114 Consider the rabbi
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My primary mode of transportation around the chaotic, traffic-choked Indian metropolis I am calling home this semester is a retro-looking yellow fixed-gear bicycle with a big basket in the front, the kind of upright job the kids ride around in “Stand By Me” or “Now and Then.”
I almost look like I’ve made a wrong turn out of my 1960’s suburban cul-de-sac, except for the decidedly not-nostalgic helmet I bought the first day I took the thing out on the roads. This was not entirely my own decision—when I told my mother I was going to be biking, she asked if I had a helmet. When I said I didn’t, and that athough bikes are ubiquitous here, protective headgear is not, she wondered whether I wouldn’t feel very stupid if I ever sustained an injury I could have prevented but didn’t because I was worried about standing out. (Her point was well taken, since in Pune, as a white woman wearing jeans and standing a good few inches above at least half the people I pass by, I’ve already pretty much lost the battle of not standing out. So I wear the helmet and endure feeling like a complete dork, and repeat the mantra, “better to be uncool and sentient, than cool and vegetative,” while I’m en route.)
Along with Vespa-type scooters and motorcycles, bicycles are definitely one of the popular ways to get around in Pune. On a bicycle you can cut through the gaps between cars and trucks to the front of a line of traffic, or successfully run red lights—as long as no cars are coming perpendicularly to you.
With the election four days away, political discussion on campus is sparking questions of bias and free speech. In last week’s New York Times op-ed “Feigning Free Speech on Campus,” Greg Lukianoff, the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), decried the proliferation of speech codes at institutions of higher learning. Lukianoff contended that the codes not only fly in the face of the intellectual free enquiry colleges and universities value, “suppressing free expression instead of allowing for open debate of controversial issues,” but also would not pass constitutional muster at public institutions.
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, marking the first time in a decade the high court has heard a case challenging the constitutionality of affirmative action admission policies at institutions of higher education.
I’m a religion major, as it turns out, and a lot of my impulse to do this came from what I’ve learned in classes at Bowdoin. But participating in the service wasn’t the transformative thing I thought it might be.
On Wednesday, Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster announced that the current system of affiliation between first-year bricks and College Houses will come to an end next fall, when each College House will instead be affiliated with floors from various first year bricks.
The Bowdoin experience extends well beyond academics, but a large part of college is unavoidably spent in the classroom—a Bowdoin student with four classes will spend on average 12 hours in class per week, and much more than that hitting the books in the Hawthorne-Longfellow or Hatch Libraries.
The 2012 housing lottery began on Tuesday, filling 377 beds in quint and quad units. Though not without standard amounts of drama and disappointment, the lottery went relatively smoothly, thanks in part to live updates from residential life over Twitter throughout the evening and the lottery instructions that were projected on a continuous loop behind the sign-up tables. Daggett Lounge was packed when the event started at 6 p.m., but many students left after Lisa Rendall, associate director of housing operations, reminded the crowd that the quints lottery would take place first.
I went to Smith Union on Tuesday evening intending to find a handful of students to talk to me about the stories that have been percolating in the national news about Apple, Foxconn, and labor exploitation in China. Walking around the Union, I counted 70 people and at least 70 Apple products including MacBooks, iPods and iPhones.
Childish Gambino will headline this year's Ivies Concert, along with the indie-pop duo Phantogram and the DJ mash-up artist Milkman, according to the Entertainment Board (E-Board). Ivies, which will take place Saturday April 28, is the biggest show the E-Board plans each year and is both eagerly anticipated and widely attended by students. The E-Board's primary considerations in selecting the acts were the results of a student survey conducted last semester.
Students will have to wait at least another month for the much-anticipated announcement of the acts that will headline this year's Ivies concert, according to the Entertainment Board (E-Board). Nonetheless, to tide students over, the E-Board is bringing DJ/rap trio The Dean's List to play Smith Union on February 18 for its winter concert.
For those students fed up with the challenge of finding courses that will satisfy their distribution requirements, relief does not appear on the horizon.
In the aftermath of a series of conversations between NESCAC student affairs deans, Bowdoin will join eight other colleges in the conference in conducting comprehensive surveys on student alcohol consumption. The plan for the spring survey was crystallized last week at the NESCAC deans' annual meeting in Boston.
Ask a Bowdoin student about the prices at the C-Store, and the response is almost uniformly a comment on the high costs, accompanied by a resigned shake of the head. The C-Store, based on these responses, has become decidedly more expensive.
Following the removal of three residents by the Office of Residential Life (ResLife), Quinby House has undergone several changes in leadership. According to the policy outlined in the College House Constitution, the vice president will assume the presidency if that position becomes vacant. Former vice president Maura Allen '14 is the new president of Quinby House. The house elected Sam Shapiro '14 to the vice presidency.
The job market in academia is notoriously cut-throat. Colleges vie for the best professors to teach students and draw research grants, while newly-minted Ph.D.s must fight tooth-and-nail for visiting professorships, let alone tenure-track positions. So when it comes to the benefits packages offered by schools, professors are not usually in a position of leverage.
In the aftermath of a Waterville Police Department (WPD) raid on an off-campus party last weekend, more than 50 Colby students are now facing alcohol-related charges.
While many of the changes this year are visibly noticeable, one of the most important improvements to life at Bowdoin is invisible to the naked eye. Per federal order, Bowdoin has revised its sexual assauly and harrassement policy, though Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster said the changes are slight.
Community service and civic participation are deeply ingrained in the Bowdoin ethos. In a testament to these principles, Samantha Collins '11, Sarah Pritzker '11 and Associate Professor of Education Charles Dorn were recently honored by the Maine Campus Compact (MCC) for their ongoing commitment to these pillars of the College.
The College recently elevated four faculty members to endowed chair positions in recognition of their work in various fields of study.
As finals loom and the relaxation enjoyed during Spring Break becomes a distant memory, the skepticism surrounding AddSeven.com—which was launched soon after students returned from vacation in March—has also faded away. The website is the brainchild of seniors Yoni Ackerman and Noah Isaacson, and in the month since the site launched, 717 Bowdoin students registered. Now, Ackerman and Isaacson have expanded to include networks for Bates, Colby and Middlebury.
Daggett Lounge buzzed with nervous anticipation on Wednesday and Thursday evenings as students assembled for the quints and quads housing lotteries. Emotions ran from excited relief to frustrated disappointment as more blocks were entered in both lotteries than there were rooms available.
The Student Web Advisory Team (SWAT) has spent the past year working on two coordinated projects; redesigning the campus digest and the student gateway. The Bowdoin community will soon see at least one portion of the team's extensive labor come to fruition; pending the finalized technical details, SWAT will start testing the new digest at the beginning of next week.
To the casual observer, it might be easy to consider the various trends of struggling bookstores, folding magazines, and massive layoffs at the largest newspapers as indicative of an increasingly bleak landscape for people interested in making a career of writing. The reality is not as dire as the statistics may suggest.
Eight student groups spread out across the North American continent during the first week of Spring Break as part of this year's community service Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trips, sponsored by the McKeen Center for the Common Good. 81 students participated this year and their feedback on the 2011 ASB program has been overwhelmingly positive.
There is no shortage of means of communication on campus: innumerable posters vie for student's attention on the walls of public spaces and students receive fliers in the mailboxes—at least until BSG voted on Wednesday to stop the practice. Arguably the most heavily-trafficked advertising venue is e-mail, however. Student inboxes are inundated every day with the student digest and a veritable flood of campus-wide messages announcing everything from College House parties to summer job opportunities.
The women's swimming and diving team wrapped up its season at the NESCAC Championships at Williams last weekend, returning to Bowdoin with seven new school records and a 10th place finish.
Last week, several students noticed that a few salt shakers in Thorne Dining Hall had been filled with sugar. According to Director of Dining and Bookstore Services Mary McAteer Kennedy, a student brought the mix-up to the attention of the Dining Service and the mistake was quickly rectified.
After a strong showing at its Home Invitational last weekend, the men's track team is gearing up for a big meet this Saturday at Maine state meet.
Pickard Theater will come alive tomorrow night as The Low Anthem and Jukebox the Ghost take the stage for the Entertainment Board's (E-Board) annual Winter Concert. Bowdoin's own Louis Weeks '11 will open for the two headliners, both of which are currently on tour.
With only a week left before the anticipated release of Early Decision I (ED I) offers, the Office of Student Aid has begun evaluating financial aid requests for the incoming Class of 2015. For almost two decades, Bowdoin has adhered to a need-blind admissions practice. In January 2008, the College restructured its financial aid practices by replacing all loans with grants. Currently, the College is in the early stages of complying with the Higher Education Opportunity Act. The act includes a measure that aims to realistically inform prospective students of what their college costs might amount to.
Two and a half years after Bowdoin was named College Prowler's "School of the Year," Bowdoin still holds the title. College Prowler recently updated its rankings for Bowdoin. The website determines rankings based on analysis of student survey responses, open-ended student reviews and statistical data. This means that the ratings can fluctuate as student reviewers post their comments.
This semester has already brought several overhauls in Bowdoin's technology infrastructure, the latest of which include a redesign of the Student Gateway. The Student Web Advisory Team (SWAT) is in the research and development phase of redesigning the Student Gateway Web page and the Student Digest.
Ever since Bowdoin upgraded its wireless network over Fall Break, many members of the community have expressed frustration as the College adjusts to the new system. To many on campus, the upgrade seemed arbitrary and unnecessarily disruptive. However, the new protocol—WPA2 Enterprise—was implemented after about a year of discussion and testing, according to Chief Information Officer Mitch Davis. The network is designed to close the security gaps of the old, open access system that allowed anyone to "get on the wireless network and 'click,' get your information," according to Davis.
The recent bequest of $13.5 million—the largest ever posthumous gift to the College—from the estate of Bion Cram, a member of the Class of 1937, is sure to have a significant impact on Bowdoin's ability to maintain its financial aid program and need-blind admission practices.
He has been interviewed on NBC Nightly News and the Tavis Smiley Show; he has been profiled as the ABC News "Person of the Week"; and, to put the seal on his recent explosion into the limelight, Geoffrey Canada '74 has been on "Oprah." Canada has been popping up all over the media to build enthusiasm for the already acclaimed documentary, "Waiting for Superman," of which he is a subject.
Students at Colby College have began their academic year in Waterville under a dry spell. Over the summer, Colby enacted a new policy—similar to those already in place at Bates and Bowdoin—banning hard alcohol.