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Dartmouth’s Only Independent Newspaper
Non-Profit Org.
N. Haverhill, NH
Permit No. 1

Volume 29, Issue 3
October 17, 2008
The Hanover Review, Inc.
P.O. Box 343
Hanover, NH 03755

Homecoming 2008


— A History of Homecoming ­—
— Interviewing an Obamacon ­­—
— Former TDR Editor to Run for State Office —
— Dartmouth’s New Speech Professor ­—

Page  The Dartmouth Review October 17, 2008

Why I Rushed the Field
By Edmund Finnerty ‘05
We all know Dartmouth is a small college steeped
in history and tradition. These traditions are only passed
through the current classes on campus, and with one hiccup
can disappear. This is my story of rushing the field during
Homecoming 2001—an enduring tradition that shows the
true grit of a fresh Dartmouth Class. As freshmen, you may
feel like you have only just arrived. But I am a senior, and
believe me: I feel the exact same way. I enjoy telling this
story…over and over and over again.
As halftime broke, I was shocked to see only one person rush the field. He followed the teams’ departure from
Memorial Field perfectly before any Police Officers were
prepared for the Freshmen Rush. Still, his performance was
pretty lame. I expected to watch hoards of my classmates
pour onto the field. But they didn’t.
As a young kid watching football games at Dartmouth—
my dad went here, and so did my sister—I remembered
mobs of freshmen running in laps around the field. I
recalled one person being arrested, but I swear it was for
streaking. I was honestly expecting to see the same rush
of freshmen during my first Homecoming. The marching
bands continued their assaults, and I realized that it was
my time to seize opportunity.
My parents had brought the most disgusting, ghoulish
mask to campus that morning, for me to enjoy on Halloween. Returning to the stadium with the mask in my shirt,
I found some last minute support from my friends and
headed closer to the field. Decked out in my class shirt,
the world’s worst mask, and some comfy khakis, I decided
it was time to go for a jog.
I jumped the fence a little late for halftime to my misfortune: by the time I made the leap, Dartmouth was set
to receive and Columbia was in their huddle. When I hit
the track, I ran for the Dartmouth end zone. I then went
for the longest run I have ever had on Memorial Field. A
roaring cheer arose from the crowd.
I turned away from the end zone to run the length of
the Dartmouth sideline, breaking at the Columbia 25-yard
line to loop behind the Columbia huddle. I then made my
way back to the Dartmouth end zone, weaving through
the set receivers. When I hit the end of my run, I realized
I had planned no escape.
My run was terrific exercise, but my hiding place was
less than mediocre. Yes, I now know that I could have
escaped from the tunnel entrance on the North end of
the field (note: this is now locked with an iron gate), but
I could not see anything when I entered the dark equipment room. Finding refuge behind a bureau, I was quickly
The Hanover Police appeared from the cave to an
erupting Dartmouth crowd, as the two officers flanked me.
The cheering was incessant, but the rest of that story can
be passed through the lore of my classmates.
After being charged with Criminal Trespassing as a
Violation, I then faced more fines and five terms of disciplinary probation from the College. Sure, a sentence much
harsher than many other offenses on campus, but this was
a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Knowing that I upheld a
fading tradition of the College brought a certain sense of
pride to my freshman experience.
The following Homecoming was a sorry sight. The Class
of 2006 soiled their opportunity to prove the strength of
their class by sending not one person; instead, they were
upstaged the next year by a solid showing from the Class of
2007. So to the Class of 2008, remember: halftime is only
fifteen minutes long, and the more, the merrier.

Mr. Finnerty is a member of the class of 2005 and was
a contributor to The Dartmouth Review.

“The College shall always have the misdeeds of excitement;
deliberate invention and perpetration of mischief
have nearly died out from the more advanced colleges.”
Edwin J. Bartlett 1872, writing in 1922


October 17, 2008 The Dartmouth Review Page 


Greg Fossedal, Gordon Haff,
Benjamin Hart, Keeney Jones

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win
great triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than
to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy
much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray
twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
—Theodore Roosevelt

Emily Esfahani-Smith

Weston R. Sager

Michael C. Russell, A.S. Erikson
Executive Editor

William D. Aubin, Michael G. Gabel
Managing Editors

Mostafa A. Heddaya, Tyler Brace
Associate Editors

Nathan T. Mathis

John M. Morris

Nicholas P. Hawkins
Vice President

Catherine D. Amble
Photography Editor

James T. Preston Jr., Maxwell L. Copello
Sports Editors

Nisanth A. Reddy, Michael J. Edgar
Web Editor

Kathleen Carmody, Andy Reynolds, Michael R.
DiBenedetto, Matthew D. Guay, Donald Faraci, Cathleen G. Kenary, Ryan Zehner, Elizabeth B. Mitchell,
Brian C. Murphy, David M. Shrub, Lane Zimmerman,
Ashley Roland, Erich Hartfelder, Brian Nachbar, Andrew Lohse, Michael Randall, Athina Schmidt

Mean-Spirited, Cruel and Ugly
Legal Counsel

The Review Advisory Board

Martin Anderson, Patrick Buchanan, Dinesh D’Souza,
John Fund, Jeffrey Hart, Laura Ingraham, Mildred Fay
Jefferson, William Lind, William Rusher,
R. Emmett Tyrrell, Sidney Zion
It could be worse. You could be dating her.
Cover image courtesy of the Dartmouth College Library
Special Thanks to William F. Buckley, Jr. RIP.
The Editors of The Dartmouth Review welcome correspondence from readers concerning any subject, but
prefer to publish letters that comment directly on material published previously in The Review. We reserve
the right to edit all letters for clarity and length.
Submit letters by mail, fax at (603) 643-1470, or e-mail:
The Dartmouth Review is produced bi-weekly by
Dartmouth College undergraduates for Dartmouth
students and alumni. It is published by the Hanover
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Please send all inquiries to:

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Contributions are tax-deductible.

The Business of Learning

“Your business here is learning.” This is how John Sloan
Dickey, twelfth president of Dartmouth, greeted each
freshman class at Convocation. This weekend, some of my
peers will contend that our business, whatever it is, is accompanied by drinking. Homecoming, however, is the ideal
weekend to remember what makes Dartmouth shine: the
business of learning. Among the Ivy League, Dartmouth is
distinct in its emphasis on the liberal arts, the commitment
of the faculty to the students, and its intimate, communal
spirit that is the by-product of an undergraduate-focused
college. These are the qualities that make Dartmouth stand
out and the qualities that attract students and professors
alike to the College. You can replace these only by ripping
out the heart and soul of the College herself.

It is for this reason that the
Presidential Leadership Statement, issued by the Presidential
Search Committee at the end
of last month, is causing us at
The Review some anxiety.

The Statement says, “The
seventeenth President of Dartmouth should articulate the
College’s vision enabling students, faculty, alumni, and
the wider national audience
to grasp what Dartmouth will
retain and what Dartmouth will change. The definitional
and aspirational vision is the first task of the President, to
articulate Dartmouth’s already emerging future to its community and to its national audience.”

Barring the fact that this would have received a failing grade in any Writing 5 class offered at the College, the
excerpt above is problematic in its demand that Dartmouth
should change. Of course, not all change is bad—but the
change that the Leadership Statement alludes to is of a
noxious kind. You don’t need to read further than the first
paragraph of this rugged Statement to see what it is the
drafters have in mind when they conjure “change.”

In the second and third sentences of the statement, we
Located in rural New Hampshire, [Dartmouth]
is a small, student-centered, undergraduate
and graduate College, with three leading
professional schools—of business, engineering
and medicine. [Dartmouth] is fundamentally
known for its commitment to excellence in
undergraduate education, but Dartmouth
awards degrees through the doctorate in seventeen graduate programs and the professional
schools, most of them in the sciences, and attracted $183.3 million in sponsored research
funding in 2007. Dartmouth is classified by the
Carnegie Foundation as a ‘research university
with very high research activity and, as such, is
consistently ranked among the world’s greatest
academic institutions.’ [emphasis added]

The Statement goes on to praise Dartmouth’s commitment to undergraduate teaching, but that first paragraph
does two things: 1) It defines the College almost exclusively
in terms of its graduate programs; 2) It establishes a decidedly defensive tone about the College and its relation to its
graduate programs—could the Committee be preemptively
defending their potential choice for a president who will
make the graduate schools Dartmouth’s new hook?

Though the Statement tries delicately to toe the line
between Dartmouth-the-College and Dartmouth-the-University, it contains an entire section entitled “Building the

Professional and Graduate Schools and Integrating their
Efforts across the Campus.”

The strange fact of the matter is that neither students
nor faculty want to see the graduate programs expand. Many
professors are attracted to Dartmouth’s unique system, a
system that allows them to teach two to three classes a term,
while doing their scholarly work on the side. Unlike a liberal
arts college, professors are not burdened with a six or seven
class load each term; unlike a research university, professors
at Dartmouth actually interact with students—and what’s
more, they actually like doing so!

In fact, many of Dartmouth’s strongest departments,
such as the Government department, have actively decided
not to pursue a graduate program since professors prefer
to focus on undergraduate
teaching instead.

Rather than focus his
attention on expanding grad
programs that no one beyond
a handful of administrators
wants, the new president
should look to retain and
recruit one of Dartmouth’s
strongest assets: a sterling

On this matter, the
Leadership Statement is right about the future president’s
need to recruit top scholars to Hanover. In the past few
years, even with a growing faculty, Dartmouth has lost
some of its most prominent faculty members. It’s high time
the College starts replenishing those losses. The inferiority
complex that underlies the Leadership Statement and besets
many administrators at our school—those that would like to
see Dartmouth transform into a suicidal Cornell or socially
awkward Harvard—Dartmouth can attract some of the
best professors in their fields, if those professors have the
incentive to travel to Hanover. The College can give them
that incentive, but only if it prioritizes faculty and gives this
area the focus and attention it requires.

Rather than channeling money into improving the
College’s sustainability ranking, constructing yet another
sterile dorm, or meeting a mystical demand “for additional,
informal social spaces for students” (to quote the Statement),
the next president should put faculty recruitment on his
short-list of things to do. Currently, the College is without
an endowed Shakespeare chair, Dante chair, or Cervantes
chair. This has to change, and this is the type of change
that the Leadership Statement and Presidential Search
Committee should be after—a change that enhances the
already thriving qualities of the College, not a change that
disrupts those qualities.

The statement says that the new president must put
forth a vision for the College that is “connect[ed] to Dartmouth’s historic mission.” Insofar as President Wright had
a vision, it was a flawed one, flawed because it disregarded
Dartmouth’s illustrious history and workable traditions: his
Student Life Initiative and passion to make the College “a
university in all but name” were disastrous, and his radical
alumni governance reforms tainted the name of the College
in papers around the country.

While we agree that the new president should embody
change for the College, we disagree with what that change
means. We need a president whose vision is distinctly different from the presidents of the recent past—Wright, Freedman—one who understands John Sloan Dickey’s simple,
but powerful “your business here is learning,” and one who
understands Dartmouth, but who can view Dartmouth with
fresh, sparkling eyes.



Inside This Issue

The Week in Review ..........................................................................................................................Pages 4 & 5
Will Aubin uncovers the Democratic mind ......................................................................................Page 4
Mike Russell interviews new speech professor .................................................................................Pages 6
Will Aubin talks to former TDR editor running for office in San Francisco.....................................Page 7
Joe Rago’s Homecoming tour de force ..............................................................................................Pages 8 & 9
Interview with Professor Hart, Obamacon ........................................................................................Pages 10 & 11
The presidential search begins at Dartmouth ...................................................................................Page 12
Max Copello tackles Indian football ..................................................................................................Page 13
Mike DiBenedetto’s pitch on Indian rugby ......................................................................................Page 13
Book Review: Socrates wasn’t Black .................................................................................................Page 14
Professor Hart on Anias Nin and Judy Chicago ................................................................................Page 15
Barrett’s Mixology & The Last Word ................................................................................................Page 16

Page  The Dartmouth Review October 17, 2008

The Week In Review
Commitment to Stupidity

In its latest spree of environmental fanaticism,
Dartmouth’s administration has made a commitment to
both reduce the College’s greenhouse gas emissions 30
percent by 2030 as well as spend a hefty 12.5 million dollars to make energy-saving upgrades to the school’s current
buildings. President Wright and the trustees have praised
this plan as another example of Dartmouth’s leadership on
environmental and climate issues. However, Dartmouth is
already regarded as one of the country’s best institutions for
sustainability; it earned an A- from the Sustainable Endowments Institute, has recently implemented the Sustainable
Living Center, and continuously promotes enviro-friendly
projects, such as the Big Green Bus, to educate the Dartmouth community about green issues. Thus, the decision
to implement such a long-term, expensive plan, especially
in the face of such uncertain economic times for students
and the College, seems irresponsible and out of touch with
the needs of the students. While we make sure that our College on the Hill remains green, we must also respond in an
appropriate manner to current challenges affecting those
who determine the character and future of Dartmouth: its

Fighting Against the
Fighting Sioux

“perpetually angry, saddened, and threatened,” this agitator
continues the cycle of unnecessary PC-speckled grievancepeddling that has caused the demise of many institutions,
like the cherished Dartmouth Indian mascot. TDR sincerely
hopes that she leaves her complaints in North Dakota.

Nader Irrelevant at Any

On Monday October 6, perennial third-party presidential candidate Ralph Nader held a campaign rally at
Dartmouth. He described both Barack Obama and John
McCain as “puppy dogs subservient to the corporations.”
He then reminded those who share this disdain for the two
major parties that they have the option of making a futile
gesture. He also complained that his candidacy is not taken
seriously. America has been truly remiss in its democratic
duty. Regarding the possibility that his campaign might
cause a Republican victory, Nader sensibly replied that he
does not like to ask himself such questions. After all, it’s
not like anything like that has ever happened before. He
would instead question why Obama neglected “winning issues.” The results of previous elections firmly establish the
winning nature of the issues Nader favors. Observing the
poor student turnout, Nader criticized Dartmouth’s “sterile
political debate,” citing the College’s conservative reputation. Over at TDR, we are taking this criticism to heart, and
patting ourselves on the back for a job well done.

Professors Leap to
Defense of Unrepentant

Gone are Dartmouth’s days of the Indian mascot—but
that doesn’t mean our Fighting Sioux peers have to give
up their darker-complexioned mascot as well. TDR was
thoroughly dispirited upon reading an article in North
Dakota’s Grand Fork Tribune—written in fact by a fellow Dartmouth student spending a term at the University
of North Dakota—railing against that school’s “Fighting
Sioux” mascot. In her article, our anonymous junior year
peer, who is of Indian ancestry herself, went on to describe
a pro-Indian function being held before a school hockey
game which included “flag presentations, a history reading,
and honor songs” performed by non-offended tribal leaders
from the area. She characterized this respectful ceremony
as part of a plan by the school’s arena to “try to divide and
conquer Indian communities by ruthlessly trying to garner
support for the Fighting Sioux logo for the benefit of their
offensive traditions and bank accounts.” By refusing to drop
her gripe against the completely innocuous “Fighting Sioux”
mascot, which she melodramatically claims to make her feel

Chicago, who is currently under determined and sustained
political attack.” By way of acknowledging that Ayers was
in fact responsible for bombing the New York City police
headquarters, the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol building,
the petition allows that Ayers “participated passionately in
the civil rights and antiwar movements of the 1960s, as did
hundreds of thousands of Americans.” The national political
mood being what it is, Barack Obama will probably never
have to answer for the relationship the two men have, and
Ayers will never have to account for his actions. One worries
that this mindset may lead to a decline in the rule of law,
however. After all, if 3000 professors say that people don’t
need to be judged based on the criminal things they did a
few decades ago, we might as well put a five year statute of
limitations on all violent crimes.

Sexual Health Rankings

The Sexual Health Report Card, a Trojan-sponsored
study rating the sexual health of college campuses nationwide,
has ranked Dartmouth 68 out of the 139 colleges surveyed,
officially giving Dartmouth the title of least sexually safe
Ivy. Dartmouth fell 43 spots in this year’s ranking, from last
year’s spot of 25. Stanford University again asserts its drive
to succeed and took home first prize with Columbia in close
second. Questions have been asked as to the study’s legitimacy, as it drew most of its student feedback via Facebook.
com, where only 28 Dartmouth students responded. The
study also had incomplete participation from the sexual health
offices of participating colleges, including Dartmouth’s. All
schools surveyed on average saw a general decrease in their
“sexual GPA,” as the study was stricter in its assessments
this year.

Endowment decrease

If you’re looking for a way to break the ice at an upcoming social gathering of both liberals and conservatives, a
surefire strategy is to shout “William Ayers” and wait for the
group to split along partisan lines. Chances are that physical
violence will soon follow. Most conservatives this election
cycle see Ayers as the leader of a terrorist group that never
apologized and was never punished, and with whom Barack
Obama has had some sort of a working relationship. What
do liberals see? According to an online petition with close
to 3000 signatories from the upper echelons of academia,
including professors at Columbia, Cornell, Brown, and
Harvard, Ayers is a “Distinguished Professor of Education
and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at

conflict between John F. Kennedy on one side and Michael
Moore on the other. Mitchell at times seemed to echo the
platform of the Clinton Administration when explaining
that the leaders of countries where Americans are currently stationed overwhelmingly want the forces to stay.
He repeatedly mentioned missed opportunities for action
around the world, and hinted that if America had pursued
a course of colonialism in the Middle East following the
first World War, many of our current problems might have
been avoided. He remarked that this was a “great nation
from the beginning,” and applauded America as the very
embodiment of “freedom and opportunity.”

Mitchell demonstrated an impressive depth and breadth
of knowledge on the challenges facing America in the modern world, and, after surprisingly brief remarks, opened
the floor up to questions from the audience. It was at this
point that the first three questioners, all students with a
hint of freshman glow about them, decided to prove their
own intellectual prowess with increasingly long-winded and
obtuse questions about the proposed bailout. The Senator
responded with decreasingly creative variations of “Nobody’s
quite sure, we’ll have to wait and see.”

With the bailout sufficiently exhausted, the remaining
questions revealed the schism between traditional Democratic foreign policy and the far left track of recent years.
One questioner suggested that the Bush administration
has repeatedly broken the law, demanded commitment
to a speedy withdrawal from Iraq, and blamed Bush for
the Israeli situation. The next questioner would support a
legitimate role for the U.S. military with respect to Iran, in
addition to unilateral action. The audience loudly approved

of whatever Bush-bashing Mitchell threw their way, but
seemed not to notice when he supported interventionism
and imperialism, and when he denounced Joe Biden’s
asinine plan to partition Iraq into three separate countries
based on ethnicity.

There were two highlights in the lecture: one when
Senator Mitchell was answering a question and, in talking
about both candidates for the presidency (accidentally)
referred to “President Obama.” It took several minutes to
calm the crowd after that little slip. The other occurred
when a Sinn Féin representative rose not to ask a question,
but to thank both Senator Mitchell and the Clinton Administration for the work they had done in bringing peace
to Northern Ireland. It was a genuine moment, removed
from the heavy partisanship that hung in the auditorium.

The audience was reminded that Senator George
Mitchell had not gotten where he was through strict party
loyalty or ideological ranting, but through a devotion to
peace and communication. He told charming stories of his
unlikely journey to Capitol Hill, having been called upon by
the governor of Maine in the middle of the night to fill the
void left by Ed Muskie’s nomination as Secretary of State.
Mitchell spoke with a love and affection for his country that
seemed an outlier from the liberal ideology that tends to
blame America first. The older members of the audience
got a chance to see a familiar reminder of the best New
England can produce; hopefully the Dartmouth students
got to see a man who never put politics ahead of country,
never balked at a chance to praise American exceptionalism,
and served the mission of peace with every opportunity he


Dartmouth has experienced a decrease in its endowment value, falling $100 million to $3.66 billion, reported
to be a result of operational expenses. Even more alarming
is a fall in investment rate of return from 23.7% to 0.5% for
the 2007-2008 fiscal year. The College has not announced
any official plans; however, they claim they will analyze
all aspects of spending in attempts to distribute funds appropriately. Expect football to be cut and its funding to be
allocated to more affinity housing for students. Basic expenses
and salaries remain the College’s top priority, while efforts
are being made to leave financial aid unchanged. So while
the College’s dining service workers will continue to enjoy
their bloated wages, some students may be hard struck to

Former Senator Lectures on World
By William D. Aubin

The anxious murmur of the mostly gray-haired audience
died away as former Ambassador Kenneth S. Yalowitz of the
John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding stepped up to the podium in Spaulding Auditorium.
He rattled off the dates and achievements of note in the
career of former U.S. Senator George Mitchell, a speaker
for the Dickey Center’s Great Issues lecture series. This
audience of seasoned citizens, however, was ready for the
big guns. Bring on the peacemaker of Northern Ireland,
the revealer of steroid abuse; this Hanover crowd yearned
for the “most respected” member of the Senate six years
running, the only man left who could bring order to the
confusing issues facing America by explaining them in his
friendly Mainer’s drawl. Senator Mitchell did not disappoint.

The date of the lecture was September 29, 2008, the
same day most people in America became convinced that
a combination of Armageddon and the Great Depression
(only worse) was inevitable following the initial rejection of
the bailout plan by the House of Representatives. Senator
Mitchell prefaced his planned remarks by calling the vote
“unfortunate,” and urging Congress to “swiftly reconsider.”
This was not enough to prevent the most redundant question-and-answer session of all time, but we’ll get there in
good time.

Mitchell’s lecture revealed the interesting forces at
work in the modern Democratic mind, a seemingly violent

Mr. Aubin is sophomore at the College and a Managing Editor of The Dartmouth Review.

October 17, 2008 The Dartmouth Review Page 

The Week in Review
pay for their education. Hey, sometimes nuggets come at
a premium. Attitudes from the financial and administrative
offices at the College remain confident, as many other colleges with similar financial situations experienced similar
changes. Finally, Dartmouth’s long-term investment strategy
will remain generally unaffected despite the nation’s current
financial crisis.

Celebrities are Usually

In the great tradition of reasoned political discourse,
and the even greater tradition of celebrities loudly and
passionately endorsing Democrats, Dartmouth students
were greeted by a visit from Kal Penn and Olivia Wilde
of the television show House and Justin Long of Waiting
fame. The topic du jour was the Obama candidacy and how
important it is to get involved. Not just a little involved, but
passionately involved—because Bush and McCain lied to
America about nuclear weapons in Iraq, and Barack Obama
will evidently never utilize the American military. Ever.
Given Bush and McCain were working together for years
to destroy the financial markets, it was “scary” that Al Gore
lost New Hampshire by 7000 votes in 2000. Also, according
to the celebrities, the Bush Administration has never even
read the Constitution, whereas Obama is a constitutional
law scholar of unprecedented caliber. The important points
TDR took away were as follows: Bush lied, kids died; Justin
Long’s eyes dart around when he doesn’t know what the
hell he’s talking about; Kal Penn is somehow even more
endearing when he doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking
about; Olivia Wilde, the woman who made out with Mischa
Barton on The OC, has got our vote, whatever it is she’s
talking about.

Tuck Business School
Ranked by Economist

As Dartmouth looks to find a new President, there has
been quite a bit of talk about integrating and enhancing the
College’s graduate programs. One of the most successful of
these programs is the Tuck School of Business. On October
6, The Economist ranked the top 100 business schools in
the world, and Tuck made quite a showing.

Pulling in as the fifth best business school in the world,
Tuck was only topped by two other American schools: Uni-

versity of Chicago and Stanford, which were ranked third
and fourth, respectively. The expected favorites, coming
in at first and second, were the International Institute for
Management Development in Switzerland and the IESE
Business School of Barcelona, Spain. One can only imagine how well our beloved Tuckies would do if they could
dig their roots into our proud undergraduate campus life;
goodness knows the harsh winters and solitude of Hanover
must take their toll. To our next esteemed President: there
are only four more spots left to take!

aged to draw over 200 outraged students. Considering only
300 students (out of 37,000) voted in the elections, we’re
guessing those protesters are feeling mighty silly. Of course,
in the grand scheme of things, this controversial Student
Council resolution is just that—a piece of paper written by
just another college in California. Governor Schwarzenegger
will not be staring this document in the face anytime soon.
So before anybody closer to home gets any crazy ideas, we’ll
remind everyone that student government is still pretty
much useless.

Not Too Fat To Die


The Ohio Supreme Court has handed down a landmark
decision: you cannot be too fat to die. Richard Cooey, who
raped and murdered two University of Akron students more
than 22 years ago, will now face death by lethal injection.
His attorneys made a last-bid attempt to stay the execution,
claiming that he was too fat for the injection team to find a
suitable vein to do the deed. This obesity, of course, is the
fault of the state: apparently death-row inmates don’t get
to stretch their legs and go for a jog too often. Pity them.

Cooey weighs in at a lean 267 lbs., and even his parole
board has recommended he be executed. His attorneys have
never denied that he is guilty, and he has never expressed
remorse. He instead argues that his trial was unfair, that his
migraine medication might interfere with the lethal injection
cocktail, and now, that he is just too fat to be killed.

TDR does not know if a lethal injection will or will not
work for the obese Cooey…but we’re pretty sure that a
firing squad would get the job done.

The University of Texas at Austin is planning to roll out
a new initiative to combat the ever-painful cost of purchasing textbooks. In select classes next semester, students will
be forced to license—not purchase—e-textbooks from the
publishers. Students will not be allowed to use or keep the etextbooks after their classes end. In addition to that, students
would be forced to read their books on their computers.

Though downloading and reading Harry Potter books
online—in order to beat the rush on the print edition—is fair
game, there should be a better solution to beating expensive
textbook prices than e-texts. Here’s one for Dartmouth:
forcing Wheelock Books and the Dartmouth Bookstore to
actually be in competition with each other, driving prices
down, rather than giving Wheelock a de facto monopoly on
these precious textbooks.

Slavic Immigrants vs. Gay

It’s the showdown we’ve all been waiting for: Slavs versus
Gays. Students at American River College in Sacramento,
California recently collectively failed to vote in their student
elections. As a result, students from the former Soviet Union
now hold five of the sixteen seats on the Student Council.
And they’ve got an interesting take on gay rights.

Decrying the “homosexual aggressors” who’ve made a
“personal choice” is, of course, bad campaign strategy at a
Sacramento college, but once you’re elected, everything’s fair
game for these brave new politicians. They even managed
to push through a vote to back California’s bid to re-ban
gay marriage. Interestingly, this Student Council vote man-

Stinson’s: Your Pong HQ this Weekend
Cups, Balls, Paddles, Accessories
(603) 643-6086 |

Page  The Dartmouth Review October 17, 2008

Dartmouth’s New Speech Professor
Oklahoma. Compton told The Review that the University
of Oklahoma, besides having the best college football team
in the land, was a wonderful resource for political com
Great speakers mark every page in the annals of hismunication. It has “one of, if not the largest, resources of
tory. From Pericles and Caesar to Lincoln and Churchill,
political advertisements in the country,” in addition to a
the great men of history have been speakers and used their
“sterling reputation” for communication studies. In three
oratorical skills to sway armies and people to their side. The
short years, Compton would complete his Ph.D. and prove
great teachers in history—Aristotle, Cicero, etc—extolled
he was a rising star in communications studies.
the value of speech and rhetoric as part of a liberal arts

One of Compton’s first, and eventually most important,
decisions upon arriving at Oklahoma was to ask recently ap
Professor of Speech, Joshua Compton, recently joined
pointed Department Chair Michael Pfau to be his advisor.
the Dartmouth faculty to educate students in the great art
For those unfamiliar with communications, Pfau is one of
of rhetoric. Dartmouth itself has a great tradition and histhe most published scholars in his field and both well known
tory of students-turned-orators, and Professor Compton is
and respected in communications circles. Perhaps more
here to reaffirm that legacy.
relevant is that he is also infamous for being a “challenging

Dartmouth, since its founding, has been a major conand demanding professor.” Compton counts himself as
tributor to the history of American speech. Though men like
either “exceedingly naïve or brave” to have asked Pfau to
the great orator and minister Jonathan Edwards predate the
be his advisor. Despite this, the success Compton achieved
College by a century, they constitute the first generation of
under Pfau’s direction and prompting is quite singular.
American speakers who were largely protestant preachers.

After three years, Compton had already participated in
Eleazar Wheelock himself inherited this tradition for the
and directed major research projects, which resulted in mulCollege, while driving members of his parish to tears with
tiple publications before Oklahoma had even conferred him
his fiery sermons.
a Ph.D. What set him apart almost as much as his prolificacy

Daniel Webster, who of course attended Dartmouth,
was the quality of his scholarship; he presented papers that
was among the first great political speakers in the United
had been accepted by his peers at numerous conferences
States; his words could affect the political temthroughout his time at Oklahoma. It
perament of the nation. As a Representative,
is a rare enough feat to present even
he impressed his colleagues with his talent.
rofessor of speech, Joshua Compton, recently joined the Dart- a couple papers throughout one’s
Later, his eloquence saved the College in the
mouth faculty to educate students in the great art of rhetoric. studies, but Compton’s dedication
famous case Dartmouth College v. Woodward.
and insight guaranteed his continual
“It is, sir, as I have said, a small college. And
presence at such conferences; he even
yet there are those who love it!” has become
once presented five papers at the same
home at Willard, where he was given a chance to influa de facto motto for how we see the College. Later his
record, which, though awe-inspiring,
“Seventh of March” address nearly single-handedly pre- ence young public speakers at one of the most important
for him to even recollect.
served the American union for another decade by calling times in their lives. As he put it, underclassmen in high

be attributed to the fact
upon his countrymen’s pride to maintain their most sacred school are hypersensitive to issues of image. Helping them
of the leading scholars
country despite vehement disagreement. Without question control this fear inspired the professor. Beyond that, he had
of Inoculation Theory. Even to speak about Inoculation
Dartmouth has claim to one of the most powerful American the opportunity to build the Speech and Debate program
Theory clearly excites Compton, who expressed several
orators of all time.
times how new and powerful a theory it is. The best way to


But even today we can, among our alumni, find some of
explain Inoculation Theory may be to use his own words:
the greatest speechwriters of our time. Those men influence Compton arrived, but its potential had been simmering just
that it acts to “ideas like a vaccine does to a virus.” In espolicy not as the speaking voice at the podium, but through beneath the surface until he arrived. By his own recollection,
sence Inoculation Theory attempts to thwart Persuasion
the words that give voice life. Trustee Peter Robinson ’79 the first meeting had almost fifty students in attendance.
Theory, which presents several methods of public speaking
worked as a wordsmith for President Reagan in the eight- The second had just four. He explained to The Review
that persuade an audience to believe and internalize the
ies and crafted the powerful words: “General Secretary that the downsizing had come when he told the students
message and arguments of the speaker. The research into
Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the his expectations of the members of the team, which were
Persuasion Theory revealed that it is incredibly effective at
Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization:
influencing an audience and a powerful tool for any speaker
Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr.
he is simply unwilling to settle for mediocrity and expects who knows how to properly use it, which led to communicaGorbachev, tear down this wall!”
tions scholars wondering how to combat it.

No news reel of President Reagan or the Cold War can his students to improve continually and always succeed.

Inoculation Theory attempts to create a message that
be counted complete without a clip of those immortal words The greatest testament to the success of his method is the
received by the audience prepares them to refute
in it. Many other alumni worked for Reagan in the eighties success of his students, who went on to win the conference
arguments the speaker spoke against. The inoculaand have worked for other politicians over the years; former championship. These achievements attracted other students
tion speaker thus intends not to persuade an audience of a
Review Editor-in-Chief Alston Ramsay ’04 currently works back to the program until about eighteen students were fully
point, but rather to convince them that some other point is
as a speechwriter for Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.
unviable by providing reasons the audience can carry with

Some of Ramsay’s work has changed the public conversation
of his first year he received a call from Southwest Baptist them. Compton describes Inoculation Theory as incredibly
in this country on defense and Iraq.
powerful; research on its efficacy shows audience members

Dartmouth has certainly made its mark on the history to return to his alma mater to lecture and help coach the
can remain inoculated to an idea for up to two years after
of speech with the contributions of its alumni to the public Speech and Debate program. Incidentally, the call came
hearing a speech. Furthermore, he and Pfau have proposed
conversation in America. With Professor Compton’s newly from that very first speech professor Compton had on that
the idea that the inoculation can be spread by “word of
inaugurated public speaking and speechwriting classes, Monday morning back in 1993.
Compton tells The Review that he did not accept the mouth.” Thus, an audience can carry a speaker’s message
Dartmouth’s contribution to the history of American rhetoric
post right on the spot. The offer to return to his beyond the venue in which it was delivered.
will only grow.
After the University of Oklahoma conferred Compton
and achieve a professorial-level position only a

Professor Compton is a genuine, self-assured man,
he returned to Southwest Baptist to be Departhaving been validated by his peers for his many accomplish- year after graduating was incredibly tempting, but he loved
of Speech. During this time he realized that
ments—but there is no trace of hubris in his confidence. where he was. Eventually, though, he came to realize that it
his alma mater, the administrative tasks
Perhaps it is his midwestern charm that puts one at ease was too great a chance to pass up and started as a lecturer in
Chair distracted him from what he
around him, or that most endearing of traits, characteristic speech and an Assistant Coach for the Speech and Debate
So he began to send out feelers
of most Dartmouth professors: he cares about his students. Team in the fall of 1998.
As Compton returned to Southwest Baptist, he also to assess what his options would be if he chose to move on
Regardless of what it is, Compton’s background inevitably
pursuing a master’s degree at Missouri State Uni- from Southwest Baptist. By chance, Dartmouth advertised
pushed him toward a place like Dartmouth.
and underwent a transformation in how he thought about a new speech position in a communications journal,

At Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri,
and he got in contact with the College, while speaking to colCompton earned his bachelor’s degree in English and Speech about speech. While in college he had always focused on the
leagues about what sort of environment he could expect.
Teaching. He will be the first person to tell you that he was speaker and his role in a speech, which was reflective of his

Most appealing of all about Dartmouth, Compton says,
an unlikely candidate for a major in speech when he arrived own level of involvement in speech. Through his master’s
amount of enthusiasm there was among the student
on campus, for in his youth, he had a stuttering problem program, though, he fell in love with rhetorical speaking.
speech. As he is wont to say, communications
that led to a quiet demeanor. His career plan was to enter His passion shifted away from the speaker to the speaker’s
professors always ask what speech classes would be like if
journalism where he could work “behind the scenes” and message and the effect that message has. His precise area of
students did not have to take them, and at Dartmouth he
never have to do anything like public speaking. How did
seems to have found his answer, which is clearly pleasing.
he wind up in a speech class if he so feared it? It was a
interested in what politicians were saying and what they This term he is teaching Public Speaking, which he will again
required class at Southwest Baptist.
teach in the Winter and Spring. He will also be teaching

Compton could recount quite vividly the first day he intended to achieve.
After receiving his master’s in 2000, Compton was pro- Persuasive Public Speaking and Speech Writing. Above
had speech class. It was on a Monday at 7:30 in the morning
all, he emphasizes that these classes are not skills classes,
back in 1993. He arrived an hour early, before the build- moted to Instructor of Communication Arts at Southwest
though they help with skills, but are rooted in theory, which
ing had even opened, and waited in his car dreading the Baptist, a position he held for only a year. In 2001 he found
himself packing up and moving to Norman, Oklahoma, he finds fundamental not only to studying speech, but to

Mr. Russell is a senior at the College and an Executive
where he enrolled in a Ph.D. program at the University of succeeding at it—a task which he has mastered.
Editor of The Dartmouth Review.
inevitable moment when he would have to speak in front of
a class. However, the moment his professor began speaking, Compton discovered how different this class was from
what he had expected. The professor approached public
speaking not as a presentation, a form of one-man acting
for an audience, but as a dialogue between the speaker and
his audience, “speaking not to, but with the audience,” as
Compton put it. This basic principle has influenced everything the professor has done since then.

Within only a few weeks, Compton found that his public
speaking had improved markedly and that he wanted to
devote himself to public speaking. Soon, he found himself
involved in the Speech and Debate Team, where he achieved
tremendous success in multiple events, winning numerous
state and national championships, a fact he revealed only
after sustained prodding. Though he competed in “everything
[he] could,” Compton seemed most proud of the help he
provided to his teammates in improving their own public
speaking. It was “seeing the talents of others develop” that
he found most rewarding, he said. This ensured that he
would find himself teaching after graduation.

After graduation Compton indeed found himself
involved in education; he taught sophomore English and
Debate and coached the Speech and Debate team at Willard
High School, in a suburb of St. Louis. He found himself at

By Michael C. Russell


October 17, 2008 The Dartmouth Review Page 

Dhillon ‘89 Seeks California State Office
By William D. Aubin

1988). She questioned the notion that racism “makes it
imperative for blacks and others to have special places to

A candidate for California State Assembly who is both
go where they can be with their own kind.” As a member
a woman and a minority is not an unusual phenomenon,
of a family that had been targeted by the KKK in North
especially when she is running to represent the thirteenth
Carolina, she wrote, this was an astonishing view of the
District of the state, an area that includes portions of San
condition on campus. She also had the good fortune to serve
As someone whose family had to take an oath to abide
Francisco, a city that idolizes diversity. It is also not pe-
as editor of The Review while President Freeman and other
culiar that the woman, Harmeet Dhillon, is a member of by the laws of the United States, Dhillon is outraged that faculty members were publicly slandering the students on
the American Civil Liberties Union. What is extraordinary her opponent “has flagrantly and publicly said that he will the newspaper’s staff as racists and sexists, and when the
about this San Franciscan candidate is her party affiliation: not uphold the immigration laws of the United States, and Superior Court of New Hampshire ordered the College
he publicly continues to defend these sanctuary city policies
Dhillon is a proud Republican.
to reinstate two staff reporters after COS had seen fit to

Nothing about Harmeet Dhillon’s life is particularly that unleash criminals on our streets.” She believes that banish them over the William Cole affair. It would have
ordinary. Hers was the only Sikh family in the rural North after she gets this message out to voters, even most Demo- been impossible for someone in her position not to gain an
Carolina town she grew up in. When Dhillon and her family crats will have to say, with Dhillon, “Sometimes, enough is appreciation for the power of cooler heads and law properly
immigrated to the United States from Punjab, India, they enough, and that [Ammiano’s position] doesn’t make much interpreted to overcome even the loudest blowhards and
were greeted into her new American hometown with a sign sense”.
the most passionately defended assumptions.
Another major area of California policy that desperately
that read “The Ku Klux Klan Welcomes You to Smithfield,

Her position on the paper led Dhillon to be featured
North Carolina.” When she came to Hanover to attend needs a common sense approach is the budget. The budget in “60 Minutes,” The New York Times, and other media
Dartmouth, Dhillon found herself simivenues, gaining her national attenlarly out of place. Gone were the “Yes
tion. She was an editor and writer for
sir” and “No ma’am” she had grown up
several years before pursuing a law
with both in Punjab and North Carodegree at the University of Virginia,
lina. Instead, she says, “When I went to
where she began a career marked by
Dartmouth, we had this very different
an intense focus on civil rights. Her
liberal, liberation theology. There was
campaign website (www.dhillon08.
a Sandinista-loving attitude among the
com) cites years of experience repprofessors and among the students.
resenting political refugees, minoriBeing old fashioned, I was not used to
ties, and abused women, including
guys opening the doors for themselves
“several South Asian women victims
and letting it slam shut in front of the
of a high-profile sex trafficking ring
woman who was walking right behind
in Berkeley in 2002.” She also does
them.” She was so struck by “the bad
a great deal of pro bono legal work.
manners the Yankees had” that Dhillon
Dhillon, who describes herself as a
wrote her first letter to the editor of The
civil libertarian, was part of the civil
Review on the subject. By her senior
rights movement to protect Sikhs
year, she would herself become editor
after many were targeted following
of The Dartmouth Review.
the attacks of 9/11. Her defense of

It is with this record of standing out
the Sikhs has put her in disagreement
in her community that Dhillon launched
with the upper echelons of her own
a campaign to represent the thirteenth
party. “I definitely do believe in a
District in the California State Assembly
government that does not spy on its
as a Republican. The California State
citizens, and does not do any of those
—Former TDR Editor Harmeet Dhillon at RNC 2008 with Meg Whitman—
Assembly is the equivalent of the U.S.
things without getting a warrant,” she
House of Representatives on a statetold The Review.
for the state of California took a record amount of time to
wide level. She acknowledges that her district “may be the

herself in the position of someone
approve, and there are still rumblings from Sacramento that
toughest district in the country” for a Republican to win. In
no trouble getting elected virtupoint to further deliberation and possibly reconsideration.
fact, Dhillon is not only running with the Republican name,
States; she appeals to comDhillon is adamant about the need for serious reform in the
but as a professed supporter of most of the basic tenets of
demonstrably fail,
way the people’s money is spent.
conservative and libertarian thought.

“We need to have spending caps,” she says, “which

“I am focusing on the traditional issues that an average
a responsible
we don’t have. We need to give the governor the right to
Republican candidate around the country would, i.e. lower
of special
decouple spending from the automatic increases that have
taxes, less government regulation, less interference by the
been passed in prior laws. The majority of the budget right interests. If these tenets of economic conservatism aren’t
government in your life,” she told The Review. “I’m a big
now can’t be touched. The majority of the budget is already enough to warm the cockles of the left-leaning voter’s heart,
member of the NRA, and that’s in my platform.”
surely her history as an immigrant and civil rights activist

Dhillon has tied most of the success of her
will help.
campaign to the hope that cooler heads will prevail
s someone whose family had to take an oath to abide According to an article she wrote for The Review’s
among the Democratic constituents she hopes
by the laws of the United States, Dhillon is outraged twenty-fifth anniversary issue in 2006, Dhillon is
to represent. She describes Tom Ammiano, her
Democratic opponent, as “one of the most sin- that her opponent “has flagrantly and publicly said that
gularly one-sided, almost caricature-like liberal he will not uphold the immigration laws of the United San Francisco-dwelling ACLU board member;
politicians, who holds views that are simply out of
elected Republican official who actively
States, and publicly continues to defend these sanctuary an
touch with your average mainstream Democrat.”
participates in the Federalist Society yet also

Asked about the issues that Dhillon could use city policies that unleash criminals on our streets.”
devotes a substantial amount of time to pro
to attract Democratic voters, her first example was
bono legal work on behalf of political refugees,
the sanctuary city policy of San Francisco:
battered women, and religious minorities; and
fixed by prior laws, which makes it impossible for a governor
who reviews litigation discovery documents
or the legislature to change with the circumstances.” If this
Some of the issues that I think are going to
while listening to rap—but prefers John
situation sounds familiar even to readers outside the Golden
resonate with Democratic and Republican
Coltrane and Miles Davis for writing appelState, it is because of the similar situation in which the federal
voters in this election, and an issue that my
late briefs.
government finds itself, albeit on a much larger scale. One
opponent is quite weak on, is giving sanctuary
hopes that the reforms Dhillon seeks in California will be
by our city to juvenile illegal aliens who commit
Surely the diversity of her viewpoints and commitment
implemented with great haste and borrowed by Congress
crimes. That’s become quite a controversial
same principles that have always guided her work—
even faster.
issue in San Francisco because there have
public service and civic responsibility—should

Harmeet Dhillon came to Dartmouth College and to
been several of these violent crimes, and the
to get Dhillon elected anywhere. Republicans,
The Dartmouth Review during a particularly tumultuous
city’s policy has been not to turn them over to
not managed better than 14% in the past
period for both institutions: the middle of the 1980s. The
INS or the ICE, but rather to fly them back to
two events that stand out in particular are the construction three elections for the seat Dhillon wishes to occupy.
their home countries at public expense, or to
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Ammiano
and destruction of the shantytown on the green in 1986
harbor them in safe houses in other counties
Dhillon’s offer for a debate on the issues to
and the incompetent and eventually violent behavior of
while taking federal funding for border patrol
respective platforms with the electorate, saythe soon departed Professor William Cole in 1988. Both
enforcement and generally being extremely
does not permit me to participate in
episodes involved a campus dialogue drenched in accusahypocritical about these things. The result of
find time to participate in
tions and assumptions of racism and bigotry of the highest
these policies is that people have been murComedy
Park, cleverly comparing
order, mostly leveled at students then on the staff of The
dered. In San Francisco in June, a family of
hair to a Planet of the

In this environment of heightened sensitivity, Dhillon Apes prop. If this is democracy in the 13 District, God
help Dhillon and her constituents, but it may be too late

Mr. Aubin is a sophomore at the College and a Managing addressed the balkanization of minority groups on campus
head-on in “Apartheid at Dartmouth” (TDR February 10, even for that.
Editor of The Dartmouth Review.
three, a father and two sons, were shot dead by
a sanctuary city criminal with an AK-47. The
city had numerous opportunities to turn him
over to the police, and they didn’t do that.


Page  The Dartmouth Review October 17, 2008

A History of Dartmouth Nights...
By Joseph Rago ‘05

Editor’s Note: All photographs are courtesy of the
Dartmouth College Library.


ike all of Dartmouth’s big weekends,
Homecoming became in many ways an
excuse to import women to the College.

him in this respect.” He continued. “I do believe, however,
that his hope and ambition for his family are identical with
mine, that the sons of Dartmouth, whether they be many
or few, may be God-fearing men and an honor to the name
they bear.”

Royal Parkinson 1905, an undergraduate at the time,
remembered, “When that came from his heart as you could
see that it did, and as it must have since he was called on

unexpectedly, old alumni and guests on the platform jumped
up and waved their hats and an alumnus called for a cheer for
Lord Dartmouth. We almost had tears in our eyes but we gave
the two loudest cheers that ever shook the walls of a building.
After that the cornerstone was a small part of the occasion.”

The Earl’s visit on Dartmouth Night was, as a matter
of course, celebrated with an enormous bonfire, but the
students were not content with the traditional fire alone.

Friday is Dartmouth Night, an evening of tradition
impressive even by Dartmouth College standards. It kicks
off the traditional Homecoming weekend with an evening
of speeches, a parade, and of course, the famous bonfire.
For over one-hundred years, Dartmouth students, alumni,
and—ahem—administrators have reveled in the camaraderie, good cheer, and College spirit. For instance, Douglas
Vanderhoof 1901 wrote home to his parents during his
freshman year, “This is one of the best nights for years…
& of course great enthusiasm was aroused.” Though much
has changed since then, the classic spirit of the legendary
fire remains.

The origins of the Dartmouth Night fire trace back
over a century. In 1888, students from all four classes built
a bonfire of cordwood from the forests around the college
to celebrate a baseball victory over Manchester, 34-0. An
editorial in the Daily Dartmouth criticized the fire, saying
“It disturbed the slumbers of a peaceful town, destroyed
some property, made the boys feel that they were being
men, and in fact did no one any good.” Nevertheless, the
idea remained popular and the bonfires continued informally, both before athletic events and in celebration of their
victories. These bonfires frequently included an outhouse
as part of the fuel for the fire. Five years later, the College
officially recognized the fires.

Seven years after the fires began, President William
Jewett Tucker introduced the ceremony of Dartmouth
Night. On September 20, 1895, the first Dartmouth Night
was held to celebrate the accomplishments of the alumni
of the College and, in Tucker’s words, “to promote class


he origins of the Dartmouth Night fire
trace back over a century. In 1888,
students from all four classes built a bonfire
of cordwood from the forests around the
college to celebrate a baseball victory over
Manchester, 34-0.
spirit and… initiate freshmen into the community.” The
Daily Dartmouth described it as an event where students
were “addressed by representative alumni who illustrate
the success and ability of Dartmouth graduates.” However,
less formal sources relate that the evening tended to be
composed of torturously long speeches. Fortunately, over
time, the speeches came to compose a smaller part of the
ceremony and other events became more prominent.

Dartmouth Night became part of President Tucker’s
self-conscious effort to strengthen and deepen what he
called the “Dartmouth Spirit.” Or, as he put it another time,
it was a way to “capitalize the history of the College.” In
1901, for example, the evening celebrated the hundredth
anniversary of the graduation of Daniel Webster (students
were dressed in eighteenth-century costume). At Dartmouth
Night in 1896, Richard Hovey’s “Men of Dartmouth’ was
elected as the best of all the songs of the College.

Probably the most famous Dartmouth Night occurred
almost exactly a century ago, as William Heneage Legge,
the Sixth Earl of Dartmouth and direct descendent of the
British noble who provided most of the original capital for
the College, visited the campus. The occasion was both dire
and celebratory. In February, the old wood-post Dartmouth
Hall had burned to the ground in a matter of minutes. The
Earl was here to lay the cornerstone for the modern recreation that stands on the same ground today.

Thousands of alumni came to town for the event,
gathering underneath a huge electric arch over the length
of the Dartmouth Hall site, making brilliant the words,
“1791—Dartmouth—1904.” The Earl rose and said, “President Tucker is the head of the family of Dartmouth on this
side of the water, as I am of the one on the other side. His
family is larger than mine, but I do not believe that I envy

Mr. Rago is a member of the class of 2005 and Editor
Emeritus of The Dartmouth Review.

—Freshmen in the Class of 1979 construct their bonfire(1975)—

October 17, 2008 The Dartmouth Review Page 

...Stories and Images of Homecoming

—Keggy the Keg, Dartmouth’s erstwhile replacement for
the Indian, makes his inaugural appearance at the 2003
Homecoming game—

In order to make a vivid impression on the visiting
Earl and his companion, the young Winston Churchill, the
students formed a parade. The Earl took up the lead, and
the students, dressed in their pajamas, marched around the
Green. The traditional herding of the freshmen around the
bonfire was inaugurated.

In 1907, the orations were moved from their original
home in the chapel of Dartmouth Hall to the newly-completed Webster Hall. The celebration continued to be a big
event for alumni. Alumni groups from all over the nation
converged on Hanover for the festivities. For those who
were unable to attend in person, radio links were established
to let clubs all over the nation listen to the speeches and
revelry, and it was popular for the clubs to send telegrams
to Hanover for reading at the ceremonies.

Football first began to be associated with Dartmouth
Night in the early 1920s. Memorial Field was dedicated on
Dartmouth Night in 1923. The raucous pre-football rallies,
though, remained quite separate from the somber official
activities. In 1936, the College first began the tradition of
Homecoming games.

Football, though, had always been an integral part of
the Dartmouth experience. Professor Edwin J. Bartlett
1872 remembered in his little volume A Dartmouth Book
of Remembrance: Pen Sketches of Hanover and the College
Before the Centennial and After (1922), “Football was simplicity itself. You ran all over the campus, and when and if you

got the chance, you kicked a round rubber ball. You might
run all the afternoon and not get your toe upon the ball, but
you could not deny that you had had a fair chance, and the
exercise was yours and could be valued by the number of hot
rolls consumed at the evening meal.”

Bartlett was clear on the value of football, “It was glorious
for exercise, and had enough excitement to make it highly
interesting. It gave ample opportunity for competitions in
speed, finesse, dodging, endurance, and occasional personal
collisions.” However, not all agreed: “For a year the faculty
in its inscrutable wisdom debarred this highly useful game
because of abuses, as they thought, in the manner of playing
it.” Bartlett was a member of the student committee that
successfully petitioned the faculty to reinstate football at
the College.

And like all of Dartmouth’s big weekends, Homecoming
became in many ways an excuse to import women to the
College. In the days before coeducation, when Hanover was
far more of an outpost than it is today, Homecoming was
one of the first times that women from area female colleges
like Smith, Wellesley, etc., would be bused onto campus.

During World War II, the celebrations were scaled down
markedly. In 1943, President Ernest Hopkins presided over
only a small gathering in Thayer Hall. However, following
World War II, Dartmouth Night enjoyed a resurgence of

In 1946, the formal College events and the unofficial
rally were combined in a single grand event, and for the
first time the festivities were intentionally scheduled on
the weekend of Homecoming. In the 1950s, the current
hexagonal construction of railroad ties was first used. Since
then, the weekend has undergone a number of changes, but
its unique essence remains.

Often, the tradition has been interrupted or sullied by
mischief, violence, or act of God. In 1954, the bonfire was
canceled due to an impending hurricane, and in 1963, a
drought raised concerns about
a major fire, which led to the
cancellation of the bonfire.
From 1969 to 1972, campus
political sentiment was such
that there was no official celebration of Dartmouth Night.
In 1976, student radicals lit the
bonfire prematurely, as it was
under construction, for political

—The Class of 1987 rushes the field during the
Homecoming football game—
reasons. In 1987, a dissident group calling itself ‘Womyn
to Overthrow Dartmyth’ and the ‘Wimmin’s International
Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell’ dressed as witches and
threw eggs at the podium during the addresses. In 1992,
and again in 1997, the freshmen sweep degenerated into
full-scale rioting, with downtown Hanover laid to waste.

Such a disaster seems unlikely this year, as Dartmouth’s
administration has prepared extensive risk management
procedures that will ensure that the night goes off without a
hitch. Still, as Prof. Bartlett wrote, the College “shall always
have the misdeeds of excitement; deliberate invention and
perpetration of mischief have nearly died out from the more
advanced colleges.”

Despite change, Dartmouth Night and the ensuing games
of Homecoming weekend still provide the ideal opportunities for all members of the College community to show their
dedication to Dartmouth, lest the old traditions fail.

—Below: Alumni gather in the
streets of Hanover for Dartmouth Night (1904). Right: A
freshman touches the fire, a
rare, but strongly-encouraged,
tradition (1992)—

“The College shall always have the misdeeds of excitement;
deliberate invention and perpetration of mischief
have nearly died out from the more advanced colleges.”
Edwin J. Bartlett 1872, writing in 1922


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