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When Coldplay and Beyoncé released the music video for their new single “Hymn for the Weekend,” they were immediately accused of cultural appropriation. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, cultural appropriation entails the taking over of creative or artistic forms, themes, or practices by one cultural group from another. Generally, we use it to describe Western appropriation of non‐Western or non‐white culture. The music video, shot in Varanasi and Mumbai during the spring festival of Holi, has been criticized for exoticizing India.
For those of you who haven’t yet heard of the Pink Tax, prepare yourselves. A study by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs found that, on average, the “female” version of a product costs seven percent more than its “male” counterpart. The most well-documented examples of this inequity are found in health and beauty products. There’s the pink razor that costs more than the blue razor and the women’s shampoo that costs more than the men’s, despite being made of essentially the same ingredients. For the most part, there is no discernible reason — other than marketing — for the difference in price.
Activism comes in many forms. Whether you are out on a street corner petitioning for better environmental regulations, spending hours phone banking for a favored political candidate or even spreading a hashtag in solidarity with a given movement, now more than ever there are so many mediums through which you can fight for social and political change. I would posit that most, if not all, students on this campus have participated in activism of one form or another — some taking more energy-intensive and serious actions to combat perceived problems in society, and some sticking to the realm of online activism.
While brainstorming a title for an award for an event I was involved in organizing last year, we tired of coming up with eloquent ways to describe an advocate of the program. I added “activist” to our whiteboard. Although words like “ambassador” and even “supporter” were still viable candidates, “activist” was immediately wiped off the board due to its negative connotations. Growing up in a neighborhood a block away from Goldman Sachs and having had to encounter Occupy Wall Street protesters on my evening commute, I was not new to activism and all it entails, positive or otherwise. Although I can see why certain activist groups and protesters might conjure a negative image in certain circles, it seemed unfair to generally characterize a term in that manner, especially since activism is so prominent in our culture.
Much ink has been spilled about student activism and the role it should have in policy discourse both on campuses and on a national level. From the coverage of the Dimensions of Dartmouth protests in 2013 to the media explosion surrounding the Black Lives Matter protests this past fall, Dartmouth has been one of the colleges at the center of the conversation about student activism. The discourse about the merits and methods of these actions and others is incredibly important, and it’s one that we hope can continue to exist in a constructive way. However, a discussion about another form of activism, the effects of which are equally as important and arguably longer lasting than that of the student variety, seldom takes place. Although it rarely comes up, we cannot ignore the importance of the role of faculty activism on campus and beyond. Between their continuous presence at the College over the years and the power and influence their positions afford them, faculty members can have a huge impact. As students we must recognize the role of faculty in activism and ensure that we do our part to help create an environment in which faculty members are comfortable publicly voicing their beliefs.
In the jungles of the strange wilderness known as the internet resides the very vocal, temperamental species that the media has christened the “Social Justice Warrior.” Indeed, they are all too happy to liken themselves to activists in the image of Susan B. Anthony or Rosa Parks. Ideology is their battlefield, the hashtag their weapon of choice. Their rallying cry echoes amidst the wastelands of the world wide web, from atop the soapboxes they call Facebook and Tumblr. They scream, they beat their chests, they raise a deafening yell before the final battle. Onwards, for social justice!
The current Republican presidential race features two first-term senators running for the most powerful office in the world. Are they really prepared for the position of commander in chief? Both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are highly intelligent people, but they have not had to make a single consequential decision from an executive position. Moreover, their time in office has been short and without significant accomplishments. The same 2008 GOP concerns over then Barack Obama’s lack of executive experience and lack of time spent in Washington cultivating relationships apply to both Rubio and Cruz. Both candidates’ non-existent executive experience and short history of holding office means they would have a difficult time bringing people together and would most certainly struggle in the White House.
Walking around this week, I’ve seen more people wearing their Greek letters than usual. Despite some dismissing the wearing of letters as too passive a mode of protest, it was a reminder to many of us of the news that broke last week: the suspension and subsequent derecognition of the historic Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.Over the past year, two of the most controversial Greek houses on campus have been derecognized by the college. Last year, Alpha Delta fraternity of “Animal House” (1978) fame was derecognized and now SAE, infamous after Andrew Lohse’s “Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy: A Memoir” (2014), has also been dissolved.
The 2016 presidential campaign is critical for mitigating climate change and preventing the loss of human lives, both in the future and the present. With growing public awareness, environmental issues have become a central focus on the campaign trail. Now that these issues have been brought into the conversation, we all have a responsibility to vote for a better future, today.
On Feb. 5, The Dartmouth Review published a response to articles written by myself and Matthew Goldstein criticizing the state of news at the College. On the whole, it was a fair defense of some of the Review’s current practices and displayed an admirable sense of mission. Although I believe that a couple elements of my piece were mischaracterized — the conservative image and spirit of the Review, I feel, are of central importance to the paper’s efficacy but should not rely on inflammatory invocations of the Indian symbol — it is encouraging to see that someone on this campus is thinking seriously about how to properly do journalism. I am happy to have helped spark such thinking, and I am sure that Goldstein feels similarly.
No one doubts, at least no Democrats doubt, that Hillary Clinton is one of the most qualified presidential candidates today. As a lawyer, community service worker, first lady during the Clinton administration, United States senator from New York and most recently Secretary of State for four years, she definitely fits the bill to be the first woman president of the United States.
I love Bernie (the other one, not me) and agree with most of his positions. However, I will be voting for Hillary Clinton today because she will make a better president for our country and a better leader for our chaotic world. Not only does she have the intelligence, knowledge and broad experience needed for the job, but she also has demonstrated a life long commitment to improving the well-being of all peoples.
I’m definitely not a morning person but last Monday, at 4:30 a.m., I stood in some nondescript Chinese restaurant’s parking lot, in the freezing cold, clustered around the flatbed of a Ford in Concord to welcome the newly arrived Sen. Bernie Sanders to his next primary state. Later that day, when I woke up in the early afternoon, I watched some footage of the previous night’s event on MSNBC. One of the reporters described Sanders’ rally as “American politics at its best.”
When discussing the polarization of American politics, pundits often act as if the categories Democrat and Republican reflect deep ideological divides, and that the truth lies somewhere in the center.
Welcome to the newest installment of, “How much further can the administrators drive Dartmouth into the ground?” In the past two weeks, the College derecognized one fraternity and suspended a sorority and a gender-inclusive house. It is quite apparent that the administrators have an anti-Greek agenda.
Last January, College President Phil Hanlon announced “Moving Dartmouth Forward.” MDF aimed to cultivate a healthier campus culture through addressing issues including inclusivity, high-risk drinking and academics. The initiatives announced included a ban on all hard alcohol, a new residential housing system, a mandatory four-year sexual violence prevention program and an increased focus on academics, outlining ways to increase “academic rigor.” The latter was in response to faculty concern over the decline of intellectual pursuits at the College.
Dartmouth is supposedly a pretty safe campus. I have a friend who feels comfortable leaving her backpack (with her laptop, textbooks and other expensive items) in Baker Berry Library or even Collis for hours on end. I myself feel fine walking home from the library late at night despite the unreliable streetlights that often turn off while I walk past them. I hear many people talk about how lucky we are to be at such a safe school. But is Dartmouth really so much safer than other schools? While I acknowledge that extreme paranoia isn’t positive and feeling safe should be a top priority, it’s a good idea to evaluate why we feel safer here compared to students at other college campuses.
The results of the Iowa caucus dealt Donald Trump and his supporters a pretty heavy blow. Sen. Ted Cruz triumphed over Trump by more than three percentage points. While this was a narrow margin, it was decidedly larger than the one Hillary Clinton managed to gain over Sanders. Regardless of party affiliation, American voters were on the edge of their seats. Clinton’s win was certainly a cause for celebration among her supporters, they shouldn’t have been too overjoyed. The Vermont senator’s remarkably close finish against the former Secretary of State demonstrates that he is a credible threat to her campaign.
If you are like me, you have long known at a base, emotional level that the whole policy cycle — agenda setting, development solutions, decision-making and implementation — does not involve you. Wars are started, poverty ignored, the climate thrown out of balance and the police/prison system develops without anyone asking you — no survey, phone call, vote or post card. Not only were you not consulted, but in all likelihood no one you have ever known has ever had any impact on any policy outcome (though this is less true at Dartmouth).
Will you support the party with which you identify regardless of who wins the nomination? Why or why not?