MacMillan scraps 'Gender Bender' party following criticism
Following criticism expressed on social media, as well as an email sent by concerned students, MacMillan House decided to change the theme of its Gender Bender campus-wide party that had been originally planned for tonight. The House also held a discussion yesterday about the event.
Members of the House began planning the party before Thanksgiving vacation with the goal of creating discussion about gender identity outside of a typical setting.
“One of the attractive things about hosting a campus-wide was that it engages a greater range of people and a more diverse group of individuals,” said Conor Belfield ’19, MacMillan House president. “There was never a time when we were just like, ‘This would be funny.’ There was always a clearly stated goal to bring greater conversation to the topic of gender identity.”
According to Belfield, many House members were initially skeptical of the idea, so they decided to consult Director of the Resource for Sexual and Gender Diversity Kate Stern for advice. Stern referred the House to Bowdoin Queer-Straight Alliance (BQSA).
Rose Etzel ’19, a member of BQSA and Gender Matters, a discussion group and supportive space for trans/genderqueer/non-binary-identified students with about seven active members, said that many students in BQSA were also not comfortable with the theme of the campus-wide. The group ultimately agreed to it on the condition that the House host a panel prior to the party to discuss the event. However, not enough people wanted to speak on the panel, and it was cancelled. Despite the panel’s cancellation, the House continued with the party idea.
A Facebook event for the party was created on Tuesday, and posters featuring cross-dressed House members were hung up around campus the following day.
Soon after, a number of students took to Facebook to express their frustrations and concerns about the event. While many recognized MacMillan’s good intentions, they found the setting of the event—a campus-wide party—to be problematic.
“My concerns were that as a party theme, it’s not cognisant of the history of how trans people are perceived and how gender nonconformity is perceived,” said Paul Cheng ’17, a member of BQSA and Gender Matters. “Exhibiting those things in the setting of party, even if I know their goals were good, to create a discussion or create visibility for these things, makes it feel more insulting than anything honestly.”
One other criticism of the event was that the House did not partner with Gender Matters. Belfield said that in hindsight, this was one of many major mistakes the House made.
“I am very disappointed in us, as a House, that we were not able to find [Gender Matters] and communicate with them, because we wanted to. If we had [had] that conversation, we could’ve done something different,” Belfield said. “I was trying to be an ally and I think a lot of other people were. And we messed up.”
Members of Gender Matters and other concerned students sent an email to MacMillan House Wednesday night explaining their objections to the party and demanding that the theme be changed.
As a result of the backlash, the House planned a new event, “Continue the Discussion: Is the Gender Bender a Positive Event?” to listen to criticism of the event and create conversation in a public manner. However, there were mixed responses leading up to the event.
“I’m very happy with the discussion that has been coming,” said Etzel. “At the heart of it, I don’t think [the party] should have happened in the first place, but [MacMillan] made the best of a sticky situation, and I’m very happy with how receptive they’ve been. I think that ultimately it’s good that this conversation is happening.”
“Our plan for the most part is to shut up and listen to people, since we know we’ve hurt people,” said Belfield. “We also do recognize this discussion is inherently flawed. In Gender Matters’ letter to us, they said many of them will not be attending since they do not feel comfortable and do not want to be tokenized. That was never our intent. We have no desire to force people to come and talk about how they’re feeling. We just want to give the space to those who wanted it.”
The meeting took place last night and roughly 30 students attended. MacMillan House started the event by issuing an apology before opening the space for discussion. Topics covered included the role of College Houses as safe spaces on campus and whether Facebook is an appropriate medium for this type of discussion.
Shu-Shu Hsia ’19, who was first to post in the campus-wide Facebook event, believes that conversation through social media was a good way to discuss the issue.
“I feel like talking about it online was a pretty effective way, which is why I don’t feel like [MacMillan House members] were being genuine when they say that wanted a discussion to take place,” Hsia said. “Immediately, when we started to say that we weren’t comfortable with the idea, they were trying to funnel the discussion into private emails. I don’t know why everyone is so against talking online. This is the most powerful communication tool we’ve ever had.”
Moving forward, Etzel said that Gender Matters and BQSA are looking for ways to continue the conversation beyond this event. One idea they have is to create a poster series next semester that combats the conflation of gender identity, gender expression and gender performance.
Trapped in the temporary: the experience of a visiting professorship
For many aspiring academics, visiting professorship is a stepping stone along the road to a coveted tenure-track position. For Juan Burciaga, who just started his second year as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics at Bowdoin, it has been his whole career.
Since completing his undergraduate and graduate work in Texas, Burciaga has moved around from school to school, most often as a visiting assistant professor at small liberal arts colleges.
“I went to the University of Texas at Arlington, which was a small state school, and Texas A&M, which was a large state school, and by the time I finished my Ph.D. I knew I wanted to work at a smaller, more focused teaching environment.”
Having had appointments at so many different institutions—ranging from Mount Holyoke College to Colorado College, Vassar College and Bryn Mawr College—Burciaga has a unique perspective on different schools and their approaches to education.
“The process of visiting a new school and looking at how that school views education...I’ve found that very invigorating,” he said. “It really is nice to visit places all over the country, who have a definite idea that what they’re doing is important, that what the students will be doing is important, and that the best contribution they can make is to prepare the students.”
By visiting different communities, Burciaga has learned a variety of approaches to education and applied them to his own research and scholarship.
“My interests change quite a bit from place to place because my interests are not only in physics research but also in what we call ‘the scholarship of teaching and learning’—how students learn and how we teach. My projects have either been in physics, computational molecular physics, or in this area of scholarship of teaching and learning.”
Despite earning a breadth of experiences throughout his time at other institutions, Burciaga says being a visiting professor comes with a lot of challenges.
“I wouldn’t say there is freedom [as a visiting professor], because you’re not really free,” said Burciaga. “You’re tied to the job search.”
“I talked to one of my colleagues who is a visiting professor, who has only been here for two weeks, and she is already starting to apply for positions and has already had a phone interview...That’s why I tend to look for multi-year positions when I can get them, because I can unpack and think seriously about my research before I have to start packing again.”
Related to the constant job search as a visiting professor, Burciaga highlighted the expectation that visiting professors have at least as large a teaching load as tenure-track faculty as a misstep by many institutions. Visiting professors are either looking for a new appointment or teaching for the first time, both of which are reasons that visiting professors should have lighter teaching loads than their tenure-track counterparts, said Burciaga.
As far as Bowdoin fares in its treatment of visiting professors, Burciaga says he has been very happy here. According to Burciaga, the College’s dedication to its faculty and students, as well as an expectation of excellence from the faculty have been very positive aspects of his time here.
“I think for many visiting faculty, the question of what happens afterwards is a very common question,” said Burciaga. “Bowdoin’s respect for the faculty is a very powerful argument to stay here. Bowdoin’s reputation is another one. And the students are a very good one because ultimately we choose to come to a place like this because of the students.”
Lohmann to leave College, will become dean of students at Kenyon
Janet Lohmann, associate dean of student affairs and dean of first-year students, will be leaving the College this summer to become dean of students at Kenyon College. News of Lohmann’s departure was announced in an email to the College on Friday June 3 sent by Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs Kim Pacelli.
“Janet has been a trusted advisor and friend to many of us," wrote Pacelli. "She has also been a remarkable running coach and cheerleader!”
Lohmann came to Bowdoin as a visiting faculty member in the sociology department in 2003 and remained in this position for four and a half years before transitioning to the Office of Student Affairs. Lohmann served first as assistant dean of student affairs and director of accommodations, before switching to her role as dean of first-year students in 2008.
One of Lohmann’s most notable contributions to the College came in 2010, when she helped start the Bowdoin Advising Program to Support Academic Excellence (BASE). The program was created in the wake of the College’s efforts to expand the diversity of the student body. It aims to connect students from different geographical, socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds with campus resources that can help make their transitions to college life easier.
At Kenyon, Lohmann will also oversee the Health and Counseling Center and the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, which helps determine appropriate courses of action for students suspected of violating the college’s policies.
“Kenyon, no doubt, realizes how fortunate they are to have Janet joining their team,” wrote Pacelli.
"I have so enjoyed my time at Bowdoin," Lohmann wrote in an email to the Orient. "The community here is wonderful and I have felt fortunate to come to work every day during these last 13 years. Being a part of Bowdoin has readied me for my new position at Kenyon and I feel tremendous gratitude for all of the people and experiences that have shaped my time here."
Lohmann will remain at Bowdoin for the first part of the summer to help prepare for the arrival of the Class of 2020 this fall. The College’s plans for filling her position for the 2016-2017 academic year have not yet been announced.
Editor's Note, June 3, 7:30 p.m.: A previous version of this article mentioned that Lohmann could not be reached for comment. This article has been updated to include a quote from her.
Amendment requires good standing for BSG members
Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) voted last week to add a Good Standing Amendment to their bylaws, which will require students sitting on and running for BSG to be in good standing with the College. In order to obtain information about standing, BSG will require students to sign an agreement permitting the dean’s office to release the necessary information to the Executive Committee.
BSG members that do not possess good standing will be required to inform the BSG president and will be removed from office. These students will be given the chance to appeal their removal to BSG Executive Committee, made up of the student body president and the six vice presidents, who can choose to reverse the decision.
In addition, students running for office will be required to be in good standing. Students in poor standing can also appeal to the Executive Committee to have their names added to the ballot.
“Starting with this election, all candidates have signed this agreement. I emailed Dean [of Student Affairs Tim] Foster and he’s going to get back to me confirming whether all candidates are in good standing, and if someone is not that person will not be qualified to run in this election,” said BSG President Danny Mejia-Cruz ’16.
Foster confirmed that the administration will only share information with BSG if students explicitly permit the dean’s office to do so.
“Our office would not communicate with the BSG about a student’s academic or social standing without the student’s permission,” Foster said. “It’s very important and it would be a breach of confidentiality if a student didn’t give us permission to share that information.”
Part of the inspiration for the Good Standing Amendment comes from a desire to protect members of BSG from a very public impeachment process.
“I know that I would never want someone to Google my name and have the word ‘impeachment’ next to it,” said Mejia-Cruz. “It’s a matter of optics, and what it means for reputation after their time at Bowdoin, and this was a way to avoid that.”
According to BSG bylaws, students who fall out of good standing can choose not to appeal their removal from BSG. In this case, “The Assembly will immediately begin the process by which the member was originally chosen to fill the empty seat.”
Harry Rube contributed to this report.
Year in Review: Year in review: highlights of 2013-2014
Several Bowdoin students had run-ins with the Brunswick Police Department (BPD), which intervened at College Houses on September 6 and 7 due to issues of disorderly conduct and underage drinking. Two students were also arrested for DUIs in a period of 24 hours on September 22, which Director of Security Randall Nichols called “very unusual.”
The College also introduced a new, revamped hazing policy prompted by several incidents during the 2012-2013 school year. The new policy was designed to help students fully understand what constitutes hazing, giving specific examples and case studies in order to increase awareness.
Bowdoin announced its plans to build the largest solar power complex in Maine, which would offset approximately 8 percent of the College’s annual energy usage. The proposed energy farm would be built on land purchased from the former naval base, and would be used to power most of the College’s athletic facilities.
Three separate bias incidents were reported in one week, including one in which a Brunswick resident called a student a homophobic slur and punched him in the face. The rash of incidents prompted a campus-wide response that included a photo exhibition by Daniel Eloy ’15.
On November 25, the College demolished a vacant former fraternity house that had belonged to Alpha Kappa Sigma. There are currently no plans for the vacant lot, but Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer Katy Longley said the College hoped to develop one within the next few years.
Registrar Jan Brackett announced plans to leave her position in January 2014 after 14 years at Bowdoin. Brackett was instrumental in implementing Polaris, the online course registration system; Dean of Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd called her a “key player” in the creation of Polaris.
Several sprinkler heads burst in Memorial Hall, causing $20,000 worth of damage on January 4 and 5. The sprinkler heads burst due to the extremely cold weather over winter break. Associate Director of Facilities Operation and Management Jeff Tuttle said that they are “looking into options [to] prevent that in the future.”
Rick Ganong ’86 was hired as the new senior vice president for development and alumni relations on January 6, effective immediately. According to President Barry Mills and Ganong, the responsibilities of the job largely concern fundraising and maintaining stable financial aid for students.
Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Jarrett Young ’05 announced that he would be leaving at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. Young will be taking a position as Upper School Grade Dean at the the Blake School in Minneapolis, Minn.
Mary Pat McMahon, associate dean of student affairs and director of Residential Life, announced that she would be leaving her position over Spring Break to become the dean of student affairs at Tufts.
Bowdoin Christian Fellowship advisors Rob and Sim Gregory failed to sign the College’s Volunteer Agreement and will no longer be permitted to volunteer at the College. In particular, the Gregorys objected to the Freedom from Discrimination and Harassment policy, stating that signing the agreement would violate their faith’s views regarding sexuality.
An intruder broke into a first-floor residence at Brunswick Apartments at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday March 23. Upon realizing that a female student was asleep in bed in the apartment, the intruder fled across the hall into an adjacent residence, which he soon exited.
After an investigation into possible reforms for the Health Center, the College decided to maintain the current structure of the Health Center and hire a new director of health services to replace Sandra Hayes.
Twelve students were cited before Spring Break for misusing Adderall. Of these twelve, two were cited for trafficking the prescription drug, and were given the option of appearing before the Judicial Board or “resigning” from the College.
President Barry Mills announced that he would be resigning from his position at the end of the 2014-2015 academic year. His departure comes a year earlier than expected, as Mills told the Orient in 2011 that he planned on remaining in his position for at least five more years. Mills has served as president of the College since 2001.
Life off the tenure-track: the role of temporary professors at the College
This is the second in a two-part series looking at the hiring processes and academic expectations that shape faculty experiences at Bowdoin
Last week’s installment looked at the road to tenure.Visiting professors and post-doctoral fellows
In January, the Democratic staff of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce released “The Just-In-Time Professor,” a report describing the swelling population of nontenure-track instructors in academia. In 1970, adjunct professors made up 20 percent of higher education faculty, but today, they represent half of professors nationwide, according to the report. At Bowdoin, approximately 20 visiting professors, 11 adjunct lecturers and 15 post-doctoral fellows have joined full-time faculty for the 2014-2015 year.
These temporary instructors reap many of the same benefits as those on a tenure track, though they are hired for no more than a few years at a time.
“In my experience, the College treats visiting professors perfectly well,” said Susan Faludi, a visiting Tallman Scholar for Gender and Women’s Studies. “If there’s something I’m not getting that tenure-track professors are, I’m not aware of and I don’t miss it,” she said.
The College works to provide resources for temporary professors transitioning to life in Brunswick.
Faludi is living in a pre-furnished house that all the other Tallman Scholars have also lived in, along with her husband Russ Rymer, who is currently a visiting professor in the English Department.
“If you’re visiting, you don’t want to have to bring all your furniture and things with you,” she said.
Several professors who spoke with the Orient pointed out the challenges of teaching as a visiting faculty member.
Additionally, Departments sometimes struggle to integrate temporary professors into their faculty. Physics professor Mark Battle mentioned that departments often “don’t get really exceptional candidates” for temporary positions, since these professors are generally hired for tenure-track jobs.
According to Associate Professor of Music Vineet Shende, visiting faculty sometimes feel that their position is “just a waystation” on the path to a tenure-track job at another college, as professors hired under the designation of “visiting professor” generally do not move up to tenure track at the College. But Battle mentioned the problem of being labeled a “permanent visiting person” after taking more than one or two visiting positions, which makes it much harder to get hired as a full professor.
There are many benefits to bringing visiting faculty to a department. A. LeRoy Greason Professor of Music Mary Hunter said that the temporary appointments allowed departments to “try out a certain area” and offer classes in a specialty that isn’t normally taught. This semester, for example, Rymer is teaching “The Art of Science Writing,” a non-fiction creative writing course that caters to a class filled largely with science majors.
Associate Dean for Faculty Jennifer Scanlon is in charge of working specifically with postdoctoral fellows, or post-docs, who come to Bowdoin through grant-funded programs such as the Mellon Foundation. Bowdoin currently has 15 post-docs in a variety of subjects, who Scanlon works to prepare for their future outside the College through programs such as workshops on finding a job after Bowdoin.
According to Scanlon, working as a post-doc can act as an “introduction to an environment like Bowdoin and opportunity to figure out if this is the kind of place you want.” In a September 2012 Orient article, Judd said that post-doc fellows also allowed the College to create connections to graduate programs that many current students contemplate attending.
Along with 38 other liberal arts colleges, Bowdoin hires post-docs through the national Consortium for Faculty Diversity (CFD), which is designated for ethnic minorities. After filling out a general application, prospective post-docs can be hired by any school in the consortium.Melissa Rosario, a CFD post-doc in anthropology, characterized the CFD experience as “an individual one.” In addition to the requirement of teaching one class per semester, CFD post-docs can also get further involved through service to the College or through mentoring students individually.
Just like visiting professors, post-docs must also balance their courses with the stress of applying to tenure-track positions at other institutions. Rosario characterized this job search as “an intense, consuming process” in the competitive waters of academia.
A final component of the post-doc experience is giving fellows teaching skills and experience, ideally through mentoring from more seasoned professors. Scalon said that the College stresses mentoring both from departments and from the Office of Academic Affairs as “a way of helping them go from here to there.”
Rosario said she wished Bowdoin had “a formal structure for mentorship.” She said that the workshops run by the Office of Academic Affairs were helpful in terms of professional development: “an important component, but it doesn’t necessarily help you to be a better instructor.” Instead, she said that “direct mentorship with a faculty member” was more beneficial in helping post-docs succeed.Balance between teaching, research and service
An important aspect of being a faculty member at small liberal arts colleges like Bowdoin is juggling commitments to teaching, research and service.
The balance between these three responsibilities is constantly shifting throughout a faculty member’s time at the College and depends on the stage of the tenure process that they are currently going through.
After getting tenure and moving up to the level of associate professor, there are fewer expectations about one’s level of teaching.
“In a sense, teaching has already been evaluated,” said Page Herrlinger, chair of the history department. She went on to say that though there is still an expectation for high quality of teaching, the focus tends to shift to a commitment to distinguished research.
Once faculty members go up to the tenure board once more and receive the title of full professor, there are no longer any expectations or requirements regarding teaching or research.
“In terms of specific advancements as a professor, that’s it,” said Dallas Denery, an associate history professor. “That said, at that point, you’ve done two books and a bunch of articles, so chances are this is your job. Teaching is a lot of fun and researching and thinking is also a lot of fun, so you just keep doing it. Allen Wells in our department is a perfect example of what you should be like when you’re a full professor: you just keep working and you’re helpful to your subordinates.”
Professors noted that working at a liberal arts college like Bowdoin allows for different opportunities than other, larger research institutions.
“One of the things I like best about teaching here is I find it fairly possible to link those things [teaching and research],” said David Hecht, assistant professor of history. “I love bringing something I’m researching to the classroom.”
Professors are also expected to complete service to the College community, such as serving on committees. Although this aspect of a career is not generally as highly valued as a faculty member’s teaching and research, commitment to community service is still important.
“If you avoid community service, that will hurt you,” said Battle. He compared the relationship between teaching, research and service to “a three-legged stool with one leg shorter than the other.”
Tracking the long, rigorous road to a tenured professorship
This is the first in a two-part series looking at the hiring processes and academic expectations that shape faculty experiences at the College
Except for snippets of conversation from those occasional end-of-semester dinner parties at professors’ houses, the details of what it means to be a professor outside of the classroom are generally hidden from students. The faculty are expected to meet high standards not only in teaching, but also in engagement and participation in their fields and in service to the College.Hiring process for tenure-track faculty
When Associate Professor of History Page Herrlinger first visited campus as a prospective hire, she almost underestimated the Maine weather.
“I remember being really nervous the night before my visit and getting a phone call from a professor who told me to make sure to wear boots on my visit,” said Herrlinger. “I remember feeling a little uncomfortable about wearing boots but when I got to campus and Maine winter was well underway I just felt like someone here was looking out for me, which made the visit a lot easier.”
Her journey ended when she joined the Bowdoin faculty in 1998, completing a rigorous tenure-track faculty hiring process which lasts, on average, around 18 months.“The tenure-track process is a place where as we hire someone, we’re saying, ‘Bowdoin has these really high standards and we want you to meet those standards,’” said Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd.
According to Judd, the hiring process begins when a department or program makes a request to the Committee on Curriculum and Educational Policy.“As part of that, the program has already looked to understand where the discipline is going, to understand the kind of search that might be involved and how to create as large a pool of candidates as possible,” said Judd.
At this point, hiring committees begin to form to address the positions in question. The corresponding department or program has the most responsibility in hiring for positions, but the committees also include faculty from different academic fields.
Once a list of candidates has been assembled, the process continues through various stages. At first, the committee compiles a “long list” of around 20 potential candidates to interview via phone or Skype.
From this list, the pool is narrowed down to 3 to 4 candidates who are invited to campus to give a talk on their research and meet with students, faculty, the hiring committee and the dean for academic affairs, as well as the president of the College.
“Can they be successful in the kind of research they want to do here and can they be successful in our classrooms—these are the questions we’re asking,” said Judd.
Part of attracting candidates that will do well at a liberal arts institution is incentivizing the opportunity to work at Bowdoin in various ways. One of these incentives is Bowdoin’s Partner Accommodation Policy, which makes it easier for professors with partners and/or families to come work at the College.
Bowdoin is not in a major urban center, and there are fewer institutions of higher learning close by for partners of existing faculty members to turn to while looking for a job.
The Partner Accommodation Policy was instituted in 2007 to create opportunities for couples in which both partners are employed in academia.
Partners of existing faculty can apply for a position through the Partner Accommodation Policy and if they are accepted, the partners share one-and-a-half teaching appointments.
This means that in an academic year, the two partners will teach a combined six classes as opposed to the typical eight. If both are in the same department, each will teach three classes over the course of the academic year. However, if the partners are in different departments, the original faculty member will teach the standard four classes while the partner hired under the policy will teach two.
“It’s a creative way to deal with a problem that a lot of institutions have,” said David Hecht, assistant professor of history. Hecht is married to Associate Professor of English Aviva Briefel, and was hired under the policy in 2009 after being at Bowdoin as a visiting faculty member for several years. Hecht and Briefel live with their two young children in Brunswick.
The policy also enables the College to retain faculty members who might otherwise consider leaving because of family commitments.
“If I’m working here, then Aviva is more likely to stay,” said Hecht.Getting Tenure
After a professor’s first year at Bowdoin, she is reviewed by her department chair and another member of her department, the first standardized step in the tenure-seeking process. The next, more comprehensive stage of review is reappointment, during a professor’s third year. Professors must turn in a self-evaluative statement as well as course materials to their departmental review committees. The committee will then offer a recommendation to the Office of the Dean for Academic Affairs, which makes the final decision on whether the professor is reappointed.
“They’re evaluated primarily on their teaching when they go up for renewal after three years,” said Associate Professor of History Dallas Denery.
Physics professor Mark Battle agreed that reappointment is an opportunity for a department to ensure that “things are on track” in a professor’s career. The process also ensures that faculty members are ready to take the typical fourth year sabbatical, during which they are expected to make significant strides in their research or professional work.
During a faculty member’s fifth year at Bowdoin, she begins the multi-stage tenure process, which involves many more levels of review. A professor’s department, the Committee on Appointments, Promotion and Tenure (CAPT), and reviewers outside the College are all involved in evaluating the candidate and making a recommendation. The dean for academic affairs and the President of the College use this information to make recommendations of their own, and the Board of Trustees then makes the final decision on tenure.
According to Judd, these reviews aim to explain and contextualize the “significance of a person’s work within their discipline.”
A. LeRoy Greason Professor of Music Mary Hunter—currently serving on CAPT—agreed that “the department has to make it clear to the College committee what the field competition is like.” Research expectations for getting tenure vary across departments, and can be anything from a book to a series of scholarly publications. Allen Wells, a history professor, noted that “a book is the coin of the realm” in his department. Although it’s possible to get tenure without a published book, he emphasized that it is the standard toward which most history professors work.
Outside reviewers are especially important in departments such as music or art, in which professors may be producing work other than traditional scholarly publications.
For example, Associate Professor of Music Vineet Shende is a composer, and thus part of his tenure evaluation was based on pieces he composed. However, he emphasized that having a piece performed by the national symphony, for example, was analogous to having a book published by Oxford University Press—in other words, that recognition by prestigious institutions can be understood across all departments.
The role of CAPT, on the other hand, is to act as a more objective body. Battle, who has been a member of CAPT, emphasized that he “works hard to abide by the language of the College’s contract” when evaluating candidates up for tenure.
The number of professors who are accepted for tenure each year is generally high. Battle attributed this in part to the “self-selection effect”—professors are generally made aware of whether or not they are likely candidates for tenure before they come up to receive it.
After achieving tenure and being promoted from assistant to associate professor, it would be theoretically possible for professors to slow their efforts at teaching and research. One safeguard against this is the yearly Professional Activities statements that tenured professors submit to Academic Affairs, describing their activities within and beyond the College as part of the basis on which salary increases are awarded. In addition, associate professors generally continue to work to be promoted to full professor, a title which also brings a salary increase.
More generally, Judd pointed out that working toward tenure sets the stage for continued hard work after promotion.
Shende agreed, noting that tenure “solidifies your relationship with the institution.”
Next week: A look at the lives of visiting professors and post-docs, and expectations for faculty balancing teaching, research and service at the College.
Racer X to play at Ivies after one-year hiatus
Racer X will perform at Ivies this year after a one-year hiatus, band member and Associate Professor of English Aaron Kitch announced on Tuesday night. The performance will take place on April 24.
Fronted by Kitch and Associate Professor of Music Vineet Shende, the ’80s cover band was unable to perform at Ivies last year because both Kitch and Shende were on sabbatical.
Instead, 3LAU—the stage name of DJ and producer Justin Blau—performed on Thursday night.
“This year, Racer X will replace 3LAU and there will be two acts on Saturday,” said David Vazquez ’14, a Bowdoin Student Government representative on the Entertainment Board (E-Board).
“It seemed to be what people wanted,” said Vasquez, referring to the surveys sent out earlier in the school year.
Racer X has been very popular with students in past years, which influenced the E-Board’s decision to try and bring them back for a performance this year, according to Vasquez.
“Everyone loves having that ’80s party on Thursday night, and especially seniors and juniors who have seen [Racer X] before wanted to be able to experience that again,” said Vasquez.
According to Kitch, Racer X was first approached in December and the contract was finalized in March.
Shende first auditioned for the band in 2003 after seeing a newspaper ad from bassist Pat Cyr and drummer Dave Morrill. Kitch soon joined, and the rest is history.
Kitch says they have some new songs prepared, but declined to share their names, instead saying that they will debut them during Ivies.
Correction, April 4, 2014: The print version of this article mistakenly identified David Vasquez '14 as E-Board president. It has been corrected to show that he is a BSG representative on the E-Board.
Bates honors John Durkin with private vigil
The junior, cousin of Bowdoin alum Brian Durkin '13, died last week while studying abroad in Rome
Over 100 students gathered on the Bates football field on Monday in honor of junior John Durkin, who died while studying abroad in Rome on a program sponsored by Trinity. According to South Portland’s WGME-TV, the private vigil was followed by a remembrance inside an academic building to commemorate the 21-year-old economics major from Rye, N.H.
Durkin went missing early in the morning on Thursday, February 20 and was found dead two days later.
According to a CBS article, he was found by police in a train tunnel in central Rome early that Thursday morning but his identity was not released until Saturday morning, when Trinity College Rome campus officials identified Durkin as the victim after family members identified the body.
Durkin was last seen around 1:30 a.m. on Thursday morning. After going to the bar Sloppy Sam’s in the Campo de’ Fiori area of Rome with friends, Durkin left alone and never returned home.
Word of his disappearance first hit Bowdoin through social media, when his cousin and Bowdoin alum, Brian Durkin ’13, launched the Facebook event “Missing Person—John Durkin.”By the time of publication, 11,399 people were listed as “Attending.” There was also a Twitter account (@JDurkinMissing) with 1,088 followers created for the same purpose. Durkin did not respond to the Orient’s calls for comment.
“This is a time of deep sadness for our community and for so many people who knew and loved John,” said Bates President Clayton Spencer in an announcement on the Bates website. “We are profoundly sad and share the tremendous grief of his family.”
Durkin played middle linebacker for the Bates Bobcats and will be greatly missed by his teammates and coach.
“We will remember the fortitude and character that John displayed on a daily basis and attempt to emulate those standards,” said Mark Harriman, Bates head football coach, in the college’s online release.
There are currently three Bowdoin students studying abroad with the same program through Trinity and two other students in Rome on different programs. None of the three students on the Trinity program were available for comment.
The Office of Off-Campus Study has reached out to these students and encouraged them to seek support if they need it, from their program or from students on campus.
“Trinity College Rome has been very forthcoming with indicating what they’re doing in terms of on-site support,” said Christine Wintersteen, director of international programs and off-campus study. “They held some community gatherings over the weekend and there was a memorial service on Wednesday.”
The Bates Office of Off-Campus Study was unable for comment.
Durkin’s death is the second the Bates football team has seen in the last 18 months. Last September, first year Troy Pappas died after a fall from a third-story dormitory stairwell.
109 newcomers apply to Residential Life staff
One hundred and forty-seven students applied for positions on the staff of the Office of Residential Life (ResLife) for the 2014-2015 school year. This year’s applicant pool is the largest to date.
Of the 147 applications, 109 are first-time applicants, and 38 are current or former members of the ResLife staff.
“We’re generally right around 140 [applications] or right below, so this is a few more than we usually have,” said Mike Felton, associate director of residential education.
Alums bid farewell to Alpha Kappa Sigma house
Emotions flowed for members of Alpha Kappa Sigma when a handful of alums visited their former fraternity house on November 26. The demolition process commenced November 25 on the house, which is located at 38 Harpswell Road and is now referred to as Lancaster House by the College.
“It was sad walking through the house as it was being prepped for demolition and seeing what it was like today versus what it was like when we were there,” said Roger Tuveson ’64 in a phone interview with the Orient. “Naturally, you get a little bit of melancholy and a little bit nostalgic when you think of some of the memories.”
Tuveson was not the only former member who reminisced on memories associated with the house. Several alumni singled out one memory in particular from their time in the fraternity.In the early 1960s, the Bowdoin chapter of the national fraternity Kappa Sigma broke from the national group and became Alpha Kappa Sigma. The Bowdoin chapter, after deciding to pledge a non-white student, was forced by the national organization to either depledge the student or leave the national fraternity.
Vacant frat house at 38 Harpswell Road to be demolished on Monday
Thirty-eight Harpswell Road, the former Alpha Kappa Sigma fraternity house, is slated for demolition starting this Monday, November 25. The College has yet to finalize plans for the lot.
“We don’t have a timetable or design for the new structure, but we hope it’s in the next few years,” said Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer Katy Longley. According to Longley, proposals for the space have included an arctic museum with additional classroom space.
Now known as Lancaster House, the College acquired the building along with several other former fraternity houses in June 2000.
70% of sophomores going abroad opt for fall semester
Off-Campus Study works to balance; avoid housing crunch
Seventy percent of the 340 sophomores who indicated interest in studying off-campus next year specified a preference for the Fall 2014 Semester in their preliminary intent forms submitted earlier this week.
According to Director of International Programs and Off-Campus Study Christine Wintersteen, students nationwide tend to favor studying away in the spring semester, but a preference for the fall semester is not unusual for Bowdoin students. This year, approximately 30 fewer juniors will study away in the spring than in the fall.
Left unchecked, the disparity would create housing problems on campus next spring. The Office of Off-Campus Study is currently trying to alleviate the imbalance.
Out Week: new programs, new complaints
Some students express disappointment with low levels of publicity for Yellow Shirt Day
There were several new events featured during this year’s Out Week, sponsored by Bowdoin Queer Straight Alliance (BQSA). Out Week began last Saturday, October 19 and ends today.
The two biggest additions to Out Week were a collaboration with the Bowdoin Outing Club (BOC) and a film screening. In conjunction with the BOC, BQSA sponsored an “Out in the Wilderness” hike at Morse Mountain on October 19. The BQSA also screened “The Kids Are All Right” starring Julianne Moore and Amanda Bening.
According to Jasmine Bailey ’14, one of the student heads of the BQSA, the events were successful at getting new students involved with Out Week.
Inaugural poet Blanco to headline Family Weekend
Richard Blanco, the youngest Latino and first openly gay poet to speak at a presidential inauguration, will come to campus today to participate in a variety of programming to kick off Family Weekend. Blanco’s visit also coincides with the end of the Bowdoin Queer Straight Alliance’s (BQSA) Out Week.
The visit was spearheaded by Allen Delong, director of student life and the Smith Union, with help from Leana Amaez, associate dean of multicultural student programs, and Kate Stern, director of the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity. After discussing segmented identities as part of a larger group of faculty members, these three felt that Blanco was the perfect person to speak to the community.
“Twenty years ago, students weren’t coming to campus with such fluid identities, and now they come and say things like, in Richard Blanco’s case, ‘I’m a Mainer, I’m Latino and I’m gay, and those are all together. You don’t get to cut those up,’” said Delong.