Following this week’s power outage, Bowdoin students were reminded, once again, of how lucky we are to benefit from a team of campus employees, each one committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of students. All deserve our whole-hearted thanks.
First, Bowdoin Security once again went above and beyond to ensure that students were looked after, picking up extra shifts to make sure that despite outages, buildings were properly secured and students were in the safest possible conditions.
Furthermore, we greatly appreciated the steady stream of text, call and email alerts from Security, which allowed us to stay up to date with the status of power in various parts of campus. We cannot thank Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols and his team enough for making us feel that we were being taken care of and being kept in the loop, regardless of circumstances.
Like many other employees, Dining Service staff came into work despite, in many cases, not having power in their own homes. They fed the hordes of students and others who camped out in the dining hall long past the regular hours and dinner rushes. Executing their well-established contingency plan, they left us with the impression that nothing, aside from a larger crowd, was really different from the average night.
Further, we are grateful to administrators who continued to prioritize students and our academics. While the power outage derailed the planned release of Spring 2018 courses on Polaris, thanks to the Office of the Registrar and administrators, students still received a PDF listing of the offerings. The deadline for course selection was pushed back, allowing us the expected ample time to consider. Meanwhile, other administrative offices continued to coordinate with faculty and students, keeping Bowdoin running not simply as our residential home, but also as our place of learning. And, when feasible, our professors held class and adapted to these less than ideal conditions.
Finally, Bowdoin students came together during the outage—in more significant ways than around power strips. We thank those who stepped up to help out each other and the staff under unusual circumstances. Small acts of kindness—like the group of students who, having camped out in Thorne into the early hours of Tuesday morning, took the initiative to clean the entire dining hall to ease the burden on dining staff—made a difference.
Although the days of the power outage brought the dedication and hard work of our faculty and staff to the forefront, we shouldn’t forget that, in truth, all Bowdoin employees work incredibly hard day in and day out to keep us safe, fed, comfortable and cared for. Outstanding service is the norm at Bowdoin, making it easy to take these services for granted. But even during the daily goings-on of the average Bowdoin week, we should be conscious of showing our gratitude to the members of our community that keep our college not just functional but exceptional. We are extremely lucky to live among a community of compassionate people who do their utmost to look out for one another, and for that we are thankful.
This editorial represents the majority view of the Bowdoin Orient’s editorial board, which is comprised of Rachael Allen, Anjulee Bhalla, Harry DiPrinzio, Sarah Drumm, Ellice Lueders, Ian Ward and Allison Wei.