In an email to all students on January 16, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Lesley Levy invited students with “sound judgment and insight, maturity and a strong sense of integrity” to apply for the J-Board. Though more than 40 students apply to the J-Board every year, the application and selection process remains a mystery for those who do not participate in it.
Applications for the 2014 to 2015 school year were due on January 30 and 50 students applied—13 more applicants than in 2013. New members will be announced as early as next week. Applicants are nominated by themselves or by other members of the Bowdoin community, often a coach, professor, or friend.
The initial application asks applicants to provide personal information, such as hometown, class year, and extracurricular commitments.
Anonymous ’17 is a guest contributor to this column and a female member of the Class of 2017. All names, events and locations in this narrative have been altered in order to disguise recognizable identities.
We all know the drill of arriving at a party. It smells like old beer and exhilaration. The designated bouncer stands in our way, a football player with an unimpressive drunken glaze, reclining against the door to stay upright. This barely legal boy will decide if we are pretty enough to be graced with the opportunity to grind our bodies against his other unremarkable team members and drink warm alcohol, hypnotized and exhausted by a throbbing black light in a dirty basement. It is just another off-campus party.
We call it the pretty test. And we take it, all girls and women, every day. Every time you can’t button your jeans, you fail. Every time you get whistled at or hit on, you pass. It just so happens that Bowdoin has a culture that makes this test prevalent and obvious. It is well known you should be prepared for the boy that decides whether you are accepted or rejected, beautiful or ugly. He’s the difference between intoxicated dancing and calling your mom while eating microwave popcorn. So you better wear a crop top in sub-zero weather and stop eating the soft serve.
At Bowdoin, there are two kinds of people: varsity athletes, and everyone else. Colloquially, this second group is commonly referred to as “NARPs:” Non-Athletic Regular Persons.
True or not, the idea that a student’s sport (or lack thereof) defines his or her life on campus is so pervasive that even last year’s National Association of Scholars’ (NAS) report on the College discussed the notion of two distinct spheres on campus: the athletes and the non-athletes. This conclusion was largely based on information gleaned from decade-old Orient articles and the College Prowler book “Bowdoin College 2012: Off the Record.”
But contrary to the NAS report’s conclusions, this divide—if it exists—is not an academic one; the differences in athlete and non-athlete GPAs is negligible, according to an April 2013 Orient article.
“We see them in our sleep.”
This is how Ben Smith, Coach of the 1998 U.S. women’s hockey team, described the team’s Canadian rivals in an interview with the New York Times leading up to their Olympic matchup.
It’s fair to guess that some Bowdoin hockey players may spend tonight similarly fixated on an opponent from the North, though the rival in question is Colby, not Canada. Today the Polar Bears will defend the first of last year’s decisive victories over the Mules. The rivalry between the two teams is a classic grudge match, and this year’s games continue a long and storied tradition.
Last week, the Orient circulated an anonymous survey to students investigating health and eating at Bowdoin.
Of the 538 respondents, 61 percent were female and 39 percent were male. Eighty-four percent of students said that they felt Bowdoin created a healthy eating environment, while 55 percent of female students reported that they think they need to lose weight, and 45 percent of female students were worried about a friend’s eating habits. Six percent of students reported that they had been diagnosed with an eating disorder.
According to Director of Health Services Sandra Hayes, issues of disordered eating are more complicated than a black-and-white diagnosis.