Last Friday, students from Bowdoin Climate Action (BCA) met with members of the College’s Board of Trustees in the Cram Alumni Barn to discuss BCA’s proposal for the College to divest from the top 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies within five years.
Four members of BCA—Allyson Gross ’16, Matthew Goodrich ’15, Bridget McCoy ’15 and Claire Belitz ’17—gave a 25-minute presentation followed by about 20 minutes of questions and discussion with the trustees in attendance.
“I think our presentation couldn’t have gone better,” said Goodrich. “I think it’s a victory alone that we were able to present to the Trustees.”
BCA’s presentation focused on four different topics: climate change, the history of divestment, the financial logistics of divestment and the ethical argument for why Bowdoin should divest from fossil fuels.
Questions and comments from trustees focused on both the consequences of climate change and the Board’s position when considering divestment.
“We had some questions we hadn’t necessarily anticipated,” said McCoy. “Some of them were climate change-related and we were more expecting divestment-related questions.”
Trustees pressed BCA representatives on other issues, such as the extent to which the Board might consider environmental consequences in the rest of its investments, why most institutions have not divested, and the differences between past divestment movements, like the divestment from Sudan.
Most trustees were impressed with the students’ level of professionalism and effort during the meeting, according to Chair of the Board Deborah Jensen Barker ’80 P’16.
“I think it was exciting and refreshing for the Board to see a group learning about a subject, following their passions, and continuing to learn and engage,” said Barker.
BCA is hoping for an answer from the trustees by December, or a vote from the entire Board on divestment by February.
“Barry [Mills] has been an outspoken critic of divestment in the past; things have changed since then,” said Goodrich, referring to the faculty letter published last week in which 70 faculty members gave their support to the divestment movement and efforts to mitigate climate change.
President Barry Mills organized the meeting between the Trustees and BCA last April after being presented with a student petition calling for divestment. Mills chose not to attend the meeting on Friday in order to allow a freer discussion among the students and trustees.
Mills expressed that while his stance on the issue has not changed and that he respects the activism of BCA, the petition to divest from fossil fuels is inconsistent with the College’s precedent for divestment set in 2006 when the College’s Advisory Committee on Darfur set “guiding principles” for considering issues of divestment.
Mills was unsure if the topic will be discussed or voted upon when the Board of Trustees convenes in February and explained that the Trustees always have the potential to address the issue.
“They listened to the students,” said Mills. “The decision to divest is always in the Trustees’ court—it didn’t move, it was always there, it’s always been there.”
The Trustees, however, told BCA the next step would be to consult Mills on the matter.While various committees of the Board of Trustees normally meet simultaneously, the Student Affairs Committee held this meeting at a separate venue and time in order to allow available trustees to attend if they wanted to. Approximately half of the 44-member Board of Trustees attended.
Upon exiting, the trustees were greeted by a crowd of approximately 60 people holding signs and posters, thanking them for holding the meeting with the students. Barker explained that while the Trustees were not sure what to expect, they were cheered for and thanked by the students and community members outside.
“It was a positive tone to really appreciate the fact that they listened to the 1,200 students who asked for this meeting,” said Gross.
BCA petition overstates student support for divestment
Citing the 1,200 signatures it has collected for a petition that was created in the fall of 2012, Bowdoin Climate Action (BCA) says that it has a mandate from the student body to pressure the College to divest from the top 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies. The Orient took a closer look at the petition and concluded that BCA has overstated student support for this cause.
Last week, the Orient obtained the physical copies of petitions that BCA presented to President Barry Mills on April 18. BCA declined to share its current petition, which it claims has 1,200 signatories. Instead, BCA offered the Orient a list of the signatories who had also pledged to volunteer for BCA’s divestment campaign.
“Normally, petition signatures are meant for the target, which was the College, the president, and the Board of Trustees,” said Matthew Goodrich ’15, a leader of BCA. “We had concerns about privacy.”
When BCA presented the petition to Mills, it claimed that 1,000 students had indicated their support for divestment. After examining the individual petitions, the Orient determined that 923 total signatures were given to Mills. Among these signatures, there were 60 duplicates, four triplicates, 14 crossed-out names, and 16 illegible names, bringing the total number of valid petition signatories to 825.
In addition to numerical discrepancy between BCA’s claims and the actual number of valid signatures given to Mills, the petition—which BCA publicly presented as one divestment petition—was in fact comprised of two differently-phrased petitions.
The petition used during the beginning of the divestment campaign begins with the bolded declaration, “I Believe Carbon Neutral Means Carbon Free,” and uses the word “divest” only once, at the end of the petition. This petition was signed by 469 out of the 923 signatures.The remaining 454 signatures were attached to a statement which referred exclusively to divestment. It states in bold font: “I believe Bowdoin should divest its endowment from fossil fuels in recognition that climate change is a moral issue.”
Goodrich explained that in the fall of 2012, BCA had discussed the feasibility of the College discontinuing its use of natural gas with Mills and after he made it clear that doing so was not feasible, the language of the petition was altered to focus exclusively on climate change.
The Orient conducted two separate unscientific surveys between October 27-29, sending one to signatories of the “Carbon Free” petition and one to signatories of the “Divest” petition. The same question—“Do you currently support the movement for Bowdoin College to divest from fossil fuels?”—was presented to each of the survey groups.
Out of 160 respondents who signed the “Divest” petition, 42 percent responded “Yes,” 26 percent responded “No,” 29 percent responded “I don’t feel informed enough to make a decision,” and three percent responded “No opinion.”
Out of 72 respondents who signed the “Carbon Free” petition, 36 percent responded “Yes,” 41 percent responded “No,” 22 percent responded “I don’t feel informed enough to make a decision” and one percent responded “No opinion.”
In all, 40 percent of signatories stated that they still supported divestment.
Goodrich said that the messages of the petitions are not contradictory despite their different wording.
“I think that people who signed [the “Carbon Free” petition] are calling for a greater mandate—a greater re-evaluation for Bowdoin’s sustainability,” said Goodrich. “I think that those are both divestment signatures. The wording is different but the actual message of divestment is on both.”
After learning about the the survey data, Goodrich attributed the difference in support between the petitions and the survey to the College’s announcement in April 2013 that divestment could cost the College $100 million over the next 10 years.
Since April, BCA claims to have added an additional 200 signatories to its petition, with most of them coming from first-year students, according to Goodrich. The petition now includes signatures from seven class years—2012 to 2018—although only “a handful” are members of the Class of 2012, according to Allyson Gross ’16, a member of BCA.
“Last year, as well as this year, we’ve had 1,000 students who signed our petition,” said Goodrich last week. “The campus community has spoken. We built that support for divestment.”
Goodrich stood behind the petition this week.
“We’re not speaking for anyone. The people who put their names down have, on their own free will, said they support this…this is what they have said. We’re sort of the mediators because we’re the ones who are most passionate about divestment—we’re the ones who presented to the Trustees.”
BCA member Bridget McCoy ’15 said in an interview last week that while BCA speaks for the majority of students, those most involved with the campaign are likely more informed than the rest of the student body.
“Signing onto divestment means you support it, but I’m sure there’s a variety of what people think, said McCoy. “We really want to promote discourse and discussion—we don’t want to trick people or anything like that.”
BCA, which stated in its slideshow presentation to the Trustees that it has a mandate from Bowdoin students to persuade the College to divest from fossil fuel companies, has repeatedly noted the force its petition carries. Last week, Gross referred to the meeting between the Trustees and members of BCA as a meeting 1,200 students had asked for.
“I think the 1,200 number must have had an influence on [Mills’] view on whether or not we had to meet with the group,” said Chair of the Board of Trustees Deborah Jensen Barker.A meeting between BCA and the Board’s Student Affairs Committee—organized by Mills—took place on October 17.
Though BCA has said that the petition is representative of student support, the Orient found numerous cases of signatories that were not even students, including two visiting teaching assistants from the Department of Romance Languages, several college employees, and a local business owner who sells hand-crafted jewelry in front of the Polar Express in Smith Union.
“I’d like to highlight the passion that the students have brought to this issue—particularly members of BCA—in addition to the folks that came out to gave the petition to President Mills and the folks that came out to show support with the trustees,” said Goodrich in this week’s interview.
Although the counts of the physical signatures and the survey of the signatories raises questions about the number of students who fully support divestment, there is no doubt that a sizeable portion of the Bowdoin faculty think the College should divest from fossil fuels. In the October 17 issue of the Orient, 70 faculty members published a letter urging the Board of Trustees to divest.
“The faculty letter with 70 names—I think that shows how much this issue has grown,” said Goodrich. “We really wanted the faculty to engage with us; we asked and they did. It shows that this is something that doesn’t just concern the students but also involves faculty members...It’s good to know they have our back.”
The letter was shaped out of two separate draft letters, one primarily authored by Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Natural Sciences Nat Wheelwright, Senior Lecturer in Romance Languages Genie Wheelwright, and Associate Professor of Biology and Neuroscience Hadley Horch with assistance from Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies John Lichter. The other draft was primarily written by English Professor David Collings.
“I think it would’ve been a shame to have 1,000 Bowdoin students calling for divestment and then have the faculty sit on the sidelines, despite the fact that we teach it in our classroom—the importance of climate change—and not to take any action,” said Wheelwright, who did not know about the Orient’s examination of the petitions given to Mills.
Originally, Collings opposed divestment because he thought that the movement asked for a largely symbolic commitment without inducing a direct economic or environmental effect. He said that his opinion changed once the faculty letter added language calling for action beyond divestment, including carbon taxes, the end of federal oil subsidies, and a call to lobby the federal government.
“That’s a statement of principle—a statement of value,” said Collings regarding divestment. “We’re aligning [the College’s] financial investments with its values. As an ethical and moral statement, it’s completely coherent. I buy it.”
Lichter agreed, citing two people who influenced his decision: professor of economics emeritus David Vail and environmentalist author Wendell Berry.
“David Vail basically said symbolism is important,” said Lichter. “He argued that that’s important—to get public sentiment moving in the right direction.”
Lichter, who published an op-ed in April that called for alternatives to divestment, noted that while he now supports divestment on ethical and moral grounds, students and community members still need to focus on more influential targets.
“They could basically get an appointment with Angus King or Susan Collins when they’re here—they could do it,” said Lichter. “I think there’s good reasons why good people don’t want to do this.”
Associate Professor of Economics Guillermo Herrera, who did not sign the faculty letter, noted that while he is respectful of how the movement has galvanized student activism, he remains skeptical of the notion that divestment could alter corporate or consumer behavior.
“The problem is that carbon emission and fossil fuel use is underpriced by the market,” said Herrera. “I feel like the right action is one that attempts to make the price correct—to align the price with what it should be socially.”
Herrera suggested an alternative solution in which the College imposes a carbon tax on itself in order to reflect the true social costs of carbon emissions. Holding itself to this tax level—determined by a consensus of economists—could affect both the College’s energy and investment decisions as well as corporate and consumer behavior.
“I feel like the divestment path is maybe a second best path,” said Herrera. “There may be better ways to do it. Those deserve some serious consideration.”
Assistant Professor of Economics Stephen Meardon—who did not sign the faculty letter—said that it was inappropriate for professors to engage in political and moral questions.
“What are the appropriate policies, in light of their distributive consequences, is not a scientific question,” said Meardon. “It’s a political and moral question, and it’s contested, and the College should not be weighing in on that.”
Meardon called into question some of the tenets of the faculty letter, specifically citing the letter’s call for divestment as an “important educational gesture.”
“The college should definitely try to help students acquire knowledge and analytical skills that are relevant to understanding the consequences of fossil fuel consumption on climate,” said Meardon. “‘Educational gesture’ is exactly that kind of conflation of scientific with moral; of an academic purpose with an advocacy purpose. I think that those purposes should be kept separate.”
Meardon asserted that not only would divestment from fossil fuels undermine the College’s purposes as an academic institution, it runs the risk of attracting students and faculty only of “like minds” and deterring those who may have differing opinions.
“The faculty should never stand behind students in their political engagement—not on any political action that is contested,” said Meardon.
Wheelwright said that while more forceful action is needed in order to mitigate the effects of climate change, he heard few credible arguments against divestment when meeting with about 20 faculty members to discuss the proposed letter.
“We saw this as joining a broad, energetic social movement that we haven’t seen practically since the Vietnam War, that has some legs and the potential to change the national conversation,” said Wheelwright. “If educational institutions don’t get out in front of this issue, 40 years from now, populations will be half as big as they are today.”
—Ron Cervantes, Natalie Kass-Kaufman and Kate Witteman contributed to this report.
interactive: Orient election survey 2014 results
Safe Ride tracking app to debut in November
Within the next few weeks, Bowdoin students will be able to track the location of Safe Ride shuttles using a new iPhone application developed by two Bowdoin students. For over a year, seniors Sawyer Bowman and Henry Pratt have been working on both the app and a website that will allow students to monitors the location of the shuttles during their hours of operation.
The application allows students to place pickup requests and track the shuttle in relation to their own locations in real-time from either an iPhone app or a program on computers.
“At the moment we’ve equipped one of the two shuttles with a GPS tracking device,” said Pratt. “We’re also letting people place calls from where they are on campus.”
The application and the website work through a service called “Track Your Truck.”
“They provide the GPS tracker as well as an API [application programming interface] that lets us access the information through network calls,” wrote Bowman in an email to the Orient. “From there, we parse the information and display it back to the user.”
Pratt and Bowman were inspired to begin developing the service during their sophomore year, when they lived far from the center of campus.
“I used to live at Pine Street and I would call the shuttle for dinner,” said Pratt. “Sometimes I would end up waiting 30 minutes or more, depending on how backed up the shuttle was. It was tough to have to wait and not know when it was showing up.”
In the past, it has not been uncommon for students to call the shuttle and cancel requests to be picked up. This has frustrated both students and drivers.
“We’re both hoping that this will help reduce the number of canceled calls and make everyone happier with the service in general,” said Pratt.
This is not the first time Bowdoin has attempted to create a shuttle tracking service. In 2011, Information Technology (IT) started a tracking website, similar in theory to Bowman and Pratt’s application.
“We spoke to IT, and they had tried to develop an app previously that would do this, but I guess they never got it finished,” said Pratt. “We asked them if they’d be interested in us working on it, and they said that they’d love to have it.”
IT’s previous attempt to create a tracking service for the shuttles depended on using an iPad in each of the shuttles for tracking purposes. However, Bowman and Pratt purposefully chose to pursue a different direction with their application.
“This didn’t work because there was too much overhead with making sure the iPads were on, maintenance, et cetera,” said Bowman. “Our solution got rid of these problems because it doesn’t require the driver to do anything. Once the car is on, data is being transmitted automatically.”
The Safe Ride tracking app has been in the works since the fall of 2013. While Pratt went abroad last spring, Bowman picked up working on the iPhone version of the application. They have spent this year fine-tuning the application and putting on the finishing touches before its release.
According to Pratt, the tracking part of the application and website should be live within the next couple of weeks, with the phone request service soon to follow. The goal is to test out the application towards the end of the fall and to have a full version ready by the spring.
Server upgrades cause Wi-Fi outages on campus
The Bowdoin wireless network was down last Thursday evening until early the following morning. The outage was the second of the week, but it was much longer than the first incident on Monday.
Chief Information Officer Mitch Davis said the root of the problem was the failure of a server in the basement of Hubbard Hall. He explained that the server failure revealed multiple other errors, causing the wireless system to go offline.
Davis and Director of Networking and Telecommunications Jason Lavoie explained that they are in the process of making a number of changes to the network to address the failures.Bigger projects include upgrading the network and server hardware on campus, as well as moving infrastructure out of the basement of 111-year-old Hubbard Hall into a new commercial data center.
This new $6 million data center, owned by Oxford Networks, opened in mid-September and is located in an old communications building at the former Naval Air Station at Brunswick. Bowdoin currently operates 10 server racks at Oxford Networks’ facility and 5 server racks in Hubbard. The College has established a direct 100-gigabyte fiber-optic connection to the facility.
Because the servers are currently operating on both old and new hardware, there is a greater potential for network issues.
Last Thursday, one of two Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) servers running on old hardware failed completely. DHCP servers are essential to Internet access because they provide each device with an IP address.
“When your computer boots up, it doesn’t know what its address is on the network,” said Lavoie. “So it will associate to a wireless network and the first thing it does is send out a broadcast saying, ‘Can I have an IP address please?’ It can’t do anything until that process happens.”
Normally, because Bowdoin operates two DHCP servers, one server failing does not cause service to go down—the other server simply takes over.
In this case, the second server did take over but, according to Lavoie, “there was a problem with the path between [the second server] and the wireless controller that prevented all of the requests from getting back to the clients. That problem was being masked by having two servers.”
Lavoie explained that these systems are always designed redundantly to account for such failures.
“With most system failures, it’s never one small thing that fails, it’s always a cascading failure. It’s usually five to six things before you actually have a problem,” he said.
Last Thursday’s outage revealed a configuration problem that was created during some of the recent hardware upgrades.
The failure did, however, create an opportunity to fix an error that may have been causing log on delays, and pushed the network team to install new hardware earlier than it had intended.
“In some sense the failure allowed us to solve a lot of problems. It created a disruption that we would have never caused ourselves, so we could see it and fix it,” said Davis. “Everything that was old is gone.”
Davis and Lavoie both stressed the difficulties of upgrading a network that they cannot turn off. It’s like “changing the tires on a car that’s going down the highway at 65 miles per hour,” said Lavoie.
“If we would have had the time, we would have been able to shut the system down and we wouldn’t have had that problem,” added Davis. “But that isn’t the nature of the game.”Many students were irritated while the problem persisted, but were satisfied once service resumed.
“I think they handled it as well as they could have,” said Logan Simon ’18. “It’s not the end of the world. It’s inconvenient, but it all got fixed eventually.”
Davis said he understands students’ frustration and aims to provide reliable service.
“We built this so that it can be dependable. We’ve had some problems. We’ve been busting our ass to try to get it right. We’ve created a complexity that made it very difficult for us to determine what was wrong,” he said. “I believe we have it right now.”
Information Technology will be further upgrading network infrastructure in January while the student body is off campus.
Maine State Senate and House elections run close
In the election on November 2, Brunswick is slated to have one of the closest State Senate races in recent memory, between Democratic incumbent Stanley Gerzofsky, Green Independent Fred Horch and Republican Jennifer Johnson.
This election cycle is the first since the State Senate and State House of Representatives district lines were redrawn by Chapter 270 of the Public Laws of 2013. The law was signed by Governor Paul LePage on June 14, 2013. District lines were previously redrawn in 1994 and 2003 to reflect changes in the state’s demographics.
Brunswick is now part of State Senate District 24, which includes North Yarmouth, Pownal, Freeport and Harpswell. State House of Representatives Districts 49 and 50 fall completely within the town of Brunswick. A portion of northwestern Brunswick will vote in District 51, which also includes West Bath. The College falls in District 50.
The candidates for the State House of Representatives in District 50 are Republican Mark Holbrook and Democrat Ralph Tucker. There is no incumbent in the election this year, as Charles Priest, the current representative, reached the term limit.
Gerzofsky has served three consecutive terms in the Maine State Senate, beginning to 2008. He served in the Maine House of Representatives from 2000 to 2008.
In 2013, Gerzofsky served as the Chair of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee and on the State and Local Government Committee. Much of the legislation that Gerzofsky has introduced has been centered around issues of criminal justice.
According to the Maine State Democrats website, Gerzofsky’s main areas of interest, with regards to policy, are civil liberties and public safety.
He has voiced his opposition to the tax cuts implemented by the LePage administration, saying that they favored the wealthy. He has also come out in support of raising the minimum wage as long as the relative living conditions in different parts of the state were taken into account.
Gerzofsky attended the Maine Justice Academy and Pasadena City College. He has worked as a consultant and owned a furniture store from 1965 to 1995.
Horch has a background in business and law and was trained as an attorney. According to his website, his platform focuses on healthcare and social needs, jobs and economic development, state budget and taxes—including having the wealthiest citizens “pay their fair share,”—environment and sustainability, and civil rights and social justice.
In 2010 and 2012, Horch ran as the Green Independent Party candidate for the Maine House of Representatives.
Horch plans to advocate strongly for renewable energy. He owned and operated F.W. Horch Sustainable Goods and Supplies on Maine Street from 2006 to 2011, before selling it to new owners.
According to Horch, “[addressing renewable energy] needs to be focused around how you can harness green energy.”
He cites solar and hydroelectric power as some of the potential forms that green energy in Maine could take.
Jennifer Johnson is a single mother of two boys and an owner of Johnson’s Sporting Goods, located in Cook’s Corner.
According to her website, Johnson’s major concerns are establishing reasonable taxation levels—particularly for small businesses like hers—protecting Second Amendment rights, shying away from big government, and family concerns.
In previous public forums with her fellow candidates, Johnson has contended that the current welfare system in Maine is broken. She advocates cutting down on fraud and abuse. She has also spoken out against raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, saying that it could prevent businesses from hiring.
Holbrook originally did not want to run for the House, but was encouraged to do so at a Brunswick Republican Town Committee meeting so that Democrat Ralph Tucker would not run uncontested. Holbrook spent two years working behind the scenes on Republican campaigns in Brunswick before this election.
He did not officially commit himself to the race until Labor Day weekend, but said that he has been encouraged by the support that he has received from townsfolk from voters.“It’s humbling to have people donate,” said Holbrook.
Holbrook’s platform is characterized by three main priorities: family, faith and farms and fisheries. He advocates smaller government, lower taxes and welfare reform and does not support the Affordable Care Act.
“I would like to see a greater opportunity for faith-based organizations to be a part of the delivery of social services,” Holbrook said, while also acknowledging the importance of the separation of church and state.
Holbrook also advocates the empowerment of women through personal safety training courses, which he has been teaching since 1996. He says that he would like to see such classes made available on college campuses.
“I have a real concern about empowering women and how to do that to prevent them from becoming targets,” said Holbrook.
Holbrook has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and runs a counseling practice. In addition, he acts as a trainer and consultant for police departments and as an instructor at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.
Ralph Tucker is a retired Maine District Court judge. He previously presided over courts in Wiscasset and West Bath. Tucker has also served on the Brunswick Town Council and was appointed to the workers’ compensation board by Governors Brennan and McKernan, spending seven of his 11 years on the board as chair. Tucker was a lawyer and partner with McTeague Higbee Law Firm for 18 years before running for public office.
Tucker currently has two young granddaughters growing up in Brunswick. He identifies them and their future as a major motivation for his run for office.
Tucker’s main political concerns, according to his website, are maintaining good public schools, strengthening environmental safeguards, and advocating for health care coverage, fair taxes, and environmental growth. He also emphasizes maintaining civility in public debate.
Students campaign to bring Dalai Lama to the College
Three students and an administrator are working on a campaign to bring the Dalai Lama to Bowdoin in the next few years.
Tenzin Tsagong ’16 first came up with the idea after she heard that Middlebury hosted the Dalai Lama in 2012 and that Bowdoin had unsuccessfully tried to host him in the past. She has been working with Parikshit Sharma ’17, Annie Chen ’17 and Director of Counseling Services Bernie Hershberger on the campaign.
“I’m of Tibetan background, so Tibet issues are very important to me, and his Holiness, the Dalai Lama is essential in all of this,” Tsagong said. “My freshman year, Middlebury hosted him, and I remember thinking, ‘Oh this is really cool. A fellow NESCAC school was able to get someone as big as him to come to their campus.’”
In order to generate attention about their efforts, Tsagong, Sharma and Chen have already contacted several departments such as the Anthropology, Asian Studies and Religion departments as well as campus offices such as Residential Life and Peer Health, and the leaders of various student clubs on campus. They are also working on two letters, one from the students and the other from President Barry Mills, to send to the Dalai Lama’s office in Washington, D.C.
In addition, the three students plan on making a video of Bowdoin students talking about values, such as peace, wisdom and compassion.
“We’re trying to give our campaign a face by creating a video that allows the people at the [Office of the Dalai Lama] to see why Bowdoin is a place worth coming to,” Chen said.
The Office of the Dalai Lama will ultimately determine whether he can come to Bowdoin. Sharma estimates that the Dalai Lama is booked for at least the next two years. With the understanding that this is a long-term project, Tsagong, Sharma and Chen are just trying to make the best request possible.
“We’re really in the beginning stages of it,” Tsagong said. “We’re trying to create some buzz and create a request that will make our school seem unique. Hopefully, we get a positive response from the office, and then we’ll go from there.”
College holds candlelight vigil to raise awareness about sexual violence
Students met on the steps of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art on Wednesday evening to participate in “Take Back the Night,” an annual event organized by V-Day to raise awareness about sexual violence and support survivors.
“I think the purpose [of this event] is twofold,” said Kaylee Wolfe ’15, one of the event organizers. “It is a show of support and solidarity for people in our community. It’s also an active stand that the Bowdoin community takes every year saying that [sexual violence] is not acceptable and that we’re going to hold our community to a higher standard.”
V-Day is a national organization dedicated to ending violence against women and holds similar events on college campuses and in cities across the globe. The organization first took shape in the 1970s, and has spread to 30 countries since.
Bowdoin has a long-established V-day chapter and has had a “Take Back the Night” event for the past several years.
“What’s great about having this event every year is that we have a lot of institutional support,” said Leah Alper ’17, a co-organizer of the event. “Whether it’s funding, or people like Dean [of Student Affairs Tim] Foster showing up and supporting us, it’s really special how much Bowdoin stands behind the event.”
Wolfe and Alper worked with several other clubs on campus to create the events for the evening. The night began with a candle vigil, including a cup with a candle and fact regarding sexual assault for each attendee and a presentation from representatives across campus who addressed facts regarding sexual assault.
V-Day representative Erica Hummel ’16 and Safe Space leaders Erin Leddy ’15 and Rachel Gladstone ’15 discussed national and local facts about sexual assault. Next, Hassaan Mirza ’17 read aloud a poem addressing sexual assault and an anonymous student shared a personal experience with sexual violence.
Following the speakers’ presentations, the group walked a loop on the edge of campus to symbolically and literally highlight the areas nearby where people may feel in danger.
The walk began at the steps of the museum and continued past the College Houses before ending at the Women’s Resource Center, where co-ed a cappella group BOKA performed two songs. Safe Space members were present in red shirts to speak with anyone in need of advice, and many students remained to chat with friends and reflect on the event.
“I really liked the structure of [the event]. It was very somber and gave us a chance to really reflect, but definitely ended on a happy and hopeful note,” said Hailey Beaman ’18.
Alper and Wolfe expressed excitement at the variety of students that the event drew.
“A neat characteristic of this event is that it just pulls from so many different parts of campus. Sometimes it feels like we see many of the same faces at the gender violence events, but we see so many different people at this event,” said Wolfe.
Alper and Wolfe had been concerned about turnout, since the event was postponed from the previous week due to weather and because it rained throughout the evening Wednesday night. Despite the poor weather, nearly 150 students were present for the candle vigil and the walk around campus.
“We were surprised by how many people showed up despite the weather.” Wolfe said. “Just the fact that people were willing to stay out, do the walk and come to 24 College St. in spite of being rained on makes the event and its purpose more powerful.”
New CampusQuad app displays campus events
The student Information Technology Advisory Council (ITAC) released CampusQuad, a new phone app that streamlines the Bowdoin community’s ability to advertise and view events, on Wednesday.
CampusQuad will not replace the Orbit, which will continue to organize club membership and email lists.
In an attempt to encourage people to download the app, ITAC is raffling off seven Amazon gift cards—five worth $20, one worth $100 and one worth $250. Creating an account with a Bowdoin email address will automatically enter a user in the raffle.
Bowdoin is one of about 10 colleges participating in the beta test of CampusQuad and sending feedback to the company. CampusQuad founder Francis Cairns contacted Chief Information Officer Mitch Davis, who used to work with her at Apple, about testing the app at the College.ITAC has been giving feedback to CampusQuad for over a year, but this is its first attempt to publicize CampusQuad to the whole campus and encourage student use.
“You’ll hopefully be able to get a better understanding of what’s happening so you can attend more events and activities,” said Andrew Haeger ’16, who is a member of ITAC and organizing the CampusQuad initiative.
In addition to CampusQuad, ITAC is responsible for the iPad scanning system in the dining halls and a new Verizon Wireless cell tower on Coles Tower.
CampusQuad allows group leaders to create events, which students can then view in the app. Only people with a Bowdoin email address can access Bowdoin events.
Any user can create non-event posts in the app for important announcements or deadlines. Users can view the analytics behind their posts to determine how many people have seen a post and how many people have committed to attending an event.
The app will soon contain a “What’s Happening Now” feature. Users will be able to view events happening within the next few hours. This feature will be available within the next two weeks.Currently, the app is only open for individual student use. In the next week, ITAC will begin loading club, department and school calendars into the app.
BSG updates campaign bylaws, club funding guidelines
Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) brainstormed ideas for campaign reform in future BSG elections and possible changes to the Student Activities Funding Committee’s (SAFC) Club Funding Guidelines at its meeting on Wednesday.
BSG President Chris Breen ’15 opened the dialogue about the current bylaws for student elections with regard to social media and campaign spending. Currently, the bylaws state that candidates cannot provide gifts, hold election parties or send mass campaign emails using class, dorm and club mailing lists. They are also limited to $10 in advertising funding to spend at the Copy Center to print posters for their campaigns.
However, there are no explicit bylaws for campaigning through Facebook, such as purchasing ads or promoting a post. Both of these activities come with a price tag. President of the Class of 2018 Ned Wang purchased targeted Facebook ads during his campaign in early October. This opened the broader question of regulating campaign spending in the age of social media.
“This is about whether everyone in the election starts on a level playing field,” said Breen.BSG discussed several possible solutions and changes to the bylaws and will revisit the issue at a later time.
“The question is spending money at all during a campaign and we need to try to keep elections as simple as possible,” Breen said.
President of SAFC Ryan Davis ’15 then changed the conversation to introduce two possible changes to its Club Funding Guidelines.
The first falls under section IV: Travel. The current guidelines state that SAFC does not fund Zipcars or road trips outside of New England. Davis suggested that the limitation be changed to 500 miles outside of Bowdoin, but within the United States.
The second change is under section VII: Conferences and Retreats. Davis proposed to change the language that allows funding from “one conference per year” to “off campus leadership training,” which would encourage club leaders to gain more leadership experience while recognizing that conferences can be expensive. There is also a proposed distinction between competitive conferences and tournaments for clubs and groups that need to go to annual non-competitive conference workshops.
In the upcoming week, BSG members will communicate the proposed changes to various club members for feedback. Assuming it receives positive feedback, BSG plans to vote on the changes to the Club Funding Guidelines in the upcoming weeks.
- 1 days ago
Snapshot: Take Back the Night 2014
Editorial: A false mandate
This week, the Orient examined a petition circulated by Bowdoin Climate Action (BCA) calling on the College to divest its endowment from fossil fuels. BCA has been collecting signatures since the fall of 2012 and has reported that it now has the support of 1,200 students. The group has shown remarkable initiative and dedication to its cause and has received the attention of those on campus, the Brunswick community, and the greater Bowdoin network. Just a few weeks ago, leaders of BCA met with members of the Board of Trustees to present their case for divestment. President Barry Mills arranged this meeting under the impression that over 1,000 Bowdoin students had expressed a desire for the College to divest. However, this was not the case.
We recognize the passion with which members of BCA have promoted the group’s divestment agenda and appreciate the value that student activism provides to our community. While the editorial board of the Orient expressed its opposition to divestment in February 2013, we acknowledge that BCA has made progress in its mission and sparked significant dialogue on a campus that often lacks political engagement.
In their presentation to the Trustees, BCA leaders relied on the petition when claiming that they had a mandate from the student body. However, a survey conducted this week of students who signed BCA’s petition revealed a considerable discrepancy between the group’s self-reported support and the actual student backing for its cause. Its alleged 1,000 signatures included names from two separate petitions—one of which stressed carbon neutrality more than divestment—and a large number of signatories reported that they do not currently endorse divestment. In light of these findings, BCA should not claim to speak for the majority of students on campus nor use this claim as leverage in its discussions with the administration.
An editorial that ran in the Orient last April argued that students should engage more meaningfully with the issues that are at stake when asked to sign petitions. Although many signed the BCA petitions without such critical consideration, we do not doubt that hundreds of signatories do make up an important voice for environmental change. The large number of students who presented the petition to Mills last April and the letter from 70 faculty members to the Board of Trustees demonstrate that a significant portion of Bowdoin community members are behind divestment.
Despite these outspoken voices, however, there remains an equal if not greater population that doubts whether or not divestment is the best course of action that the College can take to promote environmentalism. For now, the College should not be unduly influenced by the inflated numbers of a vocal minority.
This editorial represents the majority view of the Bowdoin Orient’s editorial board, which is comprised of Garrett Casey, Ron Cervantes, Natalie Kass-Kaufman, Sam Miller, Leo Shaw and Kate Witteman.
- 1 days ago
Signifying Nothing: Holding on to gender, resisting whiteness and 'bougieness'
For as long as I can remember, a shelf in my living room at home has proudly displayed a book called “Are Italians White?” I’ll admit, I’ve never read the book, but I always predicted the answer to be something like, “Well, you may assume they are, but it’s actually much more complicated than that!”
The complexity of Italian identity isn’t just the terrain of erudite, problematizing intellectuals. My grandmother—rest her soul—once told me how she hated to fill out forms about her race. “I’m not white!” she said. “They want to make me say that I’m white, but I’m Italian, not white!”
I’ve often encountered a similar problem. With all the paperwork necessary for higher education, I’ve needed to fit my race into a checkbox. It doesn’t help that my father is Latino, so I’ve had to choose between categories such as “white,” “Hispanic,” “Hispanic (non-white),” “white (non-Hispanic),” “Puerto Rican,” “Hispanic (non-Puerto Rican)” etc.
The options change depending on the form, and (as you can see) often border on the ridiculous. Recently, institutions have tried to accommodate for mixed ethnicities, but sometimes I have to choose just one option. And I usually avoid being “white.”
What’s wrong with being white? White is the default race. The white race is not an identity in itself as much as it is an absence of identity. How many times have you seen someone, shoulders shrugging, say “I’m just white,” and nothing more?
To admit that you’re white is to sacrifice ethnicity and culture. Can whiteness exist in its own right, as more than an instrument of oppression?
Whiteness is also association with power, and the derogatory language we use often classifies social and economic power as “uncool.”
A few months ago, my friend John and I were walking to a concert in downtown Manhattan. We passed by a building with a large vertical sign: “Sohotel.” I turned to John. “Wow,” I said, “that is so…hotel.”
Reveling in my wittiness, we decided that “hotel” would be a cool new slang word. But what did it mean?
We arrived early to the concert with nothing to do but walk around the theater and observe the crowd. That dude’s pinstripe suit? Hotel. That woman’s Google tote bag? Hotel. Showing up an hour early to a rock concert? Hotel.
Feeling out a meaning to this word, we decided that “hotel” meant “tackily bourgeois.” To act “hotel” is to ignorantly exude self-importance. Of course, there was already a word that meant more or less the same thing: “bougie.”
To be bougie is not just to be a part of the bourgeoisie, to own the means of production. Bougieness is aesthetic, and bougieness is not cool.
What about “basic?” In one popular sense of the word, “basic” activities include drinking Starbucks, wearing North Face and using Instagram. Truly basic people are unaware—they don’t realize that their interests are unsophisticated and vapidly materialistic.
The basic and the bougie aren’t far apart. In a way, bougieness is basic. To value wealth and power is to conform to a dominant capitalist ideology. Being bougie is the default: we see it across television and in advertisements. The media tells us to value the aesthetic of elitism, and that conforming is not hip.
When I was a child, there was another book I often noticed. It wasn’t in my living room, but on my mother’s personal shelf. This book was Maureen Dowd’s “Are Men Necessary?” (I didn’t read this either.) Even as a 10-year-old boy, the title felt like a personal attack. If men weren’t necessary, what did that mean about me? In my childhood understanding of gender, it seemed insane to suggest that we eliminate half the population. And yet, when it came to race, I had no qualms about sacrificing my whiteness for a cooler Italian ethnicity.
When deconstructing identity, we sometimes conflate race and gender as analogous structures of power. And yet despite resisting “bougieness” and whiteness, I’ve held on to the masculine, dominant, gender. Being a man isn’t lame like being white or shallowly wealthy.
Gender feels more substantial than wealth or whiteness. We can measure and change our wealth; whiteness is simply the absence of color. Gender, on the other hand, is something that most of us hold on to.
- 1 days ago
Kicking the can: Closed minds ask to close borders: remedying Ebola paranoia
A couple weeks ago, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal issued an executive order directing state officials to monitor travel between West Africa and his state, while also prohibiting recent travelers from leading a normal life—like not being able to visit grocery stores. The federal government has not done enough to “prevent the entry of the Ebola virus disease into the United States of America,” Jindal asserted while warning of a potential “public health emergency” stemming from the virus’ ability to spread from one infected person to many others. Governors in other states, including Chris Christie in New Jersey and Andrew Cuomo in New York, followed suit with draconian executive actions targeting Ebola. Here in Maine, the state is prepared to go to court to force a nurse—who has tested negative for the virus—to be quarantined.
People in Louisiana, Maine and around the nation are irrationally paranoid about this disease. The quarantine orders are sure to ignite more controversy, more fear and inspire more states to treat the one Ebola-related death and two transmissions within the United States as a state of emergency. Given that some in the conservative media have taken to calling Obama “President Ebola,” I am tempted to think that the orders and other elite calls for strict containment are purely cynical and cheap political stunts.
Let’s pretend that, contrary to all expert opinion I’ve heard, Ebola is more than a negligible threat to the United States and that something must be done about it beyond the capabilities of our existing public health institutions. If so, Jindal’s actions and insinuations—coupled with the rants of other far-right politicians and pundits—fit perfectly with the conservative narrative as of late. Got a problem? Seal the border.
Tea Party-style populists who claim to support a free market invariably leave their convictions at the border. Too few jobs? Seal the border and keep manufacturing here. Illegal drugs being imported? Seal the border and shoot everyone heading north in a speedboat near San Diego. Refugee children from Central America seeking a peaceful existence? Seal the border and send them right back to their parents. Working in Washington this summer, one of the more unbelievable calls I received was from an individual worried about little immigrant children bringing Ebola across the border as part of an intricate ISIS plot. The caller demanded that the government immediately act to seal the border. He said that no elected official in Washington would receive his vote unless they immediately grabbed a gun and went down to defend the border. Sealing the border, the narrative goes, keeps America America—to hell with everything else.
The problem here is that sealing the border is incompatible with a globalized society and an international market economy. In such a world, border closures are rarely a good way to deal with anything—even a scary disease with a slim chance of exposure. Closing borders inhibits the exchange of goods and ideas, leading to lower output. Closing borders promotes xenophobia and encourages a jingoistic dislike of people and cultures. Closing borders furthers an us-versus-them mentality that degrades cooperation, reduces trade and closes off opportunities for our own people and for human beings around the world. America is what it is today in large part because of its interaction with the rest of the world, not in spite of it. I, alongside other more liberally inclined commentators, never tire of reiterating that the U.S. is a nation of immigrants and that most of our border-crazy counterparts badly need a history lesson.
Nigeria recently solved its Ebola problem. It did not do so by closing its borders. It did so by quickly identifying the sources of the disease and quarantining infected patients. It did so by smartly tracking how the disease entered the country and identifying who could have caught it. Nigeria does not have nearly as advanced a public health infrastructure as the United States, and it has managed to solve its own Ebola crisis. It did not need to resort to absurd, isolationist measures to remove the disease from its country.
We live in an open society. Admitting outsiders and foreign goods has never destroyed America. In fact, in almost all cases, it has enriched our country. We are a nation that imports goods from many countries, then sends a crate of our own products back. We bring students, workers and refugees from all corners of the world, and then our own children go abroad to learn and contribute in other parts of the globe. Panic-driven isolationism will never solve our nation’s problems. Instead, we must share information, goods and services with as many people and nations as possible to gain a deep understanding of the problems facing us. Then—inside our borders and out—we will prevail.
- 1 days ago
Doing it wrong: Enabling the self through conscious reflection
This past weekend, I was one of 500 student activists who attended the National Students for Justice in Palestine conference at Tufts. I attended a workshop on Black Liberation, which introduced the following quotation to us: “Caring for myself is not self indulgence, it is an act of self preservation and that is an act of political warfare.”
These are the words of Audre Lorde, the renowned black, feminist and queer poet. These are words that are important for any woman, person of color or anyone else who has ever been marginalized in any capacity, to hear.
We exist in a society that marks idleness and lack of activity as laziness, acts of self-care as selfish. Marx argues that conscious labor is essential to our humanity. I propose that in addition, conscious acts of meditation and peace, as opposed to unthoughtful ones, are just as essential. Too often my breaks from work consist of scrolling through a social media feed, or going to a party I feel an underwhelming desire to go to.
In our action-oriented lives, there is too much time spent doing and not enough time spent thinking. We are always expected to define who we are and what we want to do, but not allotted enough time to really think about these things in an independent way. We tire ourselves out trying to do everything we can fit on our plate, and so we are not able to give ourselves over fully to those things and people we really care about.
The system we are a part of privileges a very specific type of person. We all know him well: the straight, white, upper class, cisgendered man. As a believer in the whole “gender/sexuality are a spectrum” thing, I’m unsure if this elusive man really exists. The important thing is, however, he exists as an ideal. Not an ideal in the way Beyoncé is an ideal because she seems perfect, but an ideal in the way that it is easiest to succeed when you are that aforementioned person. People who do not fit that ideal often feel the weight of the system working against them, consciously or not. So to care for ourselves, in a society that has, in some respects, failed to care for us, is like Lorde said. It is an act of political warfare.
Preserving ourselves, caring for ourselves, spending time thinking about ourselves—these actions, when done consciously, make us better fit to serve others. There are endless ways to actively engage in a healing process, whether it is through reconnecting with nature, taking a yoga class, going for a run, or just being alone and thinking about who we are. The important thing is that we attempt to feel some sort of renewal and introspection and resist a society that tells us we must be productive at all times.
We often partake in processes that have the potential to be healing, but unless we go in with the intention of trying to revive something within ourselves, they won’t fulfill their healing potential. As I attempt to approach life in a manner of “self-preservation,” I encourage readers to do the same. We can’t be agents of change or resistors of oppression unless we enable ourselves to be resilient, and caring for ourselves in a conscious manner is essential to that.
- 1 days ago
Responding to Honegger ’15 and Brunswick citizen Ed Knox
Gogol once remarked: “It is sad not to see any good in goodness.” In a op-ed to the Orient in early October entitled “Step Up to Support Amtrak,” Mr. Ed Knox called on all of us to accept the information and decisions of the Federal Rail Administration, Amtrak and the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA) as the truth and nothing but the truth. We should not question, analyze or research the background of the information provided from the “responsible” parties involved. This is an amazing statement. Mr. Knox goes on to label any statements critical of the rail authorities as mudslinging, bullying and ad hominem attacks. So, we should all bow down to the greater wisdom of those on high? I don’t think that approach is fruitful or responsible in a democratic society. Patrick Rael’s recent remarks in response to Mr. Honegger on the subject of the antics of Amtrak/NNEPRA were based on factual research.
Contrary to Mr. Knox’s lack of backup information, we do know certain facts. Namely, the Brunswick West Neighborhood Coalition—a group of ordinary citizens that live in the affected area—did help in the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s decision not to accept the Storm Water Runoff application sent in by NNEPRA. We do know that the value of houses in the affected area have dropped. We do know that some of the recent buyers were not told of the planned construction of the maintenance and layover building measuring approximately two times the length of Whittier Field. Ask any realtor. We do know that the folks in Attleboro, Massachusetts took about 10 years to get their MLF moved to Pawtucket, Rhode Island. We do know that neighbors in Bradford, Massachusetts have fought to remove their MLF for nearly 20 years. We do know that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) issued an Enforcement Action against the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) that cited idling trains as a violation of air quality laws, and this forced the MBTA to install power units that must be used by engineers to turn off their engines after 30 minutes.
We always expect our “responsible” parties to act responsibly and forthrightly, but we also know that we have to live by the old motto so often quoted, but true, “Trust but verify.”
Sincerely,Robert N. Morrison ’52
- 1 days ago
Letter to the editor: Vote yes on Question 1
To the Editors:
Cruelty towards both wildlife and people has no place in Maine. Chasing shy and gentle black bears through their forest home with GPS-collared hounds and then shooting these panicked bears out of a tree is not fair chase hunting; it is persecution. Any decent human being who witnessed a pack of dogs attacking a wounded bear who had been shot out of a tree would realize why Mainers are being asked to put a stop to this cruelty in our forests.
Bears are intelligent and sensitive beings. To kill them in this way should not be acceptable human behavior. Snaring black bears at a site baited with junk food and then shooting the trapped bear at point blank range is an execution and not true hunting. Baiting itself is nothing more than cheating. There is no challenge in shooting a bear while it is feeding on human junk food—that’s why many other proud hunting states have banned baiting.
Maine people have a unique opportunity to stop cruelty and injustice in our forests, while still allowing for fair chase hunting. For decency and fairness in the Maine woods, please vote yes on Question 1.
Sincerely,Robert GoldmanSouth Portland, Maine
- 1 days ago
Letter to the editor: In response to Mead ’16
To the Editors:
While reading Julia Mead’s article about Trader Joe’s, I found myself remembering my own trip to a somewhat similar store. Over the summer, I was lucky enough to accompany my father to the wonderland that is Costco. Like Trader Joe’s, Costco only stocks one brand of each item, though that is really where the comparison ends. See, my dad goes to Costco because he is a fiend for deals of the bulk variety.
The mistake that Julia makes is equating lack of choice within the store to lack of choice at all. Some people like Trader Joe’s for its unique products at a marked-up price (I do too, sometimes), while others prefer the ability to buy as much as they want for as little as possible.
So when I walked down the aisles of Costco marveling at my ability to buy unwieldy amounts of Kirkland Potato Chips for cheap, I swelled with pride for the American system of capitalism. I didn’t buy the chips, but I felt heartened knowing that I could. And that is why we won and they lost. That is why America is the land of the free and the home of those who eat way too many potato chips.
Sincerely, Adam Lamont ’16
- October 24
Editorial: Full account
Why a financial accounting class offered through the Economics department would need to be in keeping with the liberal arts ethos
- October 23
Left of lipstick: There is no best shampoo: why a Marxist loves Trader Joe’s
I love Trader Joe’s. I probably went there every other day this summer. The sliding doors would open to the kind of music my dad and I like, maybe James Taylor or Emmylou Harris, and a Hawaiian shirt-clad kid I went to high school with. He would greet me by name.
We got a Trader Joe’s down the street the summer before I left for college, and it almost made me want to stay. Why go to Maine when you could buy cookie butter at whim? The closest one used to be in Cincinnati, so whenever my family went up to go to the art museum or a concert or a professional sporting event (you can’t really do these things in Kentucky), we would stop by and get oatmeal cranberry dunkers. It was fucking special.
“Man, Trader Joe’s is the shit,” I sighed, spraying crumbs of blue corn chips across my brother’s dash on our way home from a TJ’s stop.
“Julia, people don’t say that anymore. You’re so lame,” he said, swigging French berry lemonade from the curvy, glass bottle. “Also I thought you were a communist now.”
“Yeah, but those little fancy-ass pigs-in-a-blanket are so good.”
“Aren’t you a vegetarian now too?”
“Yeah, but that doesn’t make the pigs-in-a-blanket less good.”
Clearly he didn’t get it. I like Trader Joe’s because I’m a communist. He was probably worried that I was going to put a Lenin statue on my desk or drop out of college to move “off the grid.” But what anti-capitalism (or communism if you like) means to me is to look at our economic system, see who it’s hurting and how, and figure out how we can do it better.
A few weeks ago, I was in the Portland Trader Joe’s with my roommate Olivia. We strolled through the aisles and felt our type-A minds unwind.
“Liv, I feel…relaxed.”
“Me too. It’s weird. Do we need more tea?”
“Yeah, let’s get some ginger pear. And possibly some mint?”
Trader Joe’s is great because there’s only one kind of anything. We didn’t have to choose between ten brands of mint tea, ultimately deciding on the one with the most appealing packaging but wondering if maybe we should have gone with Tazo or Celestial Seasonings.We escaped what Barry Schwartz calls the paradox of choice. It’s a quirk of consumer capitalism we’ve all experienced. You’re standing in the shampoo aisle at the drug store where there are so many options it makes it difficult to choose. You pace down the aisle, double back, pace some more as variables tumble through your head: price, scent, packaging aesthetics, your past experience, what your roommate uses, advertisements you’ve seen, until you glance at the time and realize you’ve been stuck for five minutes—paralysis.
The shampoo aisle scenario provides a preponderance of choice. Does A, B, or C suit my needs better? In reality, there is negligible difference between the dozens of options. The whole shampoo aisle is owned by Unilever, Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson (seriously, look it up). And let’s face it: how much do these consumer choices—Dove vs. Secret, Patagonia vs. Mountain Hardware, PBR vs. Rolling Rock—matter to the cores of our lives?
The ideology of choice preaches that people can make themselves happy by making the right choices, consumer and otherwise. You have the power to choose your own path: college, career, life partner. This logic works in reverse as well. If you’re unhappy, you must have made the wrong choices.
But no choices exist in a vacuum. Social pressure, explicit or internalized, affects every choice. Despite the myriad and disparate factors influencing choice, we strive to make an ideal one. But when you’re choosing laundry detergent, there is no best choice.
So that’s why this baby Marxist (shoutout to Professor Gouda for the label) loves her some TJ’s. We live in a world with too many kinds of shampoo, and critical ideology can help us understand it. I guess a full-grown Marxist wouldn’t want corporations at all, but that shining, elusive, ever-distant vision doesn’t do much for me. I am thankful for a quick decision made confidently and without regrets. I am thankful for the respite from paralysis. I love Trader Joe’s.
- October 23
My 77 Cents: What’s in a 10? Stop ranking people numerically
As students at Bowdoin and as young adults in the modern world, numbers are an inevitable and undeniable fact of life. We are constantly getting feedback that places us within a system of gradations and numbers: grades, GPA, weight, height, team scores and clothing sizes, to name only a few examples. Now, numbers are not entirely irrelevant by any means, for they provide some semblance of order to an otherwise incomprehensible web of information. However, assigning numbers to something or someone—in this context at least—is inherently a reductive act.
Objectifying a person’s worth to and for them not only distills the worst elements of our culture but also provides an incorrect and illusory understanding of a person that, ironically, neglects their actual value as a human being. We constantly make assessments of other people. This fact seems unavoidable.
What worries me is the language with which we pass such judgments. When I hear someone assign a number to someone else outside a party, it doesn’t seem cool or funny. It looks more like a symptom of self-conscious anxiety about physicality and appearance. Clearly, people contain more multitudes than their looks or grades can possibly capture in any fulfilling way.
These numbers lose all power in light of how arbitrary they actually are. What does 10 represent? What does it actually mean to be a 10? To be perfect? How can we agree upon the terms? I recently had an argument with a friend who insisted that the ranking system is making important leaps and strides in recent years: “now you can factor in face, body and personality so it’s fair.” Even still, what is 10? What is one? There is no reference point and thus no meaning at all behind these numbers. Not to mention that the concept of ranking personality and of ranking these aspects separately is an almost laughable, and, I hope, fleeting phenomenon.
To rate someone—and more so, to allow yourself to be swayed by someone else’s ranking—is to allow someone else’s narrative to override your own. It is to allow one’s complexity to be overridden by a particular, narrow and unimportant analysis that conforms to the essentializing and superficial standards of our society. It seems to me that these issues are important ones to consider when thinking about how we talk about one another.
The way we learn to talk about beauty stays with us. When men rank women, women begin to compare themselves to other women using the same format. They judge men in the same way. If one can make a person disappear behind a number, this makes them less of a threat; it gives the ranker the power.
And admittedly, it feels good to have that power sometimes, to be the wielder of assessment. As if we have any real control over another person’s looks, over our own, over the intricacies of interpersonal attraction. If we believe in the ranking system, it means that our peers can decide whether or not we are sexually desirable, not based on their own subjective attraction, but rather on an arbitrary numerical scale. And that’s frightening.
Though it would be impossible to keep anyone from expressing their opinions about another person’s looks—and frankly, you wouldn’t want to do away with that altogether—I think it’s important that the way we talk about this subject changes. Numbers are not the way to do it. At their best, they are empty; at their worst, they can be incredibly hurtful. To conform to the system of ranking is to succumb to the societally conditioned conception of what it means to be “hot”: a conception that lacks nuance, and which wrongfully evaluates and oppresses us all.
Dining enlists housekeepers to recover stolen silverware
Each academic year, Bowdoin Dining Services loses roughly 960 knives, 1800 forks, 2400 spoons, 800 mugs and 1500 cups. While some of this loss is due to general wear and tear, diminishing amounts of dining hall utensils are due to student removal of those items.“Technically, maybe, it is [theft],” said Head of Dining Service Ken Cardone. “But that’s not the intent.”
Dining Service understands that students, faculty and staff will all take cutlery from the dining halls throughout the year and they try to prepare for it. With roughly 23,000 meals a week, the dishes and silverware get quite a lot of use.
Operating budgets for each dining hall allocate thousands of dollars for dish and silverware replacement and Cardone said Dining Services spends about $12,000 to $14,000 per year on replacing china and silverware. However, it is hard to tell how much goes to replacing missing dishes and silverware versus those that are worn out.
The reality is that Dining gets very few of the missing dishes and silverware back once they leave the dining hall and they do not want the dishes and silverware to be thrown in the garbage. It can be a frustrating experience for Dining, especially when they’ve just acquired a new set of commercial china, which is more costly than residential china.
In order to help recover cutlery and china, Dining has enlisted the help of Bowdoin’s housekeeping staff.
If housekeepers find dishes or silverware belonging to the dining hall in a common area of a dormitory, they can put them in a milk crate, and exchange a full milk crate for a free meal.“It could take me a month, it could take me two months [to fill a crate],” said Sabrina Bouchard, housekeeper in Coleman Hall. “On average, during the year, I fill maybe a couple of crates.”
“I have a crate downstairs that I started at the beginning of the school year and it’s about three-quarters full.”
Dining reached out to housekeepers who often find dishes in common areas within student dormitories.
Bouchard said she enjoys the exchange.
“I usually bring my own food so it’s a treat for me to go the dining hall,” she said.
Joyce Mayer, housekeeper for buildings on Federal Street, cashes in on the deal in the summer after students move out and leave behind many dining dishes and silverware. At the beginning of the summer, it is very easy for housekeepers to fill multiple crates.
“I find dishes in the trash and I’ll pick them out, but I don’t go looking for them,” said Mayer. “I just want to thank Dining for doing that and to keep it up!”
Hope Marsden, housekeeper for Baxter House, prefers to pass her dishes along to other housekeepers.
“I give them to other people since I don’t eat in the dining halls,” said Marsden.
The removal of dining hall dishware and cutlery is increasingly becoming an issue on other college campuses.
Cardone said that the University of Montana recently reached out to other institutions of higher education via a Listserv email explaining that Montana had been experiencing an increased amount of theft in their facilities. The cost of replacing stolen items was starting to add up quickly, and they asked other schools for advice.
According to Cardone, the food service director at the University of Connecticut responded, “Chopsticks, order chopsticks.”
Behind the Name tag: Divination, dining are fast-track Staples
Students on the run in Smith Union will recognize Brandy Staples as the woman who provides their lunchtime nourishment to go.
Staples (“like the office supply store,” she said) works at the counter of Fast Track at Jack Magee’s Pub, a weekday lunchtime operation that serves bagged meals to students in a hurry.While Staples enjoys the job overall, it is not always easy. She serves between 200 and 250 patrons on any given day during her 3.5 hour shift.
“You do not stop. Once you get here, you continue to go,” Staples said.
In addition to working at Bowdoin, Staples owns her own business. She hand makes and sells dowsing pendulums, which are crystals or stones at the end of chains that are used for divination and spiritual activities. Staples sells most of her products via online retailers such as Etsy and Ebay.
“I make everything from scratch. If it is not handmade by me, I make sure it is handmade,” said Staples.
Staples has a close connection to Maine. She grew up in nearby Phippsburg and returned there after living in Massachusetts for a time.
“Maine is a nice place to live and raise a family. People up here are more genuine [than in Massachusetts],” she said.
Staples earned an associate’s degree in travel and hospitality. She also has a certificate in medical billing and coding. As for her past work, Staples has consistently worked in the retail and food-service sector.
Almost three years ago, Staples ended up at Bowdoin by what she describes as “the lines of fate.” During her time here, Staples has interacted with many members of the Bowdoin community and especially enjoys getting to know Bowdoin students.
“I can’t believe how polite you guys are,” she said. “[Bowdoin students] are so funny: I’ll accidentally grab the wrong thing and you guys will apologize to me. It’s just funny because you are apologizing to me when I made the mistake.”
Staples is impressed by Bowdoin students’ tendency toward environmental awareness, noting how students have pushed for reusable lunch bags.
“There’s a lot of things here that I’ve really picked up from you guys,” Staples said. “People here are very intellectual, they’re always trying to learn new things and find better ways to do things so I’m glad we get to play off each other.”
In her free time, Staples is involved with activities at her church and describes herself as an “avid reader.”
“My goal in life is to finish all the books on my bookshelf before I die,” she said.
Bottom of the Barrel: Zinfully good: this bargain rosé has impressive taste
This week we decided to step out of our comfort zone and try out a White Zinfandel. While Brandon is not particularly fond of rosés, we felt it was only fair to add variety. While perusing our favorite wine section at Hannaford’s, we settled upon a Sutter Home White Zinfandel.
White Zinfandels come from Zinfandel grapes, but are processed differently to create a semi-sweet rosé instead of a heartier red wine. Our particular wine was actually created by mistake on the part of Sutter Home Winery. The accidental creation of this sweet pink wine proved to be incredibly valuable—White Zinfandels are now the third most popular type of wine in the U.S.
When Bryce first smelled the wine he initially noticed vanilla, but it matured into lighter floral and berry notes with undertones of melon. Overall, not the most exciting nose to date.
Let’s just say that this wine is easy to drink. It is sweet—akin to a Riesling—but far from a true dessert wine. Our White Zin is delicious on its own, by the glass or bottle, but could pair with anything you have on hand in your dorm for snacks, such as Wheat Thins or White Cheddar Cheez-Its. But honestly, snacking just takes time away from drinking.
The taste of the wine itself is like creamy strawberries with a slight nuance of watermelon. This wine has the unique ability to be sipped or—in Brandon’s case—guzzled. Like a good lover, this wine has a gentle and smooth mouthfeel that makes you want to keep drinking more. The body was a little thin for Brandon’s taste, but Bryce preferred its lightness and found the wine to be more delicate than thin.
You may have noticed this column is less snarky than usual. This is probably due to the fact that we loved this wine so much, we could not think of any disparaging comments about it. For those of you who know us, please try to contain your shock at this revelation that we have found something that truly pleases us both. This poses a difficulty in terms of any criticism, but we believe that what has occurred here this evening can only be labeled an epiphany. What had we been doing with our lives before we discovered this wine?
We had been lost on a path strewn with Barefoot Pinot Noir and Franzia Crisp White, but tonight we have found the one true wine and it is Sutter Home White Zinfandel. If you are partial to Franzia’s Sunset Blush, set down that filthy bag and grab a bottle of this wine. We promise you won’t be disappointed.
Additional NotesBrandon: “This wine is definitely a keeper. I can see myself in 20 years coming home from a long day of therapy to a screaming child and perpetually disappointed husband, sneaking into my kitchen, popping off the cork to a Sutter Home White Zin and enjoying a well deserved glass of ‘juice’.”Bryce: “Why this wine isn’t in Capri Sun-like packaging is beyond me.” Nose: 3 Mouthfeel: 3.5Body: 3Taste: 4.5 Grab some Sutter Home White Zinfandel before we drink it all. Hannaford: $7.99.
Revisiting classics through a class audit
In “Moby Dick,” Herman Melville wrote about a “Nantucket Sleighride,” a term used by Nantucket whalemen to describe what happens immediately following the harpooning of a whale. The whale, distressed by the harpoon, attempts to flee and thus drags the boat along with it. The run lasts for as long as the whale can swim before it becomes exhausted.Well, the seminar which I’m auditing at Bowdoin this fall (“Living Deliberately”) often feels like a Nantucket Sleighride, despite the serene setting: a room on the first floor of Massachusetts Hall, the College’s oldest building.
Every Tuesday and Thursday morning, our brave band of inquirers (10 students, three auditors and the professor) gather around a long table and go about our appointed task: discovering what it means to “live deliberately” by wrestling with the ideas of great thinkers and writers down through the ages.
The authors on the prodigious reading list run the gamut: Thoreau, Kant, Friedrich Schiller, Michel Foucault, Oscar Wilde, Thomas Mann, E.M. Forster, Sapphire, Emmanuel Levinas, Soren Kierkegaard, Ignazio Silone, Nadine Gordimer, Tracy Kidder and Bill McKibben. We’ve read everything from scholarly treatises—some accessible, some, er, not—to readable novels to compelling nonfiction. I haven’t totaled the number of pages because I don’t want to know the answer.
But—a big but—the course is always fascinating, never boring. And much of the credit goes to the masterful teacher, David Collings, professor of English. Collings combines the passion of Pavarotti with the conducting skill of Toscanini. Every student—and auditor—speaks up at least once in every class. Collings treats every offering by every person with respect, sometimes exclaiming, “That’s brilliant!” or “Thanks for taking us there,” or, simply, “Yes!” He skillfully ties in the ideas of the writers discussed earlier with the writer of the day. And he does so with delight, in the spirit of play. And that’s the operative word: play.
In 2004, Collings gave the Bowdoin convocation address: On Learning as Deep Play. An excerpt from that talk gives a sense of the philosophy behind the man and the message behind the course. “But to participate in this kind of deep play, to embrace the unknown, to dance with an unforeseeable future, is not a matter of what we normally consider recklessness. It’s not about rebellion, or frivolous play, or drinking a keg of beer all by yourself. Paradoxically, once you deepen play by risking yourself, you alter the nature of the risk you take: the gamble only works if you’re paying attention, intent on coming to grasp that unknown thing; it transforms you only if you are truly at stake in what you ask. The more intent you are in your gamble, the greater the discovery. This kind of risk, it seems, is a form of serious play—so serious, in fact, that if you aren’t giving your full attention on every level of your being to what you are learning, you may miss the moment when your real calling becomes clear. You wouldn’t want to be in the position, as an old saying has it, of gaining the whole world and losing your soul.”The students in this seminar get this message; they thrive on the challenge; they love the play. Put simply, they’re amazing. I’ve asked some students how the demands of this course compare with their other courses. They acknowledge that the reading load is a bit heavy, but claim that the course is very manageable. I also asked if they minded having auditors present in class. Surprisingly, they like it—or at least they say they do. One student said, “I really like it when auditors speak up in class, because they have more to say about life than we do. They’ve lived more of it.”
Even Collings, himself, admits that he’s still wrestling with the questions discussed in this course. “Who am I?...What really matters?...What can I learn from the past?...What does it mean to be human?... How should I spend my life, my energies, my gifts?”After every class, I take the long walk across the quad with one of the other auditors, a fellow member of the Bowdoin Class of 1964. We recap the ideas discussed that day. We marvel at the professor and the students. And we head home to prepare for the next class, just hoping we can survive the next time the harpoon finds its mark.
David Treadwell is a Brunswick writer and reader for Bowdoin’s Office of Admissions. He can be reached at email@example.com. This piece was reprinted with permission from the Brunswick Times Record.
Security donates unclaimed bikes to charity
Security no longer has to spin its wheels about what to do with unclaimed bikes. Bikes are the most commonly stolen items on campus, and Security recovers dozens of them each semester. Security has implemented effective procedures to help owners retrieve their bikes.
“Everything from emails, phone calls, Digest postings, that sort of thing—we do everything we possibly can to match the owner up with the bike,” said Director of Safety and Security Randall Nichols. “We check our databases, we check our stolen bike reports, we check our lost property reports. Many of the bikes we are able to get back to the owners.”
Registering bikes on Security’s website makes the process of linking owners to their bikes significantly easier. Registration is free of charge and students are given a blue decal and a unique number that identifies their bike.
The bike is then entered into Security’s database, so that both Bowdoin and off-campus agencies—like the Brunswick Police Department—can identify its owner if it is recovered. Without registration, the process of matching bikes to owners is far more complicated.“When the bike is not registered, it becomes very difficult because [when] we take it in we have no way of identifying who it belongs to, and the person who owns the bike often has a difficult time,” said Nichols. “It may not be easy for them to prove that they own the bike.”
To reduce bike theft on campus, Security collects and stores bikes left out during academic breaks.
“If it’s registered, then we will let the owner know we have it and they can pick it up when they get back,” said Nichols. “If it’s not registered then we hope the owner will contact us. Often, we take students to our bike storage room and have them go through the bikes and see if they can find theirs.”
Nichols said that the Bowdoin community is vigilant about bike theft. There have been several occasions when people have been caught in the act of stealing a bike.
“We had one of our officers interrupt a bike theft in progress and actually run down the person on the bike. He was able to prevent the bike from leaving campus and the person was charged with theft,” said Nichols.
There are currently around 60 bikes in the bike warehouse, 40 of which are being donated to Northeast Goodwill Industries—the central warehouse that distributes the bikes to various Goodwill stores in the region.
“We used to deal with several organizations, [but] as we distributed the bikes, that became a little bit cumbersome,” said Nichols. “It became a lot of work to do that much handling of the bikes, as well as a lot of administrative time.”
Recasting Catholicism: how current events now make history later
It is an unfortunate fact that many people, especially at Bowdoin, do not realize the importance of current events in the grand scheme of history. Alexander’s experiences abroad have come to highlight this. Although the coziness of the Bowdoin Bubble is comforting, we must realize how detrimental it is to our development as citizens of the world.
Sometimes, we encounter a person or event that jolts us out of the complacency and asks us to engage with challenging—and sometimes personal—questions about our world around us. That was the case just recently for Danny, when Burnett House hosted a gathering that addressed the challenges of navigating spiritual and religious experience on our secular campus.
The posters for the event, which was led by Director of Religious and Spiritual Life Bob Ives, made me reflect on my own religion, its standing in a rapidly changing world and how it adapts to shifting norms.
Both columnists are Catholic, and we both had to deal with many issues regarding our faith in recent years. Most of Danny’s spiritual questioning revolves around the incompatibility of church dogma with his identity and its inability to adapt to new social norms across the world. However, Danny knows that he is certainly not the only individual that has grappled with these questions.
This is why we both were excited by Pope Francis’ announcement of a synod—a meeting of cardinals and bishops—that would reevaluate the Church’s stance on issues of homosexuality and unconventional (unmarried or divorced) families. With the calling of the synod, which ended just last week, the current Pope has guaranteed his legacy as an empathetic and lenient, if not socially progressive, pontiff.
The Pope’s statement that “Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community” and his assertion on Tuesday that the Big Bang and evolution are compatible with church doctrine have far-reaching implications. They will make the Catholic Church a more welcoming institution and will play a transformative role in Catholicism for decades to come. There is acknowledgement of this fact both in the U.S. and abroad.
And yet at Bowdoin there was very little discussion about these landmark developments, despite the rampant championing of liberal ideals on our campus. I encountered a few nods of agreement or the occasional, “This Pope is awesome!” from friends. In general, however, much of our community did not engage in substantive conversations on the progress that is changing one of our world’s oldest and most influential institutions.
Here on campus, as in the U.S. at large, thoughts on the development and remodeling of religion usually focus on the danger of radical Islam and its ties to political and security issues. While abroad in Qatar, many of Alexander’s academic discussions have necessitated the factoring in of religious fundamentalism. All the while however, less fundamentalist interpretations of religion permeate everyday life in Qatar and people are well-versed in current events.
When speaking of the Catholic reforms, students in Qatar have expressed interest in the fluidity of Church doctrine, as well as a fascination with how the church is addressing the challenges posed by modernity.
Additionally, many of Alexander’s conversations have focused on the similar challenges that Catholicism and Islam face today. His peers have articulated the hope that our generation of religious youth can learn something from one another as we both grapple with our faith. Yet even as the Pope in Rome declared the validity of the Big Bang and evolution, Alexander notes that aspects of religious culture in Quatar contradict recent Catholic progress. For example, no one in his host country believes in evolution.
Realizing and engaging with these important differences between religions and cultures, and understanding how they affect perspectives on global events is absolutely essential in our globalized world.
Every day, Bowdoin students are exposed to news of what’s happening in the world. Sometimes, as is the case now, we are given opportunities to discuss subjects such as religion and what it means in our secular society.
Taking part in conversations about these issues does more than keep us well informed. Whether you are reading of happenings far away or immersing yourself in a different culture for a semester, engaging with international discourse offers us the ability to appreciate the historical scope of significant current events.
Just as in our last column, which examined the complex nature and oftentimes confused perspectives on ISIS, we encourage our peers to unabashedly engage in these sometimes uncomfortable conversations.
Realizing and acknowledging the importance of significant events and developments, like the future of the religion of 1.2 billion people around the globe, is not academic. It is the first step in becoming an engaged world citizen.
- October 24
Talk of the Quad: Poop culture
In an age when the Internet allows universal anonymity, we begin to expect privacy as an unalienable right. When confidentiality is not an option, many people find anxiety in taking a stance—or a squat. In reality, we are much more than icons on computer screens. When it comes down to it, people are all people. And everybody poops.
We are all united in this reality. Any two humans share on average 99.9 percent of their genes, meaning most Homo sapien physiology is identical. Pooping is a unifying characteristic of humanity: all genders sit to poop (or hover if you are a hypochondriac). We all eat and so as a result we all poop. And that’s okay. It’s great, even. So why can taking a seat at the porcelain throne be so stress-inducing?
One hypothesis is that many Bowdoin students seek to project an image of perfection, even at the cost of their own well-being. The counseling staff at Bowdoin is acutely aware of this—Director of Counseling Services, Bernie Hershberger, says he especially enjoys aiding students with perfectionism anxiety.
For some odd, socially constructed reason, we seem to think it is vulgar and uncivilized to poop. Thus, to be perfect, we must never poop. As a means of striving for this ideal, we make every attempt to conceal our “indecent” behavior from our peers. Though we have not spoken to Hershberger about whether poop anxiety is often brought up in counseling sessions, we noticed that when prompted, most of our friends immediately gushed over their awkward restroom escapades. And yet, most students would never bring up poop anxiety on their own in a conversation for fear of deviating from the cultural norm.
A 2011 study at Emory University showed that chimpanzees who frequently fling feces have more developed motor cortexes and connections to a section of the brain used by humans for speech processing. Simply put, smarter monkeys throw more poop. Meanwhile, our human society finds it impolite to discuss such a dirty matter. It is possible that we attempt to hide our digestive measures as a means to separate humans from animals. However, if our closest living evolutionary relatives embrace poop as a means to display intelligence, I am not opposed to flaunting the existence of my own bowel movements (though I will still stick to speech over throwing feces as my preferred form of communication).
A great source of human anxiety is the desire to fit in. Given that everyone and their RA hides the fact that they poop, we tend to deny the existence of our excrement. Everyone has read “Everybody Poops,” by Taro Gomi—an important contribution to the literary canon of defecation. Some people, though, are loath to identify themselves as poopers. This is the great contradiction: we accept the generalization that pooping is part of the human condition, but singling one specific person out is, for some reason, embarrassing. Pooping has become taboo.
Despite this personal acceptance of pooping as a biological actuality, it can be stressful to be sitting on the can in my signature leopard-print slippers only to have another dorm resident come in to brush her teeth or do her hair. There’s no hiding. I’m being outed as a pooper. Although my bathroom guest will not say anything, we will both know. And it causes an unnecessary and unspoken power dynamic between the two of us that would be completely rectified if only people were to talk more openly and casually about pooping.
That’s the thing about this physical process—it is much less social than other bathroom activities. A casual chat over mutual urination or a recap of the day’s events while popping a pimple is normal. But something about that basic human communication while a mass of processed food is travelling out of a bodily orifice into a shared toilet makes people shut right up.
Whether they talk about it or not, many people actually enjoy the process of pooping primarily because they find time for solitude on the peaceful potty. Whether it takes one minute or an hour to process the day, pooping is a sacred time to digest it all.
However, we cannot always afford the luxury of a private toilet at the College. In fact, for many of us, our “movements” tend to be in relatively public places.
What to do when you sit down to do the deed and another lonely pooper wanders in with the same intention? In a multi-stall bathroom with two (or more) students waiting to poop, anxiety can mount. Who will release the Kraken first? Sometimes, overwhelmed by the tension in the room, the only option is to flush the toilet, zip up your pants, and find a different, less populated bathroom.
Thus, it is crucial to find your own favorite place to do the do. We all have beloved personal pooping places. However, we are unable to disclose our favorites here, for fear of the overpopulation—or worse, toilet clogging—of the most serene pooping sanctuaries. We can say, however, that you cannot select your pooping bathroom: it must choose you. Much like Olivander’s wands, when you come across the right one, you will know.
While this article presents poop anxiety with jest, we hope the absurd nature of hiding our body’s actions permeates through the humor. We all do it, and hopefully through lighthearted discussion, we can replace awkwardness with pooping solidarity.
- October 24
Talk of the Quad: For the love of baboons
Throughout South Africa and much of the world, baboons are considered aggressive, menacing pests. They are frequently shot on site, intentionally hit by cars or electrocuted. Their strange and, to many, ugly appearance has only contributed to their bad reputation. As baboons lose their habitats and are forced to search for their food in cities, more and more killings take place. Environmentalists have neglected to combat this problem and tourists have been taught by local guides to fear these creatures.
After working with orphaned baboons in Tzaneen, South Africa last summer, I found that simply spending time with the animals for which we have preconceived notions of barbarism and mistrust shows us something important: baboons are incredible animals who can love, feel pain and live in communities. They deserve our consideration and protection.
Riverside Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center in Tzaneen was started to help the orphaned baboons left behind by the ongoing habitat depletion and baboon killings. Riverside is now home to nearly 600 monkeys and is run by a few hired workers and many volunteers. I was lucky enough to be among them.
All of the work at Riverside focuses on one goal: the successful rehabilitation and release of orphaned and injured animals back into the wild. Though seemingly simple, the survival of reintroduced animals is dependent on a highly refined process committed to proven methodology and intellectual engagement. This method seeks to ensure that the troop of baboons ultimately coalesces, breaks reliance on people, and promotes species interdependence.
During my time at Riverside, several orphaned baboons came in: Cayman, Julian, Dobby and Maya. Like many other monkeys there, they had been found injured on the side of the road, kept as pets, or turned in by the people who had killed their parents.
Maya, whose parents were shot, had been chewed up by a dog and was at the point of starvation when a kindhearted woman discovered her. With scars running up her back and right arm, Maya did not do a lot to dispel notions that baboons are not all that attractive, but I loved her right away.
After getting stitched up and receiving a surgically implanted micro chip, Maya—then just a couple of months old—began the first stage on the long road to release: around the clock, “on-demand bottle care.” Maya would need to be carried around by volunteers who acted as her mother and nursed her back to health. In order to prevent Maya from becoming too attached to any particular volunteer, shifts were taken with as many volunteers as possible.
After a month of waking people up all night and stealing my peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches at lunchtime, Maya was ready for the next big step: to be introduced to the other 26 orphaned babies.
Baboons are extremely family oriented, and have an innate tendency toward establishing close personal relationships. Those in the current troop have learned how to survive, gather food collectively and perhaps most importantly, maintain the peace.
These personal relationships were abundantly evident even among the babies, who were deeply reliant upon their friends for comfort. For example, when the one-year-old baby George (named after the Prince who shares his birthday) needed stitches in his foot, his best friend Loopa was taken to the clinic to keep him company. George, who had been extremely agitated when taken to the clinic, was so happy to see Loopa that he stopped whining and immediately relaxed.
This interdependency extends beyond individual relationships too. Cold winter nights bring all monkeys in the troop together quite literally. Each baboon grabs on to the back of another, so that what was once 26 babies becomes, for about eight hours a night, one giant spoon. Because they are so family oriented, the monkeys are hesitant to take on strangers and Maya’s introduction took several days.
Maya will spend her “childhood” with these 26 other baboons, who will one day be part of her troop in the wild. While the other babies did not seem keen on sharing their home with a new baboon, within three days she was one of them. Although they were only about one-year-olds themselves, Jeroux and Mordechai, the two largest male babies, insisted on carrying Maya everywhere for her protection.
Upon any sign of danger, which was indicated by an alarm call, the babies formed a “mob” all around Maya. When Cayman, who is somewhat smaller than Maya, arrived later in the summer, Maya was among the many who helped to protect him when the alarm went off.
When Maya is old enough, she will be moved to the “middle” enclosure, a larger cage for “teenage” baboons of about 1-2 years old. There, her interaction with humans will be decreased and she will be exposed to an environment that more closely resembles the wild.
Finally, at about two years old, she will begin the process of being introduced to the “main camp,” which currently consists of about 80 adult baboons—the troop with whom she will spend the rest of her life in the wild.
The introduction into the main camp takes careful planning. Maya will spend time in an introductory enclosure, which borders the main camp so that the baboons can interact and get to know each other through the fence through grooming and greeting actions (what we call lip-smacking and butt scratches).
The troop must spend at least a year together in captivity without human contact before it is ready to be introduced into the wild in order to make sure that they can fully coalesce into a functioning troop with the deep, lasting relationships that will ensure success in the wild. After the troop has sufficient time to fuse, the final step in Maya’s journey is the release.
The site of the release must be carefully picked to guarantee that the habitat is stable, has a good water source, contains similar fauna, and is far from human civilization. Scared by their new surroundings, they could disperse and, in the absence of troop support, die. In order to ensure that they become comfortable with their new surroundings an enclosure is built at the release site. They will remain in this enclosure for two weeks, ensuring that they will not disperse upon their freedom. After two weeks, the electric fence is turned off and bridges are built along the exterior.
It is likely that Maya, who will be about two years old when the release occurs, will be among those to take the first steps of freedom. The troop will be monitored actively for six months, and later through the use of microchips to evaluate and improve upon the methodology. Riverside currently has a 92 percent three-year survival rate. Maya has a good chance.
However, Maya should have never been at Riverside in the first place. She should have never been orphaned. Her habitat should have never been depleted. The animosity and mistrust that resulted in her parents being shot was misplaced. Spending the last three months with baboons has taught me that really getting to know animals can show us things we would have never suspected. Baboons have a language of more than 140 distinct sounds and are capable of complex abstract thoughts and emotions.
But even more important than their intellectual abilities is their capability to feel pain, happiness and love, just like we do. We need to think about how we can best help others, especially primates and other animals. Wildlife rehabilitation and baboon rehabilitation in particular, is grossly underfunded and understaffed. These really are incredible animals, and their conservation, both in rehabilitation and education, needs to be a priority.
- October 17
James Jelin ’16 takes leave to work on Bellows campaign
James Jelin ’16 has never wanted to go into politics. Yet, he took a leave of absence this semester, postponing a semester abroad in Germany to work full-time as the York County Field Organizer for Shenna Bellows, Maine’s Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate.
“I actively did not want to go into politics because I didn’t think I was going to come across a candidate like Shenna,” said Jelin.
For Jelin, the position offered the opportunity to be involved in national politics and filled a void he had felt on campus.
“I was interning with her over the summer and I was having a really good experience,” said Jelin. “I feel like I’ve been looking for an opportunity to really be able to create positive change. I’d been exploring opportunities on campus, but nothing quite seemed like the thing that I was really so passionate about.”
As an intern, Jelin worked in Bellows’ Portland office while living on campus. His responsibilities included making calls, tracking event turnout and looking up events in the area where the Bellows campaign needed to have a presence.
With summer winding down, Jelin started to consider a full-time job instead of going abroad to Germany in the fall.
The campaign’s field director Debbie Atwood offered Jelin the job, and he chose to accept it. Bowdoin was also supportive of Jelin’s decision to take a leave of absence and postpone his study abroad plans.In an interview with the Orient last fall, Dean of First Year Students Janet Lohmann emphasized the College’s support for students who take a leave of absence.
“Students who spend time away are served well,” she said. “They grow in wonderful ways. When they come back here, they’re ready to get the best of what Bowdoin has to offer.”
In order to take a leave of absence to pursue nonacademic interests, a student must acquire their dean’s approval, continue to consult with his academic advisor and be in good academic and social standing with the College.
“It was so much easier than I thought it would be,” said Jelin. “I wasn’t going to be there [Bowdoin] this semester because of Germany. So it just sort of became about what I was going to be doing instead.”
Although now he will graduate in the fall of 2016, Jelin says that he feels that his work for Bellows is worthwhile, especially because it will allow him to address what he finds problematic in the political system.
“What I’m doing in this job is fighting for working class representation in our government, and I can’t think of something more inspirational than that,” he said.
The biggest difference between his internship and his position as the York County Field Organizer is an increase in time and responsibility. Jelin currently works every day and up to 80 hours per week.
As a field organizer, he is in charge of voter contact for the campaign in his region. This includes delegating field assignments, training and managing volunteers, organizing events and making calls.
“It’s a huge responsibility to be managing this because there are people all across the county who are really passionate about Shenna Bellows and it is my responsibility to make sure that they get into the office—and that I’m there to train them,” said Jelin.
At this point in the campaign, however, he is most focused on making persuasion calls.
“That’s how we reach voters. That’s how we get people to change their minds. You have one-on-one conversations with them and it works,” said Jelin. “It’s really exciting to learn how to really have a conversation with somebody in a way that they will listen.”
Jelin also feels that his semester off has made him better appreciate his time at Bowdoin.
“It’s made me realize what Bowdoin is for, why it is important to get an education at a place like Bowdoin,” he said. “I think more people should take breaks. And I feel like a mid-school break has been so much more useful than a gap year.”
“So now I’ve had some of it [Bowdoin], and I know what that experience is, and now I’ve left and I’ve had a taste of what the real world is and what I want to do,” he added. “And now I can come back to Bowdoin and focus on the things that are going to equip me to be even better at that when I go out into the real world.”
As the November 4 election grows closer, Jelin is excited to rally more support during the final leg of the campaign.
“It’s so clear to me that this is what I needed to do,” said Jelin. “A lot of people don’t know what to do so they’re not going to do anything, but that is why Shenna Bellows is so important. With a grassroots campaign, it is important that we get the support now.”
Jelin plans to return to Bowdoin this spring, fulfill his plans to study in Germany next fall, and graduate in the fall of 2016.
“Frankly, when I get back on campus, I don’t know what I’ll do next because it’s a lot less obvious,” said Jelin. “But the next time I see a problem and I have an opportunity to be a part of the solution, I intend to take it.”
- October 17
Behind the Name tag: Museum’s curator finds allure in the Arctic
Not everybody gets to pursue the career he or she dreamed of as a teenager, but Genevieve Lemoine, curator and registrar at the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, has followed her dream to the ends of the earth.
Lemoine said she has known that she wanted to be an archaeologist from the age of 17.
“I was very lucky that the Ontario government had a program for hiring high school and university students to do all kinds of different things, and one of them was archaeology,” she said.“So, I got a job doing archaeology in Ontario as a high school student for the summer. That confirmed that yes, that is what I wanted to do.”
Born and raised in Ontario, Canada, Lemoine attended University of Toronto, Scarborough College for her undergraduate degrees and received her Ph.D at the University of Calgary. It was not until she entered graduate school that she realized that she wanted to specialize in Arctic archaeology.
In 1986, Lemoine took her first trip to the Arctic.
“We had all the key experiences—we saw a polar bear at a safe distance, we had snow storms, we had our tents blown down,” she said. “It’s the kind of place that—when you go there—it’s hard to leave.”
Since then, Lemoine has been to the Arctic several times, doing field work for approximately 10 years. Afterward, Lemoine saw the job at Bowdoin as a perfect fit.
As curator and registrar of the Arctic Museum, Lemoine’s responsibilities include managing and overseeing the care of the collections and developing exhibits. Her diverse roles give her the ability to switch from typing up information to performing hands-on tasks with the collections, which keep her days exciting. She said she is especially enthusiastic about the museum’s continued growth.
“Because we are an actively collecting museum there’s always new things coming in; you never know when somebody’s going to call you up and say, ‘Would you like…’ or ‘My family has...’” said Lemoine.
The museum has received a large amount of art produced by the Inuit people, trace their origins back to the Arctic. Most recently, the museum received a call from a Freeport woman whose great-aunt was sent two postcards from Ross Marvin, the only member of Peary’s 1908 expedition to die during the long journey to the Arctic.
The most memorable call occurred in 2010, when the grandson of a man on MacMillan’s expedition wanted to donate various historical artifacts, pieces of equipment, scientific specimens, journals and photographs.
“He said, ‘Would you be interested in having some things that he had left over?’ He started just listing all of these things and I filled up two pages,” said Lemoine, who quickly accepted the donation.
Outside of her work at the museum, Lemoine enjoys rowing. She started a couple of years ago and is now hooked on the beautiful sites she sees and the animals she observes while on the water.
Lemoine said she has enjoyed all the places she has called home. When asked whether she liked living in Canada or Maine better, she joked, “Well, what I tell my friends is that Maine is almost like Canada.”
Arts & Entertainment
Bowdoin Art Society’s ‘340 Miles North’ transforms Ladd into gallery
Yesterday, Ladd House underwent a transformation into an art gallery. The normally bare walls are now lined with photographs and paintings, and the typically empty common rooms hold interactive exhibits and sculptures all part of the show “340 Miles North,” sponsored by the Bowdoin Art Society (BAS).“The point of the show is to showcase the vibrancy of the [Bowdoin] arts scene to [the College] and greater community,” said Tom Rosenblatt ’16, co-director of the BAS.The art was organized throughout the house by medium. The yellow dining room holds two-dimensional work and the fireplace room displays three-dimensional sculptures. There is an installation piece in the basement and the chapter room is repurposed as a multimedia showroom. Last night, there was an a cappella performance by the Longfellows at the opening of “340 Miles North”—a title that refers to Brunswick’s distance from New York City.Many of the works are photographs—which were popular submissions because “everyone has a camera,” according to Emma Wheeler ’15, artistic director of the BAS.Around 35 artists submitted 120 pieces to this year’s show. The BAS tries to accept the majority of the work it receives. “[If] this is something the campus would enjoy, [if] this is something that we think deserves to be displayed, it will be in the show,” said Sophia Cheng ’15, the curatorial director of the BAS.Last year, the BAS hosted the same show, also over Family Weekend. The 2013 show featured a popular interactive installation made from red Solo cups. Guests were invited to add their own cups to the piece.The club was founded last year to make art by Bowdoin students more accessible, and after a successful version of “340 Miles North” last year and the Delta Sigma/Delta Upsilon Art Show in Smith Union, it has started to find its footing on campus.“We’ve gotten a lot better at producing [shows] and having a more seamless process,” said Rosenblatt.This year’s show is similar to last year’s, but focuses more on the theme of image. This theme is manifest in the basement installation created in collaboration with the directorial board of the BAS and the Sculpture I class taught by Assistant Professor of Art Jackie Brown.The basement walls are coated in aluminum. Strings of yellow smiley face stress balls hang from the ceiling. The installation is meant to explore the nature of public image, the meaning of brands and to explore what creates authenticity in image.The BAS is holding the show in Ladd House to draw as many visitors as possible.“One of our missions is trying to expand the culture of who has seen art on campus and to be further reaching in that sense,” said Wheeler. “We felt if it was in a [College House], more people would come through, perhaps just accidentally.”Because of Ladd’s central location, Wheeler believes that it attracts a wider range of Bowdoin students outside of the first years and sophomores that usually frequent College Houses. In addition to the art shows, BAS holds weekly meetings to discuss art and collaborates with other groups to create installations like the one in the Ladd basement.The BAS has other major plans for the future. Members are working on a public art initiative to display art on campus and a Bowdoin Journal of Art for undergraduates across the nation to publish their scholarly art history writings.For now, however, it seems that “340 Miles North” will remain a staple in the Society’s agenda, allowing students to appreciate the work of their peers.
“340 Miles North” will be open through Sunday of Parents Weekend in Ladd House.
Theater department to premiere French comedy ‘Imaginary Invalid’
Anyone strolling through Memorial Hall at some point in the past few weeks has most likely heard laughter, shouts, singing or booming voices emanating from the various rehearsal rooms scattered throughout the building. Those noises coming from rehearsals for the Department of Theater and Dance’s production of Molière’s “The Imaginary Invalid,” directed by Assistant Professor of Theater Abigail Killeen with the help of Assistant Director Anna Morton ’15.The show—which first premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2012—is an adaptation of French playwright Moliere’s 1673 comedy. According to Morton, Bowdoin students will find it “funny and accessible.”“I’ve had a lot of fun working on it so far,” she said.Morton jumped at the opportunity to assist on the show, albeit at the last minute. She explained that Killeen looked for help in the first few days of the semester, asking if anyone would be willing to assist her on the show because Killeen was acting in a professional show off-campus.“She told me about her vision for the show,” said Morton. “She was interested in letting someone have a more hands on experience and she was like, ‘I feel you could handle it.’ I said I wanted do it and it happened quickly.”Morton studied dramaturgy at the Williamstown Theater Festival over the summer is currently enrolled in a course on directing taught by Professor of Theater Davis Robinson. She said it has been valuable to have this “real world experience” with directing.“There have been a couple of rehearsals where Abby hasn’t been able to be there and it’s been interesting for me to figure out how to command the room,” said Morton.While some might find it odd or difficult to direct their friends, Morton has found it engaging.“It’s fun to look at my friends from a different perspective,” said Morton. “It’s fun to watch them grow.”The actors agree that the process has been rewarding so far.“It’s a really great show,” said Trevor Murray ’16. “The comedy in it is phenomenal.”The show is challenging for Murray, who plays three characters, but he is enjoying it anyway.“There’s something very fun about trying to bring three characters to life in a unique way,” he said.Murray said that he has benefited from working with Killeen“She’s great,” said Murray. “She really knows what she wants. She has a real vision for how she wants the play to come together and she is phenomenal at giving very specific advice on how to improve our scenes.”“She’s so enthusiastic about the theater world,” Morton said.Morton said that having a dual relationship with Killeen—student and assistant director—has been an interesting experience.“It’s cool to be her student, while working with her in a more official capacity,” said Morton. “I get different viewpoints and she has been so inclusive with me, keeping me involved in the process. Any big decision—she consults me.”Evan Horwitz ’15, who was pre-cast in the role of Argan, the typical main role in the show, hesitated to declare himself the lead or anchor of the show.“It’s a show that really has a nice ensemble feel and it only really pops and it’s only really funny when we’re all working together and we’re all on the same page,” said Horwitz.Horwitz also noted one of the show’s greatest strengths is the cast members’ varying levels of theater experience.“It adds a life to the show that we have first years and sophomores and seniors and juniors. We have a really nice group dynamic with a lot of different people,” he said.Murray also revealed his biggest worry about the show—that the audience members might not enjoy themselves—but said he was confident that the cast would entertain.“You know, I think everyone has this inherent fear that a show is not going to be received well, but that’s just because you don’t really have this outside view of a show once you become so invested in it,” he said. “But I think the show is going to be received really well.”Morton said she also has her fair share of nerves.“I’ve never had this experience of not being in a show, and having so much invested in it,” said Morton. “I’m just nervous, period. Now it’s up to these actors, and I have to take a leap of faith.”The cast members all said they were excited to see what happens when they take the Wish Theater stage November 6, 7 and 8.“We’ve been having a lot of fun,” said Horwitz. “Really, we’ve been playing.”
Book artist Goodale speaks about Maine wildlife
Combining contemporary art and the history of endangered Maine species, book artist Rebecca Goodale gave an illustrated lecture on her most recent project, “Threatened and Endangered: Flora and Fauna of Maine,” on Tuesday evening in Kresge Auditorium.Goodale’s accompanying works are currently on display as part of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections and Archives at Bowdoin’s Hawthorne-Longfellow Library. Goodale spoke to a full audience of students, faculty and community members while showcasing images of pieces from the project.The exhibition of Goodale’s works runs alongside “Envisioning Extinctions: Art as a Witness and Conscience,” by Associate Professor of Art Susan Wegner. The latter exhibit offers a historical, text-based look at the extinction of the passenger pigeon in the early 20th century. Goodale’s exhibit looks at the topic of preserving flora and fauna through the lens of contemporary art. Both exhibits have been on display in the Hawthorne-Longfellow Library since September 1. “It occurred to me that we could complement the historical exhibit with one that reflected the same themes but through [Goodale’s] contemporary art,” said Richard Lindemann, director of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections and Archives. Lindemann and his staff acquire and make accessible texts and materials that are too rare, expensive or fragile to appear in the general collection. Just recently, the department expanded its collections to include more artists’ books. Book art is a medium through which artists realize art through the form of a book. Special Collections has acquired one copy of each of Goodale’s artists’ books.This relationship provides Goodale with a means of storing and sharing her work, while allowing the library to use her materials for teaching and exhibition purposes. Special Collections first presented Goodale’s work in an exhibition in 2004. Goodale has been working on her present project on endangered and threatened species of Maine since 2000. She is also the director for the Center of Book Arts at the University of Southern Maine.Goodale’s books fuse together reading and art and range in style from pop-up to fanning to wedding cake. She employs printmaking techniques including silkscreen, block print and collagraph. Students of Carrie Scanga’s printmaking classes were required to attend the event, and will be working with Goodale in class next week. The class members will make their own artist books later in the semester.From the Hairstreak Butterfly to wild ginger to the Clematis flower, Goodale’s books involve colorful depictions of various endangered species native to Maine. Color is central to all pieces and many take on three-dimensional form, from strings of water lilies to an accordion-style flag book of silkscreened willows. Capturing a sense of place is central to Goodale’s work. She travels around Maine seeking inspiration from the state’s most precious flora and fauna, often carrying just a drawing pad and disposable camera. The books of Goodale’s endangered species project inspire an attentiveness to environmentalism, science and ethics. While her works endorse an important ecological cause, garnering activist support isn’t her main objective. Goodale hopes her books engender an awareness of humankind’s impact on species endangerment among her audience, simply through the beauty of her art. “I am a big believer of beauty, of good design, of good use of color,” said Goodale.Maddy Livaudais ’16 found Goodale’s artistic process relevant to the curriculum of her Printmaking I class.“I liked that she tries to be representative of the plants or animals that she’s drawing, but not precise to the point that it has to be exact,” said Livaudais.Goodale emphasized that her works are focused more on color, form and movement than on scientific precision. While most of her books solely consist of artwork, several also incorporate brief segments of poetry.“I like to write because it gets me somewhere I can’t get to in the studio,” said Goodale.Cheryl Lewis and Norine Kotts, friends of Goodale’s and admirers of her work, attended the event, eager to learn more about her art. “It was great to spend this amount of time learning about what informs her decisions, around color and size in particular,” said Kotts. “It’s always nice to look at the process,” Lewis added. Linemann hopes that the audience—students in particular—gain not just an appreciation for Goodale’s current project, but also for the Department of Special Collections and Archives. “We have a vested interest in having our collections be better known,” Lindemann said. “So my hope would be that [the audience] appreciate the fact that the library has an eclectic and wide-ranging collection of materials that might be of use to their interests.”
Portrait of an artist: Miranda Hall '18
Miranda Hall ’18 began writing music at the age of 13 and has since become an accomplished and passionate singer-songwriter. “Some people need to play sports. Some people need to paint. I need to sing,” she said. “I wouldn’t be completely living if I weren’t singing.” When she was younger, Hall also taught herself to play the acoustic guitar with help from her father.While Hall has been writing for a long time, she has always been nervous to perform her music.This summer, however, Hall tested her courage by performing on the streets of Seattle. “When I first started writing I would show [my songs] to my friends, but I was too nervous to perform in front of people,” she said. “Performing on the street this summer was a challenge that I gave to myself. I wanted to see if I was brave enough to perform for people who had never met me.” Hall stood on the streets and opened her case, hoping to pique the interest of those passing by.“It was never to make money, it was just to be brave,” she said. “If you are genuinely pouring your heart out to someone with words you wrote, there is no way people won’t stop and listen.” One of the most memorable moments of her summer came in the form of a gift from a young fan.“I was singing “Alice”—a song that I wrote about “Alice in Wonderland”—to a little girl, and I could tell that she was really listening to me,” she said. “Afterwards, she came up to me a gave me the stuffed animal she was holding, and I still have it.”Another one of Hall’s favorite memories is when a man asked to join her performance. “I was singing ‘No Diggity’ and a jazz musician came up to me and started playing with me,” she said.Hall loves to write music, whether she is writing a song for herself, for someone else, or is just inspired randomly. She said she tries to capture and show a feeling through her words“Singing allows me to capture the beautiful moments in life. The first song I wrote was when I was looking out the window in California and it was raining. I just wanted to capture how calm that moment was,” she said.Hall’s favorite musician is Ed Sheeran because she said he completely enchants his listeners. “Whenever he sings you can tell he is just sharing himself with the listeners.” she said. “I went to his concert when I was 16 and I waited for four hours after the concert to meet him. He signed my purse and I made friends with his security guard while I waited.” At Bowdoin, Hall is involved with the Bowdoin Music Collective (BMC) and is interested in bringing singer-songwriters together. “The BMC puts on music events and performances,” she said. “I have performed at Unplugged and pop-up open mic nights, as well as the Baxter Coffee House.” In addition to the BMC, Miranda is a part of the Bowdoin Outing Club, the Salsa Club and the Bowdoin Art Society. Hall is releasing a new single on November 1 called “White Car.” She has already released an EP named “Kingdom” that can be found on iTunes and Spotify. “I’m not signed with any label, but I think that if you have a passion, the only thing holding you back is self-doubt,” she said.Hall ran a Kickstarter to raise money for her musical endeavor. She promised to write songs for people if they donated. “I got an email from a man in Afghanistan asking me to write a song for his wife, and I was so excited,” she said. “There was a great response.” Hall said she truly believes in following her passions and sharing them with others. “If you love something and you are genuine, people will respond,” she said. “I’m going to keep singing and putting myself out there. If all else fails, this is something I’ll do in my dorm room on Monday nights.”
Check out Hall’s EP “Kingdom” on iTunes and look out for her new single “White Car,” which will bereleased November 1.
Lurking legends of a haunted campus
In the summer of 1987, the College ordered renovations to be done on first-year brick Appleton Hall. Restorations to the dorm were fairly routine until a crew of workers entered the basement and arrived at a horrifying scene: “an array of skulls and skeletons, arranged in fantastic disorder,” as the Philadelphia Evening Telegraph described in an article published that year.The story quickly spread throughout the country—in a matter of months, newspapers as far as Chicago, Ill. and Topeka, Kansas reported on the scandalous finding. Some went as far as to say that there were several sets of human remains, a coffin and torture instruments present in the basement, all believed to be left over from old hazing rituals at the College. Others claimed the story was overhyped and that no human remains were ever found. The truth remains unclear.The story of Appleton’s “Chamber of Horrors” is one of several included in Haunted Bowdoin College, a book by Senior Interactive Developer David Francis that was published this September. Other tales in the text involve supernatural encounters in Adams Hall—the former Medical School of Maine, where cadavers were stored in the basement and dissected on the upper-level floors—and other campus buildings, like 111 year-old Hubbard Hall.Francis’ interest in Bowdoin’s supernatural past started when he moved to Brunswick nine years ago. As a person with a longstanding interest in local history, he quickly began assembling a plan to give ghost tours of the College.“It had gotten to be around Halloween time and I just started thinking to myself, we’re on this 200-plus year-old campus in New England—there ought to be some ghost stories,” Francis said. “So I started asking a lot of people who had worked here for a long time and they didn’t really have much to give me, but I kept digging and doing more research and eventually started hearing some good stories.”After an article was published about Francis in a January 2014 issue of the Orient, a publisher reached out to him, wanting more.“The History Press just called me up and said, ‘We think there could be a book in this if you’re interested in doing it,’” Francis said. “And I certainly was.”Though Haunted Bowdoin College is available for purchase at the Bowdoin Bookstore and other booksellers, Francis continues to give tours by request. He has also created a mobile version of the tour, available online. Francis will be leading two tours this weekend for Family Weekend—one on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and one on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.On tours, certain buildings like Adams are known to “perform,” according to Francis.“If you go down to the basement [of Adams], you can still see the areas where they stuffed the bodies into the walls,” said Francis. “I’ve gone down there and there have been strange sort of knocking sounds that have creeped people out. They think that I’m doing it but I’m not.”
- October 24
Doerr '95 named National Book Award finalist
Author of All the Light We Cannot See, Doerr speaks to his inspiration for the book and discusses his Bowdoin days
Last week, Anthony Doerr ’95 was named a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction for his 2014 novel “All the Light We Cannot See.” The novel follows the converging stories of a blind French girl and a German boy who gets recruited into an academy for Hitler Youth during World War II.
“It was an effort for me to try to humanize all sides of the floor,” said Doerr in a phone interview with the Orient. “I realize that…horrific things were happening done by some German citizens, but it’s a little too simplistic to say all Germans were evil and all the Allies were good.”
Doerr said he struggles to succintly summarize his work.
“For me it takes every word of a book to tell that story," he said.
Doerr's time at Bowdoin—during which he dabbled in science, film, and Russian classes in addition to English and History—sparked a lifelong curiosity for learning about people and the world around him.
“Bowdoin taught me how to be a lifelong learner…using inquiry, using questions, following your curiosity, positioning you to be a curious person for the rest of your life,” he said.
Although Doerr majored in history, he was always secretly writing stories and keeping a private journal during his time at Bowdoin. Unable to imagine a financially secure future as a fiction writer, Doerr studied history as a more “legitimate” option.
“I felt like fiction writing wasn’t something you could make money in,” said Doerr. “My parents were paying for me to go to school…and I thought I should at least pursue something I might be able to teach.”
“I just didn’t know any novelists. I didn’t understand that that was a path that was really readily available to me,” said Doerr.
However, Doerr’s academic pursuit of history allowed him to explore various forms of research while honing his writing skills. He “fell in love” with the Civil Rights Movement, World War II and post-World War II history.
“All my research was mostly books, reading transcripts of interviews, learning to research on paper…now I do most of my research on screen,” he said. But to Doerr these skills “become really relevant as a fiction writer.”
Doerr is grateful for his professors at Bowdoin, who he describes as “world-class, brilliant people.”
Doerr took Latin American history courses with Roger Howell, Jr. Professor of History Allen Wells, who remembers him fondly.
“He was a wonderful student,” said Wells. “I would always save his [essays] for the very bottom of the pile. It would be my reward to get to—sort of like a bowl of ice cream,” said Wells, who knew Doerr as Tony.
“It was because he wrote so well, he was very analytical, he came at the topics and the readings in a different way than most students, so I always liked that,” Wells added.
Wells thoroughly enjoyed “All the Light We Cannot See,” which he read at the end of the summer and into the school year.
“It took me to a different place and a different time,” he said. “It wasn’t the kind of heavy depressing story that I have come to associate with...that period. I think the characterizations are just beautiful.”
Although Wells acknowledges that he is “not an English professor,” he said, “it is just beautiful writing…he really made that period come alive for me.”
Brock Clarke, a professor of English and fiction writer himself, also gave high praise to Doerr.“The book is terrific—swift, uniquely able to handle Big Subjects, but to do so intelligently, idiosyncratically, movingly. I’m not at all surprised that the book has gotten such acclaim, such wide readership. It deserves it,” wrote Clarke in an email to the Orient.
Doerr said he is excited to go with his wife, fellow Bowdoin alum Shauna Eastman ’94, to the National Book Award event in New York City on November 16, where he will get to mingle with other finalists. He is especially excited to meet two-time finalist Marilynne Robinson, who Doerr said, “has always been an icon to me.”
“Everybody’s interesting if you ask them the right questions and focus deeply enough on their lives," he said. “The world inspires me.”
Doerr is currently working on projects ranging in subject from the Panama Canal to Constantinople to space travel.
“My problem is almost that there’s too much inspiration in the world sometimes,” he said.
- October 24
Masque & Gown’s “Almost, Maine” provides glimpse into small-town love
The town of Almost, Maine sounds just like Brunswick—a tight-knit community of flannel-wearing, L.L. Bean-loving folks.
Almost is not actually a real town at all, but instead the setting for John Cariani’s play, “Almost, Maine.” Directed by Cordelia Orbach ’17, this Masque and Gown production tells tales of love and relationships in an environment not unlike that of Bowdoin.
Nineteen residents wrestle with their emotions through a series of nine vignettes set throughout the town: under the night sky, in the local bar, and even in a laundry room. Most acts are upbeat and charming, though there are a few mellower scenes.
“The whole play has a lot of themes that revolve around it being set in a really small Maine town and the fact that you will be around that community of people forever,” said cast member Axis Fuksman-Kumpa ’17, who herself is from a small town in Maine and plays Marci in the production.
The small-town Maine feel is present from the start. The opening scene features a couple bundled in gloves and jackets sitting on a snow-covered bench. Throughout, the play captures the idiosyncracies of Maine life that revolve around hospitality and isolation in very small communities.
Orbach, who had never before seen “Almost, Maine” but has read it many times, proposed staging the play because she felt Bowodin students would relate to its narratives.
“It’s about people who are dealing with the ins and outs of love [which] people on a college campus can relate to,” said Orbach. “There’s a little bit of love for everybody, so faculty members and Brunswick town residents [can also relate].”
Typically, only five actors rotate through the 19 different roles. However, Orbach wanted to involve more people to create the feel of a small town on and off set.
“It is an intense experience, but it’s not such a time commitment that people who are involved in other activities can’t also be part of it,” she said.
“We did a lot of ensemble building work...because it’s a town, I wanted them to feel like a town, like a community. The cast is really tight-knit,” she added.
The cast consisted mostly of first years and sophomores, with a few juniors and seniors. Because the play is divided into short vignettes, there are no “lead” roles. Instead, everyone has a personal, approximately ten-minute scene with only one or two other actors.
Some actors auditioned because they found the story appealing.
“I actually wasn’t intending to do any shows this semester because it was so busy,” said Dieu Ho ’15, who plays Marvalyn. “But it sounded interesting, so I just went for it.”
Luke Scheuer ’17, who plays Jimmy, voiced a similar opinion.
“I took a look at the script, and it just seemed like a really interesting play and something that I would want to do,” he said.
Much work also went into the directing side of the show. Stage manager Arhea Marshall ’15 and production manager Christina Moreland ’17 worked to carry out the creative vision of the play. Amy Spens ’15, this year’s technical director for Masque and Gown, worked over Fall Break to build the set.
“[Orbach] really wanted it to be a focus on the acting and these people as real people in Maine and what’s going on in their lives,” said Spens.
The sets were simple and minimal to allow the audience to absorb the scene.Many of the actors and crew have experience in theater at Bowdoin. Orbach has a history in both acting and directing.
Masque and Gown’s “Almost, Maine” will be performed Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25 at 7:30pm in Pickard Theater.
Tickets are $1 with a Bowdoin ID and $3 without.
- October 24
Snark Week: Non-drinkers, as seen by an over-thinker
Bowdoin drinking culture is widely discussed in terms of decision making, illegality and hospitalization; it is less often thought of in terms of abstinence. Yet the prominence of camouflaged non-drinkers on campus is a stone I can no longer leave unturned. Katherine Churchill has blogged about her discovery of Chambo. I will take up the mantle of uncovering the truth of college drinking.
Let me paint a scene:
It is a Friday night at Bowdoin. Someone has called the cops to Quinby’s Lilo and Stitch-themed Luau. Quinby residents quickly clear the house. But, the bathrooms are locked. Why? It’s still early. Surely first years can’t have gotten sick. But they have. Is it alcohol poisoning? Or is it the dreaded boozy poo?
I decide to investigate. There have been too many nights when I’ve been denied a trip to Super Snack because a “friend” is feeling ill.
Saturday night arrives, and I am ready. I dress in my pillow case toga, eat a lot of brownies, remove my pillow case toga and dress again in jogging shorts and a tee. I grab my notebook and pen. Epicuria seems like the perfect opportunity for my investigation. A taco truck, togas and a Beatles cover band leave little to be desired.
I locate six random Bowdoin students and question them on their drinking choices.
First, I find B, a tall, blonde NARP. “Why aren’t you drinking tonight?” I ask. “Does drinking make you sick?”
“You’re pretty hostile,” she says.
I apologize. “Listen,” I say. “I’ve heard tequila shots leads to diarrhea.”
“Diarrhea wouldn’t stop me,” she says. “Wait—if you quote that in the Orient I’ll kill you.”
“You’ll be anonymous,” I say. “Don’t worry.”
She looks at me with an icy, sober stare. “Can’t you write about Diva Cups or something?” she says.
I walk away and continue the investigation. I find a large athlete. She is wearing a toga.
“I noticed you’re not drinking,” I say. “Why? Does it make you sick?”
“I’m on antibiotics,” she tells me.
“Ooh, for what?” I ask.
She walks away.
I question a student glued to the taco truck. She is reaching over the counter to grab cheese with her bare hands.
“Are you drunk?” I say. “Are you 21? What do you like about alcohol?”
“Are you security?” she says.
I shake my head. She giggles, crams stringy cheddar into her face and disappears into a bush.
“Probably drunk,” I write in my notebook. “Find more sources.”
One student tells me she’s not drinking because of a game. Another isn’t drinking because of an Outing Club trip. A third is very, very high.
I quit the job and go home.
Next weekend comes and it is Yom Kippur. I sit at the too-high counter in Smith Union. I spend some quality time on WebMD.
“Why do people drink?” I type into the search bar. Many things pop up. Most of them make sense.
I get bored and spend a while diagnosing myself in regard to several highly contagious and possibly lethal diseases. I get back to the grind. I learn that alcohol affects the body’s ability to absorb water, which explains that whole dehydration thing. I also learn that when the body can’t absorb water, sometimes it’ll absorb the toxic booze instead, leading to an “outpouring” of the booze. I learn that WebMD can be very graphic.
I close my laptop. I go for a walk. Bowdoin students pepper the Quad in their Birkenstocks and flannels, like speckles of toothpaste spat in a sink.
Indian summer is nice, I think. Then I wonder why it’s called that.
“Why is this called Indian summer?” I ask a frisbee player on the grass.
“Don’t be so PC,” she says.
I ask someone else.
“Aren’t you supposed to be in temple today?” they say.
I Google “Is it okay to call Indian Summer ‘Indian Summer’” and learn nothing. Perhaps I’ll never really know whether abstinence is the right way to stop college alcoholism, or if Indian Summer is appropriative, or if this girl my cousin knows really used her FASFA money to buy Pinnacle Whipped Cream Vodka and a flat-screen TV.
I sink onto the grass and pull out a Mike’s.
B bikes by. “That’s illegal,” she calls to me.
“I’m breaking the fast,” I tell her. “It’s fine.”
- October 24
DJ of the Week: Alex Mathieu '15
Why did you get involved in WBOR?Alex Mathieu: One of my good friends, Jennifer Goetz ’15, had a radio show with another student so I thought I would give it a try.
Why is your show called “That One Chick Radio?”AM: Isn’t it obvious? It’s just me.
What kinds of music do you play?AM: I try to do a theme every week. Last week was R&B-themed, this week will be ’80s-themed. It varies week to week.
How do you choose which songs to play for each theme?AM: Just my own personal interest. I mean, I have a wide array of taste in music. I personally like the ’80s, so I play music from the ’80s and I also like R&B.
How do you want your listeners to feel while tuned into your show?AM: I want them to feel happy that they’re listening to my songs and excited that they’re finding new music.
If you could choose one lyric to define your life, what would it be?AM: It’s definitely going to be from a Fall Out Boy song. Probably, “Isn’t it messed up how I’m just dying to be him?” from “Sugar We’re Going Down.” A quintessential Fall Out Boy lyric.
What era would you travel back in time to for the best music?AM: I don’t want to go any farther back than the ’90s. It was a good mix of grunge, super pop with boy and girl bands, weird urban funk, and hip-hop making this really weird shift to electric but still trying to maintain its ’80s groove.
What is your favorite throwback song?AM: “Say My Name,” by Destiny’s Child.
If you could see any performer from any period of time, who would it be?AM: It would probably be Michael Jackson circa the “Thriller” album.
What do you think are the most important parts of having WBOR on campus?AM: I think it’s a great form of self-expression. I relate to music in different ways and it helps me sort through my feelings. It also introduces the local Brunswick community to different types of music, different styles, especially if mainstream pop isn’t doing it so much.
If you have one song that you know can always pump you up, what would it be and why?AM: There is a song that always pumps me up, but it’s weird because I like rap and hip-hop to a certain extent but they’re not my niche. For some reason, Ludacris’ “Get Back” always gets me pumped for anything. I don’t know what it is about that song but for tests, workouts, exams, presentations, it’s Ludacris’ “Get Back.”
What are your favorite aspects of music?AM: I listen to a lot of Japanese—Korean and bossa nova too—and I don’t necessarily understand all of what they’re saying but a good beat is important.There was a reason why, when I was 13, I listened to a lot of Evanescence and Fall Out Boy: I was a little angsty kid. The lyrics mean a lot to me, but it’s how [the beat and the lyrics] work in relation to each other. If the beat is good, then yes I’ll like the song, but if the lyrics are really good and the beat is so-so, I’ll still groove to that song.
Are there any genres of music that you won’t listen to?AM: I won’t lie. I refuse to listen to screamo. I would say that although I understand why some genres are just not for everyone, giving each genre a chance is not a bad idea as well. I wouldn’t say I enjoy country all that much, but there are some country songs that I like. I feel like there is a song for everyone in every genre. Maybe not in screamo for me, but that’s my personal preference.
What else are you involved with here at Bowdoin?AM: I’m an R.A. on Residential Life, I’m on the Judicial Board and I co-direct an a cappella group.
Alex Mathieu ’15 hosts WBOR’s “That One Chick Radio” on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to noon.
- October 17
Minimalist Salon at Art Museum plays host to music, art
Beckwith Artist-in-Residence George Lopez performed an evening of minimalist music, including works by Philip Glass, Avro Part and John Adams, for the Thursday Night Salon at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art last week. Students, faculty and community members attended the event, which was put on in conjunction with the current museum exhibition, “Richard Tuttle: A Print Retrospective.”
“As is quintessential of [Lopez], he not only brings together music and art, but also brings together members of the community,” said Anne Goodyear, co-director of the Museum.
Lopez performed prototypes of minimalist music, ranging from pieces composed with a 12-tone system to those with small recurring repetitions. According to Lopez, minimalist music involves the “emancipation of dissonance,” and a “movement away from tonality,” using fewer elements to create form in sound. The repetitions in the music help keep the audience oriented as they listen to this non-traditional musical form.
The concept of stripping away the non-essential elements in music is mirrored in Tuttle’s minimalist and conceptual art.
“There’s power in the small,” said Lopez, getting up from his piano to point to Tuttle’s prints.Lopez sprinkled discussion of the pieces he performed throughout the evening, relating them to the art in the gallery and how both drew on minimalist ideals. The minimalist movement, both in art and music, he explained, was about artistic endeavors at the fringe of society. The notion of drawing meaning from the barest art forms defied the ideals of mainstream postwar art.
Minimalism, Lopez continued, fosters the idea that art can and should be experienced directly, without mediation. It encourages people to experience art, whether it be visual art or music, at its surface.
And just as the works of Satie, Glass and other minimalist artists reframe the standard musical landscape, the artwork in the Tuttle exhibit takes things out of their ordinary contexts, forcing audiences to view them in their immediacy.
“It’s the idea of a thing unto itself,” said Lopez. “The artwork itself is making you do something.”
The concept of tuning into “the small” resonated for Claire Day ’18.
“I liked the concept that the ‘big picture’ is important, and that’s what we train ourselves to think about. But recognizing the small is important too,” said Day.
Lopez suggested that our perspective often tends to overgeneralize. According to him, minimalism is about “waking up to the detail” that gets clouded by the human desire to categorize. The gathering of people at an event like the Thursday Night Salon is all part of experiencing art.
Lopez also raised awareness to the custom of applauding at the end of a piece. Clapping is a way to expel the energy with which the music filled us, he said. Lopez then asked the audience to question whether or not applause felt like a natural response to the the works performed, which tended to create more of an “experiential balance.”
Along with piano music by Lopez, the event featured special performances from violinist Hannah Renedo ’18 and Assistant Professor of Dance Charlotte Griffin.
Jude Marx ’18 was impressed with the overall tone of the event.
“I was surprised by how emotionally moved I was,” said Marx. “I expected it to be more of an intellectual engagement.”
Field hockey secures No. 1 seed
Field hockey defeated Colby and Tufts this week to finish the regular season atop the NESCAC standings and earn hosting rights for the upcoming conference tournament. The Polar Bears (9-1 NESCAC, 14-1 overall) eased past Colby 4-1 last Saturday in Waterville and rounded out their regular season Wednesday night with a 4-0 win at home against the Jumbos.
Hosting rights could prove important in the NESCAC tournament. Bowdoin and Middlebury have met in the last three NESCAC championship games, two of which went into overtime and the other saw a decisive goal scored with less than two minutes remaining. The home team emerged victorious in all three contests.
The Polar Bears, however, are focused on tomorrow’s quarterfinal against Hamilton (2-8 NESCAC, 6-9 overall), not a possible rematch with Middlebury in the championship.“At the moment we’re just incredibly proud that we finished top of the NESCAC,” said Head Coach Nicky Pearson. “To be honest, currently that just gives us the right to two practices and one more game. We’re not looking any further forward then the next couple of practices and playing Hamilton on Saturday.”
Bowdoin took the lead five minutes into Wednesday night’s game against Tufts (6-4 NESCAC, 11-4 overall), when senior Colleen Finnerty took a shot from the top of the circle that Rachel Kennedy ’16 redirected into the net.
Kennedy struck again fifteen minutes later. Shortly after the Polar Bears failed to convert off a penalty corner, she latched on to a loose ball in front of goal and backhanded it between two Tufts defenders and past the diving goalie.
Kennedy notched a third goal with 10 minutes remaining in the first half, bringing the ball into the Jumbos’ circle and laying it off for Adrienne O’Donnell ’15 on the right side. O’Donnell took the ball to the end line and centered it for Kennedy, who tucked it into the left side of the net.
O’Donnell played in the midfield last year and developed a connection with Kennedy, but the two have had to recalibrate their partnership since O’Donnell began playing as a forward this year.
“This year more so it has to be a little ball, a very direct ball to her, and I think we both worked really hard to make that connection,” O’Donnell said. “A lot of times we can get the speed advantage on the right side, so I can get past my defender and shoot the ball.”
Kennedy has now scored 19 goals in her last six games.
Tufts opened the second half strong, winning several penalty corners and forcing Bowdoin back into its own half. O’Donnell said the Polar Bears knew not to underestimate the Jumbos .“Tufts is always really good. They have really strong individual skills,” she said. “The whole game it didn’t feel like we were up 2-0, 3-0, 4-0. We were on edge the whole time.”
The Jumbos failed to capitalize on their opportunities, however, and it was the Polar Bears who scored the only goal of the second half. About seven minutes after play resumed, the Jumbo’s goalie made a number of saves before the ball rebounded out to Juliana Fiore ’18, who fired it home from the left side of the circle.
Fiore had led the charge offensively on Saturday against Colby (4-6 NESCAC, 9-6 overall), scoring twice for the Polar Bears. Kennedy scored a first half goal and O’Donnell capped off the 4-1 win with a late goal off a corner.
“I usually get the ball and read what’s open based on what their fly comes out as,” O’Donnell said. “So I just took a shot. It tipped off their defender’s stick and went into the top of the net.”O’Donnell said that the team is pleased it won the right to host the later rounds of the NESCAC tournament, but that its focus is on tomorrow’s quarterfinal against Hamilton. The Polar Bears beat the Continentals 6-0 on October 11.
“It’s by no means a shoo-in game,“ she said. “We’re certainly excited to host but we still have work to do.”
Pearson said that the Continentals have improved significantly since facing the Polar Bears earlier this month, and cannot be taken lightly.
“The danger is to look at that game and think it’s going to go exactly the same way the second time you play a team,” said Pearson. “But it never does.”
Tomorrow’s NESCAC quarterfinal against Hamilton will be played at noon on Howard F. Ryan field.
Women’s soccer ends season in top form with three straight wins
Last week the women’s soccer team finished with back-to-back wins to secure a top-four finish in the NESCAC and thus host its conference quarterfinal playoff game tomorrow against Tufts at 1:30 p.m.
On a trip to Waterville on Saturday to face Colby (7-7-1), the team earned a 3-0 shutout victory.
The Polar Bears took off early in the game as Maggie Godley ’16 netted the match’s first goal 11:34 into the game off of a pass from Jamie Hofsetter ’16. From there Bowdoin never looked back—burying two more goals, including another from Godley, to clinch the 3-0 shutout.
In their final regular season game on Tuesday, Bowdoin hosted the team that will be its playoff opponent, Tufts (7-6-2 overall, 2-6-1 NESCAC). The game was a rematch from last year’s NESCAC tournament, when the Jumbos beat Bowdoin 2-1.
It was Godley again who spurred the initial attack for the Polar Bears, heading in a cross sent into the box by teammate Abby Einwag ’15 in the first few minutes of the contest.
The Polar Bears struck again twenty minutes into the first half with a goal by Evan Fencik ’17. Tufts was able to find the back of the net late in the first half. But, thanks to a strong performance by goalie Bridget McCarthy ’16, Bowdoin held off the Jumbo attack for the rest of the game and was even able to add a third goal, this time from Kiersten Turner ’16 to seal the 3-1 win.
McCarthy has been a solid in the net all season—starting every game and enabling three shutouts. McCarthy credits her and the team’s current success on the reality check it faced midway through the season.
“We have been able to finish our season on such a high note in large part thanks to the wake up call we received the weekend of the Hamilton and Williams games,” she said. “I think those losses really showed us that we have to give a perfect effort in every game we play, regardless of the opponent.”
The team is now set to take a run at the NESCAC playoffs sitting as the second seed tied with Connecticut College at 8-2-0 in conference play.
Although the team came up short last year, the Polar Bears are confident that they have a squad this season that can take them deep into the playoffs.
“We have a really talented freshman class that has seamlessly woven itself into our line-up,” said captain Kaley Nelson ’15. “Our team camaraderie and chemistry is essential to our success. We work hard for one another on the field and are best friends off the field—I think that is a huge component of our success.”
The Polar Bears take the field again tomorrow against Tufts at 1:30 p.m. The team hopes to continue its current streak of impressive play and earn back-to-back victories over the Jumbos.
Football continues to sink in shutout by Wesleyan
Football suffered a heart-wrenching loss Saturday, getting shut out by Wesleyan 35-0. The Polar Bears’ offense failed to overcome the Cardinals’ defense, which stifled them to only 170 yards of total offense during the game.
“They’re a good team,” said Head Coach Dave Caputi. “We didn’t put out our best performance—coaches and players. It’s really that simple.”
On Wesleyan’s last possession in the first quarter, the team scored a touchdown with a 15-yard pass into the Bowdoin endzone. Cardinal senior quarterback Jesse Warren completed the touchdown pass to wide receiver Josh Hurwitz.
On the following Bowdoin possession, quarterback Mac Caputi ’15 was sacked twice to send the Polar Bears back on the defensive.
The Cardinals proceeded to march up the field to the Bowdoin end zone on the ensuing possession, starting the second quarter with an 11-play campaign to score. Warren passed to Hurwitz again, bringing the score to 14-0.
Tim Drakeley ’17 took over as quarterback for Bowdoin in the second quarter. Aside from one short possession in the third, Drakeley played as quarterback for the remainder of the game.At the end of the second, Wesleyan pulled off another scoring strike against Bowdoin in a seven-play 61-yard drive for the touchdown. This time, Warren completed a pass to tight end Jon Day to close in the last three yards of the play. The Cardinals had a 21-0 advantage at the break.
Both teams traded possession of the ball for the opening minutes of the third quarter. Bowdoin’s defensive back Dan Johnson ’15 intercepted a pass from Warren, but the Polar Bears were unable to capitalize on the opportunity and did not make it past their own 15-yard line.
During the next Wesleyan possession, Jay Fabian caught a 10-yard pass into the Bowdoin endzone with 4:42 left in the third quarter.
At the start of the fourth, the Cardinals advanced their lead once again by opening with a slow but steady 15-play drive down the field which ended with a 7-yard touchdown pass by Wesleyan’s prolific duo—Warren and Hurwitz. The Polar Bears, unable to drum anything up on offense, ended the game down 35-0.
Caputi and Drakeley went a combined 11-27 (41 percent) passing for 147 yards. Running back Tyler Grant ’17, who broke Bowdoin’s carry record in a 208-yard performance against Tufts two weeks ago, had a lackluster day on the ground, rushing for 52 yards on 17 carries. Wide receiver Daniel Barone ’16 caught three passes for 43 yards.
On the defensive side, linebacker Brendan Lawler ’16 made a game-high 12 tackles. Defensive back Jibrail Coy ’16 and linebacker Bjorn Halvorson ’17 made nine tackles apiece.
Bowdoin’s season record now stands at 2-4 while the Cardinals are tied for second in the NESCAC with a 5-1 record. With just two weeks left, Bowdoin’s season is drawing to a close. Tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. the Polar Bears will look to get back in the win column when they return to Whittier Field to take on Bates, which also has a 2-4 record.
“They are traditionally a run-oriented team, but they’re throwing the ball more this season,” said Coach Caputi. “We know what we’re facing. I don’t think they’re going to change much at all.”
The Polar Bears are prepared for a tough game to start of the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Championship (CBB) series, which signals what Bowdoin football calls “Boiled Owl Week.”
Bates beat Colby last weekend so Bowdoin must win tomorrow to have a chance at winning the championship.
Although Bates has a sub-par record, one of its two wins came against the Williams team that beat the Polar Bears 36-0 to open the season.
“It’s pretty much about being a tough, hard-nosed football team and slugging it out with Bates until the last minute of the game,” said offensive lineman Jonathan Macat ’16.
With Coach Caputi retiring after the season, capturing the CBB belt carries extra weight for the team this season.
“We have not won the CBB Championship in two years. It’s time we return it to Bowdoin and send our senior teammates off with memories of victories and being champions,” said Macat.
Men’s soccer completes middling season on high note
The men’s soccer team rebounded from a loss to Colby over the weekend with a 2-2 draw against Tufts on Wednesday.
The Jumbos were ranked 12th nationally before the game and the draw earned the Bears the sixth seed in the NESCAC tournament, which begins this weekend.
In the game against Colby, the Polar Bears were neck-and-neck with the Mules until they conceded a goal with only 12 minutes remaining in the game.
Despite many injuried players, Bowdoin played evenly with the Mules for most of the game. “I think we played OK,” Head Coach Scott Wiercinski said. “Colby is a team that is a lot better than they have been, and they are very committed and play with a lot urgency, which is difficult to play against sometimes.”
“It wasn’t our best game, but it’s something that we learned a lot from and it’s important to get a game like that out of the way right before the playoffs,” said senior captain Eric Goitia. Colby held a 7-4 edge on shots, but Bowdoin led 4-2 on corner kicks.
“They defended really well after they scored,” Wiercinski said. “We created a few chances but most of them were kind of half chances, not really great chances.”
The loss dropped Bowdoin to 4-5 in conference play, and 8-6 in the season overall. Colby improved to 3-5-2 in the league, and 7-5-3 overall.
In Wednesday’s game against Tufts Bowdoin conceded the first goal in the 16th minute. The league-leading Jumbos continued to control possession throughout the half, eventually capitalizing again two minutes before the end of the first period.
Bowdoin seemed to be well over-matched—with only three shots attempted in the first half compared to Tufts’ 11—until Kiefer Solarte ’16 sent a cross into the box where Nick DiStefano ’18 was able to head the pass into the goal.
Only three minutes later the Polar Bears were awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal. Eric Goitia ’15 proceeded to bend a shot behind the diving Tufts keeper to even the score with under 20 minutes to play.
The Polar Bears have had an up-and-down season. Midway through this fall, the team went on a tear and won five straight games in a row. Following the streak the team has faltered, losing three out of its last five games.
“I think we’ve unfortunately had a constant revolving door of challenges throughout the season,” said Wiercinski.
“Injuries are true for any team, but I feel like some of our injuries have really hampered what we’re capable of doing. I think a lot of our season has been about striving to fix some things rather than achieving our potential.”
Fortunately, the Polar Bears will be getting many recovering players back for the playoffs. “The team is certainly going to be its healthiest that it’s been for a long time, and that’s really encouraging and invigorating,” said Wiercinski.
Bowdoin will be on the road for its first-round playoff match in the NESCAC tournament tomorrow. The team is 2-5 in road games this season. Despite its lack of road success the team is looking forward to showcasing its improved play.
“We’re alright with being on the road,” said Wiercinski. “We’ve won some games on the road, and we’ll try to do it again this weekend.”
Based on their current record it is doubtful that the Polar Bears will recieve an automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Championships. In order to make it to the championships the team will need will need to go far, if not win, the NESCAC tournament.
The tie against the league-leading Jumbos will hopefully give the struggling team confidence going into tomorrow’s 1 p.m. game at third seeded Williams and propel them into the NESCAC tournament.
Cross Country takes top honors in regional meets
Men and women’s cross country competed at the NEICAAA New England Championship on October 11 at Franklin Park in Boston. The competition featured most of the New England teams, including several D-I programs.
The men’s team placed 22nd out of 39 teams, while the women placed 32nd out of 38 teams.Captain Kevin Hoose ’15 was the team’s top Bowdoin finisher for the men’s team in the 8K, completing the course in 25:33.9 and placing 76th overall. He was followed by fellow captains Will Ossoff ’15 (83rd, 25:38.5) and Avery Wentworth ’15 (90th, 25:42.5).
For the Polar Bear women, captain Lucy Skinner ’16 was the top performer, completing the 5K course in 18:48.7 and finishing 78th overall. Caroline Corban ’17 was the next best finisher on the team (174th place, 19:53.9), followed by captain Brenna Fischer ’15 (194th, 20.11.8).
The Polar Bears then traveled to the University of Maine-Farmington on October 18 for the Maine State Championship, where the men finished second, and the women’s team finished fourth.
Although the men’s team had three of the top-five finishers—finishing the meet with 38 points—it was beat by first-place Bates, who finished with a total of 26 points.
The women’s team finished the meet with 112 points, behind Colby (34 points), the University of New England (60 points) and Bates (61 points).
Top finishers for the Polar Bears included Skinner, who placed in seventh with a time of 19:53, Corban (20th, 20:40) and Meghan Bellerose ’17 (28th, 21:02). Skinner’s seventh place finish was good enough to earn her All-State Honors.
Three runners on the men’s team won All-Maine recognition, including Wentworth (2nd, 26:31), Bridger Tomlin ’17 (4th, 26:42) and Matt Jacobson ’17 (5th, 26:45). Other top-20 finishers in the men’s 8K were Ossoff (11th, 27:02), Hoose (16th, 27:21), and Calvin Henry ’16 (19th, 27:26).
Both the men’s and women’s teams will travel to Middlebury next weekend for the NESCAC Championships.
Athlete of the Week: Maggie Godley ’16
Maggie Godley ’16 put away Bowdoin’s first two goals in Saturday’s 3-0 win at Colby and scored again in Tuesday’s win over Tufts. She has struck first for the Polar Bears in each of their last three games.
With the exception of an unassisted, 18-yard chip against Colby, Godley has consistently found herself in a place to score within the team’s aggressive offensive system.
A forward throughout high school and her first two years at Bowdoin, Godley moved to midfield this year but feels comfortable playing upfield on a team that puts an emphasis on getting numbers forward.
“With my background as a forward, I definitely favor attacking,” Godley said, “[Senior captain] Kaley Nelson is a very strong defender. I have faith that if I make an attacking run, she’ll be able to cover me.”
Nelson said that Godley’s technical skill and work ethic are her most admirable qualities.“She is constantly willing to outwork her opponent,” Nelson said. “She is also incredibly versatile, knowing when to give the ball up or take a player on off the dribble.”
Godley said Bowdoin has attempted to get pressure behind the ball this season and move as a unit after forcing turnovers. The team has also tried to stretch the field as much as possible and dominate play with its speedy forwards. This takes possession away from the other team’s midfield.
“We try to vary the way we attack,” Godley said. “But for the most part, I would say we work it through the midfield, move it wide, and try to get it to our forwards. My favorite ball to get is one over the top where I can run to it, dribble and get past someone, taking it down the line to get a cross or a corner out of it.”
Because of the team’s style of play, Godley said she has not found as many scoring opportunities over the course of the season as she has seen recently.
“I prefer to cross,” she said. “On this team, anyone can score. My strength is setting up my teammates.”
Godley has scored four times and recorded three assists this season, tying her for second and third on the team in these categories respectively.
Her increased presence in the offense has added another threat to an already dangerous front line composed of Amanda Kinneston ’15 and captain Kiersten Turner ’16, along with hybrid midfielder Jamie Hofstetter ’16, who has assisted on a pair of Godley’s goals.
Godley started her soccer career as a child because her brother was also playing and her father thought it would be easier if they played the same sport. She made the decision to play in college because she has always enjoyed being on a team.
“Throughout high school and at Bowdoin, it’s always been the highlight of my experiences in school,” she said.
The Rhode Island native had always looked at Division III schools because of their academic rigor and was recruited by Maren Rojas, the predecessor of current Head Coach Brianne Weaver.
“I wanted to be a student first and an athlete second,” Godley said. “Making the decision to go to Bowdoin was more than just a soccer choice. You could get injured your first day and never play again.”
Despite being tied for second place in the conference heading into the NESCAC tournament, the squad has sometimes struggled to score this season. In the 11-team conference, Bowdoin is tied with three other teams for sixth-most goals scored.
The team does not have a single one of the NESCAC’s top scorers. So Godley may have to continue her current hot streak for the team to make a deep postseason run. The Polar Bears will play a rematch against Tufts in tomorrow’s NESCAC quarterfinal on Pickard field.
El Clásico: Spain’s biggest rivalry lives up to name
Real Madrid versus Barcelona. Franco’s favorites versus the Catalan nationalists. Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar, Ramos—the top players in the world on display. There is a certain glamour and mystique surrounding El Clásico matches, with all their storylines and political and cultural underpinnings.
Although the aura has been somewhat diminished by the fact that Real Madrid and Barcelona have met an average of 4.5 times per year the last four years between all competitions, the first clash of the season between the Spanish soccer giants last Saturday at the Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid felt electric and fresh.
While many of the familiar faces were there, the pre-match focus was on the debutants, specifically one Uruguayan fresh off a four-month suspension: Luis Suárez. Bought during the summer transfer window from Liverpool for a massive €81 million fee, the new Barcelona man completed a suspension for biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in the World Cup (his third ban for on-field cannibalism) just in time to make his Barcelona and El Clásico debut Saturday. Colombian wunderkind James Rodríguez, brought to Real from Monaco in July, also made his Clásico debut, as did Ivan Rakitic and World Cup winner Toni Kroos.
Billed by British paper the Telegraph as the “first ever €1 billion football match,” referring to the massive combined market value of the two squads, this iteration of Barcelona v. Madrid did not disappoint. Barcelona commanded the early chances, as Suárez found Neymar, who slotted Barca ahead in the fourth minute. Messi missed just wide on a feed from Suárez minutes later, surprising in that it was a chance the soccer world has become accustomed to seeing the little genius put away.
Madrid charged back with an intensity befitting of the reigning European Champions. Marcelo’s marauding run down the flank and subsequent cross won Madrid a penalty just before half, as a sliding Gerard Piqué blocked the cross with his hand.
Ronaldo, cool as ever, converted the penalty to send the teams level into the half. Madrid found themselves ahead five minutes into the second frame, as Pepe headed home a corner. Karim Benzema effectively iced the match and started the celebrations around the Bernabéu soon after, finishing off the Madrid counterattack sprung as Isco picked Andres Iniesta’s pocket at the midline.
Even with the world’s most expensive footballer in Gareth Bale injured, Madrid showed more than enough class to dispatch their biggest rivals. After going down early, Madrid outran and outwilled Barca, illustrated best by the vicious counter leading to the third goal. New man James Rodríguez was stellar playing in his preferred wing position because of the Bale injury, making darting runs and assisting on the Benzema goal. Luka Modrić and Kroos controlled the match from the central midfield, and Isco showed great promise.
Barcelona, for their early chances, were thoroughly outplayed the rest of the match. Messi seemed to come back down to earth after his strong start to the season, although some reports out of Spain indicate he was injured for the match. Barca’s central defense was bad form, with Pique’s poor play leading to a penalty.
Their flawed set piece marking leading to Pepe’s goal. Manager Luis Enrique also made some questionable decisions, choosing to start the grizzled Xavi over the new man Rakitic, who had been La Liga’s statistically best passer to that point. Xavi made it 59 relatively pedestrian minutes before ultimately being replaced by Rakitic. Additionally, Suárez probably would’ve been best utilized off the bench, as he was not match fit, and despite his assist, looked out of touch with his new teammates.
Barcelona-Real Madrid matches are always great affairs, and this one was no different. The two teams feature a wealth of attacking talent and utilized that to put on a display in offensive soccer. Adding to the excitement of world-class talent playing an aesthetically pleasing brand of soccer was the anticipation of the first such match of the season.
The next Clásico will almost undoubtedly be more exciting, as Suárez clicks into his new team, Bale returns from injury, and the two squads find their form and identity. The English Premier League may well be the best league in the world week in and week out, but there is something special about Madrid v. Barca. The storylines that surround these matches, the drama that comes with the big names, and the excitement of watching the world’s best battle it out in sports’ most storied rivalry make El Clásico a joy unmatched in soccer.
Volleyball plays into mixed results in weekend tournament
The volleyball team saw its six-match win streak end last weekend when it lost 3-1 to Springfield College on Saturday. The team won both of its other two games in the Hall of Fame Tournament hosted by Amherst against Wheaton College and Wellesley College to improve its record to 19-6.
The Polar Bears coasted to victory their opening match of the tournament against Wheaton. Quincy Leech ’17 and Clare McInerney ’18 served well for the team, setting up points for Christy Jewett ’16 and Clare Geyer ’17, who finished with 16 and eight kills, respectively.
After winning the opening set against Springfield the following day, the Spirit took the next three to end the Polar Bears’ win streak. Although some individuals did show some impressive play, including a 33 dig performance from Katie Doherty ’17, errors were what led to the Polar Bears’ loss. The team had over twice as many mistakes in the third and fourth set as it did in the opening set that it won.
Hours later the team rebounded and beat Wellesley in straight sets in its final game of the tournament. Leech led the serving charge again, recording 14 aces, and Geyer once again dominated the net with eight kills.
It was Jewett’s all-around performance, however, that led the Polar Bears throughout the weekend. Her 16 kills in both the Wheaton and Springfield games earned her All Tournament Honors.
The Polar Bears end their regular season this weekend with games tonight at 8 p.m. at Amherst and tomorrow at Williams. The team is currently ranked fourth in the NESCAC standings and if it is able to maintain or better its standing, it will host a NESCAC tournament game next week.
- October 24
Women's rugby embarrasses Williams 111-0
The women’s rugby team won its sixth game of the season on October 18, defeating Williams so thoroughly that the two-digit scoreboard couldn’t display the 111-0 score. They remain undefeated.
A “try,” the highest-scoring maneuver in rugby, is worth five points, meaning the team scored relentlessly throughout the 80 minutes of play.
Elena Schaef ’16 described the festive atmosphere as one factor that contributed to the win.
“It was Homecoming Weekend, and we were also having a big celebration for our coach Mary Beth’s 20th year of coaching at Bowdoin,” said Schaef. “We probably had 50 alums on the sideline cheering us, so that was really inspirational for the girls on the field.”
The team also credits some of the incredible play that led to the final score to the success it has already had this season.
“We played Colby the weekend before and they were supposed to be one of the more challenging teams we played and we played against them extremely well,” said Katie Craighill’17. “We knew the Williams game was not going to be as much of a challenge so we knew we were going to have to challenge ourselves to play our best game.”
Schaef emphasized the team’s work ethic as well.
“Mary Beth has been talking about pushing us really hard in practice, so we don’t get overconfident or sloppy before our tougher matches,” she said.
With its eye on the upcoming New England Small College Rugby Conference (NESCRC) tournament in November, the team has had to focus on goals beyond winning its regular season games.
The team’s last regular season game is on October 25 at Middlebury.
The NESCRC tournament is the only remaining event of the fall season, unless the team qualifies for the American Collegiate Rugby Association’s annual tournament.
- October 24
Football loses early lead, falls to undefeated Trinity
The football team dropped its homecoming game against Trinity last Saturday in a close 17-10 contest. The Polar Bears held the lead until the fourth quarter when Trinity scored two touchdowns to secure the seven-point victory. The loss marked the end of a two game win streak and put Bowdoin’s record at 2-3.
Although the end result was not favorable the Polar Bears played some of their best football of the season against the undefeated Bantams.
“We matched one of the top teams in the conference on Saturday,” said linebacker Bjorn Halvorson ’17. “Defensively we accomplished many of our goals and had our best performance of the season.”
After neither team managed to score in the first quarter, Bowdoin put up the game’s first points on the scoreboard with a 27-yard field goal by kicker Andrew Sisti ’18 early in the second quarter.
“In the first half, we didn’t make any mistakes and we played hard,” said Head Coach Dave Caputi. “All in all, it went very well for a while and then it fell apart.”
On Trinity’s following possession, Bowdoin linebacker Branden Morin ’16 intercepted Bantams’ quarterback Henry Foye’s pass at Trinity’s 45 yard-line, returning it all the way for the touchdown.
The Polar Bears led 10-0 until just before halftime, when Trinity managed to march 50 yards up the field in 10 plays and score a 25-yard field goal.
Both teams failed to score on the following possessions. After a fumble recovery from linebacker Brendan Lawler ’16, the Polar Bears tried to expand their lead with a field goal. However, Sisti missed from 41 yards out.
The Bantams drove 46 yards down the field in response, but turned over the ball at the Bowdoin 28-yard line when Foye was sacked by defensive linemen Tom Wells ’15 and Jake Prince ’15.
Trinity opened the fourth quarter with a six-play, 60-yard touchdown drive, tying the game 10-10 with 13:17 remaining. The drive was sparked by a big play from Trinity’s senior running back Michael Budness that advanced the ball to the Bowdoin’s 30-yard line. Four plays later, the Bantams’ first year wide receiver Bryan Vieira caught a 15-yard pass for the touchdown.
On the following possession, Bowdoin failed to move the ball into the red zone and punted the ball back to Trinity. The Bantams—led by a 37-yard pass from Foye to wide reciever Ian Dugger—drove down the field 85 yards in ten plays. A back corner pass into the Bowdoin endzone sealed the drive and gave Trinity a 17-10 edge over Bowdoin with 6:22 left in the game.
The Polar Bears went three-and-out on their next possession, and the ball was returned to Trinity, who let the clock run out the final 5:26, leaving the final score at 17-10.“Defensively, we played the best game we have all year as a unit,” said Morin. “We had an unbelievable week of practice and I think that definitely showed. We have another tough opponent this week in Wesleyan, so we need to focus on carrying that same effort into practice this week.”
Quarterback Mac Caputi ’15 went 9-25 (36 percent) for 98 yards passing. Running back Tyler Grant ’17 led the offense rushing for 85 yards on 27 carries. And senior wide receiver Christian Dulmaine caught three passes for 44 yards.
“We didn’t generate enough offense and we just have to do some things differently,” said Caputi.
On defense, Halvorson led the team with 14 tackles. Morin finished with nine tackles, a sack, 2.5 tackles for a loss, an interception and a pass breakup.
Bowdoin will travel to Connecticut tomorrow to play Wesleyan at 12:30 p.m. Wesleyan is 4-1 this season after losing to Amherst 30-33 last week in overtime.
“Wesleyan has a very good defense. They run the ball effectively on offense, and they’re a veteran team,” said Caputi. “They are a worthy adversary.”