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Fall term brings many perennial favorites to the College: a new freshman class, football, Homecoming and fall foliage. It also features rush — a period of several weeks in which many sophomores seek admittance to Dartmouth’s fraternities and sororities. The Editorial Board commented last week on the rush process, but what happens when that process ends?
The Supreme Court currently finds itself in a rather precarious legal and political quandary. Poised to hear big-issue cases in the coming term, its future decisions will likely paint the image by which we remember the Roberts Court. The Court is in a position where it must carefully balance politics and law due to its recent decisions where it has trended dangerously towards voting along party lines. In doing so, the Court has severely jeopardized its legitimacy. For the Court to regain its legitimacy, it must restore stability to federal law and the legal system. It can most effectively do so by practicing judicial restraint, particularly with regard to judicial precedent.
Hate speech and outright discrimination have previously existed in various spheres of discussion, but have only been exacerbated in recent years. Ideas of dehumanization and destruction are at odds with those of healthy governance. Salil Shetty, the secretary general of Amnesty International, said that “too many politicians are answering legitimate economic and security fears with a poisonous and divisive manipulation of identity politics in an attempt to win votes.” This “poison” seeps down and legitimizes hatred within everyday life. Politicians and those from whom they derive their power — all of us — must condemn this sort of speech for the sake of equality and justice. We fail as a people if we stand idly by.
‘Unity in Diversity’ has been Indonesia’s tagline ever since its independence from the Dutch over 70 years ago. In many respects, this has not just been a soft rhetorical move, but a highly tactical one. With the multitudes of ethnicities, languages and religions that reside within Indonesia’s borders, the government in Jakarta has, since its inception, utilized this phrase to placate its population, to assert the singularity of the Indonesian people.
The cold morning of Sept. 30 saw a trickle of people headed towards Rollins Chapel: elderly folks from cars, tallis and yarmulke in tow; professors corralling tykes in itchy clothes; some students in slacks and sport coats and some in khakis and sweaters; security guards in dark uniforms, hired to keep the peace. While everyone looked different, everyone tried to look their best.
As I mill about the beloved Class of ’53 Commons (colloquially adored as “Foco”), I cannot help but stop and reminisce on a somewhat nostalgic cavalcade of bygone pizzas and one-off lobster dinners. It strikes me that this glorious facility — this Sistine Chapel of student sustenance — has proven the backdrop of my most iconic collegiate memories.
Blink, blink, blink. As I stared blankly into the plain white abyss, the intimidating brigade of metronomic blinks seemed to grow louder and louder without making a single noise. How could a cursor, an enemy no longer than 20 pixels make me, a 6-foot-3-inch first-year, feel so defenseless? My already intense feelings of torment, defeat and worry manifested into a single nightmare of emptiness, my fervent and enthusiastic inspirations felt as though they had evaporated into thin air. I was distraught. For every moment my LED-illuminated eyes stared at my blinking nemesis, I could feel an arrogant cursor staring back at me. I’ve been staring at “Write a caption...” on Instagram for five minutes.
Rush is coming to a close and for yet another year, glaring issues with women’s rush remain. Women’s rush has long entailed a condensed speed dating-like process in which “potential new members” talk to multiple sisters of the house for all houses in the first round. Though the rush process has long needed improvements, recent events have made this conversation even more relevant — namely, the loss of shakeout for Epsilon Kappa Theta sorority and the “drop” policy changes mid-process.
Campus was abuzz the last week of September with reunions for the Classes of 1944, 1949 and 1954. Dartmouth’s Homecoming is on Oct. 11, a part of the 250th anniversary celebrations. Alumni will be out in full force, connecting with current students and returning to their old stomping grounds.
Earlier this September, the Department of Education ordered sweeping changes to a Middle Eastern studies program run jointly by Duke University and the University of North Carolina. The MES program was rebuked for not complying with Title VI, which grants federal funding to international studies programs, and criticized for various reasons, including the placement of “considerable emphasis on ... the positive aspects of Islam” and an absence of “positive” imagery of Judaism and Christianity. Assistant secretary for postsecondary education Robert King, author of the official statement published by the DOE. regarding Duke-UNC’s consortium, also disparaged the program for its irrelevance to “the development of foreign language and international expertise for the benefit of U.S. national security and economic stability.”
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau is the latest public figure to fall from grace. A few weeks ago, a photo of him wearing brownface at a party in 2001 surfaced. He acknowledged that this was not the only time he had worn brownface or blackface. He apologized. The jury is still out on whether he will be forgiven.
Robert Hunter, one of the psychedelic era’s foremost songwriters, died last Monday, finishing what was certainly a long, strange trip around and around the sun.
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.