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I have a friend from home who just graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. He is especially reflective and keen to proffer advice. Just a few months before he entered the real world, he sent me an article from Sociology of Education titled “Career Funneling: How Elite Students Learn to Define and Desire ‘Prestigious’Jobs.” Of everything he’s ever told me, from “don’t take dumb classes freshman year” to “don’t worry, you’re at Dartmouth — you can always sell out,” this article was the single most enlightening piece of information.
As the spring term comes to a close, there are various things on the minds of Dartmouth students. Storing their belongings and moving out of their rooms, preparing for final exams and final papers and wondering if their bodies will ever fully recover from Green Key may be just a few among them. As finals loom closer and closer, students prepare themselves not only for their tests, but for another, equally concerning possibility: that their final may get streaked. For decades, it has been a time-honored tradition for Dartmouth students to run through the biggest finals on campus completely naked, save for the occasional mask. Even though everyone who does this probably means to carry out a funny, well-intentioned prank, it can actually be a lot more harmful than people realize.
Ever since her substantial win in the New York primary last month, former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton has been enjoying a comfortable presumptive win of the Democratic nomination. On Wednesday, news broke of a report published by the Inspector General investigating the Clinton’s use of a personal email server for her correspondence as the highest-ranking official of the State Department. According to the report, several counts of misconduct occurred during the use of the personal email server. The most concerning aspect is the lack of authorization for her use of the server. Even though Clinton claims to be “as transparent as possible,” her staff did not seek information security approval from a senior State Department official nor did her office cooperate with the inquiry proceedings.
We here in the United States pride ourselves on our freedom of speech, an invaluable right and great power that the Constitution gifts us. And, as we all know very well from a popular superhero franchise, with great power comes great responsibility. Here’s the thing: if you want to be rude, you have the right to be rude. If you want to be ignorant, failing to back up your claims with any evidence, again, you have the right to do that. However, if you consider yourself someone who values discourse, education, creative thought and kindness in general, you have to think before you speak. Otherwise, you don’t really value knowledge or empathy — and, in a way, humanity.
In Praise of Language Learning
Artists are considered dreamers, idealists and romantics, but rarely are they considered intellectuals, hard-workers or pragmatists. And, more generally, dreaming is seen as akin to dwelling in nostalgia, and idealism to false hope. Romanticism is illogical. Art, one may conclude, is about lingering in a world of the past — taking one’s time to stop in nature and write a poem, capturing a landscape slowly with oil paints, playing a slow piano tune in a salon. Due to the ongoing technological boom, today everything is all about maximizing efficiency. No one has time for art anymore.
If I had a dollar for every “political selfie” that has graced my Facebook newsfeed this election cycle, I could probably purchase a selfie stick for everyone on campus. The likely Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, made her way to Hanover last July with challenger Bernie Sanders following closely behind. To this day, I am neither “Ready for Hillary” nor “Feeling the Bern,” although my social media accounts back then may have suggested otherwise. For weeks on end after their visits, I scrolled through a deluge of political selfies featuring the two candidates. This is not to excuse GOP candidates from the same behavior, as I soon discovered that those across the partisan aisle are also suckers for a selfie. Albeit less frequently, the smiling faces of Rand Paul and John Kasich also popped up on my feeds more than I would like to admit. Despite recent revelations that Facebook and other social media platforms might be less than neutral, that is not the direction I would like to take this piece. Instead, I would like to take a few moments to hash out our generation’s brand of high art: the selfie.
In rankings of American college campus dining services, Dartmouth often ranks in the top tier. However, although Dartmouth Dining Services does offer quality products and a wide range meal options for students, there are several areas that need significant improvements. While students have brought up many of these problems over the past few years, they have gone unaddressed by the College.
It is never easy to draw attention to the failures of this school I have come to love so much. It is harder still to hold my fellow students responsible for such failures. But hardest of all is to see these same students fight one another, so insistent in their quest to be right that they refuse to see the school for anything else. Nonetheless, when basic civil liberties are violated and when so few have spoken against their transgressions, I cannot and will not remain silent. Thus I must turn to the students of the Black Lives Matter movement and roundly condemn their actions in the Collis Center.
Despite being an English major, I am concerned about the lack of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Statistics from the National Student Clearinghouse reveal not only that the number of women with bachelor’s degrees in science and engineering disciplines is low, but that it has in fact decreased since 2004. Most drastically, women received only 23 percent of computer science degrees in 2004, while in 2014 this number fell to 18 percent. Coincidentally, I happen to be taking a statistics class that involves a little bit of computer science, which allows me some personal insight as to why this problem exists. After all, why don’t women just major in science? There’s no legal or written boundary stopping them.
Two weeks ago, Harvard University’s administration handed down a historic ruling that stated that starting with the Class of 2021, any undergraduate members of unrecognized single-gender social organizations would be banned from holding captain positions on athletic teams or holding leadership positions in any recognized student groups. Members of these organizations, which at Harvard include finals clubs and Greek houses, will also not be eligible for fellowships like the Rhodes or Marshall scholarships. This decision, which came in the wake of a sexual assault investigation that shined a very unflattering light on Harvard’s single-gender social organizations, has sparked a lot of discussion around the country about the merits and drawbacks of social organizations that inherently exclude half of the student body based on gender. Whether they be Greek houses or secret societies, single-gender organizations have all but dominated Dartmouth’s social scene since there has been one. However, in the wake of intense national discussion concerning Greek houses and the decision from a peer institution to all but abolish any social organization that does not go coed, we are left to question: what are the merits of single-gender social organizations?
Is This Enough?
For all of its flaws and weaknesses, the United States is still an exceptional country. Despite over two hundred and thirty years of change, America is arguably the greatest country in the world now, just as it arguably was back in 1776, when it began as a democratic republic in an age of empires and kingdoms. The world looks to Washington, D.C. for leadership and strength in times of war and peace, in times of darkness and prosperity. In my opinion, Americans are the most diverse, industrious, innovative and hopeful people on earth. Our real GDP and GDP per capita are among the highest in the world, education is widespread, our economy is robust and our society is stable and secure, and Americans pride themselves on having freedom of speech, opportunity for upward mobility and welcoming immigrants from around the world throughout our history.
In July 2015, the Court of Arbitration for Sport handed down a ruling decried by some as “ending women’s sports as we know them.” They revoked the International Association of Athletics Federations’ regulation that required hyperandrogenic track and field athletes to keep their testosterone levels below 10nmol/L or face suspension. The normal female range of serum testosterone is 0.1-2.8nmol/L. For men, the figure is 10.5. The Court of Arbitration for Sport suspended the IAAF’s regulation for two years and will abolish it completely unless the IAAF could scientifically prove that hyperandrogenic athletes perform better due to their elevated testosterone levels. In all likelihood, the IAAF will be unable to do so. Many factors contribute to athletic success — not just testosterone. Proving a scientific link between testosterone and performance is difficult, not to mention that some hyperandrogenic athletes are androgen insensitive and do not benefit from elevated testosterone levels. That being said, some clearly do.
As the United States starts to wrap up an exciting primary season and enter conventions, two candidates have clearly emerged triumphant over the fray of mudslinging and deeply personal attacks. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton not only represent opposite affiliations but have also been at opposite ends of personal attacks. Trump has not shied away from these attacks, even coining nicknames like “Little Rubio,” “Lyin’ Ted,” “Crooked Hillary” and “Crazy Bernie” to fuel his social media crusades, avidly followed by spectators around the world. Both Clinton and Trump have corporate ties based in New York and were friends in the past — Hillary and Bill Clinton attended Trump’s wedding and their daughters, Chelsea and Ivanka, are friends. Until 2011, when he made a run for presidential office, Trump’s federal and statewide election donation record showed 54 percent of his donations going to the Democratic Party. At first, many conspiracy theorists considered Trump’s candidacy as a blessing in disguise for his good friend Hillary. But now, when Trump and Clinton are soon to be head-to-head for the general election in November, people are no longer dismissing his nomination as a ridiculous attempt to hand Clinton the presidency. Furthermore, the race is getting uglier and more personal, especially in terms of sexist undertones.
We live today in neither a colorblind nor post-racial society, though many – in good faith, I suppose – would like to fantasize otherwise. Still, in the wake of recent tragedies from Ferguson and Staten Island, to Charleston and Baltimore, more Americans are now being compelled to reexamine this nation’s lamentable history of racism and earnestly reckon with its lingering vestiges in our neighborhoods, communities and campuses.
On May 7, professor Annabel Martín posted an essay on the Gender Research Institute at Dartmouth’s website regarding a May 6 article in The Dartmouth. Seeing as I am referenced by name in the piece, I would like to respectfully refute some of Martín’s points.
At The Dartmouth, we take our responsibilities to this community very seriously — responsibilities that extend both to our readers and our sources. I find it prudent at this time to restate some important policies of The Dartmouth that some members of the Dartmouth community have inquired about over the past few days.