Vox Clamantis

To the Editor:

In the year leading up to the recent Dartmouth Dance Theater Ensemble production of “Undue Influence,” Dartmouth became an even more dangerous environment for women.

According to the most recent Clery Act report, campus sexual assaults more than doubled in 2010 over the previous year. In the Ivy League, this increase was second only to Harvard University’s, which has 15,000 more students. In overall cases, Dartmouth also ranks second, although it has by far the smallest student population.

There was also a 23 percent increase in alcohol and drug violations, the highest among our peers. Studies indicate that alcohol is involved in the vast majority of sexual assaults.

While insisting that any change in campus culture can only come from the students, the administration continues, to quote “Undue Influence,” “to form committees, to form committees, to form committees to tackle problems.”

It is simply disingenuous to claim that students alone can engineer the dramatic social changes necessary to effectively address this issue. The increasingly dire situation demands that this administration finally embrace its moral obligation and intervene. The College is in desperate need of leadership that will speak out often and unambiguously about sexual assault and take decisive action until the problem is diminished. Comprehensive and mandatory sexual assault awareness education for all students is long overdue.

When responding to the recent Clery Act report in the Valley News, the College admonished us that “change is not going to come overnight.” Coeducation arrived in 1972. How much longer do the women of Dartmouth have to wait?

Vox Clamantis

We applaud the email that College President Jim Yong Kim sent on May 11 to the Dartmouth Community notifying us of two “bias incidents” and reiterating the College’s condemnation of such acts (“Kim notifies campus of harassment incidents,” May 14). We would, however, like to call attention to a May 14 blog post on Dartmouth Gender Sexuality XYZ.

The post raises several important issues in response to Kim’s letter with which we strongly agree. To exclude the locations of these bias incidents is, at best, misleading and at worst, a misguided attempt to protect the perpetrators. But not directly locating these incidents in the physical world of the College they occurred at the Class of 1953 Commons and in a fraternity prevents us from potentially discerning a pattern and contributes to the perception that these occurrences are random “isolated incidents” carried out by “bad apples.” There are, as the blog post argues, no isolated incidents on a campus that condemns homophobia, racism and misogyny, yet tolerates and supports structures and institutions that condone and perpetuate these prejudices and the resulting offensive behaviors. We know that these are not “isolated incidents” from official as well as anecdotal evidence, which indicates that they happen frequently, most often where students socialize, which is primarily, although not always, in Greek houses. The administration’s reiterated claims that these hateful attitudes and actions will not be tolerated are simply not enough. In a meeting last week with Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson, several of us made concrete suggestions about how the administration could go beyond the rhetoric of “intolerance” and “condemnation” to actions that would begin to change the culture and hold offending organizations accountable. These included a frank and open discussion about how racism, homophobia and misogyny are built into the College’s cultural structures and the need for a reform of the College’s housing system that would give students a secure and stable living situation for their time at Dartmouth. This could include creating residence hall spaces that consistently host student activities; creating more houses, such as Foley House, that are not Greek letter houses; creating more residential clusters similar to East Wheelock, which has been a model of productive student living. Finally, and as an immediate attempt to prevent further “bias incidents,” as well as physical harassment and assault, we strongly suggest that the College institute policies similar to those at Princeton University’s eating clubs (and residences at many other peer institutions) and mandate that there be security guards or bouncers at all registered and weekend parties at residential and Greek houses. We are happy to work with the administration on these suggestions and urge Kim to consider and institute them.

Yang: We’re Not All Tiger Cubs

Last Monday, I attended City University of New York professor Cindi Katz’s lecture, “Superman, Tiger Mother: Aspiration Management and the Child as Waste.” Katz claimed that the “Asian mode of parenting” described in Amy Chua’s “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” is producing a society of strivers, in which the middle-class Asian family compels students to experience constant pressure to succeed in order to stay competitive. While Asian-American families do value success, it is inaccurate and definitely harmful to perpetuate the idea that Asian families are unique in their regard for “traditional” academic success. Unfortunately, Katz is not alone in her belief that Asian students, particularly at the high school level, are soulless, grade-grubbing automatons fixated on admission to a top university.

Katz said that Asian parents believe they can help their children “engineer their lives” to gain admission into “the only two colleges Asians recognize Harvard and Yale” by joining the right clubs and playing the right sports. Regarding successful Asians with this preconception is not only unjustified but also leads to baseless pre-judgments. When one believes Asian students have lives that are tailored for the express purpose of gaining admission to top colleges, it becomes harder to believe that they are as “deserving” of a liberal arts education. In a sense, the idea of academic success as the realm of the Asian student limits what Asian students can do.

While many Asian students are academically successful, many are also talented athletes, performers and artists who want to pursue careers in fields outside of medicine and law, which prevailing stereotypes suggest are the only two paths they can take. Somehow, the idea of Asians having a limited conception of success has become so prevalent that many people tend to buy into the assumption that Asians, more so than any other group, would pursue a limited number of careers. While it wouldn’t be acceptable to joke about “Mexican dishwashers,” it is somehow acceptable to joke about “Asian pre-med kids” as accepted fact, despite the fact that not all Asians are pre-med, and not all pre-meds are Asian.

This stereotyping is particularly detrimental to high school students who absorb the stereotypes and continue to embody them in a never-ending cycle of repetition. Even though Asian students do not have to participate in a particular set of extracurricular activities and achieve a certain minimum set of test scores, the persistence of the belief that there is a “typical” Asian continues to push students who might have other interests into taking the “right” classes, joining the “right” clubs and, eventually, applying to the “right” colleges because those who have gone before them in their communities have done it that way.

The precedent that each successive generation of Asian students that does it the “right” way by going into medicine and law only further locks Asians students into feeling that they must pursue the same few career options. Moreover, the lack of Asian mentors in “un-Asian” fields makes it difficult for Asian students who might pursue alternative careers to figure out how to go about doing so thus, the lack of precedent for “alternative” careers is another structural barrier to Asian students’ pursuit of other academic and career options.

Cramming Asian students into a narrowly defined set of academic and professional standards is detrimental to both them and the community at large. While Asian students themselves may feel constrained in their academic and professional pursuits, these barriers are also harmful to overall university communities and the greater Asian ethnic community. In college, the high concentration of Asian students in a limited number of course tracks makes certain classrooms much less diverse than they could be. This can become particularly problematic in discussion-based classes, in which productive conversations hinge on having a diverse range of student experiences to draw upon. After college, the dearth of Asian leaders in the arts, politics and community development-focused non-profit organizations weakens the cultural and activist links within the Asian community, as well as the community’s relations with other organizations and communities.

It is important for Asian students to begin pursuing more “un-Asian” career pathways and courses of study and for those outside the Asian-American community to become more aware that not all Asians are “tiger cubs” in the way that one might expect. The Asian community, like any other community, is composed of members with wide-ranging academic and personal interests.

Erdrich’s works examine Native American, mixed heritage

Louise Erdrich ’76, who is the acclaimed writer of 13 novels and is in residence at the College as a Montgomery Fellow, will engage in a public conversation with Native American studies professor Bruce Duthu this afternoon to discuss the themes in her works and read from her recently published book “Shadow Tag.”

Erdrich is a significant contributor to the field of contemporary American literature. Her first novel, “Love Medicine,” was awarded the 1984 National Book Critics Circle Award and her 2009 novel “The Plague of Doves” was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

“Erdrich is one of the most important, prolific, influential and captivating voices in contemporary American literature today,” Native American studies professor Melanie Benson-Taylor said. “I didn’t say Native American literature’ because her significance is, and should be, appreciated in much wider terms.”

During her time as a Montgomery Fellow, Erdrich will join several Native American studies, creative writing and English classes, according to Benson-Taylor.

“I think there’s a gravitational pull between her and this place,” Benson-Taylor said. “She’s such an important alum, and we probably wouldn’t let her go more than a few years without luring her back for something or the other. It’s a real privilege to be able to have her here as often as we do.”

In her lecture, Erdrich will focus on her new book “The Roundtable,” slated for publication in October. She will read a piece about medical ethics, which is an issue at the core of the novel.

“The story poses a personal dilemma that utterly changes the lives of everyone in the novel,” Erdrich said.

Erdrich also has two other books coming out later this year. The next book in her “Birchbark House” series, which tells the story of a young Ojibwa girl living on an island in Lake Superior in the mid-18th century, will be published next August, she said.

After that, a completely rewritten version of “The Antelope Wife,” which is set in contemporary Minneapolis and tells the story of a mysterious women through interweaving historical myths, will come out in September, she said.

Erdrich said she draws inspiration for her stories from a wide variety of sources.

“It is not difficult to be inspired,” she said. “Narrative comes from examining one’s own life, hearing the stories of others, from newspapers, from reflection. The difficulty lies in the steps after inspiration. That’s where a writer needs patience and a somewhat compulsive streak about rewriting, editing, thinking, rewriting.”

Erdrich said she believes in the philosophy “write what you know.” She was born into a large family with a mixed heritage. Her mother’s side of the family is Turtle Mountain Chippewa and her father’s side is German, she said. As a result, many of her stories and novels are about the “conflicts, the attractions, the idiocies, the crimes, the joys of people who are of mixed backgrounds.”

“Sometimes, I concentrate on one side, sometimes the other,” she said.

Erdrich’s literary techniques, particularly her tendency to return deliberately to the world of her characters over and over again, continuing their stories into subsequent novels and generations, have earned her comparisons to authors like William Faulkner and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, according to Benson-Taylor. “Louise Erdrich’s work and its vibrant, passionate, humorous, revisionary and visionary capacity seems to me uniquely poised to offer us a real way forward in the field of literature,” Benson-Taylor said. “In a contemporary environment where our entire lives, our beings and our relationships have been constituted by words, stories, representations and images that often subsume us, Louise Erdrich’s marriage with the vibrant worlds and words of her writing is inherently hopeful and life-affirming.”

Erdrich said one of her favorite things about being a writer is the ability to work in a comfortable, familiar environment.

“Being a writer means that I rarely have to wear panty hose,” she said. “Also I was able to work in the same house with my babies. This is a great benefit, [but] it does mean that I have had to develop a fierce amount of concentration.”

Although she spends much of her time at home, Erdrich said she is constantly working.

“That’s one of the other great things about being a writer,” she said. “Every sensation, even the most ordinary, can go into a person’s writing,”

When she is not writing, Erdrich said her favorite thing to do is spend time with her daughters. Her daughter Aza Erdrich Dorris ’11 is graduating this year.

“I’m hoping that from now on I get to spend more of my life span with Aza,” Erdrich said.

Erdrich’s Montgomery Lecture will take place at 4:30 p.m. today in Cook Auditorium.

Deadheads camp outside Thompson Arena for 1978 concert

The Grateful Dead performed on May 5, 1978 i to a packed audience of Dartmouth students, many of whom camped outside Thompson Arena in preparation for the concert.

Editor’s Note: This is the second installment in a four-part series profiling popular music concerts at Dartmouth over the last four decades.

Improvisation and unity in sound and energy that was what the Grateful Dead brought to Dartmouth for one Green Key weekend over 30 years ago.

The Dead descended on campus on May 5, 1978, bringing with them a legion of hardcore fans who camped outside of Thompson Arena. Half the fun lay in watching the small village of Deadheads set up, according to Vincent Marriott III ’79.

“They were this big happening, and they had a scene that followed them,” Marriott said. “This whole entourage came to Hanover, and people were camping in trailers.”

Fans packed into Thompson Arena for the three-hour show that emphasized the band’s “hard-edged, rocking side a side of them that is not as prominent on their albums,” according to an article in The Dartmouth at the time, written by 2011 Pulitzer Prize finalist Nick Carr ’81.

The first set opened with “Promised Land” and set a leisurely pace, passing from blues rock and ballads to rock and roll. The band played tightly and powerfully and moved the crowd, according to Carr.

Several songs started slowly and, driven by Jerry Garcia’s lead guitar and Bob Weir’s rhythm, picked up intensity to reach a stormy climax.

“Bob Weir’s and Jerry Garcia’s guitars, the mainstays of the band, interacted brilliantly: Weir pounding out the rhythm and Garcia, standing almost motionless, his brown t-shirt stretched over his sagging body, providing the lead,” Carr wrote.

By the end of the first set, the band was at full volume, full rock. The second act, after a 40-minute intermission, opened with the same intensity, according to Carr. Weir launched himself across the stage and played furiously with “windmill strokes,” he said. At the end of “Good Lovin’,” the band had the “crowd clapping and dancing in the aisles” and recieved a “full standing ovation,” according to Carr.

“It was different from any concert I had ever seen at Dartmouth,” John Scott ’81, a Deadhead who had not seen the band live before that day, said. “We were trapped right in front of the stage, and it was much more impressive than hearing their live tapes.”

Environmental studies professor Ross Virginia, a self-proclaimed Deadhead, said that the magic of the band lay in bringing their fans together.

“We were bonded by the Grateful Dead experience,” Virginia said. “They gave the music away for free people taped shows and traded them, and that began to create shared experience. The music belonged to us we were Deadheads, we were part of the community.”

The concert was long, and the band spent a lot of time tuning their instruments, Marriott remembered.

“It could bring the energy of a show to a screeching halt, but I suppose [it didn’t matter to] Deadheads like that,” he said. “The acoustics in Thompson were OK. It was a big concrete space, but it was fun.”

Scott, who has since seen numerous Dead shows, said that he most enjoyed “Passenger” and “Eyes of the World.”

“It was a decent show, but it doesn’t stand out as exceptional in retrospect,” Scott said.

Virginia, who did not attend the concert but has listened to the recording, said that his favorite songs were “El Paso,” “Estimated Prophet,” “Not Fade Away” and “Stella Blue.” The Dead had a sustained energy in their songs, he said.

“Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia wrote some great songs,” Virginia said. “One reason people keep going back to them is the power of their songs.”

Scott is highly influential in the Dead community for publishing DeadBase, a series of reference books on all of the Grateful Dead’s set lists. Scott returned to the College after graduation to take computer science courses and designed a set list database for the final project. His work eventually turned into DeadBase, and 17 editions have since been published.

With his Dead connections in the industry established, Scott later opened Dharma Rose, an online store that sells Dead clothing and merchandise.

Scott said that the band always gave fresh and varied performances and helped give him an appreciation for a lighter scope of music.

“They never play the same show twice,” he said. “In a typical year they play 120 different songs, with lots of improvisations. It keeps the music very fresh, and you never know what’s going to happen.”

Virginia, who began listening to the Grateful Dead in the early 1970s, said that the question for fans is always about their favorite show, not their favorite song.

“It’s about the venue, the crowd, the set list, and the Grateful Dead realized that,” he said. “They were the very first to do jam bands or improvisation, where they linked one song into the next. There was a pent-up wondering of where the music was going and what would be next.”

The Dead didn’t play many songs at the College that a casual fan would know. The set list, which included “Dire Wolf,” “Candyman,” “Lazy Lightnin'” and “Bertha,” did not feature any songs from their most mainstream album at the time, “American Beauty.” But it was the overall air of the show, like a “carnival come to town,” that defined the concert, Marriott said.

“You went to a Grateful Dead concert with a very different expectation than you would to a normal music act you were going for whole experience,” Marriott said. “In that way they delivered. It wasn’t just the music but the energy and sights and crowds.”

The parting surprise for the crowd was a dynamic rendition of Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London,” which was only played 12 times in concert, according to Virginia. Deadheads always refer back to “Werewolves of London” when discussing the 1978 Dartmouth concert because it was so rarely performed, Virginia said.

Carr wrote that the “smiling and howling” Dead seemed to have enjoyed the concert as much as the Dartmouth fans did.

Ultimately, what brings fans together is the power of having gone through the show together, Virginia said.

“It’s synchronicity when a lot of people have this intense and special experience that draws them all together,” Virginia, who listens to their music every day, said. “I hear a few notes, and it’s like magic released. Most Deadheads would describe it like that a core experience.”

Vann Island

If you are reading this page, go ahead and pat yourself on the back. Not because you’re awesome for reading my column (which you are), but more because it signifies that you survived Green Key. To me, that deserves congratulations. When I woke up on Sunday morning, my mind was conflicted. Reflecting on the weekend brought a smile to my face, but I can’t lie and tell you there was not some part of me that was relieved to finally cross the finish line of the marathon known as Green Key.

I heard the marathon metaphor a lot this past weekend, along with, “Man, this is a war of attrition.” My favorite catchphrase I heard describing Green Key has to be the “Beer Olympics,” because even though you may have had some batch, Boone’s Farm or Twisted Tea over the weekend, Keystone was king.

This phrase really grabbed my attention. Everywhere I looked, I saw some different type of drinking game. Like Keystone, pong was obviously king. But with unique events happening throughout campus, it was evident that pong was not the only game in town. The variety of games combined with the summery weather reminded me that the London 2012 Olympics are right around the corner.

When you break it down, there are 36 different sports at the Olympics this summer. Since I won’t be able to catch all of them, I want to touch on the three sports I’m most excited for. In honor of the Green Key spirit, I found a “Beer Olympics” comparison for each sport.

Basketball Beirut

Yes, the match is pretty elementary. Both games involve shooting a ball into a cup, and I bet you have told your friends while you’re on fire, “I can’t miss! I feel like Jordan!” Everyone has played it and knows the rules and certainly knows who stands a good chance of running the table. That is exactly how the rest of the world should be viewing the prospects of Team U.S.A. in basketball in London: the beirut team you do not want to draw at the other end of the table.

That said, there is reason for concern as both Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard have already been ruled out for the games. But have no fear NBA Sixth Man of the Year James Harden and former Kentucky Wildcat Anthony Davis have a chance to make the team. Imagine if both the “Beard” and the “Brow” are representing the U.S. in London. Harden is giving Kobe all he can handle in the Western Conference semis, and with Howard out, it would be a luxury to have a guy who can protect the rim like Davis. I hope Coach K gives them a shot if for no other reason than for the opportunity to dominate the international facial hair segment.

Track and Field Flip Cup

Like flip cup, the competition of track and field can be an individual event or a team effort. Both games involve speed and heart, and people usually stop caring after high school only the best continue to play.

The main event in London come July 27 may just be the men’s 100-meter dash. By now I’m sure you are all familiar with the fastest man alive, Usain Bolt, but it’s time to get very familiar with the name Yohan Blake. Blake, who is also from Jamaica, took advantage of a Bolt false start at the 2011 World Championships to win the gold. It will be interesting to see whether Americans Walter Dix, Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay make any noise to contend with the dynamic duo of Bolt and Blake.

Rhythmic Gymnastics Funnel Race

Bear with me on this one. I know you’re probably trying to figure out how in the world these two connect, but trust me, they do. Whenever I see someone doing a beer funnel, I immediately think of Will Ferrell and his performance as Frank the Tank in the movie “Old School” (2003).

U.S. rhythmic gymnast Julie Zetlin sure remembers Ferrell’s gymnastic display in the movie. Zetlin’s presence in London this summer will mark the first time the U.S. has sent a rhythmic gymnast to the Olympics since 2004. Whenever Zetlin is asked about Ferrell’s act, she always says the same thing: “He was bad, very bad.”

I hope you tune in to watch the events listed above, but make sure not to forget about some of my other favorites, which include team handball, tennis, beach volleyball, weightlifting and, of course, Michael Phelps. While you’re at it, try some other all-time favorite summer games, like the power hour, snappa and quarters. Nothing says summer like the games both in London and in your parents’ basement.

Williamson places fifth at Regionals

Dartmouth golfer Peter Williamson '12 finished his collegiate career by tying for fifth at the NCAA Central Regional Tournament over the weekend.

Peter Williamson ’12 posted a six-under-par 207 to tie for fifth place at the NCAA Central Regional Golf Tournament in Ann Arbor, Mich. over the weekend. Williamson started slow in the first day of the tournament but finished his collegiate career with a birdie on each of his last three holes.

The tournament hosted 13 teams and 10 individuals, and the best five teams and the lowest-scoring individual not on an advancing team qualified for the NCAA Championship. The University of Southern California won the team competition with an 11-under-par score of 841. The University of Oregon, Kent State University, the University of Virginia and Texas Christian University also advanced.

Albin Choi of North Carolina State University finished first individually to earn the lone qualifying spot for members of non-advancing teams. Sebastian MacLean of Xavier University also had a strong weekend, posting a seven-under-par score of 206 to finish tied for second. Williamson posted the third lowest score of an individual not on a qualifying team.

“[Williamson’s performance] will never be duplicated again from an Ivy League golfer,” Dartmouth men’s golf head coach Richard Parker said.

The tournament, which lasted from Thursday to Saturday, was a day longer than most collegiate tournaments, which typically play three rounds over two days.

“You just have to stay consistent,” Williamson said of the tournament’s long duration. “You have to put yourself in contention in the first round and see what you can do on the last day.”

On Thursday, Williamson ended his first day of play at one-over-par. The highlight of the day came when he carded an eagle on the par-four 13th hole. The eagle was overshadowed, however, by four bogeys on the day.

“You can’t have one bad day,” he said. “Unfortunately my bad day came in the first round, which kept me from competing down the stretch.”

Williamson recovered during the last two days of play, posting a three-under-par score on Friday and a four-under-par mark on Saturday to move up seven spots in the final round. The Hanover native began Saturday on the 10th tee and birdied his second hole. He followed with three pars and another birdie.

On the front nine, Williamson made par on his first six holes before posting birdies on the final three holes. Although he wished the birdies had come sooner, Williamson said he was proud of the way he ended the tournament.

“It was a great way to finish my career,” he said. “It’s nice to go out with three birdies.”

Williamson finished the tournament with one eagle, 13 birdies, 31 pars and nine bogeys. His fifth-place finish was the best of his career after a 41st-place finish in 2009 and a 10th-place finish at last year’s tournament. Although he entered the tournament with NCAA Championship aspirations, Williamson was happy with his results.

“I’m always happy to finish within the top five,” he said. “It’s always good to play with the best in the country.”

Williamson had to deal with the heartache of losing the team Ivy League title, heavy rains in Hanover and traveling in the two weeks before the tournament, according to Parker. Williamson alternated between indoor and outdoor practice depending on the weather for the day and took advantage of the indoor facilities at Leverone Fieldhouse to maintain his practice regimen.

“Stringing days together with practices is big in golf, even if it is inside,” Williamson said. “It’s important to keep up the muscle memory and strength.”

Williamson’s teammate James Pleat ’13 said it was tough for Williamson to prepare, especially juggling school and golf.

“He finds a way to get it done,” Pleat said. “There were some really good players at that tournament, and he was only four shots off going to the NCAAs. We know he did great.”

This year, Williamson also won his third Ivy League title by eight strokes, making him the second player in Ivy League history to win three Ivy League titles. Williamson was also named the Ivy League Player of the Year, his third time winning the award.

“He’s always been a devoted golfer,” Pleat said. “Any free time he has, he practices. It certainly showed by his good finish.”

Parker said he is not only impressed by the awards and accolades Williamson has earned for himself, but also appreciates the impact Williamson has had on the Big Green golf program.

“What he’s meant to Dartmouth and the Ivy League will never be measured,” Parker said. “He made everybody on the team better, which is hard to do in golf. He was contagious.”

Williamson plans to spend the summer playing in a slew of golf events before heading onto the professional circuit.

“As much as we’re going to miss him, it’s time for him to go,” Parker said. “He’s going to be carrying that Dartmouth banner for the rest of his life. It’s going to be a big deal.”

Daily Debriefing

In the wake of former Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson’s false claims about his undergraduate education, U.S. News and World Report analyzed the academic backgrounds of the 2012 Fortune 500 CEOs. The May 7 study found that of the 500 CEOs on the list, 465 executives collectively held 200 MBA degrees and 140 other graduate degrees. Among the top 13 alma maters of Fortune 500 executives, Harvard University topped the list after awarding 65 degrees, followed by Stanford University with 27, the University of Pennsylvania with 24 and Columbia University with 18 degrees. Harvard, Penn and Stanford also awarded the most MBAs to the 2012 Fortune 500 CEOs, the report found. Dartmouth was ranked ninth in the report, with nine undergraduate degrees and three MBA degrees awarded to Fortune 500 CEOs.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney characterized the $787-million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as an example of federal overspending on May 18 in a speech in Hillsborough, N.H., the Los Angeles Times reported. He criticized a project to preserve the Stone Arch Bridge, which is accessible on only one side. The project could not be considered “critical” to maintaining jobs at the local level, Romney said, and he compared the unfinished “bridge to nowhere” to Obama’s stimulus package, according to the Times. Romney’s speech spurred officials from the New Hampshire Democratic Party to release a map of Romney’s route to reporters, indicating the road improvement projects funded by the stimulus package, the Times reported.

Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi was sentenced to 30 days in jail on Monday for using a webcam to watch his roommate Tyler Clementi having sex with a man in September 2010, The New York Times reported. Clementi leapt to his death from the George Washington Bridge in New York after learning of Ravi’s actions. A jury convicted Ravi of 15 charges including invasion of privacy and bias intimidation, but he was not charged with causing Clementi’s death, The Times reported. Ravi who had faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison must serve three years’ probation, complete 300 hours of community service, attend counseling for cyberbullying and pay a $10,000 probation fee. Ravi’s lawyers intend to appeal the jury’s verdict on the grounds that his actions were not violent and that probation and community service would be more fair forms of punishment, The Times reported.

Policy students submit findings to Gov. Lynch

Three students from the Rockefeller Center Policy Research Shop presented their findings on performance management systems to Gov. John Lynch, D-N.H., on May 10.

Amy Couture ’14, Mike Danaher ’13 and Tina Meng ’14 presented two terms’ worth of research to Lynch after traveling to Concord to present their policy brief to the New Hampshire Department of Safety. The brief, titled “Performance Measurement for State Governmental Agencies: Comparative Case Studies,” was the first Policy Research Shop project to reach the governor’s desk, Danaher said. Ben Schifberg ’13 also contributed to the project, though he could not be present during the presentation because he did not take part in the Policy Research Shop and was off-campus in the winter, Schifberg said.

Couture, Meng and Schifberg originally started work for the project during Fall term as a part of their “Introduction to Public Policy Research” class. Their research started with a “narrow scope” that focused specifically on performance-based budgeting in the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management in the Department of Safety, Couture said.

Students who took part in the class were assigned projects to work on by Vermont or New Hampshire legislatures or executives, Schifberg said. At the end of the course, they presented their results to committees in these legislatures.

Students worked as “middlemen” between the legislature and political officials, and did “an extensive amount of research” about their respective topics, Schifberg said.

“The research we conducted included over 20 case studies of different performance assessment systems across many states, and we also conducted many interviews with those in departments that use performance assessment systems,” Danaher, who joined the project during Winter term, said.

During Winter term, when Couture, Danaher and Meng took part in Policy Research Shop, the project broadened in scope as a result of potential new legislation in the New Hampshire state legislature that would require performance measurement in all departments.

“The reason why it went up to the governor’s level is that there’s legislation backing all of our research,” Meng said.

As a result, the students “took a step back and looked more broadly at the project,” Couture said. They continued to do research and work with case studies from other states to illustrate their arguments, though doing so was difficult for a state as “unique” as New Hampshire that has no income or sales tax, she said.

The students did three case studies for each of seven divisions in the Department of Safety, which was a “massive project,” according to public policy professor Benjamin Cole, the faculty mentor for the project.

At the end of Winter term, the three students presented their work to the senior staff of the Department of Safety, who were so impressed with their results that they recommended that Lynch speak with them, according to Couture.

During the presentation, the students recommended a “component of executive leadership” to ensure “authority and uniformity” in the way departments developed performance measurement systems, Couture said. Because the law being passed requires individual departments to develop these systems on their own, a centralizing system would be valuable, she said.

Lynch was “receptive” to the advice, and the presentation was a success overall, according to Couture.

“It was a pretty amazing experience, especially seeing where the project came from and where it ended up,” Couture said.

After a 20-minute formal presentation to Lynch, the students sat down with him and answered more specific questions, Meng said,

“[Lynch] just wanted to learn more about what we had looked into and had concluded from our research,” she said.

The “candid discussion” with Lynch and the “sophisticated questions” he asked demonstrated his interest in the students’ presentation, Cole said.

“We talked about many aspects of our research such as the practical limitations of performance assessment and how much interaction with the legislature is required,” Danaher said. “I think Lynch was pretty impressed that undergraduates could do the level of research and analysis that we completed over the past two terms. Being able to hold a professional conversation with him on such an important topic that involves state and national government was surreal and awesome.”

Although they are not sure what kind of an effect their presentation will have on the governor’s actions moving forward, Couture and Meng said they are interested in seeing what will happen in the future.

At the very least, the presentation was “definitely the way they got the ball rolling” in terms of looking into the issue of performance management systems in New Hampshire, Meng said.

The Rockefeller Center Policy Research Shop allows students to contribute to local Vermont and New Hampshire public policy by presenting non-partisan research to legislators on a variety of issues, according to the Rockefeller Center’s website.

Rockefeller Center Associate Director and government professor Ronald Shaiko, who directs the Policy Research Shop, could not be reached for comment by press time.

Staff writer Diana Ming contributed reporting to this article.

DHE receives national recognition

Dartmouth Humanitarian Engineering was recently recognized by Dell, Inc. on May 14 and the Environmental Protection Agency on May 12 for its work in Rwanda, according to DHE administrative advisor Carrie Fraser ’86 Th’87, the assistant dean for academic and student affairs at the Thayer School of Engineering.

DHE is now one of three finalists out of 1,800 applicants in the Dell Social Innovation Challenge and won a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency after entering its grant competition, “P3: People, Prosperity and the Planet Student Design Competition for Sustainability,” according to DHE member Scott Gladstone ’15.

The organization works to take advantage of Thayer’s engineering resources and put them toward humanitarian work in impoverished communities, according to DHE Vice President of Marketing Alison Polton-Simon ’14. DHE currently has two projects in Africa. One involves working to implement cleaner cook stoves and fuel sources in Tanzania and the other is a hydropower project in Rwanda, Polton-Simon said.

The project in Rwanda received the EPA grant and Dell competition recognition, according to Polton-Simon. The project involves using small-scale hydropower to generate electricity in Rwandan communities that are “decades away” from accessing the national grid.

The group first began work in Rwanda in 2008 when DHE students flew to the site and installed the project. Villagers trained as technicians by DHE manage the site and charge batteries that local people can use in their homes for lighting or to run a radio, Polton-Simon said.

“This method allows for a large distribution model and serves well in a decentralized community,” she said. “We also don’t have to worry about stringing up wires for a grid, which can be dangerous.”

Polton-Simon also said that the project is interesting in ways beyond product technicalities. The business side of socially-conscious technologies can be very complex as well, she said.

“This is in fact where the biggest challenges are,” she said. “Doing the technology work and trying to make a cleaner burning stove seems relatively simple compared to creating a sustainable distribution model or making plans about how to keep the project running. To really have an impact, to do something like refrigeration, the goal is to keep scaling up the size of the sites.”

Gladstone said that DHE completed different application processes for the EPA grant and Dell challenge.

“The [EPA] grant application process was definitely more formal,” he said. “We had to formally put together our project with proposals about specific subject areas. On the other hand, the Dell challenge was much more competition-based and about selling ourselves’ over our competitors.”

DHE submitted its proposal for the EPA’s competition in December and received word that it was recommended for EPA funding on May 12, according to Polton-Simon. For the Dell project, DHE began its application in January and were announced as semifinalists on March 23.

Entering the Dell Social Innovation Challenge was Gladstone’s idea, he said. After researching competitions on the Internet and hearing about a similar program from a friend, he decided to propose it to the rest of the organization, he said.

“The Dell challenge was exactly what we were looking for,” he said. “It is geared toward university students who want to make a difference.”

DHE’s mission is unique because its members aim to have a long-term presence and create sustainable technologies and business models, Fraser said.

“They really try to create solutions that can become lasting parts of impoverished communities,” Fraser said.

Fraser said she was not surprised by the organization’s recent successes.

“I know that they really are noble in their achievements, and they are very deserving of their recognition,” she said.

Polton-Simon is a former member of The Dartmouth Staff.