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Verbum Ultimum: A College Constituency

(04/21/17 4:45am)

William Pitt the Younger became Britain’s prime minister when he was 24. For most of his time in parliament, his constituency was the University of Cambridge. Until 1950, the United Kingdom allowed the students and alumni of universities to elect members to its national legislature, and Pitt, a man who would rule his country through many of its most tumultuous moments, took office when he was barely older than the average Dartmouth senior today.

Verbum Ultimum: Assembling, Better

(04/14/17 4:45am)

Student Assembly elections are next week, and social media is buzzing with candidates’ promotional photos and posts. With the election comes the age old question: what exactly does Student Assembly do? What should it do? For an organization meant to be the voice of Dartmouth’s student body to the administration, Student Assembly has potential that is currently untapped and under-supported.

Verbum Ultimum: Resurrect the Liberal Arts

(04/07/17 4:45am)

Unlike its Ivy League peers, Dartmouth is not situated in the great northeastern cities or suburbs. Yet, it is in this setting that we can best embody the spirit of those who have come before us: that of a small liberal arts college, with an undergraduate focus, where faculty and students work closely together and where learning is pursued for its own sake.

Verbum Ultimum: A Pale Red Dot

(03/03/17 5:45am)

During his address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night, President Donald Trump said that, “American footprints on distant worlds are not too big a dream.” He’s right: we’ve reached a moment of scientific achievement where reaching Mars is possible, where greater exploration of the moons of Saturn and Jupiter is around the corner. Our government, in partnership with private industry, should engage with the scientific community to create a doctrine of exploration and advancement. The future of humanity involves advancement in space alongside continued focus on real and pressing economic, environmental and justice-related concerns on Earth.

Verbum Ultimum: Ode on a Rejected Application

(02/24/17 5:45am)

The email comes back. It’s another “no.” Inboxes fill up with them, from clubs, from jobs, from professors. Many jobs won’t even bother to tell you that you haven’t made the cut, either — a denial through the attrition of time. Dartmouth’s social life is similar, with hoops to jump through to get through the doors of a manse on Webster or a crypt on Wheelock.

Verbum Ultimum: Principled Defiance

(02/03/17 5:30am)

“Isn’t it dreadful? Here we are, two officers of the German General Staff, discussing how best to murder our commander-in-chief,” said Henning von Tresckow, a major general in the Wehrmacht, as he plotted with his fellows to assassinate Adolf Hitler. This will not be a comparison of President Donald Trump to the forces von Tresckow and his contemporaries faced when they defied their government, their orders and their training as soldiers in an effort to bring about the end of Nazism. This is, however, a laudable example of the morality of government employees who stood up for their country even when it meant working against their leader.

Verbum Ultimum: We Need R-E-S-P-E-C-T

(01/27/17 5:35am)

“This House will in no circumstances fight for its King and Country.” That was a motion passed by the Oxford Union Society on Feb. 9, 1933. Argued by pro-Soviet students and philosopher C.E.M. Joad, the motion supported a pacifist United Kingdom, one built upon peace and tolerance. It was heartily opposed by, amongst others, Quintin Hogg, later Baron Hailsham of St. Marylebone, later a Conservative Party politician, who refused to shake his opponent’s hand at the debate’s conclusion, because he was so angered by what he saw as an unpatriotic resolution.

Verbum Ultimum: Death at an Inaugural

(01/20/17 5:25am)

There is a literary motif of a line of thrones filled with carvings of kings and queens: the first rulers with wise, kind faces in a line that descends into an ending of cruel and twisted effigies. Here lies a metaphor for the sweep of history, with societies first valuing noble, gracious sovereigns, then — through strife and corruption — selecting instead those of lower moral bearing.

Verbum Ultimum: Our Achey, Fakey News

(01/13/17 5:30am)

As if questions of so-called fake news could not get any more lurid and absurdist, on Tuesday night Americans were treated to a report published by Buzzfeed news that, amongst other things, claimed that President-elect Donald Trump paid a slew of Muscovite prostitutes to defile a bed used by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama while Trump watched. Whether the claim is true is, ultimately, relatively immaterial: millions of Americans will hear it and believe it, many millions more will dismiss it as propaganda regardless of its provenance or any process undertaken to confirm or rebut the accusations.

Verbum Ultimum: Celebrities, 2016 and Hope

(01/06/17 5:17am)

Judging from internet memes, press coverage and the national election, 2016 was the year the world went mad. To paraphrase the Broadway hit “Hamilton,” the world seemed to have turned upside down. One piece of unity amongst a year of division came from grief, however. Celebrity death after celebrity death marred 2016 — and, as the baby boomer stars of our youth age, that trend will likely accelerate.

Verbum Ultimum: Vote for Reproductive Rights

(11/04/16 4:15am)

Tuesday is Election Day. After a presidential race that has taken the better part of two years, and feels like it has taken the better part of a decade, we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. A great deal of ink has been spilled in this section concerning the presidential election. As important and historic as the presidential race is, this editorial is not about that; endorsements were made and what needed to be said was said. However, there is a lot more than just the White House at stake this coming Tuesday.

Verbum Ultimum: Hillary Clinton for President

(10/21/16 4:31am)

Every four years, presidential candidates and their supporters stress the importance of the current election. Hyperbolic statements about the apocalyptic future that would be in store for us if the other person wins color every cycle. However, we can say, without a great deal of reservation, that this election is at least one of the most important in the last quarter century — or even in the last 80 years, according to some experts. Before us stand two candidates that seem to be diametrically opposed, if not on every single issue then at least in experience, values and demeanor. It is traditional for The Dartmouth to endorse a candidate for president. During this election in particular, we feel a responsibility to make the case to all of our readers, whatever their political affiliations, that there is only one choice to be made if our country’s prosperity, future and values are to be secured. That is why, after much deliberation, we the editorial staff have chosen to endorse Hillary Rodham Clinton for President of the United States.

Verbum Ultimum: Outdated and Dangerous

(10/14/16 4:30am)

In the weeks leading up to the election, we as potential voters are bombarded with a constant stream of messages and calls to action. From electing the proper presidential candidate to stave off impending doom to making sure that we vote on the newest amendment to “preserve family values,” every election comes with a tidal wave of contradicting directions from both sides of the aisle. One message it seems that everyone can agree on, however, is that everyone who can register to vote should do so to make sure that they can cast a ballot on Election Day.

Verbum Ultimum: Housing Not Houses

(10/07/16 4:20am)

Most Dartmouth students were introduced to the new house community structures, or “centers,” when they arrived on campus this fall. The new buildings, one of which is located behind Gile Hall and the other behind the tennis courts next to the Alumni Gym, are a product of the new house community system implemented earlier this year as a part of the “Moving Dartmouth Forward” policy initiative. The building by Gile, a wooden, two-story structure, is meant for School and Allen Houses, while the other is meant for South and North Park Houses. Both buildings were designed to be temporary spaces where students from those houses — and others, if they so please — can talk, work and create a social environment all their own. It is commendable that the administration is trying to provide social spaces for a student body that has had limited access to alternative options. This focus on funneling resources and time into the house community system, however, seems like an empty gesture when there is still so much to be done with the housing system itself.

Verbum Ultimum: A Dangerous Protest

(09/30/16 4:30am)

Election Day is fast approaching. Between the campaigns to register — you really should, it isn’t hard — and the endless speculation over every interruption, fact check and sniffle from Monday’s debate, it seems like the presidential race is all that is on anyone’s mind at the moment. In getting to this point, several people’s preferred candidates on either side have been knocked out of the race. Many progressive, generally younger Democrats bemoan the end of Bernie Sanders’ quixotic attempt at the presidency, and scores of moderate Republicans have expressed uneasiness over having Donald Trump — a man for whom “problematic” is an understatement — represent their party. Because of the numerous real or perceived flaws in both of the candidates, many of which have been reinforced through specific media coverage, the narrative for this election for many Americans has become about choosing between the lesser of two evils.

Verbum Ultimum: The Writing on the Wall

(09/23/16 4:25am)

Any liberal arts college can be characterized by its emphasis on the written word. Be it literature, philosophy, mathematics, chemistry or anything in between, a liberal arts education places an explicit emphasis on the ability to effectively communicate, through writing, about whatever your area of study happens to be. As a liberal arts college, Dartmouth should be no exception, and it doesn’t claim to be. Indeed, two of the first nine classes a student ever takes at Dartmouth are supposed to be dedicated to ensuring that they can write clearly and effectively. After the much-lauded first-year writing requirements, however, it seems like the College’s emphasis on, and possibly respect for, writing declines significantly. It is treated as a means of getting ideas across about your subject of interest, and not much more. The fact that Dartmouth doesn’t have a writing, creative writing or communications major severely disadvantages us as students and makes us considerably less competitive going into the real world after graduation.

Verbum Ultimum: An Important Conversation

(09/16/16 4:30am)

For many Dartmouth students, the beginning of the fall term is one of the most exciting times of the year. People are starting new classes, reuniting with friends and joining new groups or taking on new positions in their current organizations. For incoming students, that excitement (and nervousness) is often multiplied tenfold. Between the nervous excitement of a new place and new people, the Dartmouth centric fervor of Trips and all the amazing programming directed at first-years, it can be easy for all of us, new and returning students, to get swept up in the excitement of the beginning of the school year. Amid all that energy and celebration, however, there needs to be some somber consideration of some of the more sinister realities that come with starting a new school year. Perhaps the most frightening and tragic of those realities is that over a thousand people, and thousands more across the country — are at an age where they are much more likely to be the victims of sexual and relationship violence than in any other time in their lives.

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