VOL. CLXXVIII NO. 4
FRIDAY, MAY 14, 2021
HANOVER, NEW HAMPSHIRE
Annette Gordon-Reed to be Class India’s COVID-19 of 2021 Commencement speaker crisis spurs Dartmouth communities into action BY Manasi Singh
The Dartmouth Staff
This article was originally published on May 11, 2021.
JOHN ODLAND/THE DARTMOUTH
Gordon-Reed served on the Board of Trustees from 2010–2018.
BY THE DARTMOUTH SENIOR STAFF This article was orginally published on May 10, 2021. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Harvard University law professor Annette Gordon-Reed ’81 will be the Class of 2021 Commencement speaker, the College announced Monday afternoon. Gordon-Reed will deliver the main address and receive an honorary degree during the June 13 ceremony. Gordon-Reed is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard. Previously, she has held professorships at the University of Oxford and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. Her seminal work, “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family,” follows the history of enslaved woman Sarah Hemings — with whom her owner and former president Thomas Jefferson
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had several children — and Hemings’ family. For the book, Gordon-Reed won the 2008 National Book Award and the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for history. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Philosophical Society, GordonReed has also received a breadth of other accolades throughout her career, including the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship in the humanities and the National Humanities Medal. Since her graduation, GordonReed has remained engaged with the Dartmouth community. She was a member of the Board of Trustees from 2010 to 2018 — bringing an academic perspective to the Board, according to community members at the time — and a panelist at the 2013 inauguration of College President Phil Hanlon. She has also given talks on campus about Jefferson and the Constitution.
Dunk’s opening weekend a slam dunk
BY Jacob Strier
The Dartmouth Staff
This article was originally published on May 13, 2021.
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Additional speakers will address the graduating class during the ceremony. College President Phil Hanlon and the senior class’s valedictory speaker — to be announced once final grades are calculated in early June — will deliver their own speeches. This year’s honorary degree recipients will also include attorney and economist Roger W. Ferguson Jr., poet and essayist Louise Glück, founder and CEO of the online learning platform Khan Academy Sal Khan — who addressed the Class of 2020 at last year’s virtual graduation — Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, artist and poet N. Scott Momaday, nuclear physicist Ernest J. Moniz and choreographer Moses Pendleton ’71. Ferguson and Moniz will be attending the Tuck School of Business and Thayer School of Engineering investiture ceremonies, respectively. Gordon-Reed did not respond to requests for comment by press time.
Fifteen-dollar beer buckets, Gatorade and tequila “G-Shots” and comfort food options have attracted droves of Dartmouth students to Dunk’s Sports Grill, Hanover’s newest eatery. The sports bar and restaurant opened on May 6. “It’s been crazy,” owner Anthony Barnett said. Barnett, who also owns Molly’s Restaurant & Bar and Jesse’s Steakhouse, said that food sales have comprised 50% of Dunk’s revenue thus far, while Molly’s, another hybrid restaurant and bar in town, regularly reports 73% of their revenue in food sales. The other half of Dunk’s revenue has come from alcohol sales, which he said was unexpected given the breakdown at Molly’s. Barnett said that Dunk’s faced issues during opening week sourcing certain food and beverage items — such as chicken wings and quality tequila — as a result of pandemic-related shortages. Dunk’s was also affected by the Upper Valley labor shortage and faced some trouble staffing the new business. Although Dunk’s had planned to do roughly 30% of its sales at lunch, the demand for evening service has led Barnett to scale back operating hours — the restaurant and bar will now open at 4 p.m. rather than 11:30 a.m. “Dartmouth kids know how to party,” he said. Barnett said that on opening night, the scene at Dunk’s got “out of control,” noting difficulties maintaining social distancing and a safe indoor capacity. Moving forward, he said, he will adjust for increased demand at night, noting that he plans to hire a night shift manager. “We didn’t have enough servers for the amount of guests we had, so we doubled our servers and added a bartender,” he said, explaining that staff that had normally worked the lunch shift were transferred to the night shift. He added that since the parent chain that owns Dunk’s, Blue Sky Restaurant
Group, also owns other restaurants in the area, like Molly’s, he can pull staff from those restaurants, as well. Dunk’s line cook Christine Decato — who has worked for Blue Sky Restaurant Group for several years — said she expected some obstacles on opening night. “On openings, you always expect the worst,” she said. “You have to have a good attitude about it.” Behind the kitchen’s swinging doors, Decato rotates between the fry station, the grill and plating meals, among other roles. One of her favorite menu items is the “hand-cut” fries. She also recommended that patrons order the “beautiful” poké bowl topped with avocado and fresh fish. “It’s a great place — I am looking forward to a day off when I can come in and enjoy it,” she said. Barnett said that he tried to ensure that Dunk’s food and beverage offerings do not overlap with nearby establishments’ menus, which led to some creative choices, such as the “brown bag special.” “It’s a five-dollar gamble,” assistant manager and self-proclaimed Dunk’s “beer guru” Keegan Carpenter said. “You receive a craft beer not listed on our menu, and we serve it in a little brown bag,” he said. “I go up to the tables and do a little drum-roll. The kids love it.” Tim Strang ’22 said he and two friends ordered the “brown bag special.” They received two IPAs and a “sweet, brown stout,” neither of which had been on the menu. “Now that I am 21 and hearing stories of my friends from other colleges and their college bars, I hope [Dartmouth] can be like that,” Strang said, noting that Dunk’s had a “great atmosphere.” Barnett said the reception to the brown bag special has been “absolutely incredible,” but other popular options include fifteen-dollar beer buckets, craft beer served in pitchers and homemade cocktails. Noting that he is operating a bar in a college town, Barnett said Dunk’s staff check to ensure patrons are of age. “We check IDs for everyone,” he said. “If the weekends continue like they are, SEE DUNK’S PAGE 2
As India continues to grapple with the world’s most devastating COVID-19 surge since the pandemic began, the College’s Indian community has responded by organizing fundraisers and compiling numerous resources in support of those affected. According to data from the New York Times, India’s first wave in the second half of 2020 saw daily case totals peak at 97,894 on Sept. 16. In the following months, cases gradually declined and bottomed out in mid-February, with the country reporting just 9,000 new cases per day. Only two months later, a meteoric rise in India’s case count shocked the world. Time Magazine reports that the country first broke the U.S.’s morbid record of 300,000 daily cases on April 21 and has not dipped below the previous record since. Starting on April 30, daily case counts have surpassed 400,000 five times — far exceeding any other country in the world — and yet, according to the New York Times, case counts are likely much higher than those recorded in its data set due to underreporting. The massive second wave has devastated India’s healthcare system, as extreme shortages in oxygen supplies, ventilators and beds have forced hospitals to turn away families. India Today reports that crematoriums — cremation is the traditional funeral rite in Hinduism, the majority religion in India — have been forced to quickly expand to accommodate the number of deaths. The vaccine rollout in the secondlargest country in the world, meanwhile, has been too slow to control the outbreak: Just 2.5% of India’s population is fully vaccinated and just under 10% of the population has gotten at least one shot, according to data from the New York Times. Saksham Arora ’23, who has lived in the densely populated capital, New Delhi, his entire life, said that his uncle tested positive in early April 2021, well before daily case counts began surpassing global records. “Especially in Delhi, the situation got so bad that people were… dying outside of hospitals,” Arora said. “And this is not just the poor… these are middle-class Indians, like my mom’s brother. He was hospitalized in the first week of April, and he was sharing an ICU room with five other people, and this was when things weren’t as bad as they are now.” Although Arora’s family has been fortunate enough to avoid the brunt of the crisis — his uncle recovered, he said — many families have sustained tragic losses. “It’s absolutely horrifying,” he said. “The cremations are so frequent and so often that people have literal ashes falling onto their houses… [and when] people cannot cremate [their family members], they’re just dumping their bodies in the Ganges River.” At the College, students with ties to India have responded to the crisis through a number of initiatives. The Dartmouth Club of India is facilitating a fundraising campaign for five nonprofits working to provide medical relief on the subcontinent — Doctors For You, Hasiru Dala, the Pragyata Foundation, Project Mumbai and the Sapna Foundation. Avanti Maluste Tu ’14, one of the organizers of the fundraiser, said that the DCI knew that it had to do something as soon as news broke of India’s crisis, especially considering the size and strength of Dartmouth’s alumni network. “There’s basically been a collapse in healthcare systems and governance, and in some places [in India], it’s just complete and utter chaos — and people are paying for it with their lives,” Maluste said. “Dartmouth has an extremely supportive global community… And just as the flagship Dartmouth organization in India, we decided we needed to do something.” DCI president Raj Koganti said that the group carefully chose the five organizations based on their ability to impact the largest number of people across India. “The idea is to cover all the most important topics such as oxygen and
ventilators, as well as help people who are below the poverty line to meet basic needs and requirements,” Koganti said. Koganti added that DCI has been working with the Dartmouth alumni network to spread the word. With the alumni network’s support, the group has raised over 748,000 Indian rupees (over $10,000) of their 2,000,000 rupee (roughly $27,000) goal in just two weeks. Geography professor Aparna Parikh, who grew up and attended college in India, said she has begun to offer academic and professional advising in exchange for donations of at least $50 to one of several organizations she has compiled into a list. “I’ve donated some money, but it feels very helpless,” Parikh said. “I don’t know how else to help out other than talking to people who are feeling really overwhelmed.” Abhi Kapur ’21, who hails from Mumbai, India but is currently in Hanover, has begun compiling resources for other Dartmouth undergraduates. “I’ve got family that has been affected by what’s going on, so it’s just weird, because I was in India for 2020,” Kapur said. “Now it’s a mixture of guilt and relief since I know back home, things would be way worse.” Kapur said he has also begun compiling and distributing the names of small organizations and families in desperate need of financial support. Many of these families need oxygen cylinders, ventilators or money for medical expenses, he explained. As of May 6, he said he has donated $1400 — $900 of which he received through Venmo transfers and $500 of which he received from Namrata Ramakrishna ’20 through her job’s donation matching program. “People have forgotten that 95% of the global population is still suffering and a lot of Western economies are doing nothing about it,” Kapur said. On May 4, President Joe Biden enacted a travel ban on any non-U.S. citizens or permanent residents traveling from India, according to National Public Radio. The U.S. embassy has stipulated that the ban exempts students on F-1 visas whose course of study begins on Aug. 1 or later, but there will be no exceptions for visa holders with an earlier program start date. For students currently in the U.S., travel to India is highly discouraged — in late April, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued a level 4 travel advisory, which indicates that people should refrain from traveling to India at all costs. Despite the travel advisory, as the summer rapidly approaches, students on F-1 visas face the possibility of being forced to return home. According to Arora, who is currently living in the Upper Valley, sparse housing in the region has left many Indian students desperate for options, with many opting to enroll in summer classes to acquire College housing. Under normal College policy, oncampus housing is limited to students enrolled in classes for that term. However, Arora said international students taking summer classes are ineligible for Optional Practical Training, a program that allows students on F-1 visas to pursue internships in the U.S. This caveat nearly forced Arora to choose between obtaining College housing and accepting his summer internship offer. Despite its policy, the College ultimately decided to let Arora live in an on-campus dorm this summer but only after “weeks of waiting.” “It was such a hassle,” he said. “Just five days ago… I got the reply back [from Dartmouth] that I [can] stay on campus. That was the biggest relief of my life.” Arora said he believes that the College should prioritize providing housing and food security to its Indian students. He also suggested that professors be accommodating of Indian students who might be struggling with their mental health. “It’s just this feeling of hopelessness that I am so far away, so I feel guilty,” he said. “Why do I get to be so lucky to be sitting here that I can totally detach myself from the situation and basically not see any of [it]? It’s just this incredible feeling of guilt and privilege… which is really hard to deal with, [especially] with classes and all.” T homas Brown ’23 contributed reporting.
THE DARTMOUTH NEWS
FRIDAY, MAY 14, 2021
Undergraduate academic dishonesty incidents higher than normal BY Jacob Strier
The Dartmouth Staff
This article was originally published on May 10, 2021. While the Office of Community Standards has seen the “whole gamut” of routine violations this year, the number of students involved in each report has increased, according to office’s director Katharine Strong. Meanwhile, the office has noticed a downward trend in behavioral misconduct — such as alcohol violations — because fewer students populate campus due to reduced capacity, Strong said. According to data from the 20182019 Committee on Standards report — the most recent one available — the 10-year annual average for academic honor principle cases is 31. This average does not include an outlier event from the fall of 2014 in which 64 students were charged with academic honor violations. Strong declined to comment on this year’s exact numbers, noting that they have yet to be published. She added that she is reluctant to assign a specific reason for the increase before she can review the data, but added that the shift to online learning has led to a heightened awareness of the possibilities for misconduct. “You know when you learn a new word? And you suddenly see it everywhere?” Strong said, referring to academic dishonesty in online learning. “If you change people’s focus, they may see more of it, but it doesn’t mean it wasn’t there before.” Over the summer of 2020, Strong reported that the number of academic
dishonesty violations the preceding spring — the first term impacted by the pandemic — fell within the normal range. Strong said that her office runs their annual report from June 15 the previous year to June 15 the following year, but said that she has had “very little time” to analyze previous cases and produce the annual report which covers the terms since the 2019 report. She expects the 2019-2020 report to be produced sometime in late fall 2021 or into 2022. Strong said that at the beginning of the pandemic, she did not believe rates of academic dishonesty would necessarily increase with online learning. She noted that reports coming across her desk recently have been similar to prepandemic violations but have involved more students than before. “We receive reports that feel familiar, but have more students involved than we are used to seeing,” she said. “There may be something about collaborating on an exam — [a type of incident that] is common — but it is not usual to have five people on that report.” COSC 10, “Problem Solving via Object-Oriented Programming” teaching assistant Dylan Bienstock ’23 said that it’s “hard to catch” instances of academic dishonesty as he grades assignments in the 120-person course. Bienstock said the computer science department has ways of identifying dishonest work, including algorithms that can run a student’s code to compare it both to other students’ answers and internet sources, though he does not use these methods as a TA. “We always talk about keeping a watchful eye and checking if the answer
submitted is synonymous to the answer key,” he said. Bienstock said he and other TAs in the course collaborate over Zoom to compare “weird answers” if needed when grading midterms. Bienstock added that on multiple instances he has uncovered irregularities while grading. The next step, he said, is to pass the case to the professor. “One thing the professor stresses is that it is not the student [TA]’s job to handle a fellow student’s cheating situation,” he said. Economics professor Diego RamosToro said that in his introductory economics course, ECON 1, “The Price System,” which has 40 students, he has incorporated more open-ended assignments into student’s grades to stave off academic dishonesty. He added that the key to preventing academic dishonesty is to design examinations and assignments so that “those who do things which aren’t right don’t have an advantage.” “You will never find something out there [online] which will provide the answer to you,” he said. “[My] exams include questions which I never provide answers to in my lectures.” Ramos-Toro said his approach is to provide his students with the tools they need to succeed on exams, and then to test students on whether they can take the necessary “extra steps” to prove their understanding of economic concepts. He noted that mutual trust is crucial, and his online exams have been open-book and open-note, allowing students to apply their knowledge with the resources at their disposal. “The extent of academic dishonesty is
limited to a handful of students, at most,” he said, adding that most students are “incredibly honest and hardworking.” Bienstock said online exams have provided avenues for academic misconduct, describing it as a “really big problem” and adding that he has heard anecdotally that COSC10 students may have sent around questions while exams were in progress. According to Bienstock, before the pandemic, COSC 10 midterms would be held synchronously in lecture halls, and students would have two hours to complete their exams. Now, he said, exams are open for 24 hours online, hypothetically allowing students to take screenshots and forward questions to others in the class. “That’s the bigger issue,” Bienstock said about the longer tests. “Probably more [so] than copying solutions word for word.” “It’s disappointing,” he said. “COSC10 was the hardest class I have ever taken. I was excited by what I got out of it; the academic rigor has been tainted on Zoom.” Other strategies Ramos-Toro said he employs to ensure honesty in his courses include group projects, which count for 30% of his class’s final grade, and composing exam questions for which repetition in responses would be “obvious.” “Students are honest,” he said. “If you do groups of four, at least three will be honest and responsible; if there is one who is not too compliant, the others can make them fall in line.” Physics professor Yorke Brown takes a slightly different approach in his introductory class, PHYS 004, “General
Physics II.” He said his class has no tests, a reflection of his view that grades are “toxic.” Regardless, Brown said he has other “mechanisms” for generating scores. “We just want to spend time together to grow intellectually,” he said. “When that works and students engage with that ethos, cheating is irrelevant and I don’t have difficulties with people trying to take advantage of each other.” Brown said it is a “tremendous mistake” to try and raise barriers to cheating and identify it as a crime or punish people for it. Instead, he said a less competitive class leads to an “ethos” of cooperation. Several years ago, Brown said he taught an introductory astronomy course at Dartmouth with over 150 people. After hearing that some students may have cheated by changing answers after their quizzes were due, Brown said that he asked students to turn their next quiz in immediately to see how the alleged cheating might have influenced performance on the assessment. “There was this silence in the room,” he said. “But, the score did not change: every paper was filled out and the average score was the same [as previous weeks].” Brown said that his many years in Boy Scouts, both as a scout and as an adult leader, have instilled the importance of honor in him, and he has heard from students that they appreciate his trusting nature. He added that in a few “rare” occasions, he has reported students for flagrant violations of academic integrity. “If you want to build trust, you have to trust people,” he said. “If you want to build a culture of honor, you must respect people’s honorability.”
New committee formed to review College’s iconography policies B Y Pierce Wilson The Dartmouth Staff
On May 6, the College announced that a 12-member iconography working group composed of students, faculty, staff and alumni would begin to draft recommendations for decisions regarding the status of current and future iconography — including artwork, images and nomenclature — across Dartmouth’s physical and digital settings. According to working group cochair and art history professor Mary Coffey, the working group spent the last three months developing its charge — a five-part outline of its plans. The charge stipulates that the working group will develop recommendations for the “placement, presence and official recognition” of iconography on campus, create decision-making guidelines that promote “historical accountability,” base these practices on scholarship and evidence-based processes in higher education, collect input from a diverse range of perspectives and represent Dartmouth’s history and traditions. According to Hood Museum of Art curator of academic programming and working group co-chair Amelia Kahl ’01, the removal of the Baker Tower weather vane was the “impetus” for the founding of the committee. College President Phil Hanlon convened the group after
the weather vane, which featured a portrayal of a Native American that many community members found offensive, was taken down, and vice president for communications and working group member Justin Anderson selected its members, Kahl said. According to Kahl, there is currently no overarching process for assessing iconography across campus, which she defined as “any sort of imagery that we read meaning into.” For example, the decision to remove the weather vane last summer was made by President Hanlon. However, in 2018, a one-time consultative committee — the Hovey Murals Study Group — convened to deliberate on the fate of the Hovey murals previously displayed in the Class of 1953 Commons which featured offensive portrayals of Native Americans. That committee decided that the murals would be moved to an off-campus location. “The College realized that there weren’t good processes for collecting feedback from different groups and working through that,” Kahl said. According to Coffey, the committee is focused on any and all Dartmouth iconography, not just Native American iconography. The group is more so working to draft a process by which iconography can be evaluated, as opposed to focusing on any one piece, she said. “We’re not a group that’s going
through and identifying 25 problematic things [at Dartmouth] and deciding what should happen with them,” Coffey said. “Because we are scholars and professionals who understand the complexities of these things, we are actually much more interested in process, and how can we develop deliberative, consultative, ethical processes that are actually driven by our values, our aspirations, and our history, rather than the contingencies of any particular moment or the proclivities of any particular group.” Upon completing its set of recommendations, the working group hopes to release a report sharing those recommendations with the College community at a date that is yet to be determined, College archivist and working group member Peter Carini said. Coffey said that the group does not have an exact timeline by which the recommendations and subsequent report will be complete, but she hopes that the group will have made progress toward completing the recommendations within the next year. “It’s a slow process,” Coffey said of the committee’s working pace. “We could be fast about it and just set up a checklist, but none of us wants to do that because that’s not intentional; that’s not ethical.” Coffey said that the group hopes that its recommendations can be used going forward to make determinations
both about pieces of iconography that already exist and about things that may be proposed or planned in the future, “like a commission for a new work of art or a new branding or logo campaign.” “We’re using the weather vane sort of retrospectively, as a way to devise a structure by which these decisions might be made going forward,” Carini said. Carini said that the group chose to use the weather vane decision as a test case because evaluating a decision that was already made will allow them to think about whether or not the process they devise will work. “We’re creating a process for future issues that might come up, similar to the weather vane or the Hovey murals, that will allow for a more deliberative process, and one that will incorporate more input from the community and affected communities,” Carini said. Coffey said that the working group is especially interested in making recommendations based on scholarship and evidence-based practices in higher education, “rather than sort of approaching each issue in an ad hoc way.” Carini has used his expertise as the college archivist and records keeper to investigate the weather vane and other instances in College history when changes were made to iconography. “I’ve done things like look for references to the weather vane and
its construction, purpose and design background for the committee to help contextualize our work,” Carini said. Native Americans at Dartmouth copresident Steven Jump III ’21 said that he appreciates how the committee includes stakeholders from many different areas of the Dartmouth community, but that he hopes that they will take into consideration the disproportionate impact of harmful iconography on affected communities when making decisions. “I think that it’s obviously a good thing to get everybody impacted involved, but I think it’s important to remember that the stakes that certain communities like [the Native American] community might have and the harm that [iconography] causes to our community is very disproportionate.” Shelby Snyder ’21 said that she hopes that the group will provide opportunities for community members — especially indigenous community members — to be involved in the process. According to Coffey, community members can share their views and provide input on campus iconography by filling out a Google Form, which will be the working group’s primary way of receiving community input. “I think having that continuous outreach term by term — because with a ten-week term, turnarounds can be so quick — will be necessary to make sure certain voices are included in this process.”
Patrons described the atmosphere as “electric” and the food as “fire.” FROM DUNK’S PAGE 1
we will card at the door instead of having the servers do it,” he said, noting that managers will be posted at the Dunk’s entrance on future nights. Will Cook-Healy ’23 described the atmosphere at Dunk’s as “electric.” “We dropped in there Saturday afternoon [and] the service was pretty friendly,” he said. “They had some sports reruns going, which got everyone juiced up, and the burger was pretty fire.” Cook-Healy said he feels that, previously, the town of Hanover has lacked the student-centered atmosphere Dunk’s provides. He added that the restaurant and bar has already made headway into Dartmouth culture. “It’s almost a running joke now: ‘What are we going to do? Let’s go to Dunk’s,’” Cook-Healy said, adding that the College’s recent heightened scrutiny of Greek houses — on May 7, Office of Greek Life director Brian Joyce sent an email to Greek leadership warning of the consequences of “unauthorized gatherings” — has led students to seek out other social options. “It’s nice to have an option outside of [Greek life],” he said, but he noted that restaurants acting as a social outlet for students can be “cost-prohibitive” to some on campus. In line with COVID-19 safety suggestions, Barnett said that Dunk’s is currently operating at around 75% capacity and that each of his restaurants differs in their implementation of social
distancing efforts and physical barriers like plexiglass. “For this restaurant, we might not need it,” he said. “At Jesse’s, we will leave everything in place, because that’s an older population. Here, we are serving a lot of Dartmouth faculty and students.” Town manager Julia Griffin wrote in an email statement that Hanover is requiring restaurants to follow New Hampshire’s “Universal Best Practices,” which include encouraging the use of face masks, frequent hand hygiene and limiting party sizes. The guidelines, effective May 8, are set to replace the state’s “Safer at Home 2.0” business operation guidance that had been in place since March 2020. “We are simply not comfortable with releasing all restrictions, particularly when you see the relatively low number of total vaccinations,” she wrote, noting that many Dartmouth students have not completed their vaccination sequence. As of Wednesday, 33% of on-campus students, faculty and staff have submitted proof of full vaccination to the College, according to the College’s COVID-19 dashboard. Griffin wrote that the town has provided information on these restrictions to Dunk’s, and that the Hanover Health Officer is “in the process” of stopping by local restaurants to ensure compliance. Both Carpenter and Decato said they feel comfortable going into work, despite the pandemic. “The volume of people seemed to be a lot,” Decato said.“But [Dunk’s management closed] certain tables in
The sports bar and restaurant opened on May 6.
order to spread out groups. There is also the patio option to make people feel more comfortable outside.” Decato said that Dunk’s precautions includetakingstaffmembers’temperatures when they come into work and asking staff to report any potential symptoms. She added that staff are also required to wear masks during shifts. While complying with safety protocols has been relatively easy in the kitchen, she said it has been “a challenge” at the front of the house. Beyond enforcing safety measures,
Barnett said that the pandemic has also caused difficulties in sourcing labor and navigating a new spot in the local market. He noted that business is returning to normal levels rapidly — outpacing the ability to find staff. “There is a huge labor shortage,” Barnett said. “We cannot find people [even though] I know that we pay competitively.” He noted that kitchen staff are paid $15 per hour, almost eight dollars above the state’s minimum wage of $7.25. “Let’s get some Dartmouth kids
JULIA LEVINE/THE DARTMOUTH STAFF
cooking — just because you have never cooked before doesn’t mean you couldn’t learn real quick,” Barnett said, adding that students could acquire the necessary skills in under a week. While he has already fielded some calls from patrons seeking to rent out Dunk’s for a night, Barnett has no immediate plans to close down for private functions, despite the promise of great “short-term money.” “We want to be the Dartmouth spot, but also the spot for high school kids and other locals,” he said.
THE DARTMOUTH OPINION
FRIDAY, MAY 14, 2021
STAFF COLUMNIST MAX TESZLER ’23
CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST THOMAS LANE ’24
Level the Playing Field
In order to stop the next pandemic from spiraling out of control, the U.S. needs to address economic and social inequities. This column was originally published on May 13th, 2021. How can we start preparing now for the next COVID-19? If you ask some of science and medicine’s best thinkers, the answer lies in monitoring and sequencing viruses in animals, continuing development of new vaccines and increasing funding to the WHO, among other approaches. To be sure, these ideas have great promise — but on their own, they can never be enough. In addition to harnessing innovations in science, preparing for the next pandemic will require a multi-pronged economic plan to tackle mounting financial and social inequities that contribute to the spread of disease and inhibit any attempts to stop it. New York’s experience last fall is evidence of this: According to one analysis, the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods had four times the COVID-19 testing rate of poor neighborhoods. As a result of this testing inequity, lower-income areas simply weren’t able to trace the virus as effectively, possibly contributing to greater spread and the subsequent devastation it caused in the city. Unsurprisingly, just a few months later, poor neighborhoods — among them Harlem, Washington Heights and Flushing — also faced rapid spread of contagious COVID-19 variants during New York’s second wave. If our future pandemic planning neglects to address the inequities in disease burden and spread among lowincome Americans as compared to their wealthier peers, our plans are doomed to fail. As we prepare for the next pandemic, reducing excessive economic and social inequality must be the driving principle. While inequality itself doesn’t create the viruses responsible for pandemics, it’s what so often allows them to spiral out control. Just think about who has been able to afford to stay at home during the pandemic — largely the wealthy, or those with jobs that can be moved remotely. Those with lower incomes are more likely to work service jobs that must be done in person and often lack the financial resources to make an extended quarantine tenable. This lack of ability to quarantine resulted in an accelerated spread of disease among lowincome populations — one national analysis estimated a person in the bottom half of the income distribution was twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than someone in the top half. By contributing to a social environment in which disease can spread uncontrollably, economic inequality has exacerbated the negative impacts of this pandemic and is poised to do the same the next time around. Empirical studies over the past year have provided compelling data that illustrates the pandemicaccelerating effects of inequality. A study of stayat-home orders in 2020, for example, revealed that in counties with low levels of poverty, adoption of social distancing requirements was followed by a decline in COVID-19 cases. However, counties with high levels of poverty saw no such beneficial effect after public health measures came into place — that is, stay-at-home measures did not correlate with tangible improvements in disease transmission. A lack of access to healthcare further compounded these negative effects among Americans living in poverty. Even after controlling for other political factors, counties with limited access to Medicaid — the federal program which provides health coverage to the poor — saw considerably higher rates of disease than those where the program was more accessible. This finding demonstrates in no uncertain terms that unless we can make healthcare and the ability to quarantine accessible to all, we
risk another uncontained pandemic, where public health measures fail to effectively contain the virus. An increased rate of transmission in economically disadvantaged communities isn’t unique to COVID-19. Studies of flu have found that societies with higher levels of income inequality saw higher rates of transmission, in turn felt disproportionately by the poor. During the 2010 H1N1 pandemic, for instance, a lack of paid sick days in certain workplaces likely contributed to people working while sick, which by one estimate nucleated 5 million additional cases of the virus. Social and economic inequities have long been driving the spread of disease during pandemics — yet they still haven’t been adequately addressed. So, how can reducing inequality help limit future pandemics? First, we need to understand that temporary aid programs won’t be enough to facilitate adequate social distancing — the federal government can’t solve inequality just by throwing cash at the issue in times of crisis. During this pandemic, the Paycheck Protection Program’s infusion of cash has helped keep people on payrolls even during business shutdowns, but the loans and grants flowed primarily to already well-resourced areas, depriving businesses in poorer areas of their fair share. In areas where the median household income was below $40,000, a smaller proportion of businesses got access to the loans, preventing these communities from being able to observe life-saving but costly public health measures. The one silver-lining is that there’s plenty of low-hanging fruit. Twelve states have yet to expand Medicaid, an easy, life-saving step that would go a long way in mending broken trust in the broken health care system — and by extension, in the public health advice given by medical professionals. Additionally, the massively popular American Rescue Plan must be made permanent. The plan provided a child tax credit and enhanced Affordable Care Act subsidies — but these benefits are due to expire at the end of 2021. It’s vitally important that these benefits, which stand to reduce family poverty and get millions more Americans covered, be extended indefinitely. Infrastructure improvements, broadly defined, could also critically reduce economic inequality. Experts believed a lack of access to computers held back many poor New Yorkers from signing up for COVID-19 testing, contributing to the vast disparities across neighborhoods. Expanding programs that give laptops to low-income people would provide more equitable digital infrastructure and reduce inequalities. Public transportation improvements also provide an opportunity to better the lives of low-income Americans, connecting people to jobs and health services in a low-cost way. With one of the highest levels of income inequality in the developed world, the U.S. needs an ambitious overhaul to reduce the social conditions responsible for the rapid spread of disease. COVID-19 has made it simply impossible to ignore the disastrous consequences that excessive inequality has on the health of our nation. When a COVID-19 surge tore through low-income neighborhoods in Los Angeles in what California Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., characterized as a “surge on top of a surge,” many Americans watched in shock as overflowing county hospitals turned away patients and the National Guard arrived to deal with a flood of bodies. If we want to atone for the sins of this pandemic and be prepared for the next one, reducing social and economic inequality is the most crucial piece of the plan.
Biden and the Youngsters
The Biden Administration must do more to pass its agenda or risk midterm upsets.
This column was originally published on May 11th, 2021. In order to win the 2020 presidential election, President Biden made a lot of promises. Not only did he pledge to bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic via more responsible management, but he also proclaimed that he would dramatically expand health care coverage, meaningfully respond to climate change, combat police brutality, shrink racial economic gaps and use government power to promote economic growth to create vast numbers of new jobs, among a whole host of other promises. While these are all very important topics worthy of addressing, the frank reality is that apart from emergency pandemic response, Biden has failed to get many meaningful initiatives passed by Congress. If this trend continues, he puts his party at risk in the 2022 midterms, which typically act as a referendum on the sitting president’s performance. To keep control of Congress, Biden must act, and he must act now. Why is it so important for Biden to act now? Young voters. Young voters lean disproportionately Democratic — New York Times exit polls from the 2020 election found 60% of voters 18-29 voted for Biden, compared to a paltry 36% who went for Trump. These young voters made up almost a fifth of the electorate, and were crucial in the states Biden won narrowly — namely, those that secured him the presidency. They will be essential again in 2022, with several Senate seats up for grabs in “purple” states like Wisconsin, which Biden won by only about 0.7% of the vote, or Georgia, which he won by a razor-thin 0.2%. Compared to other age groups, young voters are Biden’s most reliable supporters, but only if he can convince them to show up at the polls. If Biden alienates them, he will do so at his own peril. The brunt of the problems Biden’s platform is designed to address falls on young voters. Young voters are the least likely to own their own home, making evictions during the pandemic a severe threat to their safety, and are also the least likely to have health insurance, making health care expansion in whatever form crucial for them as a demographic. Additionally, young people are the most likely to be unemployed, so building a stronger economy is thus a key requirement for their prosperity. Meanwhile, young employed people are more likely than other age groups to be making only minimum wage, meaning that getting this wage raised for all workers is of disproportionate importance to them as a group. Yet Biden’s promises for a public health insurance option and his plan to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour both remain unfulfilled. The largest examples of action he has taken on some of these issues are executive orders temporarily halting evictions nationwide and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour for federal contractors, but even those were Band-Aid fixes at best to a problem that warrants a much more substantive response. While Biden’s pandemic response has been laudable and vaccine distribution is going smoothly, with the U.S. sitting now at about fourth place globally for percent of population vaccinated (and only narrowly behind the next two highest countries), pandemic response initiatives will only get him so far. Because much of the pandemic response has been managed at the state level, Biden is unlikely to get substantial credit for it. In my experience here on the Dartmouth campus, for instance, when talking about the COVID-19 response, students generally speak of the directives of New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu and College officials, not the federal government. Biden needs something he can offer
up as proof of his administration’s effectiveness, and that something needs to go beyond his COVID-19 response. He needs to deliver on his “What comes next?” promises. This lack of action is perhaps his greatest weakness. The House has written and subsequently passed numerous bills addressing many of Biden’s campaign promises. Biden’s problem, however, lies in the Senate, where Democratic control is razor-thin. He cannot afford a single senator’s defection. Young people, myself included, cringed as Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, dramatically voted no on live video from the Senate chambers on a bill that would have significantly raised the minimum wage just last month, dooming it to failure. Viral moments like these are wildly unhelpful and, frankly, outright embarrassing if Biden hopes to inspire his party’s voters to turn out and expand their majorities in 2022. The federal minimum wage hasn’t been raised since 2009 and is currently set at a measly $7.25 an hour — where it remains in New Hampshire, one of the few states with no state-level minimum wage. Politicians’ excuses can’t be cashed in to pay rent, cover exorbitant medical bills, or put food on the table. In order to accomplish his initiatives, Biden needs to get his party in line. He needs to better communicate the stakes of the next midterm election to legislators and, more specifically, explain how voters are in dire need of government support and action on a wide variety of fronts. If necessary, after speaking directly with reluctant legislators he should publicly call out those who will not act in the best interests of their constituents. I remember visiting the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library a few years ago, which houses recordings of many of the numerous and lengthy phone calls former president Lyndon Johnson made to legislators to cobble together support for his proposals. Those calls were key to Johnson being able to pass so much of his Great Society legislation. After all, Biden’s proposals are frequently as ambitious in scope as Johnson’s were. It is quite an achievement for a party to have control over both houses of Congress as well as the executive branch, and it would be deeply embarrassing for very little to come out of the opportunity that presents. Young voters won’t take any excuses for inaction, whether they be the filibuster or the stubbornness of individual senators — stubbornness that some might call cowardice, given the dire need for action that the pandemic has only made more apparent. They won’t be moved by the fact that Biden is only around 100 days in either. After all, former president Franklin Roosevelt’s first 100 days were enormously productive. They will ask that even if Biden’s margins are slim, he should still be able to do something, surely? Again, excuses don’t pay bills. There are indeed many young people who are both staunch Democrats and committed to turning up to vote in 2022, and Biden has done a good deal for them already. The problem, however, is that Biden needs as many young voters to turn out as possible, not just those who are already sold on supporting him. He needs them to show up to the polls in droves, not trickles. To do that, he must prove to them that he can actually deliver on his word, and is not just another out-of-touch politician who only shows up in town when it is election season. After all, for young voters, staying home and tuning out a political system they feel abandoned by is all too easy. Biden must try his hardest to prevent this from happening – the first step towards democratic decline is allowing apathy to fester in those who might otherwise be tomorrow’s leaders.
CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST SPENCER ALLEN ’23
Don’t Pop the Bubble
Staff and faculty should not be exempt from Dartmouth’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement.
This column was originally published on May 11, 2021. With the United States achieving universal COVID-19 vaccine availability for adults as of April 19 and Dartmouth recently deciding to mandate the vaccine for all students on campus in the fall, a return to normalcy seems to be on the horizon. In light of the recent progress, it’s fair to say that students are looking forward to in-person classes and social activities with minimal risk of catching or spreading COVID-19. But while students and the administration both hope to protect the Dartmouth “bubble” against COVID-19, vulnerabilities still exist. Most alarming is that Dartmouth staff and faculty members are not required to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Allowing unvaccinated faculty and staff to return to campus jeopardizes the entire community in much the same way that allowing unvaccinated students to return would. If the College expects to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 this fall, it must require its faculty and staff to take the same precautionary measures as its students and get the vaccine before “normal” can begin. Let’s remember how students interacted with staff and faculty pre-pandemic: Professors held office hours in their small, often poorly ventilated offices. Custodians and dorm residents frequently crossed paths in bathrooms, hallways and stairwells. Students formed close bonds with Dartmouth Dining Services staff at The Class of 1953 Commons, Collis Cafe and Courtyard Cafe — spaces where, even in the pandemic, physical distance is hard to manage. Each of these situations and countless others put students in close contact with staff and faculty. This wouldn’t be cause for concern if everyone was vaccinated. However, while all students will be vaccinated come fall, the same won’t be true of staff and faculty. Importantly, staff and faculty
members interact with more individuals outside Dartmouth’s bubble — like their family, neighbors and residents of surrounding towns — than students do, meaning that College employees likely have more potential contact with potentially COVID-19-positive people. Yes, the vaccines are highly effective, so it’s unlikely that a vaccinated student will get the virus from an unvaccinated faculty or staff member. However, we don’t yet know how long the vaccine protects against COVID-19. For instance, Pfizer’s CEO has announced the company’s expectations that the general public will likely need a booster shot within 12 months. Considering that many students are getting vaccinated this spring, there’s a chance that students will be less immune to the virus fall term than they are now. This puts the student population at risk of yet another large-scale COVID-19 outbreak like the ones seen on campus this past fall and winter. Even if we assume that no faculty or staff members will infect students, having any sort of significant spread of COVID-19 among faculty and staff would decimate our already fragile campus. Assuming that classes will be mostly inperson come fall, professors may not prepare for the possibility that their classes might have to be temporarily remote due to COVID-19. If such an outbreak among professors were to occur, a mad scramble to push courses online might ensue, mirroring what took place in March 2020. While many professors have more remote resources now compared to last spring, professors with new classes or out-of-date content and lesson plans would still struggle to bring their courses online. What’s more, if an outbreak occurs among unvaccinated staff whose jobs are critical to the College’s infrastructure, such as dining and custodial staff, the resulting logistical nightmare would certainly threaten campus operations. To be fair, many faculty and staff members will
get the vaccine without a mandate, if they haven’t already. As of Monday, the dashboard shows that, out of 4,434 total faculty and staff members, a total of 946 — or about 21.3% — have reported their vaccination status to the College. Right now, it’s encouraging that this figure is in line with the roughly 21.7% of undergraduate and graduate students who have shared their vaccination status. However, this divide is bound to grow in the near future as enforcement of the vaccine requirement divides students and staff/faculty into two groups: those required to get the vaccine, and those who are in the broader general population — one that, nationally, is facing stagnating vaccination rates. It is likely that, as is the case with the general public, a significant bloc of Dartmouth’s employees will opt not to get the jab because of vaccine hesitancy. Therefore, simply requiring the vaccine might feel like an authoritarian approach to many staff and faculty members because it would force
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them to choose between losing their job or facing whatever consequences they believe may arise from getting the vaccine. That said, Dartmouth should not shrug its shoulders and give up on vaccinating reluctant employees before it starts trying. Instead, along with requiring the vaccine for faculty and staff and providing incentives for them to do so, Dartmouth must also educate its employees and address vaccine hesitancy head-on. Dartmouth has embraced the principle of community throughout the past year, and we are too close to winning the fight against COVID-19 to give up on this approach now. If the College expects to cultivate any sense of normalcy come fall, it is the College’s responsibility to do everything in its power to protect everyone against the spread of COVID-19 by implementing and enforcing a universal vaccine requirement. If the COVID-19 Task Force ignores this truth, they risk putting our community in harm’s way.
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THE DARTMOUTH ARTS
FRIDAY, MAY 14, 2021
“People We Meet on Vacation” is a sweet, slow-burning romance BY Mia Nelson
The Dartmouth Staff
This story was originally published on May 13, 2021. If every genre but romantic comedy suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth, absolutely nothing about my media consumption would change. I scan book reviews waiting for a hint of romance in the narrative. My streaming service recommendation algorithms have given up on selling me anything without at least a secondary plot of romance. I am indiscriminate as to whom, where or how fictional characters profess their love for each other — I only insist that they do. I love indie rom-coms about people falling in love while wearing overalls and studying at liberal arts colleges. I love blockbuster movies starring celebs with shiny teeth and perfect hair. I love love, period. When I say I read romantic novels, people assume I mean grocery store paperbacks, but that could not be further from the truth. In my kind of romantic novels, there is no bodice ripping or vampires — but, hey, good for you if that’s your thing –– instead, my kind of novels are like if literary fiction had a breezy, flirtatious younger sister. Emily Henry’s sophomore title “People We Meet on Vacation” is one such book — delightful and breezy, just like a romantic comedy movie, but in print. The general narrative arc is wellworn: Poppy, our endearing narrator, and her longtime best friend, Alex, are complete opposites in every way except for their adoration of each other. Their platonic-ish relationship includes a yearly “summer trip” — a vacation at first paid for by long hours at their campus library jobs, and later by Poppy’s gig as a travel writer. These trips are a way for us to understand Poppy and Alex’s falling-out and their two years of silence after an ill-fated kiss during one disastrous vacation. The book takes us through this tension and their reconciliation. “People We Meet on Vacation” is a will-they-won’t-they story, and while you won’t be surprised by the ending, getting there is tons of fun. First off, Poppy’s narrative voice is irresistible. She’s funny, fresh and just
the right amount of self-conscious. While some romantic comedies stumble when trying to convey authentic women with authentic flaws — think “she’s perfect but she’s so [insert completely innocuous trait like ‘clumsy’], how will she ever get a man?” — Poppy is an entirely believable person with a life that extends beyond her affiliation with Alex. In fact, much of the book is about her crisis of career choice — Alex is a symptom of her burgeoning identity, not a substitute for it. He couldn’t be: He is not nearly as interesting as Poppy. The way we meet Alex is more interesting than who Alex actually is. “People We Meet on Vacation” alternates from the present to all their past summer trips, playing with time and evoking a parallel to the movie “When Harry Met Sally.” While this structure familiarizes us with Poppy as she matures, Alex remains, mostly, just a quiet man with a few particularities like car sickness and obsessive exercise as the story progresses. His ex-girlfriend once accused him of being too boring for her –– and I can’t say I blame her, even when Poppy expresses fury at the allegation. Poppy is always herself, making weird jokes to strangers and spontaneous decisions, while Alex is so steady. While reading, I found myself wanting someone more ecstatically happy for Poppy, someone who could match her upbeat nature. The novel gives us very few glimpses into Alex’s life, and all of the glimpses are narrated by Poppy’s voice. But Poppy’s voice is so candid, I believe her when she says she loves Alex. The magic of Poppy is that I want her to get everything she wants –– even if she wants the slightly unexciting Alex. I would like Alex less if “People We Meet on Vacation” were a movie, but the length of a novel allows the narration to embed us in Poppy and Alex’s world. We see inside jokes from their shared past, we learn all their references, and it feels like we are with them because Henry does an excellent job of showing us the full scope of their relationship. Alex’s sweetest moments arise from our ability to know his character, past and present. He used to text Poppy pictures of his cat with the caption “tiny fighter.” Years later, the phrase “tiny fighter” becomes an endearing and appropriate
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nickname for Poppy, who always seems to be the one fighting for their relationship, while Alex just hopes (or mopes). The sweetness of these moments endear me to Alex, perhaps for the same reason he is endeared to Poppy — the intimacy of time, of really knowing someone. Henry’s layered storytelling approach, use of inside jokes and Poppy’s unique narrative voice makes me feel like I am truly in their world, that I’ve been a silent third member of their friendship. And if Alex can’t be interesting, at least he is known. What the novel is really missing isn’t a personality from Alex — we can forgive Henry for that — but an actual reason for these two to be just friends. Where are the movie-level stakes? Poppy and Alex are clearly in love with each other: They go on vacations together, they are best friends and Poppy, on numerous occasions, fantasizes about Alex. Poppy’s family can even see it — on their first summer trip, Poppy’s eccentric parents tease the two about their relationship. Poppy keeps saying that they are too different to date –– but that’s exactly the
reason Henry wants us to believe they are perfect for each other. If the best part of their relationship is that Poppy brings out the fun in Alex and Alex keeps Poppy grounded, how is their difference a big enough problem to cauterize their romantic possibilities for ten years? Maybe I’m cynical because current world problems seem so incomparable with Poppy and Alex’s will-they-won’tthey. It might be that while I sought comfort from the ease and lightness of the novel, I actually am too bitter to enjoy it. The novel is as dreamy as a blockbuster movie, but was I ready for it? The carefree travel that is so central to their relationship –– their summer trips –– is as tantalizing to read about as it is painful. Reading about them dancing in New Orleans together or hiking in the redwoods or drinking wine on their balcony in Tuscany makes me want to grab their shoulders and shake them. I want to say “going on fun summer vacations with your best friend is not a real problem! You both obviously love each other! Just kiss already!” Poppy would probably say to me what she
repeats over and over in the novel: that she doesn’t want to lose Alex forever by risking a romantic relationship. But how can Poppy lose him when she doesn’t even really have him? My only significant problem with this novel is that it seems too simple. But, that’s also part of its appeal. The book is a fast read –– I read it on the Green in one morning. It’s well-written without being challenging and as glitzy and sunny as a movie of which you know the happy ending. And what, truly, is so wrong about a novel being predictable, about the characters getting together in the end? It’s kind of the whole point. “People We Meet On Vacation” glimmers, despite (or, perhaps, because of) its predictability, and the fresh voice of its narrator adds enough window dressing to make the novel worth a read even if you’re tired of boy meets girl. “People We Meet On Vacation” gives me exactly what I need from romantic comedies: something more real than escapism, yet more beautiful than reality. Rating:
Public Art program series spotlights “Wide Babelki Bowl” BY Madeline Sawyer The Dartmouth Staff
This story was originally published on May 10, 2021. In a virtual talk on May 5, Hood Museum of Art director John Stomberg hosted a conversation with sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard that spotlighted her piece, “Wide Babelki Bowl,” which is part of Dartmouth’s public art collection. The talk marked the second segment of the Virtual Spotlight on Public Art program series, which is focused on the College’s collection of public art installations. Sponsored by the Hood and open to the public, the segments feature live conversations and Q&As with artists. This segment began with a short video introducing “Wide Babelki Bowl,” created in 2007 and installed on campus next to Rollins Chapel in August 2020. According to von Rydingsvard, “Babelki are the popcorn stitches that get knit onto sweaters, but in Polish, they also refer to the little lambswool fluff balls attached to the neck or waist of a sweater.” The sculpture was crafted such that the texture of the bowl replicated the popcorned babelki stitching. During the Q&A, Stomberg presented slides and images of the sculpture, its installation, and other works by von Rydingsvard at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. “Wide Babelki Bowl” was recently donated to Dartmouth by Jens and Margarit Jacobs, who originally commissioned the piece for their Woodstock, Vermont farm. Stomberg noted that acquiring artwork in this way is unusual, as The Hood curates a collection tailored to the Dartmouth image, which he said most gifts do not fit. According to Stomberg, the Jacobs had stayed in touch with von Rydingsvard’s gallerist. When the couple expressed interest in donating
their commissioned sculpture, von Rydingsvard’s gallerist reached out to Stomberg, aware of Stomberg’s long standing interest in the Brooklyn-based artist’s work. A personal connection to the College helped solidify the donation — according to von Rydingsvard, her grandchild attended Dartmouth. Von Rydingsvard discussed the connection between her work and her personal life, describing her childhood living on a farm during World War II. Hoping for a different life for their seven children, von Rydingsvard’s parents left the farm, spent time in eight postwar refugee camps and eventually made their way to the United States. Despite the motif of babelkis being a call to her childhood, von Rydingsvard insists that her history is not an active influence in most of her works. “ Wi d e B a b e l k i B o w l ” i s representative of von Rydingsvard’s work, as she is best known for her large wooden sculptures located in outdoor public spaces. Since the 1970s, cedar beams from Southwestern Canada have become a signature of her work. She recalled carving cedar planks as a graduate student at Columbia University and immediately realizing her connection to the material. After finishing a sculpture, natural forces change the color and shape of the cedar over time, a lifelike quality that von Rydingsvard said she enjoys. Made from around 600 or 700 cedar boards, “Wide Babelki Bowl” is smaller than many of von Rydingsvard’s other pieces. “It’s cedar, it’s wood, it just seems so incredibly ‘Dartmouth’ to me,” Stomberg said. “It’s rational and irrational, it’s strong and small and big, and all of these things that we try and load into the idea of ‘what is Dartmouth?’ It’s adventurous, right?” Curator of academic programming at the Hood Amelia Kahl ’01 echoed the connection between the material of the sculpture and Dartmouth’s identity. “Dartmouth’s connection to the outdoors is so important, so having a wood sculpture and seeing it weather
COURTESY OF ANNA KAYE M. SCHULTE
Ursula von Rydingsvard, Wide Babelki Bowl, 2007, cedar. Gift of Margarit and Jens Jacobs; 2019.90. © Ursula von Rydingsvard.
and change over the years, that feels like it fits in really nicely with Dartmouth’s location and Dartmouth’s values and Dartmouth’s aesthetic,” Kahl said. Stomberg also mentioned a “secret” vantage point, a place on the steps of Rollins Chapel, where observers can see inside of the sculpture — providing a sense of its volume. Although the interior of the sculpture is rarely seen, it is fully sculpted. Stomberg said this attention to detail is characteristic of von Rydingsvard’s work. He recalled his first close encounter with her art, when she was unhappy with the color of a bronze sculpture and traveled to put on a new patina. “I was so blown away by her, by how passionate she is, how much she cares,” Stomberg said. “And this was a work that had already sold, already been moved, already been installed. She could have just walked away. But she really didn’t want to do that.”
Stomberg highlighted the personal nature of each of von Rydingsvard’s works. “Her concern for the sculpture is akin to a concern you have for a loved one,” Stomberg said. Von Rydingsvard said “Wide Babelki Bowl” inspired her later work “Large Bowl with Babelki,” created for an exhibition at a European nunnery. Both Stomberg and von Rydingsvard emphasize the importance of location, saying that finding the right spot on campus for “Wide Babelki Bowl” took months of planning. “We needed to be really attuned to the subtleties of [‘Wide Babelki Bowl’] and the goals of the artist,” Stomberg said. “It resonates with Rollins and with Dartmouth in beautiful ways. [von Rydingsvard] said to me one time, ‘[‘Wide Babelki Bowl’] looks happy there.” Stomberg described the sculpture as both blending into and remaining
distinct from its environment. Setting the sculpture back from the sidewalk is intended to strike a balance between urban and secluded. “I’m after a curated campus,” Stomberg said. “I want to actually think about the campus as a canvas or a gallery and organize it, so that you still have accidental encounters with art as you walk around, but it’s not entirely accidental.” Cindy Wang ’24, who passes the sculpture frequently, said she was intrigued by the work upon first sight. “[The babelkis] remind me of heads,” Cindy Wang ’24 said. “Everytime I walk past, it always reminds me of faces, the little things sticking out.” Fabricio Lopez ’24 felt similarly about his encounters with “Wide Babelki Bowl.” “For me, those rocks resemble kind of, like, faces but without the features of faces,” he said.
THE DARTMOUTH SPORTS
FRIDAY, MAY 14, 2021
Dartmouth track & field holds first home meet since shutdown BY Justin Kramer
The Dartmouth Senior Staff
This story was originally published on May 11, 2021. It was a day of firsts for the Dartmouth track and field teams last Friday. In their first and only home meet of the season, the women’s team claimed victories in 11 races while the men won 10 events. Because of the Ivy League’s cancelation of spring interconference competition, the Big Green did not line up against other members of the Ancient Eight at the meet. Instead, Dartmouth hosted local Division I rivals — the University of Massachusetts Lowell, the University of New Hampshire and the University of Vermont — as well as Division III opponent Plymouth State University. Among the winners were several Big Green freshmen and sophomores competing in their first outdoor races on Memorial Field. On the women’s side, Emma Cunningham ’23 landed the secondlongest triple jump in program history, leaping 12.46m to enter the record books. Anya Hirschfeld ’23 placed first in the 1500m (4:36.65) with Big Green teammates Corinne Robitaille ’23 (4:37.92), Natalie Shapiro ’24 (4:40.46) and Steph Finley ’23 (4:46.58) sweeping the second through fourth spots in their home debuts. The top performer of the day, Bridget McNally ’24, broke out with victories in all three of her events, including the sixth-best long jump (5.75m) and eighth-best 100m dash (12.19 seconds) in team history. McNally, who set her personal record in all three events, said “it was kind of a shock” setting her personal record in the 200m (24.88 seconds) after she had worn herself out in the 100m and long jump. She said competing at home was beneficial for her performance. “We had a meet at UNH a couple weeks ago, and I was super nervous and kind of out of it,” McNally said. “But this time, I could really focus and just hone in on what I had to do.” The underclassmen impressed in their home debuts for the men’s team as well, including Myles Epstein ’23, whose 10.49-second 100m dash set a new personal record and was the third-best time in Big Green history.
Declan O’Scannlain ’24 (14:47.85), Trey Cormier ’23 (14:50.13), Colin Donnelly ’24 (14:50.37) and Will Chaffin ’24 (14:52.74) inspired hope for the program’s future with the top-four finishes in the 500m. Other premier home debut performances included Michael Gabriel ’24 winning the hammer throw and Will Daley ’24 falling less than a second behind the winner of the 1500m but running a top-20 time in program history (3:47.83) As much as Friday was a day of firsts, it was also the last chance for members of the Class of 2021 to compete in Hanover, and for those who do not qualify for regionals in two weeks, it was their final meet for the Big Green. Sprinter Donovan Spearman ’21, who will be running for Duke University next year, discussed the excitement of running one last meet with his fellow seniors and competing with the underclassmen for the first time. “Just about all the seniors were able to compete, which was a lot of fun because we got to come back together one last time after everything that’s happened
over these four years,” Spearman said. “It was also really cool to run with the underclassmen and experience a meet with them.” Max Frye ’21, a co-captain of the men’s team, said it had not yet sunk in for him that Friday was his final home meet, and that given how “weird” this year has been athletically and academically, he and the team were just happy to compete. Amid a challenging final season, he has pushed the seniors to “enjoy what [they] have left here.” “I think for some of the older folks like the seniors, I’ve just tried to make sure that they kind of understand that this is our last time to really go out there and compete,” Frye said. “I know it’s not ideal circumstances, but we really just have to make the best out of a bad situation. And I think most seniors definitely came at it with the right attitude.” The seniors demonstrated this competitive mentality in their final home meet, with three senior women and four senior men winning their events.
Women’s co-captain Camille Landon ’21 cleared 1.70m to win the high jump, co-captain Rachel Ludwikowski ’21 took first in the 5,000m by over a minute (17:16.59) and Kathryn Laskoski ’21 ran the 400m in 58.04 seconds to edge out her UVM competitors. Tim Zepf ’21 led the way for the seniors on the men’s track team, outpacing a crowded field in the men’s 800m by over three seconds with one of the best times in program history at 1:49.45. Corbin Mayes ’21 won the pole vault (4.50m) while Owen Ritz ’21 ran the 10,000m in 30:04.91 to take first in an all-Dartmouth field. Frye, who won the 110m hurdle by 11 seconds with a time of 52.40, now awaits the results of other upcoming meets to see if he will qualify for regionals. Both Frye and Spearman were happy with the teams’ performances given the difficult training circumstances. Frye said the teams only got to train for about four weeks in the winter because of the late start to the term and the COVID-19
PHOTO COURTESY OF DONOVAN SPEARMAN
Max Frye ‘21, MJ Farber ‘21, Donovan Spearman ‘21, Camille Landon ‘21, Kathryn Laskoski ‘21, Samantha Stevens ‘21 and Lily Lockhart ‘21 pose for a picture on Memorial Field during Dartmouth’s first home track meet since the COVID-19 shutdown.
outbreak at the end of the quarter, and spring break and arrival quarantine further complicated building up for the season. “In a sport like track, you have these cycles, where you peak at certain times, and when you have those peaks interrupted and those cycles interrupted, it’s really hard to get the results you want,” Frye said. “... The ebb and flow of our cycles was definitely messed up, but the part that really made it okay was that everyone definitely came ready to work for each practice.” The COVID-19 athletic protocols in place at Dartmouth presented another challenge for the Big Green — all athletes were required to wear masks at Memorial Field — but Dartmouth has gotten used to wearing masks by practicing with them all season, according to McNally. McNally said there was not a mask requirement at the UNH meet two weeks ago, however. While the Big Green athletes wore their masks, Frye said “a small amount” of athletes from other schools disregarded the rule during their races. “It’s definitely harder to run with a mask,” Spearman added. “It’s probably easier for a shorter distance, [but for] the 5k and 10k runners, it’s extremely hard for the longer races to run with a mask the whole time.” In addition to the mask requirement both on and around the track, no athletes were allowed to leave the stadium during the event, and no friends, family or friends were allowed to watch the event. Frye added that each team only brought about 30 people as opposed to the normal 100, and athletes entered through specific gates to ensure social distancing. According to Frye, Safety and Security were on patrol at Memorial Field to ensure athletes and spectators observed restrictions. As a result of the protocols, many parents waited outside the stadium to cheer on the Big Green seniors as they finished their final events, according to Spearman. After four years of running laps around the Leverone Field House and Memorial Field tracks, Spearman felt everything came “full circle” at the final meet. “It was just a really great moment being there with all the other seniors after these four years and everything,” Spearman said. “It really did feel like everything came full circle.”
Student-athletes react to long-awaited return to competition BY Olivia Morton and Vikram Strander The Dartmouth Staff
On April 24, some Big Green spring sports teams returned to inperson competition for the first time in over a year. After months of being limited to only practice and intrasquad competitions, various spring athletes got back into action competing against local non-conference opponents — both in Hanover and on the road. After a tumultuous winter that included a COVID-19 outbreak late in the term, athletes returned to campus this term with the possibility of competition — despite having announced the cancellation of conference competition for the spring, the Ivy League decided to allow teams to partake in non-Ivy competitions. For members of the track and field team, practices have been more consistent and formal since the winter. Student-athletes living on campus or with on-campus approval experienced practices that were active and fairly normal, except for practice times being slightly more spaced out and the expectation that athletes would be masked at all times. This spring, the track and field team has competed in two non-conference meets in addition to an intrasquad competition, with one final competition taking place this weekend at American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts. The first meet was held at the University of New Hampshire followed by a meet at Dartmouth. Some members of the Big Green ran for the first time while others competed for the last time, but sprinter Donovan Spearman ’21 said everyone was excited to be back in action after over 400 days away. “Considering the short amount of time that we’ve been together and practicing, there were a lot of amazing performances that happened from individuals this past weekend, which was really exciting to see,” Spearman said. “As crazy as the four years have been, especially these past two years, I’d say that this meet was a really good
PHOTO COURTESY OF DONOVAN SPEARMAN
The track and field team has competed in three competitions this term and will compete for the last time this season at American International College this weekend.
way to end it all for the seniors and for the season.” The women’s lacrosse team had a slightly different path to competition this term, as members of the team not living on campus were not able to practice until just weeks before their first game. “When we went back, it kind of felt like the most special opportunity to be back on [Scully-Fahey Field],” midfielder Claire Marshall ’21 said. “We had the morning slot practices, so it almost felt a little bit like fall ball — waking up before most of campus is up and just having that special time to be together with our team and doing what we love.” The team competed three times this spring, including an 11-5 loss in its opening game against Tufts University on April 25. Although the seniors had not
been practicing with the team, Marshall said they jumped at the opportunity to wear the jersey again, even knowing that the transition back into full competition would be difficult. “I wouldn’t trade having that game for anything,” Marshall said. “And I’m still so glad we got the opportunity to play. And after we were down by I think five goals, I looked around at a lot of the seniors and we all just said like, let’s leave it all out there, let’s have fun, let’s be fearless. It was a good day.” The team bounced back from its loss to Tufts three days later, defeating Division II opponent St. Michael’s 19-2 on April 28. The men’s tennis team had some early troubles with its return to competition, as its first opponent of the spring season,
Colby-Sawyer College, had to pull out of their matchup on April 24 due to a missing COVID-19 test result. The team was eventually able to play a scrimmage against Division III opponent Williams College. In the scrimmage, the Big Green had a strong showing in doubles, sweeping all three matches. Dartmouth also won four of the six singles matches to win its only match of the season. Team member Peter Conklin ’21 said that the seniors were happy to get a last match in before the end of their college careers. “It was definitely exciting to have some opportunities for competition,” Conklin said. “So I think a lot of the guys were excited about that. And more so for the seniors about getting on the courts and less about playing the match, just having
one more chance to play on the courts. It’s definitely not like the same thing as a regular season, but it was definitely a nice gesture by Dartmouth.” All of the spring sports teams were restricted by the Ivy League’s rule that only allowed Big Green teams to compete against teams within a 100-mile radius of Hanover, limiting the men’s tennis team’s schedule. “Being in Dartmouth — being in Hanover, New Hampshire — the options are kind of limited with who we could play,” Conklin said. “I’m sure if there were more teams around, I’m sure everyone would have done whatever they could to schedule those matches. But there just [are] not that many teams around Hanover that are 100 miles away.”
MIRROR THE DARTMOUTH MIRROR
FRIDAY, MAY 14, 2021
The Flair That Binds Us: Bequests, an Enduring Tradition BY Claire Callahan The Dartmouth Staff
This article was originally published on May 12, 2021. A normal Dartmouth spring means studying outside, Green Key and graduation, but there’s another spring tradition that encapsulates Dartmouth culture: bequests. All types of campus clubs and organizations share this tradition of passing down items between its members. Ceremonies vary, but every spring, seniors gather up items they wish to pass down and “bequest” — Dartmouth students tend to use “bequest” as both a noun and verb, though, technically, the verb is “bequeath” — them to younger members of their various organizations. It’s equal parts history and hilarity as meaningful years-old items sketched with alumni names change hands — followed by a dinosaur onesie from Walmart. Alana McClements ’22 recalled the Ledyard Canoe Club bequest ceremony of her freshman spring. Members of the Class of 2019 gathered on the roof of the Ledyard Canoe Clubhouse with their bags of flair and gave short speeches for each item. McClements described the ceremony as “kind of like an award system,” where club members received bequests for real, personal qualities. For example, a sunny yellow shirt might be given to an especially positive person. Bequests are also received in honor of funny superlatives, like the Ledyardite who swam the most on the club’s annual whitewater paddling trip after accidentally flipping their kayak over and failing to get back up. McClements recalled an unusual
bequest she received: a “ridiculously large” sign from Tremblant, a ski resort in Canada, that had been passed down from students in both Ski Patrol and Ledyard. “It’s been a huge inconvenience to store, but very fun,” McClements added. This affectionate exasperation highlights a common theme: bequests are often strange, cumbersome items that often have years of memories associated with them. “They’re meaningful because of who gives them to you,” John Perrotti ’21 said of the many random t-shirts handed down to him by his Alpha Chi Alpha fraternity brothers. Perrotti’s favorite bequest is a 1988 homecoming shirt that has been passed through Alpha Chi members for decades; he described the bequest as a “really cool historical artifact.” While Alpha Chi members bequest dozens of different items each year, Perrotti said that the fraternity emphasizes historical bequests over quirky flair pieces to increase inter-class connection. Brian Lee ’22 received a mystifying bequest from improv group Dog Day Players that is both eccentric and historical: a piece of construction paper that reads “My name is Anna and I am a freshman. Laugh at me,” except “freshman” is crossed out and replaced with “freshperson.” Lee said that not all of his bequests are valuable to him in a logical sense, but they’re nonetheless precious. “One shirt [I was bequested] has a bunch of initials that don’t really mean anything — I’ve never met these people — but I know for a fact that someone in Dog Day wore it at some point, and it just makes me not want to lose the shirt,” Lee said. “It’s more than just
PEYTON BOND/THE DARTMOUTH STAFF
the object; you don’t want to lose that piece of history and that spirit of the club.” Do I want a piece of construction paper with a statement that makes no sense to me? Not particularly. But I imagine Anna at Dartmouth in 2011 cracking up at some inside joke and writing it on a paper, and I smile: bequests create laughter and connection years apart. Perrotti agreed, noting that bequests “tie students to alumni.” “Having that connection between classes is important,” Perrotti said. “We try to be a very alumni-connected school, and bequests add to that feeling.”
PHOTO COURTESY OF BRIAN LEE
When discussing historical value, it’s natural to think only of past alums, but bequests are history in the making — new items are put into circulation every year. According to Lee, one of Dog Day’s new bequests this year is not an item, but an activity started by two members of the Class of 2021. The two were roommates and had termly, season-themed photoshoots; the club wants to make that a tradition. While bequests aim to foster a greater sense of community within organizations, McClements pointed out that a side effect of club bonding is exclusion, especially in bigger groups. McClements noted that bequest ceremonies can highlight favoritism within clubs, as there will inevitably be some members that receive more coveted bequests than others. The public speech that accompanies the bequest in Ledyard can enhance those feelings of favoritism and exclusion. The alternative is to give bequests privately, which McClements experienced last spring due to the pandemic. In lieu of a public bequest ceremony, a member of the Class of 2020 came to her house to give her a bequest paired with a speech. “It’s an interchange between two people, and it’s nice when it’s personal like that, so I think that would get rid of the spectacle-like component,” McClements said. “But if you did it in private, it would also lose the component of club history being passed down.” McClements pointed to a significant bequest: the jacket of an influential female Ledyardite that, for many, represented women’s power in the club. That bequest might have lost some of its might if it were given privately.
“Sometimes bequests are slightly socially stressful, but I haven’t experienced enough stress to make me really think it’s an issue that needs to be addressed or something that needs to be changed,” McClements said. “It’s just something to be aware of.” COVID-19 disrupted public ceremonies, and some club members wondered if the pandemic also stripped them of some would-be bequests. Last spring term, students quickly scattered across the world, and bequests were tucked away in campus storage or parents’ basements. According to Perrotti, it felt as if “bequests got lost in time.” McClements added that as campus begins to look more normal, upperclassmen will need to work to restore past club traditions like bequests. “I think part of the work we’re going to have to do, especially as seniors next year, is bring back club culture and get people really excited in a way that I just don’t think was possible with COVID,” McClements said. As we return to a more familiar Dartmouth, this tradition is probably not high on anyone’s list of postCOVID-19 priorities, but I look forward to future bequests that will change hands instead of gathering dust. Perrotti will bequest a unique tiger painting given to him by his dad, Lee will bequest a sign that says “Clean up after your dog. It’s the law” with an instructional illustration and McClements will bequest her iconic crown that tops off many flair outfits. These items are small pieces of students’ lives, gathering fingerprints and stories for their future owners. I hope they win a smile from a ’32 ten years from now.
You Know The Drill: Rassias Method From the 1960s to Today BY Meghan Powers The Dartmouth Staff
This article was originally published on May 12, 2021. Those who’ve been through drill know that you never forget the feeling of sitting, clammy-handed, in a room with five to eight of your classmates, furiously racking your brain for a verb tense that was just on the tip of your tongue. Drill, otherwise known as the Rassias method, is an essential organ of Dartmouth’s language program. Rassias Center for World Languages and Cultures executive director — and daughter of John Rassias, creator of the Rassias method — Helene Rassias smiled as she recalled the thread of events that intertwined the history of drill with the history of her family. “My dad started [drill] for the Peace Corps in the ’60s, but the origins come from him, as a kid, having to learn English,” Rassias said. “My grandmother never learned English, so he went to first grade not really knowing the language.” John Rassias, explained Helene Rassias, had a lifelong fascination with language. As a member of the Marine Corps in U.S.-occupied Japan in the 1940s, he taught himself enough Japanese to speak with the people he encountered. Afterwards, as a pre-med student at Bridgeport University on the GI Bill, he continued to be interested in languages.
Rassias eventually found his way to the University of Dijon by way of a Fulbright scholarship in the 1950s, and it wasn’t until the mid-’60s that his work with the Peace Corps brought him into contact with Dartmouth’s French department. His route to Hanover was no walk in the park, but his passion for language-learning and theater were the foundations for the Rassias Method, which endures over fifty years later. “He was trying to figure out a rhythmically emotional way to introduce language, because he also did a certificate in theater studies,” Helene Rassias said. Drill has evolved since its inception, but pre-pandemic, it looked something like this: three times a week, small groups of students in any language class numbered I, II, or III would gather for fifty minutes of energetic repetition, conjugation and recitation under the guidance of a fellow student trained as a drill instructor. “Good energy, fun, and rhythm— [drill] is almost like a song,” explained French and Italian language program director and Italian professor Tania Convertini. “It’s a great addition to what happens in the classroom.” For Convertini, and for French professor Kelly McConnell ’00 A&S ’03, this “good energy” is really the soul of drill. McConnell taught ten terms of drill in her years as an undergraduate and graduate student, and experienced life as a drillee in her Italian classes. Running drill and taking classes with
John Rassias, explained McConnell, helped to foster her love of teaching and pursue her love of language. “[John Rassias] was just awesome. I took four-course terms because I was a physics major and I had to take my math, science and freshman seminar, but I wanted to take a class with John Rassias,” McConnell said. “That kind of productive goofiness of his, I like to think we still bring that to drill.” At its best, drill offers an environment where students are free to experiment with their own knowledge without the pressure of an omnipotent professor in the room. This, combined with the rapid-fire questioning style and a culture of rolling with the punches, can yield a sort of linguistic alchemy. “I think the progress that our Dartmouth students make in one term of spoken French is ‘hallucinant’ [mind-blowing],” McConnell said. “It’s unbelievable. I think it’s because you get over that fear and resistance. Drill helps you stop overthinking everything and learn to spit it out.” Since the start of the pandemic, Helene Rassias and language department faculty alike have experimented with software that simulates the spontaneity of drill, though Dartmouth students and faculty across all departments have been confronted with the inability to fully adapt the curriculum to an online format. “It was impossible to think that everything could transfer to Zoom as it
was,” Convertini said. “The idea that we could take our class and just move it to Zoom is, I think, a misunderstanding.” Luke Rohlen ’22 has served as a drill instructor for both French and Italian since the start of the pandemic and now runs online drill twice a week for half an hour — as opposed to its usual thrice-weekly for fifty minutes format. “When you’re limited to two times a week, you miss out on interpersonal relationships and communication,” Rohlen said. “But the correct answer is not to just bring back drilling three times a week for fifty minutes online. You just don’t have the same attention span and you’re not in that dynamic atmosphere where you’re always pushing your limits.” Convertini has adopted a new philosophy for online language learning, one with a basis in understanding the limitations of students and faculty alike during the unprecedented circumstances of the past year. “Our mantra during the pandemic has been: ‘Keep it simple, keep it meaningful, connect, practice empathy and learn from the challenge,’” Convertini said. Helene Rassias described drill as being built on shared energy. Its goal — which Zoom lags, muted microphones and however many miles between members of a drill group seem destined to frustrate — is to create something like a convivial piece of theater. The pandemic, as Rohlen sees it, has eliminated some of the nuts and
bolts that make face-to-face drill what it is. “It’s really hard to read the room, it’s hard to see mannerisms [and] it’s hard to express actions,” Rohlen said. “So much is lost through online drill, and that makes it really tough to learn a completely new language.” However, Rohlen commends the Rassias Center for their efforts to make the most of the situation despite the limitations of remote learning. In some ways, the Rassias method relies on emotion as much as intellect. While according to Rassias, drill works best in person, she expressed her appreciation for what a collaboration between drill instructors and faculty has been able to accomplish. Learning a language is always a chaotic, humbling and difficult process, as likely to inspire clammy hands in a speaker of many years as a complete newbie. Especially with the theatricality and rapidity of the Rassias method, language-learning, perhaps more than other subjects, is best served by having as many contact hours as possible. Consequently, faculty throughout Dartmouth’s language departments are peering with cautious optimism toward the future. “I think we’re all looking forward to gaining back that in-person energy,” Convertini said. “... We’re all looking forward to having drill instructors in the class with students. I think that’s a general feeling — we’re all starving for in-person contact.”