Professors renew CFD to promote faculty diversity
The College’s professors reaffirmed their commitment to a diverse faculty on Monday, voting to reauthorize the Committee on Faculty Diversity (CFD) through the 2019-2020 academic year. The CFD was created in May 2009 to “promote the hiring and retention of a diverse faculty at Bowdoin,” according to a report distributed at the March faculty meeting.
Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd said that a diverse faculty has immense value for the College.
“The value is about creating the richest educational environment that we can, about bringing a variety of life and intellectual perspectives to bear on what we do,” she said. “The value is about making sure as an institution that we represent the broad diversity that is our country and is our world.”
Members of the CFD sit on tenure-track search committees, helping to ensure that those committees consider diversity appropriately at every stage of the search process.
“The faculty search process, over the years we’ve made that a more extended process, so we begin by building pools of candidates; we begin by figuring out what the outreach is; we look at how best to define a position so that we can bring in the widest pool of applicants, and a member of that committee served on the search committee,” said Judd.
Judd said that the CFD works toward diversity in its broadest sense, considering not only the race and ethnicity of candidates, but also their gender, socioeconomic background and country of origin, and the undergraduate and graduate institutions from which they graduated. In recent years the College has achieved a near perfect gender balance among its faculty, and it currently employs professors from 21 countries.
When the CFD was formed, the faculty included a five-year sunset clause so that they could evaluate whether it should continue to exist and how it could be improved. A working group formed last October, chaired by Peter M. Small Associate Professor of Art History Stephen Perkinson, reported that “the Committee has been able to play a helpful role in searches…and that the ultimate goal of embedding best practices in the faculty as a whole is broadly supported. These factors strongly suggest that the Committee should be reauthorized.”
The working group also identified ways that the CFD could be improved, recommending that its “members receive professional training in best practices regarding inclusive recruitment and hiring,” that they join the search process earlier, and that they serve two-year terms “to allow for full training and the presence of experienced members on search committees.” The faculty voted to implement all of these changes on Monday.
Romney Associates, a professional development company, is currently helping the College design four training workshops that will teach CFD members how to prepare for searches, how to read dossiers and deal with unconscious bias, how to structure campus visits for prospective hires, and how to ensure the success of faculty members once they are hired. The first workshop will take place in May.
Judd said the purpose of the CFD is not simply to increase the number of faculty members from diverse backgrounds, but also to change the way that Bowdoin understands diversity as an institution.
“It’s something that we have worked very hard on, and we’re not there yet, and we’re never going to be there yet,” she said. “It’s not a numbers game. It’s a way of being.”
—Marina Affo contributed to this report.
Mills sits down at divestment sit-in
President Barry Mills took a seat in the middle of Bowdoin Climate Action’s (BCA) sit-in for fossil fuel divestment last night and debated with protesters for over an hour, reiterating that the College has decided not to divest, explaining why it made that choice, and taking questions from about 25 assembled students.
BCA has been occupying the second floor of Hawthorne-Longfellow Hall, which houses Mills’ office, since Wednesday morning, pledging not to leave until the Board of Trustees commits to divestment. A handful of students have continued the sit-in overnight, sleeping outside Mills’ office last night and Wednesday night.
Mills argued that divestment was a symbolic tactic that would damage the College’s finances without creating meaningful change.
“We don’t think that the trade is worth it because frankly—as you all admit on your signs—this is a tactic,” he said. “The result from the tactic is incredibly burdensome to the College.”
Matthew Goodrich ’15, an organizer of the sit-in, disputed Mills’ claim that divestment would be ineffective, pointing to the 1980s movement to divest from apartheid South Africa.
“In 1986 a bipartisan Congress overrode President Reagan’s veto of the anti-apartheid sanctions act because of the divestment movement,” he said. “It builds the political mandate for a carbon tax, and that’s why we’re doing it.”
“I hear it. We just don’t agree,” said Mills.
“Well, we don’t agree, and that’s why we’re here,” responded Goodrich. It was the first of several moments when Mills and the BCA protesters simply did not agree.
Mills also argued that in order to divest the roughly 1.5 percent of the endowment that is invested in fossil fuels, the College would have to stop giving its money to some of its highest-performing external fund managers.
“The tactic results in this College losing hundreds of millions of dollars and puts at risk all of the other things that we do for the common good,” he said.
Senior Vice President for Investments Paula Volent estimated in 2013 that divestment would cause the College to lose $100 million over a ten-year period.
Michael Butler ’17 asked if the College would still lose millions of dollars if it invested in fossil-free funds created by firms like Cambridge Associates. Mills said that it would, citing a study conducted by Cambridge Associates in 2013, which found that if Pomona College divested from fossil fuel companies, its endowment would grow by $485 million less over a ten-year period and would therefore generate $66 million less for the Pomona to spend.
The protesters then argued that investments in fossil fuel companies undermined the College’s commitment to the common good.
“Is it appropriate for a university to invest in fossil fuels?” Goodrich asked Mills.
“Sure,” Mills responded after a short pause.
“Well, there’s where we disagree,” said Goodrich. “The point of divestment is to align Bowdoin values, right? We are the College for the common good. The College is something more than just a business model seeking profit at any cost. The College is a place of education and a place of values that has existed for a very long time, and Bowdoin is particular in that we have made it our mission to further the common good, and that role, I think, is being undermined by our investments in the fossil fuel industry.”
Several students noted that a number of other schools have committed to divestment in some form. The University of Maine recently announced its plan to divest, while Stanford and most recently Syracuse have pledged to end their direct investments in fossil fuel companies. Mills said that some of these schools’ announcements have been “cynical” and will have little to no actual impact.
“I don’t think it was real,” he said. “I don’t believe that any of those schools that divested, that said they will not directly hold fossil fuel stocks—I bet if you investigate those schools they don’t hold a nickel of stock of any company [directly].”
Bowdoin does not have any direct investments in fossil fuel companies, according to Mills.
Hugh Ratcliffe ’15, who said he was looking for the “middle ground,” suggested that Bowdoin announce that it will not directly invest in fossil fuels in the future, which would give the divestment movement more political clout without damaging the College’s endowment.
“I don’t believe in taking politically easy stands that don’t mean anything,” Mills told Ratcliffe.
Monique Lillis ’17 asked for more engagement from the College and said that BCA’s request for a working group involving students, faculty members and trustees was a reasonable one. Mills responded that the demand for a working group put the College in an unfair position, since it presupposed that the College would divest.
“If you just read the demand that you’ve created, that you sent to the Trustees, you didn’t write, let’s create a working group to discuss whether this is a good idea,” Mills said. “You wrote, we want a working group to work toward divestment. Since we don’t agree, you’re asking us to create a working group to do something which we don’t agree to.”
BCA said that it plans to continue its sit-in.
BCA begins sit-in for fossil fuel divestment outside Mills' office
Approximately 25 students have begun their protest in Hawthorne Longfellow Hall
Approximately 25 students have begun Bowdoin Climate Action’s (BCA) sit-in for fossil fuel divestment this morning on the second floor of Hawthorne Longfellow Hall, which houses the offices of President Barry Mills and Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd.
BCA is staging the sit-in because it believes the Board of Trustees has not taken their calls for divestment seriously. Sit-in organizer Matthew Goodrich ’15 said that protesters, many of whom are skipping classes, will refuse to leave until the College engages with them about divestment, adding that BCA's current plan is continue the sit-in overnight.
Mills is currently out of town—something that BCA was not aware of until the Orient mentioned it in an interview with spokespeople Allyson Gross ’16 and Goodrich, who said that his absence from campus would not have affected their choice to sit in today.
Administrators continued to work inside their offices with their doors closed. None of them were willing to speak to the Orient.
The sit-in was quiet, with protesters doing homework or browsing the Internet on their laptops. Many students wore orange patches on their clothing—a national symbol for the divestment movement.
Protesters were careful not to interfere with administrators. At one point, Judd walked through the reception area, politely asking several students to let her by. A few minutes later she walked past again, and protest organizers called out for other students to step aside.
Goodrich said that BCA does not plan on chanting or singing, which he says would be disruptive for the administrators in the office.
“We want to let them do their work and they’ll let us do ours,” he said.
Gross said that protestors are prepared in the event that the Office of Safety and Security asks them to leave the building.
“We have plans for all different levels of contingencies. We’ve been planning for a while and are prepared for whatever comes,” she said.
Goodrich said that BCA has not yet determined what it will do if protesters face disciplinary action from the College.
“We’ll have to see. I’d like to see what happens first before we say what we’ll do,” he said.
The sit in could violate the College's Social Code, which prohibits, “Disruption of the orderly processes of the College, involving obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, or other College activities, including its public-service activities.”
BCA also published a letter endorsing the sit-in that was signed by 16 parents of current students and 38 alumni, including Director of Religious and Spiritual Life Bob Ives '69.
BCA organizes student sit-in for fossil fuel divestment
Bowdoin Climate Action (BCA) has recruited more than 50 students to participate in a sit-in as it escalates its fossil fuel campaign, the group announced in a press release sent on Monday morning. BCA did not indicate where or when the sit-in would take place.
Students and alumni at Swarthmore College have staged a sit-in at their campus’ finance and investment office since March 19, according to the Swarthmore Phoenix, and climate activists at Harvard have occupied the president’s office and plan on holding a weeklong sit-in sometime in April, according to the Harvard Crimson.
A similar protest at Bowdoin could run afoul of the College’s Social Code.
In a list of activities that “constitute breaches of the Social Code,” the College includes “Disruption of the orderly processes of the College, involving obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, or other College activities, including its public-service activities.” Occupation of College offices is given as a specific example of this sort of disruption.
Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster did not say whether or not the College would discipline students involved in the occupation of an administrative office.
“I’m confident students understand our Academic Honor Code and Social Code and having worked with students for a long time, I expect they will make good decisions,” he wrote in an email to the Orient.
BCA leader Matthew Goodrich ’15 said that those planning on participating in the sit-in know that they could face disciplinary action.
“We’re aware of that,” he said. “But we’re also aware that the College has denied us the proper rights and respect we deserve as students. The trend toward direct action unfortunately is a last resort, as we’ve been shut out of the more institutional channels.”
Frustrated in its effort to convince the College to divest, BCA offered the Trustees an ultimatum on February 13: If the Trustees did not appoint a divestment liaison to the student body by March 6, BCA would escalate its campaign.
In an interview with the Orient on March 3, President Barry Mills asserted that the trustees directed BCA to go to him with further concerns. BCA did not accept this explanation.
“In an act of deafness toward the students and faculty, President Mills has now appointed himself liaison,” the group wrote on its website on March 16. “As he will leave campus in the coming months, this does not fulfill our request to engage the Board in productive discussion and continue dialogue into next semester. In consequence, we reaffirm our intent to escalate this spring. The Board has not acted for climate justice, so we will.”
Mills says he is divestment liaison, BCA not satisfied
President Barry Mills said on Tuesday in an interview with the Orient that the Board of Trustees informed members of Bowdoin Climate Action (BCA) in October that he would be their point of contact as they moved forward with their campaign to pressure to the College to divest its endowment from the top 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies.
“I have not heard word one from these people,” said Mills, who added that he has not interacted directly with BCA since the group delivered its divestment petition to him in April 2014.
In recent weeks, BCA has threatened to “escalate” its campaign if the Board does not appoint a trustee to serve as a divestment liaison to the student body by March 6. Mills, who is a trustee, said that he is the liaison between students and the Trustees.
Matt Goodrich ’15, a leader of BCA, said he was surprised to hear that Mills was claiming to be the liaison, and added that he was not satisfied with the choice.
“We’ve been having unproductive conversations with [Mills] for years,” he said. “We already know what side he’s on, and it’s not climate justice, certainly.”
This academic year is Mills’ last at the College, and Goodrich said BCA would prefer a long-term liaison.
“We really want someone who we can have developed conversations with,” he said. “We want to have relationships with the Board members in a way that will facilitate the process so that we’ll end up with divestment at the College in a responsible way.”
Goodrich said that BCA will announce in the next few days if it plans on following through with its plans to escalate its divestment campaign, and expressed hope that another liaison could be appointed before March 6.
“We were expecting—and we are expecting still—a member of the Board of Trustees that we can work with,” he said.
BCA did not explain what escalation would look like.
Other schools' divestment movements have recently stepped up their efforts and could serve as models. Divest Harvard, for example, has recently occupied the building which houses the offices of the university’s president, Drew Faust.
In its recent messaging, BCA has accused the Trustees of over 130 days of silence since they heard BCA’s proposal in October. Mills said that this an unfair representation of the Board and its reception of BCA.
Although Mills does not support divestment, he said he believes climate change is a “huge issue” and that instead of focusing on divestment, which would be a symbolic step, Bowdoin students should find ways that the College can continue to become more sustainable.
Mills reiterated his belief that divestment would have a negative effect on the College’s endowment and financial aid budget, which BCA has denied.
“If our endowment does not perform well, the idea that our financial aid budget will be immune is naive,” Mills said.
In recent years, the boards of peer schools Amherst and Middlebury have formally examined the possibility of divestment from fossil fuels, and both boards determined that divestment was not the best path forward for their respective institutions.
Mills said he is not advocating a similar study at Bowdoin because the Trustees are already well informed on the issue and feel they have yet to hear a compelling argument for divestment.
Men’s hoops rallies past Williams into semifinals
Head Coach Tim Gilbride thinks that men’s basketball has a solid chance of winning its first-ever NESCAC title this weekend at Trinity, but said that doing so will require the Polar Bears to continue playing their best basketball of the year.
“I think we have a real good shot,” said Gilbride. “Any of the four teams there for sure can win it. We have as good a chance as anyone.”
After its come-from-behind, 87-74 victory over Williams in last Saturday’s quarterfinal in Morrell Gymnasium, the team will take on Amherst in tomorrow’s semifinal. Amherst defeated Bowdoin 81-66 in late January, but the Polar Bears think they have become a different team—and in many ways a better team—since that loss.
When the Polar Bears last met Amherst, they had just lost senior captain Keegan Pieri to a season-ending injury and were adjusting to a new playing style. Captain Bryan Hurley ’15 said that the team has settled into that new style since that loss to Amherst.
“That was early on when we were getting used to not having [Pieri], and getting used to playing with a smaller team with a more up-tempo pace on offense, and getting used to defending with a smaller team,” said Hurley. “It’s starting to come along now, and we’re starting to play well together as a team.”
The team’s recent record supports Hurley’s claim. Since the Amherst loss, the Polar Bears have gone 5-1, with big wins over Middlebury and Bates. A large—and lanky—reason for that recent success is Lucas Hausman ’16, who became the first player in NESCAC men’s basketball history to win three straight Player of the Week awards after his 37-point performance against Williams last weekend.
Hurley said that Hausman will need to maintain his impressive form tomorrow against Amherst, and that the Polar Bears cannot allow the Lord Jeffs to get off to a strong start.“If they get off early to a good shooting start then they’re going to be a tough team to beat, but if you clamp down defensively they can start to implode,” said Hurley.
The Polar Bears were able to recover from a slow start of their own against Williams last Saturday. In the first half, Williams guard Hayden Rooke-Ley hit six three-pointers—many of them uncontested—to give the Ephs a seven-point lead. That lead could have been larger were it not for senior John Swords, who went a perfect 8-8 from the field during the first half, scoring 16 of his eventual 23 points.
Gilbride made some tactical adjustments during halftime, and the Polar Bears started the second half on an 8-0 run, turning a seven-point deficit into a one-point lead in less than two and a half minutes. Hurley said the team knew it could score against Williams, but that it made some changes on the other side of the ball.
“Defensively we made sure we got out on shooters, especially [Rooke-Ley],” said Hurley. “We let him get open way too much in the first half.”
The adjustment worked. The Polar Bears held Rooke-Ley to only seven second-half points, and zero points in the game’s final 14 minutes, meaning that the Williams senior finished his career with 999 points. The Ephs, who shot 52 percent from the field in the first half, hit only 28 percent of their shots in the second.
The offense also found its groove, led by Hausman who scored 25 of his 37 points in the second half on 7-9 shooting and six trips to the free-throw line. Hausman said that because of the game’s high stakes, the Polar Bears were motivated to come out aggressive after halftime.
“There was a general realization in the locker room that this could be the end of the season and I don’t think anybody wanted that,” he said. “And I don’t think there was anyone in our locker room who thought that Williams was a better team than us.”
The players are focused on this weekend’s NESCAC tournament, but the NCAA D-III Tournament is not far from their minds. Gilbride said that they are a bubble team at the moment, and while a NESCAC title would earn the Polar Bears an automatic bid, Hurley said that a win in tomorrow’s semifinal would likely be enough to secure them a spot.
For now, however, the Polar Bears have their sights set on a NESCAC title, and although they lost to all three of the other semifinalists—Amherst, Trinity and Wesleyan—during the regular season, Hausman said he remains confident.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that we can hang with or beat any of them,” Hausman said.
Coding, choreography and collaboration
The dancers provide the code, and the computer scientists transform it into choreography. That’s the basic idea behind a collaborative project between Assistant Professor of Dance Charlotte Griffin’s Advanced Dance Composition class and Associate Professor of Computer Science Stephen Majercik’s course, Nature-Inspired Composition.
Dancers in Griffin’s class combined different movements, each assigned a number, to create performances that can be reduced to numeric sequences. These sequences constitute a code for the computer science (CS) students, who write “fitness functions” that determine which sequences are best (although the dancers bristled at the idea of one dance being objectively better than another). The function—through a process that Majercik compared to evolution—will spit out a new sequence of movements, a type of computer-generated choreography.
As often happens when two disciplines come together—especially disciplines as disparate as CS and dance—there have been some slight hiccups. Griffin said that the project has involved a departure from the typical language of dance.
“A lot of this language is very challenging from a choreographic standpoint, like picking the best, ranking in order of preferences,” said Griffin. “In choreography I’m not using words like good or bad. It’s more like interesting or contrasting or complementary.”
Majercik has had to adjust his vocabulary as well. He admitted that his dance experience is limited to social events like weddings and parties.
“I don’t think I’ll make this mistake again, but I made the mistake several times of saying we want something good,” Majercik said. “And [Griffin] says, ‘No, we don’t want something good. It doesn’t have to be good—it can be interesting.’”
Only a few minutes later, Majercik made the same mistake again while describing the challenge of building a fitness function to evaluate the dances.
“Here’s the crux of it. Here’s where the difficult piece is,” he said. “For the evolution to work there has to be a function that evaluates the sequence and gives it some sort of score—how good is it?”
“Or how interesting,” Griffin interrupted, prompting laughter from both professors.
Dancers in Griffin’s class also struggled to adapt to the language and logic of CS, particularly when students from Majercik’s class visited the studio to rank the dance sequences and develop criteria for their fitness functions.
“I don’t believe in ranking dances like that, especially among people that you’re in class with,” said Sarah Guilbault ’18. “It’s not a quantitative thing to rank dances, but it’s necessary for computer science in order to create new sequences.”
Lucy Saidenberg ’15 had similar reservations, but found that the project was still valuable.“It was a little scary at first, but I think the concept was really interesting in the end,” she said.
Both dancers and CS students underscored the potential awkwardness of interdisciplinary collaboration when they described the meeting between their classes. Simon Moushabeck ’16, who is in Majercik’s class, said that “it was like studying another species” and Saidenburg joked that it would be “hilarious” to see the CS students dance.
Griffin and Majercik may seem like an odd pair, given the enormous differences between CS and dance, but they share the belief that their respective fields can benefit from a carefully designed collaborative project.
“We’re working on theme and variation this semester, so this is an opportunity to look at movement analysis and movement variation in a way that a choreographer might not do on their own,” Griffin said.
Majercik said he was excited by the questions and uncertainties of the project.
“It’s been really interesting trying to figure out how these two processes can work together,” he said. “Can you think of it being a collaboration between a dancer and the algorithm? It’s really an exploration. We’re not sure where it’s going to lead.”
Griffin and Majercik began planning a collaborative effort two years ago, when they served on a working group as part of the College’s Digital and Computational Studies Initiative (DCSI). Their current project is not a formal part of the initiative, but they think of it as an experiment in what they call the “computational arts.”
The two professors see this semester’s project as a trial for a future course in which students would participate as both dancers and computer scientists. They would call that course Computational Expressivity.
Majercik said that a number of students in his class seem interested in such a course.
Moushabeck said that he has enjoyed applying CS principles to a real-world problem.
“I think it’s a cool idea,” he said. “It gives us the chance to put something that we’re learning to use, to see it make results in a way that’s not just seeing the numbers fly down on the screen.”
Not all the dancers were as sure about the idea, however.
“I don’t love the idea of a computer telling me which moves are the most aesthetically pleasing,” said Saidenburg. “I don’t really believe that it’s possible, just because of the subjective nature of what’s good dance.”
John Fish ’82 works to bring 2024 Olympics to Boston
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) selected Boston to compete globally to host the 2024 Olympic Games on January 8, accepting a proposal put forward by dozens of local businessmen and politicians. John Fish ’82, chairman and CEO of Suffolk Construction, is chair of Boston 2024, the group working to bring the Olympics to Boston.
The announcement has provoked a great deal of debate. Although the bid has the backing of dozens of powerful political leaders, including Mayor Marty Walsh and Governor Charlie Baker, a group called No Boston Olympics has begun organizing against the proposal, and the community is wary of using public funds to finance the Olympics.
In a phone call with the Orient, Fish said that debate over the future of the region, and how the Olympics might fit into that future, is itself productive. He realized the significance of such a debate when the idea of a Boston Olympic Games was first brought to him a few years ago.
“At that point in time I was thinking was this real or not real, and the more I got into it the more I realized that there was a lot of opportunity, even just at the conversation level—whether or not we were going to host the Olympics,” he said. “Having the conversation about the potential, it created a lot of the opportunity to think about where we want to be in, say, 2030.”
Hosting the Olympics would require major upgrades to Boston’s transportation infrastructure and the development of a multi-billion dollar Olympic Village. Several op-ed writers, recently published in The Boston Globe, are excited about these possible upgrades, dreaming of a transit ring around the edges of the city or the potential of the proposed Olympic Boulevard to connect the harbor, the South End and South Boston. Fish said he is glad that all of these ideas are part of the Olympic conversation.
“How do we think about upgrading the rail system to Worcester? How do we think about high-speed rail to Springfield? How do we think about expediting the South Coast Rail all the way down to Fall River and beyond?” he said. “You think about those conversations—that has noting to do with the Olympics. But what it all has to do with is where we want to be in the future.”
Fish has recused his construction company from bidding on Olympics-related projects.“I don’t want people thinking that my pursuit of these Games has anything to do with any monetary improvements at my company or an improvement for me personally,” he said.
No Boston Olympics argues that the public and private investment required for hosting the Games would be better spent in areas like education or health care. It also cautions that Massachusetts’ taxpayers would be on the hook for any costs that exceed the budget. There are already question marks in the initial budget, which includes $3.4 billion of funds that will come from unspecified “public/private partnerships.”
“Unfortunately the connotation with the Olympics is financial risk—high financial risk—and I think that comes as a backdrop of Sochi and Montreal and other Olympic Games,” said Fish about citizens’ budget concerns.
Fish noted that the last four Olympic Games hosted on U.S. soil were cash flow positive, and that the 2002 Winter Games positively transformed Salt Lake City. However, he said he is happy to hear dissenting opinions.
“Listening to their opinions and their ideas and their concerns is what the democratic process is all about,” Fish said. “That is the opportunity for us to learn, to listen, to respond.”
Not everyone agrees that Boston 2024’s process has been democratic, however. Joan Vennochi expressed concern in her January 22 Globe column that Fish could set Massachusetts’ agenda for the next decade or more without having ever won elected office.
Former gubernatorial candidate Evan Falchuk recently registered the People’s Vote Olympics Committee to promote a 2016 statewide ballot question about funding the Games, and other groups are considering putting questions on this fall’s municipal ballots in Boston and Cambridge. Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim proposed this week four non-binding Olympics-related ballot questions for his city’s ballot.
Fish did not say directly whether or not he supports a referendum. He said instead that Boston 2024 needs to continue telling its story and supporting it with facts.
If Boston wins the International Olympic Committee’s approval, there will be another set of questions to answer. One of them is who would light the torch at the opening ceremony, and almost a decade in advance, names are already swirling. Among them are Joan Benoit-Samuelson ’79, who won gold in the first ever women’s Olympic marathon in 1984. Benoit-Samuelson already has the support of one important individual.
“That’s the person I vote for,” Fish said. “I’m so proud to be a Polar Bear and nothing would make me more excited and proud than to watch Joan [Benoit-Samuelson] carry the Olympic torch into the Olympic Stadium.”
Campus reacts to selection of Clayton S. Rose as 15th president
At the start of the second week of classes in the Spring 2015 semester, the Bowdoin community received one of the year’s most important announcements—that Bowdoin had found its next president.
After learning that Clayton S. Rose would replace President Barry Mills, many affiliated with the College tempered their excitement with a certain measure of skepticism. While Rose might not be a typical choice, having no experience in the liberal arts and no connection to Bowdoin, most concluded that it is too soon to say what kind of leader Rose will be. Optimism seems to be the collective sentiment.
Many Bowdoin students and alumni took to social media after the announcement. Some posted congratulatory messages while others voiced disappointment with the choice. One of the recurring objections was the fact that Bowdoin will still have a white, male leader during a time when many peer schools are beginning to appoint female or non-white presidents.
Several NESCAC schools have elected female presidents in the last five years: Amherst in 2011, Bates in 2012, Connecticut College in 2013, and Trinity and Middlebury in 2014. When Laurie Patton of Middlebury takes office this fall, six out of the 11 NESCAC schools will have female presidents, making male NESCAC presidents a minority.
Jes Staley ’79, chair of Bowdoin’s search committee, said that the choices of peer schools did not pressure the committee to select a female or a person of color.
“We put together a list of candidates with Isaacson, Miller that was very diverse—that looked at some extraordinarily talented women, some extraordinarily talented candidates of color—so when we started to interview the candidates, it was a very diverse slate,” Staley said. “It would be great to make history, but we had to find the best person to run Bowdoin College—and that was Clayton [Rose].”
Associate Professor of Africana Studies and English Tess Chakkalakal, a member of the search committee, agreed with Staley.
“We kept the pool diverse throughout the process and after that point you can’t really be looking at race or gender as an actual qualification for the job. At least I don’t,” she said.
“Some people are frustrated that he is a straight, white male, but I think a lot of people also recognize that he has had a very successful career and has done very well for himself academically,” said Colin Swords ’15. “The qualifications that indicate that he’ll be an excellent fundraiser for our school and that he’ll be able to do good things for our financial aid—those count more to me than a symbolic gesture.”
Others questioned why Rose, who has never attended or taught at a small liberal arts institution, was chosen for the job. The last president without exposure to a small liberal arts environment was William DeWitt Hyde, the College’s seventh president who was in office from 1885-1917.
The A. Myrick Freeman Professor of Social Sciences and the Chair of the Sociology and Anthropology Departments Susan Bell said that though Rose had not necessarily been part of a liberal arts community, he seems committed to Bowdoin’s spirit of intellectual pursuit.
“What I find impressive is that he chose to get a Ph.D.,” said Bell. “It suggests that somebody cares deeply enough about education and the liberal ideals of education that he put himself into a position of student as an older person. It suggests that he really values something that we value in the academy, and that’s life-long learning. I don’t know if he would talk about it in this way, but as an outsider observing him, it tells me that not only does he care about life-long education and a self-cultivating approach to life but that he did the disciplined work you need to do in order to finish a Ph.D.”
Rose left his career as a businessman working at J.P. Morgan to return to the University of Pennsylvania to get his doctorate in sociology. He wrote his dissertation, “Race at the top: Organizational response to institutional pressures and the racial composition of the corporate elite,” on the ways in which African Americans are included on corporate boards of directors.
“I’m really excited that he has a background in sociology because I think this [background] will be really beneficial as he addresses particular issues that Bowdoin students are passionate about and interested in,” said Priscila Lafore ’14.
Rose’s experience working at J.P. Morgan and teaching management practice has some in the community saying that he’s an especially qualified choice.
“My understanding of the president’s job is that it primarily deals with management and finances, and it seems like this guy knows a lot about both of those subjects,” said James Jelin ’16.
—Cameron de Wet and Joe Sherlock contributed to this report.
[<a href="//storify.com/bowdoinorient/reactions-to-announcement-of-new-president-clayton" target="_blank">View the story "Reactions to announcement of new president Clayton Rose" on Storify</a>]
Trustees elect Clayton S. Rose 15th president of the College
President-elect introduced to Bowdoin community on campus on Monday
On Monday morning the Board of Trustees unanimously elected Clayton S. Rose the 15th president of the College, effective July 1. President-elect Rose, who is currently a professor of management practice at the Harvard Business School (HBS), accepted the position shortly after the vote.
Prior to his time at HBS, Rose worked in the financial services industry for 20 years, serving as vice chairman and chief operating officer at J.P. Morgan in 2001, when he decided to return to academia. He enrolled in a doctoral program in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania in 2003, where he studied race in America and graduated with distinction in 2007. Rose’s other academic credentials include a B.A. and M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. He is originally from San Rafael, Calif.
The College held a brief ceremony at 3 p.m. on Monday in David Saul Smith Union to introduce Rose to the Bowdoin community. President Barry Mills, Chair of the Presidential Search Committee and member of the Board of Trustees Jes Staley ’79, Rose and his wife Julianne were in attendance. Several hundred students, faculty, staff and Brunswick residents filled Morrell Lounge and lined the ramps of Smith Union to hear Rose speak.Staley, representing the search committee, said that the body had tirelessly pursued the right candidate.
“We came from different backgrounds and ages,” said Staley. “The search committee clearly reflected the diversity of Bowdoin. The search committee worked incredibly hard. We pored over hundreds of résumés and discussed dozens of potential candidates.”
Staley said that the search committee is confident that Rose is the individual best-suited to guide Bowdoin into the future.
“The search committee was convinced that Clayton has thought deeply about the values of a liberal arts education and the challenges that lie ahead. He has the intellectual strength and quiet confidence to engage with our faculty as we consider the issues facing modern education—from technology to accessibility,” he said.
Rose’s candidacy came from Isaacson, Miller, the search firm Bowdoin hired to help find its new president, but Rose and Staley in fact worked together and became close friends at J.P. Morgan.
“I have learned much by listening to and watching Jes Staley, my long time business partner and great friend,” Rose wrote in the acknowledgments section of his dissertation. “He and I have been discussing issues of race and opportunity in the business world for many years, and he stands above any other executive that I know in his willingness to honestly address difficult social issues; he is a role model for other business leaders.”
A 2012 article in FT Magazine, the weekend insert in the Financial Times, tells the story of Staley giving Rose a Frodsham pocket watch—said to be one of John Pierpoint Morgan’s favorite gifts to give—when Rose left J.P. Morgan in 2001. According to the article, Rose returned the favor on the occasion of Staley’s 50th birthday in 2006.
“It sits on my desk at home and it’s been with me the whole time,” Rose said about the watch in an interview with the magazine. “I have a little stand for it and I look at it every night and every day. It’s a link to a firm and an ethos and a culture that was very much a part of me.”
Staley disclosed his relationship with Rose to the search committee, whose members said that it had no bearing on their selection.
“Apart from the fact that it was disclosed, it was not a big part of our deliberations nor did Jes do anything to make one suspicious of what was going on,” said Professor of Government Paul Franco, who sat on the search committee.
Seniors Oriana Farnham and Dusty Biron and Associate Professor of Africana Studies and English Tess Chakkalakal, all members of the committee, agreed with Franco’s assessment.
Rose began his first address to the Bowdoin community by acknowledging Mills’ accomplishments during his 14-year tenure. Resounding applause followed his words of recognition, demonstrating the esteem in which the Bowdoin community holds Mills.
Earlier in the afternoon during an interview with Orient, Rose explained the decision he made in 2001 to leave the world of finance and return to academia.
“In the business sphere you kind of think of things as a mile wide and an inch deep, and I wanted to flip that and see if I had the intellectual chops to be able to go a mile deep and an inch wide,” said Rose. “The issue that I wanted to go a mile deep into was the issue of race in America, so sociology was the natural academic platform to pursue that interest. I had never taken a sociology class in my life until I showed up at [UPenn] to begin the program—it’s quite a remarkable and powerful discipline actually as I discovered.”
William Bielby, currently a professor of sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, was a professor of Rose’s at UPenn and is the collaborator of his dissertation. Bielby said that given Rose’s career as an executive and his research focus in sociology, he will be able to make progress on racial issues that goes beyond symbolism.
“He has some interesting insights, a good handle on those kinds of things about making sure that when you are being supportive of diversity efforts or giving directives in the area of diversity, that there is indeed appropriate accountability and oversight so that there really is meaningful change,” said Bielby.
Rose also spoke to the pressures faced by today’s liberal arts colleges. He acknowledged that the public is becoming increasingly conscious of the value of higher education in terms of dollars and cents, but said that there is still a need for the liberal arts.
“It is essential to helping us grow, to shaping us, to creating fulfilling lives, meaningful lives for each of us, and then there’s the value it brings to society more broadly, an engaged and informed citizenry,” Rose said.
He added that a liberal arts education does not disadvantage students as they enter the job market.
“I actually see no tension, no tradeoff between a very high quality liberal arts education that’s dedicated to the notion of the individual and society,” Rose said. “The skills and tools that you develop in liberal arts education—critical thinking and the ability to communicate and understand the world—are incredibly important to whatever vocation someone is going to have. Those are deeply meaningful and powerful skills.”
Chakkalakal said that an ability to articulate the value of the liberal arts was something she was looking for in each of the candidates, and that Rose clearly had it.
“I think what [Rose] is going to bring here is a way of thinking about the value of the liberal arts in a kind of figurative way and also a material, financial way—that there is a payoff to a liberal arts education,” she said.
Franco said he thought Rose possessed the managerial and financial skills that are essential to the job, but also that Rose understood academia from the inside and would be up to the challenge of grappling with Bowdoin’s curriculum.
“There hasn’t been a great deal done in terms of curriculum reform for many years, ever since the distribution requirements that are currently in place were put in place,” Franco said. “So we’re due for some sort of revisitation of what we teach and how we teach.”
In addition to the skills suggested by his résumé, Rose had another important, if less concrete, qualification.
“He has a Bowdoin-ness to him,” said Farnham.
—Cameron de Wet and Ron Cervantes contributed to this report.
Editors note: An earlier version of this article was published on Monday January 26 and has since been updated to reflect what ran in the January 30 print edition of the Orient.
College mourns loss of beloved government professor Richard Morgan '59
Richard Morgan ’59, one of the College’s longest-serving and most beloved professors, died last night at the age of 77. Morgan, part of the faculty for 45 years, was married to Gary M. Pendy Sr. Professor of Social Sciences Jean Yarbrough.
Morgan not only occupied a distinguished position among the faculty, but he also inhabited the office at the pinnacle of Hubbard Hall’s gothic tower, a testament to his stature at the College and a cherished spot for students who attended his weekly office hours.
A man revered in the fields of constitutional and international law, Morgan started teaching at Bowdoin in 1969, 10 years after graduating from Bowdoin and subsequent to receiving an M.A. and Ph.D. in the Department of Public Law and Government at Columbia University and serving as a fellow in law and government at Harvard Law School.
“I would have had a lot of fun as a lawyer, but I wouldn’t have been able to spend my time on precisely those legal problems that interest me most,” Morgan said in a 2005 interview with the Orient. “In academic life, you trade income for freedom to concentrate on the things that really interest you.”
Morgan has written a number of books, among them “The Supreme Court and Religion,” “Domestic Intelligence: Monitoring Dissent in America” and “The Law and Politics of Civil Rights and Liberties.”
In addition to his significant academic credentials, Morgan was a first lieutenant in the Army Reserves from 1963-1964. He was also a registered Maine Guide who loved fishing on the Kennebec River near Jackman, Maine.
Morgan, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Constitutional Law, was teaching his Constitutional Law I course until October 16. Free speech cases were Morgan’s favorites to teach.
“Free speech problems tend to give us pure issues of democratic theory. If you think seriously about liberty, there is a fundamental contradiction at the base of the idea,” he told the Orient in 2005.
On a campus made up of predominantly liberal students, Morgan was often referred to as “the conservative professor.” When the Orient asked Morgan about this reputation in 2005, he responded in a typical cheeky manner.
“Yeah, I’m a right wing ideologue,” he said.
In addition to his wife, Morgan is survived by two stepsons, James Yarbrough Stern (Hilary) and John Francis Sutherlin Stern (Elisa), by three grandchildren, Henry, William, and Alexandra, and by his first wife, Eva Morgan of Brunswick.
The College is planning a service in the Bowdoin Chapel on Thursday, November 20th, at 11:00 a.m.
The Orient will run a full obituary of Professor Richard Morgan in its November 21 issue.
Maine Senator King to remain in Democratic caucus
Maine Senator Angus King announced this afternoon that he will remain in the Democratic caucus in the next Congress, even after the Republican party seized control of the Senate in Tuesday’s elections.
King said that he based his decision on what he thought would be best for Maine.
“It is in Maine’s interests to have a senator in each camp,” he said from the porch of his home on Potter Street in Brunswick. “The reality of the current Senate, whether it’s controlled by Republicans or Democrats, is that nothing can or will happen without bipartisan support.”
To demonstrate the advantage of having a senator in each caucus, King referenced a time when he and Maine’s Republican senator, Susan Collins, worked both sides of the aisle to secure the passage of an amendment that was important to Maine.
Another benefit to having a senator in each caucus, King said, is having at least one senator caucusing with the party of the president.
“A great deal of what we do in Washington has to do with working with the administration,” he said. “To change my alignment to a caucus which at least at this point appears openly hostile to the president—it seemed to me would give up an important advantage.”
King indicated over the summer that he would consider switching caucuses if the Republicans won control of the Senate. He acknowledged this afternoon that serving in the minority will have its drawbacks, but said that he has learned from Collins how to get things done as a member of the minority party.
“I think I have a role to play similar to the role that Susan Collins has played in the Republican caucus, and that is to pull my colleagues toward the center,” he said. “One of the real problems in my view with modern American politics and in Congress is polarization. Both sides need problem solvers who are interested in getting things done rather than scoring ideological or political points.”
King emphasized that he remains an independent who is committed to bipartisanship, carefully explaining what it does and does not mean that he decided to caucus with the Democrats.
"It does not mean I’ve become a Democrat or have officially or unofficially in any way joined the Democratic Party,” he said. “What it does mean is that I will have lunch with the Democrats on Tuesdays, and I will participate in their internal considerations of the questions that are on the Senate agenda.”
Although pundits will spend weeks arguing about what Tuesday night’s elections mean, King said that he believes that the American people sent a clear message.
“The people want us to get to work, to talk to each other, and to solve problems, and finally to reignite the sense of hope and optimism that is such a huge part of who we are as Americans,” he said. “In the end, whom I caucus with is much less important than whom I work with.”
Field hockey eases past Hamilton 6-0 in NESCAC quarterfinal
Field hockey lived up to its No. 1 seed in today’s NESCAC quarterfinal, beating Hamilton 6-0 in the rain on Ryan Field. The Polar Bears will host the lowest remaining seed next Saturday in the semifinals.
Rachel Kennedy ’16 scored a goal in the first minute, setting the tone for the afternoon. She added another in the ninth minute when Adrienne O’Donnell ’15 took the ball down the right sideline and laid the ball off for Kennedy, who spun around and slid a tricky shot past Hamilton’s goalie.
With 23 minutes left in the first half, O’Donnell put the Polar Bears up 3-0, bringing the ball into the circle through the middle, cutting right to get a better angle, and firing the ball into the net.
The Polar Bears, winning by three goals less than 15 minutes into the game, did not let up on attack. Four minutes later, Mettler Growney ’17 took a shot from the top of the circle that deflected to Kimmy Ganong ’17, who reacted quickly and scored from a tight angle.
The Continentals had rarely threatened to score in the first half, but pressured the Bowdoin goal in the first minute of the second, forcing goalie Hannah Gartner ’15 to make a diving save.
O’Donnell scored her second goal of the game with about 27:30 left in the half, putting Bowdoin up 5-0. Senior Emily Simonton assisted the goal.
Hamilton responded well, earning a penalty corner just a minute later. Off the corner, the Continentals managed to put a shot past Gartner, but a Bowdoin defender cleared the ball off the goal line to preserve Bowdoin’s five-goal lead.
With about 12 minutes remaining, junior Liz Znamierowski took the ball down the right side to the Continental’s end line and crossed to captain Pam Herter ’15, who tapped in the final goal of the afternoon from close range.
The Polar Bears beat Hamilton by the same 6-0 score on October 11 in Clinton, N.Y.
Field hockey secures No. 1 seed
Field hockey defeated Colby and Tufts this week to finish the regular season atop the NESCAC standings and earn hosting rights for the upcoming conference tournament. The Polar Bears (9-1 NESCAC, 14-1 overall) eased past Colby 4-1 last Saturday in Waterville and rounded out their regular season Wednesday night with a 4-0 win at home against the Jumbos.
Hosting rights could prove important in the NESCAC tournament. Bowdoin and Middlebury have met in the last three NESCAC championship games, two of which went into overtime and the other saw a decisive goal scored with less than two minutes remaining. The home team emerged victorious in all three contests.
The Polar Bears, however, are focused on tomorrow’s quarterfinal against Hamilton (2-8 NESCAC, 6-9 overall), not a possible rematch with Middlebury in the championship.
“At the moment we’re just incredibly proud that we finished top of the NESCAC,” said Head Coach Nicky Pearson. “To be honest, currently that just gives us the right to two practices and one more game. We’re not looking any further forward then the next couple of practices and playing Hamilton on Saturday.”
Bowdoin took the lead five minutes into Wednesday night’s game against Tufts (6-4 NESCAC, 11-4 overall), when senior Colleen Finnerty took a shot from the top of the circle that Rachel Kennedy ’16 redirected into the net.
Kennedy struck again fifteen minutes later. Shortly after the Polar Bears failed to convert off a penalty corner, she latched on to a loose ball in front of goal and backhanded it between two Tufts defenders and past the diving goalie.
Kennedy notched a third goal with 10 minutes remaining in the first half, bringing the ball into the Jumbos’ circle and laying it off for Adrienne O’Donnell ’15 on the right side. O’Donnell took the ball to the end line and centered it for Kennedy, who tucked it into the left side of the net.
O’Donnell played in the midfield last year and developed a connection with Kennedy, but the two have had to recalibrate their partnership since O’Donnell began playing as a forward this year.
“This year more so it has to be a little ball, a very direct ball to her, and I think we both worked really hard to make that connection,” O’Donnell said. “A lot of times we can get the speed advantage on the right side, so I can get past my defender and shoot the ball.”
Kennedy has now scored 19 goals in her last six games.
Tufts opened the second half strong, winning several penalty corners and forcing Bowdoin back into its own half. O’Donnell said the Polar Bears knew not to underestimate the Jumbos .
“Tufts is always really good. They have really strong individual skills,” she said. “The whole game it didn’t feel like we were up 2-0, 3-0, 4-0. We were on edge the whole time.”
The Jumbos failed to capitalize on their opportunities, however, and it was the Polar Bears who scored the only goal of the second half. About seven minutes after play resumed, the Jumbo’s goalie made a number of saves before the ball rebounded out to Juliana Fiore ’18, who fired it home from the left side of the circle.
Fiore had led the charge offensively on Saturday against Colby (4-6 NESCAC, 9-6 overall), scoring twice for the Polar Bears. Kennedy scored a first half goal and O’Donnell capped off the 4-1 win with a late goal off a corner.
“I usually get the ball and read what’s open based on what their fly comes out as,” O’Donnell said. “So I just took a shot. It tipped off their defender’s stick and went into the top of the net.”
O’Donnell said that the team is pleased it won the right to host the later rounds of the NESCAC tournament, but that its focus is on tomorrow’s quarterfinal against Hamilton. The Polar Bears beat the Continentals 6-0 on October 11.
“It’s by no means a shoo-in game,“ she said. “We’re certainly excited to host but we still have work to do.”
Pearson said that the Continentals have improved significantly since facing the Polar Bears earlier this month, and cannot be taken lightly.
“The danger is to look at that game and think it’s going to go exactly the same way the second time you play a team,” said Pearson. “But it never does.”
Tomorrow’s NESCAC quarterfinal against Hamilton will be played at noon on Howard F. Ryan field.
Democratic candidate for Maine governor speaks at Helmreich
Maine’s Democratic nominee for governor and current congressman Mike Michaud delivered a brief speech and fielded questions from students in Helmreich House on October 5.
Michaud stuck to the stump speech he has delivered around the state, telling the story of his early political career—when he split time between the Great Northern Paper Mill in East Millinocket and the state legislature—and describing what he accomplished during a 12-year tenure representing Maine’s second district in Washington, D.C.
Recent polls have showed a tight three-way gubernatorial race between Michaud, Republican incumbent Paul LePage and Eliot Cutler, an independent. Two polls were published last week—one giving Michaud a 42-36 lead over LePage and another showing LePage winning 41-40. Cutler had the support of 16 percent of voters in each poll.
With polls showing Cutler in a distant third, Michaud focused his criticisms on LePage, citing the current governor’s “failed policies” as his reason for entering the governor’s race.“Our biggest liability as a state is our governor,” Michaud said.
Michaud highlighted some of his policy proposals, including investing in renewable energy, his Maine Made jobs plan, and expanding Maine’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act.
Medicaid expansion is one of the issues that separates Michaud and LePage most clearly. In April, LePage vetoed a bill that would have expanded Medicaid to over 60,000 low-income Maine residents.
“The expansion offered through Obamacare would have a disastrous impact on Maine’s budget, as well as those truly needy individuals—our disabled and elderly—who rely today on the scarce resources in our program,” LePage wrote at the time.
Michaud told students at Helmreich that there is a “moral responsibility” to expand Maine’s Medicaid program. When one student pushed back, citing LePage’s concern that expansion would be too expensive, Michaud argued that it would actually save money by reducing the number of uninsured patients seeking uncompensated care in emergency rooms.
The federal government would cover 100 percent of the cost of Medicaid expansion through 2016, a figure that would decrease to 90 percent by 2022.
Michaud also addressed the closure of the Verso mill, which was announced on October 1. He said that the closure was unfortunate, particularly since each mill job is tied to five to seven other jobs in the state, and said he would find new areas for job growth as governor.
“There definitely are a lot of new opportunities,” he said. “The Maine Technology Institute said if you look at job growth in the state of Maine, it’s actually in the clean, renewable energy sector and they’re good paying jobs.”
The LePage campaign blamed Michaud for the closure, saying that Michaud had stalled the expansion of natural gas pipelines capacity in the state, which drove up energy costs for mills.
In 2013, Michaud voted against H.R. 1900, the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act, which sought to streamline the process for permitting natural gas projects. Michaud, acting in his capacity as a congressman and not a gubernatorial candidate, explained his vote in a letter he sent to LePage on September 29.
“Ultimately, H.R. 1900 is misguided legislation and would be detrimental to expanding our natural gas infrastructure in a safe and responsible manner, to say nothing of the serious long-term impact the legislation could have on our environment,” Michaud wrote.
At Helmreich, Michaud said that expanding natural gas pipeline capacity was an issue on which Maine’s governor would have to work with other New England governors, and faulted LePage for failing to do so on issues ranging from energy to substance abuse.
“When the New England governors wanted to meet to deal with the drug addiction problem [LePage] refused to meet, said it was just a photo op,” Michaud said. “Well if you take that attitude how do you expect other New England governors to work with you when you need something?”
DeRay McKesson ’07 participates in ‘principled protesting’ in Ferguson
Just after midnight on August 16, DeRay McKesson ’07 was at home in Minneapolis, watching TV coverage of the protests in Ferguson, Mo., when he decided he needed to be part of them. McKesson rented a car the next morning and made the nine-hour trip to Ferguson. He planned on protesting for two days, but ended up taking a full week off from work and staying for nine days.
The protests began on August 9 when police officer Darren Wilson, who is white, shot and killed Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black man who was unarmed at the time. Police claim that Brown assaulted Wilson, but numerous witnesses offer conflicting accounts. Several witnesses describe seeing Brown raise his hands above his head just before Wilson fired the shots that proved fatal, an image that inspired one of the protestors’ mantras: “Hands up, don’t shoot."
McKesson, who works for the Minneapolis public school system, said that as someone who works in education, he was immediately struck by one stark reality of Brown’s death.
“There are a lot of great things we can do for kids around opportunity, especially kids from low-income communities,” he said. “But you have to be alive to learn.”
The protests focused on racial inequality and police discrimination against black Americans.“It is centrally about the idea that black lives matter and that Michael Brown’s blackness is not enough for him to be perceived as a deadly threat,” said McKesson, who is black. “Ferguson is a case study in systemic, structural racism.”
McKesson said that a wide range of people took part in the protests. He heard children there asking their parents why Brown was killed and whether or not they should be afraid of the police.
“It was an experience to see parents have to remind their kids that they are worthy members [of society],” McKesson said.
According to McKesson, young adults at the protests thought that they could find themselves in Brown’s position.
“At night in a hoodie, I’m another Trayvon Martin. I am not a Bowdoin grad—I’m a black guy in a hoodie,” he said. “I understand that my blackness is how people experience me first sometimes, for better or for worse, and that’s real.”
Amidst the upheaval that marked his days in Ferguson, McKesson said he was surprised and happy that his time in Ferguson was, as he put it, “a Bowdoin moment.” He spent his first nights in the area on the couch of Ivy Blackmore ’07. He bumped into Priya Sridhar ’07, who was covering the protests for the Associated Press, Will Donahoe ’08, who was protesting, and Kristina Goodwin ’10, who was providing legal aid.
Ferguson schools were closed for a few days during the protests, so volunteers taught children at the local library. McKesson was among them, as was Ross Jacobs ’10.
“It was powerful to see the College’s commitment to the social good play out in such a natural way,” McKesson said.
McKesson began to document the protests via Twitter because he was frustrated that the media—distracted by the shocking optics of the police response—had forgotten the purpose of the demonstrations, which he referred to as “principled protesting.”
Local authorities policed the protests using armored vehicles, hundreds of officers in riot gear, tear gas and rubber bullets. McKesson said the enormity of the police presence was incredible, and that the situation was often terrifying. He once found himself caught between two tear gas canisters. On another night he hid from law enforcement by crawling beneath the steering wheel of his car.
“I never thought in America that I would run and hop fences because I thought police were going to shoot me when I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said.
Despite his fear, McKesson said he always remained committed to the cause.
“You continue to protest because you believe,” he said. “You believe that what’s right outweighs the fear for your own safety.”
McKesson said that the scale of the police response speaks to the protesters’ concerns with racial inequality and structural racism.
“What the police presence does in Ferguson is immediately criminalize blackness,” he said. “The assembly of black people is immediately a criminal moment that requires every police officer in the area.”
The media’s attention has drifted away from Ferguson, but McKesson’s has not. He has returned several times and helps write a daily newsletter about the protest movement at hashtagferguson.org
McKesson said that his experiences in Ferguson have not made him more cynical, but that they have made him more vigilant.
“It was a reminder of the obligation to defend and protect democracy—the concept and reality of democracy—on all fronts,” he said. “There are more Fergusons in America.”
College stands behind aid policy following publication of College Access Index
Director of Student Aid Michael Bartini defended the College’s financial aid policy following the publication of a college access and affordability index by the New York Times’ The Upshot blog. In it, Bowdoin performed only slightly above average.
Bartini said that Bowdoin remains deeply committed to financial aid, not only for low-income students, but also for middle- and upper-middle class students.
“In a broad sense we want to make sure that we can make Bowdoin affordable to anyone who’s admitted,” he said.
The College Access Index included colleges with four-year graduation rates of 75 percent or higher. It calculated a score based on two factors—the percentage of students who received federal Pell grants over the last three years, and the net price paid in 2012-2013 by low-income households, defined as those with annual incomes between $30,000 and $48,000.
At Bowdoin, according to the New York Times, 13 percent of students receive Pell grants and the net price for low-income households is $8,900. Forty-five schools outperformed Bowdoin in the index, including peer institutions Amherst, Haverford, Pomona, Vassar, Wesleyan and Williams.
Since the index considered a narrow income range and statistics related to Pell grants—the vast majority of which are awarded to students from households earning less than $50,000 per year—it does not represent college access and affordability for students across the economic spectrum.
The New York Times admitted that its index has limitations.
“The biggest downside of using the Pell grant as a measure is that it treats students just above the threshold as no different from affluent students,” wrote David Leonhardt, who helped create the index. “A college that enrolls many students from families making $75,000 a year may be somewhat more economically diverse than a college with an identical share of Pell recipients but fewer middle-income students.”
Bowdoin is one of a very small number of colleges and universities that meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need without loans for all students. Many of the colleges that outperform Bowdoin in the index do not make the same guarantee. Vassar, the highest-ranking school in the index, only guarantees a financial aid package without loans for students from households making less than $60,000 a year, according to the Education Portal.
Students on both the low and high ends of the income spectrum qualify for and receive loan-free financial aid packages at Bowdoin, according to Bartini.
“There are an awful lot of students who are applying for and qualifying for financial aid with family incomes that, quite frankly, are in the six-digit range,” said Bartini. “So you make $150,000, so you make $200,000—if you’ve got two kids at a Bowdoin-like school, that’s pretty difficult.”
Bartini said the College does not have a plan to increase the percentage of students who receive Pell grants.
“I think when you look at the numbers for Pell [grant] recipients, you say to yourself, ‘Oh maybe not so bad, but not so great,’” Bartini said. “But the truth of the matter is that we have lots of students who receive financial aid whose family incomes are quite low. They’re not eligible for Pell [grants], but they’re still going to have trouble without receiving resources.”According to Bartini, 23 percent of Bowdoin students come from households with annual incomes under $45,000—but not all of them qualify for Pell grants.
Kyle Nowak ’15, who pays for his own education, receives a full Pell grant. After factoring in Bowdoin financial aid grants and government grants, he is left to pay just under $5,000 this year.
“I’ve been pretty fortunate—I still have loans—but compared to what it would have been if I went to another school I have significantly fewer loans,” Nowak said.
Some of the financial aid packages that Nowak received from other schools would have required him to pay twice or even three times as much per year.
Nowak said that his aid package has always been fair and that he is grateful for Bowdoin’s support, but questioned the way the College pitches its financial aid program.
“Bowdoin does a lot of broadcasting that we’re a need-based, no-loans school, and there really should be an asterisk by ‘no loan,’” he said.
Bartini said that the no-loans policy means that the College will meet full need without loans, but that families decide for themselves how to pay their share of the cost.
“Some families say to themselves, what’s the best way for me to finance my share, and that’s when they look at student loans or parent loans—because in their particular circumstance it might make the most sense,” he said.
Nowak said that he does see some value in taking out student loans.
“I think taking out a loan is a good thing,” he said. “You need to learn about interest and understand how you need to pay it back and have that responsibility—because you’re going to encounter that a lot in life.”
During high school, Nowak was preparing to travel to New England to visit several Ivy League universities when he received a call from Dave Caputi, head coach of the football team. It was the first time that Nowak had heard of Bowdoin. He said that he thinks the College can do more to reach out to low-income high school students.
“Back home in Minnesota, most people didn’t know what Bowdoin was—the people who knew were people that were affluent,” he said.
Top-ranked field hockey remains unbeaten after three games
Top-ranked women’s field hockey (3-0 NESCAC, 3-0 overall) continued its undefeated start to the regular season this week, beating Amherst 2-1 on Saturday and shutting out Bates 2-0 on Wednesday evening. Both games were played at home.
Rachel Kennedy ’16 was named NESCAC Field Hockey Player of the Week after notching both of the team’s goals against Amherst. She continued in fine form on Wednesday evening, again scoring both of the Polar Bears’ goals. Kennedy has now scored five out of her team’s seven total goals scored this season.
Bowdoin outshot Amherst during the first half on Saturday, but was unable to find the breakthrough goal until shortly before halftime, when Kennedy sped past two defenders in transition and slotted the ball into the left corner of the goal.
Just 36 seconds into the second half, Kennedy struck again. Her long-range shot was deflected to the right side, where Adrienne O’Donnell ’15 recovered the rebound and directed it back to Kennedy, who then bounced the ball into the net.
Amherst caused some anxiety for the Polar Bears in the game’s dying minutes, scoring a penalty shot with fewer than five minutes left in regulation. The Lady Jeffs came close to scoring the tying goal, but goalie Hannah Gartner ’15 made two saves to preserve Bowdoin’s lead.
Head Coach Nicky Pearson said the team was happy with the result, but disappointed to have surrendered a late goal.
“They got one back, and we were disappointed that we had that breakdown,” said Pearson. “That made the end of the game a little too exciting, really.”
Bowdoin’s performance against Bates on Wednesday night was more dominant, with Bates managing only one shot and the Polar Bears racking up 31 shots, 13 of them on goal. Pearson gave credit to Bates’ circle defense, which prevented the Polar Bears’ attack from capitalizing on its abundance of opportunities.
“Looking back on the game, we probably should have scored more,” she said. “There were times when we played into their strengths by going down the middle. In hindsight, we should have gone wider and tried to get in behind them.”
Early in the first half, Colleen Finnerty ’16 used some nifty stick work to wiggle past a defender before finding Kennedy with a pass. From the left side of the circle, Kennedy rolled the ball across the face of goal and into the net.
The second goal came when a free hit found O’Donnell on the end line. O’Donnell passed to Kennedy, who spun away from a defender and fired a no-look reverse shot past Bates' goalie.
The Polar Bears are travelling to Vermont this weekend to take on No. 4 Middlebury, whom they have been defeated by in back-to-back NESCAC championship games—once in overtime and once on penalty strokes.
“We’re excited,” said Pearson. “They’re an incredibly talented team—they are year in and year out. They’re going to challenge us all over the field, in every aspect of our game, so we’re going to have to rise to the occasion.”
Committee publishes job description for next president
The committee searching for President Barry Mills’ successor shared the job description it is providing to applicants and issued a call for nominations in an email sent to members of the Bowdoin community last Friday. Over the summer, the committee hired the firm Isaacson, Miller to assist with the search and conducted information-gathering forums with students, faculty and staff, according to the email.
Isaacson, Miller is an executive recruitment firm that recently consulted for Amherst’s and Williams’ presidential searches.
The job description was written by the recruitment firm and the search committee—which consists of 10 trustees, three faculty members, two students, two staff members and a member of the Alumni Council—and was reviewed by the Board of Trustees.
The document begins with the writings of two former presidents of the College, William DeWitt Hyde’s “Offer of the College” and the portion of Joseph McKeen’s inaugural address that highlights the importance of serving the common good.
The rest of the document consists of a description of the College and a list of the challenges the next president will face.
“I think it is a document that tries to present the College first and foremost to potential candidates for the college presidency, but also to frame the discussion about the College’s aspirations and what objective the next president might lead the College towards,” said Jes Staley ’79, the trustee who is serving as chair of the Presidential Search Committee, in a phone interview with the Orient.
The job description refers to Bowdoin’s upward trajectory five times, with the introductory section stating, “The College seeks a new president who can extend Bowdoin’s trajectory.”Staley said that based on conversations he has had with members of the committee and other members of the Bowdoin community, there is a shared belief that the College is in a good place.
“This is not a college that is in need of a major change because the school is in such terrific shape—the quality of the faculty, the quality of the students, the quality of the residential life, the support of the alumni—as the document underscores, people just want to make sure that we find the best possible candidate to continue what is a pretty extraordinary place,” he said.
The section of the job description titled “Qualifications and Experience” mentions the ability to lead a conversation about the curriculum, an understanding of college governance, and experience working with both faculty and board of trustees. Staley said that those preferred qualifications are not an indication that the committee is only considering applicants working in academia.
“We haven’t set out criteria that limit the range of candidates that the committee can look at,” he said. “Clearly there’s an appreciation by the committee of the value of finding an individual with a deep understanding of academic life and an appreciation for liberal arts education.”
The committee also laid out its expectation that the next president will be able to “engage effectively with the many constituencies of the college, skillfully negotiating different points of view” and “articulate the value of a liberal arts education in the twenty-first century.”
During an interview with the Orient last semester, Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies Tess Chakkalakal, a member of the search committee, said that the second of these abilities is particularly important to her.
“What I’m looking for is someone who really has not just a commitment to the liberal arts in general, but someone who really is on the front line in the current debates regarding our college’s role in training young people to become active citizens and productive in the world,” she said.
The job description praises Mills’ administration for raising funds dedicated to financial aid and diversifying the faculty and student body, and calls on the next president to continue expanding access to the College.
“The new president should extend Bowdoin’s efforts to remain affordable to first-generation and middle-class families, continue efforts to diversify the faculty and staff, and address the academic and social needs of the student population to ensure that every Bowdoin student feels included in the campus culture and is positioned to thrive,” it reads.
Staley said that the committee would keep the College’s commitment to diversity in mind throughout the search process.
“The composition of the search committee tried to reflect the diversity of the Bowdoin community overall,” said Staley. “There’s a deep commitment by the College to embrace diversity, and I think that embracing diversity extends to how the search committee is going to handle its search.”
Staley said that in order to attract the most talented applicants, the committee has to keep the names of candidates confidential. Applicants do not want to risk losing their current jobs by demonstrating a public interest in becoming Bowdoin’s next president.
Withholding the names of candidates is common practice during a college’s presidential search, according to Staley.
The committee has already received nominations and will continue to receive them in the coming weeks.
“We have reviewed a very long list of potential candidates and we are going to be reaching out to dozens and dozens,” said Staley. “These are people that we’re going to be approaching, people that have been recommended to us, and people that have approached us. It is a long list and I’m sure it will be an even longer list as the fall moves forward.”
Yik Yak latest controversial social media platform to hit campus
The app allows anonymous posts, which are often crude, offensive or insulting to individual students.
Yik Yak, a controversial app that allows users to share anonymous posts, called Yaks, with others nearby, has taken hold at the College in recent weeks, with dozens of posts made daily, many of which attack or demean specific organizations, teams or individuals.
The posts range from the inane—“Can I just point out that napping is the best tho”—to the crude, to the racially insensitive. Many of the posts single out individual students negatively: one names a female student and makes claims about the frequency and nature of her sexual encounters. Common subjects for the posts include genitalia, masturbation, hooking up and—most common of all—the football and hockey teams.
Bowdoin has contended with other anonymous message forums in recent years. College Anonymous Confession Board caused a stir in the fall of 2010, when the College hosted several meetings to discuss anonymous speech and support those who had been targeted in the forum.
The app was temporarily disabled in the entire city of Chicago due to school administrators’ bullying concerns, according to The Huffington Post. It has also captured the attention of administrators at Bowdoin, including Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster and Dave Caputi, head coach of the football team.
“It’s the kind of stuff that’s inconsistent with who we are as a community. It’s bullying,” said Foster. “We’re better than that.”
Foster said he is particularly concerned about Yik Yak because it allows for anonymity.“I have really strong feelings about anonymity—this thing to me is a cesspool,” he said. “Freedom of speech doesn’t assure anonymity. If you want to say something, put your name behind it.”
Foster said he does not plan on asking Yik Yak to disable service on campus, as countless high schools have done across the country, but said that students could face consequences for their posts.
“If someone came to me with evidence of a particular person being responsible, it could be actionable. If it’s offensive, threatening—I wouldn’t hesitate to act,” he said.
The football team, which is the subject of many posts, was told by its coach to stop using Yik Yak, according to several members of the team. Caputi declined to comment for this story.
One sophomore football player, who asked to remain anonymous because of his coach’s request, said he was among the first Bowdoin students to use Yik Yak. He and his friends began posting inside jokes about three weeks ago, but they began to have reservations as the app’s popularity grew.
“Some of my friends started to delete it because they thought it’s getting too big and some of the posts are kind of messed up,” he said. “They just wanted to get out.”
The football player, who recently deleted all of his Yaks, said there was a clear message at the meeting where the football team was asked to delete the app.
“It was just like, some things shouldn’t be said ever, and when you put something out there anonymously, it’s a cowardly move,” he said. “There’s no respect for someone like that.”
Monty Barker ’16 has been the subject of countless Yaks, including: “Is Monty a narp?” “Monty wears a bathing suit in the shower;” “Just caught Monty sniffing my bicycle seat;” and “Monty is friend and id appreciate it if you guys would stop.”
Barker said he is unconcerned by all the attention.
“I don’t mind it that much, to be quite honest,” said Barker. “I know the people who are writing them, and I think it’s funny.”
For the record, Barker is indeed a NARP (a term that stands for “non-athletic regular person”).
“I don’t play on a sports team,” he said.
Brunswick not exempt from New England opiate epidemic
A look into heroin and prescription addiction in Brunswick, where 95 percent of local crimes are drug related
They are among Brunswick’s stay-at-home moms, its career criminals, its 50-year-old businessmen—even its high school students—and they all have at least one thing in common. They are Brunswick’s heroin and prescription opiate addicts.
The opiate addiction epidemic has gained national attention in the past year as the number of fatal heroin overdoses has skyrocketed, particularly in New England. In January, Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont dedicated his entire State of the State address to the problem. In March, Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts declared opiate abuse a public health emergency.In his own State of the State speech in January, Maine Governor Paul LePage called drug use a “troubling epidemic,” and said that 927 babies in the state—more than 7 percent of all newborns—were born addicts in 2013.
LePage had been hesitant to approve the distribution of nalaxone—an overdose reversal drug—fearing that it would give addicts a false sense of security. Last week, after intense criticism from lawmakers, health professionals and the media, LePage finally approved a bill that allows family members of addicts to receive the potentially life-saving drug.
Everyone the Orient interviewed for this article—a substance abuse counselor, the director of the outpatient behavioral health at Mid Coast Hospital, Brunswick police officers, a defense attorney, and a psychologist—said that Maine’s opiate problem is not unique to certain cities, ethnicities, ages, or socioeconomic levels. Addiction exists everywhere, Brunswick included.Addiction
The most common path to heroin addiction begins with medicinal or recreational use of prescription painkillers like Vicodin, OxyContin and Percocet. These powerful drugs are often prescribed to patients following surgeries and can quickly lead to dependence.
“One of the fastest growing populations for addicts in the opiate world is adults who have had surgeries, weren’t recreational drug users, and now are breaking into their neighbor’s house going through their medicine cabinets because they’re desperate for drugs,” said Geno Ring, a licensed substance abuse counselor who works both with Bowdoin students and at Brunswick High School.
“Nothing on their radar prepared them for this happening in their lives. They’re married. They’ve got kids. They’ve got careers—and all of a sudden they’re spiraling out of control,” said Ring.
Yet it is not only adults developing opiate dependence through prescribed drugs. Sixty-seven percent of teens receiving treatment for opiate addiction were prescribed painkillers in the previous year, according to the American Society for Addiction Medicine.
Director of Outpatient Behavioral Health at Mid Coast Hospital Eric Haram said that failing to dispose of unused pills also poses a risk, since teenagers will often find them and use them for recreational purposes. Most teenagers fail to realize the risks involved, or simply feel invincible, but Haram said everybody is vulnerable when it comes to opiates.
“Nobody chooses to be an addict; nobody wants to have track marks all over, be losing their kids, be losing their teeth…Black teeth are a tough thing to see in the morning at the jail,” said Brunswick defense attorney Chris Ledwick ’95.
“Opiates always produce physical dependence. It’s not one of those things that doesn’t happen to people—it’s simple biology,” added Haram.
Ledwick said that in the last five years, about 70 percent of the drug cases he had seen were based on legal drugs and prescription pills.
“Anyone who goes into a surgery comes home with 50 pills for getting a tooth pulled. It’s crazy,” he said. “So you can have a grandparent with 500-pill bottles in their houses, and the nephew, grandson, stepson, they know about it and that’s how they get hooked on this stuff.”
The progression from occasional recreational use of painkillers to addiction can be rapid.
“The way it usually works for people is that they’re using this once or twice a month at parties, and then it’s once a week, and then it’s three to five times a week, and then they’re an addict,” said Haram. “I’ve heard that story thousands of times in the last few years.”
He said the number of patients he sees has doubled to 800 in the past seven years. In the past year, about 200 of those patients were Brunswick residents.
Responses to the rise in painkiller addiction have included reducing availability and reformulating pills like Oxy 30 to make them more difficult to abuse. An unintended consequence of these changes has been a spike in the use of heroin—a cheaper, more accessible and often more potent alternative.
“It’s a demand issue no matter how you put it,” Haram said. “When you restrict access to pain medication, you haven’t reduced the volume of addiction; you haven’t reduced the demand in a community for that high.”
Since heroin is an illegal substance with an established social stigma, newspapers and politicians tend to devote more attention to it than painkillers. But from a treatment and public health perspective, Haram said, there is no difference.
“Opiates are opiates,” Haram said. “There’s social stigma associated with [heroin]—did you get that Oxy from your mom’s medicine cabinet or did you get heroin in the alley—so it sounds much graver.”
The likelihood of an accidental overdose from heroin and prescription painkillers is the same, according to Haram.Treatment
Brunswick is home to one of the country’s most effective addiction treatment centers. The Addiction Resource Center at Mid Coast Hospital, which Haram oversees, has won national awards for improving patient outcomes using science-based approaches. According to Mid Coast’s website, the Center’s approach has reduced wait times from 11 to two-and-a-half days and improved its treatment completion rate from 60 to 94 percent.
Treatment for opiate addiction generally includes detoxification, followed by counseling and the controlled use of medications like Methadone or Buprenorphine (often referred to by the brand name Suboxone). These medications act on the same parts of the brain as heroin and can reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
The Center uses BASIS-24, a computerized outcome measurement tool, to evaluate its effectiveness. Patients are asked questions halfway through treatment and every 90 days thereafter. Their responses receive scores in six categories—depression and functioning, emotional lability, psychosis, relationships, self-harm and substance abuse—as well as an overall score. The scores of Mid Coast’s patients are then compared to the scores of similar patient populations around the country.
Mid Coast performs in the top two percent of treatment centers nationally, which makes it competative with well-known counterparts like the Cleveland Clinic, the Hazelden Foundation and the Caron Foundation.
“People pay 40 grand up front for going to places like this,” Haram said. “We’re a publicly funded, community hospital and can produce those same kind of outcomes, but treatment where I work might cost four grand.”
Despite a sharp increase in the number of addicts over the last decade, public funding for Maine’s Office of Substance Abuse—which funds treatment centers like the one at Mid Coast—was lower in fiscal year 2012 ($26.7 million) than it was in fiscal year 2006 ($29 million). In the same time period, the number of Mainers seeking treatment for opiate abuse increased from 3,023 in 2006 to 4,697 in 2012, according to the Maine Office of Substance Abuse.
Haram’s primary problem has been meeting the demand for treatment.
“The number of beds, the number of detox, the number of outpatient slots—just the number of treatment slots in general—gets cut every year,” he said. “Certain medicines that are available to treat opiate dependence that are FDA [approved]—this administration has reduced access to those medications specifically.”
Providing access to treatment became even harder this January, when cuts to Maine’s Medicaid program kicked in. Haram says that about 15 percent of his patients, or roughly 100 people in the greater Brunswick area, lost their health care coverage.
“Typically what happens is those people drop out of treatment and return to street use,” Haram said.Law Enforcement
The opiate addiction epidemic has caused problems for the Brunswick Police Department (BPD) as well. Detective Richard Cutliffe, who works with BPD and the Drug Enforcement Agency, estimated that 95 percent of all crime in Brunswick is drug related. He said that other than marijuana, heroin is now the most commonly used illicit substance in town.
There have been several arrests for trafficking heroin in Brunswick over the last year, including that of Angel Quinones of Connecticut last May. Sergeant Marty Rinaldi of BPD told the Bangor Daily News at the time that Quinones was “a substantial dealer in the area.”
Brunswick’s central location offers one explanation for these trafficking arrests.
“We live on the Route 1 corridor. You’ve got I-95 and you’ve got Route 1. So anybody who’s traveling to bring their drugs anywhere, you’ve got to come through Brunswick,” said School Resource Officer Aaron Bailey, who works for BPD at Brunswick High School.
Once drug offenders enter the legal system, however, district attorneys attempt to differentiate between career criminals and addicts who are simply desperate to continue funding their use.
“When someone’s on probation for a year or two and fails a drug test, the old response used to be to throw them in jail for 30 days… Their life falls apart, and they start using drugs again,” Bailey said. “Probation has been a little ahead of the curve, especially in Cumberland County, about looking at other ways to deal with it, like having graduated sanctions.”
LePage and law enforcement are concerned that recovering addicts will abandon their treatment programs and either abuse or sell synthetic opiates meant for medical use like methadone and Suboxone, a pattern experts call diversion. This has been cited as a reason for limiting access to these drugs; Haram said that he spends around half his time working to prevent it.
“Making people show up to count their medicine, by doing observed urines, by controlling the size of the prescription, that they can only get it at one pharmacy—these are all strategies we use to prevent diversion,” he said.
Diversion mitigation plans are required by law, but Haram said Mid Coast’s is “way more robust than most.” He meets on a weekly basis with Brunswick, Bath and Lincoln County Police to discuss drug and crime issues.
“The first question at every meeting: Have you arrested anybody who had medicine that we prescribed? And month after month after month after month the answer is no,” Haram said.
According to Ledwick, however, these synthetic opiates are a major problem, particularly in Maine’s prisons.
“Suboxone is the big thing right now…We’re really struggling with it right now, almost more than Oxy’s in this region. If you talk to anyone in [the Maine Department of Corrections], that’s the bane of their existence,” he said. “People melt them onto the pages of the letters they send in; they melt them into the glue of envelope, and [inmates] can reactivate them once they’re in there. It’s very easy to hide...You can fit a lot of those strips inside a body. And people get pretty creative with that.”
Ledwick explained that the accessibility of drugs like Suboxone in prison makes it a place where recovering addicts are likely to relapse.
“There used to be this notion that at least if they’re in jail, they won’t be able to do drugs. And that’s just not the case anymore, especially in Cumberland County,” he said. “A lot of my clients will tell me there’s more readily accessible drugs in the jail than there are on the street.”
That is just one of the reasons that people like Ledwick and Haram think that the criminal justice system alone cannot end the opiate epidemic.
“We won’t arrest ourselves out of this problem,” Haram said. “It really is both a public health problem and a public safety problem. We need to expand treatment while at the same time getting smarter about law enforcement strategy.”
Peace Corps volunteer Daven Karp '12 evacuated from Ukraine
Karp challenges the conflict's portrayal in American media; plans to return as soon as he can
Daven Karp ’12 was evacuated from Ukraine on February 23 after protests throughout the country turned violent and the removal of President Viktor Yanukovych threatened further destabilization. Karp had been in Ukraine with the Peace Corps since September 2012, teaching English in Voznesensk, a small Russian-speaking city in the south of the country.
Protests began in Ukraine on November 21, when the president announced the government’s decision to abandon a plan to strengthen its connection to the European Union and instead ally itself more closely with Russia. The largest protests took place in Kiev’s Independence Square, and grew rapidly in the face of a severe government crackdown.
The evacuation process for the Peace Corps began on Thursday, February 20, a day when government security forces shot and killed dozens of protestors in Kiev, and violence spread throughout the city, according to The New York Times.
“All the volunteers went to one point where we waited in a safe house for a couple days,” said Karp. “On Sunday, we all drove actually to Crimea, a few days before it got taken over.”
Crimea, a peninsula on the southern coast of Ukraine, is currently occupied by thousands of armed men in unmarked uniforms, widely believed to be working for Russia. The uniformed men first appeared in Crimea on February 27 at Simferopol International Airport, where Karp had boarded a flight only four days earlier.
Karp said that since returning to the U.S. he has noticed that media coverage of the conflict does not reflect his experiences.
“In the American media you get one picture of the protest,” he said. “The conception is that Ukrainians wanted to go toward Europe and the president and his allies sort of steered away from that, and that was what sparked the uprising, but in my experience that has almost nothing to do with it.”
Karp said the real spark for the upheaval was the violent crackdown that began on November 30. The original protest was relatively small, according to Karp, until Ukrainians began to see the government as oppressive.
“It immediately turned into a protest against the regime, rather than in favor of Russia or Europe,” Karp said.
Karp said this was especially true in his city, Voznesensk, where demonstrations were originally in support of the government and its move to strengthen ties with Russia, but eventually changed into anti-government protests.
“The violence was the real trigger, and public opinion where I lived switched over the course of a week, as soon as the police and the interior ministry…started to crack down on the protests,” Karp said.
On Febraury 20, as Kiev descended into bloody chaos, protestors in Voznesensk took over the city’s administration building and pulled down a statue of Lenin, according to Karp. Despite the upheaval, he never felt endangered.
The other misconception Karp identified was the notion that Russian-speaking Ukrainian soldiers in the east and south would defect and side with Russia. One of Karp’s good friends is a major in the Ukrainian army, and the two spoke over the phone on Monday.
“He said he was with his unit and they were on the move, and he said, ‘We’re ready; we’re ready for war,’” Karp said. “This is coming from Russian-speaking Ukrainians from where I live…all of these Ukrainians—many of them even are ethnic Russians—they are firmly behind Ukraine and are willing to die for their country, for the Ukrainian flag.”
The Peace Corps has established a 45-day window in which volunteers will be able to return to Ukraine if the situation stabilizes. At the end of that window, if the situation is still considered unsafe, the volunteers’ commitments to the Peace Corps will be over.
“I’ll be back in Ukraine whether with the Peace Corps, or on day 46 as soon as Peace Corps would theoretically be disbanded,” Karp said.
Karp said his life is still in Ukraine, and he promised his friends, students and colleagues that he would return.
“I looked them in the eye and I promised them, I will be back as soon as I possibly can, whether it’s with the Peace Corps or just as a normal American civilian,” Karp said.
College complies with federal law, adjusts financial aid instructions
The College recently changed its online financial aid instructions to ensure that they comply with federal law, according to Director of Student Aid Michael Bartini.
The changes came after Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on February 3.
In the letter, Cummings alleged that 111 institutions were violating federal law by requiring applicants for federal aid to fill out forms in addition to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), or by failing to make clear that only the FAFSA was required.
Young to depart for Blake School in Minn.
Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Jarrett Young ’05 will leave the College at the end of the academic year to take a position at the Blake School in Minneapolis. Kim Pacelli, senior associate dean of student affairs, notified the campus of Young’s decision in an email sent Tuesday evening.
Young, who has worked at the College for four years, will fill the role of Upper School Grade Dean at the Blake School, where he will also teach history.
“This is a great opportunity to merge two things I really love, which are classroom teaching and also working in student support,” Young said.
Talk of the Quad: Living humbly for a cause
Even after two years spent working towards a Bowdoin English major and thousands of hours curled in a ball in Massachusetts Hall reading Victorian novelists, African-American poets, French deconstructionist theorists and—my personal favorite—Indian writers writing in English, the passage that most resonates with me is still one I read in high school.
It doesn’t come from a novel that carries much intellectual cachet. It’s not old and dense like Joseph Conrad or Leo Tolstoy; it’s not postmodern and trendy like George Saunders or David Foster Wallace; it speaks more to naiveté than sophistication.
That’s part of what makes it so important, not just for me, I think, but for our generation. The novel is J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, published in 1951. It’s the quintessential book for angsty, disaffected teens, and although I was more happy-go-lucky and innocent than brooding and rebellious in tenth grade, I—like millions of high school students before me—was taken with its narrator, one Holden Caulfield.
Divestment: Bowdoin Climate Action stages protest on Quad
Members of Bowdoin Climate Action (BCA) constructed a makeshift “climate camp” on the Main Quad Wednesday night, in hopes of pressuring the College’s Board of Trustees to meet with the group next week to discuss divesting the endowment from fossil fuels.
Sarah Nelson ’14, who took over as president of Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) Wednesday evening, informed BCA at around 5:30 p.m. yesterday that it could not have a demonstration on College property without written permission, and asked the students to dismantle the camp by 7 p.m. In response, BCA agreed to lose its status as a chartered student organization in order to prolong the protest.
A statement on the website of the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs explains, “No person shall utilize the College’s property, including photographic reproductions of its property, for commercial, business, political or public purposes without express written consent.”
Boston tragedy weighs on College community
The terror and violence of Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon continued in the early hours of this morning, after one of the two suspects allegedly shot and killed a MIT police officer in Cambridge, Mass., according to a press release from the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office.
The suspects then allegedly committed an armed carjacking in Cambridge; police officers pursued the stolen vehicle into Watertown, exchanging gunfire with the suspects, who reportedly threw explosives in their direction. One of the suspects received a severe injury during the pursuit and was brought to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the release.
After an hours-long manhunt, police were still searching for the second suspect in the bombings in the Boston suburb of Watertown as the Orient went to press. Residents of Watertown have been advised not to leave their homes, and law enforcement and media have swarmed the city.
Survey shows financial aid does not affect academic performance
Between the 2001-02 and 2011-12 academic years, the College increased its funding for need-based financial aid grants from roughly $10.4 million to approximately $27.2 million.
Financial aid and grade point average (GPA) have no correlation, according to a nonscientific survey conducted by the Orient, to which 395 students responded.
The survey asked students about their academic success as it related to their financial and work situations.
Forty-six percent of the survey’s respondents say they receive financial aid, which is close to the actual percentage of students receiving grants from the College.
In the 2001-02 academic year, 39 percent of students received grants from the College. That number rose to 46 percent by the 2011-12 academic year, according to the College’s Common Data Set.
In recent years, the percentage of students receiving aid has increased on a class-by-class basis, according to the online Class of 2016 profile. Upon matriculation, 41 percent of the entering Class of 2013 received financial aid; this year, 48 percent of the Class of 2016 received financial aid. The average grant for all students has increased by $1,100 since the Class of 2013 matriculated, from $34,350 to $35,450. The average grant for students in the Class of 2016 is $38,740.
Director of Student Aid Michael Bartini said that he thinks the reasons for these increases in financial aid are two-fold.
“One, we are recruiting to a broader group of individuals,” he said. “Two, our cost has increased a bit faster than families’ incomes. As we broaden our perspective on who we try to attract and our cost increases, those two factors have led us to believe that our average grants are going to continue to increase probably faster than our increase in cost.”
In February 2003, the Orient reported that the comprehensive fee for the 2003-04 school year would rise to $37,790. According to the Office of Student Aid’s website, tuition alone cost $43,676 for the 2012-13 school year. (The total estimated expenses for this school year were $58,200.)
Because the cost of education has risen, “more and more families with higher incomes are qualifying for financial aid,” according to Bartini.
“I believe the majority of folks—whether you’re on financial aid or not—really struggle and plan about how to pay for college,” said Bartini. “There are a group of families who may not be receiving assistance from us, but they’re also feeling the pain.”
The College’s financial aid policies have also changed over the past decade. In 2008, Bowdoin eliminated loans from its financial aid packages.
In May 2012, the Orient conducted a survey of graduating seniors. The results showed that, of the 30 percent who would graduate with debt, the average amount was $25,895.
According to the U.S. News and World Report, 16 percent of Bowdoin students receive Pell Grants, which are awarded by the federal government based upon financial need. This year, students who qualify for Pell Grants can receive up to $5,500, depending on their financial circumstances and the cost of their college. Thirteen percent of the Class of 2016 received a Pell Grant this year.
In an email to the Orient, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Scott Meiklejohn said that his office is “committed to introducing the College to talented students of all backgrounds, school types and family incomes, in as many places on the globe as we can reach.”
That isn’t always easy. Faustino Ajanel ’16, a first-generation college student from Los Angeles, said that even applying for aid was an obstacle. Ajanel had problems filling out his CSS Profile—a form that allows students to apply for aid—during his senior year of high school.
“I was getting lost” filling out the form, he said. “I had to go to programs to ask for help filling it out and even the program directors didn’t know how to.”
For many of the students interviewed for this report, financial aid packages were significant factors in choosing to come to Bowdoin but were not always the deciding factor.
“I made my decision to come here despite financial aid packages, rather than because of” them, said a sophomore female who wished to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the issue.
A junior girl who receives $40,000 in aid said that, though she received better offers from other colleges, her “feeling about the school was more important than the money.”Academics & Financial Aid
Many students receiving financial aid work to earn spending money or to help cover costs. Students are allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours a week in on-campus jobs. Some, albeit few, students work additional hours off campus.
One sophomore female’s parents made her quit an additional off-campus job “because I wasn’t sleeping. The pressure [to work] comes from myself and it definitely impacts my academics,” she said. “When you’re at work, you’re not sleeping or doing homework or socializing, which are the three things you should be doing at school.
“I always finish my assignments on time...and I think because I’m really conscious of it, I focus a lot more on really getting things done,” she said. But working a lot “does make it harder.”
Students who work fewer hours on campus face less of a challenge balancing making money and academics.
“It definitely takes time to work—eight hours a week is not a pittance—but it’s time that I don’t feel like I need in order to keep up with studies,” said one senior male.
Financial aid can also serve to motivate the students who receive it, according to Anna Chase ’13.
“I work really hard for personal fulfillment, but in the back of my mind sometimes I want to do really well because I’m getting so much help to be here—sort of to prove that I deserve the help, deserve the aid, and that I can be the best student I can be,” she said.
If commitments become too much, the College provides several resources for students struggling academically or looking to improve study skills, regardless of their background or GPA. One of these resources is the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), which includes the Writing Project, the Quantitative Reasoning Program, and the Baldwin Program for Academic Development.
Director of the Baldwin Program Elizabeth Barnhart said that students have all sorts of reasons for seeking her help, but added that a lack of preparedness is perhaps the most common. She said that the diversity of secondary schools from which Bowdoin draws helps explain the varying degrees of preparedness within the student body.
“I try to help students understand the changes. What’s different from high school? Why is it that some people in your class sound like they know a lot more than you?” said Barnhart. “Is it that they’re so much smarter than you, or is it that they’ve had a very different kind of high school experience?”
Ajanel said his public Los Angeles high school’s curriculum was not designed to get him ready for a school like Bowdoin.
“I honestly was lost [my first semester] because my high school didn’t prepare me as well as other kids,” Ajanel said. “The main purpose of my high school was to allow people to graduate from high school, not to help people be ready for college.”
If students are not succeeding academically, Barnhart said, the College does a good job of encouraging them to seek out the Baldwin Program.
“Counseling, Dean’s Office, faculty, advisors—it’s kind of that network of referral,” she said.
Ajanel said he would not have gone to the CTL during his first semester if not for this network.
“People had to push me to go there. I didn’t want to ask for help,” he said.
Despite the success of the network of administrators and faculty, the College has sought new ways to help students from diverse backgrounds reach their full academic potential.
The minutes of the February 6, 2012 faculty meeting include a discussion on academic preparedness among entering first years. It describes the findings of a 2008-2009 working group “charged with looking at how we help students with different experiences and backgrounds succeed at Bowdoin.”
According to the minutes, “The group studied the transcripts of 40 students in the bottom 10 percent of the Class of 2007 as well as those of an additional 40 randomly chosen students in the class.”
The group recommended several programs to help students adjust to academics at the College, including an intensive advising program and a lower-level math class. The College has since launched the BASE advising program and begun offering Math 050: Quantitative Reasoning.
The BASE advising program pairs first-year students with specially-trained advisors. Faculty Liason for Advising Suzanne Lovett, one of the people behind the program, distributed a report on the success of the program at the February 6, 2012 faculty meeting, according to the minutes. The report indicated that students in BASE were far more likely to solicit and receive help from their advisors than students not in the program.
Lovett could not be reached for comment by press time.A balancing act
Some students who receive aid said that adding social and extracurricular activities into the balancing act of work and academics is complicated, though most have found few differences between themselves and their wealthier peers.
“I know people who are paying for everything on their own; they’re a lot more stressed out than I am. I have friends who are here on no financial aid, whose parents donate, and then I have friends who are like me,” said one sophomore female.
According to another sophomore female, money “comes up more in some circles than others.”But for her, the differences between students aren’t based on financial aid; instead, she said, differences are “because of what kind of happens to your consciousness when you’re raised with different levels of wealth.”
“There’s an isolated person here or there that likes to flaunt their [socioeconomic] status,” a sophomore boy said, “but you’d be hard pressed to find a person like that.”
Two students disagreed.
“There’s a clear divide between socioeconomic status,” said a junior female. “I can’t just do the same things...It makes it difficult to talk to your friends about these situations. It’s also a learning process for me, to make them understand what I’m going through.”
Ajanel said he thinks Bowdoin students do not discuss wealth or privilege frequently enough, and that most students make little effort to understand his background.
“I actually feel unsafe now when I go back home. I started to lose my street smarts, I guess,” Ajanel said. “Right here everything is calm—nothing that fast, no violence, no drugs, no gangs—but when I go home, I live through that again. I experience that all over again.”
For all the students interviewed, navigating financial situations is trickier when it comes to off-campus activities.
“I’ve never been out to eat [in Brunswick] except when my friends’ parents take me out,” said the sophomore male.
“There are times when I really wish I could go to New York for a weekend,” one sophomore girl said. “When people are comparing their summer plans, that’s when I feel it most.”On campus, though, money is less of an object.
“I definitely think Bowdoin makes a lot of effort to make things equally accessible to everyone. You don’t pay to go to most of the events, it’s a package deal. There’s a ton of stuff you can do without spending any other money,” said a sophomore female.
The senior male agreed.
“Everything’s pretty equal opportunity,” he said.
“Bowdoin does a really good job—you don’t have to spend any money really,” said another sophomore female.
One sophomore male who receives $40,000 in aid found that getting rid of his meal plan significantly reduced his expenses.
“I can never go to the dining hall with people,” he said, but he tries to make up for it by having friends over for dinner. “Other than not going to the dining hall, everything’s pretty much the same,” despite his financial situation.
“Work doesn’t make it harder,” he said. “I still do a lot of extracurriculars. I have time for social stuff.”
Crack House burglarized for second time, thousands of dollars in valuables stolen
A burglar stole thousands of dollars worth of property from 83 ½ Harpswell Road—colloquially referred to as Crack House—while its residents played lacrosse games at Middlebury and Williams last weekend.
Chelsea Fernandez-Gold ’13 discovered the theft when she went to the house to drop off something for her boyfriend, Max Rosner ’13.
“She walked in and the house was kind of disheveled and things were all over the place and she noticed that the TV was missing,” said Connor Handy ’13, a Crack House resident.
Student anxiety rises to highest levels
A record number of students sought the help of Counseling Services last semester, when counselors held 1,823 appointments with 291 students, compared to 1,282 counseling sessions with 259 students last fall.
Bernie Hershberger, director of counseling services, said that roughly 45 percent of students visit counseling during their time at Bowdoin, and, in any given year, 25 percent do so. Larger colleges and universities see approximately eight percent of their students in a year, according to Hershberger.
Of the 544 respondents to the Orient’s survey of drug use and mental health, 152 students reported that they had received counseling at Bowdoin since the start of the academic year. Twenty-six students reported seeking counseling elsewhere.
Karen Mills to step down as SBA administrator
Upated Feb. 18
Karen Mills, wife of President Barry Mills, announced this morning that she is stepping down as administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA).“After four years as Administrator of the SBA, I have let President Obama know that I will not be staying for a second term. I will stay on until my successor is confirmed to ensure a smooth and seamless transition,” Mills wrote in a message to SBA colleagues.As SBA administrator, Mills worked to support small businesses and entrepreneurs nationwide. President Obama appointed Mills to the position in January 2009, and elevated her to the cabinet in January 2012. Prior to joining the Obama administration, Mills served as president of the MMP Group, a private equity firm based in Brunswick. She is also a founding partner of the private equity firm Solera Capital.
Mills is considered a potential candidate for Maine’s 2014 gubernatorial race, but said she had not yet considered a future political career.
Divestment: 1.4 percent of College’s endowment invested in fossil fuels
In the past few months, divestment has evolved from a burgeoning movement on a handful of college campuses to a nationwide effort, though only three schools have agreed to divest their endowments from fossil fuels thus far. At Bowdoin, members of Green Bowdoin Alliance (GBA) have scaled up their efforts to push the College on the issue, and submitted a formal proposal last week that urges President Barry Mills and the Board of Trustees to divest from the top 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies within the next five years. In a joint statement provided to the Orient on Wednesday, Mills and Paula Volent, senior vice president for investments, wrote that approximately 1.4 percent of Bowdoin’s endowment is invested in these 200 companies. The College invests in them through large commingled funds that contain hundreds of other stocks. Divesting from fossil fuels would require a turnover of over 25 percent of the endowment, according to the statement.
Asst. women’s hockey coach charged with OUI after crashing SUV into Druckenmiller Hall
The Brunswick Police Department (BPD) arrested Holly Lorms, assistant coach of the women’s ice hockey team, around 10:45 p.m. Sunday night on suspicion that she had crashed her SUV while under the influence of alcohol, according to the Bangor Daily News. Lorms’ Lexus SUV veered off of Sills Drive, crossed a divider—narrowly missing several trees—drove over a portion of the Polar Loop parking lot, and crashed into the east side of Druckenmiller Hall. On Monday afternoon, dark black tire marks were visible on Sills Drive. A small section of bricks had been dislodged from the wall of Druckenmiller Hall. Lorms, Interim Athletic Director Tim Ryan, and women's ice hockey Head Coach Marissa O’Neil all declined comment.
Talk of the Quad: Bowdoin history: Bearly remembered
On January 13, Madison Whitley ’13, Orient co-business manager, spotted a hat in SeaWorld’s San Diego store that featured a polar bear with a striking resemblance to the College’s mascot. She tweeted a photo to @bowdoincollege, and by January 18 the College had started investigating SeaWorld for possible violations of trademark and copyright law. If SeaWorld did indeed steal the image of the Bowdoin Polar Bear, it also stole a part of Bowdoin’s soul. The College relies heavily on polar bear symbolism and metaphor. Any ensuing legal battle will be a struggle to reclaim the College’s primary means of representing itself, and a key component of its institutional identity.
Post-election, work begins for King, Equality Maine
Maine voters made history last Tuesday when they elected Angus King to the United States Senate and approved same-sex marriage. Both historic moments marked the culmination of hard-fought campaigns, but neither King nor marriage equality advocates had much time to rest after last week’s victories.
King announced on Wednesday that he would caucus with the Democrats, after discussions with Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, fellow Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, and other members of Congress. The Boston Globe reported yesterday that King hopes for a seat on the Senate Finance Committee, an assignment that is not typically given to freshmen senators.
Yesterday afternoon, King told the Orient that committee assignments are “very much up in the air” and will not likely be finalized for about a week, pending discussions between Senate Democrats and Republicans.
King said that his first priority will be to make the Senate work, through filibuster reform and a number of other changes.
“If we can’t get the Senate to work, then we can’t get to the other issues,” he said.
After that, King said, he will turn his attention to addressing fiscal issues. He noted that while some motions will be put forward to address the impending fiscal cliff during the lame duck session, there will still be much work to do after Congress convenes in January.
Now that same-sex marriage is legal in Maine, LGBT advocates still have their work cut out. Tim Diehl, board president of Equality Maine, one of the partners in the Mainers United for Marriage coalition, said the group is working to disseminate information on the new law.
“Equality Maine will be involved in insuring that the information is available about where and how to get marriage licenses,” said Diehl. “We will work also with the state legislature to insure the law is implemented as it was passed.”
Diehl said that Equality Maine is not an organization whose goal revolves entirely around marriage equality for same-sex couples. Its aims are more general.
“It’s an advocacy and civil right organization for LGBT people and their families. Marriage is but one issue we’re focused on. We’ll continue to focus on issues where discrimination or inequality exists,” he said.
Diehl said his organization will delve into other LGBT issues without fear of same-sex marriage being repealed.
“I think that issues like equality and social justice-related matters only become more positively perceived by voters over time,” he said. “It’s hard to imagine taking a step back with Maine voters on this issue.”
—Linda Kinstler contributed to this report.
Obama, King elected, same-sex marriage passes
Students watching election results in Jack Magee’s Pub erupted in cheers when NBC News declared Barack Obama the winner of the presidential election on Tuesday night. The results of local races and ballot measures—two of which made national headlines—also prompted celebrations from most students in the crowd.
Maine approved same-sex marriage with roughly 53 percent of voters residents voting “yes” on Question 1. In Brunswick, over 67 percent of voters supported the measure. Maine, along with Maryland and Washington, became the first state to institute same-sex marriage by popular vote.
Jordan Lantz ’15 interned on Mainers United for Marriage’s campaign for a “yes” vote on Question 1. He said campaign staffers felt not joy, but relief when they heard the result.
76 percent of students to vote Obama, poll finds
Seventy-six percent of Bowdoin students will cast their votes for Barack Obama in next Tuesday’s presidential election, while 16 percent will vote for Mitt Romney, according to an unscientific poll conducted by the Orient. Two percent of students plan to vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson, one percent for Green Part candidate Jill Stein, and three percent remain undecided. The poll, which was distributed via email and digest post, received 719 responses between October 29 and November 1.
Kristof discusses global oppression of women
Nicholas Kristof spoke to a packed crowd at Pickard Theater last night about his 2009 book, “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.” The book—co-authored by his wife, Sheryl WuDunn—explores what Kristof refers to as “the central moral challenge of the 21st century,” combatting the oppression and effective enslavement of women and girls around the world.
‘Century bond’ sale raises $128.5 million
Bowdoin took steps to secure its financial stability over the next century when it sold $128.5 million worth of taxable bonds this past summer. The College will repay these bonds at a historically low interest rate of 4.69 percent, and the payment is due on July 1, 2112.
Cornell du Houx ’06 will not return to Maine state legislature
Alex Cornell du Houx ’06, Brunswick’s representative in the state legislature, announced that he would not seek re-election on June 29. Cornell du Houx’s re-election bid had been mired by allegations from his former fiancé, Representative Erin Herbig of Belfast, who claimed that he had stalked and threatened her in a temporary protection from abuse order.
Rep. Cornell du Houx ’06 denies former girlfriend’s accusations
State Representative Erin Herbig has received a protection from abuse order against her colleague and former boyfriend Rep. Alexander Cornell du Houx, who graduated from Bowdoin in 2008 and represents Brunswick. According to The Bangor Daily News, Herbig's court statement alleged that du Houx stalked her, secretly photographed her while she slept, and threatened to commit suicide after the couple broke up early this year.
Students possessing fake IDs charged for forgery
Two Bowdoin students were charged with forgery after they reportedly attempted to buy alcohol with fraudelent IDs on Saturday night. A clerk at Rite Aid suspected that the two Maine driver's licenses the students produced were fake, and contacted the Brunswick Police Department (BPD). The officer who arrived on the scene detained the two students in the parking lot and confiscated the IDs, which were of high quality and allegedly purchased online. The police have also charged a third student, whose ID was seized at Rite Aid in January. The two students apprehended Saturday were also charged with possession of alcohol by minors. In the past, the police have opted for the charge of possessing a fraudulent ID card, rather than the criminal offense of possessing a forged document.
Brunswick resident arrested with marijuana, guns
The Brunswick Police Department (BPD) discovered 126 marijuana plants, along with numerous semiautomatic weapons and ballistic vests, large amounts of cash, and dozens of illegal prescription pills when it attempted to arrest Brunswick resident Aaron Fickett on unrelated charges during a March 12 visit to his apartment. Officers Kristian Oberg and Matthew Swan were on a routine patrol when they happened to run the license plate of Fickett, 27. They found an outstanding warrant for his arrest, issued when he failed to appear in court for charges of carrying a concealed weapon and refusing to submit to arrest.
Snowe will not seek re-election, King undecided
Maine senator cites lack
United States Senator Olympia Snowe shocked the Maine political scene on Tuesday when she announced that she would not seek re-election in November. Her decision prompted a flurry of speculation as to who would run for her seat. The senator made her announcement in a written statement, citing "an atmosphere of polarization and 'my way or the highway' ideologies" as the motivating forces behind her decision.
Committee proposes chem-free changes
A committee charged with examining chem-free housing published recommendations this week for how to improve the system. If adopted, the proposed changes would alter the residential and social landscape for first year students. Under the current system, Hyde Hall is a chem-free living space and all incoming first year students who elect to live chem-free are placed there. The College, however, has no strict definition for the term chem-free.
BSG to launch Uncommon Hour based on TED talks
Common Hour's monopoly on Friday lectures will soon come to an end with the start of Bowdoin Student Government's "Uncommon Hour." The program is styled after TED talks, a series of lectures featuring thinkers who are behind breakthroughs in science and cultural studies.
Vassar College accidentally admits 76 students under ED II
Seventy-six would-be members of the Vassar College Class of 2016 had to put a cork in their festivities last Friday after finding out that the college had, in fact, not intended to offer them admission.
Faculty nix proposal to extend break 47-28
Sexual allegations stir Colby
Controversy has enveloped Colby College in wake of allegations of sexual assault involving multiple members of its football team. The Colby administration has disclosed neither when the alleged assault took place, nor the details of it, but suspended three football players on November 11, just one day prior to the game between Colby and Bowdoin. The school did not explicitly state that the players were responsible for the alleged assault.
Faculty to debate extending Thanksgiving break
Fall break would be shortened by one day to allow a new weeklong Thanksgiving break
Students who hail from far-flung corners of the country and cannot travel home for the Thanksgiving holiday can take heart in a proposal put forward to the faculty on Monday.
Baxter wins ‘Do it in the Dark,’ alleges sabotage
"Let there not be light" was the refrain in Baxter House throughout the month of October, when the house was competing in the 10th annual "Do it in the Dark" Energy Conservation Dorm Competition. The motto paid off —Baxter House took away the prize, boasting a 40 percent reduction in energy use. Moore Hall won among first year dorms with a reduction of 26 percent, and Baxter and West Hall were winners for largest reduction between affiliates.
After robbery, Variety Deli increases security measures
The Brunswick Variety Deli increased its security measures following its September 29 burglary. During the early morning hours of that day, a burglar pried open the rear door of the deli, stealing change, cigarettes, and a safe containing $4,500.
Bowdoin Brief: Brunswick Variety Deli burglarized Thursday a.m.
Burglars allegedly pried open the rear door of the Brunswick Variety Deli early Thursday morning, stealing cigarettes, change, and a drop safe with a combination.
Bowdoin Cable Network adds online streaming
The Bowdoin Cable Network (BCN) is going online. BCN General Manager Lidey Heuck '13 confirmed that, starting this semester, the network's movie content will be made available on-demand on the Internet.