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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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
If you have read any of my articles, then you know that I’m no fan of the Greek system. The toxic masculinity, the sexual misconduct, the omnipresent stench of Keystone Lite … I could go on, but I will refrain. Instead, I will look past my feelings about the Greek system and its validity as a space on campus into a future scenario where the College listens to the voices of bleeding-heart feminists who criticize the Greek System. What happens then?
The AUX cord in my car is broken. I know it’s a not a big deal. I could just listen to the radio. But the thing is, I’ve gotten pretty accustomed to listening to exactly what I want whenever I want. If I am bored with a song by the second verse, then I skip the next one. Or, if I want to discover something new, the geniuses at Spotify have a trusty algorithm for that: They deliver new custom playlists to my account every week. Spotify has created a musical universe that revolves around me, the consumer. And in doing so, Spotify has managed to construct the feeling that the broader universe, beyond just music, sometimes revolves around me too.
Recently, a couple of new restaurants were accused of culturally appropriating Asian food. First, there was Lucky Lee’s, founded by two white restaurateurs: Arielle Haspel, a Manhattan-based health coach and her husband Lee. The concept is Panda Express meets Lilly Pulitzer — over the counter service coupled with blue-jade decor and a logo with chopstick-like font. Lucky Lee’s was branded as “clean” Chinese food that wouldn’t make customers feel “bloated and icky.” Social media backlash was swift and for good reason — Haspel’s choice of promotional words implied that Chinese food is inherently unhealthy and that her restaurant is a solution to this problem. The restaurant and Haspel have since apologized, stating that they now realize that their marketing perpetuated negative stereotypes about the Chinese American community. But the underlying stereotypes about Chinese food — that it is too oily, salty and MSG-laden — remain rooted in the very essence of the restaurant. Despite the apology and modified online advertising, “Feel Great” still appears in large flowy letters over “Chinese Food” on the restaurant’s teal awning. It screams at entering customers that what makes this food special is its objective healthiness compared to regular Chinese food.
Last week, I was fortunate enough to be invited to celebrate Passover at a professor’s house off campus. During the Seder, I had the opportunity to interact with my professor’s elderly parents and young kids. I participated in lively discussions about world affairs and listened intently to cherished family stories. Importantly, none of these conversations were centered around Dartmouth or dominated by the perspectives of Dartmouth students. If only for one night of food, song and prayer, I escaped the infamous Dartmouth bubble.