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Letter: Plenty of Fun in Hanover

To the Editor:

Jim Kenyon is paid to stir up controversy, which he does quite well. But he has an obligation to do so with facts. His recent screed about Dartmouth and Hanover and the local social life is devoid of facts (“Truth in Labeling,” Nov. 24)

First, he asserts that but for fraternities, there is no social life in Hanover. He ignores the Hopkins Center, the Hood, the Dartmouth Film Society, the Nugget, the more than a dozen restaurants with a wide variety of cuisine (at least two of which offer live entertainment), live theater at several venues within 15 minutes of Hanover, and all the outdoor activities. When I left Hanover for graduate school in Boston, I was amazed how difficult it was for me to partake of Boston’s many cultural and social opportunities located miles away from my graduate school, how crowded the venues were, and how expensive events were to attend. As far as outdoor activities, a walk in the woods in Hanover beats a slog in the slush of Boston any day.

Second, the primary purpose of college is not to party. As John Sloan Dickey used to tell us, “your business here is learning.” I think the opportunities to get away from all the hustle of the big city or large campus are a unique advantage of Dartmouth. Contemplation and finding out more about oneself should be a principal goal of life between ages 18 and 22.

Finally, Kenyon’s complaint that Dartmouth should be more open in telling prospective students about the allegedly scant opportunities for fun does a great disservice to the prospective students. If they can’t tell the difference between Hanover and big cities, they probably aren’t ready for college.

Tony Roisman

Dartmouth Class of 1960

Lebanon

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