The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

The Thought Project, a Living-Learning Community

The Thought Project Living-Learning Community discussions

Professor Denise Anthony discusses healthcare with students during a dinner funded by a Rockefeller Mini-Grant.

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The Rockefeller Center’s Mini-Grants program funds on-campus student organization events.

The Thought Project is a new Living Learning Community for the academic year 2015-2016 in Wheeler Hall for thirty-five residents. Our mission is to build a vibrant, diverse community of Dartmouth undergraduates committed to understanding ideas and cultures different from their own. Each week, we host a Food for Thought dinner with a faculty member and a variety of social events. During the fall term of 2015, the Rockefeller Center sponsored two of our Food for Thought events: a dessert discussion with Slate journalist Emily Yoffe and a dinner with Professor Denise Anthony. On Wednesday, October 8th, we hosted Emily Yoffe for dessert and hot cocoa in Haldeman. Before her controversial public lecture the following day, we had the chance to meet with her in a small group setting to discuss her views on campus rape.

Yoffe opened the meeting with a five-minute presentation discussing her background in the topic and summarizing her views on the issue. Yoffe argued that while sexual assault was a serious problem, efforts to support rape survivors on college campuses sometimes impinge on men’s civil rights. Yoffe then facilitated a discussion with students, asking each of us to give our opinions about campus culture here at Dartmouth. We discussed prominent rape cases, and some students offered points of disagreement with Yoffe. We went around the room, answering the question: what does it mean to be a feminist? The next day, Yoffe delivered a public lecture entitled “The Campus Rape Overcorrection” that sparked controversy and anger around Dartmouth. Ultimately, Yoffe’s presence on campus sparked dialogue — and nowhere was this truer than within the Thought Project Living Learning Community. As the only campus group that met with Yoffe during her time at Dartmouth, we got to engage with the issue on an especially critical level.

On Thursday, October 29th, we hosted Professor Denise Anthony for dinner from Tuk Tuk Thai in the 2nd Floor Common Room of Wheeler. Professor Anthony opened the dinner by introducing herself and her research interests in privacy, security, and healthcare. We talked about the huge shift in the health industry that has been happening, as electronic health records have become the norm. Professor Anthony noted that because of the fragmented nature of our healthcare system, electronic medical records are not as helpful as they could be. Ultimately, given the new ease of access to electronic medical records, we asked ourselves, how an doctors deliver the best quality healthcare while at the same time, protecting patients’ privacy? We also discussed the Dickey Center lecture “Epic Measures” that Professor Anthony and several other students had attended. We agreed that Harvard Professor Charles Murray’s Global Burden of Disease website is very impressive and important.

Professor Anthony also talked about the statistics within the talk that she found problematic. The dinner concluded with Professor Anthony discussing her role directing the Community Living Study as part of her role as Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives. She encouraged students to take the survey, and she talked about the potential benefits that the survey might afford. Students had the opportunity to talk to Professor Anthony afterwards 1-on-1 to ask further questions and to learn about potential research opportunities in the Sociology of healthcare.

-Written by: Julia Marino ’17

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences