Druckenmiller '75 discusses current political, economic climate
Stanley F. Druckenmiller ’75, H’07, a private investor, chair of Bowdoin’s Investment Committee and longtime benefactor of the College, discussed the potential economic, educational and environmental implications of the new presidential administration in a conversation with President Clayton Rose on Wednesday evening. Over 400 students, community members and alums attended the event, “An Investor’s Perspective on Trump, Trade, and Global Populism,” in Pickard Theater.
After introducing Druckenmiller, Rose asked him about the new presidential administration’s handling of the economy and trade.
Druckenmiller was optimistic that the new administration could make some positive change.
“I think this administration has the opportunity to actually raise the long-term growth rate in this country,” he said. “What we need is not another dose of sugar, not another dose of tax cuts, not just infrastructures—some stimulus program that’s gonna give us a sugar high for 18 months. We need serious structural reform in the tax code.”
When asked about President Donald Trump’s views on free trade agreements and his plan to reform current trade agreements, Druckenmiller was more critical of the administration.
“I think the economic growth to be gained by improving trade deals is miniscule, at best,” he said. “The thing I’m worried about most is that they think there is some economic delta to be gained from this.”
Druckenmiller stated that although not every trade agreement is perfect, the administration should proceed with caution in reforming them out of fear that foreign powers will retaliate with trade embargoes if negotiations get ugly.
Rose then opened the floor for students and audience members to ask Druckenmiller questions. Students asked questions about topics ranging from income and wealth inequality to Druckenmiller’s predictions about the new administration’s policies on education and trade.
Druckenmiller said that a change in education begins with changing the expectations of students at a young age as well as hiring teachers who are passionate about teaching students.
On the subject of income inequality, he noted the problem of unequal opportunity.
“You’re always going to have income differential in this country, and I’m for that. I’m a red-blooded, free-market capitalist, but I do think it’s ridiculous when you look at the advantages of some 4-year-olds in this country versus other 4-year-olds,” he said.
One student asked Druckenmiller what classes he should take if he wanted to get rich.
“If I was giving any advice to young people, even if it was how to get rich, it is follow your passion,” Druckenmiller said.
Although many students in attendance did not agree with some of Druckenmiller’s viewpoints, they enjoyed the event.
Andrew Cawley ’17 appreciated Druckenmiller’s candidness.
“I think that he is an older, white, really rich male, and in that sense I think there are some things he is really out of touch with,” Cawley said. “But that being said, I think he was super, super honest and super candid and I really appreciated that.”
Justin Pearson ’17 was interested in Druckenmiller’s economic arguments.
“I think from the economic standpoint the interesting thing about his perspective was that he thought this administration could solve some of the problems, particularly with health care,” he said.
Sean Marsh ’95, who attended the talk, was impressed by the event.
“I am not a very good investor, so I wanted to hear from a good investor,” Marsh said.
Marsh was also pleased by the participation of Bowdoin students who questioned Druckenmiller.
“I was very impressed with how many students were here, and I was also really impressed with how many students got up and asked really thoughtful and structured questions,” he said.
Students pleased with new gender-neutral bathroom
Over Winter Break, the College converted the women’s bathroom on the second floor of the David Saul Smith Union into a gender neutral restroom. The renovations included installing new paneling to prevent anyone from seeing any part of the person in any of the stalls. All cracks in the stalls were covered up. The bathroom is designed to be inclusive for students who identify as transgender or gender non-binary.
Discussions for the bathroom started last year, according to Director of Student Activities Nate Hintze.
“For me it started last year when [the Latin American Student Association] brought trans activist Bamby Salcedo. In a conversation with her I asked ‘What can I do to support our trans students?’” Hintze said.
Salcedo suggested the College create gender-neutral bathrooms.
Hintze started working with Katy Longley, former treasurer of the College, Director of the David Saul Smith Union Allen Delong and Director of the Center for Gender and Sexual Diversity Kate Stern to create a multi-stall gender-neutral bathroom on the second floor of the Union in addition to the single stall gender inclusive bathroom on the first floor.
After speaking with Facilities, Hintze said the process was very quick. The women’s room was converted because the paneling was already in place and Facilities only needed to create new panels and to cover all the cracks in the doors. Elongated panels and bristles covering the cracks in doors make it impossible to identify the gender of an individual in a stall.
“The concern really is privacy so the thoughtfulness really went into reconstructing the panels and doors,” Stern said.
“We covered every crack in the door so you physically cannot see who is in the bathroom next to you unless they’re washing their hands next to you,” Hintze said.
Several students voiced their support for the creation of the bathroom.
Justin Weathers ’18 said that he has no problem with the bathroom. Because its use is optional, he doesn’t see it affecting his everyday life.
“It doesn’t bother me. I assume they’re all stalls so no one is paying attention to you,” he said. “It’s opt-in. If you don’t want to use the gender-neutral bathroom you don’t have to use it.”
A women’s bathroom is still present on the first floor of the union by the C-store.
Weathers said that although he does not know many people who may have expressed the need for such a bathroom, he is glad there is a space for those who desire it.
“I’m happy that those people have a bathroom that makes them feel comfortable.”
Caroline Watt ’18, who has used the bathroom, says she likes it.
“I kind of like it. For the fact that the lines will be less long—less of a wait.”
However, some students expressed concern about the fact that only the women’s bathroom has been converted.
Hannah Karlan ’19 says that she fears only women will use the space because it is right next to a men’s room.
“I’ve been in there a few times and I only noticed girls in there,” said Karlan.
Hintze says the College does plan to convert the men’s bathroom as well.
“Ideally, we would do the men’s bathroom at some point as well just so they were both gender-neutral so we wouldn’t have a men’s bathroom and a gender-neutral bathroom,” he said. “We’re figuring out how to work through the urinals. We wanted to do one and do it perfectly and then figure out how we can do that with the other bathroom as well.”
Stern and Hintze both said that the move was made to help trans and nonbinary individuals at Bowdoin.
“Many of our students who are either transgender or gender-nonbinary don’t go to the bathroom unless they’re in their room,” said Stern.
She said that trans students and gender-nonbinary students might feel more comfortable not having to decide which bathroom to use.
“It’s really making sure that our small trans population feels really comfortable on this campus,” Hintze said.
Stern said that there is a desire by those in the trans and gender non-binary community for more inclusive spaces, although she is unsure what the College’s next steps will be.
Students launch petition for sanctuary campus
In addition to demonstrations and calls for conversation, Bowdoin students reacted in the week after Donald Trump’s presidential win by creating a petition calling on the administration to designate the College as a sanctuary campus for undocumented immigrants. As of press time, the petition had 522 signees, which included students, alumni, parents, faculty and community members.
This week, more than 100 colleges have called for the creation of sanctuary campuses, including Harvard, Columbia, UMass Amherst and Wesleyan. The movement is similar to the concept of sanctuary cities, municipalities across the country where local law enforcement declines to release information about undocumented immigrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Trump has promised to mobilize ICE to increase deportations of undocumented immigrants.
Every campus has a different definition of a sanctuary campus, but many include steps which would ensure the safety and privacy of undocumented students.
The Bowdoin petition, among other demands, asks for the College’s immediate assurance of its support of undocumented students, refrainment from voluntary information sharing with ICE and refusal of physical access to campus to ICE. It is addressed directly to President Clayton Rose, Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster, Associate Dean of Students for Diversity and Inclusion Leana Amaez, Director of the Student Multicultural Center Benjamin Harris and Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols.
Many students also took the post-election political conversation outside of the College, attending protests in Brunswick or Portland.
Jhadha King ’20 gave an impromptu speech at a rally in Portland last Friday.
“I just want to thank everybody for being here because this is the most safe I’ve felt in awhile. Being a woman of color surrounded by this many white people that are all marching for the same cause that I am has made me so empowered,” she told the crowd.
King was surprised by the results of the election but is curious to learn why so many people voted for Trump.
“I don’t just want to be angry or mad or resentful at people. I wanted to understand the other side of it. I didn’t want to base everything off my common misconceptions,” she said.
King said she will continue to protest off campus in an effort to spark more dialogue and keep the movement going. At Bowdoin, she felt that lack of political diversity left her searching for answers about the results.
“It feels like here you have to have a conversation about it … and still go back to your dorm and be surrounded by the unknown of why people would vote this way,” King said.
Daniel Castro Bonilla ’17 attended an on-campus Rally For Love and Strength organized by seniors Hayley Nicholas and Julia Berkman-Hill last Friday and a protest in Brunswick on Saturday and hopes that such events will help those targeted by Trump’s words feel safe.
“A lot of people after Trump’s victory feel they are not safe on this campus, they’re not safe in Brunswick, they’re not safe in the United States,” he said. “When you’re out there demonstrating and rallying up you’re telling others that this is a space where we do support you and we do welcome you.”
At its Wednesday meeting, BSG discussed how it could better support students. Members contemplated the possibility of establishing Bowdoin as a sanctuary campus, though BSG did not create the petition in circulation.
While the number of undocumented students at Bowdoin is relatively small, Class Representative to the BSG Beatrice Cabrera ’20 said that the symbolism of the petition matters.
Representative At-Large Jacob Russell ’17 suggested that BSG could also help with immigration lawyers.
“There is privilege on campus. There are a lot of people who know lawyers,” he said. “We can get immigration lawyers.”
Cabrera said that regardless of political beliefs, students should help one another.
“We are all part of the Bowdoin community and that comes first before who is left and who is right,” she said.
BSG members also thought about how to lead campus conversation about the election results.
“In our position as BSG we can only act as a conduit for conversation at Bowdoin,” said Vice President for the Treasury Irfan Alam ’18.
Alam said his place of privilege and his position on BSG gives him the ability to help others process the results of the election.
“I felt like because I have that privilege, I have a responsibility to use my voice and to fight for those that felt very disempowered by the results of the election,” he said.
Last Friday, BSG hosted an open discussion that used software allowing students to submit questions and comments anonymously that were then projected onto a large monitor. Although students made comments, Alam said BSG still has work to do to encourage students with more conservative opinions to speak up.
“It seems that Donald Trump supporters—and this is not me speaking on their behalf—did still feel like it was a hostile environment,” he said. “Perhaps the anonymity prevented them from feeling like they would be personally attacked, however, they still felt that potentially their ideas would be attacked and that persistent requesting for them to speak up was just people chomping at the bit to jump on an idea that was contrary to theirs.”
NCAA report reveals more funding for men's teams
The annual report on Equity in Athletics shows a decrease in the gap between average annual salaries of head coaches of men’s and women’s sports teams, but a gap still exists.
The report, released by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) states that, currently, the average salary of a head coach of a men’s team at Bowdoin is $53,027 compared to $47,232 for a head coach of a women’s team.
Compared to 2014, these averages are down from $53,365 for head coaches of men’s teams, but up from $42,856 for head coaches of women’s teams.
In comparison to other NESCAC schools, Bowdoin has a greater average salary gap than most according to data from 2014, the last publically released data from NESCAC peer schools. Amherst is the only other NESCAC institution with a greater pay gap between men’s and women’s head coaches.
Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan said there are a number of factors that determine the salaries of each head coach.
“One is level that they bring to the position. Two is the workload associated with the position. While many of our positions are similar in nature, there are differences as you move from one particular sport to another,” he said. “Lastly, the market [small, liberal arts colleges] compete in for hiring staff members and members of our coaching staff has an impact.”
Ryan also said the differences in average annual salary have to do with the number of head coaches in general as there are currently 12 head coaches for men’s teams and 14 head coaches for women’s teams at the College.
The report also detailed data about the College’s athletic expenses by program. The football team received $634,049 in 2015 for their expenses, followed by the men’s ice hockey team which cost $268,700, according to the data.
“A lot of that is the nature of the sport,” said Ryan. The NESCAC has a roster cap of 76 students per football team, yet the comparatively large roster, and thus staff size, drives up the team’s expenses.
According to Ryan, although the expenses seem high, when each team’s total expenses are divided on a per-student basis, football is ranked fifth for expenses.
The funding for these athletic programs comes from a combination of college endowment funds and fundraising.
“The vast majority of our college programs are funded by the College. We raise just under $150,000 a year to help support the operations of our programs from our alumni, parents and friends,” said Ryan.
Additionally, the report states the recruitment funds dedicated to men’s and women’s teams. According to the report, the funding went down for men but up for women, as $15,655 was used for the recruitment of men’s teams and $15,311 for the recruitment of women’s teams in 2015, compared to $15,728 and $14,869 respectively, in 2014.
Between 2011 and 2012 the amount of money spent on recruitment made a significant jump, which Ryan says was due to a change in NCAA rules.
“At the time of that significant increase there was a change in the administration of the recruitment expenses within the NESCAC, which resulted in the College having the opportunity to devote additional resources to recruiting,” said Ryan. “We have been fortunate across our entire department to have broad-based success and that would be reflected in the ways we distributed those funds across our programs.”
Although the total expenses of the athletic programs in 2015 was $4,505,652, the amount of revenue generated was $5,060,614. Ryan says the school typically breaks even—meaning the total revenue usually covers the expenses.
The annual report is in compliance with federal Title IX regulations. The Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act (EADA) requires that all institutions that receive federal funding must report records of their finances in athletics annually.
Panel discusses prominent black female activists
On Thursday night, the Africana Studies Program, the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Program and the history department held a panel entitled “OK, ladies, now let’s get in formation…” to discuss the lives of three prominent black women in the black liberation and black power movements—Anna Arnold Hedgeman, Rosa Parks and Florynce “Flo” Kennedy. The panelists included Bowdoin’s Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Jennifer Scanlon, distinguished Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College, CUNY Jeanne Theoharis and Associate Professor of History at Georgia Institute of Technology Sherie Randolph.
The panel was moderated by Bowdoin’s Associate Professor of Africana Studies Judith Casselberry.
Many students attended the event as part of various Africana Studies courses they are currently taking.
Lillian Saunders ’20 is currently enrolled in Introduction to Africana Studies.
“I thought it was great. I had never heard of Flo Kennedy and [Hedgeman] so it was great to learn some new things,” she said. “I think it’s important because so few people know about them and I think we need to be aware of everyone that was involved in such a big movement in our country.”
Other students came to supplement their classroom education.
“I love these kinds of things that are learning experiences for me outside of the classroom,” said Kama Jones-El ’17. “This is stuff I don’t get in the classroom. I’m not an Africana Studies major or minor. I take some of the classes. Even some of the classes can’t cover everything so it’s a really cool thing to take advantage of.”
The panelists have each recently published books on the women they discussed. Scanlon wrote about Hedgeman, Theoharis wrote about Parks and Randolf wrote about Kennedy.
The panel opened with the professors detailing the lives of the women, each of whom had distinct legacies.
Hedgeman was involved in civil rights efforts spanning the Jim Crow South and the 1960s. She was the only female organizer for the 1963 March on Washington, and was responsible for getting over 40,000 white people to participate in the march.
Kennedy was a black feminist who used intersectionality in activism and was involved in black and feminist protests throughout the 20th century. She was also a prominent lawyer who assisted activists like Assata Shakur and other Black Panthers.
Although Rosa Parks is more widely recognized, Theoharis says that most know about only one small chunk of her much longer activist narrative. Theoharis talked about her own book, much of which centered on Parks’ life in Detroit after the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-1956.
The panel also focused on the contributions of these women to the current narrative involving issues of race and social justice movements.
Theoharis and Scanlon said that both Parks and Hedgeman showed an incredible amount of perseverance that can also be seen in modern movements. Randolph said that Kennedy was able to seize media attention and direct the narrative in a manner similar to the current strategies of Black Lives Matter activists.
The panel was organized by Associate Professor of Africana Studies and History and Director of the Africana Studies Program Brian Purnell, following a panel last year that celebrated the launch of Scanlon’s biography of Hedgeman.
Purnell shared his though process in an email to the Orient.
“‘Wouldn’t it be exciting,’ I said, ‘to bring together two other historians who, along with Dean Scanlon, have contributed noteworthy biographies to this dynamic field of history?’” he wrote.
During the question and answer portion, Justin Pearson ’17 asked the panelists how individuals can deal with the erasure of these black women’s stories, which led Scanlon to encourage the audience to become historians.
Scanlon said that the questions that students ask today differ from those that others have asked before, which creates a fuller picture of important movements.
“It’s about the questions you ask,” Scanlon said. “Keep asking.”
The man behind the lobsters: a meal 60 years in the making
Bob Waddle of Quahog Lobstermen’s Co-Op Inc. has been providing the lobsters for the College’s lobster bakes for 60 years.
Waddle is a Mainer from Harpswell and has been involved in the lobster fishing business since he was young.
“When I was a kid, I went with my uncle,” said Waddle. “He had traps and fished.”
He remembers having to row an output, an electric boat, out to the traps with his uncle.
“I bought an output. Sometimes it didn’t work and [my uncle] didn’t like rowing an output,” he said.
This meant that Waddle would have to row the boat.
“That’s family,” he said with a chuckle.
Waddle had a stint in the Marines from 1948 to 1952. Following that he moved to Boston with his wife, where he rented a place and fixed it up. After he had finished renovations, however, he decided that he wanted to return to Harpswell.
“I told my wife, I said ‘We’re not gonna live here’. Pack up. And we came up,” said Waddle. He then bought a cottage in Maine from his father and has been lobstering there ever since. He lives five minutes away from the business and also has an inn on his property that is run by his daughter.
Waddle says he delivers lobsters to a dozen college campuses from Maine to Maryland.
Bowdoin was one of his first customers when he was just getting his business started.
According to Ken Cardone, associate director and executive chef of dining, Waddle provides 1,200 lobsters for the annual lobster bake, and 2,300 to 2,400 each for Reunion Weekend and Commencement.
Cardone says the College likes getting lobster from Waddle because he always delivers the lobsters the day of the bakes and is a local vender.
“We’ve had an excellent relationship through the years,” said Waddle.
Waddle no longer goes out to check traps himself but rather employs other lobstermen who fish for him.
“Rain doesn’t bother them. Fog doesn’t bother them,” said Waddle. “Lack of bait and price [are what bother them]. They are very independent lobstermen.”
Waddle said that he expects to continue delivering to Bowdoin. “They’re good people,” he said.
Off-campus housing steadily increasing
Tensions rise as students and community members communicate through BPD
Although off-campus housing is not a new phenomenon at Bowdoin, the number of students renting homes off-campus has been steadily increasing over the past few years—a phenomenon that presents new challenges for the College. Since the Office of Safety and Security has no control over privately-owned property, students in these homes must deal directly with the Brunswick Police Department (BPD) and with other community members, a process that can lead to some tension.
According to Senior Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs Scott Hood, there are currently 165 students living off-campus this fall semester. This is the highest the number has been in the past six years and an increase from the 144 who lived off-campus in Fall 2014.Neighbors
Some members of the Brunswick community feel the College does not do enough to regulate Bowdoin students living off campus. Professor of Cinema Studies Tricia Welsch, who lives on Cleaveland Street, criticized the lack of policies surrounding the issue.
“They need to seek to restrict more, guide more the students who live in the houses. And that’s not to say that individual people of good will like Randy haven’t done what they can do, but once students move off campus the College has essentially no jurisdiction, and so they really don’t get involved,” she said.
Since Bowdoin Security does not get involved at off-campus houses, Welsch and other community members cannot call upon them to regulate the students living there. Instead, they must rely on communications with residents—or on BPD—when there is an issue.
“I really, really hate that that’s all we can do. I don’t think of having an adversarial relationship with students. I don’t think of calling the police on neighbors. None of that seems any kind of normal to me,” said Welsch.
If residents don’t wish to invoke the police, Welsch said, the responsibility is on them to “provide guidance to the students about what it means to live in a quiet neighborhood as quiet neighbors.”
“There’s all kinds of things you need to teach the people who live there every year,” she said. Students ask neighbors to call them instead of the police when there is a problem, said Welsch, “but, you know, that’s also not really our job.”
Senior Lecturer in Environmental Studies Jill Pearlman lives on Longfellow Avenue and is thankful that she does not have to deal with students, as she is not immediate neighbors with any of them.
Pearlman says that having her children grow up near the College was a rewarding experience and that there have been winters where students would help shovel her driveway, but she would not like to have them live next door.
“Students can be incredibly nice, but I just don’t want to live next to them,” she said. She added that it is unfortunate that Bowdoin is buying a lot of property on Longfellow Avenue, a street close to campus. Currently there is one off-campus student home on Longfellow Avenue.
According to Perlman, professors are “very unhappy” that they are not able to live on Longfellow because houses have been bought by the College.Students
Traditionally, certain houses cycle through groups of Bowdoin student renters every year. Some are unofficially affiliated with sports teams, while others are just passed between friends. Students choose to live off-campus for a variety of reasons—to get some distance from the Bowdoin scene, to have a space to throw parties and spend time with friends, to have more autonomy. However, with this autonomy also come certain challenges.
Jared Feldman ’16 lives in a house with 10 other Bowdoin students on Cleaveland Street. He described his and his housemates’ interactions with the Brunswick community as “fairly limited,” but added that “we definitely try to maintain as positive as possible neighbor relations.”
“We absolutely send emails to the neighbors if there’s going to be any large gathering, any noise. They have our numbers. The idea is to contact us if there’s a problem before the police,” he said.
Peter Yanson ’16 lives with five other students on Bowker Street, in a house that was rented to students for the first time this year. He expressed similar sentiments about community relationships.
“Most of our interactions with our neighbors have been at the beginning of the year. When we first moved in, we went around and introduced ourselves and gave them our phone numbers in case we threw any parties that got too rowdy or anything,” he said. “They were all a little apprehensive at first because there had been a family that lived there before and this was the first time that six college boys were going to live in a house together, so they were a little nervous about that, but on the whole it’s been super positive.”
Yanson said that he lived off campus on McClellan Street last spring semester and found that interactions with neighbors were more tense there, with neighbors that often called BPD with complaints of excessive noise. However, Yanson did not see these run-ins as too different from dealing with Bowdoin Security.
“What would Security do—they would come, they would tell us to calm down. And then the police just did the same thing last year. They would tell us to turn down the music, whoever was outside was 21 and showed their ID, it never amounted to anything else. So I never thought of it as a larger deal to deal with the police, just a different deal,” he said.
Feldman expressed more reservations about interactions with the police.
“It hasn’t been a large challenge for us yet, but I think it’s something that we’re all aware of,” he said. “Throwing [parties] off campus is certainly a larger responsibility and I think everyone in the house has felt that when there are people over. We don’t have Security as a buffer.”
Matt Rubinoff ’16 lives on Garrison Street with six other Bowdoin students in a house that has historically been traded between members of the hockey and football teams. Since the house has traditionally been a residence that hosts many parties, Rubinoff said he and his housemates met with both Randy Nichols and BPD before the year started.
“When something’s going on with students, [BPD] will contact Bowdoin Security, and they keep a good connection between those two. But first response in an emergency would be from the police,” he said.
Juliet Eyraud ’16 lives at 11 Potter Street with four roommates. It is Eyraud’s second year living off-campus. She lived on McClellan Street last year, and loves the experience.
“I liked the idea of having cheaper housing and having neighbors, having a kitchen and being more connected to the community than I have been,” she said.
11 Potter is next to the home of Senator Angus King.
“He actually hit my roommate’s car and left a really nice note that was like, ‘I think I might have damaged your bumper please get in touch with my insurance agency. Signed Angus King,’” said Eyraud.
Eyraud has not had any interactions with the police, but since one of the assaults that occurred earlier this semester was on Potter Street, Eyraud says Security has been very responsive and has communicated well since the incident.
“Randy came to our house and gave us updates without us even asking,” said Eyraud.
Eyraud lived in the house for a week in the summer before her roommates and says there was a prowler in her yard, but when she contacted Security they told her it wasn’t in their domain. This changed as the semester went on.
“I think because it kept happening they were like, ‘We should make this our domain,’ which is nice,” she said. “I haven’t felt incredibly unsafe.”
Amina Ben Ismail ’17 lives at 84 Spring Street and the recent security concerns have not changed her outlook on off-campus housing either.
“I’m scared now but it hasn’t changed my experience. I already knew that these things happened. It was scary that it was this close but I do feel safe driving—I never walked—and taking the shuttle,” she said.
One critique Ben Ismail has of living off-campus is her house’s relationship with Security. Security has not visited Spring Street since she moved in, and Ben Ismail wishes that they would be more involved with the off-campus houses.
“I wish Bowdoin Security would visit off-campus houses and see how much lighting there is and if it’s safe. They have students living off campus, they should make sure that everything is good,” she said.Security
If they are not called by students, residents or BPD, Security often does not visit or communicate with students living in off-campus houses.
“If the police ask us to respond and assist them, we will often do that,” said Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols.
This semester, Nichols has had to speak to students living in off-campus houses on Garrison Street and Harpswell Road because neighbors were upset that students were cutting through their lawns.
Nichols advises students to get to know their neighbors and communicate with them if there are any problems.
“When I meet with off-campus students I encourage them to get to know their neighbors and even exchange phone numbers, so if things get a little loud some night or there is some sort of a disturbance the neighbor can call. And that keeps things on an even keel and lays the groundwork for a relationship with the neighborhood,” he said.
Person of interest in sexual assault arrested
Self-defense classes organized; juniors returning from studying away have mixed reactions to living off-campus in light of recent safety concerns.
A 55-year-old Bath man, arrested after allegedly breaking into a woman’s home and exposing himself, has been identified as a person of interest in the ongoing investigation into the reported sexual assault at Bowdoin last month, according to an article in the Bangor Daily News.
Stephen McIntire was convicted of gross sexual assault in 1997. He was also convicted in 2015 for failing to comply with the sex offender registry and for violating “peeping tom” laws at the Hyde School in Bath.
McIntire attended the support group for sex offenders that was held, until recently, at the First Parish Church just off the College’s campus. The group was told that they could no longer meet there after the College voiced concerns to the church following the reported sexual assault.
The police are still looking into other persons of interest as part of their ongoing investigation according to Brunswick Police Department Commander Mark Waltz.
“The Office of Safety and Security is continuing to assist the Brunswick Police by sharing information that we have that may be helpful to the investigation,” said Director of Safety Security Randy Nichols in an email to the Orient. “Often investigative leads come to the attention of Security, and that information is immediately passed on to the police. We communicate with the police continually and we receive regular briefings and updates from them.”
On Tuesday, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) announced that the Office of Safety and Security, Student Activities, the Office of Gender Violence Prevention and Education and the Women’s Resource Center had organized three free self defense classes, to be held today and Saturday. According to the email from BSG President Danny Mejia-Cruz ’16, the classes will be held again next semester if there is enough interest.
According to Nichols, the increased security and police controls, extended shuttle hours and modified student parking rules are continuing.
Safety concerns seemed to have affected some of the 131 students who will be returning to campus for the spring semester after studying away. Twelve returning students will be living off-campus with the rest planning to live in on campus housing. Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs Scott Hood said that this is consistent with the ratio of students living on and off campus this fall.
Eva Sibinga ’17 is currently in Rome and is planning on living at an off campus residence on Spring Street when she returns next semester. Although she is aware of the recent security concerns, she is not planning on changing her living arrangements.
“Honestly it didn’t even cross my mind to change my housing plans,” said Sibinga in a message to the Orient. “I can’t feel the campus changing nearly as acutely when I am not on it.”
She says that she is currently on guard when she is walking around the streets of Rome, something she never felt she had to do while at Bowdoin.
Victoria Pitaktong ’17 is abroad in Bejing and, while not changing her plans, is concerned about housing.
“I couldn’t change my plan now so I [have to] go with it. I am just worried because my house is very far away and it is a long walk in the dark,” Pitaktong said in a message to the Orient. “I feel like if [an incident like the sexual assault] can still happen [in college housing], I don’t feel comfortable living off campus anymore. So it’s just scary.”
Danny Mejia ’17, who is abroad in India, will be living in an off-campus house at 41 Harpswell next semester.
“[Recent security concerns have] had zero effect on where I’ve chosen to live—mainly because we had chosen [41 Harpswell] before the security concerns arose,” Mejia said in a message to the Orient. “I was shocked, saddened [to hear the same problems of gender discrimination surrounding me in India are existing in Brunswick]. But as a male, I personally do not have concerns for living off-campus [especially because of 41 Harpswell’s proximity to campus].”
While no students have asked for a change in residence from off-campus to on-campus in light of recent security concerns, the College will continue to be aware.
“At this point, we don’t know of any students asking to change their off-campus housing plans to move back on campus. This includes those students who are currently studying away and who will be returning for the spring semester,” said Hood in an email to the Orient. “Of course, this could change and it is something we will continue to keep an eye on.”
BCA members march in D.C. event to influence presidential candidates
With one year remaining until the presidential election, Bowdoin students went to Washington, D.C. on Monday to encourage candidates to speak out on issues of climate, race and immigration.
Twenty Bowdoin students organized by Bowdoin Climate Action (BCA) drove down to march in the event, called Our Generation, Our Choice. An estimated 500 student activists from the East Coast and Washington, D.C. attended the action on Monday and events throughout the weekend. The group was able to shut down two blocks of Washington Avenue in front of the White House for an hour.
BCA is directly affiliated with 350.org and the Fossil Fuel Divestment Student Network, two of the four organizations organizing the action. These organizations were joined by Million Hoodies for Justice, a racial justice group, and United We Dream, an immigrant rights group.
“It’s really a historic thing. The climate movement hasn’t seen much intersectionality in the past, and this is really the first time these movements are coming together,” said BCA member Julia Berkman-Hill ’17. “It’s directly targeting our presidential candidates and forcing them to take action on the issues that are important to us as young people.”
This fall, BCA disrupted a Hillary Clinton rally, encouraging the presidential candidate to take a stand on the Keystone XL Pipeline. Clinton spoke on the issue five days later and denounced the pipeline.
Berkman-Hill said that results like that are the goal of events like last Monday’s. “It just goes to show how organizers, protesters and young people can actually move political candidates,” she said.
Although the action took place on Monday, the event offered trainings and teaching opportunities for students throughout the weekend. Berkman-Hill and Jamie Ptacek ’17 led a panel on building a base for activism.
Ptacek and Berkman-Hill emphasized an “act, recruit, train cycle,” that involves engaging in an action, going back to those who were not part of the movement to recruit them and training them to continue the cycle and grow the base. Ptacek said this can be used for any movement from climate justice to issues of race.
BCA plans to incorporate what they learned at the protest into their actions on campus. “It taught us a lot about how to be intentional with coalition building moving forward on Bowdoin’s campus and how we can effectively reach out to different groups and make meaningful connections and work in conjunction to move forward on mutual interests,” BCA member Jonah Watt ’18 said.
On Thursday, BCA screened “This Changes Everything,” a documentary that focuses on the links between capitalism, the global economy and the climate crisis. BCA hopes to create similar programing and events in the future to educate Bowdoin students on the climate crisis. For Watt, the conference met many of his goals he set for the trip.
“I think it highlighted the importance of joining these three often separate movements, and I think we really found how difficult it was to build coalitions and make sure that they’re inclusive and representative of all factions,” he said.
Students create mental health support group
For the past five weeks, a group of students have met in 24 College Street every Friday night to drink tea and talk about their mental health and how they are adjusting to Bowdoin. The group, which is unaffiliated with the College and does not have an official name, is sometimes referred to by its leaders as the Peer to Peer Mental Health Group.
“A couple students and I basically decided that there was a gap in Bowdoin’s resources for people suffering from mental illness or for people who think they might be suffering from mental illness,” said group leader Phoebe Kranefuss ’16. “So much of mental illness thrives in solitude and secrecy, so I think the first step is destigmatizing and allowing people to have a place to acknowledge that Bowdoin is not all hunky dory, which I think it can seem to a lot of people.”
Kranefuss and Patrick Toomey ’17 originally spoke about the idea following an article Kranefuss wrote in the Orient about mental health from earlier this semester. According to Kranefuss, many students told her how happy they were that issues of mental health were being discussed. She and Toomey then spoke with Tim Coston ’17 and Associate Director of Health Promotions Whitney Hogan. Hogan then suggested they also work with Anna Reyes ’15, Ryan Sanderson ’16 and Noah Salzman ’17.
The leaders do not plan on making the group officially affiliated with the College so that all feel welcome to attend and speak about anything they feel is important.
“Sometimes we vent about our day. Sometimes we talk about something good that’s going on,” said Kranefuss. “Usually the conversation just organically flows past the hour that’s designated.”
Toomey and others worry that students fear that if college administration were to find out they were dealing with issues of mental health, their enrollment may be affected.
“Part of the reason it’s not affiliated with the College is that we wanted people to come who otherwise might be worried about the administration of the College finding out about any issues that they’re dealing with,” said Toomey.
“We don’t have the need for funding,” said Kranefuss. “And I think it’s actually easier to keep it unaffiliated with Bowdoin just because it gives us more leeway to talk about whatever it is we want.”
The group started with eight participants and has since grown to around 20 students. According to Kranefuss, soon, the members will need to split the group up in order to maintain the quality of discussions.
“There is something about being able to speak with your peers and speak with people who struggle with either the same things—whether it be depression, anxiety, OCD, disordered eating—or different and getting their input on your situation as opposed to speaking to a medical professional,” said Toomey.
Public health initiative to combine medicine and humanities next semester
The College is planning a new initiative in public health to combine medicine and the humanities and better prepare students for changing medical professions. The program is intended to appeal to students who are interested in any health profession, whether they intend to go to medical school or not.
“We have a lot of faculty and students who have interests in public health, but we don’t have a curriculum about it,” said Assistant Professor of History David Hecht.
According to Dean for Academic Affairs Jen Scanlon, the liberal arts are good preparation for medical school and other medical professions.
“We take great pride in preparing students for health professions and in doing so not just in one particular way,” Scanlon said.
Scanlon approached Hecht about the concept, and he will spend the next few months working with other faculty interested in the medical humanities to determine what form the initiative will take.
Hecht and Scanlon said the initiative will likely start next semester and possibly include course clusters, lecture series or symposia.
“[The initiative will look at] medicine from a science, social science and humanities perspective and bring students together to think across disciplines and across these kinds of boundaries,” Scanlon said. “It’s really a lot about the kind of boundary crossing that we’re able to do in a liberal arts environment.”
Part of the impetus for the initiative is the change in both medical schools and the medical profession.
“Medical schools are changing in terms of what they think constitutes a good prospective medical school student and also what constitutes a good physician,” said Scanlon. “[We want to] think and talk about preparing our students for health professions careers and the compatibility of that with the liberal arts more broadly.”
Hecht believes that the courses will appeal to both humanities students interested in public health and medicine as well as pre-med students hoping to study some of the social implications of their chosen profession.
This semester, Hecht plans to talk to faculty, staff and students to gauge interest in the program.
Teach-in met with positive response despite early divide
Despite initial debate about the event’s purpose and execution, Thursday’s teach-in, “Intersections: Making Connections, Moving Forward,” was met with generally positive reactions from organizers and participants alike.
The teach-in featured plenary panels at the beginning and end of the day, panels on various topics, open classes, a dance performance, slam poetry and a music performance. All the panels featured Bowdoin professors, students and staff talking about various aspects of the intersection between climate change and social justice.
“I am overwhelmed with gratitude and joy. I feel really honored to have been able to learn alongside our students and to have been taught by both our students and faculty,” said Associate Dean of Students for Diversity and Inclusion Leana Amaez, who helped organize the event. “I hope the conversation continues because it has been remarkably meaningful for me and hopefully the rest of the community.”
Echoing Amaez’s thoughts, Briana Cardwell ’17 said she was “very overwhelmed and happy that things went the way that they were planned. At first I was like, ‘Is this Bowdoin? What school am I at?’ because I was happy to see the different people that came.”
Earlier this week, A. LeRoy Greason Professor of Music Mary Hunter—an initial proponent of a teach-in—told the Orient, “My bar is that people learn something that they couldn’t have learned without the day, and that they converse in a way that they would not converse without the day.”
Some students’ responses mirrored this sentiment.
“Initially I was skeptical about how valuable an event like this could be, but I think I went to a few interesting events and was exposed to topics that I hadn’t really thought about before and interacted with,” said Julian FrareDavis ’17. “I think the really good thing about discussions is that it makes you think about what’s being discussed and work within your mind instead of just being talked to.”
Though reactions have been positive, some students and faculty did not or could not attend and the full extent of the event’s impact is not yet clear.
“I think it was a start,” said Director of the McKeen Center Sarah Seames. “I think it’s hard in a one hour panel, with an audience that big, to be able to help people get into what their specific interests are, so that’s why it’s important that people continue talking and exploring how whatever they’re passionate about can relate to broader policy issues.”How the teach-in came about
Although introduced and proposed to faculty and staff last year, in December and February, respectively, the idea to have a day dedicated to climate change has been in the works since former president Barry Mills signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2007. Mills then organized a group of faculty, staff, students and alumni to come up with ways to be more sustainable here at Bowdoin. The committee announced in 2009 that the College had a goal to be carbon neutral by 2020. Following the announcement, Bowdoin had a festival that “rallied around issues of climate change,” according to a 2009 Orient article.
Madeleine Msall, a professor in the physics department, was a member of that committee. Following the rally, Msall says that motivation lagged. “There was a sense, after some years into the carbon neutral commitment, that we kind of lost our impetus to make the harder choices.”
According to Msall, then-President Barry Mills told her that he believed the best course of action needed to be faculty initiative. Msall rounded up a group of faculty and discussed what faculty leadership issues on climate issues would look like.
“One of the suggestions was that we should have a teach-in. We should make a moment where we took the idea of that this is so important that we need to focus lots of campus energy on it,” said Msall.
The week the teach-in was presented was also the week police officer Darren Wilson was not indicted in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Student leaders of multicultural groups held a vigil in remembrance of Brown and the events happening in Ferguson.
“On the faculty floor, it was very passionate when people said, ‘We understand you’re very active about climate change, but if we’re going to have a teach-in at Bowdoin we need to have a teach-in about racism and all the ways it affects all of us both on campus and the greater world,’” said Msall regarding the initial presentation in December.Professors divided
Since its conception, the teach-in has been a point of contention among professors. The content, format and timing of the event were all fervently debated at faculty meetings as well as in private discussions.
“It’s creating divisions amongst people that really should be working together. It has created a certain amount of hurt feelings,” Associate Professor of English Ann Kibbie said before the event.
Chair of the History Department Dallas Denery was concerned about the politicization of the day.
“We’re here to challenge students, we’re here to improve critical thinking, we’re here to open up horizons,” said Denery. “But I don’t know if it’s our responsibility to use our position as faculty to push specific political agendas that often have nothing to do with our professorial expertise.”
Although the faculty supported the teach-in by a majority vote, they did not support a campus-wide cancellation of classes. In an email to the student body, Interim Dean for Academic Affairs Jen Scanlon and Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster stated that the teach-in is not a “Bowdoin event.” Scanlon and Foster also stressed that “lack of participation in the teach-in should not be read as lack of concern for the issues of social, racial and climate justice that affect us all.”
Professors and staff who did participate in the teach-in seemed to be pleased with its outcome. Associate Professor of History and the Director of Africana Studies Brian Purnell, who co-taught a class about urban landscapes, says he was impressed with how engaged students were.
“Students asked hard questions about urban inequality and what role they will play when they leave Bowdoin and they go out into the world and probably live or work in cities. They asked some pretty tough questions about what they should do or how they should think about experiencing urban inequality as graduates, workers and homeowners, and that was powerful.”
Purnell was also excited to have heard from his fellow faculty on such heavy issues.
“It was great to learn from other colleagues. It was exciting to feel alive and learning in such a dynamic way, and that’s how I felt participating.”Students React
Many students who had been skeptical about the day’s events felt the opening plenary and the panels and classes that followed exposed them to ideas they had not thought about previously. First-year Emmett Ulian attended the opening plenary and felt that he left with a good understanding of the connection between climate change, race and social justice.
“I was a little bit curious how those three issues related, and I thought that that opening was a good way to illustrate all the connections between the three issues,” he said.
Senior James Jelin also attended the opening plenary and was impressed with how well the issue of climate change and its intersection with other aspects of society was addressed.
“The idea of climate change intersecting with race is interesting because it’s like an exacerbating factor,” said Jelin. “We know that race affects every aspect of life and it affects people unevenly and I think just reminding us all that that is true a well for lack of resources due to climate change, like homes going under water, that that affects people differently based on race, income, et cetera.”
Senior Matthew Williams was skeptical about the intersectionality of the topics covered by the events. By the end of the day, however, he had attended three panels on a variety of topics from science fiction to portrayals of Hurricane Katrina in writing.
“I thought the teach-in was really effective and something that was really powerful. It made me think about things that I would never have thought about before, like if the oceans get cooler it can change water currents which could change weather patterns which could change everything about the way we live in society. There were just so many great intersectionalities.”Marina Henke ’19 was also impressed by how the event came together in a cohesive manner. She attended the opening plenary and commented on how interesting it was to be discussing so many different, but related topics.
“As I was sitting there and the people next to me were sitting there, we were talking afterwards about how it was a very unique experience to hear a discussion about polar bears and their social influence and commentary on the United States’s environmental understandings, sitting right next to a lecture on Ferguson and racial tensions in the Unites States, which was connected also to a climate change, science lecture,” she said.
Others were impressed with the dialogue that occurred throughout the day.
During one panel, “Is the US Political System Broken?,” first-year Francisco Navarro and Consortium for Faculty Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow in Government Cory Gooding went head to head.
Gooding recited a poem by Langston Hughes, “Let America Be America Again,” and argued that because America had historically only benefited certain individuals, it was never truly “great.”
Navarro—a Cuban-American born in Miami and raised in Yucatan, Mexico—disagreed as someone familiar with multiple political landscapes.
“You said, ‘When exactly was America great?’ That bothers me,” Navarro said to Gooding at the panel. “I can see how privileged and how unappreciative we are of our democratic system. My problem with Trump’s slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ is that America is already great.”
Gooding replied, “What makes America great is our ability to keep trying to attain the greatness that we proclaim—but for someone who was just shot dead in the street by the law enforcement that was supposed to protect him or her, I’m not sure how much he would advocate for the greatness of the country.”
“I caution us against beating our chests so boldly that we don’t recognize the work that still needs to be done,” Gooding added.
“I was very appreciative of [Navarro’s] question,” said Emiley Charley ’17. “I really liked that dialogue. I felt as though that was what I came out to see. To see conversations start around people who don’t see eye to eye.”
Franco Sasieta ’16, who attended a panel about public health and how it relates to issues of social justice, liked the broad range of perspectives present.
“It provided a local, national and scattered global view of different public health issues which I was not fully aware of,” he said.
Junior Jennings Leavell was glad to be a part of the teach-in.
“Events like these are important and I’m thankful that my professor cancelled class so that I could attend, because engaging a community on issues like this is important.”
The McKeen Center will be hosting a debrief of Thursday’s events over lunch at 12:30 p.m. today in Daggett Lounge. All are encouraged to attend to reflect on the teach-in and explore ways of continuing effective dialogue.
John Branch and Joe Sherlock contributed to this report.
Teach-in to take place Thursday despite some faculty concerns
Events throughout the day will address the intersection of climate change, racism and social justice
The College will have a campus-wide teach-in on Thursday—its first since 1981—despite mixed feelings amongst the faculty. The teach-in, titled “Intersections: Making Connections, Moving Forward” will focus on the intersection between climate change, racism and social justice. Because members of the faculty opposed the proposal to cancel all classes on Thursday, the decision to cancel class is left up to individual professors. The teach-in will feature panels throughout the day, open classes, a dance performance, and a music performance. All the panels will feature Bowdoin professors, students or staff talking about various aspects of the intersection between climate change and social justice. Some classes require registration, but panels are open to all Bowdoin students.
For a detailed schedule of events and to register for classes, go to bowdo.in/teach-in.
Mary Hunter, A. LeRoy Greason professor of music, was in the initial group of faculty that planned the teach-in. She believes it’s important to engage with difficult topics on a broad scale.
“We don’t talk to each other well across lines. We don’t talk to each other well across racial lines; we don’t talk to each other well across disciplinary lines. I’m not sure we talk well across student-faculty lines. These are issues—questions of race, questions of climate change and questions of social justice—that require us to talk to people we wouldn’t normally talk to in ways that may not be comfortable.” Hunter believes that, although not all professors will be cancelling classes, there will still be an opportunity for students to learn. Although the number of students may vary based on how many professors cancel class, she does not believe the information and the message will be lost on those who do attend the events. “My bar is that people learn something that they couldn’t have learned without the day and that they converse in a way that they would not converse without the day.”
Amina Ben Ismail ’17 believes “[the teach-in] represents Bowdoin’s desire in the last couple of months to finally talk about issues, especially racial issues in the U.S. It’s a big accomplishment to me.”
Ben Ismail says she wants those who do not normally think about issues of race, social justice and climate change to think about them during and after the teach-in.
“I really do think that at Bowdoin, it’s divided between the people who are really affected by these issues, or are thinking about them all the time, or are in groups that think about them, and then the people who don’t.”
When first introduced in December, a group of faculty presented the idea of having a teach-in focused solely on climate change. Faculty at the meeting suggested that a teach-in could not be focused solely on climate change when tensions were running high on campus about race and social justice issues.
Although the faculty supported the teach-in by a majority vote at the faculty meeting in May, they did not support a campus-wide cancellation of classes. In an email to the student body, Interim Dean for Academic Affairs Jen Scanlon and Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster stated that the teach-in is not a “Bowdoin event.” Scanlon and Foster also stressed that “lack of participation in the teach-in should not be read as lack of concern for the issues of social, racial and climate justice that affect us all.”Faculty response
There is a divide amongst professors regarding the day, largely around the cancellation of classes and the politicized nature of the topics. Professors who teach on Thursday have the option to cancel class or hold class as scheduled. Some professors are cancelling their regularly scheduled classes and encouraging students to attend teach-in events. Associate Professor of English Ann Kibbie says that, although she supports discussing the topics of the teach-in, she is not in favor of cancelling classes to do so. “What is gained politically from having it on a Thursday so the events are automatically in conflict with scheduled classes?” asked Kibbie. “I still feel as though I don’t have an answer to that.” Kibbie suggested that the teach-in be held on a Saturday or as a weeklong event with the panels held during the evening. She does not believe that having the teach-in on a class day does any more to highlight the importance of the topics presented. “It’s creating divisions amongst people that really should be working together,” said Kibbie, “It has created a certain amount of hurt feelings.” Psychology professor Sam Putnam also agrees that having the teach-in on a class day is not the best approach. “It diminishes the importance of what we do on campus,” said Putnam, “We all go into this [job] because we’re passionate about these subjects. To be asked to give up a day is insulting to me.” Putnam is also concerned that the event focuses on just a few issues. “There are several real issues that are facing the world, the United States and our community and I worry that elevating these ones above others minimizes the others,” he said. Chair of the History Department Dallas Denery is concerned about the politicization of the day. “We’re here to challenge students, we’re here to improve critical thinking, we’re here to open up horizons,” said Denery. “But I don’t know if it’s our responsibility to use our position as faculty to push specific political agendas that often have nothing to do with our professorial expertise.” Some professors are taking an active approach to the day. The education department—currently comprised of Chair of the Education Department Chuck Dorn, Visiting Assistant Professor of Education Sarah Jessen and Adjunct Lecturer in Education Erika Stump—will be cancelling all classes for the event. Dorn is requiring the students in his seminars to live tweet the event—each student is required to go to at least one panel. He will also be on a panel himself. John Lichter, professor of biology and director of the environmental studies program, will be opening his environmental studies course for all those interested to attend. The class, co-taught by environmental studies and history professor Matt Klingle, will focus on public health and changes in medicine that accompany the loss of biodiversity, climate change and social inequalities on the planet. “For the teach-in as a whole I would like students to recognize that we’re in the Bowdoin bubble here but we don’t want to be that way and we don’t want to be isolated and privileged. We want to engage with the rest of the world,” said Lichter. Associate Dean of Students for Diversity and Inclusion Leana Amaez will participate in the concluding plenary panel. “I support it because I think it’s consistent with what we do. We create opportunities for students to learn and to engage difficult topics that matter. The notion that our students are excited about talking about these particular issues and that they’re asking for a way to deepen that understanding and to create a dialogue on campus to me is consistent with the values of Bowdoin as an educational institution,” Amaez said. Although she does not have a particular goal for students on Thursday, Amaez wants students to engage, ask critical questions regarding the topics and to continue the discussion.
“It’s an opportunity for the campus to explore critical issues of our time in an interdisciplinary way.”Student support
Students participating in support of the teach-in have a wide variety of reasons for doing so. Briana Cardwell ’17—a member of Intersection: People, Planet and Power (IP3), the group created last spring to plan the event—said that in light of the past year’s conversations and events, it’s important to discuss issues such as race and climate change. “As a black female on this campus, last year I was pushed to certain limits. I found it very hard to be at Bowdoin while everything else was going on in the world and be in classrooms where professors would completely ignore or not mention that. That somebody who looks like me is getting gunned down and getting attacked just for being black—that’s why it’s important to me,” said Cardwell, “I didn’t choose to be black and none of us can choose our race but I also can’t choose to talk about it or not and I feel like this is a good way for other people who don’t have to talk about it to talk about it.” She also stated that issues of climate change are also imminent.
“You can step away from race if you are not of the race that is affected, but you can’t step away from the fact that the environment is going downhill. We are destroying our environment and that is something that is going to affect you, your kids and your kids’ kids,” Cardwell said. Cardwell and Ben Ismail both find it unfortunate, however, that not all classes will be cancelled for the event. “By not cancelling classes, and by not allowing it to be a completely open space for [discussions] where everybody can go because there is no class, I think that makes it a bit harder for those people who wouldn’t come out,” said Cardwell.
She believes that by not showing support of the teach-in and the topic discussed by cancelling all classes, professors are also indicating to students that the event and the topics are not as important. Cardwell asks that students “come and be willing to be educated.” Both mentioned that without events like the teach-in, many students will leave Bowdoin without discussing important issues such as race and climate change, an idea expressed by DeRay Mckesson ‘07 in his conversation with students last week. “That makes me really sad, that professors at Bowdoin would think that issues like these shouldn’t mix with their departments,” said Ben Ismail. She believes faculty should not be excluded from the conversation simply because it is outside of their area of expertise.
“The whole point is to feel uncomfortable.”How the teach-in came about
Although introduced and proposed to faculty and staff last year, in December and February, respectively, the idea to have a day dedicated to climate change has been in the works since former president Barry Mills signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2007. Mills then organized a group of faculty, staff, students and alumni to come up with ways to be more sustainable here at Bowdoin. The committee announced in 2009 that the College had a goal to be carbon neutral by 2020. Following the announcement, Bowdoin had a festival that “rallied around issues of climate change,” according to a 2009 Orient article. Madeleine Msall, professor of physics, was one of the members of that committee. Following the rally, Msall says that motivation to keep the movement going fell.
“There was a sense, after some years into the carbon neutral commitment passed that we kind of lost our impetus to make the harder choices,” said Msall. According to Msall, then-President Barry Mills told her that he believed the best course of action would be a faculty initiative. Msall rounded up a group of faculty and discussed what faculty leadership issues on climate issues would look like. “One of the suggestions was that we should have a teach-in. We should make a moment where we took the idea of that this is so important that we need to focus lots of campus energy on it,” said Msall. Msall and others also felt it was a good time to broach the topic because students involved in the divestment movement had been asking for faculty support. At the time of the initial conversations, around 70 professors had signed a petition calling for divestment. Faculty had also sent a letter to the Board of Trustee calling for divestment. The week the teach-in was presented was also the week police officer Darren Wilson was not indicted in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Student leaders of multicultural groups held a vigil in remembrance of Brown and the events happening in Ferguson. “On the faculty floor, it was very passionate when people said, ‘We understand you’re very active about climate change, but if we’re going to have a teach-in at Bowdoin we need to have a teach-in about racism and all the ways it affects all of us both on campus and the greater world,’” said Msall regarding the initial presentation in December.
The group of faculty expanded and became IP3, the group which planned the teach-in beginning last semester. The faculty approved the teach-in, though not a campus-wide cancellation of class at their meeting on May 4.Schedule
8:30-10:00: Open Class: Earth Care: Public Health, Disease, and Environmental Inequalities in the Anthropocene
9:35-9:55: Open Class: Forced Migration and Interdependence: A Climate Dance Event
10:00 Framing the Questions – A plenary welcome with Mark Battle, Susan Kaplan and Brian Purnell.
11:30-3:30: Seventeen different open classes and twelve panel discussions run in multiple parallel sessions. See the detailed schedule for links to panel and class descriptions.
12:00-1:30: Campus Information Expo
2:30: Slam Poets
4:00: Ways Forward – A concluding plenary with Leana Amaez, Sabina Hartnett ’18, Catherine Longley, Roy Partridge and Madeleine Msall.
All Day Intersections: Making Connections, Moving Forward Film ScreeningsAll Day: Word Art Collaborations: Selections from the Mark Melnicove Collection, 1970-2015
Upward Bound celebrates 50 years at Bowdoin
Senator George Mitchell '54 spoke in praise of the program
This past Wednesday, Senator George Mitchell ’54, H’83 spoke to the community to commemorate 50 years of Upward Bound (UB) at Bowdoin.
A federally funded TRIO program, UB was a result of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty” Initiative. Beginning in the summer of 1964, the program was designed to provide low-income, first generation high school students the motivation to attend college and the skills needed to pursue higher education. Nationwide, there are over 900 programs.
To celebrate 50 years of UB, the College had several events, including a talk with Mitchell and a reception with past UB graduates and current UB students.
In a speech Wednesday night in Pickard Theater, Mitchell talked about the work that UB has done and continues to do. UB graduates from every decade and current UB students attended the event.
“The single most important factor is not talent, they’ve got that. It’s not brain power, they’ve got it,” Mitchell said. “It is making sure that they have the self esteem, the sense of worth and the sense of being part of a community that enables them to unleash their talents.”A Comprehensive Program
According to Bridget Mullen, director of UB at Bowdoin, graduates of the program are four times as likely to get their degree by age 25 as peer low-income, first generation students who did not have UB.
UB’s summer program allows students ranging in age from 13 to 19 to spend six weeks on a college campus taking courses in math, science, foreign language and English. Students also get college prep help and receive support from SAT tutors throughout the summer. 107 students participated in the program at Bowdoin this summer, residing in Stowe Hall and Howard Hall.UB Bowdoin draws students from 11 Maine high schools. Students from Washington County comprise about half the students; a Bowdoin UB counselor is stationed there.
Students have mentors and tutors who provide guidance throughout the six weeks. Not all summer UB staff are part of the Bowdoin community, but several Bowdoin students worked with the program this summer as well as other Bowdoin faculty and staff members.
The support does not stop at the end of the summer. For the academic program, mentors from the College visit students who have participated in the program at their high schools to check on their academic performance, their study skills, their family and home life, job situations and to set up tutors and other mentors if need be. The counselors usually visit students once a month.
Graduating seniors also have an opportunity to apply and participate in the Bridge Program. A separate program that involves 10-12 students, Bridge takes place the summer after students graduate and before they enter college. These students live in separate dorms—this summer the students lived in Ladd House—and engage in different courses and activities designed to help them even more for the fall.
In Maine, there are seven other UB programs, which serve over 700 students.Senator George Mitchell on UB
While in the Senate as a senator and the senate majority leader, and after he left the Senate, Mitchell has continued to support the program.
“I think it is of critical importance, all of us, every American, do what we can to make it possible for programs like this that give opportunity to each child,” he said.
“In America, nobody should be guaranteed success, but everybody should have a fair chance to succeed,” said Mitchell. “Keep in mind that genius knows no boundary, no language, no religion, no color. It can come from anywhere at any time.”
Lewiston High School juniors Ilham Mohamed and Zahara Shidad both attended Bowdoin UB this past summer and both praised the program for helping them do better during the academic year as well as providing them with a network of people to turn to during the academic year.
“The classes I took in the summer were intro classes to this year’s classes so they really helped me,” said Mohamed.
Echoing the message of Mitchell’s talk, Mohamed said, “I have good grades now and I understand everything and I’m not behind. I have a lot of friends now so if anything happens I can talk to them.”The Program Today
The changes in the UB program over the past 50 years are limited to modest adjustments in academics and student population.
“[The core curriculum] is a little bit more prescribed by the federal government than it has been,” Mullen said, “[but] within that I think we have a lot of leeway.”
Pam Bryer, Director of Laboratories at Bowdoin, has been part of the summer program for the past 31 years, teaching biology courses.
“We [now] have specific classes on college and taking the SATs,” Bryer said. “But the focus is still the same: on giving the opportunity to students who might not have the opportunity to go to college...just giving them a leg up.”
Through the academic program, these resources will continue until the student’s high school graduation, including financial aid counseling in the student’s senior year. In the coming months, the UB staff will be going back into their target high school communities to try to interest students in applying to the program.
“It’s a unique population [of students] to reach,” Mullen said. “They’re not necessarily…the students who are at risk of dropping out of high school [nor] are [they] already headed off to college...They’re kind of the quiet middle.”
This quiet middle has changed much over the years in response to fluctuations in the Maine population.
“Our student population has become more diverse in many ways,” Mullen said. “For example, in Lewiston, there are many families that have resettled from East Africa…Lewiston itself has become a more diverse community and our student population reflects that.
Steven Colin ’17 worked as the activities coordinator this summer at UB.
“For me, it was a completely different perspective,” Colin said. “I came from a Latino/African-American neighborhood [in Los Angeles, California], so to see a different perspective in that poverty doesn’t really know the color of skin was very fulfilling for me.”
Parker Hayes ’17 also worked at Bowdoin UB this summer, working as a TA and RA.
“I felt like I could really be a part of their learning process, [to] really see their progress they would make from the beginning to the end,” Hayes said.
The beginning for Hayes started much earlier than this summer. In high school, Hayes, a Maine native, was a UB participant at the University of Southern Maine.
“It really helped me a lot to understand the college process and what I would need to do to be able to get into a school like this,” Hayes said.
Hayes spoke highly of the feedback he got on his college essay and the experience of living on a college campus away from home before attending college.
“I felt like I could give back to the program that I thought had done a lot for me,” Hayes said.The Future and Financial Aid
Though UB helps students to prepare for college and apply for financial aid and scholarships, the program cannot aid students in actually paying for college. With the rising cost of college in recent years, more students are going to two year colleges and planning to transfer than in the past, according to Mullen.
“It troubles me because students’ aspirations are for four years and they’re feeling financially pressed to take the two year path,” Mullen said. “That gap between financial aid and college has widened so much that we have many students that have gotten into four year college, [but the financial aid is not there, as it would have been in the past].”
When financial aid offers come in senior year, UB helps students and their families to advocate for the money that they need.
“We have a system in many, many cases where that extra step of advocacy loosens up more money from the institution,” Mullen said.
With the occasion of the 50th anniversary, Bowdoin UB is fundraising to establish an account of emergency funds for students through Facebook and other means. The fundraising will continue through the year.
“Frequently, just really basic needs—[books, eyeglasses, transportation to a college interview]—are hurdles,” Mullen said. “Our goal is $50,000 for the 50th…we’ve reached over $15,000 already.”
UB has not done private funding before, since the federal grant mainly funds the program. The cost per student for the six week academic session as well as academic year outreach is $4,200. Bowdoin College also helps to fund the program by subsidizing room and board costs and offering full health benefits and vacation time to UB staff employees.
“At other institutions, UB programs really struggle with these costs [particularly room and board],” Mullen said. “There’s no way Upward Bound could be thriving the way it is if we didn’t get that subsidy.”
At the end of 2016, UB will have to apply for a new grant, part of a four to five year cycle.“Even though we’ve had it for 50 years, it’s a competitive process,” Mullen said. “I know an Upward Bound that had been as old as we were and in the last cycle got defunded.”
When UB makes their rounds at their target high schools in the upcoming months, they will determine what can be strengthened. Financial aid remains one of the primary issues.
“People say more people are going to college and completing college,” Mullen said. “Well, more people are going to college and completing college in the upper income quartile. That’s why 50 years later Upward Bound is a federal investment that still has to happen.”
“I love what I do, but I wish Upward Bound wasn’t needed,” Mullen said.
Correction (September 18, 2015 at 11:20 a.m.): The article incorrectly stated the Mitchell was a graduate of Upward Bound himself. That information has been removed from the article.
New hires join Bowdoin to improve student experience
The College has hired multiple new staff members this fall, four of whom will be working closely with students in order to improve the student experience.
Brandon Royce-Diop joins Bowdoin as Assistant Dean of Upperclass Students, replacing Assistant Dean Christopher Dennis. He will focus on working with students with last names beginning with A-L, and will also serve as alternative Judicial Board Advisor. Royce-Diop served in an number of leadership roles in Minneapolis, most recently as Dean of Students at the Fair School in Crystal, Minnesota.
Royce-Diop’s experience includes leading and co-founding the Kente Summit for Collegiate Black Males at Macalester College and the New Lens Urban Mentoring program through the St. Paul Public School, two leadership and mentoring programs.
Currently earning his Master’s in Education at the University of St. Thomas, Royce-Diop holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from St. John’s University.
Chicago native Ben Harris is Bowdoin’s new Director of Multicultural Life. He is tasked with creating positive experiences for students from a variety of backgrounds. Harris said his attraction to Bowdoin stems from the small size and warm student body.
“It’s an opportunity to have some impactful learning and to work with folks,” Harris said. “It’s such a small and intimate place.”
Before spending four years as assistant director of the Center for Black Culture at the University of Delaware, Harris earned his masters degree in English from Illinois State University and a B.A. from Elmhurst College. One of Harris’ primary goals at Bowdoin is to generate discussion about issues of race, diversity, education and privilege.
“I think it’s important that we create opportunities for students of diverse backgrounds who have this Bowdoin experience and also to provide [them with] resources to be successful,” Harris said.
Other new staff members are already familiar with campus. Recent Bowdoin graduate Laurel Varnell ’14 stepped into the role of Associate Director of Student Activities this fall.
Varnell’s primary task is to oversee a variety of campus-wide events, along with programming for Jack Magee’s Pub & Grill and the Craft Center. Additionally, she will act as a staff liaison to the first-year class council. As a student, Varnell served in numerous leadership roles on campus, including positions for Residential Life (ResLife), Relay for Life and the Women’s Resource Center. As a staff member, she aims to translate the desires of students into a College-funded reality.
Varnell said that her attraction to this position stemmed from her past work in ResLife.
“As an RA and proctor, I loved helping students navigate their path while at Bowdoin,” Varnell said. “I am able to continue do that in a professional way. [This job] is the perfect fit for me.”
Following graduation, Varnell worked at the Urban Justice Center, a nonprofit legal firm in New York City. In her one-year fellowship position, Varnell represented clients in administrative court to claim public benefits.
Varnell said that her past Bowdoin experience will allow her to better address the needs of current students.
“When I was a student here, I had always dreamed about doing Student Activities,” Varnell said. “To be able to work in a department where [planning events] is their job is something I am very excited about.”
Varnell hopes to incorporate student artwork in her mission to revamp study spaces on campus, such as David Saul Smith Union. She also aims to reinvigorate the Craft Center through student-instructed courses and a reduced membership fee.
Also new to the college is alum Khoa Khuong ’04, who will be the new Assistant Dean of First-Year Students and Advisor to International Students.
“It feels really weird,” said Khuong. “I remember back when I was a student and I had this impression of the dean’s office as this place where you don’t want to go, but now that I’m in this job, I’m like ‘Wow, we do so much more than discipline people.’"
Khuong started on August 3 and has since been working closely with the first-year class. Before returning to Bowdoin, he taught math for 11 years, most recently at North Yarmouth Academy.
“At first I wasn’t sure about this job because I didn’t have any experience with higher education, but I really enjoy advising international students because I consider myself international,” said Khuong, who grew up in Vietnam. “So I’m looking forward to working with international students and helping them.”
Khuong is looking forward to working with all first-year students to help them feel welcome at Bowdoin by connecting them to the College’s resources.
“There are a lot of new things I am taking on in terms of this job and this new position, and my goal is to do this job well,” Khuong said. “For me, [it’s] to make sure that I know faculty and what the resources are here. I feel like I am a liaison for my first-year students.”
Course evaluations move from paper to web
For the first time, many students will fill out end-of-semester course reviews online, rather than by hand. While the survey itself is not changing, the means and timing of distribution are. For this semester, all tenured faculty will be using the online forms and by next semester the entire school will utilize the online forms.
Professors using online forms will still have two weeks before classes end to distribute the surveys. Students can start and finish the surveys entirely in class, as they did using the handwritten forms, or they can choose to do them completely on their own time outside of class. Professors can also have students start the surveys in class and finish them outside of class.
There are a number of reasons for the change, which has been discussed since 2006. Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd said that the online forms will be environmentally friendlier, provide greater flexibility for both students and professors, and allow for an even greater degree of anonymity for students.
Last fall, the College piloted the program with seven tenured professors across 12 courses. “We did a survey of all the students who participated in the pilot and the student response was uniformly positive,” Judd said. “The comments—the qualitative part—was greater on the online forms than the paper form.”
The survey revealed that students felt that they were able to give more complete and more thoughtful answers on course evaluations, since they had the flexibility to do the surveys whenever they wanted.
“People said it was at least the same as doing it in class and many cited many of the advantages we found, including their ability to do it with a clear head,” Judd said.
There is a drawback to the online form, however.
“Faculty are nervous,” said Judd.
Now that students have the option to do them outside of class there is the added risk that students will not take the surveys.
“Students will get reminders about completing the forms and a clear sense of when the deadlines for completing those forms are, but it’s important that they do them,” said Judd.
She added, “We really value and depend on student feedback to help us continuously improve the teaching at Bowdoin and continuously improve the experience.”
Professor salaries rise for fourth year in a row
For a fourth consecutive year, Bowdoin professors’ salaries increased in 2014-2015, according to data collected by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).
The average salary for full professors jumped 1.6 percent to $137,300 from the previous school year, while the average salary increased 2.5 percent to $99,300 for associate professors and 6.2 percent to $80,800 for assistant professors.
The College determines faculty salaries through its 4-5-6 policy, which was suspended during the recession and reinstated last year. Under this policy, the College determines salary increases at each level of professorship by looking at the three-year lagging average of percentage salary increases at the colleges ranked fourth, fifth and sixth by average salary in an 18-school peer group selected by the Board of Trustees.
“Looking at the schools that are in the comparison group, we know who’s going to end up above us and we want to sit in that competitive place that means we’re still going to be there with schools with bigger endowments than we have,” said Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd.
Bowdoin ranks fifth in full professor salaries among the 11 schools in the New England Small Colleges Athletic Conference (NESCAC), third in associate professor salaries and fourth in assistant professor salaries.
The AAUP gathers salary data from over a thousand colleges annually and provides complete profiles of each college.
Dean Judd to leave Bowdoin for Mellon Foundation
Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd will leave the College at the end of August to become the Senior Program Officer in the Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities Program for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in New York City.
The Foundation offered the position to Judd over Spring Break, and after careful consideration and discussions with President Barry Mills and President-elect Clayton Rose, Judd decided to accept the position, beginning on September 1.
“This is an opportunity that came to me unbidden,” said Judd. “The foundation reached out to me at the start of Spring Break.”
Judd said her new position will have a lot in common with her current role at the College.
“One of the things I love, have loved, and continue to love at Bowdoin has been the creative thinking and big program thinking about broad issues in higher education and that’s the essence of this new job,” she said.
Judd has been the dean for academic affairs and a professor of music at the College since 2006. Her duties include oversight and support of all the academic departments as well as responsibility over faculty, libraries and the museums. Judd is also responsible for much of the communication that comes out of the academic affairs office.
Judd has been instrumental in many of the College’s enhancement initiatives, including the Digital and Computational Studies initiative.
President Mills informed the student body and faculty of her departure in an email sent out on Wednesday.
Mills stated that Judd, in her role as dean, is responsible for hiring almost 40 percent of the current faculty. She has worked hard to enrich the College’s arts programs, environmental programs and coastal studies programs.
“It is difficult to overstate Cristle’s accomplishments and her contributions to Bowdoin,” wrote Mills. “She has led efforts to secure important grants; to introduce new support and opportunities for faculty development; and to foster a culture of engaged intellectual inquiry among students through focused work on our curriculum, academic advising, and student fellowships and research.”
Apart from her duties as dean of academic affairs, Judd currently teaches Introduction to Music Theory. She has taught the course throughout her tenure at Bowdoin.
“I don’t think any dean at a place like Bowdoin should stop being active in their research and their classroom…that’s what the heart and soul of the place is about,” she said in a 2013 Orient article.
Judd says that this new position will allow her to continue the work she has been most passionate about at the College.
“I love Bowdoin. Bowdoin is so completely in my bones that this is all about the common good. In the same way that we talk about the right and the peculiar obligations,” said Judd. “What better way to see the common good than to be working with a foundation that does so much tremendous work to support the arts and humanities?”
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation donates about $250 million every year in the form of grants to enrich and enhance the arts and humanities across college campuses, including that of Bowdoin. The Foundation is responsible for the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program and the Mellon Humanities Initiative that the College utilizes. It also funds part of the College’s post-doctoral program.
“The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is an extraordinary organization,” said Judd. “I’ve done a lot of work with them on the receiving side. I’ve also been fortunate to work with them and to be invited when they were hosting some round tables.”
Judd said she is also looking forward to working with places like Bowdoin in a greater capacity.
“I’m thrilled at the opportunity to take all of the things I’ve learned at Bowdoin and to take all of the things that I learned before that at Penn [University of Pennsylvania]and be able to work with presidents, liberal arts colleges and big universities both nationally and internationally,” she said.
Before coming to the College, Judd was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania for thirteen years. She graduated magna cum laude from Rice University and received a master’s degree in musicology from the same university. She received a second master’s degree in music and her PhD from King’s College, University of London.
An active scholar, Judd’s many writings include the published the award-winning book “Reading Renaissance Music Theory: Hearing With The Eyes.”
President-elect Rose will be in charge of finding Judd’s successor. Judd said she will remain at Bowdoin until August to help with the transition.
History department to change major requirements
The College’s Curriculum Implementation Committee (CIC) is currently reviewing and approving two considerable changes to the History major.
The history department has proposed to reduce the number of required non-Western courses from four to three. It has also proposed to eliminate the stipulation that students must take three upper-level seminars across two fields and instead only require that students take three upper-level seminars in any field of study they choose. Fields of study include Africa, East Asia, Europe, Latin America, South Asia, United States, Atlantic Worlds and Colonial Worlds.
If the CIC approves the changes, they will be effective for all current and new majors beginning next fall.
Chair of the Department of History and Associate Professor of History Dallas Denery said the changes were a result of student and faculty opinion that the current requirements, implemented five years ago, were too stringent. There were 47 history majors in the class of 2009, making it the third most popular major. There are 26 history majors in the class of 2015, leaving it tied as the seventh most popular major.
“The main reason to change the major is because a number of students and a number of faculty in the history department, acting as their advisors, had been finding it difficult to make sure students could navigate the major,” said Denery.
The history department conducted a survey of majors, minors and students in history courses and found that these were the areas with which students had the most trouble.
“It was difficult for students particularly to fulfill those two requirements,” said Denery.
These requirements were implemented in order to ensure a breadth in the courses students took. Denery stated that after adding the requirements, the major became too difficult for students to complete.
Discussions on the changes in the major have been in the works for about a year but did not get serious attention until the summer of 2014.
“We wanted to wait to see how the current major worked out, but student frustration with the major didn’t seem to go away so last summer we had a series of meetings that these changes were a major focus of,” said Denery.
The department spoke about it informally throughout the fall semester and at a staff meeting early this semester the department voted overwhelmingly in favor of the changes. They then submitted the changes to the CIC and are now awaiting approval.
“We don’t foresee many problems with it,” said Denery.
Reactions to the change have been very positive.
“I’m really excited,” said junior Allyson Gross, a double major in History and Government and Legal Studies.
Gross said that it was difficult to pick courses because there was so much structure around which courses fulfilled which requirements.
“Lessening it is going to help me fulfill the rest of my requirements,” Gross said. “I was potentially going to drop down to a minor, but if that is what is going to happen, I can absolutely keep it.”
Sophomore Benjamin Bristol is also pleased with the changes, particularly the reduction in non-Western course requirements.
“The [reduction of non-Western history class] requirements is part of the reason I declared a history major,” said Bristol, who officially became a history major in February. “My interest is mainly in the Western realm so the thing keeping me from being a history major was the four class [non-Western] requirement.”
College admits 14.9% of Class of 2019 applicants
Last Friday the College mailed out acceptance letters to 1,009 out of 6,790 applicants for the Class of 2019, which puts this year’s acceptance rate at 14.9 percent, a slight increase from last year’s rate of 14.8 percent.
There were 145 fewer applicants than last year. That decrease was spread across each region of the United States other than New England, which had a small increase in applicants, although Maine applications were down by 10 percent.
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Scott Meiklejohn said that in comparison to last year, “everything was off just a tiny bit.”
A total of 382 multicultural students were admitted in comparison to last year’s 403. The number of international students accepted also decreased from 84 to 76.
The number of high schools from which students were accepted rose, from 712 last year to 719 this year.
533 females and 476 males were accepted. The target size for the class of 2019 is 500, and accepted students have until May 1 to decide if they want to enroll at the College. Many accepted students will likely wait until after Admitted Student’s Weekend, which will take place from April 16-18, before making their decisions.
“It’s very, very close to last year in number and quality,” said Meiklejohn, “I think the class that arrives will be another great class that will look a lot like the one’s we’ve enrolled the last couple of years.”
Bowdoin to host first ever CBB Hackathon
Bowdoin will host the first ever Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) Hackathon, which will run today through Sunday. The event, put on by the Bowdoin’s Information Technology Advisory Council (ITAC), aims to bring student entrepreneurs together so they can develop their ideas. So far, 70 students from over 10 institutions across the east coast have signed up to participate, 40 of whom are Bowdoin students.
“Hackathons are about getting these people together and hoping something cool comes of it,” said ITAC President Ruben Martinez ’15.
The event will take place in David Saul Smith Union, beginning at 9 p.m. tonight and lasting 36 hours. Students who wish to participate may either arrive with a team or be matched with a group of people at the event. They may also work independently to develop their ideas.
Students will have 36 hours to design a product, help bring a product design to life or market a product. The product does not have to be technologically based, it must simply be an idea that is brought to life within the time limit. At the end of the Hackathon, seven winners across different categories will be selected by a panel of judges. Categories include “Hardware Hacks”—ideas that include the physical building of a product—and “Female Founders”—ideas created by women.
Other schools that will participate include Cornell University, Boston University, Williams College, Purdue University, University at Albany, the University of Maryland and the University of Maine Orono.
The panel of judges will include Visiting Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Fellow in Digital and Computational Studies Mohammad Irfan, founder and former CEO of Liquid Wireless (a Maine-based marketing company) Jason Cianchette, and others from various technology companies and the College.
Chief Information Officer Mitch Davis said the judges will be looking for “the one idea that they haven’t heard before that is really well put together.”
The grand prize is a set of tablets for each team member, as well as a scholarship to an online entrepreneurial course called “The Top Gun Prep Entrepreneurial Course.” Second place winners will each receive a $70 gift card to L.L. Bean, and third place winners will each receive a $20 gift card to L.L. Bean.
Davis was among the group of students and faculty who brought the Hackathon to life this year.
New Media and Data Vizualization Specialist Jen Jack Gieseking, also a member of that group, said she hopes the Hackathon will prompt wider campus discussion.
“I hope that students dive into this space and learn how to work across their ideas and skills to put together new, exciting apps, websites, maker tech and other sorts of projects,” she said.
“It’s exceptionally important for students to realize how important their place is in this conversation,” she added.
Throughout the event, students will get guidance from other entrepreneurs, founders of startup companies and representatives from tech companies. In addition to providing guidance, various entrepreneurs will give speeches about their entrepreneurial journeys.
Cianchette will be the keynote speaker, while Jill Schweitzer ’06 will be unveiling a product she recently developed.
First year Fiona Iyer, who plans to participate in the Hackathon, feels that the project was long overdue.
“We’re moving towards a world of entrepreneurs,” said Iyer. “Entrepreneurs can affect so much change so if we want to be change agents, then we have to learn how to become amazing entrepreneurs.”
This weekend, Iyer will be working to develop a product she will call “Badass Bread Boys,” because, according to Iyer, “the next big wave in social entrepreneurship is food.”
Iyer said she is also looking forward to connecting with fellow entrepreneurs and hopes that many people will participate in the event.
“Hopefully this is the start to many more entrepreneurial initiatives,” she said.
Faculty endow Barry and Karen Mills scholarship
Faculty surprised President Barry Mills at the faculty meeting on Monday by announcing the endowment of a new scholarship in honor of him and his wife Karen Mills and the commitment they have made to need-blind financial aid at the College.
The scholarship, funded by donations from over 175 current and former faculty members and an anonymous alumni donor who contributed $30,000, is endowed in the amount of $100,000. Starting in 2015, one student each year will receive the “Bowdoin Faculty Scholarship in honor of Barry and Karen Mills” and will obtain roughly $5,000 as part of his or her financial aid package.
Mills, who received a standing ovation after the scholarship was revealed, said he was “completely caught off guard,” by the gesture.
“I’m still sort of walking around in suspended disbelief,” Mills said. “This doesn’t happen very often that a college president sees this kind of recognition from faculty and I really admire these people. It’s really pretty cool... The fact that they chose to honor us in supporting financial aid and our commitment to students and families is incredibly impressive.”
On Monday, professor of physics and astronomy and Chair of the Committee on Governance and Faculty Affairs (GFA) Thomas Baumgarte presented Mills with a wrapped certificate that read, “The Bowdoin Faculty Scholarship in honor of Barry and Karen Mills presented to Barry and Karen Mills on behalf of the faculty with gratitude for their service to the College.”
Baumgarte said the committee and faculty wanted to give Mills a gift before he left, and after multiple conversations, the committee decided on endowing a scholarship.
Fundraising began at the start of the fall semester.
“The [faculty] worked together through the fall semester to raise the money to do what they needed to do to endow it and kept it all a secret,” said Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd. “It expresses the faculty’s shared commitment to need-blind financial aid. It expresses the gratitude for Barry’s commitment to financial aid and what he has done for the College.”
Baumgarte said that the idea was well received by faculty and that it was easy to convince faculty to participate and donate to get the scholarship endowed.
“We think that financial aid, student support and accessibility to the College are the issues that he feels most passionately about, and we would like to honor and celebrate that engagement and commitment of his,” said Baumgarte.
Mills was particularly glad that the scholarship was named in honor of both him and his wife. “The idea that they recognize the real important contributions she’s made to the College over the years means a lot to the both of us,” he said. “It’s an incredible statement by our faculty.”
Pro-choice speakers wrap up abortion lecture series
Undiscussed’s recent lecture series about abortion created a forum for students to hear from a pro-life and pro-choice advocates. Samaa Abdurraqib, a reproductive freedom organizer and a former Bowdoin professor and Oamshri Amarasingham spoke at the College on Thursday. Alexander Sukles ’17 said he appreciated Undiscussed’s efforts in bringing more than one viewpoint to campus.
“I feel many groups invite speakers that will support their viewpoint and not any opposing ones,” he said, “Undiscussed, being something that wishes to bring discussion, is doing a very good job of going beyond the Bowdoin norm.”
Alice Wang ’15 also noted that the lecture series was successful because it reached out to a large audience.
“I think a lot of people knew what was happening and a lot of people wanted to see what Kristan [Hawkins] had to say and are excited about the talk,” Wang said.
Hawkins is the president of pro-life organization Students For Life of America. She delivered a lecture that provoked a protest from a small group of students at the College last Thursday. Co-president of Undiscussed Quinn Rhi ’15 said she believes that the true gauge of the lecture series’ success will come today during the discussion portion, which will take place at 1:30 p.m. in MacMillan House.
“I think the success is difficult to gauge mostly because it is mostly culminating in an event that we are having [today],” she said.
She hopes the lectures gave students “a starting point—a point to think about how these issues are relevant to our campus and to people in our community.”
The second half of the lecture series brought Abdurraqib and Amarasingham of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine (ACLU) to campus.
Abdurraqib specializes in outreach and public education about women’s reproductive rights. Amarasingham serves as public policy counsel for the ACLU.
“Reproductive rights, reproductive health and reproductive justice are all issues that are constantly in the daily conversation in many places,” said Amarasingham. “I think it is important for us to remember that young people and college students on college campuses are very much engaged in this issue and eager to learn.”
Unlike the pro-life lecture last week, there was not a protest before Abdurraqib and Amarasingham’s lecture and the number of students that attended the talk was smaller. Abdurraqib and Amarasingham took turns discussing current issues in the area of reproductive rights.
Amarasingham focused on the legal history of reproductive rights and explained the relevant legislature. She mentioned court cases in which abortion and reproductive rights were called into question, including Roe v. Wade.
Abdurraqib highlighted the ways abortion is affecting the lives of women across the country and the stigma that prevents people from discussing the topic.
“I think right now we are seeing a struggle for reproductive rights that we haven’t seen in previous years,” said Abdurraqib. “I think it’s really relevant to young people.”
Abdurraqib said she hopes students take interest in the shifting reproductive rights education.“I think that it is a problem to tell women that they can’t make their own decisions about their own bodies,” she said. “I think women have the right to bodily autonomy.”
Abdurraqib also said that it was important to end the stigma surrounding abortion.
“I think it’s really important for us to not shame women for the choices they make about their bodies,” she said.
In Maine, abortions are legal until the fetus is viable outside the womb.
Amarasingham and Abdurraqib were joined by Kate Brogan, vice president for public affairs at Family Planning Association of Maine during a question and answer session that followed their lecture.
Brogan said that women need to learn abort contraception instead of simply learning about abstinence.
Pro-life speaker Hawkins gives controversial campus lecture
As a part of Undiscussed’s new lecture series, Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America (SFLA), came to speak at the College last night. She delivered a presentation about the merits of being pro-life. The presentation was followed by a question and answer session.
Before Hawkin’s presentation, a group of about a dozen students lined the steps of Sills Hall holding pro-choice posters and messages about Hawkins’ visit.
Hawkins lecture was funded by the Student Activities Funding Committee (SAFC). According to Director of Student Life and the David Saul Smith Union Allen Delong, the funds the committee allocates are made up of student contributions including tuition and the student activity fee all students pay at the start of every semester.
Although Delong was unable to provide exact prices, he did acknowledge that the amount of money used to bring Hawkins was more than SAFC is planning on using next week to bring the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) speakers to campus.
“We did pay a disportionate amount to Kristan,” said Quinn Rhi ’15, co-president of Undiscussed.
Delong and Rhi both said that this was due to the structure of the organizations.
“She’s the president of a national organization; she’s flying around. The ACLU has a Maine chapter,” said Rhi, “I think the circumstance of the two speakers are different and the appeal, or lack thereof, is different.”
Although the SAFC reports funding allocations for every student organization, no records of the funds distributed for this event could be found by press time.
Hawkins said she was interested in the College beause of its “rich history” and good reputation and reached out to the College about speaking on campus.
“We looked at Maine and we said, Bowdoin, we want to go there. It’s an academic institution. It has a great reputation. We can get a group started there,” she said.
Hawkins also said that her main reason for coming to the College yesterday was to educate and spark discussion.
“I didn’t really come here to convert,” she said. "I came here to make people think tonight.”SFLA is currently looking to spark a similar discussion at Bates and Colby.
Rhi said that she was approached by Delong about Hawkins. She and Undiscussed had already been thinking about starting a lecture series.
Some students said that Hawkins viewpoint is extreme even among pro-life activists, adding that Undiscussed could have chosen someone more moderate and less expensive.
“I do think there is something to be said about whether the Undiscussed could have done a better job of picking a pro-life speaker that would have appealed to Bowdoin students,” said Rhi.
Rhi said Undiscussed may have been approached by Student Activities about hosting the event because of the recent controversy with former Bowdoin Christian Fellowship.
“I think my interests in the Undiscussed aligned well with [Student Activities’] interests,” said Rhi, “They were interested in bringing this controversial, conservative viewpoint to campus to show that Bowdoin could accept conservative values.”
Rhi said that she thought the administration was interested in bringing Hawkins to campus to broaden students’ perspectives.
The students who held signs outside the lecture said that they wanted to respectfully share their own opinions about abortion and reproductive rights.
Marisa O’Toole ’17 held a sign stating “I can’t believe we are still debating this.” She said that the students were “here to peacefully express our points of view on this.”
“[We’re] not trying to do anything but let people know how we feel about it and that we stand with all women about the choices they make about their own bodies,” she added.
The protestors said that students were not unwilling to hear what Hawkins had to say.
“I think it’s good to represent both sides of these things so I commend Bowdoin for bringing someone of a different viewpoint than my own,” said O’Toole.
Jonah Watt ’18 said that he agreed with O’Toole.
“I think that it’s important to bring up diversity in our beliefs,” he said. “I think sometimes we take for granted how liberal our campus is and it’s really important to not only see the views of the other side but also engage in more open discussion.”
Hawkins framed her presentation around three ideas: biology, circumstances, and bodily rights/autonomy.
She said that all unborn babies are human and therefore have rights, and asked students in the audience when they felt humans rights began.
Hawkins used popular culture, including a reference to the movie “Up” to explain various aspects of the pro-life movement.
Following her presentation students had the opportunity to write down questions for Hawkins to answer.
Students asked questions ranging from what a woman should do in the instance of rape to whether making abortion illegal could be more detrimental to the health of many women.
Hawkins said that she understands that rape is a terrible thing, but countered with the question “Will abortion un-rape her?” She said that the right person to punish was not the unborn child but rather the rapist.
Hawkins also said that the SFLA believes abortion should only be allowed in the event of an ectopic pregnancy, which puts the mother’s life in danger.
The presentation was followed by a reception at Burnett House. Students were able to sit down with Hawkins and have a conversation about her views.
Although they may not have agreed with her, many students approached Hawkins at the reception and thanked her for sharing her views with them.
Terrorism lecture sparks protests over strong rhetoric
David Hunt, a retired U.S. army colonel, gave a lecture on the War on Terror on Tuesday night in Kresge Auditorium, prompting protest from a small group of students who chanted, “Bowdoin students are not used to hearing racist rhetoric like this man has just presented. Our problem is not terrorism from Islamic extremists but racism and fear-mongering dividing our country.”
Hunt is a military analyst who regularly appears on Fox News. He lives in Scarborough and often uses the College’s broadcast studio in Coles Tower.
During his lecture, Hunt said that the counter-terrorism strategy used by four presidents over the course of 26 years has not worked and offered a fresh take on the matter.
“We have to go after state sponsorship,” said Hunt, who believes that the United States cannot continue to bomb nations in the Middle East like Syria. He said that the best approach to fighting terrorism is “multi-operational.”
During the question and answer portion of the presentation, Christopher Wedeman ’15 challenged Hunt’s view that Islam is closely tied to terrorism.
“To suggest that the Muslim faith is not a part of the fight on terrorism is ignorance. It is absolutely a part of it,” Hunt said in response.
Wedeman is one of the founding members of Bowdoin’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a student group that, according to its Facebook page, “promotes the self-determination of Palestinian people and their liberation from Occupation.”
“It’s interesting that Bowdoin gave him a platform to speak like this,” said Wedeman. “In a speech about the War on Terror, not a single word was spoken about the biggest state sponsor of terror in the Middle East. Which would maybe be a tie between Israel and the United States.”
Other audience members questioned Hunt on the definition of terrorism and whether America was a terrorist nation, a point that Hunt emphatically denied.
Hunt shared his thoughts on ISIS during the question and answer portion of the talk. Members of the audience wanted to know what would become of Iraq and the Middle East if the United States left the region and let ISIS take over.
Hunt acknowledged that the Middle East would not be in good shape, but said the U.S. should let Iraq and Syria burn. He expressed a similar sentiment on Fox News in June.
Hunt said he believes that “we have done enough” in the Middle East and does not want any more American soldiers killed in the region.
Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs Scott Hood said that Hunt delivered the presentation free of charge in the hope that students would take more of an interest in politics and government.
Hood said that the College welcomed Hunt as a speaker because his viewpoint is not often heard at Bowdoin, and because foreign policy in the Middle East is so important.
“Terrorism is clearly an important topic, and Colonel Hunt offers a perspective based on a long and distinguished career in the military,” he said. “His point of view is one that we don’t often hear firsthand at Bowdoin.”
Bates cancels popular holiday party to limit binge drinking
When Bates decided to enforce its existing alcohol policy by banning a longstanding Halloween tradition called Trick or Drink, students decided to fight for their right to party.
In an email sent to students on October 14, Bates’ Office of the Vice President for College Advancement wrote that the college was ending the annual event because it “facilitates binge and underage drinking.” In response, members of Bates’ senior class created a petition stating their intention to withhold senior gift donations unless the administration allows Trick or Drink to continue.
According to Niche—an organization that rates and ranks colleges—Trick or Drink is an event during which a group of upperclassmen living in off-campus houses host themed parties for the entire campus. Students travel from house to house, imbibing a different mixed drink at each location.
The October 14 email said that President of Bates Clayton Spencer and Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Student Affairs Josh McIntosh “will convene a group of students, staff and faculty to lead a comprehensive effort toward a healthier campus culture. The decision to end Trick or Drink is consistent with the work this group will embrace.”
In a separate email sent to students who live off campus, McIntosh wrote that the College will contact lease holders regarding the student conduct process should students attempt to host an event that facilitates binge and/or underage drinking. He also wrote that student-athletes will be held in violation of the Department of Athletics Alcohol Policy, and could be suspended from participating in the Bates Atletics program.
Spencer, who has been the president of Bates since 2012, voiced her support for stricter enforcement of the school’s alcohol policy.
“The status quo that has prevailed the two years that I have been on this campus is not acceptable with regard to alcohol,” Spencer told The Bates Student, Bates’ student-run newspaper. “It has been dangerous; it has resulted in an enormous amount of property destruction, of injury to students and others, and the idea that we are taking a clearer approach to enforcement—that we are actually writing up more—is necessary and has my full support.”
Alyssa Morgosh, president of Bates student body, said that although the alcohol policy has not changed, Bates is “beginning a wider conversation about healthier behavior.”
Morgosh said this conversation began as a response to two tragic accidents. In February, a student died while abroad in Rome and in October 2012, another student died after falling down a flight of stairs.
“We have had some student deaths—some alcohol related, some not—and some disruption in the community,” said Morgosh. She characterized the changes as “the administration’s feeling like it is time to do something about it and it is time to make some changes.”
“The school, in response to tragedies on campus—out of necessity—had to change its stance on alcohol from a relaxed policy that had just a ban on hard alcohol to a very campus-wide, strict policy of no underage drinking at all,” said Ben Smiley, co-president of Bates’ senior class, adding that in the past “if beer was consumed moderately and appropriately in a dorm setting on campus, then there usually weren’t any issues [with college disciplinary action].”
At an open forum held on Wednesday, students expressed their main problem with the cancellation of the event: the fact that the administration did not involve students in the decision-making process.
“Widely what I think the student body is asking for is just a process to involve students along the way as decisions are being made. Students want to be a part of that conversation,” said Morgosh.
Smiley said that although the forum was a step in the right direction, many students are still not satisfied. He said that their discontent is directed at McIntosh, who has been working to make Bates safer and healthier since his arrival over the summer.
“There is a disconnect with the speed with which [McIntosh] is working and keeping the students up to date as he is going,” Smiley said.
Students have started a Facebook group named “Save TrickOrDrink” that had 477 members at press time. Senior Sean Murphy created a change.org petition—signed by 577 students and alumni—offering an ultimatum to the administration. Murphy could not be reached before press time.
“The only evident way to make our voice heard on this issue is to withold [sic] all Senior Gifts until a productive dialogue is started between the administration and student leaders, and fun, responsible alternatives are approved,” the petition reads. “We the undersigned pledge to refuse to donate to Bates in any way until this issue has been approprately [sic] and adequately resolved.”
The group of students, staff and faculty that Spencer and McIntosh promised to create to address campus health issues will first meet in November, according to Morgosh.
Morgosh and Smiley said that the fundraising committee has yet to meet and has not made any decisions about the senior class gift.
Bowdoin’s Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster declined to comment on both the TrickOrDrink controversy at Bates and the school’s increased enforcement of its alcohol policy.
Regarding the drinking culture at Bowdoin, Foster emphasized the importance of students taking responsibility for their own safety and well-being as well as the safety and well-being of their friends.
“I think our students largely make responsible choices and decisions around alcohol,” Foster said. “I think if you push down too hard on enforcement, you run the risk of driving dangerous and irresponsible drinking underground and that can jeopardize student health and well-being.”
Foster said that although the College’s policies undergo an annual review, the events at Bates are not likely to impact Bowdoin’s alcohol policy.
“There is not a plan to revise our alcohol policy and I actually think that our current alcohol policy serves us quite well, thanks to leadership of students and the good choices and decisions students make,” said Foster. “There’s a culture at Bowdoin that our students have defined—that you step in when you’re concerned about somebody—and that’s really important.”
—Meg Robbins contributed to this report.
Guest speakers to facilitate talks on abortion
Last week, the Orient reported on a national pro-life organization’s intention to establish a chapter at Bowdoin. While there are no club charters currently proposed to the College, there will be an abortion discussion hosted by Undiscussed—a student group designed to create dialogue on campus about controversial issues—on November 13, 20 and 21.
This topic will be the first issue up for conversation in a series hosted by Undiscussed. Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America (SFLA), and featured in last week’s article, will be speaking on the 13th.
Samaa Abdurraqib, a reproductive freedom organizer from the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine (ACLU), will then be speaking on the 20th. Aburraquib, who was a visiting professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at Bowdoin from 2010-2013, is now also a part-time professor at the University of Southern Maine. She will discuss a pro-choice stance. Following each speaker’s talk there will be time for questions. However, the full student forum will not be until Friday, November 21 and neither speaker will be at the student discussion. The forum is not open to the public.
National pro-life group looks to start chapter at College
Students for Life of America (SFLA), a national pro-life organization, advertised on Facebook and Twitter this week in an effort to attract Bowdoin students to establish a pro-life club on campus.
The organization, which currently has no affiliation with the College, created a Facebook page named Bowdoin Pro-Life, which had nine “likes” as of press time. The page description reads, “We are starting a pro-life student group. If you are a passionate pro-lifer at Bowdoin College, this is the page for you!”
SFLA is a national organization that aims to help students on campuses across the country start pro-life clubs and spread the pro-life message.
Kristan Hawkins, president of SFLA, is working with leaders of the campus group Undiscussed to plan a possible event in November designed to begin a campus conversation about abortion, according to Quinn Rhi ’15, one of Undiscussed’s presidents.
Undiscussed is a student organization that fosters dialogue about controversial or often-ignored issues. Undiscussed has floated the possibility of inviting Zach Heiden, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, an organization that is pro-choice, to join Hawkins at the event.
Today Undiscussed is meeting with Melissa Quinby, director of the Women’s Resource Center, and Allen Delong, director of student life, to finalize details about the potential event.
Hawkins said SFLA has had a longstanding interest in the College.
“We have been hoping to get a discussion on the Bowdoin campus for almost about a year now,” she said.Students for Life of America Northeastern Representative Beth Rahal said the organization is hoping to start a club at Bowdoin because of the College’s reputation as a prestigious institution.
“If we can get Bowdoin to start a group, there are no barriers for us,” said Rahal.
Rahal is in charge of helping students in the Northeast spread the pro-life message in a responsible and passionate manner. She said that she has already received some interest from Bowdoin students and staff hoping to start a conversation about abortion.
Vice President of Student Organizations and Chair of the Student Organizations Oversight Committee Harriet Fisher ’17 said that she has not heard from any students, student organizations or SFLA about chartering a club.
“I haven’t been contacted at all about the pro-life group. No students have come to me. No organizations have come to me about chartering a group,” said Fisher.
Although several students have contacted Rahal, she said that they are not the kind of students with whom SFLA is hoping to partner.
Rahal said that SFLA is looking for “student leaders well versed in pro-life, abortion, euthanasia, and similar topics” who will be able to successfully energize others.
She is planning on coming to Bowdoin this November to gauge interest among members of student groups including the Bowdoin Christian Fellowship and the College Republicans.
According to Hawkins, SFLA is a secular organization. It began as a student-run volunteer organization in the 1970s and was originally named C.A.M.P.U.S. The name changed to American Collegians for Life in 1988. In 2006 the organization was renamed Students for Life of America, and a professional staff was hired to mobilize the pro-life movement on campuses.
The organization targets high schools, colleges and medical schools across the nation. There are currently 838 chapters across the country.
Notable institutions with their own SFLA chapters include Yale, Harvard, Boston College, Fordham, and University of California, Los Angeles.
Rahal is also contacting Bates and Colby to garner support for clubs on both their campuses. However, she said that Bowdoin is her main focus at the moment.
“We’ve never had any interest come from Bowdoin so we thought we’d start asking the question of ‘Hey, does anyone want to have this discussion on campus? Is this issue important to anyone?’” Hawkins said.
La Décima Project teaches, performs for community
Las Décimas del Amargue & Other Songs of Love, a touring music project, visited campus on Wednesday to teach students about Puerto Rican and Dominican music and to give a public performance.The band, Raquel Z. Rivera & Ojos de Sofía is made up of six members: Raquel Z. Rivera, her sister Anabellie Rivera, Bryan Vargas, Yasser Tejeda, Jonathan Troncoso and Nelson Matthew González.The project, also known as La Décima Project, is meant to inform students and the public about the origins and types of music that share Puerto Rican and Dominican Roots.Before their performance, the band sat down with students in a workshop where they discussed the roots of their music and their musical journey so far.Assistant Professor of Music Michael Birenbaum Quintero had all three of his classes—the Afro-Latin-American Music Ensemble, Sound Travels From Mozart to the MP3, and CuBop, Up-Rock, Boogaloo, and Banda: Latinos Making Music in the United States—attend the workshop and the concert. The event was sponsored by the Latin-American Students Organization (LASO) and many students and community members outside of these classes attended.LASO board member Ernesto Garcia ’17 said that the group was not only talented and emotive, but also very knowledgeable about the history of the genres they were playing, as well as the technical aspects of the music.Many of the band members grew up listening to the type of music they are now making.All the band members are either from Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic, or are the children of people from these countries.“What’s different about this group is that they didn’t just come to entertain the audience, but actually to educate them about the different kinds of music and how they were derived,” said Garcia. The band, created in 2007, is based in New York and was able to come to campus with the help of Quintero. At the workshop they explained how their music is heavily influenced by many different styles of music like Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latin music.Other students who went to the event were impressed by both the group’s knowledge and skill level. They were excited to see the concepts they spoke about in class brought to life.Logan Jackonis ’17 said the workshop and concert directly related to things he and fellow students were learning in both his Afro-Latin-American Music Ensemble and Latinos Making Music in the United States class. “We covered musical sounds like bomba, so this sort of ties into what we learned,” said Jackonis.Walker Kennedy ’15, who is in Latinos Making Music and Sound Travels: Mozart to MP3, said he enjoyed listening to “the mixture of different music and realizing that the [genres] foundationally have the same origins and roots.”The band played 20 songs, all in Spanish, at the concert.
Master printer Greg Burnet speaks about process, collaboration with Tuttle
On Tuesday night, master printer Greg Burnet talked about his experiences collaborating with printmaker Richard Tuttle to a receptive audience of students, faculty and community members. The prints that Burnet worked on are currently on display at the Bowdoin Museum of Art as part of a larger exhibition, “Richard Tuttle: A Print Retrospective.” As a part of the Gallery Conversations hosted by the Bowdoin Museum of Art, Burnet spoke about his past as both an artist and a master printer, and how he came to work with Tuttle.As a master printer, Burnet is responsible for printing the physical images created by printmakers such as Tuttle. The individual printmaker comes up with the ideas and helps with small details, but the majority of the actual printing process is the work of a master printer like Burnet. This job requires him to “jump through a lot of hoops and be able to be technically 100 percent proficient,” Burnet said. “But [it also helps to] have a good idea of what the artist is about within a couple days of working with the artist.”“[Tuttle] really pushes the envelope of prints to look deceptively simple,” said Burnet. Burnet also went into detail about the various methods used in making some of the pieces. He and Tuttle used material ranging from sandpaper and Tarleton—a mesh-like material—to acid and plastic barbed wire to create many of the more intricate designs. Tuttle and Burnet primarily use a printmaking technique called a la poupee, meaning “of the doll” in French. The technique involves applying different colored inks directly onto the etched surface of a copper plate before running it through a printing press. During his lecture, Burnet elaborated on the procedure behind specific prints and was able to pass around the original copper plates he and Tuttle used.Before becoming a master printer, Burnet, a native of Australia, was an aspiring painter. After art school he moved to London where he started looking for work. While in London, he was able to get a job reprinting Australian botanical flowers, a project he worked on for four years. He moved to New York City in 1991, he met Tuttle, and their collaboration began.Burnet and Tuttle have worked together on five of Tuttle’s pieces: Line, Edge, Edges, Gold and Cloth, all of which are currently on display at the Bowdoin Museum of Art. Line, Edge, Edges and Gold each took a year to create, and Cloth took four years. Each is a series of prints that range from 13 to 16 individual pieces.Burnet currently owns his own studio in New York and has worked with various printmakers from Robert Mangold and Inka Essenhigh to Kiki Smith and Carroll Dunham. Burnet says he is always working with at least two or three artists at a time. Many of their prints can be viewed on his website burneteditions.com. Many students attending Tuesday’s lecture were taking Printmaking I. Garreth Helm ’18, a student in Printmaking I, said the lecture was interesting and thought-provoking and noted how much work goes into printmaking.Lizzy Takyi ’17, who is also in Printmaking I, said “what he was saying, I could almost picture happening because we have been talking about using some of these materials,”Associate Professor of Art Michael Kolster also attended the lecture. “I didn’t know what to expect before I came, so it was nice to see a master printer talk about process and have some insight as to how the pieces were made,” said Kolster.Kolster said he also found the relationship between a printmaker and a master printer to be very intriguing.“Tuttle is working in a way that is very gestural and also very inspired in the moment by what he discovers,” he said. “Then the master printer has to, in essence, respond to that and be able to create a series of that spontaneity,” Kolster said.The Richard Tuttle: A Print Retrospective exhibition will be on display in the Museum until October 19.
Landscape painting class explores fall in Maine
This fall Bowdoin is offering a landscape painting course, in which students will have the opportunity to work in the open air at various locations. One of just a few courses at Bowdoin that takes students outdoors, it is taught by professional landscape painter James Mullen. The fall course is offered every two to three years.
“The weather in Maine is never more beautiful than in September and early October,” said Mullen.
Although there are other visual arts classes that spend time outside, Landscape Painting focuses specifically on the unique setting of autumn in Maine.
In fact, that was the main reason Mariah Reading ’16 took the course.
“I’ve grown up in Maine my whole life and fall is my favorite season,” she said. “I thought, ‘how cool would it be to go outside and paint.’ It sounded like a dream.”
Tess Hamilton ’16, an Earth and Oceanographic Science major, is also looking forward to the course.
“Being able to communicate [the outdoors during this time] through a different form is really cool for me,” she said.
A visual arts background and the Painting I class were prerequisites for the course.
Mullen says that students will be going outside for the first few weeks. After that they have the option to continue to paint outside or move their work inside. If they move inside, they will have the opportunity to work from photographs they take, images from their imagination or smaller landscape pieces they will create in the first few weeks.
“We’ll talk about a range of things and my hope is that everybody has got that thing that they respond to,” he said.
Mullen hopes to have each student complete six projects during the semester. The first project was to take a famous piece of landscape art and recreate it themselves. These pieces can be seen on the walls of the Robert H. and Blythe Bickel Edwards Center for Art and Dance.
Next week they will be going to the Bowdoin College Museum of Art to view famous works of landscape art as inspiration.
Another project will have students heading to Bowdoin’s Coastal Studies Center on Orr’s Island. Students will be hiking the trails and creating landscape paintings from what they view.Hamilton expressed her excitement about the “nuances that you wouldn't think of” when working outdoors.
All of the students’ landscapes will be on display during the open house in the Edwards Center at the end of the semester.
Indoor Ivies concert a success; 3 transports over weekend
Correction, May 2, 2014: An earlier version of the article stated that some of the reasons for higher costs were the rental of a food tent and stage for the indoor concert; the article has been amended to say that the tent was already budgeted in and the stage belonged to the College.
For the first time since 2007, rain forced last Saturday’s Ivies concert indoors. Yet Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols called the move from Whittier Field to Farley Field House “seamless,” a testament to the general success of the College’s 149th Ivies.
The notice about the updated concert location came in an all-campus email on Friday morning, when Allen Delong, director of student life, announced that Mat Kearney and Timeflies would perform indoors on Saturday afternoon.
Nichols noted the advantages of a show in Farley.
“We can control access better than we can at Whittier Field,” he said.
The original rain contingency plan stated that no guests would be allowed due to space concerns, and though a follow-up email on Friday amended the policy to allow two registered guests per student, there was still a decrease in visitors from prior years, Nichols said.
While the rained-out concert in 2007 was in Morrell Lounge, E-Board member Peter Kringdon ’14 stated that, “Having the event in Smith Union might have felt like a non-Ivies E-Board concert.”
Though using Farley Field House allowed the College to keep the atmosphere at the concert similar to what it would would have been outdoors, it brought a few extra costs, including using a forklift to bring tarps and the rental of a food tent, though some budget had already been allotted for these contingency plans. These factors contributed to a slightly more expensive concert than in previous years, according to Director of Student Activities Nate Hintze.
He added that the primary price increase this year was due to the heightened rates of Moonlight Production Company from artist requests, and added equipment costs from the bands. Hintze declined to tell the Orient specific budget information. Though Farley required a different stage than is usually used at Ivies, the College already owned it.
The weekend also brought three alcohol-related student transports—one on Thursday, one on Friday, and one on Saturday. “One was particularly serious, the other two less so,” said Nichols.
“As you have more people drinking more alcohol, the level of risk rises exponentially,” said Nichols. “Ivies is a marathon for Security.” Throughout the weekend, there were three to four times as many Security guards on duty as normal, and they were not allowed to take time off.
There were no arrests or court summons issued by the Brunswick Police Department, and only a few neighborhood noise complaints. Though three students committed two thefts, all stolen items were returned, according to Nichols.
In other instances of alcohol-related vandalism, three to four doors were kicked in at Brunswick Apartments and one door was kicked in at Harpswell Apartments. The lending library box at the intersection of Longfellow Avenue and Coffin Street was “smashed to smithereens,” said Nichols. The College is planning to replace it.
Despite the College’s concerns about harm to the floor, there were no damages reported in Farley. The College hired Servpro, a company that specializes in water and fire restoration, to clean up the field house.
Although the bulk of planning for each year’s Ivies begins during winter break, Student Activities and Security are already looking to next year. Hintze has already booked the stage for the concert.
Other improvements are also on the drawing board.
“I think we’ll bite the bullet and put some porta-potties on the Brunswick Quad next Ivies,” said Nichols. “The hedges will appreciate it.”
Relay for life fund raises $7000 less than last year
Bowdoin’s ninth annual Relay for Life (RFL) fundraiser netted more than $33,000 for cancer research on April 11 and 12. This is down $7,000 from the $42,000 raised last year.
Forty-one teams participated this year, ranging in size from a few people to 25 members.
At the event, participants had to have at least one member of their team walking on the track at all times for the 12-hour duration of the event.
Throughout the night, participants were entertained by a hypnotist, a zumba class, performances by Bellamafia a cappella and the Bowdoin cheerleaders, among other groups.
The event also boasted a bouncy house, henna painting, and a luminaria ceremony.
Between 350 and 400 people attended and participated in the event this year, which was held in Farley Field House. Four hundred and eight people participated last year.
RFL lasted from 6 p.m. on Friday to 6 a.m. on Saturday. Senior Laurel Varnell, co-chair of the RFL committee, attributed the reduction in fundraising to a few reasons.
For example, in previous years the committee would have three weeks after Spring Break to organize the event, and this year they only had two.
“This year there was also an increase of people who were trying to fundraise for various things and many of them were cancer related,” she said.
Varnell also stated that not as much fundraising was done by teams over spring break than in previous years.
When 45 students were polled, only two were not aware that RFL took place last weekend and only three of these students participated in the event.
“It’s hard that RFL is held on Friday night because a lot of students have commitments on Saturday and a lot of students don’t want to be participating in something that takes energy on a Friday night,” said Mettler Growney ’17.
Despite this, however, Varnell and her co-chair Ursula Munger ’15 believed that the event went well.
“The actual event I think was a big success,” Munger said.
Munger also said that many of the sports teams, like the men’s basketball team and the women’s rugby team had great turnout.
Varnel mentioned that the housekeeping team and the staff team really stepped up this year.
Captain of the housekeeping team Hope Marden, who is Baxter’s housekeeper, began doing RFL three years ago on her own and recently created a team made up of housekeeping staff.
Marden, co-captain Sherry Gurette and much of the housekeeping staff were able to raise the money through group efforts like bake sales and raffles.
This year the team had five members and was able to raise over $3,200 in support of Marden’s four-year-old grandson, Ethan, who was diagnosed with cancer three years ago.
“These people suffer a lot when they’re sick and for me to walk all night is nothing compared to what they go through,” said Marden.
Two Fulbrights, one Udall awarded to students
Three Bowdoin students are celebrating the recent announcement of several fellowship awards. The Fulbright Program has awarded two Bowdoin seniors, Mollie Friedlander and Megan Massa, its national fellowship, while a junior, Margaret Lindeman, received a Udall Scholarship and an honorable mention from the Goldwater Scholarship Program.
Friedlander won a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) in Madrid, Spain.The ETA will give her the opportunity to teach subjects ranging from biology to history at a secondary school.
She will also participate in a community-based side project that will focus on exploring the health care system in Madrid.
“Spain is ranked seventh in the world for health care,” she said, “so I’m trying to see how their universal health care system functions at such an outstanding level, and my proposal is how can I take that back to the States.”
The fellowship has awarded Friedlander a grant in the amount of €13,905 (roughly $19,270) to cover expenses while in Spain.
Friedlander will leave September 15 and will return in June 2015.
Senior Megan Massa was awarded a study/research opportunity through Fulbright. Massa will be travelling to Bochum, Germany to work in a Multiple Sclerosis lab.
While there, she will study the mechanisms by which cells induce their own death, and how those mechanisms change in the presence of sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone.
She will also be looking into the culture of young people in Bochum, specifically their thoughts on the Holocaust.
“I want to talk to the kids there in our generation and talk to them about, in tactful ways, how they’re dealing with it, seeing as it’s a more recent memory,” she said.
Massa will be leaving in late July to participate in an intensive German language program before her research program begins in September. She will return in July 2015.
Junior Margaret Lindeman won a Udall Scholarship for the upcoming year.
The Udall Scholarship is awarded to sophomores and juniors who have demonstrated strong commitments to environmental careers. Juniors Matt Goodrich, Bridgett McCoy and Courtney Payne received honorable mentions for this award.
Lindeman will receive a $5,000 scholarship and all-paid attendence at a conference of winners in August.
The Goldwater Scholarship Program awarded Lindeman an honorable mention. Students can apply for it their sophomore and junior years.
“It is designed to recognize the people who are most likely to be at the forefront in the STEM, the science, technology, engineering and math fields, in the next generation—people who are committed to research,” said Director of Student Fellowships Cindy Stocks.
Lindeman proposed a long-term monitoring system for glaciers in Greenland.
“The question that I’m interested in overall is about the interaction between the ocean and the ice that is on land,” she said.
Although Lindeman did not win a Goldwater Scholarship, she was able to connect with one of the scientists whose research she used when writing her proposal. This summer, she will be going to Greenland to work with him.
Current Bowdoin alumni abroad on Fulbright programs include six members of the class of 2013: Kacey Berry, Daniel Ertis, RaiNesha Miller, Emma Cutler, Uchechi Esonu and Adam Ragone. Fulbright Fellowships are released based on the region in which applicants hope to work, and several more Bowdoin students could receive Fulbright awards in the coming weeks.
College seeking Goodwill Industries to facilitate annual Give and Go sale
Bowdoin is currently negotiating a contract with Goodwill Industries of New England (Goodwill) to give the company control of the annual Give and Go Sale.
The sale takes place at the end of the spring semester and is comprised of items students would have otherwise thrown away. Until this year, the sale was open to the Brunswick community.
The 2013 Give and Go Sale raised $41,282.
Sustainability Coordinator Keisha Payson said that before the sale started back in 2002, much of what students did not want at the end of the year was ending up in landfills, even if it was still usable.
In previous years multiple non-profit organizations sent volunteers to work at the sale. The proceeds were divided up amongst the organizations based on the number of hours their volunteers had contributed.
With this new contract, the College will no longer organize and oversee the sale.
Under the terms of the proposed contract, Goodwill will plan and administer the event, and all proceeds will go to Goodwill.
“It takes a lot of the logistical work away from the College,” said Payson.
Payson said that not much will change for students.
“There will be a central collection area,” she said. “It’s usually in the lobby right on the first floor [of dorms], so students just need to bring their items down there, put them in the container, and then the staff from Goodwill will come daily and take things back to their warehouse.”
Bijou, Marecki winners of ’14-’15 Watson Fellowships
Seniors Alex Marecki and Rodrigo Bijou are among the national winners of the 2014-2015 Watson Fellowship, a grant that awards $28,000 to graduating seniors to travel the world for a year working on self-designed projects. This is the first year that more than one Bowdoin student has received the fellowship.
Bowdoin is among a group of 40 colleges and universities that can nominate up to four students for the national fellowship. Of those roughly 160 nominees, only the top 40 are selected for the Watson Fellowship.
Director of Student Fellowships Cindy Stocks said Marecki and Bijou both underwent an intense application and interview process to earn Bowdoin’s nomination back in October and November. They were then interviewed and selected by the Watson Fellowship’s committee.Eleven students applied from the College this year, which Stocks says is lower than average. “Usually, we have [numbers] kind of in the high teens,” she said.
Stocks explained that Watson Fellows are students who show “unusual promise” and whose projects are “tied tightly to the person’s history, their passions.”
Now that they have been selected, both students have to leave the country by August 1 and remain abroad for a full year.
Marecki plans to go to Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, South Africa, Scotland and various parts of Europe. He will be looking at how soccer creates opportunities for children that they may not have had without the sport.
“I’m basically exploring psychological development through sport—soccer in particular—and how children gain agency and improve their character through the sport,” said Marecki.Though Bijou is thinking of going to Brazil, Argentina, Spain, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland and Russia, he acknowledged his plans could change.
“They want you to be really flexible and not really planned,” he said.
He will spend the year visiting with as many internet hackers as he can, possibly working with them to find ways to improve internet privacy.
“The purpose of the project is trust in technology,” said Bijou.
College denies local's claim about where Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote "Uncle Tom's Cabin"
Owner of 28 College Street alleges her home is the birthplace of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," lists house for $3 million
The College is contesting a local family’s claim that Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote her classic novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” in the house they are selling at 28 College Street.
The College and many local historians believe that the book was written at the College’s 63 Federal Street property known as Stowe House.
“The evidence to date—supported by the historical record, by Stowe scholars and by the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, among others—shows that Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ at her home located at 63 Federal Street and at Appleton Hall, where her husband had a study,” wrote Scott Hood, vice president for communication and public affairs, in an email to the Orient.
French professor Ketner leaves Bowdoin for ME Department of Education
Former Assistant Professor of Romance Languages Jay Ketner, who taught French language courses and French-related seminars at Bowdoin for the last two and a half years, left the College at the end of January to serve as World Languages Specialist and Regional Representative for Cumberland County at the Maine Department of Education.
“Someone else heard about [the position] and spoke to me about it, thinking that I might be a good candidate for it,” said Ketner. “I decided that it would be something that would really interest me.”
His new position consists of two different components.
IT installs 45 new WiFi points, develops apps
Information Technology (IT) took steps to improve the College’s Wifi network during Winter Break. Chief Information Officer for IT Services Mitch Davis said that IT installed about 45 new Wifi access points throughout campus and fixed many of these that were not working last semester.
Last semester there were several complaints about wireless connections at various parts of campus, but IT believes these changes will go a long way toward fixing them. One solution that IT has implemented is setting up temporary access points for special events. The department has also partnered up with Cisco to remodel the entire Bowdoin data network.
“[IT] upgraded the whole wireless network to the next generation of wireless controllers and we worked with Cisco to work out some of the details,” said Davis. “That gave us setting for multicasting—basically a better way to communicate with the system so it actually bumped up the performance of all the access point by about half, 50 percent. So all the connections should be better and the bandwidth which you have available to you should have increased.”
594 ED I apps; 20% more countries represented
High school students hoping to enroll at Bowdoin next fall have begun to send their applications, essays, recommendation letters and arts supplements to the Office of Admissions. The College received 594 applications for Early Decision I (ED I). The deadline was last Friday, November 15.
The number of ED applications may fluctuate in the coming days, according to Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Scott Meiklejohn. Some students will opt to switch to regular decision, and some students who have already applied regular will call to move their application into the ED pool.
The number of applications is fairly consistant with previous years. It marks a slight decrease from the record-breaking 602 ED applications for the Class of 2017.
Thanksgiving dinner a week early due to holiday scheduling
Junior Cielle Collins arrived at 4 p.m. just to be first in line for last night’s Thanksgiving dinner. Her sister also drove over an hour and a half to enjoy the meal with her.
This year’s dinner is a week early to account for the late Thanksgiving this year—though the holiday is usually the second week of November, this year’s date falls only a few weeks before the pre-winter break holiday meal.
“If you really enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, it’s nice to have a little time between your big meals,” said Cardone.
The NARPs still jamming into fourth year together
When asked what would best describe their band, NARPs members Charlie Fogarty ’14 and Andrew Roseman ’14 agreed on “passion. Sweet, sweet passion.”
One of the many student bands on campus, the NARPs is comprised of Roseman, Fogarty and Aggie Kelly ’13. The group formed when Fogarty and Roseman were first years and Kelly was a sophomore.
For Roseman, the band’s birth was inevitable.
Bowdoin juniors studying in over 35 countries this fall
This semester there are over 150 students studying off campus in over 35 different countries, ranging from Argentina to South Korea.
Currently, 14 percent of students off campus are doing field-based work, while 46 percent are directly enrolled in universities abroad, taking a specific group of classes based on their majors at Bowdoin.
Forty percent of that 46 percent are at universities where they are taking classes in another language. Approximately 235 students study abroad every year.