VOL. CLXXVIII NO. 2
FRIDAY, APRIL 30, 2021
HANOVER, NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire’s COVID-19 Q&A: Provost Joseph vaccination campaign leads nation Helble reflects on 16 years at Dartmouth BY ANDREW SASSER
The Dartmouth Staff
Provost Joseph Helble has been
KYLE MULLINS/THE DARTMOUTH SENIOR STAFF
BY Kristin Chapman The Dartmouth Staff
This article was originally published on April 29, 2021. As the nationwide vaccine rollout continues, residents of New Hampshire have more than just the hill winds in their veins. According to data from The New York Times, the Granite State leads the U.S. in vaccine distribution both in terms of percentage of allocated vaccines distributed and the percentage of the population with at least one shot. Over 90% of doses allocated to New Hampshire by the federal government have been administered as of April 28, the highest of any state according to the data set published by the New York Times. Trailing closely behind New Hampshire are
RAINY HIGH 57 LOW 39
North Dakota with 88% of allocated doses administered and Wisconsin and Minnesota with 87% each. Nationwide, 78% of doses allocated have been administered. New Hampshire also leads in terms of the percentage of population with at least one shot. Roughly 60% of the state’s residents have received at least one dose of the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, according to the New states doing best in terms of share of population with at least one shot are the Granite State’s New England neighbors: Massachusetts with 55%, Connecticut, Vermont and Maine with 54% each and Rhode Island with 52%. Nationwide, 43% of the population has received at least one shot. According to New Hampshire
Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Laura Montenegro, the state’s vaccination effort has been “very carefully planned from the beginning.” “Initially, distribution was limited and long-term care facilities through the federal pharmacy partnership program, but, as allocation increased, we expanded our distribution to pharmacies and other providers,” Montenegro said. New Hampshire has taken part in the federal pharmacy partnership program, a collaboration connecting national pharmacy partners and independent pharmacy networks with the federal government and states to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines across the U.S., according to SEE VACCINES PAGE 2
19 courses to be taught fully in person this summer BY BEN FAGELL
The Dartmouth Staff
This article was originally published on April 29, 2021.
an in-person or remote with in-person components section of a course if they same course. This summer, however, a a corresponding remote section if the
This summer, students will have limited opportunities for on-campus instruction, available fully in person. Only 21 course sections in 19 undergraduate courses will be taught fully in person this summer, up spring.
VERBUM ULTIMUM: SLIM PICKINGS PAGE 3
RETROSPECTIVE ON DMX PAGE 4
TRACK AND FIELD PLACED WELL IN FIRST MEET SINCE MARCH PAGE 5
BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE
sections this summer, excluding individualized study courses — roughly a dozen more courses than an average summer term, according to interim registrar for academic policy and operations Eric Parsons. Parsons added that additional courses may be added to the timetable between now and the start of summer term, some of which may be in person or remote with in-person components. that faculty may choose between four course delivery methods: remote with synchronous components, remote and entirely asynchronous, remote with optional on-campus components and on campus subject to limitations. Individualized study courses with single person. Excluding graduate courses, 28 course sections will be taught remotely with onremotely with synchronous components and seven are remote and entirely asynchronous, according to the timetable. An additional 75 undergraduate courses
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its students need a particular course to remain on track for the major, according to Parsons. The “new amended class schedule” used in the fall, winter and spring will be are to revert to the typical class schedule for fall term,” Parsons wrote. Starting in the fall, the class schedule was adjusted to classrooms, extending the passing periods from 15 to 20 minutes. In a letter to the social science department chairs, associate dean of faculty John Carey noted that “the goal is to use [21X] as a transition to the planned in-person opportunities.” But some members of the community were disappointed in the College’s continued limited on-campus course in-person classes, Matthew Biberman ’88, Julia Bricklin, Howard Price and Valerie Price ’88 — parents of members of the Class of 2023 — created a petition on April 25 for parents of students in the Class of 2023. As of Wednesday, the petition has garnered nearly 300 signatures. The petition argues that the low risk of infection after vaccination and the “vanishingly smaller risk if interacting with vaccinated, socially-distanced, masked students” makes “widespread faculty resistance to on-site teaching …
Faculty must adhere to the registrar Valerie Price said she does not view only 13 faculty members committing to teach a fully in-person class this summer
PAGE 6 FOLLOW US ON
the upcoming academic year or the
in order to accommodate the College’s For the summer term, some
to in-person instruction. SEE CLASSES PAGE 2
the Dean of the Thayer School of Engineering and more recently as the College’s Provost. During the pandemic, Helble has led the College’s COVID-19 response and hosted the regularly scheduled “Community Conversations,” in which he has shared updates about the College’s pandemic response and led discussions and live Q&A sessions with a wide range of experts and College administrators. Most recently, Helble was appointed as the newest president of his alma mater, Lehigh University — a role for which he will depart Dartmouth in August. The Dartmouth sat down with Helble on Thursday to discuss his time as Dean of Thayer, his work as Provost and his new role at Lehigh.
During the pandemic, you’ve been one of the most important updates through the “Community Conversations” that you’ve led. How would you describe your experience in helping to develop and communicate the college’s response to the pandemic? JH: This is without a doubt the most challenging thing I have worked on professionally in my entire career. The word unprecedented is overused. But it’s unprecedented. As a community last March, we had to pivot essentially overnight, to send our students home, to store student belongings and to work with the faculty to say, “Okay, everything you’ve ever done in your entire career to deliver education and engage students now when spring term starts.” That was extraordinarily challenging, but the
who supported my education and
feet and said, “Let’s do this to support the students.” We had to do all of that in the face of the uncertainty of a global pandemic. But from the beginning, we made a commitment to be data-driven, to look at federal guidance — principally from the CDC — to listen to our own epidemiologists and health experts and to be honest and open with the community about what we knew and what we didn’t know. And it was in that spirit that the “Community Conversations” started. We’ve really tried, and I’ve really tried, to be open about the challenge in front of us, the decisions we’re making and why we’re making them.
extracurricular activities was something I didn’t appreciate at the time; it is only as I became older that I appreciated it. As I got to Dartmouth 16 years ago and started to hear the stories of our alumni and how Dartmouth had
What are some of the other important, if lesser known, accomplishments or roles you’ve taken on as Provost? JH: There are two things I would mention. First, while many think of the Provost as
Your alma mater was Lehigh University. How does it feel to become the next university president there? JH: It’s really hard to describe how it feels and how meaningful this is to me. I’m the oldest of three children and my grandparents were immigrants. Neither of my parents had gone away to college. For me to go away to a residential university, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. Being in that environment and having faculty who cared about me as an individual student, classmates
about the incredible transformative impact that the education and being at Lehigh had on me. When I was approached and asked to think about considering this opportunity, I can’t this stage in my career back on all that I have been provided to have a chance to lead and help shape the institution for the next generation of students. During your time as Dean of the Thayer School of Engineering, the school saw its enrollment double program in the nation to award more bachelor’s degrees to women than men. What steps did you take in your role as Dean of Thayer to fuel this growth of interest in engineering? JH: Part of it was the moment and part of it was recognizing the moment and taking advantage of the moment with intentionality. When I started as dean in 2005, it was a moment when had not been growing in more than a decade. It was a moment when it became clear that technology was playing an increasingly important role. And yet interest in engineering was not growing. So it was a moment, but also an opportunity, because working with the faculty, even as the new dean, I recognized that what we did here at ways of approaching engineering through the liberal arts provided opportunity. So we very intentionally began speaking about that much more directly. With the leadership of Thayer, I began to speak very directly about the opportunity for us to be a leading player in educating a diverse community of engineering students. I did that when I saw that our numbers of women studying engineering were slightly above meetings I started to say, “What if we to achieve this goal [of graduating an engineering]?” I honestly didn’t know if we’d be able to achieve it. There was certainly a lot of luck involved. But it was hard work in the commitment of educate female engineering students, but really to make sure that engineering was seen as open and accessible to the broadest cross section of the community.
about the time that President Hanlon asked me if I would take on the role of Provost, it was becoming increasingly evident that we were facing long term projected operating budget deficits. There is a lot of deferred maintenance that’s needed on this campus. The steam tunnels need to be replaced, we need to upgrade our heating system. We also knew that we needed to upgrade our IT infrastructure. But all of this led to a situation where we were projecting $30 to $50 million in annual operating Working with the community, the Board
challenging. Now we are at a point where are balanced budgets. We’re addressing deferred maintenance because of the work that the board has done to help create an infrastructure renewal funding drawing on the endowment. The other thing I’d say that’s not well known was being part of the leadership team that created the Campus Climate and Culture Initiative. The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine had issued a report in summer of 2019 talking about tremendous challenges of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment in the workplace. We say we’re going to tackle this head on and set up a program that adopts every single one of the National Academies’ recommendations. We still have a long way to go with implementation of this initiative, but we’ve made great progress. If you could give your successor as Provost any advice, what would you say? JH: Listen carefully. Go to every alike. Be an open and transparent communicator, even when you don’t have the answers. I have found that the Dartmouth community is a smart, engaged and trusting community. and certainly the alumni community, all appreciate the value of honesty and transparency, even if the answer you’re giving is not the answer they hope to receive. Communicate openly, honestly, transparently. Do a lot of listening and make sure you’re attentive to the budget. SEE HELBLE PAGE 2
FRIDAY, APRIL 30, 2021
THE DARTMOUTH NEWS
Dean’s office announces D-Plan changes for the Class of 2024 BY Manasi Singh
changes to senior residency requirements,
The Dartmouth Staff
This article was originally published on April 26, 2021.
senior year residency requirement and
admissions process and was a reason why he chose to come to Dartmouth. The announced changes, he said, contradict much of what was shared with potential
In an email sent to the freshman class in late March, the Undergraduate
really cold at Dartmouth, it was really easy term during a fall or spring term of their sophomore, junior or senior years, can fulfill their sophomore summer requirement through abroad or transfer
Parsons wrote that while this entire year has presented challenges for students, particularly those planning to study
He added that his study abroad because of the changes. After Dartmouth announced the changes, he said that he consulted with his undergraduate
from sophomore fall to junior winter. Kang’s decision, however, has come at opportunities.
for the FSP. can now do the program my senior year without having to petition the registrar to Amador said. Amador said that although the changes have made studying abroad easier for her, they will require her to predicts will be challenging. Furthermore, the new requirements also resulted in her
unaware of the changes until very recently major, which means most of the study communication. After having planned to
terms of their senior year instead of three the senior year residency requirement. will still have the option to submit a subsequent classes will only be allowed campus — one less than the eight fall and spring terms that were previously allowed. According to interim registrar for
requirements, she said. Prior to the new changes, Amador had spent significant time with her undergraduate dean discussing how to
he was left with little time to reconsider a new schedule.
Parsons wrote. Some students have said they are now planning around no longer being able to
abroad plans have become more feasible under the new changes. After researching study abroad programs, Amador settled on the Dublin foreign study program, a
freshman summer or junior summer in residence.
once a year. Now, she is unsure if she will
were not shared beforehand and that the information was not more readily
Parsons, some of the changes will allow
Hanover, College to keep local mask mandates in place The Dartmouth Staff
This article was originally published on April 27, 2021. Although New Hampshire Gov. Chris and other surrounding towns will continue their local ordinances. At the College, face coverings are required in indoor settings and most outdoor settings. In a press release, the governor said
businesses, waiting in line, or outside in gubernatorial orders, legislative action or court order. related statistics, including increasing vaccination rates. as part of the decision
began in August, but Sununu did not November, she said.
Because life on campus involves many students congregating together in close quarters, Adams said that the policies
also has a statewide mandate.
those required in a town setting. Adams
was politically motivated.
29.5% of the New Hampshire population has been fully vaccinated, and 59.5% Grafton County is running slightly ahead of the state average — at least 32% of its population has been fully vaccinated,
mandate], you’re leaving all of us to our own individual community devices, and General manager of Molly’s that Molly’s will follow the local ordinance
be used for the rest of the calendar year throughout the country. in the politics and not in … public health said she received no warning from Sununu prior to the press conference announcing
dates unsupported by the data and the
According to Griffin, the town’s research that they feel is important and
able to implement local ordinances — the decision only lifts the statewide mandate — and residents are still encouraged distancing, the press release notes. New Hampshire is the first
owners to point customers to state policies.
preventing transmission by following
BY EMILY LU
Medical Center and Dartmouth’s herd immunity. Adams added that prevention of transmission is multifaceted and not simply about vaccination rates —
community safety policies. will remain in place in Hanover until all parties agree it is no longer necessary, she said. Adams said.
mitigate scenarios in which patrons may
Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, North
electronic message boards along main roadway entrances to notify visitors of the policy.
NH officials credit high vaccination rate Professors cite distancing to careful planning, local partnerships requirements as barrier FROM CLASSES PAGE 1
FROM VACCINES PAGE 1
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services director Bobbie Bagley cited partnerships with state and local health departments, engagement with residents and of New Hampshire’s vaccine rollout plan. The Nashua and Manchester
and even death… so we wanted to have an equity allocation to address
vaccine distribution would have been Montenegro also pointed to New Hampshire’s mass vaccination clinics at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway as major contributors to the state’s high vaccination rate. According to data from the New Hampshire Department of Health vaccine doses were administered at four mass vaccination events,
dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. in New Hampshire, according Although she said she did not have to Bagley — have had strong H a n ove r t ow n e n g a g e m e n t “Over 700 m a n a g e r w i t h re s i d e n t s [Dartmouth] students Ju l i a G r i f f i n at the local and estimated that community level, the percentage she said. of vaccinated Hanover residents being 14 days out put a great deal o f e f fo r t i n t o than the statewide figure because we could… dispel o f H a n o v e r ’s any hesitancy that large population of healthcare If I believe in the efficacy of the vaccine, the safety of the vaccine, I’m encouraging you to do so, as that made a big In Nashua, the attending each clinic, Bagley said. came into the state were allocated to a population of minorities and individuals who are homeless, had language barriers or they had transportation barriers and were impacted disproportionately by this were disproportionately impacted
College Health Service director
community’s willingness to get vaccinated.
that, otherwise, the state did a good
Physics and astronomy professor Brian Chaboyer, who is teaching ASTR remotely this spring and summer, noted that physical distancing requirements have hampered his ability to teach his typically
given the option to teach in person, but the registrar stipulated she only had a day added that she plans to teach outdoors on campus and record lectures for those who cannot attend. According to Parsons, only students
groups, and I just couldn’t envision how vaccinations in the state, but Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, lifted the strict residency requirement on
campus courses or remote courses with
had opened vaccinations to all residents. Government professor Michelle share documentation with the College … despite the vast majority of students
— to increase the speed at which the
massive lecture halls in the way that the
Chaboyer, despite his ultimate decision to instruct his course virtually, noted the
summer, which she said was made possible
are having trouble with material. It’s more
freedoms to vaccinated students. These privileges include once a
campus gatherings in small groups with other fully vaccinated people, Reed said in the email.
is an area that’s s u p p o r t i ve, s o
from their last vaccine — from their second vaccine if it was Moderna or
general have been proactive in getting signed up
added, are also fully vaccinated but
She speculated that New Hampshire might have been more effective at distributing vaccines than other U.S. states due to its small population.
dose. Reed suggested that there may be more students who have been fully vaccinated but have not yet submitted documentation.
communicate when you have a smaller number of people you have
students — if they have received the vaccines — to send us the documentation, as this spring is really a transition as we move
access to information and access to
Helble to be president of Lehigh University FROM HELBLE PAGE 1
alumni community. The faculty and
You’ve been at Dartmouth for almost 16 years now. What will you miss most about Dartmouth as you transition to your new role at Lehigh? JH
people above all, absolutely no question.
and faculty colleagues. I’ve been an undergraduate advisor for most of my time at Dartmouth and I have loved every minute of those individual conversations with students. I have
it. The idea of embracing winter, being outdoors on the coldest days is a spirit and an ethos that I will miss.
daily. It really is a special place. You may have heard me say once or twice that we embrace winter at Dartmouth.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.
FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 2021
THE DARTMOUTH OPINION
CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST CHELSEA MOORE ’22
THE DARTMOUTH EDITORIAL BOARD
Prioritize Student Well-being This column was originally published on April 26th, 2021. Last fall, my jog around the Parcel 5 trail in Norwich was interrupted by a Listserv email about the death of a member of the Class of 2023. In the winter, I was falling asleep to my Zoom screen when my phone dinged, notifying me about the death of a member of the Class of 2024. Two weeks ago, I was biking around Occom pond when I got a call about the death of my good friend. Alongside the direct health impacts of COVID-19 itself, there has been increased recognition of the impacts that the pandemic and this string of recent tragedies have had on student mental health. For students especially, the advent of the pandemic has led to disruption in college plans, family life and employment. It has exacerbated many long-standing mental health struggles, exposing students to the hardship, displacement and psychological harm. Institutions must now work more than ever to fully address long-standing gaps in the student support system, something that Dartmouth does not seem to prioritize. Moreover, the College needs to emphasize well-being campuswide, and the counseling center cannot — and should not — be the only place on a campus responsible for students’ emotional health. While therapists provide treatment, colleges as a whole should focus on prevention. and programmatic unknowns — existing challenges But as our school administration agonizes about budget cuts and mask mandates, many students are struggling to wake up every morning. Clearly, the pandemic has upended the college experience for a generation of students and professors. Some of us, members of the Class of 2024 especially, have only met our classmates and professors over Zoom, and our new classroom is our bedroom; our campus is our house. Now, more than ever, the needs and aspirations of students are shifting. Librex is an anonymous discussion app that’s heavily used by Dartmouth students. On April 18, a student posted a story exemplifying the counseling service letting us down: “11:45 pm: *calls dick’s house counselor on call; answering machine says they will call back asap* 7:00 am: *receives call* … here for us 24/7?” A clarifying comment from the original poster was made below, adding “they said they were occupied and could not get back to me until they did. Maybe have more than one [f—] counselor on call then. With thousands of students here, it’s a mental health crisis at the same time. Every day grows my ire at Dartmouth’s mental health support infrastructure.” Another comment said “this literally
happened to me.” These comments line up with more general statistics about an increased need for support services due to higher rates of depression. According to a nationwide survey conducted by the Healthy Minds Network, “half of students in fall 2020 screened positive for depression and/or anxiety.” The study also revealed that 83 percent of students said that their mental health had negatively impacted their academic performance. Two thirds of college students reported feeling lonely and isolated. Moreover, “60% of college students nationwide said that the pandemic has made it harder to access mental health care,” which does not bode well for these statistics. This is not to say that Dartmouth is completely failing its students in terms of mental health resources. Students have the ability to schedule virtual counseling appointments, attend various recovery group meetings for those who face eating disorders and addiction problems, and take advantage of Student Wellness Center programming. However, knowing how poor mental health can spiral rapidly and dangerously, it is unacceptable for the 24-hour crisis service hotline to be busy. Moreover, to access these resources at all, the student must take the initiative. For some, it is scary to reach out about mental health concerns, and Dartmouth’s virtual wellness system is not accessible for everyone. The counseling services must be more proactive about reaching out and their strategies to make them more reliable. Last March, for example, the University of Kentucky addressed the emerging pandemic by having counselors and administrators personally call every single one of the 30,000 students to check in on their mental health and wellness and share information about mental health resources. Notre Dame administrators regularly surveyed students at Notre Dame regarding how they were doing. Dartmouth should follow suit, empowering investment in the development of preventative measures. In doing so, the College can leverage digital platforms to create safe and reliable online networks for conversations around mental health. Rather than viewing the pandemic as a set of unique challenges, the Dartmouth administration ought to view the past year as a wake-up call, an indication that many of their students — not just those who are isolated interpersonally — need help, which cannot come in the form of bland emails from administrators or promises to cure society’s ills. Dartmouth must invest resources in an infrastructure to more personally care for each of its students, something that will be especially important as we emerge from the pandemic than what we’ve gotten comfortable with this past year.
Verbum Ultimum: Slim Pickings Sophomore summer has long been a quintessential Dartmouth experience — a College tradition treasured by generations of students that lazy days on the Connecticut, and share the whole experience with loved ones on family weekend. Less appreciated than these traditions, it goes without saying, are the academic opportunities This should come as no surprise — one of the worst-kept secrets about sophomore summer is the shockingly limited class selection, which unnecessarily restricts students’ study plans. According to the recently released timetable, classes or fewer this summer — and that includes individualized study courses that very few students
summer study.” Given these factors, the lack of students are often forced to take courses they other graduation requirements, or to take random classes that don’t count toward their graduation requirements at all. If sophomore summer were not required, it is safe to say that the sparse course they actually want and need during another term. Traditionally, classes offered during the summer, although limited, have been catered to the group taking classes — sophomores. This year, however, those members of the Class of 2022 who
be joining the Class of 2023. Thus, in addition to the general lack of courses being offered this summer, “The lack of the overall demand for classes is bound to be higher than sufficient course normal summers. offerings put out In addition to this summer’s
or fewer. Compare this to last fall term, when just 52% of departments three or fewer. While some might justify these minimal these departments are less popular amongst students, even the two most popular
each summer is inexcusable.”
slim pickings when it comes to course selection — the economics department slightly better but still meager eight. In contrast, 29. slim this summer. Of the three most popular departments, neither the computer science department nor the economics department The need to cater the summer timetable to sophomores is not an excuse for these severely their sophomore year, many people are still
reality. Dartmouth students are required, at least in nonpandemic years, to take classes during sophomore summer and must pay the same tuition as any other term. Additionally, the College markets sophomore summer as an ordinary academic term — the College’s website compares the term to “any other academic term” and states that
incredible progress on vaccines — limits access to a quality education. As it stands, it’s safe to assume that the vast majority of Dartmouth students, professors, and members of the broader community will have at least one vaccine dose by the start of the summer — yet only 22 of the to be on campus and only 38 classes are set to be “remote with on-campus components.” If the College intends for this summer to be a trial run for the fall, why not increase the share of in-person classes and try to work any kinks out early? After all, with most of the Dartmouth student body set to return in the fall, there will come September. Increasing the number of inremote format, while instrumental during the pandemic, decreases overall quality of education and, in general, is disfavored by professors due to lower levels of student engagement in the online setting. In preparation for the summer, the College they cater to the student body who will be taking classes — including juniors — and work to make more classes available in person. And of course — as should go without saying — all of communicated to the student body.
GUEST COLUMNIST SEBASTIAN MUÑOZ-MCDONALD ‘23
Reflections on the Election This column was originally published on April 29th, 2021. The results of the most recent Student Assembly elections are disappointing, not because the KhanMuñoz campaign lost, but because I am worried that students who are struggling may feel left behind if their immediate needs sink into the background. After the year that many students have gone through at Dartmouth, with isolation in virtual classes, whiplash for varsity sports teams, permanent closure of libraries, cuts to study abroad programs and general inaction on the part of the administration, Student Assembly’s responsibility to act and move us toward material change is more clear now than ever. I’m hoping students can work with incoming SA president Jennifer Qian ’22 and incoming SA vice president Maggie Johnston ’22 to implement many of the policies both campaigns shared and help them keep promises they have made throughout their campaign. To show a commitment to full
and Project Coordinator — to outsiders who have never served in Student Assembly. Doing so would increase representation of underserved students in interests and experiences. Experience can take many forms, including experience as a FGLI student, as a student of color or as a student with disabilities. Groups like Access Dartmouth, the International Students Association, the Black Student Athletes Association, Dartmouth First Gen, the Dartmouth Student Mental Health Union, the Sexual Assault Peer Alliance and more continue the work of advocating for students who are often left behind. A cabinet that includes perspectives that have not typically been centered in SA debate could lead to
innovative policy, ease divisions in the student body, and exemplify both elevating student voices and acting on their concerns. When those most affected by gaps in in decision-making, Student Assembly members may be unclear on where SA can work to improve on student representation. Moving into a new SA administration is the chance for a range of campus communities to come together and fully utilize the capacity of SA to create a healthier campus through tangible policy changes. Many students have, unfortunately, become disengaged with student government; however, after extensively seeking to understand the capabilities of SA as a candidate, it became clear to me that there is room for positive shifts in governance. For example, SA is explicitly given the power to amend its own constitution. Proposing amendments to the SA constitution and making sure the SA cabinet brings in fresh perspectives and policy concerns are steps that students can move toward together. Increasing outward transparency, advertising open meetings, and allowing students to give continuous, formalized feedback to student representatives would immensely improve student understanding and respect for SA’s work. While meditation can be a useful practice, I don’t allocate over $2000 in funds in the interest of student mental health. I believe SA leaders need to make it clear to the administration that the mental health crisis on campus and across the country is urgent. should work with the administration to hold them to major commitments to mental health and wellness include sustainable investments such as hiring more
when it comes to addressing pressing issues related other Student Assembly and administrative policies. I hope that SA knows that students are watching to see that the student activities fee they pay is used as I ask that SA be in communication with the Committee on Standards to consider whether and how revisions to Dartmouth’s medical withdrawal policy can be made. SA can use their role as intermediaries to remind the administration in meetings of the urgency of hiring an increased number of psychologists and psychiatrists at Dick’s House. SA can also work to consider dedicating a portion of its funds to supporting Dartmouth’s 24/7 mental health hotlines; while SA cannot directly donate to charity due to restrictions on spending, SA ways for SA to allocate its funds that are not simply a cash transfer. SA’s Coop gift card program, food pantry initiative, Dartmouth Coach ticket program spending and compensation in the form of Amazon gift cards to student survey-takers make it clear that while SA’s budget is partially limited in use, it appears within the rules of the SA constitution to purchase items or services that support students. I propose that part of SA’s funding toward mental health could go toward compensating volunteers who provide their assistance to a student mental health hotline. Senators could speak to Dick’s House administrators to work through whether and how online scheduling for mental health services appointments could be implemented. SA can support students with mobility impairments in pushing for construction authorization to increase the College’s physical accessibility with its platform as a voice for students. SA should use its role as a mediator between students and the College administration to build a case that the elimination of loans for students from
families making under $5000 per year is feasible. Student representatives could use College budget data and historical trends at universities in similar to the administration is evidence-based, logical and speaks directly to the reality of student need. SA can supplement investment in the food pantry initiative with advocacy to the Dean of increasing Dartmouth’s pool of emergency struggling. Student representatives should support international students in their concerns regarding visa procurement and maintenance by regularly surveying the International Student Association on student experience receiving support from the If SA stands by faculty members who support the instatement of an Asian American Studies program by providing a public statement of support for it, there may be increased likelihood for the College administration to take action. I think it’s time that we inform students of their ability to act on their concerns and move toward a campus where people who are seen as “outsiders”— those who simply don’t already hold major institutional power — are empowered. Dartmouth has the ability to do better.
Sebastian Muñoz-McDonald ’23 was a candidate for vice president in the 2021 Student Assembly election. The Dartmouth welcomes guest columns. We request that guest columns be the original work of the submitter. Submissions may be sent to both opinion@ thedartmouth.com and email@example.com. Submissions will receive a response within three business days.
President's Undergraduate Research Symposium Watch our graduating seniors who have completed Senior Honors Thesis projects share their research virtually with the public. Tuesday, May 4, 2021 from 5:30pm – 6:30pm https://youtu.be/WZZaTCwxm_8 Wednesday, May 5, 2021 from 5:30pm – 6:30pm https://youtu.be/ibGr-2pERu0 Hosted by President Hanlon '77 and Gail Gentes '77a, the President's Undergraduate Research Symposium allows graduating seniors who have completed Senior Honors Thesis projects to share their outstanding work with the public through presentations online, followed by a Question and Answer session with President Hanlon and Gail Gentes.
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FRIDAY, APRIL 30, 2021
THE DARTMOUTH ARTS
93rd Academy Awards sees record low viewership, no upsets BY JACK HARGROVE The Dartmouth Staff
This article was originally published on April 29, 2021. In the beginning of this year’s award season, many awards shows had trouble adapting to the virtual setting necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. After watching the trials and tribulations of the Grammys and the Golden Globes, the Academy Awards executed their show quite well in comparison: The part-inperson, part-virtual show progressed
Sacha Baron Cohen for his performance in “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Leslie Odom, Jr. for his performance in “One Night in Miami…” and Paul Raci for his performance in “Sound of Metal.” This award rounds out an impressive awards season for Kaluuya, who also won a SAG Award, Golden Globe and British Academy Film Award for this role. Best Supporting Actress: Youn Yuh-jung for “Minari”
For the third straight year, there was no host; instead, the Academy rotated awards presenters. Even with the success of the format, though, the ceremony had only 10.4 million viewers, making it the least-watched Oscars since the Academy started recording views in 1974. Despite the record low viewership,
Actress was relatively strong, including Amanda Seyfried for her role in “Mank,” Maria Bakalova for “Borat Subsequent
recognized. At last year’s Academy Awards, “Parasite” was the clear star of
surprised many by taking most of the major categories; while “Minari” is an
awards — Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Original
Youn deserved the award for her incredible performance, and hopefully, this is a sign that the Academy will continue to recognize and award foreign
as clearly dominant. 2020 saw half as many movie releases as 2019 due to the pandemic, and the smaller pool led to the same movies being nominated and to a less surprising atmosphere around who would win. “Nomadland” won the most awards of the night with three won two awards. While this relatively it was balanced out by the fact that there were no major upset victories like there were last year. With the somewhat controversial exception of Anthony Hopkins for Best Actor, in general, each of the major categories was won by the expected frontrunner. Best Supporting Actor: Daniel Kaluuya for “Judas and the Black Messiah” After winning the equivalent award at the Golden Globes just a month ago, Daniel Kaluuya won his first Academy Award for his portrayal of Fred Hampton, one of the original “Judas and the Black Messiah.” He was previously nominated for best actor for his performance in the 2017 movie “Get Out.” To win this award, Kaluuya beat
Father” and Glenn Close for “Hillbilly Elegy.” The winner of the award, however, was Youn Yuh-jung for her role
Best Original Screenplay: Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman” The award for Best Original Screenplay went to Emerald Fennell, writer and director of the dark comedy “Promising Young Woman.” While Fennell was previously showrunner for the second season of the acclaimed British television series “Killing Eve,” “Promising Young Woman” was her feature film directorial debut. Also nominated were Aaron Sorkin for “The Trial of the Chicago Seven,” Will Berson and Shaka King for “Judas and the Black Messiah,” Lee Isaac Chung for “Minari” and Abraham and Darius Marder for “Sound of Metal.” The fact that Fennell was the sole writer of “Promising Young Woman” combined with the fact that it
ALEXANDRA MA / THE DARTMOUTH
based on Zeller’s play “Le Père.” This heart-wrenching film about a man struggling with Alzheimer’s disease was buoyed by its strong script, making this win well-deserved. Hampton and Zeller’s screenplay put viewers in the shoes of a man losing his memory, which was no easy feat. “The Father” beat out other heavyweights for this award, including the writers of “Borat “One Night in Miami” and “The White great screenplay, the unique experience in “The Father” sets it apart from the others in the category. Best Director: Chloé Zhao for “Nomadland” Chloé Zhao became only the second color, to win the Oscar for Best Director, following in the footsteps of Kathryn Bigelow, who won the award in 2010
came away with the award and cemented Best Actor: Anthony Hopkins for “The Father” “The Father” received its second and Hopkins’s performance as Anthony, a man slowly losing his memories to Alzheimer’s. This incredibly complex role required a talented, experienced actor to play it with the power and respect it deserved, and Hopkins is one of the few years of age, Hopkins is now the oldest person to ever win an Oscar for acting. Other nominees for the award included Gary Oldman for “Mank,” Steven Yeun for “Minari,” Riz Ahmed for “Sound of Metal” and a posthumous nomination for Chadwick Boseman for his role in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” While many feel that Boseman deserved the award in the wake of his tragic passing last year, Hopkins’s performance need not be overshadowed.
given to “Nomadland” for the night, the in this category very impressive. Best Adapted Screenplay: Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller for “The Father” Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller won the award for Best Adapted
was the clear favorite to win this award going into the ceremony, she faced tough competition from Thomas Vinterberg for “Another Round,” David Fincher for “Mank,” Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman” and Lee Isaac Chung for “Minari.” Ultimately, however, Zhao
Best Actress: Frances McDormand for “Nomadland” Francis McDormand won her third Academy Award for Best Actress for “Nomadland,” making her the fourth woman to ever do so alongside Katharine Hepburn, Meryl Streep and Ingrid Bergman. Her previous awards were
Missouri.” This feat is extraordinary and puts McDormand among the ranks of the most celebrated actors and actresses of all-time. McDormand’s performance in “Nomadland” was stellar as always, and many other great performances were nominated, including Viola Davis for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Andra Day for “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” Carey Mulligan for “Promising Young Woman” and Vanessa Kirby for “Pieces of a Woman.” Notably, this is award for Best Actor nor the award for Best Actress have gone to a biopic. Best Picture: “Nomadland” The night’s biggest award, Best Picture, went to “Nomadland,” as many had predicted. While there were many great movies released in 2020, the success of “Nomadland” at other awards ceremonies signaled a likely victory in the Best Picture category at the Academy Awards. Chloé Zhao’s character study of a restless nomad played by McDormand was striking in its simplicity and deserves year’s Academy Awards. Also nominated for this award were “Mank,” “The Father,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Sound of Metal,” “Minari” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”
Retrospective on DMX, a talented rapper and a troubled man BY JOE DAHER The Dartmouth
This article was originally published on April 29, 2021. Earl Simmons, better known by his stage name DMX, clawed his way from the streets of Yonkers to hip-hop fame with his guttural voice and signature barking adlibs. He commanded an emotional rawness that few rappers in the early bling era of hip-hop could channel. However, Simmons struggled with his demons — battling drug addiction throughout his career. Following complications from a drug overdose, he died on April 9, at the age of 50. Born in Mount Vernon, New York in 1970 Simmons had a rapping as a teenager as a creative outlet. He rose to prominence in the late 1990s and early 2000s with his menacing and dark rap style on albums such as “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot” and “…And Then There Was X.” What set him apart from his contemporaries was his unabashed and unashamed emotional rawness. While his aggressive persona and rowdy anthems — “X Gon’ Give it — propelled DMX to fame, it was introspective and genuine records like “The Born Loser” and the GrammySimmons as an artist. Simmons embraced hip-hop as a major aspect of his life. “Hip-hop is not just music, hip-hop is a lifestyle. It’s a way of talking, it’s a way of standing,” Simmons said in a 2020 interview with rapper Talib Kweli. Rap dominates mainstream contemporary American music culture. But, in the early 2000s, it was still on the fringes of the music scene,
inseparable from the entirety of hiphop culture — MC’s, beatboxing, graffiti, breakdancing, drug use, poverty and gang violence. DMX’s “Who We Be” is a proclamation of
ups and its downs: “The projects, the drugs (Uh), the children, the thugs (Uh) / The tears, the hugs, the love, the slugs (Come on).” Simmons also comments on pervasive police brutality in “Who We Be”: “The streets, the cops, the system, harassment (Uh-huh) // The options, get shot, go to jail or getcha ass kicked (Aight).” Many of his songs refer to the topics of police brutality, mass incarceration and to haunt America. One of Simmons’ most famous and introspective songs is “Damien” from his debut studio album, “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot.” “Damien” focuses on a conversation between his DMX persona and a character named Damien. Damien acts a sort of a devil in disguise, promising fortune and fame while offering sex. In the chorus, DMX sings “The snake, the rat, the cat, the dog / How you gonna see him if you livin’ in the fog?” These lyrics use animals as symbols for treachery and loyalty — the snake is treacherous, the rat is and the dog is loyal. The next line about living in the fog reveals that DMX is clouded by the allure of fame and is thus blind to Damien’s true character. Damien is an allusion to the reallife Ready Ron, Simmons’ mentor. Ready Ron introduced his mentee to hip-hop — both the upsides and downsides — in Yonkers. Though he denies it, Ron is allegedly responsible for sparking Simmons’ drug abuse. According to Simmons, following
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blunt to a 14-year-old Simmons, who until then had avoided drugs. “I later found out that he laced the blunt with crack,” said Simmons in the interview with Kweli. “Why would you do that to somebody who looks up to you? [...] A monster was born.” Drug abuse troubled the rest of Simmons’ life. He was in and out of prison for speeding violations, drug possession, animal cruelty, criminal impersonation, carjacking and other these issues and his feelings into powerful music. Simmons embodies Anthem” mentality of “All I know is pain // All I feel is rain.” Simmons’ tumultuous career and tragic overdose underscore the complex relationship between
hip-hop, drug addiction, the marginalization of Black communities and what Kweli in his interview with Simmons called “the pathologies of the hood.” Behind the braggadocious swagger of hip-hop culture are the saddening realities of racism in the U.S. Simmons’ life was plagued with drugs and criminal activity. Some might argue the bombastic aggression and crudeness of his gangster rap was a cry for help. “Drugs were a symptom of a bigger problem. There is only so much you can block out, you know, before you run out of space. And then things just fall over the place,” said Simmons in the interview with Kweli. He openly spoke of his struggles on many of his tracks. On “Who We Be,” he discusses his complicated relationship with his family: “My
mother, my father, I love ‘em, I hate ‘em (Uh) / Wish God, I didn’t have ‘em, but I’m glad that he made ‘em (Uh).” On “The Born Loser,” he says “Times are hard in the ghetto, I gotta steal for a living / Eating Thanksgiving.” His lyrics touch on the unfortunate turn he took towards crime, seeing it as his only option. “Talking about your problems is viewed as a weakness, when it’s the bravest thing you can do,” said Simmons in the interview with Kweli. For all his faults, Simmons’ legacy of passion and pain demonstrate the importance of emotional honesty and authenticity through the channel of gangster rap. Hopefully these more positive aspects of his career in creating authentic, powerful music will continue to inspire other rappers.
FRIDAY, APRIL 30, 2021
THE DARTMOUTH SPORTS
Softball splits doubleheader in match vs. UMass Amherst BY benjamin ashley The Dartmouth Staff
This story was originally published on April 27, 2021. weekend of sports since the COVID-19 shutdown, the softball team returned to play on Saturday, facing the University of Massachusetts Amherst behind an excellent performance from pitcher Madie Augusto ’22, the Big Green started its season with a 6-2 win. In Game 2, despite holding an 8-0 lead after four innings, Dartmouth went on to lose in a 15-13 thriller. H ead c o ach Jen Williams emphasized how great it was for the team to get back to competing after a tough year. “It was fantastic to be back out on
Shipley said that the prospect of returning to competition motivated the team throughout the past year to stay ready — and their hard work paid
“What really got the whole team through was just remembering that there was going to be a light at the
to the team’s risks taken on the basepaths
freshmen were particularly essential for
examples of the team’s aggressiveness during the doubleheader. Williams said this mindset was both the result of the team taking advantage of limited competitive opportunities and of a
’24, Mary Beth Cahalan ’24 and Izzy
Homan is emphasizing, which focuses wanting to be prepared to the best of our ability so that when we got the chance to go out and compete, we were
team’s 30 hits. Cahalan said the team did a great job executing their aggressive gameplan, taking advantage of early pitches to hit. “Every single one of us came in with that [aggressive] mentality this game knowing that the UMass pitchers were going to give us something really
Both Williams and Shipley pointed
said. “We came in knowing what we wanted to do and how we wanted to While the Big Green had a pitching also had its moments. In the innings before giving up two runs in the seventh, while notching a career-high 10 strikeouts. In the second, Brooke Plonka ’22 followed Augusto’s stellar performance with four scoreless innings before UMass rallied late in the game. Williams said that the games were really important for the team to see the opportunity to develop the team’s culture. Williams feels that their bond will allow them to compete with anyone. “Every day that we work, we’re going to focus on our process [and]
have that happen for us in the spring after such an abrupt ending over a year ago was really rewarding, and I was really so happy for the team that they were able to get back out there and get
we were able to go out and see how that stacked up yesterday, and I think it was really important for the team to see that when we do that — when we focus on our game, our character, our process — we can go out and bring it
said she was just happy to be able to compete for Dartmouth again. “Everybody just had so much fun putting on the uniform and
SOPHIE BAILEY/THE DARTMOUTH SENIOR STAFF
With COVID-19 protocols, the team has only been able to practice in a very limited fashion. Shipley said that the team was allowed to ramp up their practices starting on April 14, giving the team just 10 days to prepare for live competition. Despite the lack of practice time,
Shipley added that she was really happy to see how the team has faced adversity this past year, and believes it bodes well for the future of the program. “I’m just extra grateful for how well this terrible last year, and … take it as an opportunity to better the team said. “I’m really excited to see where [Dartmouth softball] goes in the next
COURTESY OF DARTMOUTH ATHLETICS DEPARTMENT
Track and Field placed well at first meet since last March BY HALLE TROADEC The Dartmouth Staff
This story was originally published on April 27, 2021. After over a year without competition, the Big Green men’s competed at the University of New Hampshire Pre-Conference Invitational on Saturday afternoon, place and the women’s team taking third. Athletes competed against six other schools at UNH and came away with personal bests on both the men’s and women’s teams. of the pandemic, but it was also the cross country head coach Porscha Dobson, who was hired in September. In addition to Dartmouth and UNH, other schools that competed in the meet included the University of Hartford, University of Maine, University of Massachusetts Lowell points, two ahead of third-place Maine COURTESY OF DARTMOUTH ATHLETICS DEPARTMENT
behind Maine and 60 behind UNH. McNally ’24 made an immediate for the Big Green, winning both the women’s 100m and 200m with times of 12.36 and 25.24 seconds, respectively. McNally was excited to compete after a long wait to the start of her collegiate career and said she was happy to see the individual work she put in over the course of the “It was nerve-wracking to compete again after so long and I was nervous really exhilarating to be on the starting line. I got that feeling that you cannot On the men’s side, the Big Green claimed the top two spots in the 100m, with Myles Epstein ’23 winning the event in 10.51 seconds and Ryan Cashman ’22 coming in second place with a time of 10.83 seconds. Epstein
“Even though we’ve been practicing and training for so long, being in a competition is a completely back used to that, and hopefully the time will drop even more in the next few weeks when we’ll have more Another athlete who took home a win for the Big Green was Emma Cunningham ’23. She jumped an place for the team. Cunningham was happy to have performed well despite little formal training and a lack of competition, and she expressed gratitude for the ability to compete once again. “It was nice just being able to showcase your event again and do Cunningham also said that the
few more meets over the remainder of the spring season. An intrasquad meet, scheduled to take place this coming weekend at Dartmouth, will be an
opportunity for athletes to compete against each other in an official setting. Additionally, the men’s and women’s teams are scheduled to host the Dartmouth Outdoor Invitational
“[Saturday’s meet] brought back those feelings of addiction to that we’ll have a little bit more of an opportunity to do that for the rest of
Thayer Prize - Dartmouth College’s Mathematics Prize Exam for First-Year Students The Thayer Prize competitive mathematics examination for 2021 will be held on Saturday, May 15 (with an alternate date of Sunday, May 16 for students who for religious or other legitimate reasons may wish to avoid taking the exam on Saturday). The exam is loosely based upon mathematical Olympiad competitions, the Putnam Exam,
Students who wish to participate should register by sending an email to Vladimir Chernov (Vladimir.Chernov@dartmouth.edu) by May 12 expressing their interest; students who wish
noting that “almost everyone who went nearly a full second, recording an Epstein said that Dobson told the team going into the meet that after 409 days with no competition, they should “go out, have fun, and perform
McNally also said she was proud of the team for performing well in their events, especially after so much “We went out there and got it done, even though it was pretty tough and
participants on the morning of May 15. After working on the exam for three hours, participants should scan their completed exams and email the scans to Vladimir Chernov. Examinations are due by 11:00 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time on May 15 (or 11:00 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time on May 16, if the participant has secured permission to take the exam on Sunday).
THE DARTMOUTH MIRROR
FRIDAY, APRIL 30, 2021
Building for the Future: Sustainable Campus Construction BY BRIAN ZHANG
The Dartmouth Staff
This article was originally published on April 28, 2021. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic putting much of campus life on hold, from in-person classes to Ivy League sports, one aspect of the College’s campus operations has been moving fullsteam ahead even amidst the pandemic: construction. Two new buildings will soon reshape the landscape of the west end of campus: the Irving Institute for Energy and Society and the new Center for Engineering and Computer Science. Additionally, on historic Dartmouth Row, two buildings — Dartmouth Hall and Thornton Hall — are undergoing renovations. Across the street, the Hopkins Center for the Arts is slated to begin renovations at the end of next year. During the building process, every project team has had to adhere to Dartmouth’s High Performance Building Energy Policy, which has set sustainability and energy usage guidelines for all College construction since 2016. Among other goals, these guidelines stipulate that all new projects that cost over $10 million must target LEED Robert Watson ’84. There are four levels gold and platinum, with platinum being the most rigorous and environmentally conscious. The Irving Institute is expected while the Center for Engineering and Computer Science is expected to achieve LEED Gold — the second-highest level According to campus services director of communications Lisa Celone, sustainability concerns were considered through all steps of the building process. “[The projects] all have integrated
design, which means that when we’re in the beginning stages of designing a new structure, a new project, everyone is at the table early on, all talking to each other so that every area is well-coordinated,” Celone said. The new Irving Institute building has an energy usage design goal of 20 kBtu per square foot per year, according to Celone, which translates to 85% less energy use per square foot than the average building on campus. According to managing director of research at the Irving Institute Stephen Doig, the building compares well to other buildings even beyond Hanover. “Compared to the best-in-class in the world, it’s certainly at the very, very top as a design goal,” Doig said of the building’s targets for energy usage. “I think it will deliver [20 kBtu per square foot per year] as well, so that’s a huge step forward in terms of building buildings that will last for a long time and sip energy rather than gulp it.” According to architectural documents outlining the Irving Institute’s design objectives provided by Celone, the Institute plans on achieving these goals with a variety of environmentallyfriendly features, including a natural ventilation system that will automatically bring in air from outside in order to cool and warm the building when needed, minimizing the need for mechanical cooling or heating methods such as air conditioning or combustion. In addition to a skylight, the roof will contain solar panels. Sustainable design has also been central to the new Center for Engineering and Computer Science, according to an architectural document outlining the center’s sustainability features provided by Celone. The building will include improved ventilation techniques and the ability to capture the heat exhaust from laboratories. The new building, which will house the Computer Science department, the Magnuson Center
CAROLINE KRAMER/THE DARTMOUTH STAFF
expansion of the Thayer School of Engineering, will target a LEED Gold As Celone pointed out, the guidelines laid out in the High Performance Building Energy Policy apply to both new buildings and renovations on existing buildings, meaning that green processes have been a consideration for Dartmouth and Thornton Halls — as well as Reed Hall, for which renovations were completed last year. “One of the ways that we’re sustainable is that we’re actually reusing the buildings,” Celone said. “When possible, we don’t take the buildings down completely; we keep and reuse the structures — the bones — of them.”
The renovations of Reed and Thornton Halls have incorporated some sustainable elements in an attempt to modernize the centuries-old structures, including low-temperature hot water systems that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions substantially. program manager Marcus Welker, the Dartmouth Hall renovations also involve replacing the building’s entire insulation system, despite the cost of such a task being higher than the College would usually undertake. “Normally, the College uses a relatively short payback period for those types of projects,” Welker said. years, the College likes to see the savings
pay for the project.” In the case of Dartmouth Hall, the payback period — the time it will take for the renovations to pay for themselves through savings due to lower energy costs — for the insulation will be “much longer.” Despite this, the College is moving ahead with the scheduled insulation replacement to ensure that the renovation is long-lasting. Once completed, Celone expects these new structures to shape the College’s landscape for decades to come. “We do plan to build new buildings to last 100 years, which is pretty amazing,” Celone said. “We try to construct such high-performance buildings so that they will last a long, long time.”
Q&A: Art History Professor Mary Coffey on Police Violence
BY ELLIE RUDNICK The Dartmouth
This article was originally published on April 28, 2021. From April 5-11, the Hopkins Center for the Arts held a symposium that brought together acclaimed speakers to discuss the issue of police violence and its ties to racial injustice. Since the symposium, Derek Chauvin’s trial has ended with his conviction of seconddegree unintentional murder, thirddegree murder and second-degree manslaughter. However, the end of the trial did not mark the end of police violence, nor the discourse surrounding it, in America; it remains an ongoing issue. This week, The Dartmouth sat down with art history professor and symposium coinsight into what students can do to
What led you and African and AfricanAmericanstudiesprofessor Tricia Keaton to decide to organize the symposium at Dartmouth during this time? MC: I think I was responding to [Keaton’s] initial call. She sent an email around to a bunch of professors to put together something on the problem of police violence. From the very beginning, we were interested in having people in our community — and we worked with students on this — weigh in on this issue. For the past several years, we’ve been undergoing a kind of consistent set of protests, outrages and perspectives on the problem of police violence in the United States. But this is a global problem, to such an extent that the United Nations is acknowledging it. And maybe there’s a way that we can do something to think about this, not only in the national framework, but also more globally to do some comparative thinking or to think about how police violence manifests in other national frameworks. Many of the panelists spoke about
noted that she avoids pushing any
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for police reform or reallocating of funds due to the power possessed
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proposals, and some spoke about the complete abolition of the Do you think pushing for reform this point? MC: My personal belief is that reform is not a viable approach to addressing the problem of police violence because reform tends to focus on techniques and symptoms. But it can’t really address the sort of structural problems that produce the forms of racialized policing, surveillance and criminalization that result in violence. So I have, for a while, been invested in the idea of defunding. I always try to explain to anyone who’s really alarmed by that term that defunding the police means, at its simplest level, reallocating some of the massive amounts of state into policing into other social services that over the past several decades have been stripped of funding and suspension and support. My personal belief is that abolition is what we should be moving towards. I also see abolition as a creative reimagining of our world — you have to be able to imagine a world in which policing doesn’t exist or doesn’t need to exist, at least according to the things we think today, in order to address that problem.
ended and we mark almost a year since the protests following George Floyd’s death, how do you suggest people remain engaged and determined to continue the racial injustice? MC: the American public who are going to say, “yes, justice has been served. And now we’re turning a corner, and this will stop happening.” And I would argue that with Chauvin, there should be consequences for his homicide, but the question of what real justice looks like is something very he’d been exonerated in the trial. That wouldn’t have been anything close to justice, but his going to prison, if that’s exactly what happens to him, doesn’t necessarily bring any real justice to [Floyd’s] family. It doesn’t mean that we won’t be in this situation again and again and again, because nothing’s really been addressed at the systemic level. So, how to keep people’s attention on this is you have to keep having these conversations with the people we know who don’t agree or who don’t see the issue. And I think we’ll have many opportunities for that because we will continue to have police murders. And we will continue to have kind of spectacular, public, clinical debates about those murders. And so,
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this is a conversation that’s not going to go away on its own. And then it becomes the job of those of us who think this is important to be consistently trying to provide people with the information that they might need to come to a more informed conclusion about policing. Is there anything else you would like to add about the symposium MC: I felt like there was something powerful and amazing in every panel; I just really learned a lot from them. I think some of the big takeaways are this simple observation that the bad apple argument — and even the spectacle of police coming out and testifying against Chauvin — is really fundamentally about shoring up the police. And I thought Simon Balto’s observations about how reform often ends up exacerbating policing, despite the fact that it doesn’t generate any measurable or meaningful outcomes, is really important. It was helpful for me to think about why that can actually be counterintuitive, like actually investing in those forms of reform can often redirect more money into the police route than actually reforming anything. I thought that Andrea Ritchie and Nikki Jones, both their presentations, were just unbelievable and incredible in terms of helping us to understand just is for women and LGBTQ+ people and children. I learned so much from the international panels about the form of policing in France and the role of the ID checks as the kind of primary tactic for just constantly harassing and surveilling and criminalizing people of color. I learned a ton about how this plays out in the post-colonial framework of Nigeria and Uganda, thinking about colonialism rather than slavery as the kind of key historical framework. And I really enjoyed all of the artistic presentations because one of the questions raised by this moment we’re living in, where people are circulating images of murdered Black and brown people all the time, or people from Latin America in cages, as part of liberal or even progressive politics, is, “what is the impact of that imagery on the people who see themselves in those in those bodies? And what can art do to combat that?” This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.