VOL. CLXXIV NO.153
THURSDAY, JANUARY 4, 2017
HANOVER, NEW HAMPSHIRE
College admits 565 students from record-large pool
SNOW HIGH 22 LOW 1
By EILEEN BRADY
The Dartmouth Staff
LAUREN KIM/THE DARTMOUTH STAFF
CHENG: CUT THE GELATO PAGE 6
RICHARDS: LOOKING FOR BRUTUS PAGE 6
ADELBERG: LEARNING SELFEDUCATION PAGE 7
SHAH: KEEP MOVING FORWARD PAGE 7
FILM REVIEW: ‘STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI’ PAGE 8
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TWITTER @thedartmouth COPYRIGHT © 2018 THE DARTMOUTH, INC.
Dartmouth welcomed 565 students into the Class of 2022 during this year’s early decision round of applications, accepting 24.9 percent of a pool of 2,270 applicants, the largest pool of early decision applicants in the College’s history. The number of applications increased 13.6 percent from last year. According to a College news release, the group of admitted students, who will make up roughly 47 percent of the incoming freshman class, includes 145 student athletes, 26 QuestBridge finalists and almost 100 valedictorians and
The College saw its largest early decision application pool ever, with 2,270 applicants.
SEE ED PAGE 2
Over 1,600 sign State Senate passes HB 372 Shattuck petition By ABBY MIHALY The Dartmouth
By ALEX FREDMAN
The Dartmouth Staff
Over 1,600 individuals have signed a petition expressing concer n in response to the College’s announcement that it is considering building new dormitories for 750 students in College Park.
The petition argues that acting on the proposal could result in the loss of the College’s only undeveloped parkland in the center of campus and Shattuck Observatory, which would threaten several ongoing scientific research activities. SEE COLLEGE PARK PAGE 3
The New Hampshire Senate passed House Bill 372 yesterday 14-9, along party lines, redefining the term “resident” for New Hampshire inhabitants. Opponents have criticized the bill’s purpose statement, which says that “a person must be a resident of New Hampshire to vote or hold office in New Hampshire.”
Dam management raises questions among locals By JULIAN NATHAN
The Dartmouth Staff
A s energ y company Great River Hydro undergoes relicensing procedures for local Connecticut R iver da ms, conser vat ion a nd recreat ion g roups, includ ing Ledyard Canoe Club, are raising concer ns about t he compa ny’s water management techniques.
While some Republicans claim the bill only clarifies existing definitions, Democrats worry that voters, including students, may have to register cars and obtain instate drivers licenses in order to vote in the state. The bill will now return to the House for consideration. The original bill was introduced in 2017 by State Rep. David Bates, a Republican, and aimed to redefine the term “resident,”
removing a condition that residents must intend to remain in the state “for the indefinite future.” In 2015, the state Supreme Court struck down a law requiring voters to sign an affidavit stating they were in compliance with state residency laws, a law that the American Civil Liberties Union argued unfairly discriminated against long-term but temporary SEE VOTING PAGE 5
DARTMOUTH ON ICE
Rel icensi ng procedures w it h the Federal Energ y Regulator y Commission take place once every 30 to 50 years. This iteration of the relicensing process is affecting the Wilder, Bellow Falls and Vernon Dams. Former Ledyard Canoe Club business director and president SEE DAMS PAGE 2
MARGARET JONES/THE DARTMOUTH SENIOR STAFF
Snow blanketed the campus as students returned from winterim.
THE DARTMOUTH NEWS
THURSDAY, JANUARY 4, 2018
College sees 24.9 percent Area water management questioned early acceptance rate as shorter and less predictable water release periods allow for Jolyon Pruszinski ’00 said he is less usable surf ing time. concerned that the current f low “There is nothing inherently management techniques at Wilder wrong with weekday afternoon Dam will complicate paddling r e l e a s e s w i t h r e s p e c t t o and other recreational use of the recreational use,” he said. “It’s river further downstream. Under just that the useful window for e le c t r ic it y c ompa ny US G en recreational use was drastically New England’s management, he shortened.” explained, water releases from Pruszinski noted that current the dam were regularly conducted pr act ices have not rendered and occurred for several hours at S u m n e r F a l l s c o m p l e t e l y a time, which created conditions “unsurfable,” adding that they conducive for paddling in other are instead only “less surfable.” areas in the river’s Hartland’s Despite this, he said that current region. However, according to conditions compromise Ledyard Pruszinski, when energy company Canoe Club’s ability to train TransCanada — which has since beginner paddlers in the area. been acquired by Great River “[Current conditions] are a Hydro — purchased the dams from real loss to Ledyard’s training USGen New England, dominant program,” he said. “There isn’t water release paradigms changed. anything local that is comparable Instead of to [the Hartland’s releasing water region].” gradually and “If relicensing goes Alexander Toth r e g u l a r l y , well, the Hartland’s ’10 , w ho w a s he sa id, he also involved in region could be b e l i e v e s L edyard Canoe TransCanada exponentially Club while b e g a n improved for study ing at the hydropeaking, College, echoed w h i c h Dartmouth students this sentiment. s h o r t e n e d looking to learn how “[Sumner Falls] the length of is one of the most to paddle.” water releases idea l teach ing a nd relea sed locations I have more water at -ALEXANDER TOTH ’10, e v e r s e e n ,” he a time. said. T h e LEDYARD CANOE CLUB Pruszinski also c h a n g e s MEMBER s a id t h at lo c a l a l l o w e d businesses have TransCanada been “drastically to ma x i m i ze affected” by the prof its by changes because c o n d u c t i n g r e l e a s e s d u r i n g tourism to the area has decreased. periods when energy is most in He estimated that paddling near demand, Pruszinski alleged. Sumner Falls has decreased by Great R iver Hydro F ERC around 80 percent since t he license manager John Ragonese changes were implemented. denied Pruszinski’s claim that “ Not a l l ef fect s of [Great t he cha nge i n ow ner sh ip of River Hydro’s] management fall Wilder Dam has affected f low exclusively on them ... the tourism management practices at the dollar has consequences ... and site, saying that there have been yet, their management practices “absolutely zero” changes. seem to have their own interests He sa id t hat Great R iver in mind,” he said. Hydro’s releases occur primarily Toth said he became concerned in response to the availability of that current Dartmouth students water, citing the fact that many would not be involved in the variables are out of Great River rel icensi ng process when he Hydro’s control. f ir st lea r ned of t he ongoi ng However, R agonese noted procedures. that dam operators also consider “I remember how important demand curves for power and the Connecticut River was for energy prices so that Great River my Dartmouth experience,” he Hydro can provide power when said. “If relicensing goes well, it is most needed. He said that t he Ha r t la nd’s reg ion cou ld while energ y prices are often be exponentially improved for high during weekday afternoons, Dartmouth students looking to demand patterns vary by week, learn how to paddle.” month and season. R agonese a lso d isag reed Pruszinski said that new water w it h P r uszi nsk i’s cla i m t hat release practices have threatened r e c r e a t i o n a l u s e o f a r e a s Su m ner Fa l l s , a “st a ndout ” dow nst rea m of t he da m has surf ing location that is especially decreased. valuable for beginner paddlers, “The main recreational use FROM DAMS PAGE 1
socioeconomic backgrounds. “There is no reason for you to wait and compare packages salutatorians. With early decision students when you have the net price comprising 47 percent of the calculator,” said founder of s t u d e n t b o d y, t h e C o l l e g e college admissions consulting estimates 1,200 students in the fir m Ivy Coach Bev Taylor, Class of 2022. The Class of 2021 emphasizing that students who yielded 1,279 students, the largest need financial aid are no longer class in Dartmouth’s history. The at a disadvantage when applying numbers come as Dartmouth early since they can compare the enlists a task force to examine costs of different schools prior to increasing enrollment numbers. applying. A student body size of 1,200 Zack Nathan, an accepted would be a 4.9 percent increase student from Toronto, Canada, over the average class size from s a i d t h a t h e c o n s i d e r e d the five class years prior to the Dartmouth’s academic reputation and its smaller classes when Class of 2021. Vice provost for enrollment deciding to apply early to the and dean of admissions and College. He added that early financial aid Lee Coffin attributed decision applications may also the increase in early decision provide prospective students with applicants largely to an expansion an advantage in admissions. of the admissions staff and a “Applying to a school like change in the narrative presented Dartmouth, it’s a real long shot,” Nathan said. “I did some about the admissions process. research, and “[Because of I did see that the expanded [applying admissions staff], “I really wanted a e a r l y we were visiting tight-knit community decision] more schools in that I would be able gives you a more places than much better we were able to to depend on.” chance to get do in the past,” in, so that said Coffin, definitely a d d i n g t h a t -ERICA BERMEO, factored in.” t h e a d m i s s i o n s INCOMING MEMBER OF Erica office has been THE CLASS OF 2022 Ber meo, “developing a who will be new narrative for joining the the admissions process that really focuses on the Class of 2022 from New York connection between faculty and City, said that Dartmouth was her students,” which he said is one of first-choice college because of the Dartmouth’s greatest strengths. flexibility of the quarter system T his year’s pool of early and liberal arts curriculum and d e c i s i o n a p p l i c a t i o n s w a s the close community present on comprised of a more diverse Dartmouth’s campus. socioeconomic class than past “I really wanted a tight-knit year s, a change that Cof fin community that I would be able said likely resulted from the to depend on,” Bermeo said. implementation of a new net price Nathan said that he is looking calculator this year, MyinTuition, forward to enjoying Hanover, the which is being used for the nature surrounding the College first time by 15 colleges and and the opportunities for fun and universities. While the College learning the New Hampshire offered a net price calculator environment provides. in the past, MyinTuition is “When I’m applying to a more straightforward and easier u n i ve r s i t y I ’ m a l s o l o o k i n g to use, according to Coffin. for a place to live,” Nathan Dartmouth saw the second- said. “Seeing how beautiful highest traffic on the calculator Dartmouth is and where it is, with of the 15 participating schools, all the beautiful surroundings, which Coffin believes translated made it stick out as a place where i n t o m o r e e a r l y d e c i s i o n I could learn a lot and really enjoy applicants from lower and middle myself.” FROM ED PAGE 1
CORRECTIONS We welcome corrections. If you believe there is a factual error in a story, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for corrections.
[of the river at that location] is boating. Boating has increased,” he said, adding that camping areas in the area also remain popular. According to Ragonese, Great River Hydro is currently studying the concerns of interested parties and intends to hold a meeting to discuss these concerns when the results of those studies are published. Pruszinsk i noted that f low management practices can also af fect more than recreational use of the river. The Nature Conser vancy appl ied r iver scientist Katie Kennedy wrote i n a n e m a i l s t at e me nt t h at hydropeaking can threaten native river species. “ M a ny or g a n i s m s c a n not w it hst a nd t he repeated h igh velocit ies associated w it h peaking, or the repeated changes to habitat,” she wrote. “What we often f ind as a consequence is an absence of sensitive species below a dam, and a gradual increase in abundances as distance downstream from the dam increases.” A c c o r d i n g t o K e n n e d y, this is an especially important consideration for Wilder Dam relicensing procedures because much of the Connecticut River ha s a l ready been i nu nd ated by dams and reservoirs. Only 5 percent of the length of the Connect icut R iver i n New H a mp s h i r e a nd Ver mont i s free-f lowing, and much of the free-f lowing habitat is already affected by hydropeaking. However, Ragonese said that f low m a n a g e me nt pr a c t ic e s have little effect on bank erosion processes, wh ich Kennedy identif ied as a consequence of high velocities associated with peaking. “We have performed several hundred thousand dollars worth of studies on erosion,” he said. “The vast majority of erosion on the Connecticut River is a function of high f lows.” Ragonese said that precipitation patterns can create high flows and that extreme weather events can drastically affect flow rates. According to Kennedy, action plans are being devised to better manage the operations taking place. “The Nature Conser vancy and other stakeholders have been working to figure out what changes in operations can support the river ecosystem, while continuing to allow Great River Hydro to produce a reliable source of clean energy, and we’re all hoping to work with Great River Hydro to come up with a viable and responsible solution,” Kennedy wrote.
THE DARTMOUTH NEWS
THURSDAY, JANUARY 4, 2018
Petition calls for reconsideration of proposed dorms in College Park FROM COLLEGE PARK PAGE 1
One of the petition’s main concerns is the future of Shattuck Observatory, one of the oldest surviving college observatories in the country. The petition’s authors write that developing the area around the observatory, which is located on the edge of College Park, could result in the observatory being destroyed or rendered ineffective due to increased light pollution from new buildings. Signed by students, professors and alumni, as well as other individuals with connections to the College, the petition was organized by members of the physics and astronomy department, which originally raised concerns about the College Park plan in an Oct. 17 letter to College President Phil Hanlon. The department plans to deliver the petition to executive vice president Rick Mills during its faculty meeting on Jan. 16, according to physics and astronomy professor Miles Blencowe. “We hope that once [the administration has] seen this very significant outpouring of concern and love for this park and the buildings there, that they will realize they have to think harder about finding other places for essential dorms,” said Blencowe, who helped draft both the October letter and the petition. Blencowe said that after the College made its announcement on Sept. 20, supporters chose to circulate the petition as word spread through November and December about the proposal and potential threat to the observatory. “There was a lot of disbelief and also outrage, concern,” Blencowe said. “And so a lot of [individuals] asked, ‘Well, how can I help, how can I lend my voice to this proposal to build dorms?’” Blencowe said he initially shared the petition with about 70 people and expected only a few hundred signatures to the petition, so he was surprised by how many people have signed on. Because signees could add personalized comments to the petition, Blencowe said that he has found the document to be an “educational experience” as a variety of people shared their viewpoints on College Park and the observatory. He added that he has not heard any additional information from the administration since sending the October letter to the president. In an interview, Mills emphasized that the plans for College Park is still in an early conceptual phase, and that no final plans have been made to build on College Park. He said
that he views the petition as a good thing because it will help inform the administration about the concerns held by faculty, alumni and students before any further planning for the site occurs. “Part of the goal of the exercise is to understand, what are the things that would affect Dartmouth’s use of that land, what things would we need to take into account [and] how would we need to think about it?” Mills said. Despite the concerns raised, however, Mills said that there are benefits to the College Park site, including its proximity to the center of campus and potential for opening up a “corridor of activity” between the northern and eastern sections of campus. He added that while other, smaller sites are being considered for development, College Park would have the most space to build a cluster of dorms in the spirit of the housing community concept. When asked about the potential threat to Shattuck Observatory, Mills said that the conceptual designer s are aware of the observatory’s importance and that more study will be needed before any final decisions are made. Noting both the historic and scientific concerns raised by the petition, Mills said that it is possible the observatory could be relocated or rebuilt at a different location, but nothing has been decided yet. Among the petition’s signees were a number of professional a s t ro n o m e r s wh o ex p re s s e d concerns about Shattuck Observatory. Sara Schechner, a professor and historian of astronomy at Harvard University, wrote in the petition that the destruction of Shattuck would be an “irreparable loss” for both Dartmouth and historians of science and education. “Something is lost when you no longer have access to a traditional telescope like this,” Schechner said in an interview. Schechner, who is a founding member of the American Astronomical Society’s Working Group on the Preservation of Astronomical Heritage, said that concern over Shattuck’s future has spread through the astronomical community and that the working group plans to discuss the observatory during its meeting on Jan. 8. She said she expects the group will send a letter to Hanlon urging protection of the observatory. “This group feels strongly that this is really a special historic observatory that is worthy of preservation, not just a pretty little building on a hill,” Schechner said. Although most of the petition’s
list of concerns directly address Shattuck Observatory and other scientific research activities involving College Park, many of the signees commented on the park’s value as a both a historical and recreational area on campus. Art history professor Marlene Heck, who signed the petition, said that College Park has, for much of Dartmouth’s history, been a place where students can go to decompress and relax from the stress of academic life. She added that the park has always been intended to be a gathering place and natural landscape on campus. “It’s not hallowed ground, but it’s a historic landscape, and I think it is a treasure that Dartmouth still has it,” Heck said. For this reason, Heck said she believes College Park should be offlimits for building new dorms. She added that the College’s current proposal lacks creativity and seems to be a quick solution to the housing shortage problem rather than a well-developed idea. “The senior administration and the trustees have to really listen and take into consideration and think about what is being destroyed forever,” Heck said. “That’s a pretty serious charge, a pretty serious responsibility that we have.” Like Heck, Raphael Hviding ’18, who helped draft the petition, expressed doubt over the College’s awareness of the potential negative effects of the plan. “Idon’tthinkthattheadministration appreciates all of these concerns, whether they knew about them before or are now going to be aware of them because of this petition,” Hviding said. As an active student volunteer for the physics and astronomy department’s public viewing sessions at Shattuck Observatory, Hviding said that the department’s public programming at the observatory is an important component of its mission. He added that the potential loss of these programs influenced him to help with the petition, which he described as an opportunity for anyone who wants “to express their views a place to do so, so we can compile all of those voices together and present a more compelling case to the administrators.” For Blencowe, the ability for the petition to effectively communicate the concerns to the administration is key. “My hope is that [the administration] will take serious note of the petition, that they will study it, read the comments and they will come to the realization that it was a bad idea in the first place,” Blencowe said.
THE DARTMOUTH EVENTS
THURSDAY, JANUARY 4, 2018
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Art Exhibit: The Zen of Watercolor, by Rosalie desGroseilliers and Patti Warren, Suite 107, 7 Lebanon Street
2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Lecture: “Cosmological Probes of Axion-Like Particles,” with University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Joshua Berger, Wilder 202
3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Student Employment Job Fair, Paganucci Lounge, Class of 1953 Commons
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Film: “Battle of the Sexes,” directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, Spaulding Auditorium, Hopkins Center for the Arts
7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Film: “The Square,” directed by Ruben Östlund, Loew Auditorium, Black Family Visual Arts Center
8:00 p.m. - 9:45 p.m.
Theater Performance: “Inutiles (Useless),” by Teatro Sur, Moore Theater, Hopkins Center for the Arts
ADVERTISING For advertising information, please call (603) 646-2600 or email info@thedartmouth. com. The advertising deadline is noon, two days before publication. We reserve the right to refuse any advertisement. Opinions expressed in advertisements do not necessarily reflect those of The Dartmouth, Inc. or its officers, employees and agents. The Dartmouth, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation chartered in the state of New Hampshire. USPS 148-540 ISSN 0199-9931
THE DARTMOUTH NEWS
THURSDAY, JANUARY 4, 2018
New Hampshire Senate passes voting residency bill FROM VOTING PAGE 1
voters such as students. “The bill, as I introduced it, was nothing more than striking four words [from the definition of resident]: the phrase ‘for the indefinite future,’” Bates explained. However, after the bill passed the House, it was taken up in the Senate Election Law and Internal Affairs Committee. The committee then passed an amendment that included a statement of purpose saying that voters must be New Hampshire residents, which has drawn widespread debate. Voters who do not currently meet New Hampshire residency requirements include students holding a driver’s license or car registration from another state. If one chooses to become a New Hampshire resident, therefore abandoning residency status in any other state, one has 60 days to register their motor vehicle and obtain a New Hampshire’s driver’s license, both for a fee. President of the Dartmouth College Democrats Jennifer West ’20 said HB 372 would mean these students, unless they choose to become New Hampshire residents, would not have a say in legislation affecting them, such as last year’s
vote on Article 9, which involved student housing. Many Dartmouth students have also added their names to a petition, organized by NH Students Against HB 372 and signed by over 200 college students nationwide, in opposition to the bill. Despite agreeing with the end goal of requiring residency to vote, Bates said he did not believe this legislation would make that change, as the requirements for voter registration stated in Chapter 654 of the New Hampshire Statutes, which state that students can lawfully claim domicile for voting purposes, would not change. Republican State Sen. James Gray, a member of the Senate Committee that originally passed the amendment, also brought up this chapter in Senate floor debate yesterday, denying the bill would cause students to be unable to vote. Though Bates did not believe his original bill addressed the issue of a voter residency requirement, he agreed with the goal. “I just think that’s an absurd policy [that non-residents can vote], and that’s one of the things I want to see changed,” he said. Bates said that certain responsibilities come with the choice to call New Hampshire a home, such as paying taxes, complying with laws and registering one’s car.
Government professor Linda Fowler said Republicans may be attempting to discourage college voters who are perceived to likely be Democratic. “Republicans are making a shortterm calculation based on their loss of a Senate seat in 2016, when they should be thinking hard about why young people are disproportionately backing their opponents,” Fowler wrote in an email. In the 2016 New Hampshire senate race, Democratic candidate Maggie Hassan won against the incumbent, Kelly Ayotte, by 0.1 percent. Democrats have argued a residency requirement is unfair to potential voters, due to the financial burden it can bring. West called the bill a “post-election poll tax,” a view also expressed by the New Hampshire ACLU. “If somebody is told that they are going to have to pay fines just to vote, I think that’s a strong deterrent,” West said. New Hampshire State Sen. Jeff Woodburn, a Democrat, said the bill fits into a nationwide trend of voter suppression legislation. “Essentially this is part of an ongoing national effort to make it harder for people to vote that demographically tend to vote for
more progressive, democratic candidates,” he said. During Senate floor debate on Wednesday, Democratic State Sen. Lou D’Allesandro spoke of his belief in the importance of easy access to voting. “Our goal as public officials should be to get 100 percent of the people who are eligible to vote, to vote,” he said on Wednesday during Senate floor debate. Bates however said the phrase “poll tax” is nothing more than “political rhetoric.” “It’s part of a political ploy stirring up all of the controversy over this,” he said. On the Senate floor on Wednesday, Republicans emphasized that whether or not a person qualifies as a resident has more to do with whether a person intends to commit to a certain town and community. But Hanover town clerk Betsy McClain said whether or not a person, especially a student, can vote should not depend on future plans. She added that legislating the intent of a voter is impossible. “In my mind, there are so many reasons that trying to legislate intent is like trying to tack down Jello,” McClain said. “I don’t know why we would need to do it.” Democratic State Sen. Jay
Kahn said on the Senate floor that though students often choose their state of residency when obtaining a driver’s license, they then also choose to make a commitment to New Hampshire when they move to the state for school. He added that since students are asked to abide by state laws, they have a right and even an obligation to participate in the community. Woodburn said regardless of residency status, students are an important bloodline to a growing state and HB 372 may alienate potential young voters rather than welcoming them to New Hampshire. Opponents hope that Republican Gov. Chris Sununu will veto the bill, should it pass the house. When Sununu was asked about the bill from December, he said in a video posted to YouTube, “I hate it.” Bates, however, said Sununu was misinformed by the explanation of the interviewer when he made the comment on video. Even if the bill were to pass the house, Bates said he believes it is a misconception that the bill would change voter registration requirements. “I don’t believe [this bill] does what everybody is claiming it does,” he said.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 4, 2018
THE DARTMOUTH OPINION
CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST CHRISTOPHER CHENG ’21
SENIOR STAFF COLUMNIST PARKER RICHARDS ’18
Cut the Gelato
Looking for Brutus
Take Dartmouth Home can become even better. In an earlier article, I noted Dartmouth’s relatively limited international reputation. A few weeks later, the admissions office emailed the student body, recruiting students to promote Dartmouth to their local communities during the winter break. The office called this initiative “Take Dartmouth Home.” To me, it sounded perfect. Given the vast ar ray of student employment opportunities on campus, the College clearly believes Dartmouth students are a great workforce. They might receive little pay, sometimes just a dollar above minimum wage. At that price, the College gets Ivy League-educated individuals to film team practices, enter data into spreadsheets, swipe IDs and more. It’s a fantastic bargain for the College, since Dartmouth students have proven themselves willing to work hard for what they regard as sufficient pay. To most students, “sufficient pay” isn’t much. Consequently, Take Dartmouth Home could produce a global public relations wave of Dartmouth students lauding the College. Not only that, these students would be tremendously effective: With their pre-established connection with their communities, their advocacy on behalf of the College would be much more meaningful than that of an ordinary admissions officer. Therein lies the kicker: With the current incentives it offers, Take Dartmouth Home is shooting itself in the foot. A gift card for Morano Gelato may be enough motivation for some students, but it may not be enough for many students who would otherwise be willing to sing praises about Dartmouth to their high schools. The admissions office is asking students not only to present the College to their communities but also undergo training and draft a report afterward. Today, in a time when Dartmouth students can earn up to $25 an hour as online tutors could be paid $100 to be trained, an ice cream gift card and a lunch just don’t cut it. Sure, you could argue that those willing to take such limited pay for their work are those that love Dartmouth to an extraordinary extent and will do an exceptional job. It’s
the old quantity-versus-quality argument. However, no matter how great a presentation in, for instance, Hong Kong is, it won’t foster any more interest in Dartmouth among kids from a place like Mississippi. In Mississippi, even a mediocre student representative would be more than qualified for the job. However, you’re unlikely to get those few Mississippians to show up to do the job if you just give them ice cream, a lunch and a pat on the back. The problem with ice cream and a lunch doesn’t lie in their inherent value. I’m sure many were incentivized to sign up for Take Dartmouth Home and did a great job over winter interim. Their problem lies in their inflexibility. Between a Morano gift card worth $10 and an Amazon gift card worth the same, amount, the latter is arguably worth more due to optionality. Perhaps the admissions office can take a cue from the Student Wellness Center and the University of New Hampshire. Both surveyed Dartmouth students and offered Amazon gift cards as rewards. If the admissions office were to invest the money it spends on Morano cards and lunch on Amazon gift cards instead, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more students signing up to do the job. I’d probably be one of them. As a quality control measure, in case this incentive attracts relatively lower quality student representatives, the admissions office should require representatives to film their presentations to their high schools. They could then bring them to the admissions office for review. Overall, Take Dartmouth Home does an admirable job using Dartmouth students to promote the College in their communities across the globe. Indeed, members of this group may have the greatest potential as the College’s advocates. They not only have a love for their school but are also informed on its latest issues. Alumni could even be recruited in the future, and there could be a contrast between students and alumni in these student-run presentations. But please, admissions office: Cut the gelato.
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Political decency requires action; we are failing the test. To Dante Alighieri, Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger was counted as one of the three most accursed men to have lived. A member of the conservative republican faction in the Roman Senate, he is best remembered for his assassination of Gaius Julius Caesar, and for that act he is vilified as a traitor, an assassin, a “regicidenik.” But what is so often dismissed as base treachery can also be seen as an honor of the highest level, an antiauthoritarian act that put principle before person and country before self. Today, the American republic seems not dissimilar to the late Roman Republic. It is, of course, a cheap comparison made ad infinitum. The decline of dignity among elected officials, the rise of the so-called imperial presidency and a resurgent decadent culture are all easy parallels between the two states. Still, we find ourselves in a period of decline, with a wannabe strongman at the helm of our country. We now need people with Brutus’ commitment to liberty. In Rome, there was a statue of Brutus’ ancestor, Lucius Junius Brutus, who overthrew the last king of Rome, Tarquin the Proud, and established the Republic. In his “Life of Brutus,” Plutarch writes that there were exhortations to the senator written upon the statue: “Thou art not really Brutus,” read one, and another, “Brutus, art thou asleep?” As Caesar assumed greater power and assumed the title of dictator perpetuo, the role of the longdead Brutus came to the fore. Would the senator whose ancestor overthrew a king stand idle while a military officer attempted to seize regal power and hold imperium in perpetuity? According to Plutarch, Brutus was goaded into action by both his fellows in the Senate and the wishes of the people. With Caesar’s followers seeking ever more powers for their leader, Brutus and his allies in the Senate arranged to kill the dictator, hoping to restore the Republic in its former splendor. Of the accumulation of power unto Caesar, Brutus said, “It would at once be my duty not to hold my peace, but to defend my country and die in behalf of liberty.” In America today, there are few who dare to speak out against President Donald Trump and his ilk, rabid followers who see in alleged child molesters ideal senators and in their opponents corruption without basis in fact. This is not to suggest that legislators ought to take knives to Trump; no, simply that the moral thing to do is to prioritize country and principle, and to stand up to those who seek to take power unto themselves at the expense of American democracy. What Brutus contributed was principle and decency. In assassinating Caesar, the Liberators — that is, the assassins — may have weakened their cause, prompting civil war and foregoing debate. That is not the answer. Political violence is never acceptable, and the assassination of Caesar should not be seen as a literal analogue to opposition to Trump, but rather as a metaphor for principled opposition that places loyalty to liberty above loyalty to person or party. Many who once opposed Trump, such as Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham, have become obedient lapdogs, the latter notably willing to massage Trump’s ego for a seat at the table. Others have been more robust in their criticisms of the president. Senators Bob Corker and Jeff Flake have lambasted Trump in the media, though they have seemingly done little besides offering harsh
words. “Reckless, outrageous and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as telling it like it is when it is actually just reckless, outrageous, and undignified,” Flake said of Trump. “And when such behavior emanates from the top of our government, it is something else. It is dangerous to a democracy.” Corker said he believes Trump will be remembered for “the debasement of our nation.” But Corker and Flake — along with moderate Republicans in the House like Charlie Dent and Dave Reichert — have opted for electoral capitulation. They have chosen not to stand for re-election, surrendering their bully pulpits, many, likely, to pro-Trump candidates. The choice to abandon elected office may be convenient for their own criticisms of Trump, but it risks abandoning the Republican Party to Trump acolytes. While Trump’s opponents might have been well advised to simply ditch the Republican Party and create their own, that option seems to have passed. The United States will likely be without a credible conservative force, a daunting prospect even for those of us who disagree with most or all conservative aims. Functional democracies require political parties that represent a wide spectrum of (democratic) views, and with one party willing to embrace a strongman wholeheartedly, that party will cease to credibly function within a democratic system. Politicians across the ideological spectrum can learn from each other and grow as leaders and legislators when there are redoubtable intellectual forces backing numerous political causes, and when thoughtful, decorous legislators who disagree passionately with each other can debate. Any liberal or social-democrat should want a strong conservative force, and any conservative should want strong liberal and social-democratic forces. It is when a political movement ceases to exist within the context of a democracy and becomes authoritarian that decent disagreement becomes impossible. Brutus understood that fact. It may seem absurd to use the man who quite literally knifed his opponent on the Senate floor as a paragon of legislative decency, yet Brutus was just that. He upheld, not just in word but in action, the principles of a deliberative body and of a republican institution, unwilling to accept dictatorship. Populist strongmen existed 2,000 years ago, as they exist today, and while those who seek to combat them may earn ignominy in the eyes of many, their achievements in protecting democratic decency are nonetheless worthwhile. Of course, Brutus and his allies failed. The republic fell, and the establishment of an empire went forward under Caesar’s adopted heir Octavian. But Brutus’ attempt nonetheless showed that the republic would not yield quietly to tyranny, and in that, it was laudable nonetheless. Brutus earned, in Dante’s eyes, eternal damnation. To many, he was the poster-child for betrayal. But all of that derision serves as a mask for the reality of his moral standing and his opposition to authoritarianism. So we remember the words of Brutus’ contemporary, Marcus Tullius Cicero, when he spoke against the anti-republican politician Lucius Sergius Catiline, who would later make war against the Senate: “I have always been of the opinion that infamy earned by doing what is right is not infamy at all, but glory.”
THURSDAY, JANUARY 4, 2018
THE DARTMOUTH OPINION
CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST STEVEN ADELBERG ’21
CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST RACHNA SHAH ’21
Keep Moving Forward
A real education means more than schooling.
Second in undergraduate teaching, ninth possibilities you can consider is your own in campus beauty, 11th in postgraduate imagination. Through a self-guided pursuit income potential and unparalleled in sense of understanding, you can explore diverse of community, Dartmouth College looks passions free from institutional constraints about as close as it gets to an ideal school — and develop authentic individuality. and about as far as it gets from the Arizona Unfortunately, there are many drawbacks public schools I attended. In the land that that come with the boundless possibilities of touts Arizona Ice Tea, self-education. Without Barry Goldwater and “Professors can a teacher to structure a smashing 48th place our cur riculum and provide us with the ranking for public school set deadlines, we risk funding per elementary raw material that we wasting valuable time and secondary school need to learn, but identifying the necessary student, “education” background knowledge meant endless regimens only we can turn what needed or even just of busywork and chaotic they give us into real p r o c r a s t i n a t i n g. history classes taught Comfortable within our personal growth.” by a n a c a d e m i c a l l y self-defined specialties, unqualified volleyball we can easily ignore vast coach. It did not take disciplines like STEM or me long before I realized the social sciences. With that I would not get no classmates around us an education in the same place I got my to counter our biases, we risk creating echo schooling. More determined than dejected, I chambers that fail to challenge our budding looked to the YouTube channel CrashCourse, theories and clear our misconceptions. the education company Coursera, the local These drawbacks do not disqualify the library, my friends, aimless Wikipedia chains path of self-education. Rather, they remind and games like Age of Empires instead. In us that self-education is a supplement the meantime, I dreamed of getting into a rather than a substitute for an institutional school like Dartmouth where I could finally education. Neither institutional education get the education that the Arizona public nor self-education can succeed without school system did not provide. the other. Just as someone needs to teach When that dream became a reality and I you how to read first before you can teach stepped into my first class here at Dartmouth, yourself different subjects from a textbook, the initial tour de force slowly gave way to self-education assumes a prior foundation of a nagging feeling that skills that an institution something was missing. can develop best. At “Questions never While professors here the same time, a strong a r e p h e n o m e n a l , I go unanswered in liberal arts education sat through engaging self-education, and gains its strength lectures only to realize from the different halfway through that they the only limit to the philosophies students were just summarizing possibilities you can forge before they set t h e r e a d i n g s. Wi t h foot in the classroom. consider is your own questions halfSelf-education and answered, possibilities imagination.” institutional education half-considered and my thus work best when mind half-stretched, they cover each other’s I was bewildered. I weaknesses; institutions thought, surely a school offer the structure and like Dartmouth knows how to foster an breadth self-education lacks while selfeducation. What was I doing wrong? Then education crafts the independent thinkers it hit me. Education is not a product that that institutions cannot mass-produce. can be passively received: It is a process we Together, they can guide a student on can only undergo ourselves. Professors can an unswerving path toward intellectual provide us with the raw material that we development. need to learn, but only we can turn what This term, I resolve to incorporate they give us into real personal growth. more self-education into my Dartmouth Self-education promises to fill in the experience. I plan to follow another course gaps left by schooling and to further self- or two on Coursera and find more YouTube development in a way that little else can. It channels like Big Think and Academy of is one thing to listen to a lecture on game Ideas. I hope to check out books at Bakertheory; it is another to read “The Prince” Berry Library with the same eagerness by Machiavelli; it is yet another to find and voracity I feel when in line at King yourself on the wrong side of a broken Arthur Flour and I aim to have at least five deal while playing Risk. Proof, theorem conversations that force me to rethink an and heuristic all in one, self-guided learning idea I took for granted. Most of all, I hope builds sophisticated personal understandings the Dartmouth community joins me in this that watered-down lectures can rarely quest for self-education and embraces the rival. Questions never go unanswered in curiosity at the heart of the liberal arts self-education, and the only limit to the education.
How can we continue to embody Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision? Colleges rarely cancel classes, and Dartmouth is no exception. Only once per term, fall excepted, are classes postponed or canceled in observance of a holiday: In the summer, July 4th; in the spring, Memorial Day; and in the winter, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. On the second Monday of winter term, rather than learning inside lecture halls and seminar rooms, we transition to auditoriums and chapels. Yet to truly honor MLK Day, in light of its 2018 theme at Dartmouth centered around “Borders,” we must engage outside the “Dartmouth bubble.” Meaningfully celebrating MLK Day requires an element of service learning, answering King’s call to instill and encourage lifelong civic responsibility. While it was only in 1999 that Civil Rights Day was replaced with MLK Day in New Hampshire, today, it is celebrated and honored at Dartmouth with lectures, conversations, awards ceremonies, performances, candlelight processions and more. But the current program lacks something critical. As King once asked, “Life’s most persistent and nagging question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” When faced with the triple evils of militarism, poverty and racism, King chose a path of nonviolence. This approach is multifaceted, involving discussion, education, reconciliation and ultimately action. All of these elements can be combined in service learning. We often participate in volunteer work or service projects outside of the classroom, assisting in various ways from preparing meals to building houses. Yet we consider these experiences as non-academic and separate from the rest of our lives. Studies have shown that service learning can break down these borders. The King Holiday and Service Act of 1994 financially supports and encourages service opportunities, “such as cooperation and understanding among racial and ethnic groups, nonviolent conflict resolution, equal economic and educational opportunities and social justice.” In this way, rather than defining service as doing something for someone, we should think of service as something that the public needs. As the social services organization Volunteer NH says, “Service isn’t just nice, it’s necessary.” Cultivating a culture of compassion rather than a day of it requires integrating service into education. There are eight Social Impact Practicum courses offered this term and many other programs offered by the Dartmouth Center for Social Impact that expose students the intersection of their lives and the Upper Valley community. In addition, service learning opportunities can and should be offered for every academic discipline. From oral history projects to financial coaching, the possibilities are endless. In a world where the local has become global and vice versa, foreign language courses can also incorporate service learning components. A research paper can be replaced by a community-based project. To be even more effective, a community service project could extend beyond one course and across disciplines and terms. The benefits of service learning include
improved social responsibility, greater self-efficacy, inter-cultural understandings, reduced reliance on harmful stereotypes and enhanced university-community relations. Service learning is not meant to replace service but to supplement and extend it. MLK Day can thus be seen not only as a day of community and a day of service but also a bridge between these two ideas. Georgia Institute of Technology hosts Sunday Suppers for students to engage in dialogue with the community following the 2018 MLK Day Celebrations. The House Community Social Justice Grants provided such an opportunity at Dartmouth, giving funding to students and student groups who hold social justice events in the Upper Valley and on campus for MLK Day. But encouraging service can go even further. Programs on MLK Day must be instituted by the College itself. For instance, Dartmouth could follow in the footsteps of Broward College and partner with local nonprofits and community organizations to engage students with the community in an MLK Day of Service. While all Dartmouth students cannot enroll in SIP courses this term, we should all have the opportunity to engage in service learning on MLK Day, perhaps through a one-time group service project. If we express this need and garner support from the Center for Social Impact or professors, we can realize a plan of action centered on service. Moving Dartmouth Forward was a plan to improve the environment at Dartmouth. Community building is part of that. While we cannot expect to accomplish everything in one day, we ought to at least establish a starting point. Yale University offers week-long service immersion programs to help students understand their home, allowing students to engage with non-profit organizations, religious communities and other neighbors. Critics of service learning assert that the course will not have a significant or lasting impact on the community. However, students can be prepared through general trainings in civic skills and ethics. They can also orient themselves to community needs at the beginning of each course. Moreover, courses can be designed to be continuous while flexible with realistic goals and expectations. Feedback and plausible metrics from students and community members can further provide transparency and keep those involved in these initiatives aware of and accountable for their progress. Service alone may not be enough to generate racial and economic equality, as King’s dream involved, but it is a step in the right direction. It brings people together and increases awareness about community needs. Progressive laws and policies are more likely to be passed if they have strong community support. King’s vision for a “beloved community” was global in scale, but the global impact must begin locally. We must advocate for change in our communities first and in ourselves. What principles and ideas do you want to advance in the world? Change starts with you.
THE DARTMOUTH ARTS
THURSDAY, JANUARY 4, 2018
Review: Eighth ‘Star Wars’ film challenges established format By SEBASTIAN WURZRAINER The Dartmouth Staff
I once stumbled across a YouTube comment that read: “No one hates ‘Star Wars’ films more than ‘Star Wars’ fans.” The simplest explanation for this phenomenon is that fans tend to romanticize some bygone era when “Star Wars” was, in their mind, perfect. However — and I say this as someone who has loved the franchise since I first saw the 1977 original — “Star Wars” was never perfect. No art is without flaws. The power of great art is that it can transcend those flaws and the wearying passage of time. That doesn’t mean, though, that there is not always room for improvement and growth. Fittingly, this is precisely the topic writer-director Rian Johnson chooses to tackle in “Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi.” While Johnson clearly loves “Star Wars” and what the series represents culturally and cinematically, he also suggests that both the fans and the fictional characters have been valuing the wrong aspects of the previous films. Just as the Jedi’s penchant for clinging to tradition has consistently led to their downfall, venerating the
stylistic trappings of the original be both its greatest strength and films while refusing to accept an its greatest weakness. On the exciting future inherently results in downside, a longer story risks a viewers’ stagnant mindsets. Given higher potential percentage of how outstanding “The Last Jedi” moments that do not work. “The is, that’s a real Last Jedi” shame. is scattered “‘The Last Jedi’ is The film with jokes picks u p scattered with jokes that don’t immediately that don’t quite land, quite land, a f t e r plot points plot points that are a “Episode VII that are a – The Force little too contrived and little too A w a k e n s ” conveniences that strain contrived and ends. On an conveniences island housing credulity.” that strain the last relics credulity. of the Jedi Although Order, burgeoning Force-user these incidents are few and far Rey attempts to convince a bitter between, there are enough of Luke Skywalker to train her while them that they can’t be sweepingly she secretly engages in an ongoing dismissed. telepathic conversation with Despite these moments, one also Skywalker’s ex-student and dark senses in every frame that Johnson side devotee, Kylo Ren. sees this as his one and only shot Meanwhile, the Resistance at making a “Star Wars” film and plays an extended game of cat clearly intends to maximize his and mouse with Ren’s comrades, tenure. His screenplay is filled the First Order, while Finn and with surprise twists and turns that newcomer Rose make a detour to are liable to shock even the most Canto Bight, a casino planet, in cynical of fans. But it’s really one’s search of a codebreaker who can response after the shock has worn help the Resistance retreat without off that matters most. being tracked. Some are angered by Johnson’s That’s just the tip of the iceberg. flagrant disregard for certain wellThe film’s lengthy plot proves to trodden franchise conventions.
STUDENTS, SHARPEN YOUR SKATES
IOANA SOLOMON/THE DARTMOUTH SENIOR STAFF
Students found upon return that Occom Pond had frozen, a natural indicator of the start of winter term at Dartmouth.
Others, like myself, feel invigorated film. by the fact that, after all these years, Johnson’s direction also does a Star Wars film can still elicit the no disservice to the characters sense of awe that accompanies and their stories; not since Irvin being genuinely taken aback. That Kershner helmed “Star Wars: sense of awe, though, is largely Episode V – The Empire Strikes contingent on one’s appreciation Back” has a “Star Wars” film looked for the characters set up in the so grand, so beautiful, so epic. previous film, characters who George Lucas has long maintained naturally take center stage in all of that the primary influences on his Johnson’s plot original film machinations. “Johnson has taken the were not If you, like me, other space l o v e d “ S t a r series back to its roots, fantasies Wars: Episode crafting an aesthetic but instead VII – The Force Westerns and storyline that Awakens,” then and Samurai you’re in for a owes more to Akira films. To wild ride. this end, Kurosawa and Sergio In a galaxy Johnson has full of bright Leone than to any of his taken the u p - a n d - contemporaries in the series back coming stars, to its roots, realm of blockbuster Daisy Ridley crafting an certainly shines spectaculars.” aesthetic the brightest. and storyline As Rey, Ridley that owes is determined, more to sympathetic, endearing and she Akira Kurosawa and Sergio Leone manages to completely sell the than to any of his contemporaries film’s most emotional moment: in the realm of blockbuster Rey learning her true heritage in spectaculars. The end result is a reveal almost as stunning and both magnificent and intimate: satisfying as Vader’s “I am your The characters are never lost in the father.” scope of Johnson’s vision — they Likewise, the visual portrayal motivate and elevate it. of her telepathic connection with To say that “The Last Jedi” Kylo Ren is wonderfully simplistic has been polarizing amongst and Ridley has magnetic chemistry fans and casual viewers alike with co-star Adam Driver. Special would be a gross understatement. praise must also be reserved for Self-proclaimed movie buffs Kelly Marie Tran, whose indelible stampeded online forums and performance breathes life into the pages, publishing posts lambasting most significant new character, fans of the film. More civil yet Rose, a morally incorruptible equally disappointed fans of the Resistance maintenance worker. franchise will hasten to remind N o n e t h e l e s s , i t w o u l d b e me that upon its release, critics disingenuous to ignore the power enthusiastically hailed “Star that the original cast members hold Wars: Episode I – The Phantom in the film’s more heartbreaking Menace,” which is now widely story arcs. Mark Hamill’s ongoing regarded as the franchise’s weakest disagreement with Johnson’s entry. Look where that got us, depiction of Luke Skywalker as these fans will proclaim. Yet my curmudgeon has been widely love for Johnson’s work prevails reported, but none of that baggage and I eagerly anticipate whatever negates a career-best performance. comes our way in “Episode IX.” Similarly, it’s difficult to ignore the I’ve been wrong about films before, recent passing of Carrie Fisher, but so why should I fear being wrong it’s equally difficult to deny that her again? final film performance is a knock- After all, “The Empire Strikes out. Johnson reportedly refused to Back” managed to be as divisive cut a single one of her scenes: Every in 1980 as “The Last Jedi” is in tick, every quirk and every gesture 2018. Now, it is revered as one of intense and tragic empathy has of the finest American films ever been forever preserved on screen made. So, yes — look where that for the absolute betterment of the got us.
Published on Jan 4, 2018