The Dartmouth 07/01/2022

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FRIDAY, JULY 1, 2022


‘I was devastated’: Students, community Class of 1953 Commons members protest Roe v. Wade reversal reopens late-night dining for summer term


While the Courtyard Cafe will be fully closed for term, students have three options for late-night dining. KATELYN HADLEY/THE DARTMOUTH STAFF

BY KRISTIN CHAPMAN The Dartmouth Staff

On June 24, the Supreme Court overturned the 1973 ruling of Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson (2022), striking down the constitutional right to an abortion. In response, pro-choice demonstrators gathered on the Green and across New Hampshire to protest the loss of federal protections for abortion, which has already become banned in seven states. Co-president of Planned Parenthood Generation Action Ady Chaudhari ’24 said she estimated that around 100 people attended the protest on the Green, including students, faculty, community members and state representatives. Fellow co-president Eliza Holmes ’24 said that Planned Parenthood Generation Action helped organize the protest by advertising it around campus.

“It was a little last minute [and] chaotic getting everything together the day of, but we handed out chants for people to say,” Holmes said. “I just really wanted students to be present there, so [we] kind of got the word around for students on campus that this protest was happening.” According to state representative Mary Hakken-Phillips, D-Hanover, the statewide protests were a joint effort made possible by many organizations, includingNew Hampshire Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “Because of my legislative work, I often work with the leaders across the state for Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and with some lobbyists that they employ as well,” she said. “We had been in contact a couple weeks ahead of time to say what we were going to do at five o’clock the day [the Supreme Court decision] came out…so the protest was a coordinated

effort among multiple players across the state.” Hakken-Phillips said that she acted as “a liaison between the groups” at the Hanover protest on the Green and moderated the event to ensure that representatives from the various groups could come together cohesively. “It was my goal to get as many people to express their concerns or thoughts or share their feelings, so that everybody felt we were all in this together,” she said. In New Hampshire, protesters also held pro-choice rallies in Concord, Dover, Exeter, Keene, Lancaster, Manchester, Plymouth and Portsmouth. In an interview with The Dartmouth, government professor Linda Fowler, who gave a speech at the protest, said she felt “sucker-punched” in reaction SEE ROE V. WADE PAGE 2

Students react to the replacement of undergraduate student loans with grants


BY Adriana James-Rodil The Dartmouth Staff












@thedartmouth COPYRIGHT © 2022 THE DARTMOUTH, INC.

Beginning on June 23, the College changed its financial aid policy, replacing federal and institutional loans with scholarships grants for undergraduates. The financial aid policy change was first announced during an alumni reunion event and is part of the College’s Call to Lead campaign. Specifically, the College’s new financial aid policy will benefit families earning an income more than $125,000 who qualify for need-based financial aid by removing the loan requirement, aimed to affect middle-income earners. Loans taken out prior to the start of the summer term by current students will not be impacted by this change in policy. Despite not falling under the category of those this new policy will affect, incoming student Lakshmi Jain ’26 said the change was “impressive.” “I think it’s really cool that the College is moving in this direction,” she said. “It seems like something that will really help Dartmouth students.” Two donations to the campaign, in particular, propelled the College’s efforts to eliminate student debt – one being a $10 million donation from Anne Kubik ’87 and a separate $25 million donation from an anonymous donor, according to The Call to Lead campaign. In total, 65 families contributed to the campaign’s efforts to eliminate student debt, amounting to over $80 million in donations to the endowment. Although Jordan Narrol ’25 said he believes the change should have happened earlier, he thinks “this reflects the changing views of education in America” because now many students can place more focus on their education rather than paying back loans working

during terms and after graduation. Dylan Griffith ’25 said he initially felt excited about the announcement, as he comes from a middle-income family who has incurred federal student loans. However, Griffith said that when he reached out to the College’s financial aid office, he learned that this shift does not apply to students who qualify for federal student loans separately from Dartmouth’s financial aid scholarship. “I’m sure that this is a good move for a lot of students, and it’s indicative of the generosity of our alums, and I’m really appreciative of that,” Griffith said. “But it’s not helping me in a way that I thought it would.” Upon admittance to Dartmouth, Griffith said he received a Dartmouth general scholarship as well as loans in his financial aid package. The summer before his first term, Griffith added that he was awarded an ROTC scholarship that covers his tuition, replacing his Dartmouth general scholarship. With the ROTC scholarship, however, Griffith said he still qualifies for federal student loans separately. He explained that because he does not receive the Dartmouth general scholarship, the financial aid office would not qualify him to cancel his federal student loans. “I think that this is a great first step, but the College should also be readjusting what they consider to be need-based and family contributions in the future to more accurately reflect middle-class families [and] real situations,” Griffith said. Ian Scott ’24, a member of the Student Worker Collective at Dartmouth organizing committee, described the change in financial aid policy as a “nice gesture” but only “the first step in a long march towards actually making this campus and this region one that properly serves its working-class communities.”

BY EMILY FAGELL The Dartmouth Staff

On Sunday, the Class of 1953 Commons opened for late-night dining, joining Novack Cafe and the Goldstein Snack Bar as the three late-night options this summer. The Courtyard Cafe, which offers both daytime and late-night dining during the academic year, will remain fully closed throughout the summer, according to the Dartmouth Dining webpage. Brandon Crosby, the general manager of ’53 Commons, explained that the Courtyard Cafe has “always” been closed during the summers, giving employees a chance to take time off or relocate to another dining location. He added that ’53 Commons — which will be open for late-night from 10 p.m. until midnight — aims to emulate “all of the favorites” from Courtyard Cafe, such as breakfast burritos, popularly known as bobs to students, mozzarella sticks, onion rings and other grill offerings. In addition to Courtyard Cafe, all residential snack bars — except for the Goldstein Snackbar, which is open daily from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. — are currently closed due to staffing issues, according to Novack Cafe and residential snack bars manager Chris Robbins. Even at the Goldstein Snackbar, Goldstein and Novack associate Simon Lamontagne ’24 said some shifts “aren’t covered at all” due to the shortage of employees on campus. In addition to late-night, ’53 Commons will resume its typical daily hours of 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., according to its webpage. While this marks only the second summer in which ’53 Commons has been open past 8:30 p.m. — the location last offered late-night from the winter through summer terms of 2021 — Crosby said the College plans to keep this model for future summers. He said he expects the summer dining hours currently listed on the webpage to remain consistent throughout the summer. Despite the introduction of ’53 Commons late-night, many students expressed frustration at the lack of dining options available this summer. “It never seems like there [are] enough options,” Novack associate Liana Laremont ’24 said. “Especially on the weekends here in the summer, only Novack and Foco [are] open… it feels limiting because we just lost the only place that would sell salads and fresh fruit.” Rob Mailley ’24 said he agreed, calling ’53 Commons late-night “fine” and a “bandaid on the labor problems and other staffing issues.” “Ideally they would have full [Courtyard Cafe] late-night, open seven days a week, and ideally that would be open until like two in the morning,” Mailley said. “Just something that serves greasy food until late [at] night.” Mailley added that he was disappointed with the “not late enough” hours and “not great” offerings at ’53 Commons, pointing to a limited grill menu that lacked one of his favorite Courtyard Cafe items — the buffalo chicken tender quesadilla. That said, Mailley recognized that the location just opened and said there is “still room for improvement.” Lamontagne said it’s reasonable to close ’53 Commons at midnight due to the lack of workers available until 2 a.m., especially considering the lengthy closing process once food service ends. Ian Scott ’24, who works as a dishwasher at ’53 Commons, said that students on the late-night shift tend to stay an additional “two to three hours” after midnight,

adding that the College should offer “better compensation for people that are having to work these longer hours.” That said, Chris Peck, president of Service Employees International Union, Local 560 — the worker’s union in Hanover — said the College should find a way to keep late-night options open later for students. “I know there are a lot of restaurants in town that are closing earlier or just not open, and college students stay up late and need food,” he said. “To me, it doesn’t make sense to close early.” Mailley also expressed frustration that Domino’s Pizza is the “only viable option in town” on Fridays and Saturdays because the chain “gets kind of old.” Collis Cafe will operate during its usual hours Monday through Thursday, though it will close early at 2 p.m. on Fridays, according to the dining webpage. On Fridays from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., the cafe will be replaced by the Collis Farmer’s Market, where students can use DBA or meal swipes to buy fruit, cheese, honey, jams and other items from local farms, Laremont said. Unlike a typical term, Novack Cafe will offer only retail items after 11 p.m., allowing workers to get a headstart on closing, Robbins said. Novack employee Scarlette Flores ’24 said that the modified schedule makes cleanup “much easier,” noting that “it was definitely a struggle in the past” to close the bakery and drink station at midnight. Robbins added, however, that the shortened bakery hours are “not necessarily a forever thing.” In response to limited options, some students have opted to switch their typical meal plan or opt out of Dartmouth Dining altogether. “I usually stay on the 80-block plan because when Courtyard and all these other locations [were] open, I didn’t have to worry too much about issues with running into a negative balance with DBA because I had enough starting out and then I was also getting my DBA stipends from the hours that I worked,” Scott said. “Going into this term with Foco being the main dining option that’s available, it makes more sense than to be on the unlimited plan.” Scott, however, said that switching to the more expensive unlimited plan can raise “issues for accessibility” for students who either do not work for Dartmouth Dining or do not have rollover DBA from previous terms, since a $5 late-night swipe typically does not cover the cost of a late-night visit. Laremont said many of her friends who live off campus have chosen no dining plan altogether, instead frequenting the Hanover Co-Op or local Hannaford and cooking meals themselves. Flores said she has noticed a different atmosphere in Novack, which has been less busy with fewer students on campus and serves “almost nobody” for late-night now that ’53 Commons has reopened. She added that the worker dynamic has also changed — whereas the location previously lacked employees in the Class of 2024, Flores said the cafe has seen an “influx of new workers” this summer, which she described as “so much nicer.” Despite some students reporting feeling frustrated with this summer’s options, Crosby said that Dartmouth Dining aims to listen to students and “provide the services that the student wants.” “Like any big institution, we don’t necessarily turn on a dime, but if we keep hearing, you know, from students that they want this or that, our goal is to make things work,” he said.


FRIDAY, JULY 1, 2022


Students and alum petition to Proposed changes to rename, expand Russian department Title IX could increase inclusivity at Dartmouth


BY BEN FAGELL The Dartmouth Staff

More than 100 students and alumni have signed a petition in favor of restructuring Dartmouth’s Russian department into the Eastern E u ro p e a n s t u d i e s d e p a r t m e n t , reflecting a trend of peer institutions such as Brown University, Harvard University, Columbia University, Yale University, Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania that contain a diverse set of courses about Eastern Europe. The petition states that a departmental transformation would address issues related to a history of Russian imperialism and promotes proper nuance while studying Slavic and Central Asian cultures. It also notes that the Russian department and the German department are the only two departments at Dartmouth to focus on one country rather than the broader regional context. Japanese and Chinese courses are combined within the Asian Societies, Cultures, and Languages programs; Arabic and Hebrew are combined within the Middle Eastern Studies department; French and Italian are combined within the Romance Languages department and Spanish and Portuguese are combined. “The students of Dartmouth seek this change from a place of intellectual curiosity and excitement at the opportunity to learn more about a region of the world so critical to language, literature, art, geopolitics and history,” the petition states. “Students currently enrolled in the ‘Russian Area Studies’ major would rather graduate with the credentials to understand and interpret a broader

region of the world.” Eric Hryniewicz ’23, who was involved in creating the petition, said he sought signatories who had taken classes in the Russian department or expressed interest in taking other Eastern European classes to highlight just how many students stand to benefit from the change. Russian professor Lynn Ellen Patyk said the department has been considering a name and curricula change for a couple of years, but the petition adds a new sense of momentum. She noted, however, that restructuring the department would require a lengthy administrative process. “A name change and department restructuring isn’t just like hanging up a new sign,” Patyk said. “We would have to have a really well-planned proposal to present to the administration. It’s not like we can snap our fingers and say, ‘Bags of money here. Change our program the way we want.’ We actually need the resources to do that.” Patyk stated that the requisite approval committees do not meet during the summer, making the petition’s call for the change by fall of 2022 an overly “ambitious” goal. According to Patyk, a change now might also be seen solely as a political decision in the RussianUkrainian context, rather than a change stemming from years of deliberations. Sophia Rubens ’24, a signatory of the petition, said she believes that the war may have prompted the petition, but that students and faculty had long been thinking about these issues and how to address them. “The tragedy made this issue rise to prominence maybe faster than

it would have,” Rubens said. “… The sentiments were brewing, but perhaps the outbreak of the war was yet another instance that galvanized people’s thinking in that direction.” Rubens said that Russia’s decadeslong past of violent imperialism should not be conflated with the wider Slavic sphere’s cultural output and literary traditions. “Some students might hear ‘Russian’ and have a certain set of preconceptions about whether it’s the language, the culture … and they might be attracted to it or disinterested because of those associations,” Rubens said. “…Calling it Slavic studies or something to that effect would encourage people to think more broadly.” Hryniewicz noted that had he attended another school like Harvard, he would have majored in Slavic studies or something similar and concentrated in Polish. At Dartmouth, he is studying Russian because it is all that is available. This coming year, he plans to take Ukrainian classes through a tutor but said he wishes the department offered the class. “The Russian department has struggled to recruit people for a long time,” Hryniewicz said. “I think [it] stands to gain a lot in terms of students taking classes.” However, Patyk said she does not think Dartmouth could sustain other Eastern European language classes because it lacks graduate students, unlike its Ivy League counterparts. She said she is in contact with Vassar College, Bowdoin College, Amherst College and other smaller schools — all of which have strictly Russian departments — to see how they are handling the situation.

Dartmouth community members react to the end of federal abortion rights FROM ROE V. WADE PAGE 1

to the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade. “The opinion shows so little respect for women that [the Supreme Court] didn’t even bother to engage in accurate historical analogies or compelling legal reasoning – it was a lousy opinion,” she said. “They took the Roe opinion, which is widely regarded by many people, including me, to have not been wrongly decided, but the basis for the decision was imperfect – and replaced it with [a decision] that is demonstrably worse.” Fowler said she believes the decision violates her first amendment right to religious freedom, since she does not agree that life starts at conception as some religious faiths do. She also noted that in her opinion, the Constitution implies the human right to individual and “bodily autonomy,” which is why abortion should be a federal protection. “You can look at the Fourth Amendment, you can look at the 14th Amendment, you can look at the Ninth Amendment, which is the most telling one,” Fowler said. “It basically says that citizens have more rights than the ones enumerated, and that we have not listed all of them: We’ve listed important ones, and just because they are not on this list does not mean that citizens don’t have them.” Holmes said that she felt “devastated” but “not surprised” when she found out the Supreme Court had overturned Roe v. Wade. Holmes, who also spoke at the protest, said she discussed how low income women, BIPOC and the disabled will be affected disproportionately by this decision, as

well as women in states with already limited reproductive healthcare. “The communities that will be [most] affected by this decision include low income families, Indigenous [people], people of color and disabled people who already face discrimination with the health care system and within abortion care,” she said. “…In New Hampshire as of now, abortion is still safe and legal because we have an abortion law in place that abortion is acceptable up until 24 weeks, so [I] just think about all the states where that is not necessarily the case.” Chaudhari said that the overturning of Roe v. Wade will provide a starting point for the Court to revise other landmark decisions. “This ruling sets a lot of precedents for overturning things related to gay marriage, access to birth control, criminalizing interracial marriage – tremendous, fundamental societal things that this [decision] is opening up doors to overrule,” Chaudhari said. “I don’t think people are truly understanding how regressive this is for us, and how embarrassing this is for our country.” C o - p re s i d e n t o f D a r t m o u t h Graduate Women in Science and Engineering Aileen Eagleton, who attended the rally, said that this group has formed a coalition with the Committee for Addressing Racism and Equality, Dartmouth Young Democratic Socialists of America and the Student Workers Collective at Dartmouth, as well as other groups. The coalition has circulated a petition to “pressure” College administration to improve reproductive healthcare and childcare access for student

workers, she said. It has received over 300 signatures. The petition outlines several demands directed at the College administration, including releasing a statement in support of abortion, providing access to surgical abortions and transportation costs for students seeking an abortion as well as other demands such as “seriously considering” the abolition of the Greek system to decrease sexual violence on campus. Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the College has released a statement noting its “commitment to reproductive health care” and a u t o n o my, c o n t i nu i n g t o o f f e r insurance coverage to students, employees and their families “in support of reproductive health,” including abortion. Hakken-Phillips said some of the most powerful moments at the protest for her were when younger people spoke about their anger and determination in the wake of this decision. “I’m a person who had these rights my whole life and now they have been taken away from me, and to hear a younger generation equally, if not more, angry was just reassuring that this is a generational fight,” she said. “It’s not over.” According to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, abortion remains legal in New Hampshire up to 24 weeks, with exceptions for fatal fetal diagnoses and if the life of the pregnant person becomes jeopardized. For minors under 18, New Hampshire requires that a parent knows about the decision 48 hours prior to the abortion.


BY ARIZBETH ROJAS The Dartmouth Staff

On June 23 — the 50th anniversary of Title IX — the U.S. Department of Education opened the public comment period for the Biden administration’s proposed changes to Title IX. According to the Department of Education, the proposed changes are meant to ensure that no student faces sex-based harassment, violence o r d i s c r i m i n at i o n u n d e r T i t l e IX, conditions weakened under regulations imposed by the Trump adminsitration. Following the public comment period and agency responses to those comments, a final rule will be released. According to the assistant vice president for equity and compliance and Title IX coordinator Kristi Clemens, the Trump administration rel ea s ed a n o ti c e o f p ro p o s ed rulemaking in 2018. She said that after a public comment period, which elicited over 125,000 comments, a final rule was released in May of 2020. Institutions then had until August of 2020 to comply with new regulations, which are the regulations currently in place. Clemens estimates that in around a year, the Department of Education will release final guidelines with a period of time allotted to implement updated regulations. “The Trump regulations really narrowed the scope of what could be considered sexual harassment,” Clemens said. “Gender identity and expression were not considered part of the 2020 Title IX regulations, but they are expressly and intentionally included in this 2022 NPRM [notice of proposed rulemaking].” According to history professor Annelise Orleck, the Biden administration’s proposed changes, such as accommodating transgender students to use restrooms that align with their gender and ensuring they are addressed by their correct pronouns are a “recognition of the moment we are in.” Orleck pointed out that since 2018, hundreds of anti-gay, trans targeted laws have been passed all across the country. Orleck noted that although the proposed changes do not address whether transgender students will be eligible to participate in sports, she said she believes that transgender athletes should have the right to practice and compete with everyone else. “I’d like to see as far as school c o m p e t i t i o n s g o t h at t h e re b e no limitations on trans athletic participation, because there are a handful of trans athletes who have done very well, but it’s not wildly disproportionate,” Orleck said. “This suggests that there is no special advantage they have and there are also

plenty of trans athletes who have not medaled or dominated in the sports they choose to participate in.” Esheta Balamreddy ’23 said she believes that most of the campus buildings she has been in have gender inclusive restrooms. Balamreddy added that she does not see what the “big issue” is for those withreservations on gender inclusive restrooms. “When I came to Dartmouth from India, it was a big cultural change,” Balamreddy said. “When people ask you for your pronouns, I was sort of perplexed in the beginning, but now I got the hang of things.” Clemens said that she is working with the College’s Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator and facilities staff to ensure that gender inclusive bathrooms are accessible all over campus. The goal is to have at least one gender inclusive bathroom in each building, Clemens explained. Balamreddy also said that has noticed some organizations on campus making efforts to be inclusive — she noted that Women in Business, a student group on campus, encourages all self-identifying women to join the group. Orleck said she believes one “really important” element of the Biden administration’s changes to Title IX policy is the elimination of the requirement for live hearings for survivors. “In regards to in-person trials, the issue is trauma, new trauma to the victim,” Orleck said. “For many victims, it’s very traumatizing, as well as frightening, to have in-person faceoffs with the person they’re accusing.” Clemens explained that because the Biden administration’s proposed rule does not require live hearings, the decision to hold these will once again be left to the institutions. Another reversal of the Trump administration’s changes to Title IX is that anyone who is not a confidential resource now becomes a responsible employee, who is required to report knowledge of any sexual harrassment or assault. Clemens explained that at Dartmouth, staff were never prevented from acting as responsible employees. This means that nothing would change in that regard, while other schools might experience “a big shift.” Clemens added that institutions that are not in compliance with up to date Title IX policies are subject to investigation and could potentially lose federal funding. “We need to be really attentive and really precise in understanding these regulations so that we don’t jeopardize our federal funding,” Clemens said. “It’s not just about us as an institution; It’s about you all as students, and anyone with federal aid. We would never put that in jeopardy.”

FRIDAY, JULY 1, 2022





Medicare is in Danger, and Few are Watching

Off Target

We will all pay the price if the Biden administration continues a wasteful and dangerous Trump-era Medicare privatization program. Many are worried about the projected impending bankruptcy of the Medicare Trust Fund, which is currently spending more money than it brings in. Theoretically, if nothing changes, the fund will become insolvent in 2028 according to Medicare’s actuaries, and the Congressional Budget Office estimates by 2030. The worry is likely overblown. If Congress lets Medicare go insolvent, seniors backed by AARP — one of the strongest lobbying powers in America — would turn out in droves and all of Congress would be applying for unemployment. For its own sake, Congress can’t let Medicare go broke. Perhaps they will raise new taxes, lower benefits, or simply print more money, but they will do something. Seniors vote in higher proportions than any other age group, and Congress is rightly afraid of making them mad. Instead, what worries me is a program few people outside the health policy world know about. It’s called ACO REACH: Accountable Care Organization Realizing Equity, Access and Community Health. Despite its wonderfulsounding name, it accomplishes none of the things it claims to achieve. It’s actually a Biden administration rebrand of the Trump-era Direct Contracting Entity program by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). The CMMI spokespeople and other (usually corporate) proponents I’ve heard from never can pinpoint what the program will actually accomplish. Instead, they try to cover up this failure with fancy jargon about “value-based care” — today’s health policy buzzword — and a shallow understanding of equity. The program is dangerous for seniors, a waste of money and should be terminated as soon as possible. ACO REACH is a test to see how a privatization of Medicare would play out. Under the program, Medicare contracts out with Wall Street, which usually involves private health insurance companies, but also private equity and venture capital firms, plus anyone else who thinks they can make a profit. These firms then directly provide health insurance plans to Medicare beneficiaries instead of Medicare itself. Medicare pays these private plans a sum of money for each patient, with the exact amount varying based on patients’ pre-existing conditions. Covering a sicker patient yields a higher payment from Medicare. On the surface, it sounds fairly innocuous, with Medicare simply contracting with someone else to do the dirty work for them. Again, it’s not so simple. In fact, private insurance companies make more money by denying care. If their bureaucracy finds a way to determine what your clinician prescribes isn’t medically necessary, they can refuse to pay the bill. For insurers, fewer claims paid out equals more profit. ACO REACH is essentially a beefed-up version of a current program called Medicare Advantage (MA), in which seniors can choose to buy a private health insurance plan rather than using traditional Medicare. The Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General

released a report this year revealing how private MA insurers are denying medically necessary care to seniors, functionally practicing medicine without a license. In contrast, traditional Medicare usually defers to doctors’ expertise and professional judgment. Medicare isn’t trying to turn a profit — only providing the public good of healthcare. ACO REACH upends that by inserting a harmful profiteering motive where none should be. Additionally, ACO REACH doesn’t offer seniors a real choice about whether they want to participate in the program. Doctors choose whether to join, often incentivized by offers of higher pay. If they do, CMMI assigns all of the doctor’s Medicare patients to the ACO REACH program. If seniors don’t want in, they have to find a new doctor who isn’t in the program. Given the program is relatively unknown, it’s difficult to know which doctors are in and which aren’t. While proponents of increased privatization of healthcare often claim that privatization will increase patient choice, ACO REACH takes that agency away. Not only do seniors have a hard time opting out, but private insurance plans also frequently impose restrictive physician networks. If you see a doctor not on the list, you pay dramatically higher fees even if there are no in-network options near you. In contrast, traditional Medicare lets you see almost any doctor in the country, no questions asked. ACO REACH hurts Medicare beneficiaries and ordinary taxpayers alike. Let’s go back to Medicare Advantage, ACO REACH’s older sibling. Under MA, insurance companies have to have a medical loss ratio of at least 85%, meaning they only have to spend 85% of the money they bring in via premiums and federal funding on healthcare. Thus, they can spend up to 15% on administration and profit. Traditional Medicare spends only about 2% on administration. In other words, traditional Medicare is far more efficient per dollar spent than private Medicare Advantage health insurers. Traditional Medicare is also cheaper. Medicare Advantage costs taxpayers about $321 more per enrollee per year than traditional Medicare does. Scale that up to the over 61 million (and growing) Medicare beneficiaries nationally, and the result is about $20 billion down the drain annually. If that’s not alarming enough, ACO REACH has a medical loss ratio of only 60%, meaning up to 40% of its expenditures can go towards profits and administration. Yet we’re all paying for it as taxpayers, even if we aren’t yet eligible for Medicare ourselves. In order to stop this waste and the endangerment of seniors, ACO REACH needs to end. It probably seems odd, a 20-something college student writing an opinion column about Medicare, the health insurance program that is — save a few exceptions — only for senior citizens over 65. But soon my parents will be eligible, and one day I’ll be a senior citizen too. I want to make sure a solid Medicare is there for us, as it should be for every family in America.

Mental illness is not to blame for interpersonal gun violence. In response to horrifying mass shootings, pro-gun activists have pointed toward the mental health crisis plaguing the United States as the underlying cause of gun violence. Despite this rhetoric, the evidence is clear – mental illness is not to blame for gun violence. The idea that mental illness causes gun violence is harmful, as it encourages prejudice towards those with mental disorders and discourages them from seeking proper medical help. Pro-gun activists use this unfounded claim to distract from the policies that would actually decrease gun violence in the United States. Policies based on addressing mental illness as a predictor of violence would be ineffective. Researchers have repeatedly found that mental illness is not responsible for the United States’ gun violence problem. Although it is true that people with serious mental illnesses are more likely to commit a violent act compared to people without mental illnesses and substance abuse issues (2.9% compared to 0.8%), people with serious mental illnesses account for only 4% of violent acts in the U.S. annually. More accurate predictors of violence include being young, male, of lower socioeconomic status, having a history of substance abuse or undergoing early life trauma. Psychiatric assessments, which are timeconsuming and expensive, do little to prevent violence either. When psychiatrists have attempted to predict future violence in patients, their assessments were correct only half of the time. Furthermore, the U.S. has similar rates of mental illness to that of other Western countries, yet the rate of gun violence in the U.S. far exceeds all other wealthy nations. Aren’t gun policies that protect at-risk individuals from suicide a good thing? After all, firearms are the most common means of suicide, accounting for 48.5% of deaths. Unfortunately, preventing people with mental disorders from purchasing guns based on their diagnoses alone would not substantially decrease suicides, as only half of those who kill themselves have a history of mental illness. Additionally, those without mental illness diagnoses are 14.7% more likely to kill themselves with firearms compared to those with diagnoses. The good news is that gun control works to decrease suicides. For example, in Washington, D.C., researchers found that a handgun ban rapidly decreased suicides, without increasing or decreasing suicides by other methods. Overall, gun permit and licensing requirements significantly lower suicide rates among men, and gun background checks and waiting periods significantly decrease suicide rates among older

populations. The more optimistic among us could argue that, at the very least, Republican lawmakers’ concer ns about the possible connection between mental illness and gun violence could indicate future efforts to increase mental health funding. Not so fast. Republican lawmakers who sorrowfully describe mental illness as the cause of gun violence rarely advocate for improving mental health programs, increasing funds for treating mental illness or expanding Medicaid to increase access to mental health care. By contrast, those very same lawmakers often cut budgets related to psychiatric treatment. Following the El Paso shooting in 2019, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, said “mental health is a large contributor to any type of violence or shooting violence.” But this year, Abbott cut $200 million from the budget of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, which funds and implements mental health programs in the state. Rhetoric that labels mental illness as the real culprit of gun violence has serious consequences. When people believe the mentally ill are dangerous, they are more likely to support policies and laws that restrict the liberties of people with mental disorders, including involuntary hospitalization, violations of medical privacy and legalized workplace discrimination. Researchers repeatedly found that news stories that identified mass shooters as being mentally ill — whether or not this was the case — caused readers to have stronger perceptions of mentally ill people as dangerous and want to stay away from them. Ultimately, stigmatizing mental illness discourages people from seeking treatment and support, which often has devastating and fatal consequences for the suffering. The recently passed, bipartisan Safer Communities Act is a good first step toward achieving meaningful change. It expands background checks for gun buyers under 21, prevents straw purchasing — when an individual buys a firearm for someone else —and invests in mental health resources. Although this leaves us better off than before, the Safer Communities Act is still a compromise. For example, the act does not implement a buyback program to address how we are a country with more civilian-owned firearms than people. The act does not place constraints on the role of money in politics, ignoring how the National Rifle Association spent more than $32 million in 2020 to muffle the calls for gun control. Instead of blaming mental health, the United States needs to address the real causes of interpersonal gun violence: an overabundance of firearms in the United States and gun laws still in need of strengthening.


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FRIDAY, JULY 1, 2022


Review: Kendrick Lamar delivers a more inward focus with new album, showing his growth as an artist and person BY JACK HARGROVE The Dartmouth Staff

On his last three albums, Kendrick Lamar has explored a range of lofty topics. On “Good Kid, m.A.A.d City” (2012), he used his experience as a teenager in Compton, CA., to make a general statement about growing up in impoverished urban areas. In “To Pimp a Butterfly” (2015), Lamar wrote about the experience of black people in America more broadly. In “DAMN.” (2017), Lamar wrote about emotions in a more abstract way; he was still presenting himself as a larger-thanlife figure, one who many listeners treat as a role model. But now, after a five year wait, Kendrick finally makes an attempt to present himself only as a human being with faults and vulnerabilities on his new album “Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers.” In the opening track of the album, “United in Grief,” Lamar notes that it has been 1,855 days since his last music release. While the reason for this extended hiatus is hinted at throughout the rest of the album, Lamar states it explicitly in the hook of the final song, “Mirror”: “I choose me, I’m sorry.” So many people looked up to Lamar and desperately wanted him to release an album sooner; however, he needed to take time to focus on and look after himself, necessitating a break from music. Lamar choosing his own mental health over the clamoring of his fans illustrates the raison d’être of “Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers.” Instead of writing about others, Lamar finally writes about his own demons. The album’s fifth track, “Father Time (feat. Sampha),” is a great example of Lamar writing about his own issues. He recalls the toxically masculine way his father raised him that taught him to hide his emotions and conceal his pain. Over the course of two well-crafted verses, Lamar raps about the long lasting impact

of his upbringing. His reflection feels genuine, especially given he considers how his tumultuous upbringing affected his relationships: “It’s crucial, they can’t stop us if we see the mistakes/’Til then, let’s give the women a break, grown men with daddy issues.” Combined with the counter-melody in the beat and Sampha’s beautiful rendition of the hook, this is one of the best songs on the album. “We Cry Together,” the eighth track on the album, is a stunning reenactment of an argument between two partners. Lamar plays the male partner with Taylour Paige playing the female partner. Over the course of nearly six minutes, the two berate each other in a way that simultaneously feels completely natural yet perfectly choreographed. This extended argument takes place over a syncopated piano-based beat created by seasoned producer The Alchemist. This track is nothing if not entertaining, but it also gives insight into Lamar’s relationship issues. The fourteenth track on the album, “Savior,” provides one of the best portraits of Lamar’s point-of-view regarding his public image. At the song’s beginning, Lamar lists himself, fellow rappers J. Cole and Future and NBA player LeBron James, stating “...but he is not your savior” after each one. Here, Lamar is saying that Black celebrities are often inappropriately idolized, revered not for their careers but blindly trusted because of their status. Later in the song, he uses the example of NBA player Kyrie Irving’s anti-vaccine stance: “Then I caught COVID and started to question Kyrie/Will I stay organic or hurt in this bed for two weeks?” Lamar worries that people will follow his example and blame him when they make the same mistakes he does — similar to how some people may have trusted Irving and followed his example for vaccines, on which he has no authority. Ultimately, this song provides a reminder that stars like Lamar are only human.


The penultimate song on the album, “Mother I Sober,” tells another deeply personal story about Lamar’s past. He recalls how, when he was five years old, his mother repeatedly asked him if his older cousin had molested him. While Lamar truthfully answered “no” to this question each time, the line of questioning in and of itself traumatized him. Lamar later learns that his mother’s concern over this topic stems from her being molested as a child. This leads to one of Lamar’s most poignant observations yet, “you ain’t felt grief ’til you felt it sober.” Lines like this exemplify the best aspects of Lamar’s introspection on this album. However, the end of “Mother I Sober” demonstrates one issue that I have with the album: it’s introspective nature can feel

forced, celebrating Lamar’s achievements in an inauthentic way. At the end of the song, Lamar’s real-life wife Whitney Alford says, “You did it, I’m proud of you/You broke a generational curse.” While this is not Lamar himself saying it, the fact that he chose to put it on his album feels very self-congratulatory. Perhaps he did break a generational curse, but the inclusion of this line and the following line from his daughter saying “Thank you, daddy…” feels forced. Another song with, in my opinion, inauthentic introspection is the second track, “N95.” From a musical standpoint, this is easily one of my favorite songs on the album, with immaculate flow and a booming instrumental. However, the central idea of the song is somewhat off-

putting to me. Lamar tells the listener to remove their metaphorical “masks” and follows it with “you ugly as fuck.” It’s moments like these that feel like Lamar is being abrasive for the sake of it, rather than exploring his own issues. Despite some minor thematic missteps, this album largely lives up to the same level as the rest of Lamar’s discography. At the very least, I prefer “Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers” to his previous effort “DAMN.” This album is meant to be listened to with the intimacy of headphones — rather than loudspeakers — to understand the nuances and power of Lamar’s performance. If you have followed Lamar’s story up to this point, this is a worthy next chapter. Rating:

Review: ‘Book Lovers’ is enemies to lovers without lovers or enemies BY MIA NELSON

The Dartmouth Staff

There are many ways to begin a love story. Don’t believe me? Just walk into any bookstore’s romance section. You will stumble across microgenres like friends to lovers, co-workers to lovers, childhood neighbors to lovers, sister-in-law to lovers (hello Bridgerton season two!), strangers to lovers, fake lovers to lovers, fake lovers to lovers but for young adults — the list goes on. But — in accordance with the truism that the opposite of love is not hate, but rather indifference — the crown jewel plot line of contemporary romance is enemies to lovers. While I don’t personally get it — call me old fashioned but I’d rather my significant other like me instead of abhor me (been there done that!) — enemies to lovers is a long time favorite. From “Pride and Prejudice” to “When Harry Met Sally,” as a soci-

ety, we cannot get enough of weirdly charged meet-cutes and declarations of hatred that turn into passionate kisses. I mean, anyone with a soul can admit that Elizabeth telling Darcy that he is the last man on Earth she could ever marry (while he stares longingly at her in the pouring rain) is damn good cinema. Who among us can forget Julia Stiles’s character in “Ten Things I Hate About You” reading a poem addressed to her enemy, played by Heath Ledger, that ends with “But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you, not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.” No one, that’s who. Enemies to lovers is all about the tension! The unspoken feelings! The miscommunication! The passion! The way they don’t hate each other, not even at all! The crux of enemies to lovers is a simple reversal of expectations. It really doesn’t take much. But Emily Henry makes that easy equation look pretty difficult in her third novel “Book Lovers.”

Henry is a seasoned romantic comedy writer. Her debut novel “Beach Read” is one of my all time favorite books and it happens to be an enemy to lovers plot. Reading “Beach Read” felt like wish fulfillment––a novel about two graduate school rivals turned professional authors who fell in love? It’s like Henry wrote the book just for me. Her eagerly anticipated second book, “People We Meet On Vacation” was a delightful novel with a one-of-a-kind narrator that almost lived up to her debut. What made it not as good as “Beach Read,” despite having more vivid and humorous characters, was that best friends to lovers essentially has no tension as a plot. Like if you’re best friends and you both have a crush on each other, you fundamentally should just kiss. It’s a rule we should all live by. “Book Lovers” returns to the enemies to lovers trope, but falters immediately: there is no reason for these two to hate each other.

“Book Lovers” centers around a literary agent, Nora, and a literary editor, Charlie. We are supposed to believe these two love interests are enemies from one interaction that lasts about three pages and is not acrimonious at all. Somehow, that one-hour lunch is enough for Nora to not only remember Charlie years later when she sees him in Sunshine Falls, N.C. while on vacation, but to send him extremely unprofessional emails until he spots her. In the small town, which is the setting for Nora’s best selling client’s novel, Nora and her sister take a month-long vacation. Charlie, who is from the small town, and Nora strike up a will-they-won’t-they romance, born from unfounded hatred. Except I really didn’t care if they did or didn’t. These characters were strangers, but almost immediately after reconnecting in the small town, they were emailing flirtatiously and calling each other by their last names — which


is, by the way, not only a cheap way of signaling intimacy but supremely awkward and unrealistic. Think about it, if your crush called you by your last name would you be flattered or think you were teammates on a little league team? But I understand why Henry had to resort to quick ways to manufacture a spark between these two duds — the characters were boring, undeveloped and had no sense of voice. Henry sprinkled in some light trauma for both characters as a substitute for a distinctive voice and then one-dimensionally built their personalities — if you can call them that — around said trauma. We cannot see the trauma in how the characters move throughout the world, rather Nora and Charlie state bluntly that what they are doing is a result of their experiences. No wonder the two have no chemistry — they can barely say a word without over explaining themselves. Henry did not seem to be focused on characterisation. Instead she was too busy trying to make the plot quirky. Nora’s sister is maybe getting a divorce. Charlie’s family owns a failing bookstore. Charlie’s cousin hits on Nora. Nora’s client is writing a book about her. Charlie might have to leave New York City. Charlie’s sister elopes in Italy. In her efforts to be specific, she zoomed into the menagerie of setting and side plots at the expense of these characters that we are supposed to care about. Henry’s third novel was supposed to be the novel for dedicated literary romance fans like myself — the title announces itself as so: “Book Lovers” not only hints at Charlie and Nora, but references the novel’s readers. I have been eagerly anticipating this novel since last year when I heard about a love story between a book agent and book editor. Now, I am just disappointed that no other writer can give that premise a better shot. “Book Lovers” had the potential to be my new favorite book, but the disorganized plot and indistinct characters left me so disappointed I had to immediately watch “Pride and Prejudice” to remind myself that there are still interesting enemies to lovers out there. You just won’t find them in “Book Lovers.” Rating:

FRIDAY, JULY 1, 2022




Women’s hockey head coach Liz Keady Norton tapped as U18 US women’s national team assistant coach


BY HEATH MONSMA The Dartmouth Staff

Women’s hockey head coach Liz Keady Norton will be an assistant coach for the U18 U.S. women’s national team as they gear up for the

International Ice Hockey Federation’s U18 Women’s World Championship, USA Hockey announced. The squad will travel to Brunflo, Sweden in January of 2023 to compete. Despite winning eight out of the 14 U18 World Championships,

the U.S. team has not held the gold medal for two years, after a COVID-19 cancellation in 2021 and a heartbreaking 3-2 championship loss at the hands of rival Canada in 2022. However, Keady Norton has some experience with reigniting hockey programs — this season Big Green had its most winning season since 2014. Keady Norton’s history with the national team dates back nearly 20 years to her playing days at Princeton University. In 2004, she played for the U22 team in a series against Canada and the Four Nations Cup, where she competed well enough to make the team that was heading to the world championship. However, due to an injury in her sophomore season, Keady Norton’s journey was put on pause until the next season when she played in the pre-Olympic tour with the team. Despite never seeing the ice in a gold medal game, Keady Norton said she looks back on her time fondly, adding that she hopes her hockey experiences are relatable to guide her players as a coach. “What I can bring as a former player is an understanding of the process and use that to take care of what is controllable, ” Keady Norton said. Since becoming a coach, Keady Norton has stayed close to Team USA, working in their development camps for the past eight years. She said that one of her goals as a coach is to give

back to the sport that has been such a significant part of her life. Even with her dedication to the sport, the reward of the new role was never the goal for Keady Norton. “I’m humbled and honored to be asked, but I wasn’t necessarily expecting it and I’m just grateful to be a part of it,” she said. “At the national level, there are a lot of really qualified coaches working with this program, so I’m hopeful to learn from them and from the players as well.” Dartmouth women’s hockey captain Currie Putrah ’23 recalled that in a conversation with her coach, Keady Norton stressed that getting the job demonstrated a lesson for life. “We talked about the importance of doing the little things right because it adds up to the bigger things like this opportunity,” Putrah said. Strategically, Keady Norton is a versatile candidate for the job with experience working with forwards and defensemen in her coaching roles prior to Dartmouth, but in her mind that is only a small part of what she does. “As a coach, people always think about the hockey piece of it, the X’s and O’s, but honestly, that’s probably about 15% of my job on a daily basis,” she said. “It’s so much more about the relationships with the kids and what you’re giving to them on a personal level to help them perform their best.” At her core, Keady Norton is a player-first coach and her attention to

detail on and off the ice is what has brought her success, according to Big Green assistant captain Tiffany Hill ’24. “We can always just shoot her a text if we need something and she’ll get us help because she knows that we’re more than just hockey players,” Hill said. “She knows that Ivy League academics are hard and she cares about all of our wellbeing.” Keady Norton’s philosophy is that by working at the micro level with each individual, it is possible to shape the entire team culture. Putrah identified three tenets from this philosophy: gratitude, commitment and accountability, adding that putting purpose behind each pass or shot elevates the caliber of the entire team. Keady Norton’s most valuable precept is “complete and don’t compare,” Putrah said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re the best or the worst, as long as you’re still competing with each other you’re making each other better.” As Keady Norton travels across the country in preparation for the upcoming tournament, she has the support of her Dartmouth team behind her. “I can’t think of someone that deserves it more,” Putrah said. “She’s so determined and she acts not just as a coach, but also a role model and her work ethic drives us to be the best versions of ourselves.”

The Cheap Seats: Girls, Girls, Girls BY Lanie Everett The Dartmouth Staff

50 years ago on June 23, President Richard Nixon signed Title IX into law as part of the Education Amendments of 1972. It contained 37 words that transformed gender equality in education, and perhaps most visibly, gender equality in sports. Title IX, later renamed the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act, continuously paves way for millions of girls to grow up kicking soccer balls, lifting weights, coming home late from practice and working hard on and off the field until their dreams become reality. One year after Title IX was passed, much of the nation challenged such a notion of equality, and many refused to believe that women could be elite athletes without a tangible example. This came in the historic “Battle of the Sexes” — women’s tennis star Billie Jean King was challenged to a tennis match by Bobby Riggs, a previous number one world amateur male tennis player. In Houston’s Astrodome with 30,000 fans watching and countless more across American living rooms, King won the match and, subsequently, helped women across the nation prevail. Looking at the “Battle of the Sexes” in hindsight, it is hard to wrap one’s head about why this event was necessary in the first place. Throughout the match, commentators incomprehensibly discussed King’s attractiveness and seriousness on court. King’s efforts were monumental, and she later founded the Women’s Sports Foundation, which focuses on female participation in sports. Almost 50 years after the 37 words that made the organization possible in the first place,

the group released a report titled “50 Years of Title IX: We’re Not Done Yet.” The report advocates for a level playing field for girls of all backgrounds: “women of color, with disabilities and from low socioeconomic households, as well as LGBTQ+, trans and non-binary youth.” One of the Women’s Sports Foundation’s goals is to make Americans aware of the existence of Title IX; a recent poll by the University of Maryland suggested that although parents and students “overwhelmingly” supported gender equality in high school sports, a majority of these same people know “nothing at all” about Title IX. The lack of knowledge among students, parents and teachers is an issue — there is no way to push the boundaries of that legislation to greater opportunity and, more importantly, to ensure gender equality. To those familiar withTitle IX, however, the legislation has become a tool for people across the country to file lawsuits to enact change, particularly within school districts. This is exactly what happened when Ginger Folger, the mother of a softball player from Georgia, challenged her local school district when she compared the state of the high school boys’ baseball field and girls’ softball field. While the boys baseball field could be characterized as pristine, the softball field fell into the category of being a safety hazard, she claimed. Eventually, the school settled by spending $750,000 to construct facilities in equal conditions for the softball team, as well as ensuring the same quality of resources for both teams. What is most striking about Folger’s story is its impact. The cycle of parents and loved ones fighting for their children’s rights is the basis of


how Title IX became what it is today — when an individual speaks up, the 37 words of the legislation broaden their capacity for opportunity. While there were less than 300,000 girls playing sports in 1971, today there are over three million. A recent endeavor that speaks to just how far women have come since the passage of Title IX is establishment of Angel City FC in Los Angeles in 2020. The club, co-founded by Natalie Portman along with a star-studded group of female investors and athletes,

aims to have working conditions and salaries for the players of Angel City that rival their male counterparts. Angel City has made its mission of showing the country how important it is to invest in women’s sports clear. Although it is easy to get wrapped up in the excitement and pageantry of watching American sports, we tend to forget how sports can shape people’s lives as an instrument of growth. Since 1972, sports have been part of the American educational experience for both men and women. Sports

instill responsibility, confidence and perseverance with a fighting whisper that can drive each of us, saying “maybe If I just work hard enough things will get better.” Sports show women how strong they really are. From a young age, girls are made aware of all that their bodies can do. Title IX was never meant for sports, but the efforts of Billie Jean King, Ginger Folger, Angel City FC and many more have proved that progress can be achieved, and the fight for gender equality in sports must continue.


FRIDAY, JULY 1, 2022


Lyme Road housing project resumes with modified location BY DANIEL MODESTO The Dartmouth Staff

This article was originally published on June 23, 2022. The College announced on Thursday that the housing project on Lyme Road — a proposal to create undergraduate housing on Garipay Fields, around 30 minutes north of Baker-Berry Library by foot — will move forward, with one substantial change: The proposed apartments will relocate west, across Lyme Road, to the north end of the former golf course and Pine Park. The College intends to build three apartment-style buildings with 128 units. According to the announcement, this would house approximately 400 undergraduate students or 300 graduate and professional students. The original proposal, announced in January, was met with criticism from different community members. The Garipay Neighborhood Association sent a letter to the College outlining environmental impacts and community disruptions to the area, while students and faculty expressed concerns about its distance from campus. Fueled by these concerns, faculty members voted 89-4 to pause further development during the annual winter term faculty meeting in February. Following the faculty vote, the College held sessions with faculty members and other members of the community, such as the Garipay Neighbors Association and the Pine Park Association, according to vice president of campus services and institutional projects Josh Keniston. These conversations provided “good reflections on how Dartmouth land interacts with the community” and how the College should think about subsequent developments, Keniston said. While the west side of Lyme Road wasn’t initially considered for the housing project — as it had been designated for future academic use by the Planning for Possibilities strategic framework — Keniston said that the College’s planners “reengaged” on how to utilize the west side of Lyme Road. The College now plans to utilize the area for both academic


The proposed apartments — which would house 400 undergraduate students — will be relocated across Lyme Road to the north end of the golf course.

and residential use moving forward. In the announcement, the College noted that the Lyme Road apartments will be able to house students while ensuring “flexibility to renew existing undergraduate housing stock over the next 15 years.” Although the new location is slightly further away from campus than the original proposal, it is walking distance from a Co-op Food Store and Hanover Fire Department, according to executive vice president Rick Mills. Mills said that this development is “significant” since students would be able to buy groceries easily, as opposed to being far away from a Co-op. “Being further up on Lyme Road from

a livability standpoint is almost better than being closer in but not directly in the core of campus, because if you [were at] the southern end of the golf course, you wouldn’t actually be that near campus, nor would you be near places where you can buy milk and eggs and bacon,” Mills said. According to Keniston, the Board of Trustees voted in their June meeting on the direction of the College’s plan and approved $3 million for design and permitting work. The College will hear feedback from the community in the form of structured community meetings, the first of which will be on July 11, according to Keniston. Future meetings throughout the summer

will discuss other topics, including recreational spaces and sustainability in the Lyme Road apartments, Keniston added. In particular, Keniston said the College is interested in receiving feedback from students who have lived in the Summit at Juniper apartments, noting that the Lyme Road apartments will be “very similar” to those offered at the Juniper apartments in terms of the “lived experience, apartment style housing and the types of amenities [offered].” After receiving feedback from the community and finalizing design elements for the apartments, the College will start the permitting process with the town of Hanover in the late summer

or early fall, Keniston said. When construction begins will be contingent on the permitting process. Mills said that given the current housing crisis, the plan is a way for the College to move forward, noting that he doesn’t think there will ever be a universally accepted proposal for housing on Lyme Road. “I don’t think we’re ever going to find a plan that everyone says ‘this is perfect,’” he said. “[The current plan] is a good aspiration and it’s certainly what we’re trying to shoot for. But inherently the moving ahead is going to involve compromises by all parties on what can work, and it just feels like we’re at that point.”

Senators Rob Portman ’78, Jeanne Shaheen speak in Hanover about war on Ukraine, lawmaking experiences


The bipartisan talk featured discussion on the impact of Russian disinformation and the United States’ commitment to supporting Ukraine.

BY Farah Lindsey-Almadani The Dartmouth Senior Staff

This article was originally published on June 21, 2022. The Dickey Center for International Understanding and the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy co-sponsored a bipartisan conversation titled “The Defense of Ukraine” between U.S. senators Rob Portman ’78 (R-Ohio) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) on June 17 at Hanover Inn. The event, which was also livestreamed, was attended by approximately 400 local community members, students and alumni visiting the College for reunions. The conversation highlighted the role of Russian disinformation, the United States’ longstanding commitment to Ukraine and the importance of retaining public support for Ukraine. Both Portman and Shaheen have

experience as policymakers in foreign policy and international security issues. Portman serves as co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Ukraine Caucus. He revealed in his talk that he visited Ukraine to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a month prior to Russia’s invasion. Shaheen serves on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations — of which Portman is also a member — and chairs one of its subcommittees, the Europe and Regional Security Cooperation. The talk began with Rockefeller Center director Jason Barabas, who introduced Portman, Shaheen and moderator Victoria Holt, the director of the Dickey Center. “Both Portman and Shaheen have been active in shaping U.S. policy on Ukraine, including numerous visits to Ukraine ... [and] spearheading billions in security support,” Barabas said in his remarks.

Both senators opened with statements on the war in Ukraine. In her opening comments, Shaheen said she often receives questions on why the Russian invasion of Ukraine matters to New Hampshire residents. Shaheen responded by saying that she is reminded of the importance of rules-based international order and the courage of the Ukrainian people. “[Putin] refuses to acknowledge that Ukraine is a sovereign nation, much less that it should have its own aspirations to be a democracy with the rest of Europe,” Shaheen said. Shaheen said that European leaders have expressed concerns about Putin’s next move if he successfully invades Ukraine. Portman added that there is a global effort to provide assistance to Ukraine. “Vladimir Putin expected that he would divide [the North Atlantic Treaty Organization] further and really the opposite has happened,” Portman said,

citing Sweden and Finland’s application to join NATO. The conversation with the senators began with a question from Holt about how Americans should handle the consequences of the conflict, such as food insecurity. Shaheen said that Russia is on the offensive by using disinformation to blame the United States for global food insecurity. “I think that we’ve got to look at where are there opportunities in this dynamic where we can change the tables, turn the tables on Putin and really put him on the defensive,” Shaheen said. She said that so far, the United States and Ukraine have been on the defensive. Portman said he agreed with Shaheen’s remarks and highlighted the hypocrisy in Russia’s disinformation, as Russians had recently bombed a grain bin near the Black Sea. “Food should never be used as a weapon of war, and that’s exactly what

[the Russians] are doing,” he said. To combat Russian disinformation, Shaheen proposed having a liaison in charge of coordinating antidisinformation efforts across federal agencies. Portman said that another way to decrease the effects of disinformation is declassifying “very sensitive, highly classified” information and promoting transparency. The talk also featured questions from the audience, including one submitted online by a member of the Class of 2021 serving in the Donbas region of Ukraine. The alumnus asked whether Western officials were aware of the shortage of resources such as night-vision goggles and infrared lasers. In response, Portman said that the United States would be providing some additional materials, including longer-range missiles and security vests. The second audience question was about the goal for Ukraine’s future. Shaheen responded that the goal was to allow Ukraine to determine its own future without international pressure. including from the West. Portman said that Ukrainians should “track their own future.” Nathan Syvash ’25, a Ukrainian student, attended the talk and said that the war in Ukraine is important to Dartmouth because many students are connected to Ukraine and can impact its future. “I think that Dartmouth — one of the best colleges in the U.S., if not the world — has to be one of the centers to facilitate that commitment [to Ukraine] because the people, the students who are studying here [...] will help build the future,” he said. Dagger Bishop ’24 was also in attendance and said he wished the conversation had included international or Ukrainian perspectives. “I was a little disappointed that it was mainly from a United States point of view, but I can understand that because of the audience,” Bishop said. The idea for the event originated with Portman, who was visiting Hanover for his class reunion, reaching out to the College about having a conversation on Ukraine, he said in an interview with The Dartmouth. He said he wanted Shaheen to participate in the discussion so that it would be bipartisan. “This has been an issue unlike many others where it is not broken down on party lines,” Portman said. “It’s an American issue.”