Letter to the Editor: consider the ‘Bowdoin Sun’
April 23, 2021
To the Editor,
As a journalist, I commend the current editors of The Bowdoin Orient for the care and thought they are bringing to the discussion of changing the paper’s name.
There is a simple solution that honors multiple perspectives.
A persuasive case has been made that the current name is offensive, especially in light of the troubling recent rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in the United States. As with the issue of offensive mascots and team names, when our friends, classmates and colleagues say they are offended or feel demeaned, we should listen closely to their perspectives and stop the hurtful language and behavior.
Former editors, who are my classmates, have reminded us of the Latin origin of the word “Orient” and its connotation of daybreak or rising; in other words, a sunrise and a new beginning.
This leads to a practical and appropriate solution: The Bowdoin Sun.
It is a fitting name for a newspaper with a strong tradition and a bright future.
Susan Young, ’89
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“Sun” makes sense, but isn’t very distinctive given the number of other publications using the name, including the administration’s now-discontinued blog (the Daily Sun).
As has been discussed ad nauseum, another more or less literal translation of “Oriens” is “East,” so how about “The Bowdoin Easterner”?
There’s always the risk that “easterner” will eventually evolve into a racial epithet, but I really hope we don’t get to the point that cardinal directions become hate speech.