Hanover Review Inc. P.O. Box 343 Hanover NH, 03755
Volu m e 3 9 , Is su e 3
We d nes d ay, May 1 5 , 2 0 1 9
The Green key issue
The destruction of Sodom and gomorrah John Martin, 1852, oil on canvas
Courtesy of Wikipedia
A Profile on Dartmouth’s The History Hoda Barakat of Pong Rachel T. Gambee
Executive Editor Throughout the Spring term, Hoda Barakat, newly-crowned queen of Arabic literature, has been quietly holding court on the southeast end of campus. Barakat, acclaimed Lebanese author and the latest recipient of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, has spent the term as a visiting professor in the Middle Eastern Studies Department. Her courses, “Language and Rebellion in Arab Literature,” taught in English, and “The Art of the Novel”, taught in Arabic, use literature to expose students to the often-overlooked human dimension of the ongoing unrest in the Middle
East. Barakat is no stranger to violence and unrest in her own writing. As a survivor of the Lebanese Civil War, Barakat’s first-hand experience with the conflict shaped the backdrop for many of her most acclaimed works. Her novels currently in English translation —The Stone of Laughter (1990), Disciples of Passion (1993), and The Tiller of Waters (2001)— all focus on characters who are forever changed by the civil war and its aftermath. Both of Barakat’s Dartmouth courses, the English course and the Arabic course, feature these novels—the former showcasing Barakat’s work alongside a selection of
novels of other Arab writers, while the latter focuses on Barakat’s work exclusively. In a comment to The Review, Chair of the Middle Eastern Studies Department Tarek El-Ariss stated that he was confident that Professor Barakat’s courses are “supremely intellectually stimulating” in ways entirely different from those taught by Dartmouth Professors who do not have her background as an author. El-Ariss remarked that, while Barakart is an author and a creator, other professors, himself included, are critics— “we critique the work that authors create, and as critics we read with an entirely different lens.” El-
Ariss argued that Professor Barakat’s students benefit from not just her general experience as an author, but from her intimate knowledge of the books that she is teaching—“how often do students get to learn from an author whose books they have been studying for years?” Professor El-Ariss’s confidence in in the quality of Professor Barakat’s courses seemed to be shared by Professor Barakat’s students. The Dartmouth Review sat down with students in each of her classes to discuss their experience learning directly from a such a culturally significant author.
> FEATURES page 6
Scotch M. Cara Joshua D. Kotran John S. Stahel Erik R. Jones Brian A. Morrison Staff of The Dartmouth Review
Editor’s Note: The following was first printed in 2018. Pong is quintessentially “Dartmouth.” It links students of the past to the students of the present, and emphasizes the camaraderie that exists within the larger Dartmouth community. Whether he or she won or lost, everyone remembers his or her first pong game with a great deal of affection. A rite of passage for all freshman, most will eventually find themselves behind a table, paddle in hand, desperately
trying to avoid being golden tree’d — losing a game without hitting a single cup — by the end of their first game. While the fate of any Dartmouth student’s first game of pong might be an eternally sore subject, it marks the start of an intimate and long lasting respectful relationship with the game. However, the adrenaline rush that comes as you sink your first cup is one that most students never forget. Pong through the ages is a topic often discussed by outsiders without context for its true importance— Total Frat Move, Business Insider, The New York Times, The Tab, and strangely enough even The Yale Daily News have all written about pong.
> Features page 8
on Dartmouth’s Debauchery
The history of green key
Editor-in-Chief Devon M. Kurtz addresses the decadence and danger of Green Key revelry.
Editor-in-Chief Emeritus Joseph A. Rago recounts a history of women, alcohol, and revelry.
A team of undergraduates win the 2019 NASA BIG Idea Challenge.
> EDITORIAL page 3
> features page 7
> features page 11
Thayer team wins NASA Competition
2 Wednesday – May 15, 2019
The Dartmouth Review
The Dartmouth Review
Table of Contents
Write Debate Pontificate For thirty-eight years, The Dartmouth Review has been the College’s preeminent independent newspaper and the only student opinion journal that can speak the truth. It is the oldest and most renowned campus commentary publication in the nation, inpsiring national movements at the likes of Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, and countless others. Our staff members and alumni have won many awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, and have been published in the Boston Globe, New York Times, National Review, American Spectator, Wall Street Journal, Weekly Standard, Village Voice, New Criterion, and many others.
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On Dartmouth’s Debauchery
Devon M. Kurtz
Executive Editors Rachel T. Gambee William G. Jelsma Zachary Z. Wang
Senior Editors W. K. James Erik R. Jones
Associate Editors Thomas A. Knight Gregory R. Mesa Victoria H. Xiao
Senior Correspondents Joseph R. Torsella
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Vice Presidents Jake G. Philhower Peter P. Scalise IV
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Inside the issue
The Definitive History of Pong..............................................................................................................................................................Page 1 Editorial: On Dartmouth’s Debauchery..............................................................................................................................................Page 3
Greg Fossedal, Gordon Haff, Benjamin Hart, Keeney Jones
Mean, Nasty, and Cruel-Spirited
The Storied History of Green Key.........................................................................................................................................................Page 7 The Men Behind our Buildings II.......................................................................................................................................................Page 10 Thayer Team Wins NASA Challenge..................................................................................................................................................Page 11
Board of Trustees
Emily Esfahani-Smith, Charles Dameron, Nicholas Desatnick, Gordon Haff, Benjamin Riley, Kevin Robbins, Adam Schwarzman, Alexis Vagianos
the review: Everybody’s reading it
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Hoda Barakat at Dartmouth..................................................................................................................................................................Page 1
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Wednesday – May 15, 2019
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The irony of beginning this editorial riod, the now seven-day festivity is off to with something like “When I think back a frosty start. The icy mixture of rain and to my freshman Green Key…” is that most sleet on Monday night casts an ominous people simply don’t remember anything shadow over the celebration of spring, from Green Key weekend. Green Key is in- seeming to declare the expansion of the deed a party for the sake of being a party, once weekend-long party to a week-long but something about it seems increasing- bacchanalia as decidedly premature. The ly extreme. In former Editor-in-Chief Joe wintery temperatures, however, have not Rago’s history of Green Key featured in stopped Zete from heralding the beginthis issue, he says, “Though the weekend ning of nature’s fertility season in a truis devoted to little more than revelry, par- ly pagan fashion: inviting students to a tying, and hanging out, it has been reinvig- dance party with an “anything but clothes” orated over the past few years. The idea of theme. While there will no doubt be plenty Green Key has evolved into a celebration of creative arrangements worn by attendof spring for the campus; a great exees, the clever theme still seems a tad cuse for students and alums alike unsettling to a sober observer at first to enjoy both the fair weather glance. Permissible? Yes. Digniand smooth beers.” Does that fied? Absolutely not. The only sound like Green Key today? I outfit I would feel comfortable do not think so. wearing to such a party would As Green Key probe a trash bag—at least gramming has excelled, then I would be up front the weekend has drawn about what I am. more and more visi In a conversators. The College has tion with a Dartmouth taken a number of professor who lives in a approaches to address small town a bit north this, including the reof Hanover, he told me Devon M. Kurtz quirement that concert that residents of his town attendees have wristbands, and entitling have grown concerned about this annual current students to a limited number of weekend in May because ambulance and such wristbands. Efforts were taken to other emergency resources in the Upper prevent the unauthorized replication of Valley are strained, accommodating the those wristbands, presumably in response drunken and injured revelers and less able to the event’s infiltration by underage and to provide services to other areas. From a uninvited Hanover High School students. student’s perspective, it is comforting to The size of Green Key is not as much of know that the College, town, and county an issue in my view as the kind of growth go to such lengths to keep students safe that the event has undergone. Guests un- while drinking, dancing, and fornicating. affiliated with the College—students from But the magnitude of resources devoted to other colleges whom Dartmouth students dealing with alcohol poisoning, injuries, invite—might seem to be a reflection of and sexual assaults over the course of the the weekend’s history as a prom weekend weekend should be alarming to students, in which women came to campus from and should raise questions about how efNew England’s women’s colleges. But, the fective the measures taken by the College sheer number of such mutually unrelated and community could actually be, and at guests—at least hundreds, but likely thou- what cost they come to Upper Valley ressands—has fundamentally changed the idents. Emergency responses are exactly character of Green Key. Compared with that—they respond to an issue that has alRago’s characterization, the weekend is no ready happened. Prevention is a far more longer as much an “excuse for students and challenging safety measure, primarily bealums alike to enjoy both the fair weath- cause much of that responsibility relies on er and smooth beers” as it is a spring- students taking initiative. time summit of debauchery for friends The College and some students of students who are no longer in classes have taken some initiative to try to prevent at their respective institutions. Unlike the especially dangerous situations. But no Dartmouth students who celebrate Green amount of vigilance on the part of MoveKey as a warm awakening and literally a ment Against Violence or Sexual Assault thawing after a long, harsh New Hamp- Peer Advisors could sufficiently accomshire winter, these base strangers seek the modate the tragically cumbersome event. pleasure of partying alone—βόσκονται As risks around the Homecoming bonfire χορταζόμενοι καὶ ὀχεύοντες. increased because of student tomfoolery, Students have met the program- the town and the College took action to ming development and concomitant atten- mitigate those risks swiftly and effectivedance growth with an expansion of their ly. If Dartmouth students are not careful, own—there seems to be no desire to place and continue to expand the week of unany limitation on the party. In an email restrained debauchery, I don’t doubt that to campus, Zeta Psi declared “Green Key similar actions will be taken in response to Monday.” But two weeks before finals pe- Green Key. Perhaps it should.
4 Wednesday – May 15, 2019
The Dartmouth Review
WEEK IN REVIEW College Republicans host Herman Cain On May 9th, the Dartmouth College Republicans and Young America’s Foundation hosted former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain for an intimate gathering of a couple dozen members of the Dartmouth community and Upper Valley. Cain, who is a prolific businessman and former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, spoke about two increasingly ‘controversial’ economic systems: capitalism and socialism. His event was titled, “Capitalism vs. Socialism: The Battle to Save the American Dream.” Much of his talk was directed at attacking leftists domestically and internationally, criticizing Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Senator Sanders (D-VT), the late president of Venezuelan Hugo Chavez, and Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY). While the crowd was decidedly smaller than most College Republican events, the attendees were able to listen to Cain without the usual distractions caused by protestors who frequent College Republican events.
AAPIHM holds Opening Ceremony On May 3, 2019, AAPIHM—Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month—hosted their kickoff ceremony in conjunction with Collis After Dark. The kickoff featured a performance by Alok Vaid-Menon titled “Femme in Public.” Vaid-Menon is a gender non-conforming, transfeminine performance artist, writer, educator, and entertainer who was
recently the youngest recipient of the Live Works Performance Act Award and has been featured on numerous publications including The New York Times, The Guardian, and National Geographic. An affair featuring catering from Hanover’s own Base Camp Café and Tuk Tuk Thai, the AAPIHM Opening Ceremony was both well-attended and lively. Vaid-Menon’s “Femme in Public” focused a range of artistic endeavors including poetry, stand-up comedy, drag, and musical performance. The stand-up comedy portion of the evening was a dynamic and utterly hilarious examination that drew on Vaid-Menon’s experiences as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community raised in an Indian American family. Much of the audience identified with at least some of Vaid-Menon’s upbringing— something that speaks very highly of the choice of bringing Vaid-Menon as a performer by the AAPIHM Student Committee. A graduate of Stanford University, Vaid-Menon spoke to their experiences being educated in a high-performing, competitive college environment. Judging by the audience’s positive reaction to this section of the performance, Dartmouth students identified with the Vaid-Menon’s experience. Following the performance, almost every member of the audience waited afterwards to speak with Vaid-Menon and express their gratitude and appreciation for Vaid-Menon’s taking time to visit Dartmouth. Vaid-Menon graciously talked to each member of the audience with a smile on their face before thanking each of the coordinators from the AAPIHM Committee.
enthralling performance of Tennessee’s Williams’s The Glass Menagerie on May 9th, May 10th, and May 11th. Described by the Theater Office as an “iconic…masterpiece,” The Glass Menagerie is said to hold a “hallowed place in the American dramatic canon… [that] grapples with the fragility of memory and identity and re-examines a classic depiction of disability on the American stage.” Moriarty’s adaptation illustrated an effortless understanding of Williams’s work. In an interview with The Hop Backstage, Moriarty spoke eloquently in great detail about her passion for Williams’s play and how much work she put into “melding critical scholarship and artistical dramaturgical practice… doing a great amount of research in the fields of both disability studies and theater arts.” This care and effort translated well to the stage. Also in this interview, Moriarty emphasized how wonderful the Department of Theater and her fellow undergraduate students were throughout her process. The culminating experience of Moriarty’s Dartmouth experience and three terms of work not only Moriarty, but for several students. The lighting, scenic design, and sound added a depth and sophistication to The Bentley Theater in a way that illustrated a great deal of sophistication from the undergraduate students who worked on it. The costumes exuded an effortless grace. Those watching each of the performances could not find any errors from the stage crew and the actors. Perhaps the most prominent example of the production’s care towards respectfully emphasizing the importance of accessibility was at the entrance to The Bentley Theater—the only entrance to the theater was the accessiDartmouth Theatre entrance. Having to experience this small Department’s The Glass ble element of the differently abled experience was something that illustrated the utmost atMenagerie tention and respect towards the serious elements of the play. To Moriarty and all those As a Department of Theater Senior Hon- who worked on the performance—a job well ors Thesis Kelleen Moriarty ’19 directed an done.
The Dartmouth Review
Missing Dartmouth Student found alive A search led by New Hampshire Fish and Game conservation officers found Dartmouth student alive after he went missing on Mount Moosilauke Saturday, May 11. The student was part of a college-sponsored hike of the mountain and reportedly turned back alone due to a lack of preparation. The hike was a part of the College’s physical education program, and included a number of students. After never returning to Moosilauke Ravine Lodge that night, the New Hampshire Fish and Game was notified of his disappearance, prompting the multi-day search by conservation officers and volunteers from Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue, New England K-9 Search and Rescue, the Upper Valley Wilderness Response Team, the Lakes Region Search and Rescue Team, and various members of the Dartmouth community. Campus was alerted of this unfortunate news by a message from Interim Dean of the College Kathryn Lively on Sunday, offering various resources for students to seek. Students were disturbed by the news, with much of the student body remembering the various Dartmouth tragedies that occured in nature over the past few years, including the death of a student. Given the low temperatures during the days and nights surrounding the ordeal— and the wintery conditions on the mountain during this time of the year—many students speculated on the worst scenario. Monday morning, May 13, the student was found alive, without shoes, by conservation officers. He was subsequently taken to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, where his condition was not specified but he was said the be walking. Local search and rescue teams and a group of Dartmouth students who had joined the conservation officers in the search returned relieved. In total, approximately 50 people and 2 helicopters were involved in the search. In response to the student’s disappearance, Fish and Game department officials reportedly plan to look into the details of the hike, which sent people lacking adequate preparation into the white mountains, where it is still winter.
Wednesday – May 15, 2019
Scotch M. Cara Peter P. Scalise
Devon M. Kurtz
“Green Key is so racist!”
“Am I too old to go to the Green Key Concert?”
“How dare DDS not let me bring Keystone into Foco!”
6 Wednesday – May 15, 2019
The Dartmouth Review
Ms. Gambee is a sophomore at the College and Executive Editor of The Dartmouth Review.
[IPAF,] so she is the biggest name Arabic literature right now.” The award Forehand is referring to is the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF). Barakat was awarded the prize just a few weeks ago at then end of April for her latest book, The Night Mail, a collection of fictional letters from Syrian refugees to their loved ones. This prize, often referred to as the Arab Booker, is the most prestigious award available in Arab literature, and Barakat is the first woman ever to win the award outright. To that end, Forehand’s praise for Barakat’s teaching continued to her writing. Having just finished two of her books, The Stone of Laughter and The Tiller of Waters in English and in Arabic, Forehand attested, “these books don’t just talk about war… they have truly universal qualities.” He also attested that Barakat “very intentional about her writing, every word she writes she writes with a purpose.” This fact, he remarked, has become even clearer to him having now read her books in the original language and having had the opportunity the study the works in class with Barakat. Forehand spoke to the intersection between Barakat’s course and his main course of study in the government department. He commented that through these books, “you really do get an image of the politics [of the region]. It’s not direct but you get these hints of what people might have been feeling during the time and of the effects of the war on the people.” Forehand noted that “there are a lot of intertextual references—from the history of Florence to Plato and other important works of political theory—that manifest themselves in her books.”
she responded by focusing on her confidence in the abilities and intentions of the students that she has interacted with at Dartmouth: “I’m sure this new generation will be very different on their approach to the big problems of society—especially regarding the region of the Middle East.” Reflecting on her recent acceptance speech for the International Prize in Arabic Fiction, Barakat offered insight into her connection to the Arabic language, which she chooses to write in despite being
featuring other Arab intellectuals such as Abdellah Taïa, Iman Mersel and fellow Dartmouth Professor Tarek El-Ariss. While these discussions have tended to stay firmly rooted in the arena of arts and culture, they have all hinted at the changes afoot in the region. Perhaps more significantly, however, these talks have also all alluded to the massive shadow that Barakat casts over the Arab intellectual community. At the beginning of the term, Taia and Barakat held a discussion on homosexuality
Joseph A. Rago
Forehand finally asserted his belief that this course is extremely beneficial to the many Dartmouth students like him who choose to study the Middle East in conjunction with Government— “I think that [it is very beneficial,] whether it be more of a focus on diplomacy... or more basic political theory, it really works in tandem with what I have been studying.” Regarding her students, Barakat told The Review, “They’re very serious and clever. They have a desire to know about this region and they have a high literary sensibility—it’s like a gift for me. I love my classes.” When asked how her classes would impact Dartmouth students,
primarily educated in French and a current resident of Paris. She explained, “My relationship to the Arab language is all that I have from the Arab world now, because I’m not living in Beirut or in another Arab city. It is my language, and I have a physical connection to it.” Perhaps her most insightful comment was on the value of language and literature to intercultural understanding: “Literature gives you a very deep vision, so it’s not only loving books or novels— it’s a matter of communication, real communication between civilizations.” In addition to teaching, Barakart has also hosted numerous public panels
and masculinity in the Middle East. The talk was given in conjunction with Taia’s latest film “Salvation Army”—a film about the turbulent life of a young gay teenager in Morocco that seemingly has no connection to Hoda Barakat. Nevertheless, Taia crediated Barakat throughout his presentation with paving the way for his depiction of homosexual characters on screen through her depiction of homosexual characters in her books. Just a few weeks ago in their talk on motherhood, Egyptian author Iman Mersel referred to Barakat as her inspiration to write. Finally, Chair of the Middle Eastern Studies Department Tarek El-Ariss has repeatedly
Hoda Barakat A noteworthy addition to the Dartmouth community.
“Literature gives you a very deep vision, so it’s not only loving books or novels—it’s a matter of communication, real communication between civilizations.”
The Storied History of Green Key
Hoda Barakat at Dartmouth Katelyn Zeser ‘22—a student in Professor Barakat’s “Language and Rebellion” course— told The Review that Professor Barakat’s class is “very unique” from any others that she has taken during her freshman year at Dartmouth. Zeser largely credited this to the extremely small class size—only eight students are currently enrolled in this course— in addition to the depth of discussion that Professor Barakat is able to cultivate. Zeser confirmed that Professor Barakat had been successful in steering the class away from more sensational works of Arab fiction that often lose themselves in Hollywoodesque tropes when discussing social and political conflicts in the region— “The readings are not the blockbuster mold of what Arab literature should be. I’ve had to go into the stacks and search every nook and cranny to find some of the books that she has picked. Because of that, I feel like I have gotten a more holistic view of what Arab literature actually is.” Zeser also commented on Professor Barakat’s connection to the books she teaches—“It’s very clear that every book [Professor Barakat] picked is very personal to her. We aren’t just analyzing books, we are analyzing them in relation to her as a writer.” These books she has selected, along some of with Professor Barakat’s own books have served as the foundation for what Zeser called “moving” discussions in class. She concluded remarking, “we are discussing universal human ideas—we aren’t just discussing Arab problems, we are discussing human problems.” Zeser’s praise was echoed by Eric Forehand ‘21, a student in Professor Barakat’s “The Art of The Novel” course. In this course, which is taught primarily in Arabic, Forehand explained that “when we are focusing on a book we will read it first in English, but then we will go more in-depth and read sections again in the original Arabic, which I think is important.” He remarked that this course has helped him further strengthen his skills in the language with all class discussions and responses being conducted and written entirely in Arabic. On Barakat’s teaching, Forehand remarked that “she definitely lends an interesting perspective because she is a part of the Arabic literary community—she just won the
Wednesday – May 15, 2019
> CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
The Dartmouth Review
introduced Barakat as an icon in the Arab literary world and his most valued interlocutor. All of this praise, through well deserved by Barakat, has also served a purpose for the department. The Middle Eastern Studies Department was only officially established last summer after years stuck in limbo as part of the amorphous and generally confusing Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Department, which is thankfully now defunct. Despite already promising enrollment numbers and a handful of very strong newly-tenured professors, the department needed a strong opening if they hope to compete with academic giants like Princeton’s Near Eastern Studies Department or The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. This entire academic year has been a campaign to establish the department’s credibility both to Dartmouth students and the larger academic community. The acquisition of Hoda Barakat, even just on a visiting professor basis, has been the crowning achievement of this campaign. In addition to her adoration by her students, this was only further solidified when Barakat received the IPAF during her tenure at Dartmouth. The department’s decision to tie its nascent star to Barakat’s has been quite wise—hers is already high and appears to be only further on the rise.
Editor’s Note: The following has been reprinted. In a 1951 column in The Boston Globe, Bill Cunningham ’20 wrote: “It may come as a surprise to modern prom hoppers that [the original] Green Key Weekend had nothing to do with their sort of business. Instead of soft lights, hot music, and gentle dabbles in romance, it came straight out of the he-man’s world of blood, sweat, and leather.” The origins of the modern Green Key celebration can be traced to 1899. The class of 1900 put together House Parties Weekend, a four-day celebration at the end of May that featured sporting events and parties and culminated in a Junior Prom on Saturday night. During the Weekend, the upperclassmen invited dates from area colleges, whose names were printed in the Daily Dartmouth on the Monday following. Over the weekend, the women would reside in the fraternity houses while the brothers found lodging elsewhere. The administration required each house to hire chaperones to guard against lewd and lascivious behavior. Thus began the tradition of “Sneaks,” whereby Dartmouth men would try to slip past the schoolmarms and matrons guarding the upstairs in small hours of the morning. The most enterprising would often employ creative measures to sneak to the upper levels of the houses to rendezvous with their best gals. During House Parties Weekend, the freshmen were not allowed to participate in the festivities and were barricaded inside the dining hall. Clearly, the freshmen took the brunt of the abuse at the College in those days. First, they were required to wear freshmen caps, floppy beanies that Clifford B. Orr ’22, in a memoir of his freshman year, described as “absolutely the brightest green as you can imagine. They are the same color green as cerise is of red.” The embryonic Green Key marked the first weekend that the freshmen were allowed to remove the caps in public—though not before a considerable ordeal. The week leading up to House Parties Weekend was known as “running season,” when every freshman was required to run out of sight when ordered to do so by an upperclassman. Orr remembered that the campus was “covered by bobbing green caps of disappearing freshmen.” They were also required to rouse the sophomores in the morning, and to run errands for the seniors during the afternoons. The freshmen photograph for Mr. Rago was a member of the class of 2005 at the College and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of The Dartmouth Review.
the Aegis was always staged in the days leading up to the weekend, and the sophomore class traditionally took it upon themselves to kidnap as many of the freshman as possible so as to disrupt its taking. Marauding bands of sophomores would prowl about campus, brandishing clubs and the butt-ends of revolvers, in search of prey. When a first-year was spotted, they would give chase and seize him; captured freshmen were tossed into the cellar of
diagonally across the Green. The freshmen would run between them while being beaten and flogged with sticks and the sting of belt leather. (Serious injuries would often result from seniors turning their belts around and whipping with the buckles). Still, the freshmen took the Gauntlet in good spirits. For Orr’s class, “nothing very serious happened”—just “gashed and bleeding faces” and “two arms out of joint and a broken collar-bone,
the ramshackle Phi Sigma Kappa barn. In Orr’s experience, “Sixty captives were there, tied hand and foot, and strewn on the floor. We were thrown down among them, and you can believe that we passed a wretched night, with the cold winds howling through the shattered windows, and shrieking through the cracks along the damp floor.” Orr went on to describe his harrowing escape and grueling trek back to campus. “It has surely been a grand and exciting time,” he continued, “and if the whole class doesn’t come down with typhoid fever from drinking streams… we shall consider ourselves lucky. Thank Heaven, though, it’s over.” Of course, it wasn’t. At sundown, a bugle would sound and all four classes would gather at the Senior Fence. Led by the band, they would assemble into columns (the freshmen last) and march up the College Hill to the Old Pine, where elite juniors would be inducted into the Palaeopitus senior society. A parade across campus would follow, which terminated at the center of the Green, where a huge keg was waiting. In the days of Daniel Webster, the cask was filled with old New England rum; in later days, it was filled only with lemonade. Palaeopitus would advance and drink, followed by the seniors, then the juniors. By this point, the fluid would be running low, and the Rush would begin. At the crack of a pistol the sophomore and freshman classes, laying in wait on opposite sides of the Green, would charge towards the keg and attempt to pull it back towards their respective sides. Pandemonium would always ensue— several freshmen usually ended up unconscious. Orr remembered, “If you have never been in a rush, you do not know the feeling of endless pushing, panting, struggling, slipping, fearing every moment that you will be the next to disappear under the feet of the six or seven mad youths and be trampled.” Before the Prom, a final tradition would take place—the Gauntlet. The upperclassmen would line up
nothing more.” Finally, the festivities ended with the ceremonial burning of the freshman caps. Of course, the upperclassmen continued to revel at the Green Key Prom all the while. The tradition continued until1924 when the faculty and administration decided to cancel it because of “alleged misconduct and rather wild behavior in the previous years.” It is generally believed that the ban on the Prom resulted from an incident involving Lulu McWoosh, a visiting woman who rode around the Green on a bicycle bereft of the traditional prom attire, or any other attire, following copious drinking. While students, no doubt, enjoyed the scene, the administration was not amused. The Junior Prom did not return to Dartmouth for another five years. There is no indication that anything else filled the void during the heart of the Roaring Twenties, but during this time, unrelated events transpired which would allow for the return of this festive May weekend. In 1921, the Dartmouth football team left for Seattle to play the University of Washington. The Dartmouth team was greeted at the station by uniformed Washington students who took charge of baggage, bought refreshments, and served as guides. Until then, it had been a tradition of Dartmouth students to view visiting athletic teams with hostility. The warm welcome in Washington inspired the formation of a similar organization at Dartmouth, and, on May 16,1921, the Green Key was born as a sophomore honor society. The society underwent dramatic structural revision over the next few years, both in terms of the way it selected its members and in its function. Initially, it had three aims: entertaining representatives of other institutions, acting as freshman rule enforcement committee, and selecting from its ranks the head cheerleader and the head usher of the College. Only the first of these aims remains today. About two years after its inception, the society voted
Over the weekend, the women would reside in the fraternity houses while the brothers found lodging elsewhere. The administration required each house to hire chaperones to guard against lewd and lascivious behavior.
to turn its “vigilante function”— forcing freshmen to wear their caps—over to the sophomores. In time, the function of selecting the head usher and cheerleader was turned over to various College departments. In 1927, at the faculty’s request, society members wore their uniforms of white trousers, green sweaters, and green caps with the key emblem during freshman week to help clueless frosh find their way around the College. To meet the expenses of entertaining visiting teams, the society sponsored an annual fundraiser. In 1929, this became the Green Key Spring Prom. The party had returned. The administration felt that the weekend would be better organized and take on an air of civility if the Green Key Society oversaw the activities. In 1931, the College banned fraternity house parties because of frequent occurrences of what it called “disorderly conduct.” President Hopkins, at one point, threatened to ban Green Key festivities, writing in a letter to Inter-Fraternity Council president Albert Bidney ‘35 that “the Green Key Promenade cannot be held unless definite assurances can be made that propriety will attend it.” Still, Green Key weekend took on epic proportions. It became the font from which Dartmouth alums drew their most fantastic stories of life at Dartmouth. The Boston Herald and The New York Times carried accounts of the weekend and published a guest list of the largest yearly party in the Ivy League. The list was no small undertaking, considering that thousands of women from all over the Northeast made the pilgrimage to Dartmouth. The fraternities took on the enviable task of housing this flood of eager women. The Green Key Ball was forcibly brought to an end in 1967 after rioting broke out. Drinking, then as now, was always an integral part of the festivities. Green Key provided the occasion for one of Judson Hale’s most famous anecdotes. Hale was a member of the class of ’55 and the storied editor of Yankee magazine; he was expelled from the College after vomiting Whiskey Sours on Dean Joseph McDonald and his wife during a performance of the “Hums.” Hums, according to Orr, was a “Dartmouth tradition, old as the College, I guess.” Each fraternity would compose a tune and perform it for the College at large, to be judged by the music department and other administrators. Hums became a bone of contention as the years passed by and the songs became racier and filthier. The administration gradually became less and less tolerant of these amusing tunes, and eventually began censoring them once the College went co-ed. In 1979 “Real Hums,” sponsored by the Inter-Fraternity Council, was in-
troduced, free from the College’s red pen. Real Hums caught on for a while and was even reported once by Playboy magazine to be the best party of the year. Eventually, though, the tradition fell by the wayside. Gradually, the Gauntlet, too— for whatever reasons— faded away, though the ingrained traditions of ritualized beatings proved harder to stamp out. During the “Wetdowns,” newly elected student government representatives would be pelted with vegetables, food, and debris as they ran across the Green. During the 1960s, a tradition of chariot racing took root. The fraternities would construct unsteady and unbalanced chariots, which new and intoxicated pledges would haul around a track on the Green while being assailed by eggs, condiments, flour, rotting vegetables, sacks of potatoes, beer cans, and other rubbish. The race ended when all the chariots were demolished. Eventually the administration forced the races off the Green and to a large field near the river. When the event finally became too violent near the end of the eighties, the chariot races came grinding to a halt. Green Key has traditionally had no theme—simply a weekend to take college holiday for no reason. Only once in its illustrious history has it had one, and it was an unmitigated disaster. At the behest of Director of Student Activities Linda Kennedy, the College officially dubbed Green Key “Helldorado” in1994. The tag honored the Swinging Steaks, a band the Programming Board had hired to play in the center of Green. Students could also enjoy a petting zoo, human gyroscope, moonbounce, and a magician. Needless to say, there was no theme the following year. Today, though the most outlandish and violent traditions of Green Key have faded into obscurity, the spirit of the weekend lives on. Though the weekend is devoted to little more than revelry, partying, and hanging out, it has been reinvigorated over the past few years. The idea of Green Key has evolved into a celebration of spring for the campus; a great excuse for students and alums alike to enjoy both the fair weather and smooth beers. A staple of Green Key since it began in the early nineties, despite a short interruption earlier in this decade, Phi Delta Alpha’s Block Party on Friday enlivens Webster Ave and sets the pace for the weekend’s festivities. Alpha Delta’s Lawn Party provides in that same strain an opportunity for daylight inebriation, despite the best efforts of Hanover’s finest. As Clifford Orr wrote in May 1918, “These are happy days. The evenings are so warm and so perfectly delightful that we do our best to get our studying done in the afternoons that we might [hang out] well before dark.”
Wednesday – May 15, 2019
The Dartmouth Review
The Definitive History of Pong Cont.
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One accordingly famous ‘78 even wrote his thesis on the game. We at The Review wanted to write this because we love pong and all of its longstanding traditions and quirks. The first reported game of pong was in the mid-1950s. However, it was a niche social activity reserved only for certain fraternities that didn’t gain mainstream popularity until the early ‘70s — Fraternity leadership from the class of 1967 remarked that they did not ever play pong when they were on campus. Multiple members from the class of 1971 made comments along the lines that pong “wasn’t a campus-wide folkway…[and its] culture only thrived in fraternity basements.” However, certain members of the class embraced this new game and played an average of anywhere from two to four nights a week — a number that may sound familiar to the average current student. As pong continued to permeate fraternity basements, its popularity began to spread. In 1976, with the addition of female students on Dartmouth’s campus, fraternities began breaking the handles off of pingpong paddles to make it more difficult for women to hold the paddles and become acclimated to the game. Like most weak and pathetic attempts of excluding women from social spaces and activities, this failed miserably. Women quickly integrated themselves into pong culture, adapting to these new paddles and sinking cups. In 1977, the College revoked pong’s status as the
up and execution of our favorite pastime has evolved since its widespread adoption in 1970s. A Sigma Kappa ‘74 — a selfproclaimed pong expert — concisely described the rules he played with, “the game in the 1970s consisted of putting a full cup of beer in the middle of each quadrant of the ping pong table. The objective was to hit the opponent’s cup in which case he and his partner had to drink 1/4 of his cup or even better to hit the ping pong ball into the opponent’s cup in which he and his partner had to chug their beers.” However, should you knock over your own beer, you had to fill it, and both you and your partner had to chug their cups. After hitting your opponents cup 4 times, they were out and the next team came on table. Despite the common objective, the current practice of aligning the cups in a tree bears little resemblance to the game of old. Even the way we execute pong shots has changed. Prior to the turn of the century, pong much closer resembled the game of ping pong where shots were low and difficult to return. A strong player would ideally be able to smash the cups off the table in which case the opponent had to refill the cup and then imbibe. While still observed in houses such as GDX and Sig Ep today, aces were also crucial to prior variations of pong. An Alpha Chi ‘79 confirms that pong players were just as conniving back then as today with a description of service tactics: “pong involved both fast serves as well as serves using subterfuge,
By the late 1980’s, pong’s place on campus had solidified. More and more frats integrated pong into their basement scenes and it became a fundamental part of culture at Dartmouth. only college sponsored drinking game in history. Today’s Master’s tournament — played over each class’s sophomore summer might be considered an homage to this historical legacy — each Greek house puts forth their two best teams and one house reigns supreme in an epic tournament of pong. By the late 1980’s, pong’s place on campus had solidified. More and more frats integrated pong into their basement scenes and it became a fundamental part of culture at Dartmouth. The game spread and subtle changes began to emerge between the various houses on campus. Today, students can be seen playing pong in every basement, almost every day of the week. The Review reached out to alumni to attain a better understanding of how the set Contributors to this article include alumni, students, and staff of The Dartmouth Review.
surprise, unconventional serving, and distraction (even physical distraction in doubles).” Nowadays, two players per team is the standard, and the standard pong shot is a lob hit which follows the trajectory of an arc on it’s journey from the paddle to (hopefully) the opponents’ cups. One can only guess as to why pong moved away from the fast pace slams to the elongated lobs. Perhaps influence from pong’s ugly red-headed step sister—beirut, a carnival game that no reasonable person would ever consider as being classified as pong—encouraged the use of an arced shot to attack cups. Maybe, the slam pong involved much more movement and our game was bread of laziness. Regardless, many students would be shocked and uncomfortable to see the game of old played in our familiar basements. Not only is slam pong frowned upon, lobs are the only truly acceptable way to hit a cup. If a player hits the ball
Dartmouth pong An essential part of the Dartmouth experience. too low, or, more accurately, with a downward arc, anyone playing or even observing the game can call “low” and have the player reserve. Cup placement has also deviated from earlier times. Many think of the eleven cup Tree formation as a sacred symbol to Dartmouth. Bearing questionable resemblance to the Lone Pine, the arrangement can be seen on table (in order to aid in set up as the night grows long) and even embroidered on fraternity shirts. Although this is the default formation in most Greek houses, a variety of different patterns are used for special occasions. When time is of the essence and waiting lines are long, many houses resort to Shrub, a smaller version of tree that only uses seven cups and less beer. On the other end of the spectrum, empty basements sometimes see the infamous Sequoia formation, a tree with an extra row of five beers behind the previous back row of four beers with a double stem. Obviously, this game takes longer and leaves participants substantially more intoxicated than a game of Tree. An even more ambitious and rare formation referred to as 3-D
this game can quickly turn into hedonistic chaos and is normally preserved for big weekends or reckless Keystone enthusiasts. One of the last four player pong formations played today is referred to as The Line of Death and still can be seen in the basement of Sigma Nu on rare occasions. Line consists of 9 or 11 cups placed in a horizontal line a paddle’s length away from the back of the table. A Sigma Nu ‘92 remarks that in his day, Line of Death had three separate variations. Standard Line of Death consisted of 8 cups centered on the table. Wall of Death consisted of 16 cups lining the entire width of the table. Great Wall of Death consisted of 32 cups—two rows together, lining the entire back of the table—and a great deal of regret the next morning. Line formations are thought to reward pinpoint accuracy as all the cups are at the same distance away from the other side of the table. Occasionally, games of pong involve more or less than four players and thus require adjusted set ups. For players serious about improving their game, 48 is a variation that requires only two players. The name is derived
In 1976, with the addition of female students on Dartmouth’s campus, fraternities began breaking the handles off of ping-pong paddles to make it more difficult for women to hold the paddles and become acclimated to the game. pong which refers to the threedimensional set up. On top of the original tree, cups are stacked higher and higher until reaching a peak cup four cups above the table. Because of the larger target,
from the point system used to score the game, and it bears some resemblance to pong played in the 70s. Two cups are needed for each opponent placed side by side a paddle’s length from the back.
One beer is split between the two cups and each cup contains four points. A hit represents one point while sinking a cup finishes whatever points are left in the cup. Although often overlooked, it is customary that after a cup is finished, it remains on the table and any strikes or sinks of said cup result in a point deducted from the remaining beer cup. These cups are only refilled when all beer is gone which happens to fall of multiples of 8 hence the name of the game, 48, referring to a game that ends when the loser finishes his sixth beer. An opponent may have to refill his cups multiple times before his adversary if severely outmatched. Considered a “gentleman’s game” it does not matter who serves the ball and participants are obliged to refrain from spin serving. When more than four players are looking for a game, often times two tables will be pushed together for a round of Harbor which requires four teams of two players. Harbor, as the name suggests, is comprised of five ships, straight lines of cups of varying lengths that are “sunk” when a cup is sunk and less that two and a half full cups remain in the ship. Each team starts the set up in a corner of the now square table. A ship consisting of six cups runs from the corner to the teams right along the edge of the table while a ship of five runs along the left edge starting about a cup length from the start of the six boat. From this “L” shaped start, a four-length boat runs diagonally towards the center of the table, bisecting the ninety degree angle created by the first tow boats. Running along the same edge as the five boat is the three boat which lies on the edge of the teams region right where the two tables have been pushed
The Dartmouth Review
Wednesday – May 15, 2019
The Definitive History of Pong Cont.
together. Placed horizontally in front of the four boat is the elusive two boat. Lastly, the one boat is placed in between the six, five, and four boats and is actually not a ship at all, but a mine. The mine is notoriously easy to hit and, when struck, the offender must go over to the opponent’s side of the table, drink the mine, and then refill it. This ordeal leaves the offender’s side vulnerable as the game does not stop while his other partner must now defend their whole quadrant. As teams are eliminated, they must leave the table and when two teams are left, they take their remaining cups and play on one table as if a regular game of pong. It is important to remember that harbor waits for no one — anybody is able to serve the ball and stepping away from the table does not stop the game. Some also play where off table shots can be slammed at opponents and hitting them results in the drinking of a half. Today’s fraternities and sororities all have their own unique rules and customs. Chi Heorot, known for its high ceilings and spacious pong area, offers a space suitable for expert-level pong. Pong at Heorot is played with the regular tree formation, but without medians. Teams can usually decide who serves, and 3 serve attempts are allowed. Ceilings are always good at Heorot, even on serves, regardless of how hard the ball is hit. Slams are only good off of elbows or on saves, and there are no team saves, meaning that only the person whose turn it is to hit can save the ball. When one’s teammate is especially bad at saves, this rule can be liver-killer. Sigma Alpha Epsilon also uses the tree formation, but requires that serves be played to the person that has just sank a cup, if applicable. Servers also get 3 tries here, but team saves, along with team returns are allowed, meaning that anyone playing at SAE can save, or return a save. The brothers of Beta Alpha Omega have no problem flipping over their tables and clearing out their basement for dancing during the night, but pong is nonetheless an important activity in their basement. Beta uses the tree formation like most fraternities, and also allows 3 strikes on serve, but only counts a serve as a strike if the ball goes off the table. Beta allows team saves, and also allows the use of the body throughout gameplay. The one rule that makes Beta unique is that they allow ceiling slams. Phi Delta Alpha, or Phi Delt, has a heavy-drinking atmosphere that is very conducive for pong. The rules at Phi Delt are pretty standard, with tree formation and 3 off-table serve attempts, Contributors to this article include alumni, students, and staff of The Dartmouth Review.
although any use of the body is strictly prohibited (and may get you booed out of the basement). Make sure not to hit the ceiling on serves! At Sigma Phi Epsilon, pong is played in tree formation, with only 2 serves, and aces garner a cup from the other team. Sig Ep also has a unique rule called the “playmaker,” where sinking the middle cup on the first hit will kill the entire back row of cups. Sig Ep also allows team saves, as most fraternities do. Tri Kap (Kappa Kappa Kappa) is one of the few frats to use the shrub formation, making games shorter, but also making lines move more quickly. Tri Kap allows 3 serve attempts, and allows players to serve to either side of the table, and also allows team saves. The brothers here can chug like no other, and you’ll scarcely see beer being poured onto the floor. That
Chi Gamma Epsilon, known as Chi Gam, has the basement divided into two sections: Varsity and JV. The Varsity table has a higher ceiling than the other tables, but the same rules are played on the Varsity table and the four JV tables. Chi Gam only allows 2 serves that miss the table, and doesn’t count ceiling serves. People are expected to serve the ball to someone when they sink a cup, and team saves are allowed. As stated previously, Sigma Nu will sometimes play with the uncommon line formation as an homage to past pledge classes of the 80s and 90s. However, the basement more commonly plays tree. They allow for 3 serves. They no longer play with aces, and environment is good. Bodies fall into a weird gray zone, where nobody in the basement will you out on it, but they will give you a dirty look. Respect the house,
Regardless of what basement one plays in, pong is a quintessential bonding opportunity. This can be seen in its role as a social event for many non-Greek organizations, including varsity and club sports teams, academic clubs, and even classes and study groups. being said, their somewhat-newly renovated basement contains a water fountain in close proximity to their tables. If you want to play with water— go for it, and drink it to stay hydrated! Alpha Chi Alpha, known as Alpha Chi, has a uniquely shaped basement with three standard pong tables and one table reserved for a drinking game called chesties— four players with one cup each stand at each corner, and attempt to hit the ball off of their chests into their cup. Alpha Chi allows 3 serves, and also allows environment on hits, meaning that they play anything that hits the table off of any object that is not the floor. Ceiling slams are also allowed. See a brother saluting while drinking? Ask him what it’s about! TDX (Theta Delta Chi) hosts a heavy-drinking pong scene, and plays with a double stemmed tree, placing a 12th cup at the base of a normal tree set up, and often pouring 7 beers. This basement also can often turn into a dance scene, but is great for pong during the early and extra late hours of the night. TDX doesn’t allow team saves, but does allow use of the environment and the body. GDX (Gamma Delta Chi) has a two-floored basement, allowing for a simultaneous dance and pong scene. One level of the basement is your standard scene, but the lower one used to be an underground pool. Ceilings are accordingly especially high at this lowest level. They only allows 2 serves, but play aces on serves as a cup. GDX doesn’t allow ceiling serves, but does allow for team saves.
respect the basement—only use your paddle. Psi U mostly plays with shrub, but most brothers prefer to play tree. Unfortunately for those unfamiliar in playing in their rather short basement, Psi U allows for ceiling slams. The brothers of Zeta Psi also mostly play shrub. As the first sorority to cut ties from a national organization and go local, Sigma Delt’s basement is always open as a female dominated social space. The women of Sigma Delta are known for their utter mastery of pong. Coining the phrase heard in most every house on campus “Sinking Halves and Respecting Women,” Sigma Delts are a force to be reckoned with in basements— especially their own. Sigma Delt’s claim pong as theirs and are happy to share that love of the game with all who wish to share it. The house’s official rules reflect this. There must be at least one sister on table at all times, and when playing with water they request that the cups be taken from their sustainable cup dispenser. If someone isn’t in the basement, nobody may call line for them. In order to ensure that as many games can be played as possible, the house plays with shrub and harbor may not be played on on-nights when people are waiting to play. Sigma Delt’s open basement and rules clearly show how pong can be used as a tool on Dartmouth’s campus to promote equity and fun — all those in their basement and respecting the line can expect to play and have a wonderful time. A game can only be as good as its players’ desire to play fairly, and
the sisters of Sigma Delt ensure that rules are respected and upheld within the entirety of their domain. Regardless of what basement one plays in, pong is a quintessential bonding opportunity. This can be seen in its role as a social event for many non-Greek organizations, including varsity and club sports teams, academic clubs, and even classes and study groups. Usually everyone in the group will plan a convenient time for an organization-wide tournament, and “rent out” a frat basement early during an “on” night (Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday) or on an “off ” night (any other night). These tournaments are always open to anyone within the student group, regardless of affiliation, but usually at least one member of the student group must be affiliated with the house that is being used. Pong tournaments are so crucial in fostering team camaraderie that many clubs will hold a tournament every term. In tightly-knit sports teams, two separate “rankings” will often develop — one for the actual sport being played, and one for pong. Sometimes certain playing traits will even carry over from the given sport, making for a distinct playing style and outlook on the game. Pong can be played with or without alcohol, and with almost any type of alcohol. While Keystone Light is certainly the most common poison picked, cups can be seen with everything ranging from batch and boozy lemonade to an IPA of one’s choosing and hard cider. Recently, White Claw’s hard seltzer has made its way into basements and cups, much to the chagrin of beer-lovers everywhere. Once a term, Sigma Alpha Epsilon hosts “Champagne” where invitees dress in classy garb and play with sparkling wines ranging from a $7 Prosecco, to bottles of Veuve Clicquot. However, an important terminology change must be noted — when one plays pong with champagne, one ought to call it “Champong.” There is an argument that pong — like all drinking games — encourages a drinking culture. To a certain point, this argument has merit. A team holding table could easily consume 15 beers over the course of a few hours. Certainly, there are variations of the phrase “losing means drinking, drinking means winning, therefore losing means winning” espoused by alumni as far back as 1975. However, to play pong one is not required to drink. An Alpha Chi ‘79 emphasizes this sentiment stating “for all the folks who say [pong] only encourages drinking alcohol, please note that we played plenty of water pong when we didn’t want to drink beer.” As nights grow long and players’ tolerance become stretched, cups filled with beer get spilled onto the floor — much to the chagrin of new members responsible for
cleaning the basement — and get replaced with water for the next games. This care to not push students past their limits could be attributed to numerous features of pong. The most cynical explanation might be that as pong is a team sport, teammates have a practical interest associated with preventing one another from over-indulging lest their overall performance suffer. There might also be a more tender explanation— the camaraderie brought about by pong could breed a semblance of mutual respect that incentivizes all players to look out for everyone’s best interest. After all, there is no honor in winning a game against someone incapable of truly playing it. Another important element of pong is that, throughout the ages, students have found ways to endow games with mirth. A Sigma Kappa ‘74 recalls of a fond memory of dragging a pong table onto his front lawn for a game on a lovely spring Sunday morning — only to see then-President Kemeny walking down Webster Avenue with his wife on the way to church and greet them warmly with a jovial “Good Morning.” In the late evening of November 6th, 2016, two unknown students stole a regulation sized piece of plywood from a construction site and carried it across the green. After spending hours in Chi Gamma Epsilon’s hot tub and consuming quite a lot of wine, one student fondly recalls her decision to fill cups up with leftover Chinese food rather than alcohol. Certain houses might bring up empty cases of beer to build a wall in the center of the table and play “battleship” — each side decides where to put their cups, and each player blindly lobs the ball over the divider to try to sink their opponents’ ships. While pong may be just a game to some, it is the respect of the game that defines its value on Dartmouth’s campus. People call lows on themselves as a way to keep themselves to a highstandard. Close-calls are often left to the discretion of those closest to the cup. There are rarely referees in a basement. Instead, there is an overriding sense of honor that each player ought to have — one that is taught, reinforced, and cherished in every house and on every on-night. Life-long friends are made across the pong table. Dartmouth’s unique version of pong has become embedded in virtually every aspect of student life, and the game has, time after time, proven not only to bring friends closer together, but also to make friends of strangers. In the wise words of a Sigma Nu ‘92, “Pong is…emblematic of Dartmouth as a whole. The underlying traditions and love of institution stays, while the specifics change with the times… we still bleed green and maintain that pong is not pong without paddles.”
10 Wednesday – May 15, 2019
The Dartmouth Review
The Men Behind Our Buildings II
The Dartmouth Review
Wednesday – May 15, 2019 11
Thayer Team Wins NASA Challenge William G. Jelsma Gregory R. Mesa Executive Editor Associate Editor
Kemeny Hall Surely not the prettiest of Dartmouth’s myriad of buildings.
Zachary Z. Wang Executive Editor
Last time, we focused on the successful philanthropists whose names grace the fronts of the buildings of our main library complex. Today, we continue to investigate the names behind the buildings of Dartmouth, this time focusing on two key STEM buildings—Kemeny and Thayer. These men, for the most part, were famous for making contributions to their respective fields in math and engineering, rather than being extremely wealthy. JOHN GEORGE KEMENY Kemeny was born in Hungary on May 31st, 1926. Born in Budapest to a Jewish family, Kemeny was brought to America along with the rest of his family in 1940, following the adoption of the second antisemitic law in Hungary. His grandfather, along with his aunt and uncle, refused to leave and died in the Holocaust. Kemeny’s family settled in New York City where he graduated as valedictorian from George Washington High School. In 1943, he enrolled at Princeton and studied mathematics and philosophy, taking a year off to work on the Manhattan Project. There he worked under Richard Feynman as well as John von Neumann. After returning and graduating from Princeton, Kemeny worked as Albert Einstein’s mathematical assistant in graduate school. At the age of 23, Kemeny was awarded with his doctorate. In 1953, four years after finishing his doctorate, Kemeny was appointed to the Dartmouth Mathematics Department as a full professor, and would become the chairman of the department just two years later, serving in that position until 1967. In 1970, he was appointed Mr. Wang is a junior at the College and Executive Editor of The Dartmouth Review.
president of the college and served until 1981, with the primary goal of creating a more diverse student body, continuing to teach undergraduate classes and do research. He presided over the coeducation of Dartmouth in 1972, and instituted the “Dartmouth Plan” allowing the college to house more students with fewer buildings. He first enrolled women in the summer of 1972, in order that more conservative trustees would be less opposed to new students. During his administration, Dartmouth became more proactive in its attempt to recruit and retain minority students, and revived its founding commitment to provide education for American Indians. One of the first people to anticipate the role computers would play in the modern world, Kemeny also made Dart-
of Napoleon Bonaparte. When he was 16, Sylvanus was teaching in Washington and preparing for college. He wanted a technical education that would prepare him to be an engineer. Unfortunately for him, no institution existed like that at the time. He decided to pursue the next best thing—a college that offered advanced mathematics as well as a classical education. In 1803, he entered the then 34-year-old Dartmouth College and quickly distinguished himself as a top academic talent and man of high ideals, having been invited to join United Fraternity, one of two literary societies at the time, which only opened its ranks to students displaying “respectability of talents and requirements, and a fair moral character.” His interest in world affairs was apparent, as was his
his degree and Phi Beta Kappa key, left for West Point. West Point was nothing like anyone today would expect. The institution was characterized by a shocking disorganization and lethargy. There was no fixed curriculum and students graduated whenever professors thought they were ready. A top student, Thayer graduated in one year. During the war of 1812, Thayer, was named a second lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers. Thayer planned and directed the defense of Norfolk, Virginia, and though the British captured many coastal fortifications during the war, Norfolk was never taken. President Madison and then Secretary of War, James Monroe, were alarmed at the educational deficiencies of the Army’s officers, especially when compared
One of the first people to anticipate the role computers would play in the modern world, Kemeny also made Dartmouth a pioneer in student use of computers, placing computer literacy on the same level of importance as reading literacy... mouth a pioneer in student use of computers, placing computer literacy on the same level of importance as reading literacy, considering it an integral part of a liberal education. SYLVANUS THAYER Born in Briantree, MA, as the fifth of seventh students, Sylvanus Thayer wasn’t destined for success. His family had been New England farmers for generations and had little money, but saw the potential in their son. They sent their fifth son to live with his uncle Azariah Faxon and attend school in Washington, New Hampshire. While working at his uncle’s general store, he fortuitously met General Benjamin Pierce, the father of future US president Franklin Pierce. Both General Pierce and his uncle fueled Sylvanus’ fascination with military matters, including the ambitious campaigns
interest in Napoleon, and was the only student on campus to subscribe to the National Intelligencer a DC-based paper that covered foreign events, including Napoleon’s conquests. Dartmouth made its mark on Thayer. The small classes, daily recitations, and prescribed curriculum with focus on the humanities influence his ideas of what higher education ought to be. Thayer, like many Dartmouth students today, formed lifelong friendships with his classmates, including his best friend and roommate George Ticknor. In 1807, on the same day, Sylvanus Thayer was simultaneously named valedictorian of his class and, at the insistence of General Pierce, was appointed to be a cadet at the US Military Academy by James Madison. At the age of 22, Thayer never gave his valedictory speech, and with
to their foreign counterparts. A devoted student and lover of all things European, Thayer volunteered to spend time abroad expanding his knowledge of international military and engineering practices with the hopes of implementing them on the home front. He left in 1815 to procure books, maps, and equipment for West Point from the European continent. Just two years later, President Monroe appointed Thayer to be the superintendent of West Point. Never a man to waste any time, sweeping changes quickly followed Thayer’s arrival. He dismissed more than forty cadets whom he deemed unqualified and, in the interest of egalitarianism, forbade cadets to bring or send for any money from home. Each cadet had to live with their eighteen-dollar monthly salary. Cadets were organized into
companies, each with its own cadet officer. In class, cadets were now required to recite daily, and were graded on each and every recitation. He also brought together a world-class faculty whose students were in high demand as canal and railroad builders, or as presidents and deans of newer scientific and engineering schools which were modeled on West Point and would spring up later that century. Thayer had a reputation as an austere man, having no known vices. A West Point historian wrote, “throughout the day, he was always prompt, always courteous, and always looked as if he had just shaved, bathed, and dressed.” He seemed to know everything about each cadet, including their debts and grades. Thayer left West Point after Andrew Jackson reinstated a dismissed cadet, upset by this and other incidents of what he considered intolerable political interference. The faculty was dismayed and wanted to honor him on his departure. Thayer was determined to allow no such thing, not wanting it to be interpreted as a disloyal attack on the President. He continued to work in the Corps of Engineers for the next thirty years of his life. When he retired from active service in 1863, Thayer returned to his home in Briantree and drew up plans for a new addition to Dartmouth. Thayer wished to establish a civilian school to train engineers, desperately needed by the young country. In 1857, Dartmouth President Asa Smith allocated money for the establishment of a school of architecture and civil engineering, which morphed into what we now know as the Thayer School of Engineering, with the goal “to prepare the most capable and faithful for the most responsible positions and the most difficult service.”
In late April, a team of Dartmouth engineering students won the 2019 NASA BIG Idea Challenge for their design of a greenhouse intended to support a long-term mission to Mars. The team was composed of six students: David Dick, Grace Genszler, Thomas Hodsden, Peter Mahoney, Morgan McGonagle, and Christopher Yu. The BIG Idea Challenge is a fairly new competition that has only existed for the past several years. This year, the NASA BIG (Breakthrough, Innovative, and Game-Changing) Idea Challenge asked students to come up with ideas for the design, installation, and operation of a Mars greenhouse. This greenhouse would have to provide food for four astronauts for six hundred days. The challenge was open to teams of undergraduate and graduate students from across the country, but only four teams succeeded in making it to the final round. These finalists presented their designs to NASA at the Langley Research Center in Virginia. Students from Thayer initially got involved in the BIG Idea Challenge through the Engineering Department’s capstone courses ENGS 89 and ENGS 90. “89/90,” as it is typically called by Dartmouth engineering students, is a set of two courses that function as a final project and a way for students to apply their knowledge from previous engineering courses. In this course, engineering students usually develop projects that are requested by a client, such as private companies or other organizations. Projects vary widely, and include an explosive ordnance disposal device. However, the BIG Idea Challenge marked the first time an engineering competition, rather than a client-motivated design, has been used as an 89/90 project. Through the 89/90 course, students were able to simultaneously compete in the challenge and complete their coursework in Thayer, as well as get advice from faculty advisors and the Thayer machine shop. Even though 89/90 is required for Bachelor of Engineering candidates, projects are assigned based on student interest, so all of the students involved in the competition were already excited about the topic. In fact, the Dartmouth team continued Mr. Jelsma is a senior at the College and Executive Editor of The Dartmouth Review. Mr. Mesa is a freshman at the College and an associate editor of The Dartmouth Review.
The Team’s GreenHouse As a 3D model made in SolidWorks. beyond the requirements of the 89/90 course to compete in the competition out of personal interest. The greenhouse design itself was based around several main objectives. The BIG Idea competition required that the design be based around a previously-developed inflatable habitat called the Mars Ice Home. Various types of cosmic radiation which can severely harm humans can easily reach the surface of Mars, and the Ice Home uses a layer of water in its inflatable roof to protect astronauts against this radiation. In addition, the greenhouse had to be transported millions
trient-film system is a type of hydroponics in which the roots are kept wet by a thin layer of nutrients. The alternative is to completely submerge the roots, but this uses a substantial amount of valuable extra water. To preserve water and save weight, the team elected to utilize a nutrient-film system. The team also opted to use an aeroponic system in replacement of the hydroponic system. This decision was also made in the interest of conserving water and promoting efficiency. An aeroponic system suspends the plants and their roots in the air. They receive nutrients from the aforementioned nutrient-film
Courtesy ofThayer School of Engineering
that have spots available for plants. The platforms can fold up for transport, taking up less of the limited volume available on a spacecraft. And by using a crop rotation system, the greenhouse can rotate which plants are growing and which plants are ready to eat. With a rotation system, all of the crops are not harvested at the same time, so there is never any danger of temporarily running out of food. An analogy on Earth would be a year-round tomato greenhouse, where tomatoes are always available to be harvested no matter the season. The next important question was what plants they would
Competing against four other skilled teams in the final competition, Dartmouth set itself apart from the competition by focusing on a systems-based approach... The Dartmouth team accounted for as many factors as they could in their system and meticulously calculated elements to make it as complete as possible. of miles from Earth in a compact form, deployed with few tools or human interaction, and then function for almost two years on the hostile surface of Mars. Finally, as mentioned earlier, the greenhouse needed to supply four astronauts with their needed nutrition for six hundred days. To meet these objectives, the Thayer team designed a greenhouse featuring a hydroponic, nutrient-film system. In a hydroponic system, the roots of the plants are covered in water rather than in soil. A nu-
system and are sprayed with water daily (although frequency does depend on the type of plant). Aeroponic systems are known for their ability to maximize use in a compact area- a characteristic conducive for a system. The biggest benefits are that aeroponic systems grow plants quicker than other methods, promote more efficient gas absorption and the plants require far less manual labor. The students next planned to use a crop rotation scheme, utilizing a circular structure with many miniature platforms
use. The team tested about 80 plants. Judging based on growth rates, nutritional value, conditions necessary for growth and if they would have no adverse interactions, the team selected eight plants that would maintain a complete, nutritious diet. The plants selected were: broccoli, chufa, kale, potato, soy, strawberry, sweet potato, and wheat. These plants covered the primary macronutrients, while also containing trace vitamins which would promote good health in space. In addition to providing nu-
trition that can sustain the 600day mission, the plants play a crucial role in oxygen production. Future plans from NASA for a Martian base will have their own methods of producing oxygen and scrubbing carbon dioxide. In the DEMETER project proposal, the volume of plants produces excessive oxygen to the point where, unregulated, the system would lack sufficient carbon dioxide and the plants would die. To combat this and the fire risk of highly concentrated oxygen, the system will have to actively push out oxygen to where the astronauts are to ensure that it is consumed. In addition, atmospheric carbon dioxide would have to be pumped occasionally into the greenhouse. With these countermeasures, excess oxygen is a welcomed “problem” to have; future deployments to space can avoid the weight of large O2 tanks and the human calculations (breathing patterns, exercise levels, etc.) when depending on a finite amount of oxygen. Competing against four other skilled teams in the final competition, Dartmouth set itself apart from the competition by focusing on a systems-based approach. The other groups focused on flushing out a single aspect and perfecting it. The Dartmouth team accounted for as many factors as they could in their system and meticulously calculated elements to make it as complete as possible.
12 Wednesday – May 15, 2019
The Dartmouth Review
The Last word Gordon Haff’s
Compiled by Zachary Z. WaNG
“Drunkenness is nothing but voluntary madness.” – Seneca “Bacchus hath drowned more men than Neptune.” – Dr. Thomas Fuller “A girlfriend would be nice... but I’m already in a serious relationship with alcohol and bad decisions.” – Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones “I’m a simple man. All I want is enough sleep for two normal men, enough whiskey for three, and enough women for four.” – Joel Rosenberg “Drink ‘til she’s cute, but stop before the wedding.” – Steven Wright “Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.” -Dave Barry “Sometimes when I reflect back on all the wine I drink, I feel shame! Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the vineyards and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this wine, they might be out of work, and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, ‘It is better that I drink this wine and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.” -Jack Handey
“Fear of gods or law of man there was none to restrain them. As for the first, they judged it to be just the same whether they worshipped them or not, as they saw all alike perishing; and for the last, no one expected to live to be brought to trial for his offenses, but each that a far severer sentence had been already passed upon them all and hung ever over their heads, and before this fell it was only reasonable to enjoy life a little.” – Thucydides “Vada retro me, Satana.” (Get off my back, Satan) – Gospel of Mark 8:33 “All right, brain. You don’t like me and I don’t like you, but let’s just do this and I can get back to killing you with beer.” – Homer Simpson
“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” – James Madison I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.” -Abraham Lincoln “Fell in love with a beautiful blonde once. Drove me to drink. And I never had the decency to thank her.” -W. C. Fields
“All I can say is that I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.” – Winston Churchill “In between goals is a thing called life that has to be lived and enjoyed.” – Sid Caesar “There are some sluggish men who are improved by drinking; as there are fruits that are not good until they are rotten.” – Samuel Johnson “If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it.” – Herodotus “It’s not easy being drunk all the time. If it were easy, everyone would do it.” – Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones “Now go drink until it feels like you did the right thing.” – Bron “In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.” -Benjamin Franklin
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Waka Flocka Flaming Bush
Ingredients • • • •
“Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life.” – George Bernard Shaw
Fireball & Holy Water Absinthe & Abstinence #ModestIsHodest & #FreeTheNipple “Closer” by the Chainsmokers & Gregorian Chants
Into a giant cauldron. And then pour it into a kiddie pool. Instead of mixing it around, just wait for a drunk girl to puke in it and fall in. She will turn into a pillar of salt for you to rim your glass with. Then, praise the Holy Dartmouth Trinity—The Father (Phil Hanlon), The Son (the horrified freshman in the Christian Union experiencing his first Green Key, and The Holy Ghost (the handle leftover from the Hard Alcohol Ban)— and anoint yourself with Keystone. Good Sam the nearby drunkards to rid them of their poison just as Jesus cured the lepers. And once their stomach empties so shall your conscience. And you shall be clean of all of your sins that you committed throughout #SeniorSpringSendit. You shall Move Dartmouth Forward after you moved yourself backwards in Sodom. As the weather becomes temperate so shall you strive towards temperance. Because after Green Key you must be cleansed. As you enter your kiddie pool, you shall enter your ritual bath and confess to all those watching “NEED THREE FOR PONG!” — Scotch Cara
Volume 39 - Issue 3