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Last Thursday, a bipartisan group of Senate lawmakers unveiled a revised version of a criminal justice reform plan that was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this year. Although lawmakers and media sources have referred to this document as a general criminal justice reform bill, the proposed legislation, especially after being amended to appeal to Republican senators, is far too narrow in its scope and does not go far enough to address the discriminatory practices of the justice system that disproportionately impacts men of color in this country.
Almost exactly a year ago today, I made the decision to come to Dartmouth. Unlike many of my peers, my choice was not entirely an easy one. Picturesque Hanover was nothing like the bustling streets of New York City. It was by all means quieter and more beautiful, with the fresh air and grassy scent that seem all but impossible to find in the city, but it was also more isolated and far less familiar. Dartmouth gave me the ideal, dreamy “Ivy-League” education, but at a cost. From a financial standpoint, I could have chosen a college that offered me a merit scholarship equivalent to a full ride. This scholarship would have provided the opportunity for a guaranteed job at a prestigious institution for four years at no cost and would have been an excellent source from which to develop the skills I needed for the field I then imagined I would be heading into. But I decided to let my heart think, and I chose the dream instead.
To put it bluntly, I thought Divest Dartmouth was pointless. I strongly believe that climate change should be our foremost concern, but it seemed that Divest Dartmouth didn’t have any concrete goals, and I didn’t buy into the idea that “morally bankrupting” energy companies counted as doing anything productive. I’ve always been unenthusiastic about activism that doesn’t propose solutions or set goals. T-shirts and megaphones do not social change make. But I missed something in this analysis. There is a strategy to Divest Dartmouth, one that is less easily assigned a dollar value or measured in parts per million: making colleges divest is a way to tap into their symbolism and influence. In my view, divestment isn’t about affecting fossil fuel-burning companies’ finances — it’s about renowned institutions sending a message of urgency.
“Walang pasok sa Metro Manila,” the broadcaster announces. Classes canceled.
Mental health is complex and nuanced, and therefore many aspects of mental health are widely misunderstood, then neglected due to a combination of outdated stigmas and a lack of comprehensive scientific understanding. People often assume that mental health means only the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, ignoring the fact that everyone requires some mental upkeep, regardless of whether or not their specific experience fits the textbook definition of a mental disorder. There are few times in someone’s life when they are at greater risk of mental health challenges than when they are in college. Students face everything from experiencing loneliness, to dealing with, separation from one’s family to determining career paths. All of this exacerbates issues that many are already struggling with, and the data reflects this. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in three students reports having experience prolonged periods of depression, one in four students reports having suicidal thoughts or feelings, and one in seven students reports having difficulty functioning at school due to mental illness. The director of NAMI, Ken Duckworth of Harvard Medical School, highlights the importance of this issue, saying, “Undiagnosed mental illness can cause people to withdraw socially, drop out of school, engage in substance abuse, or exhibit other unsettling behaviors.” With the importance of mental health to our well being, as well as the risk that college students face regarding mental illness, one would think that this would be a top priority for schools all around the country, especially Dartmouth. However, the reality is that the College is not doing nearly enough to take care of us mentally, especially considering its stated goals in the past.
About 17 percent of Dartmouth’s student body is from the South. Despite this, many non-Southern students act in total awe whenever they meet a classmate from the region.
With childhood and adult obesity rates remaining high and posing significant health problems in American society, it is important that colleges prepare students to become healthy adults. However, the College’s P.E. requirements place an undue burden on students and do not support building healthy habits.
With just over a month until Commencement, my inbox has been besieged by cheerful blitzes encouraging me to contribute to the Senior Class Gift. These contributions are supposed to make a Dartmouth education affordable for the entering freshman class. More realistically, the recommended donations of $20.16 barely dent one of the more expensive price tags in the Ivy League: a $66,174 direct cost of attendance for the 2016-2017 school year. The Senior Class Gift’s primary utility, rather, is as an indicator of the graduating class’s satisfaction with the college, used as a public relations tool to compare our rate of giving with those at our peer institutions.
Replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, along with placing women and civil rights activists on other bills, is a subtle way of creating sociopolitical change. Seeing new faces on our money won’t solve any big policy problems. Nevertheless, it redefines the way we think of our nation’s founders and, perhaps more importantly, symbolizes that the politics of race and gender have a place in our society.
Choosing a college is an important decision. Each year, students spend dozens of hours discussing with their parents, teachers, counselors and coaches where they would like to spend the next few years of their lives. They pore over statistics, rankings and testimonials, trying to decide which school is the best fit. And data is everywhere: A prospective student can go online to find anything from financial aid statistics to the average class size to the number of robberies on campus.
Though it is always concerning when societies implement a culture of censorship, more concerning still are the attempts to defend it. Jessica Lu ’18’s April 20 column “Considerate Correctness” is exactly such an attempt, and I must voice my vehement disagreement with her position. A culture of political correctness is not only antithetical to the core values that Dartmouth should uphold, but it also sets a dangerous precedent for higher education across the country.
On April 20, the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network hosted a panel on the digital rights of artists. The panelists agreed that there needs to be a cultural shift in how we think about the value that content creators provide.
HBO’s critically acclaimed fantasy drama “Game of Thrones” returns this Sunday with its sixth season. The series has attracted record numbers of viewers on HBO and developed a particularly extensive and active international fan base. Based on the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series of epic fantasy novels written by George R. R. Martin, the television series is set to overtake the books with its sixth season. Without a textual basis for season six, the show’s producer and Dartmouth alumnus David Benioff ’92 and his co-producer D. B. Weiss will have broad leeway in telling Martin’s story. The show’s actors and producers have received widespread praise for their acting, storytelling, production values, scope and complex characters – winning 26 Primetime Emmy awards for their efforts. Why do millions of viewers return to the world of ice and fire year after year to watch their favorite characters get killed off? The popularity of “Game of Thrones” is partially reflective of the broader trend of increasing interest in novel big-budget, high production value television dramas, as well as a more cynical and disillusioned viewing audience.
Most of you probably remember that the United States women’s national soccer team won the Fédération Internationale de Football Association World Cup last year. And if you do not recall this exciting victory, I’m willing to bet that it was far more popular news than the men’s team coming in 15th place the year before. This polarity in international prestige between the men’s and women’s soccer teams is not just a recent phenomenon. The U.S. men’s national soccer team has participated in several World Cups, with their best season occurring in 1930 when they came in third, followed by their more recent second best in 2002 when they reached the quarterfinals. By contrast, the women’s team has won three World Cups and four Olympic gold medals since 1991. In 2015 alone, they generated $20 million more in revenue than the men’s team. The catch? The women are paid a mere fourth of what the men earn.
Recently, I’ve been undergoing a crisis of identity. I consider myself liberal, progressive, woke — all those buzzwords that The Dartmouth’s frequent commenters love to decry as a disease of foolish millennials. I’ve spent most of my opinion-writing career on issues of intersectionality, on bringing light to problematic behaviors that are overlooked despite the profound impact they have on those they target. I’ve used this space to contribute to a discourse that may be one of the defining conversations of this generation. This time, and I think perhaps for the first time, I’ve finally figured out where I stand and where I think we all should stand.
It’s getting hot in Hanover. And as the temperature rises, so does the number of people wearing sunglasses, boat shoes, salmon shorts and, you would hope, sunblock. Unfortunately, a 2013 survey reviewed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that a minority of respondents, only 14.3 percent of men and 29.9 percent of women, regularly use sunscreen on their face and other exposed skin. Those of us who both buy and apply sunblock on a regular basis will know that the drug store has a whole litany of options available when it comes to lathering up before going outside.
My “New Hampshire for Bernie” poster has started to look forlorn lately as it rests against my dorm window. Senator Bernie Sanders was an upstart back in February, when I cast my vote in the primary for him. But whatever small chance Sanders had has all but disappeared in light of the New York primary. He received 42 percent of the vote in New York, placing him 741 delegates behind Hillary Clinton. FiveThirtyEight, a website that focuses on statistical analysis stories, suggests that Sanders is struggling to stay within 90 percent of the delegates he would need to win. A Clinton Democratic nomination, and likely presidency, seems to be the foregone conclusion.
The group of misfit women who established Kappa Delta Epsilon sorority in 1993 initiated the house’s traditional “Derby” party. These women created a home for themselves beyond the existing options in Greek life. When mulling over a spring “darty” theme, these local sisters thought of the horse racing parties, such as the Kentucky Derby and the Carolina Cup, that are the staple theme for springtime sorority parties in the South. Considering this, sisters have in years past invited guests and dressed in hats and flair rather than dresses to make a creative and light-hearted “mockery” of the typical parties thrown by their nationally affiliated counterparts.
With the recent blitzstorm about Student Assembly elections, I felt like it would be a good time to write about our governing body. Then I realized I had no idea what Student Assembly actually does. So I did what any curious college student would do: go to the Assembly’s website. A few initial impressions: the landing page is a photo slideshow, of which slides one, two and four are the exact same picture with different captions. The “SA News” section’s last post was on Sept. 16, 2012. The website highlights two of the Assembly’s recent initiatives — the Dartmouth Group Directory and Course Picker. The DGD hasn’t been updated in four years, based on the page for this newspaper, which lists a ’12 as editor-in-chief. The Course Picker, on the other hand, does not work whatsoever. Any attempt to search for a class immediately returns an error. But maybe their website just has some issues — it might not reflect the state of Student Assembly. After all, the recent Bill of Rights website certainly looks great, and maybe the fact that two of their initiatives have gone nowhere is just a coincidence. But if the prevailing opinion on campus is to believed, it’s not.
During a time in which politics dominates many aspects of our lives, from protests to everyday conversations, it’s nice to take a step back and appreciate the little things in life. And newspapers like The New York Times just don’t cut it.