be to Student Government
The Orient has not recently cast itself as student government's
greatest fan. Yet, credit must be given where credit is due. This Monday
the faculty will vote on a measure to begin Thanksgiving break after students'
last classes on the Tuesday before turkey day on Thursday. This proposed
alteration of the academic calendar has only come before the faculty due
to the consistent efforts of Bowdoin's student government.
As it stands now, Bowdoin students are required to attend any classes
they might be so unfortunate as to have on the day before Thanksgiving.
This is not merely an annoyance but actually a discriminatory practice.
Students who live further away than New England-and Bowdoin's administration
is always at pain to suggest the geographical diversity of its students-always
find it nearly impossible to attend class Wednesday and find a flight
that will take them home at a reasonable hour before the next day's holiday.
The usual solution, for those woefully misguided souls who think
being home for the holiday with their family is more important than an
hour lecture, or an hour and a half seminar, is missing class. The faculty
is usually forgiving in such situations, yet these Wednesday classes unnecessarily
butt students into the uncomfortable role of negotiating their absences
with their professors. And this is just the case with the more understanding
professors; it is not unheard of for a more malevolent breed of instructor
to schedule a Wednesday exam, making a student's absence on the day before
Thanksgiving academically detrimental.
We talk incessantly on this campus about improving diversity and
tolerance at Bowdoin. When, year in and year out the Administration champions
a geographically discriminatory calendar, this rhetoric appears empty.
Must we, once again, make the assumption that only students from Maine,
Massachusetts, and Connecticut go to this school?
Last week we chided our student congress for the mild offense of
creating a photo database to accompany the online directory. But, at least
when it comes to the really important issues, student government is right
on track. And it is encouraging to find that even seniors, who will never
reap the benefits of any calendrical change, are fighting for substantial
changes to benefit other Bowdoin students.
So, while the administrative disconcern for students might be unsettling,
it is at least encouraging that we can lean on student government to badger
the Administration when it counts.