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Volume CXXXIII, Number 14
February 1, 2002

A tradition ends: 1912-2002: The Bowdoin Publishing Co.

Responding to pressure from administrators, the Bowdoin Orient ended over 89 years of financial independence a week ago Tuesday, when the editors closed out the Orient's checking account at Fleet Bank in Brunswick. The bank account was the last vestige of the Bowdoin Publishing Company, once a legally-incorporated, tax-exempt, non-profit organization.

Throughout the history of the Company, the bank account was used to collect money that the Orient earned-both money from subscriptions and money from advertising. The SAFC and its predecessor, the Blanket Tax Committee, also traditionally supplemented the Orient's income through grants from the student activities fund.

The savings in the bank account were intended as a safety net in the event of a lack of funding from the College.

Director of Student Activities Burgie Howard had for several years been expressing his desire for the Orient to shut down its bank account, but the decision was officially made in May of last year, when the Orient received its 2001-2002 budget allocation from the SAFC.

In the budget allocation, chair of the SAFC Kate Donovan '02 informed Orient editors that the Fleet bank account would have to be closed out and those funds "relinquished" to the SAFC.

Because the SAFC did not grant the Orient the full amount requested to meet this year's operating budget, the Orient was forced to use its money from the bank account. Additional money from the account went toward a much needed computer upgrade, the primary funds of which were received from the Office of Planning and Development. The remaining money from the Fleet account now sits in an on-campus agency account, which does allow the Orient to save some money from year to year.

The story of the Bowdoin Publishing Company began June 10, 1912, when its constitution was adopted at what was then called a Students' Meeting. The Company was established to consolidate and manage the finances of both the Orient and the Quill, and it later managed the finances of the Alumnus Quarterly upon its creation in 1927. The Quill broke off from the Bowdoin Publishing Company in 1930, to be directed by its own student management; the Alumnus followed several years later, leaving the Orient as the only publication served by the Company for the rest of its existence.

The Company first started to file with the federal government as a tax-exempt, non-profit organization in 1968, and continued to do so each year until 1989.

The checking account, however, remained in existence until last week.