Daily Debriefing

Colleges and universities have emerged at the forefront of the gun control debate since the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings, The New York Times reported. Guns remain prohibited at most state schools, but pro-gun forces have gained ground on the issue in a number of states, most recently Colorado. Although guns are now allowed on the University of Colorado, Boulder’s campus, guns remain noticeably absent, and no students have signed up for housing where guns are permitted. Nationally, colleges and universities are getting safer, and the federal government reported that the majority of violent crimes targeting university students occur off college campuses.

Harvard Management Company, the entity responsible for overseeing the university’s endowment, recently created a vice president of sustainable investing responsible for looking at environmental issues in the university’s investments, The Harvard Crimson reported. The decision was influenced by student interest, as well the company’s long-term investment strategy, the company’s president Jane Mendillo said in a statement to The Crimson. While Harvard generally does not support divestment, the university has begun creating a “social choice fund,” distinct from its endowment, in response to a student referendum. This decision received further support last week when students at the Kennedy School of Government overwhelmingly voted to finance the new venture with funds from the university’s endowment. Students have cautiously expressed support Harvard Management Company’s direction but are uncertain that substantial policy change will result.

The White House’s release of a new College Scorecard, an online tool that provides cost-related institutional data, has been scrutinized by higher education experts, The New York Times reported. Taking into account graduation rates, incidences of loan default and repayment statistics, the online tool aims to present a clearer picture of the true cost of attending college and builds upon the administration’s previous efforts at transparency in the college search process. Critics have pointed out that the site’s information is outdated and not presented in a consumer-friendly interface. Still, supporters are hopeful that the website may publish currently unavailable information about the performance of a college’s graduates in the job market. This, however, would require legislative changes due to the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act, which outlaws data collection of such statistics.

DSGHP may cover more gender reassignment surgeries in 2014

Brown University recently announced that its student health insurance plan will cover 14 gender reassignment surgeries beginning in August. Dartmouth may soon join Brown and a score of other universities nationwide, including Harvard University and Northwestern University, that have moved to increase coverage of these surgeries, according to Health Services director Jack Turco.

The Dartmouth Student Group Health Plan currently covers “top” surgery, or breast augmentation and mastectomy, as well as non-surgical hormone therapy, but Turco said he wants the plan to cover “bottom” procedures, which includes vaginoplasty, penectomy and scrotoplasty.

“I think everyone is hesitant to jump right in, but it doesn’t make any sense to me at all to cover top surgery and not bottom,” Turco said.

A committee including students and community members decides what is covered under the DSGHP. Turco, a committee member, said its job is to create a health care coverage plan that serves the needs of the College’s students.

Turco plans to discuss extending gender reassignment surgery coverage at the next meeting to decide what will be included in next year’s coverage, he said.

Gender reassignment surgeries cost anywhere between $15,000 and $20,000 significantly more expensive than hormone therapy.

Because insurance plans have only recently begun covering the more expensive procedures, many transgender individuals, especially students, do not opt for surgery, Turco said.

Since only a small portion of the student population will decide to transition, covering more expensive gender reassignment surgeries will not be a significant cost burden.

Breast augmentation and mastectomy are generally the most popular form of gender reassignment surgery, and several student patients have undergone the procedure.

Increased insurance coverage and societal awareness may encourage people to transition at a younger age, but Turco said he is unsure how many students will pursue procedures currently not covered by Dartmouth’s health plan while at the College.

Women’s and gender studies professor Michael Bronski said that Dartmouth should extend coverage for gender reassignment surgeries for ethical reasons.

“Any decisions that any of us make about anything is a matter of weighing different choices,” Bronski said. “In the weighing of choice of will it cost more money or is it ethically right, I think, at least to me, the ethical choice trumps the other one.”

Bronski said insurance costs would not increase dramatically if the only a small number of students had the surgery.

Covering a larger pool of surgeries would send a message that the College is committed to inclusion, diversity and student health.

“Health insurance policies are a really good way to gauge a number of issues, for universities, companies, for nonprofits,” he said. “You can judge the ethics or bottom-line attitudes of organizations by the coverage they offer.”

Men’s Forum intern Gustavo Ruiz Llopiz ’14 said that increasing gender reassignment surgery coverage would be consistent with the trend of increasing acceptance of transgender students over the last 10 years, as illustrated by the addition of gender-neutral spaces and bathrooms.

“Trans health should be at the forefront of the College’s priorities,” Llopiz said. “Trans rights in general are more often than not overlooked. As someone who has dealt with a portion of the trans population at Dartmouth, there is a need to have more trans health rights at the table.”

Medical groups such as the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association promote gender reassignment surgery as treatment for gender identity disorder.

The social climate has changed to become more accepting of transgender people, Turco said.

“Transgender is not anywhere near as uncommon as people in the past thought it was,” he said. “A lot of individuals are making successful transitions, leading full social and professional lives, going to school and getting on with life. As that happens more and more, insurance will cover the surgery.”

Taranto ’06 establishes food delivery company

When Nick Taranto ’06 began working in New York City, his demanding schedule made it difficult to continue his passion for cooking, which he considers to be an essential human experience. Dissatisfied with options for eating out and ordering in, he teamed up with Harvard Business School classmate Josh Hix to launch Plated, an e-commerce company that seeks to make cooking convenient.

Plated offers a weekly set of chef-designed meals. The company delivers ingredients, portioned and measured, to customers’ homes, and each dinner takes 30 minutes or less to prepare.

“We are trying to break down those barriers and make it as easy as possible for people to reconnect with cooking and with that fantastic experience of building a meal and sharing together,” he said.

Taranto dreams of shaking up an industry, and believes the food industry is primed for change.

“We saw the food system as being horribly broken and analog and operating some 30 years in the past,” he said.

Taranto and Hix began working on Plated last March. They launched a test site in June and the full version in October.

Taranto drew from personal experience and concluded that working city professionals have limited choices for dinner, either eating out or ordering in.

“To us, neither of those options was great,” he said “They’re expensive, and not that healthy, and clearly not that edifying at all.”

Plated is growing at a significant rate and recently expanded to another warehouse in order to meet demand, Taranto said.

“There’s been an overwhelmingly strong response from customers, which has been really edifying, and it makes you really excited to get up every morning because I know we are doing something that is making people’s lives better,” he said.

James Joun ’03, one of Plated’s first customers, said that the quality of the food was excellent, and the instructions were easy to follow.

“Once I made the food, I was actually surprised that it tasted so good,” he said.

Taranto leads business development, fundraising, marketing and operations, while Hix is develops the company’s website and handles online analytics.

Over the next few months, Plated will develop new partnerships in a number of different industries and build a suite of digital products to accompany the cooking experience.

“What we pride ourselves on is to move really quickly and to be very flexible and to listen to our customers as much as possible,” he said.

Hix said that Plated has the potential to grow into a large successful company.

“It’s seven days a week for us and will be for a long, long time,” he said. “We want to grow this into a huge business that can have an impact on society and help people really reconnect with how they are eating and what they are eating.”

The company currently employs seven full-time workers and six interns and contractors.

Joun, who first met Taranto on the rugby team at Dartmouth and later attended Harvard Business School with him, said that Plated is an “incredible” idea.

“They have the drive and the smarts to really be a success,” he said.

Nichola Tucker ’08 said Taranto has succeeded in various pursuits and is passionate about food since she knew him at the College.

“Whatever he does doesn’t really surprise me,” she said. “He latches onto a big idea and executes it pretty well.”

At Dartmouth, Taranto majored in geography, was heavily involved in the Dartmouth Mountaineering Club and participated in trail running.

Taranto said his time at the College helped him realize the three elements he wanted to focus on in his career: impact, adventure and building.

During his senior year, he pursued a senior fellowship in war photography, creating a portfolio of photos and authoring an essay on rebuilding communities in disaster zones. He conducted research and took pictures in Thailand, Burma, Sumatra and post-Hurricane Katrina Mississippi to complete his project.

After Dartmouth, he received a Fulbright grant to return to Indonesia for a year. There, he taught English part-time and started a micro-finance group.

He later returned to the U.S. and earned a MBA and MPA from Harvard Business School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

The military leaders he met at Harvard inspired him to join the U.S. Marine Corps as an infantry officer, he said.

He said he spent one year on off-duty training before becoming an active reservist.

After completing infantry training, he worked as a private wealth advisor at Goldman Sachs. Taranto said he left finance to pursue e-commerce opportunities last year, after feeling dissatisfied at the firm.

“It was really soulless and passionless,” he said. “There was no broader mission. It was only about the money.”

Case competition proposes solutions to health and development challenges in the Mala Valley

Seven teams competed in the first Dartmouth Global Health and Development case competition on Saturday.

Seven teams of undergraduate and graduate students from various disciplines sought to identify innovative solutions to health and developmental problems in Peru’s Mala Valley during the Dartmouth Global Health and Development case competition on Saturday.

The winning team Fed Ghali Med’16, master’s in public health student at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice Faseeha Altaf GR’13, Thayer School of Engineering PhD student Jennifer Tate GR’13, Hatty Pearson ’14, Victoria Trump Redd ’14, Brenna Liponis ’14 and Emily Fletcher ’13 highlighted the importance of establishing baseline and ongoing health and environmental measures in the region.

The runner-up team, which included Rachel LaRocca Med’16, Liqiong He Tu’13, Michael Seitz ’14, Kate Bradshaw ’14, Garrett Wymore ’13 and Troy Dildine ’13, advocated promoting public health principles and taking better advantage of the region’s existing water distribution system.

The winning team earned an $1000 prize while the runner-up team won $500. The prize money will help the teams implement their proposals in the Mala Valley.

Competition judges considered the proposals’ economic feasibility and environmental sustainability.

The Mala Valley regional government will incorporate ideas from all teams to solve health and development problems.

The case competition organizers found inspiration from students who had traveled to the Mala Valley region of Lima, Peru last summer. The trip, sponsored by the Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science, exposed students to harmful farming practices and accompanying health problems.

Most farmers in Mala Valley, a region that is highly dependent on agriculture, use conventional farming methods such as potent pesticide to eliminate insects and other threats to crops.

Pesticides compromise the farmers’ health because frequent exposure to agrochemicals causes pesticide poisoning and other complications.

The chemicals endanger the local environment because many farmers do not properly dispose of pesticide containers, and agrochemical residue subsequently contaminates water, air and soil.

Since the region’s current farming methods harm residents and the environment, the case documents presented to competitors suggested a transition to organic farming as an alternative to conventional farming and educating farmers about safe and responsible pesticide.

The laws already in place to address the implications of pesticide use are not comprehensive enough to tackle the region’s core problems, said competition judge Abel Guerra, Lima’s regional natural resources and environment director.

The competition was modeled on the Emory Global Health case competition, which promotes pursuing multidisciplinary approaches to a global health issue. The most important difference between the two competitions is that proposals at Emory do not have a direct connection with the people affected by the problem, whereas Dartmouth’s competition seeks a solution to a real-life issue that will ultimately be implemented in the region.

Because the College has many initiatives and experts in global health, encouraging undergraduates and graduates to collaborate is essential in addressing complex problems such the Mala Valley’s health and development issues and their societal implications, cp-organizer Ben Nguyen ’14 said.

“Health is not just figuring out the treatment to the problem,” he said. “It’s also about figuring out how to manage for the society.”

Diksha Gautham ’15, who participated in the competition, enjoyed interacting with graduate students and considering the broader implications of the case.

“I think the issue in the Mala Valley is very important,” she said. “If we tackle it on a small scale, the solution could also be applied to other regions in Peru.”

Justin Chang Th’13, who is pursuing a master’s of engineering management at Thayer, said his background in biomedical engineering and personal interest in health care consulting prompted him to participate.

The board hopes to make the competition an annual event and include other colleges and other international initiatives.

The competition, the first global health competition the College, was co-sponsored by eight Dartmouth organizations, including the Dartmouth Coalition for Global Health and Social Equity and the Dickey Center for International Understanding.

Fletcher is a former member of The Dartmouth Senior Staff.

Governor Hassan proposes budget changes for fiscal year 2014

Gov. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., called for the state to increase higher education funding on Thursday in her new budget proposal, which could increase total spending in the next fiscal year by 10.2 percent. Hassan is relying on the passage of an expanded gambling bill to increase revenue.

The New Hampshire House of Representatives opposed previous gambling bills, and legislators have expressed resistance to the large role gambling revenue would play in the budget.

During her campaign, Hassan pledged to emphasize higher education, which she said is essential for a competitive workforce.

“Ever-rising tuition rates can force many families to avoid even considering New Hampshire’s public colleges and universities, hurting our competitiveness,” Hassan said in her budget address. “If we hope to encourage job creation and innovative economic growth, we cannot keep losing our young people or fail to develop our workforce.”

Hassan’s spending and revenue proposals for the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years could restore funding to the state’s university and community college system, which saw cuts in the current budget.

State funding for in-state students at public colleges and universities was decreased to $51 million in 2011 from $100 million. Universities weathered the storm by “tightening up” programs, State Rep. David Kidder, R-New London, said.

“In hindsight, the cuts may not have been such a bad thing, because it made the universities work hard in everything they do,” Kidder said.

While the new budget proposal does not fully restore aid to public universities to pre-2011 levels, it aims to increase state aid for the state’s university system to $75 million in fiscal year 2014 and $90 million in fiscal year 2015. It also allocates $40 million in fiscal year 2014 and $42.5 million in fiscal year 2015 to New Hampshire’s community college system, surpassing previous years’ funding.

State Rep. Gary Richardson, D-Merrimack, said he was pleased to see funding restored after it was cut during the last fiscal year.

“Education is a top priority, and any time you’re cutting funding for education you’re putting pressure on universities, which impacts tuition and New Hampshire students and families,” Richardson said.

The presidents of all four state universities have pledged to use the funds proposed by Hassan to freeze in-state tuition for the next two fiscal years. They also hope to increase both need-based and merit-based aid for students who are New Hampshire residents.

The University of New Hampshire is responsible for producing roughly one-quarter of New Hampshire’s skilled workforce, according to a 2012 study released by the school.

Increased aid to community colleges, surpassing previous levels, will allow for their expansion, which Kidder considers vital to New Hampshire’s economy.

“It is my feeling that students of the community colleges stay in New Hampshire and get jobs here, so it is important to invest in them because they will contribute later on,” Kidder said.

The spending increases are predicated on a one-time, roughly $80 million license fee for one New Hampshire high-end casino.

“To rely on gambling in the budget is setting us up for failure because it’s highly unlikely that we will be passing it,” House minority leader Gene Chandler, R-Carroll, said.

If the gambling bill does not pass, Kidder sees no other way to make up for the loss in revenue necessary to support state universities.

“This is a very political ploy where she has backed legislators into supporting the gambling issue if they want the money back in the budget to do some of the other things that really need attention,” Kidder said. “I will vote against it no matter what.”

State Rep. Chip Rice, D-Merrimack, applauds Hassan’s budget focus on higher education, but opposes the gambling legislation and thinks too many programs put forth in her budget rely heavily on its passage.

“It would not surprise me if we voted against gambling again, and that would mean that $80 million of programs in the budget would not get funding,” Rice said. “I think that it puts the finance committee in a very tough position.”

Lawmakers have until June 30 to compromise on a new spending plan before the next fiscal year begins.

For the Love of the Game

As I hope you’ve figured out by this point, life isn’t fair. So it shouldn’t surprise you that sports aren’t fair, either.

My high school soccer coach had a saying, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” What’s left unspoken is that, presuming talent doesn’t stay up drinking all night before a game and actually has a desire to get better, talent will usually win. My high school soccer team could have worked from now until eternity and we’d still lose to Barcelona 100 times out of 100 attempts.

But I’m not writing this column to complain about something that was decided when you were born. I’m writing to complain about the inequalities that stem from that talent, or lack thereof.

One of the great things about sports is that even if you have no talent, you still have a chance to compete. Most high schools have teams that no one is cut from, like many track teams, providing even the worst athletes an opportunity to play.

An individual sport like track works particularly well for untalented athletes, because it is very easy to set tangible goals and measure improvement, whether it’s to run a few seconds faster or jump a few inches farther.

Even the slowest runner is not that far removed from the Olympic champion, since both are essentially chasing self-improvement. The problem I have with this, hence why sports are unfair, is that the amount others care about your achievements is directly linked to two things beyond your control: your talent level and your sport. Technically, you can control your sport, but a world-class table tennis player cannot simply decide to be a world-class football player; you’re stuck with what you’re good at.

For four years, I cared more than anything about winning the Ivy League cross country championship. My team never won, but if we had, it would have been incredibly meaningful to everyone associated with the program. You have probably stopped reading now because no one else cares about Ivy League cross country.

If I were a world-class runner and hoped to win an Olympic gold medal, a bunch of you would probably be pretty interested in that. But even if I won one, outside of Dartmouth and the running community, my achievement would probably be forgotten by the time the next Olympics roll around.

But if I were a world-class quarterback for the New England Patriots and dreamed of winning the Super Bowl, a ton of people would be interested. And if I managed to pull it off, the accompanying fame and glory would be enough to ensure that I’d never have to pay for a drink in New England for as long as I lived. What I’m getting at here is that it is not fair that one sport or one event matters more to the general public than another. Even if my goal were simpler, like winning a race in college, that does not mean that I care any less about it than that quarterback who wants to win the Super Bowl. It just means that you do.

I know that the staple response is to say, “Don’t worry about what others think,” but, to be frank, that’s very difficult for most people, myself included. If I accomplished my goal and won an Ivy League cross-country title, I would have been satisfied and proud of that accomplishment for as long as I lived. But most people, save for those intimately connected to the sport, would think “That’s a nice achievement” and move on. I guarantee you people would have a different reaction if I told them I was Super Bowl Most Valuable Player.

And that, to me, is the most unfair thing about talent inequality. It is not that someone is more talented than I, it is that the events they compete in matter to more people and have a much bigger impact than the events I compete in.

Sadly, this isn’t a problem that can be fixed. That’s not the worst thing in the world, because I doubt that most people care enough about sports to think about something like this. But I do care enough about sports to think about it, and whenever I do, it makes me sad.

1-on-1 with Ailish Forfar ’16

This week I sat down with Ailish Forfar ’16 on the women’s hockey team to discuss the season, her life in Canada and this winter’s weather.

How did it feel to receive consecutive Rookie of the Week honors and then be named ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Month?

AF: It was pretty awesome to be recognized for something. I was out for the first half of the season with injuries, so it was nice to get back into it and get recognized right away. It was also important to help the team out, especially coming back from an injury and being a freshman, and being able to contribute in big games.

How does the hockey here compare to what you were used to in Canada?

AF: It’s a lot more competitive, obviously. It’s a big step up, but I think I was well prepared in the league that I came from, where most of the Canadian girls come from. But I really enjoy it and you have to push yourself, and that’s what I wanted. It’s a challenge, but I definitely knew what I was getting into.

What has enabled you to be so successful as a freshman?

AF: I think I put in a lot of hard work in the summer and that’s where you get the most benefit out of training. It is hard to really get better during the season, since you only get a couple times to work out and a couple times to practice. I have a lot of good teammates to play with as well, it’s not just me going out there and doing stuff. I’ve been able to look up to our seniors as well, they are really good role models and I have tried to take aspects of their game and put them into mine.

What’s your take on the season so far?

AF: We’re doing pretty well but I know we have a lot more in us. We have looked back at the schedule and sometimes we tied games we should have won, or lost some close ones we could have won. I think that’s promising because we know we can take on big teams in the league. As it gets to playoffs, we have that confidence that we were close in a game, or we could have beaten this team, and so I think that will help us.

What are your predictions for the rest of the season? Is there anything in particular you’re looking forward to?

AF: Going to the playoffs will be really exciting because it will be my first time in NCAA playoffs and I know we can really bring it, so it will be pretty exciting going through all that.

Do you know what your matchup for playoffs may be like?

AF: Well, if we finish where we are today, we’ll be playing either Quinnipiac [University] or Cornell [University]. The last stretch of our season we don’t have any easy games, it is all the tough ones, so we will really see how we do in these games, depending on where we finish.

Being from Canada, how has the adjustment to Dartmouth been?

AF: The school system is a little different, obviously, with terms instead of where I went to school. I went to private school so I kind of feel a little more prepared. It’s more just being away from home that has been an adjustment. I think that more than half the team is Canadian, so I’m not going through it alone. All six freshmen are Canadian, so we have each other for support.

What’s your take on our winter so far?

AF: At home we get more snow where I live, but it’s pretty cool since it reminds me of home. We always have snow and I always have to bundle up to go outside, so it’s nice to see the same thing down here. But I want to hit the skiing up since I haven’t had the chance. That should be pretty cool since it’s supposed to be pretty good down here.

What’s your favorite thing about Dartmouth outside of hockey?

AF: I would say the people I’ve met here, not even just teammates, but people I’ve met on my floor, in my classes and my professors. Everyone is just so nice and welcoming, especially when I think back to Trips and when I first got here. I haven’t met someone that was not willing to help me and extend a hand or help me in class.

What are the best and worst parts about having such a long season?

AF: Well the best part is that you get to play your sport for so long. That’s why I’m here and I love it. We start in August and will go probably to March. I guess the downfall would be that it takes a lot out of you playing hockey every day and trying to balance your schoolwork. When spring comes, we should have a little more free time because everyday we have at least one thing to do hockey-wise, but I think in the spring it cuts back a little bit so I’ll have more time to excel in school and experience other aspects of Dartmouth.

Men’s hockey defeats Colgate after falling to Cornell

The men's hockey team defeated Colgate University 5-4 on Saturday following a 4-2 loss to Cornell University on Friday.

Despite missing several key upperclassmen, the No. 17 Big Green men’s hockey team battled back from a 4-2 loss to Cornell University at home on Friday with an exciting 5-4 win against Colgate University on Saturday evening at Thompson Arena, snapping a four-game skid.

“With all of the guys that are out of the lineup, to have all the guys pull together was incredible,” head coach Bob Gaudet said. “We were relying so heavily on young players that it was huge for them, and the team, to get rewarded.”

Against Colgate (13-13-4, 5-10-3 ECAC) the Big Green started tentatively before jumping out to an early lead behind a goal from Jesse Beamish ’15. However, the Big Green (12-9-4, 8-7-3 ECAC) was unable to hold the lead for long, as Colgate answered only minutes later, equalizing the game with a goal.

Another Dartmouth goal, scored on a beautiful long-range shot by Eric Neiley ’15, gave the Big Green the lead heading into the second period, but Colgate once again caught up shortly after the start of the period, knotting the game at 2-2.

The lead continued to teeter back and forth in this fashion, with Colgate establishing a 4-3 lead with 10 minutes left to play in the third period, setting the stage for a dramatic Big Green comeback.

Only three minutes later, a tough fight in front of the net allowed Dartmouth to draw the game level once again, with Beamish’s tenacity and grit allowing him to emerge from the scrabble with a goal, his second of the game.

Shortly after the equalizer, another scrum in front of the goal saw Neiley draw an interference penalty on Colgate freshman defender Spiro Goulakos, putting the Big Green on the power play.

“I ended up on top of the goalie, and I guess the defenseman didn’t like it and gave me an extra-shove,” Neiley said.

With the home crowd at Thompson Arena roaring, Neiley played the hero on the power play he had earned, knocking home the winning goal from close range after a pin point pass from Dustin Walsh ’13.

“The pass across [to Dustin] was perfect, and when he stopped it with his skate, he looked up and made eye contact,” Neiley said. “I took a step away from my defender, and almost had an empty net to finish.”

In the contest’s waning moments, the Big Green was forced to defend a final Colgate power play, where the Dartmouth defenders displayed a practically tangible desire for the win in denying Colgate attackers.

“At that point, you’re doing everything you can, diving to block pucks, giving guys a little extra shove,” captain and defenseman Mike Keenan ’13 said. “It’s 100 percent.”

Against Cornell (9-13-3, 5-10-3 ECAC) on Friday, the intensity and desire displayed against Colgate seemed to be missing at times, especially during a tough second period when the Big Green conceded three decisive goals to Cornell.

“We came out flat and didn’t play well,” Keenan said. “I think they scored on the first two shifts, or early on, but halfway through we turned it around.”

Despite finding themselves behind 3-0, the Big Green stayed in the game, with Tyler Sikura ’15 pulling one back toward the end of the second, and Nick Bligh ’16 artfully batting a redirected shot into the net minutes into the game’s final period.

Seeking an equalizer, the Big Green unfortunately came up short, conceding an empty net goal in the game’s final moments.

The loss to the Big Red was one of the few the Big Green has suffered at home in Thompson Arena this year, where after this weekend it holds a still impressive 10-3 home record. The loss was the fourth the Big Green has suffered in a televised game.

This weekend’s results further highlighted the parity in the ECAC, where, despite Quinnipiac University’s dominance at the top of the table, spots two through eight in the standings are separated by only four points, with the Big Green sitting in a tie with Yale University for fourth place. Yale also stands between the Big Green and an Ivy League title, holding first place by two points to the Big Green’s second.

Importantly, ECAC standings are used to determine both first-round byes and home-ice advantage during the ECAC tournament, meaning that the Big Green’s final four games take on vital importance.

“These next four are basically playoff games,” Keenan said.

Despite the heightened importance of the season’s last four games, starting with a road-stand against Clarkson University and St. Lawrence University this coming weekend, the Big Green is no stranger to a playoff mentality.

“We’ve had pretty much that mentality for a while,” Gaudet said. “The importance of every game is huge, but obviously it’s heightened now.”

Men’s basketball drops two during weekend homestand

The men's basketball team fell to Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania this weekend.

The Dartmouth men’s basketball team suffered a tough loss to Ivy League powerhouse Princeton University 73-55 on Friday night at Leede Arena, and while it seemed that Dartmouth would put the University of Pennsylvania in its place on Saturday, the Big Green struggled to overtake the Quakers at home.

The Tigers (12-9, 5-2 Ivy) trampled the Big Green on Friday night, grabbing 14 more rebounds and 18 more points by the end of the game. Princeton’s size advantage came into play, with the Tigers scoring 36 points in the paint alone.

“They gave us a challenge,” Alex Mitola ’16 said. “They are one of the better teams in the Ivy League.”

The Big Green (6-16, 2-6 Ivy) managed to hold its own in the first 10 minutes of the game, keeping up with Princeton shot-for-shot. Princeton jumped ahead to an early five point lead, but Kevin Crescenzi ’16 and Malik Gill ’16 retaliated with three-pointers to tie the score at 19 with 10:54 left on the clock. Dartmouth did not hold on for long, however, when Princeton sophomore forward Denton Koon began a 15-3 spurt for the Tigers with another triple.

The Big Green was able to cut the deficit to six with the help of a three-pointer from John Golden ’15 and a three-point play from Gabas Maldunas ’15, but Princeton recorded the final eight points of the half to go into the locker room 14 points ahead at 42-28. Princetons tall defense was tough on Dartmouth’s relatively smaller squad who shot 40.7 percent, while Princeton recorded 60 percent in the first half.

“Their team was tough for us because they were big and they have a lot of upperclassmen,” Golden said. “We had some trouble early figuring things out.”

Although Dartmouth managed to chip away at the Princeton lead during the second half, the Tigers ran the show and managed up to a 20-point lead several times. A glimmer of hope came when Golden hit another three-pointer with 1:45 left in the game and Brandon McDonnell ’16 converted a steal by Gill into a lefty layup on a fast break almost 30 seconds later, but Princeton was quick to respond with a 12-2 run over the next five minutes.

“We’ve got to continue to get better at playing hard 100 percent of the time,” co-captain Jvonte Brooks ’15 said. “We have to close out teams after we get up on them.”

The Big Green’s 8-1 spurt in the final minutes of the game was not enough to come close to the Tigers, who finished ahead 73-55.

The next game in Leede Arena was similarly disappointing. What had been a 30-18 lead for the Big Green at half time against the Quakers (6-18, 3-4 Ivy) turned into a unsatisfactory second half, with Penn outscoring the Big Green by 22 points.

“We just let them back into the game,” Brooks said.

Dartmouth came out confident in the first half against Penn and scored the first eight game points, finishing with a huge slam dunk by Golden. Mitola extended the lead with a three-pointer and again minutes later with a high shot off the glass. The Big Green was on top of its shooting game in the opening half, recording 41.4 percent compared to Penn’s 35 percent.

“Princeton’s style is much more methodical, they pick you apart,” Mitola said. “We had a different game plan because Penn is a pressure-oriented team and offensively they non-stop attack you.”

Penn snuck in two quick layups to make it a 17-10 game and kept the game scoreless for three minutes until Maldunas finally broke the ice with a layup and Mitola hit another triple to give the Big Green its largest lead of the night, 24-10, with 6:15 left in the half. Dartmouth enjoyed a 14-point lead again when Maldunas laid another one in for the team’s final points of the opening half, bringing the score to 30-16. Penn got two free throws to close the period behind by 12 points.

“In the first half we played really good defense and we got the ball out a lot,” Golden said. “We got some easy buckets and we shot the ball fairly well.”

The Quakers seemed determined to take the game into its own hands in the second half, starting off with a 9-point run in which the Big Green managed to attempt just one shot. Maldunas ended Penn’s four-minute streak with a free throw and Mitola added two more free throws with just under 10 minutes to play, but Penn had done enough damage to cut Dartmouth’s lead to a mere five points.

“Second half we started standing around a little bit on offense,” Golden said. “And we didn’t play as much defense.”

A few minutes later Penn managed to get Dartmouth’s lead down to one when Connor Boehm ’16 came through with a three-point play to put the Big Green back ahead 38-35. Quaker freshman guard Tony Hicks hit the first Penn three-pointer of the night with eight minutes to go, only to have Golden respond with another three from the right wing to keep the lead at 46-42.

In the last minutes of the game, Penn’s offense was relentless and Dartmouth could not respond quickly enough. When Penn freshman forward Greg Louis scored on a putback with five minutes to go, Boehm countered with a layup, but it was not enough to stop a massive seven-point Quaker run that would leave the Big Green only as close as five points away the rest of the game.

“They took their intensity up a level and we kind of struggled,” Mitola said. “We weren’t really hitting our stops as well, we didn’t do what we need to do on the defensive end.”

Next weekend Dartmouth will travel, playing Yale University on Friday and Brown University on Saturday.

Women’s basketball falls on road

The women's basketball team suffered two losses on the road this weekend, breaking its four-game win streak.

The women’s basketball team fell to Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania on the road this weekend, ending its four-game winning streak. The Big Green (6-15, 4-3 Ivy) suffered a 77-65 loss to Princeton (16-5, 7-0 Ivy) on Friday, followed by a 63-40 loss to Penn (12-9, 5-2 Ivy) on Saturday.

Dartmouth’s game against Princeton, currently undefeated in the Ivy League, began in a back-and-forth manner, with both teams’ scores remaining close for most of the first half. However, a series of baskets by the Tigers in the last two minutes of the first half left Princeton ahead 35-29 heading into the locker room.

“We were happy at the half with how we were doing,” guard Nicola Zimmer ’14 said. “We sort of expected them to run us off of the court in the first five minutes, but that definitely didn’t happen.”

At halftime the Big Green discussed limiting Princeton’s possessions and offense in order to pull ahead. Carrying its high-energy play into the second half, the Big Green opened with a three-point basket by Zimmer, pulling within three points of the Tigers, but was unable to maintain its momentum. Princeton scored the next three baskets to make the score 43-32 and the Big Green never came within less than nine points for the rest of the game. Princeton had 21 offensive rebounds to the Big Green’s 12 and was able to use this advantage on the offensive glass to score second-chance points.

“In the second half, I think we took some quick shots that didn’t get in and they were able to get the rebound,” co-captain Faziah Steen ’13 said. “They were able to get a bigger lead and we couldn’t cut it down before time ran out.”

Nonetheless, the Big Green exhibited its offensive strength throughout the game. Zimmer added a career-high 19 points to the scoreboard and Tia Dawson ’15 continued to demonstrate her rebounding strength, pulling in 13 rebounds in total.

“We shot really well and we had some really great free throws,” forward Abbey Schmitt ’15 said. “Tia had some awesome rebounds and I think our offense was working pretty well in the Princeton game. We definitely put up a good fight”

The Big Green’s strength and composure on offense prevented Princeton from being able to use its usual strategies for attack.

“They weren’t able to do a lot of the trapping that they like to do,” Steen said. “We were able to force them to try different avenues.”

On Saturday, Dartmouth continued its road stretch, taking on the Quakers in Philadelphia. Ultimately, Penn’s ability to penetrate the Big Green defense helped it crush Dartmouth.

Like the Princeton game, the opening featured back-and-forth action from both teams, with the score fairly close. However, towards the tail end of the first half, Penn began to pull ahead. By halftime, the Quakers were ahead 33-25, capped off by a three-pointer from freshman Keiera Ray with 25 seconds remaining.

“They are a driving team and we didn’t do a good enough job at stopping them,” Steen said.

Penn’s intensity increased in the second half of the game and its scoring ability proved no match for the Big Green. By the second half’s nine-minute mark, Penn had pulled 20 points ahead of Dartmouth.

“They really just got away from us,” Zimmer said. “We had a hard time scoring and their pressure really affected us. Every shot was like a battle for us and that made it really tough.”

Ultimately, the Big Green only scored 15 points in the second half, while Penn added 30 points to its score.

“I think we had a general lack of energy,” Schmitt said. “We were more focused in the Princeton game and didn’t put as much into our second one. We weren’t at our top.”

Penn barrelled through the Big Green defense.

“Our defense usually does a good job of keeping teams out, but I don’t think we did that really well,” Zimmer said. “I think they had us on our heels on defense and we were constantly reacting to what they were doing. You don’t want to be in a constant state of reaction.”

This weekend, Dartmouth will take on Yale University and Brown University in Leede Arena, and are looking to improve in practice this week to prepare.

“I think we’re disappointed in the way we played offensively and defensively this weekend, and those are definitely things we will work on before next week,” Steen said. “We need to be able to transition from defense into offense a lot better.”