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The beginning of the school year has seen myriad changes at Dartmouth, not all of them necessarily good. The disconnect between students and the administration seems to grow ever wider. Like many juniors, I’ll be taking two terms away from campus, so I can’t imagine what Dartmouth will be like next spring. Given how small campus is, there is a surprising lack of empathy at Dartmouth. The disconnect between students and administration, as well as many of the problems with our campus culture, could be resolved if both sides practiced different kinds of empathy.
It has been over a year since the Department of Justice drastically changed its official definition of domestic violence — but hardly anyone has heard about it. Although the media did not bring significant attention to this policy change, it will have grave consequences for survivors. Worse than invalidating the experiences of many victims (which, admittedly, is already pretty bad), the change in definition will prevent many legitimate intimate partner violence nonprofits from receiving federal aid. Similarly, we've been receiving a fair bit of attention about the way we handle sexual assault at Dartmouth, while discussion on other sorts of abuse is largely ignored. It is imperative that this conversation be held in a manner that reflects the nuances of this issue, but neither the DOF nor Dartmouth seem to be making progress toward this.
Let’s face it: By this point, we are all well aware that Dartmouth’s House system is in dire need of repair. Especially in the wake of the new residential access policy preventing students from accessing dorms outside their House system, it’s hard to enter into a conversation on campus without hearing some complaint about the House system. Yet, despite the go-getter and self-starter attitudes of Dartmouth students, I haven’t been hearing many proposed solutions. Of course, there is the petition to restore students’ access to dorms, but what about the deeper problems perturbing the College’s idealized House system? We need a way to fight the entrenched inequality between the Houses and turn the House system into a source of pride among students, instead of an object of ridicule.
On Sept. 18, the College officially launched the Sexual Violence Prevention Project for the Class of 2023 after piloting the program for the last two years. Meanwhile, members of the Class of 2022 are currently participating in Dartmouth Bystander Initiative presentations in preparation for fraternity and sorority rush. With the College recently settling the federal class-action sexual misconduct lawsuit filed by nine former students, sexual assault and how it influences the culture on campus is at the forefront of the minds of many administrators, faculty members and students.
Is modern American feminism necessary? In a word, absolutely. Feminism is a necessary force in the United States as long as men and women are on unequal footing. As our country stands now, they certainly are. Men enjoy a soft, plush carpet — with a color that lies somewhere between cream and beige — while women are plopped squarely in the middle of an ice rink (if we are to continue with the footing metaphor).
On Sept. 17, the College announced that its endowment grew by 7.5 percent over the past year, reaching a total value of $5.7 billion. Growth has been even greater in past years — the endowment grew an average 10.7 percent annually over the past decade, well past the rate of inflation. Yet rather than use this wealth to dramatically reduce tuition, the College seems content to sit back and count its billions.
Campus is abuzz with talk of Dartmouth’s new residential access policy. Students have discussed the absurdity and uselessness of the decision, while bemoaning its consequences. The exclusivity of the Cube, the now everyday nuisance of letting a friend in to a dorm, the ludicrous “solution” to end racism and the continued failure of the House system have been amply talked about among the community. But what about safety, the essence of the policy?
With more than 400 days until Election Day, an overlong list of Democratic candidates shows no signs of shrinking. The slate of candidates is polling at numbers as varied as their experience, policies, backgrounds and tones. At the forefront of the minds of presidential candidates and Democratic voters alike is how to beat President Trump in the 2020 election.
How many memes have you seen about “fake news” in the past year? While “fake news” has become a comical buzzword, this phenomenon of publishing blatantly false information has caused quite a stir in the world of journalism. Even though there is no substantial proof that the spread of “fake news” holds any significant influence over the population, some are advocating for a change in policy forbidding “misinformation” from being published. While it is important that the public reads the truth, striving for a lie-free media is not worth surrendering our freedom of the press in a vain attempt to stop the age-old and inevitable spreading of lies.
On Sept. 20, The Dartmouth reported the demographics for the Class of 2023 and detailed how the admissions office uses a “holistic process.” The Dartmouth Opinion Staff responded.
Dartmouth’s cornucopia of PE credits is nothing short of wonderful. The martially-inclined can hone their talents with taekwondo; the projectile-prone can refine their accuracy with archery; heck, the dancer in all of us can master the ineluctable romanticism of tango. It’s a smorgasbord of interesting options — but it’s not for everyone. Plenty of Dartmouth students don’t take well to organized physical fitness, some because of scheduling concerns and others because of sheer personal preference. Students who prefer the exhausting comfort of Alumni Gymnaisum do not receive PE credits for their accumulated hours, nor do students who amass a gaggle of their friends and acquaintances to participate in intramural sports. And this is a shame, as it reeks of twisted priorities. What matters more to the campus’s emphasis on fitness: that students are being active or that we’re active on their terms?
On Sept. 5, a Customs and Border Protection checkpoint was operated near Dartmouth’s campus on I-89. In late August, Ismail Ajjawi, a Palestinian student from Lebanon, arrived in Boston to attend Harvard University, and the New York Times reported that he was turned away by a CBP agent. The Dartmouth Opinion Staff responded.
This past Saturday, the College restricted students’ access to buildings only within their own House communities. The College said the policy change came in response to the number of “racial bias incidents” that occurred last October, characterizing the policy as a security measure.