To begin writing this editorial, we, senior members of Orient staff, all wrote down our honest reasons for joining the Orient.
Some of us joined because we thought college journalism sounded important and glamorous. Some of us joined because we thought the upperclassmen on the Orient were important and glamorous. Many of us joined because we were seeking a network of friends, a pre-established group to welcome us to college. Others had journalistic career aspirations. And though no one here would admit it, there were probably a few of us who joined because we saw someone at the interest meeting we thought was cute.
We were all attracted to the Orient on some level because we cared—about students, about professors, about the College’s traditions and events, its innerworkings, its quirks. We think that the choice to write for a student newspaper stems, in large part, from a desire to understand things better. We didn’t come in with preconceived notions about what a college should or shouldn’t do; there are still many things we don’t understand.
We stayed because people let us in, telling us about their proudest moments and their loudest frustrations. We heard from different campus groups and offices, and we wrote about the best events and opportunities. We were exposed to all of the wonderful things that Bowdoin has to offer, as well as some of its shortcomings.
Staying hasn’t always been easy. We have received emails from administrators questioning our reporting and refusing our requests for comment. We have attended meetings with administrators who asked us questions like: why does the Orient always have an agenda? Who taught you how to report? Why would you publish something that would hurt someone’s feelings? Why don’t you print something positive for a change?
We have, at times, felt pressure from the arbiters of our grades and those who will give us our diplomas to tell only the stories they want to hear.
But we are not Bowdoin News or the College’s glossy brochures. The Orient is about reporting students’ experiences as they live them. We try to capture as many experiences as we can, and though we admittedly miss many voices, we try to write about the diversity of opinions in the Bowdoin community. We want to start conversations and empower all students to have their voices heard.
Now, in our final days as Bowdoin students, we’re still here because we give a damn about this place and the people who made it home to us. The Orient has given us a space to realize our love for and curiosity about this institution, its quirks and inconsistencies. We don’t write critically about the school because we don’t like it, but rather because we love it. We want the school, so badly, to be the best version of what it can be.
And that’s our agenda.
This editorial represents the majority view of the Orient’s Editorial Board, which is comprised of Emily Cohen, Maia Coleman, Anna Fauver, Roither Gonzales, Rohini Kurup, Alyce McFadden, Eliana Miller and Ian Ward.