When members of the Class of 2012 arrive on campus in the fall, they will enter a community rooted in safety, trust, and collaboration?values that attest to the legacies of Kim Pacelli and Mike Brown, two departing staff members whose leadership and vision during their tenures have improved the ethos of the College for the better.
A former student and the current director of Residential Life, Pacelli spent her cumulative nine years on the ResLife staff striving improve the sense of community at Bowdoin. Her efforts seem to have been fruitful: A survey of last year's senior class showed that 74.2 percent of graduating seniors were satisfied with the sense of community at the College, compared to a mere 28.9 percent just 12 years before. Such a momentous change can be directly attributed to Pacelli and her peers on the Commission on Residential Life (CRL), a committee formed in 1996 charged with developing a "new theory of residential life" in the aftermath of the fraternity-related death of a visiting student. A then-student member of the commission, Pacelli has continued to uphold the CRL's commitment to stewardship and foresight in her everyday dealings at the College.
Brown, the assistant director of Safety and Security, has also worked to improve community during his 11 years at Bowdoin. Although it is now commonplace for members of Security to strike up friendly conversations with students?or even make it onto party guest lists when certain campus bands make the line-up?such a sense of camaraderie between students and Security is a relatively new development. "It wasn't like that 10 years ago," Brown said, and having served as a Security employee for over a decade, his role in this developing relationship was by no means a small one. Now viewed largely as a helping hand rather than as an oppressive force, the Department of Safety and Security has, in recent years, gained the trust and respect of the student body?a shift that has greatly enhanced campus safety.
Pacelli and Brown do not just leave behind legacies of forward-thinking and action. They also leave behind a wealth of friends who will miss their wit, intelligence, and companionship. Always and unequivocally dedicated to the sense of community necessary for the pursuit of academics, it only seems appropriate that they are both leaving the College to pursue their own ambitions through higher education. We wish them luck, and hope that they find at their new schools the same level of wellbeing, security, and community with which they leave us.The editorial represents the majority view of The Bowdoin Orient?s editorial board, which comprises Steve Kolowich, Anne Riley, Anna Karass, Adam Kommel, Mary Helen Miller, Joshua Miller, and Cati Mitchell.