If you close your eyes and try to picture a quintessential New England Ivy League campus, what you will most likely bring to mind is something nearly identical to Dartmouth University, in the small, affluent town of Hanover, New Hampshire.
But putting aside the traditional red-brick façades, manicured quad, and the trendy college town, there is a lot recommend Dartmouth to students these days. Academically, the school boasts a well-funded Native American Studies program. First started in the 1970s with Michael Dorris at the helm (read Yellow Raft in Blue River), the program immediately took off; today the department has eight full-time faculty, and offers more than 25 courses. (The university’s student population is 4% Native American, which is surprisingly high, despite the single digit statistic.)
On another front, the school is proactively responding to the issue of safe spaces on campus with a movement that teaches students about the power dynamics surrounding gender. The Movement Against Violence is a totally student-run initiative that educates Dartmouth men and women about sexual coercion and violence on campus. In fact, all students participating in Greek life must enroll in MAV training sessions as part of the preparation for their commitment to their fraternity.
Dartmouth is one of the oldest and most traditional institutions of higher learning in the nation, but it is keeping itself relevant and influential. It is well deserving of its reputation, and is a wonderful school for those able to gain admittance after their highly selective admissions process.