The 2010-2011 academic year had the usual ups and downs—transports, thefts, a national championship, Meatless Monday, a salary thaw, a notable bias incident and nice weather for Ivies. These stories, along with many others, are chronicled in this summary of a year of Orient articles.
Aijalon Gomes '01 returned to U.S. soil on August 27 after being detained in a North Korean prison for over seven months. After a suicide attempt in early July, Gomes' family requested that he be released due to humanitarian reasons, and late in August, the North Korean government agreed. It is believed that Gomes was initially detained for illegally entering the country. Gomes received letters of support from the Bowdoin Christian Fellowship while imprisoned.
A student was allegedly assaulted outside of Coles Tower around 12:20 a.m. on September 22. She reported that her attacker approached her from behind, attacking with a piggyback-like motion and tackling her to the ground. The student reported losing consciousness, and awakening to see the attacker running away. She gave a description to Bowdoin Security and Brunswick Police Department, and a canine was brought in from Bath, but the attacker was not identified. The victim had an earring ripped out and her jeans were ripped, but she was otherwise unharmed.
After three students were transported from Super Snack in late September, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) announced that the Dining Service was considering the possibility of terminating the late-night meal service. The debate brought back the issues of hard alcohol consumption that dominated campus conversation last year, and in the end the Dining Service decided to keep Super Snack open to students should no further issues arise. To date, none have.
The College received its largest posthumous gift to date with the bequest of $13.5 million from the estate of Bion Cram '37. Cram, who passed away in December 2008, received financial aid while enrolled at the College and left the majority of his gift—$11.5 million—to the College's financial aid endowment. Cram's partner John McCoy, who died just under two weeks before Cram, bequeathed $3.8 million to Bowdoin.
With 38.3 percent of the vote, Governor Paul LePage was elected to office in a Republican sweep of the state of Maine. With the win, the GOP took control of both the state legislature and the governor's office. Maine's first district re-elected Democrat Chellie Pingree to her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, and Alex Cornell du Houx '08 also won re-election as Brunswick's representative in the Maine State House.
Students reported malicious comments posted online at the anonymous gossip website College ACB, which had been steadily gaining notoriety on campus at the time. In response to the potentially damaging remarks on the site, students and administrators met in a BSG-sponsored forum addressing ways to mitigate College ACB's harmful effects.
The Office of Residential Life and the Health Center issued a statement together addressing concerns about the alcoholic drink Four Loko. The drink, which made national media headlines and stirred up controversy on campuses across the country, contained up to 12 percent alcohol by volume, as well as high levels of caffeine. The drink not only violated the College's hard alcohol policy, but raised health concerns due to the caffeine masking the effects of the alcohol.
The field hockey team won its third NCAA championship in four years after a grueling game against Messiah College. After regulation play ended in a tied score of 1-1 and two rounds of overtime failed to break the gridlock, McKenna Teague '12 scored the winning goal in penalty strokes to clinch the victory. The team celebrated in high style, ending a stand out season for Bowdoin—just as the women won the championship, the men's soccer team beat Middlebury to head to the final four of the NCAA tournament in Texas. The men fell 2-1 in overtime to Lynchburg College.
The Office of Safety and Security discovered evidence that MacMillan House had been broken into while residents were away for Winter Break. While the culprits did not remove a substantial amount of valuable property from the house, Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols reported that a flat-screen TV had been disconnected and that the perpetrators had likely intended to steal more items of value. While the perpetrators have yet to be identified, Safety and Security moved to increase security in all college residences following the break-in with an upgrade to the door access monitoring system that would generate an audible alarm in reaction to a forced door.
On December 16, Adam Wheeler plead guilty to the 20 counts against him and was sentenced to 10 years of probation by Associate Justice Diane M. Kottmyer. Wheeler, a former Bowdoin student, became nationally infamous for fabricating his application to Harvard and plagiarizing his way to winning thousands of dollars in scholarship money. Wheeler matriculated at Bowdoin in 2005 and was suspended from the College for academic dishonesty in 2007.
Students on the seventh floor of Coles Tower found their rooms broken into at some point during the day on Tuesday, February 1. Cash was stolen, condoms were found to be punctured and four birth control pills were taken. It was the first of a series of similar break-ins that occurred over the course of several weeks. Nearly half of the subsequent break-ins were in rooms on the 13th floor.
President Barry Mills announced to the Board of Trustees that he intends to stay at Bowdoin for at least five more years. The declaration came amid speculation that his tenure at Bowdoin might be drawing to a close on his own accord. His decision was warmly received by the trustees, who made it clear they wanted Mills to keep his job for as long as he wanted it.
Mills notified the faculty and staff that the salary freeze which they had endured since 2009 would be ending early. The hold on salaries was intended to last two years, but Mills unfroze them retroactive to July 2010. Faculty and staff enjoyed a 2 to 2.5 percent raise, putting Bowdoin effectively back in line with its 4-5-6 plan.
The campus toiled over a decision by the Dining Service to remove meat entirely from the menus at both dining halls on Monday, February 21. The event was sponsored by a variety of student organizations, most notably the Bowdoin College Democrats. Several students protested outside the dining halls, barbecuing and selling fast food. While a debate ensued on campus, the national media caught wind. A New York Times reporter tweeted about it and articles were posted on the Huffington Post and InsiderHigherEd.com. Two seniors were interviewed by Fox News on the subject.
Students living on the 15th floor of Coles Tower awoke to a find a message on their white board that read, "I Love Meatful Mondays! Meatless Mondays Suck!!! F*g N***er." The board had previously read, "I love Meatless Mondays." Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster sent a picture of the message to the entire student body, condemning the act.
In response, an open meeting was held in Daggett Lounge several days later. By all accounts, it was a moving event. Not only did the students victimized in this case speak, but many others came forward reporting acts of discrimination they had felt either on campus or in Brunswick. The meeting raised many questions surrounding diversity, and soon after a demonstration called, "I Am Bowdoin" took place in Smith Union. "I Am Bowdoin," a campus organization formed in the fall, has gained momentum since that event.
A fire ripped through 45 Maine Street—a building that housed 16 apartments and five businesses—in the middle of the night, destroying the property. No one was injured during the fire and residents were housed by the Maine Red Cross.
Chief Development Officer and Secretary of the College Bill Torrey announced that after 20 years at the College he would be leaving. As part of the transition, he will remain in his role as Secretary for the 2011-2012 academic year. "I have to admit a personal need—after nearly a quarter-century and at this stage in my life and career—to look at other things that I might do," Torrey wrote in an email to Trustees and employees of the College.
After a long internal negotiation, the Town of Brunswick decided it would most likely swap Longfellow Elementary School with the College in exchange for full control of the McLellan Building. The McLellan Building is currently co-owned by the town and College, and in the proposed deal the College would retain rights to the third floor until 2025.
Thomas Klingenstein, chairman of the Claremont Review of Books' board of directors, wrote an essay condemning President Barry Mills' convocation speech, which Kingenstein claimed was about him and was largely embellished. Klingenstein also criticized Bowdoin's lack of political diversity in both the essay and an op-ed submitted to the Orient.
Despite cold and damp weather surrounding the weekend, sunshine fell upon Brunswick for both Friday and Saturday of Ivies. The concert on Saturday featured student band Call It The Truth, Dr. Dog, Mac Miller and Janelle Monáe.
President Barack Obama announced that nearly 10 years after September 11, 2001, Osama Bin Laden had been killed by American forces. Widespread celebrations took place in New York City and Washington D.C., but Bowdoin's campus was, according to one student, "tepid." A mosque in Portland was vandalized shortly after the announcement.