An amendment to North Carolina’s constitution that bans same-sex marriages, domestic partnerships and civil unions will have uncertain effects on faculty and students on college campuses in the state, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. Supporters and opponents of the legislation have expressed different opinions on the way in which the measure would affect benefits provided to homosexual college employees and students. While some worry that college workers in same-sex relationships will be deprived of benefits, proponents argue that colleges will find ways to keep benefits intact. Contractual arrangements between private parties are exempt from the amendment, potentially allowing public colleges to keep benefits provided to employees by private companies, The Chronicle reported. The University of Carolina system does allow college employees to list same-sex partners when seeking benefits, and students are also able to add same-sex partners to their health insurance plans. The potential impacts of the amendment are still being evaluated, but polls show that at least six in 10 voters support the measure, The Chronicle reported. Benefits for domestic partners offered by public colleges and universities in other states that passed similar bans on same-sex marriage have been ruled illegal, according to Inside Higher Education.
Harvard University saw an 81 percent yield for its class of 2016, a 4-percent increase from last year’s rate, The Harvard Crimson reported. The university projects that only about 25 waitlisted students will be accepted. This year which is the first year since the university renewed its early admissions program marks the first time the yield rate has reached 80 percent since the admission of the class of 1975, according to The Crimson. The university admitted 772 students in December during the early action program and 1,260 students in March under regular decision. Of these, 1,641 chose to accept their offers of admission, according to The Crimson. William Fitzsimmons, Harvard’s dean of admissions and financial aid, said he attributes the increase to the return of the early action program, the economic climate and increased awareness of new programs at Harvard, The Crimson reported. Fitzsimmons said that early action students generally have a stronger interest in Harvard than those who apply regular decision and are therefore less likely to apply to other schools and more likely to attend Harvard.
German professor Klaus Mladek and English professor George Edmondson are currently editing a collection of essays, “Sovereignty in Ruin: Politics in Crisis,” which will include the work of prominent critical theorists like Judith Butler, according to Mladek.
The collection seeks to provide an alternative to conventional channels of politics, which Mladek and Edmondson “perceive to be in a deep crisis,” Mladek said. Duke University Press will publish the book in 2013.
“Political theory has been obsessed with the figure of the sovereign and the nation-state,” he said. “We are trying to explore a politics that investigates non-sovereign formations such as masses and multitudes, animals, bacterial life and tele-technologies.”
The collection also includes essays by cultural theorists and philosophers Cary Wolfe, Roberto Esposito and Carlo Galli, according to Mlavek.
Mlavek said he believes the collection is important because scholarship since the 1990s has been preoccupied with figures of sovereignty.
“We have to really ask directly where the crises of nation-states and sovereignty are detectable and how we could find non-sovereign types of politics,” he said.
The 2009 Humanities Institute “States of Exception: Sovereignty, Security, Secrecy,” sponsored by the Leslie Center for the Humanities, formed the framework for the collection, according to former Leslie Center Director and Associate Dean for the Arts and Humanities Adrian Randolph. Mladek and Edmondson directed the 2009 Humanities Institute, Randolph said.
Over the course of each yearly Humanities Institute, College professors and experts from other institutions attend lectures pertinent to their research and discuss their own work, according to current Leslie Center Director Colleen Boggs. During “States of Exception,” Dartmouth professors and experts in literary studies, political science, philosophy, Native American studies and women and gender studies attended their colleagues’ lectures and seminars and “discussed theoretical concepts of sovereignty’ alongside their real-life impact on public policy and political implementation,” Boggs said.
Randolph said that the topic of the 2009 Humanities Institute was selected for its relevance to a number of fields of study and contemporary politics and intellectual life.
Butler’s book, “Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence,” provided “important frames for the discussion during the Institute,” Boggs said. The book questions the new forms of vulnerability to which people are exposed when they are between or removed from states, according to Boggs.
In 2009, Butler presented a lecture, “The Company We Keep: Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem,'” discussing Arendt’s coverage of the 1960-1961 criminal trial of Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann for The New Yorker. In the presentation, Butler argued that Arendt herself grappled with Eichmann’s character and that the court in Jerusalem delivered only partial justice, according to Mlavek.
From her analysis of Arendt’s work, Butler extracted a political philosophy, known as the dispersion of sovereignty, according to Mlavek. She argued that there is no longer any single agent above the social field that commands everything.
Mlavek and Edmondson asked Butler to expand her lecture into an essay for publication in the collection due its relevance and her status among theorists.
“Butler is maybe and arguably the most important political philosopher in the United States at the moment,” Mlavek said. “Butler’s article perfectly exemplifies the themes of a politics that can no longer rest on those clear distinctions.”
Kelsey Henry ’15, who took Edmonson’s introductory literary theory course during Winter term, said Butler’s book, “Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity,” also reflects the interdisciplinary nature of her studies, which are relevant to both politics and social theory.
“I really feel what she was theorizing, while at its core about gender, was really about this concept of permeating boundaries and what happens at the boundaries,” she said.
Edmondson could not be reached for comment by press time.
The Tuck School of Business has begun an initiative to provide expanded online resources to its introductory business courses for students enrolled in its MBA program. Since the effort’s implementation in the fall, professors have begun to use video lectures, online quizzes and discussion boards to improve and supplement their curricula.
The initiative marks an effort at Tuck to make educational materials more readily available and accessible to students, according to Dean of the Tuck School of Business Paul Danos. Using these technologies, Tuck faculty and administrators seek to enhance students’ learning as well as to reach individuals who may decide to participate in the program remotely, Danos said.
The expansion of online resources corresponds to two distinct programs, according to Danos.
In the first, online material is made available exclusively to Tuck students enrolled at the graduate school.
The second program is a collaboration between Tuck and The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. Students who participate in this program earn a master’s degree in health care delivery science through a system that combines residential periods at the College, interactive courses online and “continuous, team-based, experiential learning facilitated by Dartmouth faculty and learning coaches,” according to the program’s website. This dynamic enables students to participate in the program from off-campus sites while pursuing professional careers, according to Danos.
The master’s program and the initiative to expand online resources take advantage of new approaches to learning, Danos said. Because computers and other technologies have become so prominent, educational institutions should modify their teaching mechanisms that embraces these new devices.
“Today’s students learn in a way that is vastly different than someone of my generation does,” Danos said. “Their way of learning will continue to rely increasingly on the web, and teaching in classrooms is going to have to consider that. What we’ve done reflects the ways in which campuses will change as a result of these technologies, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”
According to Danos, most colleges and universities have incorporated new technologies in some way. Institutions such as Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have incorporated new teaching methodologies and led efforts in online education, according to Danos.
Such changes will enhance education and are virtually inevitable for all colleges and universities, Danos said.
“All of the top schools I know, whether in business or other areas of study, are going to have to make decisions about how much of this technology they want to use,” Danos said. “The technology is available now, it’s not as exotic as it used to be. It’s a lot easier to deliver even interactive courses at a distance.”
Among the concerns associated with the increasing reliance on technology in the education sector is a fear that such methods will diminish the emphasis on classroom teaching, Danos said. However, he said these initiatives are actually likely to benefit the classroom experience.
“There is no doubt that this technology is never going to totally drive away campus life, but it is going to change it and give it alternatives,” Danos said. “The [schools] that decide that they want to be involved will have more options in the ways in which they can offer education.”
Marketing professor Praveen Kopalle said he uses the online technologies in his classes to introduce fundamental concepts, offer tutorials and provide reviews of class materials. By using the approach made possible by the new technology, he is able to help students learn and relearn concepts from class and encourage them to apply these concepts to real-life situations, he said.
“The idea here is that you want to leave the basics out of the way so that the classroom discussion can be left for much more value-added learning,” Kopalle said. “This way, we can focus on more applications and in-depth discussions.”
According to Jessica Zofnass Tu ’13, the introduction of online resources has made it easier to understand content, particularly when learning material she had not encountered in the course of her undergraduate education.
“I thought it was tremendously helpful because I had no previous experience in these subjects,” Zofnass said. “Being able to watch the video lectures and take notes at my own pace helped me to really understand the basic concepts so that I could go into class the next day with a strong foundation for the more complex material.”
Danos pioneered the pilot program at the start of the 2011-2012 academic school year. He expects to continue and expand the initiatives for the upcoming academic year, which will begin this summer.
Video responses from Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson to 20 questions submitted by members of the student body via Google Moderator were uploaded on Thursday to the Dean’s Office website. Beginning on April 24, an initiative pioneered by Palaeopitus Senior Society enabled students to submit questions online and to vote “yes” or “no” on other students’ questions, either increasing or decreasing a question’s popularity.
Altogether, 843 students submitted 152 questions and 22,180 votes, according to the website. Johnson answered the 20 questions, grouped into 15 videos, that received the highest ratio of “yes” to “no” votes and had a large number of votes overall, according to President’s Intern and Palaeopitus co-moderator Jason Goodman ’12. Question topics included student perceptions of Dartmouth Dining Services, hazing and health care services at Dick’s House.
Johnson said in an interview with The Dartmouth that she was not surprised by any of the issues or problems that were mentioned. Most of the problems have already been realized or acted upon by the administration, she said.
The most popular question, with 480 “yes” votes, inquired about long wait times and understaffing at Dick’s House and about the administration’s plans to improve on-campus health and mental health care. New jobs for counselors and health care providers are already being created at Dick’s House to better support students, and the changes will be implemented in fall 2012, Johnson said.
“[Moderator] is the counter to Bored at Baker,” Palaeopitus member and former Student Assembly Vice President Amrita Sankar ’12 said. “I think it’s cool the way students would vote down questions that were ridiculous and non-relevant and instead vote up hard-hitting questions on charged issues.”
One such question addressed the College’s stance on hazing and punishment for those who report hazing after having participated in it themselves. In reply, Johnson said that, after having many conversations with students over the past several months, she sees value in a system of partial immunity, like that offered by the Good Samaritan policy.
Greater flexibility on the administration’s part will allow students to come forward more freely without fear, Johnson said. Responsibility also partially falls to students, who must refrain from isolating or ostracizing peers that come forward about hazing.
“I think students need to take a look at their own structures and figure out how to change those as well,” Johnson said.
Deanna Portero ’12, who posted a question on the Moderator site, said that although she did not agree with all of Johnson’s answers, the site offers a system that encourages effective communication between students and administrators.
“With the hazing answer, even if students are isolating each other, it doesn’t change the fact that the administration isolates the students, too,” Portero said. “I thought that it was good that [Johnson] gave honest, clear answers. I wasn’t thrilled with a lot of her responses, but the important thing is that she’s engaging the student body.”
The separation of questions into different videos enables students to locate the questions that matter most to them, Portero said. Portero said that although Dartmouth represents a complex community difficult for anyone especially a new dean of the College to navigate, she hopes that the Moderator project will be the first step of many that Johnson will take.
Goodman said he hopes Moderator will have a lasting legacy at the College because of its ability to promote conversation among the entire student body, as opposed to select groups. Moderator is a tool with tremendous potential, as students are more comfortable communicating online, according to Goodman.
“I think that there’s a silent majority of Dartmouth students who are affected by decisions the administration makes but for whatever reason don’t impact the decision-making process very vocally,” he said. “A big part of Moderator was to allow these students to have a voice on campus.”
Michael Funaro ’12 said he believes the responses provided by Johnson were insufficient and failed to address the questions at hand.
The Moderator model currently in place lacks necessary elaboration, he said.
“If these issues are too complex for the dean to answer and need to be handled by their respective overseeing departments, then Palaeopitus needs to follow up with these departments,” Funaro said in an email to The Dartmouth.
Sankar said it may prove helpful in the future to solicit input from experts on certain topics to answer questions.
Students must keep in mind that Johnson’s responses are inherently biased, as Johnson must “defend her position,” Jamie Choi ’15 said.
Questions posted on the site represent the opinions and criticisms of students and require active solutions rather than merely explanations from administrators, according to Funaro.
“I think at the end of the day, we’re looking for resolutions and improvements, not attempts at justifying why things are the way they are,” he said in the email. “I think we have to ask whether these administrators have lost themselves somewhere out there, and if they’ve gotten to be stars in the process of all of this.”
To keep the program simple and focus on soliciting questions, Goodman said that Palaeopitus chose to omit a comments section on Moderator. Further expansion, however, may open Moderator to discussion between students, he said.
Jim Dupuis, a beloved Hanover delivery man known best for his time working at Gusanoz Mexican Restaurant, died on May 5 in Montreal most likely of natural causes, though the autopsy report has not yet been released, according to his sister, Cathy Dupuis. He was 56 years old.
Jim Dupuis was born in Maryland and lived in Baltimore and Florida before moving to West Lebanon. He was unmarried and did not have any children.
At the time of his death, Dupuis was planning a move to the Bay Area, according to Bing Guan ’14, who intended to profile Dupuis for a journalism class.
“It’s kind of poetic in a way,” Guan said. “He was so much to so many people at Dartmouth, and he died while he was getting ready to leave.”
Cathy Dupuis described her brother as personable and friendly.
“He was full of personality and very social, very outgoing,” she said. “I’m getting all these emails and texts from people I don’t even know.”
Prior to his work at Gusanoz where he acquired the nickname “Jim Gusanoz,” by which he was known to many students Dupuis delivered food for Everything But Anchovies. Most recently, he worked for Ramunto’s Pizza in Hanover.
In the time between his jobs at Gusanoz and Ramunto’s, Dupuis often sold Gusanoz burritos to students on Webster Avenue. Using Facebook, he would alert students to the dates and times during which he would sell food from his car.
Dupuis enjoyed working in Hanover, his sister said.
“He loved his time at Dartmouth,” Cathy Dupuis said. “It seemed like the happiest he’d been in his life, delivering pizzas … and living in the college town. I remember him saying it was a joy being around the kids because it kept him young and how wonderful [the students] all were for accepting him into [their] world.”
Students interviewed by The Dartmouth said they were saddened to learn of Dupuis’ death.
“It’s sad,” Jayne Caron ’14 said. “He was kind of a Dartmouth institution.”
Benjamin Ludlow ’12 said he met Dupuis by ordering food frequently from Gusanoz. Ludlow also helped him with deliveries, he said.
“Jim was one of the kindest people I have ever met in my life,” Ludlow wrote in an email to The Dartmouth. “He cared for Dartmouth and its students as much as anyone I can imagine, and I hope he’s found peace.”
Guan said he believed Dupuis considered Dartmouth students as more than just customers.
“My recollections of him are uniformly positive,” Guan said.
Cathy Dupuis said she has heard from dozens of people looking to express their condolences and sadness in the days since her brother’s passing.
“He had a way with names and people’s faces,” she said. “Apparently he touched an awful lot of lives up there.”
Dupuis will be cremated and buried at a family plot in Rollinsford, N.H., according to Cathy Dupuis. Members of his family will hold a private memorial service next Saturday and are in the process of planning a public memorial service in the future, possibly at the College on June 9.
He is survived by his parents Ray and Jeanne, his older sister Debbie, younger sister Cathy and younger brothers Ray and Joe, as well as a niece, nephew and two grandnephews, according to Cathy Dupuis.
Bubbles and brightly-colored sidewalk chalk welcomed Dartmouth students, faculty and Hanover residents to Thursday’s “No Diet Day” celebration, an anti-diet, body-size-acceptance day sponsored by the Eating Disorder Peer Advisors.
Founded in 1992 by Mary Evans Young, British feminist and director of the British anti-diet campaign “Diet Breakers,” “No Diet Day” is an international, annual celebration of body acceptance and body shape diversity.
“The goal of the day is to dispel the idea that there is only one right’ body type and instead urges us all to celebrate the beauty in all of our natural shapes and sizes,” EDPA intern Hannah Groveman ’13 said.
The day is also dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers and futility of dieting and to recognizing how dieting perpetuates violence against women. The event honors the victims of eating disorders and weight-loss surgery.
“I think it’s important to have a No Diet Day’ celebration at Dartmouth because eating disorders are fairly common on college campuses,” EDPA Whitney FitzPatrick ’13 said.
This year marks EDPA’s 8th annual celebration, which featured a lecture “The Positive Body: Real Options for Health, Happiness, and High Self-Esteem starting where’er you are, right now” delivered by three-time National Champion dancer Ragen Chastain, as well as a Zumba workshop.
In her blog, “Dances with Fat,” Chastain advocates for health in “all shapes and sizes.” A plus-sized woman, she said she believes that all individuals should be treated with respect, and that it is impossible to determine a person’s health based on weight.
“Health at Every Size” involves accepting a diversity of body shapes and recognizing that health and well-being are multi-dimensional, including physical, social, spiritual, occupational, emotional and intellectual aspects, according to Chastain’s writing. Priorities for health should include promoting all aspects of health and well-being; eating in a manner which balances individual nutritional needs, hunger, satiety, appetite and pleasure; and encouraging individually appropriate, enjoyable physical activity, rather than exercise that is focused on a goal of weight loss.
Chastain began blogging when she realized that some individuals turn toward self-loathing because of their body size, and others had never “moved their bodies for any reason other than to try to change the size and shape,” she said on the blog. She said her greatest accomplishment was learning to love herself and her body, despite being outside the norm of “cultural beauty.”
Chastain is also a proponent of Behavior-Centered Health, a health practice in which healthy behaviors, rather than a particular size, weight or shape, are the ultimate goal.
“She is a wonderful, kind, fat, healthy woman who loves to dance,” EDPA Kate Shelton said in an email to The Dartmouth. “In my few interactions with her, I felt so inspired to not worry about my size but to take care of my body by loving it, cherishing it, giving it what it needs and recognizing its beauty and strength.”
As part of the celebration, visitors were urged by EDPAs on the Collis Center porch to sign a pledge which stipulated choosing foods that are nourishing to the body, eating when hungry and avoiding shame or guilt “about your size or about eating.” The pledge also encouraged signers to think about the effects of dieting and well-being and to do “at least one thing you have been putting off until you lose weight.'”
Because diets are statistically unsuccessful, individuals should focus on feeding themselves healthfully without comparing themselves to others, FitzPatrick said.
Community members signing the pledge were entered into a raffle, with prizes including gift cards to Morano Gelato and the Dirt Cowboy Cafe.
Shelton, who led the celebration’s Zumba workshop, said “No Diet Day” is important to her because she personally has recovered from an eating disorder. Zumba is more akin to a “dance party” than strenuous exercise, making it both enjoyable and effective, according to Shelton.
“Celebrations like this remind me that everything is okay because my body can do wonderful things like teach Zumba!” Shelton said in an email to The Dartmouth. “To be an instructor and get to share my joy with others… keeps me happy and grounded in the reality that my body, by dancing, brings me bliss.”
The “No Diet Day” celebration was co-sponsored by the Real Beauty Initiative, Panarchy undergraduate society, Zeta Psi fraternity and Kappa Kappa Gamma, Kappa Delta, Epsilon Kappa Theta, Kappa Delta Epsilon and Alpha Xi Delta sororities.
On Wednesday afternoon during an interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts, President Barack Obama once again made history by becoming the first sitting president to publicly endorse gay marriage. According to The New York Times and numerous online commentators, Obama and his advisors had planned to make the announcement in the lead-up to the September convention since earlier this year but accelerated that timeline in the past week because of Vice President Joe Biden and other cabinet members’ recent public support for the issue. The question now left to many supporters of gay rights is how to interpret the president’s move asking whether it was a calculated political maneuver that will have little to no effect or a heroic statement sacrificing political gain for, simply put, doing the right thing.
Soon after the news broke on Wednesday, an article describing Obama’s statement “I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married” was emailed out to my fraternity by a gay member, celebrating the move and Obama’s support. Though I don’t really have any plans to marry another guy myself and could never fully understand the power behind the president’s historic support of the issue, I was pretty excited. So, as any good liberal, middle-class white boy would do, I went to post the article on my Facebook with an exclamation mark that is, until I saw the next email.
Another gay member responded by saying he couldn’t understand the uproar on Facebook and in the news, that Obama saying he personally thinks it should be legal doesn’t make it any closer to happening. More arguments followed that the statement was a “political stunt,” and, through Obama’s essentially federalist outlook on the issue, it did more to entrench continued homophobic state policy in some southern states and elsewhere than anything else. At a basic level, someone concluded, celebrating Obama was tantamount to congratulating someone for not being homophobic, a viewpoint that should be a given rather than celebrated.
The blogosphere largely echoed these two standpoints in the hours and days after the president’s interview. Meghan McCain wrote in a column for The Daily Beast that “talk is cheap” unless it accompanies actual support for legislation, Obama’s statement doesn’t mean much at all. On The Agitator, another blogger wrote of Obama’s statement that it’s “about f*cking time,” saying that it may have been a position the president had supported all along, but that he “didn’t have the political spine” to state it until after “carefully strategizing with his aides to make sure it wouldn’t damage him politically.” Others, of course, celebrated the move, telling the activist left to essentially shut it, as Obama “may have just kissed off a few swing states and in the kick-off to a presidential re-election campaign, it doesn’t get any gutsier than that.”
If you want progress for equal rights, you have to accept Obama’s strategy as politically motivated, but also necessary for increasing the rate of progress in a realistic way. Although his statement will most likely solidify social conservatives against him, I think it will ultimately help him win the election against a man who would put gay rights backward 40 years.
Take P.M. Carpenter’s summary of this strategy on his blog. By making it an election issue, Obama is forcing Romney to defend his opposition to civil unions and goal of outlawing gay marriage nationwide. Civil unions are supported by a majority of the country, and outlawing gay marriage at the federal level is a far cry from level-headed conservative, federalist values. Obama, on the other hand, can say that it was his own personal opinion, and, unlike Romney, he isn’t infringing upon states’ rights. And the best suggestion from this post: Obama could say, “My position is no different from Dick Cheney’s. Is he outside the mainstream?”
A president will always be politically motivated to win elections. But here we have a political calculation that includes letting gay people across the world know that the leader of the most powerful country in the world supports them openly a move that will arguably help the man win an election. And after that, who knows? Yes, it was calculating. But yes, it was awesome. It is not an ideal world, but we’re getting closer. And this move takes us farther along that path.
A month ago, The Dartmouth Editorial Board criticized Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson for her seeming disengagement from the student body (“Verbum Ultimum: Open the Door and Listen,” April 13), and we were not the only group on campus to express frustration with the apparent disconnect between students and administrators. Former Student Body President Max Yoeli ’12 called for more direct communication from administrators, and various student organizations expressed concern that their voices were not being heard (“Administrators remain disconnected, some say,” April 12).
Over the last few weeks, however, the Dean of the College Office has demonstrated significant progress in the areas in which it has been criticized, and we commend Johnson for making a renewed effort to engage students on pressing campus issues. Palaeopitus Senior Society recently launched a Google Moderator forum through which students can post and vote on questions for the administration, and Johnson agreed to answer on video the questions that receive the most votes (“Online forum aims at transparency,” April 26). By participating in this new medium for campus interaction, Johnson is making a commendable effort to engage with the student body.
We recognize, however, that many of Johnson’s responses on the Google Moderator forum may not be fully satisfying to students (“Dean addresses campus inquiries,” May 11). Indeed, students may not see eye to eye on the proper way to address many of the issues facing this campus, but despite these differences, the only way to develop solutions that satisfy both students and administrators is through improved interaction and communication. Johnson’s participation in the forum marks an important step in this direction.
Google Moderator is not the only example of the administration making a greater effort to reach out to students. On some issues, it is clear that the Dean of the College Office has recently increased its efforts to directly address student needs, such as the hiring of new counselors as part of an overall Wellness Initiative that is closely aligned with student concerns (“Additional counseling staff to begin in August,” May 9). Mental health among the student body is of critical importance, and we commend Johnson for making this issue a priority.
As Dartmouth prepares to launch its search for a new president, College leaders have given students the opportunity to provide input through forums and online media (“Helman calls on Student Assembly for opinions,” May 9). We are pleased to see this new engagement between students and the administration. As dialogue continues regarding important student issues on campus, we have renewed hope that words will turn into meaningful changes. We encourage the administration to maintain this level of openness and accessibility throughout the search process, and we look forward to hearing even more from College administrators.