VOL. CLXXVII NO. 8
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2021
Kresge, Paddock libraries to close
HANOVER, NEW HAMPSHIRE
Students advocate for CROWN Act to outlaw hair-based discrimination B y Madeleine Bernardeau The Dartmouth
This article was originally published on Feb. 18, 2021.
The libraries have seen a decline in lending numbers over the last decade.
B y Abigail Mihaly The Dartmouth Senior Staff
This article was originally published on Feb. 16, 2021. Kresge Physical Sciences Library and Paddock Music Library will close permanently at the end of the academic year, Dartmouth announced on Tuesday. The College attributed the closures to decreased library lending numbers and budget cuts, both unrelated to the pandemic. The libraries’ staff and high-use collection items will be relocated to the main Baker-Berry Library system, while all other resources will be housed off-site and available upon request. Though the College will no longer lend materials out of Kresge, it expects to reopen the library’s study spaces to students once the COVID-19 task force deems it safe to do so. It has not yet determined whether study spaces in Paddock will also reopen. Dean of libraries Sue Mehrer said that the College hopes all materials will be relocated by September. There are no current plans to permanently shutter any other Dartmouth libraries, Mehrer said. Dartmouth’s libraries were forced to decrease their spending by $2 million over the five-year period between fiscal year 2018 and fiscal
SNOWY HIGH 31 LOW 20
ELIZABETH JANOWSKI/THE DARTMOUTH SENIOR STAFF
year 2022 as a result of the College reallocating funds to academic programs and to counter its structural institutional deficit. “Managing physical assets together is just an effective way of looking at allocating resources,” Mehrer said, noting that the libraries are continually examining trends in order to figure out how to best respond to the changing library landscape. In addition to budget cuts, lending numbers have decreased. Overall circulation in the library system declined by 35% between 2008 and 2018, a trend Mehrer said many other academic libraries have also seen. Lending decreased by 73% at Paddock over the same 10-year period, though it saw a slight increase at Kresge during that period. However, in recent years, circulation has decreased at Kresge by roughly 12%. Associate librarian for digital strategies Daniel Chamberlain attributed the decline in circulation in part to a cultural shift trending toward digital resources. “From a bigger cultural perspective, people often turn to electronic and online and digital resources — it’s at hand, it’s in your pocket often, and people are used to having that kind of quick access,” Chamberlain said. No staff members will be laid off due to the consolidation. Chamberlain said that the library is pleased to retain
Applications for Class of 2025 spike 33% B y Mike Hanrahan The Dartmouth
This article was originally published on Feb. 16, 2021.
COFFEY: DEBATES OVER PUBLIC ART PAGE 3
‘ARTIVISM’ PROVIDES FORUM FOR ACTIVISM PAGE 4
IVIES CANCEL SPRING LEAGUE COMPETITION PAGE 5
’24S NAVIGATE A REMOTE SECOND TERM PAGE 6
SLOAN: OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! PAGE 6 FOLLOW US ON
@thedartmouth COPYRIGHT © 2021 THE DARTMOUTH, INC.
staff expertise in specific subject areas, such as music and media specialists at Paddock, though he added that bringing all staff to Baker-Berry Library may mean changes in their jobs and possibly a “wider application of their skills.” Both Kresge, located in Fairchild Physical Sciences Center, and Paddock, located in the Hopkins Center for the Arts, have been closed to visitors since March due to the pandemic. Feldberg Business and Engineering Library, which has relocated its resources to separate buildings at the Tuck School of Business and the Thayer School of Engineering due to construction on the west end of campus, is slated to reopen by this fall. Mehrer stressed that the announcement of the closures is “really the start of the planning” p ro c e s s. Fro m h e r e, l i b r a r y administration members will reach out to department chairs and faculty, the council of libraries and their student representatives and students, in order to “understand what is important to them.” Chamberlain added that going forward, library administration will need to navigate a variety of challenges, including integrating staff into the Baker-Berry Library system and taking care of physical materials during and after their relocation.
For high school seniors, the 202021 college application season has proven to be yet another challenge to navigate during the pandemic. This year, the College saw an alltime high of 28,338 combined early decision and regular decision applicants — a 32.5% increase in applications since the last admissions cycle. Other Ivy League institutions also saw upticks, including Harvard University, which saw a yearly application increase of 42%. Due to the high volume of applications, Dartmouth and all other Ivy League schools have pushed their admission decision release date by roughly a week to April 6. Last year, Dartmouth announced acceptances for regular decision applicants of the Class of 2024 on March 26. The Ivy League deans set the release date collectively, vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions Lee Coffin wrote in an email to The Dartmouth. He added that pushing the date “reflects the significant volume many institutions are processing as well as the desire to avoid a release date that coincided with the Easter holiday weekend.” In an announcement on June 3, Dartmouth announced that it would follow a number of other Ivy League schools and make standardized test scores optional for applicants to the Class of 2025 due to coronavirusrelated challenges. Dartmouth has also extended the policy to applicants to the Class of 2026. Josue Ramos Carpio, a regular decision applicant to the Class of 2025 from the Bronx, New York, posited that the test optional policy
may be partially responsible for increases in applications. “Many students who are … lowincome are taking this advantage,” he said, noting that standardized tests are usually a barrier to those who cannot afford to take them. A n d r e w Z e n g , a r e g u l a r decision applicant from British Columbia, Canada, said that the pandemic has created difficulties pertaining to standardized testing for international students. “I know one student who flew to the other side of the country to take the test,” he said. “If testing [were] mandatory, it would disadvantage students who don’t have test centers available.” Both Ramos Carpio and Zeng also expressed feeling nervous over this year’s historically large applicant pool. The significant increase in applications, paired with the fact that 172 members of the Class of 2024 deferred enrollment, means that this year’s acceptance rate could be the lowest in the College’s history, following an especially selective early decision admissions cycle. “I think I was a bit nervous at first,” Ramos Carpio said. “I was like, ‘Are they going to have time to fully read my application?’” He said that despite initial nerves, he found comfort in the fact that Dartmouth’s application decisions will be released a week later than usual this year, which he hopes will ensure that each applicant is given adequate consideration. Ramos Carpio and Zeng do not feel the delay in decisions will affect their enrollment plans. “It won’t affect where I go,” Zeng said. “I don’t have any pending earlier commitments that I have to be done. If decisions are released a week later, it’s just a minor inconvenience.”
Four Dartmouth students testified in front of the New Hampshire House Judiciary Committee on Feb. 10 in support of the CROWN Act, a law that would extend statutory protections to natural hair texture and protective styles, such as braids, locs and twists, in schools and workplaces. On Tuesday, the committee retained the bill — delaying it for at least a year — in order to clarify its language, according to sponsoring representative Mary Beth Walz, D-Bow. The CROWN Act, short for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, is a national campaign launched by Dove, the National Urban League, Color Of Change and Western Center on Law and Poverty in 2019. Already law in seven states, three counties and 11 cities, the act has been introduced in New Hampshire as House Bill 359. “It’s important to pass this act in the state of New Hampshire,” Princilla Minkah ’21 said, referencing the “Live Free or Die” motto of the state as an indication of the state’s emphasis on individualism. “[The motto] should also apply to me being a Black woman, and every area of my Black culture — one of the most important being my hair, the way I present myself and the way I look.” Once the bill has been redrafted to clarify its language, the committee will look at the bill again in the fall, Walz said. Dartmouth’s Pi Theta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. led the charge to campaign for the New Hampshire legislature to consider the bill. The idea for the local movement was conceived almost two years ago by Minkah, the chapter’s president, and vice president Daniella Omeruo ’21. Together, they reached out to the organizers of the national CROWN Act campaign, who connected them with resources and recommendations for contacting state representatives. The sorority also campaigned via social media to recruit members of the community to sign and testify in support of the bill. “New Hampshire is predominantly white, and we go to a predominantly white institution,” Minkah said. “If there’s a national campaign going on to end race-based hair discrimination, we need to join that fight, even though we live in a predominantly white area.” Walz said she filed the bill in the fall, and it was then assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. As the primary sponsor of the bill, Walz introduced it at the Zoom hearing on Feb. 10. Eleven people testified in support of the bill, and none against it. Four of the testimonies were given by current Dartmouth students, two of whom are affiliated with Delta Sigma Theta. Omeruo, one of the students who testified, shared a memory of a professional development
workshop for Black women that she attended during her junior year. In the workshop, led by another Black woman, attendees were advised not to wear afros, natural hair or protective styles in professional interviews, Omeruo said, noting that about half of the participants in the room were sporting natural hairstyles, including herself. “Why do I have to go spend money to do my hair for the interview?” Omeruo said she asked during the workshop. “Why do I have to straighten my hair?” Stella Asa ’22, another Delta Sigma Theta member who testified at the hearing, also shared her firsthand experience with hair-based discrimination in New Hampshire. According to Asa, on her first day of rehearsal at a regional theater, she was told that her hair was “so big that nobody could see [her] face” and that “[her] appearance was impeding the rehearsal process.” “The goal of my testimony is to make it clear that race-based discrimination is real,” she said to the committee. “It would mean the world to me, and to a lot of other young Black people in New Hampshire, for a bill like this — something that actually sees people who look like me — to pass in New Hampshire.” Omeruo echoed the personal importance of this bill, noting that to her, the bill is about more than just hair. She argued that it also addresses “deeper reasons” and the philosophy behind the denial of Black hair, such as “invasion of space, degradation and disrespect.” Vitallia Williams ’22 volunteered to testify at the hearing after seeing the sorority post about it on their Instag ram. An Ar my veteran, Williams told the committee about an Army regulation passed last month that made uniform regulations more inclusive to Black women. “It was significant for me to show up for this bill because I needed people in New Hampshire to know that the United States Army [is] ahead of the curve” as compared to New Hampshire, Williams said. “It doesn’t make sense.” Reflecting on her experience at the hearing, Omeruo said that although it was “nerve-wracking” at times, “it was also really powerful, too, because there were such strong Black women that came and testified and said great things, reassured [her] and empowered [her].” With the bill retained, the focus will be on redrafting the text ahead of the next work session in late summer or early fall. This fall, the committee will vote on the redrafted bill. Should it pass, it will be sent to the floor of the full House in early January 2022. Walz said she hopes the bill will help give people the tools to argue against any hair-based discrimination that they might encounter. “My hope is that if something should happen to someone, and there is discrimination based on natural hairstyle, that person then has a vehicle to try and address discrimination,” she said.
YOSHI HITS THE SLOPES
DIVYA KOPALLE/THE DARTMOUTH SENIOR STAFF
Students pose with their award-winning ice sculpture of Yoshi skiing.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2021
THE DARTMOUTH NEWS
Student Assembly College to run only half of report highlights food off-campus programs next year insecurity on campus B y JACOB STRIER
need, from cuts to teaching assistant stipends due to virtual classes to the inability to access Dartmouth Dining This article was originally published meals due to work hours. A c c o rd i n g t o M c B r i d e, 3 7 on Feb. 18, 2021. people — 24 undergraduates and On Feb. 10, Student Assembly 13 graduate students — filled out published a report detailing the the interest form for the program findings of a fall 2020 survey during the summer, and she was assessing the extent of food insecurity able to offer spots to 20 students. on campus. SA last published a In the fall, 19 students participated. McBride assembled bags of fresh similar report in fall 2018. The most recent survey found that produce from the farm and assigned 32.7% of a total of 260 respondents recipients to pick up the vegetables reported having insufficient resources in a discrete location on campus. for at least one meal each week. Of In the SA report, over 100 people the 148 respondents who reported responded “yes” to a question asking being on financial aid, 41.9% noted about their interest in accessing a that they have insufficient resources harvest share program for fall 2020. for at least one meal per week, and In response to this interest, McBride 4.7% said they lacked sufficient said that looking ahead, the Organic resources for over six meals per week. Farm would like to continue the “If you are not experiencing [food program and increase capacity. Dining plans also play a role insecurity], it is easy to not see it,” said SA senator David Millman ’23, in Dartmouth students’ access to who helped produce the survey and food. Dartmouth Dining director Jon Plodzik said that a major goal the resulting report. SA first launched its report on of Dartmouth Dining is to increase food insecurity during the 2018- interest in the unlimited meal plan, 2019 academic year under the which he said is fully supported by leadership of then-SA president financial aid and should “eliminate” Monik Walters ’19 and then-SA some student concerns. Students vice president Nicole Knape ’19. living on campus are required to Focusing specifically on the issue enroll in the Ivy Flex dining plan, of DBA rollover and food insecurity which features enough swipes to use over interims, the report found that once every meal period. “Food insecurity is something we 71% of surveyed students considered food insecurity an issue on campus. talk about a lot,” he said. “A good This year’s report detailed some example is during the spring break, of SA’s latest initiatives, including we will not be closing, and over the a $2,500 donation to the Dick’s winter break, the College and dining worked together House food shelf to ensure that and a “DBA“When I was young, every student, based donation regardless of drive” that allows my mom struggled financial need, students to spend between choosing to was fed.” excess DBA at the Briffault end of the term on feed me or herself, noted that there items for the shelf. and she had to choose had been some SA vice president her child. I feel like “pushback” Jonathan Briffault on the notion ’ 2 1 s a i d t h e [students] have that placing all donation was the enough on [their] students on a largest charitable universal dining contribution in SA plate trying to get history. through Dartmouth — p l a n w o u l d aid pandemic SA president [they] shouldn’t have related food Cait McGovern i n s e c u r i t y. ’21 said that the to worry about having He said that D BA d o n a t i o n enough to eat.” “students are drive was fir st s t i l l h a v i n g introduced in problems” fall and is set to -DOMINIQUE WALTON, relating to food run again at the DICK’S HOUSE CLINICAL insecurity despite end of winter t h e m a n d at e d term. According SERVICE COORDINATOR plan. t o M c G ov e r n , Briffault students could purchase shelf-stable goods with said SA has discussed the potential excess DBA at Novack Cafe and for DBA or swipe-sharing programs Collis Cafe to donate to the campus that would allow students to share food pantry. She said SA collected their unused DBA or swipes with “two car-fulls” of food from donation each other. Other discussions include extending options to use DBA off boxes set up at both cafes. Briffault added that SA is now campus and increasing access to looking to make another donation “kitchen kits” so students can make to the food shelf. Additionally, they their own food without having to plan to continue their food voucher buy expensive kitchen equipment. programs, like the $35 Hanover Regarding a potential mealCo-op food store gift cards given to sharing program, Plodzik said there students in need in previous terms. are “financial aid implications” for In addition to SA’s efforts, others students sharing meal plans. “If I am on full financial aid, it at the College are working to address food insecurity. The food shelf at might not be appropriate for me to Dick’s House is open 24 hours, seven give you my swipes because I don’t days a week for students in need, pay for them directly,” he said. thanks to the efforts of clinical service “One of the concerns about folks coordinator Dominique Walton and sharing dining dollars and meal others. Walton said the food shelf swipes is that it runs counter to the has been operating since 2018, and federal program, which is focused she was inspired to start the project on providing aid to the individual, after hearing from a graduate student not the group.” Briffault said that addressing grappling with food insecurity. “The student I heard about was food insecurity is a “process,” and starving and unable to study,” Walton solutions do not emerge from just a said. “Nobody, especially on campus, few meetings. However, he said that he and McGovern have met with should be hungry.” Walton said that she started Plodzik three or four times, which he reaching out to fellow Dick’s House described as “productive dialogues.” employees for assistance, and for two McGovern, who has worked on years the food shelf was run largely food insecurity issues as part of SA since 2018, said that she thinks the on staff donations. Walton also noted her personal College still needs to work toward “enacting systemic change regarding stake in the food shelf. “I am a ‘mama bear,’” she said. food insecurity and support.” “When I was young, my mom “At the end of the day, there are struggled between choosing to feed enough resources at Dartmouth me or herself, and she had to choose where there shouldn’t be a need for her child. I feel like [students] have student organizations [like SA] to enough on [their] plate trying to fill the gap in student meal plans,” get through Dartmouth — [they] she said. shouldn’t have to worry about having SA senator Gerol Fang ’23 said SA’s survey does not “make any enough to eat.” Additionally, Molly McBride ’15, claim” to be representative of the a sustainability fellow who works student population, but she found it at the Dartmouth Organic Farm, “eye-opening” to see the responses led the Community Harvest Share and read the anecdotes that people program in the summer and fall to had sent in. provide fresh produce to about 20 “Even if one person did not have students facing food insecurity in sufficient resources, that should be the Upper Valley. She said recipients something we are fighting for,” she cited a variety of reasons for their said.
The Dartmouth Staff
JASON ROMERO/THE DARTMOUTH
Some study abroad programs will be consolidated, some will shift to a new schedule and some will be eliminated.
B y LAUREN ADLER The Dartmouth Staff
This article was originally published on Feb. 15, 2021. The College will offer about 25 off-campus programs in the 20212022 academic year, just over half the roughly 40 usually offered. The list of eliminated, consolidated or paused programs has yet to be announced. Associate dean for international s t u d i e s a n d i n t e rd i s c i p l i n a r y p r o g r a m s D e n n i s Wa s h b u r n previously stated that the Guarini Institute for International Education’s total budget will be cut by roughly 45% in fiscal year 2021, which begins July 1. The expense budget, which includes off-campus programs but not faculty and staff compensation, will be reduced 28% from the current year’s expense budget. Fiscal year 2022 will see a 7% decrease from the current expense budget, and subsequent years will see smaller budget decreases, according to the College. After this year’s cuts, Guarini plans to increase its offerings to 31 programs in the 2022-23 school year. T he College cited ongoing complications from the COVID-19 pandemic as one reason for the budget reductions. For example, some of the vendors that Dartmouth has worked with in the past are now unavailable or out of business, and all programs will need to implement new health and safety measures. Ongoing issues mean it may take several years to return to a wider array of programs. In order to accommodate the
budget reductions, some programs will be consolidated, some changed to a biennial schedule and some that tend to attract fewer students will be cut completely. Exchange programs will remain in place, as they are largely budget-neutral. The College also noted declining student interest in existing offcampus offerings as a factor in its reconsideration of its programs. E n ro l l m e n t i n o f f - c a m p u s programs has dropped by 30% over the last 40 years, even as the number of offerings has increased by 14%, according to the College. Participation in study abroad programs peaked in the 1980s, with about 800 students enrolling in offcampus programs each year. That number dropped to 600 through the 1990s and 2000s, and to 500 for the 2018-2019 school year. The College attributed the decline in off-campus program participation in part to demands on varsity athletes and students in pre-professional programs. Additionally, the College noted that while 75% of Guarini’s current offerings are in arts and humanities departments — including language departments — there has been a 19% decline in enrollments and a 42% decrease in majors in the arts and humanities over the past two decades. However, there has been a 36% increase in enrollment and a 34% increase in majors in departments like government and computer science, which the College said has prompted it to pursue more language programs combined with these subject areas. A c c o r d i n g t o Fr e n c h a n d
Italian department chair David LaGuardia, the French department will be offering three programs for the upcoming school year: a language study abroad plus to Toulouse over the winter term and a foreign study program to Paris during both the winter and spring terms. Meanwhile, the French LSA and LSA+ to Lyon in the winter and the spring LSA to Toulouse will be cut. Additionally, a new combined German and engineering FSP to Berlin is set to run next spring, and a combined Russian and government FSP to Moscow will also likely run at some point over the next school year. Department chairs of other language departments — including the Spanish and Portuguese department and the Italian department — said in the last two weeks that they were still unsure of what their program offerings will be for the upcoming year. In addition to stress and uncertainty over which programs might ultimately be cut, language professors say they are frustrated with the College’s framing of the changes as “faculty-led.” German department chair Klaus Mladek wrote that the wording of the announcement from the College’s communications office “was a real shame, as if the faculty consented to this drastic cut.” Various language departments have continued to circulate petitions in support of their programs. As of Sunday night, a petition by the Spanish and Portuguese department had received over 1,000 signatures and 200 testimonials vouching for the programs to remain in place.
College testing partner adds new ‘inconclusive’ result category B y EILEEN BRADY
The Dartmouth Senior Staff
This article was originally published on Feb. 18, 2021. The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Dartmouth’s COVID-19 testing partner, has introduced a new “inconclusive” test result for its PCR COVID-19 test, which Dartmouth community members must take twice weekly. The PCR test uses two “probes” to test for the presence of different regions of the COVID-19 viral genome, according to COVID-19 task force co-chair Lisa Adams. Previously, the Broad Institute’s practice had been to report a positive result if either probe detected COVID-19. Now, the testing service will report an inconclusive test when only one probe detects the presence of the virus. After receiving an inconclusive result, the recipient will be asked to isolate and retest as soon as possible, according to an email sent to campus on Tuesday from Adams and fellow COVID-19 task force co-chair Josh Keniston. Adams noted that the new result category was a way of balancing the test’s “sensitivity” with its “specificity” — ensuring that the test can pick up as many cases of COVID-19 as possible while also prioritizing accurate tests results. She added that according to the Broad Institute, the change has
impacted around 0.25% of its tests since the test started tracking inconclusive results around two weeks ago. An inconclusive result differs from an “invalid” result, which indicates that the test could not be processed and occurs in about 4% of tests. Adams noted that tests may be unable to be processed for a number of different reasons, including an insufficient number of cells collected during swabbing, swabs being inserted upside down in tubes, the presence of congealed matter on swabs or lab errors. Those who receive invalid test results are required to retest, but they do not have to isolate prior to retesting. In their email, Adams and Keniston also reaf fir med the College’s face-covering policy in light of recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance indicating that well-fitting masks can more effectively curb the spread of COVID-19. Provost Joseph Helble noted in his Wednesday “Community Conversations” broadcast that College policy requires that any cloth masks worn on campus have at least two layers, in accordance with CDC guidelines, which Adams noted was not a change to the policy but an “elaboration” on how to wear masks in the most effective manner possible. “We’re just trying to reinforce the information that the CDC has clarified for us,” Adams said, adding
that the College has also provided information on how to adjust masks to secure a better fit, including tightening the ear straps and the pliable nose wire. These updates come near the end of what has been a successful winter term of fending off the virus at Dartmouth. As of Tuesday, the College’s active case count sits at just four — one student and three faculty or staff members — according to the latest data from Dartmouth’s COVID-19 dashboard. Since Jan. 1, the College has seen 67 positive COVID-19 tests, or 0.13% of its total tests. Adams said that she attributes these low numbers largely to a higher degree of understanding and comfort navigating the pandemic within the Dartmouth community. “I think we’ve provided greater clarity to students around what are safe and allowable activities and what to avoid,” Adams said, adding that students and community members have also become more comfortable with six-foot distancing and spending time outside when possible. “I just feel like ever yone’s maneuvering in a more comfortable space now in this pandemic,” she said. “And I like to think that everything Dartmouth is doing and happening in the broader community is making it easier for us to be compliant with all COVID protections.”
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2021
THE DARTMOUTH OPINION
GUEST COLUMNIST MARY COFFEY
Coffey: Debates Over Public Art Discussion about the weather vane and other objects should be informed by scholarship.
This column was originally published on Feb. 18, 2021. Over the past few years, controversies over the removal of public monuments have raged across the nation and throughout the globe in any place still grappling with the legacies of European colonialism and 19th century scientific racism. Dartmouth is no exception and may even be a bellwether site, for debates over public art on its campus have been frequent and ongoing for the better part of the last century. For those of us, like myself, who have been involved in these debates, change has felt painstakingly slow. However, it is understandable that for those who have not, decisions — like the removal of the weather vane from the tower of Baker-Berry Library — can seem sudden and even rash. This is in part why a working group, which I co-chair, has been convened by College President Phil Hanlon to make recommendations for a more consistent and transparent process going forward. Since the College announced the relocation of the weather vane to museum storage, there has been a lot of public commentary on social media and some confusion about what drove the decision. In tone and substance, this commentary reflects the emotional partisanship that characterizes our national conversation. One thread of this commentary accuses the College of “erasing history,” and responding to political demands at the expense of its own history and traditions. Others have invoked the artist’s intentions to dismiss those who recognize the harmful ideas about racial hierarchy and civilization communicated through the weather vane’s iconography. While these positions do not exhaust the full range of opinions that have been offered,
they capture some of the commonplace assumptions that often frame these debates. As a scholar of American art with a particular expertise in public art and the role that images of Indigenous peoples and culture have played in the nation-formation of settler-states, I can shed light on these issues. I hope that in doing so, I can help move the conversation from the realm of feelings and opinion to one more informed by research and the cultural expertise of individuals from groups who have been either disregarded or spoken for when these controversies erupt. First, the meaning of public art always exceeds the stated intentions of the artist. Artists traffic in images that have long histories and layers of meaning. Artists sometimes deploy these critically, but also (especially with regard to imagery related to Indigenous peoples) recycle them uncritically. Second, works of art sited in the civic realm must be accountable to a broad public. Unlike objects in museums, which can be contextualized by curatorial narratives, publicly-sited art is understood to represent the values of the community in which it has been placed. When an object stands for an institution and its educational mission, questions about its meaning go beyond the artist’s intentions or the imagery they used; they touch upon broader questions of shared values, reception and an always-evolving sense of place. The imagery on the Dartmouth weather vane draws from a visual tradition traceable to illustrations of “encounter” between Europeans and the Indigenous inhabitants of the Americas. These 16th century prints were replete with representations of European men, in period dress, bringing enlightenment to half nude “savages” seated in landscapes and wearing feathered skirts or crowns. That
these images were often made by artists who had never left Europe only underscores the fantasies and fears that drove the invention of these visual allegories. Ideologically, these images sought to justify European colonization and argue that Indigenous peoples were complicit in their own dispossession. There is a voluminous scholarship on this history and imagery that informs our understanding of objects like the weather vane today. In short, criticism of this object for the racist ideologies it — perhaps unwittingly — peddles is not mere capitulation to the pressures of our political moment. Rather, it reflects generations of research on the topic, and this should be acknowledged in any account of the decision to relocate this object. The legacies of colonial imagery are all around us. The American proclivity for appropriating Native American culture and identity for myriad purposes — without regard for the impacts this imagery has on Indigenous Americans — continues to this day. We see it inscribed on relief panels in the U.S. Capitol rotunda, in the rituals of summer camps, in TV programs like “Survivor” or “Westworld,” in brand culture, team mascots, Disney movies, Warner Brothers cartoons, epic poetry and westerns, children’s literature, the American songbook and novel and even the self-stylings of the so-called “QAnon Shaman” who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. This history also subtends the imagery of Dartmouth’s founding. Like the weather vane, much of this imagery is an artifact of the early 20th century, a period when Dartmouth students unselfconsciously engaged in what Philip Deloria — a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and a historian at Harvard University — calls “playing Indian.” These decades represented the apex of “playing
Indian” at Dartmouth, and unfortunately, the nadir of its commitment to its founding charter, to educate the “youth of the Indian tribes of this land,” as Dartmouth historian Colin Calloway has shown. So it is not surprising that the artist who designed the weather vane, like those illustrators in the 16th century, conjured an imaginary scene that draws from the tradition of “encounter” narratives rather than the actual conditions of education at the College’s founding. Facts that the weather vane obscures include but are not limited to: the significant efforts of Samson Occom, the Mohegan minister whose erudition impressed aristocrats in Great Britain and helped to secure the funds for the college, the role of enslaved labor in building and running it, or Eleazar Wheelock’s decision to shift his educational enterprise to the instruction of elite white men once he had secured a location in Hanover. Discussions of public art have to be informed by scholarship or they risk perpetuating misinformation that obscures, rather than illuminates, the historical, ethical and artistic questions at stake. I hope that as a community, we will seek a deeper understanding of the history of colonial imagery and its legacies so that we do not have to keep returning to point-zero in these important conversations. Coffey is a professor in the art history department. She is the co-chair of a working group convened to review College iconography. 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.
THE DARTMOUTH EDITORIAL BOARD
STAFF COLUMNIST MAX TESZLER
Verbum Ultimum: Dealing With Donors
Teszler: Who’s So Scared of a Carp?
Dartmouth should stop selling the names of its buildings to the highest bidder.
Last month, The New York Times reported that Leon Black ’73, prominent College donor and billionaire chairman of Apollo Global Management, had paid convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein $158 million between 2012 and 2017, years after Epstein pled guilty to prostitution involving a teenager in 2008. These findings cast a dark shadow over Black’s legacy — a legacy with a high degree of visibility on Dartmouth’s campus. Focus has now turned to the Black Family Visual Arts Center, with many in the Dartmouth community calling for the building’s name to be changed in light of the recent revelations. The College has stated that it currently has no plans to rename BVAC. These events have brought new attention to the outdated logic with which the College — and most of its peer institutions — christens its buildings. Instead of honoring distinguished alumni or scholars, the College often uses a different method: allowing donors to buy their names onto buildings and institutions. On examination, this is a bizarre practice. Of all the members of Dartmouth’s alumni body whom we might honor, we by and large choose ones with the deepest pockets. This process should be amended. At the moment, many campus institutions’ names are more or less sold to the highest bidder. The evidence for this is ubiquitous, from Rauner Special Collections Library — named after Bruce Rauner ’78, the former Republican governor of Illinois with a net worth in the hundreds of millions — to the Irving Institute for Energy and Society, named for the billionaire owner of petro-giant Irving Oil. Rauner and his wife gave $5 million for the library bearing his family name, and the Irving family donated
RACHEL PAKIANATHAN, Editor-in-Chief ELIZABETH JANOWSKI, News Executive Editor EILEEN BRADY, Managing Editor
PRODUCTION EDITORS CHANTAL ELIAS & CALLUM ZEHNER, Opinion Editors SARAH ALPERT & NOVI ZHUKOVSKY, Mirror Editors ADDISON DICK, JUSTIN KRAMER & LILI STERN, STERN Sports Editors FLORIDA HUFF & LAUREN SEGAL, SEGAL, Arts Editors NAINA BHALLA & DIVYA KOPALLE, Photo Editors WILLIAM CHEN & AARON LEE, Data Visualization Editors SOPHIE BAILEY, BAILEY Design Editor GRANT PINKSTON, PINKSTON Templating Editor
$80 million to fund their own institute. The reason for such a system of nomenclature is clear: It uses vanity to incentivize larger gifts from wealthy donors. This approach perversely memorializes alumni based on wealth alone, thereby exalting extreme wealth accumulation over all other forms of achievement. This process has led to some confounding outcomes. The Irving Institute, for instance, aims to advance research on sustainable energy, yet it is named for the chairman of a major oil company. The Black Family Visual Arts Center is similarly named for a man who — notwithstanding his prolific art collections — has no background of achievement in the arts. And then there is the new Anonymous Hall, which takes this naming process to its logical — and absurd — extreme. Instead of auctioning off building names, the College should pay homage to the alumni of which the Dartmouth community is most proud. One can imagine, for example, an arts building named for Golden Globe-winning producer, director and screenwriter Shonda Rhimes ’91, or other prominent alumni in the arts, including Mindy Kaling ’01, Phil Lord ’97 or Chris Miller ’97. The College is clearly capable of such practices, with Webster Hall a prime example of a building named in honor of a renowned alumnus, Daniel Webster, Class of 1801. Yes, ending the practice of naming buildings for donors would remove a fundraising tool. But we should hope that donors give to the College for something greater than narcissism. The editorial board consists of opinion staff columnists, the opinion editors, the executive editors and the editor-in-chief.
LYDIA YESHITLA, Publisher MATTHEW MAGANN, Production Executive Editor ABIGAIL MIHALY, Managing Editor
BUSINESS DIRECTORS BRUNA DECEREGA & OLIVIA GOMEZ Strategy Directors KATE BENNETT & KAI SHERWIN Business Development Directors HALLE DANTAS, ROBERT DOHERTY & SELINA NOOR Marketing, Analytics and Technology Directors JASMINE FU & TARA KRUMENACKER Advertising and Finance Directors
GEORGE GERBER, Multimedia Editor LILY JOHNSON, Engagement Editor
SUBMISSIONS: We welcome letters and guest columns. All submissions must include the author’s name and affiliation with Dartmouth College, and should not exceed 250 words for letters or 700 words for columns. The Dartmouth reserves the right to edit all material before publication. All material submitted becomes property of The Dartmouth. Please email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dartmouth Dining should start serving edible invasive species
This column was originally published on Feb. 15, 2021.
species, while the UVM dining hall hosted an “eat the invaders” dinner. Meanwhile, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Asian carp, garlic mustard, zebra mussels, has started serving invasive Asian carp species lionfish, kudzu vines — the names of these in its dining halls. Marketed as “silverfin,” the invasive species might sound familiar. The fish received rave reviews from students in the United States is currently home to around dining hall — the university serves between 50,000 non-native species, around 4,300 of 9,000 and 11,000 pounds of it per year. which are considered invasive. These are Dining halls have a unique capacity to non-native species which can inflict significant introduce students to new dishes. By itself, damage on local ecosystems and overwhelm the Class of 1953 Commons serving Asian native species, often despite containment efforts. carp won’t eliminate the problem these fish Yet there’s one solution we could easily adopt pose. But if students continue to eat invasives right here on campus to combat and spread the practice invasive species: Eat them. Yes, back to their families as strange as it sounds, there’s “Invasives have been at home, the effect a growing push to consume pressuring native can multiply. Financial edible invasive species, creating savings are another clear a market for their harvest and biodiversity for consideration. Given consumption and a financial decades and even their abundance, as well incentive to remove them from centuries in some as cultural aversions to the environment. It’s time for eating certain invasive Dartmouth Dining to start cases. ... The Upper species, they can often be sourcing and serving edible Valley is no exception; purchased at reasonable invasive species, a win-win prices. approach that would create new invasive insects There are, however, more variety in dining options have already taken legitimate limitations and combat a rising tide of to this idea. Many advantage of the invasive plants and animals. food suppliers don’t The moment could not warming climate to carry these invasive be more urgent. Invasives infest the area.” ingredients, and the have been pressuring native a p p ro a ch I o u t l i n e biodiversity for decades and generally works better even centuries in some cases. With high levels for fish and other species, such as the invasive of global travel and changing habitats due to green crab, which can be caught in abundance. climate change, the problem is likely to worsen. Many insects and invasive plant species are The Upper Valley is no exception; new invasive inedible, or otherwise dispersed and difficult to insects have already taken advantage of the harvest on a large scale. This solution cannot warming climate to infest the area. Fast-growing solve the problem in its entirety, but consuming garlic mustard has surged in Hanover, with each edible invasive species is a powerful tool — a small plant capable of producing thousands of tool which Dartmouth Dining has ample power seeds and choking out native vegetation. to employ. Cultural barriers might get in the But, did you know that garlic mustard can be way, but as the University of Illinois found out, turned into pesto? True to its name, the fringe- getting students to try a new food can quickly leaf plant has a garlic taste, making it perfect create popular demand. So let’s find suppliers for putting on pastas and bread. Conservation that sell Asian carp, lionfish and green crab, organizations need to rely on volunteers and and work with local conservation organizations donations to dispose of the plant, but by turning and farms to find ways to harvest plants like it into food, there can be an actual financial garlic mustard. incentive to harvest the plant (though there may The best way to get Dartmouth Dining to need to be some clarification in New Hampshire change its menu is through consistent pressure law to allow its purchase and sale). from the student body. Dartmouth Dining It’s little wonder that this simple solution has often solicits feedback on its food; let’s start many prominent institutions lining up behind it, demanding edible invasives be put on the menu. including other colleges. The National Oceanic I know friends who have made things like garlic and Atmospheric Administration created an mustard pesto; why not pass on the recipe to “eat lionfish” campaign in the early 2010s, Dartmouth Dining? As eating invasives gains seeking to promote consumption of the highly- popularity, I hope Dartmouth will start serving invasive fish. A University of Vermont professor edible invasives — so let’s bring on the Asian has created a website to identify edible invasive carp.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2021
THE DARTMOUTH ARTS
New platform ‘Artivism’ provides forum for activism, art B y Paulina Marinkovic
recordings of their events — such as the a cappella showcase and The Dartmouth student spotlights — are available This article was originally published to view on their website. According to Cunningham, Artivism hopes to on Feb. 15, 2021. occupy a physical office once the In the wake of last year’s pandemic allows. Since its launch in November, Black Lives Matter protests and ongoing calls for racial justice, Artivism members have collaborated Walt Cunningham, director of on projects including student Dartmouth’s Gospel Choir and performances, presentations and Contemporary Pop Ensembles, talks with different departments launched “Artivism,” an organization on campus — including music, based in the music department that film and media and African and sponsors and produces arts-related African American studies — that, social justice projects run by students according to Swoope, would not naturally intersect. The organization and faculty. The initiative, which encourages also works with the Hopkins Center collaboration from students and for the Arts, the Dartmouth Center f a c u l t y m e m b e r s, h a s s o f a r for Social Impact and the Tucker sponsored a Martin Luther King Jr. Center. Artivism associate direc tor commemoration event, an a cappella showcase and several student-led Bryan Robinson ’16 said that the initiative’s main goal is currently to performances. “There was so much activist raise awareness and motivate more momentum with the Black Lives students to showcase their work. One way in which Cunningham M atter m ovem en t before th e pandemic,” said Felicia Swoope hopes to accomplish this is by having ’91, Artivism’s diversity, equity his class, MUS 45.40, “Music and Social Justice,” work and inclusion alongside Artivism strategist. “But once and feature their the pandemic hit “Musicians served p ro j e c t s o n t h e and [became] our the purpose of platform. primary focus, our spreading positive When discussing community was left the idea behind really without a energy during a A r t i v i s m , public voice — and time that is very Robinson stressed we are hoping that the importance our activism will be politically and that voice.” socially intense and o f d e v e l o p i n g a platfor m that Swoope added divisive.” primarily targeted that Artivism students and provides both virtual faculty member s a n d i n - p e r s o n -SHANIA SMITH ’23 and utilized opportunities to Cunningham’s engage with social skills. justice issues for “[Cunningham] had a skill set Dartmouth students and the larger Upper Valley community. While in- and a passion for the arts,” Robinson person opportunities are currently said. “He recognized this ability for limited to connecting artists who the arts to impact individuals, to want to collaborate on a project, galvanize them and catalyze their
SOURCE: DARTMOUTH COLLEGE
“Artivism,” a new initiative led by the music department, promotes student and faculty involvement in art and social justice.
passion and also their abilities to make their own changes in their communities.” S wo o p e a d d e d t h at s h e i s looking forward to promoting collaboration between the graduate and undergraduate student bodies. The initiative’s first strides toward this goal was “MLK, Activism and Spirituality,” a live discussion with both undergraduate and graduate students on race and identity. Shania Smith ’23 is currently featured on the platform’s “Student Spotlight” section for her project titled “Where is the Love?” — a recorded performance of the song of the same name by The Black Eyed Peas. Saddened by widespread food insecurity stemming from rising unemployment and business closures
amid the pandemic, Smith submitted her performance to Artivism as a way to raise awareness for both the issue and for organizations that are combating the problem. “Musicians served the purpose of spreading positive energy during a time that is very politically and socially intense and divisive,” Smith said. “The song speaks a lot about societal issues that were existing in 2008 back when the song came out, but are in fact, more so now than ever, very visible in our current society.” Smith, along with other students and musicians, felt the need to take action. She organized a GoFundMe for No Kid Hungry, a charity working to fight food insecurity in under-resourced American
households. Through her performance, Smith has been able to raise awareness for several organizations in addition to No Kid Hungry, such as the Children’s Grief Connection — which provides mental health services to children and their families during the pandemic — and the Equal Justice Initiative — a nonprofit organization focused on reforming the United States’ criminal justice system. Smith emphasized the importance of having a space that serves both as a creative outlet for students and a medium for social change. “I’m hoping that this platform continues to be a space for students to be authentic and have authority over the creative process,” she said.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2021
THE DARTMOUTH SPORTS
Ivy League cancels all spring athletic league competition By Addison Dick & Lili Stern The Dartmouth Senior Staff
This article was originally published on Feb. 18, 2021. On Thursday afternoon, the Ivy League announced the cancellation of all spring league competition and championships. The conference left open the possibility of nonconference competition, outlining a process that may allow for limited local competition during the spring. The Ivy League Council of Presidents voted unanimously on the spring season guidelines, which include the cancellation of a conference spring season, the continuation of a phased protocol for training and practices and potential opportunities for local spring competition. Dartmouth’s affected spring sports include baseball, equestrian, golf, lacrosse, rowing, rugby, sailing, softball, tennis and track and field. The Ivy League was the first Division I conference to cancel all spring varsity athletic events last March at the onset of the pandemic, and it was also the first in the nation to cancel both fall and winter sports. Eight of the 10 schools not participating in this year’s men’s college basketball season reside in the Ivy League: 347 of the 357 Division I programs are currently competing. “We regret the many sacrifices that have been required in response to the pandemic, and we appreciate
the resilience of our student-athletes, coaches and staff in the face of adversity during this difficult and unusual year,” the Ivy League presidents wrote in a press release. “While we would like nothing better than to deliver a complete season of competition, these are the necessary decisions for the Ivy League in the face of the health concerns posed by the ongoing and dangerous pandemic.” The Ivy League’s decision comes despite pressure from alumni to return to competition. For mer Dartmouth football player Mike Rabil ’06, a co-founder of the Premier Lacrosse League, partnered with former Yale University lacrosse player and billionaire businessman Joseph Tsai to attempt to fund a three-week Ivy League lacrosse tournament at a single site. According to the Wall Street Journal, Rabil and Tsai offered to cover the entire cost of the bubble, reportedly more than $5 million, but the conference presidents quickly rejected the plan. Other efforts included a letter written by Kansas City Chiefs president Mark Donovan, a former football player at Brown University, to Brown president Christina Paxson in favor of resuming conference competition. The return-to-sport protocol will begin at “phase zero” with entirely virtual activities, and it will eventually culminate in a fourth phase that allows for limited local, outdoor competition. Progression between phases is at the discretion
COURTESY OF DARTMOUTH ATHLETICS
Spring athletes will lose their second consecutive Ivy League season.
of campus officials and varies throughout the conference — no Ivy League school currently permits “phase four” activity. Movement into the fourth phase will be contingent on relaxed policies regarding travel and campus visitors.The NCAA has categorized rugby as high risk for transmission of COVID-19, and it will not be permitted to move into the fourth p h a s e, re g a rd l e s s o f c a m p u s conditions.
Ivy League grants eligibility extensions By Justin Kramer & Lili Stern
for the lack of time [and] lack of care that they were giving us.” Before the Ivy League’s policy This article was originally published on reversal, men’s hockey forward Matt Feb. 16, 2021. Baker ’21 and sprinter Donovan Spearman ’21 committed to the On Thursday, the Ivy League University of Massachusetts Amherst Council of Presidents voted to and Duke University next year, allow current seniors admitted into respectively, and some of their graduate programs at their schools teammates had also made graduate to compete as fifth-year players. The transfer arrangements. Both Baker decision is a one-time, pandemic- and Spearman said that if the Ivy related exception that breaks with a League’s decision had come earlier, long-standing Ivy League precedent they would have considered staying limiting athletic participation to at Dartmouth if they were accepted undergraduate students. into a graduate program. The Ivy League presidents had Women’s soccer player Bonnie previously voted Shea ’21, who down the possibility to pursue “They could have wants of granting eligibility a master’s degree extensions last year, made the decision a in public health, d e s p i t e f o r m e r lot earlier, and they said the timing athletics director of the decision H a r r y S h e e h y chose not to.” was “perfect” for expressing his and h e r, g i ve n t h at College President h e r p ro g r a m ’s -CHRIS KNIGHT ’21, MEN’S Phil Hanlon’s application deadline support for one-time BASKETBALL FORWARD is April 15, but she eligibility extensions acknowledged that when the pandemic graduate program first canceled spring sports. deadlines will limit some student“This was such an extraordinary athletes from taking advantage of situation that we really felt that a one- the opportunity. year waiver for our current seniors “There [are] a lot of studentwould have been the right thing to athletes that already have jobs, so it’s do,” Sheehy said in an interview last definitely tough to walk away from April. “… Obviously, not all of them that or other cool opportunities,” would take it, but for the few of them Shea said. “But … it’s opening a really that would have, I thought that was awesome door for [other students]. I a really good chance to make some definitely know a lot of people who things right.” are considering it.” While some student-athletes Still, for senior athletes considering expressed excitement about the competing as graduate students, opportunity, others wished that financial barriers may prevent the decision had come sooner. them from applying to Dartmouth’s Several athletes in the Class of graduate programs, which do not 2021 transferred before the Ivy offer the same level of “need-based” League began to grant eligibility financial aid as the undergraduate extensions, and others said they or program, according to Knight. their teammates already secured jobs Knight said that since the Ivy League for next year. does not offer athletic scholarships, he Men’s basketball forward Chris would have had to apply for outside Knight ’21, who will play at Loyola scholarships to stay at Dartmouth. University Chicago next year after Spearman noted that the athletic recovering from an Achilles tear, scholarships offered by other Division criticized the timing of the decision I schools are often more attractive to and said he and his teammates did graduate transfers. not believe they had enough time Shea added that playing time to apply to graduate programs at will be another crucial factor in Dartmouth. Knight said he would deciding where to play next year. have considered the Master of Arts The high academic standards of and Liberal Studies program, but Dartmouth’s graduate programs the application deadline for summer may also prevent some studentand fall 2021 enrollment passed on athletes from capitalizing on the Ivy Monday. League’s decision, according to Baker “They could have made the and Knight, though several athletes decision a lot earlier, and they chose cited the opportunity to enroll in not to,” Knight said. “… I don’t top academic graduate programs know how many people this rule while continuing to play their sport will actually benefit just because of as a major benefit of the eligibility timing, but I appreciate them for at extension. least making the attempt to make up The football team typically has The Dartmouth Senior Staff
a few players each year who alter their D-Plans to play an extra fall as fifth-year undergraduate students, according to Derek Kyler ’21. This year, however, the Ivy League’s eligibility extension will enable the football senior class to compete next season while enrolled in an elite graduate program rather than as undergraduates should they choose to. Kyler said that the NCAA’s blanket COVID-19 waiver to provide studentathletes an extra year of eligibility had already compelled him and at least five other teammates — including Donald Carty ’21, Tanner Cross ’21, Evan Hecimovich ’21, Thomas Hennessy ’21, Niko Mermigas ’21 and potentially Darren Stanley ’21 — to rework their academic plans. He said the chance to continue playing football while enrolled in a graduate program came as a welcome surprise to him and his teammates. “[Competing in graduate school] is brand new to us because we didn’t know this was an option, so I definitely have to talk it over with my family a bit,” Kyler said, noting that he is still planning on playing as a fifth-year undergraduate for now. “... This is kind of unique, where we could get into Tuck, which is obviously one of the best business [graduate] schools in the country.” Even if seniors benefit from the Ivy League eligibility extensions next year, multiple athletes questioned why other classes did not receive the same opportunity, despite also losing their seasons. A memo sent to student-athletes about the eligibility extensions underscored that they were “a direct result of the pandemic and will not be available in future years.” Baker, Shea and Spearman all shared qualms with the restriction of eligibility extensions from studentathletes in other class years affected by the pandemic. Men’s hockey forward Collin Rutherford ’21 agreed, though he acknowledged that potential difficulties could arise from offering the same eligibility extension to other classes. “I’m sure there [are] a lot of underthe-hood logistics to figure out, but if they think that it’s feasible, then I definitely think that that’s something they should explore and consider,” Rutherford said. Regardless, Shea said she is thrilled about the potential to compete with the Big Green for a final season. “I don’t know if I’m going to end up at Dartmouth next year, but having the opportunity to finish out my last year where I wanted to is really exciting,” Shea said.
Last week, the Ivy League Council of Presidents voted to break longstanding conference precedent and allow current seniors admitted into graduate programs to compete as fifth-year players. This policy extends to spring sport athletes, who are now missing their second consecutive season. The Ivy League will issue a blanket spring sport non-participation waiver, granting spring sport athletes an extra year of eligibility. Even
if scaled-back local competition occurs, the waiver will stand. The NCAA, however, has not issued such a waiver, meaning that Ivy League athletes who compete this season would not automatically be given an extra year of eligibility at non-Ivy League institutions. The Ivy League is working with the NCAA to achieve an exemption for Ivy League athletes with the understanding that if there is any competition this spring, it will be significantly limited.
IT’S A-ME, MARIO!
ELIZABETH JANOWSKI/THE DARTMOUTH SENIOR STAFF
The ice sculpture in front of Robinson Hall features familiar video game characters.
HAPPY WINTER CARNIVAL On campus? Join us for a Tiny Tour. Off campus? Experience the museum from home.
MIRROR THE DARTMOUTH MIRROR
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2021
Friends From Afar: ’24s Navigate a Remote Second Term B y Claire Pingitore & Omala Snyder The Dartmouth Staff
This article was originally published on Feb. 17, 2021. The Class of 2024 was given priority to live on campus during the fall and spring of this academic year, which means that many freshmen are spending their first Dartmouth winter scattered around the world. Whether arriving on campus for the first time or taking Zoom classes in a busy house, ’24s are facing a strange second term at the College. Zhory May ’24 is living at home with her family in Kansas. She stayed home in the fall term and plans to continue remotely in the spring. “I would say I feel pretty detached from the Dartmouth environment,” May said. “I’ve actually never been to campus before. I applied and was going to do a campus tour, but because of COVID it was canceled. I didn’t feel like it was safe to go to campus during the fall, so I stayed home.” May added that living with family and taking classes hasn’t always gone smoothly. “My parents want to walk in while I’m in a Zoom and interrupt me, so
I’ve had to kind of separate my school life from my familial life. We’re really close as a family and it’s been fun being at home, but I’ve definitely had to set boundaries,” May said. Heather Damia ’24 took classes remotely in the fall but chose to come to campus in the winter, making this her first term in Hanover. She said that while finding other ’24s isn’t too difficult, there aren’t many other students new to campus, and the resources for getting oriented in the winter are not the same as they were in the fall. “The main challenges I have faced being new to all of this is figuring out things like DBA, recycling and the meal swipes, because I think that most people assume that if you are on campus in the winter you have been here before,” Damia said. “Everyone is super helpful though, and the community has been very welcoming.” To stay connected to campus and meet people, May joined Dartmouth EMS, the entrepreneurship living learning community and the Shabazz Center for Intellectual Inquiry. She also met friends in the First Year Student Enrichment Program through Zoom gatherings organized by ’24s last summer.
“I tried to apply for everything that I could see fit,” May said. “I came to Dartmouth with one of my classmates from my high school, so we talk occasionally, and then I’ve met people through classes. I’m not a part of FYSEP, but I really found a sense of community there. We like to play Mafia and Among Us a lot.” Damia said that the on-campus experience feels like it requires students to “take your fate into your own hands.” “There aren’t as many tent events as there were in the fall — most of the activities are outdoors. There are not a lot of good methods of meeting and socializing with people if you don’t already know them,” Damia said, though she added that the COVID-19 restrictions don’t feel too harsh and she’s been enjoying ice skating on the Green. Colin Donnelly ’24 and Emily Levonas ’24 have had a completely different winter term experience. They have been living together with eight of their track and field teammates in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Donnelly and Levonas said they would have liked to live on campus for the winter quarter, but only two students out of their group of 10 received on-campus
housing, and they wanted to stay together. Donnelly and Levonas said they enjoyed living with the team, as their group of 10 is tight-knit and has been since the fall term. They said the group works well together, especially since they share similar priorities in terms of athletics and academics. Donnelly said that the College’s restrictions in the fall made it difficult to meet many people, and being remote in the winter is not helping. “Winter has been a big interruption to the whole freshman experience,” Donnelly said. “In the fall I think people felt the need to stick to their bubbles and groups of friends because so many people were sent home. It made you scared to socialize with groups of new people, as there was always a risk of getting into trouble.” Levonas agreed a remote winter term has made it hard to maintain relationships from the fall. “If you are not seeing people constantly it can be hard to sustain friendships, so we are lucky in the sense that our team is kind of like a confirmed friend group and we have been able to maintain that,” she said. Sovi Wellons ’24 is on campus for her second term this winter. She said she has been able to socialize through
outdoor activities, but that it’s been harder to find other ’24s than it was in the fall. “There are so many upperclassmen that it’s kind of hard to find other ’24s unless you know people who are already on campus,” Wellons said. “I think they’ve done a really good job with Winter Carnival. I’ve met a lot of people cross-country skiing or skating. It’s definitely more challenging than the fall, but it hasn’t been as bad as I thought.” Despite the restrictions on social life, Wellons said that she is happy to be in Hanover. “I’m very, very glad I’m on campus, just because the environment here is better for learning. I get to go to the library to study and actually move around instead of sitting in my room for 10 weeks,” Wellons said. May said she plans to enroll remotely for spring term in order to finish an EMT course at home. Once she arrives on campus in the fall, she is looking forward to exploring Hanover. “I want to go to Baker-Berry Library,” she said. “I’ve seen pictures and it looks so nice. I want to check out Occom Pond and basically check out the whole campus. Maybe I’ll finally take an admissions tour.”
Finding Your Mother: A New Perspective on Black History Month B y Queen Eche The Dartmouth
This article was originally published on Feb. 17, 2021. What is the symbolic meaning of Black History Month? The answer seems obvious: learning about Black history. But what does that mean, per se? What does that learning signify? Normally, Black people use this time to commune over shared racial experiences and a shared history that has been stolen from many and erased for others. Many air grievances, share Black historical facts and make jokes to deal with the experience of being Black in America. Pre-COVID-19, I would follow what people expected me to do — I would engage with other Black people and would publicly laugh off racist experiences, but I never really sat down to contemplate the month’s deeper meaning. This Black History Month is no
doubt different from others. It feels more isolating, depressing and exhausting. Personally, I have felt a loss in motivation to celebrate something that I love being — Black. It seems that this sentiment is shared by many throughout Dartmouth, especially given the lack of enthusiasm for the events organized by the various Black-centered groups on campus. This phenomenon led me to search for ways that I can still celebrate Blackness in a way that isn’t mentally exhausting. At the beginning of February, with nothing but time and heightened levels of loneliness, I decided to celebrate Black History Month and dig deeper into the archives of Black history. Since then, I finished reading Saidiya Hartman’s book, “Lose Your Mother.” In it, I found a grammar that changed the way I understand and conceptualize Black history. Lose Your Mother made me ponder what this month would mean to the Black people who came before me. In the book, Hartman details her experience as a descendant of slaves while walking along
a Ghanaian slave route. She explains how she feels a lack of connection to the land and yet a yearning to know what has been stolen from her — her genealogy. Her conundrum is reflected within the title of the book. Losing her genealogy, for her, translates to losing her connection to her ancestors — her “mother.” Her vulnerability showed me a more intimate meaning of Black History Month. In addition to providing an opportunity to come together as a community and bond and laugh, it can be used to uncover and reflect on the past. It is a promise to continuously grasp at what was meant for us to forget: who we are, where we come from and what that means for us now. Though I have a very different genealogy from Hartman’s because I am a product of Nigerian and Filipino immigrants, I can relate to the metaphor of losing one’s “mother.” I didn’t lose my genealogy, but I have experienced a warping, erasing and rewriting of Black history. After reading Hartman’s work, I view
the creation of Black History Month as a contract, committing to attempt the impossible: tracing what has been lost. It is as big as searching for one’s genealogy and as small as meditating on the possible forgotten stories of Black people. To me, the purpose of the month is to recognize the intergenerational trauma that I have inherited from my ancestors. It comes with great sorrow and pride to know that their essence is everlasting — engulfing us all. I am saddened because I know their essence was created through copious amounts of suffering, but simultaneously I am glad knowing that they are always guiding me. Now, I frequently ponder the sacrifices Black people, in the past and now, have made for me to be able to attend Dartmouth, an institution whose founder claimed this land with more than sixteen slaves. This fact is why I think the act of celebrating Black History Month at Dartmouth is so astounding and radical. Though those slaves will never know about how time has transformed, I find
a bit of peace knowing that I am one of many that know their names: Achelous, Bill, Billy, Brister, Caesar, Cloe, Dinah, Elijah, Exeter, Fortune, Hagar, Hercules, Ishmaal, Peggy, Selinda and Sippy. Those slaves and Hartman’s ancestors probably thought they were going to be forgotten. I’m glad to say that they aren’t. In fact, this month — regardless of how many argue that it means nothing — at the very least recognizes that there is importance in remembering. We are only midway through this Black History Month, and I already think it will be an unforgettable one. Now, I see it as a personal responsibility to not only create community and strengthen my interpersonal relationships with other Black people, but also dig deeper and find what has been stolen from me. I must find the people I was meant to forget because their existence laid the foundation for mine. Now, I hope, every Black History Month and in the time in between, we can all find our mother.
Dominique Mobley ’22
LAST WEEK’S CROSSWORD ANSWERS