If you have been researching about Dartmouth, you’ve probably already figured out that Hanover is a cold place. I won’t deny it. This has been my first proper winter with snow and wind-chills and all the fun stuff. Yesterday particularly had been an Olympic event for me, as I had to trudge through piles of snow about half my height (which is not saying much, but still). However, all I needed to survive have a blast in the winter here is a cheap puffer jacket from the boys’ section at Walmart and an open mind to the several ways Dartmouth celebrates the season.
If you have been researching about Dartmouth, you’ve also probably heard about cases of sexual assault on our campus. I won’t deny it. As one of my floormates put it, sexual assault here is “not specific, too prevalent”. Amidst my absolute frustration at aspects of the social climate here at times, I have found Dartmouth to be a nurturing community. On Monday night, we gathered together on the Green in the bitter cold. It doesn’t change what happened or even to some extent, what will happen. Even then, at least it was an attempt to establish that a majority of us do not support oppressive, discriminatory and hurtful behavior. At least it was a step towards change.
Personally, I have also been involved in V-February this term. We have been working to put together a whole month of events to raise our voices against violence on women. Somehow, I had also ended up joining the cast of “Voices”, which is an original production by V-February consisting of monologues from members of the Dartmouth community. Being able to step out on stage and speak about my own experiences was wonderful; but seeing the sheer number of people who showed up and felt impacted by the show? That was priceless. As I stood there, trying not to be nervous and speaking about my feelings regarding the gender binary, I felt the warmth of the people in front of me. I felt the community I am a part of now.
Hanover may be a cold place, but Dartmouth isn’t.