Dartmouth College lies at the nexus of white-bred, good-old-boy institutionalism and straight clownishness. On a single stroll from your dilapidated mansion of a frat house to the new, multi-million dollar dining hall, it is completely normal to pass ten suited econ majors, five girls in multi-colored spandex and wigs, a gorilla chasing a banana and a sorority girl in a penguin suit. Our Outing Club members dye their hair for zany freshman trip rituals each fall, only to re-color it in time for Goldman interviews.
Never has this dichotomy been as apparent as this election cycle’s Republican debate.
I first noticed preparations for the debate over the weekend, when the abundance of old white people on campus shifted from a typical Hanover level (read: so, so many) to a holy-shit-I-can’t-believe-there-are-actually-this-many-old-white-people-around proportion, in the span of just one night. Parking spots disappeared, it became impossible to get into the local coffee shop, and you couldn’t smoke a cigarette outside without getting at least ten disapproving stares. By the time Michele Bachmann’s campaign bus parked in the center of campus to the horror of every crazy old Vermont liberal in proximity, I sensed that things were about to get weird. Come Tuesday afternoon, I wouldn’t be disappointed.