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Verbum Ultimum: Open Door Policy

(04/09/15 11:25pm)

The “Moving Dartmouth Forward” hard alcohol ban took effect nearly two weeks ago, and despite predictions of the policy’s negative repercussions, day-to-day student life has not seen any radical changes. Students have been notably mindful of the new restrictions — reports in an April 6 story from this newspaper indicate measured responses from students and Safety and Security officers alike. Greek leaders have taken steps to ensure that their houses’ members do not violate College policy. At this stage, however, what is concerning about the ban is not its immediate, visible effect on social events, but rather the prospect that administrators will ignore its long-term consequences.

Verbum Ultimum: Safety Over Sanctions

(03/06/15 12:59am)

This past Monday, the Office of the President, Palaeopitus senior society and Student Assembly hosted a town meeting on “Moving Dartmouth Forward” where administrators announced details of sanctions to enforce the hard alcohol ban. Students found to possess or consume hard alcohol will face a graduated scale of sanctions, with College probation for the first offense. Students with more than three infractions may face sanctions up to permanent separation from the College, decided at the College’s discretion. The College will also impose stricter sanctions for students and organizations that provide hard alcohol to others. These sanctions indicate that administrators take the hard alcohol ban seriously and will punish infractions accordingly.

Verbum Ultimum: Reevaluate Our Requirements

(02/20/15 1:14am)

Dartmouth is widely recognized for its dedication to liberal arts education, and as a part of that mission, students have to fulfill various distributive course requirements to ensure exposure to a wide range of subjects before graduating. As the College looks to increase academic rigor and revise the curriculum, now is the time to reconsider distributive requirements.

Verbum Ultimum: Ban Responsibly

(02/13/15 12:40am)

A campus hard alcohol ban was perhaps the most significant policy change that College President Phil Hanlon announced in his Jan. 29 “Moving Dartmouth Forward” address. Since then, colleges and national media outlets alike have debated the merits of the ban. Beyond the College’s talking points, there does not seem to be widespread agreement that this is indeed the way forward. The justification and arguments for the ban leave us unconvinced that this was the best possible tool at administrators’ disposal to ensure student safety and well-being.

Verbum Ultimum: Deflating with Caution

(02/06/15 1:12am)

While there may be no scheduled classes today, on any given day it’s likely that at least a few students have pulled an all-nighter to finish an assignment or exam. Enter Baker-Berry Library at any time throughout the term and you will see hundreds of students studying for hours on end. While College President Phil Hanlon has asked faculty “to consider a number of ways to increase the rigor of our curriculum” through unilaterally curbing grade inflation or having earlier classes, he should instead look to increase rigor by fixing structural inadequacies in the academic resources Dartmouth offers its students.

Verbum Ultimum: No Simple Solutions

(01/23/15 4:09am)

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.

Verbum Ultimum: A Shallow Promise

(01/16/15 3:43am)

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.

Verbum Ultimum: Open to Change

(11/07/14 1:38am)

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.

Verbum Ultimum: Head to the Polls

(10/30/14 11:28pm)

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.

Verbum Ultimum: Pushing for Partnership

(10/09/14 10:38pm)

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.

Verbum Ultimum: Pledging to Change

(09/25/14 9:36pm)

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.

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