Daily Debriefing

Bucknell University President John Bravman notified students and faculty on Saturday that the university had reported false SAT and ACT averages from 2006 to 2012, according to Inside Higher Ed. During each of those years, the university failed to include scores from between 13 to 47 students when determining averages, therefore raising the mean SAT scores by 7 to 25 points, according to a campus-wide letter from Bravman. ACT score averages were also inaccurate during the same period. The omitted scores did not come from any specific group of students, but were from multiple student segments, according to Bravman, who also noted that omitted scores were both higher and lower than the means. Bravman blamed the misreported scores on one individual, who Brayman said raised scores unintentionally.

A report by Wabash College shows that there is a minimal connection between the amount that colleges spend on education and the quality of education their students receive, Inside Higher Ed reported. Researchers tracked 45 colleges and universities, many of them liberal arts colleges, and examined their educational spending compared to measures that indicated increased learning. While researchers concluded that there is some impact of higher spending at some institutions, they argued that in many cases the gains are small compared to the costs. For example, 10 colleges profiled in the study had very similar scores on teaching practices, but spent varied amounts on student learning, with a difference of up to approximately $43,000 per student.

Student activists have designed a website modeled off of the Common Application, called the “Fair Common Application,” that seeks to pressure the Common Application to modify answer options for nondiscrimination clauses to recognize undocumented status, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. The website, designed by a student group called the Sudden Movement, closely imitates the design of the original Common Application website, and was designed as a creative protest. The student designers, who attend Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges, have failed to persuade their admissions deans to take up the issue. Changes to the Common Application are only considered if officially suggested by one of the 488 member institutions. The students may face legal action for copyright infringement, according to The Chronicle.

ORL receives heating complaints

The Office of Residential Life has received a number of complaints from students about heating problems.

Falling temperatures, which sank below negative 15 degrees this weekend, prompted several students to contact residential operations with complaints about dysfunctional heaters and drafty windows.

The College Troubleshooters team that responds to maintenance emergencies receives approximately 10 to 15 calls per night from students with complaints about heating problems. Most of these incidents involve heaters running out of fuel due to colder temperatures, according to team member Perry Elanchaid.

The campus is heated primarily by a process called cogeneration, in which oil is burned to produce steam, and which is then distributed to campus buildings, according to engineering professor Charles Sullivan. The steam is also passed through turbines to produce electricity.

During the winter months, approximately four to five truckloads of oil are transported to the College’s heating plant every day, Sullivan said.

Newer residence halls use the same heating system as older residence halls do, but tend to have fewer problems because they have better control systems and insulation.

“The College is investing a lot in improving efficiency looking at which of the buildings are using most energy,” Sullivan said. “They’re going through and putting in completely new heating systems, upgrading lighting, getting better insulation and I think that a lot of that happens behind the scenes.”

Phoebe Racine ’14, who lives in Gile Hall, has called the Office of Residential Life twice to complain about drafts of cold air coming from her room’s windows. The College’s maintenance crew fixed one of the two windows in her room, she said.

Due to the uncomfortable nature of her room, Racine said she spends most of her time at the library. At night, she uses numerous blankets or just sleeps somewhere else all together.

“I think [the draft] is due to my window being a single-paned window, it must have little cracks in it,” Racine said. “My heater is mediocre.”

Alpha Chi Alpha fraternity has also experienced several issues relating to cold weather last week. After one of the house’s windows was left open on a sub-zero night, the house’s pipes froze and burst, leaking water, house manager Paul Hogan ’14 said.

Hogan called the College Troubleshooters, who responded to the complaint within an hour. On normal days, Alpha Chi has the same heating problems as most dorms, according to Hogan.

“It’s either really warm or really cold inside our house,” Hogan said.

Oscar Friedman ’16, who lives in French Hall, said he is unable to close his room’s window. The heaters, however, compensate for the cold winds entering the room, keeping the room at a comfortable temperature.

“It’s a big waste of energy,” Friedman said. “The building is quite old and the heating system is clearly antiquated it’s obviously very inefficient.”

Under the current heating system, burning fuel produces a lot of greenhouse gas emissions, according to Rosi Kerr, director of Dartmouth’s sustainability program.

More green-friendly alternatives to burning fuel include burning natural gas or woodchips, Kerr said. Converting to these methods would be expensive and require changes to the Dartmouth heating plant, she said.

The Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center, which was built in August 2011, has an energy-saving feature that captures heat from air that is leaving the building and recirculates it back into the building’s air system, according to Kerr.

“We want to use less energy in buildings and we want to produce our energy in the most sustainable way possible environmentally and economically,” Kerr said.

Residential operations sent out a campus-wide email Tuesday, which told students to close and lock their dorm windows to prevent gusts of cold air from entering rooms.

DOC Trips Directorate announced for next Fall

Decked out in flair and dancing the Salty Dog Rag, the 2013 Dartmouth Outing Club First-Year Trips directorate will concentrate on building a community of conscientious and empowered students while welcoming the Class of 2017.

The directorate, announced on Friday, will be led by director Chris O’Connell ’13 and assistant director Anneliesse Duncan ’13.

O’Connell plans to harness the momentum of past trips directorates to create a more thoughtful and inclusive environment for the incoming class.

“Trips is 77 years old, and every year there are a lot of things that remain the same and much that changes and evolves,” he said. “I’m excited to take the next few steps.”

O’Connell aims to make Trips a way for incoming freshman to develop a “whole network of students” that they can turn to during their time at the College.

“Ideally, they will walk away from this experience knowing that there’s no singular path at Dartmouth and there are an infinite number of ways to be a Dartmouth student,” O’Connell said.

Duncan hopes that students will learn to embrace Dartmouth as their home and accept accountability as members of a community through Trips.

Every member of the directorate, from the Grant Croo chief to the sustainability coordinator, has a role in immersing new students in the campus culture, Duncan said.

Alan Keegan ’14, one of two H-Croo chiefs, hopes to increase interaction between new students and upperclassmen as integrate trips with freshman orientation. While students may have previously viewed Trips as a single experience and orientation as an entirely new one, Keegan aims to make them contiguous.

The Vox Croo which typically focuses on responding to calls and providing medical attention to injured or sick trips participants plans on executing “raids” and surprising trip groups with snacks, games or simply a friendly hello, according to Vox Croo co-chief Mackenzie Bronson ’14.

“I would like to focus on creating more interactions between Vox Croo members and trippees,” Bronson said. “Rather than putting on a show and then leaving, I would like to focus on interacting with and getting to know new students during our raids.”

This year, the Mountain Biking Croo chief position has been added to ensure the safety of biking trip participants, according to David Clemens-Sewall ’14, who will fill the position.

“The new Croo will be providing as safe an environment as we can for incoming students to experience mountain biking in,” Clemens-Sewall said. “We also want to welcome new students and make them comfortable with a new activity and community.”

Outreach coordinator Bobby Esnard ’14 is excited to start outlining a plan to ensure that Trips will focus on welcoming all new students and will encourage students to be active participants rather than just attendees.

“I want to make sure that Trips is thoughtful about diversity and inclusion,” Esnard said in an email. “It is not enough to make sure that everyone is invited to the party, we must make sure that everyone is asked to dance.”

Robin Costello ’13, Alex Wolf ’14 and Annie Laurie Mauhs-Pugh ’14 will serve as trip leader trainers. Sam Parker ’15 will take on the role of sustainability coordinator and Brett Teplitz ’15 will be the safety master. Zack Cutler ’14 will lead Grant Croo and Jay Dumanian ’14 will lead Climbing Croo.

The Connection Croo chiefs are Brian McGahie ’15 and Adria Brown ’15. H-Croo will be led by Keegan and Gerben Scherpbier ’14, and Vox Croo will be headed by Bronson and Ross Brown ’14. Eric Waskowicz ’14 and Kara Hedges ’14 will lead Lodj Croo.

Swimming and diving team wins third annual Dartmouth Invitational

Making a splash at the third annual Dartmouth Invitational this weekend, the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams swam their way to second consecutive Invitational titles. In addition to winning the Invitational overall, Dartmouth swept the event’s dual meets in an exciting 24 hours of swimming.

The Big Green women finished the Invitational with 1007 points, well ahead of second place Boston University who earned 729 points. The Dartmouth men also won by a large margin, finishing the two-day event with 1109 points, ahead of second place Boston University who earned 716 points.

The Invitational, held at the Upper Valley Aquatic Center in White River Junction, Vt., is the largest home event for the Big Green teams and a chance for Dartmouth to host multiple teams in their home waters.

“It’s a really exciting atmosphere, since it is a larger pool than Karl Michael [pool] on campus, while still being a home environment,” women’s co-captain Isa Guardalabene ’13 said. “Students and parents came to support us and it’s definitely nice to have a lot of home support.”

This year marks the third year of the Invitational, an event head coach Jim Wilson created to fill a gap in the team’s season.

“It is the perfect time of year for an Invitational, and as we felt that we were getting to be a much better team, we looked around for Invitationals to go to but there wasn’t one locally.” Wilson said. “So we decided to start one and other teams picked up on it, and this year we had six other teams join us.”

The event has grown since last year, when only two other teams participated in the Invitational. This year, five men’s teams traveled to the Upper Valley to compete against the Big Green Boston University, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Boston College, University of Maine and Connecticut College. The Big Green women faced the same lineup, in addition to Northeastern University.

Dartmouth issues a blanket invitation and those teams that can afford to come up for the meet are welcome to join, Wilson said.

Both Big Green teams use the Invitational as a tool to measure their midseason progress.

“The Invitational is a good way to see how we fare against teams that we aren’t going to face in the championship meet at the end of the season,” men’s co-captain Will Derdeyn 13 said. “It’s a good measuring tool to see where we are at this point in the season, with a few more weeks of hard work before we start our full taper.”

Although the Big Green swept last year’s event, Dartmouth was prepared for a challenge, as they faced more teams this year.

“Winning the Invitational had been one of our goals from the beginning of the season,” women’s co-captain Erin Henn ’14 said. “We wanted to win it again, but we knew that the competition was going to be steeper and more intense than last year.”

Dartmouth anticipated that BU would pose the toughest challenge to a repeat victory in the pool, especially since BU did not participate in the 2012 Invitational.

The Big Green women maintained an overall lead for most of meet, but fell behind to BU towards the end of Saturday, only regaining their overall lead during the final event.

The Dartmouth men and women also had individual success, posting unexpectedly strong times for this point in the season. Big Green swimmers touched the wall first in 19 of the Invitational’s 34 events and set seven pool records. The Ivy League Championships is a meet set up in a similar manner to the Invitational where overall team depth with strong finishes outside of top spots is key so the Big Green’s stellar showing this weekend bodes well for the team’s chances in February at the Ivy League Championships, according to Guaralabene.

“The Invitational definitely shows us that we are the type of team that does well when scored on the depth of the team,” Guardalabene said. “Unlike Ivies, dual meets are very weighted on getting first place, but showing how well we did in the invitational setting definitely boosted the team’s morale for Ivies.” The Invitational also requires heightened stamina since there is minimal time for athletes to recover between events and swimmers sometimes have to compete in back to back races, Henn said.

“It’s a tough meet physically and mentally,” Henn said. “Depending on different people’s schedules though, for some people it was easier than doing a dual meet, and for some it was tougher it’s definitely a good warm up for Ivies, especially since Ivies is an easier schedule than the Invitational.”

The women performed consistently well throughout the weekend, finishing first on Friday with strong relay performances. The Big Green placed second in the 200-yard freestyle relay and first in the 400-yard medley relay. The team continued to extend its lead on Saturday with help from divers, led by Erica Serpico ’12, who took fourth place in both the 3-meter and 1-meter dives.

Like the women, the Big Green men had a successful weekend, getting out-touched in only three events. Dartmouth placed first in 14 of the Invitational’s 17 races and first in both diving events. With this weekend’s performance, the Big Green continued to ride a wave of momentum that has carried the team through the past couple of dual meets.

“We were fresh off of a huge win against [University of Pennsylvania] and a really close loss to [Yale University],” men’s co-captain Zack Doherty ’13 said. “We outdid any expectations we could have had for ourselves though as a whole, everyone competed very well and this is a good sign of what’s to come.”

Doherty is a member of The Dartmouth Staff.

The men also entered Saturday’s competition leading the Invitational and extended that lead with strong relay and individual times. The divers also helped secure the win, especially Ryan Shelley ’15, who took first place in both the 1-meter and the 3-meter dives.

The Invitational is an especially important meet for the new members of the team, who have not been exposed to an Ivy League Championship style meet before.

“Since the order of events at the Invitational is the same as it will be at ivy championships, everyone can get a sense of what their ivies lineup is going to feel like, which is especially useful for the freshmen,” Doherty said.

With only two home meets left for both the men and the women before heading into the Ivy League Championships, the Invitational leaves both teams feeling confident and motivated to finish the regular season strong and head into Championships well rested.

“These next few weeks are important,” Derdeyn said. “We have to focus on continuing what we have been doing, working hard in the pool and in the weight room. There isn’t a whole lot of time left before taper, and then all the work is pretty much done.”

The Big Green will be back in action in Karl Michael pool on Saturday, Feb. 2, when they take on the University of Connecticut.

**A previous version of this article printed records that did not fully account for the men’s and women’s teams’ entire season. The records have been removed to avoid confusion.*

Seven fraternities extend 30 bids

Fraternities extended 30 bids to men during the winter recruitment process, marking an increase from the 20 bids extended last year.

Sunday marked the conclusion of the Winter fraternity recruitment process, with houses across campus accepting 25 new members, according to Interfraternity Council president Tim Brown ’13. While not included in the official total number of new members, Chi Gamma Epsilon fraternity and Sigma Nu fraternity gained three and two new members, respectively, according to representatives from each house.

The number of new members marks an increase from last year’s Winter rush process, during which five fraternities extended 20 bids.

“This was another strong Winter rush season,” Brown said in an email. “We’re pleased so many men were able to find houses.”

Seven fraternities held Winter rush this term, including Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, which has historically has not held rush during the Winter.

Of the 25 new members, Alpha Chi Alpha fraternity saw five men shake out and extended three bids. Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity saw 17 men, 16 of whom shook out, and nine to whom they offered bids.

Zeta Psi fraternity extended seven bids, out of a pool of nine men who rushed and eight who shook out.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon saw 13 men over the two nights of rush, 12 of whom shook out, and offered a total of five bids. Gamma Delta Chi fraternity gained one new member.

Phi Delta Alpha, Psi Upsilon, Alpha Delta, Theta Delta Chi, Chi Heorot, Beta Alpha Omega, Bones Gate and Kappa Kappa Kappa fraternities did not hold rush this term, according to Brown.

Though Winter rush officially takes place on Saturday and Sunday, most of the fraternities participating only held one night of rush on Saturday.

“If you don’t give any callbacks then you don’t need to have a second night,” IFC recruitment coordinator Cole Adams ’13 said.

Fraternity representatives said that Winter recruitment this term was comparable to past terms, since rush is a standard process.

“It’s a tradition, so there is not a lot of planning involved,” Adams said.

Zete rush chair Steve Muenzen ’14 said that the fraternity had a very successful Winter recruitment process.

“The brothers are all looking forward to getting to know our excellent Winter class, which is largest we have had in years,” Muenzen said in an email.

Chi Gam is similarly pleased with their new pledge class, Chi Gam rush chair Yobiel Kelati ’15 said.

Winter rush differs from Fall rush because fewer students participate, Kelati said. Many fraternities fill up their pledge class during Fall rush and do not accept new members in the Winter, according to Adams.

SAE decided to hold Winter rush this term because there were students who were interested in joining the house, but were taking an off-term in the Fall, according to president Michael Fancher ’13. This is the first time since 2010 that SAE has held Winter rush.

“Rush went great,” Fancher said. “We all really like our ’15s, both in the Fall and this Winter.”

Although Tri-Kap historically has held Winter rush in the past, the fraternity decided not to do it this year, Tri-Kap president Paul Wagdalt ’13 said in an email.

“We were more than happy with how our ’15 class shaped up in the Fall,” he said.

OPAL hosts forum on bias

The Office of Pluralism and Leadership helped organize a community forum addressing bias and bigotry.

Students, administrators and faculty gathered in Kemeny Hall on Friday afternoon to reflect on the nature of social interactions, intolerance and bigotry at the College.

The event was organized in response to several recent instances of discrimination, including racist graffiti in the Choates residential cluster on Jan. 19 and verbal harassment in the Class of 1953 Commons on Jan. 23.

Office of Pluralism and Leadership director Alysson Satterlund said that the primary intent of the forum was to create a space for students to share their experiences with bigotry at the College.

“We haven’t always done a very good job of publicly acknowledging the impact of intolerance, bias, hate, harassment and sexism, and if we don’t name it and take time to let people process it then we can’t resolve it,” Satterlund said.

Over 100 people attended the event, including Interim President Carol Folt and Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson. OPAL Leadership Coordinator Karlos Santos-Coy said the turnout was an encouraging sign for the College’s future climate.

“I feel with the newer staff at OPAL and an extremely engaged student body, the components are coming together to create meaningful solutions for the campus bias,” Santos-Coy said.

Many students experience micro-aggressions, or moments of nonphysical acts of bias or harassment, Satterlund said. As a result, these students cannot take full advantage of their academic experience, because the disrespect affects affected students’ mental health and energy. An intolerant atmosphere causes some students to disengage and lose the desire to remain involved with the College following graduation, Satterlund said.

Program coordinators T.M. Mosley and Aeriel Anderson, both OPAL assistant deans and minority advisors, encouraged attendees to be authentic when sharing stories of personal experiences. Those present were split into small, diverse groups with a range of races, religions and genders, as well as a mix of students, staff and administrators. An OPAL facilitator was present in each group.

Participants shared occasions when they had experienced, perpetrated or been complacent in bias, and times when they had witnessed a positive interception against intolerance or bigotry at Dartmouth. After an hour of small group discussion, attendees reconvened to discuss major conversation themes.

The facilitators stressed that bias and intolerance are community issues and are not specific to any particular group. They also emphasized that community members must engage in dialogue to reduce ignorance.

A major consensus was that problems of intolerance pervade campus, and must be recognized and acknowledged before change can occur. Many students felt that a significant portion of their peers were either unaware or chose to ignore the greater issues.

“I’ve usually just laughed off most insensitive comments,” said Na Oh ’16, who attended the forum. “This opened my eyes to a lot of stuff that I had never heard about.”

Katie Gougelet ’14 said that because minorities have been the target of recent bigoted incidents, the majority of campus does not fully understand the extent to which these instances impact minority groups.

“The main takeaway that I got from the event is that every injustice affects the entire community,” Gougelet said.

OPAL hopes to continue hosting similar events in the future and is currently working to develop an inter-group dialogue model, Satterlund said. She believes that it is important for students to hear from others of different perspectives and backgrounds.

Campus groups are also aiming to reduce the instances of bigotry on campus. Representatives from the Inter-Community Council and Student Assembly were also present at the event. The ICC emphasized that the students, faculty and administrators are not “anonymous,” and must work to build a stronger community.

Students interviewed had mixed reactions to the recent instances of bigotry. Gray Kelsey ’13 said she is shocked and saddened to know that this type of intolerance occurs at Dartmouth, and believes that students must work to reduce the number of bias incidents that occur.

Many students still suffer from ignorance and fail to appreciate others’ diverse experiences and backgrounds, Nathaniel Graves ’13 said.

“I only know what it means to be me, and I don’t know what it means to be the person standing next to me,” Graves said. “Once we start to be appreciative of that, I think we will be able to come together as a group to overcome these intolerances.”

Some students were less optimistic that OPAL’s efforts and other community events were effective.

The students who typically attend OPAL events are already aware of the bias and intolerance that exists on campus, Claire Yao ’16 said.

“The students who go to these things aren’t the ones causing the problems,” Yao said. “There needs to be a better way to tackle the issue at a campus-wide level.”

Yao is a member of The Dartmouth Business Staff.

However, Mosley said she believes that the event was a “powerful first step.”

The event was organized by the Office of Residential Education, the OPAL and the Department of Safety and Security.

1-on-1 with Mary Van Metre ’14

Over dinner this week I learned more about my freshman roommate and Big Green swimmer Mary Van Metre ’14.

Do you remember when you learned to swim and what it was like?

MVM: I’ve basically been swimming ever since I came out of the womb. My dad was a big swimmer so my parents got me in the water early. It feels like I’ve been swimming my whole life.

When did your swimming career become competitive?

MVM: I started swimming competitively in seventh grade, and since then it has slowly begun to consume every aspect of my life.

What was the transition like from high school and club swimming to college competition?

MVM: High school club swimming was much more about the individual, whereas college swimming is much more about the team. I would sacrifice my personal gains for the team’s success here. The biggest difference is that the team at Dartmouth is my family since we spend so much time together.

What races do you typically swim for Dartmouth?

MVM: I am a sprinter so I swim the 50-yard, 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle. This year I started swimming breaststroke also.

What is your favorite and least favorite practice set?

MVM: My favorite practice was the hot tub set. We did three minutes in the hot tub and then a 25-yard sprint five times through. Sadly we only did it once during taper my freshman year. My least favorite set is definitely King of the Hill. It is a test set where you sprint 20 “100s” as fast as you can. By the end I am just thankful to be alive!

What is your best swimming memory in or out of the pool?

MVM: My best memories have been watching my teammates swim out of their minds at big meets and just being so happy screaming and cheering for them. In high school, one of my relay teams got the state record and that was one of the best days of my life. I also really like upsets when you are the underdog and just destroy the competition. The surprises are the best part. Oh, and I love team dinners.

What is the hardest part about competitive swimming?

MVM: The hardest part is definitely morning practice, everything about it the fact that it is 6 a.m., and you are jumping in a cold pool and it’s winter. Also, the time commitment and the number of double practices are tough. Every week we almost reach the max of 20 hours a week of practice time. Other annoyances are that your hair is always wet, it’s hard to stay awake in class, you can’t stop talking about swimming and because it consumes you, it is hard to maintain relationships outside of the team when we are in season.

What are some things about swimming you think most people don’t know?

MVM: The most frustrating part is that people brush swimming off as not being a significant team sport, when really the success of the team depends on every individual and all of us have a role. Even if you aren’t scoring the most points, your role is extremely important. People are always surprised to hear how much we swim a day, up to 10,000 yards which is over 5.5 miles. People also don’t realize the time commitment and that we can’t take days off and need to have doubles at least three days a week to stay in shape.

What are some “only a swimmer understands” moments?

MVM: Swimmers don’t think it’s weird to walk around in just a bathing suit and we don’t think twice about boys in Speedos. We also constantly smell like chlorine no matter how many times we shower. After morning practice I have been so hungry I have cried but also could fall asleep on command. I’ve also memorized the bottom of the pool! We also always all say that we hate swimming so much and that it is the worst thing ever, but obviously there is something keeping us in the sport. For me, it is the team, but I know that when I retire I will miss the sport too.

What is your biggest goal for the rest of this season?

MVM: I really, really, really want the team to do well at Ivies. The team’s success is the number one goal, and I would be happy with anything I can do to contribute to that success.

Applicant numbers see largest decline among Ivies

While the College saw a 3 percent decline in applications for the Class of 2017 the only Ivy League institution to see a significant drop this year the decrease is not expected to have long-term effects on admissions numbers, according to Dean of Admissions Maria Laskaris.

Columbia University saw a 5 percent increase in applications this year, Brown University had a 1 percent increase, Yale University saw a 4 percent increase and University of Pennsylvania had one more application than it did last year. Princeton University saw a less than 1 percent decrease in applicants. Admissions statistics from Harvard University and Cornell University have not yet been released.

The decline in applications will not affect this year’s acceptance rate, which will remain at roughly 10 percent similar to that of last year, Laskaris said.

Eric Hoover, a senior writer for The Chronicle of Higher Education, said that this year’s decline is unlikely to have a long-term impact on the College. It is typical for application numbers for Ivy League schools fluctuate year by year.

“Some years, there is a slight increase in numbers,” Hoover said. “Some years, there is a slight drop. To see numbers drop from one year to the next is not a big thing.”

Dartmouth is not the only Ivy League institution to have a significant decline in applications in recent years. In 2010, Columbia saw a 9 percent decrease in applicants from the year before, the Columbia Spectator reported.

It is too early to predict whether this year’s decrease of applications will have a long-term effect on the College, according to Laskaris. There needs to be at least another year of decline in order for it to be declared a trend.

“Every year is a new year,” Laskaris said. “I wouldn’t base future predictions on one year.”

Hoover said it is more important to see how application numbers have changed over several years rather than how they change from year to year.

“Dartmouth has seen a large increase in the long term,” Hoover said. “That is the bigger story.”

Over the last 10 years, the number of students applying to Dartmouth doubled to 23,110 in 2012 from 11,855 in 2003, according to the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.

The recent hazing scandals and last year’s Rolling Stone article on Dartmouth’s social scene likely did not have had a major impact on the College’s application numbers, Hoover said.

“It is possible that some students were turned away by it, but they probably weren’t super serious about Dartmouth to begin with,” he said. “These things do not have a major effect from one year to the next. They have an effect on the margins rather than across the entire pool.”

Laskaris said that prospective students show both interest and concern about the College’s Greek system every year.

News stories involving colleges can have a slight impact on application numbers, but are unlikely to be the major driving force behind the changes, according to Hoover.

“If a not super well-known school, like Butler [University,] sends a basketball team to the Final Four, they might see increases,” he said. “There will be some increases, but there would probably be increases anyway.”

Phillips Academy, a prestigious boarding school in Andover, Mass., did not see a major change in the number of students who applied to Dartmouth this year, according to college counseling director Sean Logan.

“The numbers have been fairly consistent over the last few years,” Logan said. “That trend has been very similar at the other Ivies as well.”

Laskaris said that she is optimistic that the Class of 2017 will be as strong as previous classes are.

“I’m confident we will have a wonderfully talented group of students matriculating next fall,” she said.

For the Love of the Game

The Super Bowl is awesome. Aside from Christmas and my birthday, it’s probably my favorite day of the year. In fact, since the Super Bowl is actually being played on my birthday this year, I can pretty safely say that it will be my favorite day of 2013. Well, I guess graduation will be pretty cool too, but in more of a bittersweet, coming-of-age way than the unbridled joy, awesomeness and cake of a birthday/Super Bowl.

I love the Super Bowl so much that I believe the day after should be a national holiday every American child should have the right to stay up late and watch it. And since a significant portion of American workers are going to be hungover the next day anyway, why not just give them the day off instead of watching them waste time by being unproductive? I’m always a fan of more holidays, but with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Super Bowl Monday and President’s Day, the U.S. government would probably think three holidays in the span of one month is a little much.

I know why I love the Super Bowl I love football, and since the Super Bowl is the biggest football game of the year, it’s no surprise that I love the Super Bowl, even in a year when my beloved New England Patriots fell one game short of making it. Throw in a few awesome commercials (and, unfortunately, far too many that try desperately to be funny and fail) and I’m perfectly content to sit on a couch staring at a TV for four straight hours on a Sunday night. Technically, I also did this a week ago while watching the AFC Championship game, but to be fair, I didn’t watch all of the commercials, as I will while watching the Super Bowl. Plus, I got up for 20 seconds to pay the delivery guy.

Anyway, what I’m more interested in is figuring out why America loves the Super Bowl. Obviously, football is the nation’s most popular sport, but if the Super Bowl were just a big football game, you would expect it to draw a lot of viewers, but not significantly more than the AFC or NFC Championship games. Yet in 2012, the AFC Championship game drew 48.7 million viewers, according to Sports Media Watch. The Super Bowl checked in at 111.3 million. That is a staggering increase of more than 128 percent.

One of the reasons for this increase in viewers is that the conference championship games are viewed as sporting events, while the Super Bowl has become more of a media spectacle and social event. This is the same reason that the Summer Olympics draw so many viewers no one watches swimming or gymnastics outside of the Olympics, but when Americans are force-fed heartwarming storylines and given a chance to root for the red, white and blue, they tune in because everyone else around them is.

The collective experience is crucial to the success of spectator sports, but I would argue that the Summer Olympics and the Super Bowl are the only sporting events where more Americans watch them for the collective experience of watching than the actual athletic drama. So when you combine football a sport millions of Americans watch anyway with the collective experience aspect of the Super Bowl, the result is a massive amount of viewers.

Still, there’s more to it than that. At this point, the Super Bowl has become so ingrained in American culture that it’s simply assumed that everyone will spend the first Sunday night in February watching the game. I realize that 111.3 million viewers means that, on average, almost two in three people will not watch the game, but getting 111.3 million Americans to do anything at the same time must mean that they like it a whole lot.

What it comes down to is that the Super Bowl is the quintessential American event. America loves the collective experience; we’ve already covered that. America loves being the best; the Super Bowl determines the best team in the NFL. And America loves football, a sport virtually no other country plays, but one that Americans use to display their belief in the superior toughness, athleticism and skill of American athletes. The Olympics belong to the world; the Super Bowl belongs to America.

So enjoy Super Bowl week, with the follies of media day, the incessant hype apparently the two head coaches this year are brothers? and the game itself, the crown jewel of the American sporting year. I know I will.

Skiing finishes second to UVM in weekend’s Colby Carnival

Following a strong second place finish at the St. Lawrence Carnival, the Big Green ski team competed in the Colby Carnival this weekend, rounding it out with another second place finish. The alpine team raced in Sugarloaf, ME, while the Nordic team competed in Waterville Valley, N.H. Dartmouth placed second with 845 points, falling to the University of Vermont, which finished with 962 points. The University of New Hampshire took third with 786 points.

The Big Green solidified its second place status after the first two days of alpine events, when the team clinched victories in the men’s 10-kilometer classic and second place finishes in both the women’s five-kilometer classic and the slalom.

“This past weekend was a very solid team effort,” men’s alpine coach Peter Dodge said. “While it was extremely cold, the conditions for racing were good.”

In the men’s 10-kilometer classic, Middlebury junior Benjamin Lustgarten placed first but the Big Green sent many skiers to the podium. Scott Lacy ’13 and Silas Talbot ’15 took second and third place, respectively, with a 25:28.2 and a 25:35.0, and David Sinclair ’14 placed sixth with a 25:54.2 to wrap up the team victory in the event.

“To see all our guys finishing right next to each other gives them a lot of confidence,” Dodge said. “They now know that if they don’t do well, someone else will step up to the plate. We’re a young team but we’re building with more experience.”

For the Nordic women, Emily Blackmer ’13 made an incredible carnival debut in her first career carnival race. Blackmer placed third in the women’s five-kilometer with a time of 17:57.0. Isabel Caldwell ’14 followed suit, taking fifth place with a time of 18:06.4. Despite the Big Green women’s strong showing, UNH won the event, with the Wildcats taking second, seventh and eighth place to score 115 points, compared with the Big Green’s 112.

On the alpine side, Hunter Black ’15 placed fourth in the men’s slalom with a combined time of 1:26.44. Ben Morse ’14 placed 10th in the event with a time of 1:27.01 and Robert Overing ’16 came in 15th with a time of 1:27.87. After one day of racing, the Vermont men’s team held first place with 127 points, Middlebury second with 114 and the Big Green third with 97.

The women fared better after the first day, with the alpine women holding second, largely due to skiing by Sara Kikut ’16 and Anna Kikut ’16. Sara Kikut took fourth place in the slolam with a combined 1:30.70 while Anna Kikut finished 10th with a 1:32.22.

“I definitely took advantage of the situation and really went for it in my slalom,” Sara Kikut said. “For the grand slalom in particular, it would be nice to have some more consistency. We’re a strong team and we absolutely have the potential.”

In the women’s giant slalom Abby Fucigna ’15 placed third with a combined time of 1:46.67, behind Vermont’s Kate Ryley and Harvard’s Rebecca Nadler.

“Because it was so cold, they kept delaying the start,” Fucigna said. “I just tried to keep my head in the game and stay positive.”

Fucigna said that the women’s alpine team has a lot of potential, especially in the giant slalom.

“We have a strong team, and with the training at the [Dartmouth] Skiway this coming week, we can win at our Carnival for sure,” Fucigna said.

The carnival ended with two Nordic races. Dartmouth took five out of the top eight spots for the 20-kilometer freestyle. Steven Mangan ’14 placed second with a time of 47:27.4 followed by Talbot in fifth place with a time of 47:41.4. Erik Fagerstrom ’14, Lacy and Sinclair took sixth, seventh and eighth. For the women’s 15-kilometer freestyle, Carly Wynn ’15 lead the Big Green, placing fifth with a time of 44:27.9 and Megan Killigrew ’13 placed 11th with a time of 44:44.5.

“The team was a little bit behind in the pace set behind UVM, but the Big Green hopes to catch up at the Dartmouth Carnival,” Dodge said.

Next weekend the Big Green Nordic team will ski the last portion of the Vermont Carnival in Stowe, Vt. The alpine portion of the carnival took place Jan. 11 and 12 with the Vermont Catamounts currently in first place with 422 points. UNH is in second place and Dartmouth is in third with 357 points.

In two weekends, Dartmouth will host the Dartmouth Carnival at the Skiway and Oak Hill Cross-Country Ski Center.

“We’re looking forward to our home carnival,” Dodge said. “[The alpine team] has a whole week off to prepare and get some great practice in.”

Fucigna echoed Dodge’s sentiments and said that skiing on home snow is a “great advantage.”