Sociologists Camille Charles and Rory Kramer arrived on campus last week to begin research on Bowdoin’s racial and ethnic climate. As announced in an email from President Clayton Rose to the community on December 3, the researchers will collect information about the way students’ race affects their experience at Bowdoin. They will eventually offer recommendations for how the College may take action.

In their first visit to the College, Charles and Kramer conducted a series of 90-minute discussions with different student groups as well as faculty to discuss students’ experiences at Bowdoin as well as instances of racial and ethnic bias. Among these groups were the executive committee of Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) and queer students of color. 

Julian Tamayo ’16, who works as a student coordinator in the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity and spoke with Charles and Kramer in one of these conversations, said that they did not pose any specific questions for the students but rather offered a space to freely share experiences. BSG President Danny Mejia-Cruz ’16 concurred that the researchers intend to focus on culture and climate by recording anecdotal data through frank conversations. 

Charles and Kramer declined to comment until their project is complete.

Editor's note (2/26/16 at 11 a.m.): It was originally reported that Charles and Kramer spoke to Tamayo as part of a group of students of color from the BQSA. The group was not affiliated with BQSA.