Dining Service struggles to find student employees
Several departments, in particular the Dining Service, have experienced difficulty this year in hiring an adequate number of student employees. Though the number of student workers has risen since last fall, multiple campus departments are still understaffed, likely resulting from an increase in the total number of jobs on campus and students working fewer hours due to higher pay.
The number of filled jobs has expanded from 1,642 to 1,826, while the number of students who are employed on campus has increased only slightly, from 1,008 last year to 1,042 this semester. Nearly every department on campus hires at least one student employee and six departments are still looking to hire students—Dining Service, the Office of Development, Campus Services, the Office of Safety and Security, the libraries and Information Technology.
Supervisors are not receiving the same quantity of applications as usual, according to Associate Director of Student Employment Meredith Haralson. Dining, the largest student employer, has experienced the greatest need.
“Dining obviously has the greatest number of positions, so they feel it more so than some of the other departments,” said Associate Director of Dining Service Operation Michele Gaillard.
The lack of student employees is the reason the Dining Service has resorted to self-service in the food lines at every meal this year.
Higher wages could be causing students to work fewer hours than in previous semesters, Haralson said. With all student employees making at least a dollar more per hour than they did last year, students can make the same amount while working fewer hours.
Dining Service is particularly looking to hire for daytime weekday shifts, but has had trouble finding students for these times.
To resolve the employment difficulties, Haralson and Gaillard are working to better understand employment on campus, increase the desirability of certain jobs and advertise openings.
“I’m not sure if we completely understand why students work. I think there are various numbers of reasons as to why they want to work and why does someone want to work in Dining or not want to work in Dining,” said Gaillard. “We’re working on figuring out how to find the students that really want to work in Dining.”
Dining Service has advertised positions at the check-in desks in both dining halls. Additionally, it is revising the descriptions of jobs to provide more specific information about job responsibilities and is working with the Career Planning Center about how skills acquired in Dining can be represented on a resume.
The Office of Student Employment is also helping other departments to better advertise jobs and communicate what the students will gain and the positions’ appeals.
“I’m working with managers [and] supervisors across campus to do similar things and look at those job descriptions,” said Haralson. “Hopefully we can do that across the board so that students will be more interested in some of those opportunities because there are a lot of great skills they can learn.”
Student Employment recently placed posters in the first-year dorms in an attempt to target students who may not know about this the student employment website. Haralson said she has struggled to find the most effective way of advertising online due to the various means of electronically communicating on campus.
“Part of it I think is getting students to understand what jobs are out there, and do they know what’s available and what opportunities are on campus. Are they looking at JobX, are they seeing what’s posted or how can we do a better job of communicating that out to students?” said Haralson.
Haralson is available to meet with any students seeking jobs. The Office of Student Employment is temporarily located at 216 Maine Street. Campus employers are already beginning to post jobs for next semester on the Student Employment website, JobX.
ELECTION 2016: Students spend fall working for Clinton campaign
Several Bowdoin students expanded the breadth of their political activism by working for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign for reasons spanning from admiring Clinton as a candidate to Republican nominee Donald Trump's hateful rhetoric. Since the beginning of the semester, these students have supported the campaign by organizing and working at local phone banks, training volunteers, canvassing and identifying supporters.
Amanda Bennett ’17 decided to take the semester off to work as field organizer for the first congressional district of Maine.
“It’s just very easy for people, especially women of my generation, to be reminded that we do have a female candidate as a nominee for a major political party,” Bennett said. “I really admire her and I just decided that it was too big of an election to sit on the sidelines and not give it my ‘all’ and so I decided I wanted to take a semester off.
As a field organizer, Bennett tries to convince Maine voters, specifically those outside the Democratic first congressional district, to cast their votes for Clinton on Election Day.
Bennett also finds herself busy interacting with volunteers on a day-to-day basis for the Clinton campaign and encourages them to talk to neighbors in the second district about why Clinton is the best choice for the nation.
“I think that one of my favorite parts [about working for the campaign] is interacting with the volunteers that come from all walks of life. There are some Bowdoin alums that I have met through this, and it’s just very cool to meet everyone and share the experience,” she said.
Brooke Bullington ’17 and Noah Salzman ’17 joined the campaign by applying for local volunteer positions with Hillary for America Fellows program, which was originally started by President Obama during 2008 election.
“I am far more impressed with Hillary than I am afraid of Donald Trump,” Salzman said. “I think that we hear a ton of rhetoric around her experience but we don’t often consider what that experience looks like. Basically since she’s started her career, she’s worked for children, for families, for people who have been marginalized—groups like disabled individuals, women, and children. And I think that is only a fraction of the experience that I admire about her.”
Bullington said that working for the campaign has given her a greater sense of purpose.
“I think especially that all of the really hateful things that Trump has said has really reassured me that what I’m doing is really important and meaningful and needs to be done,” Bullington said.
Bullington and Salzman have been working between 15 and 20 hours per week, primarily at Democratic party offices in Brunswick, Bath and Portland. They also organized weekly phone banks at Bowdoin on alternating Tuesdays and Thursdays. The last Bowdoin session they hosted was on October 27.
Bullington and Salzman commented on how difficult it was to reel in engaged Bowdoin students to help with the phone banks.
“It’s been really frustrating for us, because, at least for me, I feel like this is just so important, and I think that there are a lot of people who really support Hillary but aren’t super willing to get involved,” Bullington said.
Despite these challenges, all three students consider working for the campaign an enriching experience.
“You can see your impact very directly,” Salzman said. “Even though not every single thing we do has a massive scale, we see volunteers come through the door, we get to talk to them, we get to hear about what issues matter to them, we get to train them. Mobilizing people in such a concrete, tangible way I think has been so rewarding and something that I would definitely like to do again.”
Dining halls begin to offer fair trade bananas
Dining Service began offering fair trade bananas in both Moulton Union and Thorne Hall this September, following last year’s campaign by Bowdoin Advocates for Human Rights (BAHR). Two cases of ripe fair trade bananas are now delivered to each dining hall every Friday, accounting for approximately 20 percent of the volume of bananas Bowdoin consumes.
According to Associate Director and Executive Chef of Dining Service Ken Cardone, Bowdoin purchases about 728 cases of all bananas per year, each with around 120 bananas, for a total of about 87,360 bananas.
Last year, BAHR led a campaign to educate the student body about ethical consumerism and to decrease College banana consumption to enable Dining Service to switch to fair trade bananas. BAHR handed out posters and fact sheets about the banana industry and attempted to garner student pledges to eat fewer bananas.
For nearly a century, several banana companies have been accused of massacring and threatening workers, supporting terrorist groups, underpaying their laborers, exposing workers to harmful pesticides, destroying the environment and committing various human rights abuses in countries such as Colombia, Ecuador and the Philippines. Bowdoin has sourced its bananas from both Chiquita Brand International Inc. and Dole Food Co, two companies that have been blamed for these abuses.
Despite the progress made, Dining Service still faces two major issues: price and the lack of a ripening facility.
“In order for Bowdoin to be able to [fully] buy fair trade they needed to decrease the amount of bananas everyone eats,” said Katherine Kirk ’18, leader of BAHR.
Fair trade bananas cost about 30 percent more than standard bananas. However, Cardone hopes that future price decreases will allow Bowdoin to offer more fair trade bananas.
“Retail markets impact availability. I noticed an increased volume of [fair trade] bananas in both local grocery stores. Hopefully it will continue to increase and that helps lower cost and increase availability,” Cardone wrote in an email to the Orient.
Dining Service also faces the lack of a ripening facility. According to Cardone, Bowdoin does not have the space to ripen the quantity of bananas the College purchases. Large fair trade ripening facilities are several hours away. Kirk hopes that Bowdoin might be able to form a coalition ripening facility, possibly with other institutions like Colby and Bates.
Last year, the College began offering a selection of fair trade bananas in the C-Store, although the initiative struggled due to ripening issues and the irregularity of shipments.
While Kirk was excited that Dining Service is beginning to offer fair trade bananas, she expressed interest in the College increasing its fair trade purchases. She called Dining Service’s decision a “big first step,” and believes that the College can make the total switch to fair trade bananas, particularly as Bowdoin completely shifted to fair trade coffee two years ago.
One of the fair trade vendors Bowdoin purchases from is Equal Exchange, which was founded in part by a Bowdoin alumnus.
“It’s kind of cool that we’re supporting a Bowdoin grad when we buy fair trade,” Kirk said.
Kirk said BAHR plans to continue to focus on promoting ethical consumerism in the future. She believes that students do not always think about the consequences of buying non fair trade bananas because of their isolation from the industry and its abuses—an issue BAHR hopes to address.
“We’re trying to focus on that more this year—focusing on where did this come from and realizing that we live in a really global world and what consequences that has and that you don’t really know what moral decisions you’re making when you buy something,” Kirk said.
Class Council elections see record turnout
Over 70 percent of both the first year and senior classes voted in Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) Class Council elections—a record turnout for BSG elections. The election also had an unusually large candidate pool, saw the first tie in BSG election history and debuted Blink, a new website used to consolidate student management and cast ballots.
Vice President for BSG Affairs Reed Fernandez ’17 was not sure what contributed to the large voter turnout.
“I don’t know if that’s because it’s an election year, or because BSG was kind of like prominent last spring and maybe some seniors wanted to get involved with that, or first years heard about it before they even got here,” Fernandez said.
Voter turnout rose from about 60 percent last year, and more than half of the 54 attendees of the 2017 and 2020 Class Council information sessions ran for office.
Fernandez said Blink worked very well this election.
“I don’t think anyone had any confusion, and there were no technical errors, which there have been in the past,” he said.
The election results were first released Sunday night. At that time, however, there was a tie for the second position of 2020 class representative to BSG. Nathanael DeMoranville ’20 won the election with 120 votes, and first years Beatrice Cabrera and Leah Matari both received 106 votes.
Fernandez expressed interest in proposing a bylaw amendment to the BSG Assembly this year in order to establish a procedure in the event of a tie. He also said BSG is open to utilizing Blink’s option of ranked choice voting in future elections, which would would decrease the probability of another tie occurring.
The following seniors were elected: Esther Nunoo as president, Ellie Quenzer as vice president, Samantha Hoegle as treasurer and Spencer Shagoury and Annie Glenn as class representatives to the BSG. The following first-years were elected: Shani Agarwal as president, Salim Salim as vice president, Ben Hopkins as treasurer and DeMoranville and Cabrera as class representatives to BSG.
Nunoo said she hopes to promote inclusivity and engagement amongst the senior class. Additionally, she hopes to bring the class together through a variety of light-hearted events and activities, such as a senior game of “manhunt” at night.
“What’s important to me—and one of the reasons that I decided to run—is that no matter what we end up doing, it will be inclusive. So, I don’t want only a certain group showing up to certain things. I want to make sure that everyone feels welcome and once they’re there, they actually want to stay and get to know people,” she said.
Nunoo believes her honesty, enthusiasm and ability to bring people together will help her in her new role.
Agarwal said she hopes to bring the first year class together through a variety of fun and intellectual programs that celebrate the class’ diversity and increase class involvement in Council decisions. Several of Agarwal’s plans include hosting an autumn carnival, fostering round-table discussions about identity and conducting polls to find other programs that interest the class.
As an international student, Agarwal said she is excited to work with students from diverse backgrounds.
“One of the things we’ve been told by [President] Clayton Rose is that we’re one of the more diverse classes Bowdoin’s seen in the past couple of years,” she said. “I’m really excited to bring people together from all these different backgrounds.”
Heritage Month programming to highlight Latinx issues
In conjunction with national Hispanic Heritage Month, Bowdoin students are delving into a seven-week exploration of Latinx experiences, identities, values and issues.
“Latinx Heritage Month and Beyond,” a series of programs organized by the Latin American Student Organization (LASO), the Student Center for Multicultural Life and several other groups and academic departments, began yesterday with a talk by Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig titled “A Remedy for Education Justice: Mobilizing Local Education Reform.”
LASO will host a celebratory kickoff barbecue at the Student Center for Multicultural Life this afternoon.
“I think it’s going to be a really cool month,” said LASO treasurer Karla Olivares ’17.
LASO opted to recognize the month as Latinx Heritage Month, rather than Hispanic Heritage Month, to include students who identify as Latinx, but not necessarily as Hispanic. The “x” allows for gender inclusivity taking into consideration those who do not identify with the male-female binary of Latino or Latina.
Although the month’s events are grounded in celebrating Latinx heritage and learning about Latinx issues, LASO leaders emphasized that they are for all Bowdoin students.
“I feel like this is a good way to teach Bowdoin students about what’s personal to the Hispanic students on campus,” said Olivares. “I hope that people can come to the kickoff event and feel comfortable enough to interact with the Hispanic, Latinx students on campus.”
Secretary of LASO Raquel Santizo ’19 echoed this sentiment.
“We want people—not just Latino or Hispanic people—we want everyone to go to these events and enjoy them,” she said.
In the past, students struggled to organize speakers for Hispanic Heritage Month due to the logistical difficulty of planning events so early in the semester. This year, LASO leaders worked with Director of the Student Center for Multicultural Life Benjamin Harris throughout the summer to prepare. With Harris’ guidance, LASO members engaged in many discussions about which individuals would be the most beneficial and informative to the Bowdoin community. As a result, the array of events and speakers is much wider than in previous years.
Olivares said she was especially excited for the talk by Priscila Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez, also known as “Woke Brown Girl.” Members of LASO, the Women of Color Coalition and the Women’s Resource Center will also have the opportunity to join Rodriguez for dinner.
Santizo said she is looking forward to hearing from writer Junot Díaz, who comes to Bowdoin on November 3.
Harris hopes that all students can learn from the month, ask questions and increase their understanding of the Latinx community.
“I hope students can come out and be a part of the programs and learn something new,” said Harris. “The more we hear voices from a diverse array of folks, [the more we become] aware of issues other folks are dealing with and how they may intersect with the issues that we are dealing with in our particular community.”
Phishing attack compromises campus emails
The College’s email network suffered a number of email phishing attacks last Sunday and Monday. Information Technology (IT) Security Officer Eric Berube expressed fears that some accounts may still be compromised.
Berube said outside actors first comprised eight Bowdoin email accounts sometime prior to Sunday night. That night, the actors sent spam emails through the eight accounts. The volume of outgoing spam slowed the College’s mail servers, so IT responded by limiting the number of emails sent over the network.
On Monday, individuals within the Bowdoin network received an email from a Comcast address that managed to evade the College spam filter and compromise some accounts. One of these accounts then sent an email that appeared to come from the IT Service Desk and claimed that Bowdoin had experienced a mail service issue the previous night.
The message instructed individuals to click a link and login to their webmail account if they believed any emails they sent Sunday might not have been delivered. This link led to a webpage that strongly resembled the Bowdoin email login page; however, those who entered their username and password had these credentials stolen.
“[The bad actors] basically created a copy of [the webmail] page that would look identical. If someone clicked that link there aren’t a lot of good indicators that you’re in a different place,” said Berube.
Two subtle signs indicated that the email was not from the IT Service Desk. The link ended in “bowdoin.magics.net” rather than “bowdoin.edu.” Additionally, the malicious website to which the email linked did not show a lock in the URL bar. Most browsers include a small picture of a lock in the left side of the URL bar to indicate a trusted website. IT sent an email around noon on Monday notifying students and employees of the breach and advising individuals to change their passwords.
Berube said that the total number of accounts compromised was likely small, but that very few people that reset their passwords on Monday. He worries that some users with compromised accounts did not read his email and are unaware of the attack. Spamming is the primary consequence of stolen credentials, but individuals also risk having confidential information exposed.
Berube added that people should report suspicious emails or links to IT rather than clicking on them.
Only two artists to perform at 151st Ivies
Despite two major late-notice changes to the performer schedule this year, Bowdoin is planning for one of the most exciting Ivies weekends yet.
Five hours before he was scheduled to perform in David Saul Smith Union last night, Waka Flocka Flame announced on Twitter that he was “stuck in Denver” and would miss the show. In an email to the student body, the Entertainment Board (eBoard) announced that he would instead perform on Saturday at 3 p.m.
MØ, the headlining performer originally scheduled for Saturday’s concert, cancelled her Bowdoin show and others in the Northeast at the end of March. Baauer was contracted to replace her as the leading act on Saturday.
Further highlights of the weekend include two student DJ acts, Nadim Elhage ’16 and Nabil Odulate ’16, two acts from the annual Battle of the Bands contest, a poutine food truck, a photo booth and a barbeque hosted by Bowdoin Dining Services.
The Meddiebempsters and the Longfellows launched the weekend with their Ivies Kickoff Concert Wednesday night in the chapel. Bowdoin Sketch Comedy presented their annual Bowdoin Night Live Wednesday night in Kresge Auditorium as well.
The eBoard had hoped to introduce a two-artist system this year, which would feature one performer on Thursday and one on Saturday.
“We felt like students were kind of fading by our second artist last year. We thought he was a great performer, but it wasn’t worth spending the money on another artist if people were just too tired to really enjoy the concert. So we decided better to invest in one great artist instead for Saturday,” said Vice President for Student Organizations and Co-Head of the eBoard Emily Serwer ’16.
With the money saved from switching from MØ to Baauer, the eBoard was able to include the poutine truck on Friday on the Brunswick Quad and a photo booth on Saturday. With $3,000, the eBoard paid for 500 free servings of poutine.
The student DJ contest, which the eBoard previously conducted three years ago, is also a change from last year. The DJ who received the most student votes, Nadim Elhage ’16, will be the second opening act for Baauer.
“We thought that that was a good model to get the students more involved in the process because it can seem pretty behind the scenes,” said Serwer.
The first place winner of the Bowdoin Music Collective’s annual Battle of the Bands, Duck Blind, was supposed to open for Waka Flocka Flame Thursday evening, but instead played before student DJ Nabil Odulate ’16. The third place Battle of the Bands winner, Pulse, will perform before Elhage tomorrow. The second place winner, Floating Goat, could not play due to a scheduling conflict.
The College will also provide water Friday afternoon on the Brunswick Quad, Friday night at the Harpswell Apartments and Saturday on Whittier Field. Bowdoin Student Government is sponsoring hot dog stands Friday night at Harpswell Apartments and Saturday night at Pine Street Apartments as well as two pizza deliveries Saturday night.
Preparation for the weekend has not been easy. After MØ decided to cancel her tour at the end of March, the eBoard scrambled to find a new artist.
“It was a little bit stressful at first when we found out. It was really short notice,” said Co-Head of the eBoard Chase Hodge ’16.
Normally, the eBoard begins searching for Ivies artists in August. After a long process of working with an agent to find performers who fit the budget, have not already been booked and align with the interests and input of the student body, the eBoard usually submits a bid in October.
“We definitely hit the ground running with [MØ’s cancellation] even though we weren’t at school. And people—Board members—were really great about throwing artists out really quickly,” added Serwer. “We had a couple rejections before we got a yes, but we’re really excited about Baauer.”
Hodge also emphasized he is “super excited” about Baauer.
The Student Activities Office, which is in charge of all of the logistics, coordination and setup for the weekend, has also been preparing for months.
“We’ve had extensive meetings with facilities and electrical and the grounds crew and athletics to talk about all the minute-by-minute details between Thursday and Sunday,” said Director of Student Activities Nate Hintze. “We always are tweaking it to make it more safe, more fun, more logistically friendly for all of Bowdoin staff.”
Despite the snow on Tuesday and MØ’s cancellation earlier this year, Hintze assured that all plans for the weekend are “running on par.” Hintze hopes for a sunny weekend, as rain has forced concerts indoors the past two years.
The eBoard also organizes logistical details and helps with setup for Ivies. To accommodate the needs of the artists, the eBoard assigns two “runners” who fulfill the lists, or “riders,” of hospitality needs each performer requires. The “runners” both prepare the artists’ needs before they arrive and assist them while on campus. eBoard members also help the production company it hired, Moonlighting, in assembling and disassembling the concert set.
Before the weekend, the eBoard conducted final preparations, such as creating an Ivies Facebook event and sending an email with the schedule. The eBoard also sends letters to the residents of Bowker Street to apologize for any potential noise and to provide a contact for any complaints.—Julian Andrews, Jono Gruber, Meg Robbins and Emily Weyrauch contributed to this report.
Editor's note, April 28, 8:25 p.m.: This article has been updated to reflect the announcement that Waka Flocka Flame's performance was rescheduled from Thursday to Saturday.
College hopes to increase faculty diversity through funding focus on tenure track hiring practice
As part of its goal of diversifying Bowdoin’s faculty, the College will shift funding and resources from the Consortium for Faculty Diversity (CFD) fellowship program towards hiring more tenured faculty through the Target of Opportunity policy. By decreasing the number of CFD fellows that Bowdoin hires annually from six to three, the College will be able to create two new tenure track positions to increase and further recruit diverse faculty.
“Having more faculty of color on the tenure track will increase the excellence that we have on our campus, and it will also increase the desirability of our campus to all kinds of people, not just other faculty of color, but a more diverse academic environment is a good thing for everybody,” said Interim Dean for Academic Affairs Jennifer Scanlon.
Scanlon hopes one or both of the Target of Opportunity positions can be filled in the next academic year. While these new faculty could be current non-tenured faculty, it is more likely they will be new professors that different departments find and nominate. Departments will also have the opportunity to fill gaps in their curriculums by proposing new candidates for Target of Opportunity positions.
“Candidates usually are here for one or two years, and during that time they have a reduced teaching load, and they have mentoring, and the idea is that they really have the opportunity to work on their own research and get a little bit ahead for the job market, and also so they have an opportunity to teach in a liberal arts institution,” added Scanlon.
Bowdoin adopted the Target of Opportunity policy in 2008. This hiring policy, which other colleges across the nation have adopted, allows Bowdoin to hire and tenure exceptional minority faculty outside of regular openings or a national search. Similarly, the CFD, developed as a way to help young people of color launch their careers, is an organization of liberal arts colleges that aims to promote faculty diversity by placing minority postdoctoral fellows in its member institutions.
“The Consortium for Faculty Diversity program has been terrific, and we’re not eliminating it, but what we’re doing is we’re saying we can do both,” said Scanlon. “We’re saying let’s put some resources towards a more direct route to increasing the diversity of the tenure track faculty at the College.”
“The Target of Opportunity hiring policy, which again colleges all around the country have, is to say that if we can find a candidate who would diversify our faculty and who meets our criteria of excellence, we can go out and we can try to recruit that person into a tenure track line at the College,” said Scanlon.
However, Scanlon explained Bowdoin has not hired many individuals through the Target of Opportunity process, and the College has not been able to offer many CFD fellows longer-term positions.
She hopes to reinvigorate the practice with this new focus and funding for Target of Opportunity’s tenure hires.
Despite this new initiative, Scanlon reiterated her stance regarding the College’s standing commitment to seeking minority faculty through the regular search process, which she explained in an Orient article last fall about the diversity of professors.
“I would still maintain [that] the most critical way to diversify the faculty is through the regular faculty hiring process,” Scanlon said. “This is by no means a retreat; this is a way to say there is not just one avenue. [The regular search process] remains the most important avenue, but why not look at how we allocate our resources, and why not think about are there creative ways that we could employ that would enhance the diversity of our faculty.”
School St. Apts. not to be included in lottery
The Office of Residential Life (ResLife) has decided to end its rental of the School Street apartments and will not offer them in the 2016-2017 housing lottery due to security concerns. Instead, it will be opening four new suites, which are currently undergoing renovations, on the second floor of Coles Tower.
For the past five years, the College has rented this four-apartment building from Maine State Music Theatre, which uses the space to house employees during the summer. Situated north of the campus off of Maine Street, it is the furthest student housing option offered in the lottery. While there have been no specific security related incidents at the School Street apartments this year, individuals have expressed concerns over the safety of the location.
“There were some conversations in the fall about wanting to make sure [the residents] had the ability to secure windows and secure doors, and we worked with Maine State Music Theatre to make sure that that happened,” said Associate Director of Housing Operations Lisa Rendall.
The owner of the property subsequently added an automatically locking door.
Because the College does not own the building, residents have to carry separate keys, and the building has not had some of same safety protocols as other residences. Rendall believes the elimination of this housing option is also a positive change, as it is more difficult for security to monitor the School Street apartments.
Axis Fuksman-Kumpa ’17, a resident of School Street, described the neighborhood as “sketchy” and has had to take precautions while walking to School Street after dark due to its distance.
“I do end up taking Safe Ride a lot at night, especially because it’s a slightly sketchy part of the Brunswick neighborhood,” said Fuksman-Kumpa. “I have a lot of people who are always concerned about me walking home at night and stuff because it’s a longer walk. I have never had any incidents myself, so it hasn’t been a huge impact for me, but it’s definitely been something that’s on my mind.”
Communication between the residents, ResLife and the landlord has been complicated as well. The landlord has specific dates students need to move out at the end of the year, which conflict with Senior Week. Work orders for repairs were equally complicated as, depending on the service required, either private repairman the landlord contracted or Bowdoin Facilities Management fulfilled the requests.
While transportation to School Street and the building itself have caused unease, Rendall voiced the reason for eliminating this housing option as ultimately due to practicality.
“It didn’t make sense for the College to continue to pay rent to Maine State Music Theatre when we’re able to provide the housing in-house, so to speak, on campus.”
To compensate for all but one of the 13 beds in the apartments, the College is currently renovating the second floor of Coles Tower to create four new suites. The configurations of these rooms will differ from the rest of Coles Tower. The floor will be able to house 12 students in two two-bedroom doubles and two three-bedroom quads.
Fuksman-Kumpa cited one incident of a loud argument that occurred on her street earlier in the year. Otherwise, there have not been any concerns that would deter her from living there in the future, and she has enjoyed her accommodations.
“I’ve been happy to live there. I haven’t regretted it at any point. And the pros have outweighed the cons for me.”
Culture not costume photo shoot to show solidarity
The Student Center for Multicultural Life is conducting a “My culture is not a costume” and “Their culture is not our costume” photo shoot for students of color Wednesday, Thursday and today as a way to show solidarity in the wake of recent acts of ethnic stereotyping and to help educate the campus community about the harmful effects of ethnic stereotyping.
Director of the Student Center for Multicultural Life Benjamin Harris explained the Center developed this project to address issues of offensive parties on campus that have stereotyped particular cultures. Through this photo project, he hopes to demonstrate that the stereotypical costumes and themes of certain parties have offended students of color by portraying important aspects of their cultures in degrading, insensitive manners.
“We will try to educate, be proactive, instead of being reactive when things happen, such as the ‘gangster’ party, such as ‘Cracksgiving,’ such as the ‘tequila’ party,” said Harris. “I envision the photos to show Bowdoin students from different cultures and different backgrounds [are] represented, and that representation is something that as a campus as a community we should celebrate.”
Kiki Nakamura-Koyama ’17, an organizer of the project and intern at the Center, believes this process will be valuable for students of color in addition to being educational. “I hope this will help ease some of the pain that a lot of students of color have been feeling,” Kiki added.
For now, the photographs of various students of color will be shared on social media. Yet this photo project is also part of a much larger campaign the Center will pursue in the coming semester and year. This longer-term project will consist of additional photo shoots and the use of posters with a similar goal. Part of Harris’ goal is to emphasize the beauty of people and their cultures and prevent the reduction of components of their identities to stereotypes and “things for amusement.”
To prevent future instances of stereotyping and help foster a respectful community, the Center plans to be proactive and preemptive at times like Halloween to remind the community to be respectful of other people’s cultures when choosing themes and costumes for events.
“We’re not saying people shouldn’t dress up [in] costumes. That’s not the case. There’s a million costumes people can dress up as. There’s a million themed parties people can have,” said Harris. “But we want students to be more thoughtful and caring and show respect for other people on campus because we want this space and everybody to feel like this is Bowdoin for them and not just Bowdoin for a few.”
Pipe breaks, floods Memorial with potential hazardous waste
A ceiling sprinkler pipe ruptured in Memorial Hall last Sunday due to low temperatures and high winds, causing water and hazardous waste to flood sections of the building. The pipe burst above the elevator on the landing of the fourth floor stairwell next to Wish Theater. After the pipe broke, over 1,200 gallons of water flooded both the elevator shaft and the ceilings as well as walls of sections of the third and fourth floors. After filling the pit at the bottom of the shaft, the water spread potentially toxic hydraulic fluids across the ground floor lobby.
The flood became potentially toxic as the water carried hydraulic fluid from a bucket at the bottom of the pit in the elevator shaft across the ground level. Due to normal use of the hydraulically powered elevator, fluid drains into a several gallon bucket that inspectors empty during regular maintenance.
“There could have been a gallon or two of oil down in there, and of course we had 1,200 gallons of water,” explained Associate Director of Facilities Operations Jeff Tuttle. According to Tuttle, the oil may have been safe and vegetable-based, but to ensure safe cleanup, it was treated as toxic.
When the pipe broke at about 4 p.m., the alarm system in Memorial was activated, and its occupants had to evacuate and wait for emergency services to arrive and begin the multiple day cleanup process. While this particular stairwell has never had issues, this is the fourth time a water-related incident has occurred in the building.
According to Technical Director of Theater and Dance Deborah Puhl, in the last six years, pipes have exploded in other sections of the building due to cold weather. Last year, one of the roof drains froze, resulting in a flood. A malfunctioning heater the previous year caused a pipe to freeze and burst in a different stairwell. In a similar instance about six years ago, a box placed on a heater on the sixth floor triggered the rupture of a pipe.
Members of the Office of Safety and Security and the Brunswick Fire Department responded to the incident Sunday evening. Eventually, they were forced to cut the building’s water supply. By that time, the mixture of toxic fluid and water had spread to cover most of Drake Lobby, the office of Director of Theater Operations Michael Schiff-Verre and the entrance to Wish Theater. The stairwell and the walls of the third and fourth floors in front of the elevator also sustained damage.
Due to the location of the burst, the majority of the water spilled into the elevator shaft. It did not extend into any classrooms or Wish Theater.
“I would say that literally another ten minutes and it probably would’ve gotten into Wish because it had just reached the door to Wish when they shut it off,” said Puhl, who was present in Memorial Hall during the evacuation.
When Puhl was exiting the building, the elevator had opened on the second floor as part of its safety protocol. She noticed water rushing down the shaft and around the elevator.
“It was almost like a hose had been turned on above the elevator,” she said. “By the time Security got here, there was already a pool of water on the stone down there in Drake Lobby.” Within several hours, the water recovery and toxic waste removal companies Servpro and Clean Harbors arrived at the scene. The removal of the toxic hydraulic fluid and water continued through Sunday night, and the process of drying the remaining water lasted throughout the week. The elevator was also out of commission Monday due to inspection. Servpro and Facilities cut holes in the walls of the third and fourth floor landings and placed fans and dehumidifiers in the building to assist in the restoration.
Tuttle hopes that by the end of the week, there will no longer be any moisture present in the walls and carpet and Facilities can begin patching damaged drywall and commencing remedial efforts, including re-insulation. Tuttle estimates the repair and service costs to exceed thousands of dollars.
“Above the ceiling where this was, we’re actually going to take that ceiling and we’re going to re-insulate it,” Tuttle said. “It’s insulated but just probably not to the degree that it should be for whatever reason.”
Facility’s re-insulation and re-piping efforts after past floods have been successful in preventing repeated events in the affected areas. However, a larger restoration process in the old building may be necessary to stop the trend of water-related disasters.
By Monday, the building was safe to enter; however, due to the ongoing maintenance, morning classes in Memorial Hall were relocated. Assistant Professors of Theater Abigail Killeen and Diomedes Koufteros had to move their morning classes to the Edwards Center for Art and Dance.
“Everyone worked really hard to make it a smooth day for the students,” said Killeen, who had to relocate and shorten her Acting I class Monday morning.
Plans to re-carpet the lower lobby this coming summer were already in place prior to the accident. Over Winter Break, the College changed the carpet on the second floor of Memorial Hall; however, due to time constraints, they decided to wait to renovate the bottom floor lobby.