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Amid an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak on campus, cases have risen to more than 140 and students have been thrown back into quarantine. On Wednesday, Provost Joseph Helble stated that "trends continue to suggest that noncompliant social interactions — particularly those where people are not wearing masks or observing adequate physical distancing — are the primary cause of this increase in virus transmission." Should the College hold accountable these people responsible for “noncompliant social interactions?" If so, how?
As Americans we like to pride ourselves on the ideal of the American Dream. The reality, as recent decades have made clear, is much harsher. Parental income and geography have a huge impact on success. The middle class is shrinking. Upward mobility in the United States has steadily declined with each new generation. Income inequality and stagnating wages make it increasingly difficult for those from less privileged backgrounds to attain success. The World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Social Mobility Index ranked the U.S. in 27th place, behind many other developed nations.
On Feb. 16, the College abruptly announced its decision to close the Kresge Physical Sciences Library and the Paddock Music Library. According to a widely shared open letter by music department chair William Cheng, not a single music professor was consulted, or even alerted, before the administration eliminated the department’s library.
It’s no secret that the physical sciences are one of the cornerstones of a Dartmouth liberal arts education. Historically, investment, faculty recruitment and generous undergraduate research grants have solidified the College’s position as a uniquely engaging place to receive undergraduate training in the sciences. The maintenance of the Kresge Physical Sciences Library was one of those important investments.
YouTube is a “Gutenberg revolution” of sorts. Since its launch in 2005, the site has provided its over two billion users with a platform to communicate their ideas, but unlike its predecessors — books, radio and television — YouTube has no barrier to entry. With just internet access and a camera, anyone from anywhere, with any opinion, can go viral. In recent years, conservative channels have flooded the platform with their political opinions. While these channels are not uniform by any means — they range from promoting libertarianism to shameless white supremacy — they are united in their opposition to a common enemy: the left.
Last December, people across the globe watched with hope as American nurses and doctors received their first COVID-19 vaccine doses — only to see our country fall flat on its face as the rollout stalled despite the U.S.’ place as an epicenter of international vaccine development. Now that President Joe Biden has taken office, vowing to “listen to the scientists” and “shut down the virus,” things must have turned around, right? Not so fast — while the federal government’s leadership has undoubtedly improved, the Biden administration's goals for vaccination are relatively tame, at least according to many health experts. Under former President Donald Trump, the federal government falsely promised a near-miraculous rollout of the vaccine. We now face the opposite problem — the Biden administration is underselling the vaccine. It’s time to ramp up expectations and engage in a full bore campaign to get doses into arms as fast as the vaccines are manufactured.
Dartmouth’s housing issue is far from new. The College has faced challenges since it began admitting women in 1972, which drastically increased the student population. Since then, the College has implemented the D-Plan, putting students on a constant rotation of off-terms and study abroad programs. The D-Plan somewhat thins out the on-campus population for any given term, keeping housing in check. Despite this fix, the underlying truth remains that there are more Dartmouth students than Dartmouth beds.
Last summer, in the wake of George Floyd’s killing and the ensuing Black Lives Matter protests, College President Phil Hanlon sent a number of emails promising institutional reforms and shiny new initiatives toward racial equality.
Lawmakers and law enforcement officials are still grappling with the effects of the Jan. 6 seige of the Capitol, an event which highlighted a number of security failures at the Capitol building. Besides the non-scalable fencing which was recently erected around the building, there are now calls to install a seven-foot wall around the Capitol grounds. This reaction is a mistake and misses the point — we should be analyzing the police’s response instead.
Last month, The New York Times reported that Leon Black ’73, prominent College donor and billionaire chairman of Apollo Global Management, had paid convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein $158 million between 2012 and 2017, years after Epstein pled guilty to prostitution involving a teenager in 2008. These findings cast a dark shadow over Black’s legacy — a legacy with a high degree of visibility on Dartmouth’s campus.
Over the past few years, controversies over the removal of public monuments have raged across the nation and throughout the globe in any place still grappling with the legacies of European colonialism and 19th century scientific racism. Dartmouth is no exception and may even be a bellwether site, for debates over public art on its campus have been frequent and ongoing for the better part of the last century. For those of us, like myself, who have been involved in these debates, change has felt painstakingly slow. However, it is understandable that for those who have not, decisions — like the removal of the weather vane from the tower of Baker-Berry Library — can seem sudden and even rash. This is in part why a working group, which I co-chair, has been convened by College President Phil Hanlon to make recommendations for a more consistent and transparent process going forward.
After the recent revelations regarding Leon Black ’73’s payments to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, should the Black Family Visual Arts Center be renamed?
Asian carp, garlic mustard, zebra mussels, lionfish, kudzu vines — the names of these invasive species might sound familiar. The United States is currently home to around 50,000 non-native species, around 4,300 of which are considered invasive. These are non-native species which can inflict significant damage on local ecosystems and overwhelm native species, often despite containment efforts.
This editorial is featured in the 2021 Winter Carnival special issue.
This column is featured in the 2021 Winter Carnival special issue.
This column is featured in the 2021 Winter Carnival special issue.
In response to the pandemic, Dartmouth assigned each class year either one or two guaranteed on-campus terms for the academic year. Under this framework, many members of the Class of 2023 will not be back on campus until summer 2021. Many ’23s have been vocally opposed to this move, often complaining about the way in which college administrators handled term assignments and other pandemic concerns. In a Jan. 21 op-ed in The Dartmouth, Max Teszler ’23 characterized the dismay of many of his classmates as "pointless quibbling” and argued that the ’23s should be grateful for the chance to be on campus at all. However, many ’23s, myself included, actually voiced legitimate concerns about how the College handled the reopening process. Addressing the reality faced by ’23s and working together to move forward is far more productive for everyone than pointing fingers at classmates for trying to fix the problem.
This year, Valentine’s Day just won’t be the same. Nobody will fortuitously stumble upon a soulmate at King Arthur Flour or dance with their Marriage Pact match in a fraternity basement. Some will insist on celebrating with a COVID-19-safe platonic get-together, while others will be rushing to secure evening plans for the 14th. Either way, love is in the air — and regardless of our relationship status, we should celebrate love this week by giving to our loved ones without expecting anything in return.