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Now is an interesting time for Ethiopia. The country has emerged in the last year as the sweetheart of the developing world, in large part due to the leadership of its new reformist Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed. But a central issue has threatened the country’s new-found prosperity: ethnic nationalism. At the moment, Ethiopia’s budding progress is being diluted by the secessionist ambitions of its myriad ethnic minorities. However, this is not the time for individual nationalist ambitions to be entertained by the central government. Rather, it is time to establish a functioning national government that can enable a well-oiled, growing economy.
The Democratic left has been punching well above its weight recently. Its ideas have dominated the primary season — of the candidates currently averaging over 10 percent in Democratic primary polling, only Joe Biden is associated with the moderate wing of the party (though he, to be fair, maintains a sizeable lead over his rivals).
The most nuanced conversations I have about current political issues are private. In large groups, I nod in agreement. With close friends, I engage.
Here at Dartmouth, the idea of a liberal arts education guides our institution like a north star. It’s why the distributive system plays such a prominent role, akin to “general education,” in our academic experience. And it certainly would explain why pamphlets and tour groups boast of the metamorphosis into well-rounded intellectuals (ergo capable within both STEM and the humanities) at every chance they get. The goal of our education is to cultivate the totality of our abilities, not just our respective disciplines.
Food is a needlessly controversial topic at Dartmouth. Still, there seems to be a strong consensus against the current state of campus dining. For the most part, this hostility stems from the limited food options that students find themselves left with. To be clear, this scarcity of variety should not be wholly surprising, as we are, after all, inhabiting a small New England town. However, the situation could be vastly improved in a way that benefits everyone involved. The solution is simple: Dartmouth meal plans should be usable in Hanover’s restaurants.
Sophomore summer is a heralded time — our wonderful academic romp about the woodlands of New Hampshire. You’ve likely read about it in pamphlets or associated propaganda, wherein the administration lauds this time of community and kinship. “The region around Hanover is ripe for exploring,” they say. And I suppose it is; it has to be. You can’t afford to have students looking inward when you essentially shortchange the summer-dwellers in regard to on-campus dining. That’s right. The Courtyard Café’s once miraculous kitchen lies vacant, collecting dust bunnies rather than quelling our voracious appetites. The Collis Café’s beloved Late Night operates on truncated “summer hours.” The Cube, the only of the three snack bars left alive, has seen its hours of operation dwindle. When the summer rolls around, it’s the Class of ’53 Commons or bust. And it shouldn’t be.
What if it were possible to get better job opportunities by doing less recruiting? That would be a godsend for many of my friends who are spending their sophomore summers trying to game the corporate recruiting process into offering them jobs in which they have no interest. Many of my friends feel intensely pressured to get jobs in consulting, private equity or investment banking. Some are in it for the money and others to appease an over-zealous parent. Some are drawn by the promise of status-security and others are running from the prospect of unemployment. But very few have a genuine interest in these professions. This thoughtless pursuit of high-status jobs is a problem that has fueled the “snake” stigma against consulting, finance and even the economics major.
Protests and acts of civil disobedience have the power to make history. Anti-Vietnam war protests served to show the world that many Americans did not support the war effort and ultimately led lawmakers to consider how to end the war altogether. The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement — one woman, Rosa Parks, took a personal risk to stand up against a discriminatory law. The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom that culminated in Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is the stuff of history books. Protesting is part of a great American tradition of speaking out for what we believe in, no matter the consequences.
From the time you learned about sex in grade school until wherever you find yourself now, I’m sure that you have come across porn. Perhaps you have even thought twice about your own consumption. In front of a computer screen, it can feel so easy to disconnect ourselves from our actions. Clicking a link seems inconsequential, completely unattached both physically and emotionally from something recorded or photographed by strangers. And besides, most people watch porn — even if they won’t talk about it or admit it.
There’s a lot to learn at the intersection of academic subjects. Different fields offer different worldviews, and understanding how they overlap gives us a better understanding of issues. As a liberal arts college, Dartmouth should celebrate the overlap between disciplines and encourage students to seek out an interdisciplinary education.
If you’re concerned about the ideological balance of the current Supreme Court, you’re not alone. After the retirement of nearly-centrist Justice Anthony Kennedy last year, followed by President Trump’s nominations of highly-conservative Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, the court has swung considerably further right and cemented a conservative majority. This change has major potential implications for a variety of controversial issues, including abortion and affirmative action.
The situation in Venezuela is dire. Beset by years of mismanagement, the country now faces economic and social crisis. Over four million have fled Venezuela. Shelves are empty at grocery stores. Power outages flicker across the country as hospitals struggle to operate medical equipment — not that the hospitals have much access to basic medication anymore.
Affirmative action as we know it may be on the chopping block. Depending on the outcome of the Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard case, a lawsuit in which Asian American students are suing the university for alleged discrimination, diversity as a consideration in admissions will end. This means minority enrollment in universities may drop as a result. Take the case of the University of California Berkeley: After California passed Proposition 209, a law which prohibited the use of race in admissions, outreach and financial aid considerations at California state schools, the number of African Americans enrolled dropped. African Americans today make up only three percent of the student body at UC Berkeley. Tellingly, after the state of California ended affirmative action, graduation rates of African Americans also dropped. From 2013-2016, there was a 16 percent difference between the overall graduation rate and the graduation rate of African Americans.
I hardly need to introduce U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand ’88. The famous Dartmouth alumna, a senator from New York who is also running for president, has stood out among Democrats as one of the fiercest critics of President Donald Trump. She boasts the most votes against Trump’s cabinet nominations of any Democratic senator running for president. Her progressive record should position her to be a competitive contender in the upcoming election. She was, after all, the first senator to insist Al Franken resign after evidence of inappropriate sexual behavior surfaced. And she has voiced firm support for the Green New Deal and some version of Medicare for All. She’s denounced the Trump administration’s “outrageous and unacceptable” treatment of immigrants and has also expressed urgency in ending America’s gun violence epidemic.
This past April, Swarthmore College’s fraternities found themselves in the middle of a crisis — old meeting minutes containing racist, derogatory and otherwise vile language were suddenly made public. Swarthmore’s two fraternities — Phi Psi and Delta Upsilon — responded by disbanding completely.
Alabama’s newest abortion law is a series of losses: for women, for science and for the Republican Party. On May 15, Alabama’s Governor, Kay Ivey (R) signed into law a near-total ban on abortion with the exception of when a mother’s life is at risk or the case of a lethal fetal anomaly. The law criminalizes abortion, with clauses indicating that doctors could face up to 99 years in prison for performing an abortion in the state. While the law clearly opposes the national strides made in legalizing abortion and liberating women’s bodies, it is not your routine Republican policy. Alabama’s restrictive abortion law is out of sync with just about every interest group and political party, and with its passing, the rallying power of the Republican Party’s pro-life posture is dwindling in intensity. Come 2020, Republicans will start losing districts if they do not abandon this hard-line stance against abortion.
China’s manufacturing prowess is no secret. In the 40 years since its market reforms, China has grown to become the world’s leading player in manufacturing, contributing 20 percent of global output. And the ubiquity of the “Made in China” moniker on everyday items is such that China’s preeminence often seems untouchable. This is, however, not the case. The features of the Chinese economy that have facilitated the country’s meteoric rise in manufacturing are dissolving. Manufacturing jobs are increasingly leaving China and moving abroad. And the ongoing China-U.S. trade war is only accelerating the flight of manufacturing from the Middle Kingdom.
Humans are the greatest threat to conservation and biodiversity today. The greenhouse gases that we generate alter the climate, and, barring any major changes, continued growth of the human population will increase the carbon footprint of our species. Better technology and decreased consumption can ameliorate this situation, but they cannot currently stop it. In order to curb our carbon footprint, people must begin to monitor their growth as a species, particularly in the United States, where overconsumption is the norm. Unfortunately, legislators are removing women’s rights to make that decision as government officials in some conservative states are pushing bills to severely restrict abortion. Not only does this unfairly govern women’s bodies; it also diminishes their control over their ecological legacies. An increasing human population presents a serious threat to the planet’s future, and without access to abortion, legislators are stealing women’s right to control their own personal ecological legacies.
This year’s Met Gala opened with the theme of “camp,” and the Gala’s attendants made attempts at capturing this aesthetic, some more successfully than others. Sontag, a pop culture theorist known for defining the term, explains the eponymous theme as a love of “artifice and exaggeration.”As it were, an object or event is more likely to be campy when it is unaware of its exaggerated, “so bad that it’s good” quality.
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.