Scanlon named interim dean for academic affairs
President-elect Clayton Rose appointed William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of the Humanities in Gender and Women’s Studies and Associate Dean for Faculty Jennifer Scanlon to fill the position of dean for academic affairs on Monday. Scanlon will act as an interim dean for the next two years, and there will be a national search for a permanent dean during the 2016-2017 academic year. The news followed last week’s announcement that Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd will leave the College for the Arthur W. Mellon Foundation at the end of the current academic year.
Scanlon said that she anticipates continuing many of the ongoing initiatives within the Office of the Dean for Academic Affairs, including the Digital and Computational Studies Initiative, during her two years in the position. Scanlon has also been focused on faculty diversity in her position as associate dean for faculty, and said that she plans on continuing that work in her new position.
“We will continue those kinds of conversation on campus,” she said. “I have every confidence that we will continue to carry on these initiatives that we’ve started.”
According to Scanlon, conversations have been underway for some time regarding transitions that may occur within the Academic Affairs office as Rose prepares to begin his presidency. The 2015-2016 year would have been the final year of Judd’s contract, which also contributed to those initial conversations.
“With the news that she had accepted a position at the Mellon Foundation, we started to have much more serious and engaged conversations over a week or so,” said Scanlon. “Clayton Rose invited me to take the position on an interim basis for two years which we thought was really in the best interest of the College—since he’s going to be new— that it would really be two years of someone who could help introduce him to the place and provide some kind of continuity.”
Scanlon said that Judd will continue to work with her on the transition through the rest of the semester and into the summer. She does not anticipate a rough transition in the office. “I think we will have a great partnership over here,” she said. “We have an incredible staff in academic affairs. We have a lot that’s going well, and we have a lot that we will continue to build on.”
Scanlon will not be teaching classes over the course of her tenure as dean for academic affairs.“There is lots of transition happening at the College,” she said, “And it will be really important that I devote my time and energy to making the transition both for this office without the dean we’ve had for the past nine years and also for President Rose—to make that as smooth as possible.”
Scanlon said she is excited to be taking the position.
“I really am honored to do this,” she said. “Bowdoin is such a terrific place and to be able to play this kind of role at a college like Bowdoin is such a reward for me.”
Naculich wins national physics fellowship
Professor of Physics Stephen Naculich was awarded a Simons Foundation Fellowship in Theoretical Physics in March. Naculich is one of 14 professors awarded the fellowship this year, and he is the first physicist from a small college to receive the award. The fellowship supports research in mathematics and theoretical physics, and is designed to fund the second half of a sabbatical.
“Bowdoin, like many colleges, allows professors to take sabbaticals every six or seven years to focus full time on their research,” said Naculich. “Usually you’re eligible for a year, but you’re only funded for half of it. There’s always the question of how to supplement that.”
Naculich will spend the year of his sabbatical working on research at the University of Michigan. He was approached over the summer with an offer to spend the year there, and the Simons fellowship will allow him to do so.
The proposal Naculich presented in his application for the fellowship was entitled Amplitudes for Gauge Theory, Gravity and String Theory. Amplitudes are a property of waves on a subatomic level, and Naculich will spend the year trying to find new and easier ways of calculating them.
“People have known how to calculate these amplitudes for a long time...but they’re very complicated in general,” he said. “One of the things we’re trying to do is understand some of the symmetries of these theories better to be able to calculate the amplitudes either in a more efficient way or even to calculate amplitudes that have never been calculated before.”
As a theoretical particle physicist, Naculich creates models to predict behaviors of subatomic particles. He’s the only theoretical elementary particle physicist at the College and probably, he says, in the state of Maine. The University of Michigan, on the other hand, has a leading center for particle theory. “I’m excited for the potential of face-to-face collaboration with others in the field,” said Naculich. “I do interact with people through email, phone, going to conferences and stuff...this is an opportunity to have a collaborator down the hall instead of at the other end of the phone line.”
Naculich said that the fellowship gives him the opportunity to drop everything here at Bowdoin and take advantage of the resources available for particle physics at the University of Michigan.
“I’ll learn a lot—I’ll get a lot of done,” he said. “It’ll be a great experience.”
BCA calls for Trustee liaison by March 6
The speech on climate at the Meeting in the Union last Friday closed with Bowdoin Climate Action (BCA) calling on the Board of Trustees to appoint a liaison to the student body on the matter of fossil fuel divestment before March 6.
BCA member Allyson Gross ’16, wrote the speech, the majority of which was published in the February 6 issue of the Orient.
BCA met with the Board in October to present its case to divest its endowment from the top 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies. Gross said that BCA has not heard from the Trustees since.
“On the date of Meeting in the Union, it had been 119 days of silence from the Board of Trustees,” she said. “When we asked for follow-up steps from them, we were cut off.”
The speech given at the meeting last Friday indicated that, if a liaison were not appointed by March 6, BCA would escalate protest efforts. Gross declined to comment on the shape that escalation would take.
Gross had an active role in the organization of both the Meeting in the Union and the writing of an open letter to the Bowdoin community, published in the Orient on February 13. Both Gross and Michelle Kruk ’16 said that they were happy with the way that the Meeting went.
“I love how things went,” said Kruk. “It was such a relief…to get that out there.”
The two also said that they were excited by the large number of students who walked from the Union to President Barry Mills’ office in Hawthorne-Longfellow Library to deliver the letter. Although Mills was not in his office, Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd accepted the letter on his behalf. Judd said that she has since delivered the letter to Mills.
Kruk said that while the majority of the feedback to the letter has been positive, there has been a bit of a backlash.
“It was that it shortcuts some of the [advances] that certain parts of campus have done,” she said.
“So many people are working hard to make this campus a better place, and I just wouldn’t want people to read the call to action and feel discouraged, as if their work is being discredited,” wrote Jared Littlejohn ’15 in an email to the Orient.
Littlejohn said that the Office of Residential Life has held multiple conversations and training sessions on race. The letter suggested that only one such training session took place.
Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster echoed Littlejohn’s statement.
“It’s hard for students to see how far Bowdoin has come in such a short period of time,” Foster wrote in an email to the Orient. “They don’t have the same historical perspective.”
Foster went on to add that there are reforms already underway in many of the areas that the letter mentions.
“The creation of the new [Student Center for Multicultural Life], the hiring of a new director, the coming together of the Multicultural Coalition, the initiation of Intergroup Dialogue, the gatherings of first generation students, faculty and staff and so on,” he said.
Kruk and Gross said that they have not seen any official response to either the letter or the Meeting, although several administrators and faculty members have offered their support.
Today, the group that organized the Meeting and the letter will meet to both discuss last Friday’s events and plan for next steps.
Over 200 students, faculty attend meeting on justice issues
About 200 community members gathered in David Saul Smith Union for this afternoon’s Meeting in the Union, an event intended to discuss injustices both on campus and beyond and the ways in which they are all interconnected.
Students filled the lower floor of Union and wound around the balconies up to the second floor, looking down over the speakers. A number of administrators were also present, including Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster, Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs Scott Hood, and Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan.
The Meeting included seven speeches: opening and closing remarks, and five students discussing the ways injustice manifests itself at the College. The speeches were not delivered by their authors, but by other members of the presenting group.
Allyson Gross ’16 gave the first speech and spoke about race. The speech told the story of an administrator who told the writer that she would be happy if he graduated with all C’s, because she knew how hard his situation was.
“She didn’t see just another student,” Gross read. “I was a poor, black, first generation student who lived in the hood… It was not only incredibly insulting, but essentially assumed that I would fail. While there is nothing wrong with empathizing with students of color who are struggling, this empathy should not extend to allowing us to lower our expectations.”
Emily Jaques ’17 read a speech written by a female student on gender, which discussed gender equality and the importance of inclusive feminism.
“Preference is given to thin and beautiful over confident and self possessed,” she said. “We all feel the pressure of the Pretty Test.”
"The Pretty Test” refers to a story published in the Orient last year.
Matthew Goodrich ’15 spoke on class, sharing the experience of a working class student who was misdiagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) in an attempt to explain his struggles in the classroom.
“My academic struggle was in fact not the result of a learning disability,” he said, “but instead can be explained with an understanding of economic disadvantages.”
He went on to explain how the background and expectations of more well off students allow them to succeed more easily at a place like Bowdoin, while those of more disadvantaged students have more trouble.
Maddie Lemal-Brown ’18 spoke about sexuality and the struggle that comes from identifying outside of traditional definitions of forms of sexuality.
“What about those of us who do not aspire to any traditionally codified grouping?” she said. “How can we as a college be open to broader definitions of gender and sexuality if so many of us avoid engaging in conversations about these issues?”
Finally, Michelle Kruk ’16 read a piece on climate change by Allyson Gross ’16, which was published in the Orient last week.
“Fossil fuel pollution disproportionately affects low-income neighborhoods and communities of color,” Kruk read. “The disastrous impacts of climate change will only exacerbate already existing inequalities.”
The speech closed with a reiteration of the call from Bowdoin Climate Action (BCA) for the Board of Trustees divest from fossil fuels, and declared BCA’s intent to escalate action for divestment this spring should there continue to be silence from the Board. BCA also asked that the Board appoint a divestment liaison to work with students on the process of divestment.
Claudia Villar ’15, one of the organizers of the event, delivered the closing remarks. She spoke about the ways in which all of these justice issues connect, and how they affect all members of the community.
“It’s impossible to choose just one issue that we care about,” she said.
At the conclusion of her speech, she invited all those present to join her and the other organizers as they walked to President Barry Mills’ office to present him with a copy of the speeches, as well as a letter—published online today—that calls for institutional changes with regards to racial issues.
Mills was not in his office at the time, but Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd accepted the letter and speeches and said that she would pass them on to Mills.
Meeting in Union to address injustice on campus, beyond
Today in David Saul Smith Union, a group of students will lead a meeting to discuss “injustice both on campus and beyond,” according to a Facebook event. An open letter to the Bowdoin community discussing issues of race and diversity on campus will be released in conjunction with the meeting, and can be read here.
Michelle Kruk ’16 spearheaded the letter, while Claudia Villar ’15 and Allyson Gross ’16 led the group organizing the meeting.
The two groups formed independently from a desire to capitalize on the momentum generated by the events held in December to protest the non-indictments of police officers in Ferguson, Mo. and Staten Island, N.Y., as well as other activist events last semester. The letter-writing group formed first, and the idea of a meeting was conceived shortly after. According to Villar, there has been a lot of overlap between the two groups.
The letter, the introduction of which can be found on page 14, calls for discussions of race to be incorporated into orientation programming and the programming of the Office of Residential Life, the Women’s Resource Center and other campus entities. It also asks that the administration work more actively to promote diversity within the faculty and the Department of Athletics, and that conversations about race be incorporated into more elements of the curriculum.
The tone of the letter has mellowed since it was initially conceived in December, according to Kruk.
“The context was anxious [in December]. Tensions were high; it was a really difficult time to be talking about these things,” said Kruk. “Everyone was on the defensive, and everyone was pointing fingers in every which direction. None of that was coming from a bad place, all of it was about caring about this place enough to want it to be better...The tone of the letter was probably much harsher than it is now. It’s been nice to take a step back from the letter and come back a month later with fresher eyes.”
“It’s been really nice to move away from the harsher language,” she said. “Now, it’s like, let’s work together to make things better.”
Originally, Kruk said, the letter was directed specifically at the administration. It has since changed to address the Bowdoin community as a whole.
“It’s for everyone who has ever been a part of this place,” she said.
The release of the letter is timed to coincide with the meeting, which will be held today. “[The meeting] seemed like a fantastic jumping off point for the letter and it also seemed like the most opportune moment to release it,” said Kruk.
Following the meeting, Kruk and Villar said they plan to deliver the letter directly to President Barry Mills.
The meeting this afternoon will include five speeches, bookended by opening and closing remarks. Each speech will focus on one of the issues highlighted by the meeting organizers—racial discrimination, sexual assault, economic inequality, rejection of diversity in gender and sexual identify, and the uneven burden of climate change. The speeches were co-written by small groups, and each will be delivered by someone who did not write it.
“It’s to show that it doesn’t matter who’s speaking to these things, but they impact us all,” said Gross.
According to Villar, the meeting grew from conversations with Gross and others about the underlying connections between climate issues and issues of racial and sexual discrimination. Gross is actively involved in Bowdoin Climate Action (BCA).
“We decided that we really wanted to have a big event, and how we didn’t want it to be like an academic panel where the same people who have been having these conversations come,” said Villar. “We really wanted it to be something that was inclusive and got the attention of the majority of the community.”
The goal of the meeting, according to Villar, Kruk and Gross, is to talk about the common threads that run through all social justice issues.
“You can’t fight one type of injustice without fighting others because they’re all part of the same system of hierarchy,” said Villar.
Villar also said that the organizers want the meeting to be open and inclusive.
“We don’t feel that anyone is outright not caring—it’s more of a call against passiveness,” she said. “I think that we want to not be angry with people, but instead invite them to open their mind.”
Neither the faculty nor the administration has been involved in the planning of the meeting. “This is really students acting together and joining to bring light to these issues in an extra-institutional way,” said Gross.
Bowdoin flu outbreak mostly affects unvaccinated
A national look at this year’s flu season would mark it as particularly severe, and the outbreak on the Bowdoin campus has been no exception. However, while the national narrative has pointed to the lack of efficacy in the flu vaccine as a factor in the severity of this year’s flu season, Director of Health Services Birgit Pols said that the Bowdoin Health Center has not seen flu in those who have received the vaccine.
Pols said that she has only spoken to one student sick with the flu who also received the vaccine, and that all others were students who had not been vaccinated.
Pols does not have exact numbers for either cases of the flu or vaccinations at Bowdoin at the moment, as both flu season and the vaccination process are ongoing.
“Flu incidence, I imagine, is going to parallel flu incidence in the community,” she said. “This season, what we’re seeing in Maine is more peaks and valleys, and I suspect that’s what we’re going to be seeing on campus.”
The flu virus is spread through the air, and tends to crop up when cold weather keeps people inside and in close quarters.
Pols said that she encourages students with flu symptoms to remain in their rooms, as the flu could increase their chances of catching other illnesses that may be going around campus.
Although the Health Center has only seen one student who has the flu and also had the vaccine, Pols said that students with the vaccine may still be getting some degree of flu.
“It may be that the people who got the vaccine are getting ill but not as sick, or have crossover protection from previous vaccines,” she said.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), this year’s flu vaccine only reduced one’s chances of having to go to the doctor from flu by 23 percent. By comparison, successful vaccines generally reduce this chance by 50 to 60 percent.
The flu vaccine usually protects against two to three of the strains of the flu virus that the World Health Organization estimates will be most widespread in each particular year.
“The problem is, sure you chose the ones that were the most prevalent,” said Associate Professor of Biology and Biochemistry Anne McBride. “But life’s random, and you can never know if it’s the best prediction that they have... it’s like weather prediction.”
White House report targets sexual assault on college campuses
Bowdoin already has many of the recommendations in place. Tufts risks losing federal aid after Title IX investigation into sexual assault mishandling.
The White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault released a report on Tuesday that suggested a number of policies for preventing and addressing sexual assault. According to Meadow Davis, associate dean of student affairs and deputy Title IX coordinator, the College already has strong policies in place in the areas the report identified.
“The bottom line, I would say, is that we’re always looking for ways to make what we do better and stronger, and we will look through the specifics of this and what the best practices are and what they’re recommending,” Davis said. “In the overall spectrum, we have most of the programs and practices already in place, but this is a great opportunity to look and see what other schools are doing.”
The White House report called for campus climate surveys about sexual assault, heightened bystander training and prevention strategies, and improved responses when sexual assaults do occur. Davis highlighted Bowdoin’s health and wellness survey (which contains a sexual assault component), its numerous student groups and training programs for sexual assault prevention and advocacy, and the review process that takes place following any sexual assault case.
“At the end of all of our processes, we always give people the opportunity to check back in and let us know what parts of the process worked for them,” she said.
The report also recommended increased transparency of complaints and investigations for Title IX, the law barring sex discrimination in education. The report states that the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) will release all resolution letters resulting from Title IX lawsuits and the Department of Justice will post all federal court filings relating to Title IX complaints. Before 2011, the focus of the Title IX was on equality in athletics. However, following the “Dear Colleague” letter from the Department of Education in 2011—which clearly linked Title IX to sexual assault—many schools, according to Davis, had to scramble to meet the requirements, many of which are still unclear to some institutions.
“Before 2011, many schools didn’t even have sexual assault policies,” said Davis. “Though Title IX had been in effect since 1970s, the focus wasn’t on the sexual assault stuff. The framing of it in 2011 was that there’s also this piece…around sexual assault.”
On Thursday, the Department of Education released a list of the 55 colleges with open and ongoing Title IX investigations. Amherst was the only NESCAC school with an ongoing investigation, although on Monday the Department of Education concluded that Tufts University was not complying with federal regulations on addressing sexual assault following a previous investigation.
Tufts is currently in contention with the OCR over the results of a four-year Title IX investigation triggered by a student complaint filed in 2010. During the years of the investigation, Tufts made various changes to its sexual assault policies. In early April, the University entered into a voluntary agreement with the OCR stating that it would come to compliance with Title IX policies.
However, on April 26, Tufts withdrew its signature from the agreement.
Tufts rescinded the agreement after the OCR determined that the revamped policies—not just those that were in place at the time the Title IX complaint was filed—were not up to code. The Tufts administration denied that the University is currently in violation of Title IX, and said it believes that it made sufficient changes in the period since the complaint.
If Tufts does not improve its policies so that they meet the OCS’s expectations, it risks losing federal aid.
The OCR-Tufts agreement reflected a standard arrangement for solving violations, according to Davis.
However, Tufts is the first institution that has withdrawn from an agreement. Though the next steps following that retraction remain unclear, the OCR will work with Tufts in an attempt to remedy the issue.
Sluggish wireless prompts IT to complete update of all access points
Information Technology (IT) and Cisco completed an update of over 500 wireless access points and two controllers Thursday night in response to recent wireless issues, IT announced in an email to students Friday afternoon.
According to Chief Information Officer for IT services Mitch Davis, Bowdoin has been aware of various power related issues and inconsistences over the past few weeks and has been in conversation with Cisco regarding the problems.
"We were providing Cisco with logs of our equipment because they didn't know about it,” said Davis. “They’ve recently begun to see the inconsistencies and the problems and came to us with a new patch that was supposed to fix it."
Cisco estimated that the update, completed Thursday night, would take about ten minutes; however, according to Davis, it took closer to an hour.
“They didn't consider that there would be 2000 people using the network when we tried to do the update, so that slowed it down,” he said.
Davis said that he hopes students are proactive and report dead spots on campus to IT.
“It looks like the power problem is solved,” he said, “but I’m not convinced the whole problem is solved.”
Students can report wireless issues online through the Information Technology Advisory Council website, according to the campus email.
Cold snap leads to $20,000 damage in Memorial Hall
On the night of January 4 and 5, while the majority of students were home for break, sprinkler heads burst in Memorial Hall, flooding the east-facing stairway with water and causing about $20,000 worth of damage.
According to Jeff Tuttle, associate director of facilities operation and maintenance, the extreme cold caused the sprinklers to freeze and then pop. The first round burst around midnight on January 4, and a second group burst in the early hours of January 5.
Tuttle said that the cold winter weather is usually accompanied by a host of issues. However, while Facilities Management always expects a number of small problems, Tuttle said that the flooding in Memorial Hall was certainly abnormal.
A look into disordered eating at Bowdoin
Last week, the Orient circulated an anonymous survey to students investigating health and eating at Bowdoin.
Of the 538 respondents, 61 percent were female and 39 percent were male. Eighty-four percent of students said that they felt Bowdoin created a healthy eating environment, while 55 percent of female students reported that they think they need to lose weight, and 45 percent of female students were worried about a friend’s eating habits. Six percent of students reported that they had been diagnosed with an eating disorder.
According to Director of Health Services Sandra Hayes, issues of disordered eating are more complicated than a black-and-white diagnosis.
3 bias incidents spur inquiries, discussion
Students reported three bias incidents to the College over the past week, triggering a wave of responses that included a meeting of the Bias Incident Committee, investigations by the Brunswick Police Department (BPD) and Bowdoin security, and a forum for discussion with student leaders and faculty on the issues.
The incidents reported include two cases of malevolent racial symbols and language found on a whiteboard at Brunswick Apartments and a homophobic comment—which escalated to physical violence—made to a student outside Joshua’s Restaurant and Tavern.
According to Director of Security Randy Nichols, security is working with BDP on their investigation of the incident outside of Joshua’s and is investigating the bias incidents at the Brunswick Apartments internally.
Two students arrested in 24 hours for drunk driving
The Brunswick Police Department (BPD) arrested two Bowdoin students for drunk driving last Sunday, according to Bowdoin Security. The two students, aged 20 and 21, were charged with operating under the influence (OUI).
In both cases, Bowdoin Security was directly involved.
The first incident occurred at 12:40 a.m. on Sunday. According to Director of Security Randy Nichols, Bowdoin security officers and officers of the BPD were at the intersection of Coffin Street and Longfellow Avenue on an unrelated call.
Baxter House floods after pipe bursts
On Sunday at around 12:30 a.m, a student at a registered event in the basement of Baxter House broke a sprinkler pipe on the ceiling, which set off the fire alarm and flooded the room with about five inches of water.
“I saw someone jump up, and as soon as they made contact with the pipe, it snapped,” said Matt Friedland ’15. “There was a big hissing sound, and people were screaming because [the pipes] sprayed on them. Everyone freaked out and went upstairs.”
Assistant Director of Residential Life Chris Rossi and multiple Baxter House residents have confirmed that the responsible party has come forward; however, no name has been released.
Brunswick Police Department to change location
This coming October, the Brunswick Police Department will move to the new, 20,000 square foot station building currently under construction at the corner of Pleasant and Stanwood Streets. It is currently housed in a 4,000 square foot space in the basement of the Town of Brunswick Municipal Building on Federal Street.
According to Brunswick Police Chief Richard Rizzo, the department has been talking about a change for a long time.
“The police department has been in the basement of town hall since the police department was a police department,” he said. “If it’s not the worst police station in the state, it’s one of the worst.”
Phar\os claims opening slot at Ivies
Student band Phar\os won Battle of the Bands last Thursday and will open for Hoodie Allen in next Saturday’s Ivies concert.
The three bands competing were Treefarm, The Circus, and Phar\os. Ultimately, Phar\os—composed of David Raskin ’13, Connor Smith ’13, Rami Stucky ’14 and Simon Moushabeck ’16—came out victorious.
According to BMC co-head Nate Joseph ’13, this is the first year that there have been two rounds of competition.
BSG, E-Board to consider extending 3LAU's concert
Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) spent a large segment of its weekly meeting on Wednesday in conversation with Director of Health Services Sandra Hayes, addressing student concerns with the Health Centers.
Many members of BSG said that they had heard complaints from students who had not gotten appointments as soon as they would have liked.
Hayes says that the Health Center can usually make appointments for students within 24 hours. However, some students are unwilling to take appointments that would force them to skip class.
Clarke, Fletcher, Kaplan and Lichter promoted to full professor
Professor of English Brock Clarke, Professor of Art History Pamela Fletcher, Professor of Anthropology and Arctic Museum Director Susan Kaplan, and Professor of Natural Sciences John Lichter were all recently promoted from associate professor to full professor.
According to the Bowdoin Faculty Handbook, the primary criterion for promotion is that the professor demonstrates “continuing excellence in teaching and in scholarly or artistic work” during the time since the professor received tenure.
In order to demonstrate "continuing excellence," each faculty member must submit their course materials, a personal statement, and the body of work that they have completed since becoming an associate professor. Recommendations are solicited from former students and external experts in the faculty member’s field.
New museum co-directors outline objectives for future growth
Last night, the new co-directors of the Bowdoin Museum of Art, Anne and Frank Goodyear, discussed their hopes for the future of the museum with a small group of students and faculty at MacMillan House.
The Goodyears each spoke briefly about their education and current occupations—both are curators at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. and teach at George Washington University (Anne also serves as president of the College Art Association)—and then opened up the floor to questions and input from the audience, which was mainly composed of art history students.
Anne said they were excited to hear the student’s insights and ideas regarding the role of the museum on campus.
Divestment: Panelists criticize resistance to divestment
Bowdoin Climate Action (BCA) hosted a panel of advocates and experts to discuss divestment on Saturday night, after being postponed multiple times due to weather.
The panel was composed of 350.org founder Bill McKibben and Director of the Responsible Endowment Coalition Dan Apfel, who both conferenced in via Skype to join Unity College President Stephen Mulkey, Director of the Sierra Club Maine Glen Brand, and divestment coordinator for 350.org Maine Read Brugger—all panelists spoke critically about Bowdoin’s resistance to divestment.
McKibben said that Bowdoin, by not divesting, is acting in opposition to its values.
Green Bowdoin Alliance continues to push for divestment after College's released data
The Green Bowdoin Alliance (GBA) is continuing its efforts to convince the College to divest the endowment from fossil fuels, despite President Mills’ and Senior Vice President for Investment Paula Volent’s assertion that divestment would cost Bowdoin millions of dollars. Both sides of the divestment issue are arguing their case based on different, largely incomparable statistics.
Matthew Goodrich ’15 and Bridget McCoy ’15, who are leading GBA’s push to divest, say they are unwilling to accept the numbers presented by the administration without full disclosure of how they were calculated. Mills and Volent told the Orient last week that 1.4 percent of the endowment is invested in fossil fuels, primarily through exposure to an enhanced S&P 500 index fund. Based on data from the past decade of endowment performance, they estimated that if the College were to divest, annualized returns would decline by more than 5 percent.
“Over a ten-year period we would lose over $100 million,” Volent told the Orient last week.
BSG, E-Board to revive Winter Weekend; SOOC change its bylaws
On February 15, Bowdoin will celebrate the season with the revival of Winter Weekend, an old tradition of the College. Dani Chediak ’13, president of the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG), and Michael Hannaman ’13, co-chair of the Entertainment Board (E-Board) have been working together to organize an event to bring the campus together during the drab winter season. “This is actually a tradition from back when frats were at Bowdoin,” Hannaman said. “And what we’re trying to do is revive, but also redefine, what it is. We’re trying to make it about sports at Bowdoin, and College Houses and being outside during the winter.”
Fullbridge Program debuts with mixed reviews from participants
Over winter break, a group of Bowdoin students returned to campus early to participate in the Fullbridge Program, an intensive learning experience designed to give students practical business skills and expose them to a workplace environment. Fullbridge usually holds residential programs students on its main campus in Cambridge, Mass. and Bowdoin was the site of the company’s first external program at a college exclusively for that college’s students. The Fullbridge program covered topics ranging from financial statements to Microsoft Excel. “A lot of it was financial analysis,” said Daniel Mejia-Cruz ’16.
Rainbow Seven program aims to enhance LGBTQ dating scene
November is Date Month at Bowdoin, and dozens of students have participated in events ranging from “Screw Your Roommate” to “Date Night in Daggett” over the last few weeks. Two years ago, Simon Bordwin ’13 added a specifically LGBTQ event to what was then Date Week; this year, he is again seeking to make Date Month more inclusive with the launch of Rainbow Seven. Rainbow Seven is an online networking service that will allow LGBTQ students to meet other members of Bowdoin’s queer community. The process happens in several phases. Over Thanksgiving vacation, students sent their names to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Assaults put spotlight on Amherst policies
Amherst College, still reeling from former student Angie Epifano’s account of her sexual assault and subsequent mistreatment by Amherst administration, was dealt another blow last week, with the release of former Amherst student Trey Malone’s June 2012 suicide note, which revealed yet another account of a student who felt his assault was mishandled by the Amherst administration.
Malone wrote about his struggles dealing with the alleged sexual assault, and said that “what began as an earnest effort to help on the part of Amherst, became an emotionless hand washing. In those places I should’ve received help, I saw none.”
Malone’s story, published last Thursday in the Huffington Post, echoed that of Epifano, who published an op-ed in The Amherst Student on October 17.
CPC hopes Fullbridge will complement liberal arts
This January, the Fullbridge Program—described on its website as “an intensive, transformative learning environment that prepares highly motivated undergraduates…for a successful transition to the working world”—will hold two sessions for Bowdoin students on campus over winter break. Fullbridge is a program that is designed to simulate the real world business environment and equip students with crucial skills for careers in the professional world. Fullbridge began as a residential program in Cambridge, Mass., and its sessions at Bowdoin will be its first program on an external college campus. President Barry Mills met with Fullbridge Director of Admissions Oliver Snider this past summer, and they began to discuss the possibility of holding the program at the College.
Classes at three Maine colleges available to Bowdoin students
Thumb through Bowdoin’s course catalogue, and you’ll find hundreds of courses ranging from multivariable calculus to interpretive dance. For students who find this list insufficient, however, there is another option. Bowdoin students can take courses at Colby, Bates or the Maine College of Art in Portland, though few students take advantage of the opportunity.
Yellow shirts allow students to choose labels
On Monday, hundreds of students wore yellow in support of the LGBTIQA community at the College. Organized by the Bowdoin Queer Straight Alliance (BQSA), Yellow Shirt Day is one of many events that took place as part of Coming Out week at Bowdoin. This year, the BQSA spray-painted the slogan “I AM __” on the shirts and provided markers for students to fill in the blank.
Sailing finshes in middle of the pack in its three regattas
Bowdoin’s sailing team competed in three events this past weekend—the Women’s Regis Bowl at Boston University, the Hood Trophy at Tufts, and the Chris Loder Trophy at the University of New Hampshire.
Students fight FDA stipulation with petition, ‘sponsor’ blood drive
At the blood drive on Wednesday afternoon, students were invited to sign a petition in protest of an FDA ban prohibiting sexually active gay men from donating blood. The event was Bowdoin’s first-ever “sponsor” blood drive, in which students had the option of donating in honor of someone who is prevented from giving blood under the ban.
Anonymous online forum seeks to broaden debate
Off-therecord.com, a new website billing itself as an anonymous online forum to debate controversial political and social issues, launched exclusively for Bowdoin community members on August 29.