The Dartmouth 01/27/2023

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Former e Dartmouth Publisher Dax Tejera ’07 ‘lived his life with complete intention,’ remembered for his drive

Ailey said. “He expected people to take him seriously because he should have been taken seriously.”

During his time as an undergraduate student, Tejera was a history and government double major, according to Zubricki, who took classes with him.

Zubricki noted that Tejera often asked questions in class, went to ofce hours and talked to professors outside of class. In particular, one of Tejera’s favorite professors was history professor Marysa Navarro-Aranguren, according to Hebert.

The Dartmouth Staff

This article was originally published on Jan. 26, 2023.

As the 2004 presidential elections were starting to take shape, a frst-year student came up to Matt Slaine ’06, who had interned for former Sen. Joe Lieberman’s presidential campaign in the summer of 2003. That student was Dax Tejera ’07, who convinced Slaine to get him an interview with the presidential candidate.

“He knew he wanted to make a name for himself at The [Dartmouth] and be impactful right away,” Slaine said. “Interviewing a presidential candidate, he thought, would [make for] a great article.”

Those who knew Tejera — a former publisher of The Dartmouth — said his time at Dartmouth propelled him into a

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE TEJERA FAMILY successful journalism career. He worked at NBC and MSNBC, produced “America with Jorge Ramos” and served as executive producer of ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” which under his leadership became the number one rated newscast among adults aged 25-34. Throughout his growing career, friends recalled his dedication towards his family and loved ones.

Tejera died on Dec. 23 in New York at age 37. The cause of death was a heart attack, according to ABC. He is survived by his wife Veronica, two daughters, his parents and several members of his extended family.

Many of his friends, including Jacques Hebert ’07, recalled that Tejera was “so connected to [their] experience” at Dartmouth. Hebert recalled how inviting Tejera was towards other people, noting he loved to host events.

“He was always the center of the party and would love to host parties and have people over and have just all kinds of people,” Hebert said. “I met so many people through him because he would have this open door policy, [where] people would come in… his freshman year dorm was always the gathering place.”

Hebert and Tejera bonded over their initial unfamiliarity with New England — Hebert is from New Orleans, while Tejera was from Miami. According to Hebert, Tejera supported him through hardships during college, including when a family member passed away and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

“Dax and his family were there for me and just supported me so much in that moment, but also in the moments after, when I had to return to campus after everything, and he was there and helped me get through,” Hebert said. “I don’t think I would have been able to get through Dartmouth without him and his support.”

Matt Ailey ’09, a close friend of Tejera’s, recalled his passion for journalism and care towards his friends, which came from his ability to “put 100% of himself into what he did.”

“He lived his life with complete intention,” Ailey said. “He was a very serious, but very fun person who did a lot of things for other people. Everything he did, he did it with passion.”

Similarly, Slaine recalled how much efort Tejera put in all aspects of his college life, noting that Tejera was “as engaged in the social part of college as he was in every other part.”

“He took work very seriously, took his extracurriculars very seriously, took school work seriously, but he also took his friendships really seriously,” Slaine said.

“... It was almost like Dax put 100% into everything… everything was done the right way or not done at all.”

Many of Tejera’s friends, such as Dave Zubricki ’07, noted his habit of dressing in formal attire, which made him stand out.

“He was always dressed really well, especially for a freshman at Dartmouth,” Zubricki said “He wore slacks, a freshly dried clean shirt and a jacket, very much more dressed up than the rest of us… just walking around campus, he stood out because he did have that presence.”

According to Ailey, Tejera’s style of dress was fueled by his eforts to present himself seriously.

“[People say], ‘he was always well dressed’… he was always prepared. Anyone would have taken him seriously because he was putting time and efort into preparing for things and didn’t want to be dismissed for any appearance reason,”

On campus, Tejera was often seen at his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, where he was a member of the executive board, Ailey said. Though Tejera was often busy, Zubricki recalled that he was a regular at Canoe Club, a Hanover restaurant that closed in 2018. In addition, Tejera attended St. Thomas Episcopal Church, according to Hebert Tejera served as the Publisher of The Dartmouth’s 163rd Directorate from 2006 to 2007, which was the frst time since 1993 that the publisher and editor-inchief were separate positions. According to Ailey, who was then a member of The Dartmouth’s business staf, Tejera was able to produce “record proftability,” noting that he was respected by the Valley News. Tejera joined The Dartmouth’s Board of Proprietors in 2018.

The Dartmouth Board of Proprietors member Susan Matthews ’11 wrote in an email statement that Tejera’s position on the board was “reassuring,” noting that Tejera “pushed the students to be the strongest journalists and stewards of [The Dartmouth] as they possibly could.”

The Dartmouth publisher Amy Park ’23 wrote in an email statement that it was “abundantly clear that [Tejera] loved The Dartmouth.” She added that Tejera was “fercely committed” to supporting student journalism and was always willing to provide advice and feedback for students.

“I will always remember and be thankful for his words of encouragement and support throughout my own time as Publisher,” Park wrote. “I hope to work with the community at The Dartmouth to continue his legacy of using journalism to support people and tell their stories.”

According to Slaine, Tejera knew his path “from day one” and would watch NBC’s “Nightly News” and wear an NBC Peacock hat “all the time.” Slaine added that his passion for journalism led him to take a “bottom of the totem pole” job at NBC over a high-paying job on Wall Street.

As a journalist, Tejera traveled all over the world, including Hong Kong, Havana and Rwanda, among other places. Some of Tejera’s notable assignments include covering the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 presidential election and the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. His most recent assignments included coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s death in Britain and traveling to Ukraine with ABC reporter Martha Raddaz.

As Tejera’s career grew, Ailey recalled his “loyalty” towards his close friends, noting that “he would do anything” for family and friends. In particular, Slaine recalled a situation in which a friend from college who was couchsurfng reached out to Dax, who ofered his apartment.

“Dax [gave him] his address, met him at the door with a bottle of Johnnie Walker and sat him down and said, ‘Let’s talk’ and let him stay there for a few weeks until he got his feet under him and was able to fnd a permanent place to live,” Slaine said. “Dax never complained, never tried to kick him out — his place was your place. What mattered to him was connecting with people and being there in times of need.”

According to Zubricki, Tejera was a “loving person” who credited his family as the motivation behind his drive and success.

“The reason he was so successful was and the reason he was so driven, it wasn’t for himself — it’s not like he wanted his name to be out there,” Zubricki said.

“I think he really loved his parents and his family, and he wanted to make them proud. He loved his kids, and his wife, and he wanted to fght for them and [for] them live a great life and he loved his friends and wanted to be able to share great experiences [with them].”

A church service was held for Tejera on Jan. 7 at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Coral Gables, Florida and a memorial service was held on Jan. 13 at St. Thomas Church in Manhattan.

This article was originally published on Jan. 24, 2023.

Some 20 friends arrived at Luke Veenhuis’s funeral donning shorts and Hawaiian shirts, according to Veenhuis’s childhood friend Ben Braun, a testament to Veenhuis’s laid-back personality and sense of humor. In high school, in the lab and throughout his life, Veenhuis uplifted those around him while being immensely committed to his passions.

“One thing that I have always genuinely admired about Luke was he was always unapologetically himself,” Braun said. “It didn’t matter if there was a social norm.”

After receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Veenhuis worked remotely as a researcher in engineering professor Eugene Santos’s lab at the Thayer School of Engineering, according to an email from College President Phil Hanlon. In the lab, Veenhuis researched a database system funded by the National Institutes of Health that guides doctors toward more effective treatments for patients.

Veenhuis died at age 30 on Sept. 26, 2022 at his home in Wisconsin, where he was working. According to Veenhuis’s mother Sue Veenhuis, his cause of death is still being determined but was related to complications from a blood clot.

Veenhuis is survived by his mother Sue, father Randy Veenhuis and two sisters, Madalyn and Emily.

“It was a shock,” said University of Wisconsin-Whitewater computer science professor Hien Nguyen, who served as Veenhuis’s advisor and

worked closely with him for almost four years. Nguyen said that she oversees a tightly-knit research group that formed a core part of Veenhuis’s university experience.

“He developed a lot as a person,” she said. “He became very goaloriented. For his master’s thesis, I think he worked 12 or 14 hours a day in the lab.”

In the introduction to Veenhuis’s master’s thesis, he wrote, “Most notably I thank my advisor, Hien Nguyen, for being patient when I was not.”

Veenhuis greets professors after defending his master’s thesis at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Photo courtesy of Sue Veenhuis.

All of Veenhuis’ friends and colleagues pointed out his intense work ethic in the lab, which developed later in life as he became more passionate about his burgeoning career in computer science. According to Sue Veenhuis, Luke was more of a “class clown” in his high school years in his hometown of Ft. Atkinson, Wisconsin.

“He was not a great student when he was young. He was a class clown and did not take his education very seriously until later in life,” she said, adding that after high school he was unsure of his path and worked in factories before beginning classes at a nearby junior college.

Braun, who said he knew Veenhuis since the two were five years old, echoed Sue’s description. In high school sports, Braun said Veenhuis’s goal was not to win, but to “have fun.” During a senior year tennis match, Braun said that Veenhuis jokingly wore a “matching ’90s jogger suit” and a cape to his game, which led to a serious conversation with the coach.

Police investigating as many as four incidents of ‘unwanted sexual touching’ as alleged assaults

This article was originally published on Jan. 25, 2023.

Hanover Police Department ofcials are actively investigating one suspect, who has been described as a temporary College employee, for as many as four reports of alleged assault, according to Hanover Police lieutenant Michael Schibuola.

In a joint email statement to campus, Dean of the College Scott Brown and Department of Safety and Security Director Keiselim Montas described the incidents as “unwanted sexual touching.”

Brown and Montas wrote that the incidents “occurred yesterday afternoon into the early evening.” Law enforcement was notifed yesterday at around 2 p.m.

In one victim’s statement, a female student said that she was grabbed around the buttocks area by the suspect, which Schibuola said “was consistent with the other [incidents], though I do not have

those exact statements.”

According to Schibuola, police have not been able to identify every victim. He added that HPD ofcials are asking anyone with information about the incidents to contact local police immediately.

The incidents occurred between the downtown area and the Collis Center for Student Involvement, Schibuola said, adding that the suspect is believed to have passed through the downtown area to go to work on campus.

“The suspect, a temporary employee, was immediately relieved of his duties and subsequently removed from campus,” Brown and Montas wrote. “This individual is permanently prohibited from entering campus.”

The suspect has been described as a roughly six-foot tall white male with a potential light beard. Though descriptions over the suspect’s appearance have varied, “we do believe we know who that person is and we obviously have identifed him,” Schibuola added.

‘Unapologetically himself’: ayer researcher Luke Veenhuis remembered for his humor, passions

Persistent laundry issues in College housing spur student discontent

This article was originally published on Jan. 26, 2023.

When laundry is done properly, clothes and linens come out clean. But that is not always the case at Dartmouth, with students reporting issues ranging from damp clothing to moldy washers in College dormitories.

Aside from some washing machines leaking, failing to start or harboring mold, even “seemingly functional” washers and dryers are simply not doing the job, according to Ranvir Deshmukh ’26.

“Everyone complains about the laundry,” Deshmukh said. “The machines are broken — this machine is not working, that machine is not working.”

According to director of residential operations Cathy Henault, the washers and dryers are not operated by the College.

“The washers and dryers are owned and managed by CSC ServiceWorks, an outside vendor,” she wrote. “Dartmouth is in the eighth year of a 10-year contract.”

And, eight years into the contract, Henault wrote in an email to The Dartmouth that she is familiar with the problems the machines commonly face. She ascribed many issues to “overloading” of the machines.

“This creates problems with washers being able to wring out properly, resulting in overly wet clothes going into dryers,” Henault wrote. “This causes the dryers to take longer to dry or not dry all the way.”

As the machines enter their waning days, they have begun to show structural problems, too, according to Henault.

“Parts in general are failing on machines due to the age of the machines,” Henault wrote.

Adelina Smith ’23 said that the weak spin cycle on many of the washing machines fails to remove enough moisture from the clothing, putting extra stress on the dryers and requiring multiple cycles to fully dry clothing.

For Emma Symon ’26, doing the laundry often leads to “overflowing,” sudsy machines.

To that end, Henault said that students should avoid using too much detergent, as “too many suds will shut a machine down.” According to recent reporting in the New York Times, most loads of laundry require only one or two tablespoons of liquid detergent.

For Deshmukh, who is a South House senator, the faulty washers and dryers pose issues to his senatorial duties in addition to his own clothes,

he said.

“Everyone comes and tells me the same thing every day,” Deshmukh said. He said one resident of Middle Fayerweather Hall called him to complain about spending $20 on laundry, after a dryer failed to dry her clothing after four cycles.

Evan Lai ’26 also said that the dryers cannot dry clothes efficiently.

“Especially with the dryers, they don’t dry properly,” Lai said. “So, I’ll pay my money to dry my clothes and they’ll come out damp, and I have to put it in for another cycle.

Now, what I’m doing is I’m loading half capacity and then running two machines, which is obviously more expensive.”

Adelina Smith ’23 said that when she lived in residence halls before moving off-campus, she spent about $15 a week on laundry, and had to run the dryer multiple times to dry her clothing.

“Obviously it’s hard to make college-proof washing machines, sometimes people have user error,” Smith said. “But there is a lot of room for improvement and a lot of room for a price change.

Lai and Smith’s comments touch on an additional complaint among students. Although many peer institutions — including Ivy League colleges like Columbia University, Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania — do not charge for laundry, Dartmouth does, requiring $1.50 for each use of the washer and another $1.50 per use of the dryer for standard settings.

“I think paying for laundry should be included in your dormitory fees,” Lai said, adding that students already “pay enough” to be here. The current cost of residence in the dormitories is $3,627 per term, according to the Office of Residential Life website.

But price negotiations cannot be discussed until the 10-year contract with CSC ServiceWorks expires, Henault wrote.

Veenhuis hoped to pursue a Ph.D. in computer science

“Boiled down, Luke knew it was harmless and silly,” Braun said. Veenhuis sometimes seemed to attract humor and irony like a magnet, according to his high school and college friend Roman Boparai.

“If something ironic were to happen, obviously it would happen to Luke,” Boparai said. “He was just always in the right place at the right time.”

Boparai said that one time, Veenhuis became hypnotized during an event with a high school hypnotist. But Veenhuis was actually in the crowd, not on stage with the other volunteers for the session, he added.


“Back in 2014, the contract was set up with paid laundry,” Henault wrote. “I expect a discussion to happen regarding free laundry when this contract is complete.”

For now, Henault wrote, the dollars students pay for laundry are used to maintain the machines.

“The revenue from the washerdryer commission goes toward the expense of running the machines — electricity, water and network upkeep in particular,” Henault wrote. “Anything above those expenses goes toward the building expense,” she wrote, before listing “taxes, insurance, [and] maintenance.” College spokesperson Diana Lawrence wrote in an email to The Dartmouth that CSC ServiceWorks has a technician on campus every other day, if not every day.

“Unfortunately, because of the age of the machines, they do break down occasionally,” Lawrence wrote. “Some are down for extended periods of time because CSC cannot find parts. They have begun replacing machines and have replaced two to date.”

But as complaints continue to pile up, the issue has begun to take on greater significance among Student Government, according to East Wheelock senator Jack Wisdom ’26.

“A lot of members of the board of trustees have agreed that they want to try and move to something different in the future, maybe make it free,” Wisdom said.

In the meantime, Henault told students to reach out if a machine is in need of repair.

“There is a phone number on the CSC posters in laundry rooms,” Henault wrote. “I would recommend calling residential operations (6461203) or emailing residential. with work orders, though. We can make sure the order is submitted and follow up if necessary.”

Jacob Strier ’23 contributed to reporting.

“Luke got hypnotized in the crowd and it was the funniest thing in the world,” Boparai said. “That explains his enigma: Nobody was surprised that he got hypnotized in the crowd.”

Veenhuis’ mother said that after her son’s passing she became more aware of his antics.

“I knew there were a lot of stories out there, and parents are always the last to know,” she joked. “He was just a really great kid.”

While in junior college, Veenhuis took a trip to Egypt with fellow students for an ancient history class, according to his mother. She said this image represents his sense of humor. Photo courtesy of Sue Veenhuis.

When their paths crossed again at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Boparai experienced a whole new Veenhuis, whom he described as the “workaholic Luke.” The two would sit together in Nguyen’s research lab spending late nights trying to navigate problems.

“Our discussions would almost get philosophical to a point and just became conjecture,” Boparai said. “We would go on a long tangent just talking about random stuff. I remember Luke was always pressured to want to succeed and be the best computer science research student that he could be.”

In the research group, both Nguyen

and his teammates described Veenhuis as a critical team player, always willing to lend a helping hand to others. His Thayer colleague Gregory Hyde, a Ph.D. student in professor Santos’s lab — who also attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with Veenhuis — said that Veenhuis pulled him out of his shell during their college years. In between the hard work, Hyde recalled warm memories of late nights in Nguyen’s lab fueled by energy drinks and games of Runescape, as well as fun nights out on the town.

“We were pretty competitive in academia and were constantly trying to one-up each other in a beneficial sense; it made us both better,” Hyde said. “He was instrumental for me being here [at Dartmouth].”

At Dartmouth, Hyde said that Veenhuis applied his “architectural mind” to data science in the lab, working on projects to help clinical researchers parse through biomedical data.

“Luke wore two hats, one as a software engineer, architecting out our [application programming interface] service, and another as a researcher, helping us organize and model our data,” Hyde wrote in a follow-up email. “Luke always had a mind for architecting out information systems.”

Sue Veenhuis said that she thinks her son would have gone on to pursue a doctorate and become a professor, guiding other students in computer science. She added that her family is in the process of organizing a scholarship in Veenhuis’s name at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater to help other students gain degrees in computer science.

Boparai said that Veenhuis left a positive impact on everyone around him during his life with his deep sense of compassion.

“You could tell that a lot of people cared about him because he was one of those guys that was just friends with hundreds of people,” he said. “I never met someone who did not like Luke. He just got along with everybody really well.”

Dartmouth Dining Services introduces new combo specials, lowers prices after further increases

This article was originally published on Jan. 24, 2023.

Following concerns voiced by Dartmouth Student Government, Dartmouth Dining Services — which implemented several price increases after the interim break — reversed at least one of these increases. The price of the burger special, which had previously increased by 30% to $13, was lowered back to $10. In addition, Dartmouth Dining introduced new special combos at the Courtyard Cafe that are equivalent to the values of the lunch and dinner meal swipe equivalencies.

Dining costs and food prices have increased steadily over the past five years, while the value of meal swipes have not. For example, the cost of a Collis Cafe smoothie has risen from $4.75 to $6.75 over the past four years. These prices were further increased when students returned to campus this winter. In addition to an increase in price of the burger special, the price of soda at the Courtyard Cafe increased from $1.50 to $3, and a smoothie now costs $7.25.

According to DSG president David Millman ’23, these price increases were not a result of or part of conversations between DSG and Dartmouth Dining on late-night dining, which returned at the start of the winter term at the Class of 1953 Commons.

“[The price increases] came as a surprise to me and everybody else in the student government,” Millman said. “It wasn’t something that was

at all connected in our discussions around late-night dining.”

Millman said that he believed that the price increases were “problematic,” especially when unaccompanied by an increase in meal swipe dollar equivalencies. According to Dartmouth Dining’s website, meal swipes are valued at $5.25 during the breakfast and late-night periods, $7.50 for lunch and $10 for dinner.

“The biggest issue right now is that prices are so high that meal swipe equivalencies really don’t cover anything,” Millman said.

Based on his work regarding food insecurity on campus, Millman said that the rise in prices encourages the consumption of more unhealthy food options — which are cheaper than healthier options — and makes the dining environment on campus inequitable.

“It makes it very hard to get healthy options outside of [’53 Commons] because the fruit and salads are expensive, with the salads being $10,” he continued. “Students end up experiencing food insecurity as the term goes on … The prices are making food on campus a luxury rather than a necessity.”

Dartmouth Dining director Jon Plodzik wrote in an email statement that “unprecedented” inflation is the reason behind the rise in prices.

“Food inflation is real and impacts dining, just like it does everyone,” he wrote. “Dartmouth Dining reviewed our costs for our retail items over the winter break and adjusted the selling prices proportionally.”

Millman said that he believes that Dartmouth Dining’s goal was to attract

more students towards eating meals at ’53 Commons.

“It sounds a lot like [Dartmouth Dining’s] plan is to try to make it so [that ’53 Commons] is the place where students should go and they’re trying to lower the equivalencies at other locations,” Millman said. “It seems to be the essential plan, at least long term.”

However, in response to an email question, Plodzik wrote that this was not the intent behind the price increase.

“The items we sell are costing [Dartmouth Dining] more. It is that simple,” Plodzik wrote. “The best value for any meal swipe used will always be at ’53 Commons.”

According to Millman, DSG brought up the food price increases during regularly scheduled meetings with provost David Kotz, Dean of the College Scott Brown and executive vice president Rick Mills. DSG met with Plodzik and Dartmouth Dining senior staff on Jan. 13 to discuss the food price increases, Millman added.

In response to meeting with DSG, the burger special price was reduced to its original $10 price, Millman said. By Thursday, Dartmouth Dining had also introduced the new special combos.

“We are introducing more value meal combos at Collis [Cafe], Courtyard Cafe and late-night to reduce costs to students, as well as introducing new lower cost menu items,” Plodzik wrote.

In light of DSG’s meeting with Dartmouth Dining, Millman said that he is optimistic about forming “a more fruitful partnership” between the organizations.

Despite the new special combos, some students said that they continue to believe that the food prices are very high, and the possibility of running out of dining dollars is a stressor they face through the term.

“It reduces my consumption later on in the term,” Luca Fagotti ’23 said. “If I want something now, I get it, but maybe week seven or eight, I realize I’m running low [on dining dollars] and start cutting things out.”

Additionally, Fagotti said that freshmen, who are required to be on the Ivy Unlimited Plan for their first year at Dartmouth — and which offers only $250 dining dollars per term — are the most affected by price increases.

“It’s made it less likely that I’ll get something I actually want to eat. I spend more time thinking about the price and the consequence it’s going to have on my total DBA,” Annabelle Niblett ’26 said. “I don’t think it’s something college students should be stressing out about this much.”

For others, high Dartmouth Dining prices corner students who are left without other dining options in the context of Hanover’s constrained dining scene.

“The school kind of has a monopoly on food, so you need to pay the price either way,” Sai Gudempati ’26 said. “If you’re craving late night food, [’53 Commons] is the only place that is open.”


Dartmouth’s Grading System Gets an F, Part II

The Hypocrisy of the Non-Recording Opton (NRO)

This column was originally published on Jan. 26, 2023

One of the purportedly unique features of Dartmouth’s grading system is the ability to elect a non-recording option (NRO) for a class. Students can select a threshold for the lowest grade they are willing to receive in a class; if, upon completion of the term, they receive a grade lower than their limit (but still pass the class), an “NR” will appear on their transcript instead of the grade. This “NR” is not factored into GPA calculations.

Superfcially, this makes a lot of sense. According to the registrar website, the NRO exists “to support and encourage students who would like to elect courses that may pose greater than usual academic risk.” What better way to foster intellectual curiosity and promote academic rigor than by providing a fallback for students who wish to challenge themselves and take a risk they might not have otherwise?

However, the NRO system has its faws. For one, an NRO cannot be used for a major requirement and only one NRO class can be used for a minor. Even more signifcant, you cannot use an NRO to satisfy a distributive requirement.

A common use of an NRO is for when a student is cultivating their “intellectual curiosity” by branching out and taking a class in a department or feld they don’t typically explore. Distributive requirements are in place to foster such broad and liberal academic engagement. Exploring a new feld of study is not a simple feat. It inherently poses a “greater than usual academic risk” in itself! Despite this, the NRO seemingly fails to account for that.

Now what if it is about the grade itself and not about academic exploration? An overwhelming majority of the classes ofered that are considered “NR eligible” already have median grades of either an A- or an A. Simultaneously, a large portion of the courses that typically have enforced or average medians of a B+ or lower are not eligible for the NRO.

To demonstrate this, I looked at the winter term (23W) course oferings listed by the registrar. Since the registrar does not provide this data to students, I had to manually calculate my numbers from the Winter Term 2023 Timetable of Class Meetings, which are as follows:

After accounting for courses appearing more than once on the timetable due to cross-listing and removing from consideration the graduatelevel classes that are listed but not accessible for undergraduates, the numbers illustrate that only 14.7% of courses ofered during 23W were actually eligible for the use of the NRO (or, 144 NR eligible classes out of 982 classes ofered to undergraduates). For something intended to “support” students, this seems quite small.

Further investigation yielded another surprising result: 70.8% of NR eligible classes (102 out of 144) had a historic median of an A- or higher. These numbers are similar across 22F.

The rest of the breakdown is as follows: 11.8%, (17 out of 144) courses had no historic median

information publicly available. 5.6% of courses (eight out of 144) had a median of A-/B+. These were not included in the 70.8% A- or higher median statistic. 11 courses (7.6%) had a B+ median, two courses (1.4%) had a median of a B+/B and four courses (2.8%) had a B median.

This leaves us with an interesting dilemma. Right out of the gate, you can’t elect to use an NRO for over 85% of classes ofered. Moreover, despite the fact that the NRO is intended to mitigate the risk of receiving a poor grade in an academically rigorous course — as underscored by the registrar — just under 75% of all NR eligible classes do not have a low median grade.

I hesitate to call any class at Dartmouth not academically rigorous. I do truly believe that all courses are challenging in their own respects. However, I fnd it counterproductive that a tool to counter academic risk is barely usable, and when it is, it is scarcely allowed in instances of signifcant academic risk.

The statistics show us that you are more likely than not to receive an A or A- if you take a class that is NR eligible — even if you choose not to use the NR option at all.

Whether the solution is contingent upon an expansion of the NRO system, allowing for a greater number of courses to be NR eligible or something else entirely is not up to me. As a student, however, I can say this: unlike its prescribed intentions, the NRO is often discouraging and unsupportive. How this paradox still stands is beyond me. Administrative acknowledgement of the importance of the NRO system is not zero —the deadline to elect an NRO has been repeatedly pushed back in recent years on a case-by-case basis to allow students more fexibility during extenuating circumstances. Yet, this still fails to address the fundamental problem of the NRO’s hypocrisy: it still isn’t available in cases where it’s needed (namely, to be applied to classes which students are taking to satisfy a distributive requirement, higher-level classes that go beyond introductory material and classes that have historically lower medians of a B+ or below).



[1] Graduate classes show up on the undergraduate 23W timetable—this term, there were 85 ofered across a variety of diferent departments (e.g., MALS, CANB, GENE, ENGG, UNSG). [2] Accounting for crosslisted courses was especially difcult to determine, because not all courses were cross-listed once. For instance, a single class could be listed across four diferent total departments (appearing four times on the timetable, even though it was only one course). 62 courses were cross-listed twice (i.e., a single class listed by two diferent departments), 7 courses were cross-listed three times, and 1 course was cross-listed four times. [3] The NR option is exclusive to undergraduates.

Verbum Ultimum: Baby Steps toward Student Wellness

Small changes in the classroom could have a big impact on student mental health and wellbeing.

Mental health and wellness is always on the minds of Dartmouth students. Since it convened last March, this Editorial Board has published no less than four articles on various mental health topics, from the JED Foundation to the collective trauma of losing fve of our classmates in less than three years. Similarly, David Millman ’23 and Jessica Chiriboga ’24, president and vice president of Dartmouth Student Government, ran on a platform of expanding and improving the mental healthcare options available to students.

Fortunately — and perhaps a bit surprisingly — these conversations seem not to have fallen on wholly deaf ears: Last term, the College announced its partnership with UWill to provide 24-hour online counseling to students at no cost. Of course, such large-scale projects are a welcome development that this Editorial Board acknowledged positively impacts our campus. Even so, the culture around mental health and wellbeing leaves a lot to be desired. Given Dartmouth’s deeply ingrained work-hard, play-hard culture, wellness initiatives should be implemented into daily life on campus — most critically, in the classroom.

Though overlooked at the time due to ongoing tragedies on campus, The Dartmouth reported on the addition of free subscriptions to Headspace, a mindfulness and meditation app, for all College faculty, staf and students in September. Since then, many new student wellness initiatives have taken hold on campus. For one, the Student Wellness Center reopened in a new location in Baker-Berry Library on Jan. 11. The new space is flled with various wellness and mindfulness tools as well as a tranquility room to help students “feel supported and feel well taken care of,” according to SWC director Caitlin Barthelmes. This move to a common, easily accessible location shows the value the College is placing on mental health: no longer hidden in the attic of Robinson Hall, student wellness is front and center.

However, much like Headspace, not everyone chooses to go to the Student Wellness Center — it is a space that students must opt into. For real culture change to happen, wellbeing must be prioritized at all levels — including in the classroom. After all, students spend the majority of our time each day either in class or preparing for it.

The German studies department provides a compelling example of what this classroom strategy might entail. This past fall, the department put a grant of $5,000 from the Center for the Advancement of Learning towards a successful pilot of an in-class wellness initiative. As German language program director Nicolay Ostrau told The Dartmouth, “barriers to mental wellbeing are coming from [both] social factors and personal life choices.” The wellness initiative expanded this term to include all introductorylevel German courses; with any luck, this may inspire other departments and programs across campus to do the same.

Change in the classroom comes at little or no cost to the programs and departments that implement them. The German studies department funded a new website containing articles on wellness, a series of recorded interviews of mental health experts and a teaching assistant to translate afrmations from English to German — all for a relatively modest investment. Other changes, such as incorporating a fve-minute mindfulness activity before the start of class, also take very little to implement. Some professors have even gotten creative. Heidi Denzel, who teaches GERM 1: “Introductory German,” has her students recite positive self-talk in German: “I am strong; I am smart; I will fnd solutions.” So, if money is not the barrier to change, then what is?

The German studies department has shown that incorporating mindfulness does not have to be an overwhelming task. Rather, professors can easily maintain their academic freedom and course rigor while also showing their students that they care for their wellbeing. However, in the experience of this Editorial Board, some professors may disagree that this change is possible — or even necessary. We implore you to reconsider.

Challenging, engaging coursework and free intellectual pursuit are worthy goals for any academic, but learning and mental health are not mutually exclusive — in fact, they are complementary. As Barthelmes argued: “Incorporating these practices in the classroom can create a supportive classroom environment and can enhance learning.” The data support this. A recent report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that mental health is positively correlated to academic achievement: Not only do mentally healthy students score higher on their tests, they are also more likely to graduate. It certainly seems possible to promote mental health in the classroom without sacrifcing academic rigor. Being a successful Dartmouth student should not mean we have to disregard our mental and physical health completely.

By incorporating mindfulness into their classes, professors can demonstrate that they care about their students’ wellbeing and show how students can be both academically successful and healthy. Going forward, we would encourage professors to think critically about the work they are assigning and consider exchanging one part of those lengthy reading assignments for a mindfulness assignment. It may seem pointless, but its impact will ripple. It is difcult to imagine a more cost-efective way to improve the culture around mental health and promote wellbeing on campus. Imagine the positive culture around mental health and wellness that we would have at Dartmouth if all introductory classes incorporated mindfulness. We call on programs and departments across the College to learn from the successful experiment led by Ostrau and his colleagues at the German studies program by incorporating mental health initiatives into their curricula.

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Before the Curtain Week 5

The Dartmouth Staff

Friday, Jan. 27

The Hopkins Center for the Arts is hosting the first showing of “Noon Panir in the Dark,” written by Armita Mirkarimi ’25 and directed by guest director Sharifa Yasmin, in Sudikoff Lab at 8 p.m. Winner at the 2022 Ruth and Loring Dodd Playwriting Festival, the play depicts five Iranian teenage girls attempting to escape a locked classroom in the dark. As chaos ensues outside the classroom and panic seeps into the girls inside, the terrified girls attempt to make a classic Persian dish: Noon Panir. There will be two additional showings on Saturday, Jan. 28 and one final showing on Monday, Jan. 30. This event is free to the public, but tickets are required.

The Hopkins Center is also hosting a performance from Apple Hill String Quartet. This winter concert is part of their year-long residency at the Hop, which is a collaboration that aims to spread chamber music throughout the Upper Valley according to the Hop. Composer Dana Lyn took inspiration from the painting “The Ceremony That Never Was” by Native American visual artist Rick Bartow, which is in the collection of the Hood Museum of Art. The event is at 7:30 p.m. at the Church of Christ at Dartmouth and tickets can be purchased online through the Hop website — general admission is $30, student $18 and Dartmouth student $10.

Saturday, Jan. 28

The Hopkins Center is showing “Decision to Leave” in the Loew Auditorium at 7 p.m. Director Park Chan-wook’s latest mystery crime thriller explores themes of deception, desire and obsession. The film stars Park Hae-il as detective Hae-joon, who suspects Tang Wei’s Seo-rae as having more involvement in the murder of her husband than she initially lets on. “Decision to Leave” earned Park Chan-wook the award

for Best Director at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival. Tickets are $8 for general admission and $5 for students.

Sunday, Jan. 29

The Hopkins Center is showing Armageddon Time at 4 p.m. in Loew Auditorium. A poignant coming-ofage movie starring Banks Repeta, Jaylin Webb, Anne Hathaway and Anthony Hopkins — and directed by James Gray (“Ad Astra,” “The Lost City of Z”) — the film delves into the life of sixth grader Paul Graff, who must wrestle with his dream of becoming a great artist and his family’s incessant emphasis on cultural assimilation through financial success. Tickets are $8 for general admission and $5 for students.

Tuesday, Jan. 31

The Hopkins Center is holding a performance by the Dublin Guitar Quartet, a guitar quartet solely devoted to the contemporary classical music genre. Originally formed at the Dublin Conservatory of Music and Drama, the ensemble employs eight-string and eleven-string guitars in their renditions of minimalist composers’ works, from Philip Glass to Steve Reich. The performance will be followed by a conversation with the artists and will be held at the Church of Christ at Dartmouth at 7:30 p.m. A full program list and ticket prices can be found online through the Hop’s website.

The Leslie Center for the Humanities is hosting “Lifelines: A Poetry Share” at 5 p.m. — a Zoom event in which Dartmouth students, faculty and staff are invited to share poetry and original writing as a way to connect and inspire creativity. The event will take place again on Feb. 21 and March 14.

Wednesday, Feb. 1

The Hopkins Center is holding a performance by the a capella quartet Kings Return. Performing as a part of Dartmouth’s MLK Day celebration,

vocalists Gabe Kunda, Vaughn Faison, J.E. McKissic and Jamall Williams tap into their multi-genre backgrounds to deliver a powerful, inspiring performance. The event will be held at Rollins Chapel at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students and sold out for general admission.

The departments of Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean studies, African and African American studies, history and film and media studies — in conjunction with the Dean of the Faculty, Ethics Institute and Rockefeller Center — are sponsoring a film screening of “Attica.” The film documents the events of the five-day prison riot at the Attica Correctional Facility, one of the largest prison riots in American history. Emmy award-winning director Stanley Nelson captures the nuance and impact of this momentous event to shed light on the enduring ethical as well as racial issues that plague today’s U.S. prison system. The screening is

free and open to the public; it will take place in the Loew Auditorium at 6:30 p.m and will be followed by a Q&A session with Nelson.

This year’s Riley Family Class of 2013 Art History Lecture will be conducted by Dr. Diana Bullen Prescutti ’98, who currently serves as professor of art history at the University of Essex. Dr. Prescutti’s lecture, titled “Picturing the Saint as Social Worker: Saints, Miracles, and Social Problems in Italian Renaissance Art,” will be held at Carpenter 13 at 4:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Eminent translator Virginia Jewiss

— a professor at the humanities institute at Johns Hopkins University — will be holding a lecture titled “Bringing New Life to Dante’s Vita Nuova” in which she discusses the challenges of translating classical literature. Professor Jewiss has translated a wide range of notable

works, including Nobel Prize-winning author Luigi Pirandello’s short stories and Academy Award-winning director Paolo Sorrentino’s screenplays. Within her lecture, Jewiss will also be reading a passage from her recent translation of Dante’s “Vita Nuova.” The lecture will be held at Moore Hall B03 at 4:30 p.m. All students are welcome to attend.

Thursday, Feb. 2

The English department’s Cleopatra Mathis Poetry & Prose Series continues with readings from Dartmouth creative writing professors Peter Orner and Jeff Sharlet at 4:45 p.m. in Sanborn Library. Orner has authored two novels, three story collections, and two essay collections. Orner’s most recent novel, released in Oct. 2022, “Still No Word from You: Notes in the Margin,” is a collection of pieces on literature and life. Sharlet has authored eight books of literary journalism and is a contributing editor of Vanity Fair. The reading is free and open to the public.

‘Constructing the Ideal Soldier’ questions gender and patriotism

The Dartmouth

Constructing the Ideal Soldier, installed at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, in Gutman Gallery. Photo by Alison Palizzolo.

On Jan. 25, the Hood Museum of Art debuted its 110th “A Space for Dialogue” exhibition, titled “Constructing the Ideal Soldier.” Nathan Savo ’24, a Class of 1954 curatorial intern at the Hood, was the primary curator for the exhibition, which examines art from Mexico and the United States during the first half of the 20th century. The exhibition encourages viewers to consider the ways in which diferent conventions of gender and patriotism were either upheld or challenged when depicting service members in art.

“Constructing the Ideal Soldier” consists of eight artworks, three of which are World War I and II-era posters. The remaining works either contradict

or question the patriarchal values and gender stereotypes portrayed in the posters.

Savo said that the juxtaposition of the works is a meditation on what it means to be a soldier.

“[The exhibition] explores how artists have constructed our societal conception of what a soldier is and, more importantly, what a soldier should be,” Savo said.“This construction of the ideal service member often framed the soldier fgure as a heroic, patriotic, heterosexual man, which not only served to reinforce heteronormative and patriarchal societal values but also unrestrained nationalism.”

One of the selected works is a World War I recruitment poster for the United States Navy entitled “Gee!! I Wish I Were A Man, I’d Join The Navy,” by Howard Chandler Christy. The work depicts a woman dressed in a sailor’s uniform whose image conforms to the beauty standards of that era, suggesting that

the poster intends to grab the attention of a heterosexual male. This intended target audience is supported by the text on the poster that states “Be man and do it,” further reinforcing that the ideal soldier is a male recruit.

Posters within the exhibit that uphold gender stereotypes, including Christy’s, are juxtaposed with artworks such as “Big Daddy Paper Doll,” created by May Stevens. The work features a male paper doll with a head shaped like a bullet. The fgure is surrounded by uniforms of stereotypically masculine occupations, including an executioner, soldier, police ofcer and butcher. In her work, Stevens exposes how violence and patriarchy result from the permeating societal standards of what it means to be a man.

As a part of the exhibition series, “Constructing the Ideal Soldier” strives to provide a platform for students to explore their interests while sparking discourse throughout the Dartmouth

community. Amelia Kahl, the Barbara C. & Harvey P. Hood 1918 Curator of Academic Programming, said that Savo’s project is an exemplary embodiment of the goals of the series.

“[Savo is] bringing out objects that we haven’t seen that often, he’s putting things together that have never been shown before, and then he’s using this really interesting theoretical lens of... how gender intersects with military service within these objects,” Kahl said.

Savo said he worked with Michael Hartman, the Associate Curator of American Art at the Hood, to sort through its collection of over 65,000 objects to create what Savo described as a “visual essay.”

The exhibition includes works from artists such as Joseph Renau, Christy and Stevens in addition to “The Epic of American Civilization” muralist José Clemente Orozco.

This exhibit drew inspiration from a project Savo had done in his frst

year at Dartmouth for the class ARTH 40.02: “The American Century: 20th Century Art from the United States,” taught by art history professor Mary Cofey. Savo recalled walking away from the assignment with lingering questions. Through “Constructing the Ideal Soldier,” Savo said he was able to incorporate his past studies with a new angle by analyzing the soldier fgure through the lens of gender.

Savo said he hopes that visitors of “Constructing the Ideal Soldier” will consider the ways in which visual media can impact social constructs, adding that visitors should realize that such ideas are not limited to the early 20th century and continue to be signifcant today.

“Ultimately, things like Marvel movies, Captain America and an ad you might see for the National Guard on Youtube [are] visual culture [that] saturates our lives and my main takeaway that I want people, when they visit, to think about is how contemporary visual culture continues to contribute to our idea of what a soldier is,” Savo said. “I want them to be a little bit more critical when analyzing the strategies used in these ads.”

According to Hartman, the Hood emphasizes student involvement in the arts and hopes to provide accessible resources to invite new points of view and embolden students to take part in conversations in a variety of ways. While working with Savo on “Constructing the Ideal Soldier,” Hartman noted the signifcance of incorporating student voices.

“It was fun for me to work with [Savo] because our interests align in some ways and he is able to bring something to these works through his own background,” Hartman said. “The perspective that he brings to it isn’t going to be the perspective that I would necessarily bring or that anyone else would bring.”

Reflecting on his experience of crafting this exhibition during his talk, Savo said that he encouraged his audience to further engage with the Hood, noting the immersive experience he had as a student intern.

“Ultimately, planning this exhibition was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had as a student at Dartmouth,” Savo said.


e Look Ahead: Week 5

Friday, Jan. 27

The Nordic ski team continues its season at the University of New Hampshire Carnival located in Jackson, New Hampshire. The team will race on the Jackson XC and Burke mountains.

Women’s track and field travels to Boston to compete in the River Hawk Invitational. The team’s one-day competition will start at 10 a.m.

Women’s hockey (6-15-0) starts its weekend off against Colgate University (20-4-1) in Hamilton, New York at 6 p.m. Coming off an exciting home win over Union College and a tough loss to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute over the weekend, the Big Green looks to win its second matchup against Colgate after dropping the first earlier in the season.

Men’s hockey (4-15-1) will play against Cornell University (12-6-1) at home in Thompson Arena at 7 p.m. The Big Green is seeking to continue its two-game Ivy League winning streak and earn its first win against Cornell this season after a 1-0 shutout loss on Dec. 3.

Saturday, Jan. 28

The ski team will race on the second and final day of competition at the UNH Carnival.

Men’s track and field will look to continue its successful season in Boston at the River Hawk Invitational after its recent meets have featured several

record-breaking finishes like the 5.13 meter pole vault posted by David Adams ’26 last weekend, a Dartmouth program record. Events begin at 10 a.m.

Women’s swimming and diving (1-8) will host Columbia University (3-3) for one of its final Ivy League meets in the Karl Michael and Spaulding Pools at 12 p.m. The women are 0-6 in conference competition and are seeking the Big Green’s first Ivy League win.

Men’s and women’s squash are on the road competing against Columbia in New York City at 12 p.m. Both the men and women are 0-4 in Ivy League play.

Women’s basketball (2-18) travels to New York City to take on the Columbia Lions (16-3), the top-seeded team in the Ivy League, at 2 p.m. The Big Green is currently amid an eleven-game losing streak and is hoping to earn its first conference win of the season.

Men’s basketball (7-13) will compete against Columbia (6-15) at home in Leede Arena, also at 2 p.m. The basketball team has had a strong last few games despite last weekend’s overtime loss to Princeton University. This game kicks off a four-game home stand for the Big Green.

Women’s hockey remains in upstate New York to play against Cornell (127-2) in Ithaca for its second game of the weekend at 3 p.m. The Big Green will seek redemption on the road after coming out on the wrong side of a 6-5 loss in the teams’ last meeting.

Men’s hockey will play its second game of the weekend at home against

Colgate (12-10-2) at 7 p.m. Dartmouth will hope to turn the tables with homeice advantage after coming away from its last matchup against Colgate with a 5-1 loss.

Sunday, Jan. 29

Men’s tennis (4-0) looks to keep up its undefeated stretch to start the season against Fordham University at 11 a.m. This will be only the second contest of the Rams’ season after they

kick off against Brown University the day before.

Men’s and women’s squash will continue playing in Ithaca, New York against Cornell beginning at noon.

Women’s tennis (1-0) will host Merrimack College (1-2) at the Boss Tennis Center at 2 p.m. The team looks to build off of its season-opening victory over St. John’s University.

Wednesday, Feb. 1

Women’s squash (4-6) heads to Middlebury, Vermont to take on Middlebury College (10-4). The Big Green is 11-0 all-time against Middlebury and will hope to continue that streak against this year’s team.

Thursday, Feb. 2

Men’s and women’s track and field will head to Boston to compete in the first day of the 2023 New England Championships.

Men’s hockey secures victories over Brown and Yale

This past weekend, the men’s hockey team bested Brown University 4-3 and Yale University 4-0 for its first road wins of the season.

On Jan. 20, the team traveled to Providence, Rhode Island to take on the Brown Bears — a fellow Eastern Conference Athletic Conference rival.

Brown found an early lead just seven minutes into the game following a minor tripping penalty against Tucker McRae ’26. The Big Green soon answered withSean Chisholm ’25 taking charge and passing to Cam MacDonald ’26, who tipped the puck into Brown’s goal, tying the game and scoring his first ever Dartmouth goal. Brown scored minutes into the second period, but Joey Musa ’24 secured another goal just a minute and a half later after a pass from Matt Hubbarde ’25 to tie the game once again.

Chisholm said that the team was committed to staying present throughout the entirety of the game.

“I think what led to success was the team staying in the game for the whole 60 minutes,” Chisholm said. “In the previous games we’ve lost, we played well for two periods and then took a period off. [Against Brown], we played our game for the whole 60 minutes and it shows that when we do that, it’s tough for teams to keep up with us.”

Forward Tyler Campbell ’23 said that the team’s close-knit nature has contributed to its ability to be in the moment during games.

Halfway through the second period, Brown scored once again, leading 3-2. The Big Green responded with a power play goal from Cooper Flinton ’26 just seconds before the end of the period. Flinton later scored his first collegiate gamewinning goal at the end of the third period after a pass from Musa.

Hubbarde noted that one goal was deducted due to penalties, but he added that the team remained motivated throughout the duration of the game.

“I think one thing that changed this weekend was our energy on the bench and our belief in ourselves,” Hubbarde said. “We can win onegoal games, and especially going into the third period against Brown, it was a close game. We got a goal taken away and instead of getting dejected, we just kept pushing, to make it our win.”

Following the victory, the Big Green traveled west to Yale on

Saturday. Luke Haymes ’26 scored the first goal of the night with a pass from Fusco after four shots on Yale’s goal by the Big Green.

In the second period, Dartmouth continued to dominate with a goal from Musa. Quickly following that play, Hubbarde scored for the second time this weekend. In the final period of the night, Braiden Dorfman ’25 scored after the team created a 3-on-1 opportunity.

Nate Morgan ’25 said that the team is gathering momentum as the season progresses.

“I think we’re hitting our stride at the right time now,” Morgan said. “We’re six weeks away from [ECAC] playoffs now. We can use these two Ivy League wins for momentum and hopefully carry that through for the rest of the season.”

The team will look to this weekend’s standout, Hubbarde, as they face off against their next ECAC opponents. Hubbarde was named the ECAC Hockey Forward of the Week

as his goal and four assists helped lead the Big Green to victory over both Ivy League rivals.

Dartmouth will compete against Cornell University on Jan. 27 and Colgate University on Jan. 28. These two matches are the first of seven home games in a row for the Big Green. Campbell noted the advantage of home territory.

“It is nice to play at home in front of fans, students and family,” Campbell said. “It’s really nice to do your own routine and not be on the bus for a few hours.”

MacDonald said that with the win streak, there has been a shift in energy for the Big Green.

“Our coaching staff started last season, and we are finally starting to see the compound effects of following what the coaches have been preaching last year and this year,” MacDonald said. “We were successful because we were sticking to our habits and doing small things every day within our control.”



The Legacy of MLK at Dartmouth

This article was originally published on Jan. 25, 2023.

Why do we forget what Martin Luther King Jr. stood for? In life, he was resented. In 1968 — the year of his death — nearly three-quarters of the American public disapproved of him. To the vast majority of white people, he was radical, disruptive and dangerous. To his peers, he was too passive, too patient. Some younger Black activists thought of his nonviolent approach as inefective and adopted more extreme measures, mocking King all the while.

In the 54 years since King’s assassination, our glasses have become rosy to the point of opacity. King was an iconic civil rights leader who advocated peaceful protests — but he was also a radical changemaker who elicited widespread controversy in his day. Instead of accepting the version of King’s character taught in kindergarten classrooms, we should be impassioned by his legacy. In the wake of this holiday, remembrance is only one part of the attitude we should adopt in order to further those ideals of change in spite of vehement resistance.

So what should Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy mean today?

When asked about the legacy of King, Anthony Fosu ’24, commented on the importance of dedication.

“The work of justice, whether you mean for it to be making things fair for everyone, or just making things more equitable, that actually means addressing institutional wrongs,” Fosu said. “There’s so much work to be done.”

As a guide for present-day steps toward achieving equity, it is important to know what King aimed for — beyond the dream that he spoke of at the 1963 March on Washington. He was informed by Southern Christian principles, which is evident in his attitude of nonviolence. He was a preacher just as much as he was an activist. As such, he prioritized better opportunities for the Black community and dedicated himself to the socioeconomic elevation of marginalized people everywhere. King’s work repeatedly circled back to unionization and securing protective rights for Black workers.

He was a powerful orator and an important fgurehead, but he wanted to be known as “drum major for justice.”

Beyond the Alabama Bus Boycotts and the Poor People’s Campaign at the beginning and end of his career, he initiated very few events of the Civil Rights Movement between 1955 and 1968. Instead, he ofered his leadership and charisma to propel these eforts toward greater heights. He hoped to be a force of inspiration, an idea under which people could come together and have the conversations necessary to change the discrepancies in our ways of life.

One such conversation happened under the roof of the Shabazz Center last Monday night.

Students and community members alike gathered on the lawn of Dartmouth Hall for a vigil in honor of King, hosted by the The Theta Zeta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.. The crowd then made their way to Shabazz in a fuid wave through candlelight. The procession was humble, but powerful — representative of those who are quietly, but constantly committed to the cause of improving opportunities for people of color universally.

The main room, covered wall-to-wall with mural panels depicting the life and legacy of Malcom X, was flled with the spirit of resistance and refusal, the same attitude that Martin Luther King Jr. communicated in his words and actions — the same attitude that is consistently met with backlash and resentment.

Of the 70 or so students and community members in attendance at the vigil, a vast majority were already involved with or interested in racial equity work and similar issues that intersect with it, such as gender equality or LGBTQ+ rights. That is to say, the crowd that gathered to observe MLK Day were people who have already taken steps to improve the conditions that afict marginalized communities.

As we came together to create a safe space under the Shabazz roof, Dartmouth cameras rolled in the back of the room. Several members of the audience drew attention to their presence, and I similarly felt disappointed at the idea of our

vulnerability being broadcasted. Why is it that Dartmouth feels the need to document the conversations that we must carry with us year-round, if the College is not similarly burdened by our struggle?

It is easy to live under the false assumption that racial equality has been achieved, when the invisibility of modern oppressive forces is what allows inequality to persist. We cannot and should not forget about systems that prevent people of color from advancing in society, despite many of the overt roadblocks being removed. We should not simply do what is easy, because those impacted by these issues do not have the same luxury.

Since Jan. 14, the College has hosted a series of events dedicated to promoting conversations about Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy: flm screenings, keynote speakers and statue unveilings. Through these events, we’re encouraged to refect on the past and how far we have come in our battle for racial equality. And yet,

our focus in the present is a bit harder to track. This wasn’t a deliberate exclusion on the part of anyone in particular, but it does speak to what we expect of ourselves and one another. Or rather, how little we expect.

I asked students who were present at Monday night’s vigil what it means to practice observance of MLK Day. To Fosu, the holiday is an opportunity to look at ourselves more critically.

“This day means more than just watching the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech,” he said. “For me, that poses this unique challenge: that everything I do is meant to serve my community and work towards justice and disrupt injustice wherever it exists in an institution, like the one we’re at right now, or in other spaces.”

Similarly, Jabari Johnson ’26 suggested ways that the larger Dartmouth community might support its students.

“No one’s perfect,” Johnson, who plays on the football team, said, referring to lower

In Search of The Golden Foco Nugget

This article was originally published on Jan. 25, 2023.

Looking around the Class of 1953 Commons this term, not much has changed. Bake My Day still has baked goods, the salad station still has salads and the soup station still has, well, soup. However, upon my arrival to campus, I could not stop hearing about a change to what is perhaps the biggest staple of college dining — chicken nuggets. And after I had the opportunity to try them, I immediately understood what all of the excitement was about.

If you ask me, Foco’s new chicken nuggets are simply excellent. When it comes to all the things that matter about these incredibly popular breaded pieces of chicken — taste, crunchiness and overall texture — the new chicken nuggets excel.

The other students I talked to were inclined to agree. Jack Stark ’26 said that he “really likes them” before adding that “they remind me of Chicken McNuggets.”

“From what I’ve heard, everyone’s responding pretty well,” Stark said. “I haven’t heard a complaint about the chicken nuggets yet.”

Jackson Scarborough ’26, speaking over

a plate of chicken nuggets and french fries in Foco, said he found the new nuggets “immaculate” and “delectable.”

As for the origin story of Dartmouth Dining’s new nuggets, executive chef of Dartmouth Dining Services Christopher Kaschak explained that the substitution started out as a supply chain issue.

“We had certain products that we can and cannot get,” Kaschak said. “The [chicken nuggets] that we were originally getting were no longer available… We said we could take [these other chicken nuggets] in, and we’ll try it and see how it’s received.”

However, when the supply chain problems with the original chicken nugget supplier were eventually resolved, Kaschak was left with a big decision: Keep the new chicken nuggets or revert back to the old ones?

Ultimately, Kaschak decided that the new nuggets were here to stay.

When he was notifed about the option of going back to the old nuggets, Kaschak recounted saying, “Don’t do it. These [new chicken nuggets] are very well received and it seems that we’re serving a lot more of them, so obviously the student population seems to like them much more.”

involvement levels in social justice work on campus. “I think the football community is there for us. [Head coach Buddy] Teevens is really great at encouraging us to talk about events where the team can come out and show support. They’re there for us in that way.”

While there are some spaces on campus to elevate and support marginalized communities, there is still much work to be done for an equitable future.

We can start by listening. By keeping an eye or ear out for opportunities to show up and learn more about the inequity most prevalent in our society today, we can be better informed about opportunities to support other communities. Talk to friends, and take them with you to club meetings or special events, like the conversation with keynote speaker Tarana Burke — the founder of the “Me Too” movement. Most importantly, be anything but passive. King would have wanted it that way.

After hearing praises of the new staple, I wanted to see how Dartmouth’s chicken nuggets compared to those at other colleges.

Miles Quarterman, a sophomore at Yale University, had the chance to try the College’s variation while visiting a friend over the weekend. However, he was not able to compare the quality of Yale’s chicken nuggets to Dartmouth’s because, according to Quartman, Yale “doesn’t do nuggets, we do tenders.”

“I think I kind of like the big Yale tenders more, just because they taste less artifcial,” Quartman said.”

Avery Rhodes, a freshman at the University of Wisconsin, also recently came to campus and had a chance to snack on Foco’s chicken nuggets. When asked whether Dartmouth or the University of Wisconsin had the better chicken nugget, Rhodes leaned towards Hanover’s variation.

“It’s hard for me to really say, but I’ve got to go with Dartmouth,” Rhodes said. “They’re good. They’re nice and soft and squishy. [Dartmouth] has better sauce selection too.”

Having compared Foco’s chicken nuggets to those at other college dining halls, I decided to take one more step: comparing our nuggets to what are arguably the most well-known chicken nuggets in the world, McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets.

Stark, a self-described Chicken McNugget fan, said that the fast-food chain’s famous nuggets will always take frst place, but that Foco’s ofering remains a tasty alternative.

“I wouldn’t say [Dartmouth’s nuggets are] better, because McDonald’s just has their own way of doing it,” Stark said. “... But these are up there. I’d say they’re close — they’re pretty close in relation.”

It seems that when it comes to chicken, Dartmouth Dining has just about found the golden nugget. And although some argue that they don’t quite reach the level of McDonald’s nuggets, it seems that what started as a supply chain issue has become a happy accident. Of course, the revamped poultry is just one small shift in a large array of dining options — but for many students, it’s the little things that make a diference.

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