Jennifer Thomas


Articles

Convocation speakers emphasize diversity

Using the high-profile convocation ceremony to set his administration's tone for the upcoming year, College President James Wright greeted the Class of 2006 with an exhortation to challenge the stereotypes and assumptions of racism and white privilege. Wright received a standing ovation from the crowd of faculty, students and administrators who packed into Leede Arena for his discussion of what he termed "one of the most pressing challenges of your generation." The other convocation speakers -- Student Body President Janos Marton '04, Pulitzer prize winning journalist and Trustee David Shipler '64, and Dean of the Tucker Foundation Stuart Lord -- echoed Wright in setting diversity high on the College's agenda for the upcoming academic year. The event's focus on diversity fits with the administration's recent stress on making Dartmouth a more representative institution.



Arts

Mullins' solo acoustics captivate Dartmouth crowd

Three guitars, a cowboy hat and a sense of humor. Armed with these unlikely accoutrements, singer-songwriter Shawn Mullins played to an utterly enchanted audience in Spaulding Auditorium last Friday night. Widely known for the sweet-sounding melodies of "Lullaby," and "Shimmer," the RIAA platinum solo acoustic performer showed that he had much more to offer than just his popular hits. His casual manner and between-set jokes captivated the audience, making the impersonal 900-seat auditorium seem more like an intimate coffeehouse as he crooned his musical anecdotes. Sitting at a table outside Dartmouth's own Courtyard Caf before the show, the Atlanta native took some time out to tell The Dartmouth a bit about his life and career. "I never expected to have the kind of success I had with ['Lullaby']," the singer said of the piece which he feels "really got [him] on the map." According to Mullins, the fictional character to whom he offers soporific musical solace in the song was inspired by a real-life Hollywood girl who used to attend his concerts regularly. "That's how most of my songs are written," he said, taking a drag from his cigarette and explaining that his lyrics usually come from his own experiences, and are further developed through journaling.


'Shmen face higher risk for meningitis

A study conducted by the U.S Center for Disease Control and Prevention has found that bacterial meningitis -- which in the past few years has taken the lives of two members of the Dartmouth community -- is three times as prevalent among first-year college students than other undergraduates. Using data from all 50 states, including 231 college health centers, researchers found that of the 96 cases of meningococcal disease cited in the academic year ending in August of 1999, 30 were found in freshmen.


Stem cells are hot topic on Hill

Bush's decision last Thursday to provide federal financial backing only to researchers working with existing stem cell lines provided at least one topic of heated debate on Capitol Hill this week. After announcing that federal grants would be available early next year for research on stem-cell colonies already derived from destroyed embryos, many research supporters and patients' advocacy groups felt that the President had taken too conservative a stance by stifling potential scientific discoveries. On the other side, social conservatives, many of whom see such research as equivalent to the taking of pre-natal human lives, saw the policy as too liberal. Either way, skeptics pointed out that the President's qualified support represented a shrewd -- albeit transparent -- political move that allowed him to straddle the fence between two dissenting Republican constituencies. Fence-sitting or not, Bush's future ability to work with the legislative branch could be partially decided in the next few months, as Republicans and Democrats alike seek to pick up seats during Congressional redistricting. "It's political hardball, state by state, and anything can happen," Representative Thomas M.


Class of 2005 may face size challenges

With 1146 members in the Class of 2005, this year's group of incoming freshmen will be Dartmouth's largest in history and may face some issues because of its size. Dean of Admissions Karl Furstenberg said he expects an attrition of an additional 15 to 20 students before Fall term registration.


Lebanon blocks rugby clubhouse

The Lebanon Zoning Board rejected a College request to build a rugby clubhouse at Sachem Field at Monday night's meeting, deciding that the proposed facility was not necessary to playing the sport. After 30 minutes of debate, the board voted 3-2 to deny the College's club rugby team the special exception it needed to build a one-story clubhouse off Route 10. According to Lebanon Coding Enforcement Director Carmela Hennessy, the board felt that the plan "went beyond the scope of the ordinance" already granted to the rugby team for the use of their outdoor facilities. The proposed clubhouse would have included a kitchen, a team meeting and dining area, lockers, bathrooms and equipment storage space.



Many find stores tasteful but pricey

Despite its limited length, a casual stroll down Main Street, the only part of Hanover that, at a stretch, might be referred to as "downtown," yields a variety of shopping options. On Hanover's busiest street, the diligent shopper can encounter most of the essentials of student life -- from school supplies to camping supplies, spirit wear to dorm decor. The College itself is a presence on the street that leads up to the Green.


Controversy marks James Wright's term as president

After 30 years at the College, President James Wright was inaugurated as the 16th president in the Wheelock succession three years ago, beginning an era of controversial change at Dartmouth. Wright's two years at the helm of the administration have already produced some of the most significant and wide-reaching changes since the College began admitting women in 1971. With the surprising announcement of the Student Life Initiative less than six months after the beginning of his tenure as president, Wright's time as head of the College has been marked by a degree of debate and discussion over the future direction of the institution. Controversial changes In the days before Winter Carnival, Wright announced "The end of the Greek system 'as we know it'" after an interview with The Dartmouth in which he explained the changes coming as a result of the Initiative. The College president's work so far has largely focused on the implementation of this project, working closely with the Board of Trustees, faculty, students and other members of the Dartmouth community to determine how to best achieve and implement the goals described in the document issued by the Board. Wright, however, has long been working to modify the social and residential life at the College. In 1987, then Professor Wright chaired a committee that issued the "Wright Report," urging the College to build a new student center, reduce the influence of Greek houses on campus and increase the sense of community in residence halls. Many of these proposed changes have been carried over into the first stage of the implementation of the Initiative. Wright also sparked minor controversy when he accepted his appointment as president by stressing the idea of Dartmouth as a research institution.