Ivies is upon us. As this issue goes to print, many Bowdoin students are readying to head to Brunswick Quad for an afternoon of carefree carousing. Whittier Field is being prepared for tomorrow’s concert, when Phar\os, Hoodie Allen and Guster will take the stage, and the stacks of H-L have plenty of carrels to spare. 

One of the reasons that Ivies is special is because it has a tendency to breed nostalgia, for both our personal memories of the College and its 219-year history. Beginning in 1865, Ivy Day celebrated the planting of an ivy by the side of the Chapel. The spring concert (and preceding parties) that exist today barely resemble this occasion. 

Guster, this year’s headlining act, is no stranger to campus--the band performed at Bowdoin in 1997 and 2000. We are glad to see them return a third time, and tomorrow’s concert--with mostly sunny skies in the forecast--promises to be another memorable set. 

The Bowdoin that Guster returns to this year will be markedly different from the Bowdoin it has seen before. When Guster first came to Bowdoin to perform in 1997, the comprehensive fee of the College was $27,760, roughly half of what it is today. Greek life had just been abolished on campus, and the College was preparing to introduce the College House system we know so well today. 

Most days of the year, Bowdoin is preoccupied with the present, concerned primarily with the current day’s news and the immediate goings-on around campus. While Ivies tends to hearken back to the Bowdoin of old, it’s important to be conscious of what exactly we are nostalgic for. Fifteen years ago, Bowdoin was less diverse, less accessible and less engaged than it is today. 
What connects the Ivies of 2013 to the ghosts of Ivies past is the sense of relief and celebration before we plunge into the last few weeks of essays, presentations and final exams that await us. We should be weary of the tendency this weekend has to make us miss the Bowdoin we never knew, and focus instead on the glorious present.

The editorial represents the majority view of the Bowdoin Orient’s editorial board, which is composed of Nora Biette-Timmons, Garrett Casey, Linda Kinstler, Sam Miller, Sam Weyrauch and Kate Witteman.