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Li Shen: One Year Out, One Year Closer

(05/29/18 6:00am)

In less than one week, I will have officially finished my freshman year at Dartmouth. In numbers, it looked like this: nine classes, eight opinion columns written for The Dartmouth, seven rejected applications (as a caveat, two rejections came from the same place), six close friends whom I treasure dearly, five days a week (every week) when I did not get enough sleep, four dramatic emotional outbursts, three pairs of lost headphones, two embarrassing incidents featuring me dropping food and making a mess at various dining locations and one constant cycle of oscillation. I am referring to the way I swung — back and forth, up and down, forward and backward — from one extreme to another: jubilance to despair, serenity to panic, confidence to shame, pride to humility. It was truly the best of times and the worst of times.

Verbum Ultimum: Retracing Dartmouth's Roots

(05/25/18 6:15am)

Take a trip down memory lane, back to 1769, when Dartmouth was taking its first steps. The College was founded to serve as an institution to educate Native Americans. Despite this, Dartmouth’s relationship with Native Americans has been complicated; the College had no more than 20 Native students throughout the first 200 years of its history. Perhaps to pay homage to its past, and in recognition of its changing cultural values, Dartmouth has now enrolled more Native American students than all other Ivy League institutions combined, and the College’s Native American Studies program has become one of the most highly regarded in the country. 

Ghavri: Where Are the Asians?

(05/24/18 6:10am)

May is Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPIHM) in the United States, and Dartmouth has been recognizing the month through programming over the past few weeks. The theme of this year’s AAPIHM at Dartmouth has been “Counter Currents: Beyond the Surface,” which was meant to highlight and uplift identities and narratives that are typically subsumed and homogenized within mainstream definitions of “Asian,” “Asian-American” and “Pacific Islander.” Much of the programming planned by this year’s AAPIHM committee has centered around deconstructing perceptions of identity and making new connections and solidarities with those identities, which typically do not get included in popular discourse of what being “Asian” is. This impulse toward further reflection, critique and inclusion in Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities should be lauded. In my view, Pan-Asian activists and community members should take a step further and seek to deconstruct how “Asia” emerged as a geographical unit in order to understand how and to what degree myriad people from various populations in “Asia” do and do not self-define as “Asian.”

Ahsan: What We Owe Each Other

(05/24/18 6:05am)

While it would be impossible to pay attention to every jumbled phrase that streams out of the President’s mouth, the impulse to ignore him is tempered by the sobering reality that his offhand statements often become the policy direction of the United States government. This seems to be the case with a comment he made recently in which he referred to MS-13 gang members as “animals,” a statement that the White House doubled down on Monday with a Breitbart-style press release entitled “What you need to know about the violent animals of MS-13.” Trump’s tendency to vilify all undocumented people and conflate immigrant communities with violent criminals is well-documented, and to parse his general incoherence in order to pretend he or his administration care to make any real distinction is intellectual dishonesty at its boldest. One only needs to ask what to make of the families of these so-called “animals” or the communities they live in to recognize the real intent of this rhetoric.

Harris: Consent is Complex

(05/24/18 6:15am)

In a recent column entitled “Yes Means Yes,” Jillian Freeman ’21 laid out an argument against the phrase “unenthusiastic consent is not consent.” Unfortunately, this argument is disconnected from the power dynamics and pressures regarding sex and consent. All too often, propositions for sexual contact happen under circumstances of coercion, where unenthusiastic consent is often an escape route from a more unsavory outcome. The reality is that men control the power dynamic of potential sexual encounters and can pressure their partners to consent, even implicitly. Clearly, no one would fault the victim of a robbery for consenting to have their wallet stolen when threatened at gunpoint; obviously, their consent in that situation should not be considered valid.

Letter to the Editor: Register as an Organ Donor

(05/24/18 6:00am)

Most people excitedly await the coming festivities of their 21st birthday and their first legal taste of alcohol. However, this celebration is often coupled with a more mundane activity: renewing their driver’s license at the Department of Motor Vehicles. This boring trip to the DMV, however, could actually be the most important part of birthdays. This is because at the DMV, people can register to become organ donors — addressing a little-known, but major nationwide problem with the simple checking of a box.

Freeman: Yes Means Yes

(05/22/18 6:05am)

I have recently seen signs around campus proclaiming the phrase, “Unenthusiastic consent is not consent.” It is imperative, and in the best interest of all students on this campus, to demonstrate why this saying is extremely problematic. Although catchy, this contradictory statement creates subjectivity around what actually constitutes “consent,” since the expression of enthusiasm is not objective. Consequently, cases could arise in which one accuses another of a crime as serious as sexual assault simply because although the first person said “yes,” and the second person took that as their word, the first person wasn’t genuinely enthusiastic about it.

Fight Conformity

(05/18/18 7:20am)

“Live authentically.” That’s such a common thing to hear, and it’s something most people likely believe. People tend to think of themselves as genuine, and everyone constantly hears how they should explore their interests, develop their passions and otherwise form an independent identity. People seem to know that they should stand up for what they believe in. They understand that they shouldn’t define themselves by a stereotype. But unfortunately, at Dartmouth, students often ignore that.

Activism and Student Turnover

(05/18/18 7:05am)

Colleges breed social activism. Thousands of young people from every corner of the country and beyond live together on one campus, bringing with them unique perspectives on issues both personal and political. In this melting pot of opinions, viewpoints collide to create either unity or tension, and movements take root under the leadership of inspired activists. Students arrive here bursting with ideas that they’ve brought from back home, many of them eager to share these ideas with their new community. They’re fueled further by an expansive liberal arts education and exposure to all kinds of new people. Perhaps most importantly, perceived injustices within the very institutions people attend motivate them to create change at the local level.

The Next Generation

(05/18/18 7:10am)

When Eric Libre ’85 arrived for his first year at Dartmouth in 1981, he found a school that was outdoorsy, down-to-earth, health-focused and thoroughly Greek. He absorbed all he could in his 150-student pre-medicine lecture classes while the biology and chemistry majors around him furiously scribbled their notes. But Eric Libre wanted more from his Dartmouth experience than what a one-dimensional focus on STEM could offer him. He pursued his passions in the humanities, socratically engaging with the origins of modern culture through history and Italian. He worked hard, using his D-Plan to secure off-campus work and research opportunities at the National Institute of Health and at local hospitals. When it came time to pick a major on his premed track, Eric Libre excitedly told the biology department head of his plans to combine STEM and the humanities through a new bioethics major — the professor told him he “wasn’t sure that fits” under premed. Under pressure but unwilling to give up on a liberal arts education, Eric Libre majored in history modified with Italian before heading to a top medical school in 1985.

Realistic Bodies

(05/18/18 7:15am)

Society dictates the ideal body. For women, it’s thin with luscious hair. For men, it’s broad shoulders with lean muscles. And for students at colleges with deep athletic traditions, the pressure to have an “ideal” body intensifies because so many people are physically fit. As Michaela Artavia-High ’21 noted in her recent Mirror piece, “Buff: The Ideal Male Body,” the connection between the demands of athletics and body image adds a layer of complexity to how everyone, including non-athletes, views themselves.

Allard: Independent for Independence

(05/17/18 6:15am)

A few months after I turned 17, I dragged my mom with me to the crowded Harlem Department of Motor Vehicles in New York City. After three hours of waiting and a disturbingly easy test — think, “What does a red octagonal street sign mean?” — we made it to the front of the line, where I received my learner’s permit. Since I was to turn 18 before the end of that calendar year, the DMV employee recommended that I register to vote while I was there. I considered myself liberal and my parents were Democrats, so without much deliberation or discussion, I became a registered member of the Democratic Party in New York. 

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