- 1 days ago
Snapshot: President Rose welcomes the Class of 2019
After returning from Orientation trips, the Class of 2019 gathered in front of the museum steps for the President's Welcome. First-Year Orientation runs from August 29 to September 2.
- July 2
Rose plans to listen and learn in early days of presidency
Clayton Rose certainly looked the part on Wednesday, July 1, his first day as the College’s 15th president, sporting a pink, polar bear-dotted tie and a black “B”-emblazoned wallet. His first act as president, too, was that of a seasoned campus leader: He brought in Frosty’s donuts for everyone in his office.
With those Bowdoin bona fides established, President Rose began his term with an explicit newcomer’s approach.
“The broad theme for a while is going to be listening and meeting as many people as I can. I sent a note out to the faculty this morning saying that I’d very much like to meet with each one of them individually over the course of the coming months...to learn about their aspirations for the College and their thoughts on the challenges ahead,” he said in a sit-down interview with the Orient late Wednesday morning. “I’m going to do the same with students, staff and alumni as well.”
It’s a continuation of the work Rose began after being named Barry Mills’ successor in late January, when he began splitting time between Brunswick and his role as professor at Harvard Business School.
“The benefit is that I’m physically here now,” he said. “I’m not contending with a job somewhere else where I have responsibilities, and trying to balance those two.”
Rose and his wife of 32 years, Julianne, are currently living in a southern Maine home they’ve owned for several years. They will move to the former Mills residence of 79 Federal Street in Brunswick later this month after minor renovations are finished.
Rose said his and his wife’s enthusiasm for their move to Maine was matched by their two sons, Garett and Jordan, who live in Washington, D.C. and New York City, respectively.
“They were incredibly excited and pumped up about it,” he said.Campus issues
In an April interview with the Orient, Rose declined to offer his positions on campus issues, saying he would wait until he was in office before going on the record. He delivered on that promise Wednesday, calling human-induced climate change “one of the greatest issues we face as a world” before echoing the Board of Trustees’ (and Barry Mills’) position that the College ought not to divest from fossil fuels.
“I’ve done a lot of reading about where we come from and what our policies are as well as what other schools have done, and I have read or heard nothing to change my view that we should not divest,” he said. “So, we will continue that policy going forward. I’m happy to talk to anybody that wants to talk about this, and we’ll always strive to keep an open mind."
Rose also commented on the issue of political correctness, which came to the forefront at Bowdoin in April when a survey conducted by Associate Professor of Government Michael Franz indicated that 68% of respondents believed political correctness was a problem at Bowdoin.
“A liberal arts college has a particular responsibility among all institutions in America to create an open, honest, thoughtful, respectful dialogue across all kinds of points of view,” he said.
“Every member of the community…needs to encourage that kind of discussion and be willing to have their own ideas and thoughts—even those that are deeply held—challenged in a thoughtful and respectful way. This can be to reinforce and strengthen them, but perhaps occasionally to see there might be another way of thinking about that issue. And also to understand how other thoughtful people can have a different point of view and understand why that might be, so that we get away from the phenomenon in American society of talking heads, where everyone is polarized and no one is listening to everyone else. This is part of creating graduates who are able to engage in a serious way in civil society.”The Liberal Arts, academia and beyond
Reflecting on an eclectic career that has included several senior management positions at J.P. Morgan as well as teaching undergraduates at Penn and graduate students at Harvard, Rose spoke at length of his solidarity with Bowdoin’s values.
“One of the reason I was so excited about the possibility of assuming this position when the search was announced and I was thinking about putting my name in the ring was that it matches up with things I hold very deeply in several dimensions,” he said. “The first is—and this is kind of a hackneyed phrase, but I really mean it—I’m a true believer in the value of the liberal arts.”
Rose said that his appreciation for a liberal arts education began when he was an undergraduate himself.
“It is certainly true that I didn’t attend a small liberal arts college, but I had a profoundly important liberal arts education at the University of Chicago,” he said. “Unlike many research universities, the college there was a small piece of the larger research university, where there was dedication on the part of senior faculty to delivering a real liberal arts experience in many of the ways that we see here at Bowdoin, although Bowdoin is distinct and has it’s own way of doing things. But that experience changed my life.”
After 20 years at J.P. Morgan, Rose began contemplating a career change when the bank merged with Chase in 2000.
“I very much enjoyed the work in finance. I wasn’t disaffected by it at all. I was able to do some really interesting remarkable things. The firm, at the time, was a place that fit with my values: collegiality, intellectual honesty and respect,” he said. “That’s not really the world of finance we see today, but that was the firm in those days. When we sold the firm, things changed. The culture and the values were sufficiently different that I decided to leave. It was just time for me to move on. It was a place that, at it’s core, wasn’t the right fit for me."
Rose said a great reverence for academics and scholars played a large role in his decision to pursue joining their ranks, and he enrolled in a doctoral program at the University of Pennsylvania in 2003.
“For me, it was about a challenge in a world that I had deep respect for and was deeply curious about. I wanted to see whether I had the intellectual capability to operate in that world, which is very different from the world I’d operated in before,” he said.
Upon receiving his Ph.D. in 2007, Rose received a position on the faculty at Harvard Business School.
“One thing that’s interesting about Harvard Business School is that there is a premium placed on teaching that is unlike most other graduate programs,” he said. “Senior faculty take their teaching responsibilities very seriously. That was very appealing to me, because I love teaching and I value what great teaching can do."
Rose believes the perspective he gained from his experience teaching in higher education will be invaluable in his role as president at Bowdoin.
“Being on a faculty in the job I had, understanding how faculty view their responsibility to the whole institution, to their students, to their scholarship, will help me immensely,” he said. “Faculty are the heart of any educational institution. Having been of a faculty and understanding how a faculty thinks of the world, while the issues are going to be different here than they were at Harvard, I am hopeful [my experience] will allow me to work with my colleagues on the faculty on an effective way."
His business experience may also work to his benefit. While Rose announced in February that he would be stepping down from the Board of Directors at Bank of America, he remains a director at XL Group, a global insurance company, and at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), a non-profit research organization that is the nation’s largest private funder of biomedical research. Rose believes his HHMI role will be especially valuable to his work at Bowdoin.
“I don’t get involved in decisions about where money gets allocated, so there isn’t a specific conflict of interest there,” he said. “But what I’m able to do is understand—at a high altitude and layperson’s level—issues of where science may be going, where challenges may be in raising money, where opportunities may exist for particular scientific endeavors, and also to talk to scientists who are working on the bench about their work and what challenges they face intellectually, organizationally and financially in getting done what they need to get done."
As summer goes on and the more hectic days of the academic year approach, Rose said he and his wife plan to enjoy the Maine outdoors by biking, hiking, kayaking and, his favorite, fly fishing.
“I’m mindful of the hard work ahead, but excited by it,” he said. ““I am really excited to be here. I’ve had a lot of interesting jobs in a career that I’ve been lucky to have. This is the best job that I will ever have.”
- May 26
Bowdoin and BPD continue independent investigations into alleged on-campus rape
Logan Taylor ’17 was arrested on a charge of gross sexual assault, a Class A felony, on Sunday morning. Taylor allegedly raped a female student in a campus residence hall the previous night. Taylor has been issued a criminal trespass order and is barred from all College property, according to a campus-wide Safety and Security Alert sent by Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols.
Taylor was initially held in lieu of $1,000 bail, but it was increased to $5,000 at a hearing Tuesday. As of 6:30 p.m., Taylor was still being held in Cumberland County Jail. His court-appointed attorney Andrei Maciag was assigned to the case today and was not prepared to comment.
The Brunswick Police Department (BPD) and the College are each currently conducting independent investigations.
In accordance with Bowdoin’s Student Sexual Misconduct and Gender Based Violence Policy, the College’s investigation will be led by an independent investigator. In this case, the investigator is a consultant with a law firm in Portland, according to Senior Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs Scott Hood.
The investigator’s report will be presented to the advisor to the Student Sexual Misconduct Board Benje Douglas, Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students Meadow Davis, Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster, the complainant and the respondent.
If the investigator’s report recommends that there is sufficient basis to convene a Sexual Misconduct Panel, the Chair of the Student Sexual Misconduct Board (the Dean of Student Affairs or his designee) would convene one from members of the Student Sexual Misconduct Board. The Panel would consist of three members: the Dean of Student Affairs (or his designee), one faculty member, and one student who is a member of both the Judicial Board and the Student Sexual Misconduct Board.
Both the complainant and the respondent would have an opportunity to appear before the Panel. The Panel would first determine by majority vote if the respondent is responsible by a preponderance of the evidence (“more likely than not”). If found responsible, the Panel would determine the respondent's sanction by majority vote.
The convening and decision of the Sexual Misconduct Panel are not dependent on criminal proceedings. According to Hood, the College does not plan to get in touch with the student body about the incident outside of updates to the Safety and Security Alert if and when Taylor is released.
The Office of the Dean of Student Affairs declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.
The alleged assault was first brought to the attention of BPD after a female student called Bowdoin Safety and Security for a ride from the area of the Swinging Bridge on Mill St. in Brunswick early Sunday morning. The security officer called the Brunswick Police Department at 2:34 a.m. after the student reported concern about Taylor’s welfare, according to BPD Sergeant Paul Hansen.
After speaking with the female student, the officers learned of the allegation of sexual assault which allegedly took place earlier that night in a Bowdoin residence hall.
The female student was taken to the hospital and officers with the BPD began a search for Taylor. He was located in Topsham around 5 a.m. by the Topsham Police Department, who turned him over to the BPD. After talking to BPD, Taylor was officially arrested Sunday morning at 10 a.m. and sent to Cumberland County Jail.
Detectives at the BPD will pass on the results of their ongoing investigation to the District Attorney’s Office. Taylor is scheduled to appear in court on July 21.
This is an ongoing story that will be updated as more information becomes available.
- May 13
By the numbers: the class of 2019
521 students have accepted spots in the class of 2019. That number includes early decision and regular decision applicants. The class size is expected to decrease slightly over the next six to eight weeks as some students accept waitlist offers at other schools or choose to take a gap year. The target class size is 500 students.
53.1 percent of accepted students chose to enroll at Bowdoin, a new record. This percentage is called the "yield" and includes students accepted early decision.
46 percent of the class of 2019 will receive need-based financial aid (roughly).
$9 million of financial aid will be given to the class of 2019 next year (roughly).
>30 percent of the class of 2019 self-identify as multicultural.
46 states are represented in the class of 2019.
25 countries are represented in the class of 2019.
402 high schools are represented in the class of 2019.
Data from The Bowdoin Daily Sun.
- May 6
Boycott referendum fails
Eighty-five percent of student body voted; only 14 percent of voting students were in favor
The referendum calling for a boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions failed with 228 students (14 percent) voting in favor, 1,144 opposed (71 percent) and 247 abstaining (15 percent), according to a campus-wide email from Bowdoin Student Government President Chris Breen '15.
Students had from Saturday, May 2 at noon until today at noon to vote; 1,619 students voted (85 percent of the student body).
One-third of enrolled students needed to vote in total, with two-thirds of voting students voting in favor, in order for the referendum to pass. If it passed, it would have been sent to the administration as a representation of the voice of the student body.
Over the past few days, supporters on both sides of the referendum actively lobbied students. While no official student organization took a stance against the boycott, an informal group of students headed up the opposition. Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) advocated the boycott.
Both sides hung posters stating their case around campus. Members of SJP were first seen taking down, and then writing "false" next to certain statements on posters opposing the boycott. Sponsored advertisements appeared on Facebook for a page titled "No Bowdoin Boycott" which linked to the website nobowdoinboycott.com. It is unclear who created the website or funded the Facebook advertisements.
Around a hundred students packed into Jack Magee's Pub on Monday night for a 90-minute open forum about the referendum.
More information on the referendum: bowdoinorient.com/article/10301
More information on the proposed boycott: bowdoinorient.com/article/10179
- May 1
Snapshot: The Scoop
- May 1
video: President Barry Mills leaves a legacy of financial aid expansion
When President Barry Mills departs from the College in July after 14 years, he will leave behind a legacy of increased access to Bowdoin and a more diverse student body, something he accomplished through a dramatic expansion of the College’s financial aid program.
During his first year as president in 2001, the College awarded $13,870,759 (adjusted for inflation) in need-based financial aid to 627 students, according to the College’s Common Data Set. This year, Bowdoin provided $29,739,519 in institutional aid to 803 students, meaning that at the end of Mills’ tenure, the College both offers a larger average grant and provides grants to more students. Mills said that those rising numbers reflect his longstanding belief that financial aid is essential to the future of the College.
“It’s been at the heart and soul of my commitment to the College since the day I came,” said Mills.
Indeed, as early as his October 27, 2001 inaugural address, Mills had identified expanding access and supporting students with need as one of the biggest challenges Bowdoin faced.
“Our continued commitment to a strong financial aid program will ensure that students from rural Maine, and students from poor neighborhoods in New York City and Los Angeles, and even some not-so-wealthy students from Rhode Island will be able to come here to learn,” he said that day.
Mills himself was once one of those not-so-wealthy students from Rhode Island. His father had not finished the 10th grade, yet with the help of financial aid, Mills matriculated at Bowdoin and graduated in 1972. As he sees it, expanding access to Bowdoin is an integral part of the College’s commitment to the common good.
“If you want to think about the common good—the idea that you are creating opportunity for a student who wouldn’t have it otherwise is hugely important to me,” he said.
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Scott Meiklejohn said that the College’s financial aid program has become one of its strongest selling points.
“I think his view of Bowdoin and what Bowdoin means as a college, why Bowdoin exists, is to provide opportunity, and so at the level of inspiration, that message is really important for us to be able to communicate,” he said.
Mills’ commitment to financial aid is not just a message for the Office of Admissions, however. It has a real impact on how Admissions operates.
“I’ve just been in northern California for a week, and there’s not one student I met there—including a group of students at a 100 percent first-generation school in East Palo Alto—there’s not one student I met where I have to express any reservation about their opportunity to come here, because Barry and others have ensured that we have the resources to hold the door open,” Meiklejohn said.The no-loans policy
Mills has been able to oversee a dramatic expansion of financial aid largely because of his success as a fundraiser and the strong performances of Bowdoin’s endowment over the last decade.
“We were able to succeed partly because people recognized that what we were doing was important for the students, important for the future for the school,” Mills said, “and we were able to succeed because we were able to raise the money to do it and because the endowment grew.”
Mills said that donors came to recognize the importance of financial aid because it was a priority—something that he reminded them about repeatedly. He joked that he spoke about aid so often that he sounded “like a broken record.” Broken record or not, his was a tune that got stuck in donor’s heads.
“When I came I was told financial aid money is very hard to raise,” he said. “Interestingly I found financial aid money is the easiest money to raise, and in many cases I’ve had donors who we’ve asked to do other things who would have preferred to give money to financial aid.”
Fundraising successes allowed Mills to increase his goals for financial aid. When his presidency began, he spoke about the irresponsibility of abandoning the College’s need-blind admissions policy. Seven years later, he had a far more ambitious goal in mind: adopting a policy of meeting 100 percent of demonstrated need without loans.
Bowdoin announced its no-loans initiative in January 2008. At the time, it was one of the only colleges with an endowment of less than one billion dollars to commit to no loans. Mills had worked with members of the Board of Trustees to help them understand why it was the right choice for the College.
Meiklejohn said that Mills had led the push for the no-loans policy.
“At a time when the college had the resources to expand its financial aid support and to go no-loan and to throw even more energy and commitment to low-income, first-generation students, Barry was the right person to galvanize the community around that and push Bowdoin even further ahead,” he said.
The policy has made financial aid available to middle class families, many of whom struggle to afford college as its cost keeps rising. According to Meiklejohn, there are currently 433 students from households with incomes over $90,000 who receive financial aid—about half of all aid recipients. Mills said that there are families on the higher end of the economic spectrum—even those at the bottom of the one percent—who have difficulty paying for college and deserve support.
As the country went into a deep recession in late 2008, the expensive no-loans initiative was adding to the College’s financial stress, but Mills felt that it was a policy worth maintaining.
“I’m proud to say we maintained the no loans. We didn’t lay anybody off; everybody kept their jobs,” he said. “The College got through that period with a lot of shared sacrifice where faculty and staff agreed to freeze salaries for a couple of years in order to allows us to maintain our commitments both to our employees and to the students.”Diversity
The no-loans policy has helped the College become a more diverse place, not only in terms of its socioeconomic composition, but also in terms of its geographic and racial composition.
According to the College’s Common Data Set, there were 50 black students, 50 Hispanic students and 1,295 white students enrolled during the 2001-2002 academic year. This year, 229 students identify as Hispanic, 88 as black, 1,147 as white, and 117 as non-Hispanic members of two or more races.
The College has also drawn more and more students from outside of New England, a trend that started before Mills’ tenure but has accelerated in recent years.
“The goal always was to make the school look like America—that meant racial diversity; that meant economic diversity; that meant diversity of view—and we succeeded in doing that to a point,” Mills said. “There’s always more work to be done.”
Mills said that these forms of diversity are important to the College’s mission to prepare its students to be leaders. He and Meiklejohn both said that after graduating, students will have to navigate a world where people have different viewpoints and backgrounds, and that a diverse student body is excellent preparation for that world.
“Creating a community that is more cosmopolitan, more diverse in the broadest sense, was essential, I think, to the future of the College,” Mills said. “We recognized that in order to bring people from different parts of the United States to the College, including racial diversity, we needed to put more money behind financial aid.”
- May 1
Course evaluations move from paper to web
For the first time, many students will fill out end-of-semester course reviews online, rather than by hand. While the survey itself is not changing, the means and timing of distribution are. For this semester, all tenured faculty will be using the online forms and by next semester the entire school will utilize the online forms.
Professors using online forms will still have two weeks before classes end to distribute the surveys. Students can start and finish the surveys entirely in class, as they did using the handwritten forms, or they can choose to do them completely on their own time outside of class. Professors can also have students start the surveys in class and finish them outside of class.
There are a number of reasons for the change, which has been discussed since 2006. Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd said that the online forms will be environmentally friendlier, provide greater flexibility for both students and professors, and allow for an even greater degree of anonymity for students.
Last fall, the College piloted the program with seven tenured professors across 12 courses. “We did a survey of all the students who participated in the pilot and the student response was uniformly positive,” Judd said. “The comments—the qualitative part—was greater on the online forms than the paper form.”
The survey revealed that students felt that they were able to give more complete and more thoughtful answers on course evaluations, since they had the flexibility to do the surveys whenever they wanted.
“People said it was at least the same as doing it in class and many cited many of the advantages we found, including their ability to do it with a clear head,” Judd said.
There is a drawback to the online form, however.
“Faculty are nervous,” said Judd.
Now that students have the option to do them outside of class there is the added risk that students will not take the surveys.
“Students will get reminders about completing the forms and a clear sense of when the deadlines for completing those forms are, but it’s important that they do them,” said Judd.
She added, “We really value and depend on student feedback to help us continuously improve the teaching at Bowdoin and continuously improve the experience.”
- May 1
Minimal damage, one transport at 150th Ivies
With only one alcohol-related transport, one major injury, and “a lot of public urination,” the College’s 150th Ivies was a busy but successful weekend for the College, according to Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols.
On Friday, students gathered for an annual party held on the Brunswick Quad.
A female student in the Class of 2017 was transported due to overconsumption of alcohol. Nichols noted that the transport was not a particularly serious one, with the student only staying in the hospital for 2-3 hours. There have been 16 alcohol-related transports to date this year.
A male first-year student fell on broken glass and cut his back open severely.
“Most years we have glass cuts during Ivies and this was the most serious glass cut injury we’ve had during my nine Ivies,” said Nichols. “Often we’ll get foot cuts and things like that, so that was unfortunate, but the student is recovering and doing well.”
Multiple students were escorted out of Brunswick Quad because of dangerous behavior.For most students, however, the day was a success.
“My favorite Ivies event was definitely Brunswick Quad on Friday,” said Lillian Eckstein ’18. “It was super fun to just hang with friends and bump to the sick beats. Plus the weather was so fresh.”
Although the events at Harpswell Apartments and Pine Street Apartments on Friday and Saturday nights, respectively, went seamlessly, Brunswick Quad and Ladd House were more problematic. According to Nichols, the Brunswick Quad was very active and kept security officers busy for the whole day on Friday. Ladd House hosted an event on Saturday known to some students as “Laddio” that demanded similar attention.
“There were a number of registered events approved for Saturday morning and we allowed that to carry on into the afternoon up until about the concert time, so the Ladd event got a little raucous,” said Nichols.
A chair was smashed by a student on the patio and a window was also shattered by a student.Security determined that the broken window at Ladd was an accident, citing “particularly wild dance moves” as the cause. The student has agreed to pay for the damages. Security is still trying to determine who is responsible for the vandalism of the chair on the patio.
Public urination was the most frequent citation this weekend, particularly inside and outside Ladd House on Saturday.
Public urination was not as big of a problem at Brunswick Quad as it has been in previous years. Nichols attributed this to the College’s decision to introduce numerous porta-potties for the event this year.
“I guess one takeaway is to bring on more porta-potties at the larger events” said Nichols. “That said, there are nearly a thousand toilets on campus, so with minimal effort everyone should be able to find one.”
For the second year in a row, the Office of Student Activities decided to move the Saturday concert indoors to Farley Field House. The concert was headlined by The White Panda and Logic.
“Although it ended up not raining all that much on Saturday, it turned out to be pretty cold and windy so I think it was the right call to put the show inside,” said Co-Chair of the Entertainment Board (eBoard) Matt Friedland ’15.
Nichols said that although the decision to move the event indoors is not one that students typically favor, it does make security’s job less challenging because they can control access to the venue more easily.
“However I always prefer to have it outside—it’s more fun” Nichols said.
In comparison to previous years, there were no reported problems with disorderly visitors.Despite the few incidents that did occur, Nichols said he believed that it was a successful Ivies, and the eBoard agreed.
“We are very happy with how the weekend went overall,” said Friedland in an email to the Orient. “We loved the excited atmosphere that campus brought to the show. The performers fed off the energy of the crowd and we think all three acts did a fantastic job. It’s nice to see hard work pay off and enjoy the end of the year together as a campus.”
Editor's note: A previous version of a quotation by Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols suggested that there were five registered events at Ladd House on the Saturday of Ivies. In fact, he said that there were five registered events in total that day, one of which was at Ladd House.
- May 1
Senior Class Gift Campaign and BowdoinOne Day unlock matching grants
UPDATE (Tuesday, May 5, 2:10 p.m.): The College reached 4,314 donors by the end of BowdoinOne Day—surpassing the goal of 4,300—and unlocked the $2 million challenge for financial aid according to the final tally posted on bowdoinoneday.com.
The ongoing Senior Class Gift Campaign (SCGC) reached 70 percent participation at press time, unlocking two matching donations worth $10,000 each. Meanwhile, the College awaits the results of BowdoinOne Day, a month-long donation campaign that ended on yesterday. If over 4,300 gifts were given to the College by yesterday, anonymous donors would give $2 million to be used for student financial aid.
Although the One Day website noted that there were 3,976 gifts in total at midnight last night, the Office of Development said that the system takes time to process the gifts and the final number of gifts and amount of money raised will be reported early next week.
“It’s promising,” said Neli Vazquez ’14, the Annual Giving’s alumni fund associate. “I feel good about this year.”
Since January, 38 class agents from diverse backgrounds have been working as liaisons between students and the Office of Development. The mission of the campaign is educating graduating students about the importance of giving back to Bowdoin and encouraging them to contribute to the alumni fund.
“It is an education-based campaign,” said Vazquez. “That’s why the match grant is matched towards participation, and not how much money we raise. We highly focus upon how a gift of five dollars is just as effective as a $50 or a $100, because the percentage is what unlocks the match grant.”
First instituted in 2012, the class agent program has been growing ever since. Class agents talk about SCGC and the alumni fund and stay in touch with the students to whom they are assigned—in most cases their friends.
One of the important jobs of class agents is clearing up misconceptions about how the College raises and uses funds.
“To ensure everyone is getting the message,” said Nancy Walker ’15, one of the SCGC directors. “To ensure that every senior has a 10-minute talk, learning about SCGC and the alumni fund at large, and debunking some rumors that can get floated around—things that can get misconstrued; to ensure everyone is graduating, making the decision to give based on the full most information.”
“The biggest misconception is that the school isn’t in need for anything, because Bowdoin is a prestigious institution and the tuition is high,” added Walker. “People think there is a vault with the endowment, just sitting there, like a McDuck person. But the endowment isn’t sitting behind a safe. X amount of the endowment doesn’t transfer into X amount of expendable money.”
The College’s official website says that 53 percent of the operating budget comes from tuition and fees, and funds taken from the endowment account for 29 percent. Annual giving contributes to only 6 percent of the whole.
Last year the Class of 2014 reached 87.3 percent participation by the end of the year, a historical high, and unlocked a $10,000 matching grant from an anonymous donor; the Class of 2013 had 85 percent participation in the SCGC, according to Kacy Hintze, the associate director of annual giving.
“Our overall goal is 85 percent,” said Walker.
Besides the anonymous donor who challenged the last three graduating classes, President Barry Mills will also commit $10,000 if the participation goal is fulfilled. The donors will give $20,000 scholarships in total to rising first years.
Yesterday was BowdoinOne Day, the final day of the month-long alumni fundraising campaign in April. To earn the $2 million for financial aid from anonymous donors, 4,300 donors, including the graduating senior class, must have donated by yesterday.
For students, BowdoinOne Day is about celebrating school pride and expressing gratitude to the donating alumni. A number of events were organized to engage the student body and encourage social media posts with #BowdoinOneDay.
“We’re really trying to make it a Bowdoin Pride Day that centers on us coming together as a community and thinking about those alumni who had generously made the opportunity and environment we had here possible,” said Vazquez.
There was tabling for thank you notes to alumni, a photo shoot with the polar bear mascot and distribution of free #BowdoinOneDay frisbees on the Quad.
“They are feeding off good sentiments from the campus,” said Hintze. “The reason why we are having students post on social media is that they are showing off how great their experiences are, which makes the alumni feel good about their investment in students.”
This is the third year BowdoinOne Day has occured. In the past, BowdoinOne Day was a 24-hour fundraising campaign, but this year lasted a month and aimed for a higher goal compared to the 1,520 gifts received last year.
Bowdoin has retained a high alumni participation rate, especially the youngest graduating classes, according to Hintze. U.S. News lists Bowdoin as one of the 10 schools where the greatest percent of alumni donate.
“Bowdoin is really fortunate in the sense that the gifts coming from alumni are genuine,” said Vazquez. “We don’t really have to do much to incentivize them. The alumni base is so proud and still so loving of the Bowdoin community that they are willing to give it back to maintain the same experience, if not a better one for future students.”
- May 2
In opposition to the student referendum on a boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions
Students for Justice in Palestine’s (SJP) proposed boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions infringes upon academic freedom and damages the Bowdoin community. We believe the student body has not been sufficiently informed about the serious effects that the boycott will have on members of our college, prospective students and alumni. To be clear, this article is not a stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, rather we aim to make clear the effects of the boycott.
If a boycott were to take effect, the implications would include:No academic collaboration with scholars acting as representatives of Israeli universitiesNo ability for someone to study abroad at an Israeli UniversityNo visiting appointments for Bowdoin faculty at an Israeli UniversityNo publication in any journal or press affiliated with an Israeli institutionNo exchange of curators or scholarship related to antiquities in our museumNo visits to Bowdoin by anyone acting as a representative of an Israeli institution
If this referendum passes, it will severely restrict Bowdoin students’ educational opportunities as well as those of faculty and staff. We feel that the boycott will stifle discussion about the broader conflict and limit the free exchange of ideas. This boycott threatens Bowdoin’s academic integrity and reputation as an open-minded and tolerant community.
In order for a vote on the referendum to officially count, 1/3 of the total student body must vote. For the referendum to pass, 2/3 of those who vote must vote “yes.” In other words, a minimum of roughly 600 students must vote on the referendum and 400 of these votes must be votes of “yes” in order for this referendum to pass and go to the administration representing the voice of the student body.
Students will have three voting options on this petition. A vote of “yes” will be a vote in favor of the boycott and the passing of the referendum. A vote of “no” will be a vote against it. The third voting option will be to select “abstain.” This option is for students who do not feel comfortable voting on this decision or feel inadequately informed.
To reiterate, both the foreseeable and unforeseeable implications of this boycott would be drastic. We would be remiss in letting a small number of students represent the opinion of the entire Bowdoin community. As such, we urge all students to vote and make their voices heard.
If you would like to learn more, we encourage you to reach out to any of the signatories below.
Matt Friedland is a member of the class of 2015 and Jared Feldman is a member of the class of 2016. They submitted this piece on behalf of themselves and Evan Eklund '16, Noah Safian '17, Clara Belitz '17, Ted Romney '15, David Nemirov '15, Shan Nagar '16, Rachel Snyder '16, Zachary Albert '16, Doug Caplan '15, Leah Kahn '15, Matthew Liptrot '16 and Andrew Fradin '16.
- May 1
Editorial: The Bowdoin goodbye
When members of the Bowdoin community reminisce about President Barry Mills in five, 10, or 15 years, they will talk about his expansion of financial aid, his fundraising skills and the many campus buildings constructed during his career. But when the students who matriculated during Mills’ tenure talk about him, they’ll remember other things: the times he sat down with students during lunch at Thorne Dining Hall, his slow walks across the Quad, his printed face glued to popsicle sticks during this year’s Bowdoin-Colby hockey game. President Mills achieved the ultimate success at Bowdoin: He grew the College’s national profile while still making it feel like home.
Considering how well he fits the identity of the College, it is ironic that Mills was an afterthought for the 2001 presidential search committee—a committee Mills himself chaired. A biology and government double major and a member of the Class of 1972, Mills took full advantage of the liberal arts experience while a student at Bowdoin. After leaving Brunswick, he continued his varied academic pursuits, earning a doctorate in biology and a law degree. Mills then became a successful lawyer in New York and began volunteering his time as a Trustee of the College shortly thereafter.
Once chosen as President, Mills’ prowess as a fundraiser stood out among his other achievements. Some may only remember him for the capital campaign from 2004 to 2009 that raised $250 million, or for his stewardship of the College recession, but Mills was much more than just a financial leader. He took a genuine interest in the experiences of the students, attending and participating in lectures, performances, presentations and athletic events. He also took campus issues head on, responding directly to the National Association of Scholar’s conservative critique of the College in 2013 and meeting continuously with campus activists throughout his tenure.
President Mills’ accessibility and affable nature extended to his approach to admissions, an area in which he did hands-on work to bring the best and brightest to Bowdoin. Many remember Mills approaching them and their parents at Accepted Students Day to give an honest assessment of the College, while others received personal phone calls from Mills when they were still in the midst of choosing the right school. For Mills, bringing the best to Bowdoin meant relentlessly dedicating himself and the College to increasing financial aid funds and ensuring that no accepted student would be unable to attend for monetary reasons. This past December, the faculty endowed a scholarship in honor of Mills and his wife, Karen, and their commitment to the practice of need-blind admissions. The faculty gave him a standing ovation, and he deserved nothing less.
Although Mills will not officially relinquish leadership of the College until July 1, he is probably experiencing many of the same sentiments of nostalgia that graduating seniors are feeling. Fittingly, he will soon be made an honorary member of the Class of 2015. When you see President Mills around campus before you pack up for the summer, don’t hesitate to stop him and thank him for what he’s done for the College. If we’ve learned anything about him, it’s that he’ll be more than happy to stop and chat.
This editorial represents the majority view of the Bowdoin Orient’s editorial board, which is comprised of Garrett Casey, Ron Cervantes, Sam Chase, Matthew Gutschenritter, Nicole Wetsman and Kate Witteman.
- May 1
In response to James Jelin: the importance of respecting sexual assault survivors’ stories
The following piece does not represent my personal experience, voice or opinion but rather those of a survivor who prefers to remain anonymous and to whom I have been providing support in my capacity as a SafeSpace advocate. Additionally, this article does not represent the opinion of SafeSpace, which is an apolitical and confidential organization that does not take any unified stance on the opinion presented here.
What SafeSpace and I as a leader of the group do support and wish to give voice to, is the issue of sexual assault and how it is widely understood and discussed. The story below illustrates the extremely personal pain and offense that can result from treating sexual assault in a thoughtless or insensitive manner. I hope this piece—which may trigger strong emotions—encourages those who read it to become better educated about these issues, and to be more cognizant in the future of the potential impact of their words and actions.
As a SafeSpace member, I encourage readers to reach out to advocates or to SASSMM for support or if they want to learn more about campus resources related to sexual assault prevention, education, and advocacy.
Here is this survivor’s story:
Two years ago, I was raped by a former Bowdoin student. Suddenly I went from having a perfectly normal sophomore year to losing any sense of stability. Feeling extremely violated and empty, I was stunned into silence and often struck with sudden feelings of terror while going about normal activities. What were once safe and fun environments became dark confines in which a predator could be lurking around any corner. It took me two months to fill out the form to report an incident of sexual assault and even then, I reported completely anonymously with few details.
In the year that it took me to fully recover I relied heavily on the support of friends and my sister to rebuild the sense of trust that I had lost in everyone around me. Along the way I was utterly paranoid that people around campus would find out. I panicked at the thought of my image being shaped in this small community by one horrible night. I woke up to nightmares of people knocking on my door; vivid dreams of feeling unsafe because of my choice to report compounded with a deep and dirty sense of shame.
One thing I never encountered, however, was people who questioned if my story were true. Had this happened, it would have shattered the small part of me that was left hanging on inside my shell of a body. If people found out about the rape and called me a liar I certainly would have had to leave Bowdoin.
A few weeks ago in the Orient, James Jelin ’16 failed to address many themes and details of this sensitive issue. For example, he cites the fact that many cases do not go to the police and remain uninvestigated in order to question the current statistics about sexual assaults. He fails to appreciate why so many cases don’t go to the police. I could give you a hundred: public shame, fear of retribution, failure to report in a timely manner, depression, lack of access to resources and intimidation by the offending party are just a few.
Every case is different and occurs under a unique set of circumstances. Even at a supportive place like Bowdoin, where so many of my peers are trained about the resources and procedures for sexual assaults, it took me two months to find the courage to report completely anonymously. To this day, I cannot understand how the strong women who do report their assaults to authorities or who are in the public eye do it.
Additionally, Jelin cites that many of his friends are “terrified of being falsely accused of sexual assault.” He proceeds to try to use “data” to invalidate their claims, but ends up affirming their concerns about false reporting. Jelin cites various problems with the studies he analyzes as reasons for why the conversation surrounding sexual assault is muddled. However, the fact that there are problems with the methodologies of these studies should have no bearing on whether we believe that an individual victim is telling the truth.
Instead of engaging with clear data he wrote a casually toned and poorly researched article that hurts survivors on our campus. He has convoluted the conversation with insensitive information that damages the progress of conversations about rape. While he wrote that his friend claimed that being accused of committing sexual assault is the “worst type of slander,” in fact what Jelin has written is a much worse type of slander for survivors.
Furthermore, he points to the many different definitions of sexual assault floating around and the ‘he said, she said’ problem with these definitions. The fact of the matter is that everyone has a right to their own body and only they can say when they feel uncomfortable and when they feel they have been violated. Feelings will never form the black and white boxes that Jelin seems to need in order to call sexual assault a crime. Sexual assaults are not a matter of “irreconcilable gut feelings,” as he claims, but rather tangible and quantifiable incidents that ruin people’s lives. Women are already taught to question themselves at so many steps in the process (were my clothes slutty? Did I owe him something for bringing him home with me?) and sexual assault statistics are almost always underreported due to this self-doubt. For example, look at Bowdoin’s Clery Report in which only four “forcible sex offenses” supposedly occurred at Bowdoin in 2012, the year I was raped. I personally know of six that occurred and I am certain that the actual number is much higher.
Lastly, I’m not sure how Jelin’s article makes any meaningful conclusions about the current problems with acquiring sexual assault statistics or defining sexual assault. I’m glad Jelin has decided to ensure that his sexual partners aren’t incapacitated as a means of not committing sexual assault (does he want a round of applause?), but to prioritize that status over making sure that his actions don’t make his partner uncomfortable is totally backward. While the article brought up an important topic, I condemn Jelin for his insensitivity. With his article, he weakens the voices of survivors and chips away at my restored sense of self.
While I have had the good fortune of loyal friends and great resources, many survivors of sexual assault would be irreversibly damaged if the veracity of their accusations were doubted. Going public is something even I do not have the courage to do, and the women who do should be supported and applauded by those around them, rather than ravaged and questioned by arguments like Jelin’s.
- April 30
Support fall teach-in on racism, climate change
This piece is submitted on behalf of 22 Bowdoin faculty members from the following departments: Africana studies, art history, Asian studies, biology, classics, economics, English, cinema studies, government and legal studies, mathematics, music, neuroscience, philosophy, physics, psychology, religion, romance languages and sociology & anthropology.
For the past three months, a group of students and faculty called Intersections: People, Planet and Power (IP3) has worked to understand how climate disruption exacerbates issues of racial and socio-economic injustice and how legacies of inequity affect climate activism. We began with a roundtable discussion on the intersections of racism and climate change. We continued with a workshop on holding difficult conversations. What is next?
Next fall, on September 17, IP3 will host a day-long teach-in on these topics. The community will gather for discussions, open classes and panel presentations made by and for students, faculty and staff. We hope that this will be a day of discovery, where we evaluate the financial and social costs of action and inaction for all the stakeholders on Earth.
As members of an educational community, our job is to educate ourselves and others about the likely consequences of our current actions and about alternatives. The dual threats of systemic inequity and climate destabilization are linked in both cause and effect, rooted in the careless exploitation of human and natural resources and resulting in the physical and social destruction of communities. There are no simple cures for racism, sexism, the oppression of the poor, the continued destruction of plants and animals, the increase in extreme heat and drought, or rising sea levels. There are, however, many proposals for improvements to our legal system: international collaborations to safeguard human rights and protect ecosystems, market adjustments, and changes in local and national infrastructure that might help. We need to learn about these things and to reach across institutional hierarchies and disciplinary borders to discuss them.
We encourage the entire campus community to suggest interdisciplinary teaching teams that will address topics related to social and climate justice. Some examples may help illustrate the idea: An open class “Infectious Disease in a Warming World: Who’s at Risk?” could be co-taught by staff from the health center and members of the sociology department; “France’s Nukes/Africa’s Woe: Who Stores the Dirty Waste from Clean Power” could be taught by the French and Africana studies departments. “Making Policy in the U.S.: Who has a Seat at the Table?” could be led by the government and gender and women’s studies departments. In addition to open classes, interdisciplinary panels are sought to address topics such as: “American Cities”; “Rising Seas and Climate Refugees”; “Contested Science”; “Colonial Legacies”; “Environmental Racism”; “Geoengineering”; and “Apportioning Risk.” These are only a few examples of the connections. Now we need your input and energy. Please email email@example.com for more information and build September 17 into your plans.
Madeleine Msall is a professor of physics.
- April 30
There is something missing at Bowdoin
Bowdoin students have favorites—a favorite dining hall, favorite professor and favorite a cappella group. I have a favorite door. The inside of the Chapel’s bathroom door is one that has always captivated me. It is covered with penned signatures of both alums and current students. Running my hand over someone’s etched out name, I think about what Bowdoin may have looked like five, 10, 20 years ago. I think about its purpose as a symbol for the Bowdoin community—that so many people felt enough of a connection to Bowdoin that they wanted a permanent reminder of their experiences here. I have not signed this door, yet, although I have come close many times. I have pulled out a sharp-pointed pen on several occasions only to be flooded with disappointment. As of today, I do not want my name on this door. For all that Bowdoin has provided me, there is something missing.
There is something missing when racial slurs uttered during weekend nights are dismissed as isolated accidents: “People say all sorts of things when they’re drunk.”
When another white guy tells me what to do with my race—that I should not hide it nor should I be defined by it, there is something missing.
When parts of campus I have relied on for support suddenly fall silent because my advocacy breaches their level of comfort.
When my peers believe I should be stripped of my leadership positions for signing a document that aimed to illuminate the existing racial tensions present on campus.
When the College responds to activism at face value rather than digging down to the root cause—hurt, disenfranchisement and marginalization.
When countless prospective students have told me that what keeps them on the fence about coming to Bowdoin is the state of diversity on this campus—because 30 percent students of color doesn’t mean a whole lot when you’re in that 30 percent.
There is something missing when I hear students of color discussing their experience at Bowdoin reiterate some version of this sentiment: “This place has broken me.”
A culture of mutual compassion is missing. An intent to lead with curiosity is missing. An attitude of accepting mutual responsibility is missing. Bowdoin ought to do better. I have faith and a deep (albeit complicated) love for this college and all of its members—students, faculty, staff and administration. We must hold ourselves to higher standards to do better and seek more. We must work, listen and learn—and force ourselves to be uncomfortable in the process, especially to understand privilege as well as inequality.
I have been condemned in the past for not cushioning my criticisms of Bowdoin with a simultaneous commendation. To be clear, I am well aware of what Bowdoin provides its students, all of which I am grateful for. However, the danger of progress is complacency, an illusory belief that our work is done, and the silencing of dissenting voices.
This campus has produced countless glimmers of hope just this past year. Students have awoken from their slumber and something is stirring. This is evident in the multiple displays of solidarity and the many thought-provoking lecturers brought to campus. These events indicate that Bowdoin is capable of doing better.
I do believe that one day, I will sign the door in the Chapel. It will not happen this year. It may not even happen by the time I graduate. But one day in the future, someone will ask me: “What was your favorite thing about Bowdoin?” and I will answer: “There was a door in our Chapel that dozens, if not hundreds of Bowdoin students of all years signed.” And I’ll smile, knowing that my signature on that door means more than feeling part of the Polar Bear community—it will mean that the voices of students like me were heard.
Michelle Kruk is a member of the Class of 2016.
- April 30
An unnecessary minority: female underrepresentation in STEM fields
The three of us are fortunate to attend a college where the intellectual climate allows us to express our opinions in an open and public way. For this reason, we intend to share our individual experiences as women majoring in Computer Science and Physics, two of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) disciplines where women are underrepresented. Both of these disciplines significantly affect our day-to-day lives at Bowdoin and beyond in a world changed every day by science and technology.
While women in STEM are just one type of underrepresentation at Bowdoin, we do not raise the issue of women in these departments as a more important issue than others. Instead, we share our own experiences to bring to light the importance of addressing all types of underrepresentation by using the STEM fields as an example of that profound inequality.
Comparing statistics from the National Science Foundation of women receiving degrees in Math, Computer Science, and Physics to Bowdoin’s Institutional Research/Analytics data about Fall 2014 declared majors and minors, we found that Bowdoin is on par with national statistics. At Bowdoin, 23.5 percent of computer science majors, 32.5 percent of math majors, and 18.8 percent of physics majors are women. According to data from the National Science Foundation, in 2012, 18.2 percent of Computer Science undergraduate degrees were awarded to women. In 2013, 42 percent of Math undergraduate degrees and 19.5 percent of Physics undergraduate degrees were awarded to women. It is important to recognize that with the small size of these three departments at Bowdoin, particularly with Physics, these percentages are subject to large fluctuations. Nevertheless, Bowdoin lines up with national statistics.
Yet what is happening on the ground—in class, in dorms, at dinner—is different. While our experiences have been largely positive in our fields of study at Bowdoin, we have also each experienced the implications of being a gender minority in the classroom. For example, when one of us expressed excitement that we had finished applications for summer research, a male peer responded, “Don’t worry, you’ll get one because you’re a girl.” This is an example of a microaggression, which is “a form of unintended discrimination.” Sentiments like this are expressed to all kinds of minorities both inside and outside of the classroom and have the ability to make students question whether they deserve their place in their field of study. This is important to recognize as a campus. We want to see departments begin conversations to develop healthier cultures, where students of all genders, races, ethnicities, sexualities, and abilities feel that they hold a valuable place.
There is no a clear reason why these microaggressions exist, though discussions to address these issues are taking place nationwide. Bowdoin has consistently been a leader regarding many high profile issues in colleges both socially, as with our hard alcohol and sexual assault policies, and academically, in regards to the Digital and Computational Studies initiative. When we look around our campus, we know how capable each Bowdoin student is. With that in mind, we also know that the Bowdoin community will continue to be a leader for women in STEM. With this piece, we ask you to join us in our work to actively address this underrepresentation.
In discussions with peers and faculty members throughout the last year, we have realized not only how much work has been done, but also how much work is being done behind the scenes to overcome issues of gender inequality. We have found so many members of the community seeking not only to improve the experience for people of all genders at Bowdoin, but also beyond our campus. This great work and related advancement, however, do not change the fact that there is still a minority of women in STEM at Bowdoin. If we all represent Bowdoin and are all working toward the common good, any unnecessary minority must be recognized, and we are bringing a public, student voice to the role of women within that space.
We recognize that women and other minorities in these disciplines have different experiences. Even our own experiences have varied. While some women are not aware of the underrepresentation of women in STEM until explicitly told, others struggle with it regularly. We hope to empower women as members of the College and as members of their respective departments. Seek support in faculty, staff and peers, but also seek support in your own successes—there are certainly many of them.
Maddie Bustamante and Roya Moussapour are members of the Class of 2017. Grace Handler is a member of the Class of 2017 and the Orient’s web editor.
- April 30
Doing it wrong: Instead of Ivies, Bowdoin students should care more about the world around us
Last weekend in Brunswick, Maine, hundreds of students at an elite liberal arts college in New England imbibed day and night. Some students played drinking games in class, because education is unbearable. The Brunswick Quad was littered with glass bottles and metal cans on Friday, because recycling bins are few and far between on this campus. Outside my window, people screamed the lyrics to Uptown Funk at 2 a.m.
“You just started Ivies? I’ve been at it since Monday!” proclaimed prideful early birds on Thursday night.
“Wait, you don’t want to go to the concert, are you okay?” asked a concerned friend.“It’s party time,” declared an Orient article.
This year, I began to really think about Ivies weekend. It is something many Bowdoin students really seem to care about. What does that say about us?
“Work hard, play hard.”
It’s true that we work hard as college students, staying up late in our rooms or in the library, planning events and meetings, and participating in various extracurricular activities.
All of this is a privilege. Attending Bowdoin has been the biggest privilege I’ve ever had in my life. At Bowdoin I get to learn about whatever I find interesting, and I feel validated and respected by my peers and professors. I have access to millions of books, countless journals, and expensive software. I can talk to my professors one-on-one. I get to live in a place where I feel safe walking at night. I am surrounded by welcoming people.
While Bowdoin is not pleasant or easy for everyone, I think it is objectively nurturing. I struggle to cope with the idea that some students treat their studies like a great burden. If you don’t enjoy what you’re studying, it’s time to try something new. It is one thing to feel unfocused because of external stress, but it is another thing to treat your studies as something to just get over with—a means to a degree and nothing else.
Are our studies so unbearable that we need an entire week to constantly drink and party? Why is that what we choose to dedicate so much time, energy and money to? Of course students deserve to relax, but can such a tiring event even count? Ivies, and weekends of debauchery in general, are exhausting on a mental, physical and social level.
When I was in high school, I naively thought college would be a place of constant political unrest. That there would be people protesting or handing out fliers about whatever cause they cared about. I imagined countless conversations about current issues.
But at Bowdoin, people get annoyed when petitioners use the student activities table in the Union, or when they have to go to a talk for a class.
Students dedicate themselves to Ivies, often skipping class or work. It’s the social event of the season. I attended some of it myself and no individual person is accountable for this. But it is concerning that this is what people look forward to. Drinking to the point of throwing up or forgetting the day or tiring yourself out so much that you can’t get out of bed is painful for me to see bright young people aspire to.
A little over 500 miles away, protests and rioting broke out in Baltimore. As I write this column, two days later, people are still on the streets of Baltimore, dedicating themselves to expressing their grief and anger over the death of Freddie Gray. Freddie Gray died under the custody of people who swore to serve and protect him. Freddie Gray died as a victim of a system of racism that dehumanizes black men, and people are rightfully upset about that. Black people in this country are exhausted of being treated as second class citizens in a nation their ancestors built, and so riots and protests have broken out.
I’m referencing this event to show that there are people in this country who are rising up over something they care about. Perhaps some are skipping class or missing work. But they are dedicating themselves to a social issue—something more Bowdoin students need to do.
I don’t intend to undermine the actions of many students on campus, and their dedication to whatever it is that they care about. Many students here are doing meaningful things every day. And if people want to unwind, they should do so.
I am singling out Ivies because it goes beyond unwinding. It is a gluttonous exercise, and it takes a ton of energy and money to plan and participate and recover from. Bowdoin would look like a much more productive and relevant place if students placed less importance on Ivies, and more importance on real issues.
When we work hard and play hard, we leave no room to think deeply.
And what is going on in America right now deserves our deepest thought.
- April 30
Another white guy: ‘Broken windows are not broken spines’
Freddie Gray lay on the ground with a few police standing near him. They pulled him to his feet. He screamed as they dragged him into the police car. One of the officers yelled “walk!” at him. Sometime in the next half hour, while he is in police custody, 80 percent of his spine was severed at his neck.
Soon after, the Governor of Maryland declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard to combat the rioting.
Last Thursday, The New York Times reported this as “Demonstrators gather in Baltimore over Freddie Gray arrest, death.” On Monday, the New York Post said “Crips and Bloods team up to ‘take out’ Baltimore cops.” On Tuesday, President Obama condemned rioting and called the participants “criminals and thugs.”
These headlines reflect what we feel about the events in Baltimore. There is a quiet battle being waged on the frontier of our opinions, and we need to be critical of the way that language is used to manipulate us.
Last Wednesday, Baltimore Police Union President Gene Ryan likened the Baltimore protesters to a “lynch mob.” This comparison has been applied to Ferguson protesters by the likes of Fox News, Mike Huckabee and conservative pundit Laura Ingraham. They ironically tried to reappropriate our hatred of racism for the sake of dehumanizing black protesters. These words are bullets fired at the oppressed, and if nobody fight’s back, they will strike.
DeRay McKesson ’07, the community organizer who recently spoke on campus, was interviewed by CNN on Tuesday. The interview quickly became a fight over linguistic control of the story.
Anchor Wolf Blitzer probed McKesson, telling him, “I just want to hear you say that there should be peaceful protests, not violent protest, in the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King.” Blitzer tried to make the narrative of Baltimore into a story of violent protesters who even the reasonable community organizer denounces.
McKesson refused to bite, reframing the issue around the police violence: “Think about the 300 people that have been killed [by police] this year alone…. There’s been property damage here…but remember there have been many days of peaceful protest.”
McKesson’s narrative is less about the rioters, and more about the conditions of police brutality that instigated the riots.
Finally, he left us with a simple but powerful image: “Broken windows are not broken spines.”
I’m inspired to see McKesson actively oppose the efforts of the press to manipulate its audience. I’m inspired to see him use concise, persuasive language, factual examples, and poetic imagery to remake the meaning of a national story. Most of all, I’m inspired to attend the school where I imagine he developed many of these skills.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said and that “a riot is the language of the unheard,” that it is the reaction of a people who are “neglected and voiceless.” Uplifting voices, then, is the solution to rioting.
No longer does a voice necessarily require money—in the age of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Upworthy and Buzzfeed, we just need to be interesting and effective communicators to be heard. We, liberal arts students, are spending four years being trained to do just that.
We take science and reasoning classes to learn to use logic and data. We study history, sociology, anthropology, Africana studies, gender and women’s studies and more to understand the context in which these events occur. We take writing seminars, English classes and art classes to learn to communicate, persuade, and move people.
It is our responsibility to take what we are learning and apply it, to use our voices to uplift those who have not had the opportunities that we have.
Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote the most popular American book of the 19th century on our campus. Nine months after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his legendary “I Have A Dream Speech,” he spoke here at Bowdoin, where students from his alma mater would often spend an exchange semester. Eight years after graduating, DeRay McKesson is using Twitter—and now CNN—to reshape the meaning of the Baltimore riots as you read this.
More than ever, we find ourselves in a media war. If every one of us chose to engage in this nation’s history and in the fight to seek justice, we could be an army of change that would reach into every aspect of American society and would recreate the conversations our nation has about race. The lives of men and women like Freddie Gray are on the line.
- April 30
Home In All Lands: Remembering the best four years of my life
If words were miles, my columns would very nearly wrap around the world. I’ve penned 23,994 words since my first Orient column was published in September 2011, and I have grappled with a wide range of issues, from my hatred of the penny to Swedish trash incineration, the symbolism of divestment and the death penalty. Sometimes I have come across as too harsh in my criticism of the U.S., and it may have seemed as though I was like so many Europeans: convinced that this country should just listen to and accept the wisdom of its Old World cousins. In truth, if I criticized the US it was because I believe this is a country with boundless, untapped potential and it frustrates me to see what I know are wasted opportunities.
It reassures me, then, to know that I will be graduating alongside close to 500 people whose time at Bowdoin has prepared them to do exceptional things. I am also pleased to be graduating with, so to speak, a man who has done a great deal to advance the cause of his college and of the liberal arts education. Barry Mills may not be liked by everyone in the Bowdoin community, but he should be, at the very least, commended for sticking to his principles. Like President Mills, we have gained the skills to challenge preconceptions and advocate for our own knowledge.
As our time at Bowdoin winds down, I find myself wondering how my peers and I will remember the “best four years” of our lives. When we meet again in years to come, what will be the moments that defined “our” Bowdoin? What will we take away from the small liberal arts college with the cult-like sun symbol? We will all be leaving with different memories of this place: some are positive, others less so. I know seniors who couldn’t be happier to be leaving and I know seniors who undoubtedly will be crying at graduation, shedding tears for an end that came too soon. However we may feel about our time at Bowdoin, we are all brought together and separated by the memories we have made here. I can’t say that I will miss the smell of the pines, or a sweaty party in the basement of a social house, or swimming in Greason pool, or the creak of the floorboards in the room on the top floor of Massachusetts Hall; those experiences are not my Bowdoin.
My Bowdoin is late evenings working in the Shannon Room, the musky scent of old LPs in the WBOR studios, a breeze on the quad on a hot September day, going to class on skis, stargazing through a telescope in the fields behind Farley. Each of us has created our own image of Bowdoin: for all the commonalities that bring our graduating class together, it is the differences that have made our Bowdoin exciting.
As Eric Edelman wrote two years ago, there is little use in agonizing about what might have been: so what if I’ve never taken a psych class? So what if you never climbed Katahdin? When we walk up to receive our diplomas in three weeks’ time, we should do so without regrets.
We cannot be burdened by our mistakes: let the past remain there and may our success carry us forward. These four years have given us extraordinary tools to take on new challenges and I am excited to see what the Class of 2015 will make of the confused and chaotic world beyond the Bowdoin Bubble.
Friends, it has been my pleasure getting to know many of you since we first assembled on the quad at the end of August four years ago. I wish you all the very best, wherever you may go. Thank you for making this, truly, the best four years of my life. Good-bye for now, and good luck.
- April 23
Editorial: Don’t rain on the parade
It’s party time. Many Bowdoin students look forward to this weekend of raucous celebration all year—or even go as far as to plan their semesters abroad around it—and a collective sigh of disappointment could be heard on campus when it was announced that for a second year in a row, the concert would be held indoors. Though the weather may not be ideal, and the floor of the Farley Field House pales in comparison to the grass of Whittier Field, the show and the weekend’s fun should go on uninterrupted. All ivy needs both rain and shine to grow and thrive.
An urge for restraint may fall on deaf ears this far into the week of revelry, but it is important to remember that other peer schools have ended long-held traditions they deemed unsafe. This year, the Bates campus erupted in controversy after its administrators decided to end Trick or Drink, an aptly-named off campus Halloween celebration, stating that the event encouraged underage and binge drinking. Colby ended an annual tradition for graduating seniors called Champagne Steps after a slew of transports and property damage in 2009. The Tufts administration decided in 2010 to ban alcohol from its Ivies-equivalent, called Spring Fling, following a year when more transports were called in than the local ambulance companies could handle. Last year, Bowdoin had three transports over the Ivies Weekend. Damage was also done to Bowdoin dorms and nearby Brunswick residents often complain about the noise. After several incidents in previous years involving visitors who did not know anyone at the College, the administration began charging guests to enter the Saturday concert in 2012. And this year, to help mitigate the problem of public urination during the annual Brunswick Apartments Quad celebration, the College will provide portable restrooms for the first time. Hopefully, preventative actions like these will continue to be the norm for the College’s approach to making Ivies safe and fun every year.
While Ivies is a carefree time for students, that is not the case for everyone at the College. Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols is sleeping on a cot in his office for the next few nights, and many Office of Safety and Security officers are required to work multiple shifts over the weekend. Dining Services workers must be prepared to handle especially big rushes of students coming from the Brunswick Apartments Quad and the Saturday concert. Facilities Management shoulders the burden of some of the cleanup and repairs the damages that are too often a byproduct of the festivities. Student Activities has poured its time and energy into improving Ivies each year and ensuring that it runs smoothly. And finally, the Entertainment Board carefully considered students’ survey responses and spent months planning the weekend; in addition, its members will forgo some of the weekend’s freedoms in order to staff events. Numerous people go above and beyond this weekend so that we can enjoy ourselves, and for that we should all be appreciative.
When the last of the champagne is poured and Security closes up shop at Pine Street Apartments, we hope to have done past generations of revelers proud. It may only be three (or four, or five, or six) days long, but Ivies usually provides many of the most memorable moments of the year. Happy 150th, Ivies, and here’s to many more.
This editorial represents the majority view of the Bowdoin Orient’s editorial board, which is comprised of Garrett Casey, Ron Cervantes, Sam Chase, Matthew Gutschenritter, Nicole Wetsman and Kate Witteman.
- 2 days ago
Snapshot: Orientation trips return to campus
- May 1
You are what you eat: investigating food sourcing at Bowdoin
Bowdoin Dining Services purchases and receives a startling amount of food every week. According to Associate Director of Dining Kenneth Cardone, Bowdoin serves 23-24 thousand meals per week, consuming a quantity of meat, fish, produce, fruit and dry goods that weighs thousands of pounds.
To provide such a huge quantity of food, Bowdoin relies on a range of suppliers. Sourcing and Menu Manager Matt Caiazzo said that approximately 80 percent of the total food purchases are from the Performance Food Group (PFG) NorthCenter distribution facility in Augusta, Maine.
PFG supplies Bowdoin with an enormous range of products. Almost all meat that is not ground beef comes from PFG, as do eggs, non-milk dairy products, dry pantry goods, fruit besides apples and many paper products and supplies. PFG is a satellite location of a national distribution company that contracts with some of the biggest players in the food industry including Tyson, Kraft and ConAgra among others.
The other 20 percent of the food budget is spent at a variety of mid-sized sources. Bubier Meats, in Greene, Maine supplies primal cuts of locally raised beef that Bowdoin grinds in a meat cutting room in Thorne Dining Hall. All of Bowdoin’s ground beef is local and ground in-house. Bowdoin sometimes buys processed meat from GoodSource Solutions, a California based company that purchases discounted surplus product from industrial processers immediately after a client discontinues an item or changes its production specifications.
PJ Merril Seafood and Harbor Fish, both based in Portland, Maine, as well as Maine Shellfish Company from Kennebunk, Maine provide Bowdoin with seafood, much of which is caught off the Maine coast. Each company is a small distributor with national connections.
Similarly, Bowdoin’s farm produce comes from multiple sources. In addition to a small amount of produce from the Bowdoin Organic Garden, Dining also purchases from the Crown O’ Maine Organic Cooperative and Farm Fresh Connection, both aggregators and distributors of produce from small to midsize producers in Maine.
While Cardone and Caiazzo identified these businesses as suppliers to Bowdoin, they were unable to provide any information about the respective quantity of food purchased from each. Bowdoin’s Controller’s Office was also unable to provide any information about payments to each vendor.
In recent years, awareness about the provenance of food has increased significantly, as has awareness of the steep external cost that many methods of food production carry. The cost is manifested in harsh conditions for migrant farm workers, as well as in the outsized environmental impact of the industrial livestock industry, which accounts for 15 percent of global carbon emissions.
This cost also appears in the ecosystem-damaging runoff of chemical fertilizer and pesticides from croplands not to mention the public heath threat posed by widespread antibiotic and hormone use in animal feed.
Others have taken issue with cruel and inhumane treatment of animals, including confining pregnant and nursing sows in gestation crates and confining laying hens in battery cages. The widespread use of genetically modified organisms (G.M.O.s) in the food system has also become a target for activist consumers, though there is not yet a definitive consensus that they pose any risk to consumers.
The food system is so complex and opaque that it is nearly impossible to understand and account for all of its externalities. For instance, an Associated Press investigation recently found that slavery is widespread the Thai fishing industry, which supplies fish to many large retailers and distributors in the U.S. and Europe.
Some of the food Bowdoin serves avoids the external costs of the industrial food system but Bowdoin may be guilty of complicity with many of these practices. PFG supplies antibiotic and hormone free meat but it is unclear how much of it Bowdoin buys.
“I think a lot of the products we purchase are antibiotic free,” said Caiazzo.
Caiazzo was unable to provide the Orient with any data about which and how many products are free of the drugs.
With respect to chicken, Bowdoin may soon benefit from shifts by some of the market’s biggest players. McDonalds recently announced that it will begin to limit antibiotics in its chicken over the next two years.
“[McDonalds] is changing the industry, because they have such tremendous buying power and that’s good for us,” said Cardone.
One of the most difficult aspects of sourcing is deciding which factors are important and balancing costs. Almost any alternative to the industrial food system comes at a higher cost. A primary benefit of organic farming is that for crops, organic certification places limits on the use of potentially harmful synthetic fertilizer and pesticides. However, many chemicals can still be used, as long as they’ve been deemed ‘essential,’ by the USDA. According to Cardone, Bowdoin occasionally buys organic foods, but they are not a priority. The PFG order guide shows an availability of some organic produce but not a significant amount.
“Organic isn’t on top of the list—local’s on top of the list,” said Cardone. “Some products that we buy are organic but that’s not what we’re focusing on, we’re focusing on local.”
Buying locally produced food has become one of the most well-known and effective ways to avoid the external costs of the industrial food system. According to the Bowdoin Dining Services website, “Bowdoin sources approximately 34 percent of food purchases from local vendors.” Caiazzo said this percentage is calculated as a percentage of the dining services budget. The primary items included in this calculation are ground beef, milk, some seafood, apples, tomatoes and some produce.
However, buying locally in Maine is not easy.
“You always want to be able to plan to use more local food as it becomes available,” said Cardone. “The issue in Maine is that it’s very seasonal, so you need the ability to process and store [food].”
The local food economy in Maine is not large or diverse enough to support Bowdoin entirely. Many farms are simply too small. Even if a farmer is able to produce enough livestock to satisfy Bowdoin’s high demand, all of that meat has to be processed. While meat production in Maine has increased, a lack of meat processing facilities in the region has hindered significant growth of the market. According to Cardone, some producers in Maine have shipped their cattle out of state to be processed then shipped back. At that point, its financial and environmental costs rise dramatically.
“Think about the volume,” said Cardone. “We used 30,000 chicken breasts from March to the end of April. Think about the state of Maine and these small farms that produce poultry and pork. They’re raising 15 hogs—it’s just not there yet.”
Farm size, the short growing season and greater cost are the three biggest obstacles to local sourcing in Maine.
“A lot of it depends on the season, a lot if it is market driven,” Cardone said. “If we get an opportunity to jump on something, we watch it closely; we’re going to do that. You have to.”
Caiazzo said that in the future, he hopes to work with local farms before the growing season so that farms can match their production to Bowdoin’s needs and specifications.
“[We hope to] look at ways we can work with local growers and farmers to help grow their businesses,” he said. “Because they need to scale up to be able to provide to us at a reasonable cost and if we don’t do anything about it, they’ll never hit that next scale.”
Bowdoin currently freezes some local produce at its peak availability and lowest cost in the summertime, but Caiazzo hopes to do more of this in the future. This could significantly increase the amount of local produce and even seafood that Bowdoin uses, however Dining is limited by a lack of freezer space.
“There isn’t a food service that I know that food storage isn’t an issue,” said Cardone.
Dining is also faced with the difficulty of what to do when student tastes and ethics collide. For example, bananas are Bowdoin’s most popular fruit, with Dining bringing in around 51,000 pounds every year. However, Bowdoin Amnesty has recently been bringing discussion of the problems surrounding the harvesting of bananas in South and Central America to campus. Caiazzo confirmed that Bowdoin’s bananas are from that area. Cardone said it would be very difficult to stop offering the fruit because of its popularity.
“It’s a matter of educating your customer base,” he said. “Eat an apple, eat a pear. They’re local. It’s a juggle and it’s a balancing act.”
Despite the difficulty and complexity, Cardone said that Dining works hard to stay responsive to student’s requests and current food trends.
“It’s a changing landscape,” he said. “What we did last year doesn’t work this year and what we’re doing this year won’t work next year. You can’t sit on your laurels.”
Student opinion and conviction about sourcing ranges, but many seem to be aware of local and organic foods in Bowdoin’s dining halls. However, at the end of the day, everyone has to eat. “I always pay close attention to when it is local or organic,” said Alice Jones ’17. “But it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m more inclined to eat it.”“[I] wish we knew more about where we get meat and things like that,” said Kayla Kaufman ’18.
“What could be cool is a little bit more transparency or a little bit more knowledge of sneaky things that have huge carbon footprints,” said Clare McLaughlin ’15. “For example, things like almonds are just not good for the environment but we don’t think about that and no one talks about that and it’s not advertised.”
McLaughlin added that she thinks sourcing could be more sustainable if Dining used its resources more effectively.
“I think you could decrease the extravagance on some things to make other things more sustainable,” she said.
Bowdoin Dining’s massive operation is one of the most well-known aspects of the College, and making food on such a large scale is no easy task.
- May 1
Evan Gershkovich ’14 uses Bowdoin Dining skills to feed hundreds in Nepal after earthquake
"I’m a graduate now...four years on from my first Ivies, and I haven’t woken up early to drink this time. It’s 10 a.m. in Kathmandu, Nepal"
- May 1
Ben AppÉtit: Moulton’s Korean display station is worth the wait
As this school year, this esteemed volume of the Orient and consequently this intrepid column draw to a close, I can’t help but feel a little bit sentimental. In times like these, when stress, nostalgia and anticipation converge, there are only a few possible places to seek asylum. Other than the obvious refuge of a joyous and transporting meal, the troubled mind can escape in unexpected moments of inspiration.
Though most of my biweekly cravings happened to conveniently coincide with my Orient column’s schedule, this final opportunity to overanalyze food came with no accompanying craving to serve as my guide. It was only after I had given up entirely, surrendering to the mindless vortex of social media, that a bit of excerpted verse jolted my culinary spirit back to life.
It was a post by Bowdoin Missed Encounters that read as follows:
“Julian Andrews: You’re the only reason I go to the Korean display station. I am Edgar Allen Poe and you’re my raven. ‘Deep into that darkness peering, long before I stood there wondering, fearing; doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before; but the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, and the only word there spoken was one whispered word, ‘Julian?’’”
Of course! How could I have been so blind, so tasteless? Not only has the Korean food display at Moulton long been my favorite dining hall offering, but the sought-after chef himself—the Orient’s very own (OVO) Julian Andrews ’17—is also the very same Features Editor who has tolerated my deadline-defying feats all year. This opportunity had been sitting right under my nose all year, taking on many fragrant forms including bibimbap, Korean tacos and, most recently, scallion pancakes. To miss an encounter with any of these dishes would warrant its own melancholy poetic Facebook post, so I make sure to clear my schedule every Tuesday for some quality time at Moulton.
In all cases, the long line for the display station was a worthy price to pay for Brunswick’s best (and only) Korean delicacies. My first love, the classic bibimbap, delivered flavors that were largely absent from this culinary landscape. With an absorbent sticky rice foundation, juicy thin-sliced beef, crisp lettuce, funky kimchi and an expertly fried egg to top it off, it was a powerhouse dish unlike anything I had experienced from Bowdoin Dining before—or since. Though it admittedly took me a few weeks to reign in my overzealous dousing of soy and spicy sauces, the culinary synergy between Julian and Max Miao ’17 made for an unparalleled eating experience every time.
The display station’s foray into fusion was a high-risk, high-reward strategy. It was clear that the masterminds behind the counter meant business when I approached the table to see them personally assembling and doling out what is arguably the single trendiest street food item in these United States: the Korean taco. Fortunately, I had dealt with my initial trepidations surrounding this Mexican-Korean amalgam on a fateful day when the famed Korilla BBQ truck arrived on my Manhattan block some summers ago. Call them gimmicky, call them hipster chow, call them whatever you want; the simple fact is that Korean tacos are a delicious idea if done right. The hands-on labor of love behind the counter at Moulton pays off, because these tacos are on par with anything that you could buy (or not) from a sleeve-tattooed street vendor in one of America’s “foodie” cities.
Finally, there’s the newcomer: a scallion pancake known as Pajeon. This again demonstrated Bowdoin Dining’s admirable desire to break new ground in Brunswick. Sure, there are probably a few decent scallion pancake options at our local Chinese-American institutions, but this Pajeon delivered a distinctly Korean take on texture and composition. Complemented by the requisite kimchi, sprouts, cucumbers and a fluffy bed of spicy-soy-soaked rice, the chewy pancake brought savory bits of spring onion flavor with every bite. I only lament that I may not have enough time to perfect my fixins-to-pancake ratio before the semester comes to a close.
The column known as Ben Apétit has been all over the place. I have traveled reasonably far and relatively wide in search of gustatory goodness, all the while attempting to maintain a reasonable expectation of where people are willing to eat and what they are willing to pay.
In some moments, minor existential crises have plagued me, begging the question of legitimacy and inaccessibility in the realm of food writing. When I can remember how incredibly lucky we are to have such amazing eating options just one meal swipe away, it reminds me why writing a nitpicky column with a downright silly name is so rewarding. So thank you, reader, for accompanying me on this absurd journey through the culinary wilds of Midcoast Maine. Perhaps we will meet again someday, or maybe another quixotic eater will take up the mantle. No matter what happens, I will be around, I will be hungry, and I would love to get a meal some time.
- May 1
Bottom of the Barrel: Xo, G provides a less than stellar send-off
Dearest followers. Welcome to our final column. Of all time. At least with us. And we’re really the only wine connoisseurs that matter. This week, to celebrate our immensely successful year of writing what we can only assume is the Orient’s most widely read column, we decided to review a “premium” wine.
By “premium,” we mean the premium packaging that Xo, G comes in. It is made up of separate, durable plastic glasses in one convenient pop-apart tower, wrapped in artistically designed plastic. While it may not be very eco-friendly, it is definitely fun and an incredibly unique way to market wine.
We are somewhat concerned that the packaging may encourage drinking while driving, as it notes that this wine is “Perfect for the girl on the go” and fits in a standard cup holder. Out of the available options, we decided to go with the rosé since we barely dipped into this category during our tenure with the Orient. The wine has a beautiful silvery-pink color and catches the eye.
The initial odor that escaped the plastic container almost made us gag. It is akin to some sort of wine-scented compost. After it had time to breathe—if you could call it that—one visiting commenter said that it smelled like trash juice. Brandon thought it was pleasing and earthy, while another visitor said it became offensive over time.
The wine is surprisingly acidic and is not as sweet as one may guess based on its pink color and fancy packaging. It is fairly tasteless overall, but it has quite a strong aftertaste of alcohol and earth. According to Brandon, this aftertaste is what you would expect your mouth to taste like when you vomit this wine up later. This is despite the wrapping saying it has notes of berries. This is certainly no white zin.
At the same time, it is surprisingly drinkable and when judged in the context of its wine-to-go platform, it is maybe not all too bad. We honestly think you could do better, but if you are looking for a middling quality taste with cool packaging this may be for you.
With a high 12.6 percent alcohol by volume, you can really feel this wine burn through you. The Xo, G has a pretty flat and boring mouthfeel that could be called silky if we were feeling generous.
So with that, we bid farewell to this column and to you, our faithful readers. We are certainly not bidding goodbye to the wine though. Over the year we’ve gained a new appreciation for wine, and we’ve learned a lot. Our most important lesson, that we hope we’ve passed on to you, is that you don’t have to splurge to keep your next dinner, party, outdoor picnic, or stress-induced sobbing session classy. You can certainly find some great wine for under $10, and we hope this column has inspired you to add more wine to your life.
As always,XO, B + B
Nose: 1.5Body: 2.5Mouthfeel: 2.5Taste: 2.5 Final, final thoughts: Brandon: What a year, what a column, what a beginning to my lifelong wine-based alcoholism. But in all seriousness, though I am continuously shocked that we have somehow managed to gain a readership, it has been great hearing all of your suggestions and compliments.
Bryce: Wine column Tuesdays have become the highlight of the early part of my week. Thank you to all those who have voiced their support and excitedly told me they took our advice. It’s fun to see we actually have a readership and that there are people who believe what we say.
- May 1
Athletes, chem-free students find alternative ways to celebrate Ivies
Every year when snow starts to melt and finals loom ahead, the cans of PBR, backward trucker hats and ironic t-shirts begin to emerge. Whether Ivies is indoors or out, Bowdoin students rally for the campus-wide event. However, some on campus do not participate in the weekend of revelry. Spring athletes, in the midst of their seasons, spend their time practicing and competing, while chem-free students seek out other alternatives to the traditional, booze-filled events.
Bowdoin’s track and field teams competed in the NESCAC championship meet last Saturday during Ivies weekend, as they do every year.
“NESCACs is a big deal to all the sports teams,” Chris Genco ’15 said. “While the rest of the school is getting excited for Ivies, we can get just as excited for NESCACs. It takes a special kind of person to know that they’ll miss out on a huge campus wide event, but I think the team does a good job of being fully present and competes at the best of their ability.”
For the members of the track team, it is made clear from the beginning of the season that they will not be able to participate in Ivies.
“Ivies is a great state of mind for campus, but we realize that we won’t get to participate in the Saturday concert and can’t drink leading up to it,” added Genco.
Mettler Growney ’17 of the women’s lacrosse team shared similar feelings as Genco about the spring festival.
“It’s hard when everyone on campus is talking about Ivies, the concert and their plans when you have a huge playoff game right in the middle of that,” she said. “The lacrosse team did a really good job putting Ivies out of it and focusing on lacrosse, playing and winning the game, and then going to attend Ivies and having fun.”
Carolina Deifelt Streese ’16, a resident of Howell House, organized a number of chem free events during Ivies weekend. Howell sponsored a trip to Popham Beach and a movie on Friday, and a breakfast food Super Snack on Saturday night.
“Howell tries to have events during Ivies for people who don’t necessarily want to go and drink, but still want to go and do things and participate in the weekend,” she said.
Some chem free students do attend the typical Ivies events.
“I make an effort to attend the events,” said Grace McKenzie-Smith ’17. “I went to the Thursday night concert and Brunswick Quad this year and last year I went to both of those things and also made it to the big concert. This year I didn’t like the bands playing.”
However, McKenzie-Smith said that it can be hard as a chem free student during the Ivies weekend.
“For myself and other people who are chem-free and just feel uncomfortable around people who are drunk, it’s very isolating,” she said.
Members of the women’s lacrosse team, who played at home Saturday morning, went to Brunswick Quad on Friday to be with friends though they did not drink. They were also able to attend the concert on Saturday once they’d won their game.
“In my eyes, that didn’t change anything,” said Growney. “I had so much fun. My friends who did drink said they had so much fun with me. It didn’t stop the lacrosse girls from being themselves and having fun even though we had practice right after.”
Although many cannot participate in the traditional Ivies, there are other Student Activities sponsored events throughout the year for Bowdoin students to participate in such as Spring Gala, Junior-Senior Ball and concerts and shows such as the Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company.
McKenzie-Smith said that she generally enjoys Spring Gala more than Ivies.
“I feel like the focus is much less on drinking,” she said “Ivies, I have no choice. I have to be surrounded by alcohol.”
Hy Khong and Nicole Wetsman contributed to this report.
- May 1
Talk of the Quad: The Bowdoin myth
I applied to Bowdoin for two reasons: The College had accepted my best friend early decision, and the Office of Admissions had sent me a glossy brochure, inside of which was one photo in particular that appealed to the romantic idealism of my 17-year-old self.
The photo showed a group of Bowdoin boys, bundled in brightly colored winter jackets as they played pickup hockey on the Quad. Hubbard Hall, framed by a row of trees and bathed in the light of a winter sunset, loomed in the background.
For me, the photo was—and remains—a more generous offer than William DeWitt Hyde’s “Offer of the College.” It offered me a myth of Bowdoin, the myth of a place where the past bled into the present, a place where I could participate in academic toil one day and tomfoolery the next, a place with a literary quality that I'll never be able to describe.
Daily life at the College can’t possibly live up to this myth. During a hectic day of quizzes, 100-page readings, club meetings, essays and internship applications, it’s impossible to remain conscious of everything that life at Bowdoin means. At the end of that sort of busy day, I trudge home across the Quad, my head down, already scheduling myself for a frantic tomorrow.
When I look back at Bowdoin, I won’t remember those days. I’ll remember my four years at Bowdoin for those rare moments when the myth overcame the mundane—those moments when I lived the myth.
I’ll remember a Saturday in January of my sophomore year when two friends and I set out to convert Reed House’s backyard into an ice rink.
We ran garden hoses from Reed’s basement bathroom up the stairs, out a window, and across the yard. None of us had any rink-making experience (and we were all humanities majors), so we expected the process would only take a few minutes. We thought it would be as simple as spraying some water, watching it freeze, and grabbing some skates.
It quickly became clear that we wouldn’t be skating for hours, so we descended into the basement and ratcheted up the water pressure by turning on the hot water. The three of us spent the rest of the afternoon drinking beers, watching “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and intermittently checking on the glacial progress of the rink. Just before dinner, a towel-clad Reed resident burst into our room and informed us with polite anger that there was no hot water in our 28-person House. And when the hot water returned 36 hours later, the rink was still hardly more than a soggy lawn.
I’ll remember reading Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Blithedale Romance” in the very same Massachusetts Hall in which Hawthorne studied. I’ll remember poring through “Tales from Bowdoin,” a 1901 book described as “some gathered fragments and fancies of undergraduate life in the past and present told by Bowdoin men.” Lounging on the windowsill in the Shannon Room, I’d put the book down from time to time and looked out on the Quad, imagining the Bowdoin men of the 19th century mischievously sneaking toward the Chapel under the cover of darkness.
But most of all, I’ll remember late nights at the Orient House when, after 13 hours of work, we clustered around a computer and collaborated on the final and most important part of the production process: conjuring up a suitably clever name for the editorial. We would spend all night considering Bowdoin’s purpose and its policies, and it all culminated in this pre-dawn moment when every joke was hilarious and no suggestion was too terrible to consider.
At the end of those nights, I strolled across the Quad and stopped at its center to gaze up at Hubbard Hall, which often looked as if it had been superimposed in front of the stars. And in those brief moments, I knew full well that I was living the myth of Bowdoin.
Garrett Casey is a member of the Class of 2015 and a co-editor in chief of the Orient.
- May 1
Talk of the Quad: What you’re working for
What is a year? A year is what it takes for you to go a long way and end up back where you started, changed. It has been a year. It is spring.
Last year, 2014, was the first I can recall without a May. The month passed silently—no milestone, no ceremony. But my sophomore year in New York City feels surprisingly sophomoric. There is an eerie rhythm and consonance plucked from the cacophony.
Two years out, you begin to forget. Coming to understand something in practice can destroy your ability to explain it, so as postgrad life normalizes it becomes indescribable.
To write another sappy reminiscence for the college paper is in some sense an admission of defeat: have I learned nothing? Let it go! So, we’ll circle back to the big life questions, but first I just want to touch base about learning to love your employer. Soon-to-be grads may initially chafe; I sure did! But I have tried to empathize with the corporation, and would like to share with you a few handy tips (which, like much advice dispensed, is largely a catalogue of my failures).
One. Although the language of the office sounds very familiar, it is more useful to treat it as a distinct derivative. The Standard Written English you have been taught in the classroom is not actually the dominant dialect of late capitalism. Corporatese has all the artfulness of an electrical signal between neurons, because that is roughly what it is. When a manager says “Are we all happy with this?”, the literal meaning of those phonemes in that language is closer to “Can we end this meeting?”, to which the answer should always be a resounding yes.
Two. Meetings expand to fill available time and space, so maintain a high quotient of people who don’t want to be there. If they evaporate away like energetic particles from hot tea, the temperature in the room will drop and the proceedings will slow. The meat is not in the meeting; it is a set-up for more substantive conversations to come.
Three. Insofar as industrial society is a doomed experiment and a joke, your managers are in on the joke. The good ones, anyway, are fully aware of all the profound problematicals. The libarts intellectual colliding with reality exudes feckless impotence: totally correct and still at a loss for what to do. The good manager is a step ahead of you, not behind. They have learned that a fish always thinking of water is apt to hyperventilate.
Four. Workplace commiseration is a bonding agent used by the status quo to deaden you; complaining about your company is not nearly as subversive as mirthfully running circles around it. Some of the most habitual complainers are among the most co-opted tools of the system. Resist assimilation not by negative displays of protest, but by positive displays of humanity.
Five. The corporation is glacial: slow, but massive. If you only watch the speed, you won’t appreciate how it carves the territory beneath. Use its momentum while you dance in the crevasses.
Six. In a healthy relationship, you should be using the corporation, just as it is using you. If the relationship is abusive, not only will you be miserable, but the corporation will suffer endemic ossification.
Seven. “Take professors, not classes”—so choose your bosses and coworkers. If you are lucky, you will get to do good work with idols. But you may also realize that even those who give off the most light and heat offer no salvation. You may notice a new kind of hero, quiet and content. What do you really want? It itches.
For all that, you’ll go from paying to earning; by selling your daily labor, you buy the freedom to shape and tend to a life. You can model some of your landscaping on the world President Mills has overseen. Nouns for things you’ve attended will become verbs to perform: you must orient, you must convoke, you must commence. The curricle (that’s a chariot) will run off the curriculum (a racecourse, originally) unless you lay one down. The most satisfying things in my life today are nascent frameworks for sustaining events and people: peer meetups, apartment lecture series, book clubs, workday morning soccer.
It won’t be the same. Noncommittal diversification gives way to smart concentrated bets; as Stanley Druckenmiller says, “put all your eggs in one basket and watch the basket very carefully.” Like holding cash, holding your time totally liquid is expensive. So people begin to settle where they lie—with careers, and with people.
As they do, and as our time in Brunswick gets harder to recapture, it feels unfair that the blessings of life are so frontloaded; the young have so much already, and on top of that we give them college?
There aren’t many kids around in Manhattan, but when you see the gaggle of giggling schoolchildren erupt against the backdrop of the two hundredth gray commute by 2nd Ave. sidewalk or subway car, you begin to get a hint, a sneaking suspicion. They look happy. If you can’t recapture, can you recapitulate?
Why do you exist?
Of the many humbling realizations of young adulthood, none is so serious as that you were not made for your own sake. On the horizon, the circle closes. Have you not gotten enough college? Good! That’s why you got any. Bowdoin plants the yearning for Bowdoin, and you are begotten of yearning; if we were sated it would cease. A satisfied life is sterile.
Your youth was a gift to you, but also an escape and a rebellion for your parents; work pays for and provokes rebirth, the first job. All of you are graduating with a tremendous outstanding debt: to create, to understand your creation, and thus to redeem. Forge dense new stars.
The past has the air of necessity, for it must have gone just so to lead to you. But as it unfolds you come to see the now-necessary past as a once-contingent future: it just as well could have been otherwise. Constants in your life turn variable; people come in and out like planks in the ship of Theseus, so that by the end nothing original remains except, somehow, identity—which finally dissolves triumphant into the memories of those who owe you everything.
Your parents need you. Hug them at graduation, or their parents, or whomever lives. Tell them what fun you’ve had. They’ve worked hard for you, and the best years of your life brighten theirs.
Toph Tucker is a member of the Class of 2012.
- May 1
348 and Maine street: Final thoughts: style advice for your wardrobe and your life
This is it, kids. I have nothing all that clever to say to you underclassmen as you greet the summer, or to us seniors as we face the abyss. There is the temptation to use my space here to say something important and profound, but I’ll try not to.
The only thing I have to say, really, my final piece of style advice, after these years of tremendously dubious pieces of style advice, is this: Make an effort, but don’t worry too much.
It sounds like I’m trying to confer upon you some advice for life more than advice for style. Maybe I am. Maybe they’re the same thing.
I’ve missed too many things worrying about how I look. Don’t do that to yourself. If you have time left at this place, really be here with the people around you—despite its flaws, Bowdoin can be truly extraordinary. If you’re about to go into the world, there’s too much else that matters more than small vanities.
And for all of us, I have hopes. Before you stop reading as I veer dangerously close to preaching, know that these are very small, very modest style hopes. Here is what I hope for your style:
I hope you dress in colors. I hope your clothes are too loud. I hope you dress in black. I hope your clothes are the coolest.
I hope you wear an astronaut suit in space. I hope you wear a scuba suit deep in the sea. I hope you get a dramatic haircut.
I hope you don’t go broke spending money on clothes. I hope you buy yourself a stupidly extravagant accessory for no reason. I hope you buy something for an unbelievable sale price.I hope you are comfortable in your clothes. I hope you realize that comfort is not always everything. I hope you push the boundaries of your style. I hope you try things on before you reject them.
I hope you own a pair of shoes that make you feel invincible. I hope you own a pair of sunglasses that let you be invisible. I hope you dance in an enormous tutu. I hope you dress up for a grand ball.
I hope you never wear shorts to work. I hope you underdress obscenely for a casual Friday. I hope Bill Cunningham photographs you. I hope Anna Wintour declares you a style icon. I hope there’s an exhibit about you at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute.
I hope you have to unbutton your pants after an extraordinary meal. I hope you wear a fantastic hat on a train. I hope you wear a uniform that doesn’t belong to you.
I hope you change 12 times in one day. I hope you wear the same thing for a week straight. I hope you try hard to pull something off and fail miserably. I hope you pull something off you never thought you could.
I hope you wear something that saves your life. I hope you wear something that nearly kills you. I hope you offend everyone with something you wear. I hope you die wearing something you love.
I hope you have a signature style. I hope your clothes can take you anywhere. I hope you ruin your favorite outfit because you had too much fun in it. I hope your clothes become a record of your life.
I hope you wash your clothes regularly. I hope you own something you never wash. I hope you take something from the dry cleaners that isn’t yours and keep it.
I hope these things for myself, too. Let’s hope we can have everything we hope for. Thanks for reading.
- May 1
Behind the Name tag: Security’s Allen Daniels relishes time at Bowdoin
Working as a security officer on a college campus isn’t for everyone, but Security Officer Allen Daniels says working at Bowdoin makes his job easy.
“It’s the students. I wouldn’t do this job for any other college—I can’t imagine it,” said Daniels. “I genuinely appreciate the students here. I love my conversations with them. They make my job very, very easy.”
Born and raised in southern New Hampshire, Daniels graduated high school and enlisted in the Army. For four years, he was a part of the third U.S. Infantry Regiment, a unit commonly known as the Old Guard.
“In the Old Guard, we do all the ceremonies and funerals in Arlington National Cemetery…we do all the simple and full honor funerals,” said Daniels. “We’re also the official escort to the president. We are kind of a ceremonial post—we do have training, but we don’t have a wartime mission, only to honor the fallen.”
After his time in the army, Daniels lived in Washington D.C. to gain his “city experience” and then went on to graduate from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. Eventually, he settled in Maine with his girlfriend (now wife), applied for a job at Bowdoin, and was given the position six months later.
“I come to work pretty happy every day, and leave happy every day. The hardest part of my job is seeing people make poor decisions, and I do see people at their worst—I don’t often get to see them at their best, just because I’m usually here during the night time,” said Daniels.
Last weekend, Daniels and the rest of the security staff prepared for Ivies. Security was given post assignments a week ahead of time. Security was out in full force, stationing as many officers as possible at each event.
“We [aim to] guide things, rather than manipulate what’s happening. It goes back to what I said previously, I wouldn’t want to do this at another school,” said Daniels. “So even this big weekend, our stress level does go up, but mostly because of long hours. The stuff we deal with—especially this Ivies—is really not that much. We had two transports [one alcohol related and one injury related], and other than that it was well-controlled chaos. It’s just planning.”
In his opinion, the weekend went smoothly, and contrary to popular belief, the real trouble did not stem from Bowdoin students. Rather, visitors of students and town residents caused the brunt of the problems during the weekend.
“The drinking gets a lot of publicity, but comparatively speaking, it’s really well-contained,” said Daniels. “I think the policies here, the ResLife office, and the Deans’ office do a good job. It helps to make sure that everyone has a really good time and is safe doing so.”
Outside of Bowdoin, Daniels runs and plays disc golf, but the majority of his time is spent skiing and taking care of his newborn daughter.
“Her name is Evelyn Winter. Evelyn is my wife’s grandmother’s name. Winter is because I love winter—the deeper the snow the better... I live to ski and for sliding on snow. My first job was at a ski shop, waxing skis, and I’ve done just about every job on the mountain, and I have loved all of them.”
Daniels lives in Phippsburg, close to Brunswick, but will always call southern New Hampshire home. Although he misses his mountains and their peaks, he always looks on the brighter side.“I joke with my wife that if I can’t live in the mountains, the beach isn’t a bad place to be.”
Editor's note: A previous version of this article did not clarify that of the two transports during Ivies weekend that Daniels mentions in a quotation, one was in relation to alcohol and the other was in response to a student sustaining a serious injury. Officially, there was only one alcohol-related "transport" during the weekend.
Arts & Entertainment
- May 1
Senior visual arts majors debut pieces after semester of hard work
Senior visual arts majors presented their final work at the Senior Studio exhibition opening in the Robert H. and Blythe Bickel Edwards Center for Art and Dance last night. The exhibit is the culmination of the seniors’ artistic work at Bowdoin. Senior Studio is a semester course offered by Assistant Professor of Art Carrie Scanga in the spring for senior visual art majors—with the exception of occasional juniors who will be unable to schedule it during their senior spring semesters. The studio gives advanced art students the opportunity to work on substantial final projects in a collaborative environment.
Senior Studio is based in one of the larger rooms in Edwards. Students have their own sectioned off space to work in, but also benefit from being surrounded by the other visual arts majors in the class.
“Art is very independent in some ways, but one of the benefits of having other students and other artists around is that we can critique each other’s work and get feedback,” said Anna Reyes, a senior in the class. “We are able to wander around and see what other people are working on and pick up on how they view things differently and practices. Some people do multiple iterations of one idea, whereas others choose to explore different ideas.”
Senior Studio enables visual arts majors accustomed to specializing in one area of art to come together and experiment with new artistic mediums.
“It’s inspirational to be around so many different people working in different mediums.” said Sarah Haimes ’15. “It has motivated me to incorporate other mediums. I incorporated photography, painting and sculpture into my final pieces, which I never thought I would do. It was really helpful to have the opportunity to run ideas by people who had experiences with different mediums.”
There are also critiques throughout the semester by visual arts faculty and outside artists; artists also come in to speak to students about continuing with careers in art. The freedom and flexibility of the studio lets students develop the projects according to their own artistic style. While some students use Senior Studio to experiment with new mediums, other students use it to continue past projects.
“I got the idea of continuing on with one idea in terms of the material used from one of my sculpture classes last semester. I was working on a large, crocheted fabric sculpture. I’ve always loved fiber and fabrics and think that’s a fruitful material to work with,” said Reyes. “Last semester, that was my final project and I wanted more time to work on it. I had an idea of the materials I wanted to use and the process I wanted to explore based on last semester’s work.”
Haimes decided to combine new mediums for her final project. Although primarily a photographer, she was able to experiment in the studio.
“My final project is these three dimensional photo collages, and I ended up going into the woodshop, which I had never done before. It was a nice way to challenge myself before I graduate,” said Haimes.
All the students in Senior Studio have dedicated a significant amount of their time at Bowdoin to their art. The exhibit showcases their final projects and dedication to their work. Scanga described the preparation for the exhibit as a collaborative process.
“Putting together a group show requires teamwork, patience and a willingness to collaborate even when your creative vision is at stake. The seniors pulled together to lay out the exhibition, supported each other in the installation process, and negotiated the design of posters and publicity materials,” she said.
Both Scanga and the artists view the Senior Studio exhibition as a final opportunity to showcase their work in front of the Bowdoin community.
“I expect that viewers will enjoy considering the wide range of media and ideas present in this exhibition,” said Scanga. “I’m thrilled for the seniors. They’ve worked hard this semester, and the reception on Thursday is their opportunity to see how the work is received by their community.”
“I think the turnout for the Senior Show is usually pretty good, which is gratifying because professors, staff and students want to see our work,” said Reyes. “I enjoy making art and love doing it for myself. I hope other people enjoy my work, but it’s also about having that sense of accomplishment and knowing I made something that really matters to me.”
- May 1
Museum to feature place-inspired work by photographer Abelardo Morell ’71
Celebrated contemporary photographer Abelardo Morell ’71 will showcase his latest photography project, “A Mind Of Winter,” at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art beginning Tuesday. In conjunction with the opening, Morell will deliver a talk in Kresge Auditorium followed by an open house and further discussion at the Museum.
Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the exhibition explores the theme of winter and climate change through a series of photographs taken at various sites in Maine during this past winter. The one-gallery installation includes 12 photographs focusing on unique aspects of a Maine winter. The title for the exhibit was inspired by a line in Wallace Stevens’ poem “The Snow Man,” which alludes to a metaphorical mindset of winter.
Morell’s artwork takes on myriad forms and techniques ranging from photographic illustration to camera obscura. “A Mind of Winter” represents Morell’s first extended visit to Maine since his graduation from Bowdoin in 1977.
“It’s been exciting to come back to Bowdoin for this project as there are so many of my early experiences rooted here,” Morell wrote in an email to the Orient.
Anne and Frank Goodyear, the co-directors of the Museum, worked closely with Morell to creatively document a Maine winter in all its complexity.
“We thought that Abe, who is very interested in the tradition of landscape representation, might be up for the challenge of creating a new body of photographs that would relate to the theme of winter,” said Frank Goodyear.
A member of Bowdoin’s Class of 1971, Morell received an MFA from the Yale University School of Art in 1981 and received an honorary degree from Bowdoin in 1997. Morell was the subject of a 2013 career retrospective organized by the Art Institute of Chicago, which traveled to museums across the nation, including the Getty in Los Angeles. His work has also won numerous awards, including the Infinity Award in Art given by the International Center of Photography in 2011.
Morell collaborated with Nevan Swanson ’18, who scouted locations and accompanied Morell during his series of visits to Maine, beginning in January. Though winter can be a picturesque time, Frank Goodyear explained, the challenge is capturing the nuances that wouldn’t appear on a calendar.
“Winter is hard to photograph. It has such a minimal graphic beauty that the temptation is to make simplistic pictures rather than eloquent ones,” Morell wrote. “I hope that I succeeded in avoiding the trap of clichés.”
Owing to his passion for art history, Morell’s photographs are filled with homages to American-European and Asian artistic traditions. Morell said he drew inspiration from Pieter Bruegel’s painting “Hunters in the Snow” when setting up his landscape photographs.
Several of Morell’s photographs are done using cliché verre—a technique in which a sheet of glass is inked over before the photograph is developed onto the same surface. The balance between positive and negative space takes on new form in this technique, Anne Goodyear explained.
“One of the things that is so exciting for us about [Morell] is that he is somebody who loves playing with the essential elements of photography as a medium itself,” she said. Some of Morell’s photographs manipulate the viewer’s perception of the scenery, creating a virtual play between the figurative and the abstract.
“He’s always doing these creative interventions in the landscape,” said Frank Goodyear. “Oftentimes he’s creating new landscapes by inserting mirrors into the landscapes.”
“There’s a wonderful way in which [Morell] asks the viewer to step up to the plate and to become an active participant in the process of...playing intellectually with the question of what’s going on [in the picture],” added Anne Goodyear. “There is a metaphorical dialogue with the nature of the winter season itself, and what’s covered and what’s uncovered.”
“A Mind of Winter” will be exhibited from May 5 through September 27 in the Shaw Ruddock Gallery at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.
- May 1
The Yik Yak Live experiment: anonymity in Smith Union
If you were moseying by Bowdoin Express, known to students as the C-store, on Monday evening, you may have seen two delirious short-haired gals wearing blindfolds and soliciting your participation in our latest project: “Yik Yak Live.” But we did not see you.
With our first undertaking a few weeks ago, we recreated Marina Abromović’s performance art piece, “The Artist is Present,” and held sustained eye contact with willing participants in the Union. We sought to explore vulnerability within the student body at Bowdoin. This time, without realizing it, we were drawn back to the idea of sensory alteration as a means to explore larger ideas. Now, we are considering accountability and anonymity.
We all know this about Bowdoin: an unfamiliar face is hard to come by (unless you’re Tessa at a hockey party). Anonymity is nearly unattainable here. So, we seek to hide. On apps like Friendsy and Yik Yak, ambiguity is the game. We get to spew our hormonal woes, our feelings of inadequacy and the political opinions we don’t feel comfortable expressing in public. It’s like yelling into a tunnel—anyone, or no one, could be on the other end. We were curious to see what happens when the invisibility becomes one-sided.
Our high production value sign read: “YIK YAK LIVE: What will you write when you can see us but we can’t see you?” We encouraged passersby to write down yaks in real time on slips of paper and place them in a container under the table. The sign also boasted some anxiously scribbled prompts: “Thoughts? Confessions? Ideas? Mean Commentary?”
“I want to see how mean people will be,” Tessa said, while Carly broke a nervous sweat. Again, we feared no one would participate. But—who knew!—people with blindfolds do attract some attention. One Yak we received read, “Why is SJP blindfolded now?”
Our responses largely reflected the general makeup of Bowdoin’s actual Yik Yak. We had some lighthearted admissions:
“I have a dead opossum in my trash (this is true).”
“I haven’t taken a normal poop in 4 days”
And of course, “I am Kote.”
There were musings about life at Bowdoin:
“I wonder if people steal from the C-store.”
In tiny handwriting, in the corner of a slip: “I did all kinds of drugs @ Ivies.”
“I’ve made out with 3 percent of Bowdoin College.”
Some Yaks treaded into weightier territory:
“Is the gay/lesb community really small, or can I just not pull?”
“People really overestimate how accepting Bowdoin is.”
“Confession: I’m male, I have pretty terrible body image issues, and I don’t feel comfortable addressing them w/ anyone. I don’t think it’s something people feel comfortable talking about/helping with.”
Lest we forget, Carly and Tessa sat blindfolded in the Union for a full hour on a Monday, not doing anything ostensibly productive. There has been little research on the results of placing college students, completely unoccupied and unable to fully engage with their peers, in a space for an extended period of time. We entered a fugue state. By obscuring our vision, we also seemed to obscure our understanding of all behavioral norms. Volume control? Disappeared.Conceptions of time? Gone. Ability to form sentences? Dissolved.
“Do you guys feel vulnerable?” asked an unidentifiable voice.
We did. It can be exasperating when mysterious forces drag baby carrots across your face or attempt to disguise themselves by impersonating others. But maybe there was some power in our voluntary impairment. In partially detaching ourselves from our environment, we accidentally lost our fear of consequences. Despite being surrounded by people in the Union, we felt like we were sitting alone in our rooms in our underwear, irrationally confident in our perceived solitude. We wonder now if we felt more anonymous than the writers of our yaks. Bowdoin students harbor fears about sounding pretentious, or dumb; too involved, or not involved enough; politically incorrect, or soft. Above all, we fear revealing ourselves and having someone say thanks, but no thanks. Yik Yak is a space where we feel comfortable broadcasting our anxieties and idiosyncrasies. But does it matter? If we don’t own our weird shit, then what’s the point?
Last time, we asked what would happen if people made more eye contact. Now we wonder about the opposite: what if we all just sat in a room together, blindfolded? What would we say? Would this new sense of anonymity allow us to shimmy out of our inhibited selves, or would we just find this another way to hide?
It turns out that we got far more positive than mean Yaks. We’ll end with our personal favorite:“I wish more people unabashedly shared how much they appreciate one another. That’s what love is.”
- May 1
Hipster drivel: Radiohead running through his head
I was on the prowl for pasties in Oxford's indoor market. The Office of Off-Campus Study will tell you it's the intensive tutorial system that lures Bowdoin students into spending Michaelmas at the world's oldest university. I'll tell you it's the cheese-filled balls of dough whose stench is heady enough to convince tourists to languish in queues for the whiff.
In one such queue, I jostled a gentleman striding by—the height of poor comportment in a country where etiquette is sovereign. “'Scuse me,” I tried to dither out in my best Oxonian-American, before the impish figure in a bowler hat and trench coat knocked the words straight back down my gullet to mingle with esophageal perfection. I, a bumbling foreigner, had backed into Thom Yorke, resident of Oxford and frontman of Radiohead.
My friend Christopher introduced me to Radiohead in tenth grade. I must have said something morose, using words I didn't really know to describe feelings I didn't really feel. He must have wanted to channel my pubescence out of English class rants about Sartrean nausea and into the private realm of Radiohead, lords of sob. In the computer lab we logged into Windows XP. I pulled up 2009-era YouTube. He pulled out 2009-era earphones. “Listen to 'Idioteque.' You'll like it.” I didn't.
I've forgiven myself, and not simply because my music taste in early high school could have been outpaced by an evolutionarily stunted prokaryote. Radiohead challenges, and I didn't like to be challenged. Radiohead also rewards, and I thought the reward was overstated. To be fair, one of the first reviews of the band's seminal 2000 record “Kid A,” which houses “Idioteque,” described hearing the music as “witnessing the stillborn birth of a child while simultaneously having the opportunity to see her play in the afterlife on IMAX.”
My thinking is that listening to Radiohead—a band bigger than the band bigger than Jesus—for the first time is like losing your virginity to your best friend in the back of your brother's jalopy on the eve of graduation. Which is to say: uncomfortable, exciting, terrifying, and world-historical. The bleating squalls of “Idioteque” were the sounds of evocative fiction, the kind that provoked the dismissive “hm” I gave Christopher only to guide me to study abroad in Oxford in search of the music's authors.
Radiohead shouldn't exist. They rocketed to fame on the same combustive consumption of American self-loathing that fired Kurt Cobain's shotgun. “What the hell am I doing here?” misbegotten Yorke pleaded in 1992, after Jonny Greenwood's signature squawk sent the band to assured one-hit-wonder-dom with “Creep.” Radiohead's debut “Pablo Honey” is not good, but only because it caters to the lowest common denominator of disaffected asshole-aesthetes. When they became uncompromising in 1995 with “The Bends,” they apotheosized as guitar heroes who could will modern alienation into transcendent celebration. When they heralded technological apocalypse with 1997's “OK Computer,” they became nothing short of prophets.
Where does the best band in the world go after releasing the best album of the decade? They enter a new decade and do it again. I'm too young to remember Y2K, the residual paranoia from Damocles' ballistic missiles, but I imagine “Kid A” disintegrating into the desperation of a billion electrons. Which is what happened to the chimerical album-as-art—diced into compressed data, scrambled into .mp3s, teleported from servers to earbuds, first through Napster and now through Spotify. What if the best album of all time was also the last, arriving on vinyl already vestigial, on compact discs already discarded? “Kid A” issues soothsayings, autopsies, and elegies for the same humanity that died in its creation, at the incipience of the wireless age.
Dylan went electric in 1965, but Radiohead went digital in 2000. I didn't know anything about the band's history, let alone the history of Musical Statements, but I did know that after a night of gallivanting with friends, I had to clamber, boozed and bloodshot, under my sheets to let the descending resolution of “Everything In Its Right Place” wash over me. The notes collapsed into each other while I soared into the barren soundscapes of the title song and “The National Album.” They're cruel but compelling, a disaster and a dawn, stitched from Thom's vocoder wails and flairs of demented brass. The lyrics are dense, unintelligible, and often mundane, like snippets of conversations dredged from data trawlers or the concomitant propaganda that none of this is really happening. But they also suggested a peace beyond the clash of competing cell lines, ineffable and effaced. Loss in the era of hyper-connection wasn't a new idea in 2000, but in 2009 it was innovative to a student trying to piece his world together.
Hence the irony of discovering Radiohead through the jittery opening of “Idioteque” on library computers. The song can't play by command, summoned from the depths of the Internet along with its demons. It unfolds along the infinity of the record's 48 minutes, discernible only in fellowship. For that, “Kid A” is not unhopeful. Its beauty persists if we let it, 15 years later, from the palpitations of surrender of its opening, the cacophony of its uncertainty halfway in, and the ending requiem to “red wine and sleeping pills.”
Because as much as “Kid A” seethes of techno-dystopia, it breathes something else into life. Maybe it's the memory of friends like Christopher, to whom I haven't spoken in years but nevertheless could strike up conversation—even about Sartrean nausea—with affection. Maybe it's the pasties wafting from Oxford's impossible, ancient kitchens. Maybe it's the nights spent in search of love and refuge with the radio on. Maybe it's the humanity embedded in digits by design, the link we have to each other even from our furthest distances. Maybe it's the same hope that Thom kindles at the record's close, whether it turns out merely true or merely comforting: “I will see you in the next life.”
- May 1
Student project takes on sexual assault through theater
This semester, James Jelin ’16 has been writing and directing his own play, “Blackout,” for his independent study. Blackout will debut on Sunday, May 3 at 7 p.m. in 108 Memorial Hall.Jelin’s play focuses on the relationship between two female first years at a liberal arts college much like Bowdoin. These women, played by Quincy Koster ’15 and Maggie Seymour ’16, have differing opinions about partying and drinking. Additional roles are played by Austin Goldsmith ’18, Ben Cumings ’15, Taylor Love ’16 and Charlie Campbell-Decock ’17.
“They both come into the school and feel a little bit lost, as many of us do,” said Jelin. “One of them...starts drinking a lot and sleeping around. The other one...isn’t really into the party scene and finds herself a little bit disgusted with some of the patriarchal stuff she’s seeing on campus.”
The girls’ friendship becomes strained when Koster’s character is sexually assaulted and does not want to report the incident.
This project stems from Jelin’s own interest in women’s studies, religion, and feminism. His experiences in Associate Professor of Religion Elizabeth Pritchard’s class, Gender, Body and Religion, inspired him to put his thoughts down on paper.
“When he approached me [for advising], I said sure,” said Pritchard. “He knew that I don’t write plays, I don’t generally teach that material, but he wanted a person to read the material and have some conversations about gender and religion.”
Jelin’s engagement in the issues of religion and sexual violence has moved beyond the classroom and into his extracurricular work.
“I wrote these two female characters because it felt like a more straightforward way of addressing the things I was interested in,” said Jelin. “It feels personal to me, like I’m working through stuff that occupies my mind very frequently.”
Jelin felt that the visual experience of the story would be a powerful way to discuss gender and sexuality issues. Therefore, he wanted to bring the story to the stage.
“It’s really important to explore the way these issues affect the other aspects in people’s lives,” said Jelin. “That’s something that theater especially can do because it’s such a visceral [experience].”
Last summer, he wrote a 30-minute version of “Blackout” at a playwriting program at Vassar College. This semester, he has adapted it into a longer performance with help from Pritchard and Professor of Theater Davis Robinson.
Jelin began to approach actors about the project in January.
“I’m glad that he’s having these conversations,” said Koster. “I think a lot of people are hesitant to, and he’s just going all in, which is great.”
Jelin hopes that with his play he can help further discussions on gender issues and assault.
“With something like sexual assault, we have a very canned, scripted understanding of how it works,” said Jelin. “I was also very interested in taking two really specific characters and saying ‘how does this function in their lives,’ as opposed to writing a play about feminism or about sexual assault.”
Koster supports Jelin’s mission.
“I hope people aren’t going to be dissuaded by the fact that [Jelin’s] just another white guy,” said Koster.
Incidentally, “Another White Guy” is the title of the opinion column that Jelin writes for the Orient.
“He’s put so much into it—it’s a fantastic project—and I’m proud of him.”
- May 1
Portrait of an artist: Anna Hall ’15
Anna Hall ’15 has been drawing for as long as she can remember. When most kids her age had already put down their pencils and paper, Hall stayed with art and has continued to pursue that passion throughout her impressive career at Bowdoin.
Hall is a student of many talents, not all of which are limited to the arts. She is an earth and oceanographic science and visual arts double major who is involved in the Bowdoin Outing Club, the Bowdoin Food Co-op and the Orient.
Hall is currently experimenting with different mediums of art, particularly watercolor and photography.
“I always have a roll of film going,” she said. “I love the physical process where you’re taking a picture and you can’t look at it right away. It’s always a surprise to develop the film, to watch what comes out and remember what you photographed.”
Hall’s most recent project, for her Senior Studio, has been with watercolors and is now on display at the Robert H. and Blythe Bickel Edwards Center for Art and Dance.
“I just finished up Senior Studio,” said Hall. “That was a figure painting watercolor project. You dive into a subject more so than in other classes and really work on developing the concepts throughout the semester. That’s a lot of fun because it requires a lot of trying something out and then if it doesn’t work, trying it again.”
Hall wanted to experiment with line drawings and the human form for her Senior Studio project.
“I hung up two paintings that are a little bit more literal and then some line drawing-style paintings where I was trying to minimize form and reduce the human body to a couple of lines,” she said. “I wanted to see how far I could push and have the image still be recognizable.”
Hall also finds the time to provide illustrations for Orient articles. Working for the Orient was her first time experimenting with illustrations, and said that it has been a fun way for her to work on art outside of Bowdoin art classes, which often fill up quickly.
“For me, working for the Orient has been a great way to do art in a social setting,” she said.Hall also uses art to relieve the stress from the heavy workload and busy life of a typical Bowdoin student.
“At Bowdoin, art is my sanity time,” said Hall. “It’s something that feels less academic and a lot more creative, which has definitely helped my stress levels.”
Drawing inspiration from the world around her, Hall is often excited by the random things she finds when she is outside.
“In Photo I, I was out taking pictures in the woods and I found a vacuum cleaner,” she said. “I really liked that, and ever since then I like to notice the random things that I find every time I’m walking. I love just seeing something interesting and asking myself why it’s interesting, and then exploring that through drawing or painting.”
Although Hall is sure that she will continue with her art after graduation, she is not entirely sure what the future holds.
“I don’t know if I’m going to make a career out of art. That would be great, to maybe do something like graphic design. However, I’m definitely excited to have more time to really pursue art for a while,” she said.
- April 22
20-somethings take the stage and belt it out in Curtain Callers’ musical revue
The songs ranged from desperate ballads to quirky and satirical group numbers at “Twenty-Somethings: A Musical Revue,” but they all addressed the often tumultuous transitions between high school, college, and post-grad life. The performance, staged by the musical theater group Curtain Callers, took place in Kresge Auditorium last weekend.
Directors Adi White ’15, Erin Fitzpatrick ’15 and Max Middleton ’16 compiled musical theater songs about the so-called “best years of our lives,” highlighting the hilarious, terrifying and exciting experiences of being a 20-something. The revue featured numbers from musicals including “Tales From The Bad Years,” “Avenue Q” and “Little Women.”
“A lot of the songs we chose are from musicals that aren’t as commonly done or commonly known,” said Fitzpatrick. “So we wanted to bring some of that beautiful, meaningful, newer music to light.”
Both Fitzpatrick and White became involved in Curtain Callers as first years and took over leadership of the organization in the fall of 2012. The group, which was founded in 2010, typically stages a full-length musical in the fall and opts for a smaller-scale cabaret performance as its spring production.
Inspiration for “Twenty-Somethings: A Musical Revue” came from the directors’ reflection on their position as graduating seniors.
“It was a really nice group of songs that address this particular time we’re at in our lives, where there’s a lot of weird transition happening, a lot of weird sexual experiences, the need for a job, the search for meaning,” said Fitzpatrick. “There are a lot of things that are going on that we wanted to address through [music].”
Cast members auditioned in early February and were all given a part in the show. Fitzpatrick and White had the theme in mind but did not select specific songs until after auditions in order to cater to the strengths and persona of each performer.
“We picked songs that fit their personalities or fit what they were thinking they liked or disliked about their college career so far,” said White.
“We did a lot of work trying to match song energy to the person’s energy,” Fitzpatrick added. “The process was about animating Bowdoin students through song.”
Performers drew from their experiences as Bowdoin students—and as 20-somethings—to bring their songs to life.
“I think that’s the beauty of musical theater—it’s a really interesting way to animate a person’s inner thoughts that is more lively and more vulnerable than a monologue,” Fitzpatrick added.The revue was comprised of individual songs, small group numbers and ensemble pieces.
“[The show] mixed satirical with more serious material, and did that in a really cool way,” said audience member Sarah Nelson ’17.
The performance occurred during Admitted Students Weekend, providing prospective students and their parents with the opportunity to both witness Bowdoin musical theater and relate to the show’s themes.
“I hope that the songs and the personability of the people singing them stripped away the fear of this life transition for the prospies coming in,” said Fitzpatrick.
“A lot of people at Bowdoin are very different, but I think everyone at Bowdoin and certainly parents and even [prospective students] can relate to something they shared,” said Emma Hamilton ’17, who attended the show.
Fitzpatrick and White are leaving the leadership of Curtain Callers in the hands of Middleton, whom they are confident will lead the club in a positive direction.
“Our group is founded on the premise of bringing more musical theater to campus and getting more people involved,” said White. “I hope that legacy of the group continues to flourish after we graduate.”
- April 22
Dorothea Rockburne discusses mathematical artistic influences
Although art and mathematics are often thought of as incompatible disciplines, artist Dorothea Rockburne draws from both fields. Rockburne, an abstract painter, is heavily influenced by mathematical concepts.
Rockburne presented a lecture entitled “Materializing Mathematical Concepts into Visual Art” on Monday evening. During her speech, she discussed her life, inspirations, techniques and viewpoints.
“When I taught, I always said that being an artist is like having a dog in New York. If you don’t have to do it, don’t do it,” she said.
However, Rockburne’s passion for art trumped the many challenges she faced while embarking on her career.
“I was working all kinds of jobs at once, plus I had a child,” said Rockburne. “I didn’t have the money to buy art supplies—they’re expensive. I went across the street to the hardware store and bought gallons of crude oil.”
Rockburne, whose exhibit “A Gift of Knowing: The Art of Dorothea Rockburne” is currently on display at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, has utilized many non-traditional methods in her work.
“This particular show relates to works in our collection, that’s for sure,” said Joachim Homann, the curator of the Museum. “We have the expertise to show [Rockburne’s] work, but the motivation to show this exhibition, really, is the academic involvement that it generates.”
Rockburne was brought to Bowdoin by Professor of Mathematics Jennifer Taback through a mutual friend, Dave Peifer, a professor of mathematics at the University of North Carolina Asheville. Peifer has researched the works of Max Dehn, a prominent geometrist and expert in topology; Dehn was one of Rockburne’s teachers at Black Mountain College.
“Certainly [Rockburne] says [Dehn] influenced her,” said Peifer, noting Dehn’s influence on many different artists in the subject areas of topology and geometry.
“One of the reasons I’m so really thrilled to be here is that most mathematicians, not all, do not understand what I’m doing, nor do critics,” Rockburne said. “They think it’s beautiful work they’re looking at and that’s not interesting to me. I’m interested in finding out about how the universe ticks, and I’m getting there my way.”
In addition to the visual arts and mathematics departments, the Department of Theater and Dance explored the concepts in Rockburne’s work. Students in Assistant Professor of Dance Charlotte Griffin’s Making Dances course analyzed Rockburne’s paintings and responded to them through dance.
“It was a really cool experience because everything that we normally do is so focused on the physical,” said Lily Bailey ’18. “It was cool to take something that was two dimensional and not bodily and then turn it into [dance].”
Traveling in Maine with close friends last summer inspired Rockburne’s recent drawing, “The Mathematical Edges of Maine.”
“We drove everywhere in western Maine and it was so beautiful,” said Rockburne. “I was looking at the edges of trees, the edges of sky and the edges of small mountains. I began to work in the hotel room and it just came out.”
Rockburne’s exhibition, featuring works from the 1970s through 2014, will remain on display at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art through Sunday.
- April 22
Hipster drivel: Pause the existential crises and play this Ivies mix
“It doesn’t get any better than this,” you whisper into your Solo cup. You won’t be saying this during Logic, but at any other point over our weeklong weekend, the refrain may dance across your lips.
Rites of passage, even vomiting after a beer mile, lend themselves to such thinking. First comes the warm blush of camaraderie (or is that the Natty?), then the icy clench of terror (no, that’s the Natty).
That the best four years of our lives is happening this very instant is the arrogant claim of youth, our burden and our freedom. The question “what if this is it?” gives way to “what better way to spend life than embracing who we are, a cavalcade of preening post-adolescents?”
Crises of unearned nostalgia aside, consider Ivies an analogy for college: suspension in a state of liminal sublime. Dazed and confused, agonized and ecstatic, Apollonian and Dionysian, high and imbibed, we are everything all the time in the threshold of existence. It is either the worst state to capture the moment, or the best.
Whatever we’re lusting after—or fleeing to—let’s do it to music. Instead of curating the songs of the year appropriate for an Ivies playlist, I have culled my picks for the best Ivies playlist of all time.
These songs encapsulate, if not necessarily replicate, the feeling of youth lost and won. Most of them are about drinking, some of them veer towards celebration and others towards resignation, but all them toe the same line as we do: between hedonism and nihilism.
Mark Kozelek will obviously accuse me of selling out to “beer commercial lead guitar shit,” to which I’ll gesture toward my Fender and PBR. We are half formed, maybe, but brimming with life nonetheless.
“The Night of Wine and Roses” by Japandroids
This is the sound of a pregame condensed into four minutes, complete with fireworks, melt-your-face drumming and a raucous chorus. If you can shout “woah oh oh” then you can sing along. It comes from an album called “Celebration Rock” (which contains a song called “For the Love of Ivy,” another contender), so lyrics about “downing drinks in a funnel of friends” and “burning our blunts down the end” feel inevitable and appropriate. But really, it’s the opening lines that carry this song to greatness: “Don’t we have anything to live for? / Well of course we do, but until they come true, we’re drinking.”
“This Heart’s on Fire” by Wolf Parade
Japandroids’ fellow Canadians bring us to the dance floor, and command that we leave everything we’ve got on it. Sometimes, it’s the brute force of a hook that sets our souls aflame, and sometimes it’s the friction of sparking libidos. Learn to live on fire, and we’ll burn together. In between the sweat and the tears, maybe we’ll believe the chorus that proclaims, “it’s getting better all the time.”
“First Night” by The Hold Steady
Really any song from these barfly troubadours could have sufficed. There’s “Party Pit,” about a staggering college student (or maybe I’m projecting) who recounts meeting a girl in the mosh pit and boasts “I’m pretty sure we kissed” but ultimately resolves to “walk around and drink some more.” Or “Stuck Between Stations,” about the horror-guised-as-boredom of youthful drinking culture.But neither can compare to the poignancy of a piano ballad about Holly, who’s “not invincible / In fact she’s in the hospital,” and both “inconsolable” and “uncontrollable,” all because “we can’t get as high as we got...on that first night.” We’ll play it as we contemplate our own decay after dusk, cigarettes in our hands.
“The City” by The Dismemberment Plan
Five years before Kelly Clarkson, Travis Morrison shouted “since you been gone” from his rooftop and into the empty streets of some desperate city. “You” probably refers to a partner, but it may as well be Morrison, trying to figure it all out, but never quite feeling himself in his own skin. The scene he describes from his haunted perch sounds like the post-Ivies devastation of campus: barren and silent, even as “something seems to happen somewhere else.” After a night of recklessness or restlessness, we might also turn inward for refuge. And, like Morrison, we’ll be “not unsympathetic” to those of us who’ve left the city, striking out for elsewhere. It’s the collapsing of choice and necessity, a bittersweet refrain as we close the door and exit this threshold of our lives: “all I ever say now is goodbye.”
- April 17
‘Spring Awakening’ musical brings intimacy, sorrow to Chase Barn
In just one semester, students in Beyond the Proscenium, a new student theater group, has gone from chartering a club to putting on its first production.
As the title of the group suggests, the club’s avant-garde performances are not confined by traditional theatrical boundaries. “Spring Awakening,” the award-winning rock musical by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater that debuted on Broadway in 2006, will not take place on a traditional stage but rather in Chase Barn. Seats sold out within hours for their Friday and Saturday performances, so an open dress rehearsal on Thursday and an additional performance on Sunday were added.
“Chase Barn is a really intimate space,” said Jonah Watt ’18, who plays Ernst in the show. “All your facial expressions and gestures can be smaller because you’re acting to a more intimate audience.
“The biggest thing for the audience will be adjusting to a new space. We have some blocking and choreography that have us go in and out of the aisles,” said Watt. “For the audience, it will be an interesting adjustment to a small space and dealing with the comedy and tragedy and darkness of the show.”
“There aren’t a lot of big sets or other theater pretenses to remove the audience from the show. As actors, we’re here, five feet in front of you, telling you this story, which I think is going to do a lot for the show,” said cast member Chase Gladden ’17. “I think it will be an intimate but good experience for the audience.”
Beyond the Proscenium aims to eliminate the traditional boundaries of what it means to be an actor and what it means to be on stage. The cast is comprised of both experienced actors who are regularly in Bowdoin shows and students who have never acted before. Their shows are not confined to one stage, but are meant to take place in small, site-specific locations. This creates a more intimate experience for both the actors and audience throughout the performance.Jae Yeon Yoo ’18 is the show’s musical director and was integral in orchestrating the show’s score. The band consists of six first-year musicians on Glockenspiel, guitar, violin, cello and drums.
Jae Yeon Yoo ’18 is the show’s musical director and was integral in orchestrating the show’s score. The band consists of six first-year musicians on Glockenspiel, guitar, violin, cello and drums.
Cordelia Orbach ’17, one of the founders of the group discussed how important the cast has been in making this production a success.
“Our cast is extraordinarily strong,” said Orbach. “I think what we’ve seen is that the people who didn’t think they were actors have found great things and would now consider themselves actors. The people who are veterans continue to learn and find new things.”
All of the actors had to learn to adapt to acting in a site-specific location together. Since there was such a short amount of time between casting and production, the cast had to come together quickly as they prepared for the show.
Gladden, who plays Moritz in “Spring Awakening,” was already accustomed to working with the founders of the club. He has been involved in various theater productions at Bowdoin and chose to be part of this student-run production as well.
“It’s volunteer-based, so everyone’s here because they want to be. I really enjoy that,” said Gladden. “It feels like everyone is there for the right reason. That what’s behind this show. Everyone had something they were bringing to the table.”
While the small setting makes the cast adjust to acting in a more intimate setting, the audience likewise must adjust to seeing a performance in a new close-up form. Both actors and audience members will be involved in the show.
The founders of Beyond the Proscenium were willing to explore a new form of acting and storytelling as they sought to have the audience and actors interact in a smaller setting. Spring Awakening was an attention-grabbing choice as the first production, since it confronts difficult issues including rape, incest and suicide and will be performed in an intimate space.
The production team met with Director of Gender Violence Prevention and Education Benje Douglas about bringing up these issues on campus. The proceeds from the $5 tickets go to the Sexual Assault Support Services of Midcoast Maine (SASSMM) and the Maine Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC).
“We are in uncharted territory, especially for theater on campus. I think students are the perfect demographic for this show,” said Orbach. “The show is relatable and some of the topics are hard...Some of the issues are hard to tackle so I’m excited to see what kind of critical thought the production sparks on campus. There will be a full range of emotions in the room.”Beyond the Proscenium has a lot of student support, both from actors who were willing to try something new and audience members who are eager to see its first production.
“It’s been such a successful journey so far. We didn’t even know if we’d be able to do this, and now everyone’s looking forward to it,” said Orbach. We’ve gotten good feedback. The campus seems really excited to see it,” she said.
- June 1
Joulia Likhanskaia first Polar Bear to reach championship singles match
Joulia Likhanskaia '17 made Bowdoin tennis history last weekend, becoming the first Polar Bear to advance to the finals match in singles at the NCAA Championships, hosted this year in Mason, Ohio. Additionally, Likhanskaia joined teammate Tiffany Cheng '16 as the first Bowdoin women's doubles team to win a match in the NCAA Tournament by advancing to the competition's quarterfinals.
Singles players and doubles teams are selected for the championships each year based on a number of factors, including win-loss records and strength of schedule. After the 32 individuals and 16 pairs are chosen, the NCAA Division III Women's Tennis Committee seeds the tournaments.
Though Likhanskaia was not awarded one of the tournament's top eight seeds (the only seeds indicated in the bracket), she was by no means considered an underdog going in.
“Seeds don’t mean a lot," said Hobie Holbach, Head Coach of Bowdoin Women's Tennis. "I don’t put a lot of stock in them because our region is by far the strongest and usually they just balance it out. The girl who was seeded No. 2, [Joulia] has two wins over. I didn’t care [about seeds] and neither did she."
Likhanskaia won each of her first three matches in two sets, including a 6-4, 6-2 quarterfinal victory over Amherst's Sue Ghosh on Friday. However, these early-round matches presented a mental challenge that later-round competition did not, according to Likhanskaia.
“The first match is definitely one of the hardest because you have to get past being nervous. I thought I did a good job of doing that," she said. "From then on, I gained more confidence throughout the tournament."
She faced trouble in the semifinals on Friday afternoon, however, against Juli Raventos of Williams. After winning the first set 6-3, she dropped the second 6-1 before falling into a 3-0 hole to start the decisive third set.
“I had to stay mentally tough, and [Coach Holbach] was saying ‘Play your game. Be aggressive,’" said Likhanskaia. "I didn’t want to fade in the third set, and I kept thinking that I had put in so much work to get that far, so I didn’t want to let it all go."
Likhanskaia managed to claw back within 5-4 before taking the final three games of the set to win the match and advance to the championship match the next day against Eudice Chong of Wesleyan.
Chong, the tournament's No. 1 seed, had not lost a match all season. In fact, she had only dropped a single set—a 6-4 defeat to Likhanskaia in Claremont, Calif. in early March.
“I was one of the only people to play a really close match with her," said Likhanskaia. "I had nothing to lose."
The final was a nail-biter. After Likhanskaia and Chong each took a set 6-4, Likhanskaia opened a 5-4 lead in the third set before the Wesleyan first year won three straight games to take home the national title.
Holbach credited Likhanskaia's multifaceted game in aiding her tournament run.
“She can do just about anything with the ball," he said. "She doesn’t have one style. She’s very adaptable to different types of players. She can play very aggressively or she can play steady. She can hit powerfully and she can play finesse. She’s a whole-court player."
"To go five matches, you need a little luck and some breaks and you gotta play well, so those things came together."
As a doubles team, Likhanskaia and Cheng entered the tournament knowing they had a chance to be the first to leave a Polar Bear-sized paw print on the championship bracket.
“We really just wanted to get through the first round, because Coach told us that no one in team history had ever won a round at Nationals. So that was our goal going in," said Cheng. "But once we got there and saw the competition, we were pretty confident in ourselves that we could get further, especially with how Joulia was playing in singles. That confidence carried over to doubles."
The pair got the landmark win on Thursday, beating Ariana Iranpour and Megan Tang of the University of Chicago 6-3, 6-1. According to Holbach, Likhanskaia and Cheng leveraged their individual strengths to play well as a team.
“Joulia’s the one at the net who picks off a lot of balls, and Tiffany sets her up. Tiffany’s sort of the point guard of the team," he said.
The duo looked poised to advance even further in Friday's quarterfinal match, as they took the first set and held a 5-2 lead in the second against Patricia Kirkland and Sonja Meighan of Washington & Lee. Their opponents had other ideas, however, storming back to win the set 7-5 before winning the final set 6-4 to advance.
"Our confidence carried over from the first match, the strategy was there, we had the game plan, but I think the nerves just started to kick in," said Cheng. “Altogether we played a great match."
Likhanskaia and Cheng believe their successes are just the start for the entire Bowdoin women's tennis team, which saw its season end in a close defeat to Middlebury at a regional final hosted in Brunswick.
“It shows that we have to keep going. We’re right there every year," said Cheng. "Teams that we’ve beaten in the regular season made it to Nationals."
"Our program keeps improving every year, so hopefully we’ll go even farther next year, including with the whole team," said Likhanskaia.
- May 1
Frisbee teams to compete in Nationals
The men’s and women’s ultimate Frisbee club teams both qualified for the D-III Nationals last weekend and will compete on May 16 and 17 in Rockport, Illinois.
“It’s a really exciting time,” said captain of the women’s team Sivana Barron ’15. “I think both teams put a lot of work into trying to manage their expectations and also doing their best to accomplish what they set out to do.”
The women competed in nationals last year and came in 15th place, after winning the entire tournament the year before. This is the first time in three years that the men have qualified for Nationals. The tournament lasts two days and includes 16 D-III teams for both the men and women.
For both teams, the competitive season begins during second semester and continues until the end of March. After that the teams compete in tournaments and finish the season at Nationals.
As club teams schedules are independently organized. The captains therefore hold a lot of responsibility and leadership.
“Most of organizing tournaments, paying tournament fees and advocating for ourselves as a club—that all falls on the captains,” said captain of the men’s team Denis Maguire ’15.
There are four captains of each team—two seniors and two juniors. When the seniors graduate the teams already have two experienced leaders for the following year.
The women’s team is one of the few teams in the league that doesn’t have a coach. It is up to the captains to make decisions as a coach figure.
“We do a lot of logistics, lots of planning,” said Barron. “But we also do a lot to figure out which players work best with each other…a lot of the strategy.”
Meanwhile, for the past two years the men’s team has hired coaches that play on the Portland club team, Red Tide. Maguire said that this is helpful during tournaments as it allows the captains to focus on playing the game instead of calling lines and substitutes.
Although the season starts second semester, the teams begin practicing in the fall, mainly to develop the new players. They draw in first years and other new players using posters, advertising at the Student Activities Fair, and practicing on the quad to create visibility. The sport is somewhat unique in that it is typical for players to have no experience before starting college ultimate Frisbee.
Both ultimate teams have achieved notable successes this year. The women’s team holds an official season record of 17-7 and the men’s team has a record of 16-5.
A tough obstacle the men's team overcame to get to Nationals was its game against Brandeis.
“In pool play we beat them 13-12, which was huge for us because it helped us advance to nationals,” said Maguire. “They are definitely one of the hardest teams we’ve faced so far.”
“The level of competition in Division III has really kicked it up a notch within the last three years,” women’s senior captain Molly Sun noted.
Both captains noted that for the women, offense comes pretty easily. As a result, in preparation for nationals the team will focus on defense, technique and positioning.
“We’re hoping to face off against Williams,” added Sun. “We’re definitely really hoping to beat them there. We had a close loss to them at Regionals, so we’re definitely out for revenge.”
Maguire said that one of the main goals for the men’s side is to keep everyone healthy and overcome season injuries. They will also be working on zone offense, which is important in the windy conditions they will be playing with in Illinois.
“We’ve had experience going against top level Division III teams,” said Maguire. “We think we can compete and win against any team in the country in any given game.”
- May 1
Football team promotes campus participation
Through social media, community involvement and academic pursuit, the Bowdoin football team is building stronger connections within the team and with the Bowdoin community this off-season. Under the new leadership of Coach J.B. Wells, the team has been “playing” in the Bowdoin Football League (BFL), a competition that allows players to earn points for their team for participating and excelling at various activities around campus.
“[It’s a way] to be competitive when you don’t have your sport to be competitive with,” Wells said. “I’ve been doing in years past [while coaching at Endicott College] to create some competition, some camaraderie, some team chemistry in the off-season.”
The BFL divides the team into six teams, all named after a piece of Bowdoin history (the “Explorers” after Admiral Perry, the “Colonels” after Joshua Chamberlain, for example). One junior serves as the “general manager” of each team and drafted the players. The players gain points for academics, athletics, community service, support at other Bowdoin athletics and non-athletic events, and positive social media.
“In high school my football team were all really close because we had all been growing up together,” player Nadim Elhage ’16 said. “[With the BFL], we’re learning about each other in a way we haven’t before, so it’s building unbelievable team camaraderie.”
From this inter-team competition, the team has bonded with each other and their coaches, since one coach is paired with each team.
“It’s a way for our coaching staff to get to know our players and a chance for our players to get to know our staff,” Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan said. “And also to emphasize something that’s really important to Coach Wells—members of our programs being involved in many areas across campus.”
This involvement includes attendance at other Bowdoin teams’ games throughout the year in hopes of building a fan base for their games in the fall.
“As our coach says, in order to have a fan you have to be a fan,” Elhage said. “So we’re trying to go to as many sporting events as we can to cheer on Bowdoin athletics and hope that in the fall they’ll be out in the stands.”
Both the players and Wells acknowledge the odd tension with this system of selflessness and competition: the players support others (their teammates, Bowdoin athletic teams) yet gain points for doing these good gestures.
“As Wells notes, the team culture built in the process of this structured competition is the ultimate goal.
“I want them to get into the habit of encouraging their teammates,” Wells said. “I think we live in a society that can be very negative. I’m trying to get the guys…to put up each other in a positive way.”
This positivity permeates in part through the team’s surge of social media, an outlet many teams use to promote themselves and other teams. With tweets giving shoutouts to hard-working teammates, other athletic teams’ events or any positive Bowdoin spirit, the players’ twitter accounts have been spreading the “Bowdoin football brand,” as Elhage said, to students, alumni and prospective students.
“It [is] a way for senior football guys across the pond in Italy or China studying to keep in touch a bit with the guys and hear about what’s going on back home,” said next year’s captain captain Parker Mundt ’16, who is currently studying abroad in China.
By using the hashtag #forwardthewhite, the team has found another way to extend the Bowdoin football presence to Bowdoin football alumni, connecting with the traditional Bowdoin fight song, “Forward the White.”
Sung after every Bowdoin football win, this fight song was originally a winning poem for the Bowdoin Prize Song Contest in 1913. As a blurb on the football team’s website describes, teams used to be identified solely by their school color, not mascot. Bowdoin was “the white” and the song pays homage to that.
As much as the team’s initiatives channel the past, ultimately they demonstrate the wider reshaping of the team under new leadership this season.
“It’s a complete difference,” Elhage said. “[BFL] is building something and [making us feel] as if we’re a part of something, more than it’s been in years past.”
By “watering the bamboo,” a metaphor well-used by Wells, the team hopes to have sown the seeds—watered the bamboo—for a larger payoff in the fall and years to come.
“I think the team bond we’re building now will continue through the summer into the fall [and] hopefully help us win a lot more games than we have the past couple years,” Elhage said.
- May 1
Athlete of the Week: Clare McLaughlin ’15
Clare McLaughlin ’15 scored three goals and had one assist—a career high in goals and points—to help the women’s lacrosse team overcome an early deficit against Colby and give the team a halftime lead they would not relinquish. McLaughlin has recorded 27 goals and three assists in 16 games this season, placing her at sixteenth in the NESCAC and second on the team in goals.
McLaughlin scored two goals off of free-position shots, awarded because of drawn fouls within the eight meter attacking box. These opportunities are similar to penalty shots in that, although the other players remain on the field, the fouled player is given a direct lane for a one-on-one with the goaltender. McLaughlin’s other goal, Bowdoin’s eighth, saw her sprint down the field into the attacking box, spin off a defender, draw another and unleash a quick strike at a sharp angle. She finished up all three goals by emphatically throwing her stick to the ground, a common celebration for the team during the Colby game.
“Clare’s really good at driving right and dodging through defenders,” said midfielder and linemate Lindsay Picard ’16. “She goes to goal with a lot of speed, which is very advantageous for her, and takes a harder shot that’s more difficult for the goalie to save.”
This season McLaughlin is a mainstay in Bowdoin’s starting lineup as one of the seven featured scoring threats, five of whom topped 25 goals this season. After seeing time in only six games as a first year, she saw time in each of the team’s games in her next two seasons, but started no more than three. Similarly, before this season, McLaughlin had never topped three goals in a season.
McLaughlin, a Vermont native, started playing lacrosse in middle school and, though she pursued a college career in the sport, did not play at the club level before Bowdoin, instead devoting time toward skiing and soccer. McLaughlin acknowledges that she has really benefited from the team’s free-flowing style of play, which capitalizes on team chemistry to eschew set plays for quick reads on the field.
“I just try to work really hard,” she said. “I’m more of a go-with-the-flow type of player. I figure it out as it happens.”
Playing this way has led to a balanced attack that teams have struggled to defend, as anyone on Bowdoin’s offense presents a threat. Moreover, the team has played together long enough to take advantage of each player’s respective strengths. Picard notes that the other players have become attuned to noticing when McLaughlin is looking to drive. But even more, McLaughlin finds playing this way is a lot more fun.
“There’s less structure and more trusting each other,” she said. “I think it’s way more fun, and we all play better when we’re having fun.”
McLaughlin has used this approach to navigate the gauntlet that is the NESCAC playoffs as well, where all four quarterfinal games were decided by a goal.
“I have fun playing,” she said. “The more you win the more you get to go out there. I try not to think of it as pressure.”
She also looks at each day as an opportunity to improve and keep the team in the game for another week. As the team looks forward to its semifinals match against Middlebury, it puts itself in range for an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament, though even if it does not win the tournament, the team may have to knock off Middlebury to get it.
“At this point it comes down to having more grit and tenacity, especially at this point when all the teams are good,” McLaughlin said. “I’m always trying to get better every day and improve my understanding.”
The sports editor of the Orient chooses the Athlete of the Week based on exemplary performance.
- May 1
Women’s sailing qualifies for Nationals
The women’s sailing team qualified for Nationals with a strong showing at last weekend’s Jerry Reed Trophy, hosted by Boston College. The co-ed team also competed in the Admiral’s Cup at Kings Point in New York, finishing eleventh out of 20 teams.
At the Jerry Reed Trophy, where the top eight of the 16 teams competing qualify for Nationals, the Polar Bears finished in seventh place overall. Erin Mullins ’16, Dana Bloch ’17 and Julia Rew ’16 took seventh place in the A Division. Courtney Koos ’16 and Sydney Jacques ’18 finished ninth in the B Division.
“We sailed a pretty smart event,” Head Coach Frank Pizzo said. “We didn’t have any major mistakes. There were no fouls and no starting issues, which can eat into your score line.”
Team chemistry and a strong practice mentality have been instrumental in both the women’s and co-ed teams’ success throughout the season.
“We’ve done a really good job supporting each other,” Charlotte Williamson ’15 said. “We also do a good job in practice of simulating our competitions. In practice, people act and sail the way they would on the weekends and I think that’s really important.”
Brown University and Salve Regina will host Nationals in Newport, R.I. May 25th through 28 in Newport, Rhode Island. In preparation, the women’s team will practice in conditions they may encounter at the championship.
“We’re going to try to get into conditions that are similar to what there can be at Newport, so getting into open water and getting into breezier conditions will be important,” Pizzo said.
Looking forward, he said that nerves will play a key factor in the big race.
“This time of year, we’re focused on executing what we need to do given the pressures of the championship,” Pizzo said. “We’re trying to stay loose, have fun, not worry about how we’re going to do and just focus on the skill sets and the things we can control.”
The qualifying event for the co-ed team will take place this weekend at the New England Dinghy Championships at Salve Regina.
In this past weekend’s Admiral Cup, Jack McGuire ’17 and Williamson placed fifteenth in the A Division. Michael Croteau ’15 and Mimi Paz ’17 finished ninth in the B Division. Matt Lyons ’17 rounded out the scoring with an eleventh place finish in the C Division.
To prepare for this upcoming weekend’s regatta, the co-ed team is looking to sail more consistently and improve on what it’s been practicing on all season.
“At this point, we know how to do well,” Williamson said. “This week is about keeping everything relatively consistent and working on the little things we can do to get that much faster, but we’re not really learning anything new. We’re just fine-tuning at this point of the season.”
The top eight of the 18 teams competing at the New England Dinghy Championships will qualify for Nationals. The co-ed team islooking to qualify for the championship for the second consecutive year.
“We want to start the event with good starts and good boat speeds and put ourselves in the position on Sunday to potentially qualify,” Pizzo said. “We want to put ourselves in the hunt and not stress out. A lot of it is focusing on what really matters. We’re going to focus on our conditions and what’s going to be important for those conditions and not necessarily how we’re finishing in those races right away.”
- May 1
Crew teams post strong finishes at Clark Invitational
Last Saturday, Bowdoin’s crew posted strong finishes at the Clark Invitational Regatta, bringing home gold for the first varsity men and silver for the first varsity women. On Sunday, the Polar Bears also boasted impressive performances at the President’s Cup, including the first varsity men’s gold-medal triumph over the nationally respected varsity crew from Bates.
The weekend before, Bowdoin competed against nine other schools at the University of Massachusetts Lowell Invitational Regatta and won medals in six of the eight events entered. The team also earned two medals on April 11 and 12 at the Knecht Cup, the first regatta of the season for the Polar Bears. Over 70 schools, including several Division I and II programs, participated in the regatta.
According to captain Nathan Post ’15, the Polar Bears were only able to train three days on water after Spring Break before facing other teams in the Knecht Cup due to ice on the New Meadows River, where they usually practice.
Despite the unfavorable training conditions, the men’s first varsity won the silver in their first D-I competition, following gold-medaled University of Rhode Island (URI) by a close 1.2-second margin. The second varsity women also captured a D-III silver medal when they surged ahead of Marietta College by 0.6 seconds. The men’s first novice placed first in the Petite Final, with the fourth fastest time of the day out of 32 crews total. The women’s first and second novice boats also broke into the top third of the field, placing sixth and seventh, respectively, out of 28 crews.
“During the heat, the first novice men caught a crab, which means the oar gets stuck in the water,” said Post. “They lost quite a few seconds there and didn’t make to the Grand Final. Despite everything, they still got the fourth fastest time overall.”
A week later, the Bowdoin team went to Massachusetts and competed against nine other schools from New England. Once again, the first varsity men brought home a silver medal, falling to URI by 1.3 seconds.
Other highlights for Bowdoin that weekend included the gold medal finishes in men’s second varsity, men’s first novice and women’s first novice. The second varsity men walked away with their first gold medal of the season, 6.6 seconds ahead of second-placed University of Connecticut.
Last Saturday, Bowdoin entered two crews at the Clark Invitational Regatta and brought back a gold for the men’s first varsity and a silver for the women’s first varsity boats.“We had a new lineup for the women’s boat,” said captain Mary Bryan Barksdale ’15. “We started off a little awkward and were only in fourth place at the first 500 meters. But we remained calm and confident, chipping away at our competitors and ending in second instead.”
On Sunday, the team raced against Bates and Colby at the Bobcats’ home course in Greene, Maine.
The first varsity men sailed ahead of the Mules’ boat by 6.1 seconds to finish first, while the first novice men defeated Colby and trailed behind Bates by 8.6 seconds to win a silver medal. The women’s novice eight, which include the first and second novice crews, also finished in second place, capping off a successful weekend for the Polar Bears.
Next Saturday, Bowdoin will compete in the New England Championship. The first varsity men and first and second varsity women will move on to the national Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta on the weekend of May 8 and 9.
- May 1
Finishing season strong, men’s tennis readies for NESCACs
Men’s tennis earned back-to-back wins against Tufts and Williams last weekend, boosting them into the third spot in the NESCAC as they head into the final tournament this weekend. On April 24, the team hosted Tufts for a conference matchup. After a hard fought team effort, captain Kyle Wolstencroft ’15 had a key three-set win to push the score to 5-4 in favor of the Polar Bears to secure the three seed.
As the singles matches came to a close, the overall score held even at four apiece with only the No. 5 match still going on. One by one the singles matches came to a close, and Wolstencroft saw the others players begin to drift over to watch the final set of his match.
Even when a player is in the middle of an individual match, Wolstencroft said, it is often very easy to tell what the overall score in the competition is at that point, and he knew that it was tied at four.
“You can kind of tell,” he said. “As matches are wrapping up, you can see down the courts, but then eventually you’re the last one on. It’s pretty intense when that happens. You can let that get to you or you can try to block it out.”
Wolstencroft had won the first set 6-3, then lost the second 2-6. Gaining energy from the pressure of the situation, he dominated the final set 6-1, giving Bowdoin the 5-4 win.
In doubles play, the team of Captain Noah Bragg ’15 and Kyle Wolf ’18 won a hard-fought match 9-8 at the third spot, and the duo of Gil Roddy ’18 and Wolstencroft cruised to a win at number two 8-2.
The team then travelled to Williams College last Saturday to play the Ephs in their final match of the regular season. They won decisively with a 6-3 score to improve their record to 13-4 (6-3 NESCAC) for the season.
The Polar Bears dominated singles play, earning five of the sixindividual matches to close out the season with another win.
“It was great,” said Bragg. “We played two good teams. It becomes a very long season and you start to get excited as the postseason comes around, you get to play two tight matches.”
“That was a great way to end our regular season,” said Wolstencroft. “Especially as we look toward this weekend when we go into the NESCAC tournament and play teams who are just as good and better. We can really take those matches, where we played tough spots and came out on top, to use that as confidence going into this weekend.”
The tournament begins today at 9 a.m. at Middlebury College. Bowdoin is set to play Trinity, who they beat earlier in the season 6-3.
“It’s going to be a tough match, especially because anything can happen in these playoff tournaments,” said Wolstencroft. “With a team like Trinity which has a lot of seniors, this is sort of their last go around. They are gonna be fired up and we better be fired up too.”
Bowdoin will need to bring its best to the court in order to advance to the second round. The winner of today’s match will look to face Middlebury in the semifinals tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. The NESCAC final will be held on Sunday.
- May 1
Women’s lacrosse edges Colby in NESCAC quarterfinals
The third-seeded Polar Bears (14-2, 8-2 NESCAC) advanced to the NESCAC semifinals after beating sixth-seeded Colby (10-6, 5-5 NESCAC) 12-11 on Saturday. Tomorrow, the team will compete against second-seeded Middlebury (13-2, 8-2 NESCAC) in its first trip to the NESCAC semifinals since 2011 and its fifth appearance in the program’s history. Every NESCAC quarterfinal match this past weekend was decided by a single goal; every Bowdoin-Colby matchup since 2011 has ended in a one-goal difference.
Lindsay Picard ’16 led the charge, contributing to half of Bowdoin’s points with a hat trick and three assists. She also won five draw controls, all of which helped earn her NESCAC Player of the Week honors.
The team suffered from several turnovers and stolen passes in the beginning of the match. However, the team’s 4-0 run during the final minutes of the first half boosted the Polar Bears from a two-goal deficit to a two-goal lead at the half, which they built throughout the second period to fend off the Mules.
“It was a huge team effort. Everyone came out with a lot of fire from the start. What really helped us was coming into the second half and knowing we had to give everything again,” said Picard.
Sarah Freeman ’15, who caused two turnovers and two ground balls, noted her team’s renewed energy in the second half after a tough first period.
“Although we played really well, it wasn’t the cleanest game that we’ve had—especially the first half,” she said. “But I think in the second half, we really rallied and came back from being down.”
Freeman emphasized what the team needs to do to win against Middlebury on Saturday.
“We definitely have the skills to beat [Middlebury] if we play together, and [are] calm and everyone gets really motivated,” said Freeman.
Clare McLaughlin ’15, who also scored three goals against Colby, referred to the numerous turnovers and stolen passes in the matchup—a weak spot the team has tried to amend in practice this week in preparation for Saturday.
“We just want to use this week to get better every day at practice to make sure that we go in with our grit—our intensity,” said McLaughlin. “[We’ll try to] minimize turnovers so we can play to our potential.”
The Polar Bears lost to Middlebury 14-8 earlier in the season.
“I think we’re really excited because we want that redemption,” said McLaughlin. “I haven’t beaten Middlebury in my four years, and I’d love to beat them.”
Despite the wide margin of goals by which the Panthers beat the Polar Bears in their early season matchup, McLaughlin believes her team can pull off an upset.
“Although we lost by a bunch, those games never felt far apart—it never felt out of reach,” said McLaughlin.
The team will draw on its deep lineup in the semifinal match.
“If you look at our goals, they’re scored by tons of different people, and each game it is undecided who will have the best game and who will be the standout,” said Freeman. “What’s made our team so good this year and made it really cohesive on and off the field is that we have a ton of people that contribute.”
The Polar Bears hope to advance from the semifinals to Sunday’s championship match, aiming for the program’s first ever NESCAC Championship title.
“That’s something that everyone looks for, but I think that’s going to have to come after we win on Saturday, and you can’t think too far in advance,” said Picard.
As the Polar Bears battle it out against the Panthers on Saturday, first-seeded Trinity will play fifth-seeded Tufts in the other semifinal. If they win tomorrow, the Polar Bears will advance to the title match on Sunday—a feat which would break a nine-year hiatus since their last Championship game appearance in 2006.
- May 1
Baseball wins 3 of 4 to close out conference play
After an injury-filled season, baseball strung together three key victories in its final four divisional games to finish with a 6-6 record in the NESCAC East and a chance to qualify for the NESCAC tournament this weekend.
Heading into the weekend, Bowdoin’s playoff hopes depend on the Trinity-Bates series. Both teams are 4-5 in NESCAC play, and Bowdoin owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over Bates, but not over Trinity. The only scenario where Bowdoin qualifies, then, is if Bates wins exactly two out of three over the Bantams.
On Friday, Bowdoin defeated rival Colby 7-4 in the first of a three-game set. Then, in the Saturday doubleheader, the Polar Bears won the first 5-3, and lost the second 4-3. Finally, in Tuesday’s must-win against Bates, Bowdoin blew out the Bobcats 15-4. In an out of conference game yesterday, however, the Polar Bears fell 6-2 to the University of Southern Maine (USM).
“I would say the reason we’ve been playing so well down the stretch is that we’ve had a consistent, healthy lineup over the last two weekends,” captain Aaron Rosen ’15 said. “All year, injuries to key players have not only taken guys out of games but also made the transition back into offense kind of hard.”
One of the keys to Bowdoin’s success has been the exceptional performances of Henry Van Zant ’15, who pitched a complete game on Friday and another stellar eight innings on Tuesday. Van Zant leads the NESCAC with a 5-0 in-conference record and is 7-1 overall in nine starts with a 1.95 ERA.
“It’s always cool to watch Henry,” Rosen said. “Especially when his arm is hanging after the 130 or so pitches he threw on Friday. He threw another 140 yesterday; you always know you’re going to get a gritty performance out of him.”
In Friday’s victory, the teams were locked at 4-4 going into the bottom of the seventh. With two outs in the inning, Chris Cameron ’15 punched a single up the middle that scored Rosen and Erik Jacobsen ’15 to put the Polar Bears ahead for good. Sam Canales ’15 followed with another single that scored Cole DiRoberto ’15 and pushed Bowdoin’s lead to three.
“Over the course of the weekend, our bats came alive,” Head Coach Mike Connelly said. “So many of our games have really been decided by that big two out hit, and this weekend we got some big hits in some key spots.”
In the first of two Saturday games, Bowdoin scored four runs in the second inning and tacked on another in the third. That was all the run support Harry Ridge ’16 needed to put down the Mules, and he struck out six while walking only one. Chris Nadeau ’16, Sean Mullaney ’17, Cameron, Jacobsen, and DiRoberto each had an RBI for the Polar Bears in a team victory.
In the second game, Bowdoin blew a three run lead and lost to Colby in extra innings despite a strong performance from Rosen, who hit a two-run homer and stole two bases. It was Rosen’s fifth home run of the year, tied for second in the NESCAC.
The first three innings of Tuesday’s landslide win over Bates were a showcase in hitting from both teams, with the Polar Bears leading 6-4 going into the top of the fourth. It would continue that way for Bowdoin, as they scored three runs in each of the fifth, sixth and ninth innings. However, once Van Zant settled in Bates was denied another run. Bowdoin put the game out of reach in the fifth when Chad Martin ’16 crushed a three run homer to put the Polar Bears ahead 9-4.
“That game was a blast,” Rosen said. “As coach said, that was the easy part. Now we have to wait and see if we make it into the tournament, and that’s the tough part.”
“I’m just praying that we get into the thing,” Rosen said. “If we somehow sneak in, I feel like we can win it all with the way we’ve been playing.”
Bowdoin will close out its regular season with three games over the weekend: a doubleheader at home against Middlebury on Saturday and an away game at St. Joseph’s. None of these three games will affect their playoff chances, regardless of result.
- May 1
Left of pesky pole: In defense of baseball: not just your dad’s sport
Even for the most rabid fan, it’s incredibly difficult to find time at Bowdoin to watch professional sports. In high school, I ate my bagel at the breakfast table to the background sounds of Scott Van Pelt and John Anderson on SportsCenter. At Bowdoin, breakfast often involves cramming for whatever lecture, test, or paper may fall on that day. I get my three-minute daily sports update from the Bleacher Report app on my way to class. Despite my irrational and unconditional love for the Boston Red Sox, I haven’t sat down and watched an entire Sox game all year. For many Bowdoin students, there is only one justification for putting off homework and other commitments to watch sports: a three-hour football window on Sundays in the fall.
And yet, despite the fact that the heat is still on in the dorms and the temperature still fluctuates by thirty degrees outside, summer is just weeks away. Emerging from the eight-month grind of exams and papers, many students will use their newfound freedom to reacquaint themselves with their favorite professional sports. However, it’s depressing to me that so few will turn to the quintessential game of summer. Baseball, our “national pastime,” seems to be past its time for a large portion of our generation.
Some will prefer to watch the NHL and NBA playoffs, which absurdly extend until the end of June, but at least are exciting and worth watching. Even after these playoffs end, however, many will prefer to turn on the NFL Network and listen to endless Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota comparisons and coverage of Johnny Manziel’s latest antics. Despite the NFL’s best efforts to consume the year-round attention of the American sports fan, summer still belongs to baseball—for our parents. The average age of the 2012 World Series audience was 53 years, eight years higher than that of the Super Bowl and 12 years higher than the NBA Finals.
Younger viewers don’t have the interest or the patience to sit down and watch a ball game. Yes, baseball is a slow game, and the MLB should continue to step up its efforts to reduce the time between pitches. But there are also thirty seconds between every play in football, and a whistle blown every thirty seconds in a basketball game. And what’s the rush? Baseball epitomizes those wonderfully lazy, laidback summer nights. Grab a cold drink, open a bag of cracker jacks, and smell the fresh cut grass.
But for many in the smartphone generation, baseball is like Blockbuster in a Netflix world. Where are the bone-crushing tackles and the slam dunks? Why spend three hours watching a game when the only exciting thing that could happen is the occasional home run?
In my final words as a columnist for the Orient, I want to implore my fellow sports fans out there to give baseball another chance. First, enjoy the nuance of the sport. Every at-bat is a battle, every pitch a strategic calculation. The ending is unpredictable: the battle could end in the catcher’s glove, the center field bleachers, or anywhere in between. And nothing in sports compares to the suspense of a tie game in bottom of the ninth, when the outcome hinges on every pitch. That’s the beauty of this clock-less sport: baseball ends on its own terms.
Second, there’s no other sport that is so elegantly quantifiable. Every pitch becomes infinitely more interesting when you know the stats, because the numbers give every player a unique story. When Xander Bogaerts hit under .150 in two different months last year, I watched every pitch anxiously to see if he would break his slump. Whenever David Ortiz steps to the plate this year, he can inch closer to that hallowed 500 home run barrier (only 30 more to go). And if Clay Buchholz is on the hill, there are two equally likely outcomes: a brilliant shutout, or a nine run shellacking.
Finally, numbers aside, baseball is a beautiful game: the precision of a well-placed slider, the grace of a diving catch, and the raw power of a 400-foot home run. There’s something amazing to see in every moment of a baseball game. All you have to do is slow down, turn off your phone, and lose yourself in the sights and sounds of the ballpark. That’s what summer is for.