Politics, process and practice of medical leaves at Bowdoin
We talked to over 15 students and 12 administrators about health at Bowdoin. Many of our peers have found frustration in the complexity and obscurity of who has not only the power, but also the judgment to make these decisions. Moreover, how does Bowdoin support a student whose health concerns cannot necessarily be solved with a medical leave?
Austin Goldsmith ’18 was two weeks into her first year at Bowdoin when she got her first concussion during a volleyball game. Her struggle to make it to classes led to several meetings with former Dean of First Year Students Janet Lohmann, who suggested Goldsmith take a medical leave—an option in which Goldsmith was not interested.
“[Does] a strong word from Lohmann make [my leave] involuntary? Does that mean it’s not my decision? ... What power or autonomy do I have?” said Goldsmith in a phone interview with the Orient. “As much as the [Bowdoin Student] Handbook gives you information, it’s so unclear and it’s so vague.”
According to Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster, medical leave cases are considered on a case-by-case basis. However, the deans have displayed a pattern of strongly recommending a voluntary medical leave to students.
Approximately 10 to 20 students are on voluntary medical leave each semester, according to Kim Pacelli, the senior associate dean of student affairs. However, many students feel pressured by the deans’ recommendations and question whether these leaves are elective in practice or if the College is making the decision for them.
Read stories of eight students' experiences with medical leave and mental health at Bowdoin.
The Handbook states students may “request a voluntary medical leave in the event that the student believes that physical and/or mental health concerns are significantly interfering with the ability to succeed at Bowdoin [or to recover].”
Only if a student is presenting a “significant threat” to themselves or others while on campus, the deans, in consultation with the health care provider, may force a student to go home. The Handbook classifies this as an involuntary medical leave. According to Pacelli, no students are on involuntary medical leave this semester. These leaves, Pacelli noted, are “pretty rare.”
In the case of voluntary medical leaves, occasionally a student may enter the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs knowing he or she would like to request a leave. However, some students question whether a leave will benefit their health, resist postponing their graduation date or feel hesitant to go through the process of readmission upon return. Many times, students feel the conversation with their dean is what ultimately guides their decision.
Former Dean of First Year Students Janet Lohmann claimed to be “a fan of the leave.”
“My goal is that I want students to be successful at Bowdoin,” said Lohmann. “If I feel that students are limping along and compromising their success merely for the sake of being here, then really I want [the student] to be able to perform at the level [the student is] capable of.”
The administrators who spoke with the Orient on this subject shared this sentiment.
Many students who spoke with the Orient felt this pressure from their deans as well.
“[The deans are] very pushy. They’re like ‘this is what we want—we want you to do well. Bowdoin is four years of your life and we want you to get the best time with it, not struggling to get through it, for reasons beyond your control,’” Goldsmith said. “That was the biggest message I got. We want you to have the best experience possible.”
While unsure how her concussion would progress, Goldsmith knew she would be happier to remain at school, rather than leave for the year and re-matriculate the following fall, as is asked of first years taking a medical leave their fall semester.
“[Lohmann] could have been right… She was coming from ‘oh we’ve seen this before and we’ve seen this go both ways.’ I’m sure she’s seen a lot of more people do poorly than do well,” continued Goldsmith. “[But] she didn’t know me the way that I knew me.”
Goldsmith did not take a leave that fall semester.
“CAN THEY MAKE ME LEAVE?”
A conversation between the student and his or her dean often plays the biggest role in influencing the student’s decision to take a leave.
Prior to this type of conversation, Pacelli noted that she looks at the student’s academic performance—which includes class attendance (a red flag when a student misses three weeks of classes), completion of work and any additional comments from faculty. She also looks at his or her conduct—whether the student has been in any disciplinary trouble with the College.
However, considering the case-by-case nature of each student’s mental or physical health problems, the dean’s advisal “should have the recommendation of the [medical] provider,” according to Pacelli. “They always do.”
A Bowdoin student’s medical provider includes Bowdoin Counseling, the Bowdoin Health Center or a medical professional unaffiliated with the College.
“I think sometimes our office gets a bad rap of—and an unfair one—that we’re looking to send everybody on med leave all the time. I don’t think that’s accurate,” Pacelli said.
Though the dean’s office may rely on a health care provider for this recommendation, the student’s health information is only shared with the student’s permission under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). In the case of a concussion, the Health Center informs the student’s dean of how many days of brain rest the student requires so that the deans may share that information with the student’s professors.
Counseling or the Health Center can share a student’s health information with the student’s dean or parents only in the cases deemed “a significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individuals.” Such a threat, as outlined in the Handbook, would warrant an involuntary medical leave.
Many students under voluntary medical leaves, however, still feel confused as to whether the decision is their own.
“I really felt a lot of pressure from the administration. I remember scanning the Handbook with my dad, being like can they make me leave?” Goldsmith said.
Megan Retana ’19, who is currently on a medical leave, echoed Goldsmith.
“There was initially a lack of clarity in what they could offer me, what additional help they could give me and what the policies were,” said Retana in a phone interview with the Orient.
Following a hospitalization for mental health reasons in the spring of her first year, Retana agreed to take off the rest of the semester and this current fall semester per the evaluation of the Counseling Center and her dean. The final decision was negotiated in a phone call in June between Retana’s mother and Assistant Dean of First Year Students Khoa Khuong, according to Retana.
“My mom had been advocating for me to go back in the fall because we both thought I could do it and then they [said] no,” said Retana. “Counseling was concerned about my well-being while I had a different opinion on what that was or what would help me.”
While both Retana and her mother wanted her to return in the fall, Retana agreed to take the fall semester off because the deans told her they believed this was the only way Bowdoin’s Readmission Committee would allow her to come back to campus.
The readmission process requires a short application, in which the student must prove their readiness to re-enter life at the College. This requires documentation from the student’s health care provider. The committee—comprised of members of the dean’s office, Residential Life and Admissions and advised by the directors of Counseling and the Health Center—then determines whether the student is healthy enough to come back to campus.
According to Retana, the decision to leave felt involuntary though it is recorded as voluntary because she did, under this pressure, consent to the leave.
“[The problem] was more in terms of lack of transparency, or clarity, or organization on their part because...they didn’t [initially] tell me [in the spring] that I had to take [the fall] semester off,” Retana said. “Had they offered those things in the first place, I wouldn’t have been upset.”
She said although she ultimately appreciated her time off, she wished the process was clearer.
“I wanted to make my own decisions but at the same time I’m grateful to the school for stepping in because I’m so grateful for this semester off,” Retana said. “But I do wish there had been more consistency throughout the process.”
“EDUCATIONAL NOT THERAPEUTIC COMMUNITY”
The College views its role of “stepping in” as necessary in preventing a student’s health from impeding on the rest of his or her life at Bowdoin.
“Bowdoin is an educational community, not a therapeutic community,” said Foster. “So if somebody really needs the time to regain their health ... it’s oftentimes better to seek the care that you need in order to fully regain your health so you can be here and be successful.”
Director of Counseling Services Bernie Hershberger, whose office is independent of the dean’s, said it does not push students to leave against their will.
“If it’s better for the student to stay on campus then that’s going to be the first priority and that’s what we’re going to push for. It’s not that often that a student would want to go, and so we’re not going to push that unless it aligns with their deepest desire,” he said.
Uma Blanchard ’17, who has struggled with a concussion since the end of her sophomore year, was skeptical of Counseling’s relationship with the dean’s office because she had heard rumors that the two offices communicate with each other about students often.
“I began to see a counselor off campus—I felt safer seeing someone who wasn’t connected to the dean’s office and wasn’t feeding me the Bowdoin line, which I feel is pretty much always the same which is ‘you should go home’,” said Blanchard.
Many students said it was difficult to fight the College’s push to leave even when their own medical providers felt that going home was not the best solution.
Following a conversation with her first-year dean, Jacqueline Colao ’17 decided to take a gap year a day and half into her pre-orientation trip because of a persistent concussion she sustained in high school. Upon returning to campus and still feeling the effects of her concussion, Colao chose not to take any medical leaves. Instead, beginning her sophomore year, she decided on a reduced course load for four semesters.
“[Bowdoin is] very good about letting people take time off, but that’s the go-to solution,” said Colao.
“My neurologist [said] that it was better for me for my healing process to be at school taking two courses than it would be for me to take time off because you still need your brain to be working in a certain capacity. You can’t just sit around, that’s not good either,” Colao noted.
Getting approved to take two classes—which makes a student part-time—is not easy. However, students may petition the Recording Committee for a reduced course load. The student must submit a one-page statement—as well as supporting documentation from a medical professional, faculty member or Director of Accommodations Lisa Peterson—about why he or she requires this alteration.
The Recording Committee is made up of several professors and two students. Because there are no health professionals on it, the committee relies on a rating system from the Health Center to determine the severity of a student’s medical condition.
Professor of Government Allen Springer, who is the Chair of the Recording Committee for this academic year, explained, “The Health Center will provide a rating for people to tell us that a. There is a concern and b. How confident they are it’s a serious concern. Quite honestly we take those ratings very seriously and we’re not in a position to second-guess medical professionals about whether or not medical factors should be taken into account in making a decision.”
This rating is the only metric considered by the Recording Committee, and, in addition to reports from the Health Center, takes into account doctor’s notes from outside practitioners.
Blanchard’s petition to take two classes her junior spring—which was substantiated by letters from her counselor and her parents indicating Blanchard’s home doctors’ recommendation that she remain at school and take a reduced course load—was denied. The committee’s decisions are final and do not include any face-to-face interaction between the student and the committee.
“I was a little unclear why the Recording Committee ... was able to make what was a medical decision for me. It would not have been good for me to go home because I would not have been able to use my brain,” said Blanchard.
On the other hand, Colao’s request to take two classes—supported by letters from her neurologist, Hershberger and her dean—was accepted. However, still struggling with her concussion sophomore spring, Colao did not want to go through the process of petitioning again because her concussion made the process particularly exhausting for her.
Additionally, Colao felt the committee would not be amenable to recurring requests.
“I asked multiple times why you have to petition the Recording Committee to only take two classes,” Colao said. “I was never given a clear answer on that, I was just told that’s not a thing that Bowdoin does.”
Lohmann confirmed that Bowdoin does not allow students to continually take only two courses. While students may successfully petition to take two classes, this accommodation is restricted to temporary medical issues with a clearly defined recovery period.
“We don’t really do half-time status,” Lohmann said. “We’re a residential liberal arts college. We expect students to be fully engaged in living in the college.”
Pacelli shares this position. “This is supposed to be a full-time experience and a full course load is three or more credits,” she said. “If all you can do is two credits then maybe it’s better to think about med leave.”
Pacelli said that finances do not play a role in the Recording Committee’s decision of whether to allow a student to take two courses.
Further, taking two classes does not reduce the cost of tuition aid. However, if a student takes a medical leave in the middle of a semester, he or she is not reimbursed after the fifth week of school. The Student Aid Office only covers eight semesters of aid, though a student may appeal for a ninth semester of aid with the support of the Office of Student Affairs. Pacelli noted that “[the deans] can and do step up.”
Colao’s recovery period continued for the next three semesters; she took three classes during each one. Her sophomore spring proved to be especially demanding as she struggled to balance her academics with her recovery.
“The only way I was able to stay here [my sophomore spring] and take three classes was I was able to only do school and nothing else,” Colao said. “So I ate meals by myself because talking to people at meals would bring up my symptoms ... I would nap every day for a couple hours. I never went out. I barely talked to people. Literally all I did was schoolwork.”
“I think it would be helpful to delve into more solutions about how we can get people to stay at Bowdoin and be successful while still dealing with whatever issue that caused them to think about taking time off,” Colao said.
Blanchard echoed this sentiment.
“I felt very strongly last semester that there is this notion that if you’re not totally healthy then you shouldn’t be here,” Blanchard said. “For the first time I thought ‘wow Bowdoin doesn’t want me to be here right now, because I am not perfect.’ ... I think that’s definitely a common experience."
Inside the medical leave decision
Eight students share their experiences with mental health and the administration
In show of solidarity, alumni protest against Trump's message of hate
Following the results of Tuesday’s presidential election, many Bowdoin alumni participated in protests across the nation. Participants said the protests attempted to focus on solidarity rather than confrontation in the wake of President-elect Donald Trump’s win.
Amanda Maisel ’15 attended a protest outside of Trump Tower in New York City.
“[The protest] felt like a way I could say in that moment, on that day, I’m thinking of everyone in my life who is affected by this and showing them that I’m there for them, even if they’re far away,” she said in a phone interview with the Orient. “[I felt a] civic duty to resist what’s happening and to show that this is not acceptable—the way the election seems to be legitimizing certain kinds of hate and bigotry.”
Some chants exhibited anger against Trump; others focused more on defending the rights that protesters felt the President-elect threatens.
“You had people who were white screaming, ‘Black Lives Matter,’ you had guys chanting, ‘Her body, her choice,’ you had American citizens chanting, ‘No human is illegal,” said Kaylee Schwitzer ’15, who also attended a New York City protest, in a phone interview with the Orient. “It’s not just about me fighting for what I’m fighting for. It’s really that our values aren’t being represented by this man.”
Hugh Ratcliffe ’15 attended a protest in Portland, Oregon and found that it created an atmosphere of empowerment.
“We’re not under any illusion that by marching through the streets of Portland we’re going to upend the democratic process. But it’s important to be out there and to be heard and also to stand together with so many groups that feel frightened,” Ratcliffe said in a phone interview with the Orient. “It’s a continuing protest for Black Lives Matter. It’s a continuing protest for women’s rights.”
Ratcliffe noted that in Portland, the protest was also intertwined with demands of the state and local government.
The protests largely remained peaceful across the country. Sonia Manssen ’15, who protested in San Francisco, though that the non-confrontational nature of that protest reflected the city’s liberal identity.
“San Fran is such a liberal city … pretty much everyone I know has the same feelings that I have of discomfort and fear so the fact that there was a protest here doesn’t very much surprise me and I also don’t think there are many people who disagree with it,” Manssen said.
Both Schwitzer and Maisel felt that New York reflected this same liberal homogeneity and, therefore, produced a non-confrontational protest.
“We didn’t run into any Trump supporters while we were doing this—or at least no one that was willing to say anything,” Schwitzer said. “It feels like everyone in here feels the same way, so it was more this great exercise of releasing anxiety.”
Maisel noted that while this exercise was powerful, its unity simultaneously felt like “preaching to the choir.”
“To some extent [New York] is a liberal echo chamber, and that is to some extent one of the big problems in this election,” she said. “Eventually we can’t just be agreeing with each other. We’re going to have to do work that acknowledges [how] angry people are, as much as [they feel] the incredible bigotry and misogyny. We also have to actually be speaking to people who voted a different way than us and who feel like, in some cases, this was their only option for change.”
Equestrian team hosts first show
Last weekend, the equestrian team hosted its first home show in program history. The team performed well with three riders placing in the top three of their classes. The show’s overall success puts the team in a good position to host future shows.
After a show was canceled last spring, a spot opened up in the schedule, prompting Bowdoin’s league, the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association, to ask the team to host the show.
“We always wanted to have [a home show],” captain Carly Lappas ’17 said. “Normally teams have their traditional weekend [each year] ... so it was kind of hard to fit us in the schedule before now.”
Dartmouth College won the overall show, but Bowdoin, despite having a smaller club team, performed well. Bowdoin also performed well. Both Lappas and Meret Beutler ’19 placed first in their classes—the open flat class and the beginner walk-trot-canter class, respectively—and Maddie Bustamante ’17 placed third in the intermediate jumping class.
With nine shows per season and one show in the spring, the team’s results are often mixed. It did, however, place second in the last NESCAC show two years ago.
“We do okay. We don’t do great, and in part that is because we have a very small team,” said Tilly Tanga ’19. “We don’t have riders in every class, which means that the classes where we don’t have riders we’re obviously not going to win those classes...when we do have riders in the class we tend to do pretty well.”
Horse shows are divided into individual class events based on ability. Most team members have riding experience, while not necessarily competitively, and two had no prior experience riding before Bowdoin.
Bates and Middlebury, like Bowdoin, have small club teams, while other schools in the league, like Dartmouth, the University of New Hampshire and the University of Vermont are considered varsity and therefore receive more resources and support from their institutions.
“Most of the other teams that we compete against are varsity...they’re funded like our hockey team is funded...There [are] big disparities,” said Lappas.
As a club sport, the team’s entry fees and transportations are covered by Student Activities, however, each member must pay for their own lessons, which cost approximately $1,500 per year, per student.
Yet even with these setbacks, the team has doubled over the past four years and now consists of 15 women. According to Lappas, a number of them are likely to qualify individually for the regional horse shows.
Since over half of its members are seniors, the team is looking to recruit more underclassman, both men and women.
“It’s definitely more organized than some people might think,” Lappas said. “I don’t think people really understand what it is from the outside.”
The team will compete this weekend at shows hosted by Dartmouth and Colby-Sawyer in New Hampshire.
Local author sheds light on sexual assault
Young adult novelist Maria Padian is not afraid to tackle tough issues, from Somali immigrants in Lewiston to eating disorders in ballet dancers. In her fourth and most recent novel, “Wrecked,” to be debuted Monday at the Curtis Memorial Library, Padian, a Brunswick resident, takes on sexual assault on a small college campus. Unlike a number of young adult books focused on the perspective of the victim, “Wrecked” alternates between two points of view, grappling not only with consent but also the way we determine truth.
“I realized that everybody came to that issue with their own set of expectations, with whatever baggage and predispositions we bring to that kind of situation. How do we determine truth from the other side of the closed door when we’re not there?” Padian said. “I wanted [this story] to come from different points of view, so the point of view wasn’t just a narrative device, but it was a theme.”
A fast-paced read, “Wrecked” flips between the perspectives of Haley and Richard, the respective friends of the accused and accuser, as they become involved in the investigation and romantically involved with each other. Between each chapter, the omniscient retelling of the night of the alleged rape draws the reader into a quest for truth in the context of an upheaval of stereotypes.
“I very intentionally did not choose the accused to be a fraternity member [or] a member of a sports team, Padian said. “The accuser is somebody who is new to college and who is trying to make friends. The guy she accuses doesn’t fit a lot of the stereotypes that we see in the news. I wanted to avoid all those stereotypes and instead create a story that could be anybody’s story.”
With down-to-earth characters and a relatable setting, “Wrecked” hits close to home for many high school and college students. While the situation and characters are entirely fictional, the culture of Bowdoin and peer schools persists in the story.
“I went to a small New England school, I live here [in Brunswick], my kids went to small New England schools, so I think the setting and the culture in the book is very much influenced by this type of setting,” Padian said. “People will recognize a small, New England NESCAC school in this book.”
The book forces the reader to confront not only the difficulty of determining truth, but also the blurry lines of political correctness. From “Patagucci” obsessions to apple picking, one can imagine these students at Bowdoin. “The Board,” the book’s equivalent of Yik Yak, heightens its relatability, wreaking havoc and further confusing truth and trust.
“I spoke to everyone from Title IX coordinators to victims,” Padian said. “I read a lot of victim accounts ... I spoke to lawyers who represent young men who have been accused at colleges [of sexual assault]. The hardest part for me was writing the scenes where the kids were actually being interviewed by the investigator ... That’s all sealed and private—no one would ever tell me what that was like.”
Even with this research, Padian knew that a subject like sexual assault was “a minefield.”
“I lived in fear that some of the early reviewers would decide that this book was not striking the right pose,” Padian said. “I worried somebody would say she’s a victim blamer. Or somebody else would say, ‘My God, she’s been so unfair to the accused.’”
Padian has been meet with positive reviews, however. Critics have been praising her new perspective on this timely subject, as well as the realism of the characters in their struggle to make good choices.
These realistic characters, Padian believes, are products of fiction’s unique ability to create empathy.
“I don’t ever start with plots, I start with character ... But how do you really create a character?” Padian said. “You have to get into the skin of this person that you may not really have anything in common with. The process of writing a character involves radical empathy.”
This empathy, according to Padian, allows for more open conversation. She says books allow people to say things they might not if they were discussing real people and real events.“Fiction frees us up to maybe speak more honestly,” she said.
Padian hopes the book will initiate honesty surrounding the conversation on sexual assault on college campuses.
“My highest aspiration for the book is that it sparks conversation,” Padian said. “Really difficult, really uncomfortable, really awkward conversations. If there’s going to be any real change, it not going to come from the top-down ... it’s going to come from you folks, living in this world, having these conversations yourselves and deciding what you want to do and how to talk with each other about these issues.”
Padian will read from “Wrecked” at the Curtis Memorial Library on Monday, October 3 at 7 p.m. The event, open to the public, will include a book sale, door prizes and food.
President Rose announces plans for debate on free speech and college campuses
In a school-wide email yesterday, President Clayton Rose announced plans for a debate and discussion between Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and Manhattan Institute fellow and Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley on December 5. Organized by a working group of students, faculty and staff that formed last fall, the debate will focus on free speech and political correctness on college campuses, a topic students chose in a survey last December.
“My hope and expectation...is that those of us who are in the audience will be able to understand how to listen better, how to think about two very thoughtful, smart, engaged, informed people and how they articulate different perspectives on the same issue,” said Rose. “We may not agree with them, but...we can respect them and in a sense learn from how they engage.”
Kristof, whose weekly columns focus on human rights, women’s rights, health and global affairs, visited Bowdoin in 2012 to discuss his 2009 book, “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity to Women Worldwide.” In a column last fall, he addressed the issue of race and free speech on campuses, writing, “What’s unfolding at universities is not just about free expression but also about a safe and nurturing environment.”
In addition to his work as a Wall Street Journal columnist and a Fox News commentator, Riley is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank. Riley gives approximately 15 speeches on college campuses a year. Last spring, he was disinvited to speak at Virginia Tech, due to concerns that his “writings on race in The Wall Street Journal would spark protests.”
“Kristof and Riley were clear favorites of the [working] group,” Rose said. “When we approached them, they were very excited about the structure, this idea of pairing, the topic, and of doing it together.”
Associate Professor of History and Environmental Studies Connie Chiang will moderate the debate and discussion. Rose said Chiang will take student input and use real-time questions. Afterwards, 250 students, determined by a lottery system, will meet in Thorne Hall in groups of eight to discuss the event. Kristof and Riley will attend, joining student conversations and perhaps speaking at the end, Rose said. The event will conclude with a wrap-up session and real-time polling so students can share their takeaways.
“Oftentimes we have...engagements like this and folks will come and legitimately pay attention and be interested, but then we leave and ... move it to the back of the file cabinet and not think much about it,” Rose said. “The idea [for the post-event] was how do we create a moment for direct reflection and engagement.”
Rose hopes the event will contribute to students’ ongoing discussions and further encourage school-wide conversations about “really challenging, difficult, uncomfortable issues.”
“[Engaging in these issues is] a central part of the Bowdoin mission,” said Rose. We should have big events like this. They’re fun, they’re exciting, [and] we’re going to learn a lot.”
Along with his “town hall” meeting last fall and his initiative to develop a Report on Diversity and Inclusion at Bowdoin, Rose sees the event as another way to engage the community in these issues.
“I’m a big believer in experimenting,” said Rose. “We’ll learn, we’ll adjust...then we’ll move on to the next thing. We’ll get better. We’ll learn from that.”
SymmetryWorks! guest lecturer transforms math into art
Dr. Frank Farris, a professor of mathematics at Santa Clara University, is creating mathematical art—and he is doing it with the help of Bowdoin students. Using his original software, “SymmetryWorks!,” which was worked on by Bridget Went ’17 and Son Ngo ’17 this summer, Farris transforms his photographs into vivid wallpapers, illustrating both the principles of visual beauty and symmetry. Through lectures, a workshop and an exhibit, Farris shared his work with the Bowdoin community this past week.
“These started as mathematical diagrams to explain something about geometry,” Farris said. “In the 90s, I realized the method had artistic potential, but it wasn’t until 2011 that I really got the software to put photographs with the pattern-making mathematics.”
Irritated by the narrow definition of a pattern in a geometry textbook, Farris set out to correct it, keeping in mind a pattern’s visual and emotional effect. This idea led to the original code for SymmetryWorks! As Farris explains in his 2015 book, “Creating Symmetry: The Artful Mathematics of Wallpaper Patterns,” there are 17 different wallpaper types which are described as “a pattern that repeats perfectly in two independent directions.” Using these wallpaper types, SymmetryWorks! transforms colors or even photographs into various designs.
Farris has come a long way from his first wallpapers, which he created with Microsoft Excel. His images (both wallpapers and variations of symmetry) are fantastical and kaleidoscope-like, and now hang in the gallery of the Edwards Center for Art and Dance. A few of his designs are printed on fabrics; Farris sells these fabrics on spoonflower.com, an online fabric store. One can hardly tell that each of these patterns comes from photographs of things like flowers or chopped up red peppers.
“I think I conform to traditional values of [art],” Farris said. “Sometimes I engage in humor, like the [photo of] fish turning into [the wallpaper with a repeating shape of a] fish...I have a little bit of a zany side, but there’s also this quasi-sacred side of meditative and mysterious beauty.”Farris points to his three works that venture into the three-dimensional realm. Using Adobe Photoshop, Farris was able to impose his original two-dimensional pattern around a three-dimensional shape. In one image, termed a “variation of symmetry,” patterned spheres float over a lake at night with a mountain in the background. This scene was created with the same kind of software and mathematics that the film industry uses for graphics.
“[I tell my students] mathematics is beautiful, mathematics is useful and mathematics is developmental,” Farris said. “Sometimes I will bring in a PowerPoint to say, ‘Well let me tell you a little more [about] what I meant by mathematics is beautiful,’ and then I show them some of this stuff. [Mathematics is] this abstract realm where there’s all this beautiful stuff, but then [these pieces channel] that into the realm where others can see.”
With the help of Went and Ngo, Farris is now able to share this beauty more easily. Invited by Assistant Professor of Computer Science Sean Barker, Went and Ngo worked with Farris this summer, communicating via Skype, to make the software more user-friendly, fast and aesthetically pleasing.
“[Farris is] not a programmer himself, so the software was really raw,” Went said. “Our job over the summer was to make it more useable, especially for artists who may not necessarily understand the mathematical underpinnings.”
Meeting with Barker about the mathematics of symmetry and using their knowledge of the programming language C++, the two students added functions such as sliders to make the software more usable and to make the interface “guide artists towards more aesthetically pleasing patterns.”
“It’s really cool, this idea that you can create a pattern real time and have complete control over how it turns out,” Went said. “But also there’s this component of unpredictability. You don’t know what you’re going to end up creating.”
The software is open-source, intended for the use of “certain specialist artists” according to Farris, though he plans to one day make an Adobe Photoshop plug-in. Farris hopes this project will extend past just himself and artists. “My hope is this will successfully engage the Bowdoin community and beyond in this kind of joyful playing with patterns,” he said.
Students have already begun using the software. This week, Farris critiqued students’ designs made with SymmetryWorks! in A. LeRoy Greason Professor of Art Mark Wethli’s 3000-level visual art class, Abstraction. Farris hopes more Bowdoin students will be interested in the project and help take it to its next level, perhaps in relation to harnessing the software’s three-dimensional potential.
“I think some of [my ideas for the software’s expansion] realistically might happen on campus this year,” Farris said. “I think towards the end of the week there will be some meetings about what the Bowdoin community wants to do, what has been the perceived interest, is there energy for people to pick this up.”
“SymmetryWorks!: The Mathematical Art of Frank Farris,” will be displayed in Edwards until September 23.
New committee to address campus inclusion
Editor's note, September 12, 1:55pm: This story has been updated to clarify that while the original commissioned report only addressed issues of race and ethnicity, President Rose has expanded the charge of the Ad Hoc Committee on Inclusion to additionally examine the experiences of first-generation students and students on financial aid. An earlier version of this story also stated that the report was commissioned in spring 2016, it was commissioned in December 2015.
In a school-wide email on September 1, President Clayton Rose introduced a new Ad Hoc Committee on Inclusion. The committee is charged with providing recommendations based on the Report on Diversity and Inclusion that the College commissioned last December. The committee, composed of students, faculty, staff, alumni and trustees, will use the report’s assessment and recommendations as a springboard to offer final recommendations to Rose by the end of the academic year.
While the report was commissioned to explore race and ethnicity at Bowdoin, the committee members, chosen by Rose, will also consider broader inclusion—particularly of first-generation students and students on financial aid—in making their recommendations.
“Our job now is ... to take work that’s been done by very thoughtful, informed folks who are outside of our community and to determine for ourselves what we want to do,” said Rose.
The report was written by Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor in the Social Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania Camille Charles and Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminology Rory Kramer of Villanova University. In addition to making recommendations for the short and long term, the report also details the sociologists’ methodology and assessment of the campus climate.
“Overall, I think the report is very spot-on in terms of ... how they describe] the climate on campus,” said Victoria Pitaktong ’17, a member of the committee and multicultural coalition representative to the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG). “[The report] does not just take the side of the student of color. It also talks about how there’s this divided perception that white students...[feel as if] there’s not enough space to talk about these things and they feel unwelcome, while non-white students feel like there are so many opportunities, but these white students don’t come out.”
The report details the sense of “fatigue,” “trepidation,” and “confusion” shared by many members of the student, faculty and staff communities, particularly in wake of last year’s “gangster” and “tequila” parties. While the report praises efforts Bowdoin has already made—including the Bowdoin Science Experiment (BSE) and the new section added to Orientation that addresses race—it also offers many long-term recommendations. These recommendations include developing an office for diversity and inclusion and refocusing the “Exploring Social Difference” distribution requirement.
Amherst, Bates, Wesleyan and Williams all have the equivalent of an office for diversity and inclusion, while Connecticut College and Tufts have deans of diversity and inclusion similar to the position held by Dean Leana Amaez, associate dean of students for diversity and inclusion. Most of these efforts were implemented within the past ten years, and at Amherst, Connecticut College and Tufts within the past two years. Some were based on the works carried out by committees similar to the one at Bowdoin, though unlike at Bowdoin, these reports were conducted internally.
Regardless of which recommendations are adopted, Pikatong noted that the formation of the committee itself is the College’s first formal step in addressing the problems emphasized in the report.
“It’s great that the administration is doing something, because...our [students of color’s] job is not to educate other people and come up with a way of how Bowdoin can be better,” Pitaktong said.
“[This is] the first time I feel like there has been an attempt from top-down to really do something about [diversity and inclusion on campus]...Whether it’s going to be effective or not, that’s something I don’t know yet.”
Geoffrey Canada Professor of Africana Studies and History Olufemi Vaughan, the chair of the committee, similarly praised the way the College has taken ownership of this project.
“It’s very much at the center of who we are and how we do business on campus. It’s not at the margins ... speaking to a particularly group alone,” Vaughan said.
Yet, Pitaktong wondered how this committee will be able to access the entire student population.
“I’m scared that [this committee] could be seen as very top-down and...nothing [will] happen. I’m not saying that this is going to be like that, I’m just saying this is how people might perceive it,” Pitaktong said.
Even though the committee will be focused on internally reviewing the report rather than conducting additional consulting, Rose wrote in his email. that students are welcome to submit their thoughts to the committee.
Pitaktong and Mohamed Nur ’19 already had thoughts on what the committee could address outside of the material considered in the report.
“The experiences of Bowdoin students in Brunswick... is a huge factor in the anxiety or just the stress and maybe fear that students feel on campus or when they’re in Maine,” Nur said. “I think [we should work on] somehow developing a closer relationship with the residents of Brunswick and just the state of Maine in general, so that students at Bowdoin feel comfortable walking down Maine Street.”
The committee will meet for the first time next week.
News in brief: Conflict over College Street property may result in legal action
In a case that could be brought to court, Bowdoin seems to be pushing back against the $1.6 million dollar asking price for 28 College Street, the last remaining non-campus property on College Street. Bowdoin has denied that the property is the place where Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” despite the owner’s claims. According to an article in the Bangor Daily News, Arline Pennell Lay, the owner of the property, was notified by her attorney last week that the College plans to file a lawsuit to make Lay adhere to a 1996 agreement with the College. The agreement states that the College can buy the property at 125 percent of its appraised value if the owner dies or puts it on the market; with the appraised price at $154,300, the College should only pay $192,875 for the house. However, Lay and her attorney, Sean Joyce, claim that an attorney was not present at the time of this agreement; Bowdoin’s attorney claims otherwise, according to Joyce. The College has said that it will leave the issue up to its lawyers.“We’re investigating whether or not [Lay] had representation and [whether] it was, essentially, unequal bargaining,” Joyce told the Bangor Daily News.
The high asking price of the house is attributed to Lay and her family’s claim that Stowe rented a room on the second floor between 1850 and 1851 where she wrote much of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” However, the College has pushed back against this claim over the years with evidence that Stowe wrote the novel at 63 Federal Street, her home from 1851 to 1852, and Appleton Hall, where her husband had a study.
The property is listed on the National Register of Historic places. However, according to Joyce, the College attributes this to the property’s other historical significance. According to the Lay family, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow penned a poem, “The Old Clock on the Stairs,” about a grandfather clock in the house. Norman Rockwell also apparently modeled his painting, “Freedom from Want,” after members of Lay’s family, Alice Lay and Richard Coffin. The real estate listing states that, “Other famous people such as President and Eleanor Roosevelt, Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Chris Wallace and William Cohen have stayed at this home.”
News in brief: Colby's solar installation to be the largest in Maine
Bowdoin will no longer have the largest solar project in Maine. In the coming year, Colby College will install 5,505 solar panels, exceeding Bowdoin’s 4,420. While Bowdoin’s solar panels provide about eight percent of the College’s electricity (with a capacity of 1.2 megawatts), Colby’s panels will produce 16 percent of the college’s energy, at 1.9 megawatts. Led by NRG Energy Inc., work will begin on the solar panels now with the estimated completion date at January 2017. In 2015, Colby was ranked the highest NESCAC college for sustainability and second in North America, compared to the 260 colleges that participated in STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System), a system that assesses college sustainability efforts.
News in brief: Mckesson loses primary election for mayor
Prominent Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson ’07 finished sixth in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for Baltimore mayor, garnering two percent of the vote. Mckesson profusely thanked his supporters on his Twitter page, saying, “Thank you to all of the supporters, voters & donors who contributed to my campaign. In 83 days, we changed the landscape of the race.” Even though Mckesson was the last to enter the race, announcing his bid for candidacy on February 3, his tweets on Tuesday reminded his followers that he was the first to release a comprehensive platform and that “the ideas & platform our campaign introduced will influence the next administration.”
With over 343,000 Twitter followers, Mckesson’s social media presence both benefited and impaired his campaign. In an interview with Yahoo News, Mckesson acknowledged the press’s focus on his low poll numbers and activism background as well as the pressure to document his campaigning efforts online.
“[The social media presence] does a lot to amplify the message in a way that is powerful,” Mckesson said. “The hard part is that if I don’t put it on Twitter, people literally act like it doesn’t exist...No other candidate has to prove every single thing they do.”
Even though Mckesson lost, his candidacy highlighted the constructive power of digital campaigning. He tweeted on Wednesday, “We raised more money quicker than any local campaign in the country, and almost all of it digitally. The old money gatekeepers are no more.”
Video: Meet the candidates for BSG President
The Orient asked BSG presidential candidates Justin Pearson '17 and Harriet Fisher '17 about three key issues
News in brief: Robocup hosts U.S. Open
For the eighth year in a row, Bowdoin and three other schools will compete in the Robocup U.S. Open today and tomorrow in Watson Arena. Students on Bowdoin’s Robocup team, the Northern Bites, program small humanoid robots to play soccer autonomously. The Bites will have their first match today at 1 p.m. against the University of Miami. This evening at 9 p.m., the Bites will face off against the University of Pennsylvania. Bowdoin will play in one more match tomorrow before the final match at 8:30 p.m. to determine the tournament’s winner. Further matches will include a “drop-in challenge” today and tomorrow where robots on opposing teams will play on the same side. In addition, Bowdoin will host a no-Wi-Fi challenge and an outdoors challenge tomorrow, testing the robots’ abilities to play in suboptimal conditions.
News in brief: BOC granted a portion of requested funds
The Student Activities Funding Club (SAFC) has granted the Bowdoin Outing Club (BOC) $1,695, half of its requested $3,390. After discovering its $18,000 deficiency in funds in February, the BOC was denied its first request of $19,500 and then granted $2,420 of its second request of $5,810. President of the SAFC David Levine ’16 said in an email to the Orient that while the SAFC encouraged the BOC to request more money in a few weeks, without knowing what other budgets could arise, the SAFC could not promise the BOC more money for this year. Next year, the BOC will begin the year with its complete budget.
Luo '16 earns top score in Putnam Competition
Lucy Luo ’16 scored in the top 500 out of 4,275 national competitors on this year’s Putnam Competition, an annual math competition for undergraduates. “I think it’s awesome that we have students that are excited about math and that we have outlets for them to use that excitement and get some recognition,” said Lecturer in Mathematics Michael King. King, along with Director of the Quantitative Reasoning Program and Lecturer in Mathematics Eric Gaze, organizes the Putnam Competition each year at Bowdoin, a six-hour test taken in December. The median of the exam this year was zero, which is lower than in previous years. To be in the top 500, one had to earn a score of 12. Out of the 447 participating schools, including large research universities like MIT, Harvard and Carnegie Mellon, Bowdoin ranked in the top 15 percent at 62nd, 38 spots higher than last year’s rank of 100.
News in brief: Honorary degree recipients announced
The College will grant honorary degrees to five people at this year’s Commencement. The recipients’ successes range from winning an Olympic gold medal to infusing astronomy into award-winning art. Educator and author Nancie Atwell will be presented with a degree in recognition of her work in the classroom both in the U.S. and around the world. Atwell was not only the first recipient of the Varkey Foundation’s Global Teacher Prize but also the first classroom teacher to be presented with two major language arts research awards. Artist and recipient Dorothea Rockburne has worked for many years focusing on the intersections of art, mathematics and astronomy; one of her frescoes is displayed at Sony headquarters in New York City. Recipient Frank Shorter, an author, lawyer and television commentator, has not only won a gold medal in long-distance running at the 1972 Summer Olympics but also worked to spread the anti-doping message throughout athletics and advocated for victims of child physical abuse. Peter M. Small ’64, P’97, P’99 is the only recipient to have worked for the College, contributing much to the Board of Overseers and the Board of Trustees (of which he served as Chair from 2005 to 2010) over the course of three of the College’s presidencies. President of the Ford Foundation, Darren Walker, one of the first students in the Head Start program, has worked on a number of projects throughout the years, including a recovery program for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Most recently, he declared his and the Ford Foundation’s primary dedication to combating inequality.
News in brief: Major hires in Brunswick
In a town with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state, two major companies announced their plans to hire hundreds of new employees for their Brunswick locations. SaviLinx, a customer service company stationed in Brunswick Landing for the past three years, announced earlier this month that it plans to hire 200 more staff members for its Maine location, nearly tripling their total number of employees. Earlier, the Boston-based online furniture seller, Wayfair, announced its plan to hire 500 full-time employees for its new customer service center in Brunswick at the former Navy Exchange at Brunswick Landing.
According to an article in the Portland Press Herald, since Brunswick’s employment rate is so low, in order to attract out-of-town workers, employers like SaviLinx and Wayfair must not only offer good pay and benefits but also make extra efforts to connect with potential employees through job fairs. The Maine Department of Labor told the Herald it is further looking into hiring “atypical candidates, such as retirees, new Mainers, disabled people and others” for current and future workplace openings.
Articles of impeachment for BSG members rescinded
New impeachment process passes first vote
Articles of impeachment against two Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) members for involvement in the “tequila” party were rescinded at last night’s BSG meeting for “legal and procedural reasons.”
The three BSG members who introduced the articles against Class of 2018 Representative Clare McInerney ’18 and At-Large Representative Duncan Cannon ’18 last week apologized for having to rescind, but said that following through with impeachment proceedings while simultaneously developing a formal process for impeachment posed a potential for legal action. No further impeachment action will be taken by the BSG against McInerney and Cannon.
“It has been brought to light that the impeachment proceedings in the BSG constitution and bylaws are extremely vague and could make not only us but the entire assembly vulnerable to legal action,” said Inter-House Council Representative Jacob Russell ’17, one of the three BSG members who put forth the articles. “It is with our sincerest apologies we announce we are rescinding this proposal.”
Russell clarified that “No students said they were planning to sue us, but multiple members of the College…warned us in no uncertain terms that we would most likely be individually sued, not by the College, [but] by individuals who remained unnamed [if we continued with the proceedings.]”
The Assembly did vote last night in favor of an amendment to the bylaws that would establish a formal impeachment procedure. Meanwhile, it tabled a proposal to vote that would help protect members of BSG from lawsuits while doing their job in the future.
BSG President Danny Mejia-Cruz ’16 acknowledged the previous vagueness of the bylaws concerning impeachment.
“We were going to carry out impeachment proceedings as we figured out the procedure itself. There was something that was inherently unfair about that,” Mejia-Cruz said.
Mejia-Cruz said he postponed the impeachment hearings, which were originally planned for Saturday, because of this inconsistency.
Russell and the other two BSG members who put forth the articles last week, At-Large Representative Lucia Gibbard ’18 and Vice President for Facilities and Sustainability Kevin Hernandez ’18, expressed their disappointment at having to rescind.
“This is not something I personally completely agree with,” Hernandez said. “It sucks I have to be restrained in some way from what my moral values are.”
When he announced the decision to rescind, Russell clarified that the three members "completely stand behind our reasons for the initial impeachment articles.”
“There’s been a lot of confusion both at Bowdoin and in the national press about why these articles were filed. These articles were not submitted to attack or vilify the individuals involved in the ‘tequila’ party,” Russell said. “They were filed to hold the student government as a whole accountable to the formal condemnation of acts of cultural appropriation we had previously, unanimously approved.”
Many of the 50 students who showed up for public comment time urged McInerney and Cannon to resign from their positions.
“You voted for a Statement of Solidarity last semester and you still made this action that you took responsibility for…it’s black and white and I’m not sure how you can continue serving in this position,” Bill De La Rosa ’16 said. “Moving forward…there has to be a process for holding each other accountable.”
Others spoke of the way the possibility of legal action felt like a dismissal of the understanding they hoped would come.
“Legal defense does look like a rejection of the thing you’re being accused of,” Justin Weathers ’18 said to McInerney and Cannon. “I think it’s important that you use the position you have now and speak out and talk with your peers you now represent and also…there is some kind of need for an apology.”
“What’s going on right here is a total violation of the democracy that should exist in BSG, which is really interesting if you think about the argument for freedom of speech that’s going on this campus because there’s no freedom that’s going on here,” Caroline Martinez ’16 said.
Gibbard expressed similar frustration to Martinez.
“A lot of the people who came to the meeting last week said they wanted time for more discussion and free speech was part of America’s history,” Gibbard said. “The possibility of a lawsuit…essentially ends the conversation, which is not something I am in favor of. I would like the conversation to continue.”
The tabled proposal to protect members from the threat of legal action in impeachment cases cited that the possibility of lawsuit not only “interferes with [BSG’s] role as a democratic, representative body,” but also, “denies the [BSG], and its constituents, access to important conversations.”
“We either were unwilling to risk legal action or simply did not have the money to be able to possibly pursue that without a firm statement from the College that they would be behind us, legally, so we are working on that,” Russell said of this scenario.
The proposal, if approved at next BSG meeting, would allow Mejia-Cruz to look into providing BSG with contracts that ensure Bowdoin College General Counsel will represent them, “in the event of any lawsuit arising through assembly members acting in their capacity as representatives of the student body.” Further, BSG would work with a legal team to confirm its constitution and bylaws “can withstand legal action.”
The bylaws approved at the meeting last night establish a concrete process for impeachment. Once a BSG member introduces articles of impeachment against another member, the validity of these claims will be first voted upon in Executive Session and, if passed, the articles of impeachment will be voted upon at the next BSG meeting. While the respondents, the members in question, will have time to speak during Executive Session, the final vote will take place by secret ballot outside of Executive Session.
Two-thirds of the Assembly must vote in favor for impeachment and a further two-thirds vote is required to determine if the impeachment is permanent, or if the respondents can apply for reinstatement.
The bylaws also added a clause that required BSG members to be “in good standing with the College.” If members of the BSG fall out of good standing, the Dean’s Office may inform the BSG President.
“A lot of the students have issue with BSG acting as a punitive body and that isn’t necessarily our main purpose,” Vice President for Student Organizations Emily Serwer ’16 said. “The procedure does a good job of allowing the school to take the reins on punishment or reprimand for any activities deemed not ‘in good standing with the College.’”
The Assembly will conduct a second and final vote after spring break to confirm the impeachment changes to the bylaws. They will also vote on the proposal for legal protection of the BSG.
Mills to host fundraiser for Mckesson's mayoral campaign
Former Bowdoin President Barry Mills and Travon Free, a writer for The Daily Show, will host a fundraiser for Baltimore City mayoral candidate DeRay Mckesson ’07 on March 9 in Manhattan. The fundraiser will take place at the home of Sue Lehmann and Ted Dreyfus on the Upper West Side. Dreyfus, a former Citibank executive, serves on the board of Teach for America, where Deray worked as a volunteer teacher from 2007 to 2009. According to Mckesson’s campaign website, tickets for the fundraiser range from $250 to $6,000. Mckesson—known for his involvement with the Black Lives Matter movement as well as Campaign Zero, a policy-focused campaign to end police violence—announced his mayoral campaign on February 3.
News in brief: Sociologists Charles and Kramer continue meetings on campus
After beginning research on Bowdoin’s racial and ethnic climate two weeks ago, sociologists Camille Charles and Rory Kramer will return to campus this coming week to continue meetings. While most of their interviews so far have been with specific committees and groups, the upcoming meetings will be more open to the entire student body. This upcoming Tuesday, from 6 to 7 p.m. in Daggett Lounge, all students are welcome to come speak with Charles and Kramer. The next day, a discussion limited to students who identify as multicultural will take place from 8 to 9 p.m. in Lancaster Lounge. Interested students are asked to RSVP to Associate Director of Events and Summer Programs Sara Eddy through the Doodle poll found in Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster’s March 2 email.
As President Clayton Rose announced in an email to the community on December 3, Charles and Kramer will collect information over the course of this semester on the way students’ race affects their experience at Bowdoin. The sociologists will attempt to understand not only the experiences and perceptions of multicultural and white students but also the practices and policies the school has or lacks that contribute to these experiences.Their research will culminate in a recommendation for how the College may take action for improvement.
News in brief: Journalist Scott Allen '83 to visit campus
Scott Allen ’83, the editor of The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team, will visit campus next week to give a lecture titled, “From Watergate to ‘Spotlight’: Investigative Journalism in Democracy.” Although he didn’t work on the case featured in the Oscar-winning movie “Spotlight,” Allen led the Globe’s 2014 Pulitzer Prize winning coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing and manhunt. Over his 20 plus years at the Globe, Allen has worked as the Health and Science editor, the Senior Assistant Metro editor and a reporter covering medicine and the environment. While at Bowdoin, he worked as a reporter for the Orient, first covering sports. His talk will take place on March 8 at 7:30 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium.
Susan Sarandon visits Bowdoin
Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon visited Bowdoin on Tuesday afternoon to campaign for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and spoke to an audience of roughly 50 students, urging them to be on the “right side of history.” While Bowdoin Democrats technically sponsored the event, Bowdoin for Bernie, an unchartered group of students supporting Sanders, had been in touch with a student outreach worker from the Sanders campaign throughout the week to get students more involved with the Maine Democratic Caucus on March 6. Late Monday night, Nick Walker ’16, one of the six students who runs the “Bowdoin for Bernie” Facebook page, got a call about the possibility of Sarandon’s visit followed by a 3:00 a.m. email confirmation. Bowdoin for Bernie and the Bowdoin Democrats coordinated with Student Activities on Tuesday morning to organize the event and spread the word through social media and posters.
Sarandon campaigned for Sanders at a number of other Maine colleges this week, including University of Maine in Orono and Colby College. She visited a number of other places on her Maine tour, including Portland, Bangor and Waterville.
News in brief: Lockout drill next Thursday
Next Thursday at 3:30 p.m., Bowdoin will have a 15-minute emergency lockout drill. The drill is meant to prepare students in case of a lockout, threat or hazard on or around campus. Students will be notified by phone, text and email of the drill through the College’s emergency communication system and told to stay inside or enter the nearest building or safe space. Students will be notified when the drill is complete.
New Center for the Environment to open in 2018
A new academic building on campus, the Roux Center for the Environment, will begin construction in May 2017 and is scheduled to open in mid-to-late fall 2018. The center, funded with a $10 million gift from Barbara and David Roux, will provide classroom, laboratory and faculty office space.
The building will be located on the corner of Harpswell Road and College Street, across from the Schwartz Outdoor Leadership Center. The land used to hold the Kappa Alpha Sigma house, but the land has been unoccupied since the house was torn down in 2013.
Bowdoin’s environmental courses are currently dispersed around campus, primarily in Adams Hall and Druckenmiller Hall. The Roux Center for the Environment will “bring together faculty and students from across disciplines to encourage and facilitate creativity and collaboration about global problems of the environment,” wrote President Clayton Rose in a campus-wide email. The building will also “enhance our identity as a preeminent college in the study of the environment, and draw even more great students and scholars to Bowdoin.”
David Roux is one of only two members of the Board of Trustees who did not attend Bowdoin, though many of his relatives did, including his daughter Margot Roux '14. A graduate of Harvard College, David Roux is a cofounder, senior director and former CEO of Silver Lake Group. Barbara Roux is a graduate of University of Georgia and runs St. Bride’s Farm, an American show jumper breeding and training farm, in Upperville, Virginia.
Rapper Waka Flocka announced as Thursday's Ivies act
In a mock spoiler email to the community, the Entertainment Board (eBoard) announced yesterday that the rapper Waka Flocka Flame, also known as Waka Flocka, will be the Thursday Ivies act. Waka Flocka is best known for his 2010 album “Flockaveli.” On January 28, Waka Flocka posted “#FuckPaulLepage” on his Twitter page. It is unclear if this tweet was in reference to Maine governor Paul Lepage’s slew of comments in early January on out-of-state drug dealers coming to Maine and impregnating young white girls or Lepage’s plans to revive the guillotine to publically execute drug traffickers. Danish singer-songwriter MØ will headline Ivies on Saturday night.
Michele Cyr '76, P '12 to serve as Chair of Board of Trustees
During last weekend’s triannual retreat at Babson College in Wellesley, MA, Bowdoin’s Board of Trustees elected Michele Cyr ’76, P ’12 to serve as the Board’s new chair for the next three years. Cyr, who serves as associate dean for academic affairs for the division of biology and medicine at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School, will begin her position on July 1, when current chair Deborah Jensen Barker ’80, P ’16 will step down. Elected to the Board of Trustees in 2000, Cyr has served on multiple Board committees, including the Academic Affairs Committee and Presidential Search Committee. Graduating magna cum laude with an art and biochemistry double major, Cyr was part of Bowdoin’s second class of women. She went on to graduate from Dartmouth Medical School and completed her residency at Maine Medical Center. During the retreat, the Board also elected John J. Studzinski ’78 to Trustee Emeritus and granted a number of faculty members tenure.
Former Director of Health Services Hayes to serve in interim position
Former Director of Health Services Sandra Hayes will return to Bowdoin to serve as interim director of Health Services for the remainder of the semester, announced Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster in an email to the community on Wednesday. This change in leadership follows Director of Health Services Birgit Pols’ announcement last week that she will step down from her position on March 11 to focus on family matters. Hayes served as Director of Health Services from 2007 through 2014, after joining the Health Center staff as a nurse practitioner in 2000. Foster also announced on Wednesday that Wendy Sansone will be promoted to associate director/clinical care coordinator. Sansone has worked in Health Services for 15 years. Bowdoin will continue its national search for a new permanent director.
Community packs Union to address why race should matter to white students
About 500 students, faculty and staff packed all three levels of David Saul Smith Union Tuesday night for President Clayton Rose’s “town hall” focused around the question, “Why do issues of race matter if I’m white?”
“The meeting and the question...came directly from meeting and a discussion that I had with the leaders of the multicultural groups,” said Rose in an interview with the Orient. “ I sat down with them a few weeks ago to talk about where we are, where we want to go, issues, and so forth, and out of that came a discussion about the necessity...to engage the white majority on campus.”
The “town hall” was held soon after Rose announced that he would be bringing in outside researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Villanova University to conduct a study on the experiences of students of color at Bowdoin, and just before the BSG referendum for a Multicultural Representative. The “town hall” meeting aimed to open up these conversations in a space for the entire student body, refocusing the discussion on white student involvement.Rose opened Tuesday’s meeting with a few general remarks. He acknowledged the importance of action, rather than just conversation, but stressed thoughtful reflection as a necessary first step.
“Before we can get at figuring out how to fix things, we have to understand them and we can’t understand them unless we talk about them. This is an issue we don’t talk about here or in America,” Rose said. “I have seen far too much easy action around some of these issues which then lead to no solution because there’s no engagement or no true understanding about the communities trying to be affected. We’re going to try...to deal with that problem at its root cause.”
Prompted by Rose’s initial question, “Why should I care about issues of race if I’m white?,” Briana Caldwell ’17 began the discussion by asking, “what is Bowdoin going to do to make Bowdoin students who are white think that that’s an important question to answer?”
After Rose turned the question back to the student body, the conversation soon shifted from Bowdoin’s responsibility to a sense of white students’ guilt, guided by Rose’s call for more white students to speak. In the back-and-forth nature of the discussion, a number of students expressed their hesitation to participate in discussions of race as a white person.
“I think there’s a fear that people will see you [as a white person] in some ways as becoming too involved in issues that you shouldn’t become involved in,” Jacob Russell ’17 said. “It is guilt. No one likes being in a setting where the race you’re associated with has to come up with actions that did happen in the past, happen every day...You have to confront many spaces at Bowdoin when you go to talk about issues of race as a minority as a white person, which is a great experience to have...but I think white students...often don’t want to put [themselves] in that situation.”
“Concerns that some of my white friends have made is that they’re really afraid of saying something wrong, that they don’t have a space that they feel like they can speak and they won’t be immediately shut down or screamed at or perceived at racist,” Emily Serwer ’16 said.Olivia Stone ’16 responded directly to Serwer, agreeing with the fear yet urging people to move past it.
“We’re brave students, we’re smart, and we can all just take a deep breath together and get over it,” Stone said. “I also don’t think that those attacks are really going to happen. And I don’t really know why we are afraid of them, but I don’t think that my peers of color are going to attack me even though there’s this fear that they will. I don’t know where that’s coming from and I think we need to explore that a bit together.”
Adira Polite ’18 tried to reframe this fear by contextualizing people’s responses.
“I think one reason for [people being afraid of others exploding] is you only hear these voices when there’s an explosion. People wait to engage in these conversations until something has happened that has angered people.” Polite said. “If you go up to them when something has happened they’re going to be emotional...But if you go up and ask them on a normal day, you know, talk to them about these issues, then maybe you can learn something.”
This initiative, many students felt, rests with white students.
“[A student] was [saying] that students of color need to change how they talk in order to make [race] easier to talk about,” Violet Ranson ’16 said. “And the problem with that is...You can’t edit what someone’s going to say when they’re talking about how you hurt them. So it is up to white students to be able to handle that, because students of color have been handling hatred for a very long time. So it’s your job now to be able to handle hard things and handle having these hard conversations, if you’re really curious about what people have to say.”
While programming attempts to facilitate these hard conversations, the lack of white student attendance at these multicultural events reshapes the discussion.
“[At the Anonymous Speech talk on Friday] there were probably four or five white students,” Justin Weathers ’18 said. “I would just like to encourage people that these spaces are open and they’re open for students to engage in. We’re not going to attack you and we can have mature conversations about things we disagree about...There’s space for disagreement and we can overcome these things but we need people on both sides to come to the conversation.”Daisha Roberts ’16 echoed Weathers’ call for more attendance.
“[As] a part of Af-Am we have always discussed different ways...[to] plan ways to get white people to come to our dialogues, programming, events and parties. We literally spend hours on end trying to figure out how to get more than the same 20 people that usually go to our events,” Roberts said.
Students urged each other to extend the initiative past programming as well.
“I think the conversation doesn’t always have to be about race. It’s simply with engaging with new people,” Frankie Ahrens ’18 said. “I think that’s a really powerful way to do it. It doesn’t have to be a program. It simply has to be something that we reach out and do.”
Reaching out becomes more complicated when students remain unsure of the boundaries of “group spaces.”
“I felt, as a cisgender, Latino-identifying person, that I do not belong even walking through Russworm House because I used to think of that place as exclusively a safe haven for black students,” Julian Tamayo ’16 said. “Then actually in those spaces I see all this art and these friends studying. The same thing is happening in 24 College with women and the queer community. I think it was helpful for me to think of these spaces less as exclusive to who is on the title as safe haven and actually as places of celebration. I think that opens up the space for a lot of people who consider themselves as allies.”
At the same time, some students felt these spaces occasionally need to be exclusive.
“How you can know as a white person is you ask...Af-Am parties are social spaces, so we want as many people who can fit in that space to come,” Kama Jones El ’17 said. “Especially after the sailing team incident, when those things occur that’s probably not the best time for people to be there, simply because it can interfere with how people feel confident in expressing themselves.”
Like a number of other students, Jones El spoke of the way Bowdoin exposed her to different people, an exposure best navigated through engagement.
“One of the biggest things I’m grateful for being here at Bowdoin is that I get to engage with people who I would not engage with if I was back home,” Jones El said. “The fact that people are reluctant to engage is what harms...us in terms of why we feel welcome in certain spaces and don’t feel welcomed in others. I feel like the more you interact with people, the more you can learn from them.”
Though having bowed out for most of the discussion, near the end of the hour, Rose responded to a student who called him out for suggesting that “students who identify as students of color...are one thing."
“You can call me out. You can call me out anytime you want. We may disagree about it, but you should absolutely feel free to do it," Rose said.
"I’m going to weigh into this thing, deeply. I’m not going anywhere. And I will definitely make mistakes, and I will get called out for them, and I will feel horrible about them, but it’s not going to deter me," he added. “That’s the single most important lesson I’ve learned in the much longer journey...Take a deep breath and keeping going through it and engage.”
Students to vote on creation of BSG Multicultural Rep
On Wednesday, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) unanimously voted to pass a resolution in support of creating the position of Multicultural Representative, an addition to the BSG assembly that would serve as a liaison between the Multicultural Coalition and the BSG.
For the position to officially be created, the BSG constitution must be amended. To do this, a third of the student body now has to vote—and within that group, two-thirds have to vote in favor of the amendment. Students will be able to vote from December 9 to 12 on the constitutional amendment creating the position online.
If the amendment creating the position passes, each group of the Multicultural Coalition, which consists of 17 campus groups, will have one vote for the representative in early February, choosing from within the membership of any of the multicultural clubs.
“The Multicultural Coalition, and the student groups within, along with the Student Center for Multicultural Life do a lot of programming around race and culture,” said Evelyn Sanchez ’17. “We feel a lot of these events are attended by the same people who happen to be students of color. We feel that a lot of other students could greatly benefit from the events and would like to if only greater organizations such as BSG advertised them.”
Sanchez, who organized campaigning around the Multicultural representative, referenced the success of the events of No Hate November.
“We also think that having the Multicultural rep be there will allow for these issues to be addressed proactively, rather than reactively,” Sanchez said. “[Programming] can be throughout the year and not just allotted to a month or week, not just allotted to No Hate November.”
The proposal for the position was originally introduced to the BSG last year by Kiki Nakamura-Koyama ’17 and Charlotte McLaughry ’15. However, it was not voted on at the time due to logistical issues.
“We got the proposal from last year, looked it over, reworked it, edited it to make it more relevant to what’s happening now,” said Michelle Kruk ’16, BSG’s vice president for student government affairs.
“Historically, the BSG has not been as diverse and has not been as active in these issues, but we do think by having a rep, we can guarantee that institutional, systemic response to these issues because we can hold someone accountable to that,” Sanchez said.
Kruk agreed, emphasizing the permanence that the position gives to multicultural voices in BSG.
“I don’t think that the programming we do around multicultural life is enough, nor is it sustainable. It changes depending on who is doing the programs or who’s on campus that year,” she said. “I want some permanent legacy here, to be able to say that regardless of whether or not we have a diverse body within the student assembly… there will be someone on the assembly whose job it is to bring these things up.”
BSG amendment proposed to clarify election procedures
Following weeks of controversy over the constitutionality of the appointment of Emily Serwer ’16 as Vice President for Student Organizations, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) passed an amendment to its bylaws Wednesday night that codified recess appointments like Serwer’s.
Over the past month, Senior Class President Robo Tavel ’16, head of the A Cappella Council Max Middleton ’16 and former Vice President for Student Affairs Justin Pearson ’17 all claimed the appointment was unethical and unconstitutional. On Wednesday, Pearson spoke to oppose the new bylaw amendment.
“What’s happening with this clarification is that the president has decided to take action, create a rule that did not exist, and is now asking that that rule go into effect after doing it illegally,” said Pearson.
The position of Vice President for Student Organizations was left vacant after Wylie Mao ’18 resigned from the College over the summer—the first time a resignation had taken place not during the academic year.
BSG bylaws stipulate that “when there is a vacancy in the Executive Committee, the Assembly shall elect one of its members to fill the vacancy” (IV, A, iii). However, the Assembly is not in session over the summer.
The new proposed amendment explicitly allows the Executive Committee to appoint Interim Vice Presidents during the summer in cases of summer resignations, whereas the existing constitution is ambiguous. A “confirmation clause,” according to BSG President Danny Mejia-Cruz ’16, would then allow the Interim Vice President to continue in their position if elected by a 4/5 majority vote of BSG Assembly—not just the Executive Committee.
Mejia-Cruz discussed the vacancy with the Offices of Student Activities and Student Affairs, as well as with Vice President for Student Government Affairs Michelle Kruk ’16, over the summer. Mejia-Cruz then proposed candidates to the Executive Committee. A member of the BSG Assembly was first asked to fill the position before Serwer, but declined.
Meija-Cruz asserted that he was not bound to appoint someone already on BSG. Pearson, Middleton and Tavel disagreed.
“Was there a vacancy in the Executive Committee? Yes. Was the General Assembly supposed to vote to fill the vacancy? Yes. Did they have the opportunity? No,” said Pearson.
Pearson first objected to Serwer’s appointment at the BSG’s October 21 meeting on the same day as a scheduled vote to allow her to remain in her position for the rest of the academic year. This delayed Serwer’s election until November 4.
Tavel drew attention to Serwer and Mejia-Cruz’s joint campaign last year.
“What didn’t smell right was that the person who they choose to appoint was the person who happened to be on the ticket with [Mejia-Cruz] when he ran for BSG president,” said Tavel, who ran unsuccessfully against Mejia-Cruz for president.
While most BSG positions are filled through elections, BSG appoints several at-large representatives each year. However, because these at-large positions are not internal, Tavel differentiated between them and Serwer’s position.
“The difference with the at-large positions is that there’s a school-wide email sent out, the BSG reads each of the candidate’s applications, interviews each candidate,” Tavel said. “In this situation there was no interview...no application. It was basically the BSG deciding that Emily Serwer was the best candidate for this job and—whether or not she is the best person for the job—I think there should have been opportunities for others to throw their names in the hat.”According to Arindam Jurakhan ’17, Entertainment Board representative and member of the Student Organization Oversight Committee, Mejia-Cruz “wasn’t the person who put out Emily’s name in the process.”
“Student government tries to be transparent because of how things look to the outside,” Jurakhan said. “Emily was Danny’s running mate so there seems like there was some sort of bias there in terms of choosing who would choose the position, but they’ve explained the whole Executive Committee put out several people… The Executive Committee doesn’t have an allegiance...it was more of a democratic appointment than it seems to be.”
Mejia-Cruz also defended the appointment.
“I was not about to appoint another man on to the Executive Committee, because we had one woman at the time and that’s not reflective of the student body,” Mejia-Cruz said. “We finally decided on Emily and it was because she’s been on the assembly before, she had shown interest by running and, yes, she was my running mate.”
Aside from running alongside Mejia-Cruz last spring, Serwer has served as the BSG Director of Programming for the past two years, working closely with the Executive Committee. She served in the position of VP for Student Organizations for the first few weeks of school.The Assembly convened a few weeks ago to vote on the proposal to have the official vote for the VP for Student Organizations. This proposal, which passed, allowed for the election of the position.
Jurakhan was one of the three assembly members who either voted in the negative or abstained.
“I feel like even though it makes logical sense to have this happen, given the rules that are in place there should be some sort of contention in it,” said Jurakhan. “I wanted the amendment of the bylaws to happen before the election, because it just seems better. Retroactive [explanation] seems just as fine, [but] kind of conspicuous.”
The proposal for the election passed, allowing the permanent position to be filled sooner rather than wait the two weeks necessary for a proposal for an amendment to the bylaws to pass. At-large representative Ben Painter ’19 ran against Serwer.
“Since there were some people, especially in the public, that brought up [the issue], I just thought she shouldn’t have ran uncontested, even though I thought that she would do a better job because she’s super competent,” said Painter. “I think that everyone thought it was best for the student body for Emily to stay in [the position], including myself.”
Serwer will remain in the position for the rest of the year. The preliminary vote on the amendment is set for next Wednesday, with the final vote following Thanksgiving.
Inauguration: Inauguration celebrates liberal arts, Rose urges uncomfortable discourse
In his inaugural speech as Bowdoin’s 15th president, Clayton Rose spoke to the necessity of “full-throated intellectual discovery and discourse” to an audience of former presidents, guests, alumni, faculty, staff and students in Farley Field House Saturday morning. His speech, “Why We Are Here,” echoed the Inaugural Weekend’s overall tone in praising the liberal arts and expressing a continued need for dialogue.
“[Bowdoin] is a place where we are sheltered from much of the angst and struggle of the ‘real world,’” Rose said. “And this is as it should be: it should be comfortable and safe enough to allow us to engage in our core mission of full-throated intellectual discovery and discourse—which is most decidedly uncomfortable and unsafe.”
Echoing his convocation speech and his address to first-years, Rose stressed the need to be “intellectually courageous” and maintain faith in the value of the liberal arts despite efforts “to reduce the value of this education to salaries.”
Chair of the Board of Trustees Debbie Barker ’80 thought Rose’s remarks exemplified his role at the College.
“His commitment to the liberal arts is steadfast and, at a time when the value of this form of education is being questioned, he will be a great spokesperson and supporter,” Barker said in an email to the Orient. “Finding one’s passion and listening and engaging in dialogue with others—especially if people disagree —are hallmarks of the liberal arts tradition.”
Ethan Barkalow ’18, who attended the Installation Ceremony, found Rose’s speech good, but too general.
“I think, if anything, I would’ve wished I got a little more specific information for what he was going to view his presidency,’” he said.
Though only 125 of the approximately 1,100 attendees of the ceremony and following luncheon were students, some partook in the weekend’s other events or watched the Installation Ceremony online.
“It was a big event and I’ve talked to President Rose a couple times in passing on the quad,” said Jenna Scott ’19, who watched the ceremony on live stream. “As a first year too, I feel for him a bit.”
Regardless of their level of participation over the weekend, students expressed their hope that Rose would use his role to preserve the good of Bowdoin’s past while creating a new, even better future.
Tyrone Li ’16 said he hopes that Rose will continue former president Barry Mills’ legacy of improving financial aid as well as mirroring his constant presence around campus.
“Bowdoin has a different history than the one we live in,” Bill De La Rosa ’16 said. “There is a divide between the old Bowdoin and the new Bowdoin.”
De La Rosa, who spoke at the Installation on the importance of being “global citizens before anything else,” emphasized his hopes for Rose to increase diversity on campus and help students of different backgrounds transition to Bowdoin.
De La Rosa has already been pleasantly surprised with Rose’s tone these past few months.
“He was definitely part of the norm of previous presidents. Besides the fact that he was a white male, he was also largely from that corporate side,” De La Rosa said. “But these few months [through his attendance at lectures, his emails, his first address to the College about race, his welcoming of social justice events on campus] have...for me personally, really said...that he is well aware of everything that affects students in our contemporary society.”
The Inauguration Ceremony was preceded by an Inaugural Procession across the Quad featuring delegates from a plethora of other institutions of higher education. The ceremony concluded when Mills handed the keys to the College over to Rose.
“It’s interesting that Bowdoin is this unifying concept that everyone can get behind even though the school has changed drastically,” said Emma Maggie Solberg, assistant professor of English.
Solberg was impressed by not only the stateliness of the ceremony, but also the collective praise of the liberal arts, especially considering she does not have a liberal arts background.
“I’m still shocked by the liberal arts. It’s such an amazingly different pedagogical system from anything I’ve ever come up against before,” she said. “So it was very interesting for me to see the alumni coming back and pay their respects to Bowdoin because they love Bowdoin...I’m just so curious about that kind of love felt by an alum for Bowdoin decades later.”
Chuck Dinsmore ’69 was one of these alumni who returned for Inauguration.
“Every person on the dais was a spectacular representation of a liberal arts education. Each bringing their own personal experiences to the floor...examining the past, enjoying the present, looking to the future, welcoming Clayton Rose is just a very Bowdoin experience,” said Dinsmore. “[These are] things that those of us who went to college here have come to appreciate more each year following our graduation.”
Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster echoed Dinsmore’s phrasing, calling the events part of “a great Bowdoin weekend.”
“[It was a great celebration] to see so many people come back, to see such energy…to have Clayton welcomed in that way,” Foster said. “To see three of our presidents together was powerful. It’s really quite remarkable to think it’s only happened 15 times in the history of the College.”
James Callahan, Matt Shen, Lucy Ryan, Max Larson, Gideon Moore, Harry DiPrinzio, Calder McHugh, and Matthew Gutschenritter contributed to this report.
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 Bowdoin app replaces Orbit, boosts calendar use
Courtesy of the new Bowdoin College Guide app, students now have a multitude of Bowdoin-centric information at their fingertips. The app—downloadable for free on the App Store and Google Play—includes a school calendar, dining menus, laundry and OneCard information, news, maps and other information. Originally developed to aid visitors coming to campus for events like class reunions and Commencement Weekend, the app was upgraded this past spring to serve as a tool for students.
“[The app] turned out to be incredibly successful over the last couple of years. We thought it’d be nice if there was a consistent guide for everyone to use, particularly students,” said Director of Digital and Social Media Holly Sherburne.
Sherburne, along with Senior Interactive Developer David Francis and Technology Integration Specialist Juli Haugen, began to upgrade and rebrand the event app. Additions to the app include “The Bowdoin Guide,” the primary tool for students within the app.
Since its start last spring, the Bowdoin app has been installed more than 2,200 times. The Bowdoin Guide within the app has been installed 1,658 times, with about 600 of those installations coming since August 22. iPhone users represent 85 percent of downloads, while 15 percent of downloads came from Android users.
Additional guides will be available for special campus events, such as Homecoming, Family Weekend, Commencement Weekend, Reunion and First Year Orientation. Guides for Homecoming and President Rose’s Inauguration are currently available.
This work coincided with a request from Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) for the creation of a better student calendar.
“It was something that few students looked at and that faculty and staff just crowded. It served no purpose because no one looked at it,” said BSG President Danny Mejia-Cruz ’16.
“The Orbit was created and it never reached its full potential,” Director of Student Activities Nate Hintze said. “This past year [students said], ‘It comes at 11:11 and I delete it.’”
Mejia-Cruz said that many students complain about the Orbit, claiming that student organizations never use it as was originally intended.
“We want to get rid of it, we will be getting rid of it if it’s the last thing I do,” said Mejia-Cruz. While the Campus Digest still alerts students by email about announcements and events, the app aims to make information—particularly calendars—more accessible and more frequently updated.
“We’re trying to streamline a calendar system so people across campus can look and see what’s going on in Reed House, in athletics, in the government department, all in one location,” said Hintze.
Attempts have already been made to promote app use. Student Activities introduced the app to club leaders at a training meeting earlier this month, while first years could learn about the app at a table set up in the David Saul Smith Union during First Year Orientation. Posters will soon be going up around campus, though Sherburne said she hopes the app will gain traction from word of mouth.
While currently focusing on promoting the calendar, Student Activities and Information Technology shared hopes to expand the scope of the app. The app already overlaps with the popular student dining app, which includes similar features of dining menus and OneCard information.
“The pinnacle would be if we could figure out how to get Safe Ride information on there…so you’ll have the phone numbers for Safe Ride shuttle and Brunswick Taxi right there,” Hintze said.
Students can download the new app at http://bowdo.in/app.
Football team promotes campus participation
Through social media, community involvement and academic pursuit, the Bowdoin football team is building stronger connections within the team and with the Bowdoin community this off-season. Under the new leadership of Coach J.B. Wells, the team has been “playing” in the Bowdoin Football League (BFL), a competition that allows players to earn points for their team for participating and excelling at various activities around campus.
“[It’s a way] to be competitive when you don’t have your sport to be competitive with,” Wells said. “I’ve been doing in years past [while coaching at Endicott College] to create some competition, some camaraderie, some team chemistry in the off-season.”
The BFL divides the team into six teams, all named after a piece of Bowdoin history (the “Explorers” after Admiral Perry, the “Colonels” after Joshua Chamberlain, for example). One junior serves as the “general manager” of each team and drafted the players. The players gain points for academics, athletics, community service, support at other Bowdoin athletics and non-athletic events, and positive social media.
“In high school my football team were all really close because we had all been growing up together,” player Nadim Elhage ’16 said. “[With the BFL], we’re learning about each other in a way we haven’t before, so it’s building unbelievable team camaraderie.”
From this inter-team competition, the team has bonded with each other and their coaches, since one coach is paired with each team.
“It’s a way for our coaching staff to get to know our players and a chance for our players to get to know our staff,” Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan said. “And also to emphasize something that’s really important to Coach Wells—members of our programs being involved in many areas across campus.”
This involvement includes attendance at other Bowdoin teams’ games throughout the year in hopes of building a fan base for their games in the fall.
“As our coach says, in order to have a fan you have to be a fan,” Elhage said. “So we’re trying to go to as many sporting events as we can to cheer on Bowdoin athletics and hope that in the fall they’ll be out in the stands.”
Both the players and Wells acknowledge the odd tension with this system of selflessness and competition: the players support others (their teammates, Bowdoin athletic teams) yet gain points for doing these good gestures.
“As Wells notes, the team culture built in the process of this structured competition is the ultimate goal.
“I want them to get into the habit of encouraging their teammates,” Wells said. “I think we live in a society that can be very negative. I’m trying to get the guys…to put up each other in a positive way.”
This positivity permeates in part through the team’s surge of social media, an outlet many teams use to promote themselves and other teams. With tweets giving shoutouts to hard-working teammates, other athletic teams’ events or any positive Bowdoin spirit, the players’ twitter accounts have been spreading the “Bowdoin football brand,” as Elhage said, to students, alumni and prospective students.
“It [is] a way for senior football guys across the pond in Italy or China studying to keep in touch a bit with the guys and hear about what’s going on back home,” said next year’s captain captain Parker Mundt ’16, who is currently studying abroad in China.
By using the hashtag #forwardthewhite, the team has found another way to extend the Bowdoin football presence to Bowdoin football alumni, connecting with the traditional Bowdoin fight song, “Forward the White.”
Sung after every Bowdoin football win, this fight song was originally a winning poem for the Bowdoin Prize Song Contest in 1913. As a blurb on the football team’s website describes, teams used to be identified solely by their school color, not mascot. Bowdoin was “the white” and the song pays homage to that.
As much as the team’s initiatives channel the past, ultimately they demonstrate the wider reshaping of the team under new leadership this season.
“It’s a complete difference,” Elhage said. “[BFL] is building something and [making us feel] as if we’re a part of something, more than it’s been in years past.”
By “watering the bamboo,” a metaphor well-used by Wells, the team hopes to have sown the seeds—watered the bamboo—for a larger payoff in the fall and years to come.
“I think the team bond we’re building now will continue through the summer into the fall [and] hopefully help us win a lot more games than we have the past couple years,” Elhage said.
Breaking the bubble: Seniors make plans for after Bowdoin
With graduation just five weeks away, Bowdoin seniors are now more than accustomed to being asked about their plans for the future. Some find this question easy—graduate school, new job, new city—and yet others still aren’t sure what they’ll do after Bowdoin.
“I have no idea right now,” Priscila Laforet ’14 said of her plans after graduation. “I’m still looking for a job, so I think it all depends on how those interviews turn out.”
A number of Bowdoin students are playing the same waiting game. For many, the results of the job search are some of the first real life yes’s and no’s students have received, making the disappointments and successes all the more weighty considering the immense work put into it. “I feel like the job search is a fifth class,” Laforet said. “You’re trying to juggle it with your coursework and honors or independent studies and trying to have a normal senior year.”
Students applying to grad school have similarly struggled with the additional workload and stress. David Needell ’15, who plans to attend graduate school at the California Institute of Technology to pursue Materials Science and Applied Physics, contrasted the application process to those of undergraduate programs.
“There is no Common Application. Graduate institutions' primary concern is not that you bring some quirky personality and unique perspective to their campus,” Needell wrote in an email to the Orient. “They are looking to make sure that a) you will be successful in research and academics and b) you will contribute to the current research and bring new ideas.”
Some lucky students, who went through the process earlier, were exempt from senior year job searches. Emma Young ’15, a Math and Economics double major, snagged a job through her internship at Bank of America in New York City last summer.
“I got an offer at the end of the summer to come back full time,” Young said. “[Getting the internship] was really stressful at the time, but getting it out of the way back junior year was nice.”
Some who have not received job offers seized an opportunity to reassess what they want to do.Laforet, a Sociology major, planned to apply to graduate programs for public health only to realize that taking time off between Bowdoin and graduate school would allow her to gain professional working experience, to take a breath from the college workload and to reconsider graduate school.
“My plan is to take at least two years off from Bowdoin and grad school and reevaluate if public health is something I really want to do,” she said. “If it’s not, I saved myself two years and 100 grand.”
In a survey taken by members of the Class of 2012 during their senior year, 91 percent of students indicated they planned to pursue more education eventually. A year later, only 16 percent of the Class was actively doing so.
“I’m too undecided about what I want to do,” Callie Ferguson ’15 said of going to graduate school. “If there’s something I realize I need to do, I’m willing to go the lengths to get there if grad school is one of those steps. I love school, so it doesn’t sound like a bad thing to me.”
Ferguson, an English major with a creative writing concentration, will work for the Allagash Brewery Company in Portland, beginning twice a week in May and working full time after graduation. She also writes “Grain to Glass,” a beer column, in the Orient.
“School really supplies you with a certain kind of mindset about what you want, and I figured it’d be nice to step outside of that,” she said. “A lot of what we think about in terms of grades and success here at college, we then translate to success in your career. The metrics for success will go away when you’re no longer in college, but we still have this impulse to measures ourselves.”
For those pursuing a field like medicine, which has a specific track, this measured system works well. Yet for the majority, the prospect of deciding on an eventual career can be daunting.
“That was cripplingly hard—deciding what to apply to and the thought that if I get this job I’d live in that place. Do I want to commit to that version of my future?” said Ferguson. “I think there’s a lot of urgency around getting a job right after school, but it’s ironic because you have the rest of your life.”
For Ferguson, the allure of Maine and the close proximity to her friends made the Allagash job even more attractive. She has not yet determined whether she will remain at the brewery or pursue something like writing. She took a writing internship at a production company in Hollywood two summers ago.
“The minute I told myself I would eventually get a job, that this job will not be my only job—your first job doesn’t have to be perfect—it sort of took the anxiety away,” Ferguson said. “It’s both liberating and terrifying to think that you could do anything.”
BSG discusses proposal for multicultural rep
In its meeting on Wednesday, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) discussed, though did not vote on, a proposal to adopt a BSG representative for Multicultural Student Programs.
The proposal, put forward by At-Large Representative Kiki Nakamura-Koyama ’17 and Vice President for Student Government Affairs Charlotte McLaughry ’15, would add a multicultural representative, chosen by Multicultural Student Programs, to serve on BSG.
About 40 students from various groups gathered in support of the proposition at Nakamura-Koyama’s invitation.
“If we look at the General Assembly, we are clearly a diverse group,” Nakamura-Koyama said during the meeting. “However, there isn’t a space or time for us to discuss race or our minority status. I think that’s really critical, especially if we look at the lack of recognition of the [Ferguson, Mo. and Eric Garner] protests around campus that involved a great amount of students. It was left undiscussed [by BSG].”
The proposal explains why the position is necessary, noting that although one third of the student body is of color, “students of minority races, sexualities, religions and gender have been underrepresented on campus and BSG.”
The proposal envisioned that “this representative will contribute positively to increasing the voice and discussion of underrepresented groups,” suggesting that “BSG and [Multicultural Student Programs] will both benefit from a liaison in order to improve the communication between and programming of both institutions.”
BSG President Chris Breen ’15 announced at the end of the discussion that proposals like these take multiple meetings to pass through. Because the school year is coming to a close and elections have already passed, this proposal will most likely be pushed off until next year.
“I was disappointed for sure the vote didn’t happen today,” Nakamura-Koyama said. “I’m confident that this chair is going to get put through next year with Danny [Mejia-Cruz ’16] and Michelle Kruk ’16, because both of them are very passionate about multicultural affairs.”
Mejia-Cruz will serve as BSG president next year, and Kruk will be vice president for BSG affairs.
During the meeting, the proposal and ensuing discussion was met with occasional snaps and comments from the supporting students and questions from BSG members, most of whom were careful to state they were not against the position.
In the past, special interest representatives, including ones from the Department of Athletics and the Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good, have had poor attendance records.
One of BSG members’ biggest concerns was how one person could represent all the minority groups listed in the proposal— which mentions race, sexuality, religion and gender.
Nakamura-Koyama said that it was possible for one person to represent all types of minorities without identifying with all minority groups.
Two members of the coalition attended the meeting and spoke to the coalition’s growing strength, a strength in which Nakamura-Koyama voiced her confidence.
“Dean [Associate Dean of Multicultural Student Programs Leana] Amaez told me they’d probably host an election within the students of color throughout the multicultural coalition,” Nakamura-Koyama said. “All of them would work on a person to come and represent the multicultural chair.”
Throughout the discussion, many BSG members continued to state they supported this addition and only wondered what specific role this representative would play.
“I think a lot of students would look at that and understand that there’s somebody representing them and so they would be able to voice their concerns to that person,” Nakamura-Koyama. “Where as now, there’s no one where people might feel comfortable voicing their concerns.”
Nakamura-Koyama said that this position would provide a specific outlet for multicultural discussions. The representative would help design No Hate November programming and respond to events like the Ferguson and Garner protests tha took place last semester.
“What I think is most important is that [the representative] is going to be able to talk about [his or her] identity as a minority on campus,” Nakamura-Koyama said. “That’s really crucial because I’ve seen that it’s been passed off so many times. I especially see this after the Ferguson and Garner rulings and there were protests all over campus… It was clearly a student issue yet BSG didn’t say anything about it.”
For now, the issue remains suspended until the start of next year.
Women’s tennis remains undefeated in conference play
Securing its fourth consecutive win, women’s tennis continued its win streak with an 8-1 victory over MIT in its first home match last Saturday. The Polar Bears dominated in all of the doubles matches and won five of the six singles matches. On Wednesday, Bowdoin excelled again, beating Bates 9-0 in Farley Field House.
“It’s good because we not only won, but won decisively,” said captain Emma Chow ’15. “That sends a message to the rest of NESCAC and other top, nationally-ranked schools.”
With a record of 8-2, Bowdoin is No. 8 nationally, while MIT is No. 13. Bowdoin has a conference record of 3-0 after the Bates win.
“We knew this was probably one of their biggest matches of the season,” Chow added in reference to MIT. “So we were definitely going into it very prepared and wanting to win.”
Bowdoin gained momentum early on when all doubles teams won—Joulia Likhanskaia ’17 and Tiffany Cheng ’16 (8-3), Tess Trinka ’18 and Kyra Silitch ’17 (8-2), and Pilar Giffenig ’17 and Chow (8-1).
“Everyone was just really on point with their game,” Silitch said. “That just builds confidence for singles.”
With the encouragement of a 3-0 lead going into singles, the Polar Bears again delivered decisively. Likhanskaia, Cheng, Trinka, Samantha Stalder ’17 and Silitch all won their singles matches. Likhanskaia, Bowdoin’s No. 1, also featured as this week’s Athlete of the Week, pulled out a strong win over MIT’s No.1 with 6-0 and 6-2 matches.
Last Saturday was the team’s first home match since Spring Break, when the team traveled to California, as well as a return to action for the team.
“We’ve had a bit of a gap of matches where over Spring Break we played [eight matches in two weeks] and then came back and had two weeks basically without a match,” Chow said. “It’s [been] getting back into that match mode.”
However, women’s tennis used the time since Spring Break to practice and focus on getting stronger, feeding off of each other’s energy.
“We’re really just keeping up the intensity in practice,” Silitch said. “I think our team is really good about encouragement, building confidence…building almost cockiness really helps us.”
Since the team is made up of seven players, everyone’s effort has an impact on the final team score.
“It’s a really supportive environment, but everyone pushes you to do better,” Silitch said. “They push you as a result of being so small. You can’t fade into obscurity, [which] definitely contributes to all of our success too.”
Against the Bobcats, the Polar Bears were even more impressive, winning all of the 15 sets in the match. In doubles, all three pairs won their power sets 8-1. Although Chow and Trinka were an All-American doubles team in the fall, Holbach successfully switched up the pairings for the spring season. As doubles teams, Chow and Giffenig and Silitch and Trinka have not lost a match this spring.
Silitch and Stalder were standouts in singles play, double bageling their opponents. The team faces off against Amherst this Saturday at Amherst. On Sunday, they will move on to play Hamilton and Skidmore at Hamilton. The following weekend, the team will return home to play Middlebury. The last matches will be played against Tufts and Williams, closing out the regular season.
“[We’re] looking forward to these upcoming matches and leading into the NESCACs because we definitely want to win NESCACs and finally get ourselves a NESCAC championship,” said Chow.
On campus, political correctness is a growing concern
Sixty eight percent of respondents to a recent survey conducted by a class taught by Associate Professor of Government Michael Franz indicated that they believe that political correctness is a ‘problem at Bowdoin currently.’
The respondents represented an even distribution of class years and genders, and were numerous enough to represent the broader Bowdoin community.
Students’ individual definitions of political correctness vary, but the survey indicates that students are unhappy about the level of political correctness on campus. Some students the Orient spoke with argued for political correctness, while others said that it has become difficult to voice a minority opinion on campus.
“It seems to me that people have this idea that there is this pervasive force among Bowdoin students that is the language police,” said James Jelin ’16, who writes a column for the Orient. “And if you say anything that doesn’t gel with the currents of appropriateness that you’re suddenly going to be exiled from the Bowdoin community.”
The survey also asked about Cracksgiving and the Inappropriate Party, two recent events that have sparked discussion about the necessity of political correctness. Twenty seven percent of respondents approved of the way the College handled Cracksgiving, 47 percent did not approve, and 25 percent felt they did not have enough information to say. Thirty eight percent of respondents indicated that “students in Ladd House unfortunately caved to pressure from Res Life,” 17 percent believe the Ladd house residents “made the right call,” 37 percent said that they “see the merits of both sides” and eight percent said that they did not have enough information to decide.
Director of the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity Kate Stern feels that the limited discussion surrounding these events is the bigger issue.
“I think people use the term political correctness like a stop sign and then we don’t go past that,” Stern said. “We don’t talk about what the impact was of Cracksgiving on our Native American students. We just talk about the administration being politically correct. But we’re not getting to that next step.”
Yet many students, divided on whether political correctness is a necessary roadblock, find it difficult to get to this next step. Since Cracksgiving and the cancellation of the Inappropriate Party, students have debated whether political correctness protects people or stifles them, or whether it does both.
“[I think it’s] everyone’s responsibility to engage in conversation and to promote a space where political correctness doesn’t inhibit, but also protects those it is meant to protect,” Michelle Kruk ’16 said. “I don’t think that being politically correct necessarily means censorship.”
Debate about Yik Yak mirrors the debate about political correctness, particularly in regards to censorship. Some believe that Yik Yak provides a platform for students to speak their minds freely and voice potentially unpopular opinions.
“People feel more inclined to speak their minds when you don’t have to sign your name after it. If you feel comfortable speaking up for yourself there, then I would say go for it,” said Ned Wang ’18.
Stern agreed that the lower stakes of anonymous forums can make them attractive to students.
“I think part of the PC backlash—which I agree with—is that if we just don’t say it because we’re not allowed to say it, it doesn’t change how we’re thinking,” Stern said. “That feeling of I can’t say it, but I’m still thinking it, drives the conversation to Yik Yak.”
Some people however, believe that Yik Yak too easily allows for hurtful comments to be made. In a recent column in the Orient, Vee Fyer-Morrel ’15 warned that Yik Yak has led to particularly harmful comments with regard to body image, allowing people to “lash out from behind the anonymous comfort of a screen.”
The anonymity of Yik Yak is lost in the classroom, and some believe that political correctness is a problem there. Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies Tess Chakkalakal encourages “lively debate” in her classes, yet often finds political correctness hindering discussion.
“I think that disagreement, debate, argument, is an important part not only of an academic institution like Bowdoin College but also of a democracy,” Chakkalakal said. “I encourage disagreement and I worry that political correctness forces us to all agree, which I believe, and according to that survey, we do not. We have differences of opinion that I believe should be voiced respectfully—but voiced and not stifled.”
Between Bowdoin Climate Action’s (BCA) sit-ins and the Ferguson die-ins, activists on campus have been busy, and their visibility has perhaps increased attention on issues of open discussion. Some students attributed the problem of political correctness to campus activists.
“I think a lot of the activists on campus are the biggest offenders,” Nick Mansfield ’17 said. “The people who think they are the most liberal, free-thinking people are the most intolerant ones. Most of the ones I’ve encountered have no desire to negotiate or understand the opposing viewpoint at all.”
Mansfield cited hostility toward people who take a pro-life stance as an example of liberal students taking an intolerant position.
“If you’re pro-life at Bowdoin you would get shot down in a hailstorm of bullets,” he said. “No one would really respect that viewpoint even though you’re perfectly entitled to it and you might have your reasons for it.”
Hayley Nicholas ’17 said she believes such a sentiment is a result of a lack of communication on campus.
“I don’t think it’s the activism itself [perpetuating this divide]. It’s the lack of communication,” she said.
Nicholas referred to BCA as an example of a group failing to communicate.
“The only problem that I have with BCA is that they realize that there’s a huge disconnect on campus between students who want to divest and students who don’t, and I feel like they haven’t been trying to bridge that gap,” she said.
Yet Nicholas was careful not to attribute political correctness to activism.
“I think people confuse the terms activism and political correctness,” she said. “They think they’re one and the same.”
Jelin said he thinks the lack of communication can be characterized differently. He believes that campus discussion has become too one sided and that opposing voices are plentiful but simply hesitant to engage.
“I think that all of the people who disagree with this primary dialogue, they’re just not talking about it. Nobody else is writing letters to the editor in the Orient, nobody else is holding rallies,” Jelin said. “I think that there’s this fallacy that everyone at Bowdoin believes these things when really it’s just a small but vocal minority.”
The survey’s results seem to support Jelin’s theory, since the majority of students declared themselves unsatisfied with the current state of discussion. Chakkalakal said that the discourse should be elevated, but not by the administration.
“I don’t think it’s the administration’s responsibility,” Chakkalakal said. “I think it’s the students’. I put it on you.”
Editor's note: The story originally stated that 69 percent of students think that political correctness is a problem at Bowdoin. That number was in fact 68 percent.
Crack House in violation of 8 building safety codes
Brunswick Fire Department (BFD) and Brunswick Police Department (BPD) found eight fire and life-safety violations during a January 19 inspection of -the off-campus residence at 83 ½ Harpswell Road, colloquially known as Crack House, forcing the six residents to cease use of the basement. Two residents may also need to move out of the house.
According to BPD Captain Mark Waltz, the landlord of the property has until April 3 to supply Deputy Chief Emerson with a long-term correction plan. If accepted, the landlord will have until May 1 to implement the plan.
“For the long term, the landlord will have to bring the building up to compliance—so, to fix all the facility-based or structural-based deficiencies that may be here,” Emerson said. “If they want to continue using the basement, he’s going to have to do some exit work. [The building also has] to be brought into compliance with the definition of a one-to-two family dwelling, which means it’ll have to be limited to four people.”
BFD and BPD performed their inspection of the house following a complaint from the Brunswick town office. The investigation revealed eight fire and life-safety violations, many of which were similar to the nine violations discovered in a 2008 investigation of the house.
The violations included: too many people living in the house, no working smoke detectors, impermissible padlocks on bedroom and bathroom doors, basement non-storage usage without a secondary exit, an upstairs bedroom lacking a secondary means of escape, combustible material too close to heating appliances as well as electrical deficiencies, inadequate fire separation between the garage and the house and deficiencies with the oil-burning water heater.
“The immediate fixes…were the clearing of those exits, the replacement of smoke detection that had been removed, the vacating of the illegal bedroom, the removal of impermissible locks, and no further occupancy of the basement for anything other than storage purposes,” said Deputy Chief Jeffrey Emerson of the BFD, who was in charge of the investigation, in a phone interview with the Orient.
Six seniors currently reside in the house. The landlord and the town will determine whether two students must move out of the house or whether the house can become classified differently to allow for more residents, which would require improvements like a fire alarm and a sprinkler system.
“[Our landlord’s] very supportive of us,” said a resident of the house, who asked not to be identified. “He wants the house to continue to be a student housing option.”
Associate Director of Housing Operations Lisa Rendall has offered the residents of Crack on-campus housing. So far, only one resident has reached out to Rendall to discuss this offer. The Office of Residential Life (ResLife) is usually not involved with off-campus housing, but in the past it has offered on-campus housing when neecessary, such as when a furnace broke in an off-campus house a few years ago.
Like ResLife, Bowdoin’s Office of Safety and Security has served as an outlet for off-campus housing situations, involving themselves as necessary. In this particular situation, Safety and Security was made aware of the violations yet had no direct involvement.
“It’s a town issue,” said Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols. “I haven’t got any direct involvement in this matter between the town and the landlord.”
As such, no security report was issued on the investigation, yet word of Crack’s potential shutdown spread rapidly as a result of its prominent place in the College’s social scene.
“Throughout my four years here, Crack has been a really important part of the social life of this college… [It is] an environment for those people that want to have a social life outside of the normal social house experience,” the house resident said.
Crack House made headlines in several local newspapers after house residents threw a party in November at which 14 students wore Native American costumes and were disciplined by the College.
The Crack House resident thinks that the house is under a lot of scrutiny and that there may be a connection between the events that have taken place this year.
For now, Crack’s party scene is on hold.
“Going forward, we won’t be having any more parties,” the house resident said. “I can’t speak to what happens with the residents next year.”
Lindemann of Special Collections retires after 15 years at the College
“Regardless of what the general conversations have been recently about whether the book is dead or whether libraries are going away, special collections libraries have a really strong future,” Richard Lindemann said. “They hold materials that are unique and have a certain materiality to them which you can’t duplicate through digitization.”
Lindemann, director of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections and Archives, has dedicated his life to working with these documents, lending his knowledge to Bowdoin for the past 15 years.
Effective March 13, Lindemann will retire and leave behind enriched book collections, digitization projects and exhibits. His colleagues, all of whom were quick and abundant in their praise and admiration for him, characterize him by his “high standards, clear goals, good humor and great baking.”
“I can’t give high enough praise to what it’s like working with him,” Marieke Van Der Steenhoven, special collections and archives assistant said. “[He has] both an incredible sense of humor…[and] of professionalism, as well as the ability to manage time and projects. He just sets an excellent example of a working environment.”
These strengths have served him well over the years as he executed ambitious projects for the College. From 2008 to 2011, Lindemann planned and organized the George J. Mitchell Oral History Project, an endeavor that compiled oral histories about Former Senator George J. Mitchell ’54 and won the 2012 Elizabeth B. Mason Major Project Award, given biennially by the Oral History Association to an outstanding English language oral history project worldwide. In 2013, Lindemann edited an autobiography of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, “‘Blessed Boyhood!’: The Early Memoir of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain,” published by the College.
Lindemann first chose to go into the field of special collections because of these types of projects, working at various archivist positions at larger universities before Bowdoin.
“I was happier when I was doing things, building things, making things, rather than spending a lot of time in my head thinking things,” Lindemann said. “Working in a library setting [gave] me a chance to be in an academic community—which I really enjoy and thrive in—but [gave] me the opportunity to work with ideas…in a more tangible way.”
Putting together exhibits has allowed Lindemann to do this hands-on work. Currently displayed on the second floor of HL, Lindemann’s exhibit “BookART” showcases Bowdoin’s collection of artists’ books (books created by artists)—a collection the College would not have had without him.
“Richard has grown such an amazing artists’ book collection,” Van Der Steenhoven said. “It’s an incredible resource that we have [that] students, faculty, artists and researchers from all over the country come and access.”
Lindeman’s digitization work also mirrors this imperative of accessibility. Thanks to a grant (one of many Lindemann has written), the department is in the process of digitizing General Oliver Otis Howard’s (Class of 1850) papers. Before he leaves, Lindemann plans to complete his other project—digitizing and publishing 19th century Brunswick resident Kate Furbish’s watercolors of Maine flora.
“[Lindemann has] helped to lead both the library and the department transition into the digital age,” said Caroline Moseley, an archivist in the department who has worked with Lindemann for 15 years.
“…[He has] that ability [to] see the big picture, see what need[s] to be done and be able to help people to do that,” she said.
Leading by this example, Lindemann has thrived not only as a manager but also as a mentor, both for his colleagues and students.
“He has this way of putting people at ease that I’ve experienced personally and also witnessed,” Meagan Doyle, Oliver Otis Howard Digitization Project manager, said.
Lindemann has also collaborated with faculty to teach certain classes, such as a lesson earlier this month on analyzing historical documents for Professors Patrick Rael and Tess Chakkalakal’s Reconstruction and Reunion course.
Lindemann’s balance of knowledge and humor has allowed him to both teach and connect with people during his time here.
“Working at Bowdoin is a really wonderful privilege because so many of the people who work here are really dedicated and really smart,” Lindemann said. “It’s wonderful working in an environment where other people care about what they’re doing and appreciate what I’m doing…We all have to work but when we can choose whom we work with…Bowdoin’s a lucky place to be.”
As of yet Lindemann has no goals for his retirement, other than to remain in Maine with his wife.
“We’re almost paralyzed by the opportunities—we could do anything and so we do nothing,” Lindemann said. “After a year, then we’ll reassess and think about things, but for the time being we’ll stay close to home.”
His home at the department must reassess as well, finding a replacement for Lindemann’s position.
“We’re going to miss him,” Van Der Steenhoven said. “It’s going to be a major change, but we wish him all the best.”
Women’s hockey looks for form as it heads into home stretch
The women’s hockey team won its first game in three weeks, beating the Trinity Bantams 6-5 in Hartford. The Polar Bears then fell to the Bantams the following day in a 2-0 shutout. Bowdoin is now ranked fourth in the NESCAC at 9-7-4 overall (5-5-2 NESCAC), while Trinity is ranked sixth, 12-6-1 overall (5-6-1 NESCAC).
“[Friday] was a very high-paced, fast game for us,” said captain Colleen Finnerty ’15. “We won it in the last second of the game, which is just very, very exciting.”
The two teams exchanged the lead over the first and second periods. Bowdoin pulled ahead 2-1 after the first period, but surrendered two goals to Trinity by the end of the second. The Polar Bears came back to score three times within the first 10 minutes of the third period, with goals from Finnerty, Rachel Kennedy ’16 and Miranda Bell ’18.
“Both teams have pretty strong offenses, so [we thought there was] a chance it [would] be a high scoring game,” said Head Coach Marissa O’Neil. “There were a couple lead changes and a lot of momentum shifts. Then going into the third period, we were down a goal and we just came out really focused.”
The team kept up its momentum throughout most of the remainder of the third period and held a 5-3 lead with two minutes left in the game. After the Trinity goaltender came out of net to give her team an extra player, the Bantams scored two goals to tie the game at five with 34 seconds left.
“[Ariana Bourque ’16 and I] were just throwing the puck on net, trying to create the last opportunity we could before it went into overtime,” said Finnerty. “When the puck ended up squirting free off the goalie, I just popped it right in…and looked at the clock and saw that it was 0.8 seconds.”
Up until this win, Bowdoin had not scored six goals in a game since playing Colby in November.
“This has kind of been the story of our team that no matter what the score is, we are playing until the buzzer,” said O’Neil. “There is no giving up with this group and I think that they’ve certainly shown that resiliency throughout the course of the year.”
With a string of bad results, January was “a grind” for the Polar Bears who are hoping the win against Trinity propels them toward a strong finish to the season, according to Finnerty.“[This win] was just kind of a reminder for the team that hey we can do this, we know how to do this, we do this every day in practice, now just go out there and do it for the 120 minutes we play every weekend,” said Finnerty.
Even though Bowdoin lost to Trinity 2-0 Saturday night, the team held the Bantams off until the second period when they scored both goals.
The team was especially excited to play since Trinity’s assistant coach, Dominique Lozzi ’12, used to play for Bowdoin.
“She was my linemate freshman year and she was senior captain,” said Finnerty. “She’s obviously getting her team amped to play Bowdoin, but at the same time we’re over here [knowing] she’s an alum…coaching another team that we know she didn’t like while she was here. So we [have to] show her Bowdoin’s better.”
Finnerty predicts that this weekend—the team’s Senior Weekend—will be “emotionally charged.” Bowdoin hosts Hamilton before traveling to Amherst next weekend for its final set of regular season games.
The Polar Bears are still capable of securing a top-four spot and hosting a NESCAC quarterfinal, but the playoff race is tight and they will not likely know their seed until the regular season is over.
“Last year, it came down to not only our last game, but [also]…the results from other teams,” said O’Neil. “We’re still in control of our own destiny in terms of where we’re going in the playoffs.”
The team has been primarily working on scoring, situation plays and transitional plays in preparation for this weekend’s games, scheduled for Friday at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday at 3:00 p.m. in Watson Arena.
“We aren’t trying to look ahead too much. We know what each game means, but we’re happy with what we’ve been able to accomplish,” said O’Neil. “We also know there’s still a lot out there that we are looking to strive towards and are certainly capable of doing that. It’s just a matter of getting it all together.”
College creates Leap of Faith housing for upperclassmen
The College is launching a new housing opportunity for upperclassmen called Leap of Faith that imitates the first year housing experience. Starting this spring, the Office of Residential Life will pair students who opt into the program with roommates who share similar interests and habits using a questionnaire comparable to the one distributed to first years before they arrive at Bowdoin.
“[You’re] leaving your housing assignment in the hands of the ResLife office, which is where it was when you applied and arrived here as a first year,” said Associate Director of Housing Operations Lisa Rendall. “[This housing option is] being willing to take that leap of faith, as we call it, to try something new with your housing.”
Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster said he has been interested in developing a program like this ever since he first heard a group of upperclassmen students say their core group of friends are the people they met during their first six months of college.
“I sort of test drove the idea with groups of first years and sophomores that I’ve been having lunch with,” said Foster. “You think of your three closest friends…inevitability the response almost always includes people from my first year floor or even my roommates.”
Rendall said that ResLife hopes for about 40 to 50 participants. In addition to the potential reward of newfound friendships, students who register for the program have another incentive: housing choices include Coles Tower, Stowe Hall, Howard Hall, Chamberlain Hall, Brunswick Apartments, Mayflower Apartments, 52 Harpswell Road and the fifth floor of Osher Hall.Students may indicate a preference for the fifth floor of Osher option or the apartments, suites or rooms option, depending on whether they want a floor of new people similar to the first year experience.
While the Leap of Faith program will take the place of the housing lottery for students who choose that option, participants may still apply to College Houses. If they are accepted to a house, their Leap of Faith registration will be withdrawn. Since College House spots are competitive, Leap of Faith could provide another way for sophomores to live in a community with a new set of people.
“I think a lot of sophomores who apply for College Houses aren’t really sure what to do when they don’t get in,” Rendall said. “This might be an interesting option for them, so I’m hoping they will think about this as an option and apply for it simultaneously.”
Rendall said that juniors whose friends are abroad may find this program a good option. “[If] all your friends are studying abroad in the fall, but you’re going to be here because you couldn’t sync up your abroad options, why not try Leap of Faith housing and live with some new people for a semester?” Rendall said.
Bowdoin Student Government Vice President for Student Affairs Justin Pearson ’17 had similarly positive thoughts on the new option.
“It’s recommitting to the idea of allowing yourself to be a little vulnerable, then capitalizing on that opportunity,” Pearson said. “It’s really exciting because you won’t get to do this again.”
No other NESCAC schools offer a comparable program. Hamilton is interested in developing one. Amherst and Wesleyan have ways (lists of names, Facebook pages, mingling events) in which students searching for roommates can connect with each other; however, they provide no questionnaire and do not attempt to draw students together out of shared connection rather than necessity.
Pearson said he hopes the program is not seen as one for students without other options.“My biggest fear is that people will see it as ‘Land of Misfit Toys,’ instead of seeing it as an opportunity to really reach into those ideals of Bowdoin,” he said.
Pearson also emphasized the way this program is meant to expand one’s friend group—connections that every Bowdoin student could use.
“It’s going to take really strong people to say, ‘I think I have a strong enough foundation at the College with my friend group that I’m willing to step out on faith…and try this,”’ Pearson said.
Many students said ResLife did a good job pairing them with their first year roommates.
“If I wasn’t doing ResLife, I’d probably do this Leap of Faith housing because the roommate pairing worked out really well this year,” Hannah Berman ’18 said.
The program hopes it can create the same depth of friendship that comes from so many first-year housing placements.
“You’re trusting in the fact that Bowdoin has admitted...this extraordinary group of human beings to this campus. And how can you really go wrong?” Foster said.
Pearson echoed Foster’s sentiment of admiration for students at Bowdoin.
“College is about taking a leap of faith,” Pearson said. “Now it’s how you can capitalize on [your decision] to make some new, fun connections.”
The success of this program, according to Foster, ultimately does not depend on the number of people who participate.
“It’s not going to depend whether there’s eight or 80 people,” Foster said. “If we get a good response and it’s a positive experience, I don’t see why we wouldn’t keep doing it.”
Student s’more service delivers late-night goods
S’more to Door, a student business delivering late-night freshly baked goods, debuted this past Thursday night, making a total of $160 for 17 orders. Run by seniors Gracie Bensimon and Hannah Gartner, S’more to Door delivers cookies, cupcakes and other desserts to any Bowdoin student on or off-campus Thursday nights from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.
“All there is [to eat late at night] is pizza,” Bensimon said. “There’s nothing for people with a sweet tooth.”
The business offers a range of original treats which can satisfy those with a craving for marshmallow and chocolate. These treats include a s’more cookie (graham cracker base with burnt marshmallows and chocolate on top), the Fluffernutter (peanut butter cookie with marshmallows and chocolate), and the S’more cupcake.
“We definitely look online for base recipes,” Bensimon said. “But then [it’s] a lot of combining and us sitting there thinking about what we want to eat.”
Other desserts include Dunkaroos-Inspired Snickerdoodle Cookie Sticks and Rainbow Dip, Bacon and Banana Muffins, Vanilla Cupcakes with Mixed Berry Jam.
“[There’s] a lot of trial and error with proportions and ingredients. We try to take a scientific approach,” Gartner said. “Neither of us are particularly organized people per se, but we got excited about buying this journal where we would systematically write down every iteration of the recipe.”
Last Thursday, the two tested their recipes at the launch party, during which they gave out free samples and their business cards.
“The inspiration [for S’more to Door] is really just that we both love dessert a lot,” Bensimon said.
Bensimon has long been an avid baker, selling cookies at the Campus Food Truck as a first year, and working in professional bakeries.
“I started baking more in high school, particularly before I applied to college,” Bensimon said. “I found baking to be very stress-reliving.”
As a first year, Bensimon cooked in Osher’s communal dorm kitchen, crafting treats for people’s birthday parties.
“Hannah said ‘I want to learn how to bake,’ so then whenever I baked she’d come over and we’d bake together,” Bensimon said.
While Bensimon and Gartner have been baking together for a while, they only started planning this business at the end of last semester and over Winter Break.
“Definitely owning a bakery in the future is a big dream of mine,” Bensimon said. “[It’ll] be fun to start [out this way] with pretty low stakes since you’re not literally buying the store.”
Bensimon and Gartner bake in the kitchen of Bensimon’s off-campus house. They deliver with their own cars, using pizza bags to keep the deserts warm. They estimate delivery time to be half-an-hour or less; if the amount of orders are overwhelming, they hope to enlist a few friends’ help.
While students can satisfy their Thursday night snack craving at Super Snacks or the Campus Food Truck (though not open in the winter), S’more to Door offers a way for students to remain inside and still get fresh treats at reasonable prices.
“Major costs for us starting up [were]...stickers and business cards, packaging, boxes and bags, and then just ingredients for recipe testing,” Bensimon said.
The prices are tentatively set at one dollar per cookie and three dollars per cupcake. Weekly specials’ pricing may be adjusted, like the Valentine’s Day red velvet dessert students can order to be delivered to someone else.
Bensimon and Gartner also plan to have special recipes to support various causes: purple cupcakes one week to raise awareness and money for epilepsy foundations, gray cupcakes to raise awareness and money for depression—a trend conceived by the Depressed Cake Shop in the UK.
“If people on campus have ideas they want to bring to us, [like] partnering to raise awareness on different issues, we’re open to [it],” Gartner said.
Bensimon and Gartner are trying to develop an app with which students can place and pay for orders. For now, students should call or text their order to 203-571-8632 Thursday nights. S’more to Door has been using Facebook and Instagram to advertise their goods.
“It’s a fun, very experimental journey I’d say we’re taking on,” Bensimon said.
BSG to launch re-evaluation of Thanksgiving Break length
Although Thanksgiving Break may not have officially started until the morning of last Wednesday, many students and faculty across campus missed or canceled Tuesday classes.
In order to determine how widespread this phenomenon is, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) President Chris Breen ’15 confirmed in an email to the Orient that BSG will soon be sending out a survey concerning Thanksgiving Break to determine how many professors cancelled classes and how many students skipped classes. The information could, as in previous years, lead to more discussion of changes to the fall semester schedule.
Camille Serrano ’18, from Olathe, Kansas, ended up coming back from break this past Tuesday instead of Sunday to reduce the cost of her five-and-a-half hour flight home.
“The main reason why I [skipped Monday and Tuesday] was that it was a lot cheaper…to fly when it’s not the day before Thanksgiving,” she said.
Even after her longer break, Serrano still arrived in Kansas at midnight and left at 4 a.m. for her flight back to Maine, bringing homework with her from the classes she missed.
“A good amount of people leave early anyway. It would just benefit everyone I feel if [the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving] we just didn’t have class,” she said.
Although many students left last Tuesday, most classes remained in session. Most, like Professor of Government Paul Franco, who held his Tuesday afternoon class, stuck to the schedule.
“[The Tuesday before Thanksgiving] is an official part of the school calendar; therefore, I show up on the days they tell me,” Franco said.
However, he expressed sympathy for students who had to miss Tuesday classes.
“There is a bit of case-by-case consideration there. I understand people have a long way to go. It’s a very short time to make such a long trip,” Franco said.
In 2012, the BSG proposed a schedule change that would have moved the start of first-year Orientation to Saturday instead of Tuesday—lengthening the program by a day and freeing up the Tuesday and Wednesday of that week for classes. These two days would take the place of the Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving Break. BSG organized a protest outside of a 2012 faculty meeting to promote this proposal.
In a letter to the editor sent to the Orient, BSG members wrote that the change would solve “a hectic Orientation, an even crazier Phase II registration, and a financially taxing break schedule.”
Because of a number of concerns including interference with exam preparation and summer faculty research, no change came from the proposal.
“Any time you deal with our calendar, it’s a house of cards of sorts,” Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster said. “I think the timing of when Thanksgiving falls is not ideal in that it falls so late in the semester. You have 12/13ths of the semester over, then you take this pause and people return to sprint to the finish.”
Unlike Spring and Fall Breaks, which give students time off in the middle of each semester, Thanksgiving Break comes only two weeks before reading period.
“I find [the break now] kind of disruptive to the rhythm of the class, especially because you have such a short amount of time after Thanksgiving with only two weeks left to go,” Franco said. “[With a longer break] you have less time to get back into the groove after Thanksgiving holiday.”
Other New England colleges do give students a full week of break, yet maintain similar exam schedules to Bowdoin. Amherst, Bates, Hamilton and Yale are among some of the schools with reading and exam periods that nearly parallel Bowdoin’s. Colby, on the other hand, has a short Thanksgiving break like Bowdoin and begins its reading and exam period almost a week earlier.
Despite being out of classes, students often have to complete homework and prepare for upcoming exams. For the 62.3 percent of students from outside of New England—a percentage that has risen within each class by over five percent over the past four years—the problem rests in the financial and time costs of traveling home for such a short period.
“As a teacher, a pedagogue, I like the fact that it’s a shorter break,” Franco said. “As a fellow human being, I understand, especially for people who have longer travel.”
“There’s not any current discussion [with the calendar committee or any other committee of the College] I’m aware of in terms of extending the Thanksgiving Break,” Foster said. “I know there’s interest on the part of students. There has been interest for the past…five or so years.”
Field hockey loses title game in last minute
The field hockey team suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 loss in last Sunday’s NESCAC championship game against Middlebury on Howard F. Ryan Field, surrendering the go-ahead goal with only 26 seconds remaining. Despite the loss, the No. 3 Polar Bears received an at-large bid to the NCAA D-III Tournament and a first-round bye, and will host a second-round game against Mount Holyoke tomorrow at 11 a.m.
Bowdoin and Middlebury have met in the last four NESCAC championship games, with Middlebury winning the last three.
On Saturday, the Polar Bears defeated Tufts 2-1 in the semifinal game. Bowdoin had beaten Tufts 4-0 on October 29, but the Jumbos looked much improved in the semifinal.
“Against Tufts, we created a lot of opportunities,” said Head Coach Nicky Pearson. “We played solid defensively, and the team showed a lot of determination—particularly in the second half—to find a way to win.”
This determination allowed the team to come back from a one-goal deficit at halftime. Captain Colleen Finnerty ’15 then tied the game two minutes into the second half on a penalty stroke, shooting high to the left corner to beat Tufts’ goalkeeper, who saved two other penalty strokes in the game.
Mettler Growney ’17 scored 13 minutes later, giving Bowdoin a lead it maintained for the rest of the game.
This was the third consecutive season Tufts and Bowdoin played each other in the NESCAC semifinals.
“[Tufts is] always one of our toughest games of the season. [The game] probably wasn’t considered our best game of the season, but we got the job done,” said captain Pam Herter ’15.Sunday’s loss against Middlebury was in many ways the inverse of the the Polar Bears’ defeat of the Panthers earlier this season. When the two teams met on September 20 in Middlebury, Vermont, the Panthers took an early lead before the Polar Bears scored twice in the last few minutes of the game.
On Sunday, Bowdoin took an early lead off a goal from Rachel Kennedy ’16. This time it was Middlebury who scored two second-half goals, including the last-gasp strike that was almost “writing on the wall,” according to Herter.
“We knew it was going to be a really emotional game,” Herter said. “They were fired up, we were fired up.”
Even though Bowdoin lost, Herter said the game was one of the best of the season. Bowdoin maintained control for much of the game, limiting the Panthers to only a few opportunities on Bowdoin’s goal, according to Pearson.
“[The team] did incredibly well. [I’m] really proud of it,” said Pearson.
The Polar Bears, the defending NCAA D-III champions, are seeded fourth in the tournament. Bowdoin and Middlebury, seeded second behind Salisbury, are the only NESCAC schools to earn spots in the NCAA tournament this year.
“There’s a chance we could see [Middlebury] in the NCAA finals,” Herter said. “That would be a dream matchup.”
This week, the team will be working hard to prepare for the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament, which will be hosted at Bowdoin on Saturday and Sunday.
“[Coach Pearson] always makes a huge emphasis on focusing on ourselves and on our game no matter who our opponent is,” said Herter. “I think we’re definitely going to learn from this [past] weekend, but we’re just going to keep doing what we’ve been doing all season working hard at practice [and] not changing our style for any other team.”
If the Polar Bears beat Mount Holyoke on Saturday, they will play the winner of the game between Skidmore and FDU-Florham, also being played on Ryan Field on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.“[This weekend] we’re going to have to put together the best games all season,” said Pearson.
New Security hire to begin work at end of month
David A. Profit was chosen as the new associate director of safety and security from a pool of over 90 applicants. He will begin in his new position on November 24.
This position was previously filled by Carol McAllister, who took a military leave of absence on assignment for the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve in Washington, D.C. Before Profit was hired, the position had been vacant for 21 months.
Profit holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Western New England University and a master’s degree in criminal justice administration from Anna Maria College. He graduated from the FBI National Academy for law enforcement executives in 2007. He has served with the Townsend, Massachusetts Police Department since 1984, and served as a deputy chief for the last 12 years.
“For me, it’s going to be a unique transition from [being a] police officer,” Profit said. “I’m excited that I’ll be able to utilize my training experience over the last 34 years and maybe help bring some level of assistance to the College.”
Randy Nichols, director of safety and security, felt that Profit’s background and character will bring much to the position.
“He’s got a good varied background in law enforcement [that’s] not dissimilar to my own in many respects,” Nichols said. “He’s very strong in community relations, which is something I feel is very important.”
Profit’s specialties also include police operations such as personnel management and accreditation. The accreditation process develops an organization’s (in this case Safety and Security’s) relationship with the community and its emergency preparedness, among other improvements. Profit, an accreditation manager in his current position, hopes his experience will help the College.
“[Accreditation] is a fairly lengthy process and it takes some time, but I’d love to be able to take on that challenge if the director tasks me with that,” Profit said.
Profit has also done extensive work with the Townsend school district, experience that Nichols thinks will be beneficial to emergency preparedness here at the College.
“In my opinion, [Safety and Security] are essentially the gatekeepers of the College, providing a safe learning environment for the kids that attend the school,” Profit said. “It only makes sense that for folks to be able to learn, concentrate and be happy with what they do, they don’t want to be worrying about being safe.”
Though he does not start until the end of November, Profit, who will live in Boothbay Harbor, has already made some connections at the College. Profit said that when interviewing for the position the staff made him feel “welcome and at home.”
“I’m hoping once I get there, I can reach out to the staff I’ll be working with to put our heads together and see if there’s anything we can do [to] make [Bowdoin] a better place to work or go to school,” Profit said.
Nichols said he is excited to work and collaborate with Profit, not only because having an associate director will relieve Nichols of some of his increased workload since McAllister’s departure, but also because of their similar philosophies.
“I think [Profit is] going to work very well with me and fit into our operation [and] our philosophy here at Bowdoin,” Nichols said. “At the same time, I think he’s going to bring fresh perspectives, which is always a good thing. I’m very excited to have David come on board.”
Hubbard room dedicated to Pickering ’53
Close to 40 students, faculty and members of the Class of 1953 gathered in Hubbard Hall on Monday for the dedication of the Thomas R. Pickering Room, named in honor of Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering ’53, H’84. Previously called Hubbard 2 West, the classroom is used by the government and legal studies, economics and history departments.
The Class of 1953—led by class secretary J. Warren Harthorne ’53—initiated the dedication. Renovations to the room were made possible by a $100,000 donation from Harthorne and a $150,000 grant from the George I. Alden Trust.
The dedication on Monday was not the first Bowdoin tribute to Ambassador Pickering, who was awarded an honorary doctorate of law degree from Bowdoin in 1984 as well as the Bowdoin Prize—the highest honor the College offers—in 2005.
Pickering has served in a number of influential diplomatic positions, including tenures as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations under President George H.W. Bush and the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs under President Bill Clinton.
“Ambassador Pickering has lived his entire life in support of the common good and in service to our country. He is a shining example to all of our students of the important work one can do for our government and foreign service,” President Barry Mills said in a speech at the dedication event.
Lining the tables were framed letters from former Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright H’13, former National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, former Senator George Mitchell ’54, Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government Professor Nicholas Burns, and former Senate member William Cohen ’62 that echoed Mills’ praise for Pickering.In his speech, Harthorne spoke with affection for Pickering, his Bowdoin classmates and the importance of leadership and public service.
“The genesis of this room was partly in the hope that the students who study here will see the value of a life devoted to public service,” Harthorne said.
Harthorne said that after studying at a place like Bowdoin, students have a responsibility to give something back to the world.
“If I had to make any change to this room, [I would] print the expression ‘noblesse oblige’—‘from those of noble birth, much is expected,’” Harthorne said.
Pickering also spoke at the dedication. He said he loved his time at the College and recalled studying in the room that is now named after him.
“The school offered a lot of things I didn’t expect to find and opened doors to me in many ways,” Pickering said.
Though the whole room is a tribute to Pickering, Mills said that the nook of couches and chairs in the back of the room especially reflect Pickering’s character.
“This part of the room is much a testament to Tom [in that] people [can sit] quietly…carefully considering the important issues of the day,” Mills said.
The renovations are part of a larger plan for Bowdoin classrooms to better equip students and teachers with the proper space and tools to evolve with changing teaching methods.
Bowdoin’s grant proposal to the George I. Alden Trust highlighted the College’s intentions to improve classrooms according to “modern pedagogical practices.”
Bowdoin’s “strategic plan for classroom refurbishment” aims to “preserve the history integrity” of the classrooms, while furnishing them with lighting, flexible furniture and technology “conducive to today’s more interactive pedagogies.”
Many of the Pickering Room’s renovations are subtle. They include LED lights and uplighting in the bookshelves, a projector and screen with a control panel hidden in the bookshelf and hidden acoustic panels lining the walls.
“We really tried to preserve the integrity of the room,” said Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd.
Suggestions to lower the ceiling to better the acoustics were dismissed to avoid altering the aesthetics of the room. The acoustics presented one of the biggest challenges to the renovation. Professor of Government and Legal Studies Allen Springer said he teaches his lectures in the Socratic method and found that students previously had a difficult time hearing each other talk.
In addition to improving the acoustics, the old tables and chairs were all replaced with movable, lightweight ones to allow for easier reorientation of the room for more interactive classes like Springer’s.
“You can teach here in the most traditional way possible [or the] tables can be pushed to the side [for] a function room,” Judd says.
“This room is a shining example of old Bowdoin mixed with new Bowdoin,” Mills said. “The technology in this room is pretty special and allows our faculty to do important work in today’s style of education.”
Pickering echoed Mills’ sentiment of the past and present.
“This is the best combination of the old and the new,” Pickering said. “I feel very strongly that the new must prevail.”
Pickering said he thinks that the new room could have benefits that extend beyond Bowdoin.
“If [this room] can interest [students] in any way [to look] at the service to your country,” Pickering said, “my sense is that this room is more than a reward for me and indeed for Bowdoin, but for the country as a whole.”
Tower elevators malfunction, inconvenience students
The two elevators in Coles Tower malfunctioned several times last weekend, leaving the tallest building on campus without fully operating elevators. For some students who live on the upper floors of the Tower or attend class in one of the two classrooms on the 16th floor, the issues were a major inconvenience. Both elevators were fully operational by Monday, and Facilities Management has taken steps to prevent future breakdowns.
The first elevator, on the north side of the building, began making noises Saturday evening. The elevator contractor came and determined it could continue to operate. Later on in the weekend, the noise started again. The contractor returned, figured out the issue, and fixed the elevator on Sunday.
“The problem [was that] there was a set of noisy rollers in the elevator system,” said Ted Stam, director of facilities operation and maintenance. “It [was] a mechanical noise.”
While the north elevator’s issues lasted only a day, the south elevator had more pressing problems. Friday evening the elevator got stuck on the first floor with its doors open. The mechanic determined that the elevator was safe for use, so Facilities put it back into service that evening, according to Stam. However, on Sunday morning, it began malfunctioning yet again.
A mechanic replaced parts on Monday morning and by Monday afternoon, the elevator was back in full use.
“What we had was two elevators experiencing problems of two very different natures at the same time,” Stam said.
Stam added that the double breakdown may have been the culmination of a number of smaller issues with the two elevators. The elevators had been experiencing some problems leading into the weekend.Last week, only one of the elevators was working.
Alex N’Diaye ’15, who lives on the 15th floor, said that elevator service was also slowed down because maintenance was frequently working on the elevators. The limited access to elevators was particularly inconvenient for her.
“It’s a hike up to the 15th floor,” she said. “It makes me not want to go back to the Tower. I pack for six hours a day, and then don’t come back.”
The malfunctioning elevator also inconvenienced students whose classes meet in the seminar rooms on the 16th floor.Corinne Alini ’18, whose first- year seminar meets on the 16th floor, said she and her classmates had to compromise over who got to take the one working elevator.
“When we all get out of class we had to decide who has priority over the elevator because it was going to take a long time for the [one] elevator to go down then back up,” Alini said.
N’Diaye understood the delay, but said she wished the elevators were fully operational sooner.
“Obviously when something happens you want it to be an immediate fix, but it took a bit longer than expected,” N’Diaye said.
The elevators’ interiors were renovated this summer as part of a four-year renovation to Coles Tower.
“We went to talk to our elevator company and asked what we should be doing to the elevators [in order to] prolong the life and make them operate better for the foreseeable future,” Stam said. “There were a number of things they suggested to us, all of which we did.”
One of these suggestions was these “facelifts” to the elevator cab interiors, a project that has since been completed and was not related to the recent malfunction.
After this weekend, Facilities looked at how it could improve the mechanics of the elevators. The north elevator has many sets of the noisy rollers, so Facilities ordered new ones to prevent further noise issues. The rollers will be replaced soon.
“There’s a little bit more work that has to be made,” Stam said. “We’re being proactive.”
Field hockey gets revenge in final minute comeback
Last Saturday, the field hockey team handed Middlebury its first loss of the season in a tense 2-1 match. With the win, the team defended its No. 1 ranking and improved its perfect record to 4-0.
This win was hardfought for the Polar Bears. The Panthers scored within the first five minutes, setting a tone for the first half.
“We started off pretty flat,” captain Colleen Finnerty ’15 said. “They scored and that kind of put us back on our heels for a little bit and I think we came out a bit scared.”
The team regrouped, making changes throughout the first half.
“We made a few more adjustments at the halftime and then in the second half, we played a lot better,” said Head Coach Nicky Pearson.
The team fended off the Panthers’ offense for the remainder of the game, holding them to only six shots and six penalty corners in the rest of regulation. Goalkeeper Hannah Gartner ’15 stayed composed after the early goal to keep Bowdoin in the game.
With just three minutes left on the clock and still down by one goal, it looked as if the Panthers were going to make the Polar Bears relive their defeat in last year’s NESCAC championship game in which Bowdoin fell to Middlebury in overtime.
However, three minutes proved to be just enough time. Liz Znamierowski ’16 broke free on a breakaway and went for an open shot on the net before being pummeled by a defender, leading to a penalty shot. Bowdoin’s top goal scorer Rachel Kennedy ’16 stepped up to take it and scored to tie the game.
“I give the team a lot of credit, because [at that time] a lot of teams would have sat back and been happy with a tie and then regrouped for overtime,” Pearson said. “But we didn’t.”The team maintained their offensive pressure and with only a minute left in the game Kim Kahnweiler ’16 fired the ball into the right corner of the Panther’s net for the game-winning goal on her second shot of the season.
Still, Middlebury did not let up, gaining a penalty corner, but the Bowdoin defense shut down the attack.
“We responded really well with no time left on the clock,” Pearson said. “They brought their whole team back [on our side] and our defense unit held them.”
Middlebury, ranked No. 4 in the nation before the game, is a frequent rival for the Polar Bears in field hockey.
“We always battle tough with Middlebury,” Finnerty said. “It’s one of those really respected rivalries with us, where we like to play them because it’s always a good, fast-paced game.”Despite losing to Middlebury in the championship last year, Bowdoin also beat the Panthers during the regular season.
“[The regular season game last year] was kind of a similar game,” Finnerty said. “I scored on a penalty shot, then someone else had another goal. Then we played them again in the NESCAC championship game and it was just back and forth again.”
As much as this victory seems like payback for last year’s NESCAC title game, the team refused to get caught up in past defeats.
“It’s a new year,” Pearson said. “We try not to use losses as our whole motivation and try to focus on what the strengths are of the team this year.”
But Finnerty still attests that it can feel good to beat a rival on their field.
“Having that taste in our mouths during the five-hour bus drive to Middlebury, it just feels so much better on the ride back when you come back with a win,” Finnerty said.
Playing both Middlebury and Amherst, which is now ranked No. seven in the first three weeks of the season, at first seemed daunting.
“You look at the schedule and go, ‘Wow are we really going to be ready for that?’” Finnerty said. “But the fact that we came out and played both those teams fairly well and for us to know that we can still improve feels pretty good.”
Last night the team shut out the University of Maine Farmington 4-0. Adrienne O’Donnell ’15 scored in the third minute and Emily Simonton ’15 added two goals of her own 10 minutes later to give the Polar Bears a comfortable 3-0 lead only 14 minutes into the game.
The team has the weekend off and is preparing to play Wellesley College next Wednesday at home before it gets back into conference play. Bowdoin will also host Trinity next Saturday.
“In practice our big emphasis is on being better in our next game than the previous one,” Finnerty said. “That’s always the idea of how we work our season. We just build from each game. The big hope is to just keep going up from here.”
Women’s soccer kicking down rivals
The women’s soccer team remained victorious after their first two home games of the season, beating Amherst last Saturday and Bates on Wednesday.
The team had not beaten Amherst in the regular season since 2005, and this game marked the Lady Jeffs first defeat of the season.
“This has been nine years in the making,” said captain Kaley Nelson ’15. “We were expecting a tough game. They always give us a tough game because they’re traditionally ranked as one of the best teams in the country, and definitely in the NESCAC.”
Bowdoin stayed strong throughout the game, retaining possession the majority of the time. At the end of the first half, the match was still scoreless. It wasn’t until the last 20 minutes that Jamie Hofstetter ’16 scored Bowdoin’s only goal on a penalty kick.
“Kiersten [Turner ’16] cut into the middle, just like we ask our attackers to do, and drew the foul for the PK,” head coach Brianne Weaver said. “Then Jamie did a great job finishing that. She’s very calm under pressure.”
Turner also praised the team’s defensive showing, describing it as “stellar.” Goalie Bridget McCarthy ’16 saved all eight of Amherst’s attempts at scoring, and the team cleared the ball away from the net in the last few minutes of the game.
“There was a scramble in front of our net with just a few minutes left and we were able to clear the ball off the line, so that saved the game for us in many ways,” Weaver said. “The whole back line played exceptionally well as a unit, probably the best I’ve seen.”
Practices this week improved the team’s cohesiveness, especially considering that this was the first full week of practice after the hectic rush of first-year tryouts.
“So much of [what we worked on in practice] was chemistry related and understanding how people work and trying to get the team on the same page,” Weaver said. “But the team did an amazing job of working very hard in the practices leading up to the game. It was just nice to see it pay off.”
Even after one player got sick and was unable to play, each member of the team retained her cool.
“We were shifting things around in the warm up prior to the game and that can be disconcerting and cause some anxiety. The team never let that show,” Weaver said. “They were just very calm and collected and said, OK, this is what we have to do, so we’ll do it.”
And they did it well, controlling the defense, maintaining possession and taking more shots on goal than Amherst did.
“Evan Fencik ’17 played a beautiful ball, chipped it over the goalie’s head. But it hit the post and that would have made it two-nothing. But that’s definitely a play that stands out in my mind,” Nelson said.
On Wednesday the team squared off against Bates, beating the Bobcats 1-0.Kiersten Turner ’16 knocked in the eventual game-wining goal in the 27th minute off of an assist from Abby Einwag ’15.
Although Bates had a couple of chances to even the score in the final 10 minutes of the game, the Polar Bears dominated possession and had opportunities throughout both halves to extend their lead.
The Polar Bears dominated possesion and had oppurtunities to extend its lead in both halves. They never scored a second goal however, leaving the door open for the Bobcats who had a couple of chances to even the score in the final 10 minutes.
“Every single game that we go into we obviously want to win and we’re not expecting necessarily to get the win easily,” Nelson said. “We’ll be working a lot, again, on working as a unit, on defense, on offense, on just maintaining possession and controlling the game as much as we can.”
The team hopes to extend its winning streak tomorrow when it travels to Middlebury.