To the Editor:
On Wednesday evening, I attended the performance of “Undue Influence” presented by the Hopkins Center, the theater department, the Office of the President and the Sexual Abuse Awareness Program and found the show to be a thought-provoking way to raise awareness about the pervasive issue of sexual assault on Dartmouth’s campus.
In recent months, senior administrators and student leaders have emphasized that sexual assault is an issue that extends beyond the Greek system it is a community-wide concern that requires all members of this campus to work together if we are to successfully address it. I could not agree more.
However, when I went with my friend, who is a member of a sorority, to purchase tickets for the show, I was told that she would pay half-price while I paid the full price and would be seated in a different area of the theater because I am neither a member of a Greek house nor a first-year student.
While I commend the administration’s commitment to incentivize and subsidize first-year students and Greek house members to attend this important event, their approach is out of sync with their rhetoric. The implication that sexual assault does not impact upperclassman students who are not involved with the Greek system is both short-sighted and contradicts the need for all members of the community to engage with this issue.
Sexual assault impacts every member of the Dartmouth community directly or indirectly, no matter who you are. Therefore, our college needs to draw in every individual, affiliated or not, to the important dialogue created by “Undue Influence” to reduce the incidence of assault on this campus.
If the College administration fully believes that sexual assault is a community-wide concern, then the positive steps they have taken to raise awareness and promote “Undue Influence” should extend to all students, regardless of their year or Greek affiliation.
Chris O’Connell ’13
The College announced yesterday that Wendy Kopp is the Class of 2012’s Commencement speaker. I believe she is a speaker worthy of Dartmouth.
In the past 20 years, Kopp has become the midwife of modern education reform. Kopp founded Teach for America in 1989 after she proposed an American “Teacher Corps” modeled after the Peace Corps in her Princeton University thesis. Teach for America now has 30,000 alumni, two-thirds of whom work full-time in education. A 2011 study showed that Teach for America alumni created one-sixth of all educational entrepreneurial organizations in the country, way more than any other teaching program or school district. These alumni include state education directors, city superintendents and the founders of New Schools for New Orleans, Democrats for Education Reform and StudentsFirst. Colorado state Sen. Michael Johnston, D-Denver, who taught with Teach for America in the Mississippi Delta, wrote the state’s landmark legislation on teacher evaluations. Two of the most successful charter school networks, KIPP and YES Prep, are also alumni creations. Dartmouth has been heavily involved with Teach for America. This year, our Teach for America acceptance rate was one of the highest in the country, and the recruitment team would like to see an even higher number of offers for the Class of 2013.
Kopp’s speech will be most valuable to Dartmouth students if she focuses on how she was able to inspire top performing students to consider education as a viable career choice, instead of promoting Teach for America itself. I, along with the other Teach for America campus recruiters, have made sure that Dartmouth students are exposed to the program, so there’s no need for her to advertise. Furthermore, Teach for America, like most organizations, is imperfect. The organization’s five-week training program and only two-year commitment may not accomplish its goal of placing a highly effective teacher in every classroom.
In her address, Kopp can talk about elevating our impressions of the teaching profession. I wouldn’t believe that teaching is considered a waste of an Ivy League degree, except I’ve heard it said in casual conversations and student forums. This tone reflects a larger problem. In the 1970s, 20 percent of top performing students went into careers in education. Today, that number has dropped to 10 percent. Based on SAT scores, America draws most of its new teachers from the bottom third of college graduates. And almost half of our country’s teacher preparation programs accept every applicant, while the programs in high-performing countries like Finland and Singapore have 10 percent admission rates.
This decreased selectivity is coupled with the mindset that high performers stick with other high performers. Friends justify going into finance and consulting because they want to stay with other “smart” people in addition to the high salaries offered by these firms. This “skyboxification,” or clustering of the “smart,” has been featured in recent works like Charles Murray’s “Coming Apart” and Timothy Noah’s “The Great Divergence.” It is worth worrying about. Kopp has accomplished something special by persuading more graduates to take their fancy degrees to plainer places. Dartmouth can encourage this just as well as Teach for America does. We can challenge the “if you can’t do, teach” attitude by hiring more professors at Raven House and creating an education major. We can lead research in the underappreciated field of rural education. Many students are involved in the Tucker Foundation’s education-centered organizations, but Tucker can always use more. We could even work with the other Ivies and consider tuition incentives for those who get teacher certified.
I am excited for Wendy Kopp to be my class’ Commencement speaker. She has created an environment in which a Dartmouth student is now congratulated instead of pitied for teaching third graders in South Dakota. I understand that a Teach for America teacher might not be those third graders’ ideal option, but I hope that Kopp can acknowledge this next month while making a persuasive case for Dartmouth students going where they are most needed instead of where they are most wanted. And at the very least, I hope she convinces a few more people to write a thesis.
**Dennis Zeveloff ’12 is a campus recruiter for Teach for America.*
Last Monday, copies of “pledge notes” were distributed anonymously throughout the Choates residence hall cluster. In part, the document served as a sobering reminder of the persistence of negative stereotypes and disrespectful attitudes toward women among certain members of the Dartmouth community.
On Wednesday, the president of the Panhellenic Council, along with the presidents of the eight Panhellenic sororities, criticized the content of this document for the disrespect it showed toward women and its perpetuation of harmful stereotypes (“A Crisis of Disrespect,” April 25). We commend them for taking a strong stance on the issue, as such hurtful words have no place on this campus. This condemnation, however, cannot stop at the level of impassioned but ultimately empty words. Rather, there must be further investigation and substantive action taken in response to incidents such as these.
We fear that inaction on the part of the Dartmouth community in light of this event and others like it will give a free pass to those who continuously perpetuate a culture of disrespect on campus and allow this type of objectionable behavior to continue. Since the majority of female upperclassmen on this campus are members of sororities, the Panhellenic Council and its eight sororities have the potential to serve as a strong voice for Dartmouth women if they join together and act in response to this incident. In their response published in The Dartmouth, the sorority presidents stated that they intend to advocate for change, but their role as campus leaders is not to advocate, but to act.
Last spring, we saw an example of an active and unified response when sororities collectively agreed to boycott all events with a fraternity that failed to adequately address an incident of assault that occurred in its house (“Sororities announce new policy,” May 12, 2011), an action that proved wildly successful in provoking a productive response.
Incidents should not have to escalate to the point of physical violence, however, before women take visible action. The Panhellenic Council has agreed that the pledge notes are emblematic of the prevailing hateful language and stereotyping present on campus, a problem they have pledged to root out. Now is the time for sororities to work collaboratively on behalf of women on this campus through meaningful actions that back up their words.
Too often, we fail to take action against disrespect, especially if doing so comes at the expense of social capital. Those who criticize negative elements of our social system often do so anonymously, giving less credence and power to their statements, and even those that do make public statements against a fraternity’s actions often do not follow through on their criticisms, socializing at that fraternity the following weekend.
We recognize that not every member of an organization is responsible for the actions of a single individual. Any responsible organization, however, should take action to investigate a shameful incident such as this. If we do not see a sufficient investigation and an appropriate response from organizations involved in situations such as the pledge notes incident, women who have been elected to leadership positions on this campus need to join together and demand a response by taking tangible actions to back up their words. If they don’t, they will have failed the same women they claim to represent.
Dartmouth’s Brophy Field will play host to the Northeast Regional of the 2012 Emirates Airline USA Rugby Men’s Division I-AA and Division II College Playoffs this weekend. The Big Green is the top seed in its region as the team sets out to win the national championship.
“We’re very excited to welcome these teams to what we feel is the best place in the country to play rugby,” Nate Brakeley ’12 said. “The team is eager to put on a good show of Dartmouth rugby in front of our friends and family.”
Captain Paul Jarvis ’12 echoed Brakeley’s claim.
“It’s a tremendously exciting opportunity for Dartmouth Rugby,” Jarvis said in an email to The Dartmouth. “The whole team is ready for the challenge of playoff rugby, and we are confident that we will be able to execute and perform in front of a home crowd.”
Eight games are set to be played at Brophy Field over the coming weekend. The Big Green is competing for its first Division I-AA national championship in its history. Dartmouth will have two home games to start the tournament, starting with a contest against Shippensburg University on Saturday at 1 p.m.
“Our expectations are really high going into this tournament,” Simon Greenberg ’13 said. “It’s important to us since it’s our first time competing for this.”
The Big Green received an automatic bid after an undefeated season and an Ivy League title. The members of this year’s senior class have never lost an Ivy League game in their time on the team, and the 2011-2012 season marked Dartmouth’s fourth consecutive year with an undefeated regular season record.
“Our senior class is really strong this year,” Greenberg said. “It’s good for a tournament like this where consistency is needed to keep consistent for multiple games.”
Jarvis said that the seniors are excited to play on their home field one last time.
“For the seniors, this is our last chance to play at home on Brophy Field, and I know all of the squad is equally eager to rise to the occasion,” Jarvis said.
The action gets underway on Saturday at 9 a.m. as Division II teams Colgate University and Bentley University square off. Boston University will face Towson University at 11 a.m. in the other Division II first-round matchup. Northeastern University will take on Stony Brook University at 3 p.m. on Saturday in the other Division I-AA game.
The second-round and consolation-round games of both tournaments will be played on Sunday. The Division II consolation game kicks off the day at 9 a.m. followed by the Division II second-round game at 11 a.m. The Division I-AA consolation game follows at 1 p.m., while the second-round game wraps up the day at 3 p.m. The regional winners will move on to Sandy, Utah to compete in the final four from May 18-19.
“We’ll be playing for our first final four appearance since the 1980s, so this means a lot to the club,” Brakeley said.
As the second overall seed and the top seed in its region, the Big Green is a strong contender for the title. Dartmouth has three All-Americans and a U-19 All-American in the lineup.
A couple weeks ago I discovered a new passion. Surprisingly, Hanover decided to give us one good week of weather, so I spent an entire Saturday afternoon enjoying the gorgeous sunshine. I was expecting a calm and relaxing day because the entire campus seemed entranced by the idyllic weather.
After lazily meandering around campus, I ended up some place I did not expect the tennis courts. Once I was within earshot of the courts, the roar of a rowdy crowd shattered my zen-like mentality. The match against the Princeton (douchebag) Tigers had just started and the (mostly positive) chants from the eager Dartmouth fans could be heard from the Green. I felt the energy, and I wanted to be a part of it, so I sprinted to the middle of the student section and screamed as loud as I could.
Before that Saturday, I never realized how much fun it could be to turn a “classy” sporting event like a tennis match into a good old-fashioned, rowdy rager. Typically, tennis matches are depicted as afternoon getaways for the rich and famous. I think of pastel polo shirts and white shorts. People sip seltzer water and quietly clap after a player wins a point. The crowd is normally unbiased because it’s not “classy” to cheer against someone.
The Dartmouth-Princeton match was the complete opposite. This is Dartmouth, and we do things our own way.
At Dartmouth, we don’t care about being prestigious or “classy.” We crush Keystone Light (that’s always smooth), and we don’t bother washing off pong balls when they land in a pool of frat slush. We don’t mind walking through three feet of snow to get to class, and we sure as hell don’t have any exclusive “Eating Clubs” where fancy chefs prepare fancy meals.
At Dartmouth, we’re not afraid to do things differently. Our tennis fans are rowdy. We are loud, obnoxious and not afraid to show who we are rooting for. Our cheers were no different than those during football or hockey games. One student even recited the inspirational pre-game speech from “Miracle” (2004) to will the Big Green to victory. The referees hated us they even went so far as to give Princeton players points when our cheering breached the “etiquette” expected of fans. We took big stadium cheering and brought it to our little tennis courts.
Going against the grain is fun. We took a sport and “Dartmouthized” it. After that day, I was inspired to bring rowdiness to other “classy” sporting events. These are some sports that I think could benefit from a little extra energy in the bleachers.
Imagine how much more entertaining golf would be if the crowd was more animated. “Happy Gilmore” (1996) is one of my all-time favorite movies because it demonstrated precisely this fact. If the crowd gets more emotional, the athletes will as well. Just imagine watching a golfer freak out and break his putter after a bad miss or seeing an elated major winner swan dive into a water hazard. There’s so much potential here.
- Figure Skating
It’s hard to get excited when you are watching people skate to music from “The Little Mermaid” (1989). We need to take a hint from “Blades of Glory” (2007) and blast loud, aggressive music during every set. I would definitely pay money to see people ice dance to Soulja Boy’s “Turn My Swag On.”
Little known secret: Bowling alleys are stocked full of booze. We’ve all been to a football or hockey game where the atmosphere gets more rowdy as people down more Buds. If every PBA Tour event ticket included an open bar, the TV ratings would soar.
Honorable MentionsPolo: Getting hyped up would make this snooty sport bearable, but I’m not quite sure the horses would appreciate the extra noise as much as I would. Marathons: It’s impossible to stay energized for an entire marathon. You can try, but it’s not good for your health. NASCAR: I’ve never mentioned anything about the pride of the South in my column. I probably never will again. This sport is rowdy enough I don’t think it could handle any more rowdiness. Rhythmic Gymnastics: I usually forget this is a sport. There aren’t a lot of ways to convince people to attend these events. Fencing: Never heckle anyone with a sword.
Although Sophie Caldwell ’12 began skiing “as soon as [she] learned to walk,” she said she never expected to be honored as the 2012 Collegiate Nordic Skier of the Year by Ski Racing Magazine. Caldwell, a member of the Dartmouth women’s ski team, received the honor last Monday and was surprised and honored by the award.
“I had read about the award before but wasn’t expecting it or anything,” Caldwell said. “It was a pleasant surprise. I’m obviously very happy, but I wish the whole team could get the recognition because I think the most impressive thing was how the Dartmouth Nordic team did in the NCAA [Championships].”
Her teammates said that Caldwell is always modest despite enjoying a highly successful career as a skier.
“She’s the epitome of humble,” teammate Erika Flowers ’12 said. “She doesn’t make a big deal about it. She really just loves the sport for the racing and her teammates. She doesn’t do it for the awards.”
Even so, Caldwell has received plenty of recognition as a skier, especially this winter when she helped the Big Green place fourth at the NCAA Championships. During the carnival season, Caldwell won three races and placed second in three others. She continued to excel at the NCAA Championships in Bozeman, Mont., where she placed third in the 5K freestyle and second in the 15K classic.
The second race was a photo finish in which Caldwell came in second by just two inches. She received first-team All-American honors in both events, bringing her career All-American total to five. Caldwell’s teammates say that her technique and tenacity help her be successful on the snow.
“Sophie has probably some of the best technique of any collegiate skier,” Flowers said. “She’s also definitely a fighter. She doesn’t give up easily. I think competition motivates her in a positive way.”
Caldwell’s younger sister, Isabel Caldwell ’14, also skis for Dartmouth.
“She’s just very graceful,” Isabel Caldwell said. “She’s also very tough and can push through a lot of pain.”
Sophie Caldwell works hard to succeed and is constantly pushing herself to improve, and her teammates said she motivates them to push their limits as well.
“At every workout, she’s doing what she can to push herself,” Flowers said. “That’s definitely one of the biggest things I’ve learned from her.”
Caldwell said that while she and the team train hard, she feels that the reward makes it all worthwhile.
“We have to sacrifice other things, so it’s very rewarding to do well,” Caldwell said. “Although I think everyone questions it once in a while, I think it’s definitely worth it.”
Her teammates said that Caldwell is also an encouraging and fun presence on the team. This year she was awarded the Martha Rockwell Award, an award voted on by members of the team and given to someone “who embodies the spirit of skiing as a whole,” according to Flowers.
“She’s a quiet leader, but she definitely inspires everyone around her,” Flowers said. “She’s always reaching out, coordinating everything from team dinners to get-togethers with the girls’ team. She makes everyone feel welcome.”
Caldwell said that there was an “incredible team dynamic” this year, which helped fuel the Big Green’s success. She explained that Dartmouth is scored as a team at each carnival and takes the concept of being a team to heart.
“We’re genuinely happy when each individual does well,” Caldwell said. “I think we’re all out there working very hard so we have a lot of respect for each other.”
Isabel Caldwell emphasized that she looks up to Sophie Caldwell as both a skier and a person.
“I always like to follow behind her,” Isabel Caldwell said. “It’s good to help figure out what technique she’s using.”
Flowers mentioned Sophie Caldwell’s tenacity and perseverance in the face of adversity as another reason why she’s been able to succeed. Last year, Caldwell was diagnosed with mononucleosis after racing “incredibly” at U.S. Senior Nationals. Caldwell had to take two months off from skiing and then work back into shape for the collegiate season.
Isabel Caldwell cited Sophie Caldwell’s passion as something she admires about her sister.
“She’s able to balance so much,” she said. “She really cares about everything she does but never takes it too seriously. I’m very proud of her.”
Caldwell, a Vermont native, said the community she grew up in was the source of her passion for skiing. In addition to Isabel, Sophie Caldwell’s brother Austin Caldwell ’15 is also on the team.
“I think you get to meet a lot of great people [while skiing],” Sophie Caldwell said. “Some of my best friends I’ve come to know through skiing, and you really remain close.”
Caldwell will not be losing touch with her skiing friends any time soon. Next year, she plans on skiing for a professional team based out of Vermont with some of her Dartmouth teammates.
The Dartmouth softball team lost both games of a doubleheader against Boston College on Wednesday at Dartmouth Softball Park. The Big Green tried hard to hold on in the first game before falling, 3-2, and proceeded to drop the second game against the Eagles (22-23, 2-13 ACC), 7-0. The Big Green (12-23, 5-11 Ivy) and the Eagles played in pink uniforms in honor of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s StrikeOut Cancer initiative in order to raise awareness about breast cancer and women’s cancer research.
Dartmouth used the midweek contests to prepare for the team’s games against Harvard University over the weekend, according to pitcher Hillary Barker ’12.
“Going into the games this weekend, I really just want to see our team play loose and confident,” Rachel Hein ’15 said. “When we enjoy the game and each other, we play our best softball. We have a new field, and I think we need to show Harvard [that] this is our home and they won’t take anything from us.”
When the teams first met on March 24 in Chestnut Hill, Mass., the Eagles won both games, including an 11-0, five-inning game that was ended early by the mercy rule.
“Since we’ve played Boston College already this year, we knew what to expect,” Barker said. “They’re a good ball club we’ve never beat them in my four years but we’ve come close twice. I think, more than anything, it was great to see the improvement from the last time we played them to this time.”
The day began in the worst possible fashion for Dartmouth, as Boston College leadoff hitter Nicole D’Argento hit a home run to begin game one, giving the Eagles an early 1-0 lead. An infield single later in the inning pushed the Boston College lead to 2-0 before Dartmouth starter Kristen Rumley ’15 forced a pop-up to end the inning.
The Eagles added another run in the third before Dartmouth rallied back for a run in the bottom of the inning. Alex St. Romain ’14 was hit by a pitch to begin the inning, and Rumley advanced St. Romain to third on a double to left field. Morgan Wharton ’13 drove St. Romain home with a single before pitcher D’Argento retired the next three batters to end the threat.
The Big Green threatened in the sixth, but Meghan Everett ’12 grounded out with runners on second and third, ending the inning.
Dartmouth scored again in the seventh when Kara Curosh ’14 smashed an RBI double to left field, but the Big Green rally fell short, as the Eagles held on to win 3-2.
In the second game, Boston College again started strong, jumping out to a 4-0 lead after three innings. Dartmouth managed a couple of base runners in the third, but a pair of strikeouts ensured that nothing came of it. The Eagles added three more runs in the fifth and shut the door the rest of the way, winning 7-0.
The Dartmouth players did not allow the pair of losses to put them in poor spirits.
“We had fun even though we lost,” Jonele Conceicao ’14 said. “The atmosphere was positive because of the occasion, and everyone was just looking to have a good time playing.”
The Big Green will take on Harvard this weekend in two doubleheaders to finish out its season.
“The quality of pitching at [Boston College] is comparable to what we’ll see this weekend, so it was good to get some swings in,” Barker said.
Dartmouth will play two games in Cambridge, Mass., on Saturday before finishing with two games at Dartmouth Softball Park on Sunday.
“We want to take it to Harvard and finish strong for our seniors,” Conceicao said. “I already know there will be tears after that last out.”
More than 140 public universities have increased tuition for certain academic programs such as business, engineering and science in response to spending cuts for higher education, according to a study by Cornell University’s Higher Education Research Institute. These “differential tuition” policies target programs that are more expensive to teach and generally promise higher salaries after graduation, USA Today reported. The report, compiled by Cornell economics professor Ronald Ehrenberg, warns that differential tuition policies may discourage low-income students from entering expensive programs, creating socioeconomic divisions between groups of students in different academic departments.
Congress responded to calls from President Barack Obama to extend an interest rate cut for federally subsidized student loans, according to Inside Higher Ed. Both Democrats and Republicans have introduced bills that extend the current rate, but the proposals differ in how they intend to pay for the rate extension, Inside Higher Ed reported. One bill, introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, proposes to finance the extension by eliminating a corporate tax loophole. Another bill, introduced by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., proposes cutting oil subsidies to compensate extension costs. A bill proposed by Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Ill., would cut funding for a health care program that promotes disease prevention and public health. If congressional action is not taken, the interest rates will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1, according to Inside Higher Ed.
Professors at the University of California, San Diego entered a legal battle with 12 Kumeyaay Native American tribes on Monday over the ownership of 10,000-year-old human remains, which were discovered after school officials excavated a campus site in 1976, U-T San Diego reported. Dorothy Alther, the head of the Kumeyaay Cultural Repatriation Committee, which represents the 12 tribes, said that the remains legally belong to the Kumeyaay people under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, a law passed in 1990 that requires federal agencies to return Native American cultural items to their respective peoples. A 2010 addition to the law stipulates that even if artifacts cannot be culturally identified as belonging to a modern tribe, they should be returned to the tribe on whose “aboriginal land” they were found, according to U-T San Diego. The remains are currently housed at the San Diego Archaeological Center in Escondido, Calif., U-T San Diego reported.