Cameron de Wet
News in brief: Middlebury students protest white nationalist speaker
Administrators at Middlebury College were forced to cancel a public lecture by Dr. Charles Murray, a political scientist and fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, due to overwhelming protest by students before the event began. Students chanted and waved signs expressing that Murray’s beliefs—which they perceived to be white supremacist—did not deserve a platform on Middlebury’s campus. Instead, Middlebury opted to livestream a conversation between Murray and Professor of International Politics and Economics Allison Stanger, which took place in a private location.
Murray had been invited by the school’s American Enterprise Club, and the lecture was co-sponsored by the political science department.
In the weeks leading up to the lecture, a number of Middlebury students, faculty and alumni expressed concerns about Murray’s beliefs. The Southern Poverty Law Center identifies Murray as a white nationalist. Murray coauthored a 1994 book titled “The Bell Curve,” which suggests that IQ differences are partially genetic and are responsible for racial inequality.
More than 600 students and faculty signed a letter to Middlebury President Laurie Patton condemning Murray’s invitation and Patton’s decision to give introductory remarks, according to the Vermont Digger. Additionally, over 450 Middlebury alumni signed a letter published in the Middlebury Campus condemning Murray’s invitation.
“This is not an issue of freedom of speech,” they wrote. “We think it is necessary to allow a diverse range of perspectives to be voiced at Middlebury … However, in this case we find the principle does not apply, due to not only the nature, but also the quality, of Dr. Murray’s scholarship. He paints arguments for the biological and intellectual superiority of white men with a thin veneer of quantitative rhetoric and academic authority.”
News in brief: Citizens file lawsuit over waterfront Mere Point land
A newly formed nonprofit group has filed a suit against the town of Brunswick for rejecting a citizen’s petition that called for Brunswick to vote on maintaining a waterfront property on Mere Point Road to turn it into a public park, reported the Bangor Daily News.
According to the Brunswick Citizens for Collaborative Government and Brunswick residents Robert Baskett and Soxna Dice, who filed the suit in the Portland Superior Court, the Brunswick Town Council based its decision to reject the petition and ultimately sell the property on incorrect legal advice given by Brunswick town attorney Stephen Langsdorf.
At a town council meeting in early February, Langsdorf explained that the Brunswick charter does not require the council to accept the petition, which would move the issue of the waterfront property to a referendum. In a referendum, the entire town of Brunswick would vote on whether the town should sell the property.
At that same meeting, the council debated the property’s value and accessibility as well as the need for increased public access to the coast. Revenue for the town and questions about the property’s merits were cited as reasons to sell.
Last September, the council held a contentious 5-4 vote to sell the property. According to Langsdorf, the vote to sell counted as an executive order, and the provision of the town charter on petitions calling for referendums only applies to town ordinances. Langsdorf also said that the town fulfilled the citizens’ right to petition the government by hearing the petition.
“The council is under no constitutional obligation to accept the petition’s demands,” he said.
As the citizen representative at the February meeting, Dice said that this was a misinterpretation of the town’s charter. According to Dice, the charter binds the council to accept the petition and hold the referendum.
The legality of the petition has been an long-standing issue since well before the February vote to reject the petition. Langsdorf filed a memorandum last November advising the petitioners that there were significant legal questions about the petition under the town’s charter. Despite these hesitations, the citizens continued their work gaining signatures. When the petition was submitted to the town it had over 1,100 signatures, the most on any petition in town history.
Brunswick acquired the property last year after its previous owners failed to pay property taxes for nearly a decade.
News in brief: ResLife extends application deadline for Howell House
The Office of Residential Life (ResLife) extended the application deadline for students hoping to live in Howell House to February 28 after the house did not get enough applicants during the initial round of College House applications. Applications to live in College Houses for the 2017-18 academic year were due February 12.
Howell is the only chem-free College House. It has rooms for 27 students.
ResLife will release College House decisions in early April. Unlike in past years, placements are non-binding, so students who are selected to live in a College House can choose to live there or to enter the regular housing lottery.
News in brief: Town Council to vote on bus service to Portland
The Brunswick Town Council will vote Monday on a proposal which would extend the Metro BREEZ bus service to Brunswick. The commuter bus service, which launched last summer, currently connects Portland, Falmouth, Yarmouth and Freeport with 10 round trips on weekdays and five on Saturdays.
A one-way ride from Brunswick to Portland would cost $3. If approved, the bus could start operating this summer.
The proposal would cost the town of Brunswick about $28,000 in the first year, $45,000 in the second and between $60,000 and $75,000 in the third, according to figures reported by the Portland Press Herald in December.
News in brief: Deaths from drug overdose in Maine hit all-time record
Three hundred seventy-eight deaths due to drug overdose were confirmed in the state of Maine in 2016, an all-time high and a 39 percent increase from 2015, which previously held the record, according to a release by the state Attorney General’s Office on February 2.
Opioid drugs were responsible for the majority of deaths. One hundred twenty-three deaths were attributed to heroin or morphine and 195 were attributed to non-pharmaceutical fentanyl, according to data from the University of Maine-Orono. While heroin deaths only increased by 15 percent since 2015, fentanyl deaths increased by 127 percent in 2016. Fentanyl is a schedule-II prescription drug that is between 50 and 100 times more powerful than morphine, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Last Thursday, the Maine State Legislature voted unanimously to create a task force to address the opioid crisis. The panel is expected to come up with recommendations for the legislature by April 30.
Harriet Fisher ’17 spent last summer mapping arrests in Maine as part of the Gibbons Summer Research Program. She found that many arrests across the state were due to possession, trafficking or consumption of opioids.
“[The opioid epidemic] is so omnipresent in Maine,” Fisher said. “I realized it cut across so many different demographics in Maine. You can see in the maps that it is really is all over the state, but … it isn’t something you see a lot at Bowdoin.”
News in brief: No construction on bridge over Androscoggin until 2019
The Frank J. Wood Bridge—the green bridge over the Androscoggin River that connects Brunswick and Topsham—will not undergo construction until at least 2019. The Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) will be investigating several alternative project options first to ensure compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act, the Times Record reported last Friday.
An inspection on the bridge last summer found “rapid deterioration of structural steel,” and the bridge was downgraded from “fair” to “poor” condition in August. The bridge currently has a 25-ton limit, which means heavy commercial trucks are barred from driving on it.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is still looking into the effects of different project options on the surrounding historic properties. In a draft report released on February 2, the FHWA outlined five options for the bridge—two that called for its rehabilitation and three that suggested constructing a new bridge. The options will be evaluated based on several factors, including environmental impact, ease of construction, impact on traffic and cost.
Additionally, the FHWA will be considering the impact of the bridge project on historic properties, even though the report found the bridge itself does not qualify as a historic landmark, as some community members had suggested in the past.
“The Frank J. Wood Bridge … does not represent emerging technology, nor is its construction associated with a significant event or person,” the report said.
However, several properties on both sides of the river are eligible for the National Historic Register, which means that the FHWA must consider the impact of the bridge project on these surroundings.
The FHWA is accepting public comments on the report until March 6.
News in brief: College restates support for affected students amid immigration concerns
In an email to students and employees on Tuesday, Associate Dean of Students for Diversity and Inclusion Leana Amáez wrote that she will serve as Bowdoin’s “point person” for students’ immigration-related issues. Amáez also reiterated the College’s commitment to supporting students affected by the immigration policies of President Donald Trump.
Amáez’s email cited deportation actions by federal immigration officers that made news last week as cause for “a heightened state of anxiety for vulnerable communities,” including members of the Bowdoin community. She noted, as President Clayton Rose has previously stated, that the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs has been in contact with students who could be affected by the policies, and continues to provide “appropriate support,” including access to legal resources.
On Tuesday, several major national news outlets reported that a 23-year-old man named Daniel Ramirez Medina, who had been protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program under the Obama administration, was arrested by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials in Seattle.
Under DACA, individuals who were brought to the United States undocumented as children could register with the government and receive permission to work or attend school, as well as a two-year relief from deportation. About 750,000 immigrants are registered with DACA nationwide.
In an executive order on January 25, Trump expanded the categories of immigrants who are considered a priority for deportation. Under the Obama administration, deportation priority was mostly reserved for individuals who were convicted of a serious crime or were deemed a threat to national security, but Trump’s executive order expanded this label to include people who “have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense” and gave immigration officials more discretion in deporting individuals.
Full data on the immigrants arrested by ICE since the executive order have not been made public.
News in brief: Sustainable Bowdoin to encourage green living
On Tuesday, Sustainable Bowdoin will launch the Green Living Commitment, a program designed to help students create healthy habits and reduce their carbon footprints.
The program is a revamped version of a previous Sustainable Bowdoin initiative, Green Dorm Room Certification. Bethany Taylor, the sustainability outreach coordinator, said that the new program is designed to be more individualized.
“If you really want to recycle, but your roommate is not at all interested, you are no longer responsible for their inaction,” Taylor said.
Through a survey, students can pledge to different actions and habits for three different levels of certification: Bronze, Silver and Green. An online checklist outlines a point system, where students earn points based on their habits. Low commitment activities, such as buying a plant, earn fewer points, while higher commitment activities, like carpooling to campus, earn more points.
Additionally, participants will be entered in a raffle each month to win prizes for their dorm depending on their certification level. The higher the certification, the better the prize.
“The competition should reinforce people’s participation,” Taylor said. “It’s ongoing [and] you are encouraged to go back if you want to raise yourself up a level.”
The Green Living Commitment will run this semester in conjunction with another campus-wide energy-saving competition that will begin on February 27, International Polar Bear Day, and run through April 22, Earth Day.
Taylor hopes that the Green Living Commitment will become a permanent part of Sustainable Bowdoin’s programming.
“This semester will be focused on taking in student feedback and coming up with a better version of it to start in the fall,” she said.
To promote the Green Living Commitment, Sustainable Bowdoin will host a “Love Your Planet Valentine” event where students can write notes to each other in the spirit of the holiday.
News in brief: Town to sell Mere Point lot after rejecting petition
On Monday, Brunswick Town Council voted (7-2) against a citizens’ petition that called for the town to hold a referendum on whether to reverse the council’s previous decision to sell a waterfront property on Mere Point Road. The petition proposed that the property be converted into a community park in an effort to preserve public access to the coastline. The petition gathered over 1,100 signatures, the most in town history.
Brunswick will move forward with the sale of the property, as the council originally decided in a contentious 5-4 vote last September. The town had acquired the property last year after its previous owners failed to pay property taxes for nearly a decade.
Soxna Dice, a principal organizer speaking on behalf of the petitioners, feared for the town’s loss of public waterfront access. At the town meeting on Monday, she argued that a park at Mere Point would be accessible for all citizens, such as school groups on field trips, clammers and the elderly. According to Councilor Stephen Walker, there is currently scarce public access to the waterfront for Brunswick residents.
Though questions were raised concerning the council’s legal obligation to meet the petition’s demands, the council’s major concerns included the cost of converting the property into a park as well as the quality of the property itself and its accessibility for the elderly.
During its deliberation, the town council considered the merits of the property as a public park. Objectors found contention with the potential cost to the town. Not only would Brunswick be unable to collect the tax revenue on the waterfront property, but the town would also be obligated to front the costs to convert the land into an accessible park. According to Dice, the petitioners did not propose a budget for the park, arguing that that responsibility would fall to the town if the referendum passed.
Though the Council is moving forward to sell the property, councilors on both sides of the vote expressed commitment to expanding public access to the waterfront in the future.
News in brief: Immigration attorneys to answer questions Monday
Attorneys Mike Murray and Sara Fleming of FordMurray Law in Portland will visit the College on Monday to discuss policies and address student concerns in light of immigration policy decisions recently made by the Trump administration. Both Fleming and Murray work in immigration law and have experience with clients in higher education and student visas.
The event will be held at 4 p.m. in Main Lounge in Moulton Union and is open to the community.
Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster announced the event in an email to all students and employees on January 17. Individuals were able to submit anonymous questions for the attorneys via an online survey until January 27.
News in brief: Middlebury achieves carbon neutrality
This December, Middlebury College declared itself carbon neutral. It is the fifth college in the United States to do so, following the footsteps of the College of the Atlantic, Green Mountain College, the University of Minnesota at Morris and Colby College.
“I am thrilled to announce this significant moment in Middlebury’s history of environmental leadership,” Laurie Patton, president of Middlebury, wrote in a statement.
In 2007, trustees from Middlebury resolved to make the college carbon neutral by the end of 2016. To complete the process, the college spent $1.5 billion on improving energy efficiency, built a heating facility that relied on wood biomass instead of fuel and invested in solar energy projects. Additionally, Middlebury is using carbon credits it earned from the nearby Bread Loaf Mountain campus, which is made a pact to conserve in 2014.
Bowdoin, like Middlebury, pledged in 2007 to go carbon neutral. In 2009, a group of students, staff, energy consultants and trustees came up with the Climate Neutrality Implementation Plan, which calls for Bowdoin to become carbon neutral by 2020. Between 2009 and 2014, the College purchased renewable energy credits to offset emissions, a policy that may pick back up as the 2020 deadline nears. The College has also worked on improving energy efficiency, switched from heating oil to natural gas for certain buildings and installed solar panels on the roof of the Sidney J. Watson Arena.
News in brief: New clubs hope to pick up steam in spring semester
This semester, three new clubs will join the ranks of over 100 organizations chartered by the College. They each have hopes of creating spaces and communities for issues and activities not represented by current groups. The groups are dedicated to analyzing feminism through film, discussing socioeconomic status at Bowdoin and producing student-driven TED talks.
Films About Feminism aims to eliminate the negative stigma surrounding feminism through analyzing gender roles in film. Audrey Leland ’18 was inspired to found the club after a successful screening and discussion of the film “Trainwreck” at Helmreich House last year. The club plans to host weekly screenings of selected movies followed by discussions on Friday afternoons at 24 College Street.
“We thought it’d be nice to open up to the wider Bowdoin community and welcome anybody who wants to watch movies with us and look at them through a lens,” Leland said.
Quest for Excellence is a another newly chartered organization. Originally a chapter of Questbridge, a national organization, it aims to provide a space dedicated to student discussion of socioeconomic disparities on campus. The group maintains its national affiliation with QuestBridge.
“Class isn’t something that is rude to talk about, and it deserves dialogue from all sides. And these conversations need to start ASAP, if not already,” said Gerlin Leu ’19, the group’s leader.
Kevin Trinh ’19 formed TEDx Bowdoin after watching TED talks. Unlike other clubs, TEDx Bowdoin had to follow an established TED procedure before it could be approved.
“TED has pages upon pages of rules that we have to follow, and a lot of suggestions that we should be following as well,” Trinh said.
Editor's Note, February 6, 10:55 a.m.: An earlier version of this article stated that Quest for Excellence decided to separate from its national affiliation with QuestBridge. It has been modified to reflect that the group is still affiilated with QuestBridge.
News in brief: No charges for students after court summons
Three Bowdoin seniors, Liam Ford, Kevin Kearney and Daniel Wanger, who received court summons for disorderly conduct by the Brunswick Police Department (BPD) on October 23 will not face charges. The District Attorney’s office issued no complaint for their summons, meaning they were effectively dismissed, according to BPD.
The students were issued summons after BPD had visited their property on Garrison Street and issued warnings multiple times earlier in the semester.
News in brief: Former professor Huntington dies at 97
Charles E. “Chuck” Huntington, professor of biology emeritus and former director of the Bowdoin Scientific Station on Kent Island, died on January 2, 2017, surrounded by his family. He was 97 years old.
Huntington earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Yale University in 1942. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II and was released to inactive duty in 1946 as a lieutenant, at which point he returned to Yale, earning his doctorate in biology in 1952.
Huntington began teaching in the biology department at Bowdoin in 1953 after being introduced to the Bowdoin Scientific Station on Kent Island in the Bay of Fundy by Ray Paynter ’47, a fellow graduate student at Yale.
“Chuck fell in love with the place,” said Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Natural Sciences Nat Wheelwright of Huntington’s relationship with Kent Island. “[When he started teaching at Bowdoin] he wandered out to Kent Island to figure out what to study, and there he found these small birds that are relatives of albatrosses called Leach’s storm petrels. They’re about the size of a robin, and they nest in burrows in the ground and so Chuck decided to essentially dedicate his life to learning about the biology of Leach’s storm petrels.”
Huntington ended up studying Leach’s storm petrels for more than half a century. His work with the Leach’s storm petrel may be one of the most detailed and longest running studies of a single animal population in the field of biology.
“He single-mindedly continued returning to Kent Island summer after summer and would reach into these holes, pull the birds out, put bands on them,” said Wheelwright. “If they already were banded, [he] would look into his records to see how old they were and who they had been mated with through their entire life, so it was a really detailed, long-term focused study of survival, reproduction, longevity in one population of birds.”
Wheelwright noted that Huntington continued to return to the island until only a few years ago when he became unable to do so because of his health.
“He never lost his attachment to Kent Island,” Wheelwright said.
Huntington served as the director of the Bowdoin Scientific Station on Kent Island for more than 30 years.
“He was a very kind man,” said Wheelwright. “He would drop everything if somebody said there was an interesting bird to see in Freeport or Bangor.”
News in brief: Security to seek highly regarded accreditation
In February, the Office of Safety and Security will formally embark on an accreditation program with the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA), the highest accreditation available for campus public safety departments. This is the first time Security will be nationally accredited.
Associate Director of Safety and Security David Profit hopes that Security will become fully accredited within two years.
IACLEA includes members at nearly 1,200 colleges and universities in 10 countries. Security is seeking accreditation with the group in order to improve its practices and procedures.
“What they do is essentially they look to identify best practices and look at situations that involve high risk or might be of low incidence and try to establish a system to have standards,” Profit said.
The current IACLEA Accreditation Standards Manual lists 210 standards, which address a variety of issues pertaining to subjects like evidence collection, officer training, Title IX and community engagement.
For the past year, Security has been conducting a self-study to begin tailoring its practices to IACLEA standards. Once Security formally begins the process, it will have three years to complete the accreditation. After the accreditation is approved by an outside assessor, IACLEA will check in every three years to ensure Security continues to meet its standards.
“Becoming nationally accredited has been a goal of mine ever since I’ve been here at Bowdoin,” said Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols.
Profit belives the accreditation process will be fairly smooth.
“It’s a long process, but once you get there it’s fairly easy to manage,” Profit said. “But it’s a team effort. It’s not just [Nichols] and I. We have our supervisors heavily involved and our assistant director because they’ve got their fingers on the pulse as well, and they’re out there doing this stuff every day.”
News in brief: OneCard account glitch temporarily displays spring semester Polar Points
A technical error on December 1 caused students’ Polar Points to reflect the amount of points they have at the beginning of the semester. Students’ balances did not actually change. The issue resulted from the setup of spring meal plans and was fixed by Monday evening. Semester Polar Points are scheduled to reset on December 20.
Polar Points were not removed from students’ OneCards and students were still able to spend their remaining fall Polar Points.
“The issue was only in the web application, not the card system itself,” Assistant Director for OneCard Coordinator Chris Bird wrote in an email to the Orient.
The incident was caused by spring meal plans and Polar Points being loaded onto student accounts in order to produce spring billing information. A setting on the OneCard website failed to notice that spring plans were inactive, resulting in the program showing students their spring account balance instead of their fall ones.
Several students emailed Bird over the weekend with screenshots that demonstrated the problem.
Some students who noticed the error believed that their Polar Points had been reset, but discovered this was not the case.
“I think most people working at places where Polar Points were usable were aware of the issue. When I went to buy something from the [convenience store], they said that Polar Points weren’t reset and that the spring funds weren’t usable yet,” said Amanda Trent ’20.
Staff from the OneCard Office and Bowdoin Information Technology staff fixed the display error.
News in brief: Kristof and Riley to talk free speech
Manhattan Institute fellow and Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley and Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof will speak at an event titled “Up for Discussion: Free Speech and Political Correctness on College Campuses” at 7:30 p.m. on Monday in Pickard Theater. The discussion will be moderated by Associate Professor of History and Environmental Studies Connie Chiang.
Registration for the event opened online on November 18 and students obtained tickets on a first-come, first-served basis. A limited number of students also registered to join the speakers for a “dessert reception” in Thorne Hall after the event to debrief the talk and discuss the issues raised. Tickets for both the event and the reception are no longer available.
In a November 2015 column, Kristof 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.”
Riley expressed dismay last May after he was disinvited to speak at Virginia Tech due to concerns that his “writings on race in The Wall Street Journal would spark protests.”
Both speakers were selected by a working group of students, faculty and staff, chaired by President Clayton Rose. The choice of speakers was influenced by a survey last December gauging student interest for speakers, in which the theme of free speech and political correctness on college campuses garnered the most support.
News in brief: Jack's Juice Bar will close doors
Next week will be the last for Jack’s Juice Bar, due to its struggle to make a profit since opening in fall of 2015. An offshoot of Jack McGee’s Pub & Grill, the juice bar offers fresh-to-order fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies on weekdays, some of which will be available in the Café and the C-Store next semester.
Although the juice bar had a small regular customer base, student workers said business was typically very slow.
“There’s not a lot of people who came, and they kept doing a lot of renovations to try to make it more profitable,” said Sophie Lemkin ’19, who began working at the juice bar last semester.
Juices and smooties were priced between $3.49 and $4.99, depending on the ingredients. This semester, the juice bar cut back from two employees per shift to one.
“For a business to exist at this school at all it has to be [that] everyone would want to come there, just because it’s such a small school,” she said. “So we had a number of people who enjoyed the juice bar. If this was at a big school with the same percentage of people who liked juice, it would be a fine business.”
Lemkin said she will miss the juice bar, although students will still be able to get juice in other places.
“I don’t think the juice bar closing will really affect the Bowdoin community. It just will affect the 10 employees who worked there,” she said.
News in brief: Town enacts marijuana moratorium
On November 21, the Brunswick Town Council voted unanimously to immediately begin a 50-day moratorium that prohibits the licensing of marijuana franchises in the town, the Forecaster reported. The council will consider extending the moratorium to 180 days at a hearing scheduled for December 15. Brunswick’s Town Charter prohibits moratoriums of longer than 50 days without a public hearing.
Maine voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use in November by a margin of roughly 4,000 votes. The results of the election were contested and the measure will begin to undergo recount on December 5.
Assuming the results hold, the law still allows local municipalities to restrict or ban marijuana sales. Town Council members argued that a moratorium is necessary while the town decides on regulations.
News in brief: Roux Center plan moves forward
Last week the Brunswick Planning Board unanimously approved an initial sketch plan for the College’s new Roux Center for the Environment. The sketch includes a footprint of the site and the floor plans for the buildings Vice President and Interim Head of Finance and Administration Matthew Orlando hopes that the final design done by early April so the College can begin the bidding process.
“[The architect] Tim Mansfield has been in hundreds of planning boards all over the place, and our [Director of Capital Projects] Don Borkowski does a great job putting together the full package, so [the board] was very impressed with the organization and the comprehensiveness of it,” Orlando said.
Earlier this year, the Programming Committee—led by Interim Dean for Academic Affairs Jen Scanlon—met with the architects on a monthly basis to go over updated designs and make suggestions on the initial sketch plan. According to Orlando, President Clayton Rose set the goal to make the building not limited to the scientific study of the environment, but rather a space for interdisciplinary exploration.
“The idea is to have the classroom space in there flexible enough so it can accommodate all sorts of disciplines and not just be focused on scientific research,” Orlando said.
Orlando also hopes that the building will be able to achieve LEED Platinum certification, the highest level of sustainability certification awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.
“That is a challenge to achieve any time you’re talking about laboratories and scientific research being conducted in the building, so we’re still hopeful that we can hit the platinum goal, but it will be a challenge,” he said.
The College will go back to the planning board in February to share any variations from the sketch plan, which will also be subject to the board’s review.
“There will inevitably be a little bit of shifting here and there. We’re still in the design phase of the building, so we have not approved a final design yet so things could certainly be shifted,” Orlando said.
News in brief: Amtrak adds third train to Boston
Beginning November 21, the Amtrak Downeaster line will run a third daily train between Brunswick and Boston. The new line will leave Brunswick Visitor Station at 11 a.m.
Amtrak is also adding a third train from Boston to Brunswick, which will leave North Station at 6:15 p.m. every day. This later train was made possible by the construction of a new layover facility in Brunswick, which opened in October and allows trains to spend the night in Brunswick, rather than having to return to Portland each night, according to the Bangor Daily News.
Currently, the Downeaster line runs trains from Brunswick to Boston at 7:25 a.m. and 5:20 p.m. and from Boston to Brunswick at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. The train ride takes about three and a half hours.
Concord Coach Lines also runs a bus service between Brunswick and Boston, which leaves from Brunswick Visitor Station at 10:25 a.m. and 1:45 p.m., and leaves Boston for Brunswick at 11:35 a.m. and 5:35 p.m. The bus ride takes about three hours.
News in brief: Groups promote self-care
Residential Life (ResLife) and Bear in Mind, a club designed to facilitate discussion around mental health, organized the first-ever Put-Yourself-First Week to help students with self-care.
“This program is intended to remind us of how important it is to take care of ourselves, especially during potentially chaotic times, such as this moment right now with elections going on, diseases spreading around campus and the natural stress that comes with being a Bowdoin student,” said Gina Fickera ’18, Residential Life Assistant and coordinator of the event.
The week’s activities included yoga, tai chi and meditation sessions. A student panel on mental health, originally scheduled for Thursday evening, was postponed until next Thursday, November 17.
“There wasn’t much of a connection between ResLife and Bear in Mind before this project happened,” said Fickera. “Which just shows how much the different student groups on campus can collaborate to make these things happen.”
Fickera noted that members of the Counseling Center and the Health Center also helped with planning for the week.
“We’re exposed to many of the issues that are going on campus, both individually and collectively for some people, so a constant thing that we look out for is to make sure that people are taking care of themselves,” said Fickera. “So it feels nice to be able to extend that to the entire campus rather than just the first years and the programs that you do with them.”
She added that the week would hopefully teach people the importance of taking time to take care of themselves.
“Self-care is an ongoing process and it should definitely be extended beyond this week,” she said.
News in brief: BSG kicks off No Hate November
This week, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) kicked off the fourth annual No Hate November, an initiative aimed at removing bias and raising mindfulness on and off campus. Unlike in past years, the month does not have a focus on one particular issue.
“The mission is to have a month full of events on campus that will create dialogue about issues surrounding inclusivity, respect, bias and hate,” said BSG Vice President for Student Affairs Ben Painter ’19.
There are a dozen events planned this year. Each event focuses on a specific issue, such as microaggressions, transphobia, mental health or police brutality.
“We didn’t want to focus on one topic too much,” Painter said. “For example, if we focused on race, which was brought up to have one big focus, issues of sexuality wouldn’t be part of No Hate November. Issues surrounding disability wouldn’t be part of No Hate November. And so we didn’t want to exclude any group that wants to have an event.”
Aasif Mandvi, an actor and comedian known for his work on the Daily Show, will be coming to campus next Thursday to address issues of tolerance and discrimination through comedy.
“Comedy is a way to access really uncomfortable and sometimes difficult issues,” Mandvi said in a phone interview to the Orient. “Comedy can also point out the truth sometimes with things. There’s a famous quote, that art lays bare the truth that are hidden by facts. So comedy is an art form. And all art lays bare certain truth that are hidden by the kind of conversation we have. Comedy is a different type of conversation that can expose some kinds of that stuff.”
Mandvi said that today’s poisonous social and political climate make engaging in difficult conversations about intolerance “more important now than ... ever.”
“[Mandvi’s] a big name,” Painter said. “Hopefully it’ll draw people out of the cracks, people who usually wouldn’t go to events. I’m looking forward to that because hopefully that’ll start conversations in corners of the campus where they usually don’t have these conversations.”
News in brief: Students fundraise for Haiti hurricane relief
Over the past week, Bowdoin students have helped raise hundreds of dollars for disaster relief in Haiti. Fundraising efforts are continuing for the Caribbean island nation, which was struck by Hurricane Matthew on October 4.
“We’ve been really surprised in how much we’ve been able to raise,” said Reyada Atanasio ’17, who is one of the students leading the fundraising campaign.
Students raised funds by selling breakfast goods including donuts and coffee outside of Hawthorne-Longfellow Library last Wednesday. They also sold baked goods after a talk last Thursday on healthcare in Haiti by Dan Fitzgerald, a professor at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.
“Even if [people] weren’t interested in buying donuts or coffee or anything, they still donated, and those extra donations really helped our effort,” Atanasio said.
The students involved plan on holding another bake sale outside of H-L and are considering the possibility of tabling in Smith Union.Atanasio became involved with the fundraising efforts after encouragement from Associate Director of the McKeen Center Andrew Lardie.
“[Lardie] contacted me because I had previously been in one of [Assistant Professor of Anthropology] Gregory Beckett’s classes, and Beckett is very involved with Haiti,” Atanasio said.
Beckett helped the students decide to give the donations to an organization called the Lambi Fund, a grassroots organization in Haiti.
“Especially after the earthquake in 2010, a lot of humanitarian organizations and NGOs went into Haiti to help with the relief effort,” said Atanasio. “But the disconnection between their efforts, the government’s efforts and what the Haitian people actually needed has kind of resulted in a lack of success.”
Sophie Binenfeld ’17, who has also been involved in fundraising efforts, also took Beckett’s course on contemporary Haiti. She said that international aid was one of the topics discussed in class.
“This was a nice opportunity for us to give money to a reputable organization that we know is going to do good things for Haitians,” she said.
The Latin American Student Organization (LASO) also launched its own fundraising drive. The group also plans to sell baked goods and launched a GoFundMe page to raise donations.
News in brief: Security warns about potential car vandalism
Security warned students to be on the lookout for potential catalytic converter theft following an incident Monday morning. A security officer on patrol noticed a jacked-up van in the Stowe Inn parking lot around 2:30 a.m.
“The thieves were actually in progress jacking the vehicle or underneath the vehicle when the security vehicle came patrolling through the lot,” said Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols. “They saw it coming and they took off, and so by the time the officer got there they were gone.”
Security contacted the vehicle’s owner, who had it examined by a mechanic. The catalytic converter was still intact.
The incident followed a series of nine catalytic converter thefts this past weekend at the University of Maine, Orono. However, when Nichols reported the incident to Brunswick Police on Monday, there had not been any recent thefts in Brunswick.
According to Nichols, most of the vehicles targeted in Orono were Honda Accords produced between 2000 and 2002. The vehicle targeted at Bowdoin was also a Honda.
A catalytic converter is a part of a car’s exhaust system that catches pollutants. Converters also contain valuable metals, which make them a target for theft. A well-versed thief can cut a catalytic converter from a car in less than a minute using a power tool.
Nichols advised students and community members to park in well-lit, well-traveled areas and to be on alert for anything suspicious, like the sound of power tools at 2:30 in the morning.
“We ask students, faculty, and staff to just be aware of any unusual activity on campus,” he said.Security will also be watching parking lots more closely.
“I think all of us working together, we can do a lot to safeguard the campus,” said Nichols.
News in brief: Special collections expands hours to accommodate demand
In response to a large number of students using Special Collections this semester, the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections and Archives has extended its Thursday hours. Students and other researchers are now able to access Special Collections from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays, as opposed to the previous hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
According to Kat Setfko, director of Special Collections and Archives, the increased hours are intended to better meet the needs of students.
“Our concern is that the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. may not be the best for students, who are often in classes during that time,” she said. “Because we have a lot of students that are coming in this semester with a variety of classes we wanted to be able to try to be open during hours that might better meet their calendar needs.”
Peter Mumford ’17 is using documents from special collections for a research paper on how Bowdoin maintained its commitment to the liberal arts model of education during World War II.
“I think [the expanded hours] are a great idea, especially if you’re trying to work on a project that spans the entire semester. Having the ability to go in there during normal study hours instead of during the day is pretty crucial,” said Mumford.
According to Stefko, Mumford and one other student made use of the first set of expanded hours, along with another non-student researcher.
The office is open to the idea of adding additional hours depending on the needs of students. “We’re hoping what’s going to happen is we’ll see a lot of students during those evening hours, which would be a good indicator that that’s something that we need to continue to do,” said Stefko.
The office started the expanded schedule last week. The current schedule will continue through the end of the academic semester. Special Collections is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays other than Thursdays.
News in brief: College remembers Grobe
Professor of Mathematics Emeritus Charles A. Grobe Jr. died after a long illness on September 29. He was 81 years old.
Grobe taught at Bowdoin for 35 years. In an email to the Bowdoin community last Monday, President Clayton Rose wrote that “his former students and colleagues carry with them fond memories of his sharp, dry wit and never-failing good humor.”
Grobe began teaching at Bowdoin in in 1964, after earning his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. In 1968, Elizabeth (Betsy) Mendell, his wife, also joined Bowdoin’s faculty, becoming the first woman to have a faculty appointment at Bowdoin.
“He was a family man,” said Isaac Henry Wing Professor of Mathematics William H. Barker. “He was just devoted to his two sons and his wife.”
Grobe gained a reputation for impressive blackboard lectures.
“He was very precise,” said Barker. “He would write very carefully and it was beautiful.”
Outside of teaching, Grobe had a passion for photography. On the cover of the 1974-1975 Bowdoin course catalogue is an orange and red photo Grobe took of a boat at sunset at Five Islands in Georgetown, Maine.
It was the only course catalogue cover in Bowdoin’s history to feature a photo that is not of a building on campus. Very few covers have photos at all, most simply featuring text and the College insignia.
“He was always very proud of that photo,” said Barker. “It is a lovely shot.”
Beyond mathematics and photography, both Barker and Rose remarked on Grobe’s incredible character.
“When he was ill, he showed true, really incredible courage,” Barker said.
“He was a remarkable member of the Bowdoin community and a remarkable teacher and scholar and a remarkable partner with his wife,” said Rose.
News in brief: Asmerom ’73 dies at 66
Bowdoin alum and Eritrean permanent representative to the United Nations Girma Asmerom Tesfay ’73 passed away in New York on October 5 at age 66, Eritrea’s Ministry of Information confirmed.
Born in Ethiopia in 1949, Asmerom played for the Ethiopian national soccer team and was a part of the 1968 African Cup before coming to Bowdoin. He played soccer at the College as well, once scoring four goals in a game against Bates in 1971—still the second-highest number of goals in a game ever by a Bowdoin player. Although he only played three seasons, his 32 goals during his time at the College set a record at the time.
“Many times his actions on the field leave the opposition looking awkward and bewildered and the crowd chuckling,” the Orient wrote of Asmerom in 1971.
Asmerom majored in government at the College before going on to receive his master’s degree in international relations from American University. He returned to Ethiopia, joining the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front in 1978 to fight for Eritrean independence from Ethiopia. After Eritrea formally declared itself 1993, he served in several diplomatic positions. He became Eritrean ambassador to the U.N. in 2014.
His death was met with an outpouring of grief on social media, as well as condolences from ambassadors of several other nations. Remembrances of the ambassador described him as a man dedicated to the people and to the fight for equality.
News in brief: Town considers bus to Portland
The Brunswick Town Council will vote in the coming months on a proposal for a commuter bus connecting Brunswick to Freeport, Yarmouth, Falmouth and Portland.
The service would be run through Portland Metro Bus. A ride to Portland would cost $3.Senior Lecturer in Physics Karen Topp heard about the bus proposal due to her interest and advocacy for public transportation.
“I think students [would] be happy to have access to Portland,” she said.
Due to federal matching grant money, the proposal would cost about $50,000 for the first two years, after which costs would spike to $150,000 annually.
If the council votes in favor of the bus, service would likely begin in July 2017. A date for the vote has not yet been set.
News in brief: McKeen Center continues voter registration efforts
The Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good tabled in David Saul Smith Union to assist students with voter registration on Tuesday. The event coincided with National Voter Registration Day to encourage the political participation of the student body.
“We want all students to be civically engaged. Community engagement can take a lot of different forms, but one of them should be participating in the electoral process,” said Andrew Lardie, the McKeen Center associate director for service and leadership. “[It is important to] know what is at stake in the community, what is at stake on the ballot and be able to participate in [the electoral process] by being both educated and motivated to do it.”
McKeen Center representatives were on duty in the Union all day. They helped with online voter registration and requesting absentee ballots through Turbovote, a third party service paid for by Bowdoin Student Government.
“We help them to register, decide where to register, and we have absentee ballot registrations for a few different states,” said Liam Gunn ’17, the McKeen Center election engagement fellow. “The rest of what we do involves educating people about the election.”
“Historically, there was no administrative apparatus to support students’ civic engagement in the elections,” Lardie said.
The table received a steady stream of students seeking assistance.
“I think [the event] has been really strong,” said Lardie. “I think if nothing else, we wish we had the resources to be more present, more often and in more places.”
The McKeen Center will also table at future events, such as sports games, after the vice presidential debate on October 4 and after the final presidential debate on October 19.
“It’s important for us as students to get involved and have a say, especially in this election, and I think that the voter registration booth was a really good resource to help students with that,” said Ellie Sapat ’20. “The fact that National Voter Registration Day occurred right after the presidential debate was perfect because the topic of the election was fresh in everyone’s mind.”
Lardie said the McKeen Center’s Facebook page, Bowdoin Votes, is an additional resource that Bowdoin students can use to further educate themselves about the election and voter registration.
News in brief: Phishing attack targets emails
Bowdoin email accounts encountered a phishing attempt on Thursday morning, according to an email from Information Technology (IT) to all students and employees. The attack was similar to a series of consecutive phishing attempts on the Bowdoin network earlier this month.
The phishing email was sent to student employees disguised as a message about payroll. It included a link to a page that closely resembled Bowdoin webmail and asked students to enter their username and password. Any students who entered their credentials likely had their accounts compromised.
IT instructed students who entered their information on the webpage to change their passwords.
Bowdoin email accounts have strong spam filters that typically catch phishing, but the email managed to evade the College’s protective measures.
“We do have spam filters in place that basically will catch a lot of these bad things but … [the email] came through from a .edu address,” said Eric Berube, associate IT security officer. “The people who are doing this know that, so they compromise accounts at other institutions and then use that to get to us.”
Berube stressed the importance of students maintaining an awareness of phishing attacks.
“With phishing, a big part of it is just making sure people are aware when they get it, not to open it and not to enter their credentials.
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.
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.
News in brief: Moulton Union fire alarms disrupt lunch
Just 30 minutes after lunch began on Tuesday, flashing lights and the sound of fire alarms drove students and staff members out of Moulton Union.
“I had literally just walked in,” said Joseph Hilleary ’20. “I hadn’t even grabbed a plate yet when I saw a light flashing. The alarm didn’t go off at first, but then it started beeping. It was an underwhelming alarm, It didn’t worry me that much. I just walked out the side door and then walked over to Thorne.”
According to kitchen staff, a malfunction with kitchen equipment created enough heat and smoke to trigger the fire alarm at approximately 11:30 a.m.
Lauren Nguyen ’17 was participating in an Admissions panel on the first floor of Moulton when the alarm sounded.
“Around five minutes into the actual panel, the fire alarm goes off and we look around like, ‘what are we supposed to do?’” she said. “All of us were moved to the museum steps ... It was very unexpected and smelled like burned toast. The panel still worked out and [the visitors] got to see the Quad, which was nice.”
During the evacuation, dining staff members either directed the flow of traffic or joined the exodus through Moulton’s doors.
“My job [during an evacuation] is to leave the building,” said Dining Services Production Assistant Jennifer Bisson. “My responsibility first and foremost is my personal safety. The supervisors are the ones who help [the remaining people] evacuate the building.”
Dining Services accommodated students whose lunch plans were affected by the evacuation and dealt with the cause of the fire alarm. By dinner time hungry patrons once again swarmed Moulton.
News in brief: Bridge to Topsham deemed structurally deficient
The Frank J. Wood Bridge has connected Topsham to Brunswick since the early 1930s, but the historic bridge at the end of Maine Street faces an uncertain future.
After a regularly scheduled inspection in June and a follow-up inspection in August, Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) engineers found the bridge’s structural steel was significantly deteriorated. As a result, they downgraded the condition of the bridge deck and superstructure from “fair” to “poor.”
Last month, the bridge across the Androscoggin River was branded with a posted limit of 25 tons, which prevents some commercial trucks from using it. Although MDOT recommended a full replacement of the bridge last April, neither MDOT nor the Federal Highway Administration has approved a definitive course of action.
John Graham is one of several community members working to preserve the Frank J. Wood Bridge.
“At one time in the early 1900s, that kind of bridge, or truss bridge, was the most common bridge in Maine,” said Graham in a phone interview with the Orient. “We’re losing them at a drastic rate, so at some point there’s going to be none of them left. And if you’re going to keep one, this is a great setting to keep it [in].”
The bridge is both a historical relic and a local landmark and appears in the Brunswick town filter on Snapchat.
“Historical structures create a sense of place, and a sense of place creates a sense of community and quickly identifies where you are in the world,” said Graham. “[The bridge] is one of the big defining characteristics of this town.”
Graham co-founded a Facebook page called “Friends of the Frank J. Wood Bridge” and serves as president of a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit group of the same name. He hopes to keep the public aware of the decision-making process. MDOT is required by law to present the public with all alternatives to replacement.
Graham added that the final decision for the preservation or replacement of the bridge is at least a year away.
News in brief: BSG remembers 9/11, similar display draws controversy
As a tribute to the victims of 9/11, members of Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) planted flags for each victim on the Coe Quad last Sunday morning.
“It’s something that’s happened every year since 9/11,” said Harriet Fisher ’17, president of BSG. “Other things have happened in the past in addition. There used to be someone who would read aloud the names of every person who died that day. And I think there used to be a campus-wide moment of silence.”
While BSG’s actions were welcomed within the Bowdoin community, a similar display at Occidental College—a small liberal arts school in Southern California—prompted controversy and vandalism.
According to the Los Angeles Times, members of the Occidental College Republican Club, who had planted flags on the night of September 10, discovered on September 11 that a number of flags had been ripped from the ground and broken, while others had been stuffed in the trash. Fliers were also found at the memorial.
“R.I.P. The 2,996 Americans who died in 9/11. R.I.P. the 1,455,590 innocent Iraqis who died during the U.S. invasion for something they didn’t do,” one flier read.
Despite the outrage on the opposite coast, Fisher said she heard only positive reactions to the 9/11 memorial at Bowdoin.
“We just had a lot of people who walked by and asked if they could help us, which was really nice,” she said.
Fisher added that the 9/11 memorial does not have to be the only way that Bowdoin remembers tragedies.
“I don’t feel like that should be the only type of commemorative public event we host as a campus,” she said. “I think that we would like to look to doing more public installations, public moments of recognition for loss or historic events or things like that.”
News in brief: College renovates multiple buildings over the summer
Numerous campus building underwent renovation over the summer, with some of the most dramatic changes occurring in Baxter House, Coles Tower, David Saul Smith Union and Hawthorne-Longfellow Library.
At Baxter House, the College opted to remove a wall on the first floor, creating a common space complete with a new television set and furniture in a space that had previously been a private living room.
House members expressed excitement at the change.
“We can definitely do more here,” said Sam Roy ’19, Baxter House’s communications director. “We can do more daytime events like lectures, maybe a capella groups here, so we’re really excited to have this open space.”
The Baxter House basement also received upgrades, including the installation of colored lights and a new ventilation system.
Coles Tower, which has been partially renovated over the past two summers, also saw major changes. This summer, student living spaces on the ninth through 12th floors of the Tower were upgraded. The second floor of the Tower was also converted into a living space after Information Technology (IT), which previously occupied the space, moved to the basement.
In Smith Union, students noticed that the former sitting area on the first floor behind the Information Desk no longer exists; the area has been replaced with office space for Director of the David Saul Smith Union Allen DeLong. While the Union is a 24-hour study space, a Bowdoin ID is now required between midnight and 6 a.m.
The Hawthorne-Longfellow Library also saw several changes. Shelves were removed from the first floor of the library to create more open space where students can study. The Media Commons in the library basement was also renovated to increase student study space.
News in brief: New faces, new places
Bowdoin made a number of administrative changes for the 2016-2017 academic year, including several interim appointees and internal hires.
Melissa Quinby ’91, formerly director of the Women’s Resource Center (WRC), was named the interim dean of first-year students, filling the role vacated by Janet Lohmann. Lohmann left Bowdoin at the end of the 2015-2016 academic year to become dean of students at Kenyon College.
Stephanie Rendall, one of two new hires, steps into Quinby’s former role as interim coordinator of the WRC for the year.
Michael Pulju, previously associate director of residential education, was named interim assistant dean for upperclass students, replacing Brandon Royce-Diop. Pulju will advise upperclass students with last names beginning with the letters A-L and serve as a secondary advisor to the Judicial Board. Quinby and Pulju will serve in the Dean’s Office for the entirety of this academic year, and the College hopes to find permanent appointments for both positions by the summer of 2017, according to an email sent to the Bowdoin community in June by Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs Kim Pacelli.
Whitney Hogan ’07, former associate director of health education, will step into Pulju’s former role as the associate director of residential education. Since she began working for the College in 2012, Hogan has served as coordinator of health education and associate director of health promotion.
Christian van Loenen was named the assistant director of health promotion and education. He will fulfill many of Hogan’s former duties, including working with Peer Health.
Dr. Jeffrey Maher is the new director of health services. Maher had previously worked for the College in a consulting role, according to an email Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster sent to the Bowdoin community in June. Sandra Hayes has occupied Maher’s position on an interim basis since Dr. Birgit Pols stepped down as director of health services last March.
News in brief: Conflict over College Street property may result in legal action
In a case that could be brought to court, Bowdoin seems to be pushing back against the $1.6 million dollar asking price for 28 College Street, the last remaining non-campus property on College Street. Bowdoin has denied that the property is the place where Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” despite the owner’s claims. According to an article in the Bangor Daily News, Arline Pennell Lay, the owner of the property, was notified by her attorney last week that the College plans to file a lawsuit to make Lay adhere to a 1996 agreement with the College. The agreement states that the College can buy the property at 125 percent of its appraised value if the owner dies or puts it on the market; with the appraised price at $154,300, the College should only pay $192,875 for the house. However, Lay and her attorney, Sean Joyce, claim that an attorney was not present at the time of this agreement; Bowdoin’s attorney claims otherwise, according to Joyce. The College has said that it will leave the issue up to its lawyers.“We’re investigating whether or not [Lay] had representation and [whether] it was, essentially, unequal bargaining,” Joyce told the Bangor Daily News.
The high asking price of the house is attributed to Lay and her family’s claim that Stowe rented a room on the second floor between 1850 and 1851 where she wrote much of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” However, the College has pushed back against this claim over the years with evidence that Stowe wrote the novel at 63 Federal Street, her home from 1851 to 1852, and Appleton Hall, where her husband had a study.
The property is listed on the National Register of Historic places. However, according to Joyce, the College attributes this to the property’s other historical significance. According to the Lay family, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow penned a poem, “The Old Clock on the Stairs,” about a grandfather clock in the house. Norman Rockwell also apparently modeled his painting, “Freedom from Want,” after members of Lay’s family, Alice Lay and Richard Coffin. The real estate listing states that, “Other famous people such as President and Eleanor Roosevelt, Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Chris Wallace and William Cohen have stayed at this home.”
News in brief: Colby's solar installation to be the largest in Maine
Bowdoin will no longer have the largest solar project in Maine. In the coming year, Colby College will install 5,505 solar panels, exceeding Bowdoin’s 4,420. While Bowdoin’s solar panels provide about eight percent of the College’s electricity (with a capacity of 1.2 megawatts), Colby’s panels will produce 16 percent of the college’s energy, at 1.9 megawatts. Led by NRG Energy Inc., work will begin on the solar panels now with the estimated completion date at January 2017. In 2015, Colby was ranked the highest NESCAC college for sustainability and second in North America, compared to the 260 colleges that participated in STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System), a system that assesses college sustainability efforts.
News in brief: Mckesson loses primary election for mayor
Prominent Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson ’07 finished sixth in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for Baltimore mayor, garnering two percent of the vote. Mckesson profusely thanked his supporters on his Twitter page, saying, “Thank you to all of the supporters, voters & donors who contributed to my campaign. In 83 days, we changed the landscape of the race.” Even though Mckesson was the last to enter the race, announcing his bid for candidacy on February 3, his tweets on Tuesday reminded his followers that he was the first to release a comprehensive platform and that “the ideas & platform our campaign introduced will influence the next administration.”
With over 343,000 Twitter followers, Mckesson’s social media presence both benefited and impaired his campaign. In an interview with Yahoo News, Mckesson acknowledged the press’s focus on his low poll numbers and activism background as well as the pressure to document his campaigning efforts online.
“[The social media presence] does a lot to amplify the message in a way that is powerful,” Mckesson said. “The hard part is that if I don’t put it on Twitter, people literally act like it doesn’t exist...No other candidate has to prove every single thing they do.”
Even though Mckesson lost, his candidacy highlighted the constructive power of digital campaigning. He tweeted on Wednesday, “We raised more money quicker than any local campaign in the country, and almost all of it digitally. The old money gatekeepers are no more.”
News in brief: Students compete in language contests
Bowdoin students competed in The Chinese Bridge Speech Contest for University Students in New England held at the Confucius Institute at University of Massachusetts (UMass) Boston on April 19 for the first time in the competition’s six-year history. Bowdoin students ranked highly at the competition, with Eduardo Jaramillo ’17 placing third among advanced level contestants and Louis Frumer ’18 placing second at the beginner level. Jaramillo was also chosen as one of six contestants to be a Cultural Ambassador, resulting in an all-expense-paid trip to China, taking place in June.
Twenty-one students from the New England area competed across three different levels of Chinese proficiency—beginner, intermediate and advanced. Students were judged on two performances, one for their speech and language proficiency through a self-written composition piece and another in an entertainment category, featuring cultural performances. Visiting Senior Lecturer in Chinese Language Lisa Ahnert emphasized the students’ achievement.
“Bowdoin students are always busy, so we only had the chance to rehearse together three times before the actual competition,” said Ahnert. “The entertainment piece was especially challenging, as we do not have the resources of a larger department, such as the Confucian studies center at UMass, in the form of costumes and music.”
Ahnert hopes Bowdoin’s strong showing will entice more students to take courses with the Chinese department, and also encourage current Chinese language students to take part in next year’s contest.
Bowdoin students also performed very well at this year’s Japanese Language Contest, held at the Consulate General of Japan in Boston. Of the nine available essay prizes, Melissa Miura ’19, Poy Pholcharee ’18, Heidi Cao ’16 and Claudia Knox ’19 won four. Bowdoin students have now placed first and second in the essay portion of the competition for three years in a row.
News in brief: Robocup hosts U.S. Open
For the eighth year in a row, Bowdoin and three other schools will compete in the Robocup U.S. Open today and tomorrow in Watson Arena. Students on Bowdoin’s Robocup team, the Northern Bites, program small humanoid robots to play soccer autonomously. The Bites will have their first match today at 1 p.m. against the University of Miami. This evening at 9 p.m., the Bites will face off against the University of Pennsylvania. Bowdoin will play in one more match tomorrow before the final match at 8:30 p.m. to determine the tournament’s winner. Further matches will include a “drop-in challenge” today and tomorrow where robots on opposing teams will play on the same side. In addition, Bowdoin will host a no-Wi-Fi challenge and an outdoors challenge tomorrow, testing the robots’ abilities to play in suboptimal conditions.
News in brief: Female students assaulted, alleged perpetrators in police custody
Between 11:30 p.m. and midnight last night, a number of female students were allegedly assaulted by teens on bicycles on and near campus, according to an email to campus from Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols sent at 1:30 a.m. The teens allegedly slapped and touched the women from behind. Two suspects were taken into police custody, and both will be barred from Bowdoin property.
One suspect was arrested near Quinby House, and the second was arrested in Freeport by the Freeport Police Department. The suspects are 16 year old males, and have been released to their parent's custody.
Before the email was sent to inform the community, two of the affected female students posted about the incidents in the Bowdoin Safe Walk facebook group, which saw a resurgence in posts last night. The group was created in response to a number of incidents where female students were grabbed from behind while walking alone at night this past fall.
This story will be updated as more information becomes avaliable.
News in brief: Romance Languages and Literatures courses retitled
For the Fall 2016 Semester, all Romance Languages and Literatures courses have been retitled to better reflect the inclusion of culture and history within the course material. The major and minor requirements have not changed, nor has the material of the courses themselves.Enrique Yepes, associate professor of romance languages and literatures, offered insight on how the names of the classes have been changed to better reflect the material. The new names include Francophone Studies, Hispanic Studies and Italian Studies. The Curriculum and Educational Policy Committee approved of the name change in order to convey that these classes teach language, literature and culture. The major and minor requirements have not changed.
Yepes noted that he hopes the name change will clarify the difference between Latin American Studies and Hispanic Studies. Latin American Studies focuses on the Latin American region and countries that speak Portuguese or French, as well as on Latinos in the United States. Hispanic Studies instead focuses on regions where Spanish is spoken, including Spain.
News in brief: Baauer to replace MØ as Saturday Ivies headliner
Baauer will be the headlining performer for Ivies, the Bowdoin Entertainment Board (eBoard) announced this morning. Baauer, DJ and producer best known for “Harlem Shake,” is replacing eBoard’s original selection, MØ, who cancelled her Bowdoin performance and several other concerts in the Northeast at the end of March.
The concert will take place on Saturday, April 30.
In addition to "Harlem Shake," which went double platinum in the U.S., finishing at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2013 and inspiring a series of viral videos that garnered millions of views, Baauer has worked with popular artists such as Jay-Z, M.I.A., AlunaGeorge, Diplo and Just Blaze, who he toured with in 2013. He has also produced remixes for Nero, Flosstradamus and Disclosure, among others.
Waka Flocka Flame remains booked for Ivies and will perform on Thurday, April 28.
News in brief: BOC granted a portion of requested funds
The Student Activities Funding Club (SAFC) has granted the Bowdoin Outing Club (BOC) $1,695, half of its requested $3,390. After discovering its $18,000 deficiency in funds in February, the BOC was denied its first request of $19,500 and then granted $2,420 of its second request of $5,810. President of the SAFC David Levine ’16 said in an email to the Orient that while the SAFC encouraged the BOC to request more money in a few weeks, without knowing what other budgets could arise, the SAFC could not promise the BOC more money for this year. Next year, the BOC will begin the year with its complete budget.
News in brief: Changes to E.S. major
News in brief: MØ cancels Ivies concert
Last week, the Bowdoin Entertainment Board (eBoard) announced the cancellation of headlining performer MØ for Ivies. Vice President for Student Organizations Emily Serwer ’16 said that the cancellation was unforeseen and likely not due to MØ’s personal decision but was decided on by her record labels. Serwer declined to comment on options for MØ’s replacement but said that eBoard is in the process of finding one or two additional performers to take her place. Bowdoin was not MØ’s single cancellation but one of the many performances she was scheduled to put on while touring the northeastern part of the United States, Colby included. Waka Flocka Flame remains booked for Thursday of Ivies, and eBoard will announce the other act(s) in the upcoming weeks.
News in brief: Honorary degree recipients announced
The College will grant honorary degrees to five people at this year’s Commencement. The recipients’ successes range from winning an Olympic gold medal to infusing astronomy into award-winning art. Educator and author Nancie Atwell will be presented with a degree in recognition of her work in the classroom both in the U.S. and around the world. Atwell was not only the first recipient of the Varkey Foundation’s Global Teacher Prize but also the first classroom teacher to be presented with two major language arts research awards. Artist and recipient Dorothea Rockburne has worked for many years focusing on the intersections of art, mathematics and astronomy; one of her frescoes is displayed at Sony headquarters in New York City. Recipient Frank Shorter, an author, lawyer and television commentator, has not only won a gold medal in long-distance running at the 1972 Summer Olympics but also worked to spread the anti-doping message throughout athletics and advocated for victims of child physical abuse. Peter M. Small ’64, P’97, P’99 is the only recipient to have worked for the College, contributing much to the Board of Overseers and the Board of Trustees (of which he served as Chair from 2005 to 2010) over the course of three of the College’s presidencies. President of the Ford Foundation, Darren Walker, one of the first students in the Head Start program, has worked on a number of projects throughout the years, including a recovery program for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Most recently, he declared his and the Ford Foundation’s primary dedication to combating inequality.
News in brief: Major hires in Brunswick
In a town with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state, two major companies announced their plans to hire hundreds of new employees for their Brunswick locations. SaviLinx, a customer service company stationed in Brunswick Landing for the past three years, announced earlier this month that it plans to hire 200 more staff members for its Maine location, nearly tripling their total number of employees. Earlier, the Boston-based online furniture seller, Wayfair, announced its plan to hire 500 full-time employees for its new customer service center in Brunswick at the former Navy Exchange at Brunswick Landing.
According to an article in the Portland Press Herald, since Brunswick’s employment rate is so low, in order to attract out-of-town workers, employers like SaviLinx and Wayfair must not only offer good pay and benefits but also make extra efforts to connect with potential employees through job fairs. The Maine Department of Labor told the Herald it is further looking into hiring “atypical candidates, such as retirees, new Mainers, disabled people and others” for current and future workplace openings.
News in brief: Sociologists Charles and Kramer continue meetings on campus
After beginning research on Bowdoin’s racial and ethnic climate two weeks ago, sociologists Camille Charles and Rory Kramer will return to campus this coming week to continue meetings. While most of their interviews so far have been with specific committees and groups, the upcoming meetings will be more open to the entire student body. This upcoming Tuesday, from 6 to 7 p.m. in Daggett Lounge, all students are welcome to come speak with Charles and Kramer. The next day, a discussion limited to students who identify as multicultural will take place from 8 to 9 p.m. in Lancaster Lounge. Interested students are asked to RSVP to Associate Director of Events and Summer Programs Sara Eddy through the Doodle poll found in Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster’s March 2 email.
As President Clayton Rose announced in an email to the community on December 3, Charles and Kramer will collect information over the course of this semester on the way students’ race affects their experience at Bowdoin. The sociologists will attempt to understand not only the experiences and perceptions of multicultural and white students but also the practices and policies the school has or lacks that contribute to these experiences.Their research will culminate in a recommendation for how the College may take action for improvement.
News in brief: Journalist Scott Allen '83 to visit campus
Scott Allen ’83, the editor of The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team, will visit campus next week to give a lecture titled, “From Watergate to ‘Spotlight’: Investigative Journalism in Democracy.” Although he didn’t work on the case featured in the Oscar-winning movie “Spotlight,” Allen led the Globe’s 2014 Pulitzer Prize winning coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing and manhunt. Over his 20 plus years at the Globe, Allen has worked as the Health and Science editor, the Senior Assistant Metro editor and a reporter covering medicine and the environment. While at Bowdoin, he worked as a reporter for the Orient, first covering sports. His talk will take place on March 8 at 7:30 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium.
News in brief: Middlebury bans on-campus sales of energy drinks
Last week, Middlebury College announced its decision to ban on-campus sales of energy drinks such as Red Bull and 5-Hour Energy. According to NBC News, Middlebury College officials say the drinks are responsible for “problematic behavior,” including alcohol abuse and “high-risk sexual activity” and contribute to a “campus culture of stress and unsustainable study habits.” The policy, which will take effect on March 7, does not affect sales of Guayaki Brand Yerba Mate, considered a healthier alternative to more popular energy drinks.
The Bowdoin C-Store—which sells Red Bull, 5-Hour Energy, Spider, Body Armor and organic Runa energy drinks—does not plan to follow in Middlebury’s footsteps at the moment, according to Director of Dining and Bookstore Services Mary McAteer Kennedy. She acknowledged that energy drink sales increase during exam week when students are more likely to feel a need to sacrifice sleep for academics. However, according to Kennedy, overall energy drink sales at Bowdoin, which are limited to the C-Store, have gone down “considerably” over the past three or four years.
News in brief: Sociologists begin research on Bowdoin's racial and ethnic climate
Sociologists Camille Charles and Rory Kramer arrived on campus last week to begin research on Bowdoin’s racial and ethnic climate. As announced in an email from President Clayton Rose to the community on December 3, the researchers will collect information about the way students’ race affects their experience at Bowdoin. They will eventually offer recommendations for how the College may take action.
In their first visit to the College, Charles and Kramer conducted a series of 90-minute discussions with different student groups as well as faculty to discuss students’ experiences at Bowdoin as well as instances of racial and ethnic bias. Among these groups were the executive committee of Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) and queer students of color.
Julian Tamayo ’16, who works as a student coordinator in the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity and spoke with Charles and Kramer in one of these conversations, said that they did not pose any specific questions for the students but rather offered a space to freely share experiences. BSG President Danny Mejia-Cruz ’16 concurred that the researchers intend to focus on culture and climate by recording anecdotal data through frank conversations.
Charles and Kramer declined to comment until their project is complete.
Editor's note (2/26/16 at 11 a.m.): It was originally reported that Charles and Kramer spoke to Tamayo as part of a group of students of color from the BQSA. The group was not affiliated with BQSA.
News in brief: BEARS survey to go live Sunday
The BEARS (Bowdoin Experiences and Attitudes about Relationships and Sex) survey, which aims to capture and understand the campus climate regarding sex, relationships and sexual and dating violence, will go live on Sunday and will be open until Spring Break. The results of the survey will inform the programming of the Office of Gender Violence Prevention. Similar surveys have been conducted at colleges across the country, including Williams College and Colby College. Director of Gender Violence Prevention and Education Benje Douglas hopes to get as many responses as possible so that the survey is representative of student experiences. To that end, there will be tables in David Saul Smith Union and the dining halls, email reminders, a poster campaign, a Facebook group and a thermometer display in Smith Union showing the response rate. Depending on the response rate, the information should be released sometime next fall.
News in brief: Lockout drill next Thursday
Next Thursday at 3:30 p.m., Bowdoin will have a 15-minute emergency lockout drill. The drill is meant to prepare students in case of a lockout, threat or hazard on or around campus. Students will be notified by phone, text and email of the drill through the College’s emergency communication system and told to stay inside or enter the nearest building or safe space. Students will be notified when the drill is complete.