The Bowdoin Project: The Bowdoin Project: the good, the bad and the misleading
Reading the NAS report, I found that Toscano and Wood had a very deliberate agenda with two main points. Firstly, they wanted to portray President Mills as a villain. Secondly, they expressed dissatisfaction with changes to Bowdoin’s curriculum and culture that favor multiculturalism over Eurocentrism and American history. While the article was extremely well written and attentive, parts were deliberately misleading, especially the sections on sex and tolerance.
President Mills is portrayed as a leader with numerous faults. The report cites his plea to Bowdoin and Maine to vote “Yes on 1” to legalize gay marriage as the administration dictating political policy. Though Mills made this plea as a private citizen, Wood and Toscano see this as an abuse of power and as evidence that President Mills is instructing students how to vote. Any reader of Mills’ letter would see that President Mills presents a simple, polite argument that acknowledges the opposite point of view numerous times while still holding fast to his belief. It is not a manipulative piece and does nothing to convince all readers to vote “Yes” or be ostracized at Bowdoin.
The authors ridiculously criticize President Mills’ comments after September 11 arguing the fact that he did not mention the effects of the attack on America as a whole and instead focused on the Bowdoin community and the need to support each other is problematic. This characterization is banal, meaningless and insulting. That President Mills chose to focus on supporting the College does not put him at fault in any way. Deigning to mention this vignette only detracts from this work as a whole.