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Four years ago, Dartmouth formed the Ad Hoc Committee on Grading Practices and Grade Inflation, and to quote Douglas Adams, “This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.” Of course, the rationale seems both simple and unimpeachable: Dartmouth gives a lot of As, and if we keep going about it this way, soon everyone will have an A (and if that happens, Dartmouth isn’t doing its job). I added the part in parentheses because it’s an implicit assumption of Dartmouth’s approach toward education, and because I want the reader to read it in a stuffy bureaucratic voice that undermines it as a normative assumption about what Dartmouth’s job is. A giver of well-distributed grades is a terrible way to think about a college education.
We all know what winter means.
To no one’s surprise, many members of the Class of 2022 were once hyper-involved, overachieving high school students. I’m one of them. In high school, I was a peer tutor, varsity athlete, editor of the newspaper and involved in various other activities. At Dartmouth, my plan was to pick up where I had left off and throw myself into as many activities as possible. After all, this method worked for me in the past, allowing me to make friends and build a life for myself each time I switched schools. This time, though, that didn’t quite happen.
Last night, Dinesh D’Souza ’83 gave a talk in Filene Auditorium entitled “A World Without Walls.” He has espoused controversial views in the past, and his presence sparked student protests. What does Dinesh D’Souza’s visit to campus mean for the community?
What comes to your mind when you think of Dartmouth? The picturesque serenity of the Green, or the joyful tunes resonating from the Baker bell tower every afternoon? Is it the cozy Sanborn couches and the 4 p.m. tea, or maybe the winter chills you feel while roaming through frat row? Regardless of what images come to your mind, there will be one common denominator: all of these images are symbols of the common Dartmouth experience and are linked to Dartmouth’s core values, as mentioned in its mission statement. These values are what have been shaping the community’s experiences for the past 250 years, and despite their monumentality, they push the College toward dynamism and improvement. In this special edition of The Dartmouth, let us cherish these common values with some tales from students, alumni and faculty.
A recent analysis by the American Historical Association revealed that nationwide, the number of students who pursue an undergraduate degree in history has dropped precipitously in recent years. With only 5.3 history degrees awarded per 1000 students, the discipline is shrinking rapidly with no end in sight. Though the study identified several reasons for the sharp decline, Benjamin M. Schmidt, the analysis’ author, believes that most can be condensed into reduced receptivity to the holistic philosophies of a liberal arts education. Students and parents, he contends, are now looking for a faster and more profitable return on their investment into higher education than ever before.
This year, Dartmouth is celebrating its 250th anniversary. And at first, I thought it had absolutely nothing to do with me.
Dartmouth enters a tumultuous time as it celebrates 250 years of world-class instruction this winter. The College grapples with a widespread culture of sexual assault, intense competition for prestige from larger research universities, divisive proposals to expand the student body, beleaguered traditions like the Homecoming bonfire and perennial questions of diversity. History is in the making — these are the times that will determine Dartmouth’s legacy and identity for generations to come.
Uuganzul Tumurbaatar '21 celebrates the Lunar New Year.
For a long time, Spotify was nothing more to me than the obscure, Swedish-born music streaming platform that my artsy older sister used. But five years later, it’s almost impossible for me to envision listening to music without it. I spent a few weeks over winter break with my old iPod Classic. In comparison to the luxurious, adaptively intuitive world of Spotify, listening to music on what had once been my most coveted possession (as an 11 year old, I had opted for the Classic over the Nano because that is what I believed the more “serious” music listeners used) had become taxing. The motion was not a click, but rather an arduous scroll. Playlists were harder to access. Navigation was more cumbersome, and I felt less flexible in my listening. To jump even further back in musical history, to a time when music was something people held in their hands and had to be retrieved from the store or library, is even harder to grasp.
In the op-ed “Red, White and Offended” published in The Dartmouth on Jan. 31, Peter Leutz delves into the issue of free speech in comedy and declares that infamous comedian Louis C.K.’s recent jokes and their offensive content “should be of little concern” as long as they’re for comedic purposes. I applaud Leutz for his defense of free speech and his analysis of modern comedic discourse, but as a person who both preforms and enjoys comedy, I disagree with his thesis entirely. While many comedians rely on “shock value” and often tread the grey area of “too far” and “just enough,” C.K. should be heavily criticized, and his jokes, such as his most recent mocking of Parkland shooting survivors, have no place in modern comedy.
I have never been tasked with breaking a story — that’s not my job. My job is to write hot takes for The Dartmouth. To be slightly more pretentious, I am a columnist for the opinion section of America’s Oldest College Newspaper.
I have no qualms about claiming that “Parks and Recreation” is the best sitcom of the decade. Those who know me are certainly unsurprised by this claim. If my obsession with this show was not brought up in our first conversation, I have certainly quoted, referenced or forced you to watch at least one of my favorite scenes. “Parks” is my go-to pick-me-up — Andy’s gleeful silliness is contagious. “Parks and Rec” is my go-to for motivation — Leslie Knope’s boundless determination is enough to inspire anyone to do their homework. And it’s definitely my go-to for a laugh — the different characters that make up Pawnee, Indiana are hysterical. Basically, “Parks and Rec” is my go-to any day, any time.
Like all faculty, staff and postdocs, I received my email summons to complete mandatory Title IX training, as directed by College President Phil Hanlon and the College in response to the student lawsuit against faculty and the College stemming from alleged sexual misconduct of three male faculty in the psychological and brain sciences department. By a certain logic, this obligation makes me yet another link in the chain of the exploitative side of Dartmouth’s culture, in this case as it concerns labor practices. Exploring this link may point to deeper fixes for campus culture.
Last Saturday, the Hood Museum of Art reopened its doors. Before the Hood closed for renovations in the spring of 2016, the museum was working with and enriching classroom experiences across 35 academic departments and programs on campus. Now, with the addition of the Bernstein Center for Object Study, more gallery spaces and a spacious 2,500 square foot atrium (that remains open for students even after the closing), the Hood can extend its reach on campus and engage students across disciplines with the arts.
Canadians are being targeted abroad, and it is reflective of Canada’s rising political status. In the last few months, Canadian nationals living and travelling in China and Saudi Arabia have been imprisoned, expelled or sentenced to death. In the midst of this tragic loss of life, however, is evidence that Canada is stepping up its involvement in world politics. Its government is finally willing to get its hands dirty in controversial foreign relationships — and the by-product of detainment is a cost that world superpowers have dealt with for years.
Updated Jan. 31, 2019 at 1:44 p.m.
"What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?" Mark 8:36 (NIV)