Friday, May 30, 2003

A look back at Peter Cataldo

Some of you may remember the anti-Semitic scrawlings from the fall of 1999 alleged to be the work of Peter Cataldo '00, who was evicted from his dorm room and thrown off campus.

I have posted here (and, yes, this is in a readable font and everything!) an interview I conducted with Cataldo in 2000 that never saw the light of day because our editor at the time was afraid to pursue the story.

TDR really screwed up on this one, and it's no consolation that everyone else did too. I still think it would be interesting to find out what really happened administratively (and w/r/t to the the racial threats, as well, though I doubt that will ever be fully solved) and why due process, which I realize the College isn't obliged to follow, got thrown out the window.

And if anyone knows how all of this ended up (e.g., what Cataldo's up to now), please leave a comment.

Update: Some readers left a few good comments, as well as a link to Cataldo's personal website; click the above link and scroll down to read them.

For what it's worth, "Scooter" sums my position well: Cataldo had a lot of problem and maybe should have been on medical leave anyway, but that is no excuse for the way that the matter was handled by the College. Disciplinary procedures exist for a reason, and it appears that they were overlooked entirely in Cataldo's case.

If it could be proven that Cataldo was indeed the author of the threats attributed to him, both criminal and disciplinary action would be entirely appropriate. But Cataldo was deemed guilty and practically expelled before that level of process could be reached.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Re: Big Brother on the hill - Green Terror

That's really an awful privacy violation.

So, this is the bounty of GreenPrint? More printing than under the old Kiewit system, less convenience, and the perpetual threat of fees. Score one for the eco-nazis.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Big Brother on the hill - Green Terror

It is important to note that more and more professors assign web based course readings in PDF format, thereby forcing many students of history, political science and the liberal arts in general to print on their "accounts" what used to be a departmental burden. It would be interesting to know if departments/profs are consciously taking note of this new way of shifting costs to the college level. In any event, this was sent to a friend of mine...she was number seventeen of the twenty-five in case you were wondering.

>Date: 28 May 2003 02:40:59 EDT
>From: Callen H. Thompson
>Reply-To: NewMouthFromTheDirtySouth
>Subject: GreenPrint
>To: (Recipient list suppressed)

I'm writing to inform you that you are the top 25 students who used the most sheets of paper through GreenPrint last week (between the dates of May 18th and 25th).
This blitz is not meant to be a scolding, just an opportunity for a reminder.
GreenPrint is currently free to students but will not be able to continue to be if we maintain the current rate of usage. Public printing has tripled in popularity since the advent of GreenPrint and the college is footing the bill. Currently Dartmouth uses over 6 million pages of paper each year through GreenPrint and will have used 7.5 million by the end of the year if the usage rate remains constant. That figure does not include personal printers. This is tremendously wasteful environmentally and expensive for the college.

GreenPrint is to be used for academic purposes only and should not be used to print out event fliers, personal photographs, etc.
1) to use duplex (double-sided) at all possible times. Students are sometimes hesitant to print papers duplex because they assume their professors would dislike grading two-sided documents. Often professors do not mind, so ask your individual professors to be certain---this can even be done with a thesis, ask Lauren Foley.
2) remember to correctly format documents so that they do not end up being hundreds of pages of gibberish (this has happened in the past)
3) think about whether or not you really need a hard copy of something before you print it out. Students oftentimes print out pages and pages of notes off of the internet without reading them through first to see if they would actually need them in a hard copy form.

I will blitz you all individually with how many pages you used total last week and what rank you were.

You do not need to respond to this blitz, this is more just an e-mail to let you know how much you used. I hope it will allow you to reduce some of your paper use.
GreenPrint is free public-printing so you have every right to use it, however, we need to curb some of this overuse and misuse (non-academic related printing).
Please help us out both for the environment and for the fiscal health of the college.

Thank you thank you and have a good night,
Please blitz me if you have any questions.

-Callie Thompson
ECO-Intern for GreenPrint.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Jere Daniell, Man of Dartmouth

There's a factually scant but nevertheless interesting article in today's D on Jere Daniell, a salty professor emeritus of history at the College. I took a class on colonial America with him way back when, and I always thought he was a very interesting man. Dartmouth educated himself, he's a real link to the Dickey era. Some may wince at this, but I think it's quite appealing. He always struck me as that flinty type of northern New Englander, probably liberal when it comes down to it, but certainly tethered -- liberal, that is, more out of generosity than out of ideology.

Besides, who could quarrel with a man who advises, sagely: "Don't read The New York Times. I haven't bought a Sunday New York Times in 30 years, and I've thrived."

Emmett M. Hogan, BMOC

Here's a good article in The Daily Dartmouth on my speech yesterday. (Note the use of the word "adjudicatory" -- not "adjudicable," which, as I mentioned in my speech, is a non-existent word found only in the Student Handbook. Heh!) I would point out that FIRE has not enjoyed a victory in the courts against speech codes...yet. That will come in time. Also, alas, I did not say that the speech codes at UCLA and at Harvard University are "among the worst offenders." Indeed, they are -- sadly -- quite typical, and it is for that reason that I chose to give them as examples.

Thanks to everyone who came; I was thrilled, especially, to see so many old faces. I hope that, if I didn't convince, at least I provoked. And isn't that what a liberal education is all about?

Sunday, May 25, 2003

More Shameless Self Promotion

This is reminder that I will be speaking on campus tomorrow, Monday May 26, at 4pm in Rocky 1. I will be addressing free speech in higher education, with a particular emphasis, naturally, on Dartmouth. I would be delighted if you could come; I promise it will be very interesting...

Friday, May 23, 2003

Re: Furstenberg Responds

Furstenberg's response is confusing... He says The D "misconstrued both the facts and my statements." He then says "32 percent of the Class of 2007 will be students of color, not 40 percent as reported."

But in the article, The D never claimed that 40 percent of the students are minorities... Rather, it quoted Furstenberg as saying that, as we approach 40 percent, we are seeing progress. Here's the quote:
Furstenberg said that as "we are approaching 40 percent non-whites on campus" it "represents real progress."
Plus, the article quotes Furstenberg himself, saying quite clearly that 32 percent of the incoming class is minority:
The class is comprised of 32.4 percent students of color, Furstenberg said, a record figure.
I never thought I'd be defending The D's journalistic accuracy, but it seems they got it right this time. Furstenberg ducked the question.

Furstenberg responds

In response to my blitz and D op-ed:


Thanks for your note. Unfortunately the D misconstrued both the facts and my statements. It turns out that 32 percent of the Class of 2007 will be students of color, not 40 percent as reported. Further, it is true that Admissions works very hard to recruit and enroll a diverse student body. We have made "real progress" on these efforts which reflects the growing diversity of the applicant pool not any effort to exclude anyone from any particular background. Of course our high degree of selectivity means we must say no to many applicants but this decision is the result of a thorough consideration of all aspects of each student's candidacy.

Best wishes for the remainder of the term.

Karl Furstenberg

Re: Mascot Wars

Alex, I think you mean "Granitepeople," as I can't imagine "Granitemen" would have a snowball's chance in hell.

Plus, Stan Horowitz emails
I think the Jolly Green Giant would be really cool.� No animal abuse wailing, realmascot differentiation, potential cooperation from a major food marketer.� Big, strong, green, friendly.� No costs of trying to keep a moose in captivity.�Maybe he could even have a feather.�Well worth looking into.

I?ve sent this idea to various forums before.� Everyone must think I?m crazy.

Not a bad idea, but, as an Ivy League institution, couldn't Dartmouth go a bit more upscale? Is there a mascot for Rebel Yell?

Re: Mascot Wars

Emmett, if you haven't done so, check out the latest issue of the Review, all about Indians and budgets. On sports, from the Week in Review: "Lax Indians Scalp Ivy League." I'd also recommend Stefan's article for a current defense of the Indian and Joe Rago's for a description of Anand's "week-long series of discussions" that made the Indian ineligible. I think saying "discussion" might be a bit of an exaggeration.

Last time they tried the moose it failed miserably. I doubt anything can prevent it happening again, since it is, quite frankly, a really lame mascot. More depressing though is how much of our money they're going to waste in the process. I mean the trade-in has been a failure (aside from a few free T-shirts in exchange for some old Tomahawk chops we found in an old storage unit when we switched offices), and the moose thing will probably waste even more money. An organization this absurd should not have the monetary resources they do (30K per year, is that correct?).

Re: Mascot Wars

Several Things:

1) I've been pushing for a real moose for years. That would make it all worth it.

2) I wouldn't read too much into the vote for the Indian. Dartmouth has just experienced a round of "Indian=Racism" bullshit. Hence, the section of Dartmouth that finds that kind of stuff really really annoying naturally lashes out by picking the Indian just to shove it in the face of Amit and Co. I think support for the Indian is generally based less on a real attachment to it, than on a response to the absurdity of people trying to ban it in the first place. It's anti-PC more than pro-Indian.

3) I propose the Granitemen, a la the Syracuse Orangemen. It's tied into the school tradition (think the alma mater), it's unique, and it'll confuse the hell out of everyone else.

4) Shouldn't we be a little more concerned about getting a football team with an actual winning record than about what we'll call it when people start going to the games again?

Re: Mascot Wars

My personal feeling on the moose is that if we adopt it officially, we go all out, which means going the U. of Colorado route and getting a real honest to god moose ala Ralphie the Buffalo. That would actually be sweet, though it would royally piss off the animal rights crowd on campus I'm sure. The absolute worst idea would be to go back to that stupid Bullwinkle ripoff.

Bears and Eagles are much too generic and besides, why would we want to copy Brown or Boston College?. Likewise the Timberwolves is already taken and not generic enough to be ripped off.
Pine Trees is worse than the Big Green.
Mountaineers wouldn't be too bad, nor would the Dragons - though Dragons pales in comparison to the UVM Catamounts in terms of cool mythical figures.
But among the listed choices, Indians would still be the logical choice were it not for the politicalization of this process.

In my opinion, if these are the only choices they should just keep the nickname the Big Green and stay without an official mascot, especially in light of the fact none of the choices got even 30%, let alone 50% or more. The Student Assembly has no idea what they're doing, shocking though that may be, as they don't even know the difference between a team's/school's nickname (Phillies, Yankees, Red Sox, Wildcats, Crimson, etc.) and a mascot (Phillie Fanatic, San Diego Chicken, Herbie Husker, Ralphie, Uga, etc.). Mascots are not necessary, and we already have prefectly acceptable logos in the Block D, the script D (think the hat the baseball team wears), or the college seal/shield (center ice at Thompson Arena).

From the D

Now this is a thesis:

For some members of the class of 2003, a senior thesis has meant weeks of toil among dusty volumes in Baker library. For seniors like Jillian Powers '03, however, the path to an honors degree has been considerably more exhilarating.
"I did my research on stigma management of a deviant occupation," Powers said. "Basically, I studied strippers."
Powers, Brian Bollinger '03 and Ingrid Biedron '03 are among the over 200 undergraduates who have spent the last several months at work on a senior honors project.
Powers said her thesis focused how rural strippers reconcile their professional lives with their standing as part of a close-knit community. She noted that exotic dancers in rural areas are not able to "blend into the atmosphere," as in urban areas.
"Everyone knows you're a stripper," Powers said.
Powers documented a number of different mechanisms by which rural strippers coped with stigma. Many women chose to live far from their workplace, traveling for as long as two hours to get to work each morning. Some strippers with shorter commutes simply made friends with other exotic dancers.
"If all of your friends are strippers, then it really isn't that bad," Powers said.
The sociology major expressed great satisfaction with her thesis and research.
"My feeling with writing a thesis was that I didn't want something that would bore me," Powers said, "and it worked out really great."

Wonder if she used this classic Review article for her research.

Re: Great Moments

It certainly pales next to the French understanding of Jew-bashing. Our home-grown anti-Semites have a lot to learn.

Re: Great Moments in Dartmouth Discourse

I'm not sure either comment is anti-Semitic, though Jewpublican begins to push up towards the line. There's simply something very unsavory about people who constantly claim to be fighting the intolerance of conservatives harping on the ethnicity of a politician they dislike.

The Mascot Wars

So the Student Assembly held an unofficial poll on the mascot. In a move straight from Bashir al-Assad's playbook on democracy, the Indian was not allowed as an option. Despite this, 19% of respondents -- almost one in five -- chose Chief Wah-Hoo-Wah. Only the sad moose came in with more votes, and the moose has the benefit of quasi-incumbency.

In any vote, when second-place is held by a choice not even offered, it's clear that the poll is not addressing what people want. Likewise, it's clear that SA's vain attempts to cajole the campus into picking something else don't get to the heart of the debate, because they assume that the Indian is a dead letter. It's not.

Can anyone send me the text of the poll? I'd love to see it...

NOTE: As always, I stand by my post on the assumption, perhaps ill-advised, that The Daily Dartmouth has reported accurately.

ALSO: I really think this is encouraging news. I hope The Dartmouth Review still refers to our sports teams as "the Indians." That should not stop, least of all now. If, after twenty years, the Indian still commands the loyalty of one-fifth of Dartmouth students -- even when they are told that their choices won't count -- then we have by no means lost.

What would an honest poll show, I wonder? Probably something like this.

UPDATE It's even better. Seven years ago, in a similar poll, the top three choices were the moose, the dragon, and the "mountaineer," with the Indian receiving just 10%. (No word on how this compares to the other choices, though. Was The D ever any good at reporting?)

Support for the Indian has doubled since then, and the tepid alternatives still can't seem to generate any buzz.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Shameless Self-Promotion

If you plan on being on Dartmouth's campus this Monday, Memorial Day, I hope you'll keep your afternoon free. Thanks to the College Republicans, I will be giving a speech on freedom of expression in higher education, with particular emphasis on Dartmouth's rather sorry record. The place and time are to be announced, but I imagine it will be in Rocky somewhere, and I suspect it will be at mid-afternoon. Whatever political tribe you belong to, I would be honored by your presence.

PS -- There are many folks I've sparred with through Dartlog, but whom I don't know in person. If you attend my speech, please introduce yourself to me -- I'd love to meet you in the flesh.

Re: Great Moments in Dartmouth Discourse

That's not the end of it, Alex. Besides Nick's inexplicable comment and Jared's inexplicable (but predictible and, it appears, anti-Semitic) blather, we have:

  • Clint Hendler calling Jesse Roisin a "protofascist" for expressing perfectly reasonable conservative views.
  • Nikhil Gore insinuating that we are irradiating the Afghanis ("Bringing Freedom...And Cancer").
  • Nikhil, again, lamenting America's reluctance to send peacekeepers (meaning those who keep no such thing) into the morass in the Congo. And lastly,
  • Graham Roth throwing a Howard Dean quote at the Bush Administration's environmental record.

    Anti-Semitic, intolerant, paranoid, hypocritical, and wrong... Yep, that's liberalism!

    UPDATE Actually, Nick's comment isn't objectionable. He's wrong that, but for Connecticut's Jews, Lieberman would be a Republican -- he's a moderate, surely, but he's no conservative. However, he may well be right that Connecticut's Jews might not look kindly on a switch, for whatever reason. His statement isn't anti-Semitic.

    Jared, on the other hand...
  • Great Moments in Dartmouth Discourse

    Nick Duquette:"If you would like to promote women's rights and eliminate prostitution, go take Econ 1 and then get out in the real world and start fixing things. Take Lynne Cheney, Tipper Gore and Joe "I'd be a Republican If That Wouldn't Piss Off My Fellow Connecticut Jews" Lieberman with you."

    In the comments, Jared Alessandroni: "You can hide the symptoms, but if you're going to watch the disease grow, I hope it's you who gets killed. [That's specifically for the Jewpublican in Ct. who's never seen the causes, but is afraid when his nephews are tainted by the symptoms.]"


    Re: Ryan's post

    Ryan, I think you forgot the letters H-O-L-E in the last word of your post.

    Re: Commencement Address

    The Rockford paper is publishing emails from people around the country who read about the Hedges speech. This one is my favorite. Too bad we all can't be as enlightened and sensitive as this guy:

    * �I have heard that college students generally have been becoming more conservative, and, well, less sophisticated and aware of current events. Living near Harvard and MIT, I don�t get to see these trends. But I guess the dumb, bizarre behavior of Rockford�s graduation class indicates that the �Dumb and Dumber� mentality does indeed exist.�

    � Bernie Connelly, Somverville, Mass

    What an ass.

    Liberals Congratulate Each Other

    I wonder if this prize would ever go to a conservative student. What "isms" can we fight? Here's my favorite line:
    "In wearing the signs and just speaking out about these things we're not supposed to talk about -- we're not supposed to talk about racism, we're not supposed to talk about sexuality -- I want to be some sort of inspiration or comfort for the person who feels left out."
    Who is he kidding? People won't shut up about these issues...

    Men's Hockey schedule for 2003-2004

    Though this isn't official yet, here's what next season's schedule is setting up to be. From an objective standpoint, it's one helluva schedule, and should be applauded, as Dartmouth takes on pretty much all of the traditional eastern hockey powers in UNH, Maine, BU and BC from Hockey East and of course Harvard and Cornell in ECAC conference play.

    However, from a biased fan's point of view - especially as a senior facing his last year of free hockey, this is quite possibly the worst home schedule ever put on paper. The 4 games against the Hockey East powers are all on the road (technically the UNH game is at a neutral venue, but the crowd will be 80-90% pro-UNH). As well, the home game against our travel partner Vermont is on January 2nd, when most students will still be on Winter Break, and for the second straight year Dartmouth will be on the road during Winter Carnival weekend, which would otherwise afford some of the more raucous crowds of the year given the party atmosphere. Plus the Harvard game, which is sure to be huge since we haven't beaten them in 3 years, is one of only 3 home games during the entire fall term, all of which take place during a two week period at the begining of November. Along the same lines, Dartmouth goes two straight months between home games (November 8th vs. Harvard through January 2nd vs. Vermont), which means they could be out of it before they even get their feet under them unless they do much better on the road than they have the last three years.

    Obviously, the highlights of the home schedule are the November 8th game against Harvard and the February 7th game against Cornell. And I encourage as many students as possible to goto the UNH game in Manchester on January 13th, as it will likely be the biggest single crowd for any Dartmouth sporting event all year at 11,000 people or so, even if most of them are rooting for the opposition.

    Sat 11/01/2003 Holy Cross (nc) 7:00 ET
    Fri 11/07/2003 Brown 7:00 ET
    Sat 11/08/2003 Harvard 7:00 ET
    Fri 11/14/2003 @ Union 7:00 ET
    Sat 11/15/2003 @ Rensselaer 7:00 ET
    Fri 11/21/2003 @ Yale 7:00 ET
    Sat 11/22/2003 @ Princeton 7:00 ET
    Tue 11/25/2003 @ Boston College (nc) 7:00 ET
    Fri 11/28/2003 @ Boston University (nc) 7:00 ET
    Sun 12/14/2003 @ Maine (nc) 2:00 ET
    Sat 12/27/2003 vs UMass (nc) 4:00 ET (1)
    Sun 12/28/2003 vs Minn State/Vermont (nc) 4:00/7:00 ET (1)
    Fri 01/02/2004 Vermont 7:00 ET
    Sat 01/10/2004 @ Vermont 7:00 ET
    Tue 01/13/2004 vs UNH (nc) 7:00 ET (2)
    Fri 01/16/2004 Clarkson 7:00 ET
    Sat 01/17/2004 St. Lawrence 7:00 ET
    Fri 01/23/2004 @ Colgate 7:00 ET
    Sat 01/24/2004 @ Cornell 7:00 ET
    Fri 01/30/2004 Rensselaer 7:00 ET
    Sat 01/31/2004 Union 7:00 ET
    Fri 02/06/2004 Colgate 7:00 ET
    Sat 02/07/2004 Cornell 7:00 ET
    Fri 02/13/2004 @ SLU 7:00 ET
    Sat 02/14/2004 @ Clarkson 7:00 ET
    Fri 02/20/2004 Princeton 7:00 ET
    Sat 02/21/2004 Yale 7:00 ET
    Fri 02/27/2004 @ Harvard 7:00 ET
    Sat 02/28/2004 @ Brown 7:00 ET
    (1) Auld Lang Syne Tournament in Burlington, VT
    (2) Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, NH

    Tuesday, May 20, 2003

    Sorry FreePressers...

    Dartlog was down this morning due to a temporary glitch. We are, however, back in business.


    Former Review editor Hugo Restall '92 lands Sen. Mitch McConnell with a piece on his Asian Wall Street Journal editorial page.

    One of Washington's first couples, Sen. McConnell is married to Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao. Her impressive resume includes studies at Dartmouth. Does anyone know the nature of her studies here?

    Monday, May 19, 2003

    Re: Penn minority graduation galas

    "Often, they don?t receive the same recognition and psychological support as other students at the university."

    We should all remember that Penn's black students, denied the recognition of being able to march at the regular, white graduation ceremony, are taking initiative in creating a ceremony of their own, equivalent to that denied them.

    Update: Wait, nevermind. They are allowed to march with everyone else. Who knew?

    Black matriculation

    ChienWen Kung '04 says, "I don't know about separate graduation ceremonies for blacks, but I do know (courtesy of a friend of mine who attended it) that there's a black matriculation in addition to the regular, integrated one."

    Penn minority graduation galas

    Troy Blanchard '05 brought this article to my attention.

    In this 2001 Review article, Darren Thomas and I discuss Dartmouth's affirmative action, minority recruitment weekends, affinity housing, mailings, and enrichment programs.

    Dartmouth's 2003 Commencement schedule of events doesn't include any minority graduation ceremonies. Does anybody know anything to the contrary?

    Thursday, May 15, 2003

    More from Adil

    "Alex, I believe in merit, not in color. affirmative action is little more than bullshit.

    so i wrote at the end "It would be funny, if the nonsense I wrote above were actually true." which should make it apparent that i am not being serious. and secondly, the two points are not meant to be really "understood." i am trying to point out that the college's logic in getting more colored folks into Dartmouth is rather fuzzy.

    do you get it now?"

    "a very wrong policy of the college i must say. i am colored and i dont want special concessions to get into a college. of course, my sat score of 1590 was higher than most students, so i dont really care."

    I respond to Adil

    >Date: 15 May 2003 13:25:54 EDT
    >From: Alexander D. Talcott
    >Reply-To: alex.talcott
    >Subject: Re: response!
    >To: Adil Warisuddin Ahmad

    Hi, Adil

    I appreciate your response. I find my self going back and forth between keeping my mouth shut on race to make my contribution to Dr. King's call for colorblindness...and then talking about other folks' insulting attempts at overcompensation.

    I don't know if it's that I don't get your two points. I specifically made my letter short and bulleted to provoke other talk. My facts stand alone and are interesting when considered together. I don't really draw any conclusions in my letter.

    Regarding point 1, it's either national or international aspirations or guilty overcompensation for past discrimination or current inequities in performance.

    Regarding point 2, here's an excerpt from a 2001 article I wrote:

    " According to Michele Hern�ndez, a former assistant director of admissions at Dartmouth and author of the 1997 book, A is for Admission: The Insider's Guide to Getting into the Ivy League and Other Top Colleges, applications from minority students are literally flagged early on. "At Dartmouth," she writes, "minority-student status is designated by blue tags for black students, red tags for Hispanic students, and black tags for Native American students." Admissions officers apply different criteria to these applicants. Hernandez says that officers are willing to trade off test scores for class rank, or vice versa--and will generally "give less weight to test scores and class rank than would be accorded to nonminority applicants"--when weighing a decision about a non-Asian minority candidate. "For white students without tags, modest test scores are not offset by superior class rank." According to 1992 data, the average SAT score of black students at Dartmouth is 218 points below that of whites.

    Hern�ndez notes the cost of hosting minority students for special recruiting weekends--"Dartmouth in a typical year spends in excess of fifty thousand dollars to fly or bus accepted minority students to the campus"--and finds that the real difficulty is that "many of the highly selective colleges end up fighting over a small number of qualified minority students, such that it becomes a Sisyphean task to enroll even a low number of minority students at each individual college."


    Adil Warisuddin Ahmad '05 to respond in The D

    "To the editor:

    Alexander Talcott �04 in his recent letter �A Clear Paradox� tries to point out that the 40% of non-white students on campus that Dean Furstenburg calls �real progress� does not quite match up to U.S. population statistics.

    Ah, but Mr. Talcott does not quite get it. I see two possibilities here:

    1. Dean Furstenburg is trying to say that as 'we are approaching 40 percent non-whites on campus' it 'represents real progress' towards becoming a truly international university. Of course, there are more than 40% non-whites in the world.

    2. Alternatively, he is trying to say that as 'we are approaching 40 percent non-whites on campus' it 'represents real progress' towards becoming a better college. Well, some non-whites have this arrogance of being more intelligent than their white peers are and it seems that the college is buying into this.

    It would be funny, if the nonsense I wrote above were actually true."


    In the Office of Pluralism and Leadership:

    Dean of Asian Students to Dean of Black Students: Congratulations.

    Dean of Black Students: What?

    DAS: You're the only one who got their numbers up.

    DBS: Oh...yes

    DAS: Congratulations. That's real progress. We're not there yet but we're getting there.

    All That's Fit to Print

    The D finally runs a letter to the editor by yours truly.

    Graduate student Mark Bubriski responds:

    "One statistic you missed:

    1 year of minorities barely pushing "overrepresentation" at Dartmouth
    234 years of whites being overrepresented at Dartmouth

    That's progress.

    Would you complain if the campus went, for example, from 45% female to 53% female in one year, after always being under 50%? It'll even out in the end most likely. Yes, it'd be questionable if the numbers continued to increase because that wouldn't make sense. But admissions is not a cut and dry process. It's a lot of guesswork.

    And, statistically minorities are counted as poorly as 1 out of 3 in some urban areas or possibly less because of the poor job the the U.S. Census does (they've tried hard to improve, it's just really hard). So the numbers are fairly inaccurate.

    "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." -- Martin Luther King, Jr. August 28, 1963

    I dream of that day, too. But it's not coming anytime soon."
    At Coppin State College, an historically black institution in Baltimore, students who failed the requirements for a masters degree in criminal justice will be graduating anyway after they threatened the school with a lawsuit. (Alas, the story, from The Chronicle of Higher Education, requires registration.)
    When the students learned that they would not be graduating because of their failed exam and seminar papers, a group of them took the matter to the president of the college, Stanley F. Battle.

    They argued that they were not sufficiently prepared for the exam because the department did not plan any study sessions before the test, and that the department had unfairly judged their seminar papers as inadequate. Mr. Battle told department officials to allow the students to take a makeup exam on April 19. Again, all 10 students failed the test; several left together in the middle of the exam.
    Once served with a lawsuit, the president of the College reneged:
    "He told us that we were in a capital campaign, that we couldn't afford any bad publicity," Mr. Monk said. "I said, 'But they didn't pass the exam. They walked out of the makeup. They plagiarized papers.' He said, 'I know, but I have to let them graduate.'"
    A lot of kooks think academic standards are inadvisable. Now, it seems, they are a liability. Sheesh.

    Billie Jean King

    Just noticed the post over at Free Dartmouth on Billie Jean King receiving an honorary degree at commencement this year. The post does, and I'm sure her intro at graduation will, reference the "Battle of the Sexes" match with Bobby Riggs in the mid-70s. Ever since the first time I heard about the match, I've wondered why it was such a big deal. I mean Bobby Riggs was a 55-year-old journeyman while King was a top player in the prime of her career. She should have beaten him. And the worst part is that every anniversary of the match, there has to be a self-righteous piece on the news about how it was such an important event. It wasn't. It was just a circus.

    At least when Annika plays in the Colonial next week, she's playing against the best.

    Wednesday, May 14, 2003

    Re: I Have a Nightmare

    Talcott, your criticism of Furstenberg's absurd statement is very fitting. However, it's worth noting that, according to The D article, the non-white population at Dartmouth is not really "approaching 40 percent"; it's at 32.4 percent. That means Dartmouth has a white population of 67.6 percent. This is only a hair's breadth away from the national figure, 69.1 percent.

    If Dartmouth's goal is an equitable racial balance, it's pretty much been achieved. Let's hope Furstenberg's inane comment was just bloviation.

    I Have a Nightmare

    >Date: 14 May 2003 11:25:56 EDT
    >From: Alexander D. Talcott
    >Reply-To: alex.talcott
    >Subject: I Have a Dream
    >To: Karl M. Furstenberg

    From The Dartmouth (5/14/03):
    Furstenberg said that as "we are approaching 40 percent non-whites on campus" it "represents real progress."

    From the U.S. Census Bureau:
    White persons, percent, 2000 (a) 75.1%
    Black or African American persons, percent, 2000 (a) 12.3%
    American Indian and Alaska Native persons, percent, 2000 (a) 0.9%
    Asian persons, percent, 2000 (a) 3.6%
    Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, percent, 2000 (a) 0.1%
    Persons reporting some other race, percent, 2000 (a) 5.5%
    Persons reporting two or more races, percent, 2000 2.4%
    Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, percent, 2000 (b) 12.5%
    White persons, not of Hispanic/Latino origin, percent, 2000 69.1%

    "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."---Martin Luther King, Jr. August 28, 1963

    My Alleged Hypocrisy

    Over on (well, you know), Jonathan Eisenman has scurrilously accused me of hypocrisy. He claims that my post below on "sex fests" is contradictory with my post below on an op-ed by a student at Portland State University.

    Jonathan, there's no hypocrisy here. I criticize the use of university funds to pay for purposeless drivel like sex fests. And I criticize people getting hysterical over posters and magazines, flinging accusations of sexual harassment and oppression all over the place. In both cases, certain people have come untethered from common sense, and I am pointing that out in each case.

    I don't know where you got the idea that I am criticizing the student's right to express an opinion. That's nowhere. I call her ideas stupid; how much more directly to the message can I make it?

    Actually, as I was reading the woman's op-ed, I found myself thinking that there is a lot there that I could agree with. The ubiquitous sexualization of our society, for instance (and, it should perhaps be stated clearly, the fact that this is a bad thing). The objectification of women in the media is cause for concern. My criticism was that this lady put it in the context of sexual harassment, oppression, victim's rights, blah blah blah... In other words, she took what could be valid points and made a mockery of them. It's odd that you would accuse me of seeking to dodge an argument; that's the matter with this op-ed. Rather than stating a very legitimate, and on some points even correct, case, the author hyperventilates.

    So there is no hypocrisy on my part.

    Re: Big Green Bean

    Yeah, that article was unduly laudatory. Who the hell cares about the Big Green Bean anyway...

    But I am puzzled by one thing. The article said that the Big Green Bean services will be transferred to Lone Pine Tavern, and that no students will lose their jobs. How, then, are they saving money -- or at least any appreciable amount of money? Or is it just that Student Services can't afford it, so is passing it off to DDS? Anyone know?

    Tuesday, May 13, 2003

    Re: Big Green Bean

    Janos just poured me my usual large vanilla chai at Novack.

    He told me that he's a bit concerned about budget cuts in the next year. If every cut is going to be fought tooth-and-nail, this is going to be a very difficult process.

    And the Big Green Bean really isn't a Dartmouth institution by any means. It's near and dear to very few.

    Feminazi Alert

    Someone at Portland State University has a chip on her shoulder.

    And no, it's not about being at Portland State University.

    Sex Away!

    Erin O'Connor -- Penn professor, friend of FIRE, and all-around wonderful person -- has the goods on "sex fests" on college campuses. Sickening, and disheartening.

    A Touch of Diplomacy

    On the just-announced closing of the Big Green Bean:
    Assembly President Janos Marton said he had not widely circulated information about the effort to close the Bean because he had not considered it a "big deal" and had not been sure about the final decision.
    Well, that's our Janos. Say what you like, you can't say he's not honest.

    (Per usual, this blog post stands only on the assumption that The D has reported accurately.)

    Monday, May 12, 2003

    For all you Women's Lax Fans

    Dartmouth falls to Maryland 13-5, but you wouldn't know it until the sixth paragraph if you read this heap of junk in The D.

    Re: Time Warp

    Nilly, how is it apt? The article only mentions 2000 once, and mentions a host of other years as well. I bet it's simply that the image never got updated. Hell, that would prove the thesis of the declining importance of the Symposium, now wouldn't it...

    Emmett, stuck in a time warp?

    Actually, Emmett, the 2000-vintage image is apt, given the content of the article.

    Friday, May 09, 2003

    The D: Stuck in a Time Warp

    For this story -- on the obsolesence of the Senior Symposium -- The Daily Dartmouth ran this tag image:

    Perhaps its time to get a new graphics manager.

    Tuesday, May 06, 2003

    "Even though our culture is saturated with sexuality, people still feel uncomfortable talking about it."

    Well, not at Dartmouth, where yet another sexpert has been trotted out for the students' general -- er, stimulation. Your dollars at work, folks! The money quote:
    She also said that Bob Dole and Bill Clinton had a major impact on the view of sexuality.
    The article doesn't elaborate. In fact, it says nothing more about this intriguing line of conversation. Honestly, how has either of these fellas had an "impact on the view of sexuality"? Dole does Viagra ads, Clinton had fellatio? What's changed because of that?

    Sigh... I just... I just don't know what this means...

    Saturday, May 03, 2003

    Dartmouth going to NCAA Tourney - NCAA Field Announced

    Dartmouth won the drawing by the Ivy League office tonight, officially breaking the 3-way tie for the league's title and giving the men's lacrosse team the automatic qualifier to the NCAA field of 16.

    *** Update - Sunday ***
    Dartmouth (11-2) will play @ Syracuse (8-5) on Sunday, May 11th. Gametime has not been set yet.
    Princeton (10-3) also made it from the Ivies. They were seeded 4th in the 16 team field and will host Albany (10-5) on Saturday, May 10th.

    Ivy Champs

    Dartmouth won the Ivy League Title in Men's Lacrosse for just the third time in school history tonight, as they beat Harvard 5-4 in front of 2100 fans at Scully-Fahey Field. It is the first Men's Lax title for Dartmouth, who finished the regular season at 11-2 (5-1) since 1965. Should Princeton win tomorrow afternoon, there will be a three-way tie for the title with Cornell, and a drawing will decide the league's automatic berth to the NCAA tournament. If Princeton should be upset by Brown, then Cornell will get the automatic bid over Dartmouth by virtue of its win over the Green earlier this season.

    Dartmouth, winless in conference play in 2002, becomes the only school in Ivy League history to go from worst to first in a single year.

    The NCAA field will be announced on Sunday, and Dartmouth stands at least an outside chance of getting an at-large berth should they fail to get the automatic bid.

    Friday, May 02, 2003

    All People Are Equal...

    ...well, you know how the rest of it goes.

    Thought Reform at the University of Tennessee

    A fraternity at this public institution is being required to submit to an outrageous program of thought reform because of constitutionally protected expression. Last Halloween, five members of the fraternity -- who, it seems, come from the town of Jackson, Tennessee -- dressed up as the Jackson Five, wearing black facepaint for the part. There was, of course, a furor. FIRE drew attention to the University's prior attempts to punish the students.

    This is really despicable. Sometimes I despair of the chances for free expression at America's colleges and universities... As my boss, Alan Charles Kors, has said, "A nation that does not educate in liberty will not long survive in liberty -- and, indeed, will not even notice when it is lost."

    University of Miami Denies Approval for a Conservative Group

    At the University of Miami, a conservative group -- Advocates for Conservative Thought -- has been denied approval for official organization status. The University, headed by President Donna Shalala, is employing an egregious double standard, under which many liberal, professional, and cultural groups with overlapping missions co-exist -- but there is no room for conservative ideas.

    Read about it here.

    Censorship at Illinois State University

    The facts are a bit unclear, but it seems officials at ISU ordered an "affirmative action bake sale" to remove its sign because some students don't like to be told their darling policy is racist.

    The bake sale was sponsored by the College Republicans. An increasingly frequent event on college campuses, the bake sale prices cookies depending on the race of the buyer -- cheaper for blacks, more expensive for whites and Asians.

    Who's more influential?


    Thursday, May 01, 2003


    Got a postcard from the Dartmouth College Fund yesterday. It partially reads, "You may not have taken accounting while you were at Dartmouth, but keeping the BOTTOM LINE in the black is a difficult task..."

    Uh, Dartmouth doesn't offer accounting.

    Election results

    For '04 VP. It was a write-in vote, and we were oh so close.

    Kieron A. H. Bryan - 35
    G. Rollo Begley - 25
    Chad I. Butt - 18
    Frederica R. Ghesquiere - 17
    Joanna E. Giordano - 13

    Trustee Election

    Emmett, as I mentioned in a post way back, I disagree with the very idea of voting in Trustee elections. The reality is that all the candidates are selected by a committee that actively seeks people who won't rock the boat, and then muzzles them so it's next to impossible for them to say what they believe on any specific issue. This is clearly illustrated when the best we can do is a guy who's willing to keep our liberal arts mission around on equal footing with the research university he agrees we should be building.

    Bottom line, turnout in trustee elections is viewed by the College and the alumni organizations as an indicator of alumni support. Voting just makes them believe you're happy with the way the system is currently run. So people who aren't (which includes both Emmett and myself I believe) shouldn't vote at all. Trust me, with this choice of candidates it doesn't matter how you vote anyway.