necessary for effecting substantial, impactful change when it comes to tackling the climate crisis.
Last year, I arrived on campus as an excited freshman. A strong conservative with a wide background in Republican campaigning, I leapt at the opportunity to challenge the hegemonic liberal campus culture and grow the Republican Party here. I became involved with Dartmouth College Republicans and was fortunate to be chosen as the organization’s secretary that fall. It was 2018, and political groups on campus were gearing up for what would be a monumental midterm election cycle. The tactics used by these groups were varied, and I quickly realized that the Dartmouth College Democrats were using a mixture between guerrilla marketing and harassment.
I recently participated in a class discussion about the propagandist nature of commercials for prescription drugs. As I listened to my classmates, I was struck by the predominance of negative beliefs about the pharmaceutical industry. After doing some research, I found that my classroom served as a representative microcosm of American society — a recent study using a comparison of favorability ratings from U.S. citizens found that the pharmaceutical sector is the “most loathed” industry in the country.
When a technology entrepreneur presents a high-profile plan to the House Financial Services Committee to provide low-cost access to financial markets and payments services to billions of people without bank accounts, most people would applaud him as a 21st-century hero. But Mark Zuckerberg is no ordinary tech entrepreneur — he has earned a bad reputation as the monopolist who oversaw egregious violations of user privacy.
When I was little, I asked my mom what makes Democrats different from Republicans. She tried to figure out how to explain the difference in 10-year-old-friendly terms. My mother’s response, not entirely tongue-in-cheek, was that “Republicans are motivated by self-interest, and Democrats are concerned about what’s good for others.” The differences as I learned them were not political; they were moral.
The term “cancel culture” is the latest euphemism for political correctness. Often a term lobbed leftward, cancel culture refers to the online public shaming, usually of a celebrity, for some past action now deemed inappropriate. The intention is to encourage others to “cancel” consumption of the celebrity’s work.
Today is Día de Los Muertos, the Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Central America, honoring those who have passed on. Last week was Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, a celebration of new beginnings, the prevailing of good over evil
Going to school in New Hampshire is a dream come true for any political junkie. As one of the last truly “purple” states, razor-thin margins decide our elections: Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire’s most recently elected senator, won by 1,017 votes, or about one class at Dartmouth. Our status as the first-in-the-nation presidential primary makes the Granite State a hotbed for grassroots campaigning and opinionated political action, and this political involvement has defined my time at Dartmouth.
This term has been particularly trying for me. My run-in with a head injury and my adjustment to a more social Dartmouth experience has sent my highly structured schedule as a freshman last year into a new chaotic normal.
Dartmouth has a rigorous honor code, and students are frequently reminded of this fact. Summaries of Dartmouth’s rules against prohibited collaboration and other forms of academic dishonesty are conveniently printed on the cover page of many in-class exams, and verbal reminders are often given when a take-home assignment like a lab report is handed out.
My freshman winter, I walked into PSYC 6, “Introduction to Neuroscience,” a little nervous and not knowing what to expect. I was considering the neuroscience major and was interested in the complex machinery of the brain. When I entered Filene Auditorium, I was awash by the excitement that filled the room, all thanks to the professor, David Bucci. Starting on the very first day of class, Professor Bucci took us on an adventure of the brain. We learned about neurotransmitters, sensory pathways like hearing and vision, and newer fields like attention, learning and mental illness.
Each year during First-Year Trips and Orientation, Dartmouth students and faculty try to brace incoming students for “impostor syndrome,” or the tendency for students to feel undeserving of their place at Dartmouth. “You are all here for a reason” is common advice to freshmen. This is counterproductive, and students would be better off in the long term if we held humility in higher regard.
Returning to campus this fall has reminded me of just how much of student life on Dartmouth’s campus is spent waiting in line. We wait in line for the Hop after 10As, Collis pasta at night and KAF whenever we need a boost. Waiting in line isn’t just a reality of dining halls, but also a staple of fraternity basements — where we must wait, once again, for our turn to play our favorite game. Sometimes, even just to enroll in a class, Dartmouth asks us to wait. This waiting will not stop after graduation, and we are very frustrated by this, because waiting essentially means doing nothing. The act of doing nothing is a concept that is almost unheard of in the digital age, and it is unfairly seen as a waste of time.
$1.5 trillion. This stark number represents the current student loan debt falling on the shoulders of over 45 million borrowers, from current college students to adults who graduated decades ago.
Last week, the College partially reversed the new card access policy, reopening House centers and other social spaces to all students. This came after the College received almost universally negative input from students and worked with Student Assembly to ameliorate discontent. This Editorial Board has already criticized the policy changes at the beginning of this term, and we are pleased that the College has taken steps to undo what was clearly a misguided tactic.