31 items found for your search. If no results were found please broaden your search.
One of the most beautiful aspects of this beautiful school is something often given little thought. The College’s motto — “Vox clamantis in deserto,” or “a voice crying out in the wilderness” — naturally holds meaning with respect to Hanover’s geographical location; everyone visiting Dartmouth for the first time, provided that he or she hails from actual civilization, is immediately struck by the seemingly never-ending sea of trees that surrounds campus. But we cheat ourselves by believing that this motto, which has roots in the Gospels, is simply a literal reference to the College’s place in the vast northern woods. It should serve, rather, as a poignant reminder that we have a duty as students to use our intellectual capabilities, as expressed by our literal and figurative voices, to speak out in times that demand the presence of forceful and well-reasoned opinions to protest an unacceptable status quo.
On Feb. 5, The Dartmouth Review published a response to articles written by myself and Matthew Goldstein criticizing the state of news at the College. On the whole, it was a fair defense of some of the Review’s current practices and displayed an admirable sense of mission. Although I believe that a couple elements of my piece were mischaracterized — the conservative image and spirit of the Review, I feel, are of central importance to the paper’s efficacy but should not rely on inflammatory invocations of the Indian symbol — it is encouraging to see that someone on this campus is thinking seriously about how to properly do journalism. I am happy to have helped spark such thinking, and I am sure that Goldstein feels similarly.
Matthew Goldstein ’18, in an excellent article published on Jan. 19, bemoaned the lack of high-quality journalism on this campus. The author correctly identified the twin culprits as The Dartmouth Review and The Dartmouth, the former of which he indicted for being overly reactionary and the latter for shoddy reporting standards. Both of these criticisms have merit — the Review does seem to gain no small amount of pleasure from antagonizing people, and this publication oftentimes leaves much to be desired with regard to the accuracy and depth of its journalism. Unlike Goldstein, I don’t believe that either one of these publications should necessarily strive towards ideological neutrality, and I am cynical about the ability of any campus newspaper to significantly change the world around it. However, there are a handful of simple steps that could be taken to improve the quality of reporting at Dartmouth, and in doing so focus more attention on the problems that actually exist on this campus.
I don’t exactly look forward to the beginning of the new year. The excitement of the Christmas season is over, classes and homework assignments start to make appearances on the daily agenda after a long period of absence, and Mother Nature promises at least three months of gray skies and freezing temperatures. One thing, however, brings a smile to my face and a spring to my step: the NFL playoffs. Even though God has apparently condemned my beloved New York Jets to eternal mediocrity, there’s nothing quite like tuning in every Saturday and Sunday to see football’s best slug it out on the path to the Super Bowl.
Islamic terrorism has reared its ugly head once again, and indeed in spectacular fashion. The Nov. 13 attacks in Paris — the heart of Europe, a jewel of art and culture and a birthplace of modern democracy — gave the world a startling and unambiguous wake-up call. The Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and its accomplices, who seek to destroy all that Westerners hold dear, will not be content to lead the Middle East into ruin. They want to and have the capacity to take the fight to us, knowing full well that the relative complacency of the United States and Europe has made them easy targets. The failure of Western governments to decisively eradicate the nascent infestation of ISIS years ago — and their idiotic policy of “containment” that followed — have come home to roost.
Elite universities enjoy a certain privilege when compared to publicly traded companies and state-owned enterprises. Namely, Ivy League universities and their peers are not held accountable to the same external checks on decision-making that other sorts of institutions face. Public companies, whether they are active in the technology, financial or energy sector, have to answer to both customers and shareholders. Bodies that rely on government spending are — at least in theory — subject to taxpayer oversight through legislative action. If poor management leads to inefficiency and underperformance in either scenario, affected parties have recourse to boards or legislators who can exert influence and force reform. This is how organizations improve.
One of Dartmouth’s greatest strengths is its sense of community. When compared to its peer institutions, many of which are located in urban environments, the College can rightly claim to have cultivated a particularly cohesive environment and a strong sense of campus identity. This is owed, in large part, to location. Without the possibility of disappearing into a large city to seek out food or entertainment, students are forced to make use of what the Dartmouth campus and the town of Hanover have to offer. Running into your peers over and over again, in the same restaurants, stores and social spaces, invariably leads to some sense of familiarity. This can be comforting, particularly for first-years who are thrust into an entirely new environment, and Dartmouth should — and does — use this fact as a selling point when appealing to prospective students.
As reported by this paper on Oct. 1, one year has passed since the College instituted its new Advanced Placement credit policy. Departing from its established practice, Dartmouth announced it would no longer grant credit for qualifying scores on AP exams taken in high school. The justification provided by administrators centered on maintaining standards of academic rigor throughout students’ four years in Hanover — high levels of achievement on standardized tests would apparently allow a significant number of students to circumvent the rigorous scholastic standards the College professes to uphold. This policy, keeping in character with a frighteningly large number of policy decisions made by the College in recent years, is misguided and should be reversed.
One would think that, in light of the gradual but significant slip in the U.S. News and World Report’s national university rankings, the College would do everything in its power to attract the best and brightest students from around the world. The College has plenty of selling points — an idyllic campus, a faculty that is eager to engage with students personally and a collegial atmosphere that reduces the stress of studying at an elite university. Unfortunately, incompetent management has resulted in misguided student-life policy and a bloated administrative structure that has saddled students with ridiculous costs.
The NCAA, which has long thrived on the rather unique business model of not paying those responsible for earning it money, has been dealt a severe blow. Recently, in the antitrust class action lawsuit O’Bannon v. NCAA, U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken ruled that the organization’s refusal to compensate athletes in the revenue sports (men’s basketball and football) is legally untenable. Universities may, under Wilken’s decision, establish trust funds for such athletes which are capped at $5,000 per year. Such a low potential ceiling for athletes’ compensation was surely not enthusiastically received by the plaintiffs. However, the O’Bannon decision as a whole is undoubtedly a victory for athletes in revenue sports and a loss for the NCAA. Although it may be years before athletes are actually compensated, the outcome of this long-running case sets a precedent that the NCAA has feared for some time — at some point, it must split the pie with the very people who baked it.
Apparently the windows in the Hopkins Center are being replaced because they hemorrhage heat like the College does money. After completion, students and visitors will be able to overlook the Green through windows that, while identical in appearance to their predecessors, are more energy efficient. Such technology, of course, could be fiscally beneficial as well as environmentally friendly — energy efficiency cuts down on the monthly bill by reducing consumption. For those who would like to see the College make intelligent financial decisions, this renovation could be good news provided that the projected savings generated by the new energy efficient windows exceed the cost of construction. As reported in The Dartmouth on July 22, however, the College could not provide figures for either the cost of the project or the estimated savings it will generate. One can reasonably infer that the replacement of the Hopkins Center’s windows is not projected to save enough money to merit the construction costs. I would be thrilled to be informed otherwise.
At this point in my collegiate career, I have resigned myself to the fact that a major part of Dartmouth’s long-term fiscal strategy is to suck every possible cent from its students. This realization has come to me as a result of a steady exposure to things like fines for checking in late, exorbitant transfer-credit fees, the Dartmouth Dining Services monopoly and an overall cost of attendance that inexplicably ranks among the highest in the Ivy League. I have also resigned myself to the fact that the institutional inertia caused by a swelling bureaucracy is unlikely to lead to any sort of meaningful policy change. That said, the absence or reduction of certain services during the summer term has disappointed me, especially when I check my tuition bill and notice that it has not — surprise!- — been lowered accordingly.
The stated purpose of the Greek First-Year Safety and Risk Reduction policy, as its name would indicate, is to reduce the overall number of harmful alcohol-related incidents on campus. The policy was met, predictably, with mixed reception when it was implemented this past fall. Some claimed that the policy was an effective means of lessening risk; others felt it was an empty public relations stunt that would accomplish nothing. A few even doubted the actual motivation behind the policy, feeling that it was simply the first in a series of steps that would bring about the end of their beloved Greek system. All of these reactions, at the time, were based on nothing more than personal anecdotes and gut instinct. That’s all well and good, but evaluating whether the policy achieved its stated goal required some hard evidence.
I don’t believe in boycotts. I understand the general idea — a group of people attempts to bring about some form of change through widespread abstention or dissociation. But practically, national and international boycotts, like the American Studies Association’s boycott of Israeli academic institutions, almost never work. In fact, boycotts are often counterproductive, because opponents to the boycott can be galvanized to support the business or institution in question.
Last week, I was fortunate enough to get a seat at former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s lecture on the relationship between Israel and Palestine. Everyone with some sort of interest in international affairs should have been in attendance; the opportunity to listen first-hand to the opinions and policy prescriptions of a former wartime leader, particularly one from such a crucial nation, does not present itself very often. So I would firstly like to thank the Dickey Center for hosting Olmert, and for providing the Dartmouth community with the chance to hear him speak.
The New York City Council, with the full backing of soon to be former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, enacted a bill that would raise the legal age for purchasing cigarettes to 21 within city limits. Considering the anti-smoking measures that the city has already adopted during Bloomberg’s reign, this newest effort comes as little surprise, and it is certainly consistent with the mayor’s other efforts to make America’s largest city a healthier place. With the costs of medical care continuing to rise, such endeavors may be, in a general idealistic sense, admirable. If an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure, then perhaps New York City’s pro-health legislation — smokers and soda-lovers be damned — is a good thing.
Wherever there is a corkboard on this campus, there is almost invariably a mass of flyers and leaflets advertising a number of student organizations or events. I think that, as a rule, most of us largely ignore these eclectic collections of paper, and I am no exception. Last week, however, one of these posters actually managed to catch my eye. The flyer, which began with the text "Anger is Not Enough" and prominently featured an upraised clenched fist, looked like the offspring of a piece of Soviet propaganda and an Occupy Wall Street leaflet. Curious, I read on and saw that this was an advertisement for a "resistance workshop" to provide "tools and training" and "practical blueprints" to combat "racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, militarism and rape." The goal of this workshop, the last piece of the flyer indicated, was to "build a new Dartmouth culture." I sighed and thought back to last spring.
Criticism of Dartmouth in the press has been in vogue for the past couple of years. These media incidents, with which we are all familiar, have occurred in national publications like Rolling Stone, and in this very section of this very campus newspaper. While each author has his or her own story to tell, there seems to be a shared, basic message: "Dartmouth, thanks to Greek life, has a serious problem with racism/sexism/alcoholism/etc. and it is urgent that some sort of action must be taken."
As the term progresses and papers start to pile up, my backpack becomes heavier and heavier. Long walks to and from various places on campus begin to feel much longer, with little help from gradually dropping temperatures. Perhaps it's because late arrivals to class bother me, or perhaps it's just because my legs are sore, but I believe that there are few objects that facilitate life at Dartmouth better than a bike. It greatly cuts down on travel time and related physical and mental stress. Do you have consecutive classes in the Thayer School of Engineering and the Life Sciences Center? If you don't have a bike, you can enjoy cramps, shortness of breath and missing the first 10 minutes of class. But if you do, it's no sweat.
There will be a lot going on in your lives for the next few weeks. New classes, new people and a new setting will make for an experience that might be refreshing for some and unsettling for others. As you throw yourselves into your new environment, Dartmouth will throw plenty of things right back at you things that, when added together, can be difficult to wrap your head around. Some people thrive in this chaos; others become lost and overwhelmed. Everyone, it seems, has a different reaction to starting college. And that's okay.