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This past Tuesday, College President Phil Hanlon announced that the “Moving Dartmouth Forward” presidential steering committee submitted their final report. Hanlon will review their recommendations, formulate policy and present that policy to the Board of Trustees on Jan. 28. On Jan. 29, Hanlon will present his plan to combat binge drinking, sexual assault and exclusivity to the public.
Last week, President Obama announced his goal of making community college free “for everybody who is willing to work for it.” The plan would require over $60 billion in federal funds, and student eligibility for subsidies would be dependent on certain criteria, such as minimum grade point average and enrollment status. Critics have questioned how effective, both in terms of cost and outcome, such a move would be. While Obama’s plan is imperfect, we — as students with the privilege of attending Dartmouth — must recognize it as an important first step forward in making higher education more accessible nationwide.
On Wednesday, three gunmen stormed the Paris office of the satirical French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, and shot and killed 12 people. The shooters asked for certain cartoonists by name.
Technology has undeniably revolutionized education, but this advancement must be critically examined. Not every subject benefits from laptops and PowerPoints — and clearly, the clicker system has substantial flaws that enable its abuse. Blue books and chalkboards still have a place.
On Monday, the faculty of arts and sciences voted to open course reviews to students during course election period. We commend professors for taking this step, and we look forward to choosing our classes with more information. The long-overdue measure should better inform student choices and incentivize both more effective teaching from professors and more thoughtful evaluations from students.
It’s a tale as old as time: young people don’t vote. For a variety of reasons, voters from age 18 to 29 have had a low turnout since the 26th Amendment’s ratification in the early 1970s. Though the share of the youth vote increased for the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, we must remain vigilant: a recent Harvard Institute of Politics poll found that roughly 75 percent of young people do not plan to vote in the upcoming midterm elections on Nov. 4. We must fight that apathy, and more importantly, do so with knowledge and vision.
Despite the “college” in its name, Dartmouth is a research university. As we encourage post-doctoral students to come to Hanover through the Society of Fellows, we should reevaluate how the College approaches research at the undergraduate level.
As the “Moving Dartmouth Forward” steering committee prepares its recommendations for College President Phil Hanlon and the Board of Trustees, we urge its members to think boldly and keep in mind the College’s history. For too long, we have wavered in fear of declining donation rates or an angry student body. But the time for cowardice is over. Let’s do what needs to be done, the only action in line with our principles of community, and abolish the Greek system.
Last week, the College announced a task force that aims to create a cohesive administrative structure for the graduate studies program. As these plans take shape, we encourage Dartmouth to craft and boost programming to tie graduate students closer to the institution as a whole. Administrative silos should not lead to social barriers, and we think the College would do well to work toward an overarching intellectual community — one comprised of undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and faculty, a continuum of academics.
Dartmouth by the numbers: One hundred liquor law arrests, 84 more than in 2012. Two hundred and forty three liquor law violations, nearly triple 2012’s amount.
The time has passed for symbolic gestures. On Sunday, the Interfraternity Council announced the formal end of the traditional pledge term. While we commend this move to address hazing, one of the biggest perceived problems of the fraternity system, we urge the presidential steering committee to assume that no meaningful change results from the announcement when the committee recommends further reform. With no means to enforce the proclamation, and no added incentive for new or older members to stop hazing, announcing the abolition of pledge term is not an all-encompassing solution.
In a May 6 job posting for a director, the Center for Community Action and Prevention is described as a “critical element of the College’s commitment to preventing and addressing sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence.” Announced in February, the center was slated to open July 1, before its inauguration was pushed back to this fall. Now it has been abandoned altogether.
With all this talk about the College’s hijacked social scene, administrators have been sidetracked. Though high-risk student behavior undoubtedly merits senior-level attention, the College must also revitalize its academic vision. Yes, we are unbeaten in undergraduate teaching, but students must build academic expertise within the fast-moving D-Plan. We recommend that, upon arrival, incoming Provost Carolyn Dever propose requiring thesis projects for all seniors.
It’s not a coincidence that a lawyer defending Parker Gilbert ’16 dismissed the circumstances of the case as “drunken, awkward college sex” (our emphasis). Most view college as a time for experimentation — a period that exists in a vacuum, somehow outside of the real world. Drinking and partying are the norm — ambiguous, questionable and downright traumatizing sexual encounters are far too common. But why must drinking necessarily open the door for brutality, abuse or disrespect? We claim that no one condones sexual assault, but what do we condone?
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson will leave Hanover at the end of this academic year, and Dartmouth must find a new leader of student affairs. The time for change at Dartmouth is now. With the College’s social climate at the forefront of campus and national attention, we cannot wait on yearlong search committees — College President Phil Hanlon must fill this position permanently by November.
Important events and conversations take place on campus every day, and our responsibility as a news organization is to report them accurately, preserving them in the College’s history and sharing them with the broader public. Yet since we began as editors of the paper, we feel we have failed to do this job as best we can. Countless times we have found event organizers unwilling to allow a reporter the same access that other citizens receive, and we find this lack of accountability disturbing.
When hundreds of potential members of the Class of 2018 arrived at the College this week, they went to events advertising the D-Plan, attended classes and saw the annual Dimensions show — this time, uninterrupted. Each of these events purported to give the prospective students access to various “dimensions of Dartmouth,” or windows into the Dartmouth experience.
From casual conversations during office hours to funded lunch dates in town, from the Presidential Scholars program to other undergraduate research partnerships, a robust culture of student-professor interaction thrives at Dartmouth. At a college that has ranked number one in undergraduate teaching for the past five years, our faculty play a significant role as mentors to many undergraduates. We hope this never changes.
A few chalk campaign ads adorning campus sidewalks, vague promises to unify campus and pledges to address specific student demands — it’s election season. And we’re not convinced.
“Welcome to the president’s office. We’ve been expecting you,” an administrative assistant said to the group of students that would later take over College President Phil Hanlon’s office. “Make yourselves comfortable.”