Daily Debriefing

The 11 weeks of bomb threats faced by students at the University of Pittsburgh have stopped in time for finals, The New York Times reported Tuesday. A group known as “the Threateners” claimed responsibility for the series of threats, which totaled over 100, delivered via email to several Pittsburgh news outlets beginning on March 30. While there was no clear motive behind the threats, the group demanded that a $50,000 reward for information about the threats be removed from the university’s website last weekend. The university then took down the advertised reward, but the institution’s president refused to comment. Dozens of threats forced students to evacuate from classrooms and dorms at all hours over the 11-week period, according to The Boston Globe.

Massive student-led strikes and protests continue in Quebec over a planned increasing in public university tuition, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. Last fall, the provincial government announced a five-year plan to raise tuition by $1,625. Public university tuition in Quebec is currently around $2,500, the lowest in Canada, but students’ main objection to the 75-percent increase in cost is based on rights rather than economics, according to The Chronicle. Protestors claim that the government should provide free education because post-secondary degrees are necessary in today’s workforce. However, popular support of the protests is falling given Quebec’s current debt level, and without a tuition increase, Quebec’s taxes already the highest in the country would increase, The Chronicle reported.

This month, the return of Harvard Yard’s brightly-colored aluminum chairs marked the arrival of spring and the continuation of a recently established tradition, The Boston Globe reported. For the past three years, hundreds of colorful chairs have been left in the Yard during the fall and spring to encourage community building, according to The Globe. The initiative was originally begun with the intention of improving campus social spaces at Harvard University. Students, faculty and staff at Harvard, as well as visitors and members of the public ,have expressed appreciation for the chairs’ colors and convenience, with one student suggesting that the color variation, which excludes crimson but includes red, yellow and neon green, allows deviation from the “monochrome Harvard look,” The Globe reported.

Clutch hits propel Big Green baseball to non-conference wins

Dartmouth shortstop Joe Sclafani '12 dives into first base during a 5-3 Big Green win over Quinnipiac University on Tuesday.

Dartmouth baseball’s offense powered the team to two mid-week, non-conference wins. On Tuesday, the Big Green (19-15, 11-5 Ivy) defeated Quinnipiac University, 5-3, and on Wednesday the team traveled to Boston and beat Boston College, 9-6. All attention now turns to this weekend’s four-game series against Harvard University, in which the Big Green needs just one win to clinch a fourth consecutive Red Rolfe Division title and a trip to the Ivy League Championship Series.

Against Quinnipiac, the Big Green scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning, which turned out to be all starting pitcher Louis Concato ’14 needed to secure a Big Green win.

“All my pitches felt like they were working,” Concato said. “We got the hits we needed.”

After Quinnipiac took a one-run lead in the top of the first, the Bobcats’ center fielder Brian Ruditys dropped a pop fly by Dustin Selzer ’14 with the bases loaded. The Big Green scored two runs on the error and added another two more when Ennis Coble ’13 and Matt Robinson ’15 each tacked on an RBI.

“Any time you can get some runs early, it’s a huge boost for the team overall,” co-captain Joe Sclafani ’12 said.

Concato responded on the mound, and the Big Green pitcher did not surrender a run over the next five innings.

“It definitely builds some confidence and allowed me to settle in,” Concato said.

Concato fooled the Bobcat batters, mixing in changeups and curveballs to collect four strikeouts while surrendering only one walk. After Big Green reliever Max Langford ’12 escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh and found himself in more trouble in the eighth, Thomas Olson ’15 was called in from the bullpen.

Olson, the reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Week, gave up two runs before shutting the Bobcats down to collect the final six outs of the game. The save was Olson’s fifth of the year.

Against BC on Wednesday, Chris England ’15 turned in an effective five-inning performance in his first career start.

“Chris was fantastic today he did everything we asked of him,” Sclafani said. “He threw a lot of strikes and attacked the hitters.”

England was also aided by the Big Green offense, which effectively put the game away with a five-run fifth inning. Following RBI singles by Selzer and Jeff Keller ’14, David Turnbull ’12 knocked in two runs with a double down the line.

“It was really the turning point of the inning,” Sclafani said.

By the time a base-running error by Matt Parisi ’15 ended the inning four batters later, the Big Green had batted around the lineup and knocked Eagles’ reliever Steven Green out of the game.

“We’ve been doing pretty well offensively, just keeping our same approach,” Sclafani said.

The Big Green leads the Ivy League with a team .298 batting average and is second in on-base percentage at .381.

The Eagles managed to battle back in the bottom of the fifth, when BC’s hitters collected three doubles off England and scored three runs to shrink Dartmouth’s lead to 7-4. The lead would stand, however, as Keller’s towering two-run home run in the eighth was enough to make BC’s two runs in the bottom of the ninth a moot point, and the Big Green sealed the victory.

Dartmouth will use the rest of the week to prepare for its four-game series against Harvard (11-27, 7-9 Ivy League) starting on Saturday. If the Big Green advances to the Ivy League Championship Series, the team would face either Princeton University or Cornell University, which will play a four-game series against each other this weekend.

Princeton must win all four games against Cornell (27-11-1, 13-3 Ivy) to win the Lou Gehrig Division. If Princeton (17-17, 10-6 Ivy League) wins three or more games and the Big Green sweeps Harvard, Dartmouth would host the Ivy League Championship Series on May 5-6.

“We’re not going to play to just win one game,” Sclafani said. “We want to give ourselves every chance possible to play in the Ivy Championship at home.”

Dartmouth left-hander Mitch Horacek ’14 will start the first game on Saturday against Harvard while freshman lefty Adam Frank ’15 will take the mound for the second game in Cambridge, Mass. The teams will then travel to Hanover and play the last two games on Sunday at Red Rolfe Field.

Horacek said he would follow his usual routine and examine scouting reports of Harvard hitters with the coaching staff on Friday.

“We like to prepare the same way so we get in a routine,” Horacek said. “We really do want to win all four of them so we have a shot at home field advantage,” he said.

Dartmouth’s intensive off season conditioning workouts have prepared the Big Green for the critical end-of-season stretch, according to Frank.

“Everyone wants to be the pitcher that gets that last win, but looking at it as a whole, we just want to win,” he said.

The Crimson offense is led by second baseman Jeff Reynolds, who was recently named Ivy League player of the week. Reynolds is hitting .336 with a slugging percentage of .473 this season. The Crimson has surrendered the most stolen bases to Ivy League opponents and the second most home runs, something the potent Big Green offense will look to exploit this weekend.

“We’re just going to play Dartmouth baseball and hopefully get four quality starts from our pitchers and have our offense continue to get the timely hits,” Sclafani said.

Lightweight crew notches victories over Yale and Columbia

The women's first varsity eight crew placed in between Princeton and Penn in a three-team race in Philadelphia.

The three Dartmouth rowing teams saw mixed results against a slew of Ivy League opponents this past weekend. Men’s lightweight crew continued its impressive season with first-boat wins over Columbia and Yale Universities, marking the Big Green’s third consecutive sweep of the two league rivals. The men’s heavyweight team dropped all three races to national powerhouse Brown University, while the women’s varsity eight beat the University of Pennsylvania but lost to Princeton University in a close finish.

In the lightweight race against Yale, the Dartmouth varsity eight boat excelled following a lineup switch prior to the race. The Big Green crew crossed the finish line nearly six seconds before the Bulldogs did, earning Dartmouth its third consecutive Durand Cup.

“After a tough loss to Harvard [University], it was good to bounce back right away,” lightweight captain Ian Accomando ’12 said. “The weekend overall was a good reflection of our hard work.”

The next day, the Big Green first varsity eight defeated Columbia by a similar margin to claim the third consecutive Subin Cup. The two league wins pushed the lightweight team into second place in the Ivy League. Dartmouth’s only loss this season came against No. 1 Harvard on April 14.

While the current Ivy League rankings will only factor into lane positioning at the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges Sprints in two weeks, the team’s preseason expectations have begun to come to fruition, according to Accomando.

“The expectation was certainly of racing competitively this year, and the results are showing that,” Accomando said.

If the Big Green beats Cornell University this weekend, Dartmouth lightweight crew will head to Eastern Sprints as the top entry in its heat, while Harvard will remain at No. 1 overall.

On the women’s side, the No. 20 Big Green’s focus prior to the race against Princeton and Penn was on the time margins between boats, given that No. 7 Princeton was the heavy favorite going into the race, according to captain Jamie Chapman ’12.

“It’s always motivating to focus on margins between boats because the cross-race comparisons determine the end-season polling and NCAA invites,” she said. “We wanted to get rid of Penn as soon as we could and hang with Princeton and test our speed against them.”

Princeton finished in a time of 6:45.4, with the Big Green coming in at 6:52.3. The Quakers finished the race at 7:04.4.

The league is especially close this year, and the Big Green’s performance at the Ivy League Championship on May 13 will ultimately go a long way toward a potential NCAA invite, according to Chapman.

“We came into the season having no idea how our team would perform, which is pretty exciting,” Chapman said. “We didn’t know the league would be this close.”

Despite an injury-riddled season, the Big Green will take aim at No. 17 Cornell this weekend in the team’s lone home race of the season.

“Every year, Cornell is typically one of our closer races,” Chapman said. “I don’t think there’s a pre-determined winner.”

Facing national heavyweight powerhouse team No. 4 Brown, the always aggressive No. 15 Big Green men’s first varsity eight boat jumped out to a fast start even leading at one point but could not hang on in the final 1,000 meters.

“The last few weeks, we’ve thrown in the kitchen sink at the start of the race,” heavyweight captain Joe Polwrek ’12 said. “It’s exciting to be part of a boat like that we’re really going for glory.”

The Big Green’s aggressive style will be tested in the Eastern Sprints, where the boat will race in a larger field of six.

“When you’re not racing against one crew in particular, the psychological factor is a bit less,” Polwrek said. “If you jump out to an early lead, you kind of have to learn how to hold your best 2,000-meter pace possible.”

The Brown second and third varsity eight boats defeated the Dartmouth second varsity crew both by over 10 seconds. The Brown freshman eight boat held off a late charge from the rookie Big Green rowers to claim a three-race sweep.

All three squads will hit the water this weekend. Women’s and men’s lightweight crews will host Cornell, while the heavyweight squad will travel to Wisconsin to face the University of Wisconsin and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Pedde: In Need of a Few Ground Rules

It is no secret that, three years since the official end of the recession, many of the world’s economies are still in terrible shape. Here in the United States, unemployment has been above 8 percent for three years. In Europe, public discontent with the state of the economy has caused political shockwaves, most recently in the Netherlands and France. Nonetheless, one of the key problems facing governments today a problem known as “dynamic inconsistency” has largely gone unacknowledged outside of the confines of the academic economics community.

The economy depends not only on past and current policy decisions but also on the public’s expectations of future government policies. For example, long-term real interest rates have a far greater effect on the current state of the economy than short-term nominal interest rates do. But current long-term real interest rates are strongly dependent on current expectations of future short-term nominal interest rates which are determined by the Federal Reserve and inflation. Thus, the Fed’s ability to influence the economy is primarily due to its ability to shape people’s expectations of its future policies, not from its current policies per se.

These facts result in a problem known as “dynamic inconsistency,” which is most easily illustrated with a non-economic example. Last summer, I worked for a non-governmental organization that has a strict policy of not paying ransoms if one of its volunteers is taken hostage. Imagine that the NGO did not follow this rule, but instead made ransom decisions in a discretionary manner. In this case, the NGO’s optimal strategy would be to pay today’s ransoms (to save the lives of current hostages) and promise never to pay ransoms in the future (to deter future hostage-takers). However, if another hostage situation were to occur, the NGO’s optimal strategy would be, once again, to pay the ransom. Of course, hostage-takers would recognize this inconsistency, so the NGO’s promise to never again pay ransoms is meaningless. However, by committing to a rule to never pay ransoms, the NGO is better able to deter hostage-takers than if it made its decisions in a discretionary manner.

In 1977, economists Finn Kydland and Edward Prescott, who were later awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, showed that dynamic inconsistency is pervasive when macroeconomic policies are set in a discretionary manner. For example, if the Fed were given discretionary powers, it would always have an incentive to promise tight monetary policy tomorrow (to keep inflation expectations in check) while adopting a loose policy today (to keep unemployment low). However, the public will realize this inconsistency, and the Fed will face a worse trade-off between unemployment and inflation than if it committed to a policy rule. Even if policymakers are perfectly omniscient and altruistic, discretionary policies will still be sub-optimal.

Over the last four years, the Federal Reserve has continued to face dynamic inconsistency problems, but in reverse. Since we are currently in a “liquidity trap,” the Fed is unable to reduce interest rates to the level needed to keep the economy at full employment. In this situation, the Fed’s optimal discretionary policy is to promise to keep interest rates low even after the economy has exited the liquidity trap, thereby reducing longer-term interest rates today. However, as soon as the economy actually recovered, the Fed would have the incentive to renege on its promise in order to keep inflation in check. Of course, since the public realizes this fact, the Fed’s promise is not credible, and its discretionary policies are not succeeding.

In fact, much of the pre-2008 literature on the liquidity trap was explicitly concerned with designing rules-based monetary policies that would get the economy out of the liquidity trap. These policy rules almost certainly would have produced far better results over the last four years than what we have seen.

While there certainly are reasonable arguments in favor of discretionary policy, it is hard to deny that a decent rules-based monetary policy would have performed as poorly over the last four years as the discretionary policies that were actually enacted.

Weinberg: An Effort to Reach Out

While I look forward to Pride Week every year, I cannot help but wonder why we frame the event the way we do. The months or weeks dedicated to other communities mainly commemorate past accomplishments or educate under-informed individuals think of Black History Month or Breast Cancer Awareness. These events engage members of their respective communities as well as those beyond them, bringing more people to a common understanding of a given issue.

So why does the LGBTQ community frame our slice of the calendar year as Pride? Conceptually, “pride” is certainly not something unique to the gay community. Any human being can take pride in his or her identity regardless of sexual orientation or gender. It is almost as if we in the LGBTQ community feel the need to justify our existence, to try to tell everyone around us especially our adversaries that we are okay with who we are. But this outlook inherently challenges those who would rather see us institutionalized, incarcerated or worse.

No doubt pride-themed events emerged from a history of civil demonstration, though Pride Week is obviously more benign than previous forms of protest. But by framing our week around “pride,” we reinforce the dichotomy that there are those who both ally with and against us, an assertive confrontation that may serve to push away those who disagree with us rather than bridge gaps in understanding. Celebrating LGBTQ culture is certainly fun, important and can improve visibility, but it does not necessarily foster awareness; the week’s events do not always reach the individuals with opposing perspectives. While programs like TransForm are wonderful and thought-provoking, who are their intended audiences? Does a cookOUT do more than simply bring hungry students to Collis porch? Current programming misses opportunities to spark dialogue in addition to doling out a hamburger and a chocolate chip cookie.

Certainly, Pride is not exclusively an insular festival, but the programming nonetheless seems to attract predominately LGBTQ individuals and current allies rather than expand the boundaries of understanding, respect and community. While Pride does offer allies opportunities to show their support in a safe and unassuming way, it fails to directly enlarge that ally community itself. We should seize the opportunity to educate those outside our ranks, to reach out to and engage with others in addition to parading our own culture.

Pride Week’s sentiment is also problematic in a different way. To say that everyone in the LGBTQ community is “proud” ignores the reality that many are not. For those who are not out, who are not comfortable in their own skin and who wish their families would love them no matter how they identify, “pride” is a distant emotion. While it is great to celebrate LGBTQ life, I wonder why we do not focus more on reaching these individuals and empowering them to access the plethora of resources Dartmouth has to help them.

All this being said, “pride” is not a completely impractical idea in the LGBTQ context. What has resonated with me during Pride Week each year is less a sense of pride in my own identity and more a sense of pride in those around me who have acted to make the LGBTQ community feel safer and happier, especially at Dartmouth. I am proud that when I came out to my freshman year roommate, he said, “I’m 100 percent cool with it, zero judgment, and I admire your courage.” I am proud that many campus groups, even within Greek life, actively welcome LGBTQ members and spurn homophobia within and beyond their own walls. I am proud of the LGBTQ professors who have the courage to share their perspectives and knowledge with an accepting generation of students who are further inspired to make the world a more just place. And I am proud of all the students, faculty and staff who actively work to make our community ever more inclusive.

Our school is far from perfect, but conversations with LGBTQ alumni often reassure me that this campus continues to move in a positive direction. Yet we can still work to broaden our communities, rather than divide them. Events like Pride Week must go further than simply celebrating culture if they are to effect the greatest change they must actively connect insiders with outsiders and enable all of us to see life from new perspectives. With this goal in mind, we can rethink the way we approach programming in general on campus and push ourselves to build a Dartmouth that includes all of us, a Dartmouth that makes us all proud.

Nachtwey discusses war photography

Photojournalist James Nachtwey '70 used his experiences documenting atrocities worldwide to underscore the power of media in his Wednesday lecture.

War photographer James Nachtwey ’70 discussed his career as a photojournalist documenting dozens of wars and humanitarian conflicts as well as his belief in the power of journalism to generate political and social change in a lecture held on Wednesday afternoon in Filene Auditorium. Nachtwey shared stories about his time on the ground in Central American warfare zones in the wake of the Cold War, in Bosnia during a time of ethnic conflict and in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide, among others.

Nachtwey chose to pursue his career after seeing photographs documenting the Vietnam War and Civil Rights Movement in the United States, in which he recognized the power of journalism and the press to create mass awareness and heighten understanding, he said.

“Photographs have the ability to show a mass audience things they can’t see for themselves, things they should try to understand and try to change, and generate a refusal to accept the unacceptable,” he said.

Photography both provides the public with access to serious social and political issues and offers a voice to those who may not otherwise be heard, he said. Often, when his subjects whom he called “silenced individuals” encounter a photographer who is willing to share their risk and care about their circumstances, they “realize their grief will speak” through the photographs.

“I was driven by the idea that a picture that revealed the true definition of war would be an anti-war photo,” Nachtwey said. “Images fueled resistance because they not only reported history but also changed history. When an image enters our collective conscience, change became possible and inevitable.”

Nachtwey presented the historical, social and political significance of images from his first book, “Deeds of War,” which documents his experience from 1981-89 on the front lines in Central America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. He said that these experiences led him to document “injustice crying out to be corrected.”

Following the collapse of the Berlin Wall, Nachtwey visited Romania and experienced first-hand the HIV/AIDS epidemic and terrible conditions in state orphanages and elderly homes, which he characterized as “nothing less than a crime against humanity.” This experience inspired a new trajectory in his career documenting crimes against humanity.

“Just because [my subjects] suffer does not mean they lack dignity, just because they live in poverty doesn’t mean they lack hope,” he said. “I have had to learn to channel my anger to clarify my vision as opposed to clouding it.”

Since 1981, Nachtwey has worked on extensive photographic essays in Central and South America, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. The recipient of numerous honors and photographic awards, Nachtwey became the third recipient of the Dresden International Peace Prize in 2012, which recognizes individuals whose work helps prevent escalation of violence.

Nachtwey said a crucial part of his sense of “journalistic responsibility” derives from his belief that photographs are essential for citizens and political figures to understand crises and conflicts. By raising awareness, Nachtwey he hopes to “galvanize support on behalf of the people in the photographs,” he said.

His coverage of the Africa HIV/AIDS epidemic in 2000 that was featured in a 20-page Time magazine spread “transcended” journalistic orthodoxy, rendering the story and photographs more important than the advertisers and magazine itself and ultimately encouraging both increased funding and awareness of the epidemic, he said.

“Journalists know that the stories we work on are far bigger than we are,” Nachtwey said. “This story is a triumph of journalism.”

Acting Director of the Dickey Center for International Understanding Chris Wohlforth praised Nachtwey’s work, which compels viewers to recognize and accept responsibility for the world’s problems.

“Art is about beauty and being provocative, and it is the beauty of his images that contrasts with the tragedy they depict that force us to truly see,” she said. “Through his unwavering dedication to the prevention of further crimes against humanity, Nachtwey reminds us that the world’s troubles are our troubles because we made them, and with this message his photographs inspire us to be better people.”

Remy Grosbard ’12, who plans to work for Internews, a Bosnian non-governmental organization focused on promoting free press and media transparency in developing countries, said that Nachtwey’s experiences reassured her that magazines and newspapers take their role of informing the public seriously and are not just corporate enterprises.

“Throughout the lecture, I just kept thinking, How is this man still alive?'” she said. “He is incredibly brave but doesn’t see himself as a hero. That being said, he fully understands the importance of his work and it is clear that what he does and what he witnesses matter to him very deeply.”

In addition to shedding light on those directly culpable for atrocities, Nachtwey’s work also challenges nations in the developed world who failed to prevent them, Grosbard said, adding that the photographs maintained each subject’s dignity despite the “horrific and appalling” conditions.

Janie Abernethy ’12, who attended the lecture for her English class, “Narrative and Literary Journalism” , said she has discussed the obligation of the journalist to provide a voice to people on the margins of society.

“It is clear that he is constantly curious and purposeful about the choices he makes through his photographs while applying all that he does to his greater mission, and it’s interesting that he never took pictures that were not of human suffering, especially in areas where conflicts are resolved,” Abernethy said. “That he is able to jump from tragedy to tragedy and still remain a balanced, normal person is also pretty incredible.”

Sophia Pedlow ’15 said Nachtwey is the Dartmouth alumnus she most admires, as his work demonstrates that the field of journalism is still characterized by integrity and is an essential force for change.

“I Googled him when I was on my gap year, and, like him, I hope to work for National Geographic one day,” she said. “This afternoon, I was inspired to start taking photographs, even though the world is full of photographers, because he revealed that the quality of the picture is the only qualification required to be a photojournalist.”

Nachtwey is in residence for the week at the Dickey Center as a Class of 1950 Senior Foreign Affairs Fellow, a fellowship created to inspire students and faculty through interaction with distinguished scholars and practitioners who act as engaged members of the global community. In addition to Wednesday’s lecture, Nachtwey will visit several classes, including “Narrative and Literary Journalism” and “War and Peace in the Modern Age.”

Pedlow is a member of The Dartmouth Staff.

College to expand gender-neutral housing options in fall

As Dartmouth students gear up for room draw, they will have additional options for gender-neutral housing, as Mid-Massachusetts Hall, the Lodge residence hall and the second, third and fourth floors of New Hampshire Hall will be added to the list of locations where students of any gender can cohabitate, according to Director of Housing Rachael Class-Giguere.

These residence halls will join the Maxwell Channing Cox and Ledyard Apartments, designated suites in the East Wheelock cluster and the gender-neutral affinity program in Fahey-McLane Hall as gender-neutral locations, but they will be regarded as separate from the affinity application process required for the program, Class-Giguere said. While the gender-neutral option will be available to students in these locations, it is not mandatory that mixed-gender groups occupy them.

“We’ve wanted to make an expansion in gender-neutral offerings for a long time, and in talking with leadership this seemed like a good year to do that,” she said. “One of the reasons we’ve wanted to expand is so that we could increase the ability of students in their sophomore year who really want a double, even if they have a lower housing number.”

The gender-neutral option will allow for more possible configurations of students in the room draw process, according to Class-Giguere.

The Housing Office selected these particular buildings to be included in the expansion largely for logistical reasons, she said.

“In the Lodge and Mid-Mass, there are private in-room bathrooms, and on the second and fourth floors of New Hamp there are single-use bathrooms available,” she said. “For any student who might identify as a gender different than their legal status, they would have to have the ability to use a bathroom without having to make a distinction.”

Bathroom placement is also important as a “convenience and comfort” for students, according to Anoush Arakelian ’14, a student housing intern.

“It would theoretically be a good idea to have all of the floors be gender-neutral, but think about people who live in the Fayerweather cluster,” she said. “We all use the same bathrooms, and you can’t really have boys and girls using the same bathroom in a way that makes everyone feel comfortable.”

The expanded gender-neutral floors will differ from the Gender-Neutral Affinity Program, which includes a programming aspect and a dedicated application for potential residents, Class-Giguere said.

“In the past few years, we’ve had one or two students ask why they can’t have a double available to them in a mixed-gender pair, and that’s one of reasons we’ve really wanted to expand,” she said. “In [the room draw] system, certain rooms will be designated as available to mixed-gender groups.”

The College will continue its commitment to offering single-sex housing because it is a priority for some students, according to Class-Gigure.

Input from students was a major impetus for the expansion of gender-neutral options, according to Maia Matsushita ’13, a student housing intern who lived on Fahey-McLane’s gender-neutral affinity floor during her sophomore year. Students who want to live in gender-neutral housing will no longer have to “compete for apartments or quads,” which are generally taken by students with top priority housing numbers, Matsushita said.

The Housing Office has seen “a lot of interest” in more options for male and female cohabitation on campus, Matsushita said.

“We’ll get blitzes from students wondering why there have been so few housing options that do not take gender into the equation,” she said. “I know that the response to the expansion of the program has been really positive.”

Matsushita said that while she “loved” her own experience living in the program, it’s “definitely not for everyone.”

“It was one of the most transformative experiences of my Dartmouth career so far, and our weekly meetings always sparked incredible discussions,” she said. “Now, students who may not be totally dedicated to all that living in affinity housing entails can have the option to live in gender-neutral housing, as well.”

The expanded housing will also help accommodate the large number of applicants who express interest in the program floor.

Without the requirements of the affinity program, which could deter some people from applying, gender-neutral housing is a more attractive option for some students, according to Pedro Hurtado ’14.

“I feel like I could live with a girl and a guy and it would make very little difference for me as long as I get along with the person,” he said.

The expansion has seen “no opposition” due in part to the variety of available housing types, which means that “the alternative is always out there” for students who feel uncomfortable with either option, according to Class-Giguere.

“We’ve had options for gender-neutral housing since 2007, and we don’t have a huge percentage of students who’ve been selecting suites or apartments of mixed gender,” she said. “Part of me thinks we might see an increase in those who choose this option, especially among sophomores, but it could be that we’ll basically have the same percentage just spread amongst different room types.”

Incoming freshmen at the College will continue to be assigned to their rooms based on gender, Class-Giguere said.

Dodecaphonics’ Spring Sing welcomes Princeton’s Nassoons

This Saturday, the Dartmouth Dodecaphonics, the College’s oldest coed a cappella group, will host the annual Spring Sing concert, which will also feature performances by the Dartmouth Aires and the Princeton University Nassoons. Hosted by J Mentrek ’13 and Amelia Acosta ’14 in Spaulding Auditorium, this is the first time the Dodecaphonics have organized a concert at the Hopkins Center since their Winter Whingding in 2010, according to Dodecaphonics President Talene Monahon ’13.

“In my time at Dartmouth, we have never done a single show with the Aires,” Monahon said. “But we are really close friends with a lot of them, and we thought that it would be an awesome opportunity to go big’ for our first show in a long time together.”

The Aires, who are also preparing for the annual New Musics celebration “Song and Sound” on May 1, are equally as excited for an opportunity to perform with the Dodecaphonics.

“I think it’s an awesome opportunity for two powerhouse a cappella groups to perform together,” Nick Cunha ’15, a member of the Aires, said. “I’m really stoked about the collaboration.”

The Dodecaphonics have been preparing intensively for this show since the beginning of the term, according to Monahon. Although they usually rehearse three times a week, they have held several additional rehearsals over the past few weeks to fully prepare for the show.

The members of the group have arranged and learned an entirely new set of seven songs in a month, musical director Abby Yazbak ’14 said.

The group will be performing a wide range of music and utilizing their unique coed makeup to highlight duets that feature both male and female voices. Their set will feature songs by popular artists like Maroon 5, Gavin DeGraw and Lady Antebellum.

Like the Aires, the Nassoons are also an all-male a cappella group, but they have a very different musical style.

“We are very excited to be coming up for Spring Sing,” Nassoons President Chris Brownell said. “We will be performing a sampling from across many years of Nassoon history, including several songs from our early years a jazz standard and a Nassoon original from the 1940s and ’50s and a couple more recent arrangements, like a song from the 2006 Academy Award-winning film “Once” [2006]. Rumor has it we might even break out some Beyonce.”

The older members of the Dodecaphonics have been particularly instrumental in organizing Spring Sing, according to Monahon. Unlike performances in a fraternity or sorority, there is a lot more organization and effort put into a production of Spring Sing, she said. Performing in Spaulding Auditorium poses different challenges, for instance, since it has much more precise acoustics, so the group has to ensure their singing is perfectly coordinated, according to Yazbak, who is responsible for the group’s sound.

“In Spaulding, you can showcase arrangements where you can hear each singer’s part,” Monahon said. “The soloist can also be softer and more expressive, which you might not be able to pick up on in a fraternity [performance].”

The show will feature soloists from each class to highlight the group’s different talents and sounds, according to Phoebe Bodurtha ’15, who will be singing a solo at the show.

“I’m really excited for the concert and to perform with the group at Spaulding,” she said. “We’ve been working really hard, and I think we sound great as a group.”

The group also filmed a video of a short comedy sketch, which will be shown between the singing acts to provide a break from the singing and add humor to the performance, Monahon said.

The Dodecaphonics have also been working on their newest CD this term, “Hooked on Dodecaphonics,” which is scheduled to be released in May, according to business manager Evan Gelfand ’13.

“It’s a great CD with some arrangements that Dartmouth students might be more familiar with over those they’ll hear on Saturday night,” he said. “We’ll be taking pre-orders after Spring Sing.”

Spring Sing will also be the last time that the seven seniors in the group perform on the Spaulding stage together, so it will be a strongly sentimental performance for the Dodecaphonics, according to Bodurtha.

“Coming to Spring Sing is a really good way to see the seniors being amazing in a really great setting for one of their last performances,” Bodurtha said. “I think it’s going to be a really fun show we’re doing new music, and so are the Aires.”

Acosta is a member of The Dartmouth Staff.