The Bowdoin Orient
Volume CXXXII, Number 1
September 8, 2000
News ... Features ... Opinion ... A&E ... Sports
This past Thursday, Defense Secretary William S. Cohen was awarded the Bowdoin
Prize, Bowdoins highest honor. Though Secretary Cohen spends the majority
of his time dealing with issues of international concern, in his acceptance
speech, Secretary Cohen spoke not of his days in the Pentagon, but rather, of
his days at Bowdoin.
The Bowdoin Prize, awarded once every five years, is bestowed upon the graduate or former member of the College or member of its faculty at the time of the award, who shall have made during the period the most distinctive contribution in any field of human endeavor.
Past recipients include former Senator George Mitchell 54 and Olympic gold medallist Joan Benoit Samuelson 79. Secretary Cohen entered Bowdoin in 1958, coming from Bangor Maine, where his family owned and operated a bakery. During his first year at Bowdoin, Secretary Cohen excelled on the basketball court.
His athletic success would continue throughout his collegiate career, culminating in his participation on the New England Hall of Fame team. During his acceptance speech, Secretary Cohen acknowledged that, upon entering Bowdoin, he was a jock in every sense of the word.
While he found athletic success rather easily, Secretary Cohen initially struggled to develop the intellectual fervor that he began to cultivate when confronted by former English Professor Gleason who insisted that Secretary Cohen, like the rest of his class, write a sonnet.
As Secretary Cohen told the crowd this past Thursday evening, at the time, he contested Gleasons request, claiming, Real men dont write poetry. In fact, up until that point, Secretary Cohen admitted he had yet to even open a book of poetry. However, under the guidance of Gleason, Secretary Cohen came to value the influence of poetry and literature, and as he stated, learned how to open up my mind.
Since writing that initial sonnet during his first year at Bowdoin, Secretary Cohen has authored or co-authored nine books, including works of fiction, poetry and writing of a political nature. Secretary Cohens interest in language expanded during his time at Bowdoin, where he completed a Latin major, receiving High Honors.
After leaving Bowdoin, he earned his L.L.B at Boston University Law School and returned to Bangor to practice. He was elected to public office in 1969, when he was awarded a seat on the Bangor City Council. Two years later, he was elected the Mayor of Bangor. When he decided to run in his first Congressional campaign, inspired by the idea of a Bowdoin student, he set out to march 600 miles across his congressional district in Maine.
His physical labor paid off when he was elected to his first of three terms in the House of Representatives. During his tenure, he served on the Judiciary Committee. Though a young Congressman, he soon gained national attention when he broke with party lines and voted against Nixon in the Watergate hearings.
In taking such a bold stance in the hearings, he was nationally recognized as an independent thinker in a highly partisan Congress. This past Thursday, Secretary Cohen commented on the importance of independent thinking when he addressed students in the crowd, urging them to always listen to your conscience and not to the crowd.
After three terms in the House of Representatives, Secretary Cohen entered the Senate in 1979, where he served on the Armed Services Committee and became a leader in issues of defense and national security. Secretary Cohen left the Senate after serving three terms, disappointed in the partisan nature of Congress.
Upon his departure, President Clinton asked him to serve as his Secretary of Defense.
In accepting the Bowdoin Prize, Secretary Cohen recounted his initial feelings of shock when he received the phone call from President Clinton. Why me? Secretary Cohen wondered.
President Clinton, like Secretary Cohen, wanted to transcend party lines, especially in the area of national security. By appointing a Republican Secretary of Defense to a Democratic administration, President Clinton was able to show that there are no party lines in issues of national security.
In talking with Secretary Cohen, he cited his four years as Secretary of Defense as his most rewarding and purposeful experience in public service.
However, in recounting the most important four years in his academic development, he described his years at Bowdoin. He credits Bowdoin with opening his mind and influencing the spirit and philosophy that has shaped his life.
When U.S. News and World Reports annual college rankings were released
last week, Bowdoin had climbed from ninth place to sixth under the category
of national liberal arts colleges. The excitement of the jump, however, was
dampened by the fact that the sixth place position was shared with Carleton,
Haverford, and Middlebury.
According to the admissions department, the schools position at sixth place is good news. Vice President for Admissions & Student Aid Richard Steele said that U.S. Newss college ranking is a way of reaching students who might not otherwise have heard of Bowdoin.
International students in particular may look to the rankings as a source of information on American colleges and universities. To students in developing countries with no access to college counseling, resources of this kind can be influential in the process of selecting a school.
But even students within the United States pay attention to the rankings, Steele said. The public is starved for objective information about [college] quality.
The objectiveness of U.S. Newss system has recently come under fire, however. Twenty-five percent of a schools rank is based on the fairly subjective category of reputation, as determined by a survey of academic officials from similar institutions.
The latest issue of the Washington Monthly discusses a report on the college rankings by the National Opinion Research Council, commissioned by U.S. News in 1997. The report, published in full on the Washington Monthly web site, claims that the weights used to combine various measures into an overall rating lacks any defensible empirical or theoretical basis.
But regardless of the accuracy of the ratings, the popularity of U.S. Newss college issue means that schools must at the very least remain conscious of their standing in the rankings.
When asked whether the rankings have affected admissions policy at Bowdoin, Steele said, I think we have bent over backwards to make sure that basic educational policy is not shaped artificially by the results of a survey that we know is imperfect.
Despite improvements over the past year to the student-faculty ratio, Bowdoin did particularly poorly in the area of faculty resources, dropping seven places. The low score of 57 stood out among Bowdoins otherwise high rankings.
U.S. News determines the faculty resources rank according to the variables of class size, average professor salary, student faculty ratio, and percentage of faculty that work full time.
According to Dean for Academic Affairs Craig McEwen, what hurt Bowdoin was the average salary statistic, which accounts for 35% of the faculty resources score. The College has had a growth in the number of professors during the past ten years, and because we have proportionally more new faculty at the assistant professor level, our average salary is lower, McEwen explained, calling U.S. Newss methods misleading and not very representative.
In addition to its overall rank, Bowdoin appeared in separate sections ranking the liberal arts colleges with the highest graduation rates and greatest selectivity, coming in fifth and seventh place respectively.
Bowdoin College is suing Gary A. Plante, the Colleges former controller,
for embezzling $50,545.59 from the school. According to the civil lawsuit, Plante
opened a Bowdoin bank account at Maine Bank & Trust and transferred funds
from it into another account. The suit was filed on July 3 in Cumberland County
Although the account was authorized to be opened, writes Gerry Boothby, associate treasurer of the College, in an affidavit filed with the lawsuit, Gary opened the account and used a signature stamp of Kent Chabotar as treasurer without Bowdoins authorization and set up the account so that only one signature was required for all transactions when, in general, Bowdoins bank accounts require two signatures for transactions over $5,000.
Plante had Maine Bank & Trust issue three treasurers checks to Polar Bear Investments and subsequently deposited the checks into a bank account at Peoples Heritage Bank. He ultimately withdrew the funds and used them in part to make a down payment on a home in Lewiston.
Plante also used a credit card issued jointly in his name and Bowdoins for personal benefit. Though he was authorized to use the card for legitimate purchases or expenses on behalf of the College, Plante purchased furniture on the card for $1,698.92 from a company called Lizell and had it delivered to his home this spring.
He also charged $449.46 in personal expenses to Bowdoin while on a trip to Las Vegas in March of 2000 and the $150 registration fee for his girlfriend at the annual meeting of the Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers in Montreal, Canada in August of 1999.
Plante, who was promoted to the position of controller in March of 1999, declined to comment on the situation.
According to Boothby, however, Gary admitted to embezzling monies from Bowdoin Gary told me that he had enormous pressure from a lot of sources and that he had not been thinking clearly. He also told me that he was so ashamed, that he did not know what to say, that he felt terrible, that he would cooperate fully and that he would get the money back to Bowdoin.
The College is demanding that Plante pay restitution, along with other damages, such as costs and attorneys fees.
To date, he has not made any repayment to Bowdoin. Police are continuing investigation of the case to determine whether Plante has embezzled any other funds from the school.
The Administration expects completion of the investigation in October or November.
Candidates for student government positions will be in a state of excitement
throughout the weekend as Bowdoin students hit the polls. In addition to voting
for class officers, students will also be voting to fill a vacant position on
the Student Executive Board (SEB) as well as voting on a constitutional referendum.
As announced by the SEB, from Friday September 8 to Sunday September 10, the student body of Bowdoin College will vote online (http://vote.bowdoin.edu) for their class officers, including president, vice president, treasurer, community service organizer, and class representative in congress.
This election will also coincide with an election for a vacant spot on the SEB and a vote on a constitutional referendum.
The student government, comprised of the SEB and the Student Congress (formerly known as the Student Assembly), is in charge of governing and representing the student body at Bowdoin. This year, after much debate and hard work, the government has decided to present a referendum to the constitution with the objective of being ...responsible for presenting student opinion to the administration, chartering organizations, filling Faculty and Trustee committee student positions, and supervising class officer elections.
On September 16, interviews will take place for the remaining eight positions in the Student Congress. (Students who wish to run for these positions must submit a letter of intent to the Smith Union information desk on Thursday, September 13.) This late election is a change from the last years with an aim to allow students ample time to consider the commitment of these positions.
Efforts have also been made by the student government to hold open and frequent dialogue with the entire student body. Most prominent of all was the establishment of the SEBs weekly office hours.
Starting this semester, every Tuesday and Wednesday, there will be SEB members available at the Smith Union Conference Room to answer questions and help solve problems that their fellow students might have during the week.
The SEB is hopeful that, through this function, students will be better aware of the SEBs attempts to act as their voices to the Administration, faculty, and the Board of Trustees. This is also a response to some recent surveys indicating that the Student Government is inaccessible.
In conjunction with the office hours, the SEB has also set up a new website of the student government featuring the names of members as well as updated news of the student government. This website, www.bowdoin.edu/studorgs/exec, was created from researching over 20 websites of student governments in universities and colleges across the United States.
Headlines are updated weekly and interactive options are available, allowing students to discuss on-campus issues directly with student government members.
The SEB has been working diligently toward its ultimate goal to better represent the students voices.
We want you to have trust in us and feel that we are working for you, said Eric Diamon 03, co-publicity officer of the SEB. At the same time, your feedback is equally important. The executive board encourages all students to do their part in creating more communication on campus. Please call, e-mail us or come to meet us at any time.
On September 18, the Brunswick Town Council will vote on a new parking ordinance
that will forbid parking on certain streets at night.
This new ordinance, if passed, will forbid parking between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. every day at the following locations: the east side of Park Row, between Bath Road and Longfellow Avenue; the north side of South Street, between Coffin Street and Maine Street; both sides of Longfellow Avenue, between Harpswell Road and Maine Street; and the west side of Maine Street, between Nobel Street and Boody Street.
The Student Executive Board (SEB) has expressed their displeasure at the possible ordinance.
The Student Executive Board believes that students should not have limited access to parking on streets in the overnight hours, said Jeff Favolise 01, chair of the SEB. The surrounding campus roads provide extra spots, and the ordinance puts even more pressure on an already difficult situation.
However, Director of Security Bruce Boucher expressed optimism about the ordinance. I think the purpose of the ordinance is to prevent the clogging up of the street by cars that park on those streets for days at a time. By forcing these cars to move, they allow students, faculty, and staff the ability to park until 1:00 A.M., when the [Hawthorne-Longfellow] library closes.
Favolise said he believes that the ordinance impacts every student. It is essential that the student body becomes interested in this issue and makes a strong push to open the roads for parking. He encourages students to join the Student Executive Board at the Brunswick Town Council Meeting on September 18 to express their opinions on this issue.
Many of the current parking problems began last year, when all first years were required to park in the lot on Stanwood Street due to the construction of Chamberlain Hall. Originally on loan by the National Guard, the lot was reopened this year in response to upperclassmen complaints of overcrowded lots and long walks to their dorms and apartments.
Many first years, though, complained about the new lots distance from campus and its nightly closure, which prevented many from accessing their cars when they needed to. This, in addition to poor lighting at the lot, resulted in a general feeling of insecurity among the students. However, new security measures have been implemented at the Stanwood lot in an effort to improve accessibility and safety. New light fixtures and an improved shuttle service between the lot and the campus provide extra security, and a card reader was installed to allow students full access to their cars anytime with their Bowdoin ID.
Still, these improvements result in mixed feelings about the lot. Daniel Abraham 04 said that he felt that The lot is pretty far from campus, but at least I feel safer with the shuttle service working.
Jasmine Cronin 04 said she believed that the walk is a pain.
According to the Bowdoin College 2000-2001 Parking and Motor Vehicle Regulations, all student-owned cars must be registered with Campus Security. A series of decals is used to show the parking lot designations for each car. All first-year students are required to show white decals and park in the Stanwood Street lot. All sophomores and juniors living in dorms are required to show orange decals and park at the Farley Field House. All seniors are required to show yellow decals and park on Coffin Street or in front of their apartments. Violations of these rules will result in the subsequent towing away of the vehicle, as well as a fine.
Imagine being able to apply for an internship at the National Institute for
Health, sign up for a job interview, and prepare your resume all without leaving
With a new service implemented by the Career Planning Center (CPC), this is now possible.
The CPC, in a venture with Experience Inc., has created a program in which students can receive information on academic opportunities specifically geared toward their interests. This program is called eRecruiting (also known as eBEAR).
The main purpose of this service is to keep students informed on opportunities in a manner that is most manageable for them.
Students biorhythms are different than our office hours. When our office is open isnt necessarily the most convenient time for students. The service enables us to help you create your own unique information loop, Career Planning Services Director Anne Shields said.
eRecruitings primary function is to gather information on what students current interests are based on a survey that each student fills out online that in turn keeps them up-to-date on career-related information that matches their specific interest(s).
One advantage of this new program is that a student will be able to customize an account online to meet his or her changing interests. Each students account (which is set up after the completion of the online survey) will have a password and therefore only that student will be able to retrieve the information in his or her account.
Because it is so personalized, a student may change his or her interests online as many times as he or she would like.
After filling out the survey, students can receive information on internships, summer jobs, full-time employment, mentoring, scholarships, networking, employer fellowships, and even grad school recruiting.
eRecruiting, while geared toward all Bowdoin students, is especially helpful to seniors who are searching for post-graduation employment. For example, the CPC runs on-campus recruiting programs in order to provide a link between students and employers. Seniors can log onto eRecruiting ahead of time and see which employers are coming to campus and for what jobs they are hiring.
While recruiting for employment is one of the programs main functions, eRecruiting also provides students with the opportunity to upload and prepare resumes and cover letters. Through the online program, students are able to gear their resumes toward their specific area of interest by emphasizing achievements in that area. In addition, students wishing to submit works of art, photographs, or designs will be able to do so through eRecruiting. The process, once the information is recorded, is quite manageable.
After a student completes a resume or cover letter through my documents, the information can then be loaded on through a three-step process that takes about 20 seconds, Shields said.
Not only is eRecruiting directly beneficial to students, but it also assists the CPC in determining in which areas of study they need to focus their job-search efforts.
It allows us to be in sync with the interests by using the information given in the surveys to plan strategically for our office, Shields said.
With the simplicity of eRecruiting, there now exists a more efficient way for students to handle job inquiries and career-related searches. In addition, this service is multifaceted, allowing students to be more organized and responsible with their job explorations.
Because of the [programs] versatility and wonder of technology, it doesnt have to be only recruiting; students have total control over what they do through eRecruiting, Shields said.
For more information, visit the CPCs website at www.bowdoin.edu/dept/CPC/.