Michael Beechert


Beechert: Cry Out for the Future

One of the most beautiful aspects of this beautiful school is something often given little thought. The College’s motto — “Vox clamantis in deserto,” or “a voice crying out in the wilderness” — naturally holds meaning with respect to Hanover’s geographical location; everyone visiting Dartmouth for the first time, provided that he or she hails from actual civilization, is immediately struck by the seemingly never-ending sea of trees that surrounds campus. But we cheat ourselves by believing that this motto, which has roots in the Gospels, is simply a literal reference to the College’s place in the vast northern woods. It should serve, rather, as a poignant reminder that we have a duty as students to use our intellectual capabilities, as expressed by our literal and figurative voices, to speak out in times that demand the presence of forceful and well-reasoned opinions to protest an unacceptable status quo.

Beechert: Unnecessary Hostility

On Feb. 5, The Dartmouth Review published a response to articles written by myself and Matthew Goldstein criticizing the state of news at the College. On the whole, it was a fair defense of some of the Review’s current practices and displayed an admirable sense of mission. Although I believe that a couple elements of my piece were mischaracterized — the conservative image and spirit of the Review, I feel, are of central importance to the paper’s efficacy but should not rely on inflammatory invocations of the Indian symbol — it is encouraging to see that someone on this campus is thinking seriously about how to properly do journalism. I am happy to have helped spark such thinking, and I am sure that Goldstein feels similarly.

Beechert: Time for a Change

Matthew Goldstein ’18, in an excellent article published on Jan. 19, bemoaned the lack of high-quality journalism on this campus. The author correctly identified the twin culprits as The Dartmouth Review and The Dartmouth, the former of which he indicted for being overly reactionary and the latter for shoddy reporting standards. Both of these criticisms have merit — the Review does seem to gain no small amount of pleasure from antagonizing people, and this publication oftentimes leaves much to be desired with regard to the accuracy and depth of its journalism. Unlike Goldstein, I don’t believe that either one of these publications should necessarily strive towards ideological neutrality, and I am cynical about the ability of any campus newspaper to significantly change the world around it. However, there are a handful of simple steps that could be taken to improve the quality of reporting at Dartmouth, and in doing so focus more attention on the problems that actually exist on this campus.

Beechert: A Dangerous Game

I don’t exactly look forward to the beginning of the new year. The excitement of the Christmas season is over, classes and homework assignments start to make appearances on the daily agenda after a long period of absence, and Mother Nature promises at least three months of gray skies and freezing temperatures. One thing, however, brings a smile to my face and a spring to my step: the NFL playoffs. Even though God has apparently condemned my beloved New York Jets to eternal mediocrity, there’s nothing quite like tuning in every Saturday and Sunday to see football’s best slug it out on the path to the Super Bowl.