To an alumna, Bowdoin finally feels like home
The politics of belonging is a constant theme in students of color's navigation of elite spaces. Students of color constantly feel as they navigate predominantly white institutions that the very act of attending an elite private college (consistently ranked "happiest school') isn't theirs--that they will never belong.
Bowdoin students have refused to accept this as true. Students of color, like all people trying to make a home in a new place, want very much to belong to Bowdoin. Moreover, they know that they have been promised this from the moment that they matriculated and that they deserve it. Instead of accepting that the institution isn't for them, instead of quietly figuring out small and private ways to survive until graduation, students of color have vocally and bravely demanded that Bowdoin fulfill its Offer to be a home for its students. Students' vocal criticisms of Bowdoin's failure to be a home is not a rejection of the place, but rather an act of love. When you care deeply about something, if it rejects you, you are hurt; if it is lacking in some way, you try to improve it.
The conversations and the level of education on controversial and uncomfortable topics that students have started in response to campus events in the past two years have raised the consciousness of all Bowdoin students. There is an increased awareness of the very real connection between their lives at Bowdoin and events and social dynamics in the larger world. Student actions have also have been extremely formative in the very development of students of color's pride and confidence in their identity and abilities to belong in elite environments. To me, this is the ideal result of the College's commitment to increasing diversity on campus: richer perspectives, critical thinking and questioning, and happy, healthy young adults.
The administration's supportive responses to student voices in recent weeks lead me to believe that Bowdoin as an institution has finally realized what it means to commit to diversity. The administration, following the lead of the students, seems to understand the benefits of actively confronting the contradictions and conflicts that result from the clash of different cultures and different levels of power. I write to send sentiments of appreciation, but also my expectations that the administration continue to stand with the students who are bravely and brilliantly working to change a deeply rooted culture of exclusion and hierarchy.
Current students' critical voices and the administration's support have real effects on those of us who have historically had ambivalent relationships with Bowdoin. Because of the powerful stances taken by members of Bowdoin's community in these recent events, I now see Bowdoin as a place that I can more confidently proclaim was a home in my four years there.
I hope that Bowdoin continues to change to become a more inclusive space, a place that, as a teacher, I can recommend wholeheartedly to my future students as the "best four years" of their lives, without doubt and without cynicism. For those who are participating in the transformation of this space, thank you for your courage and your willingness to reflect and adapt. Thank you for actively attempting to make the Offer of the College be true for all students.
Christine Rheem is a member of the class of 2015.
Weekly Roundup: Williams, nation’s top team, beats women’s tennis 6-3
The women's tennis team closed out the regular season with a loss to No.1 Williams last Saturday, ending with a conference record of 5-3 and a 10-7 overall record. The Polar Bears only suffered three conference losses all season, all to higher-ranked teams. Riding high after its 9-0 shutout against Bates two days earlier, Bowdoin took two out of three doubles sets against the Ephs. The match against Williams marked the debut of Bowdoin's new doubles lineup.
Women’s tennis compiling historic season
The women's tennis team is enjoying one of its best seasons in recent memory. According to Emma Lewis '14, its No. 10 ranking in D-III represents "one of the highest national rankings that Bowdoin has had in a long time." Bowdoin improved its overall record to 10-6 after a marathon of matches last weekend. After a loss to Amherst and wins over Tufts, Wellesley, and Hamilton, Bowdoin now has a conference record of 5-2.
Athlete of the Week: Casey Correa '14
Sophomore Casey Correa took a relatively typical path to Bowdoin; her performance for the softball team has been anything but. Like many softball players, Correa began playing in a local community league when she was six. She played throughout middle school, and was captain of her high school team for two years.
Weekly Roundup: Women’s tennis loses 8-1 to No. 7 Middlebury, beats Tufts
The women's tennis team fell to fifth in the conference after losing to undefeated Middlebury last Saturday. Bowdoin (7-5, 3-1 NESCAC) lost 8-1 to a talented Panther squad ranked No. 7 in the nation. The Polar Bears rebounded with a 8-1 victory over Tufts yesterday.
Club cyclers compete in first spring race
Bowdoin cyclers competed for the first time this year at the Yale Lux et Velocitas race. Andrew Pryhuber '15, Turner Kelsey '14, Alex Daniels '14, and captain Charlie Cubeta '13 raced last weekend against cyclists from Northeastern schools and Canada, many from varsity cycling programs.
Women’s tennis wins twice, every player on team scores
After beating Wesleyan and Trinity last Saturday in Connecticut, the women's tennis team is surging with confidence as it enters the most challenging part of its season. Bowdoin defeated Trinity 5-1 and Wesleyan 9-0, and every player contributed at least one win in the matchups.
Weekly Roundup: Lavertu, Lewis post five wins each on women’s tennis trip
The women's tennis team faced a slew of nationally-ranked opponents in California over spring break, returning to the East Coast with a 4-3 record. The team, ranked 15th nationwide, won handily against UC-Santa Cruz, Washington University in St. Louis, Sewanee, and Chapman University, all top-30 teams. Its three losses were to No. 8 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, No. 9 Pomona and D-I Cal-State Northridge.
Weekly Roundup: Wesleyan, Amherst beat women’s squash at nationals
The women's squash finished 20th in the nation at the College Squash Association Team National Tournament at Harvard last weekend. It was a weekend of rematches, as Bowdoin faced three teams that it had defeated in the regular season.
Weekly Roundup: NESCAC action for men’s squash includes trio of 5-4s
After losing to Bates on January 25, the men's squash team fell to the Bobcats once again last weekend, this time in the quarterfinals of the NESCAC tournament. With a final 5-4 tally, the match was one of the closest of the season.
Maine Event treats squash teams well
After winning a combined 11 matches in the first two months of the season, the men's and women's squash teams beat eight more opponents at last weekend's Maine Event, bringing the men's record to 10-11 and the women's to 9-9.
Squash posts mixed results in recent play
In the past two days, the men's squash team has gone 1-1 against its two in-state NESCAC competitors, losing to Bates 7-2 on Wednesday before beating Colby in a competitive 5-4 battle last night.
Weekly Roundup: Women’s hockey plays well, but not well enough v. Colby
After extending its winning streak against Colby to five games last Friday, the women's hockey team's lost to the Mules in a 2-1 game the following day. Kim Tess-Wanat '13 gave Bowdoin a 1-0 lead in the first period, which the Polar Bears held onto until the final six minutes of regulation time.
Athlete of the Season: Coby Horowitz ’14 and Kristin Hanczor ’12
In his second year at the College, Coby Horowitz '14 is leading the men's cross country team down a new path this season toward nationals. Last weekend he led the Polar Bears, now ranked No. 14 nationally, to a third-place finish at regionals, qualifying the team for the NCAA D-III championship tomorrow in Oshkosh, Wis.
Athlete of the Week: Coby Horowitz ’14
On a cross country team that just placed second in the NESCAC, a sophomore runner has shown that he is a step above the rest. Less than 15 months after joining Bowdoin's team, Coby Horowitz '14 has once again proven he has what it takes to succeed.
Athlete of the Week: Randi London ’15
For Randi London '15, a disappointing start to the year turned into an unexpected opportunity. After being cut from the women's soccer team, London joined the women's rugby team on a whim.
Chaos, Clown find success in ultimate weekend Clambake
Strong performances by both the men and women's ultimate Frisbee teams at the Red Tide Clambake last weekend point to an exciting, competitive season for Bowdoin ultimate.