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When I toured Dartmouth, I remember being fascinated by the D-Plan — what an interesting and innovative idea, I thought. However, as I write during my off-term, I am struck by the many, many downsides to Dartmouth’s venerated D-Plan. Impressively, it manages to make both social and academic life more stressful and difficult — two birds with one stone — while also representing the outcome of a remarkably sexist decision made in the 1970s.
The weather is warm, the birds are chirping and Dartmouth students are once more emerging from their respective dens of sin and iniquity to bask in the ephemeral glory of the New Hampshire spring. Just a few days ago, a few of the good brothers of Theta Delta Chi fraternity and I decided to play a game of pong. This game of pong, however, came with a twist. Instead of playing in the muck and squalor of the TDX basement, we thought, hell, why not go play pong outside? So we set up a table on our lawn, cranked up a speaker and got to work. It felt pretty innocent, perhaps even wholesome — just a couple of good friends having a few beers on a Saturday afternoon and enjoying the good weather. Or so we thought. As soon as they got wind of our outdoor pong game, Safety and Security officers arrived with a response time likely faster than the local police. After a cordial greeting, we were told by the Safety and Security officers that our game was, in fact, against the rules. Specifically, students are forbidden to drink “outside of, or on the grounds of, residence halls, Greek facilities, undergraduate and senior societies, academic affinities, special interest houses or other student organizational facilities and in any other specified areas including decks, porches, fire escapes and roofs,” to quote Dartmouth’s Official Alcohol and Drug Use Policy.
On Wednesday, the Graduate Organized Laborers of Dartmouth won their vote to unionize by an 89% margin. Although this week’s vote was a triumph for the rights of student workers, the path to arrive at this point has been ridden with attempts by the College to derail GOLD-UE’s unionization efforts. Prior to this week’s vote, the College announced it would continue its efforts to delay its recognition of GOLD-UE, claiming that large portions of the graduate student population were ineligible to vote based on the technicalities of how they are paid. The lengths that the College has gone to in order to impede graduate students’ rights to unionize are embarrassing and unbecoming for a school of Dartmouth’s standing and resources. We call on the College to end its union-busting methods and take steps to ensure that student workers’ rights to unionize are never infringed upon again.
In the past year, Stanford University has come under fire for its poor treatment of Stanford students. A November lawsuit alleges that Stanford’s accusations against Stanford women’s soccer goalkeeper Katie Meyer directly contributed to her suicide a year ago. Subsequently, several articles appeared describing the stifling atmosphere the bureaucratic administration has created on Stanford’s campus in the last decade. A piece from Palladium Magazine explained how Stanford administrators have “eviscerated a hundred years of undergraduate culture and student groups” in their efforts to sanitize campus of any tradition or institution that could lead to bad publicity. Another article from The Stanford Daily described how the cancellation of the fraternity event Eurotrash last fall led to students making posters with the words “Stanford is Anti-Fun.” The recent coverage attributed the growth of Stanford’s unaccountable, overreaching administrative bureaucracy to the loss of student freedoms on Stanford’s campus.
We are currently amidst a sea of calamities. There’s the recent expulsion of two Black Tennessee state legislators from their seats for having the gall to partake in a protest advocating for gun control that cruelly didn’t make its targets feel all warm and fuzzy inside. There’s the ever-shrinking legality of abortion in states across the country. Some Republican politicians in Wisconsin have childishly threatened to impeach newly-elected state Supreme Court justice Janet Protasiewicz before she has even taken office. There’s the ongoing assault on LGBTQ+ individuals in wide swaths of this country. We just found out one of our Supreme Court justices has been taking lavish and likely illegal gifts under the table from Republican megadonors for the past 20 — that’s right, two-zero — years. If that wasn’t enough, Iowa and Arkansas are trying to make sweatshop-style child labor cool again, too. I, for one, need something to look forward to.
Graduate student-workers at Dartmouth formed the Graduate Organized Laborers of Dartmouth-United Electrical Workers — GOLD-UE — out of a dire need to improve our quality of life. I joined the GOLD-UE Organizing Committee in April 2022 because I personally felt this obvious need. Though I’m fortunate to be advancing in my career, my living conditions have only worsened over the past four years. I’ve had to remain in the same apartment because finding better, more affordable places to live is nearly impossible. At the same time, my rent has increased by $300 per month, while my pay has not kept pace. Without reliable public transportation from where I live in Vermont, I’ve had no choice but to take on credit card debt to cover essential — and expensive — maintenance when my car’s brakes failed and wheel bearings needed urgent replacement. I’ve only visited the dentist twice in the past four years because Dartmouth offers us no dental coverage. I consider myself lucky to have avoided further crippling medical debt because Dartmouth doesn’t provide us adequate health insurance coverage. It shouldn’t be controversial to say that Dartmouth’s graduate students need a union. Only since the formation of GOLD-UE has Dartmouth started to take our pleas for a cost of living adjustment and other necessary changes seriously.
Last week, the Dartmouth community learned that the College possesses the remains of 15 Native American individuals — a discovery resulting from the re-inventories of the Hood Museum and anthropology department archives. Since then, the College has created a task force to ensure these remains are returned to their respective tribes. This announcement directly impacted students who had interacted with these bones in ANTH 43: “Human Osteology” and ANTH 50: “Forensic Anthropology” last fall. In addition, many Native students on campus grieved in reaction to the news — and rightfully so.
Last week, the College announced its discovery of 15 Native American individual remains in collections held at the Hood Museum of Art and used recently in anthropology classes. The College plans to return these remains to federally recognized tribes in compliance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990. It also offered support in the form of counseling to students affected by this discovery and announced the creation of a task force “to address institution-wide issues beyond NAGPRA.” We ask: “Was the College sufficient in its response to this discovery? If not, what do you feel was missing?”
As the presidential nominee process for 2024 barrels towards us, future candidates are deep into planning their campaigns, refining their messages and scheduling rallies. As Governor Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., and his staff do the same, they ought to consider the governor’s somewhat brilliantly dexterous environmental policies. Governor DeSantis’ environmental strategies appeal to environmentally-conscious conservatives, giving him an edge over other Republican presidential candidates come 2024. DeSantis has successfully avoided being painted as economically damaging or leftist, which causes Republican and Republican-leaning voters to balk at voting for moderates or Democrats with strong climate change policies. In stark contrast to Democrats, Governor DeSantis’ environmental policies instead capitalize on fears of economic damage and “leftist” labeled policies. By assuring Republicans that his environmental policies will exclude leftist beliefs, DeSantis quiets these concerns.
As the March 24 deadline for professors to input winter grades rolled around last week, students checked DartHub with anticipation to see how they performed in their courses. But even as students received letter grades denoting their overall performance in their classes, not all of them had access to the final papers and examinations that supposedly finalized the marks on their transcript.
At a meeting of Hanover’s Electric Aggregation Committee in mid-February, students from Dartmouth’s Energy Justice Clinic watched as committee members voted unanimously to launch Hanover’s Community Choice Aggregation plan. The vote signals an achievement in a years-long effort to bring Community Power to New Hampshire. The launch of Community Power this spring is a chance for New Hampshire businesses and residents — including some Dartmouth students, staff and faculty — to take control over where their electricity comes from.
Author’s disclosure: with three classmates and fellow advocates, Terence M. Hughes is a co-author on one of the 13 articles published in the American Medical Association Journal of Ethics January 2023 special edition, entitled “Medical Student-Driven Efforts to Incorporate Segregated Care Into Their Curriculum.”
Winning the votes of environmentally-conscious Republicans and Republican-leaning independent voters would be a huge boost for Democrats in 2024. According to the Climate Center in 2020, 68% of all Republicans between the ages of 18 and 54 report climate change as an important factor in casting their vote — a camp large enough to bolster the Democrat’s support base in the upcoming election. But securing that cohort’s vote will require Democrats to adjust their party’s messaging around climate change policies — specifically, the party should assuage Republican concerns surrounding any potential negative economic impacts of environmental efforts and the issue’s politicization. To do so, they must emphasize the popularity of President Biden’s climate policies among non-Democrats, as well as their economic benefits — particularly the benefits they could bring to blue-collar workers.
In Palestine, the situation is dire. In 2023, as many Palestinians have been murdered as there have been days in the year. As recently as this Sunday, Israeli settlers set fire to more than 30 Palestinian homes and injured hundreds of Palestinian civilians in a series of violent massacres, prompting even Israeli commentators to liken it to the pogroms of Jews in Eastern Europe and Nazi Germany’s Kristallnacht. These settlers enjoy the protection of the Israeli government, and many go unpunished by Israeli courts. In fact, far from being punished, some now hold key positions in the Israeli government: Itamar Ben Gvier, a settler who has previously advocated for “death to Arabs,” is now the minister of national security, in charge of police in both Israel and the West Bank.
Last week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases that challenge President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. President Biden’s plan, introduced by executive order in August 2022, eliminates $10,000 in loan debt for most borrowers and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients. The plan also caps the income eligibility of those receiving loan forgiveness at $125,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples.
The other morning, I was chatting with a friend of mine who goes to college in a big city. About halfway through the phone call, he realized that he was out of milk and a few other groceries. “No worries,” he said, “I’ll just run across the street to grab some more.” Jokingly, I remarked, “Oh, off to the nearest CVS?” After a pause, he replied, “uh… why would I ever go to CVS for groceries?”