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My experience with anxiety and depression is like the cinders that drift slowly down through the dark after a fireworks display. Where there had been light, noise, excitement and people, there is darkness, silence, sadness and loneliness. I felt it the worst during my senior fall.
Trump jokes are low-hanging fruit. They’ve been made before — they’re overdone, easy, trite and, after two years of constant digs at the President and everyone in his circle, they just aren’t funny anymore.
There is a tendency to instinctively link the forward passage of time with the forward progress of society. It is tempting, and certainly reassuring, to rest one’s faith in the long arc of the moral universe. We have an abundance of new technological and social innovations that have dramatically increased the quality of life of people around the planet. But too often, accepting these innovations without skepticism leads to a failure to reckon with the nature of power and how it is exerted onto those with less of it. This growing trend of so-called progress has facilitated the exploitation of new technology by employers to further manage and control their workers in ways that range from merely annoying to deeply disturbing. Without the proper caution and concern for people’s fundamental rights and dignity, what we know as innovation can be weaponized to undermine personal sovereignty, subjecting people to the whims of corporate interests.
For every fall, winter and spring term in the Dartmouth calendar, there is a single weekend reserved for celebration by the Dartmouth community: Homecoming for fall, Winter Carnival for winter and Green Key for spring. However, whereas Homecoming is a time to rekindle the Dartmouth spirit by reconnecting alumni with their alma mater and welcoming freshman into the community, and Winter Carnival showcases the achievements of Dartmouth’s winter sports teams, the College touts Green Key as a weekend to “celebrate the arrival of spring” — a purpose that is hardly Dartmouth-specific. Though at one point Green Key had a community service focus, its emphasis on social service has since slipped away. Now, the weekend more closely resembles earlier traditions of excessive drinking, substance abuse and revelrous traditions such as inebriated, rowdy chariot races across the Green using makeshift chairs and students as “horses,” as well as hazing of the freshman class.
We asked opinion columnists to talk about their favorite and least favorite parts of Green Key, their thoughts on drinking culture, the concert and other campus traditions tied to this eventful weekend.
If we want to understand the state of small family farming in this country, we need to look beyond partisan fault-finding and demeaning stereotypes of farmers and their operations. Contrary to the suggestions of Thomas Knight ’22 in his May 9 column for The Dartmouth, titled “Trump and the Family Farm,” there are no economic indications that President Trump’s actions are worsening the decline of small family farming in New Hampshire or elsewhere.
What could be beautiful about a bad day?
“Only military action . . . can accomplish what is required. Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed.” That’s a direct quote from national security advisor John Bolton, and it’s referencing his preferred method of confronting Iran’s nuclear program. He wrote that in 2015 as the United States negotiated to curtail the Iranian nuclear program. Bolton’s views stood well outside the foreign policy mainstream, and rightly so — after the debacle of Iraq, who could seriously promote another invasion?
Dartmouth students come from all sorts of backgrounds. The College allocates substantial resources to those who identify as first-generation and low-income adjust to the Dartmouth environment. For example, the First Year Student Enrichment Program provides an orientation experience specifically for students of these backgrounds. This approach is commendable, but economics cannot fully capture a student’s identity. As someone from the rural South, I can attest that while socioeconomic factors are important, we cannot let its importance make us forget about how our geographic backgrounds also affect our experience of Dartmouth. Just as we actively promote other forms of diversity, we should also enthusiastically celebrate the Dartmouth student body’s geographic diversity and try to learn from the cultural perspectives it brings.
Countless articles have been written on the effects of social media on the lives and social interactions of young people. I, personally, thought I had heard it all before. Then, in my senior year of high school, a close friend of mine was diagnosed with derealization disorder. This condition makes people feel like an outside observer to one’s own life, as if there is a glass wall that separates them from their surroundings as time passes at an abnormal rate.
Last week, the College announced that its workplace misconduct investigation into two administrators of The Dartmouth Institute had concluded. The investigation, which began nine months ago, resulted in Elliott Fisher, a nationally known expert in health policy, being removed as director of TDI and losing his endowed professorship title while being allowed to stay on as a member of the faculty. Meanwhile, Adam Keller, another TDI administrator, resigned from his position.
Just last fall, Ilhan Omar (D-MN) was elected as the representative of Minnesota’s 5th district. Since then, she has faced a relentless storm of personal attacks and death threats, and has featured in one controversy after another. Scandals and personal attacks are nothing new for anyone in politics, but the level of vitriol directed at Omar, a Somali-born refugee who moved to the U.S. as a teenager, seems to be especially extreme. Unfortunately, as Omar stands up for herself, politicians too often deliberately stoke fury towards her or idly stand by.
For hundreds of years, Dartmouth did not fulfill its commitment to Native Americans. Dartmouth’s campus is built on the land of Abenaki indigenous people, and Dartmouth’s founding charter outlines that the school’s principal mission is to educate Native youth. But in its first 200 years of existence, Dartmouth only graduated 19 Native Americans. When Native students finally did matriculate to Dartmouth in meaningful numbers, many of them were not exactly thrilled to see that Dartmouth had an Indian mascot, and they widely protested it. Native students Howard Bad Hand ’73, Duane Bird Bear ’71 and Rick Buckanaga ’72 were among those who led the call to end the use of Dartmouth’s Indian mascot in the 1970s, and in 1974, the Board of Trustees agreed with the protestors that the mascot was inconsistent with the values that Dartmouth is supposed to uphold.
Everyone’s favorite New England postcard is in trouble. For years, tourists have flocked to the Upper Valley, where antique barns are framed by the rough-hewn fences that rein in gentle and photogenic Holsteins. If they’re lucky, they might even get a glimpse of a farmer who charmingly lacks a few teeth and says “ayup” with that old New England agrarian accent. But you would be hard pressed to find that today. The reality is that the Upper Valley and many rural farming communities around the country are feeling the squeeze. Family farms found some success in the later years of the Obama presidency, but since then, profits have decreased by almost a third. There is no question that family-run agriculture has been in decline over the last half-century, partly due to the changing demands of ever-changing consumer tastes.
Twenty-four candidates have filed to run for president in 2020. Twenty-two of them are running as Democrats. With such a crowded field, we asked opinion writers to comment on what makes them hopeful, anxious or excited about the Democratic 2020 primary.
I was in high school the first time I heard the term “white privilege.” A 90 percent white faculty taught me and my mostly white classmates about the wrongs of racism in an American history course. Racism felt like something out of the past. Once I arrived at college, though, I suddenly faced the reality that racial issues in our nation should not be seen through the rose-tinted lens of “history.”
Music has always been a central part of my life. In high school I sang in two choirs, performed in musicals and played the flute in band. Every day I looked forward to rehearsal and music-making with my friends. It was a chance for me to pack up the textbooks and give time to one of my passions.
Under Dartmouth’s 2018 “Telling Our Story” brand image guidelines, the College seeks to position itself as a “basecamp to the world,” where “scholars … love to teach” and “liberal arts [is] at the core.” Reading these three tenets of our identity, it is clear that the College places teaching and education at the center of its mission. And as the guidelines acknowledge, education is a broadly transformative force. At its best, the education system has the potential to expose students to new possibilities and remove their economic prospects from pernicious cycles of poverty. At its worst, the education system discourages critical thinking, reduces self-efficacy and reproduces inequality. With its ability to profoundly shape the development of its students, education deserves to be studied at the most comprehensive and rigorous level.
Partisan rancor and gamesmanship have spilled over into the nation’s highest court. In the past two years, the Republican Party has secured two conservative justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, both of whom were confirmed after Senate Republicans deployed the so-called nuclear option in 2017, an amendment to Senate rules that lowered the votes needed for cloture from 60 to a simple majority vote. Democrats, now limited by time constraints on floor debates, have decried the processes for both confirmations as unfair, and with good cause. But the solutions proposed by some on the left — which amount to court packing — are at least as threatening to the institution of the Supreme Court. And that should worry us all.
Before matriculating to Dartmouth, I read a book that both terrified and inspired me. “Excellent Sheep” by William Deresiewicz is a sweeping condemnation of elite institutions in the U.S. and the overachieving students that he claims they damaged. Deresiewicz describes a problem that Dartmouth students know all too well: the résumé arms race, the seeking of various accomplishments and the addiction to success for the sake of success. Deresiewicz’s thesis is that, at elite schools, students focus on building a career rather than building a “self,” and that four years later they’re left with a surplus of achievements but a shortage of anything meaningful.