Looking back and looking forward at 24 College
24 College has been a part of the Bowdoin community for 37 years. The upcoming merger between the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) and the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity (RCSGD) marks a new, contested chapter of a rich history.
The house at 24 College was inaugurated as the WRC in the spring of 1980, about a decade after coeducation and almost immediately after the former Young family residence was acquired by the college. The Bowdoin Women’s Association, created by students in the early years of coeducation to advocate for more female faculty and equality in the infirmary, moved from its office in Coles Tower into the building and established a 300-volume library of books written by or about women.
LGBTQ students found a home at the center as well: they had a room at 24 College in the late 1980s and briefly in the mid-1990s prior to the creation of the Queer-Trans Resource Center in 2004, which later became the RCSGD. After 2004, both the WRC and RCSGD shared space within 24 College.
According to a campus-wide email from Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster, the newly merged center will be a chance for the College to “think broadly about difference—including race, ethnicity, religion, class, first-generation status, gender, sexuality, disability, and political ideology.” Nonetheless, student workers in both centers expressed frustration with the change.
Bowdoin students are not without a history of thinking intersectionally—the very same semester that 24 College opened its doors, students created a new intersectional and progressive student publication called To The Root.
According to their first issue from February 6, 1980, To The Root was “a bi-monthly political newsletter sponsored collectively by the Afro-American Society, the Bowdoin Energy Research Group, the Bowdoin Women’s Association, and Struggle and Change.” By the second issue, the Gay-Straight Alliance had added their name to the publication.
To The Root tackled issues such as nuclear proliferation, feminism, lesbianism, the Persian Gulf and the draft in its first few issues. In its second issue, it praised the new WRC as a place for all Bowdoin students.
“The major goal of the center will be to serve the entire community, men as well as women,” the magazine wrote.
Bowdoin follows several peer schools in integrating its LGBTQ and women’s centers: Amherst has the Women’s and Gender Center, Carleton has the Gender and Sexuality center, and Macalester has the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center. Bowdoin will soon have its own Center for Gender and Sexuality. Current director of the Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity Kate Stern and Associate Dean of Students for Diversity and Inclusion Leana Amáez will lead the venture.
Still, other schools such as Swarthmore, Tufts and Middlebury, however, have all maintained distinct centers. At Texas A&M University, the LGBTQ and women’s centers were merged together in 2005 but split apart only two years later.
"Though it was logical to merge the two departments to create a safe haven on campus for women and LGBTQ students, the visibility of the LGBTQ community as its own independent entity had been diminished, and there was a concern that the focus of the Women’s Center had been diluted as well,” reads the Texas A&M website.
In 1988, a minor in Women’s Studies was established, followed by a major in 1992. Prior to 2009, Women’s Studies faculty members had their offices in 24 College.
In 2000, a minor in Gay and Lesbian Studies was added. When the Gender and Women’s Studies major became the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies major during the 2015-2016 academic year, the minor was folded into that program.
The WRC and RCSGD will officially merge on July 1. Next academic year, Stern and Amáez will take the positions of associate deans of students for diversity and will supervise the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, the Student Center for Multicultural Life, and Upward Bound in addition to the newly reconceptualized Center for Gender and Sexuality.
Changes at 24 College frustrate student leaders
The College is moving forward with a controversial plan to merge the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) and the Resource Center for Gender and Sexual Diversity (RCGSD) in spite of widespread opposition from student directors in both centers.
The two centers—which currently share the space at 24 College Street—will become the Center for Gender and Sexuality starting on July 1. Its directors will be Kate Stern, associate director of student affairs and director of the RCGSD, as well as Leana Amaez, associate dean of students for diversity and inclusion. In their new positions as associate deans of students for diversity, the two will oversee several other centers as well. Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster announced the changes on Tuesday afternoon via a campus-wide email.
Current WRC student director Diamond Walker ’17 expressed concerns that the merger decision was made by administrators without student input.
“If they were really concerned about the needs of women on campus and the needs of LGBTQ students on campus, they would have come to us and asked us what would be best for us instead of talking to each other,” said Walker.
Last fall, administrators held a meeting with student directors from the WRC and the RCGSD to solicit input on the issue. Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Director of the David Saul Smith Union Allen Delong was present along with Stern.
“It became really clear that students were committed to maintaining the model that we have and that’s really hard—that’s hard for everyone because we’re moving towards a new model,” said Delong.
In his email, Foster expressed hope that the merger would be an opportunity for the College to better address issues of gender and sexuality in an intersectional manner.
“Leana and Kate have distinguished themselves as leaders on the topic of diversity and inclusion, as educators, advocates, trainers, role models, and mentors. This realignment of responsibilities allows them to work with a talented team of professionals to think broadly about difference—including race, ethnicity, religion, class, first-generation status, gender, sexuality, disability, and political ideology,” he wrote.
Pat Toomey ’17, a former RCGSD student director, expressed concern that the merger was wrongfully conflating two separate issues.
“There’s a problem with assuming that women’s issues and issues of gender should automatically be lumped into a box with queer issues,” Toomey said.
Walker also expressed concern that the merger posed a threat to student identities.
“The identities of all the students involved would be at risk,” said Walker. “It’s sort of like if we were just going to merge LASO [the Latin American Student Organization] and the Af-Am [African American Society]. You can’t do that.”
Delong said that the merger will increase the availability of administrators to students as Stern moves from a part time position to a more full-time one.
“There will be more staff time committed to the center than was available [before],” he said.
As part of the new merger, Stern and Amaez with be supervising the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, the Student Center for Multicultural Life, and Upward Bound in addition to the newly reconceptualized Center for Gender and Sexuality. Those offices will retain their current directors, while Stern and Amaez will serve as the directors for the Center for Gender and Sexuality.
Amanda Spiller ’17, a current WRC student staff member, expressed concern about how the center will be run.
“Dean Amaez and Kate Stern will be leading all the centers on campus and reconceptualizing a whole new center? It seems like too much work,” she said. “It’s hard to get an appointment with Dean Amaez now … she has so much to do already.”
Amaez, however, is enthusiastic to take on her new role.
“We have this really exciting moment in time,” she said. “To look at the Women’s March and the message of solidarity—it was incredibly intersectional. And the recognition that in order to move forward on an agenda that respects the rights of women, you have to also respect the rights of other [minority] groups.”
With the WRC currently receiving around twice as much money as the RCGSD, there are questions about what funding will look like going forward.
Stern unequivocally affirmed that there will be no loss in funds.
“Is there going to be less money? No,” she said.
Spiller was also displeased by the lack of transparency throughout this process.
“We had no idea what the structure was going to look like until Dean Foster sent out that email—and we’d been asking. That’s a problem,” said WRC staff member Amanda Spiller. “The administration just moves forward with things at Bowdoin that students aren’t a part of when students are the most integral aspect of these corners of campus. The administration has not given us answers.”
Toomey, who had expressed concern that the integration of the two centers would alienate gay men on campus, felt ignored during and after the meeting with the administration last fall.
“I felt that our student concerns were being totally ignored by the administration and—especially as a gay male—I felt really not listened to and marginalized,” he said.
Other students disagreed. Adam Glynn ’17, a student director at the RCGSD, sees the more intersectional approach as a step in the right direction.
“It’s a given that there are just so many different subgroups of what queer is. It’s famously been said that there are as many genders as there are people,” said Glynn. “And if we were to have a student group for every different sexual and gender identity and if we had every student group for every nuance we would have a lot of student groups.”
While Glynn still expressed disapproval with the manner in which administrators went about making the decision, he sees name changes as ultimately not that important.
“I feel sometimes that the queer community at Bowdoin is lacking [but] I don’t feel like it’s up to a room or a title of a center or one administrative staff to change that—I really think it’s up to the students,” he said.
Meg Robbins contributed to this report.
Rose rejects sanctuary label, pledges to support undocumented students
In a preemptive response to a student petition calling on college administrators to make Bowdoin a sanctuary campus, President Clayton Rose affirmed the College’s support for undocumented students but stated that the College could not meet the criteria to become a sanctuary campus. The students involved in writing and circulating the petition are still planning on presenting the petition to Rose today.
“The stakes for [undocumented] students who may be at risk have never been higher, and we have an obligation as a college to make sure that we are straight with our students about what we can and cannot do for them. And we will do everything we can within our power to assist them,” he said in a phone interview with the Orient. “But there are things that may be legally out of our ability to control. In those circumstances, students need to understand that and to be prepared.”
Seniors Leah Alper and Julia Berkman-Hill began circulating the petition that called on college administrators to “stand with other colleges and universities and investigate how to make Bowdoin a sanctuary campus that will protect our current and future students from intimidation, unfair investigation, and deportation.” As of press time, 870 Bowdoin students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members had signed it.
The petition and Rose’s response—delivered through a campus-wide email on November 22—come at a time when many higher education institutions are grappling with how to respond to potential changes in immigration policy under the presidency of Donald Trump. Changes could include increased immigration enforcement and a repeal of President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which shields undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children from deportation.
Along with over 400 other college presidents, Rose signed a statement on November 21 in support of upholding DACA. Moreover, Rose wrote in his email to the College that “unless compelled by law, [the College] will do nothing that would put a member of our community in … jeopardy.”
However, Rose also felt strongly that it would be wrong to declare Bowdoin a sanctuary campus.
“The question presented by this petition (and by others like it) is whether Bowdoin or other colleges and universities could effectively declare our campuses to be havens where immigration laws cannot be enforced. Legal counsel tells us that we have no such power, so to make this kind of declaration would be both disingenuous and falsely reassuring,” he wrote in his email.
Despite Rose’s commitment to not designating Bowdoin a sanctuary campus, Alper plans to present the petition to him today. She pointed to other colleges and universities that have declared as sanctuary campuses.
“Wesleyan has declared as a sanctuary campus … [and] places like Columbia have declared as sanctuary campuses,” she said. “If you look at [President Rose’s] email and compare it to the statements made by the other 28 college presidents who have declared as sanctuary campuses, the language is very similar.”
For Alper, the sanctuary designation is part of a larger movement and carries symbolic weight.
“This is a declaration that undocumented students belong on campus and will be welcomed here,” she said. “The more schools that sign onto it will not only help students on our campus but also potentially students on other campuses.”
Alper, along with a larger group of students, is looking forward to having a conversation with Rose about College policies under a Trump presidency.
“We are just thinking about what does Bowdoin need in all realms—not just undocumented students,” said Alper. “Something that I’m personally interested in is making sure that birth control is covered under Bowdoin’s insurance—even if it’s not required to be.”
Moving forward, Rose declined to speculate about how the College would respond to specific changes in immigration policy before they occurred. However, he did say that the College would “provide support in a number of different areas for those of our students who may be in these at-risk categories.”
This could include helping at-risk students get access to legal counsel as well as continuing the policies that Rose mentioned in his campus-wide email.
“The College already safeguards student privacy and confidentiality. We do not discriminate with regard to student housing, nor do we use E-Verify, and our Safety and Security personnel do not enforce immigration laws or make inquiries about the immigration status of students or employees,” he wrote.
Full classes limit students in computer science, sociology
As Bowdoin students register for spring semester courses, many are rushing frantically to get on waitlists after finding themselves shut out from classes. In departments such as computer science and sociology, the problem is particularly acute: there are simply not enough professors for students to take classes they sometimes need for their majors.
“It’s lowkey like ‘The Hunger Games,’” said Beleicia Bullock ’19.
Interest in computer science as a discipline has skyrocketed over the past few years at Bowdoin according to Laura Toma, chair of the computer science department.
“The number of majors quadrupled over the last five years,” she said. “We went from 12 majors a year to now 39 majors a year. And the number of faculty has stayed more or less the same.”
Students must pass Introduction to Computer Science and Data Structures before they can move onto any higher level classes, although some students with programming backgrounds are allowed to skip Introduction to Computer Science. This semester, the department is offering two sections of each class. After the first round of class registration, one of each of the respective sections were full.
The computer science department is also offering six upper-level computer science classes this semester. After the first round of registration, all six were completely full.
Computer Science is not the only department struggling with over-enrollment. For spring 2017, 101 students requested places in a 50-seat Introduction to Sociology class.
Sociology and Anthropology Department Chair Nancy Riley noted that the intro class numbers are a consistent problem.
Last semester, the department offered two 50-student sections of the classes, which still was not enough to meet demand.
“We know that, if we add a section, it will fill. It doesn’t matter how many sections we add—they will fill,” Riley said. “We want that course to be available to as many people as possible, but we only have limited staffing.”
Bullock is planning on majoring in computer science, and has been frustrated by the difficulties of getting the upper-level classes she needs.
“This semester, I did not get into a single computer science class—they’re all full now—and so I had to go to the head to the department,” she said. “The department is super helpful. It’s not even an issue with the class, it’s an administrative issue.”
Bullock recognized the tension between catering to majors and catering to those who want to simply take one or two computer science classes.
“You definitely want people to be able to come in and explore computer science and to be able to have that liberal arts experience,” she said. “But there’s another point where you’re like ‘this professor should be teaching an upper level class.’”
Limited faculty is not the only problem facing the computer science department. They also have difficulty increasing class sizes due to lab space.
“We are bound by the lab size,” Toma said. “So those classes cannot grow beyond 30 because the lab can only sit 32 people.”
Introduction to Sociology is a prerequisite for all upper-level sociology classes, although some classes allow students to substitute Introduction to Cultural Anthropology as the prerequisite. Unlike in the computer science department, only two of eight 2000-level sociology classes have filled.
Department staffing is dependent upon the Office of the Dean of Academic Affairs, which announces whenever new tenure track professor positions are available.
“We talk to the Dean’s Office a lot about staffing and they’ve been really good in terms of replacing anyone who’s going on leave,” said Riley. “But the College has only limited resources and we’re not the only department.”
New regulations spark labor review
Assistant athletic coaches are among the employees seeing increases in their salaries in response to changes in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which formally goes into effect December 1.
These changes comes after a holistic review and revision of compensation practices the College completed to comply with FLSA. This is the same review that examined the stipend pay of student employees and is transitioning it to hourly wages.
These FLSA changes revise the white collar overtime exemption rules. This includes increasing the minimum annual salary for overtime exempt employees from $23,660 to $47,476. Workers who make under $47,476 must track their hours, because they are entitled to overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week.
Vice President for Human Resources Tamara Spoerri explained the law.
“You need to know how many hours people are working in order to make sure they are being paid a minimum wage and an appropriate overtime wage,” she said.
At Bowdoin, this meant that some employees who were previously salaried were moved to hourly positions. Additionally, people who were near the $47,476 limit received pay increases.
“No one got a pay decrease. If anything, people got a pay increase,” said Spoerri.
The changes impacted positions such as assistant sports coaches because of the seasonal nature of their positions.
“When [assistant coaches are] traveling with their team, we have pretty generous guidelines to make sure that, in any time they’re working, they’re getting paid for that time,” said Spoerri.
Student employees previously compensated with stipends, such as those who work in the Office of Residential Life, have been tracking their hours online.
“We don’t really have to worry about them going into overtime,” said Spoerri. “But if, for some reason, someone really had a greater number of hours … we’re tracking that now.”
For the Office of Human Recourses, reviewing compensation and complying with new regulations is an ongoing process.
“Annually, we do a number of competitive salary surveys,” said Spoerri. “We look ... to determine whether our employees are being paid market-based competitive salaries.”
Spoerri went on to note that, for the most part, Bowdoin is easily able to attract potential employees with competitive wages and benefits.
“In Maine, we are seriously an employer of choice,” she said.
In particular, Bowdoin is generous with its healthcare plan.
“At the College, any [employee of the College] who works a regular 20 hour week—even if it’s for just academic year—gets benefits,” Spoerri said.
The Affordable Care Act’s only mandates that employees working thirty hours or more be offered benefits.
The College does not differentiate between part time and regular employees when it comes to benefits—a popular practice with other employers and colleges.
“[Other colleges] have a part-time rate and a full-time rate where the part-time rate is actually more than the full-time rate,” she said.
Going forward, the Office of Human Resources is closely monitoring the results of Question 4 on Maine’s ballot this election which would raise the state’s minimum wage. If it passes, the College will review existing compensation practices, including separate rates for student employees, casual employees and full-time employees.
Artist defends controversial frat-era panels
The artist who painted two fraternity-era cartoon panels that were removed from the basement of Quinby House last year is pushing back against what he believes is a false characterization of his works. The paintings were removed last winter because of student criticisms that they embodied rape culture.
Artist James Lyon ’68, who painted the two panels in 1966 and 1967 during his time as a member of Psi Upsilon, recently returned to campus to defend his work against its critics, find out where his panels were being stored and determine their future home.
“There’s no sexual violence going on in these pictures,” he said.
Former Quinby House President Sophie de Bruijn ’18 initiated the effort to remove the panels from the house in December 2015, sending an email signed by nine other residents to Director of Residential Life Meadow Davis, Assistant Director of Residential Life Mariana Centeno and Director of Title IX and Compliance Benje Douglas.
“The two murals that hang in our basement, relics of the house’s past as the Psi Upsilon fraternity house, embody rape culture, that is, a setting in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender and sexuality. Displaying cartoon images of sexual violence perpetuates the normalized image of rape on college campuses,” they wrote in the email.
Following the letter, house members voted to remove the panels from the house on February 23.
The controversy arose from the panels’ content; one depicts an idyllic beachside Quinby House with naked women, mermaids and leering men, while the other is a metaphor telling of a Bowdoin student’s life over four years and between fall and spring. Women are being chased in both panels.
However, Lyon disagrees with the way the letter represents his works. He says the paintings represent a fun and lighthearted representation of what life was like at Bowdoin during the sexual revolution.“This was done in 1967, and it’s an allegory,” said Lyon. “At that point there were women who actually wanted to have a sexual experience and so there are several levels of puns and none of them are meant to be threatening.”For de Bruijn, however, these paintings represent something far more pernicious than mere cartoons.
“When I look into the wide eyes of those cartoon women, running away and covering their naked bodies in horror, I see myself, I see my friends, I see everyone who has known what it feels like to be a victim of sexual violence. I’ve seen that image play out in real life on this campus,” de Bruijn wrote in an email to the Orient.
Lyon, however, maintains that the panels are replete with harmless allusions to ancient mythology, classical art and 60s pop culture. Moreover, the paintings are part of the College’s history and have hung in Quinby basement for almost 50 years.
“It’s astounding to me that these things survive 50 years in the residence of a fraternity house and then, suddenly, they became threatening to someone majoring in gender studies,” he said. “It sounded like no one else had complained.”
De Bruijn, however, contests the notion that context can explain away the problematic portions of the painting.
“Regardless of the source material they are drawing from, pairing images of indisputable sexual violence in ‘the Virgin forests’ with images of polar bears wearing sunglasses trivializes the very real epidemic of sexual violence on college campuses and in this country,” she wrote.
While he was on campus, Lyon met with current Quinby House President Lucian Black ’19 and suggested two ideas for getting the panels back into the House: as part of a larger art exhibit in the basement that would include other student art or as part of the chapter room.
Black, however, saw the murals as “recognizably offensive.”
“It goes beyond my own personal feelings about the murals and the paintings themselves,” he said. “As a public space on campus, [Quinby] needs to be a place where all feel welcome, and if some people feel unwelcome by the presence of those murals … that has to be respected.”
As for the future, both de Bruijn and Lyon expressed interest in preserving the paintings as a part of Bowdoin’s historical past.
“I hope that in the future the paintings can be used in programming about the history of coeducation at Bowdoin,” de Bruijn wrote.
Likewise, Lyon wants to ensure that the paintings are preserved digitally. He has spoken with the Bowdoin Art Museum Assistant to the Registrar Michelle Henning about displaying the works.
College names two new trustees
At its meeting over Homecoming Weekend—the weekend of October 7— the Board of Trustees voted to elect two new members and establish a fund in the College’s endowment in honor of the late Trustee Emeritus Frederick G. P. Thorne ’57, H’05, namesake of Thorne Hall.
The two newly elected board members hail from different coasts and different backgrounds. Robert Friedman P’15, P’20 is the founder and president of the YF Group, a California-based real estate investment firm. Bertrand Garcia-Moreno ’81, P’17 is a professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland where he is the chair of the department of biophysics.
Chair of the Board of Trustees Michele Cyr ’76, P’12 said that both Friedman and Garcia-Moreno “bring expertise, perspectives and experiences that we felt were valuable for the deliberations of the Board.”
Notably, Cyr emphasized Friedman’s extensive background in board governance: he has served in various capacities on the boards of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences in Santa Monica, California and the High Mountain Institute in Leadville, Colorado.
When speaking of Garcia-Moreno, Cyr highlighted his distinguished career as an academic. In addition to serving as a department chair, Garcia-Moreno has served on various editorial boards—including that of the journal “Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics,” where he is currently editor-in-chief.
Additionally, the Board elected Geoffrey C. Rusack ’78, P’13 to emeritus status in recognition of his long history of service to Bowdoin. He has served as a trustee since 2003.
Finally, the Board also voted to establish a fund in the College’s endowment to honor the late Thorne.
According to Cyr, this endowment fund will exist for the president to spend “for general purposes” at his discretion. She hopes that it will be a fitting honor to Thorne and a way for people to donate to the College.
“It provides a great opportunity for donors to give in Fred’s name,” Cyr said.
President Clayton Rose emphasized the benefits of having a flexible funding option.
“The fund that’s in [his] name will be used for general purposes for the College,” Rose said. “[Thorne] understood better than anyone the need for flexible funds for the College to be able to direct in whatever place is most appropriate in a given year. Directed funds are terrific but flexible funds are really powerful tools for the College to have.”
Rose declared the Board meeting a success in an email to the Bowdoin community Wednesday morning.
“We spent a good deal of time talking with trustees about our ambitions for the College, opportunities and challenges for fundraising, physical plant considerations and some of the access, affordability and demographic challenges and opportunities in admissions,” he wrote.
A significant piece of this vision for Bowdoin’s future included the Board’s approval of the design and preconstruction services for the new Roux Center for the Environment, which will be built on the now-vacant plot of land opposite the Schwartz Outdoor Leadership Center on Harpswell Road.
Swiping cards and sharing smiles in Moulton
Bowdoin would not be Bowdoin without Hubbard Hall, Ivies, the Bowdoin-Colby Hockey Game and—of course—the card swipers at Moulton and Thorne. You know their names: Connie, Dave, Pat and all the rest. They stand as the hallowed gatekeepers of Bowdoin’s top rated dining halls. Only one of these swipers, however, earns the distinction of being the fastest—Irene Gamache.
Though she has worked in Bowdoin dining for the past 28 years, Gamache has earned the title of fastest swiper only in the past couple of years when she started working her now-favorite dining job. Before becoming a card swiper, Gamache worked a wide array of other Dining Service jobs including positions at the deli, the salad prep room and the cafe.
“I just like being with people,” she said.
Gamache has lived in Maine all her life. Born into a large Franco-American family in Lewiston, Gamache grew up speaking French with her two brothers and one sister. In fact, when she first started school, she didn’t know any English and had to teach it herself.
She spent the first two decades of her life in Lewiston and Auburn before meeting her late husband on a blind date set up by her cousin.
“One day my cousin asked me if I’d go on a blind date with him and a friend that I knew,” she said. “And the rest is history!”
The two were married a year later at St. Joseph’s Church in Lewiston before moving to Brunswick, where Gamache and her husband raised their two daughters.
Altogether, she has been in Brunswick for about 45 years. During her tenure at Bowdoin, Moulton Union has undergone several changes. The Pub, the Café and the mail room, for example, all used to be crammed into the same space alongside the dining hall.
Gamache’s favorite food, however, has stayed the same. “I like ham,” she said. “Any kind of ham is good!”
She also admits to having a bit of a sweet tooth.
“Chocolate is my weak spot,” she said.
Aside from desserts, Gamache enjoys spending time with her four grandchildren, doing word search puzzles and seeing musicals at the Maine State Music Theatre. And—of course—swiping thousands of OneCards every week.
Gamache noted that students are the ones who keep her so upbeat.
“Some of you will come in and be jolly and that’ll make my day,” she said.
As far as names go, Irene said she knows maybe half of student names. Oftentimes she will try to pinpoint some distinctive characteristic about a student—hair, height, style—to help her remember.
Irene attributes Bowdoin’s dominance in the realm of collegiate dining to great chefs and managers. But there are others who deserve just as much thanks: the long-time full-timers, like Irene, who work hard day-in and day-out to keep the food coming and the cards swiped.
Student employee wages increase after payment restructuring
After nearly a decade of flat wages, Bowdoin student employees are getting a raise. Starting this academic year, the lowest starting salary for student employees has increased from $7.75 to $9 per hour.
“It’s exciting!” said Son Ngo ’17, who works approximately 18 hours per week as a student manager in dining and as a student intern for Information Technology (IT). These increases come amidst a nationwide movement to raise the minimum wage—including in Maine where voters will decide this November whether to increase the minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020.
According to the Bowdoin Student Employment Office, approximately 70 percent of students hold at least one job on campus. Each job is classified under one of five pay grades—A, B, C, D and E—according to type of work and skill level. All are seeing raises of at least $1.
Bowdoin last increased student salaries when Maine raised its minimum wage to $7.50 per hour in 2007. Historically, the lowest student wage has been about $0.25 above the state’s minimum.
Associate Director of Employment and Staffing Meredith Haralson explained the change.
“It’s been a number of years since we’ve increased [wages] on the student side, so we worked closely with the director of student employment as well as the managers and supervisors and determined that we needed to make an increase,” Haralson said.
Along with increasing the student hourly wage, Bowdoin is in the process of reviewing its stipend pay to ensure that the College is in compliance with new Department of Labor regulations.
As a result, more student employees—such as those on Residential Life who have typically received pay as a stipend—are being asked to track their hours.
“We’ll have a better idea of how many hours they’re working so that they are fairly compensated and not getting something way below minimum wage or something that’s way outside of the norm,” said Haralson.
In addition, Human Resources plans to continue evaluating student pay going forward.
“I think that I’ll start working with some of the managers here and also look to other organizations and to our peer institutions to get a sense of best practices to run Student Employment effectively,” Haralson said. “This is something we’re used to doing—reviewing compensation, looking at what’s right.
Student political clubs organize mock presidential debate
The United States presidential race came to campus Thursday night with a lighthearted yet fiery mock debate featuring Bowdoin students representing each of the five remaining presidential candidates. Jointly moderated by Jack Lucy ’17 of the Bowdoin Republicans, Amanda Bennett ’17 of the Bowdoin Democrats and Noah Safian ’17, the debate touched on topics from immigration to climate change over the course of an hour and a half in Smith Union’s Morrell Lounge.
“Our goal is to encourage discourse of ideas and provide a more active platform for engaging between different candidates ideas,” said Safian before the debate.
Each candidate was played by a current Bowdoin student: Damian Ramsdell ’17 as Bernie Sanders, David Levine ’16 as Hillary Clinton, David Jimenez ’16 as John Kasich, Francisco Navarro ’19 as Ted Cruz and Jordan Moskowitz ’16 as Donald Trump. All students—with the exception of Navarro—were backers of their candidate.
Safian said that organizers approached several female students to play the role of Clinton. However, after the students declined, Levine took the role.
The debate began with two minute opening statements, followed a series of questions asked by the moderators.
With thick black glasses and a wig, Ramsdell took Sanders’ persona to heart—with numerous invectives against “millionaires and billionaires” delivered in a thick Brooklyn accent.
At one point, he attacked Moskowitz’s Trump over his stance on targeting the families of terrorists. “You’re using the moral compass of a terrorist organization,” said Ramsdell.
Moskowitz, in contrast, came equipped with a “Make America Great Again” hat and portrayed a calm Trump—albeit with the same signature hyperbole: “I’m a winner; I build things,” he said.
Moskowitz was occasionally met with boos from the audience. However, his attack on Clinton’s handling of the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya was followed by much applause. Jimenez played an eloquent Kasich, weaving through fraught topics like same-sex marriage and immigration while making a case for “compassionate, pragmatic conservatism.”
Next up—in what may have been a preview of general election debates to come—Levine’s Clinton went after Trump over his soft-handed approach to Putin. “He [Trump] is a bully,” she said.
Finally, Navarro’s Cruz was notable for his strong arguments on religious liberty and abortion—which he dubbed the “genocide of our times.”
After the main question round, the debate continued with a speed round of questions unrelated to political policy.
The audience discovered that Clinton preferred Crack to Red Brick, that Trump’s White House pet would be “a donkey named Hillary” and that Sanders preferred Moulton over Thorne because “like the average worker, [he] line serves there three times a week.”
At the end of the debate, each student offered their thoughts on the candidate they represented. Jimenez joked about being known as the “Kasich guy” on campus, with his Kasich-sticker-adorned water bottle and his countless hours spent volunteering for the campaign in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts.
Navarro noted that, although he is not a Cruz supporter, he is a registered Republican—one “still mourning the exit of Marco Rubio from the race.”
Moskowitz spoke of “Trump’s devotion to the nation,” and Levine noted that Clinton “has a number of workable ideas that will actually make people’s lives better.”
And Ramsdell—in a line that seemed plucked straight out of a Bernie speech—closed with the assertion that “the only time real change happens is when people make it happen.”
Rose defends endowment in response to Congress
President Clayton Rose responded to a congressional inquiry into the finances of Bowdoin in a letter dated March 17, stressing the importance of Bowdoin’s $1.393 billion endowment for providing financial aid for students.
Seeking to survey “the numerous tax preferences [56 colleges whose endowments exceeded $1 billion] enjoy,” the February 8 congressional inquiry—signed by Senator Orrin Hatch and Congressmen Kevin Brady and Peter Roskam—came after recommendations from the Nexus Research and Policy Center advocating an excise tax on private college endowments greater than $500 million. According to Bloomberg News, in January Republican Congressman Tom Reed floated the idea of a bill that would mandate what percent of college endowment incomes would be devoted to financial aid.
Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration & Treasurer Katy Longley noted that government mandates and taxes on the endowments of nonprofit colleges would represent a “fundamental shift” in their purpose.
“The purpose of an endowment is to have a gift in perpetuity yield as much as it can for the institution. The purpose of the donors who gave this money hundreds of years ago was to support the school—not to support something else.”
In the letter, which is now available online, Rose noted that sixty-six percent of student financial aid comes from endowment specifically designated for financial aid. Out of the over 1,600 funds in the College’s endowment, 833 are restricted by donors to financial aid.Rose wrote that Bowdoin uses a large portion of its endowment to make education here “accessible and affordable to all students.” The nearly one-half of Bowdoin students who receive financial aid from the College are granted an average of $39,620, which is approximately two-thirds of tuition and fees charged.
Longley’s office further noted that, in addition to paying out a total of 33.1 million in salaries to Brunswick residents in FY 2015, the College gave $125,900 in unrestricted payments to the town. This money, however, was paid out of the College’s operating budget—not its endowment.
Amherst College submitted their response to the inquiry on April 1, similarly speaking to their endowment’s dedication to financial aid. The letter noted the discrepancy between the growth of their endowment and the need for financial aid, determining that their financial aid has increased at nearly double the rate of the endowment’s growth.
Women’s tennis maintains top five national ranking after nine wins in ten matches
Continuing what has been a record-breaking season, Bowdoin women’s tennis notched a win against Bates on Saturday, dropping only a single set during the 9-0 rout. The Polar Bears’ record improves to 9-1 overall, and they remain undefeated in conference play.
Earlier in March, the team rose to its highest ever national ranking—second in Division III women’s tennis. And although its record has dropped slightly since then to fourth following a loss to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, the team is excited to finish off the season strong before heading into the postseason.
“I think we’re all very excited; we’ve put a lot of work in, and we’re all excited to see how that pays off,” said Kyra Silitch ’17.
According to Silitch, Head Coach Hobie Holbach has emphasized doubles play and strategy this year—something that has resulted in a formidable group of well-prepared players.
“People play tennis differently; there are grinders, there are big hitters, and there are slicers. And I think that regardless of who we face on the other side of that net, everyone’s ready because we’ve seen it before at practice,” said Silitch.
That preparation paid off in matches like the March 15 win against Pomona—a team that was ranked first nationally and has a history of besting the Polar Bears.
“I think that was a huge win for the team in terms of building confidence and pulling it out,” said Silitch.
Tess Trinka ’18 and Tiffany Cheng ’16—who won the clinching point in the April 3 match against Wesleyan—have been standouts this year according to Silitch. However, she noted that as Bowdoin’s smallest varsity team, each of the eight girls has contributed equally to the team’s success so far this season.
“Everyone’s really contributed,” said Silitch. “I think that was the team’s goal—that everyone going out would have her [respective] spot.”
Looking forward, the team will face off against some tough opponents like Emory on April 17 and Williams on April 23, among others.
“I think our schedule—in terms of who we played—has been harder than I’ve ever experienced in my two years here. But it’s definitely been pretty rewarding as well,” said Silitch.The team will be home this weekend with a Saturday match against Hamilton and a Sunday one against Amherst. Both matches will start at 10 a.m.
Effects of 'tequila' backlash unknown, but little concern about long term impact
From hundreds of complaints lodged with the Office of Alumni Relations to harsh coverage from national news outlets like the Washington Post, backlash from outside of Bowdoin has mounted over the College’s handling of the February 20 “tequila” party. While alumni and others have expressed their uncertainty and refusal to donate to the College or even hire Bowdoin graduates in comment sections and social media posts, the College is not overly concerned with these online declarations.
Senior Vice President for Development and Alumni Affairs Rick Ganong said that in the weeks following the party, his office has received over 400 formal comments from alumni and parents. The “overwhelming majority” of these complaints expressed disapproval of how the incident was handled.
“It’s been a tough month,” said Ganong. “And we really won’t know how that sentiment will impact giving until the end of the year.”
Any effect the incident and backlash might have on admission yield or alumni donations will not be known for sure until closer to the end of year.
While the Office of Admissions has received some calls about the party, most were from anonymous sources unrelated to the Class of 2020. Dean of Admissions Scott Meiklejohn does not anticipate that the event will have a strong effect on current or future applicants.
“I think it would be significant if we had heard a lot from admitted students or parents of admitted students. I suppose it’s possible that we might still, but we haven’t,” he said.
National coverage of the party began the week following the incident, starting with Barstool Sports. Soon thereafter, outlets like the National Review, the Washington Post and the Telegraph picked up the story.
Even weeks after the incident, on March 31, authors such as Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and humorist Gene Weingarten were still writing about the incident.
“For this to get into the national press was just downright embarrassing,” said Bowdoin alumnus Dr. Mike McCutcheon ’65 in an email to the Orient.
McCutcheon—who witnessed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech at First Parish Church in Brunswick and had a classmate who died serving in the Vietnam War—pointed to Civil Rights and the Vietnam War as issues he viewed as more substantive than current debates over cultural appropriation.
Furthermore, he noted that several of his former classmates would not be donating to the college this year.
As for McCutcheon? “I’m undecided at this point,” he said.
In contrast, John Williams ’68 noted that the incident would not impact his giving to the College. However, he did critique the lack of real dialogue on campus.
“The offended are called to come to the offenders and say what they see as the offense against them. The offenders are called to man up and receive that information from the offended. Personally. And ask for their forgiveness. The offended have the duty to respond to the offenders graciously. And grant forgiveness when asked for it. All preferably over coffee and some decent pastry,” said Williams.
Back on campus, even the Latin American Studies Department has received angry calls immediately following the party. Student employee Saidou Camara ‘19 recounted a call from a Mississippi man—who was not an alumnus of the College—asking what was wrong with wearing mini plastic sombreros.
“I sat there baffled as the man criticized the school and the entire situation. I had no idea what I should say,” said Camara.
Ganong encouraged donors to look beyond the incident.
“There are some things about Bowdoin that I disagree with and that others might not like—it’s hard to like everything that goes on at a college campus. But that doesn’t mean we abandon our college. We try to make it better every single day. That’s why I’m here—trying to catch Williams and Amherst,” he said.
Editor's Note (April 1, 2016 at 1:10 p.m.): This article ran in print under the headline "College not concerned by effects of alumni backlash." The headline has been changed online to add clarity.
Quinby murals removed after students claim images embody rape culture
Following complaints by residents of Quinby House that two fraternity-era basement murals were inappropriate embodiments of rape culture, both murals were removed over Winter Break.
Led by Quinby House President Sophie de Bruijn ’18, nine residents sent an email to Director of Residential Life Meadow Davis, Assistant Director of Residential Life Mariana Centeno and Director of Title IX and Compliance Benje Douglas on December 9 detailing their concerns.
“The two murals that hang in our basement, relics of the house’s past as the Psi Upsilon fraternity house, embody rape culture, that is, a setting in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender and sexuality. Displaying cartoon images of sexual violence perpetuates the normalized image of rape on college campuses,” they wrote.
The cartoon murals include a beachside Quinby House atop an idyllic cliff, numerous drug references, as well as dozens of scantily clad and naked women with men leering at and chasing them. That latter feature, in particular, was the focus of the complaint.
“The murals depict naked women running away from men who are chasing after them and licking their lips. The murals depict half naked women looking frightened and trying to cover their bodies while men stare at, chase, and/or grab onto them. The murals depict women as half human half animal hybrids having sex with men. There is an image of a naked woman carrying a sign that says ‘deflower me.’ One of the murals is titled ‘The Virgin Forests,’” read the email.
Following a mid-December closed-door facilitated discussion with Benje Douglas, the House came to the consensus that the murals should not be displayed in the basement.
Unable to disclose specific details about the meeting, de Bruijn said that the nine signees of the email spearheaded the initiative, but the whole house agreed that it was for the best.
“I think the fact that students have ownership and that they’ve already built a legacy is absolutely positive,” said Douglas. “It’s always important for house members to be thoughtful of the space that they want to create both for the membership in the house but also for the larger campus community.”
At a second meeting, on February 23, the house decided that the murals needed to be removed from the House.
During these discussions, former house residents were contacted and asked about their opinions on and their experiences with the murals. Two of those residents said that no issues were raised regarding the murals during their time at Quinby.
Members of the house reached out to past members when deciding how to approach the murals. Some former members said they would agree with the murals’ removal only if they were preserved somewhere else, preferably the chapter room because they saw them as part of Quinby’s history and wanted them saved in a private space.
Though the murals will not be returning to Quinby, de Bruijn stressed that house residents were adamant that the murals not be forgotten. In particular, they expressed hope that the murals could be used in an educational setting.
“My goal is that we use them in a way that we don’t forget about them—we don’t forget they ever existed—but that we can use them in a way that’s not a) in a residential space in which people are being being hurt and affected by them and b) that’s controlled enough that people are thinking about it more in an academic setting than when they’re drunk at a party and just see it and think it’s funny,” said de Bruijn.
Additionally, de Bruijn has been in contact with professors in the gender and women’s studies department who she says have expressed interest in potentially using either the murals or pictures of them in classes.
She also noted that a fellow resident of Quinby House had supposedly met the original painter of the murals during Homecoming this past fall who said that, originally, the murals were hung privately in residents’ rooms.
In an email to the Orient, Davis noted that, to her knowledge, there had been no formal complaints to Residential Life regarding the murals prior to last December. Additionally, she added that both murals date to 1966.
Currently, both murals are being held temporarily by facilities.
Workshop discusses long-term facilities plan for College
Representatives from planning and design firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) hosted a workshop Thursday night to discuss a long-term facilities plan for the college, kicking off the College’s first master planning project in over a decade.
“At a place like Bowdoin, history and legacy and vision are very important,” said architect and urban designer Doug Voigt, who was involved in the College’s last master planning project.Around 40 students and administrators gathered to discuss likes and dislikes of the College in the Cram Alumni House. They touched on things like favorite buildings, best study spots, good and bad classrooms and a whole host of other issues.
Arranged by Bowdoin Student Government Vice President for Facilities and Sustainability Kevin Hernandez ’18, the meeting was primarily discussion-based, with students posting suggestions via text message to a computer screen.
Much of the talk revolved around the use of classroom space—the “dungeon-like classrooms” in Searles, the underutilization of Hubbard Hall and a general preference for tables over tiny desks.
First year Danny Miro pointed out that, given the recent popularity of standing while studying on the first floor of Hawthorne-Longfellow Library, planners should considering standing classroom space.
Additionally, several concerns were raised about the field and court space available in Farley Field House as well as the problem of common spaces in dorms throughout campus.
In an interview with the Orient, President Clayton Rose expressed optimism for the project.
“It’s not about putting up a building. It’s about what we want to do, what we want to be and then what kind of physical facilities we need to help us accomplish that,” said Rose. “We’re going to be bold and ambitious about taking Bowdoin to even greater heights intellectually and in terms of the experiences folks have on campus.”
Seeing this as merely a preliminary meeting, representatives from SOM said they would be back in a few months to continue the dialogue as they prepare their plan. In the interim, however, they encouraged students to submit suggestions to email@example.com.
Dr. Birgit Pols to step down as Director of Health Services
(Updated February 10, 8:01 p.m.): Former Director of Health Services Sandra Hayes will temporarily replace Pols as interim director. In addition, Clinical Care Coordinator Wendy Sansone has been promoted to Associate Director.
Dr. Birgit Pols announced this week that she will step down from her position as Director of Bowdoin Health Services in March to focus on family matters.
“I would like the entire Bowdoin community to know how much I have enjoyed my time here,” said Dr. Pols in an email sent to the Bowdoin community today. “Thank you all for your support, patience, and friendship over the past nearly two years. Bowdoin is a special place, and I will miss everyone who has made coming to work each day such a pleasure.”
Dr. Pols came to Brunswick in July 2014, after serving as director of the New York University Abu Dhabi Health and Wellness Center. Highlights of her tenure at Bowdoin include modernizing Health Center equipment as well as expanding health insurance coverage to transgender students.
“Birgit has provided strong leadership for the Health Center team and superb care for students,” wrote Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster in an email to the Orient. “I’m very sorry she is leaving us less than two years after she joined us, but she is prioritizing family for all the right reasons. I will miss her.”
Upon her departure, the College will appoint an interim director and begin a national search for a new director.
Brunswick creates ‘Race and Gender Task Force’
Following a tense fall semester with bias incidents near Bowdoin’s campus and sexual assault on campus, the Brunswick Town Council has established a “Race and Gender Task Force”/ “Human Rights Task Force” to “explore the race and gender issues” facing the town and approve recommended actions by June 30.
Starting in the summer, several Bowdoin students and faculty were subjected to predominantly racial but also misogynistic slurs yelled from passing cars. After these initial reports, President Rose contacted town officials and circulated an official condemnation on September 8. In the next two months, four additional bias incidents—all of which were “drive-bys”—were reported.
Approved in December, the task force was proposed by City Council Chairwoman Sarah Brayman who saw it as the logical and necessary “next step” for the town.
Stressing how these incidents did not represent the values of Brunswick, Brayman said in a phone interview with the Orient that she wants “students to feel comfortable coming downtown.”
After being contacted by Rose and other college officials, Brunswick officials had conversations with civic organizations like Tedford Shelter, First Parish Church, Curtis Memorial Library and others to gauge their knowledge of racial bias in and around Brunswick. Following this meeting in November they moved to “formalize the efforts of [the] town” with a task force.
Since then, the Brunswick Police Department has updated their website to include a reporting mechanism for bias incidents. This consists of an online form in which victims are asked to identify the type of bias and give details about the incident; victims can choose whether or not to identify themselves and provide contact information to police.
“We want Brunswick to be a very welcoming community,” said Police Chief Richard Rizzo in a phone interview with the Orient.
Rizzo encouraged anyone subject to these attacks to please fill out the online form. “An event that you ‘don’t want to bother us with’ could be part of a pattern that the community needs to address,” wrote Rizzo on the Police website.
Since the form went live, there have been no reports submitted, Rizzo said at the task force’s first meeting yesterday.
At the task force’s meeting, Brayman, Kathy Wilson and Jane Millett (town councilors appointed to the task force) discussed the role of the group, who should be representatives on it and how large it should be.
Regarding goals of the task force, Brayman said at the meeting: “I think there’s education, there’s also calling out really bad behavior and there’s also supporting people who are [victims] of this behavior. To me, it’s also about who are we as a community and where are we going as a community.”
A representative of the Brunswick School Department, the Brunswick Downtown Association, Associate Dean of Students for Diversity and Inclusion Leana Amaez and potentially a Bowdoin student representative (such as the BSG Multicultural representative) were all broached as resources the task force would like to work with in the future.
Three residents of Brunswick who attended the meeting urged the councilors to remember that the task force must prioritize supporting the human rights of Brunswick’s citizens as much as it will address the recent bias incidents experienced by students of the College.
Amaez expressed hope that the town of Brunswick and the College could move forward together.
“I would like for us to work together to think about how we educate and how the town can send a message to people that this is not what the town wants to be and not what the town is as a whole,” said Amaez.
While noting that it may not be Brunswick residents committing these acts, Amaez emphasized that it is incumbent upon the Brunswick community to not be silent when these incidents occur.
Simple things like asking “Hey, are you OK? Do you want me to walk you home?” can make a world of difference, Amaez noted.
Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster spoke approvingly of the formation of the task force, further noting that, in his experience, “there is a sense that this is not isolated to Bowdoin.”Notably, last week the Bangor Daily News reported that a biracial seven-year-old student at Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary was called the n-word on two separate occasions this past fall.
“[But] that’s not the community we think about when we think about Brunswick, Maine,” said Foster. “As someone who’s lived here for 20 years... [I] don’t identify Brunswick as being a place that’s not welcoming and affirming. And, yet, some members of the community have had experiences that weren’t welcoming, so I think there’s some commitment on the part of the community to say ‘no, this is not who we are.”’
Meg Robbins contributed to this report.
Brady and women’s hoops off to hot start, including win over No. 3 Tufts
The women’s basketball team extended its win streak to four games with a Wednesday night blowout win against UMaine-Farmington. After a 1-2 start, the team now sits at 5-2 on the season.
The Bowdoin women never trailed against UMF on Wednesday, riding senior Shannon Brady’s 17 points and seven rebounds to a 79-38 win. Lauren Petit ’18 chipped in with 14 points and six steals.
This comes as part of a larger post-Thanksgiving rebound for a team that sat below .500 before its November 28 win against Salve Regina.
“Our game against Salve Regina…[was] the transition game for us,” said Head Coach Adrienne Shibles.
Having lost three key players from last year, including leading scorer Sara Binkhorst ’15, Brady described the early-season difficulties as “early growing pains.”
However, Shibles was happy to say that newer players are starting to fill the graduated players’ shoes.
“Lydia Caputi ’18 is one who’s really stepped up to provide a presence where Megan [Phelps ’15] and Siena [Mitman ’15] were really tough for us in the post. And I think several of the guards have really stepped up to fill that scoring void that Sara Binkhorst left,” she noted.
And early losses to teams like the University of New England showed the team areas in which it could improve.
“[We] just didn't shoot the ball well, didn't bring the kinds of intensity that we had to bring,” said Shibles.I” think the players were putting too much pressure on themselves so we worked on that….and I think they responded really well.”
Defense, in particular, has been a focus this season.
“[Coach] has definitely emphasized the defensive factor—that if we want to be a good team we have to buy into our defense,” said Brady.
“[It] creates a really aggressive mindset for our players—when we’ve really getting after it on the defensive end and I think it leads to offense for us,” said Shibles. “If we’re getting steals and getting turnovers from the other squad it just picks up our tempo too. We’re pushing the ball more, we’re being more aggressive in getting to the rim. So that’s where it starts for us.”
And since the Salve Regina win, the women have even trounced that same team who they had lost to in last year’s NESCAC title game: the Tufts Jumbos.
“I just can’t tell you how impressed I was with the women in that game,” said Shibles. “To me, [it] shows how far we’ve come.”
Despite being down 8-0 in the first minute of the game, Brady noted that “no one on [the] team felt rattled or fearful.” And by the end of game, the Bears had come back to trounce the then-No. 3 Jumbos by a score of 61-43.
Coach Shibles was particularly impressed by Brady, who was dominant with 27 points and 15 rebounds.
"Shannon Brady’s performance was just amazing—she did it all,” said Shibles. “Everyone knows that she's a talented player—she's our Preseason All-American—but people just underestimate her. She’s incredibly fast and incredibly strong…. There were many standout moments but her performance overall in that game was something special."
Looking forward, Shibles stressed the need for the team to stay engaged and present in the moment.
“I really think we have one of the toughest schedules in the nation so we really have to stay focused,” she said.
The team plays host to Colby tomorrow at 7 p.m.
Students petition after sculpture professor’s contract not renewed
In response to the College’s decision not to renew Sculptor in Residence John Bisbee’s contract, over 30 current and former students of Bisbee have rallied around the instructor, circulating a petition asking administrators to reconsider their decision.
Co-written by students Kenny Shapiro ’17 and Nicole Smith ’16, the petition will be sent to President Clayton Rose, Dean of Academic Affairs Jen Scanlon and Chair of the Visual Arts Department Michael Kolster in an effort to convince them to keep Bisbee.
“We ask the administration to reconsider the decision to let John Bisbee go. To do so is to remove someone who has, for almost twenty years, been a positive fixture not only in the art department but also in the Bowdoin community. Please do not deny countless Bowdoin students present and future the chance to take class with an exceptional and irreplaceable artist, teacher, friend and mentor,” reads the letter in part.
Bisbee first started working at Bowdoin in the 1996 and has worked part time, teaching only in the fall. During the rest of the year, he works at his studio in Fort Andross on fantastical sculptures made using 12-inch nails and spikes.
Bisbee declined to comment on the record about the petition.
“[The petition] is a public vote of confidence for Bisbee just because, for whatever reason, the administration doesn’t think he should be here, and that’s clearly so out of line with what his students think,” said Shapiro.
Scanlon said she does not comment on personnel matters.
Kolster explained that following the hiring of Assistant Professor of Art Jackie Brown in the spring of 2014, Bisbee’s position was no longer needed and, as such, was converted to a digital media position.
“In late spring 2014, given that our sculpture classes now were being taught by [a] full-time permanent faculty member dedicated to that area, the department unanimously decided to convert the half-time three-year Artist in Residence position from a sculptor to a digital media artist,” wrote Kolster in an email to the Orient. “The Dean for Academic Affairs approved our request... and all concerned parties were notified of this decision at that time.”
Kolster further characterized these decisions as part of a larger, ongoing effort on the part of the department to expand and strengthen their offerings.
“We are pleased that now we have full-time permanent positions dedicated to the instruction of all five of the primary media comprising our major course of study: drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking and photography...This is in sharp contrast to ten years ago when we had, effectively, only two full-time faculty lines dedicated to drawing and painting,” he said. Many students, however, are saddened at the loss of Bisbee.
“The reason I pursued art here is because of John Bisbee,” Gina Stalica ’16 said. “His classes are just completely different than any classes I’ve taken here, which for me was absolutely necessary because they forced me to think in a way that was different from anything that I’d experienced in my life and especially in a class at Bowdoin.”
Other students echoed similar sentiments.
“John Bisbee’s teaching style is definitely unorthodox and he’s been described as an eccentric figure at Bowdoin, but I’m afraid that if the school doesn’t want to keep him that says that they don’t value that kind of openness, generosity of spirit and intuitiveness,” Emily Simon ’17 said. “I think it’s great that we have other professors in the department who are more focused on technique...but Bisbee is just as rigorous, he just takes a different approach and style. I think it’s important we have a range of styles in any given discipline.”
“He is this dog-loving, bearded nail sculptor who has an eye for the beauty that surrounds him,” said Mariah Reading ’16. “I learned more from him in the first day of his public art class than I have learned from any other professor at Bowdoin—so much that I’m doing an independent study in painting with him this semester despite the fact that he is a sculptor and not a painter.”
“As a teacher here for 20 years, he’s been instrumental to so many students’ personal growth and creativity. I feel sad that future Bowdoin students won’t be changed by Bisbee, as I know so many have been,” said Haleigh Collins ’17.
After the end of this semester, Bisbee will return to his private studio in Fort Andross to work full-time on his sculptures.
“Ideally the administration would reconsider their decision but if nothing else we just want John and the community to know how valued he is,” Smith said in an email to the Orient. “He’s done so many amazing things for so many of his students and that deserves recognition.”
Women’s rugby will face test in Kutztown
Hot off a 67-0 win against the University of Maine last Saturday, Bowdoin’s undefeated women’s rugby team will advance to the Sweet Sixteen round of the USA Rugby Division II Tournament this weekend in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
This sets the team up for a rematch against Kutztown University, who have knocked the Polar Bears out in the playoffs for each of the past two years.
With an undefeated record in the New England Small College Rugby Conference (NESCRC), Bowdoin has had a remarkable run this year. The program itself has won the conference title for four years in a row—as long as the NESCRC has existed.
"In the past couple years we've definitely dominated in terms of scoring. Last year I think we only let one try in the whole season—this year we've let two,” said co-captain Cristina Lima ’17.
Head Coach MaryBeth Mathews who, along with her husband Bob, have been with the team 22 years, explained its historic success matter-of-factly.
“We’ve just had class-act young women who choose to play rugby, take it seriously, get fit, [and who are] proud of learning this brand new sport they’ve never played before,” said Mathews. Such dominance has reoriented the team’s goals, Lima added.
“Our goals are in the postseason—rooted in the postseason. Our coach called it three months of pre-season and now this is our real season going into nationals.”
And even given the history with Kutztown, the team is optimistic as they head into this Saturday’s competition.
“This team is fully capable—as capable as any team we’ve had. Kutztown is beatable,” said Mathews. “Any team is beatable on any given day. It comes down to the mental edge, the composure, the physicality and the patience.”
Captain Emily King ’16 echoed that statement.
“We’re feeling pretty confident. We’re excited to give it another shot and take it to them. We’ve been working really hard for it,” she said.
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.
Bias incidents continue to occur close to campus
In the wake of President Clayton Rose’s campus-wide email on September 8 that denounced bias incidents around campus in Brunswick, there have been four additional reported incidents involving either racist or misogynistic invectives being directed at students, three of which came from moving cars driving near campus.
The most recent incident occurred on Sunday, November 1 around 1:55 p.m. when an Asian female student near the intersection of Longfellow Avenue and Park Row was subjected to offensive language shouted by passengers of a moving pickup truck.
On Thursday, Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols sent out a campus-wide message detailing the most recent verbal assaults and urging the Bowdoin community to report any further incidents.
Additionally, Nichols emphasized the ongoing cooperative initiatives between the College and the Brunswick community.
“President Rose, Dean Foster, Dean Amaez, other College officials, and I met again this past week with town leaders to report these new incidents and to continue cooperative efforts aimed at developing appropriate responses. Brunswick police are working with Bowdoin Security to identify the perpetrators and to support those affected, but we need your help,” said Nichols in his email.
Security is currently investigating leads and exchanging information with the Brunswick Police Department as cases develop.
“We work these things as hard as we possibly can. I’ve spent the past week doing almost nothing but working on these cases,” said Nichols.
But even with eyewitness accounts and security footage of roads around campus, Nichols noted the College has not caught a perpetrator of a drive-by bias incident in recent memory.
“Usually we’re not able to get conclusive enough information… When [you’re] talking about a dark SUV or a silver sedan, you’re talking hundreds of those in Brunswick at any given moment,” he said.
According to Nichols, if the perpetrators of these bias incidents were to be identified, Bowdoin Security would issue a criminal trespass notice, at a minimum.
“[With incidents such as these,] there’ll be a security report but there’ll also be a police report,” said Nichols. “The police would take the case to be reviewed by the district attorney and if there’s been a crime that is prosecutable, then action will be taken.”
According to Nichols, since these bias incidents are not legally classified as hate crimes, a harassment and disorderly conduct official warning would first be issued to the identified perpetrators.
If the conduct—or pattern of conduct, if aimed at a different individual or group—continued, then a summons would be issued and the District Attorney’s Office of Cumberland County would become involved. On its website, the Office of the Maine Attorney General defines a hate crime as “criminal conduct motivated by bias.”
“The word itself is not a hate crime,” Nichols said, referring to slurs directed at students. “It’s a bias incident.”
Nichols explained that a hate crime is one where an individual issues a racial epithet and physically assaults a person because of race. This is a Class C crime, a felony, a class higher than assault unmotivated by race, a Class D crime, a misdemeanor.
And while no hate crimes have been reported during his 10 years at Bowdoin, Nichols advised students to be cautious and vigilant.
“Number one: Stay safe. Right now all the instances involve hurtful words. There has been no physical contact. But make sure you are in a safe situation. Immediately go to a safe place. Report it to the authorities.”
Bowdoin has grappled with bias incidents in the past, most notably in the Fall of 2013 when two major incidents rocked campus.
The first involved homophobic slurs and physical violence targeting a gay student outside of Joshua’s Tavern in downtown Brunswick, while the second involved swastikas and racial invectives drawn on a chalkboard in Brunswick Apartments.
In response to those incidents, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) initiated its annual “No Hate November” initiative.
In an email from October 29 of this year, the BSG Executive Team wrote, “Through this initiative, we display solidarity with our peers who have experienced bias at Bowdoin and beyond.”
When asked in an interview with the Orient as to whether all Bowdoin students should feel welcomed in the Brunswick community, Nichols defended the town.
“Brunswick is a safe town. You’ve got a certain percentage of the population that engages in pathetic, hateful, intolerant, ignorant behavior. And we’re having a series of incidents that have occurred here recently… But Brunswick is a fantastic community. It’s a safe community. And we’re dealing with the instances as they are occurring.”
And, after three bias incidents in the summer months of 2015—one of which was directed at a faculty member—Rose urged the College to rise above the base verbal assaults in his September email.
“We do not know where these people come from, nor can we understand or rationalize their behavior… As I suggested in my Convocation remarks last week, this is an issue for all of us and we should each...find ways to support and care for one another in these moments, and more generally try to understand that one’s racial identity (among other aspects of identity) can bring with it particular challenges, some of which can be quite profound. In doing so, we will further strengthen our community.”
Students delve into Coastal Studies Center semester program
Not many Bowdoin students sleep in tents with their professors, swim with whale sharks in balmy 90 degree water or take all-expense-paid 10 day mid-semester trips to Baja, California. But for a select few (six out of a student population of 1,805) this dream is a reality.Welcome to the Marine Science Semester.
Based at Bowdoin’s Coastal Studies Center on Harpswell Sound, the Marine Science Semester offers a radically different college learning experience. Instead of taking four simultaneous courses, students take sequential “modules” one at a time for a period of three and a half to four weeks each. When they study Biological Oceanography it’s all day, every day. Same with Benthic Ecology, Marine Molecular Ecology & Evolution and Writing about the Coastal Environment.
All this happens alongside intensive field trips and seminars. Even outside of the trip to Baja, hardly a day passes where students aren’t interacting with the environments around them. Located on a green and rocky slice of Orr’s Island that juts out into Harpswell Sound, the Coastal Studies Center offers 118 acres of unspoiled land with easy access to the ocean. Indeed, it’s just a small slice of a Maine coast with a total length longer than Florida’s coastline. That’s why, in addition to a marine laboratory with both wet and dry lab space, a terrestrial lab, and a renovated farmhouse with computers, class-space, and a kitchen, the Center also has a pier and dock with fully equipped research vessels in addition to being the home of Bowdoin Sailing.
Bowdoin’s program is modeled after Boston University’s successful Marine Semester. This Marine Science Semester includes similarly immersive research-based courses as is standard at Colorado College.
Current student Andrew Villeneuve ’16 praised the program’s practicality. “When you get out into the real world you’re not going to be asked to simultaneously analyze poetry and do chemical titration in a single day,” he said.
The project-based “marathon pace” of the semester, in effect, mirrors a lot of what adults do day in and day out for their jobs.
So, Monday through Thursday, students are at the Center from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.—though times vary with the modules and the coursework. Fridays, though flexible, often have scheduled portions such as small ship training and lab work.
Instead of working with musty unchanging textbooks, the course aims to deal with the now, the future, and the questions we don’t have all the answers to.
Director Dave Carlon said that students are constantly being exposed to the “cutting edge” of marine science because we just “don’t always know the answers” to a lot of questions.That prospect of discovery captivates current student Aidan Coyle ’17.
Coyle vividly describes how even fundamental scientific concepts like plate tectonics and sea floor spreading were considered the domain of crackpots for most of the 20th century. And up until the 1970s, scientists thought the reason barnacles clung onto their particular slice of rock was because they just liked their “zone” best.
But when someone finally thought to sweep off the bottom half of a rock’s barnacles, the upper barnacles soon spread to the bottom half and the truth was revealed: the top barnacles weren’t there out of some preference but, rather, because they were the losers in an endless cycle of competition.
The Marine Science Semester aims to capture that the thrill of creating new knowledge, and each student designs and executes a final research project.
For his project, Coyle chose to examine the effects of a salinity shifts on the regulation of certain factors, called osmolytes, in phytoplankton.
Madeline Schuldt ’18 is zeroing in on the primary viral threat to Maine’s burgeoning oyster aquaculture industry—MSX. This is a disease that should probably have a question mark at its end, considering it’s officially called Multinucleated Sphere Unknown).
The epicenter of Maine oyster farming is on the Damariscotta River—a river and tidal estuary that empties out into the Atlantic halfway between between Boothbay Harbor and Pemaquid Point.
Mutilating an oyster’s frilly, lace-like gills, MSX—though harmless to humans—renders oysters essentially unsellable. (As Schuldt notes, they’re “just not pretty.”) So they impose a tremendous financial burden on small oyster farm owners.
Schuldt hopes that her research, which tries to answer questions like how many strains of MSX there are, how many sites of introduction there are, and how successful containment has been, can make a real impact on farmers.
Most of this research takes place in the wet lab, a state-of-the-art facility located next to the pier and Leighton Sailing Center.
Upon entering the wet lab, there’s a distinct olfactory shock—the air gets really fishy, really fast. Indeed, the entire building is filled with a maze of blue tubs full of an eclectic assortment of nautical creatures—crabs, oysters, squirts, and all the rest.
A tangle of tubes hangs suspended from the roof, emitting a low whirring sound as they transport water at a speed of 100 grams per minute 365 days a year.
On one side sits a curious clear contraption called a flume. Used in biomechanical studies, it replicates the effects of harsh ocean currents on organisms.
All of this equipment is absolutely essential. Today, Maine’s coast is under a trio of threats: climate change, diseases and invasive species—all challenges that demand just the sort of careful research that the Coastal Studies Center is uniquely able to provide.
Carlon hopes this good work will continue into the future, and that next year the Marine Science Semester will expand enrollment, attract more non-Bowdoin students through the Twelve College Program, and build some sort of living facilities for both the semester program and summer research.
Reflecting on his experience with the program, Aidan summed up the unique dynamic it creates.
“It’s casual, but there is a very intense love of what we’re doing…Everyone’s there because they want to be there.”
J-Board annual report shows deans approved 12 of 13 recommendations
During the 2014-2015 academic year, the Judicial Board (J-Board) heard 13 cases according to its annual report released last Wednesday. Of these cases, nine involved allegations of Academic Honor Code violations, while four involved allegations of Social Code violations.
Four cases involving sexual misconduct were reported to the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs, though none were heard by the Sexual Misconduct Board.
The annual report, sent to all faculty, staff and students via email, is available online but requires a Bowdoin username and password to access. It lists violations and punishments, with the names of the accused kept anonymous.
According to the College’s website, the Academic Honor Code “covers student conduct in such activities as classroom and laboratory assignments, examinations, quizzes, papers, and presentations,” while the Social Code “governs non-academic student conduct.” The student-run J-Board hears cases of alleged violations of both.
Each of the nine academic violations involved either plagiarism or cheating. Three of the four Social Code violations pertained to “two separate incidents of assault,” while the fourth involved a purse theft.
Deans review each J-Board punishment recommendation, and this year they accepted all but one of them. In the one exception, the J-Board recommended that a student who had plagiarized three sentences for a short extra-credit assignment receive an F in the course and be suspended for a semester with the opportunity to transfer one credit during the suspension. Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs Kim Pacelli declined to accept the suspension due to concerns about the proportionality of the punishment.
The J-Board itself consists of 13 members who are chosen to serve on cases at random. Panels hearing academic cases consist of three students and two faculty members, while the panels hearing social cases consist of five students.
J-Board Chair Maggie Acosta ’16 expressed confidence in the board.
“The process of coming to a consensus [for each case] has certainly been extremely thoughtful,” Acosta said.
In ruling, the J-Board considers the “facts and context of the situation” as well as the “precedent from relevant past cases,” according to the report.
For the upcoming school year, Acosta explained that, while respecting precedent, she personally would like to consider the specifics of a new case more closely.
“I’m certainly interested in seeing specifics and individuality being taken into account with a greater degree than I feel they’ve been taken into account in the past,” Acosta said. “The details that play into a person’s decision-making skills when they arrive here at Bowdoin, as they navigate their time here at Bowdoin are things worth considering.”
Of the four sexual assault cases, the College’s Investigator under the Student Sexual Misconduct and Gender Based Violence Policy determined there was an “insufficient basis” for board reviews in two cases, while two others were resolved via student resignations prior to the College’s investigation.
Though separate from the J-Board, the Sexual Misconduct Board chooses two members of the J-Board to serve on it. Acosta noted that, as a result of a recent change, these two members will now be able to participate as active members, whereas previously they had served as observers.
Parkview Medical Center closing, Bowdoin well-prepared with Mid Coast as primary emergency hospital
Amidst the ongoing process of consolidation of Parkview Adventist Medical Center and Mid Coast Hospital, staff in Health Services and Safety and Security are optimistic about the future of student health on campus.
Located less than one mile from campus at 329 Maine Street, Parkview entered into a pre-packaged bankruptcy plan on June 16 that featured a buyout by Mid Coast.
In a press release dated that same day, Bob Cundiff, chair of the Parkview Adventist Medical Center board of directors, said that “after years of change in the healthcare industry and increasing financial challenges, Parkview has reached a point where it can no longer serve its mission as a stand-alone hospital and is now seeking a new opportunity with Mid Coast Hospital to advance a common vision to serve the local needs of midcoast Maine long into the future.”
Bangor Daily News reported that Parkview, after losing its emergency room in June, also closed their walk-in clinic on September 8. Services still at Parkview include primary care, outpatient services and community health and wellness programs.
The College had already switched Mid Coast to their primary hospital before the buyout.“For the last year or more, the College has been using Mid Coast as the primary [hospital] unless a student specifically requests Parkview,” said Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols.
In an email to the Orient, Kim Pacelli, Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs, explained that Mid Coast remains the College’s primary hospital for urgent and emergency care because of its “bigger system of providers and services (including an intensive care unit when necessary).”
Additionally, Pacelli wrote, the rare referrals beyond the emergency room at Mid Coast are made to Maine Medical Center in Portland, while Parkview transfers patients to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, a location geographically further for students and families.
Director of Health Services Birgit Pols noted that she had never referred a student to Parkview during her time here.
“I could get the appointments I needed with the specialists I needed in the timeframe I needed them [at Mid Coast]…It was about what worked best for the students,” Pols said.
Out of the 19 alcohol transports from the 2014-2015 academic year, 18 went to Midcoast while only one went to Parkview. Out of the 115 security escorts, 72 went to Mid Coast, 26 went to the Mid Coast Walk-In Clinic, one went to the Bowdoin Health Center, and only 16 went to Parkview.
“The only effects we’ve seen so far have been positive: expanding the [downtown Mid Coast] Walk-In Clinic services, consolidating specialists and specialty testing in one location,” said Pols. “Services that are more appropriate to college students are more likely to be at Mid Coast Hospital because they’ve now incorporated practitioners and services from [Parkview].”
“I think both the facilities gave very good care and it’s just the proximity of Parkview was convenient for us because we could deliver a student to Parkview and be back on campus in a matter of five minutes. That was good. But now, that’s no longer an option for us so we’re geared right toward Mid Coast,” said Nichols.
As Pacelli noted in her email to the Orient, Parkview’s newly focused outpatient services and additional programs will provide opportunities for students’ health care as well. And Nichols believes that from an emergency point of view, Bowdoin remains in a great position.
“Bowdoin is really ideally situated for a prompt emergency response. We’re centrally located…the emergency response facilities are close, the health facilities are close,” Nichols said. “One of these days that’s gonna pay off with somebody being saved because a lot of the time it does come down to seconds and minutes.”
Correction (September 18, 2015 at 11:23 a.m.): The article previously misspelled the name of Bowdoin's Director of Health Services, Birgit Pols. She is Birgit, not Birgid.