This week, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) kicked off the fourth annual No Hate November, an initiative aimed at removing bias and raising mindfulness on and off campus. Unlike in past years, the month does not have a focus on one particular issue. 

“The mission is to have a month full of events on campus that will create dialogue about issues surrounding inclusivity, respect, bias and hate,” said BSG Vice President for Student Affairs Ben Painter ’19.

There are a dozen events planned this year. Each event focuses on a specific issue, such as microaggressions, transphobia, mental health or police brutality. 

“We didn’t want to focus on one topic too much,” Painter said. “For example, if we focused on race, which was brought up to have one big focus, issues of sexuality wouldn’t be part of No Hate November. Issues surrounding disability wouldn’t be part of No Hate November. And so we didn’t want to exclude any group that wants to have an event.” 

Aasif Mandvi, an actor and comedian known for his work on the Daily Show, will be coming to campus next Thursday to address issues of tolerance and discrimination through comedy.

“Comedy is a way to access really uncomfortable and sometimes difficult issues,” Mandvi said in a phone interview to the Orient. “Comedy can also point out the truth sometimes with things. There’s a famous quote, that art lays bare the truth that are hidden by facts. So comedy is an art form. And all art lays bare certain truth that are hidden by the kind of conversation we have. Comedy is a different type of conversation that can expose some kinds of that stuff.”

Mandvi said that today’s poisonous social and political climate make engaging in difficult conversations about intolerance “more important now than ... ever.” 

“[Mandvi’s] a big name,” Painter said. “Hopefully it’ll draw people out of the cracks, people who usually wouldn’t go to events. I’m looking forward to that because hopefully that’ll start conversations in corners of the campus where they usually don’t have these conversations.”