Photo Courtesy of Brian Jacobel
Courtesy Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine
Courtesy of Tess Hamilton
Courtesy of Maya Reyes
Polar eyes: In Portland, students protest Muslim ban
Since the election of Donald Trump, hundreds of Bowdoin students have been rallying, protesting and marching across the globe. Residents of Maine—despite living in the 11th smallest state and one of the whitest states in the nation—are also voicing their opposition. In light of Trump’s Muslim ban, thousands of Mainers have taken to the streets in Brunswick, Augusta, Portland and other towns and cities in solidarity with the growing community of refugees in Maine.
The following photographs by Jenny Ibsen and Hannah Rafkin are from the Protest Against the Muslim Ban at the Portland International Jetport on January 29 (roughly 4,000 in attendance) and the Rally Against the Muslim Ban at the Portland City Hall on February 1 (roughly 1,500 in attendance).
Video: Meet the candidates for BSG President
The Orient asked BSG presidential candidates Justin Pearson '17 and Harriet Fisher '17 about three key issues
Video: Hot off the press
A look at the Bowdoin Orient’s journey from the computer to the stands
In the early hours of a typical Friday morning, the Orient staff emails PDF files of the paper to a Brunswick printer. A few hours later, printed newspapers appear in buildings across campus. In between, the intricate art of newspaper printing unfolds just a few miles from Bowdoin. Dick Lancaster, sales manager at Alliance Press, has been in the newspaper-printing business for nearly 30 years. His company was already printing weekly editions of the Orient when he joined in the mid-1980s.
The physical printing process relies on both old and new technology. Once the Orient sends completed designs to Alliance Press, pre-press employees check that the files are sized and formatted properly.
“No RGB images. [We use] CMYK,” Lancaster said. “[Then] they’ll paginate it and put it in the correct order for sixteen pages.”
Order is especially important because the printing press is configured to only print certain pages in color. All images that appear in the Orient are combinations of just a few colors of ink. “You have four different inkwells. You have yellow, magenta, black and cyan,” Lancaster said. ”You [put] your colors all on [pages] one, eight, nine and 16. If you wanted more color, it would go on two, seven, 10 and 15.”
Once the employees have ensured that the paper is in proper order, they use a special printer to burn the design directly onto metal plates. They then bend the plates to fit into the printing press.
When it’s finally time to print the paper, an operator switches the printing press on. Sheets of newsprint pass through the machine, picking up ink as they come into contact with the metal plates. The machine then cuts and folds the sheets so that they come out the other end looking like typical newspapers.
Alliance Press has multiple printing presses, so they can print up to three publications simultaneously. The quickest of these presses prints 15,000 papers per hour. For a publication like the Orient, which prints roughly 1,600 copies, the process is relatively short. “Once we’re up and running, it probably takes 15, 20 minutes, to print the [Orient],” Lancaster said.
The Orient typically prints at around 8 a.m. Since pressroom employees work in three shifts, the printing facilities are well-populated no matter the time of day.
While printing presses themselves haven’t changed much since Lancaster first entered the printing business, the advent of computers has substantially affected the industry. Before email existed, the Orient staff would paste words and images onto physical boards, which they would deliver to the press room. Printing employees would then take pictures of the boards and use their negatives to develop the metal plates.
“You’d go into the dark room. You’d put the boards on the camera. You’d shoot the camera,” Lancaster said. “The negatives would be burned on the plates.”
While technology has made the printing process more convenient, it has also impacted the nature of Lancaster’s job.
”Everything pretty much comes to us in InDesign PDF files now,” he said. “As a salesman, I would be driving five to six hundred miles a week, going to different locations, picking up boards and bringing them back to print. I don’t go anywhere anymore.”
But despite technological advancements, the physical printing process isn’t perfect. Lancaster noted that in printing the Orient, Alliance Press will typically waste 300 to 500 copies because sheets weren’t aligned properly. He added that the staff recycles these wasted copies.“Everything we do here, we recycle,” he said. “All of our newsprint is post-consumer recycled newsprint.”
Lancaster said that printing the Orient has typically been a fairly smooth process. He did note, however, that the Occident, the satirical version of the Orient published the last week of each year, once caused problems.
“It was a little over the top, and a couple of employees were offended by it,” he said. “[But] that was a long time ago.”
For Lancaster, printing the Orient helps him stay connected to Bowdoin, where he occasionally works as a bartender for campus events. His grandfather—for whom Lancaster Lounge is named—was a member of the Bowdoin class of 1927, and his mother also worked at the College.
Alliance Press headquarters are located in Brunswick, only a few miles from Bowdoin’s campus. Despite the small-town location, the company not only prints the Orient but also many other publications, including the Times Record, the Bangor Daily News and student newspapers from the University of Maine-Orono, the University of Southern Maine and Colby.
While Lancaster isn’t usually mentioned in the headlines that his company prints, he nonetheless takes pride in the work.
“This is kind of like meat and potatoes. This is the bottom line basic newsprint color printing,” he said. “We have a really good niche here in the state of Maine.”
Talk of the Quad: The light room is lit
At Bowdoin, we tend to sort ourselves into camps, groups we identify with or activities we feel passionately about. We’re an athlete or a NARP, a humanities or a STEM major and—perhaps most significantly—a Thorne person or a Moulton person. As two die-hard fans of the Moulton Light Room (MLR), we’re of the belief that this last, seemingly simple preference is nothing if not deeply meaningful.
One of the most distinct and beloved qualities of the light room is the people—the regulars, the staff and even those who only rarely step out of the Tower. It’s hard to put why we love the Moulton Light Room into words, so as we began brainstorming this article (in the MLR, obviously), we asked some of the other Light Room regulars for their one-sentence takes.
When asked, Allyson Gross ’16 couldn’t limit herself to one sentence. “If I have a brand, the Moulton Light Room is part of it,” she professed. The room’s comforting familiarity enables her to remain a “creature of habit,” right down to the tables she chooses to sit at—her personal favorite is along the window wall near the outlet (obviously the best).
A second devotee, Julia Mead ’16, resorted to simile: “The Moulton light room reminds me of a womb, and every time I leave it, I feel like I’m a baby being born prematurely. The outside world is harsh.” The stark contrast between Moulton and the cold, snowy Quad only serves as encouragement to give Irene your OneCard and opt to stay for lunch.
One of Katie’s favorite #JustMLRThings is that the very friendly man who works in the dishroom somehow got the idea that her name is Emily and cheerfully calls her that every time he sees her. It’s been three years now, and the period in which it would have been acceptable to correct him is long over. She appreciates all the effort he’s gone to to remember her name, even if it doesn’t happen to be correct per se.
So what does all this add up to? What makes this humble space so important to us? There are a lot of surface-level reasons, obviously, like the MLR’s clear superiority to both Thorne and the Dark Room. Thorne, in the words of Martin Krzywy ’16, is “simultaneously overwhelming and isolating”—too large, too many people and lacking the space to make meaningful connections. (Plus, the salad bar never has feta.) And the Dark Room is even worse—dimly lit, cold and closed off from the rest of the dining hall’s ambience.
The Light Room, on the other hand, is bright and airy. It’s the best place on campus to linger over your breakfast, feel the sun’s rays graze your face and restock from the seemingly endless supply of Nicaraguan Fair Trade organic coffee. It’s the perfect place to do the New York Times crossword, watch crowds of friends come and go and generally hide from responsibility.
“The Light Room is somewhat of an oxymoron because it is a subterraneous room, dug into the ground, but many people characterize the room with light atmosphere—a light room in an underground space,” mused Henry Austin ’16.
But in the end, of course, it’s not just the space itself that matters to us but the significance we attach to it. The Light Room is more than a place to eat three meals every day—it’s a safe, comforting space that we’ve been able to personalize and make our own. Jenny loves feeling comfortable enough to walk in the Light Room alone for a meal, only to be greeted by a reliable group of her friends. When Katie was abroad last year, this sense of reliability was just what she missed the most in a foreign city. She found herself frequenting a coffee shop called Black Medicine, where she and her friends would meet up to order espresso-based beverages and squat all day, hoping to fill the MLR void in her heart.
The Moulton Light Room is one of our favorite things about Bowdoin, but it’s comforting to think that this feeling of an individualized, reliable space is something we can continue to create even when we’re no longer here. As Jenny makes abroad plans and Katie prepares for graduation, we’ll try to remember the importance of creating these spaces for ourselves wherever we end up. Though MLR might just be a room, the quirks that make it so pleasant will always be a constant.
Jenny Ibsen is a member of the Class of 2018 and Katie Miklus is a member of the 2016.