In the last week, Bowdoin has provided the student body with access to vaccines through Mid Coast Hospital and, in response to recent cases, upped the testing protocol to three tests per week for all students.
Bowdoin’s reaction to recent cases on campus has been reasonable and safe. Emails have been sent relatively promptly detailing the College’s plan, and more frequent testing has provided the student body with greater peace of mind and a better chance at avoid COVID-19 when many are just on the cusp of being vaccinated.
Additionally, Bowdoin’s vaccination plan includes transportation to Mid Coast Hospital and a streamlining of vaccine slot sign-ups through CampusGroups. Bowdoin also limited its students’ vaccine appointment slots to 50 people per day out of consideration to the local community. With this policy, almost all interested students, on or off campus in Maine, are able to receive the required doses of the vaccine before leaving campus—all without disadvantaging local Mainers.
After two and a half semesters and a long summer of instability and confusion due to COVID-19, Bowdoin, through their COVID-19 testing program and efforts to provide us with the vaccine, has provided the reasonably safe and liveable environment they set out to. Despite the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, Bowdoin has created a sense of organization. Especially in light of the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases at many of our peer institutions, we are grateful for this stability.
We have had the peace of mind of being tested multiple times per week and the confidence that, in the case of a positive test result, the College will move swiftly and safely to provide us with secure isolation housing.
The faculty and staff have overall worked to make classes, dining and student life work for us in this time of crisis and uncertainty. Almost all Professors have gone out of their way to still provide us with a high-quality and engaging class environment. The campus’s COVID-19 plan, along with trying to ensure that students remain safe, has also worked to create a good campus environment, from offering open skating hours to bringing food trucks to campus almost weekly.
Bowdoin made it clear we would be here all semester and has made countless plans to make that possible. Let’s also work to ensure that we all take responsibility for our part in maintaining our testing record and keeping the campus in a safe place.
Although there is always room to improve on campus—even within Bowdoin’s COVID-19-related choices—it is also important to acknowledge what the College has done well to keep us safe and on-campus.
This editorial represents the majority view of the Editorial Board, which is comprised of Sofie Brown, Julia Jennings, Kate Lusignan, Nina McKay, Emily Staten and Ayub Tahlil.