Dartmouth's Political Prowess
New Hampshire has an undeniable political prowess; as the first state in the union for presidential primaries, the Granite State is perhaps the nation’s foremost battleground of policy and ideology, and Dartmouth’s campus sits right on the front lines. A hub for political discourse and debate, The College is a frequent stop for candidates and speakers as they promote their platforms, not to mention the opportunity this brings for student activism. But there’s a couple occasions that really draw out the full extent of Dartmouth’s political atmosphere, and this year’s midterm elections surely didn’t disappoint; from speakers to campaigns to office bids by Dartmouth students, this November was truly sublime for those who follow the state of affairs.
The first event of the season was a speaker invited by the College Republicans, an influential author and political commentator who spoke on the topic of Israel-Palestine relations. While the talk itself was somewhat controversial, it certainly spurred debate on campus, and many students including myself were able to meet the speaker personally. The Republicans also later invited a prominent Islamic thinker and reformer from Egypt, who gave an interesting talk on religion in the Middle East and around the world.
The College Democrats, amid their avid voter registration campaign, also were able to host some influential figures of their own. Perhaps the most exciting was the potential presidential candidate, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, who visited campus as part of a voting drive. Congresswoman Ann Kuster, who represents Dartmouth’s congressional district, also made an appearance at the event, causing the venue to reach capacity about half way through the line. While I was unfortunately unable to get in, I have friends who were raving for days about how the experience felt so personal; with such a small community as Dartmouth, it’s awesome that such prominent figures are so eager to visit.
With plenty more events on the horizon, and a presidential election year not all too long away, there’s certainly more to come! In fact, the next few years will likely bring in even more political figures as primaries get closer and closer. Altogether, if politics are your thing, Dartmouth is most certainly the place to be to get a front row seat on all of the action.