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Dokken: The Nation We Could Be

(11/03/20 7:00am)

I am 19 years old — born the year of 9/11, and the year that U.S. troops first touched down in Afghanistan. I have never known an America that wasn’t at war, or an America before mass shootings. I grew up without financial security because this country decided that the cost of my father’s cancer treatment was my family’s peace of mind. I grew up watching Hurricane Michael, a hurricane of unprecedented strength obliterate my aunt’s town and home due to our country’s decision to prioritize corporate interests over its citizens. I grew up rehearsing what to do if someone decided to make my school into a murder scene amid our nation’s inability to enact common sense gun control while children continue to be gunned down in their classrooms.

Teszler: Follow the Local Results Too

(11/02/20 7:00am)

The end is here. Over 93 million people have already voted, with tens of millions more still to vote tomorrow. And then comes the count. Due to the high proportion of mail-in votes, election-night calls of certain key states, such as Pennsylvania, are highly unlikely. I for one, will likely stay up watching results anyway, while others will make the wise decision to go to bed and check in the morning. But whether you're glued to CNN or waking up to a phone alert the morning after, there’s something likely to be missing from your radar — the results of local elections. 

Allard: An Unpopular Vote for the Electoral College

(10/29/20 6:00am)

When Indiana’s Democratic senator Birch Bayh launched his campaign to reform the American presidential election system in 1966, he aspired to dismantle the Electoral College by constitutional amendment. Recently, Bayh’s efforts have been reincarnated by Democrats whose presidential candidates have lost the presidency despite winning the popular vote. Instead of abolishing the Electoral College, though, both Bayh and the Democratic Party should take up a much easier, safer project that would achieve the same goal: abolishing the winner-take-all electoral system. 

Pak: Why I'm Phone Banking for Another State

(11/02/20 6:55am)

My history of political engagement — or lack thereof — is embarrassing. I don’t do my research on the candidates running for Senate or House in my home state of Maryland, I don’t read my local newspaper and at best, I’ll drop in to events on campus to see a presidential candidate talking to Dartmouth students. Even though American politics matters for me as a U.S. citizen, I often get lost in the ordinary demands of the day-to-day, and political engagement just ends up taking a backseat.     

Levy: No Role Models

(10/20/20 6:00am)

Although the World Health Organization declared the spread of COVID-19 a pandemic back in March, Congress has yet to implement a widespread testing program — even after an outbreak of COVID-19 in the White House in early October left three Republican senators (and the president) infected with the virus. As of now, tests are only offered to those who have symptoms or who believe they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive. Not only does Congress' failure to implement regular, widespread testing put the lives of congresspeople and thousands more at risk, but it sets a dangerously negligent example for the rest of the nation. 

Teszler: Beware the GOP’s Climate Ambivalence

(10/19/20 6:00am)

Amid the general turmoil of the first presidential debate, it was easy to miss that Donald Trump made a truly extraordinary statement for a Republican president — when asked if human pollution contributes to climate change, he said “I think a lot of things do, but I think to an extent, yes.” Eight days later, Vice President Mike Pence said that the Trump administration will “always follow the science” on climate change. 

Towle: A Weak Welcome

(10/16/20 6:00am)

After several college tours, the campuses I visited began to blur together into an indecipherable mix of bookstores and brick buildings. My final tour provided a stark contrast. While not so different from others in architecture or scenery, Dartmouth’s welcoming atmosphere left a memorable first impression. Students, faculty and community members alike greeted me on my tour throughout campus and seemed genuinely eager to see and talk to me. Within my first 10 minutes on Dartmouth’s campus, I knew I was home.

Horan: More Children Left Behind

(10/05/20 6:00am)

For most students this fall, going back to school meant logging onto Zoom from the dining room table or, for some, donning masks for the few in-person classes available. But for two young girls in California, the first day of school was spent huddled on the curb outside a Taco Bell to use the free Wi-Fi. A photo of the young girls recently went viral on Twitter, highlighting the tremendous digital divide existing between the district of Salinas — where more than 40% of elementary school-aged students are homeless — and the neighboring Silicon Valley, the technology capital of the world. 

Dokken: The Man in the Mirror

(10/05/20 6:00am)

At the core of the news media industry, like any business, is the drive to turn a profit. And from the advent of radio through the boom in social media, news companies have learned that sensationalism sells. Sensationalizing the news and allowing viewers to dictate what should and shouldn't be covered draws in more profits than traditional, objective reporting. While complaints of different news outlets having a liberal or conservative bias are commonplace, it is important to acknowledge that the media operates under a system that rewards sensationalism. 

Levy: Leave That Seat

(10/01/20 6:00am)

The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, associate justice of the Supreme Court and liberal icon, was a tragedy for all Americans, regardless of political orientation. Ginsburg leaves behind a remarkable legacy in American law, culture and feminism, along with a gaping hole in the Supreme Court. The question of who will fill Ginsburg’s seat, or rather who gets to decide who will fill her seat, is on everyone’s mind. This much is made clear by media coverage, along with a surge in fundraising efforts — Democrats amassed more than $90 million in donations in the 28 hours after Ginsburg’s death. For its part, the Trump camp has fired back with sales of “Fill That Seat” T-shirts.

Leutz: A 'Normal' Fetish

(08/21/20 7:00am)

A few nights ago, I was up late, lying in bed and watching reruns of The Office. I was horrified. Jim and Pam were shopping for a new toothbrush for their daughter, Cece. “How reckless,” I thought, shaking my head in disgust while the sweethearts of one of America’s favorite sitcoms walked aimlessly through a drug store, neither of them wearing a mask. I cringed before realizing that life didn’t always used to be this way. I fantasized, as I often have since the start of quarantine, about when times were normal.

Levy: No Birth Control, No Problem?

(07/17/20 6:00am)

On July 8, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania to uphold a regulation that allows employers to deny women access to birth control coverage. Specifically, the decision allows employers with a “sincerely held religious or moral objection” to appeal to the Trump administration for the right to deny their employees insurance coverage for contraception. Previously, under former President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, employers were mandated to provide insurance coverage for contraception with no out-of-pocket expenses. The Supreme Court’s new ruling broadens the already existing exceptions to this mandate, allowing most employers to seek exemption from paying for employees’ contraception on religious grounds. The court’s decision is both patriarchal and anachronistic. It is time for decision-makers to stop restricting the rights of women and realize that infringing upon women’s reproductive rights sets back the United States as a whole.  

Leutz: Aggregating Allies

(07/03/20 6:00am)

Even before setting foot on campus, college students are warned about peer pressure. The danger of peer pressure is its ability to normalize harmful behavior. However, just as the development of the atomic bomb resulted in the creation of a clean energy alternative, our collective understanding of this psychological weapon gives us an opportunity to use its power for good. While peer pressure can normalize harmful behavior, it can also effectively normalize healthy behavior. The same way that there are dangers to the use of nuclear power, there are admittedly  potential flaws to using peer pressure in the pursuit of a positive goal. However, it is overall an effective tool that acts as a guiding force for the uninformed in determining acceptable behavior. 

Teszler: The Call to Serve

(05/26/20 6:00am)

According to Tom Friedan, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. could need up to 300,000 contact tracers to help contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Meanwhile, distributing any potential vaccine, especially to areas underserved by the current health care system, will require an unprecedented effort. In light of the current and future need for workers to help contain the pandemic, Dartmouth should consider giving a half-course credit to students who serve in such roles.

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