This week, we have compiled the most important stories from the decade pertaining to building projects, information technology (IT), safety and security, and health and wellness at the College. We have pulled a selection of actual headlines from former issues, and condensed and synthesized stories relevant to each headline in order to showcase some of the most significant moments and enduring issues covered by the Orient. While our compilation is comprehensive, it is by no means complete. We encourage readers to pursue these headlines and others in our online archives, and to read our future installments of this series over the next several weeks.
Topics to come: Student affairs and campus life, college finances, admissions and reputation, environment and service, athletics, and Maine and Brunswick issues.
Kipp resigns: Graves to bridge the security gap, January 28, 2000
The decade has seen two directors of Safety and Security: in January of 2000, Director of Security Scott Kipp resigned and Bob Graves served as interim director.
In 2005, Randy Nichols joined the College as the new, and current, head of Safety and Security after spending 27 and a half years with the Maine State Police. A November 11, 2005, Orient article reported that Nichols' list of important issues at Bowdoin included "lighting, pedestrian safety, personal safety, and alcohol abuse."
College, police troubled by OUIs, October 6, 2006
While alcohol use on campus is at the forefront of many campus conversations today, Bowdoin Security and Brunswick Police Department (BPD) have dealt with similar concerns and issues in the past.
In September of 2006, BPD reestablished undercover sting operations it had conducted over the summer, aiming to find adults who were buying alcohol for students under the age of 21.
In an Orient article, Nichols said that college campuses should expect to be targets for these sorts of operations, but that Security had no intention of engaging in undercover sting operations. Student responses suggested that the actions seemed "unfair" to pay youths to solicit alcohol, and that resources might be better spent verifying IDs.
By late October, the Brunswick Police Department and College officials were worried by at least three Bowdoin student arrests for drunk driving in Brunswick in the first month of school. Police officers, administrators, and Bowdoin students all expressed their surprise at the occurrences, suggesting there was "no need" for students to drive while drinking in Brunswick with Security offering rides.
On campus, BPD broke up a 1980s-themed party at Quinby House in late September. When officers arrived at Quinby to inquire about four girls walking on Maine Street with open containers who ran away, the police were allegedly "taunted" and decided to shut the party down early. Multiple students proceeded to verbally challenge or run from police, ultimately resulting in one student in jail, another with a court summons, and an injured police officer.
In response to the situation, Security began enforcing its policy for pre-party checks at registered campus events to check registered alcohol, ensure adequate amounts of food and beverage, identify any fire or safety issues and answer questions about hosting the party. The pre-party checks were meant to address and prevent problems before the party, when it can be difficult and cumbersome to the find the event and alcohol hosts.
Some students became concerned that alcohol checks were going too far when, in November of 2006, a student was cited for a hard policy violation after 9:00 a.m. on a Friday morning. According to a November 17, 2006 Orient article, a Security officer was making a routine check of Baxter House, saw a hard alcohol mixture, called for backup, and found tequila while conducting a search of a bar structure in the room.
The student cited said he did not hear nor acknowledge Security's announcement of entry, and was "upset" that Security could check his room without an order from the Office of Residential Life. Nichols said that the hard alcohol mixture in plain view was a sufficient probable cause to search the surrounding area and bar.
Police to crack down on noise, January 24, 2003
In an October 4, 2002 Orient article, Rick Dejardins, BPD patrol commander at the time, said that the "relationship between the college and the neighbors has always been peaceful up until recently," as "what used to be a single family home on Friday and Saturday nights turns into a two- or three-hundred people event."
At the time, most of the noise complaints came from the areas of Garrison Avenue and Harpswell Road, with additional concerns raised by residents on Longfellow Avenue about students walking through the area to and from parties. Security said they increased their presence in problem areas, reminding students to be quiet and respectful.
A student-led group, Bowdoin Students for Respectful Brunswick-Bowdoin Relations (BSRBBR), worked with BPD, College Houses and off-campus houses to educate students about the noise problems and encourage more respectful behavior when out at night. The group even held a campus-wide meeting to inform students of the nature and seriousness of complaints.
In the October 4 article, Dejardins said that College Houses should be concerned about attendees' behaviors, as it is "unacceptable for students here at Bowdoin to essentially ruin it for the whole—to be doing things that are disorderly in the public and then going to [College Houses] in the community [which] essentially [puts] that [College House] in jeopardy of closing."
A January 24, 2003 Orient article cited Brunswick residents' complaints that Bowdoin students were urinating on lawns, littering, and one student was found "sitting on the edge of [one resident's] bathtub." Following a few months of planning, by April of 2003, BPD installed eight signs surrounding campus warning against drinking on Brunswick streets.
BPD officers said rowdiness among students remained a problem despite efforts to raise awareness and decrease noise at night. In a February 21, 2003 Orient article, BPD Lieutenant Marc Hagen said he had hoped the signs would prevent people from walking with open containers, littering beer cans and cups on residential lawns, and decrease the number of noise complaints.
The signs, some still standing today, read, "Public consumption of alcoholic beverages is a Class E crime." Students caught drinking within 200 feet of the sign could face a penalty of six months in jail or $1,000 in fines, according to a February 21, 2003 Orient article.
The signs were meant to be a "fair warning" to students, allowing officers to forego the usual process of "identifying, warning, and summonsing those found in violation." Despite the severity of the message, an April 25, 2003 Orient article reported that two weeks after they were put up, five signs had been stolen.
Then-Dean of Student Affairs Craig Bradley said, "My concern about this is that the expectations of the neighbors—even with the signs up—are still going to be too high. I don't think that the Brunswick Police have the resources to monitor student drinking to such an extent."
Student report leads to arrest, March 10, 2000
In early 2000, a Topsham resident was arrested, then released after serving a week in prison, on two charges of criminal trespassing in Pine Street Apartments. The arrest was made when one student came out of the shower and found the man in his apartment, matching the description of a previous intrusion nearby.
Later, in March of 2000, three Bowdoin students reported stopping at a traffic light on Route 1, where a man in a truck pulled up to their right and exposed himself to the women, then drove away. The student report led to the 36-year-old man's arrest.
The women's swim team reported feeling threatened at the Bowdoin Outing Club cabin in Monson, Maine by individuals "lurking" outside in November of 2002. The men, from another cabin nearby, kept returning to the cabin while drinking, after initially helping the girls move some things inside. The girls called the police, but said they were surprised they did not take stronger action against the suspicious males for harassing the team.
BPD issued a trespass warning to a Brunswick resident in response to suspicions of giving a female Bowdoin student a "harmful, unknown substance," according to a November 12, 2004 Orient article. An Orient investigation that October found two student reports of "date-rape drug ingestion" to Residential Life that fall, though they had not been assaulted.
Three criminal trespass warnings were issued by BPD to Brunswick residents in February of 2008, after they were asked to leave campus by Security and later confronted by police on South Street. Student reports led Security to trace the suspicious males' movements across campus, from Smith Union to the Tower lobby, until Security could ask them to leave.
Crimes disturb the Pines, November 16, 2001
A series of reported thefts on campus in the fall of 2001 surprised Security and students, with missing items including five laptops, seven bicycles, "medication, a surfboard, wallets, purses, jackets, a Domino's Pizza sign, and a Snapple," according to a November 16, 2001 Orient article.
Student artwork has been a repeated target for student theft in the past decade, as well. In October of 2003, an Orient article reported the theft of a student poster from the Visual Arts Center (VAC), the second such incident in two years. The first occasion was in February of 2003, when four ceramic pieces were stolen from the first floor of Moulton Union.
Then, in October of 2004, three pieces of student artwork were stolen from the basement of the VAC on two separate occasions. A January 28, 2005 Orient article reported that the artwork thefts were still unresolved.
Four iPods were stolen from visitors' bags in the locker room Morrell Gymnasium during a basketball game in February of 2005. Security estimated over 500 people walked through the area at the time and would have had access to the locker. According to then-Assistant Director of Security Mike Brown, the typical pattern of thefts suggested the thief would return to campus at some point.
Four laptop computers were stolen from Chamberlain Hall in one night in March of 2006. Five males were suspected to be involved in the thefts of two laptops from the fourth floor and two from the third floor, one of whom Nichols speculated might have been a former Bowdoin student.
In November and December of 2005, a student defended himself against an armed robber with a bottle of Tide laundry detergent in a set of related incidents. One Thursday in November, a student was doing laundry at a School Street apartment when a man in a ski mask, carrying a knife, demanded the student's money. The student responded by hitting the man across the head with his large bottle of Tide detergent and chasing him out of the building.
A month later in December, the student was doing laundry on a Wednesday night in the same location. When he tried to open the door to leave the facility, he found it was being held shut. A man yelled, "F— you, Tide man," before releasing the door open and sending the student backwards down the stairs. The student called 911, and though Nichols commented on how "unusual" it would be for the same attacker to return for revenge, the suspect was not found.
Over Winter Break in the 2001-02 academic year, Security "confiscated traffic signs, traffic control devices, and construction materials like cones and barricades" from dorm rooms during routine building sweeps, according to a February 8, 2002 Orient article. While then-Director of Security Bruce Bouchard said Security was not specifically looking for traffic signs, any contraband was taken, and there was "an unusually high amount of signage and construction."
Security said that students could reclaim any confiscated signs if proved they were obtained legally.
Staff member resigns amid peeping allegations, April 6, 2001
Over the years, Bowdoin has seen a few crimes associated with faculty, as well.
In the summer of 2000, the College's former Controller Gary Plante was sued for embezzling $50,549.59 from the College. Plante allegedly deposited checks into a separate bank account, withdrawing the funds for personal items including the down payment on a home in Lewiston, and used a credit card with his and Bowdoin's names for personal benefit.
In April of 2001, a staff member resigned from his work at the College from allegations of peeping on campus. A student in Moore Hall reported a man lurking outside her window for more than an hour, after making eye contact and noticing his presence.
Associate Professor of Physics Steven Naculich was mugged in October of 2005 on a walk home from Hawthorne-Longfellow Library around 10 p.m. The suspected demanded the professor's money, wallet, watch, wedding ring and backpack.
In 2007, student reports of missing money in Coles Tower led to the firing of a Bowdoin housekeeper. After $100 and $200 went missing on two separate occasions, one student installed a motion-activated camera, subsequently recording his housekeeper entering his room and removing $40 from his wallet.
Fan ignites fire at Brunswick Apts, October 19, 2001
In the past decade, Security has done its share of battling natural elements—water, fire and weather systems.
In October of 2001, a student's personal fan caught fire, igniting Brunswick Apartments H1 and causing $35,000 worth of damage. The student debated whether or not to turn the fan off before leaving for class, and was notified of the fire by email later that afternoon. Restoration was estimated to take up to a month, and one College employee said it was the worst fire he had seen at Bowdoin in five years.
When the Boston Red Sox won the 2004 World Series, student enthusiasm ignited on the Brunswick quad. As the final inning wound down, students set up "wood and trash" to set ablaze, according to an Orient article, and Brunswick Volunteer Fire Department arrived shortly after to extinguish the flame.
A similar fire broke out earlier in the year, when the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl in February 2004. Around 100 students congregated around a fire of wood, cardboard, and a chair. After the fire department extinguished the flames, another fire started up about an hour later in the same location.
On March 12, 2004, the Whittier Field press box caught fire, due to an electrical malfunction, destroying the entire press box area and damaging the roof and steel supports.
Security has also dealt with the trials and tribulations of Maine winter weather mixes over the years.
In February of 2005, a major power outage swept campus on a Thursday evening, leaving Security to call in "extra officers to respond to alarms and field questions," according to an Orient article. Campus events scheduled to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Smith Union were performed despite the lack of power.
In April 2007, an unexpected storm cut power off from campus and left many staff and faculty unable to come to campus.
In late February of 2009, when a storm eliminated power across campus and much of Brunswick, Bowdoin's network operations were down for almost six hours. While Information Technology struggled to bring telephones, e-mail, printers, and network services back online, Security ensured that the Thorne Dining Hall generators were operational for students.
Murder stuns Colby campus, September 19, 2003
The early years of the decade saw some startling incidents at Bates and Colby Colleges, raising awareness for security concerns on campus and influencing policy changes.
A hate-crime incident at Bates in February of 2000 brought 200 students and faculty together for a late-night vigil. Two students were attacked by a group of men who shouted racial and orientation slurs. One student was approached, asked for money, and hit in the face, and was later treated at the hospital. Another student was attacked a short time later.
In March of 2002, Bates senior Morgan McDuffee was fatally stabbed in downtown Lewiston, after a group of Bates students exchanged insults with a group of Lewiston residents. In response, Bates security and Lewiston police increased staff and patrols, and Bate's safety escort service—originally relying on student dispatchers and escorters—was supplemented with security officers.
Then, in early April of 2002, a female student was raped inside a bathroom of a campus building. Although a security officer was stationed in the building at the time, Lewiston police officers began patrolling campus more frequently, and Bates administrators suggested installing ID card readers for access to campus buildings.
Also at Bates, tenured music professor Linda Williams was arrested in April of 2003 for selling cocaine and allowing drug dealers to stay at her home. Involved with a group of dealers in Lewiston and Augusta, she was later sentenced to five years in prison.
At Colby College, senior Dawn Rossignol was murdered on September 16, 2003, after being abducted from a parking lot on her way to a doctor's appointment in Bangor. The act was said to be a random act of violence by Edward J. Hackett, a 47-year-old man who was in violation of parole from a Utah prison.
One Colby student in a September 19, 2003 Orient article said that "Colby security has responded amazingly." Campus security was stepped up, and an armed police officer was stationed outside the library.
A January of 2004 Orient article cited a National Crime Victimization Survey that found only 34 percent of violent crimes on campuses were reported to campus security or local police from 1995-2000, and 86 percent of sexual assaults and rapes went unreported.
In April of 2009, the Colby campus was stunned by a clash between students, security and Waterville police at the college's multicultural center. Early on Easter Sunday morning, as students were leaving a dance at the center, an altercation broke out between a group of students and security officers while checking on a student who had passed out on a couch. As security restrained students on the floor and police arrived, other students stood by, calling for help and filming the event.
Student protests and demonstrations broke out on campus in the following week, criticizing the actions of the security guards and suggesting they were racially motivated. The Bowdoin community held its own discussions about the event to "reaffirm our community values," according to a campus-wide email from Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster.
New parking system to be based on class year, May 5, 2000
Since the start of the decade, Security has been revising its parking policies.
Following long-term problems with overcrowding in on-campus parking lots, a new parking system based on class year was proposed in May of 2000. The proposal aimed to eliminate problems with illegal parking and overcrowding by giving seniors access to a more central location to campus.
The parking changes would also give first years greater access to their cars parked at Stanwood lot. At the time, the lot was locked during the week and only opened on weekends, forcing many first years to park on the street or illegally on campus lots. The parking changes proposed to increase accessibility, with better lighting, a shuttle service and access via an ID card reader.
According to the chair of student government, it was too "expensive for the College" to "rigorously" enforce parking lots on campus. Then-Assistant Direct of Security Louann Dustin-Hunter said that 29 cars were towed in the month of April alone to enforce the parking rules.
After Bowdoin changed its policy for the 2000-2001 academic year, a Brunswick Town Council vote in September banned overnight parking on many streets in Brunswick. The new street parking ordinance banned parking from 1:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m., according to an Orient article, "on the east side of park Row, between Bath Road and Longfellow Avenue; the north side of South Street, between Coffin Street and Maine Street; both sides of Longfellow Avenue, between Harpswell Road and Maine Street; and the west side of Maine Street, between Noble Street and Boody Street."
The Student Executive Board (SEB) expressed "displeasure" at the ordinance. Given the parking problems Bowdoin was facing—and still faces—the SEB said street parking afforded Bowdoin students much-needed long-term parking. However, then-Director of Security Bruce Bouchard said that preventing students from "clogging" parking spots for days at a time was needed, so that others could park at the College during the day.
Parking policies have continued to evolve over the decade at Bowdoin.
In April of 2003, the College decided to "tighten the reins" on parking sticker colors. At the time, lots like Ladd House and Brunswick Apartments shared the same sticker color, causing overflow to build up in the lots. Security decided to give each lot its own color so that students could not overlap into other lots during the day.
In April of 2004, Security adopted further changes to its parking decal system by holding a parking lottery for the 2004-05 academic year after the housing lottery finished to get a sense of demand for the fall. Security broke up the 584 parking spaces on campus, divvying 213 to seniors, 184 to juniors, 150 to sophomores, 17 to hardship appeals, and 20 for "long-term" parking options.
The College announced plans to expand campus parking by 607 spots in February of 2005, through the construction of a new lot off of Harpswell Road and a new in place of Dayton Arena when the new hockey rink was completed. At the time, the College had 604 parking spots for faculty and staff, 41 for visitors, and 670 for students.
After hiring Walker Parking Consultants to evaluate its parking situation, the College began cracking down on its parking policies. Security instituted a graduated fines system for parking violations and gave students a maximum of six parking violations before revoking a students' parking privileges.
Cars are currently banned for first year classes, a further effort taken by the College to improve the parking situation and promote environmental sustainability, according to a statement made by President Barry Mills in early August of 2008. The decision eliminated an estimated 100 cars on campus, and the College introduced the Zipcar ride-sharing program and the improved Bowdoin Shuttle service, to assist students' transportation needs.
Despite the many policies Security has tried over the years, they have had a long history of dealing with parking "scofflaws," racking up tickets. As early in the decade as November 10, 2000, the Orient was reporting on students' disagreement with the College's towing policy.
In May 2001, the Orient reported that Security had ticketed 1,000 cars in the year. In a May 1, 2009 article, the Orient reported that Security had issued approximately 1,100 tickets and warnings for parking violations since the previous September. Of those violations, one student received 24 tickets, and 25 students received six.