Playing with fire: censorship
In the close-knit environment that is a small liberal arts college, publications pushing the boundaries of humor will inevitably elicit controversy. Clearly there was some questionable material in the most recent issue of Ritalin; however, the Orient commends Bowdoin Student Government for reversing a decision that would have clearly set a dangerous precedent regarding the control of content in student publications. Despite the content of any campus publication, be it Ritalin, the Orient, or any school-funded periodical, good judgment should be left to the discretion of the editors.
As a student-run publication, the Orient is deeply invested in maintaining solitary control over the content of these pages. While the Orient feels that there are benefits to the faculty advisor system that is an integral part of the student organization system, the role of the faculty advisor should be limited to advising, and not controlling what is run in the pages of various campus publications. For this reason, the SOOC's initial decision to require that all of Ritalin's material be run by the scrutinizing eyes of an advisor borders upon excessive censorship and would have completely defeated the purpose of vesting the power of the press in the hands of Bowdoin students.
As Bowdoin students, we are responsible enough to be held accountable
for our own discretionary decisions. Let the Ritalin editors answer to
their readership and not to the whims of a select few.
Don't be confused: You're in good hands with Allstate, not Bowdoin College. In less than two months, the Class of 2003 will celebrate its graduation while simultaneously being ushered quickly out the door.
With its unfortunate policy, the College demands that students exit their four-year home just eight hours after graduation ceremonies begin. The 6:00 cut-off will, as usual, force hundreds of students and family members to make a hasty departure from underneath the pines.
Bowdoin's administration must change this procedure and allow seniors ample time for packing and celebrating one of the most important days of their lives. Not only is it unnecessary for May 24 to become a veritable stampede, but the prevention of this is well within Bowdoin's grasp: 12 hours...the dictator of a tyrannical regime got 12 years.
Like a broken relationship without a parting hug, the College will leave seniors bitter when they should and could be relishing in the last few hours after a crammed and stressful last month. As a very small college, Bowdoin can not claim that a shortly prolonged stay would truly affect summer schedules-it has nothing to lose from doing so.
It seems that the administration has become quite comfortable with leaving students hanging. Not just at the end of the year, but every semester. In December, individuals forced to stick around for Saturday finals were faced with a lack of school attention. Moulton Union, the one dining hall open, served an insubstantial brunch for less than three hours. The Cafe, Polar Express, and Jack McGee's did not open once and Smith Union had a late start at 10:00 a.m.
For a large contingency to be left with no on-campus sustenance at a time when each hour counts most is unacceptable. Simply because class is over and students will soon be on break is not a viable excuse for the lack of resources and opportunities. Conveniently, the polar points left on their cards were unused. Test-takers were left trying to coordinate travel arrangements with a simple meal and cup of coffee, just as they'll scramble for a duffel bag and extra trunk space.
Both cases are clean-cut examples of decisions made in detachment from campus needs and display a lack of recognition towards the school's number one priority: its students. Bowdoin's administration has more than enough time to alter their inexcusable final days policy. Leave students with the feeling that they're moving on from a close relationship and not that we're on the wrong end of a business transaction.