Nick DanielsNumber of articles: 44
Number of photos: 3
First article: September 19, 2008
Latest article: February 10, 2012
First image: May 1, 2009
Latest image: February 4, 2011
TV Land: '30 Rock' falls prey to predictability despite zaniness
In the genus of things that improve with age—wine, women, leftover Indian takeout—TV shows are not usually included. This is because it is nigh impossible to balance the demands of continuous creativity with predictability. For a series to seem fresh, we can't guess what the jokes will be or which characters will kill each other. We need change, but not too much of it. In short, the show that viewers keep watching is the show that fulfills their emotional expectations, while the show they become bored with is too familiar. It's a very delicate distinction.
Talk of the Quad: The game of grade inflation
If you were to hazard a guess, what percentage of all grades distributed at Bowdoin are Bs or As? Or put it this way: Just how prevalent is grade inflation? Well, that depends on when you attended Bowdoin. Twenty years ago, the average GPA at the school was 3.06, around 46 percent of all grades given out were in the B range, and 32 percent were in the A range. A decade later, in the 2001-2002 academic year, the average GPA of the student body was a lusty 3.30, just a hair below a B-plus average. By then, just over 87 percent of grades were either As or Bs. Plus and minus modifiers weren't introduced until 2003, to great student indignation. At the time, students fretted that professors' use of modifiers would result in generally lower marks, but grade inflation plodded on undisturbed by this development. By 2007, 49 percent of all the grades doled out were in the A range, and only 8 percent were a C or lower. Hello, Lake Wobegon!
Committee concludes Meddies hazed first years
The Meddiebempsters hazed their first year members at a September 16 initiation event, according to the Student Organizations Oversight Committee (SOOC), which reviewed the matter. As a result, the Meddies face a number of disciplinary measures, including a restriction on their ability to perform. As the College's oldest a cappella group, the Meddies have traditionally had the privilege of singing at select athletic and departmental events. The group has been banned from doing so until March 10.
Talk of the Quad: On College Rankings
One would not think, meandering around campus, that Bowdoin students are particularly lustful. Maybe it is the pastels of the omnipresent sweatpants or perhaps the relative unpopularity of sun dresses, but whatever the reason, students here just don't seem libidinous in the manner of those at Arizona State, Berkeley, or Miami. Such trivialities as reality, however, have never given pause to the editorial staff of The Daily Beast. And so, the Beast decreed that Bowdoin College was the fourth-horniest institution of higher learning in the land. Never mind the methodology; that would ruin the fun, wouldn't it?
Times Record delays contributors’ payments
Several former contributors to the paper claim their requests for compensation have been ignored
LC Van Savage moved to Brunswick in 1974, and soon after began contributing features pieces to the Times Record. In time, she became a columnist and was still writing for the paper when, four or five months ago, she noticed that her checks were no longer arriving. She initially thought nothing of it, for the paper had been late with payments before. But when weeks of waiting turned to months, she contacted her editor, asking for written assurance that the Times Record would pay up. He said he could not do that, so she decided to stop writing.
The Bowdoin Project: Essay in Claremont Review rips Barry Mills’ convocation speech
Golf partner claims Mills embellished convocation address
In the latest issue of the Claremont Review of Books, President Barry Mills receives something of a tongue lashing for his September convocation address dealing with intellectual diversity at the College. A little background: Mills, who has a fondness for telling golf stories, described in his address an interaction which occurred during a golf match this summer.
As Mills told the story, an opponent said to him mid-swing, "I would never support Bowdoin—you are a ridiculous liberal school that brings all the wrong students to campus for all the wrong reasons." Mills added that his interlocutor aggressively opined that he would support neither Bowdoin nor his own alma mater "because of all your misplaced and misguided diversity efforts."
This anecdote launched the larger theme of Mills' address, which posed the question of whether the College's generally liberal persuasion detracts from intellectual diversity on campus. The speech was well-received, and the school year proceeded.
After over 20 years at the College, Torrey plans to step down in June
Though he will remain as Secretary, Torrey cites a "personal need" to pursue new goals
Since arriving in Brunswick over two decades ago, Bill Torrey has traveled the world over raising money for Bowdoin. As the College's chief development officer, it's not unusual for him to be in London one week and Los Angeles the next. Yet his days of tracking down alumni are numbered, as Torrey, senior vice president for planning and development, will step down from the post this coming June.
David Brooks showcases his lighter side
Conservative New York Times columnist delights sold-out Pickard Theater on Wednesday
"Being a conservative columnist on The New York Times is like being the chief rabbi of Mecca," said political commentator David Brooks, drawing a big laugh from the audience. If anyone has the tact for that job, it would be Brooks, who throughout a visit to campus on Wednesday managed to avoid saying anything that might draw the ire of Bowdoin's liberal community.
Bowdoin Brief: Times columnist David Brooks to deliver lecture in Pickard
New York Times columnist and author David Brooks will deliver a lecture entitled "Social Animal and Higher Education" in Pickard Theater on this coming Wednesday, February 23.
Mills voices intention to remain for next 5 years
President Barry Mills announced last night that he plans to remain at the helm of Bowdoin for at least five more years. "It is important for the College to have a continued sense of leadership," said Mills in explaining why he chose to share his intention, "and I committed to the trustees last spring that I would let them know."
Mills among lowest-paid NESCAC presidents
Bowdoin's president advised Board of Trustees to keep his salary comparatively low
Senior Vice President for Investments Paula Volent was once again the College's highest-compensated employee in the 2008 calendar year, according to tax documents filed by the College. While Volent was one of the best compensated chief investment officers in the NESCAC, President Barry Mills was effectively tied with Hamilton President Joan Stewart as the second-lowest compensated president of all 11 schools in the conference.
The evolution of a leader: Barry Mills as president
This is the second of two installments profiling President Barry Mills. In the decade prior to President Barry Mills' arrival on campus, Bowdoin underwent a series of dizzying changes brought about by his predecessor, Bob Edwards. Edwards physically transformed the campus with a slew of building projects, which were, in the words Professor of German Steven Cerf, the product of "a wonderful edifice complex." Thorne Hall, Druckenmiller Hall, Smith Union, Stowe Hall, Howard Hall, Chamberlain Hall and Wish Theatre were all built during Edward's tenure. Hawthorne-Longfellow Library, Memorial Hall and Searles Hall were renovated. Additionally, Edwards instituted long-needed but controversial changes to the organization of the College.
From Warwick to Brunswick: Barry Mills
Barry Mills was in the pool, treading water, trying to pass the Bowdoin swim test. There was no end in sight; Charlie Butt, the College's swim coach at the time, had forgotten Mills was there.
Bowdoin Brief: FDA issues warning to Four Loko producer
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings to four companies that produce alcoholic beverages that contain caffeine, among them Phusion Projects, LLC, the producer of Four Loko. The FDA said that alcoholic drinks with caffeine additives pose "a public health concern," and indicated that it would take action if necessary, including possibly seizing inventory or imposing an injunction on production.
Athlete GPAs scrutinized in D-III Report
A recent report on athletics in Division III indicates that recruited athletes at highly selective colleges have lower GPAs than their teammates who are walk-ons, and significantly lower grades than non-athletes. However, Director of Athletics Jeff Ward said that this is not the case at Bowdoin. "The academic performance of those on teams is the same as those not on teams," he said in an interview.
Baseball coach position now funded by ’60 grad
The athletic department has caught some attention due to a gift endowing the position of head coach of the baseball team. Director of Athletics Jeff Ward said that "as far as we can tell, it is the first Division III baseball position that's endowed, which is very cool."
Endowment increases 10.3% to $753.5 million
After dramatically decreasing 17 percent in 2009, Bowdoin's endowment grew by 10.3 percent in fiscal year 2010. Following a decade in which the College's endowment regularly outperformed other school's funds, this rate fell below the 12.2 percent that Cambridge Associates reported as the median return among the educational funds the firm tracks.
TD Bank departs, students confront new banking options
Students with accounts at TD Bank must now travel to Hannaford to withdraw cash without incurring fees. The bank did not renew its agreement with the College for the two ATMs it has operated on campus since 2005. Instead, Bank of America and Midcoast Federal Credit Union will have ATMs in Smith Union and the Thorne-Coles Tower lobby, respectively.
Bowdoin sports average NESCAC record
"I do believe that if you have a strong athletic program, it helps you attract stronger students, and with stronger students, you can build an even better athletic program."
Bowdoin professors’ salaries ranked 10th highest by AAUP
Despite a pay freeze at the College, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) reports that this year the salaries received by Bowdoin's full-time full professors are the 10th highest in the country among liberal arts colleges.
Newsweek reports grad data with ‘error’
A recent story in Newsweek began by recognizing Bowdoin's effort to attract minority students, only to drop the following line: "While nine out of 10 white students routinely get their diplomas within six years, only seven out of 10 black students made it to graduation day in several recent classes." However, the most "recent" class to have that low a rate was the Class of 2005, in which 72 percent of black students graduated. Several College officials pointed out that due to the small number of black students in that class—32 matriculated in 2001—little stock could be placed in the significance of that percentage.
17 Cleaveland St. residents emerge from suit victorious
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled on February 2 that the owners of a house on 17 Cleaveland St. were in compliance with Brunswick's zoning system, a decision greeted with contempt by four neighbors who sued the town in 2008 to prevent the owners from renting the home to 11 Bowdoin students.
Passion Pit accepts bid, scheduled for Ivies show
During Winter Break, Passion Pit accepted a bid from the Entertainment Board (E-Board) to headline Bowdoin's Ivies Weekend. The Boston-based band joins a provisional Ivies concert lineup which includes Reel Big Fish and The Cool Kids.
E-board casts bids for Ivies
Reel Big Fish and The Cool Kids are tentatively set to perform during Bowdoin's Ivies Weekend. The Entertainment Board (E-Board) announced this week that the two groups accepted bids to perform on May 1, 2010. Lucas Delahanty '10, co-chair of the E-Board, stressed that because the bids are non-binding, the groups are not yet obligated to come.
OCS finds balance in study away pre-apps
Despite expected preference for spring semester study, almost 50 percent choose fall
After receiving over 300 preliminary study abroad applications, the Office of Off-Campus Study (OCS) said that the sophomores wishing to study away during the 2010-2011 school year are equally distributed between the fall and spring semesters.
48 Hour Film Fest to challenge students’ creativity under pressure
The Bowdoin Film Society (BFS) begins its second annual 48 Hour Film Fest tonight, with teams of students rushing to write, cast, film and edit a movie over the course of the weekend. Given the challenge, coffee, caffeine pills, Red Bull and sugary treats from the C-store will likely be in high demand.
BSG discusses town-gown communication and grading policy
There were two main orders of business at Wednesday night's Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) meeting. The first topic, which took up the majority of the meeting, was a proposal to amend the BSG bylaws in order to create "a liaison position between...BSG and the Brunswick Town Council." The second issue was a discussion of a BSG resolution regarding the College's Credit/D/Fail policy—a resolution dating back to March 31, 2009.
BSG funds T-shirts, shuttles and movie tickets
At its second meeting of the year on Wednesday, the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) spoke with Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster and discussed T-shirt distribution over Homecoming Weekend.
Not out with the old for Wethli’s exhibition ‘New Work’
A. LeRoy Greason Professor of Art Mark Wethli may be on sabbatical, but he's still close to home. His exhibit, "New Work," featuring 25 paintings of colorful, geometric shapes on rugged tabletops, is the new solo feature at Icon Contemporary Art in Brunswick.
BSG votes down proposed changes to SAFC Blue Book at last meeting
At its final Wednesday meeting of the semester, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) voted down two proposed changes to the Student Affairs Finance Committee (SAFC) Blue Book. The first change would have increased regulation of student organizations that pay their members stipends, while the second would have adjusted fuel reimbursement rates for student vehicles.
BSG discusses Ivies, Colby incident with admins
At its Wednesday meeting, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) discussed both a recent incident at Colby and Ivies weekend in a question-and-answer session with members of the Dean's Office and Security, and also addressed funding issues with representatives from the Orient and Bowdoin Cable Network (BCN).
BSG addresses SAFC budget, funding issues
Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) worked through a number of proposals at its Wednesday meeting and learned that the Student Activities Funding Committee (SAFC) was in need of a bailout. BSG Treasurer Ugo Egbunike '09 announced the SAFC was short on money, and would seek supplementary funding from College Houses and class councils.
BSG discusses Ivies snacks, changes to CAB
At its Wednesday night meeting, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) debated plans for snack distribution during Ivies and a possible amendment to its constitution affecting the Campus Activities Board (CAB). The Facilities Committee proposed a funding request for food and beverages at Ivies, asking for $2,520 to sponsor a three-hour event on the main Quad.
BSG discusses Ivies, gender-neutral housing
At its Wednesday meeting, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) discussed safety concerns and suggestions to provide students with entertainment and refreshments during Ivies Weekend. BSG President Sophia Seifert '09 told the assembly that Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols would be present at next week's meeting.
BSG subsidizes movie tickets, brainstorms ResLife questions
Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) met Wednesday to vote on a funding request for subsidized movie tickets, which was approved, and to address budget and housing questions.
BSG considers spring speaker, discusses Credit/D/Fail policy
With a number of its members busy rehearsing for "The Vagina Monologues," a depleted Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) discussed a potential campus speaker, the College's Credit/D/Fail grading option, and subsidized movie tickets on Wednesday evening.
BSG talks over co-ed housing, sustainability
At an unusually long meeting Wednesday night, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) wrangled over the issues of co-ed housing, sustainability at the College, and a new reincarnation of the Health Center survey. Conversation over the prospect of co-ed housing commenced with a brief analysis of peer schools' policies on the issue. BSG representatives addressed the systems in place at institutions including Colby, Middlebury, Pomona, Carleton, Harvard, and Stanford.
BSG debates fine points of co-ed housing rules
Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) spent much of its Wednesday meeting discussing a Residential Life rule that prevents students of different genders from sharing bedrooms in College housing.
BSG debates budget handbook, approves transportation funds
At its Wednesday meeting, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) debated the content of a new handbook, full of advice to students about cost-cutting measures they can take amidst tough economic times.
Fitness center on track, but $3.6m short of funds
Despite a considerable shortage of raised funds for the new Fitness, Health and Wellness Center, College officials said they expect the center to open its doors next fall. According to Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer Katy Longley, as of September 30, the College still needs to raise more than $3.6 million for the $15.5 million project. Approximately $5.6 million has already been either given or pledged to fund the building. Most of the remaining difference between the project cost and raised funds?a little more than $6 million?will be paid for through debt financing.
IT secures Polar server
In response to a security breach last year, Bowdoin's Information Technology (IT) department has tightened access to the Polar server The server is used to host student and campus organization Web pages and other data.
After minor repairs, 10 Cleaveland St. 'safe'
Though there won't be any raging parties at 10 Cleaveland St. this semester, student residents and visiting parents need not worry that the apartments are unsafe. Director of Major Maintenance Programs Mike Veilleux said that the building is safe for occupation.
Despite high crude oil prices, heating costs remain stable
Despite the fact that the heating plant was turned on earlier than usual this year due to an unpredictable cold spell, Director of Finance & Campus Services Delwin Wilson said that since the College has "locked in 90 percent of our utility pricing, we're confident that we will either meet or be below our budget."
Ambassador Pickering '53 speaks on foreign policy
United States Ambassador Thomas Pickering, Class of 1953, presented a lecture entitled "Priorities for the Next President of the United States in Foreign and Security Policy," to a packed Kresge Auditorium on Tuesday.