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Verbum Ultimum: Taking a Step Back

(04/06/12 2:00am)

Janet Reitman's recent article in Rolling Stone detailing fraternity culture and hazing at Dartmouth has elicited strong reactions not only from the campus community but also from alumni, parents, prospective students and readers across the country. Many members of the Dartmouth community have been quick to dismiss the article for its sensationalized and one-sided depiction of the College. We agree that Reitman's portrayal of Dartmouth is unbalanced and flawed, and we share the concerns of disgruntled students and alumni that the article selectively presents the views of a narrow cross-section of campus. We caution, however, against blindly focusing on the flaws in Reitman's portrayal to such an extent that we fail to address the uncomfortable truths that are undeniably present. While the conclusions Reitman draws about Dartmouth's culture are misguided, many of the underlying facts are unfortunately accurate.

Verbum Ultimum: A New Direction

(03/30/12 2:00am)

It has been only three years since Dr. Jim Yong Kim was selected as Dartmouth's 17th president, a three-year tenure that has seen a dramatic decline in popular opinion. Kim's lifelong dedication to social justice and his commitment to increasing Dartmouth's presence on the world stage was initially met with a flurry of excitement throughout the Dartmouth community, which welcomed the announcement of his presidency in 2009. This same global focus certainly played a role in his nomination for the World Bank presidency.

Verbum Ultimum: Making Health a Priority

(03/02/12 4:00am)

Back in October 2011, The Dartmouth reported that the College was in the process of hiring additional mental health counselors and would be considering ways to expand the space available within Dick's House physical plant ("Dick's House undergoes review," Oct. 3, 2011). These changes were proposed in response to last spring's external review of campus health services, which revealed severe deficiencies in mental health services, sports medicine and the availability of primary care examination rooms. The report came as no surprise to many Dartmouth students, who have long complained of poor and inefficient care at Dick's House.

Verbum Ultimum: From Apathy to Activism

(02/24/12 4:00am)

On Feb. 28, the Obama campaign's Greater Together Student Summit Tour will be coming to the College in an effort to engage students in a conversation about issues relevant to the next election and teach students about how they can become involved in the reelection campaign ("Obama campaign will host campus training," Feb. 21). The stated goal of the tour is to provide an opportunity for young voters in key states to "weigh in" on the issues that matter to them and learn how to organize to support the campaign on high school and college campuses.

Verbum Ultimum: Looking Beyond V-Week

(02/17/12 4:00am)

The coming of V-Week each year encourages the reopening of dialogue on issues surrounding sexual health, violence and female empowerment at Dartmouth. Many V-Week events provide opportunities, particularly for women, to explore issues of sexuality that some people may find uncomfortable to discuss in everyday life. We applaud the efforts of the organizers of V-Week to draw attention to these important issues and spark discussion among students. However, such dialogue needs to continue beyond this week and extend to a broader section of campus that includes men as well as women if it is to have any hope of effecting meaningful change.

Verbum Ultimum: A Viable "Alternative"

(02/10/12 4:00am)

? Over the past week, Student Assembly and the Campus Center Advisory Committee have been reaching out to students for input regarding new social spaces in the Collis Center and in the basement of the Class of 1953 Commons. We applaud these groups for seeking student involvement in the process of developing these new facilities, and we hope that they will take advantage of this opportunity to expand the range of social spaces on this campus in accordance with student views and student needs.

Verbum Ultimum: Breaking the Code of Silence

(02/03/12 4:00am)

Since the publication of Andrew Lohse's recent column ("Telling the Truth," Jan. 25), members of various groups in the Dartmouth community have come forward to participate in the dialogue about hazing at Dartmouth. Over the past week, members of Greek houses, the faculty, the administration and alumni have all offered their own perspectives on the pages of The Dartmouth. However, a truly productive conversation concerning the improvement of pledge terms cannot be sustained in Dartmouth's current environment in which the threat of fraternity sanctions and derecognition discourage productive dialogue.

Verbum Ultimum: Information Infringement

(01/20/12 4:00am)

Over the past week, numerous factions of American society have joined in protest of the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act, currently being debated in the House of Representatives, and its counterpart in the Senate, the Protect IP Act. A coalition of new media companies, civil liberties groups, politicians and common citizens have rapidly mobilized to pressure legislators into withdrawing their support for the two bills. In recent days, such efforts have spurred numerous prominent political figures to denounce SOPA, and it now appears Congress is unlikely to pass this legislation. For this, we breathe a sigh of relief. Although the intent of the acts is to protect copyrighted material from piracy and illegal use, the acts would restrict the free flow of information through the Internet in ways profoundly detrimental to both our campus community and society at large.

Verbum Ultimum: One of Our Own

(01/13/12 4:00am)

On Sunday, members of the Dartmouth community were notified of the tragic death of Crispin Scott '13 ("Student dies on Barcelona trip," Jan. 9). The news sent shock waves across campus as students, faculty and other members of our community grappled with the untimely loss of one of our own. Students and faculty immediately reached out to one another for support, organizing events such as the memorial gathering at Phi Delta Alpha fraternity and extending the availability of counselors, clergy and undergraduate deans. Through these efforts, students could seek comfort in the wake of this tragedy.

Verbum Ultimum: Reassessing Recruitment

(01/06/12 4:00am)

When admitting recruited athletes, Ivy League institutions perpetually struggle to balance the demands of competitive athletic programs with maintaining high academic standards. These schools have agreed to maintain a common minimum measurement of academic qualification, below which no athlete can be recruited. Unfortunately, recent evidence suggests that Dartmouth admissions has, on average, been accepting recruits with academic records that rank near the bottom of the Ivy League, and yet these low academic standards do not correspond to athletic success for the Big Green.

Verbum Ultimum: A Mistake to Learn From

(11/18/11 4:00am)

Last week, we all reneged on our moral responsibility to ensure that our campus is a safe, accepting place. The Dartmouth community's response to the discriminatory vandalism on the ground floor of Fahey-McLane residence hall has been delayed and half-hearted on every level. From the administration to student leaders to The Dartmouth itself, campus groups did not react to this disturbing incident in a forceful or timely manner that reflected the egregious and hateful nature of the crime. In so doing, Dartmouth students and administrators did not adequately send the message that homophobic, bigoted behavior is not tolerated here.

Verbum Ultimum: An Unappealing Repeal

(11/04/11 3:00am)

Last week, conservative lawmakers on New Hampshire's House Judiciary Committee voted to recommend a bill, H.B. 437, that would repeal the state's 2009 law legalizing same-sex marriage and replace it with a system of civil unions ("Bill could repeal same-sex marriage," Nov. 4). Under the proposed legislation, any individual could refuse without penalty to recognize these unions, and could freely discriminate against same-sex couples in housing, employment and public accommodations. The passage of this bill would be a catastrophic blow to equality and civil liberties in this state, and we strongly urge all students and community members, particularly those who plan to vote in New Hampshire next year, to vocally oppose the legislation in the coming weeks, before the House votes in January 2012.

Verbum Ultimum: A Hazy Definition

(10/28/11 2:00am)

This week, Director of Greek Letter Organizations and Societies Wes Schaub sounded an ominous note about the future of traditional pledge term activities at Dartmouth fraternities and sororities: "Most Greek leaders [are] people who understand that these are traditions but maybe might not have as much value as they once did" ("Greek orgs. evaluate pledge term activities," Oct. 26). Under Schaub's new leadership, Greek organizations are now receiving greater scrutiny for potential hazing than they have been in recent years. There is no doubt that some of the activities that comprise pledge terms at Dartmouth could rightly be considered dangerous and degrading. It is those activities, which occur at night in windowless basements and far from the eyes of administrators, that should be GLOS's primary concern.

Verbum Ultimum: An Ill-Advised Delay

(10/21/11 2:00am)

Last November, College President Jim Yong Kim announced that the College was finally undertaking a much-needed and long-awaited overhaul of the undergraduate student advising system. The new system, which would centralize all advising services in a single physical location, would be fully implemented by Fall 2011, Kim said in a previous interview with The Dartmouth Editorial Board ("College plans new advising system," Nov. 30, 2010).

Verbum Ultimum: Evaluating Our Standards

(10/14/11 2:00am)

Reading through the 12 recommendations recently put forth by the Committee on Standards Sexual Assault Review Committee, it is clear that both praise and criticism are in order. On one hand, the recommendations are sensible, long overdue updates to the College's policies and practices regarding sexual assault. On the other hand, the recommendations shed little light on the standard of evidence used for sexual assault reviews, keeping the process muddled and prolonging the widespread perception that the system is inconsistent and unreliable.

Verbum Ultimum: Debate Decorum

(10/07/11 2:00am)

Next Tuesday, the College will renew an exciting quadrennial tradition when GOP presidential contenders take the stage in Spaulding Auditorium for the ninth Republican primary debate of the 2012 election season. Hosting a debate is a tremendous honor one that only two other schools in the nation are currently scheduled to share. Students of all political persuasions should engage in the lively and spirited dialogue that the event will bring to our campus, but it is imperative that students and community members remember to set a civil and respectful tone for this discourse.

Verbum Ultimum: Employing Contemplation

(09/30/11 2:00am)

U.S. News and World Report confirmed this week what will come as no surprise to Dartmouth students: Internship experience is the norm, rather than the exception, on this campus ("College receives high ranking for internships," Sept. 30). More surprisingly, none of the other Ivies approach Dartmouth's percentage of graduating seniors who have previously held an internship. Dartmouth, which ranks third in the newly released U.S. News list, is the only Ivy to crack the top 10. This statistic is a powerful reminder of how Dartmouth's career-focused culture shapes students' expectations and beliefs in ways we often take for granted. The internship, practically a rite of passage for juniors on off-terms, is an integral part of Dartmouth's social current a current that also pressures students of all backgrounds and interests into participating in corporate recruiting each year.

VERBUM ULTIMUM: [Your Opinions Here]

(09/23/11 2:00am)

It is no secret that The Dartmouth's opinion page is widely and frequently criticized. Writers for this page receive every possible kind of feedback from our readership sometimes constructive, sometimes ridiculous, sometimes mean-spirited. Regardless of tone, many of our critics often seem to assume that we editors believe the opinion section is perfect. In reality, we, the members of The Dartmouth Editorial Board, are the most ardent critics of this page.

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