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Here’s to a Little Activism
A much appreciated arrival on the Dartmouth scene: The Dartmouth Radical. Not that I expect to agree with its politics for the most part, at least as they apply to matters fiscal, but we should keep in mind an axiom attributed variously to George Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell, Georges Clemenceau, Winston Churchill and others:
If a man is not a socialist by the time he is 20, he has no heart. If he is not a conservative by the time he is 40, he has no brain.
So let’s appreciate the authors for their desire to improve the College and the world, to criticize the status quo, get into the fight, learn something, and perhaps even teach us all a thing or two. The paper’s organizers are Lily Brown ‘15, Janet Kim ‘13, Eli Lichtenstein ‘13, Allison Puglisi ‘15, Karenina Rojas ‘13, Daniela Valdes ‘13 and Anna Winham ‘14 — and most importantly, their advisor is English Professor Jeffrey Sharlet, the faculty’s best known journalist. Sharlet has written for magazines including Rolling Stone, Harper’s, Mother Jones, Oxford American, New York, and The Nation, in addition to authoring several well received books.
The first issue of the Dartmouth Radical is a little uneven, but the writers will find their stride soon enough. Dani Valdes’ piece on sexual assault, Safety & Security: Are We Safe?, picks up on some of the themes that Kathleen Mayer addressed in this space not too long ago.
The DR — ooops, those initials are already taken — will be a useful counterpoint to the resumé-stuffing directorate at The D, whose members seem to walk in fear that somehow they might offend someone somewhere in Parkhurst, and not get their precious grad school recommendations.
However The D’s leaders are not the only crew who should be singled out here. There is a careerist passivity on the part of too many students these days. Perhaps it is true that “nobody rages anymore” — at least against the College’s faults. Students keep those feelings bottled up, or maybe they just accept the world around them as it is, on their way from pre-wealth to wealth. I prefer the first hypothesis here, that students swallow their anger as they seek to get ahead. But anger that should not be ingested has a way of making a reappearance. Are basement antics involving alcohol and drugs just a way of blowing off steam (or other substances) in lieu of fighting the good fight?
Addendum: The above having been said, The D does on occasion make an effort to redeem itself in my eyes. A recent story and accompanying editorial noted that one of the central initiatives in the Kim/Folt/Johnson anti-hazing effort — the Committee on Student Safety and Accountability (COSSA) — has not met since May. In fact, the committee has only met once (just for a press release?). What can I say? Everywhere you look with this crew, appearances are what count; reality is of no importance.
Addendum: On the subject of sexual assault, a former Amherst student has written a memorable piece in The Amherst Student. Amherst’s army of deans are not depicted favorably in it.
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
August 23, 2009
Fare Thee Well, Tom Crady
And now Dean Tom Crady has precipitously announced his departure from the College after only 20 months on the job. How to read this? By way of background, prior to coming to Dartmouth, Crady had…
May 31, 2009
Kangaroo Court, Indeed
In an interview with The Dartmouth, alumni-elected trustee T.J. Rodgers ‘70 explained his reasons for declining to participate in future evaluations of trustees up for “re-election,” namely the “kangaroo court” nature of such discussion in…