Students launch petition for sanctuary campus
In addition to demonstrations and calls for conversation, Bowdoin students reacted in the week after Donald Trump’s presidential win by creating a petition calling on the administration to designate the College as a sanctuary campus for undocumented immigrants. As of press time, the petition had 522 signees, which included students, alumni, parents, faculty and community members.
This week, more than 100 colleges have called for the creation of sanctuary campuses, including Harvard, Columbia, UMass Amherst and Wesleyan. The movement is similar to the concept of sanctuary cities, municipalities across the country where local law enforcement declines to release information about undocumented immigrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Trump has promised to mobilize ICE to increase deportations of undocumented immigrants.
Every campus has a different definition of a sanctuary campus, but many include steps which would ensure the safety and privacy of undocumented students.
The Bowdoin petition, among other demands, asks for the College’s immediate assurance of its support of undocumented students, refrainment from voluntary information sharing with ICE and refusal of physical access to campus to ICE. It is addressed directly to President Clayton Rose, Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster, Associate Dean of Students for Diversity and Inclusion Leana Amaez, Director of the Student Multicultural Center Benjamin Harris and Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols.
Many students also took the post-election political conversation outside of the College, attending protests in Brunswick or Portland.
Jhadha King ’20 gave an impromptu speech at a rally in Portland last Friday.
“I just want to thank everybody for being here because this is the most safe I’ve felt in awhile. Being a woman of color surrounded by this many white people that are all marching for the same cause that I am has made me so empowered,” she told the crowd.
King was surprised by the results of the election but is curious to learn why so many people voted for Trump.
“I don’t just want to be angry or mad or resentful at people. I wanted to understand the other side of it. I didn’t want to base everything off my common misconceptions,” she said.
King said she will continue to protest off campus in an effort to spark more dialogue and keep the movement going. At Bowdoin, she felt that lack of political diversity left her searching for answers about the results.
“It feels like here you have to have a conversation about it … and still go back to your dorm and be surrounded by the unknown of why people would vote this way,” King said.
Daniel Castro Bonilla ’17 attended an on-campus Rally For Love and Strength organized by seniors Hayley Nicholas and Julia Berkman-Hill last Friday and a protest in Brunswick on Saturday and hopes that such events will help those targeted by Trump’s words feel safe.
“A lot of people after Trump’s victory feel they are not safe on this campus, they’re not safe in Brunswick, they’re not safe in the United States,” he said. “When you’re out there demonstrating and rallying up you’re telling others that this is a space where we do support you and we do welcome you.”
At its Wednesday meeting, BSG discussed how it could better support students. Members contemplated the possibility of establishing Bowdoin as a sanctuary campus, though BSG did not create the petition in circulation.
While the number of undocumented students at Bowdoin is relatively small, Class Representative to the BSG Beatrice Cabrera ’20 said that the symbolism of the petition matters.
Representative At-Large Jacob Russell ’17 suggested that BSG could also help with immigration lawyers.
“There is privilege on campus. There are a lot of people who know lawyers,” he said. “We can get immigration lawyers.”
Cabrera said that regardless of political beliefs, students should help one another.
“We are all part of the Bowdoin community and that comes first before who is left and who is right,” she said.
BSG members also thought about how to lead campus conversation about the election results.
“In our position as BSG we can only act as a conduit for conversation at Bowdoin,” said Vice President for the Treasury Irfan Alam ’18.
Alam said his place of privilege and his position on BSG gives him the ability to help others process the results of the election.
“I felt like because I have that privilege, I have a responsibility to use my voice and to fight for those that felt very disempowered by the results of the election,” he said.
Last Friday, BSG hosted an open discussion that used software allowing students to submit questions and comments anonymously that were then projected onto a large monitor. Although students made comments, Alam said BSG still has work to do to encourage students with more conservative opinions to speak up.
“It seems that Donald Trump supporters—and this is not me speaking on their behalf—did still feel like it was a hostile environment,” he said. “Perhaps the anonymity prevented them from feeling like they would be personally attacked, however, they still felt that potentially their ideas would be attacked and that persistent requesting for them to speak up was just people chomping at the bit to jump on an idea that was contrary to theirs.”
Volleyballs faces Williams on path to defend NESCAC title
In a rematch of last year’s championship final, the Bowdoin volleyball team will face off against No. 5 Williams (13-10, 6-4 NESCAC) in the NESCAC Quarterfinals at Tufts tonight at 8 p.m. The Polar Bears come into the tournament as the No. 4 seed after finishing the regular season 14-9, 6-4 within the NESCAC.
The team’s postseason experience and success last year will serve as an advantage in its campaign for a second NESCAC title.
Last year, the team entered the NESCAC tournament in a great position with a record of 20-4, 9-1 NESCAC, earning the No. 1 seed and going on to win the championship in a 3-2 victory over the Ephs. After losing the first two sets, the Polar Bears dominated the next three to become the first team since the playoff system was reformatted in 2001 to come back from a 0-2 deficit in the championship match. The team expects a similarly close match tonight.
“We are fully expecting a tight match,” said Head Coach Erin Cady. “Every time that we’ve played Williams in the past two years, we’ve gone five sets, so [we’re] just mentally preparing for that.”
“[It will definitely be] a very competitive game, which is going to be fun,” said captain Quincy Leech ’17. “Williams always brings their A game, and it’s a great rivalry.”
In September, Bowdoin lost to Williams in a close 3-2 game. During that game, Bowdoin had more kills, blocks, digs and aces than Williams, but the Polar Bears suffered 28 attack errors and 15 service errors. However, the players feel they’ve grown into a much different team over the course of the season.
“We have had many tough practices, and we are definitely a different team than the one that played earlier in the season,” said Leech. “We definitely are peaking now, which I think is really great. We have worked a lot ...[and] what we lacked we built on.”
However, the team does not underestimate the strength of Williams’ program. According to Cady, the Ephs’ dynamic offense will pose many challenges, such as long rallies.
“They keep the ball up, they keep the ball in play,” said Cady. “They have really, really good outside hitters that are going to be a big weapon for them.”
“Honestly I think our biggest strength is knowing how hard it is to win NESCACs and knowing [that] the competition is going to be tight,” said Cady. “Mentally preparing for close games is going to be a huge strength of ours—that we’re not going to get rattled when the score is tight or maybe when we’re behind by a few points.”
While the returning players’ experience will be a key advantage this weekend, Leech says the first-year players have proved their value through their maturity and great attitude all season and are looking forward to their first NESCAC playoffs.
“Our [first years] have really stepped it up,” said Leech. “They get to build the program, and it is their legacy starting now. They have come in with a great attitude, and I would not expect anything else from them in the championship this weekend.”
“As a senior I would love to win, but I also recognize what we built in this program is what is going to last,” Leech added. “The friends and sisters that I have now are what I am going to cherish.”
Students design new app to boost off-campus party scene
Chaz Phillips ’18 and Danny Miro-Chinea ’19 don’t want students to be caught in the cold when there’s a good party nearby. The pair are part of a team of American and Czech college students along with former member of the Bowdoin Class of 2019 Josh Hollis that developed an app, Movez, that seeks to simplify party-going. After a beta test as Bowdoin last weekend, the app will be available on the App Store in the next few weeks. It has the potential to increase attendance at off-campus parties.
“The main point of the app is to make your social nightlife not a hassle and to meet new people,” said Phillips, chief operating officer of the app.
Creating a Movez account requires a “.edu” e-mail address. Once logged in, users can see a map of nearby parties and chat with other Movez users already at a party using an in-app messaging software.
Party hosts can list their event on Movez and invite other Movez users through the app. In order to help hosts manage a guest list, the app encourages partygoers to register for a party.
The app will also provide real-time feedback on the status of any registered party.
“We have something called a ‘lit score,’ [where] you can rate the party one to five with a little fire emoji, so there are certain ways to see if a party is cool,” said Phillips.
Phillips thinks the app would be best used at Bowdoin to help students navigate off-campus parties.
“A lot of times you [want another party] after a [College House] party is done or maybe you’re just not having a good time or it’s not popping at all,” Phillips said.
Hollis said he first came up with the idea for Movez from an unsatisfactory night out with friends in Boston last year.
“We were invited to [a party] and even though we were invited we couldn’t get in because essentially what happened is there was an occupancy limit,” he said. “[Movez] just stemmed from a vision of a platform that could help students know what was an occupancy limit at a given event on their college campus,” he said.
App users create profiles and can “follow” their friends to find parties.
Movez is designed so that publicly listed events appear on a map visible to all Movez users in the area, which may allow uninvited guests to appear at a party. However, Movez users also have the option to list their events privately, in which case their party would not appear on the map.
Maddie Bustamante ’17, who lives off campus, does not think the app is a good idea for off-campus houses.
“I wouldn’t want to publicize a party at my house,” she said. “I think it would work better for on campus houses, for College House parties and stuff.”
She added that the app could be a problem for the Office of Safety and Security if people were to start listing events on the app without formally registering them with the Office of Residential Life.
Phillips pointed to party registration as the app’s primary way to promote safety, as hosts can look at the profiles of registered guests and see who exactly they are.
“Say you see someone who you don’t remember inviting or don’t remember showing up on the list, you can be, like, ‘hey, did you sign up? I don’t remember inviting you or seeing that you were registered on my app,’” Phillips said.
He added that users could indicate if a party is “sketchy” in a party’s comment section.
Although the app will initially be limited to college students, the Movez creators eventually hope to expand the user base to include “all youth 18 to 26,” according to Phillips.
Movez also advertises a feature called “gender ratio,” which lists the gender makeup of a given party based on the registered guests, which might give partygoers a better idea of the party’s vibe.
Miro-Chinea said the group hopes to cultivate particularly large Movez networks in major cities with colleges, such as Boston, New York, Atlanta and Los Angeles. They also hope to co-sponsor events with companies, organizations and clubs. Movez also wants to integrate other services, such as Uber and Venmo, into the app.
Following last weekend’s beta test as Bowdoin, the app’s creators will hold another test this weekend in Boston.
Editor's note, October 31, 2:00pm: This article has been updated to clarify the inclusion of an option in Movez for party hosts to post their parties privately. When parties are private, they are not marked on the map visible to all Movez users.