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At Dartmouth, it is practically impossible to escape the Greek system. If you’re hard at work in the Class of 1902 Room, you notice when new sorority sisters run through dressed in flair. On your walk home from the Stacks, you notice when a large group of brothers walk down Webster Avenue. Greek houses affect all Dartmouth students, whether or not they are affiliated.
Every four years, presidential candidates and their supporters stress the importance of the current election. Hyperbolic statements about the apocalyptic future that would be in store for us if the other person wins color every cycle. However, we can say, without a great deal of reservation, that this election is at least one of the most important in the last quarter century — or even in the last 80 years, according to some experts. Before us stand two candidates that seem to be diametrically opposed, if not on every single issue then at least in experience, values and demeanor. It is traditional for The Dartmouth to endorse a candidate for president. During this election in particular, we feel a responsibility to make the case to all of our readers, whatever their political affiliations, that there is only one choice to be made if our country’s prosperity, future and values are to be secured. That is why, after much deliberation, we the editorial staff have chosen to endorse Hillary Rodham Clinton for President of the United States.
If you’re a Donald Trump supporter at Dartmouth, you might as well be invisible. In visiting campus this past week, Bill Clinton continued the trend of liberal candidates speaking to liberal students on an overwhelmingly liberal campus. This trend implies that it’s acceptable if “you’re with her,” but there’s no place for you here if you want to “make America great again.”
The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College has recently refined its mission statement. Along with the headline, “Tuck educates wise leaders to better the world of business,” Tuck has integrated a small paragraph explaining the meaning of wisdom:
I apologize in advance if this column comes across as a petulant plea from a hopelessly jaded senior. While yes, I am a member of the Class of 2017 graduating this spring, no, I am not jaded.
I don’t feel lonely at 2 a.m. when I hole myself up in King Arthur Flour with the musical compositions of Dmitri Shostakovich secretly blasting through my earphones. Many of my fellow crammers are unfamiliar with orchestral music’s power to soothe angst, so no, I don’t feel lonely then. Nor do I feel lonely when I embark across the long, cold walk back to my dorm in the Lodge (thank you, housing system) across a deathly silent campus. To be honest, my days are quite busy, and I get very little time to actually be alone. I welcome the peace and quiet as I walk home.
In my past three years at Dartmouth, my absolute favorite moments have been when I’ve failed. Let me explain.
A friend of mine recently argued that you cannot be both a brother in a fraternity and a good runner. While I’m not here to dissect the scrupulous grind of long-distance running or the singular focus it requires, I raise the topic for a point: There is a particular lifestyle associated with being in a fraternity, and that lifestyle, at least to my friend, is counterproductive to athletic achievement, at least with regards to running. I disagree.
As a female chess player, I had to prepare myself every time I stepped into the tournament hall for one simple truth: I would most likely be the only woman there. Sure, there are women that play chess — the tournaments for younger children or lower ranked players are filled with them, but as they get older and the playing level increases, almost all drop out, unable to handle the pressure of having to constantly prove their worth in a field where few appreciate female effort.
In the weeks leading up to the election, we as potential voters are bombarded with a constant stream of messages and calls to action. From electing the proper presidential candidate to stave off impending doom to making sure that we vote on the newest amendment to “preserve family values,” every election comes with a tidal wave of contradicting directions from both sides of the aisle. One message it seems that everyone can agree on, however, is that everyone who can register to vote should do so to make sure that they can cast a ballot on Election Day.
We the rejects of sorority recruitment are here. We exist, in the flesh.
Western society has always placed a premium on debate. From the early forums of Rome to the current political boxing ring, intellectual activity has been consistently built on discussion. Yet this blind worship of discourse has its drawbacks, notably when it comes to how easily it can silence minority voices. We as a society are so insistent on proving our own points that we unintentionally silence those who need to be heard the most.
On Wednesday, I had breakfast with South House professor Kathryn Lively to discuss ways to improve the new housing system at the College. Before our meeting, I was admittedly skeptical: According to upperclassmen, the housing system was a device engineered by the administration to squash the Greek system and micromanage student life. I was told that the administration was opaque and sluggish; in short, good luck trying to get anything meaningful done on campus.
In the final sprint of arguably the most bizarre election in American history, every possible news source is beyond saturated with the words “Trump” and “Clinton.” Like many Americans, I am tired. I am tired of the political vitriol, the crude and indecent dialogue and the utter failure of the media and candidates to ge nuinely address matters of substance. I am tired of having to justify everything as a choice between the lesser of two evils. And most of all, I am tired of feeling embarrassed, as an American citizen, of the international laughingstock we have become.
I have never before spoken as much as I did during rush. Not even during Trips, Orientation or the first few weeks of freshman fall, when I was bombarded by a whirlpool of new stimuli and hundreds of eager fellow freshmen, did I speak that much. By the end of each day of rush, my mouth was dry, my throat hurt and my brain felt fried. Yet, I never would have thought it could actually be fun, especially considering my introverted tendencies and legitimate fear of small talk. Dartmouth is filled to the brim with outstanding, intelligent and bold women who each carry her own unique set of passions and interests. It was an incredible experience to finally meet them — after, unfortunately, an entire year at Dartmouth.
We are often told that diversity is a virtue to treasure. We must be welcoming of all cultures, we are told, and we must accept them with love and tolerance. And indeed, this is a most desirable outcome. Diversity is vital to a thriving society. But, I ask, do these oh-so fierce proponents of diversity understand exactly what it is? Do they, for all their buzzwords and Tumblr savvy, truly grasp what it means to be a “diverse” society?
Donald Trump’s son recently faced criticism for a tweet that compared Syrian refugees to a bowl of Skittles. Accompanied by a graphic of a bowl filled with Skittles, Donald Trump Jr. wrote, “If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful?” Most of the American public found that this image was offensive, trivializing the hardships of refugees and demonstrating a lack of sympathy. After deleting the tweet, Trump Jr. called his post a metaphor for “risk and probability” — but this doesn’t make the image any less problematic.
Most Dartmouth students were introduced to the new house community structures, or “centers,” when they arrived on campus this fall. The new buildings, one of which is located behind Gile Hall and the other behind the tennis courts next to the Alumni Gym, are a product of the new house community system implemented earlier this year as a part of the “Moving Dartmouth Forward” policy initiative. The building by Gile, a wooden, two-story structure, is meant for School and Allen Houses, while the other is meant for South and North Park Houses. Both buildings were designed to be temporary spaces where students from those houses — and others, if they so please — can talk, work and create a social environment all their own. It is commendable that the administration is trying to provide social spaces for a student body that has had limited access to alternative options. This focus on funneling resources and time into the house community system, however, seems like an empty gesture when there is still so much to be done with the housing system itself.
“I don’t need to go into office for the power. I have houses all over the world, stupendous boats... beautiful airplanes, a beautiful wife, a beautiful family... I am making a sacrifice.” One would probably think that these words belong to this year’s Republican candidate for the presidency, Donald Trump. Yet these words were said long before Trump, in 1994 when another businessman sought to govern his country. His name was Silvio Berlusconi.
When I first came here as a freshman, I had two goals for my college experience: get good grades and join a fraternity. I chose Dartmouth because I wanted the exceptional undergraduate education it offered. Outside the classroom, though, I just wanted a place where I could relax, maybe drink some beer and hang out with friends.