VOL. CLXXV NO.58
STORMY HIGH 78 LOW 69
FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 2018
Admissions yield increases to new high
gap years or otherwise changed
By PETER CHARALAMBOUS The Dartmouth Staff
The proportion of students of admission this past spring is 64 percent, an increase from last year’s all-time high of 61 percent, according to vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions This statistic — called the preliminary yield rate — is adjusted in the summer of each year to account for students who are taking
PAK: FIRST IMPRESSIONS PAGE 4
KOVARY: OCCUPIED WITH OFF-TERMS PAGE 4
AN APOLOGIA FOR THE ‘STAR WARS’ PREQUEL TRILOGY
The Dartmouth Staff
Before an audience of around 30 community members, executive vice president Rick Mills proposed on Thursday afternoon three new sites that the College is currently considering for the construction of a new 350-bed undergraduate residence hall. The town hall meeting was the second of three
Democratic gubernatorial candidates meet in forum
for the Class of 2022 — which includes only students who will matriculate by September — was 61 percent, also an increase 58 percent. This year’s yield rate was accepted no students from its waitlist for the second year in a
SEE YIELD PAGE 5
College proposes new sites for dormitories By ANTHONY ROBLES
HANOVER, NEW HAMPSHIRE
ALEX FREDMAN/THE DARTMOUTH STAFF
By ALEX FREDMAN The Dartmouth Staff
meetings, each of which allow community members to give feedback on the three locations following a brief presentation by Mills. The three proposed locations include the intersection of Crosby Street and East Wheelock Street, a location that would necessitate the removal of the three tennis courts and House SEE DORMS PAGE 5
Tw o D e m o c r a t i c hopefuls seeking to challenge New Hampshire’s Re publican gover nor Chris Sununu in the 2018 election spoke at a forum on Monday in Alumni Hall to discuss policy proposals before a crowd of about 300 Dartmouth students, faculty and community members. The forum, hosted by the Rockefeller Center
for Public Policy, featured for mer state senator Molly Kelly and former Portsmouth mayor Steve Marchand, the two leading candidates for the New Hampshire Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Public policy professor Charles Wheelan ’88 served as the moderator for the event. The two candidates largely found common ground on topics including gun control, the opioid epidemic and education,
style and rhetoric. Kelly, emphasizing her record in the state Senate and her endorsements from Planned Parenthood, labor unions and New Hampshire’s two U.S. senators, criticized Sununu and President Donald Trump’s administration while urging compromise and pragmatic politics as a means of obtaining progressive policy changes. SEE FORUM PAGE 3
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Laura Ray named interim dean of Thayer
By THE DARTMOUTH SENIOR STAFF Dartmouth has announced that engineering professor
30, 2019 or until a new dean is appointed. Ray has worked at Thayer for 22 years and is a senior fellow in Dartmouth’s Society
dean of the Thayer School of Engineering on Oct. 29. She will hold the position until June
to develop robots that can operate in polar regions have received funding from the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation. Ray teaches ENGS 89, “Engineering Design Methodology and Project Initiation,” ENGS 90, “Engineering Design Methodology and Project Completion” and ENGS 147,
“Mechatronics.” Ray replaces Joseph Helble, who in turn will become the College’s next provost in October. prepares to expand the west end of campus, including Thayer, as capital campaign.
The search for Ray’s permanent replacement is currently underway. A 12-person search advisory committee will be chaired by Eric Fossum, a Thayer professor and the College’s associate provost for entrepreneurship and technology transfer.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 2018
THE DARTMOUTH NEWS
Q&A with Mount Everest climber Matt Moniz ’20 above 8,000 meters, you’re burning almost 10,000 calories every day just staying alive. It’s a combination of trying to keep warm and the low oxygen environment. Gaining weight was one of the most unique aspects of training.
COURTESRY OF MATT MONIZ
Matt Moniz ’20 recently summited Mount Everest, a culmination of years of preparation.
B y SUNNY DRESCHER The Dartmouth Staff
Matt Moniz ’20 took an unusual off-term last spring to fulfill a childhood goal: testing the boundaries of human capabilities and reaching the summit of Mount Everest. Moniz, a government major and global health minor, didn’t only make the ascent for the sake of personal achievement; he is a participant in an ongoing study at the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences that is analyzing how extreme conditions affect human gene expression. Moniz and his climbing partner, Willie Benegas, both have twin siblings, and the Cornell study is based on a NASA twin study with astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly. After two prior attempts to summit the world’s highest peak, Moniz and Benegas finally reached the top of the world on May 20. How did you get into climbing extraordinarily large mountains in the first place? MM: I grew up in Boulder, Colorado with my twin sister and my parents. When my sister and I were growing up, we would always be hiking around outdoors, and we thought it was kind of normal. We grew up skiing and hiking a lot. I started big mountain climbing
when I was nine. We went to Nepal because my dad was on a business trip, and I got to tag along. We were in the Himalayas. Just being there sparked my passion for climbing. Could you talk about the twin altitude study and how you got involved in it? MM: It’s run by the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, and it’s based off of a NASA twin study. Chris Mason is the principal researcher, and he was the principal researcher for the NASA twin study as well. They measured a couple of really abnormal genetic changes during the NASA twin study, but the problem was they had a really small sample size — only two people. They wanted to see if they could replicate some of the changes that they saw at high altitude. We have a mutual friend with Dr. Mason who reached out to us and came up with the idea to run this study. Both Willie Benegas and I are twins. Willie is an identical twin, so he shares up to 99 percent of his DNA with his brother. I’m a fraternal twin, so only share about 50 percent of my DNA with my twin sister. What kind of training goes into preparing for these ascents? MM: The best training for climbing is climbing, so I actually went to
CORRECTIONS Correction appended (Aug. 16, 2018): The Aug. 10 article titled, “Dartmouth employee faces visa difficulties” incorrectly stated that Kriti Gopal moved to the U.S. in 2008, when she actually did so in 2009. The online version of the article has been updated to reflect this change.
Mount Washington a lot over winter term, usually two or three times a week. I also spent time sleeping on Berthoud Pass near my house. Its elevation is about 11,000 feet, and I would just sleep in my car and then drive down to do whatever I was doing each day before going back up to sleep in my car again. I did that for two weeks. One of the other things I did was put on weight. That’s because one of the things that happens at high altitudes is that you lose a lot of weight; I lost about 30 pounds. When you’re
You were supposed to climb Mount Everest a few times before your recent summit but weren’t able to. Could you talk about some of the setbacks that preceded your summit? MM: This was my fifth time in Nepal, but my third time trying to climb Everest. We’d been trying to climb Everest, Cho Oyu and Lhotse, which are three 8,000-meter peaks in one climbing season. The first time we were over there, we were climbing Cho Oyu, which is in Tibet, and there was a super tragic avalanche near there in 2014. We flew back to Kathmandu, and I remember sitting in a café in Kathmandu trying to figure out what to do. Someone mentioned a peak called Makalu, and we thought that’d be kind of fun to go climb. So, we flew into base camp and realized it was so much harder than we thought it was going to be. And actually, after climbing Everest, I realize Makalu was a harder and more technical peak to climb. In 2015, I went back again, and there was another tragic avalanche that hit base camp right as Willie and I got there. It killed about 21 people and injured a lot more. We were there for about six days helping with recovery efforts and at that point, we had no interest in climbing
at all. Willie and I flew back to Kathmandu, and we wanted to do something. We could see that a lot of the rescue and relief efforts that were being done over there were super inefficient. We were working with the U.N. World Food Programme, and they were using helicopters and mules to deliver the food. But because a lot of these villages are at such high altitudes, that can be really inefficient, and they were saying that it would take about two months to deliver one month’s worth of food. Because Willie and I were already acclimated to high altitude and knew that area pretty well, we helped them distribute food and supplies for about a month and raised a bunch of money to help. What are you doing next? MM: What’s next? When I was young, my dad and I set this goal to climb the seven summits — the highest point on every continent — and my sister has been part of it, too. After I started climbing, I realized that there’s a lot more to climbing — there are a lot more mountains than just the seven summits. I think the coolest part about the seven summits is that you get to travel to unbelievable places that you would never travel to. We still have to do two more, one in Antarctica, in the middle of nowhere, and the other in Papua New Guinea, in the middle of the jungle. So those are my plans going forward, and it should be really exciting. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 2018
THE DARTMOUTH NEWS
Candidates agree on substance but differ in style and rhetoric taxes for revenue. Kelly, however, said that she opposes a sales or income tax “We want a New Hampshire that and is “proud” of New Hampshire’s works for everyone, where everyone political culture. has a chance to succeed, not just a Thetwocandidatesfoundcommon few,” Kelly said. ground on the need for additional gun Marchand, while agreeing with control legislation. Kelly said that she Kelly on many of the issues, took worries every day about the safety of a more aggressive tone — scorning her seven grandchildren at school compromise with Republicans and supports universal background and urging Democrats to change checks. Marchand, who said that a the political culture in the state — recent suicide attempt by a person and drew more close to him applause by calling “The way to get increased his on Democrats to passion about appeal to their base progressive policies ... the issue, rather than reach is not by persuading called for a 48out to moderate hour waiting Chris Sununu and and conservative period for gun Donald Trump; it will voters. purchases and “The way to be by replacing Chris for Democrats get progressive to stop trying policies … is not Sununu and Donald to stake out a by persuading Trump.” moderate path Chris Sununu and on gun control. Donald Trump; it “It is will be by replacing -STEVE MARCHAND, not enough Chris Sununu and FORMER MAYOR OF for us to say, Donald Trump,” ‘common sense PORTSMOUTH Marchand said. gun reform’ in Marchand the hopes that notably distinguished himself a few people in the middle will come by stating his opposition to “the our way,” Marchand said. Pledge,” a promise typically made On the issue of the environment by Democratic and Republican and energy policy, the candidates gubernatorial candidates in New both supported policies to combat Hampshire to not support a broad- climate change but clashed over the based income or sales tax for the issue of campaign contributions from state, which currently has neither. the fossil fuel industry. Marchand Marchand called New Hampshire’s proposed raising the gas tax and system of government “antiquated” claimed that he is the only candidate and advocated for changing the state’s in the election to have never taken political culture so the government money from Eversource, New is not as reliant on higher property Hampshire’s largest energy provider. FROM FORUM PAGE 1
Kelly responded by claiming that she has not received any contributions from the fossil fuel industry in the current election cycle and has not been influenced by donations in the past, pointing to her sponsorship of a net metering bill in the state Senate, which supported solar and hydroelectric power sources. In an interview after the event, Wheelan said that he was surprised by how many questions from the audience focused on energy and the environment, including local issues such as Northern Pass, a proposed transmission line that would bring electric power from Canada to New England. “One clear takeaway is that among Democratic voters, energy, climate change and related issues — including those specific projects — are very important,” Wheelan said. Wheelan anticipates that Marchand’s refusal to take The Pledge will be a “defining issue” in the primary, especially considering how that decision may affect his chances in the general election. He also commented on how the two candidates’ different types of experience — Kelly’s background as a state legislator and Marchand’s as a mayor — gave them distinct viewpoints on some of the policy topics. President of the Dartmouth College Democrats Jennifer West ’20 said she believes both candidates are well-positioned to take on Sununu in the general election, but also commented on the stylistic difference between the two.
“I think each candidate brought is scheduled for Sept. 11, will likely t h e i r ow n b a c k g ro u n d a n d face an uphill battle against Sununu, perspective to the issues in ways that who currently enjoys relatively manifested differently on the stage,” high approval ratings and name West said. “And recognition it was interesting following his first “She has to be term in office. to see how that reflected in their realistic, and I think A recent Saint Anselm College answers.” that’s what she is. Vicki Abbott, poll found that a M a rc h a n d Plans sound great but Sununu has a 65 percent supporter, said if they aren’t going — approval rating after the event like raising the gas tax, in the state, and that she believes other polling M a rcha nd i s sorry, that’s not going of hypothetical t h e s t ro n g e r to happen. You have general election candidate and matchups show m o r e l i k e l y to be a little more Sununu with t o w i n ove r practical.” a large lead independent against both voters. Marchand and “He has real -SHARON NORDGREN, Kelly. plans,” Abbott MEMBER OF THE NEW In New s a i d . “ Yo u Hampshire, the can talk about HAMPSHIRE HOUSE OF governor serves generalities and REPRESENTATIVES a two-year term, you can boast and only one about your past record, but unless you have a plan governor in the last 90 years has about what you will do in the future, ever lost his or her first reelection. you’re not going to win people over.” The Cook Political Report, a leading Sharon Nordgren, a member nonpartisan election handicapper, of the New Hampshire House rates the 2018 election as “Likely of Representatives representing Republican.” This debate, however, occurred on Hanover, said she thinks Kelly’s experience and pragmatic vision will friendly territory for the Democratic candidates: Hanover gave Sununu’s be more appealing to voters. “She has to be realistic, and I opponent in the 2016 election, Colin think that’s what she is,” Nordgren Van Ostern, his largest margin — 77 said. “Plans sounds great, but if they percent to 21 percent — of any town aren’t going — like raising the gas tax, in the state. sorry, that’s not going to happen. You Peter Charalambous contributed have to be a little more practical.” The winner of the primary, which reporting.
THE DARTMOUTH OPINION
FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 2018
CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST EOWYN PAK ‘21
GUEST COLUMNIST ARIELA KOVARY ‘20
Occupied With Off-Terms
After I received my college application and crown tiling. At Yale University, the results, I knew Dartmouth would be the residential colleges have their own dining school I’d end up at. However, in that halls, snack bars, libraries and activity stressful but happy period of deciding spaces like gyms, theaters, or music rooms. where to go, there were a handful of schools Liberty University, Regent University and that tempted me — and not for reasons Amherst College are only a handful of the I originally deemed important. I never many colleges that have “apartment-style” thought a campus’s aesthetic was a critical housing options. One student at Washington factor in deciding a college, and while it may University in St. Louis even likened the not be the most prioritized, I have learned dorms to castles. that they definitely has an effect on other Even more amazing than the aesthetics potential students. and amenities is that these schools are Even though I was pretty set on making their residence buildings more Dartmouth, I decided to sustainable. Amherst’s check out Georgetown newest Greenway University and residence hall uses Swarthmore College. “As it turned out, a rooftop rainwater A s i t t u r n e d o u t , their campuses were harvest system for its their campuses were bathrooms, reducing absolutely gorgeous, and absolutely gorgeous potable water usage. their architecture was and their architecture Some of its interiors stunning. Swarthmore’s are built with locallywas stunning.” cohesive stone buildings milled wood, and the were complemented by building is constructed bright flowers of varying in a way to maximize species. Georgetown’s ventilation and reduce gothic, neo-medieval overall energy use for style towers evoked a rich sense of history artificial heating and cooling systems. and portrayed the college’s overall character. The interior of the newly-built Morton Compounded with my repugnance at my Hall may indicate that Dartmouth is also then-recent experience with the mildewy looking to move in a more modern direction. Choates Cluster from Dimensions, my But the lack of improvement elsewhere on resolve to attend Dartmouth diminished campus shows that significant change may alarmingly. For the thousands of students take some time. who were much less sure than I was, how According to U.S. News & World Report, could they have chosen Dartmouth over “Before choosing the best college to attend, these stunning campuses? it is important for students to test the “Hotel McLaughlin” has private waters. Making a college visit and touring showers, private bathrooms, a kitchen on the campus can be pivotal in a student’s every floor, multiple common rooms and decision to apply to a school.” Whatever study spaces and its very own snack bar. The stands out to a potential student (good or Dartmouth admissions office Instagram bad) may have a “disproportionate effect account posted an inside look into dorm on their decision making,” according to the life for curious followers — and to no one’s New York Times. Despite everything else surprise, all of the clean and aesthetically Dartmouth has to offer, the College should pleasing pictures were of dorm rooms that remember the importance of the impression were as nice as McLauglin’s. But what I the campus makes on visiting students. realized was that these “special amenities” Considering Dartmouth’s unique location are really nothing special at all compared — which has a special appeal for some, but to those at other colleges. Many of the can be a cause for doubt for many others quads in dorms at Bowdoin College have — repelling students with bad housing is their own common rooms. One student at the last thing the College should want to Pomona College raved that the dorms look do. If Dartmouth wants the brightest and like “mini-palaces” and exhibit character best to commit, its campus should reflect because of small furnishings like fireplaces that commitment to quality.
The Dartmouth Coach slowed as it interest in the socially desirable internships approached the curb of the Hopkins Center offered by financial firms or tech startups. for the Arts, crushing the small remnants What happens if that’s the case? Well, of snow beneath its tires. As I stepped off those people either have the option to the bus, the sun speared its light through stay on campus and work or to go home the clouds, and the and work. But even slight breeze carried the latter option can the faint fragrance of be unappealing. The flowers. I took in a “An unpaid internship specific type of job that deep breath and I stood a Dartmouth student [at a prestigious firm], with hope, eager for the partakes in during her opportunity of a great for instance, is much off-ter m deter mines spring term that lay more attractive to how “successful” that ahead. off-ter m was. An I cut through the have than a paid job unpaid internship at Collis Center, venturing at a local convenience a prestigious firm, for toward Gold Coast instance, is much more store.” lawn, so that I could attractive to have than return to my room in a paid job at a local Streeter Hall. Along c o nv e n i e n c e s t o r e. the way, I saw many friends that I hadn’t Besides, at the end of the day, it’s not seen since fall term, so I stopped to chat about the pay — it’s about how haughty with them for a brief moment. Knowing it looks on a resume. that others were out and about trying to All of this stress to succeed, of course, is get ready for the term, I anticipated small a product of being an environment in which talk. Every time I saw an old friend, the everyone is high-achieving and hyperconversation would start off the same competitive. The average Dartmouth way: “Hey! How was your spring break?” student will think they are below average. or “How was your off-term, Ariela?” And They will question their success and of course, I replied with the conventional, their ability to perform perfectly. These “Good!” When asked about how I spent insecurities create the fallacy of “everyone my off-term, I simply said I spent it doing else is thriving except for me.” Psychologists yoga, meditation, reading and writing. The call this phenomenon “duck syndrome” conversation would either progress to what — and Dartmouth students unfortunately they did with their suffer from it. past term or, if they “But with every A recent were in a rush, they College Pulse survey encounter, I noticed would depart with the supports this. There standard, “Let’s grab a hesitancy in each are countless polls that a meal sometime.” person’s response after ask about dif ferent But with every past internships and encounter, I noticed I said I spent my offinternship experiences a hesitancy in each term doing yoga and that students had. person’s response after One question asked if meditating.” I said I spent my the survey respondent off-term doing yoga could resonate with the and meditating. The following statement: “I person’s face would construe itself into feel pressure to secure a high-paying job/ an expression of bewilderment. But the internship.” I was not astounded to find expression was fleeting because every that, out of the 1,481 students who had person recomposed themselves and taken the poll at press time, 40.5 percent acknowledged that what I did was “cool.” of Dartmouth students “strongly agree” I soon realized that their facial with the statement, and additional 41.6 expressions stemmed from an expectation percent “somewhat agree.” that I didn’t fulfill, an expectation that It’s no surprise that when I said I did plagues this campus’s culture: the standard yoga and meditated on my off-term, many of having an internship during every off- students responded with bewilderment. term. This is why, at first, I felt ashamed to At Dartmouth, everyone is expected share what I did on my off-term. But after to find an internship, a job, a role as an being exposed to the same expression understudy, a position in a lab or something of disappointment over and over again, of the sort for their off-terms. Preparing I couldn’t help but reflect about the for a future career at some impressive insecurities that others may have too. I firm is supposed to start at matriculation. have come to terms with the fact that my Students thus begin planning for their off- off-term did not live up to Dartmouth’s terms months in advance, ensuring that expectations — but that’s okay. There is they are able to secure the best internship enough pressure on campus with trying possible. While that in itself is not harmful, to balance academics in addition to two the stress and pressure that accompanies jobs along with countless extracurricular it is. In addition, some students cannot activities. And deciding to turn my off-term necessarily commit to or even have an into an actual “off term” is fine with me.
What Dartmouth student ever said, “I want to live in the Choates”?
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SUBMISSIONS: We welcome letters and guest columns. All submissions must include the author’s name and affiliation with Dartmouth
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The stress for success during off-terms ought to be avoided.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 2018
THE DARTMOUTH NEWS
College seeks feedback for three proposed dormitory sites FROM DORMS PAGE 1
Center A; on College Street across from the McLaughlin Cluster, a location that would require the removal of senior society Dragon’s physical plant; and on the location where Gilman Hall formerly stood. The new residence hall would also be used as a location for one of the College’s six house communities. The first of the three meetings took place on Wednesday evening at 6:00 p.m., the second took place on Thursday at noon and the last will take place on Monday evening at 6:00 p.m. The meetings have also been streamed online. All of the town halls were held at Filene Auditorium in Moore Hall. “The purpose [of these meetings] is to create some forum where we can collect input from the community,” Mills said in an interview with The Dartmouth. “As I described, we’re trying to pick a site to build the next residence hall on. There are lots of factors that will ultimately go into the decision of what site to pick, but I think community input is an important element.” In his presentation, Mills, while calling the construction of a new residence hall a “pressing need,” also stated that it was too early to have a timeline in place. He added that the College intends to have a fundraiser for the construction of this project and that it will likely be followed by several years of renovations to various other residential buildings on campus. The College’s residence halls currently host around 3,100 beds and have been at capacity for several years. As a result, the College has been unable to undertake renovation
projects on existing undergraduate and the approval of the planning residence halls, around half of which board. However, he added that these have not been renovated in over 15 constraints would have more of an years. Such projects typically require impact as the location and design of that a building be closed for around a the building became clearer in the year, if not more. Mills remarked that future. the addition of a new residence hall The switch to a 350-bed project would allow the college to conduct comes after the College decided in m a i n t e n a n c e February not to projects. construct a 750 The selection “As I described, bed residence considerations we’re trying to pick hall in College fo r t h e n e w Pa r k , w h i c h a site to build the residence hall College President site include site- next residence hall P h i l H a n l o n specific project remarked was on. There are lots requirements; “simply beyond the project’s of factors that will o u r c u r r e n t i m p a c t o n ultimately go into the f i n a n c i a l surroundings; capacity.” Many proximity to decision of what site students, faculty other residence to pick, but I think and alumni had halls, academic already voiced community input is an facilities and the their concerns core campus; important element.” before Hanlon’s s t a k e h o l d e r announcement, f e e d b a c k citing the threat acquired during -RICK MILLS, COLLEGE such a building the town halls; EXECUTIVE VICE would pose to and other uses the park and the PRESIDENT for the campus. nearby Shattuck Mills added that Observatory. regardless of the M i l l s location ultimately chosen by the noted in his presentation that there College for this project, all of the is currently no plan in place to proposed locations would likely be replace the tennis courts or House used in the future for some kind of Center A if the Crosby location is new project. chosen. Furthermore, Mills said that Mills said in his interview that regardless of the location ultimately there are constraints from the town chosen, the new residence hall would of Hanover itself that would impact include a multi-purpose area that the construction of the new residence would function much like the existing hall, including zoning regulations, House Centers. height restrictions that prevent a Those in attendance on Thursday building from being over 60 feet tall were evenly split between their
Yield statistic increased again this year FROM YIELD PAGE 1
Senior admissions officer Topher Bordeau said that he interprets this year’s record-high yield rate as an indication of success. “I think it’s a sign that what we’re doing is getting a little bit of traction in thinking about how students fit with this place alongside just their broader academic qualifications,” Bordeau said. Coffin credits this year’s high yield to a variety of factors. He said that new supplemental questions on the College’s application have allowed admissions officers to determine which students fit Dartmouth well, and that state-by-state projections of applicant retention allows his team to better predict yield. Coffin also emphasized the importance of qualitative aspects of the admissions process. “One of the things I’ve been trying to do in my two years here
has been focused on some of the qualitative parts of who is coming to Dartmouth and to celebrate ... the personal narratives of the students who are enrolling,” Coffin said. He also noted that the College’s new focus away from transfer students has also played into this overall strategy. Coffin cited Dartmouth’s postacceptance programming, such as Dimensions of Dartmouth, as a major factor in encouraging prospective students to eventually enroll at the College. According to Coffin, 77 percent of students who attend Dimensions enroll. Referring to an annual survey sent to accepted students, Coffin said that high levels of faculty engagement were a major selling point for the College. “Ninety-two percent [of students] said excellence in teaching is the most important thing,” Coffin said. “And the second most important was undergraduate access to faculty. Does
that sound like Dartmouth?” The Class of 2022 is projected to be composed of about 1,150 students. Dartmouth admitted 1,925 students, representing a record-low 8.7 percent of its 22,033 applicants, for the Class of 2022. Dartmouth typically releases its yield numbers earlier in the spring, but this year’s delayed release is part of an intentional strategy, according to Coffin. Mentioning the larger anxiety surrounding the admissions process, which he said is “teetering on unhealthy,” Coffin voiced concern about the often out-of-context focus on data points in the College’s admissions process. By delaying the release of these numbers to align closer to matriculation, Coffin said he hopes to relieve some of the concerns. “A bunch of us are trying to very gently, but deliberately, reset some of the timelines so that there isn’t quite as much anxiety around admissions 12 months of the year,” he said.
preference for either the Gilman Hall location or the Crosby and East Wheelock location. The College Street location, however, was considered by most audience members to be the worst proposed location. Audience members cited the impact that location would have on College Park — similar to the concern raised when the proposed 750-bed project was announced — and how it would necessitate the removal of Dragon’s physical plant. One woman said that the College “should hold off on building on College Park for as long as possible.” One positive impact that an audience member noted was that a new residence hall built on the College Street location would likely lead to sidewalk renovations along College Street, which is currently served by a narrow gravel path along the street’s right side. Some of those who preferred the Gilman location noted that the Crosby and East Wheelock location would lead to more pedestrian traffic in an already congested area of campus. Another audience member remarked that a new residence hall constructed in this area would be a “seamless” fit. Those who preferred the Crosby location often pointed out that the location was closer to the College than both the College Street and Gilman locations. One audience member remarked that Crosby was the best choice because the infrastructure for a new residence hall was already in place on that area of campus. Jack Burgess ’20, the sole student in attendance at the meeting, said that he would rather live in the Crosby location due to its proximity to Alumni
Gymnasium, other residence halls and the Hopkins Center of the Arts. He added, however, that it would be “nice” to live at the Gilman site but expressed concerns about the relative lack of dining options in that area of campus. “I wanted to see what exactly the sites were and the ideas they had,” Burgess said. “It was nice to be able to share a student perspective. I definitely think that some of those sites are better than others.” Regarding student attendance, Mills stated in his interview that it required a certain degree of altruism from students, as the new residence hall project would not impact any student currently at the College. He added that although alumni attending the town halls helped by presenting their own sort of “student perspective,” the perspectives of current students also matter. The College’s housing problems have become more pronounced over the last year. In May of last year, the College announced that graduate and professional students would not be able to live in the North Park graduate housing because of an “unprecedented” admission yield from the Class of 2021, the College’s largest class to date. While the Class of 2022’s yield rate is even higher, the class is projected to be smaller than the Class of 2021. The College last completed new undergraduate residence halls in 2006, when both Fahey-McLane Halls and the McLaughlin cluster were erected. The construction of these halls allowed the College to renovate Hitchcock Hall and New Hampshire Hall from 2008 to 2009.
THE DARTMOUTH EVENTS
FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 2018
CAROLINE COOK ’21
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Exhibit: “Shelley’s Frankenstein in Text and Image,” sponsored by Rauner Library, Webster Hall
3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Lecture: “Naturalism and Nature,” with professor Mario De Caro, Università Rome Tre and Tufts University, sponsored by the philosophy department, 201 Bartlett Hall
9:00 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.
Public Astronomical Observing, sponsored by the Physics Department, Shattuck Observatory
4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m
Performance: New York Theatre Workshop Work-in-Progress: “Memoirs of a Native American Princess from Brooklyn,” written and performed by Murielle Borst-Tarrant, Bentley Theater, Hopkins Center for the Arts
7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m
Performance: New York Theatre Workshop Work-in-Progress: “Untitled Project on Reality Leigh Winner (based on found material),” directed by Tina Satter, Bentley Theater, Hopkins Center for the Arts
8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m
Film: “Ocean’s 8,” directed by Gary Ross, Loew Auditorium, Black Family Visual Arts Center
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FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 2018
THE DARTMOUTH ARTS
An apologia for the ‘Star Wars’ prequel trilog y By SEBASTIAN WURZRAINER The Dartmouth Staff
In last week’s review for “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” I described “Star Wars” as the behemoth that towered over the “cinematic psyche” of my childhood. I wasn’t exaggerating. Even now, few films elicit a Pavlovian nostalgic reaction as effectively as a “Star Wars” film does. Of course, with last year’s release of “Episode VIII – The Last Jedi” (and others) and the impending release of “Episode IX” (and others), we now seem to be living through the most polarizing period in the franchise’s history. Op-eds clutter the annals of the internet desperate to proclaim the current state of “Star Wars” as either the Salvation or Apocalypse of Cinema. So I think it’s about time that I throw my hat into the ring, don the cone of shame and add my own misguided and ill-informed opinion to the cacophony. The “Star Wars” prequels … I kind of love them. Just to be clear, I don’t think they’re “good.” While I’d be willing to mount a spirited defense for the merits of “Episode III – Revenge of the Sith,” I admit that “Episode I – The Phantom Menace,” and especially “Episode II – Attack of the Clones,” leave a lot to be desired. I hear every criticism lobbed at these three films. I’m here to refute none
of them. My hope is simply to foster a greater sense of acceptance for this trilogy. Because as bad as they might be, I think a lot of the hate directed at them has been misplaced. While I adore the original trilogy, I think it’s necessary to acknowledge the films’ innumerable flaws. Even “Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back,” arguably the longest-standing resident on my list of all-time favorite films, is imperfect. I don’t want to create a false equivalence here; the faults of the originals don’t justify the greater faults of the prequels. Rather, realizing that all of “Star Wars” is flawed makes it easier to be less dogmatic in one’s evaluation of those films that aren’t the originals. Through this process, one might realize that the prequels were never really as bad as we made them out to be. All the actors, for instance, are making the most about getting the chance to be in a “Star Wars” film. In particular, Ian McDiarmid is having way too much fun playing the duplicitous Emperor Palpatine. I’ll even make a defense for the much-maligned Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen — they’re honestly doing their best in spite of writer/director George Lucas’s most insufferable dialogue. In fact, all the departments working on these films were clearly doing their best. Most of the designs may be
shrouded in layers of mediocre CGI, but they’re still pretty spectacular. The choreography results in some thrilling action set pieces. John Williams’s score is suitably rousing. Even the stories crafted by Lucas demonstrate a particular devotion. They may be chaotic, but his passion for the material is always evident. Further more, the prequels were so anticipated that it’s no wonder they disappointed most fans. Any deviation from decades of expectations was bound to be labeled sacrilege. Yet many of those deviations are retrospectively the most interesting moments in the films. For instance, fans may never have wanted to see trade debates in the Galactic Senate. Nevertheless, the political subtext about the willingness of democracies to accept fascism in the face of chaos is both fascinating and surprisingly relevant. Likewise, most fans were quick to reject the idea that the Force communicates through microbes called midi-chlorians. Once again, if you take a step back and accept the conceit on its own terms, it’s kind of intriguing and also reinforces major themes about symbiosis and duality. Moreover, “Star Wars” has always been kind of an anomaly. As a franchise, it aims to be accessible across lines of age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, etc. It’s a giant, sprawling, intergenerational space
fantasy about a battle between good and evil, equal parts mythological and ridiculous. It may have become the epitome of mainstream fare, but it also takes pride in its bizarreness. So it’s no wonder that not every iteration of something so unusual and ungainly works for every person, every time. None of this, though, negates the fundamental flaws at the heart of these films. Despite all that is genuinely good about them, the overall story they try to tell is still a mess. Objectively speaking, the prequels are less than the sums of their parts. Which is a shame, because of the three trilogies in the main “Star Wars” saga, the prequels ostensibly have the most interesting central conflict. It’s a classic fall from grace tale: the story of the man who would be the messiah yet became the wretch. The fact that Lucas fundamentally failed to deliver the epic tragedy he promised is, understandably, a breaking point for many. If the core conceit is botched, it really doesn’t matter how many extraneous elements are praiseworthy. So why do I still love these films? Well, this is ultimately where things get personal. I grew up with the prequels alongside the originals; they are inseparable for me. Indeed, I had already fallen in love with the prequels before I even thought to critically question their relationship
to the originals. Of course, for some time, I did buy into the aura of animosity surrounding the prequels. The fact that they were garbage was often presented as fact, not opinion. So why bother to contest it? But eventually, I had to accept that deep down, I still loved them. Does that make them good? Perhaps not. I’m the first to admit, for instance, that “Rogue One” and “Solo” are much better films purely on the level of craftsmanship. But if given the choice, I’d prefer to watch the prequels every time. What does that ultimately say about them? I think it suggest that this good/ bad binary is a little reductive, and that perhaps we might benefit a little from allowing ourselves to unabashedly love what we love. To quote the great film critic Pauline Kael, “Movies are so rarely great art, that if we cannot appreciate great trash, we have very little reason to be interested in them.” They may not be “good,” but I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t acknowledge the importance of the prequels in my growth as a lover of cinema. Like the entirety of “Star Wars,” they transported me to another world and engaged me in a story that I still love, Jar-Jar Binks and all. In that way, they are emblematic of everything I love about the medium. The prequels may be trash, but they are great trash.
THE DARTMOUTH SPORTS
FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 2018
NO EVENTS SCHEDULED
The Accidental Fan with Sabena Allen ’20
The Accidental Fan: Who Are These Men and Why Are They Tackling Each Other? Football season is coming up. At least I think it is. We must be in preseason now, which I only know because I just looked up the New England Patriots on Instagram and saw something about them winning a game. (For the uninitiated a.k.a. me, preseason is when National Football League teams play a bunch of off-the-record games prior to their regular season. I know this only because I Googled it.) Anyway, I mentioned in my column last week that the NFL is taking a step forward with two teams’ inclusion of male cheerleaders. Given last season’s controversy surrounding the national anthem protests (which I support, by the way), it will be interesting to see how social issues continue to play out this upcoming season. Honestly, football is confusing. Maybe I’m spending time with the wrong people, but I get the impression that a lot of people do not understand how it works. During my time as an exchange student in Germany, I was asked by multiple people to explain how football works. I regretfully told them that I had absolutely no idea. It is rather ironic that football is so prominent in the United States that other countries innately associate it with America, yet many Americans don’t even properly understand the rules. I will admit, I am totally one of those people. However, there was a brief period of time when I understood football, and that was from about halfway through the Super Bowl LII in 2018, when the Philadelphia Eagles conquered the Patriots, to halfway through almost dying in a massive snowstorm while driving back to campus that same night.
COURTESY OF KEITH ALLISON VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
With the National Football League preseason underway, Sabena Allen ’20 discusses the learning curve to understanding and loving football in America. Above, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco slides before being hit in a presason game against the Los Angeles Rams on Aug. 9.
It had really clicked while I was watching the Super Bowl, but I was a bit preoccupied on that treacherous drive to fully commit it to memory. I think I had finally been able to figure it out because I was actually paying full attention to the game and I had someone with me who could answer my questions about its intricacies. Now, I don’t think football is actually as complicated or confusing as it might seem, but I do think that there is a lot of jargon surrounding the sport and that sometimes the people who know that jargon can be intimidating. For example, I have a friend who is a huge football fan. He and his dad like to watch games together, and I happened to watch a few times with them. With the two of them in their own football-loving environment, I never asked any questions, and honestly, it was kind of boring. It’s like trying to pose as a member of super-elite club that uses a totally
indecipherable language. Clearly, I was not engaging with football in a positive way at that time. The people I was with understood and participated in the game on a totally different level than I was able to. They relished the fine details of the game-play, the playcalling and the development of downs, along with fantasy football, the statistics and drama that each season brings. Which, to be clear, is fine and normal for those who understand the game on a deeper level. But that’s not the only way to engage with a sport that is both so universal and “elitist.” Someone once told me that she liked watching football because it was an impressive display of athletic feats and because the plays are so big, which makes them fun to watch. I feel like people like her watch sports for their interest in the players themselves. I don’t personally have connections with
specific football players, though I do see the appeal both of the athleticism and the individual players (you can read all about this and my relationship with the Boston Red Sox’s Andrew Benintendi in my first column, “My Boy Benny”). But I like to have some sense of the rules before I can even focus on those aspects. So honestly, I was just proud of myself for figuring out what the heck was going on! But at this point, I feel like my interest in sports in general has plateaued, and football especially has taken a step back in my mind. I went through a transition a while ago from watching literally no sports to having a definite, though casual, interest. This explains why I was watching football every so often and had absolutely no clue what was going on. Now that I do understand (somewhat), I’m still not very committed. I know that is partially because it hasn’t been
football season, but we are heading there now. I am still not all that enthusiastic. So, does a fan — especially an accidental fan — need to understand everything about the game? I think not. However, some people, or maybe our culture at large, would have us believe that it does matter. I think it can be helpful for engagement if you know what is going on. But one really important part about sports is just being able to get together and do something fun with friends and family. Understanding the game for me didn’t make me more of a fan and it didn’t make me more enthusiastic. There is no reason why you should have to understand everything about football to enjoy watching it or to be considered a fan. So watch if you want to. Ask questions if you need to, and don’t be afraid to admit when you’re confused. Once again, you won’t be alone!