“15 Villainous Fools,” Maggie Seymour ’16 and Olivia Atwood’s ’17 two-woman clowning adaptation of Shakespeare’s play “The Comedy of Errors,” was recently picked up by the People’s Improv Theater (PIT) in New York City. The show will be performed at an Off-Off-Broadway venue for two months this summer starting in July.
The 75-minute performance tells the story of two sets of identical twins and their adventures following a boat crash. There are 15 characters in the play, with Atwood and Seymour acting as half each.
"It's just a whole Shakespeare classic dilemma,” said Atwood. “It's a comedy so by the end everything gets sorted out and everybody gets married.”
Seymour’s became interested in Shakespeare during her sophomore year at Bowdoin after taking an acting class with Sally Wood, who made Shakespeare’s voice accessible and understandable. Then, when Seymour was studying abroad in London fall of her junior year, she had the opportunity to see a production of “The Comedy of Errors” at the Globe Theatre.
“It was amazing. The control of the language, the accessibility of the show and the sheer joy that everyone was having was something I was very passionate about and wanted to explore,” said Seymour.
Through “15 Villainous Fools,” Seymour is able to find an intersection between her love of Shakespeare and clowning, a term used to describe physical theater that is rooted in actors finding their inner child or inner joy.
During an improv class Atwood and Seymour were in together, Seymour enlisted the help of Atwood for her honors project, which ultimately became “15 Villainous Fools.” It was first performed at Bowdoin on November 20, 2015 and then put on twice more as part of Seymour’s honors project. The duo further reworked the play and put on one more show for Admitted Students Weekend last April.
"We were revamping the show for the summer tour,” said Atwood. “Having another show at Bowdoin was another really good test run.”
Then, last summer—with the help of Axis Fuksman-Kumpa ’17 as a technician—Atwood and Seymour took “15 Villainous Fools” on tour, participating in fringe festivals. Fringe festivals are week to month-long theater festivals held in various venues across the country.
“It's a place where people mount their shows,” said Atwood. “Most people do one fringe festival per summer. We decided to do five.”
Atwood received a Micoleau Family Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts from Bowdoin, which helped fund the tour, and both Atwood and Seymour contributed their own money to finance travel expenses. Over the summer, the duo performed “15 Villainous Fools” first in Portland, Maine before continuing on to San Diego, Washington D.C., Rhode Island and New York City.
"The hardest one [to get into] by far is FringeNYC. The application is impossible. You have to submit a cover letter, resume, a video or trailer of your shows, reviews if you have them,” said Atwood. “It's a super selective process. We ended up getting up waitlisted and then we got in. That is the reason this play was discovered.”
Atwood and Seymour performed five shows during FringeNYC over the course of a week, four of which were sold out.
"We got stellar reviews and having a nearly sold-out run is pretty impressive with 200-plus shows at the festival” said Atwood.
The success of the “15 Villainous Fools” at the festival caught the attention of the PIT and in December, after Atwood met with the artistic director, the PIT picked up the play. It is slated to begin the first week of July.
Unlike last summer, Atwood and Seymour will stay in New York City all summer to perform their show at the PIT, allowing them more stability and the benefits of having a homebase venue. The duo will be performing 13 shows as of now.
“We’ll be moving in New York in June to start rehearsing in the space, meeting people, starting to market more in the area, building up toward opening night and trying to sell out all the houses if possible,” said Atwood.
Currently, Atwood and Seymour are working on revamping their image, working on graphics, marketing and creating a more professional-looking website. In the summer, the duo will start to focus more on the logistics of the show and figuring out lights, costumes and more.
“Baseline [the show is] the same feel, but I think in a lot of ways it's going to be different just because we won’t be travelling,” said Seymour. “I think we're putting in a lot of work reimagining it but also cleaning it.”
Looking ahead, neither Atwood nor Seymour is sure what will happen with “15 Villainous Fools,” but the prospect of the show being optioned to go off-Broadway is exciting.
While Atwood was attending the National Theater Institute the summer after her first year at Bowdoin, she received a piece of advice from a speaker and often thinks back to what he told her.
“He said that if there isn’t a space for me in theater, I can make a space for myself,” said Atwood.
"I think the ultimate goal is to keep doing theater because that's what we both love to do,” she added. “And we're going to do whatever we can to keep making that happen.”
Editor’s Note: Olivia Atwood ’17 is an associate editor of the Orient but was not involved in the production or editing of this article.
The WOMEN OF ’75: 'And we'll send our daughters to Bowdoin in the fall'
This is the first article in a series about the experiences of women from the first four-year coed graduating class at the College. This series will explore various aspects of coeducation, take a look at what some of the pioneering women of Bowdoin have done since graduation and see what’s next for women at Bowdoin today.
Click here to meet the women of '75.
On September 28, 1970, a notice from the Dean of Students was posted on bulletin boards around campus. It announced a resolution that the Governing Boards—Boards of Trustees and Overseers—of Bowdoin College approved just three days earlier:
“[...] that Bowdoin College undertake a program for the admission of circa 300 women to courses of study leading to the baccalaureate degree [over a period of four years], substantially as set forth in a report of September 1970 prepared by President Howell.”
“This was kind of a closed world and I could now go in and see what a New England men's school was like,” said Joyce Ward ’75, who was one of the nine female applicants accepted early decision for the first four-year coeducational class at Bowdoin, in a phone interview with the Orient. “It was like having a door open to see something that a woman my age would never have been ever able to see before.”
In that fall of 1971, 65 women would enter into Bowdoin as first years. Fourteen of them were legacies, all but two of them were from the Northeast, 26 of them had gone to private school and nine were women of color.
They would join 254 first-year men, making about a one to four ratio of women to men in their class, and about a one to 10 ratio for the College as a whole. The ratio of women to men would increase gradually over the next 20 years.
“There were so few of us [women] that it was almost like we didn’t have time to make friends with each other,” said Celeste Johnson ’75 in a phone interview with the Orient. “We had to go out and be ambassadors on behalf of all the other women.”
The notice on the bulletin boards came after the 1969 Report of the Study Committee on Underclass Campus Environment, also known as the Pierce Report. The Pierce Report cited a 1968 survey that showed 81 percent students in favor of some coeducation, and outlined the main arguments for (and one against) coeducation.
The report’s reasons for supporting coeducation mostly focused on the benefits for male students at the College. The benefits of coeducation included an increase in diversity of thought, an increase in student involvement in the humanities and in extracurricular activities and an improvement in men’s social abilities—having a “civilizing” effect on fraternities and helping them not view women as “sex objects.”
This report cited a desire to increase the size of the College from 900 men to 1200 or 1500 students so that it could compete with other liberal arts schools and offer a wider variety of courses.
According to an October 2, 1970 Orient article about the Board of Overseers’ approval of coeducation, the discussion about coeducation happened at the same time as a more urgent conversation about the “financial plight” of the College. President Roger Howell stressed that it was “economically imperative” that Bowdoin grow its student body to at least 1200 students.
“Coeducation was viewed not as an end in itself, but rather as a means of achieving economic stability,” wrote Michael Cary ’71 in the Orient.
The Pierce Report heavily cites the March 1969 Princeton Report “The Education of Undergraduate Women at Princeton,” and this document along with other records in the office correspondence of Howell show that the administration was keeping a careful watch on the progress of similar schools. By the time the report was published, it had been no more than a year since Yale and Princeton released plans to go coed and several other men’s schools—Hamilton and Williams in particular—had announced a coordinate college program with a women’s school.
“It was in the air,” said Interim Dean for Academic Affairs Jen Scanlon, whose 2011 gender and women’s studies class created a website to commemorate 40 years of coeducation. “It was in the air in the late 1960s and early 1970s that women’s worlds were exploding. And the academy was one of those places, so there were many, many schools that started to go coed at around the same time.”
Bowdoin educated female students in years prior to 1971, but they were there as part of the Twelve College Exchange program, or were transfer students. In fact, months before the first four-year female students arrived on campus, the first woman, Sue Jacobson ’71, graduated from Bowdoin after transferring from Connecticut College.
As Bowdoin began matriculating women, it formed the Ad Hoc Committee on Coeducation, as well as many committees and subcommittees for three phases of coeducation.
“I don't know that they were prepared for girls, so that made it a little challenging,” said Tawana Cook Purnell, who matriculated with the class of ’75 and transferred to Spelman College after her sophomore year at Bowdoin, in a phone interview with the Orient. “And they looked at us as though we were sort of seductive aliens.”
A February 1972 Orient poll prompted students to indicate if they preferred for Bowdoin to be an exclusively men’s college; be a men’s college accepting women as transfers; continue with the present schedule for coeducation; or progress to fully coeducational (50 percent women).
The poll revealed dissatisfaction with coeducation: “The largest body of student opinion wants faster progress toward full coeducation; the next largest group wants no coeducation at all,” wrote Richard Patard ’74 in an Orient article published on February 4, 1972.
Satisfaction with coeducation also fell along fraternity lines. According to the poll, two-thirds of independent men (that is, not a member of a fraternity), favored full coeducation, while only around 42 percent of fraternity men did.
One male respondent wrote: "They're dumb, but they are good tools. The girls have preserved my sanity, bless their dumb little hearts."
"I don't really feel that this place is co-ed; it is still a men's college with some women around,” wrote an anonymous first-year man in the 1972 Orient poll.
The history of women at Bowdoin is only a small piece of the timeline of Bowdoin, which was chartered in 1794.
“We have a long past—hundreds of years—and women have been present only for  years,” said Scanlon. “You wouldn’t expect a lot of the people we talk about to be women, because it’s recent. But even so, I think that we don’t say enough about our alums who are female. I think most people probably couldn’t name any.”
In upcoming issues of the Orient, we examine how the women of the class of ’75 navigated fraternities and social life, health services, athletics, safety and the classroom.
Julia O’Rourke ’19 and Katie Miklus ’16 contributed to this report.
- 4 days ago
BSG Elections: Class council election results
Nunoo '17 and Agarwal '20 win presidencies
In an email to the Orient Sunday night, Vice President for Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) Affairs, Reed Fernandez '17 announced the results of the class council elections for the first year and senior classes. There was a tie for the second Class Representative to the BSG for the Class of 2020. A 24 hour runoff election will be held tomorrow. Three hundred and sixty-six seniors and 399 first years participated in the vote, 73% and 77% of senior and first year classes respectively.2017 Class Council
PresidentEsther Nunoo: 128-WinnerJustin J. Pearson: 108Rebecca Fisher: 81Andrew Cawley: 47
Vice PresidentEllie Quenzer: 260-WinnerDanny Mejia: 99
TreasurerSamantha Hoegle: 243-WinnerHossam Hamdan: 109
Class Representative to the BSGSpencer Shagoury: 276-WinnerAnnie Glenn: 320- Winner2020 Class Council
PresidentShani Agarwal: 120-WinnerRamya Chengalvala: 96Angel Ramirez: 73Brendan Pulsifer: 65Chris Brown: 16Matthew Swiatek: 16
Vice PresidentSalim Salim: 139-WinnerLuis Miguel Guerrero: 88Ian Culnane: 66Julio Palencia: 58Damini Singh: 44
Treasurer Ben Hopkins: 124-WinnerJohn Penek: 89Jouya Mahmoudi: 63Eddie Korando: 62Jhadha King: 46
Class Representatives to the BSGNathanael DeMoranville: 120-WinnerLeah Matari: 106- TieBeatrice Cabrera: 106- TieRuilin Yang: 94Ben Bousquet: 93Lauren Elliott: 80Jeong-yoon Kim: 77
Editor's note September 25, 9:55: This article has been updated to correct an incorrect name. The Class of 2017 Representatives to the BSG are Spencer Shagoury and Annie Glenn.
- 6 days ago
Changes in dean's office continue with interim hire
Bowdoin’s administration will be seeing further changes this semester as Associate Dean for Upperclass Students Lesley Levy transitions to a part-time position, while Abbey Greene-Goldman ’99 will be assuming some of Levy’s roles on an interim basis, the College announced in an email on Monday.
With the hire of Greene-Goldman, four of Bowdoin’s deans will be interim appointments. In the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs, Assistant Dean for Upperclass Students Michael Pulju and Dean of First-Year Students Melissa Quinby both hold interim positions, after replacing Brandon Royce-Diop and Janet Lohmann, who both left the College in June.
Dean of Academic Affairs Jennifer Scanlon also holds an interim position.
Greene-Goldman will be assisting upperclass students with last names that begin with M-Z. She said she is excited to be returning to Bowdoin.
“I loved it as a student, it’s always going to be sort of my home away from home,” she said. “It feels really good to be back, and I’m excited to see how it’s changed as well.”Greene-Goldman earned a degree from Yale Law School before moving back to Maine 10 years ago.
She said that she foresees some challenges related to bias incidents and related issues that have spurred campus discourse in the past year, but that she looks forward to addressing them.
“I think one change from when I was a student that I see is that these things are all being talked about, which is a really great thing,” she said. “When I was here I feel like we were much more of a bubble than we are now.”
Levy will move into a new position as associate director of an overnight theater camp in Maine, where her duties will include recruiting and marketing for the camp as well as raising money for its scholarship foundation. She said that a major benefit of her new position will be her ability to work from home, allowing her to spend more time with her family.
“I really love working at the College, but it was time for a change, particularly in my personal life, and this opportunity made that possible,” she said.
She will continue part-time at the College, with most of her duties related to advising the Judicial Board. Over the next few weeks, she will be working closely with Greene-Goldman to ensure a smooth transition.
“I will help Dean Greene-Goldman transition into her role here and make sure it’s a seamless transition with the upperclass students I’ve been working with,” said Levy.
The College is in the middle of identifying candidates for Scanlon’s position and plans to conduct a national search and fill the Student Affairs positions on a permanent basis beginning in the summer of 2017.
Editor's note, September 23, 4:50pm. A previous version of this article stated that four of Bowdoin's eight deans were interim hires. There are seven deans in the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs. The article has been updated to provide clarification.
- 6 days ago
New Orientation program addresses race and diversity
Yesterday evening, all 504 members of the class of 2020 gathered in Pickard Theater for the second part of a program entitled “More Than Meets the Eye.” An addition to Orientation, the program was created to address issues of race and diversity on campus.
Reverend Dr. Jamie Washington, president and founder of multicultural organizational development firm Washington Consulting Group, addressed first years and asked them to continue to maintain an openness toward new perspectives even as they form their own social groups. Part of the program gave students time to converse with other first years they hadn’t met before. Washington also asked students to stand up and participate in self-identification based on race, class and other consequential identifiers.
Associate Dean of Students for Diversity and Inclusion Leana Amaez planned “More Than Meets the Eye.” She said the decision to address race and diversity during Orientation was something the administration had considered for a while, rather than a direct reaction to the “gangster” and “tequila” parties at Bowdoin last year.
“It would be disingenuous to say that last year didn’t have an impact on us,” Amaez said. “But I also think it would be unfair to the classes that came before to locate it all in last year’s events. It’s been a much longer process.”
“More Than Meets the Eye” aimed to model how students can address issues of diversity and inclusion.
“There are some challenges that will come with engaging with difference,” she said. “But [the program explains] here’s what’s at stake, and here’s how we can do it better.”
Justin Weathers ’18 was one of the students who collaborated with Dean Amaez to create the program and served as a panelist during the first part of the program during Orientation in August. He said he and other students had talked with Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster and President Clayton Rose last year and requested more focus on issues of race and diversity during orientation to help prepare minority students.
“I think there’s a concern that a lot of minority students are brought here and they get this romanticized view of Bowdoin,” he said. “But when stuff hits the fan, it’s like, ‘this is not what I thought it was.’”
During the first segment of “More than Meets the Eye,” nine Bowdoin students told stories of their experiences with race on campus. Afterwards, first years divided into groups where they shared their personal perceptions and expectations about race on campus as well as their reaction to the panelists.
James Wang ’20 said, after nearly a month at Bowdoin, he thought “More Than Meets the Eye” gave him an accurate perception of the College’s diversity.
“I think that the panel did a pretty spotless job of reflecting the experiences that I’ve had so far on campus with diversity,” he said.
Fiona Carey ’20 felt the program successfully ignited conversations about race among first-year students.
“I think what was really great is that it really broke the ice,” she said. “A week later my roommate and my R.A. and I had a really meaningful conversation about race on campus during lunch, and that’s what I’ve looked forward to doing at Bowdoin.”
Still, several first years expressed confusion about the relation of “More Than Meets the Eye” to past events at Bowdoin and wished that the events like the “tequila” and “gangster” parties had been addressed more directly.
“I think that there are a lot of students like me who have heard little tidbits about what happened last year but still don’t know a lot of background,” Carey said. “It’s obvious that programs like this are important, but I think that having that background, especially a story that was so specific to Bowdoin, might show why it’s important to have these conversations.”
Amaez and Weathers both stated that the program wasn’t intended to explain events from last year, but to help first-year students start a dialogue about diversity and inclusion.
Weathers added that he thought including specifics about some of the events last year would have been fruitless.
“I’m a proctor and first years ask me about it, and there’s no way for me to explain it really,” he said. “I can’t cite all the Yik Yaks that were dropped, I can’t communicate how frustrating that was or how divisive the issues were or how torn the campus was when you’re seeing something really ignorant with 115 upvotes, because until first years experience it for themselves, there’s no way [they] can fully understand it.”
Weathers was glad first years had the chance to learn about these issues through Orientation, but he emphasized that the conversation must continue outside of structured meeting times.
“I’m really excited to see [it] because it’s cool to hear a story here and there, but I think that stories are more powerful when you see that they’re not just individual stories,” he said.
- 6 days ago
Bath man sentenced in ‘peeping Tom’ case
Stephen L. McIntire, a 56 year-old Bath resident, was sentenced yesterday to 16 months in state prison. McIntire was arrested last December after taking photos and videos of female Bowdoin students through their windows. The incidents took place in both Bowdoin-owned and off-campus housing during the fall 2015 semester.
In June, McIntire pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor violation of privacy. Five additional counts were dismissed under the terms of a plea agreement, according to the Bangor Daily News. He will serve the sentence on top of a 33 month sentence he is currently serving for a similar incident at Hyde School in Bath.
McIntire was convicted of gross sexual assault in 1997 and was on probation for peeping in the windows of Hyde School when he committed the violations of privacy against Bowdoin students. As a result, his probation was revoked and he will serve a total of 49 months. He will be eligible for release in February 2018.
- 6 days ago
Mathematicians converge on Bowdoin for conference
This weekend, over 400 mathematicians will flock to Bowdoin for the 2016 Fall Eastern Sectional Meeting of the American Mathematical Society. Some visitors will hail from as far as the United Kingdom and several Bowdoin students will be giving presentations. As the host, Bowdoin has made several changes to the conference, widening its audience and emphasizing undergraduate research.
Professor of Mathematics Jennifer Taback has led coordination of the national conference and its corresponding activities throughout the past few months.
“The way the conference works is that there are three plenary talks and then lots of little talks which are organized into what are called special sessions on very narrow research topics,” she said.
The structure of the event remains unchanged from previous years, but according to Taback, Bowdoin’s hosting of the conference will be unusual for several other reasons—most notably for the emphasis placed on undergraduate research.
“That’s what we do here, right? That’s what we’re interested in,” Taback said. “There are five or six Bowdoin students who are speaking about their summer work and then students from many other colleges and universities who applied and got selected.”
Olivia Cannon ’17 will present the research she conducted over the summer on number theory and its related functions.
“Even though I’m really, really nervous about the conference, I’m also just excited to have the experience of participating,” she said. “It’s so cool that they’re having a special section of the conference devoted to undergraduates because that’s something which is pretty rare."
Cannon said she hopes that incorporating student presentations will encourage student interest in the event.
“I want undergraduates to come and get the idea that you can do math, you can do research and you can be excited about it, rather than it just being something for professors,” she said.
Taback shares Cannon’s goal of broadening the conference’s audience. In her planning, she prioritized opening the event to the community.
“Something else that makes our conference different is that we’re having a community lecture on Saturday night given by Dr. Michael Kleber of Google,” Taback said. “Clearly, most of the talks are not appropriate for the average person on the street, but this evening lecture is one that will be interesting and accessible to lots of people.”
Kleber’s discussion of efficient search algorithms through large data sets is titled “Poisoned Wine, Not Enough Rats.”
Taback, who works closely with local schools, added that she is excited to welcome a group of junior high students who will be attending the conference this year.
“That’s probably never happened before,” she said.
Also taking place for the first time is a meal for all conference attendees—more specifically, a lobster bake.
“Thorne does such a nice lobster bake, I just thought we had to,” Taback said.
- 6 days ago
President Rose announces plans for debate on free speech and college campuses
In a school-wide email yesterday, President Clayton Rose announced plans for a debate and discussion between Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and Manhattan Institute fellow and Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley on December 5. Organized by a working group of students, faculty and staff that formed last fall, the debate will focus on free speech and political correctness on college campuses, a topic students chose in a survey last December.
“My hope and expectation...is that those of us who are in the audience will be able to understand how to listen better, how to think about two very thoughtful, smart, engaged, informed people and how they articulate different perspectives on the same issue,” said Rose. “We may not agree with them, but...we can respect them and in a sense learn from how they engage.”
Kristof, whose weekly columns focus on human rights, women’s rights, health and global affairs, visited Bowdoin in 2012 to discuss his 2009 book, “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity to Women Worldwide.” In a column last fall, he addressed the issue of race and free speech on campuses, writing, “What’s unfolding at universities is not just about free expression but also about a safe and nurturing environment.”
In addition to his work as a Wall Street Journal columnist and a Fox News commentator, Riley is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank. Riley gives approximately 15 speeches on college campuses a year. Last spring, he was disinvited to speak at Virginia Tech, due to concerns that his “writings on race in The Wall Street Journal would spark protests.”
“Kristof and Riley were clear favorites of the [working] group,” Rose said. “When we approached them, they were very excited about the structure, this idea of pairing, the topic, and of doing it together.”
Associate Professor of History and Environmental Studies Connie Chiang will moderate the debate and discussion. Rose said Chiang will take student input and use real-time questions. Afterwards, 250 students, determined by a lottery system, will meet in Thorne Hall in groups of eight to discuss the event. Kristof and Riley will attend, joining student conversations and perhaps speaking at the end, Rose said. The event will conclude with a wrap-up session and real-time polling so students can share their takeaways.
“Oftentimes we have...engagements like this and folks will come and legitimately pay attention and be interested, but then we leave and ... move it to the back of the file cabinet and not think much about it,” Rose said. “The idea [for the post-event] was how do we create a moment for direct reflection and engagement.”
Rose hopes the event will contribute to students’ ongoing discussions and further encourage school-wide conversations about “really challenging, difficult, uncomfortable issues.”
“[Engaging in these issues is] a central part of the Bowdoin mission,” said Rose. We should have big events like this. They’re fun, they’re exciting, [and] we’re going to learn a lot.”
Along with his “town hall” meeting last fall and his initiative to develop a Report on Diversity and Inclusion at Bowdoin, Rose sees the event as another way to engage the community in these issues.
“I’m a big believer in experimenting,” said Rose. “We’ll learn, we’ll adjust...then we’ll move on to the next thing. We’ll get better. We’ll learn from that.”
- 6 days ago
News in brief: College introduces van to Coastal Studies Center
The Bowdoin College Coastal Studies Center—located on Orr’s Island about 14 miles from campus—will soon be more accessible.
Beginning this semester, the College will run trips to the Center every Friday when classes are in session. A van will depart from the Polar Bear statue at 8:30 a.m. and noon, and depart from the Center at 11:30 a.m.and 4:30 p.m. A one-way trip takes about 25 minutes.Associate Professor of Biology and Director of the Coastal Studies Center David Carlon conceived the idea for the shuttle service.
“Just from my teaching experiences here, I noticed that there were kids who really wanted to come [to the Center] and didn’t have the chance to,” Carlon said in a phone interview with the Orient. “So I just thought we really should provide some kind of opportunity for all kinds of students to come out and use the resource.”
The shuttle service currently uses one 12-passenger van, although the number of vans that will ultimately be used depends on student interest. Carlon hopes the van system will allow more students to visit the Coastal Studies Center and he encourages students to make suggestions about the Center’s facilities.
“We’ll also listen to people and hear their ideas, what they think about the property, because it is a time [to think] about potential development. So I think now’s the time for people to say what they think and they would like out here,” said Carlon.
Steve Allen, the assistant director of the Coastal Studies Center, echoed this sentiment.
“We’d like to see [the Coastal Studies Center] be utilized more by both students and faculty at Bowdoin,” Allen said. “Right now it’s a underutilized area … not everybody from main campus has been out there. I think this will be a good way to start to get more people to get out there and experience what we offer.
- 6 days ago
News in brief: Mid Coast-Parkview Health Services announces renovations
Mid Coast Hospital announced its plans last week for renovations on its Parkview Adventist Medical Campus, located on Maine Street about a mile from Bowdoin.
Construction work is scheduled to begin this fall and is expected to be completed in early 2018.
Mid Coast Health Services acquired Parkview Adventist Medical Center in 2015 after Parkview filed a petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Court in Portland. At the time, Parkview closed its inpatient services and walk-in clinic, and the former medical facility was renovated to house accounting and other non-clinical departments. Mid Coast operates a walk-in clinic in downtown Brunswick, but Mid Coast Hospital is located near Cook’s Corner, about four miles from Bowdoin.
The proposed $6.2 million renovations for the Parkview campus will include a 9,000 square-foot wellness center that will provide community health programs, like counseling, rehabilitation and education.
Mid Coast–Parkview Health also intends to improve outpatient services, increase primary care facilities, and expand its oncology practice to be integrated with MaineHealth/Maine Medical Center and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute of Boston.
- 6 days ago
Portland to host first U.S. Arctic Council meeting outside Alaska; subcommittee meets at Bowdoin
Portland will host a historic international forum on the Arctic on October 4-6. It is the first Senior Arctic Officials meeting to take place in the United States outside of Alaska, reflecting Maine’s growing significance to the Arctic region.
Nearly 250 government officials, business leaders and indigenous community representatives from around the globe will attend.
The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental organization featuring representatives from the eight Arctic countries and six groups representing indigenous Arctic communities. They produce assessments of issues affecting the Arctic and have negotiated two legally binding agreements between the eight member states.
Last Saturday, the Arctic Council Subcommittee on the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment met on Bowdoin’s campus. Several Bowdoin students attended, including Tharun Vemulapalli ’19, who works at the Arctic Museum.
“The broad topic of it was how to better engage with indigenous people … not just coming up with policy and telling them what to do,” said Vemulapalli.
When the committee broke into working groups, they asked students to take notes for them. When the groups were asked to present their conclusions to the whole committee, some unexpectedly requested that the students do so on their behalf.
“They were very open to having students involved. In fact, they were thrilled,” said Susan Kaplan, professor of anthropology and director of the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center.
The Arctic Museum completed an Arctic Trail map just in time for the forum, showcasing the sites of Maine’s Arctic heritage across the state.
In recent years, Maine has established itself as a gateway to the Arctic region. In 2013, the Icelandic shipping company Eimskip moved its headquarters to Portland. Between 2012 and 2015, Portland’s exports to Iceland grew over 2,000 percent and the Port of Portland doubled in size, according to Dana Eidsness, director of the recently created Maine North Atlantic Development Office at the Maine International Trade Center.
Portland is positioned to become even more significant as the earth’s climate continues to warm and travel through the fabled Northwest Passage, a shortcut from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific through the Canadian Arctic, becomes a reality. Arctic ice has melted enough that the route has become usable during the late summer and early fall. If the passage’s popularity continues to grow, Portland, the northernmost major U.S. city on the Atlantic, will become an essential international shipping port.
Efforts to travel from Europe to Asia via the Arctic have failed for centuries. But earlier this month, a cruise ship sailed through the passage for the first time in history. It stopped in Bar Harbor, Maine on its path.
Much of Maine’s recent Arctic relevance is due to the work of Senator Angus King. In 2015, he and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska co-created the Arctic Caucus, with the goal of turning the US into an international leader on Arctic policy.
King lobbied the State Department to bring the Arctic Council meeting to Portland.Bowdoin continues to play a role in the matter as well. Professor Kaplan is on the host committee for the Arctic Council meeting, and a key reception for the incoming forum attendants is being hosted by Bowdoin.
“We have more Arctic experience than almost anybody else in the state,” said Dr. Genevieve LeMoine, curator of the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum.
She and Kaplan have spent decades doing on-the-ground research in the Arctic.
Bowdoin’s history with the Arctic dates back to the 1800s. Robert Peary, who graduated from Bowdoin in 1877, led the first successful expedition to the North Pole in 1909 and Donald B. MacMillan—for whom MacMillan House is named—built the first schooner designed specifically for Arctic exploration in 1920. It was called the Bowdoin.
- 6 days ago
Ramblings of a mountain man: Americans need to stop abusing the peace pipe
Throughout history, Native Americans have always been given a raw deal by both the government and private interests. This needs to end. Native American ways and lands need to be respected and not seen as things that can be trampled over for selfish reasons. Hopefully this incident in North Dakota will be one too many and show that US Native Americans matter too. Chief Joseph puts it best: “The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it.”
Carlos Holguin is a member of the Class of 2019.
- 6 days ago
Holding Fast: The apocalyptic election
The 2016 election season has a lot of people fearing that the end is nigh. People on both sides of the aisle share this feeling of impending doom, although there is intense disagreement over which candidate is actually going to usher in the end of days. On the left, the general conclusion is that if Trump is elected, his policies will be so disastrous that he will precipitate all sorts of catastrophic events. Slate even has a “Trump Apocalypse Watch” to update readers of the chances of a Trump victory in November, which they say would trigger “an apocalypse in which we all die” (presumably opposed to less-fatal versions of the apocalypse).
On the right, there is a similar sense that a Clinton presidency would be a complete disaster. An anonymously written article entitled “The Flight 93 Election” has set the conservative media abuzz by comparing this election to the situation facing the passengers on United Flight 93, who stormed the cockpit to wrest control of the plane from the hijackers and crashed it into a field in Pennsylvania. The author’s provocative thesis is that “…a Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto. With Trump, at least you can spin the revolver and take your chances.” The choices are grim, but the consequences of not acting (voting Trump) are certainly catastrophic.
Now, I do not think that the state of the election is nearly as bleak as this, but I do agree that this election is apocalyptic, in a sense. But rather than thinking of apocalypse as a fiery end-times scenario, I am thinking more along the lines of the Greek word apocalypsis, which originally meant an “unveiling or revealing.” That is, I think this election is apocalyptic in the sense that we are seeing problems which have been around for a while but that have not shown themselves in such a dramatic way until this election.
The problem I am especially concerned with here is illuminated well by Clinton’s recent remarks at a New York fundraiser, in which she stated that about half of Trump’s supporters could be placed in what she called the “basket of deplorables.” This sort of sentiment is nothing new for Clinton. She has always held that her opponent is a dangerous demagogue who whips up racial resentment among his supporters. What is different here is that she classes as much as a fifth of the American population as “irredeemable” bigots—those who are too far gone to be even considered by the Clinton campaign.
Clinton’s point was to contrast these people with another basket that is deserving of our empathy and is comprised of those who feel let down by both parties and are only looking for someone to change things. The problem with this distinction is that people cannot be so easily sorted into opposing “baskets.” There are doubtless many Trump supporters who are in dire economic straits and deserving of our empathy, yet who Clinton would label “deplorable” for their support of Trump’s immigration policy. What Clinton is doing is projecting her idea of the “virtuous” working-class voter onto the real people who support Trump. She is imagining that the only Trump voters deserving of her empathy are those who basically agree with her, yet feel so disenfranchised that they are duped into voting for Trump.
Such sentiments come across as obnoxiously elitist coming from a fundraiser where the most expensive seats cost $250,000. This kind of out-of-touch statement at an expensive fundraiser has become almost expected in the past few election cycles (see Obama’s “bitter clingers” and Romney’s “47 percent”). What is different this time is that the people denigrated in Clinton’s remarks have found a voice in the unrefined and unapologetically brash rhetoric of Donald Trump. And rather than empathizing with their concerns, Clinton makes it clear that those who are suffering from feelings of alienation must first prove that they hold the correct views on immigration, race and contemporary gender ideology, or else they belong to their own class of people deserving to be labeled “deplorable.”
The real “apocalypse” of this election is the unveiling of the resentment of downtrodden Americans toward the global elites who claim that the solution to all of their problems lies in free trade, unrestricted immigration and the entrepreneurial spirit. Even Clinton was forced to acknowledge this opposition to liberal orthodoxy (cheers, Bernie), but it has apparently not changed her attitude towards the Americans who hold beliefs that she finds repugnant. As with Trump, there is a class of people that she cannot make room for in her vision of America. And in this apocalyptic election, that is bad news for all of us.
Ryan Ward is a member of the Class of 2017.
- 6 days ago
Privilege, vibrators and feminism, oh my!
- 6 days ago
BSG Elections: Classes of 2017 and 2020 candidacy statements
Voting is open until Sunday, September 25. Cast your vote using the unique link emailed to you from BSG.
I am Matthew Swiatek and I am running for President of the Class of 2020.
As a Kiwi (New Zealander) I see the College differently than many members of the class, and I believe one of the most incredible aspects of the College has been hearing what people’s stories are. We all have a story, but regardless of what that story may be, we are now one community. Whether your story is that of an athlete, a scholar, a writer, a musician or any other noble pursuit, if elected president I will help you find what your next story will be.
This is a community where if one person succeeds, we all succeed. When one person is toiling with failure, we are all there to support them. If elected president, I will make it my job to ensure everyone can succeed in whatever pursuit they choose. If we do this together, then everyone here will know what we are capable of, and only then will we be able to show the world who we are and what we can do.
Chris BrownDear Bowdoin Class of 2020,
I am thrilled to inform you that I will be running for Class President. The Class of 2020 is currently the most diverse class to ever walk through the doors of Bowdoin College. Our differences make us stronger because they force us to relate to one another on a new level and grow as informed, educated citizens. We should capitalize on this and show the community just what it means to be a member of the Class of 2020. The potential we have to make a powerful impact on Bowdoin, Brunswick and Maine is real.
If elected president, I will lead, learn and listen to the needs of the class. I will stay positive and create and keep you involved with the most current events within the Bowdoin community. I will see that new outreach groups in local schools for tutoring, supporting small farmers markets and recycling have been established and become focal points in the Class of 2020’s mission to make an impact. Class of 2020, our journey has just begun, and I cannot wait to join you on this endeavor.
Go U Bears.
Yours truly,Chris Brown “Everything the singer ‘Chris Brown’ is not”
Hey, Class of 2020!I hope freshman year has been going great! (Aside from our remorse over Harambe, R.I.P.)This year, I’m running for Class President, so look out for my lame puns around campus! I’m really excited to work with the council and make this year memorable for us.I’ve held multiple leadership positions in the past, including President of the U.N. Human Rights Council for my school, leading an Eye-Care Drive for underprivileged children and heading various entertainment committees; so you know I’m legit!As mentioned in my posts, using Facebook polls, you can vote on options for events and we can direct funds towards what the class wants! Some of my ideas include roundtable discussions on race, gender and sexuality; screenings of various sports finals outdoors/in Thorne; Autumn Carnival 2k16; shore-cleaning days; Frosty’s on campus during exams; pumpkin carving; doggy playdate on the quad; a buddy system with the seniors; Holi party 2k17; candidate information booths before U.S. elections; and, of course, to do something about those annoying automatic toilet flushes! If you like what I’m about, you know what to do! Make that vote count!
May the Force be with you,Shani AgarwalClass of 2020
Dear Class of 2020,
I am ecstatic to announce that I will be running for Class President this school year. During these last couple weeks, I had the honor of meeting hundreds of different students from all over the world and engaged in various conversations where I learned about many different perspectives and cultures. We might’ve struck up a conversation here and there, and if we haven’t met, I’ll make sure to formally introduce myself while answering any of your questions.
Throughout my time in high school, I was actively engaged in student government, holding the positions of V.P. my junior year and President my senior year. As President, I was able to establish a leadership training program where I mentored “at risk” students, led a school wide career day featuring 100 different speakers spanning 40+ different professions, oversaw all aspects of student life on campus and the list of events I led goes on.While I understand that the ballot has many qualified candidates, I believe that my work ethic, drive and overall dedication for perfection sets me apart from other candidates. With your support, we can ensure that our time at Bowdoin is exactly what you intended it to be.
Brendan PulsiferClass of 2020,For those of you whom I have not yet met, I’m Brendan Pulsifer—a proud resident of Hyde, reporter for the Orient, singer in the Meddies and actor in the Improvabilities. With my experience and enthusiasm, I believe that I can effectively lead our class as President.
In high school, I worked with the student government to not only organize class events—like prom, a beach day and senior pranks—but make important reforms. In my senior year, I instituted a comprehensive sex-ed curriculum where there was none and led an initiative to promote minority leadership in peer support groups around campus.
Though I can’t express in 200 words how amazing my first few days have been meeting all of you on my Pre-O, at the House Crawl, in class or in a mad dash to get mozzarella sticks at Super Snacks, I can tell you that I want the fun to continue with many class events that bring us together and show the school why our year is special (barbeques, dodgeball tournaments, snowball fights, you name it). I will always listen to your ideas and I will always deliver the results that you want.Pulse for President!
Ramya ChengalvalaHi everyone! For those of you who don't know me, my name is Ramya and I'm from St. Louis, MO. I'm a prospective neuroscience major and an aspiring neurosurgeon. In high school I was heavily involved in student government, finishing my career off as the Senior Class President. During my tenure as President I oversaw homecoming, prom, a beauty pageant (that brought in $6,000 in profits for local food pantries) and I also have the pleasure of putting together my high school class reunions in the future. I want to be able to use my past experiences to set the stage for an exceptional year at Bowdoin for the Class of 2020.The Class of 2020 is an eclectic group of talented, nuanced individuals varied in their backgrounds and experiences and that’s what makes us such a powerful force here at Bowdoin. Our diversity is unparalleled and provides a unique opportunity for us to learn and grow from each other’s experiences. Too often it's easy for us to stay in our comfort zones, but I want to ensure that this class has the chance to venture out and allow our diversity to unify us—not divide us. I want this class to come together as one as we undertake the first of our four years at this remarkable institution. Thank you for your support and please check out the Facebook event for more information!
2020 Vice President
Luis Miguel Guerrero
Hello, Bowdoin Class of 2020 – Fellow classmates, my name is Luis Miguel Guerrero and I am from Chicago, Illinois and I am interested in majoring in Government and Legal Studies. Today, I am here to ask for your support as I am running to be your Vice President. I am running because I want to promote the unity of our class and the student body as a whole. I have the experience to lead and organize events and I am motivated to bring your favorite bands, artists or comedians to make any event we have successful. During my time in high school, I was actively involved with the National Honor Society and I helped plan service projects for my peers. I also served as the Secretary, Class Representative and Public Relations Director during my time in the National Honor Society and I was able to successfully perform my duties.
As your Vice President, I will assist with the entertainment selection for campus wide events this school year. I will ensure that there is a variety of performances at our events and I will be open to hearing your suggestions and any of your concerns. I hope I can count on your vote!
Ian CulnaneBowdoin is hard. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been stressed or excited for the weekend, usually both. To ease the stress of Bowdoin life, the Vice President of each class assists the Entertainment Board by bringing in performers and putting on events, so that once we’re done working hard, we can play hard as well.Honestly, anyone could organize these events, but having someone who is an active participant in Bowdoin night life, someone who is willing to bring the ideas and interests of our class to the table, is what you really deserve. A natural follow up is, “If I don’t know you, how can I represent you?” I’ve given it some thought, and decided to run because I can represent you. Not because I can relate perfectly with everyone, but because I am willing to pull from the variety of interests and identities that I've made every effort to interact with. Not because I will operate on pure instinct, but because I will use every resource available to me to make our dreams our reality.
Maybe even Tupac will make an appearance; I'll consult the eBoard.If you're currently feeling the stress of Bowdoin, consider checking this out.
Julio PalenciaHey Class of 2020! My goal was to meet you all by the end of two weeks, but for those who I have not met yet, my name is Julio Palencia and I am running for the vice presidency. As Vice President, my goal would be to bring our class together through student events, concerts and of course, Ivies. Most people laughed when I told them I was running for Vice President (I saw it coming), but I truly believe I have the qualifications to be your Vice President. In high school, I was the president of several clubs whose main focus was to build school community, the major one being the diversity club. Although I would be working on the Entertainment Board as Vice President, I would make sure that everything I do is to better our class as a whole. We were all placed on one campus together and we must make the most of our four years together. My goal is to make our first year here at Bowdoin the best it can be. If you give me a chance you will understand why Ivies is gonna be the place to be.
Salim SalimHello! My name is Salim Salim (it’s not a typo. I have the same last name), and I am running for Vice President. This position includes many significant parts of the class’ experience and I believe that I have what it takes.In high school, I was the Student Body President of the student council and I have been involved with many great organizations that involve large get-togethers, listening to people and engaging with them. If you’re into music like I am, you know that I take Ivies very seriously. Therefore, I will make sure that you will be bopping your head at Ivies, and enjoying the different social events that I plan to bring you (I gotchu, fam). The Class of 2020 family is a special one for the simple fact that we are the most diverse group that Bowdoin has admitted in years (in YEARS) and it would be an honor for me to serve this unique group of individuals and make our first year together a memorable one.
Damini SinghHi, my name is Damini Singh and I am running for Vice President for the Class of 2020. As Vice President, my main responsibility would be to represent the Class of 2020 on the Entertainment Board. I’m going to be honest, I was originally interested in running for this specific position because I wanted to get Chance the Rapper to come to Ivies. So, that probably won’t happen (even though he performed at Colby two years ago), but a girl can dream. I do, however, think I’m qualified to hold this position. I was on my high school’s student council for all of high school so I have a lot of experience. I learned a lot about talking to people and planning events during my time on student council and I know I can bring that to Bowdoin. I’m really pumped for Ivies and I hope you’ll contact me about any questions or comments you have. Also, let me know about any music you’re hype about; I’m a big Chance fan. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you at Epicuria!
2020 TreasurerJhadha KingHello Class of 2020,
My name is Jhadha (pronounced Jada) King and I am from West Palm Beach, Florida. I am running for Class Treasurer. I have no previous experience, but I am more than willing to learn. My work with a small business and being a financial assistant to the owner, as well as working in retail, qualifies me as an person who can be trusted with the responsibility of creating and maintaining a budget.
I am a fast-learner, very conscientious and a friendly person to work with which makes me a great candidate.
All in all, give me a chance, and I won't screw it up. 'Cuz "if I don't make dollars, it don't make sense."
Thanks and go U Bears!
Jouya MahmoudiWHAT’S UP PEOPLE? I’m Jouya Mahmoudi and I’m running for our Class Treasurer! I’m going to be as direct as I can and avoid the political nonsense that comes with campaigning. In other words, I’m going to keep 100%. So why vote for me? Well, I could say that I would give you a small loan of million dollars for your vote, but that would automatically get me disqualified and I don’t have that much money to begin with (ironic right?). In reality you should vote for me because I will make our funding system work for your favorite clubs and organizations. As Class Treasurer, I’m going to make sure that the distribution of funds between each organization is fair and that any new organizations have adequate funding to get started. I will also make myself available to all the organizations and individuals at Bowdoin so that they can direct their concerns/requests to the Student Activities Funding Committee (SAFC) through me! Basically, I’m going to do everything in my power to make your life at Bowdoin lit.
Ben HopkinsAs Treasurer of the 2020 Class Council, I would endeavour to promote the interests of the class and ensure that we have the financial capability to host a variety of events throughout the year that will appeal to all 503 members of this brilliant class. The $15,000 assigned to our Council, if spent responsibly and effectively, will be influential in defining our first year at Bowdoin College.
The Treasurer also serves on the Student Activities Funding Committee and in this role I would relish the chance to learn about all the student organizations that operate on campus and how the SAFC budget can facilitate the development and dynamism of such groups. Bowdoin has an extensive, diverse and enthusiastic network of clubs that are significant in shaping our college experience, therefore contributing to their successful running would be an honour.
Eddie KorandoI am honored to be on the ballot for Treasurer of the Class of 2020. I served on my county board of supervisors for two years through a program called Youth in Governance. Budget season always excited me; I enjoyed discussing fiscal goals and manipulating the current budget to achieve them. The most rewarding part of creating a budget is seeing its impact on the community! I was taught that those who have the ability to better their community have the responsibility to do so. Together, we will continue Bowdoin’s dedication to the Common Good, intellectual engagement and the environment!
John PenekHello Class of 2020. My name is John Penek. I play lacrosse, ski and enjoy math. I am running for Class Treasurer. With just three short weeks under my belt, I cannot promise much in terms of wisdom or authority here at Bowdoin. However, I can do so much as to guarantee my acute attention to detail, appreciation for economics and mathematics and overall eagerness to serve others. I feel as though the above character traits poise me to be a responsible treasurer and that is what I promise to be. One thing that I emphasized during my high school career in student council was equal representation among scholars, athletes and artists alike. With that said, no matter what organizations or teams you belong to here at Bowdoin, I will make equal funding my first priority. Thank you for considering Penek For Treasurer and I hope you vote me this weekend! P.S. I’m a Math/Econ tutor and would be glad to offer my help (West 218). P.P.S. I already told my mom I won so please, please vote.
2020 Class Representative to BSG Assembly
My name is Lauren Elliott and I think being a representative for the Class of 2020 would be amazing. I would love to voice the opinions, concerns and ideas of our class and make it a great year for everyone! I’ve been on student council at my high school and participated in leadership programs which have taught me skills useful for being a liaison between our class and BSG. We’re only a few weeks into our first year and everyone is still getting accustomed to the campus, people and routine of Bowdoin life. I’m sure most of you reading this don’t recognize some (or most) of the names of those running for Class Council; you’re wondering why you should vote for this person or that person. Even though we don’t know all our classmates personally, or at all, I think the class representatives can positively impact our year. Successful class representatives will work hard to make sure everyone has a great year and gets to know one another better. If elected I would put all of this and more into action. I’m excited to have the chance to meet more of our class and ensure our voices are heard!
Beatrice CabreraMy name is Beatrice Cabrera and I am running for a spot to represent Bowdoin’s Class of 2020. As someone who is boisterous, passionate, honest and several other positive adjectives, I feel that I could be a good representative of this class. With my previous years of leadership positions, I know what it takes to be a truly good leader and that means to be a collaborator first. To be a listener to the student body rather than mostly speaking. To do what needs to be done, while accepting help from all who are willing to give it. And to guide the masses through the challenges we may face. Let Beezus Take the Wheel!
Ben BousquetHello Class of 2020! My name is Ben Bousquet, and I am running to be your Class Representative. I’m super excited to have the opportunity to represent our class within the larger Bowdoin community. As a Class Representative, I will not only be a big part of our own class council to help plan amazing events, but I will also be a member of Bowdoin Student Government. My job here is to represent our class and make sure that we have a solid voice within the General Assembly. To do so, I want to be in contact with everyone from our class and hear what you have to say. Bowdoin is going to be our home for the next four years, and I want to make sure it is as comfortable and fun a place as possible! If anyone has any questions, I would be more than happy to answer them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you so much, and vote me, Ben Bousquet, for the Class of 2020 Representative!Ruilin Yang
This year will be lit! I am Ruilin Yang. I grew up in Nanjing, China, and went to high school in Hockessin, Delaware. I am interested in pre-med and various aspects in the humanities. I hope to have the honor to be one of the class representatives of the Class of 2020 for three reasons. First, I hope to be the voice of our class on the Bowdoin Student Government Assembly during the weekly meetings. I am very open to all kinds of opinions and I value all perspectives. Second, I am very involved in student activities and if I was elected, I will be helping the class, along with other class council members, to organize fun and meaningful events such as class cookouts or trips for us. I was the founder and President of my high school’s international student association and have been a board member of the honor council. I have always enjoyed being an active voice for the student body in any form. Lastly, I am a good and approachable listener and I am willing to listen to whatever you have to say whenever. Please vote for me. Thank you very much!
My name is Nate DeMoranville and I really like Batman as both a superhero and a leader. A lot of times I wish I could be a modern day superhero, but right now I’m just a native Rhode Islander running for Class Rep.I want to be a voice for the Class of 2020, especially for my fellow persons of color. I grew up in Rhode Island with a single mom and I think she raised me pretty well. I’ve got great character and a lot of patience. Like a lot of you, I had a fair amount of leadership responsibility in high school (the newspaper, diversity club, etc.) and so my campaign focuses on personal relationships.
For me, our class is incredibly large. I went to a small high school and we had a really close community. I think that this closeness is valuable, but harder to achieve with such a large group of people. Despite this, I want to challenge myself, and the rest of our class, to really know those around us whom we call our classmates. As Class Rep, I’d push for us to become closer and more connected as Bowdoin students.
I’m a nice guy just trying to bring us together.
Leah MatariHello Class of 2020! My name is Leah Matari and I am from New Jersey (sorry) and falling into New England ways quickly! I am running to be the Class of 2020’s Class Representative to Bowdoin Student Government. I believe that I should be Class Rep because I will be a strong advocate for our class in General Assembly meetings, as well as help plan social and academic events for our class to do as a whole. What is the role of the class representative, you might be wondering? I will sit on BSG Assembly and on our Class Council. Essentially, I can be the voice of our class at large student government meetings and, if elected, I promise that my voice will only be a direct representation of our class’ voice. I have past experience as Student Body President and other student government positions. A little bit about me: I live in West Hall, I’m taking Arabic this semester (I can now recite the entire alphabet if anyone wants to hear), I’ll be running and throwing for the Track and Field team on campus and I’m excited to hopefully be your Class Representative. Thank you for your consideration!With much love,Leah MatariJeong-yoon (Andrew) KimHow’s it going, Bowdoin Class of 2020? My name is Jeong-yoon (Andrew) Kim and I’m running to be your glorious representative. I’m sure you’ve seen the posters with the masterpiece portrait of myself drawn by James Wang and the ones with me doing an o.k. pose, but I wanted to show the man behind the face. As BSG Representative, I would be our envoy to BSG General Assembly. I currently have some ideas that I believe would help out both the Class of 2020 and the entire school, but my ideas aren’t the priority here. Unlike the high school career politicians who disregard the views of the student body once elected, I will assume the role of representative for its intended purpose; I will reflect the view of the electorate, not my own. I’ll take time to address each and every individual’s concerns and will make myself as approachable as possible. Your voice is important to me. Remember to vote Jeong-yoon Kim!
Andrew CawleyI know what you're thinking. No, seriously I do. Does Andrew Cawley know how to write? Well here's some effin' proof. "BOW! BOW! BOW!"—airhorn. Anyway, here's my pitch: "Look/ If you had / One shot / Or one opportunity / To seize everything you ever wanted / In one moment / Would you capture it / Or just let it slip? / Yo / His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy / There's vomit on his sweater already, moms spaghetti / He's nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready / To drop bombs, but he keeps on forgettin / What he wrote down, the whole crowd goes so loud / He opens his mouth, but the words wont come out / Hes chokin, how, everybody's jokin now / The clock runs out, time’s up, over, blaow!" (“Lose Yourself,” Eminem). If you want to lose yourself, vote Andrew Cawley for president. I'll also give a positive superlative to anyone who wants one because we are seniors and we should applaud each other on our time here. And if you don't want a superlative, that's fine too!
Justin J. Pearson
As each of us prepares to transition from student to alum, we want to make our remaining time as memorable as possible. I want to provide opportunities that allow
us to both have fun and venture outside our comfort zones. Instead of going to Joshua’s for every senior night, I want us to try out Senior Bowling, Laser Tag, and Game Nights. Food crawls in Brunswick and Portland, plus catered events on campus, will help us meet new people and talk about more than our busyness. I’ll ensure that Senior Week is filled with fun activities. These could include paintballing, zip-lining, a BBQ-on-the-beach day, and more. Most importantly, I will always take input from all of you regarding which activities we do. I also want us to prepare for life after Bowdoin even as we celebrate our final year. Therefore, I intend to create a “Dis-Orientation” program where we can learn to budget a salary, make friends in the workplace, and find housing. I believe that my experiences as president of class council, VP for student affairs, and VP for our class give me the know-how to make our last year meaningful, exciting, and fun.
Are you in?
Dear senior U Bears,
I'm Rebecca Fisher, and I am running to be your senior class president! Senior class president has the unique opportunity to plan the events that will mark our last year as students. These events include senior week, senior nights, and junior-senior ball.
I believe I have the organizational skills, thoughtfulness, creativity and passion necessary to oversee the planning of these events. My work as a programming director for a College House, RA for Residential Life and member of the A-Team have given me the knowledge of the different resources on campus needed to make events happen. In high school, I was the chair of the group that planned homecoming week, which gave me the attention to detail necessary for planning a weeklong event.
I am running for president because I would love to continue to work with all of you to unify our class. I would fully devote my time to the tasks at hand and would be honored to oversee the senior class council to make this year the best it can possibly be for everyone. If you're ready to get stuff done and still have fun, vote for Rebbie!
I know it’s not going to be khumbaya and we won’t all be bffs by the end of this year, but I sincerely look forward to bringing more unity to this class, whatever that may look like. Our year has arguably some of the dopest individuals on this campus. As a whole we have contributed to the Bowdoin community on so many different levels. Although I’m excited for the chance plan junior-senior ball and want to have a seniors only game of manhunt one night, I also look forward to getting a feel for what we want as a class. I am so excited for what’s in store for this year!
2017 Vice President
My name is Ellie Quenzer, and thanks to your tremendous support I have been the vice president of the Class of 2017 since our first year here at Bowdoin. As I run for reelection in this, our senior year, I would be honored to have your support once more. You have seen my commitment and my willingness to work hard to contribute to our class. As your vice president, I have been actively involved in brainstorming, planning and executing all of the successful events and activities that the class council has organized for our class during our time together. Think about our numerous pub nights, fundraisers, socials, semi-formals and concerts—and don’t forget the class sweatshirts and quarter-zips, Ivies gear and dozens of Frosty’s donuts! As vice president I have also served alongside many different class officers who have cycled in and out as leaders of our class council over the past three years; as the only person who has served continuously during that time, I hope to be a voice of experience, wisdom and consistency this year, and I intend to make our senior class council the best it can possibly be. Please vote “EQ for VP.” Thank you.
Class of 2017,
My name is Danny Mejia and I am running to be your vice president. In my time at Bowdoin, I have worn many hats on campus: I am a leader at the Outing Club, facilitator for Men’s Group discussions, and a senior interviewer for Admissions, among others. Through these positions, I have learned how to lead through trying times, but perhaps most importantly, I have learned the value of being a good listener when working with others. The leadership traits I have gained in these roles will make me an invaluable part of the class council team. I am excited to share my enthusiasm for Bowdoin as I collaborate with the class council as well as all of you to create a senior year we will all enjoy.
It would be an honor to serve as the Class of 2017’s treasurer in our final year together. Having served on my high school’s treasury committee, I know what kind of work goes into funding student groups and how important it is. I am willing to listen to any group proposal and willing to work to help you meet your goals. Thank you, I look forward to serving you this year.
Hi Class of 2017! My name is Sam Hoegle, and I want to be your class treasurer! I have been fortunate enough to serve on class council every year I’ve been at Bowdoin and have loved the experience. Last year, I was your class treasurer and helped us save lots of money for senior year while still doing fun events and getting awesome class gear. The job of class treasurer involves balancing not only class finances but also student activities funding and class events. My history as class treasurer and involvement in other campus organizations will continue to help me make well thought out decisions. This is our last year at Bowdoin so we want to make it great! Senior year does not have to consist of only senior nights and senior week. There are so many opportunities for class fun in between whether it is a relaxed open mic night in the pub or a community service engagement to give back to the town that has welcomed us for so long. I have the experience and the passion to make our final year at Bowdoin truly memorable. I hope I can count on your vote!
2017 Class Representative to BSG Assembly
Happy senior year all!!! I am Annie Glenn and I would be proud to serve as your class representative to the BSG for our final year at Bowdoin. Throughout the last three years at Bowdoin, I have been involved in a myriad of organizations on campus from being the programming director at Baxter House to leading trips for the BOC and this year serving as the captain of the women’s lacrosse team. In this final year, I am ready to be the liaison between the class council and BSG and to plan fun and inclusive events throughout the year for all of us! I am running for class rep because my experience at Bowdoin would be nothing without the Class of 2017 and I want to give back to all of you to make our last year together the best on yet!! LET’S GO BEARS!
For those of you don't know me, I am Spencer Shagoury and I am pleased to be running for class representative. I have loved my time at Bowdoin and would consider representing the members of our class an honor. The Class of 2017 has shaped my life in an incredible and meaningful way and I would be honored to pay it back just a little by pursuing your interests through student government. Let me know if you want to talk or have ideas.
- 6 days ago
Editorial: More than Orientation
For the Class of 2020, Orientation included a new two-part program called “More Than Meets the Eye,” which directly addressed issues of racial diversity on campus. During the first event, which took place before the start of the semester, 16 current students each shared a personal anecdote related to their experiences with race at Bowdoin.
The second event was about keeping an open mind to new perspectives as first years form social ties at the school. The talk was led by Reverend Dr. Jamie Washington, the president and founder of Washington Consulting Group.
Student voices have called for the inclusion of a program on race in Orientation over the past few years. However, controversial events from the 2015-16 academic year—such as the “gangster” party and the “tequila” party—were a critical push to develop this program because they fueled last year’s discussions on race. The fact that the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs instituted this new Orientation program is a positive step forward in the evolution of Bowdoin’s discourse on race.
Sydney Avitia-Jacques ’18, a member of the sailing team, mentioned one such event, which was hosted by her team. The “gangster” party was a critical component of her experience of race at Bowdoin. Openly presenting events like these to first years gives them an appropriate context to inform their future conversations about race at Bowdoin.
Moreover, it is valuable that this particular Orientation event continued into the semester, modeling the fact that conversations about race will happen throughout students’ careers, not just during Orientation.
There are talks, lectures and discussions dealing with these topics consistently scheduled throughout the year and are open to all students. Consistently taking advantage of these events rather than only engaging when incidents like the “gangster” party occur is crucial for moving towards a more inclusive community.
Furthermore, attending these events and participating in these conversations facilitates a more comfortable environment where students are proactive in having these difficult conversations. If or when instances of cultural appropriation occur, discussions about these events will be more productive since more students will be ready to engage.
An important goal of Orientation is to model how to interact with different parts of our community in a positive way. However, it is also important to strike the right balance of telling first-year students what they can and cannot do. This program did just that.
Uniquely developing this program each year is crucial. Including contemporary stories from current Bowdoin students is important to continue to effectively model productive discourse on race. Giving first years the context of our campus climate while also encouraging first years to engage in conversation about race provides a direction towards a more open community.
This editorial represents the majority view of the Bowdoin Orient’s editorial board, which is comprised of Marina Affo, Julian Andrews, Steff Chavez, Grace Handler, Nickie Mitch, Meg Robbins and Joe Seibert.
- September 16
A hello from Harriet: BSG is here for you
- September 16
Insufficient funds: tips and tricks
I don’t know how to say this without sounding obnoxious, but last fall I studied abroad. I’ve always disliked the word abroad. It seems simultaneously antiquated and condescending, probably because it is often uttered by those with shrill voices citing life changing experiences. I hate to refer to the dictionary this early in my column, but definitions describe the term as “dated or humorous.” And dictionaries tend to know what they’re talking about.
I spent three months in Scotland. I flew Aer Lingus and gnawed prepackaged Danishes while watching “The DUFF.” Then I took two courses in English and flew home. I wasn’t sailing the Atlantic in a petticoat. I was simply Elsewhere.
While abroad, I made the mistake of starting a blog, a WordPress praised by boyfriends and grandparents alike. I also made the mistake of spending all of my hard-earned funds within the first six weeks. By November, my bank account had dwindled to $5.60. I know this sounds ambitious, but I assure you, it is more than possible.
The discovery of my bankruptcy was both surprising and inevitable. After I logged onto my Bank of America account, I sobbed for three and a half hours. I may have screamed; I don’t remember. I do remember that my flatmate took the time to write a personalized complaint on our refrigerator to prevent future outbursts.
Upon further calculation, I realized I could spend seven pence a day. That is not very many pence. I don’t mean to depress you with my lack of financial competence. Many of you are currently studying in another country, or will do so soon. If you find yourself in similar circumstances, do not panic. I have accumulated a fail-proof catalog of tested suggestions for staying afloat. Grab a pencil or a tattoo pen and carve this into your hand:
1. Now that you have no money, you cannot buy groceries. You cannot get into dance clubs with sticky floors or order gyros from a chip shop.
2. If necessary, steal toilet paper from Starbucks. Steal toilet paper from the English department. Walk around town with a backpack full of toilet paper.
3. Call home and say things like “fine,” and “huh” and “it’s probably not infected.” Don’t mention the money. Wash your laundry in the shower.
4. Visit Sainsbury’s with a friend named Liam and buy a loaf of cheese bread for 50 p. Yes, you are eating bread again. Feel bad for a second and then remember that you are hungry. Wonder if you are being dramatic.
Say, “This is sort of funny, sort of sad.”
“Yes,” Liam will say. “But mostly sad.”
5. Cashless Saturdays will be lonely. Think, what should I do? Decide to go to the gym. At the gym think, what should I do? Walk back to your dorm. In your dorm, take off your shirt and watch “Hell’s Kitchen.”
6. Take two online surveys and earn 30 cents. Apply to be a Research Subject Volunteer by feigning the identity of a diabetic man. Apply for a job. Apply for another job. Talk to a cashier with long painted nails and mimic her mannerisms.
7. Reflect on silly purchases. You paid to go to a sex museum. You paid to go to a sex museum. The internet will tell you to “set short-term financial goals.”
8. Host a Me-Party. Me-Parties are inexpensive and spontaneously fun. All you have to do is show up. Post a half-ironic selfie on Twitter even though you still don’t really understand Twitter. Try not to cry. Crying ruins parties.
9. Floss. Flossing is free, flossing is fun. You should floss more. Clean the blood from the sink before you wash your socks.
10. Your father will give you a bit of money because he is kind and because your blog posts have transitioned from embarrassing to tragic. Take a train going south and stay in a cheap hostel above a medieval bar. Fall asleep to the song from the Swoops commercial. Drink hot chocolate and eat vegan dinners alone even though you love meat. Buy Christmas presents for your parents with the cash they sent you.
11. At the end of the semester, con a ride to the airport. Buy black coffee with your final pence. Sweat a lot. Board the plane and drink free wine until you feel like you’re lying in a sponge cake. Wonder how you will make money next semester. Wonder how you will make money for the rest of your life. Wonder how you will make money if you have six kids or fall down a well. Ask the flight attendant for peanuts and pretzels.
Obviously, these tips may not work for everyone. Just know that if you find yourself in the rain with an empty wallet and the ache of regret, you are not alone. Someone somewhere has just spent her last 40 dollars on pre-workout because she thought it sounded necessary.
Savannah Horton is a member of the Class of 2017.
- September 16
On the drowning of finches
A call for more intellectual diversity on campus through considering opposing views.
- September 16
Editorial: Off-campus, out of mind
The number of students living off campus has increased over the past few years and is currently at its highest in recent memory. On one hand, students living off campus engage with the town in new ways both personally and economically. On the other hand, incidents of disorderly conduct and noise late at night place stress on a historically civil relationship.
On Wednesday, Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols sent an email to the student body regarding complaints received from Brunswick residents over the past two weeks. This email reflects tensions between the town and Bowdoin that exist in part as a result of Bowdoin students living off campus.
For upperclassmen living off campus, the relationship with the town of Brunswick is not the only one that changes. As students gain more independence and autonomy, a rift grows between students living off campus and those who remain in college housing.
Students who live off campus often downgrade their meal plans, and thus eat fewer meals in the dining hall with their peers, spending more time in their houses rather than in campus spaces. On the weekends, social gatherings and parties drift away from College Houses and college-owned apartments to the off-campus houses. There is no denying the divide between students who live on and off campus.
Structural changes need to be put in place to maintain our campus community. This is an opportunity for a mutual effort between the Bowdoin administration and those students living off campus to build a formalized structure with the goal of improving relations in our community.
As the market for renting to Bowdoin students grows, the number of interactions with BPD will inevitably increase. In the past, Nichols has met with off-campus houses informally and on a case-by-case basis. It is important to have these conversations in a more official capacity to clarify expectations for students, the College and the town. Creating a mandatory orientation program for students living off campus facilitated by the Office of Safety and Security, the Brunswick Police Department (BPD) and other relevant administrators would achieve this goal.
Additionally, providing formal resources for navigating what happens when things go wrong ensures that all parties involved—Security, BPD, students and/or landlords—engage with incidents in a fair and consistent manner.
Implementing these changes would not be difficult and would help shape a relationship of mutual respect amongst our community as a whole.
This editorial represents the majority view of the Bowdoin Orient’s editorial board, which is comprised of Marina Affo, Julian Andrews, Steff Chavez, Grace Handler, Nickie Mitch, Meg Robbins and Joe Seibert.
- September 9
Let's talk about sex
For one (long, exhausting) week you, Class of 2020, have been acquainted with the people and places that will shape the next four years of your life. For some of you, Bowdoin will become your home without much effort. For others, it will be a more complicated and less linear process.Looking back on the last three years of my Bowdoin experience, I’d like to offer you what is hopefully the last piece of advice you will receive before you try everything out for yourself. Instead of letting you fumble through college nightlife like I did as a first year, I’m giving you a sneak preview. I’m hoping you don’t expect to have the same experience that I did navigating the weekend scene, where I quickly adopted the mindset—which seemed like a campus-wide consensus at the time—that I should hook-up with people to have a “real college experience.”For all the things we do well here at Bowdoin, intimacy is not one of them. Ironic, because a campus of 1,800 can feel annoyingly intimate. But somewhere between the desire for love and affection, alongside the pursuit and pressure for sexual gratification, we perpetuate a culture of sexual disrespect. We fail to communicate our needs and wants and fall short of respecting the needs and wants of others. We act carelessly. Oftentimes we feel pressured or obligated to partake in that culture to live up to social norms. And a lot of us choose to drink, which complicates intimate encounters even further.It sucks that we are taught that it’s worth it to “play the game”—a complicated exchange of who can be less interested. Or that no-strings-attached sexual encounters are how everyone lets off steam on a Friday night. Our feelings of self-worth are often based on the carefully scripted story that is our weekend nights. I remember thinking that the best I could do was put on a bodycon skirt and tank-top, drink and wait until something happened. It didn’t seem like men had it easy either—burdened with the pressure to be manly and the expectation of initiating sexual interactions. And everyone was supposed to pretend like they just didn’t care. It didn’t even cross my mind how hard it is to navigate such a heteronormative scene as someone who identifies as LGBTQ+.“Upperclass life” is different than my first two years were at Bowdoin. A lot of us say we’ve been through “the worst of it.” We figure we’ve had enough bad experiences to know how to create the good ones. Most of us exchange the college house scene for smaller social gatherings and parties off campus. Some are in committed, healthy relationships. I like to think many of us have learned how to communicate: say what we want and expect and listen to what others need.I want you to know that you don’t have to want to hook up with someone on the weekends. Furthermore, it isn’t necessary to have bad or regretful sexual encounters to “experience college.” They aren’t rites of passage to graduation like signing the matriculation book or declaring a major. Sometimes not-so-satisfying experiences happen (because none of us have it all figured out) but they shouldn’t be treated as the norm of college life. Rather, we should be focused on developing the skills that it takes to make relationships and sexual encounters respectful and fun.It is important to come to terms with what you want and figure out what your partner wants, no matter how short the sexual interaction may be. We all deserve to listen to ourselves and be listened to. After all, the healthiest and best sexual experiences happen when two people give a shit and walk away satisfied.Just because it gets better doesn’t mean it’s perfect; we seniors still participate in and perpetuate the culture of sexual disrespect (especially if we hook up and fail to communicate with underclassmen). But as a senior now, I feel much more prepared and equipped to handle the nuances of our culture here at Bowdoin. My biggest hope for you, Class of 2020, is that you start out with the confidence that took me three years to cultivate: the kind that doesn’t tolerate sexual disrespect and thrives on honest and clear communication. I’m having a better college experience because of it.
Amanda Spiller is a member of the Class of 2017.
- 6 days ago
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.
- 6 days ago
An Autistic's guide to autism: Self-regulation: how autistic people find alternative ways to cope
When I was young, around the right age for elementary school, I used to chew on straws. Chewing on straws was a solution to a problem that had been vexing my mother to no end. She used to buy me rugby shirts with soft plastic buttons. I would chew on them in class until they became flat disks under the repeated pressure of my jaw, losing the ability to keep my shirt in place. She tried to get me to stop chewing on my clothes by giving me shirts without the plastic buttons, but I only moved my attention farther up the shirt, chewing on the collar instead. Eventually she found a solution in plastic straws. They were cheap to buy in bulk, and served the same purpose that my shirts did.
When I have something with which to occupy myself, something to fidget in my hands or something to roll around in my mouth, I am better able to focus on tasks and feel calmer than I would otherwise. I only later learned that these and other behaviors of mine are widely practiced by other autistic people and are a common way that we autistics manage our anxiety and self-regulate. The clinical literature refers to these as “self-stimulatory behaviors,” but that is a long and cumbersome phrase, so it has been shortened by many to simply “stim behavior” or “stimming.”
For me, stimming serves best as a way of self-regulating. In the morning I wake up early, shower, brush my teeth and go through a stim-based systems check to get ready for the day. Sometimes my systems check consists of me wiggling around a bit to get an idea of how my body is feeling. Sometimes I circumambulate through my room. The regular and predictable laps around the small space free my mind up to plan for the day. On other days, I just make babbling, nonsensical noises—not so loud as to wake my neighbors—that give little jolts to my body that feel nice and help bring down my anxiety when I’m feeling stressed. All of this I do alone. This piece is probably the first time I have ever discussed my morning routine in a public way.
The only stim behaviors I ever engage in publicly are those that I can explain away as just a need to fidget. At a young age, I, like many autistic children, was taught not to stim, though not in so many words. I was taught that stimming was distracting, embarrassing or inappropriate and, in particular, that it was bad. Though there are certainly stim behaviors that have obvious drawbacks—such as self-injurious stims like pounding one’s chest—stimming is one of the best ways that we as autistic individuals have of self-regulating. In a world that we find overwhelming, stimming provides comforting and predictable sensory input. One day, I hope to see stimming more widely understood and accepted.
- 6 days ago
Small feet: making a statement, one jar at a time
I spend a lot of my time thinking about footprints. Whether I’m trudging across the snowy quad to class or deciding what kind of running shoes would be the most environmentally and socially conscious purchase, footprints are always on my mind. At Bowdoin, it feels like we’re running all the time; it can be hard to find the time and energy to think about the footprints we’re leaving behind.
Extended metaphors aside, balancing sustainable living with college living is difficult and I’m trying to figure out how to do it. Of course the two aren’t mutually exclusive, but I’ve eaten enough late-night pub meals to know that when you’re up into the wee hours writing a paper, carbon footprints and recycling potential aren’t the first things on your mind.
I’m no expert on living sustainably. This column is just an attempt to chronicle my efforts at bringing a little more environmental and social consciousness into my day-to-day life at Bowdoin. You’ll laugh and you’ll cry (I certainly will), and maybe you’ll find your own way to walk with smaller feet on Bowdoin’s campus and in the world.
This might sound a little bit too crunchy for your tastes, or maybe it’s not quite crunchy enough. Whatever you think of it, I’d like to admit something: I drink out of a Mason jar. Ah, the Mason jar. Even before Bowdoin was consistently ranked No. 1 in the country for dining services (#tourguidefunfacts), the likes of John Brown Russwurm and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow were devotees of the Mason jar, if only because these hip little glass containers enabled cooks to preserve jams, pickles and other delights to get students through the long Maine winter. In their original incarnation, jars weren’t cool—they were just necessary.
Somewhere between the mid-19th century and the fall of 2016, the Mason jar became more than an important food processing tool—it joined longboards, iPhones and other useful objects as a statement-making symbol. Carry an unassuming glass receptacle full of your beverage of choice, and you risk being classified as One Of Those People Who Drinks Out Of A Jar. Something about drinking from a canning jar (regardless of its practicality) sends a message, and woe betide you if you post a shot of the very same drink in the very same jar on Instagram (I follow back).
The things we use and the things we do send messages—ask any devotee of the Moulton darkroom. You might call drinking from a Mason jar an act of counterculture, or a shameless and basic foray into mainstream society (even my lab instructor has a plastic Mason jar mug with a hole for a straw). Here at Bowdoin, our clothes, shoes and choice of coffee mug help define who we are.
However cliché it might seem, the Mason jar out of which I drink water, tea and sometimes large amounts of orange juice says a lot about who I am. It’s a tall, slender, 24-ounce jar with a leak-proof, stainless steel lid that has an opening in the top. Sometimes it wears a knitted cozy when I don’t want to burn my hands. And yes, it sends a message. But for me, carrying a Mason jar with me everywhere isn’t a statement or effort to join the hipster herd so much as it is a matter of convenience: I’ve truly found that it’s my favorite way to drink tea.
I’ve chosen to drink primarily out of a jar because Mason jars are made in the USA, and I like to support domestically made products, which also tend to have smaller carbon footprints because they don’t have to be shipped from overseas. Glass Mason jars, because they were designed to be sterilized in boiling water prior to being filled with preserved food, withstand even the 205-degree water at the Moulton tea station. Also, glass is nonporous, so it doesn’t taste like coffee three days after an all-nighter, and has fewer toxins than plastics and metals used in other containers. In an effort to minimize the amount of petroleum-demanding plastics in my life, glass is an excellent alternative, and Mason jars (which you can get for $9.99 per dozen at Reny’s in Topsham) don’t break the bank. They do, however, occasionally break—most memorably during my first year when I dropped and shattered a jar of carrot juice outside of Appleton at midnight—but I don’t typically feel like I need to be more careful with glass than I do with anything else.
Looking at our footprints can be, well, jarring (I had to). The privilege we have as Bowdoin students allows us to make changes, and in our busy lives sometimes the small changes are easiest. But as my Mason jar can attest, those changes can have an impact and make a statement. What we do here matters, both in and out of the classroom. In our lives as students, it’s not just papers, problem sets and presentations that make statements—it’s how we choose to live our lives. We don’t have to drink out of jars to make a statement. Merely thinking about our footprints is a good place to start.
- 6 days ago
New Bath restaurant to boast local fare
Bath’s food scene will see a boost this month as the owners of popular Brunswick restaurant El Camino open a new restaurant called Salt Pine Social.
The restaurant’s modern American cuisine will depart from El Camino’s classical Mexican cooking. Although official menu items have yet to be set, Eloise Humphrey, one of the owners, alluded to a diverse menu featuring locally-sourced produce, meats and a highly anticipated oyster and seafood bar.
Similar to El Camino, the use of fresh and local products remains at the core of Humphrey and the Comaskeys’ vision for the new restaurant.
Humphrey formerly cooked at restaurants in New York City and San Francisco before opening El Camino with her sister and brother-in-law, Daphne and Paul Comaskey. Humphrey explained the owners’ decision to expand.
“I had been cooking Mexican food for twelve years here and I just thought, ‘Gosh there’s so much other food that I want to explore,’” she said.
Humphrey says that Salt Pine Social is geared towards a younger and newer generation of foodies who appreciate the value of local ingredients.
The choice of location was also intentional for the owners.
“I think we decided to open in Bath because there was an opportunity there. It’s a cute town and we thought it needed it,” said Humphries.
With a passionate staff, bright dishes and unique artwork, Humphrey and Comaskey hope to bring some of the funky, modern flare of Salt Pine Social to their Maine community.
- 6 days ago
Bottom of the Barrel: Flaco Tempranillo 2014 serves as second-best option to Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
Rough estimates suggest that there is a great variety of wine available to a curious, of-age Bowdoin student. A quick trip to the Hannaford snack aisle to buy Flamin’ Hot Cheetos (which all seasoned Hannaford patrons know the store fails to stock), and one can see wines of all colors, prices and brands. This breadth of options, when paired with the shocking disappointment derived from a lack of red-powdered, spicy snacks is dizzying. The wrong purchase—a bad bottle of wine—can lead to a particularly sour night. Choose the right wine, however, and the evening’s proceedings can be magical.
It’s oft best to rely on the advice of others. Hell, even the Orient’s most seasoned wine-reviewers need help. This week, we looked to the wizened Somms of Hannaford’s Limited Reserve. Justin knew what to get the moment he saw it: The Flaco Tempranillo 2014. Doubly enticing were the wine’s association to hip-hop legend and pioneer, A$AP Rocky a.k.a. Lord FLACkO Jodye. Will was hooked as soon as he saw a cork.Before starting the tasting, we let the Tempranillo breathe for an hour. In the meantime, we prepared accordingly—decorating the table with a fresh ball of mozz and letting 1997 Diddy aerate the room.
The only way to describe the nose of this Spanish red is “boozy.” Red fruits dominate initial taste—a touch of spice. Will detects hints of dates and brown sugar. Thin mouthfeel, kinda light but not Natty Light. We want to drink this in a red velvet chair in a fur coat.
This wine is like a fake Rolex.
This wine makes you wish it was 10 degrees warmer.
This wine pairs well with fresh mozzarella.
This wine complains about taxes.
This wine thinks Dean Martin is better than Frankie.
This wine stays draped in Vines.
As with all research, it turned out as we set about writing our review that our esteemed predecessors at “Bottom of the Barrel,” Bryce Ervin ’15 and Brandon Oullette ’15 had already reviewed an earlier vintage of this wine on September 12, 2014. In their words: “This wine would be excellent if you wanted boxed-wine quality at a bottle-wine price.” It appears we drank a very different wine.
Highly recommend you snag the pretty Flaco while it’s around. Highly recommend you write positive things in the online comments of this article.
Tonight's Soundtrack: "No Way Out" by Puff Dadd & the Family (1997).
Justin: "Anytime I drink red wine I would rather be wearing a khaki linen suit."
Will: "I'm strictly trying to cop those colassal sized Picasso's."
Nose: 3 out of 5 stars
Body: 1 out of 5 stars
Taste: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Overall: 3 out of 5 stars
- September 16
Kopp ’17 spends summer in suspended treehouse
If you drive an hour and a half north of Brunswick and into the woods of Camden, Maine, you may find a homemade treehouse suspended above the ground. Eben Kopp ’17 built the treehouse at the beginning of this summer and lived in it for three months before returning to Bowdoin for his senior year.
While Kopp was abroad in Tanzania spring semester, he learned that his mom had sold his childhood home in Camden and bought a different property in the woods where she would eventually build a house. Upon hearing that the property would be vacant for the summer, Kopp decided to make use of the land as an alternative living situation.
His original plan was to build a yurt—a large tepee-like structure—but after extensive planning and research during his semester in Tanzania, Kopp thought of something better.
“I was thinking a lot about moisture and if it was going to get wet and I just couldn’t figure [out how to make it work]. One day—I honestly don’t know how it came to me—I was like, ‘let’s just hang [the house],’” he said.
Despite having almost no experience in construction, Kopp and his girlfriend, Kenya Perry, began building the tree house when he returned from Tanzania at the end of May. They moved in by the middle of June.
While in the woods, the couple focused on adventure, sustainability and what Kopp described as “type two fun,” which is the fun one has when looking back on an experience, rather than fun in the moment.
“Having to carry our own water in, being super aware of energy consumption—just all sorts of things that we would take for granted otherwise—we had to really work for and were super aware of, which was really cool,” he said.
Kopp’s favorite thing about the summer, aside from the fact that he was living in a hanging treehouse, was his increased awareness of his environmental footprint. After a full day of work, doing laundry, cooking and showering, the most water Kopp and Perry used was about 10 gallons. By the end of the summer, they only had about two bins full of waste.
“More so than I would have anticipated, it made me want to live more sustainably in my future,” said Kopp.
After graduation, he plans to take time off and go on more adventures that incorporate sustainable living.
“I’d like to spend time, maybe not necessarily in the tree house in the woods, but [doing] something that’s a little [less] conventional for some period of my life,” he said.
After completing a sea semester last fall and living in Tanzania in the spring, returning to Bowdoin this fall has been the first time in a year that Kopp has lived “conventionally.” “It’s really weird living back where the toilet flushes,” he said.
The fact that Kopp spent his summer in a tree house was no surprise to Yasmin Hayre ’17, who lived on his first year floor.
“I don’t know how long we were in school when he started talking about how he wanted to build a house out in the woods,” she said.
“If you think of Eben, you just think of his explorative ideas,” said Hayre. “He’s definitely into doing things that only certain people are [into].”
She added that she was glad he had found somebody, Perry, with whom he could adventure.
“I called [Kenya] up from Tanzania and I was like, ‘Babe, we’re going to live in a hanging tree house’ and she was very much like, ‘Alright I’m for it,” which was super good to have that support,” said Kopp.
“It takes a certain type of person to be on board for pooping in a bucket for three months,” he added.
- September 16
New brewery to take flight in Brunswick Landing
Nate Wildes and Jared Entwistle are two twenty-somethings from Midcoast Maine who met earlier this year. They share a vision of building community—and hope to do so over glasses of beer.
Next year, they will open Flight Deck Brewing on the grounds of the old naval base at Brunswick Landing, approximately twelve minutes by car from Bowdoin College.
While craft breweries have been gaining prevalence both in Maine and throughout the United States, Flight Deck will be the first of its kind in Brunswick. Wildes and Entwistle see the brewery not only as a place to taste beer, but as a good space for social gatherings.
“Brunswick Landing is really in the midst of evolving from a former naval base to really a community,” Wildes said.
Since the Navy left Brunswick Landing in 2011, the space has been primarily occupied by industrial and office units, although other businesses have slowly crept in. One of these ventures—New Beet Market, which opened last March—belongs to Wildes and his spouse.
Flight Deck, Wildes and Entwistle emphasize, will be about more than just beer. In addition to an indoor tasting room, the brewery will include an outdoor patio complete with couches and fire pits that overlook the grounds of the old naval base.
The pair believes the brewery can help make Brunswick a more attractive community for people in their twenties.
“When you’re a young person growing up in Maine, there’s a lot of pressure to go elsewhere,” Wildes said.
Both Wildes and Entwistle are natives to Maine, and their commitment to the state is reflected in their desire to keep their business as local as possible.
“If it can be bought locally, we will buy it locally,” Wildes said.
He added that the growth of craft breweries over the past five years makes it easier to obtain materials from local sources. Five years ago it would have been difficult to find fermented grain suppliers in Maine.
Using local products also means that the pair can experiment with Maine-centric flavors. Entwistle noted that he hopes to produce a number of fruit beers and utilize Maine herbs to create one-of-a-kind blends.
“Mugwort, sumac, different herbs,” he said. “We’re probably going to start off a little more traditional but experiment more as we expand.”
As part of the brewery’s commitment to community engagement, Entwistle and Wildes plan to utilize customer feedback to develop a robust array of beer options.
The brewery will also minimize its environmental impact by getting its electricity from renewable sources.
“Every ounce of beer we produce will be produced with 100 percent renewable energy,” Wildes said.
The use of renewable energy is made easier by Brunswick Landing’s anaerobic biodigester, which will supply about one-third of the brewery’s electricity. The remaining power will come from other renewable energy sources.
Wildes emphasized that these environmentally friendly choices also make practical business sense.
“Using renewable energy means fewer price fluctuations long-term,” he said.
Wildes and Entwistle hope their brewery can become a staple of a growing community in Brunswick Landing. In the meantime, they want to brew beers people like and create an atmosphere where customers feel at home.
“We’re focusing on drinkable, approachable beer,” Wildes said. “Whoever you are, when you walk into Flight Deck Brewery, we want to be able to offer you a beer you like."
- September 16
Exploring Maine: Find your space
When we applied to Bowdoin, about a third of us wrote about intellectual engagement. Another third, our commitment to the common good. The last group, myself included, wrote about connection to place.
This past Saturday, I woke up at 4:30 in the morning, stumbled out of bed into fleece-lined leggings and fleece-lined flannel and drove with three friends out to Morse Mountain. As we walked down the dirt path and the darkness thinned to a grey morning light filtering through the leaves, it didn’t feel like 6 a.m., but like a moment out of time. Over the white spread of sandy beach, the unpredicted heavy clouds parted right as the sun floated to fullness. We watched tiny birds scampering in the waves, looking for nibbles of food. I swam, and the water was warmer than the air. As we walked back with salted skin, the mosquitoes bit us to distraction and connection to place was palpable. It itched and it tingled, it was tired eyes and exhilaration.
A Morse Mountain sunrise is only one way to understand place (though a way I definitely recommend). Place is an undeniable and essentially unavoidable commonality. All Bowdoin students share the four corners of the quad, the walk to Hannaford and the 4 p.m. winter sunsets. But what makes all Bowdoin students different is the ways they explore, experience, relate and connect to their physical location.
Places absorb negative and positive attributes and hold the collective experiences of all people who have passed through them and taken photos or just taken in the view. Some students avoid Hatch because they find the atmosphere depressingly dreary. Others linger, walking past the Edwards playground, remembering a first kiss. Some students will never step into Baxter Basement, or the Women’s Resource Center; for others, those spaces will become emblematic of their college experience. Some students will return to Bowdoin for every reunion, others will graduate and never look back to Maine.
We talk about safe spaces and unsafe spaces; quiet spaces and party spaces; private spaces and public spaces; spaces that we feel belong to us and spaces that we feel excluded from. Place usually stands for physical location, while space implies our inhabitation or reaction to that place. I want to write about connections to the places we share as Bowdoin students, on campus and in the surrounding Maine area, and how our common places can become very different spaces.
I feel a physical love for Maine’s natural beauty, for the seashore, for the pines and the patterns of birds flying overhead. But that beauty, like Bowdoin and Brunswick, does not exist in a vacuum. Beyond Bowdoin experiences, I want to take the time to learn the story of the places I inhabit as a four-year resident in Maine. History informs the present and places hold history beyond any time limit I could impose as a student or writer.
Bowdoin promises a deep connection to place—where does that promise take us? From Smith Union to Morse Mountain, the places around me have been engaging students and locals alike for years. Now is the time to look around a little more closely, to think twice about the past and to continue exploring what no one can walk away from: the place in which they live.
- September 16
Beer Musings from Moscow: Smithwick’s makes a pleasant introduction
Hello hello, dear reader, welcome to the Orient’s beer column. Let me introduce myself—although, to be realistic, I think you’re probably reading this because you’re one of my supportive friends and thus you already know me. Who knows? Ideal-case scenario you’re looking for some crafty beer inspiration (#beerspiration?). I’m a beer lover currently studying abroad in Moscow, Russia. I’ll admit straight up that I have never studied brewing or beer seriously; I will probably mess up my alcohol terminology at times—please forgive me. I do it with the best intentions and a serious appreciation for a good beer.
Since I’m in another country, it’s tricky to give helpful beer recommendations for Bowdoin students. I think I’m going to try to find American equivalents to what I’m drinking here, look for Russian beers available in Maine or go off of memory concerning what I like to drink. By the way, it is 100% false that Russians only love vodka. In fact, there’s quite a nice craft beer scene, which is good news for me.
Okay, beer talk now: if you happen to be in Moscow, I recommend checking out the bars in the renovated chocolate factory region, Red October. In Brunswick, I’d probably just have purchased a pack of Smithwick’s for the first week back—it’s cheap and bars in Brunswick don’t carry it. Smithwick’s is not well-known but it’s definitely my all-time favorite red ale. The best metaphor I can think of is that it’s basically the LBD* of beers, allowing it to pair well with almost any food or mood. I’ll rhapsodize briefly: Smithwick’s is the ultimate balancing act. It’s malty, but not overwhelmingly sweet; flavorful and earthy, but not bitter; smooth and very easy to drink, but not bland. It’s a great beer to start with, no matter what you choose to drink afterwards, so maybe Smithwick’s is a particularly fitting drink now, as this time of year marks the beginning of seemingly everything (and speaking from experience, orientations never end). Because it is a subtler drink, Smithwick’s enhances the flavors of other stronger or heavier tasting beers that follow, like stouts or IPAs. At the same time, it’s still flavorful enough that you won’t be bored—and this aftertaste somewhat covers up the taste of less mouthwatering beers if needed.
Quick facts: Smithwick’s originated in Kilkenny, Ireland, is classified as an Irish red ale and has an alcohol percentage of 4.5%. Most people think only of Guinness when they think of Irish beer, but the truth is there is so much more variety. Uncoincidentally, Guinness now also owns Smithwick’s. It’s a smart company.
A 12-pack of Smithwick’s costs approximately $15, exactly the same price as Sam Adams or Blue Moon—so money is no excuse for not giving it a try.
Smithwick’s company also brews Smithwick’s Pale Ale, but I prefer the fuller taste of the red. It’s naturally better on tap—less carbonated, so you can appreciate the malty taste better—but the bottled version is still pretty decent. A friend told me there’s a place in Bath that does have Smithwick’s on tap. I plan to check it out when I’m back, but if you take the initiative to explore Bath’s bar scene before I do—please go grab a Smithwick’s for me.
Next, if you’re going to drink a beer properly, I think you need to do some toasting. If you only want to know about the beer, you can stop reading here, but I’m personally fascinated by toasting culture. For example, did you know that in Germany, it’s essential to maintain eye contact when toasting? If you don’t meet the other person’s eyes when you clink your glasses, you’ll have seven years of bad sex. Seven. I don’t know if this rule applies in America, but perhaps it’s better to be safe than sorry.
You can also practice vocabulary while drinking. From my experience, knowing “cheers” in multiple languages is often more useful for socializing and traveling than knowing other phrases (“I love you,” for example—when are you really going to need to say that in multiple languages?). Since we’re drinking beer from Kilkenny, “sláinte!” seems appropriate—“cheers” in Irish Gaelic, pronounced “slahn-che.”
Go forth and impress your friends with your choice of perfect beer, intense eye contact and cool new words. Thank you for reading; do email me if you have suggestions—until next time. *LBD = Little Black Dress, or a wardrobe staple that goes with anything and is always useful.
- September 16
Snapshot: Green Promises
Arts & Entertainment
- 6 days ago
BCMA debuts colonial portrait of Elizabeth Bowdoin
The Bowdoin College Museum of Art (BCMA) has added to its series of portraits of Elizabeth Bowdoin, augmenting its collection with the installment of a pastel by colonial artist John Copley. On September 21, the Museum held a discussion about the visiting portrait and Copley, who is traditionally regarded as one of the most well-known portrait painters from the American colonies.
Elizabeth Bowdoin was the older sister of James Bowdoin, the founder of the College. The portrait, completed in 1767 and titled “Lady Temple (Elizabeth Bowdoin),” came to the Museum on loan from a private collection. Installed next to three other works of Elizabeth Bowdoin, Copley’s work showcases the chronology and political history of her life as well as the development of American colonial art.
Led by Joachim Homann, museum curator, and Laura Fecych Sprague, consulting curator of decorative arts, the discussion centered around the pastel in the context of Bowdoin’s collection. According to Sprague, the recent addition has strengthened the overall collection of portraits as well as provided valuable insight into Elizabeth Bowdoin and her family’s patronage of art in early America.
“It is her life in pictures, painted by the best artists of the time, who happened to be the founding fathers of American art,” said Homann.
Copley painted during a time when “America was an outpost of wonder,” according to Linda Docherty, associate professor of art history emerita.
“[Copley] very much aspired to paint at the level of the distinguished painters, who were English,” she said.
According to Homann, Elizabeth Bowdoin also represented the transition from a European identity to a colonial one. Her husband, Sir John Temple, was the first British ambassador to the United States.
“They lived a beautiful, glamorous life in New York City in this strange situation representing the former colonial power,” Homann said.
According to Docherty, the portrait of Elizabeth Bowdoin was painted on the occasion of her marriage as a pairing to John Temple’s portrait by Copley a few years prior and showcases an interesting time in colonial history when anti-British sentiment was beginning to form an identity for colonial values.
In its introduction of art as a way to emphasize the individual, the newly-added piece represents a shift from previously held conceptions about American portraiture.
“[The portrait is] a dialogue from soul to soul, person to person, through the mediation of the work of art,” Homann said. “Previously it was just about marking status and family connections, and establishing one’s rank in the world.”
American portraiture, especially pastels done by Copley, embodied ideas of the Enlightenment–that each person had their own natural talents and character to be expressed through art.
“This immediacy was best expressed in pastel portraits,” Homann said. “Because they are born out of a moment.”
According to Docherty, this spontaneous nature of pastel portraiture was used by Elizabeth Bowdoin as a medium of communication. When living in London, Bowdoin wrote to her parents about the portraits she had sent, telling them where to hang them. Before the days of internet and iMessage, the portrait was a medium of visual communication with relatives.
- 6 days ago
Take a trance: hypnotist to captivate campus
Paul Ramsay makes his living entertaining and educating audiences of young adults all around the country in the cognitive art of hypnosis. He will be performing at Pickard Theatre tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.
Bowdoin is the 17th college he will visit on his annual fall “Back to School” tour. Other hypnotists have performed at Bowdoin before, but this is the first time Ramsay will perform here.
Before beginning a career in hypnotism in 2004, Ramsay was an English teacher at a public school in Maine and as a Residence Hall Director in the Office of Student Affairs at the University of New Hampshire. His passion for working with young adults led him to pioneer the first interactive presentation of hypnosis that has been wildly popular on college campuses around the nation. While Ramsay performs stage hypnotism at all types of corporate and public venues, he believes that college students make the best hypnotic subjects.
“College students are legal adults, but on the younger end of it,” Ramsay said in an interview with the Orient. “They’re more optimistic, they’re more progressive, they’re really looking to experience new things. What’s more new than getting hypnotized for the first time?”
Ryan Sanborn ’18 has been hypnotized twice in the past year, though never by Ramsay. “You just really get into this mental state that you’re aware of everything that you’re doing but it’s more like you can’t control what you’re doing,” he said. “[The hypnotist is] basically controlling your actions. It’s like you have very strong emotions towards that action.”
Ramsay explained that hypnotism allows the mind to step into a place where hypnotism can take place.
“I look at my show as a way to take ordinary, everyday people who want to be hypnotized and basically transform them into a cast of characters,” he said.
Ramsay’s show is not narrative in nature. Instead, it’s comprised of a string of small segments in which the audience chooses what they want to see on stage. He compared his style to sketch comedy and said it is a concept that he pioneered himself.
In addition to the show, Ramsay offers six free online hypnosis programs for those who join his email list on paulramsay.com. Tackling a number of issues, the programs aim to aid relaxation, induce sleep, curb bad habits and cultivate positive energy.
“Part of my mission as an entertainer is to raise a greater awareness for the benefits of hypnotism everywhere I go,” he said. “It’s just my way of trying to get people to not be so afraid of hypnosis. The way it’s portrayed in movies and TV shows has definitely made it a stark and spooky thing and it’s really not.”
- 6 days ago
Maine journalist writes biography on Senator George J. Mitchell ’54
For over a year, acclaimed Maine journalist Douglas Rooks spent every day in Bowdoin’s George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections and Archives researching the life of Senator George Mitchell ’54. On Wednesday, he returned to the Hawthorne-Longfellow Library to celebrate and share “Statesman: George Mitchell and the Art of the Possible,” a detailed and comprehensive biography of the public figure and Bowdoin alumnus.
In 1985, Rooks met Mitchell, a politician and lawyer who had been elected to the United States Senator from Maine just a few years prior. Rooks was working as editorial page editor for the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, Maine when he realized Mitchell was no ordinary politician.Rooks said he was impressed by the soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader’s critical role in stabilizing regional politics when Mitchell served as United States Special Envoy for both Northern Ireland and Middle East Peace.
“I was impressed not just with his obviously keen intelligence, but his willingness to go out of his way to spend time with young journalists and help them,” Rooks said.The project drew from hundreds of manuscripts and oral recordings from Bowdoin’s Special Collections.
During the launch, Rooks said that working in Special Collections and Archives taught him how to separate interesting anecdotes from facts. This skill helped him build a narrative about Mitchell’s time in the Senate. He also worked to balance his research with interviews with Mitchell and people who know him. He said that as a journalist, a willingness to be curious and ask questions is crucial.
“I think the department is named after [Mitchell] because of his longtime connection to the College and because he is such a fine representation of what the College hopes its students will go out and do—[it’s a] sort of civic purpose for the common good,” Bowdoin Processing Archivist Caroline Moseley said.
A recipient of the Common Good Award and Bowdoin Prize, Mitchell has dedicated more than three decades to public service. During the late 1980s and early 90s, he was heavily involved in the passage of immigration reform, the Clean Air Act and Americans with Disabilities Act.
“People forget how much good can be accomplished through legislation,” Rooks said. “It’s something people don’t even really think about anymore. But it’s important that at least we consider it’s possible. In Mitchell’s time we got a lot done, and I don’t see the reason why we can’t go back to that.”
- 6 days ago
Lark Quartet innovates classic compositions
The Lark Quartet will make a stop at Bowdoin this Saturday to perform for students and members of the Brunswick community as a part of its celebratory 30th anniversary tour. A string quartet based in New York City, the group is acclaimed for its performances and commissionings of chamber music that fuse the western tradition with international influences.
Founded in 1985, the Lark Quartet is currently comprised of violinists Deborah Buck and Basia Danilow, violist Kathryn Lockwood and cellist Caroline Stinson. Though the original members have left the quartet, the current four continue to uphold the group’s tradition of showcasing the music of American composers.
“I’ve always been impressed with [the Lark Quartet],” said Associate Professor of Music and Chair of the Music Department Vineet Shende, who, along with Concert Manager Delmar Small, invited the group to campus.
Shende believes that the performance will offer an opportunity for the audience to discover a more modern perspective of the traditional string quartet, one that goes beyond music from the 18th or 19th centuries.
“It’s a different aesthetic from when you hear Beethoven or Haydn,” said Shende. “You appreciate [that kind of music], but at the same time there’s this rarified idea that it’s something from the past. It’s almost like you’re looking at something in a museum as opposed to something that’s living and breathing and has something to do with the world that we’re living in today.”
In its performance on Saturday, the Lark will demonstrate this new perception of string quartets by combining music by composers of today, including Aaron Jay Kernis, Andrew Waggoner and Chinese-American composer Zhou Long with the iconic 1893 compositions of French composer Charles Debussy.
The Debussy piece, however, also deviates from the classical western idea of string quartet music, with influences from Javanese music that Debussy heard at the Paris World Fair.
“It’s almost like [the group is] presenting this world of where concert music is today, with the myriad of influences that we have," Shende said. "We see that moment where things kind of open up, and it becomes no longer something that’s just about western European elite culture, but really has all these other influences in it.”
“Commissioning new works is now more standard than it used to be,” said Stinson in an interview with the Orient. “Most groups do it in some way, but I don’t know of another quartet that has been as consistently committed to commissioning new works as the Lark.”
Lark members work to keep the group’s history alive by performing pieces that the group has previously commissioned in an attempt to establish a repertoire that will have an enduring presence on the music scene.
“Everybody benefits when a piece has an extended performance life and people are exposed to it," Stinson said. "Audiences get to know it. Other groups can hear something, pick it up as their own. [It can] lead to new points of view, new takes on things, new interactions between groups and performers.”
Music performed and commissioned by Lark has been very well-received. “Sarabande Simple; Sarabande Double" from String Quartet No. 2 "Musica Instrumentalis" by American composer Aaron Jay Kernis was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1998.
Stinson remarked that the group’s program may not seem very streamlined at first glance.
“Nothing sounds like anything else, but everything has wonderful interrelationships,” she said.
In addition to the concert on Saturday evening, the Lark Quartet will host a master class for Bowdoin students, which is open to the public to watch. The members of Lark will listen to students play and offer advice and suggestions.
“At Bowdoin we have a vibrant chamber music program,” said Shende. “It’s nice that whenever the music department brings in groups like this in—highly regarded professional groups—we get them to work with students, too. It’s not just putting on a concert.”
The Lark Quartet's master class will take place in Kanbar Auditorium in Studzinski Recital Hall on Saturday, September 24th at 10 a.m. The group’s performance will take place in Kanbar Auditorium later that evening at 7:30 p.m.
- September 16
New a cappella group Bear Tones promotes gender inclusivity
This week, Bowdoin a cappella groups have been busy with auditions, call-backs and inducting new members into the six organizations on campus—including the most recent addition to the a cappella community: Bear Tones, a group for female and treble voices. The group was founded to fill the void left by Bella Mafia, an all-female group which was founded in 2006 and dissolved last fall.
Anna Schwartzberg ’17, a member of Ursus Verses and president of the A Cappella Council, as well as Max Middleton ’16, of the Meddiebempsters and former president of the A Cappella Council, sought to balance out the a cappella groups on campus. The call was answered when Professor of Music Robert Greenlee recommended Rose Etzel ’19 for their strong skills in leadership, conducting and music theory.
On the sign-up sheet for the group, Etzel, who uses they/them/theirs pronouns, listed Bear Tones as “a female/treble a cappella group,” noting that “female/treble means anyone with female or non-binary gender identities, inclusive of all trans people.” Two people had already committed to the group before auditions began on Monday; 23 people auditioned this week, and eight were accepted, according to Etzel.
Seeking to provide a space for greater inclusivity on campus, Etzel founded Bear Tones to counter what they believe is a gendered space in a cappella.
“I never like the idea of how binary the whole gender situation is, especially with a capella groups. It always feels kind of exclusive and restricting,” they said. “If they’re musically qualified, who cares?”
Etzel hopes to form another community for trans people on campus.
“It’s always been kind of a weird situation for people if there’s someone who’s gender nonconforming and wants to be in an a cappella group,” they said. “It’s been like, ‘Will I belong in this group that’s all-male or all-female? Will it be comfortable?’”
Etzel intends to prepare the group for a Family Weekend concert, which has typically been the first concert of the year for all a cappella groups. Beyond creating a new sound and offering another option for female/treble voices at Bowdoin, they have goals beyond simply performing.“My goals—not necessarily musical goals—are just kind of to put it out there that it’s possible to be more inclusive in that kind of stereotypical a cappella environment, which has always been kind of structured and set in stone—so it’s good to bring that new vibe into it,” Etzel said.
Noah Dubay ‘19, a member of the Longfellows who also uses they/them/theirs pronouns, was excited to hear of Etzel’s founding of the gender-inclusive group.
“There’s this whole idea of ‘vocal cohesion’ and the idea that the voices have to mesh, and so you have to wonder, even if someone who identifies as a man and wasn’t assigned male at birth—can the Longfellows, say, like, ‘Well, your voice type isn’t exactly what we’re looking for?’” Dubay said.
“And then that raises the question of, ‘Is that considered discriminatory, or not?’ considering they could say the same thing to someone who is cisgender and identifies as male,” Dubay continued, speaking to the need for vocal cohesion.
With the growing inclusion of gender nonconforming voices, Dubay hopes that Bear Tones has set a precedent for more innovative types of a capella.
“I think [that] moving beyond gender and specific vocal parts can musically diversify an a cappella group. We have a cappella groups that are more interested in specific types of music and specific types of composition, as opposed to, ‘Well, we’re all here because we’re men and we sing like this,’ you know? It’s an invitation for more creative musical thought and I think it’s a challenge, but it’s an optimistic challenge,” Dubay said.
They see Bear Tones as an opportunity to create additional spaces for trans people on campus and greater inclusivity.
“I think it’s exciting that it’s not going to be a duplicate copy of Bella Mafia,” said Dubay. “And I think that this new and different stance that they’re taking on it is just opening a door to all sorts of other opportunities.”
Schwartzberg sees the group as an opportunity to draw upperclassmen to a cappella. Involving upperclassmen may also promote the longevity of the group. Cole Burkhardt ‘18, vice president of the A Cappella Council, said that without upperclassmen, Bear Tones has the potential to fall apart. Schwartzberg suggested that the group may also have spring auditions.
“Obviously they’re filling the same niche of a treble-voice, all-female group on campus and filling out that missing piece. But I think they will develop their own unique identity,” Middleton said.
“That’s the amazing thing about Bowdoin a cappella, that we have six groups on a pretty small campus, which is already absurd, and the fact that all six groups are good, and that each one is able to have their own identity, visually and musically. I have no doubt that the Bear Tones will be able to find their own,” he continued.
In carving out its own niche on campus, Bear Tones joins a conversation with implications beyond Brunswick.
“These days, you hear more and more about organizations, companies branching out in different ways. It’s coming on the national scene, too. College campuses are definitely the fore-front of that,” Etzel said.
- September 16
Senior revamps Bowdoin Music Collective
Last night, the Bowdoin Music Collective (BMC) hosted its annual open mic night at Ladd House, which featured the usual slam poetry, singing and instrumentation. But according to BMC co-president Matt Leventhal ’17, this year is different as it’s the kick-off event for what the BMC hopes to be a year of revival of the music scene on campus.
According to Leventhal, the student-directed club will focus specifically on cultivating an inclusive and diverse platform for musicians and music enthusiasts alike, partnering with various student organizations in an effort to appeal to a wide range of the student body.
“Our club has been white male dominated for the last year or so and we’re trying to break that stereotype,” said Leventhal. “Anyone with even an interest in music, or if they want to form a band, or if they just want to be involved in event planning—everyone is welcome.”
This inclusive energy was clear in the living room of Ladd, where a variety of singers, slam poets, bands and walk-ons took stage to a chorus of whoops and claps from the audience. Tobi Omola ’19, programming director and BMC representative for Ladd, said he was eager to host the event and show the campus community another dimension of the house.
“As Ladd programming director, I also hope that it shows that Ladd isn’t only a party space,” he said. “This is a nice event where people can feel comfortable coming in and out—and it’s not the pub, it’s a homely environment.”
This concept of home is not unfamiliar to Leventhal, as he aims to instill a similar sense of belonging among what he hopes will become a burgeoning campus community of active musicians.
“There’s so much that can be done to make people feel welcome and at home,” he said. “[Music] unites people. It’s another form of school spirit, in a way.” For him, it’s all about putting in what he calls the “leg work”: coordinating events, connecting artists and making things happen behind-the-scenes.
“We have so much power here to make the music scene what we want, that I think the only limiting factor is people’s ability to commit time,” he said. “So I’m trying to take the load off of a lot of people who may or may not have free time to put into this, and sort of put in that time myself so all they have to do is show up and play.”
Leventhal has collaborated on planning a multitude of events with the Bowdoin Organic Garden, the Outing Club, Bowdoin Art Society and Peer Health in order to broaden the reach of the club.
“Bowdoin can do so much better with making its music scene a social scene,” he said. “If we can make things happen, week after week, that are really student-oriented, my hope is that it will bring people together. The ideal is that suddenly [events] are popping up everywhere and we have a very vibrant social music scene.”
The BMC has plans to host a Jazz Night on Thursday, September 29 at Jack Magee’s Pub and Grill.
- September 16
‘Practice for Life’: Bowdoin professors co-write book analyzing student decision-making
It was their fascination with the student mind that led Associate Professor of Education Nancy Jennings and Suzanne Lovett, associate professor of psychology, to co-write “Practice for Life: Making Decisions in College,” a book highlighting the everyday decision-making processes of liberal arts students.
Co-written alongside professors from Wellesley, the book describes the collective findings from research on over 200 college students at Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Smith, Middlebury, Trinity and Wellesley colleges. It serves as a guidebook, showcase and tool for high school and college students, parents and academics alike.
The book has its roots in the New England Consortium on Assessment and Student Learning (NECASL), which brought together a group of researchers, faculty and professors from seven New England colleges from 2006 through 2011. The consortium met to talk and share data about student learning, with the goal of exploring the intersection between students’ decision-making and their evolution throughout college.
In particular, NECASL collected data based on interviews between trained students and their peers, allowing for an honest, open dynamic. The interviewees were selected via random sampling, and include a wide range of genders, ethnicities and backgrounds.
Practice of Life is the culmination of these findings. Although the book exclusively showcases experiences drawn from students that attended elite liberal arts colleges, the authors think that the behaviors and sentiments echoed in the book are common to college students around the country.
“We think the book applies to everyone because it’s all about decision-making and everyone has to make these decisions,” said Lovett. “What courses am I going to take? How am I going to get myself engaged? Who am I going to have as friends?”
According to Jennings, the authors were most surprised to discover that seemingly small or trivial interactions, such as talking to a professor outside of class or saying hello to a floormate proved to be the most essential to students’ experiences.
“In all arenas, small decisions students made ended up having huge impact on how their college experience went,” said Jennings.
The authors collected the data from the NECASL project and examined the research in the context of five key areas: connection, time management, academic engagement, advice and sense of belonging. The data was then illuminated by anecdotal accounts of decisions students make every day.
Said Jennings, “The more students that were using these decisions as opportunities to learn about themselves, the better their college experience was.”
After collecting and examining the data collected over five years, the authors wrote the book over the course of two years. They wrote the beginning and the end together, but divided up the writing of the chapters while receiving feedback from each other.
Lovett said that the book’s reception has been overwhelmingly positive, although certain critics have argued that the book fails to give a how-to guide on navigating campus life. She maintained, however, that it was not their mission to curate an instructional handbook on the exact ways to make decisions in college.
“We consciously decided when writing the book that we weren’t going to do that,” Lovett said. “We can’t say what the steps [of decision-making] are.”
Instead, the book urges students to explore different avenues of problem solving and decision-making as well as encourages them to think of college as a continuous process of starting and restarting.
- September 16
SymmetryWorks! guest lecturer transforms math into art
Dr. Frank Farris, a professor of mathematics at Santa Clara University, is creating mathematical art—and he is doing it with the help of Bowdoin students. Using his original software, “SymmetryWorks!,” which was worked on by Bridget Went ’17 and Son Ngo ’17 this summer, Farris transforms his photographs into vivid wallpapers, illustrating both the principles of visual beauty and symmetry. Through lectures, a workshop and an exhibit, Farris shared his work with the Bowdoin community this past week.
“These started as mathematical diagrams to explain something about geometry,” Farris said. “In the 90s, I realized the method had artistic potential, but it wasn’t until 2011 that I really got the software to put photographs with the pattern-making mathematics.”
Irritated by the narrow definition of a pattern in a geometry textbook, Farris set out to correct it, keeping in mind a pattern’s visual and emotional effect. This idea led to the original code for SymmetryWorks! As Farris explains in his 2015 book, “Creating Symmetry: The Artful Mathematics of Wallpaper Patterns,” there are 17 different wallpaper types which are described as “a pattern that repeats perfectly in two independent directions.” Using these wallpaper types, SymmetryWorks! transforms colors or even photographs into various designs.
Farris has come a long way from his first wallpapers, which he created with Microsoft Excel. His images (both wallpapers and variations of symmetry) are fantastical and kaleidoscope-like, and now hang in the gallery of the Edwards Center for Art and Dance. A few of his designs are printed on fabrics; Farris sells these fabrics on spoonflower.com, an online fabric store. One can hardly tell that each of these patterns comes from photographs of things like flowers or chopped up red peppers.
“I think I conform to traditional values of [art],” Farris said. “Sometimes I engage in humor, like the [photo of] fish turning into [the wallpaper with a repeating shape of a] fish...I have a little bit of a zany side, but there’s also this quasi-sacred side of meditative and mysterious beauty.”Farris points to his three works that venture into the three-dimensional realm. Using Adobe Photoshop, Farris was able to impose his original two-dimensional pattern around a three-dimensional shape. In one image, termed a “variation of symmetry,” patterned spheres float over a lake at night with a mountain in the background. This scene was created with the same kind of software and mathematics that the film industry uses for graphics.
“[I tell my students] mathematics is beautiful, mathematics is useful and mathematics is developmental,” Farris said. “Sometimes I will bring in a PowerPoint to say, ‘Well let me tell you a little more [about] what I meant by mathematics is beautiful,’ and then I show them some of this stuff. [Mathematics is] this abstract realm where there’s all this beautiful stuff, but then [these pieces channel] that into the realm where others can see.”
With the help of Went and Ngo, Farris is now able to share this beauty more easily. Invited by Assistant Professor of Computer Science Sean Barker, Went and Ngo worked with Farris this summer, communicating via Skype, to make the software more user-friendly, fast and aesthetically pleasing.
“[Farris is] not a programmer himself, so the software was really raw,” Went said. “Our job over the summer was to make it more useable, especially for artists who may not necessarily understand the mathematical underpinnings.”
Meeting with Barker about the mathematics of symmetry and using their knowledge of the programming language C++, the two students added functions such as sliders to make the software more usable and to make the interface “guide artists towards more aesthetically pleasing patterns.”
“It’s really cool, this idea that you can create a pattern real time and have complete control over how it turns out,” Went said. “But also there’s this component of unpredictability. You don’t know what you’re going to end up creating.”
The software is open-source, intended for the use of “certain specialist artists” according to Farris, though he plans to one day make an Adobe Photoshop plug-in. Farris hopes this project will extend past just himself and artists. “My hope is this will successfully engage the Bowdoin community and beyond in this kind of joyful playing with patterns,” he said.
Students have already begun using the software. This week, Farris critiqued students’ designs made with SymmetryWorks! in A. LeRoy Greason Professor of Art Mark Wethli’s 3000-level visual art class, Abstraction. Farris hopes more Bowdoin students will be interested in the project and help take it to its next level, perhaps in relation to harnessing the software’s three-dimensional potential.
“I think some of [my ideas for the software’s expansion] realistically might happen on campus this year,” Farris said. “I think towards the end of the week there will be some meetings about what the Bowdoin community wants to do, what has been the perceived interest, is there energy for people to pick this up.”
“SymmetryWorks!: The Mathematical Art of Frank Farris,” will be displayed in Edwards until September 23.
- September 9
WBOR budget slashed, eBoard to host fall concert
On Sunday, the Entertainment Board (eBoard) announced that this year’s Fall Concert will feature Louis the Child, a Chicago-based electronic duo. Last year, WBOR, Bowdoin’s on-campus radio station, sponsored the event, and brought Shabazz Palaces’ alternative hip-hop sound to Smith Union.
Over the summer, when the two groups were informed of their Student Activities Funding Committee (SAFC) budgets for the 2016-17 school year, they learned that the fall concert had been allocated to eBoard, while WBOR’s concert budget had been cut in half.
According to WBOR station manager Elizabeth Snowdon ’17, WBOR was allocated $22,227 for their 2016-17 operating budget, with $10,000 for the concert series; the budget for the 2015 fall concert alone was $22,048. Last year, the station received $29,706 for its total operating budget, and the year before that, it was given $30,846, Snowden said in an email to the Orient.
The details of the eBoard’s 2016-17 operating budget cannot be disclosed, according to Brendan Civale ’17, co-chair of the eBoard.
The two groups are completely separate, according to Snowdon, but they have considered joining forces to host concerts.
WBOR maintains about 80 members each semester and hosts 10 to 15 community DJs on 91.1 FM, according to Snowdon. EBoard currently has 13 members, all of whom have been elected to serve on the committee.
After learning of their respective operating budgets, Benson reached out to Civale and co-chair of the eBoard Arindam Jurakhan ’17 to discuss what had happened. They also considered potential collaboration for the fall concert.
“I said, ‘Look, I know you have a nice new fall budget, [but] we just happened to get our already shoestring concert budget cut in half,’ to a level where it’s essentially not sustainable,” he said. “It’s really our chance to leave a legacy for the music scene on this campus.”
Civale said eBoard ultimately decided to not collaborate with WBOR for the fall concert because the deadline was fast-approaching and the process became too hectic. Jurakhan said he believes February would be a good time to collaborate with WBOR.
When Snowdon learned of eBoard’s role in planning the Fall Concert, she said she felt that a “pretty clear priority” had been given to eBoard, after what WBOR considered a big compromise in bringing Shabazz Palaces to campus, an event intended to appeal to a wider audience.
“It was our last shebang,” she said. “It felt like we were put on notice with eBoard.”
According to Silvia Serban, associate director of student activities, the decision to delegate the Fall Concert to eBoard was an attempt to try something new in giving eBoard a chance this year.
Irfan Alam ’18, chair of the SAFC, expressed his confidence in eBoard’s ability to accommodate student tastes with the shows they bring to campus.
“We definitely know that the eBoard has historically worked well with Student Activities in communication and trying to build [and] foster that relationship, so anything they do is executed efficiently,” he said.
As an at-large representative last year, Alam did not work directly with operating budgets and had no comment on WBOR and SAFC’s relationship in the past.
Alam said that through a deliberation process, the SAFC allocates about $680,000 to be spread across student organizations during the academic year.
Addressing the controversy that has surrounded the potential crossover between representatives of SAFC and eBoard, Alam cited the guidelines for funding on the Bowdoin Student Government website, which the SAFC is required to adhere to in each buget deliberation.
“It is not a place where you automatically get funding if you’re an SAFC member,” he said. “We always try to remember the fact that the SAFC money comes from students’ actual pockets that they paid for in the Student Activities fee. So when we think of students paying to see events, or speakers, or whatever, we always think about, ‘what do the students want?’”
When asked if SAFC relegated the Fall Concert to eBoard instead of WBOR because of high attendance at eBoard-sponsored events, Alam suggested that eBoard and WBOR serve different purposes on campus.
“I wouldn’t say WBOR is or isn’t bringing anything to campus,” Alam said. “A lot of us on SAFC appreciate the fact that WBOR brings alternative music genres to Bowdoin, because without it, we would have an absence of it.”
SAFC hopes WBOR’s 2016-17 concert series budget will be used to fund three mini-concerts, according to Alam. Serban added that WBOR’s funds could be allocated to sponsor smaller-scale college house programming.
Snowdon said she is satisfied with WBOR’s underground culture, but not with its campus presence, and is actively thinking of ways to improve the station and attract new members.
“It’s something we’ve been chewing on for a couple of months,” said Snowdon.
Benson said the station has been a critical part of his Bowdoin experience. “It’s the only space I feel comfortable on campus…I think the administration is scared of what WBOR can become. Maybe they think of creativity as dangerous, at least in some contexts,” he said. “The space is sort of our own.”
“These are clearly the thoughts of a guy who’s become way too embroiled in a minor campus issue,” Benson added.
Louis the Child will play in Smith Union on Oct. 14 at 11 p.m. EBoard is in the process of determining a student-band opener.
- September 9
Cinema Studies program screens ‘The Fits,’ film that tackles adolescence through dance
Students and Brunswick residents alike flooded Kresge Auditorium last Saturday evening for a screening of “The Fits,” a film about mass hysteria among an inner city dance team in Cincinnati. The drama, which is director and producer Anna Rose Holmer’s first feature film, was produced on a micro-budget at Venice’s Biennale College Cinema department, and premiered at both the 2015 Venice International Film Festival and the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
Saturday’s screening was the Cinema Studies Program’s first screening of the year, and was scheduled by Professor Allison Cooper in hopes to draw first-years, upperclassmen and town residents alike on the first weekend of the semester.
The story follows an 11-year-old, Toni, as she joins an all-girls drill team at her local community center and is plagued by a series of ‘fits.’ According to Cooper, it’s a story about belonging, about faking it and about adolescence—themes that, although singular in their manifestation of mass psychogenic illness and inner-city drill team dynamics, were well-received by the crowd on Saturday.
“The whole mystery of these fits that these girls succumb to becomes a metaphor for Toni trying to figure out what adolescence is and what it means to be a girl, because she’s on the cusp of becoming an adolescent,” said Professor Cooper. “It’s all a mystery—it’s a mystery to all of us. So it’s amazingly rich for this student film.”
“I wonder what percentage of Bowdoin students know about drill and how many students are aware of this strange, inexplicable phenomenon of the mass psychogenic illness,” she added. “It offers two completely different things, in a very realistic way... I wanted them to be surprised and delighted.”
According to Sebastian Hernandez ’20, the event was not only an interesting take on the psychology of adolescence and femininity, but also a thought-provoking chem-free option on a weekend night.
“I think the fits were a metaphor for fitting in, but also about being a woman,” Hernandez said. “Because it only happens to women and you don’t know for sure if she has a real fit or not. It seemed like because it was a movie about a young girl, only girls came… More guys should have come.”
- 6 days ago
NCAA settlement calls attention to collegiate concussions
Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan and Senior Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Scott Meiklejohn informed all former student-athletes via email last week that their name and current mailing address were given to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as per its request in connection with a proposed class action settlement related to concussions. The College also shared the contact details of current student athletes, according to the email.
The NCAA Student-Athlete Concussion Injury Litigation website, which Ryan and Meiklejohn linked to in their email, states that if the settlement is approved on May 5, it would entitle all current and former student-athletes—at Bowdoin and all other NCAA member institutions—to medical monitoring that would screen for concussions and “assess symptoms related to persistent post-concussion syndrome, as well as cognitive, mood, behavioral and motor problems that may be associated with mid-to late-life onset diseases resulting from concussions and/or subconcussive hits.”
The NCAA will allocate $70 million to this medical monitoring program if the settlement is approved. In addition, it will allocate $5 million to concussion research. Medical monitoring will extend fifty years after the date the settlement takes effect.
Although the hearing is not scheduled until May, the NCAA has requested all athlete contact information. Comments in support of the settlement or requests for exclusion must be filed by March 10, 2017.
Former NCAA football and soccer players were the ones to originally file the lawsuits against the NCAA.
The athletes claimed that the NCAA was “negligent and had breached its duty to protect all current and former student-athletes by failing to adopt appropriate rules regarding concussions and/or manage the risks from concussions,” according to the litigation website.
Although settlement talks were initiated over two years ago, Thursday’s email to alums marks the first time the College has reached out to the Polar Bear community regarding the settlement.
Before this notification, many current and former athletes may not have been aware of their inclusion or their eligibility for concussion-related medical expense reimbursement. However, Bowdoin’s insurance policies cover the costs of all injuries that occur while a student is a member of a varsity athletic team, according to Ryan.
Despite going forward with the settlement, the NCAA does not believe it acted inappropriately in dealing with the student-athlete cases that brought about the class-action suit.
“The NCAA denies all allegations of wrongdoing and liability and believes that its conduct was lawful. The NCAA, however, is settling to avoid the substantial cost, inconvenience and disruption of litigation,” according to the website.
As part of the settlement, NCAA also proposes to adopt five new concussion management policies for its member institutions: baseline testing, no same day return to play, medical personnel with training in the diagnosis to be present at games and available at practices, a reporting mechanism for diagnosed concussions and required NCAA-approved concussion training and education for athletes and athletic staff.
However, Bowdoin already has the proposed policies in place for its own athletic programs so, if approved, the settlement is not likely to make substantial changes to the College’s policies.
“We don’t have a policy change because we were already doing what they’re proposing,” said Director of Athletic Training Dan Davies. “So that’s the good news for us and the good news for our student-athletes, that we were taking the proactive route five, six seven years ago rather than what people are falling behind in trying to catch up with.”
For baseline testing, every varsity athlete at the College has to complete imPACT testing, the King-Devick Test, Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) test and, new as of this year, the Sway test.
Davies said that in the fourteen years he’s been at Bowdoin, Athletics has never allowed someone suspected to have a concussion back into play. This year, the Bowdoin Concussion Assessment, Management and Return to Play Guidelines were also updated to increase the time that a player is required to take off from a sport after sustaining a concussion.
Ryan said it is standard practice for medical personnel trained in recognizing and treating concussions to be on hand at games and practices for contact sports.
Regarding the College’s efforts to provide education on concussions, Ryan said the athletic department meets with the dean’s office and has spoken about concussions and academic accommodations for recovering students at faculty meetings and open lunches, most recently last spring.
Although the NCAA class action settlement proposes a new reporting mechanism, Bowdoin has already been tracking this data through a NESCAC initiative.
As the only conference in the nation to participate in conference-wide concussion monitoring, the NESCAC is ahead of the curve with concussion awareness. The system that collects this data, known as the Head Injury Tracking (HIT) Project, was made available to NESCAC schools two years ago and expanded to all Maine high schools in August 2015.
“[Bowdoin has] been doing it all so [the NCAA is] catching up to us rather than us catching up to them,” said Davies. “We’re fortunate in that we feel like we have great policies in place to help support our students and those are in line with the guidelines that the NCAA has put in place.”
“In college concussions, we’re looking for information about each student’s mechanism of concussion injury, pertinent medical history (date of last menstrual period and history of concussion, depression/anxiety, migraines, ADD/ADHD) and how severe symptoms are near the time of injury,” wrote HIT Project Administrator Hannah Willihan in an email to the Orient. “We then analyze how long it takes to return to full academics and athletics to look for correlations. The million dollar question becomes ‘are there circumstances that can predict shorter or longer recovery from concussion?’”
Despite being proactive with concussion management and reporting strategies, Bowdoin’s reported concussion numbers have remained fairly static over the past five years, never varying by more than five from year to year since 2011. Last year, there were 62 concussions for players on 14 athletic teams according to Ryan.
- 6 days ago
NESCAC showdown as field hockey goes up against rival Middlebury
With wins at Wesleyan (1-4 overall, 0-1 NESCAC) and Colby (2-3 overall, 1-2 NESCAC) last week, the Bowdoin Field Hockey team retained its No. 1 national ranking and is slated to face defending National Champion No. 3 Middlebury tomorrow in the Polar Bears’ biggest matchup of the regular season.
The Polar Bears and Panthers have dominated the league, facing off in the NESCAC Championship match for the past five years. Bowdoin was victorious in the NESCAC final last year, but was ultimately bested by Middlebury in the National Championship game.
“Losing to Middlebury in the National Championship last year is something the returners on this team will never forget,” said captain Kimmy Ganong ’17. “Although we all have that memory of how we felt on that field at the end of 70 minutes, we know that this is a new season with a different team. However, the goal is still the same—to beat every single opponent we face. Our focus at the moment is the game on Saturday and nothing else.”
Any anticipation for the match hasn’t changed the team’s approach to the week as they hone in on continuing to improve.
“Our focus this week has been just like any other week—getting better at the little things,” said Ganong. “[Head Coach Nicky Pearson] challenges each and every one of us to get better every day. Each member of this team is expected to come to practice with goals set and things to work on that will help this team win.”
The Polar Bears have started the year with an incredible run. After a win in the season opener to University of New England (UNE), the Polar Bears have knocked off four NESCAC opponents in a row.
The team hasn’t shown any signs of weakness; their closest game thus far was a 3-1 victory against UNE. In league play, the team has only allowed one goal all season, which came in a clinical 6-1 victory against Colby on Tuesday. Despite the margin of victory, the team is not letting up and continues to look for areas upon which to improve.
“It is extremely important to all of us that we learn from each game so we can make improvements for our next game,” said Ganong. “Something that stood out to us all about the Colby game was that we came out flat in warm-ups and the first half.”
“Luckily we went ahead 2-1 at the end of the first half and then were able to really step up our play in the second half and score four more goals.”
With four national titles in the past decade, the program is one of the most decorated at Bowdoin and knows very well the high level of play the sport demands.
“This team is coached and expected to play Bowdoin field hockey for all 70 minutes of the game,” said Ganong. “We remind ourselves of that and we hold each other accountable because we know that is what it takes to win.”
With Colby behind them, the Polar Bears are now focusing completely on the Panthers, who have had an impressive start to the season themselves, winning all three games so far including two NESCAC matchups against Connecticut College and Amherst. The revenge match will take place tomorrow at noon at Middlebury.
- 6 days ago
Women's tennis gears up for ITA Regionals focusing on individual strengths
The Bowdoin Women’s Tennis team will be traveling to Boston this weekend to compete against NESCAC rivals and other Division III schools in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) New England Regionals. The ITA, hosted this year by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the second of three tournaments the team will compete in this fall and also the most important.
“The ITA is a really good way to gauge where we are as a team and see a lot of opponents we’ll play against in the spring,” captain Tess Trinka ’18 said. “We also see opponents we won’t see in the spring, so it’s good to mix it up and try out new competition. It’s definitely the biggest event of the fall for us.”
Although spring is the main season for tennis, the fall represents a unique opportunity for the players to focus on their own successes as well as those of the team. Unlike the spring season, when all matches affect Bowdoin’s record, the results of fall competitions only contribute to individual standings.
Furthermore, only players who qualify get the chance to compete in the fall tournaments. This year, six women from Bowdoin will compete in the ITA as five singles players and three doubles teams.
Joulia Likhanskaia ’17 enters the singles tournament as the third seed this year and the team of Likhanskaia and Samantha Stadler ’17 will enter the doubles bracket seeded third as well.
The competitors have big shoes to fill after the 2015 ITA. Last year, two Bowdoin doubles teams—Pilar Giffenig ’17/Sarah Shadowens ’19 and Tiffany Cheng ’16/Likhanskaia—advanced to the semifinals, with Cheng/Likhanskaia moving on to a final match against ultimate tournament champions Yu/Chong from Wesleyan.
On the singles side, Likhanskaia and Cheng, originally seeded second and thirteenth, respectively, advanced to the round of 16, while Trinka advanced to the round of eight.Last weekend, the women squared off against Division I teams at their first tournament at Stony Brook.
“[Stony Brook] was the first college match for our freshmen, and that’s an adjustment for everyone,” said Trinka. “It’s tough because tennis is an individual sport, and in college when it becomes a team sport that can be a really hard transition. But our first years are doing such a good job.”
This spring, the team lost one of its key players with Cheng graduating, but despite this setback, the squad heading to MIT is nothing but eager and hopeful.
“We’ve only been in season for three weeks or so and we’ve only played one individual tournament so far,” said Stalder. “But from what I’ve seen, I’m expecting good things.”
- 6 days ago
Cross country off to a fast start with strong home performance
The Bowdoin Invitational I this past weekend was a strong opening meet for both the women’s and men’s cross country teams, setting the program up well for the rest of the season.
The women’s team placed first out of four teams, with captain Sarah Kelley ’18 placing first in the five-kilometer race with a time of 18:47.7. Anne McKee ’20, Sarah Kinney ’19 and Julia O’Rourke ’19 also represented the Bowdoin women in the overall top five.
The men placed second out of five teams, only scoring lower than Nova Scotia’s St. Francis Xavier University. Matt Jacobson ’17 was the Polar Bears’ top performer, placing fourth in the eight kilometer race with a time of 25:20.9. Andrew McGowan ’19, Bridger Tomlin ’17 and Naphtali Moulton ’19 also finished in the top ten.
Head Coach Peter Slovenski thought the teams performed well, especially given that it was the first meet of the season.
“This time of year we are working really hard training, and are not yet in peak racing condition, so I think we did very well considering the circumstances,” he said. “The St. Francis team—in the men’s race especially—went out pretty aggressively, but we stayed with our own race plan and showed good patience and poise.”
The men have won the invitational for the past three years, but last Saturday, both squads raced against entirely different teams than in previous years. However, such turnover is fairly common at cross country meets. In addition to St. Francis, the University of New England and Emmanuel College sent both their men’s and women’s teams to the invitational for the first time, while Lyndon State College’s women returned for a second year.
Members of last year’s graduating class, including All-American Lucy Skinner ’16, were certainly missed, but Slovenski is pleased with the team’s new leadership.
“This year’s seniors are showing great leadership, especially captains Nick Walker [’16] and Tomlin on the men’s side, and Meghan Bellerose ’17, Gillian Kramer ’17 and Kelley for the women,” Slovenski said.
Slovenski was also impressed by the performance of many first-time competitors, especially Demi Feder ’17. Even though Feder is already an accomplished track athlete, the invitational was her first-ever cross country race and she was the Polar Bears’ fifth finisher. The teams’ first year runners also had a strong opening meet, as seen by McKee on the women’s side and Bennett Sneath ’20, who placed 16th overall and was the top first year runner for the men’s team.
“We are really lucky that [McKee] and [Sneath] have made an impact on the team right away as first years,” Slovenski said.
While pleased with the teams’ performances, Slovenski still sees areas for improvement. The spread, which is the time between the first and fifth finisher on a team, for the men’s team was 66 seconds and for the women’s was 43 seconds. Slovenski hopes to improve the spreads of both teams come championship season in November and thus bring a consistently fast top five to their more competitive meets.
Overall, the teams’ strong performances this past weekend is an affirmation of the work the athletes have put in so far and builds anticipation for the rest of the season.
“I think this is going to be a really exciting season,” Kelley said. “For cross country, these first meets are more of a workout and a way to build our confidence and endurance for later in the season, but after last weekend we have a lot of confidence going into Saturday.”
Tomorrow at 1 p.m., the teams will host the Bowdoin Invitational II against Endicott, Wellesley, Wentworth, University of Southern Maine and University of Maine at Presque Isle.
Looking at the season so far, Slovenski is optimistic about the meet.
“Our top runners will be ready to place well next week,” he said.
- 6 days ago
Fear and loathing in Glasgow: the Old Firm returns after four-year absence
From Manchester to Milan, Istanbul to Rome, few things stir primal passions quite like a local derby, the name given to soccer matches between bitter geographic rivals like Arsenal and Tottenham, who contest the North London Derby, or River Plate and Boca Juniors in Buenos Aires’s Superclásico. Fewer still incite the level of sectarian hatred and violence of Britain’s greatest rivalry, the Old Firm derby between Glasgow rivals Celtic and Rangers, which made its return to the top flight of Scottish football on September 10th after a four-year absence.
The origins of the name Old Firm are unclear, but the results (and the hatred) are not. The two teams have maintained a dual hegemony over Scottish football since inception, winning a combined 101 of 120 league titles, including the last 31 titles.
They say familiarity breeds contempt, and the crosstown rivals are certainly no strangers, but the roots of animosity go much deeper than that. Rangers’ identity as an establishment Scottish, largely Protestant, club was already largely developed when Celtic was founded in 1888 as a way of raising money for East Glasgow’s relatively poor Irish Catholic immigrant population.
The rivalry increasingly took on a political and religious sectarian dimension in the early 20th century, as the Catholic-Protestant, Irish-British, and Irish Republican-Ulster Loyalist identities all became entrenched in respective club identity. Celtic supporters often brandish the Irish flag and sing songs in support of a united Ireland and sometimes even the IRA, while their Rangers supporting counterparts wave the Union Jack and Ulster flag, deride the pope and express support for Northern Ireland.
This deeply entrenched divide has made the Old Firm a natural battleground, both literally and figuratively, in the ever-ongoing religious and political sectarianism in Glasgow, even after the end of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Rangers famously maintained an unwritten rule not to sign Catholic players, finally broken in 1989, and violence at Old Firm matches between the two groups of supporters is the norm. As recently as 2011, Celtic’s Northern Irish Catholic manager Neil Lennon and a number of players were mailed bullets by Rangers supporters. Likewise, a number of high profile murders and assaults in Glasgow, often before or after Old Firm matches, have been linked to sectarianism.
Tensions have been somewhat quelled in recent years, thanks in part to Rangers’ bankruptcy and subsequent relegation to the lowest tier of the Scottish football hierarchy in 2012. After Rangers finally won promotion back to the Scottish Premier League last season, the Old Firm finally met in the league last Saturday at Celtic Park in East Glasgow.
Despite an energized crowd and a roaring rendition of their signature pre-match anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (a tune more famously employed by Liverpool supporters, mind you), the action on the pitch was relatively listless. Rangers sat deep early to absorb pressure and were punished again and again by an incisive Celtic attack, who cruised to a 5-1 drubbing of the crosstown rivals. New Celtic signing Moussa Dembélé, just 19 years old, dazzled with a perfect hat-trick, the first in an Old Firm league match since 1966. Celtic captain Scott Brown accurately summed it up when he said, “It was men versus boys.”
It is a bit ironic that, as much as supporters of Glasgow’s Green and White might hate to admit it, Celtic and Rangers need each other now more than ever. Without Rangers in the top-flight, the last four seasons in the Scottish Premiership have been marked by Celtic dominance and four consecutive titles. For comparison, last year’s upstart darlings Aberdeen finished a full fifteen points off the pace. The lack of parity and competition at the top has meant a similar lack of interest in the Scottish league. Viewership figures and TV revenues have remained flat, all while Scotland’s neighbor to the south has seen the value of the English Premier League’s TV deals explode to the point where even the worst Premier League clubs are among the richest in Europe.
A resurgent Rangers back in the Scottish Prem to challenge Celtic hegemony means increased interest and more cash for both. To illustrate, last year’s Scottish Cup tie between the two sides drew 100 million viewers globally, and Celtic’s chief exec Peter Lawwell has recently admitted that Rangers’ absence from the top flight has cost Celtic upwards of $50 million. It should be in everyone’s interest then, whether your allegiance is Celtic, Rangers or neutral, to see the Old Firm resume one of the world’s most bitter and storied rivalries back in the top flight of Scottish football.
- September 16
Run of a lifetime: cross country coach reflects
Jerry LeVasseur is one of the toughest guys on campus, according to Cross Country Head Coach Peter Slovenski.
At 78 years old, LeVasseur is a volunteer coach with the cross country and track and field teams and still competes frequently in road races and senior games at regional, national and international levels.
“[LeVasseur] would run a road race on a Saturday, then drive somewhere else and be in another road race on a Saturday afternoon and then wake up and be in a road race on Sunday,” said Slovenski. “He’s just such an enthusiastic competitor and the students have been both impressed by what he does and they’ve learned from what he does.”
Often seen taking pictures of the team at practices and meets, LeVasseur is an integral member of the coaching staff and an unfailing source of positivity and inspiration for the team—for his present accomplishments and past struggles.
When LeVasseur was six years old, he and his mother were caught in the Barnum and Bailey Circus Fire, one of the worst fire disasters in United States history.
The circus tent had been waterproofed with a highly flammable mixture of paraffin and gasoline and the whole tent burned to the ground in ten minutes. One-hundred-sixty-eight people perished, including LeVasseur’s mother, and more than 700 were injured.
LeVasseur came out of the fire alive but in critical condition with severe burns on his upper body, head and arms. He lost half of his right index finger and the rest of his fingertips.
While in the hospital, LeVasseur recalled hearing someone say, “I don’t think he’s going to make it,” and he thought to himself, “Yes, I am.”
From that moment on, LeVasseur has continued to demonstrate immense resilience and determination, not allowing physical and emotional trauma to deter him from his passions.
According to the National Senior Games Association, the doctors who treated his burns said he wouldn’t be able to do anything with his hands, as many of his fingers were fused together. After three years of plastic surgery procedures followed by extensive physical therapy, LeVasseur proved his doctors wrong and regained almost complete ability.
As a high school student, LeVasseur played softball, basketball and football, and was captain of his basketball and football teams his senior year.
“Nothing stopped me,” said LeVasseur. “My upper body was badly burned and maybe it drove me a little bit more. I played softball for years and I’d put a glove on my right hand and take it off to throw.”
LeVasseur continued with these sports until he was 30 and looked to running to stay fit when he stopped playing football and basketball. At 35, LeVasseur and his family began training huskies and competing in dog sled races, winning 11 championships in his 29-year career. It wasn’t until he was 41 that he began competing in running and other track and field events, including the triple jump and his favorite, steeplechase. According to LeVasseur, having a variety of interests helps him be comfortable with change, especially as he gets older.
“I’ve seen people driven by running, but that’s all they did and when they started getting slower, they couldn’t handle it. You have to accept that. You have to do other things. You have to have a well-rounded life,” said LeVasseur. “You accept that you age. We all have that disease and you aren’t going to be able to do the things that you used to at one time although you’d like to. But if you stay fit, you’re going to be able to do them longer and be happier.”
LeVasseur has also dedicated his time to inspiring people to stay fit by serving on the Maine, Connecticut and National Senior Games boards, as well as serving as president of a number of running clubs.
“I got involved because I wanted to make sure the right thing is done for the athlete,” said LeVasseur. “It’s all about what the organization is for, and sometimes people lose sight of that, whether it’s egos or power or whatever. You’ve got to maintain why you’re here: it’s the athlete.”
Although LeVasseur describes himself as competitive, he is also deeply committed to furthering the sport and encouraging other athletes. He is known to help and coach other competitors even during competitions.
“It’s more satisfying to help someone do their best than one’s own accomplishments,” said LeVasseur. “There was a fellow I met from Czech Republic who didn’t speak English and he was going to do the steeplechase for the first time. So before we started, I showed him how to go over the barriers safely, stepping on them and so forth, and he ended up getting third place. I was fifth and he came over, gave me a big hug and what that results in is a friendship.”
A passion to help and share his wealth of knowledge brought LeVasseur to Slovenski’s office in 2004.
“[LeVasseur] understands how to have a great attitude in the face of adversity, and that came through very much in our first conversation and in his first assignments,” said Slovenski. “From his work ethic, his intelligence, his attitude, the way he hustles in any assignment, the way he’s positive about every situation, he has an amazing can-do attitude and he can do it all.”
Yet, as a volunteer coach, LeVasseur feels he has also benefited from and learned a lot through his time here.
“From coaching, I’ve gotten the satisfaction of helping people do better, but also maintaining my fitness,” said LeVasseur. “When I’m working with them, I don’t feel 78 years old; I feel like one of them.”
Fitness is an integral part of LeVasseur’s life and he encourages others to focus on incorporating exercise into their lives as well.
“Since I was 71 or 72 I’ve gone through four cancers and the reason I’m still alive today, I believe, is because I’m fit,” said LeVasseur. “I try to get that across to the athletes here because you don’t have to do the intensity you’re doing, but continue doing something. You’ll feel so much better about your life, your work and everything will be so much easier because you’re fit.”
LeVasseur’s accomplishments have earned him many honors and awards in addition to World Masters Champion titles. LeVasseur ran with the Salt Lake City Olympic torch and the National Senior Games torch, and was inducted into the Maine Running Hall of Fame and the New England 65+ Running Hall of Fame.
“My wife and I were both put into the Maine Senior Games Hall of Fame, which was special,” said LeVasseur. “She’s a swimmer and she took up the triple jump maybe five or six years ago. She’s reigning champion from the Games in Sydney seven years ago and Italy three years ago, so hopefully she can do it again next year.”
In addition to continuing to work with the Bowdoin teams, LeVasseur looks forward to competing in the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Alabama and the World Masters Games in Auckland, New Zealand next year.
- September 16
Volleyball secures early victories coming off NESCAC title
After ending last season in the Quarterfinals of the NCAA DIII tournament—the program’s best-ever finish—the women’s volleyball team opened this season 3-1 at the MIT Invitational. With a straight-set win over Colby (0-5 overall) on Tuesday the team stands at 4-1 heading into matchups with Amherst and Williams this weekend.
Although competitors at the MIT Invitational had an extra week to practice as they do not have to comply with NESCAC practice regulations, the Polar Bears still impressed. The team beat Babson (5-2 overall) and Brandeis (3-5 overall) on Friday before taking down Roger Williams (5-4 overall) in a five set nail-biter the next day. Bowdoin, however, fell to tournament champs MIT (8-2 overall) hours later.
The team faired much better at the event than it did last year when it lost three of its four matches, two of them without winning a set. One of last year’s straight-set losses came against MIT, who the Polar Bears later beat in the Sweet 16 to secure their spot in the Elite Eight.
“We were mentally prepared and physically prepared for the weekend,” said Head Coach Erin Cady. Unfortunately we ran out of gas against MIT, but I definitely think talent-wise we match up against them nicely, and if we see them again it will be a different story.”
“Going into MIT, who you know are competitive, it was exhausting,” said captain Quincy Leech ’17. “But, I’m looking forward to seeing them in the postseason.”
Part of the team’s confidence stems from Cady’s dedication and mentality. Last year’s historic season was Cady’s first with the team and despite only recently arriving in Brunswick, Cady found her bearings at Bowdoin fairly quickly.
“She is the kind of person I feel like was always meant to be at Bowdoin. [The transition] was very seamless,” said Leech. “[Former Head Coach Karen] Corey did amazing things building up the program and that is obviously evident looking at our banners. But it’s just really cool that Coach Cady so effortlessly took that and made it into exactly, I think, what Bowdoin volleyball can become.”
In order to make this season as successful as last, the team will have to overcome the loss of last season’s captains, Christy Jewett ’16 and Hailey Wahl ’16. Not only were Jewett and Wahl instrumental in the team’s on-court success—Jewett had nearly 200 more career kills than any other Polar Bear—but also in their dynamic off the court as well. Since the 2014 team had no seniors, last season was their second as captains and that stability in personnel may have helped the team through the coaching transition.
Despite the losses of Jewett and Wahl, the team is confident and views the roster changes as an opportunity to confuse opponents rather than stifle its own offense.
“[Jewett] was obviously an amazing player for us and an offensive threat,” said Cady. “Looking this year at what we have, spreading our offense will be key for us. Other coaches look at our stats and they don’t know who we’re going to set. I think that’s something we really want to push, having that offensive diversity.”
The Polar Bears will put this new offensive strategy to the test tonight when they face Amherst, the only NESCAC team to defeat them last season, at 8 p.m. in Morrell Gymnasium. The team hopes to fix some of the problems it had against MIT, yet still knows all too well Cady won’t be content with victories this weekend.
“One of Cady’s biggest strengths is that she’s always thinking 10 steps ahead,” said Leech. “Once we think we’ve mastered something...she’s always trying to improve and I think that’s going to carry us far.”
- September 16
Football develops strong roster despite key losses
The Bowdoin Football Team is looking to rebound from last year’s 2-6 record. Last season, the first under Head Coach JB Wells, the team struggled to run the football, finishing last in rushing yards, rushing attempts, rushing touchdowns and yards per carry.
The Polar Bear defense has a tough season as well, giving up the most points and rushing yards in the NESCAC.
However, there were some bright spots for the team. The Polar Bears were far better through the air, with quarterbacks Noah Nelson ’19 and Tim Drakeley ’17 throwing for a combined 1945 yards, the second highest in the league. They also finished second in passing touchdown with 13.
Perhaps the team’s greatest skill last season was converting in the red zone. Bowdoin led the league in red zone conversion percentage, converting at an 80 percent clip. In other words, Bowdoin rarely wasted scoring opportunities within the opposing team’s 20-yard line.
Despite last year’s struggles and a difficult offseason, the Bowdoin football team enters the 2016 season with high energy and optimism.
According to captain Nadim Elhage ’17, the first-year class has looked particularly promising in the preseason, and Nate Richam-Odoi ’20 could be the answer to last season’s running game difficulties.
“He’s an absolute beast,” Elhage said. “He’s a strong kid, works really hard and he’s just an unbelievable runner. He’s extremely quick; in one play [in our scrimmage] against Tufts he made three or four kids miss.”
First-year slot receiver Chandler Gee ’20 also had a strong preseason.
“He’s really tiny, but he’s one of the fastest guys I’ve thrown to in a while,” Drakeley said.
On the defensive side of the football, a trio of linebackers, Joe Gowetski ’20, Christian Pridgen ’20 and Sydney Guerrier ’20, have stood out.
“This year’s freshmen came battle ready,” linebacker Latif Armiyaw ’18 said.
Outside of this promising freshmen class, the offseason was difficult for the football team. Even though the team lost less senior talent than in past years, several impact players quit or will miss the year due to injury.
Arguably the team’s best defensive player in 2015, Philippe Archambault, then a first year French-Canadian linebacker, left Bowdoin and returned to Canada. Furthermore, a handful of valuable contributors will miss the season while on academic probation.
Even though the team is smaller than in previous years, the players still like their chances for the season.
“We’re thinner than we’ve been in a long time, but I think the guys we’ve got right now are all-in guys…they’re all about winning” Elhage said.
On offense, two returning bright spots include wide receiver Nick Vailas ’18 and tight end Bryan Porter ’18, who received a second-team all-NESCAC honor last season.
Vailas was fourth in the NESCAC with 583 receiving yards in 2015, and Porter was 11th in the league with 425. They hauled in six and five touchdowns respectively.
When asked about offensive standouts, Elhage brought up two offensive linemen: Kyle Losardo ’17 and Brian Mullin ’17. Longtime starters, the duo will play an important role in the Polar Bears’ success this year.
Wide receivers Liam Blair-Ford ’17 and Ejaaz Jiu ’19 have also drawn praise during the preseason. Blair-Ford ’17 has come back in great shape, after ups and downs his previous three seasons and looks to play a prominent role this fall.
Jiu ’19, a member of the baseball team, is new to the football team this season.
“[Jiu] was a huge surprise. He’s a really big body to throw to,” Drakeley said.
With a lot of potential on the team, Elhage likes the program’s prospects this year in spite of offseason obstacles.
“I think we just need to believe,” said Elhage. “I know a lot of teams say that, but I think we have the right guys this year. Even if we don’t have the numbers, we have guys who truly believe and are truly hungry to get on the field.”
The team will open its season next Saturday at 1 p.m. at Middlebury. The home opener will be against Amherst at 1 p.m. on October 1.
- September 16
New first years boost golf teams' expectations with strong opening tournaments
Both the men’s and women’s golf teams improved on last year’s performances at this weekend’s Bowdoin Invitational, with the men’s team coming in sixth out of twelve teams and the women’s team coming in first out of two teams.
Part of the reason for the women’s team’s success, according to captain Meredith Sullivan ’17, was the contributions of two new team members, Caroline Farber ’20 and Emme McCabe ’20.
“They are both incredible golfers,” Sullivan said. “Adjusting to college competition is obviously tough coming out of high school, but they are doing a great job with it, for sure.”
Two of the first years on the men’s team, Jackson Harrower ’20 and Tom Dunleavy ’20, are also having an immediate impact as two of the top four Bowdoin scorers this weekend.
“The two freshmen are strong competitors,” said captain Thomas Spagnola ’17. “They have tournament experience from when they were in high school and are really passionate about golf, which is the most important thing. I am really optimistic about their desire to improve and they really want to qualify for NESCAC [playoffs].”
After beating both Colby and Bates this weekend, captain Martin Bernard ’17 believes that Bowdoin has a chance to be one of the top four teams at the NESCAC Qualifier and playing in the championships in the spring.
“It’s hard to say [if we will qualify] based on how other teams will play,” he said. “But I think we have a better chance this year of qualifying than we have since I’ve been here.”
Men’s Head Coach Tomas Fortson urges the team to focus on the weekly tournaments right now.
“I can’t think that far [ahead to the NESCAC Qualifier]” he said. “It is not healthy for any of us to be putting a lot of extra pressure on that. If we continue to improve and people continue to figure out how to compete at their best, we should have a good chance.”
Sullivan is more doubtful of the women’s chances of qualifying for the spring championships.
“It’s very tough competition in the NESCAC,” she said. “Williams won NCAA two years ago and Amherst and Middlebury are very strong. I honestly am not sure. It all depends on how we can perform this year. Obviously last year we couldn’t really come close to those teams, but this year I think we can definitely gain some ground on them.”
Although they appear to be stronger than last season, the women’s team still has room to improve their technical skills, according to Sullivan.
“I would say our weaknesses are probably around short game so like chipping and putting,” she said. “That’s all technical stuff that comes with literally just playing more, so as the season goes on that will definitely be a lot better.”
According to Spagnola, the main weakness of the men’s team is their lack of depth.
“The top programs have depth, from number one to basically their whole team,” Spagnola said. “Unfortunately, we don’t have that luxury. But this year, we have some depth. It’s really encouraging.”
As both teams look forward to the Maine State Tournament this weekend, their main goal is to keep improving.
“I don’t know if I’d put [my expectations] in terms of how I expect to finish in the tournament because it’s a similar field to what we just played in,” Bernard said. “More importantly it’s an opportunity to build on what was a reasonably good weekend, to build confidence and prepare further for the NESCAC.”
Fortson agrees that improvement is the most important goal for the team and believes that the team realizes this.
“These are absolutely excellent people, excellent kids who get it,” he said. “Get it in terms of what they’re here to do at Bowdoin...they understand our priorities within the program which is to commit to the process of getting better, of figuring out how to improve. They’re committed to that. They work hard and they are honest about it.”
- September 16
Sailing has scattered start to season
The Bowdoin sailing team opened its season with five regattas in one weekend and finished with mixed results. The team placed as high as first of eight teams at the Phil Harman Cup hosted by Maine Maritime Academy, and as low as 12th of 13 teams at the Toni Deutsch Regatta hosted by MIT. However, since nationals are not until the spring season, the team does not place high priority on races at this point in the season.
“We’re pretty heavily in the development stage right now,” Head Coach Frank Pizzo said. “But that’s no different from the team at this point in past years.”
“Right now we’re focused on the process of getting better,” Captain Hunter Moeller ’17 said. “We’re really trying to focus on working hard at lifts, working hard at practice and working on communication on the water. It’s all process-oriented at this point in the season.”
Many of the early season regattas are a big part of that process, as they provide the new members of the team a chance to gain valuable experience out on the water.
“Each year we have an influx of people who don’t know how to sail, so these first few weeks become a time of learning for them,” Captain Dana Bloch ’17 said. “We’re all trying to teach them and help integrate them onto the team and create an environment where everyone feels motivated to work really hard.”
Despite participating in five regattas in a single weekend, the team was able to stay organized and remain a cohesive unit. Two of the events this weekend were at Maine Maritime, another two were in Boston—at MIT and Harvard—and the fifth took place at Yale.
“We target these specific events because they are in close proximity to each other,” Pizzo said. “We know we can get a lot of people sailing and our coaches can see a lot of races, so it’s great experience and helps the team stay together.”
Pizzo chooses who races at each regatta, and there are a number of factors that are behind each decision.
“We know that certain hosts are really good at running events, so sometimes we want to expose somebody to a specific venue,” he said. “Other times, it’s about getting people experience. It’s also about rewarding who’s sailing well and having them sail at the best events—and I would say this changes on a weekly basis.”
Although seven team members graduated last spring, the team has an experienced senior class poised to fill those roles.
“One of the strengths of the team is that we have a really deep senior class that has done a ton of sailing for Bowdoin,” Pizzo said. “We have a lot of really great, supportive senior leaders so that’s huge for us because they are able to help us build the culture that we need to build for our team.”
However, Pizzo also noted several areas where the team needs improvement.
“I would say boat speed and starting are big focuses for us. We’ll chip away at those areas for now and get to where we need to be,” said Pizzo. “We have a full year to develop, which is a huge advantage as compared to a lot of other sports."
The team hopes that making these improvements over the course of this year will yield the desired results come spring.
“Our ultimate goal is to place well at nationals at the end of the season,” Moeller said. “In order for us to be successful we just need to keep working hard.”
The team will travel across New England this weekend for three more regattas taking place at Connecticut College, MIT/Boston University and the University of Vermont.