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News

First Years

ResLife prepares to train new staff as campus returns to normal

This past year, student ResLife staff faced new responsibilities and challenges as their role on campus changed, from providing support for first years in a new and sometimes isolating environment to enforcing COVID-19 safety guidelines. Next year, both administrative and upper-class student staff on ResLife are considering how to prepare the rising sophomores new to staff, who have yet to experience a normal semester on campus, for the return to a different Bowdoin in the fall.

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News in Brief

Graffiti at Bates being investigated as possible hate crime; Bowdoin students write letter in solidarity with protestors

The Lewiston Police Department (LPD) has referred graffiti written in chalk on the campus of Bates College to the Maine attorney general, who is investigating the case as a possible hate crime. The Bates Leftist Coalition (BLC) shared pictures of the graffitied phrases, “Free Palestine,” “Stop Ethnic Cleansing,” “Israel is killing innocent people” and “[expletive] Zionist Israel.” According to the Associated Press, Gwen Lexow, Bates’ director of Title IX and civil rights compliance, wrote in an email to students that said she heard members of the Bates community “expressing deep concern about the impact of the language contained in the flyers and graffiti, particularly on Jewish members of our campus community.” Since the investigation was announced on Monday, members of the Bates community have responded to the news of the investigation.

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Coronavirus

Shift in off-campus study policy now allows more students to go abroad for the fall

Students who were set to study abroad in the fall of 2021 have had a tumultuous few weeks. Following the U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) decision to merge its travel advisories with those set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these students were notified during the first round of course registration that, if they were traveling to a country that the DOS had just categorized as Level 4, they were strongly encouraged to withdraw from their prospective study abroad status with Bowdoin and register for courses.

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Survey

Survey indicates strong levels of approval for faculty, COVID-19 response

As the College’s year of mostly virtual learning concludes, 73 percent of students approve or strongly approve of their spring 2021 classes, while only 17 percent disapprove or strongly disapprove of their classes. In a slight overall decrease from the fall 2020 semester, 77 percent of students feel the College is handling the COVID-19 crisis well or very well—slightly down from 81 percent of students approving of the College’s response to the pandemic in fall.

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COVID-19

Students finish honors projects amid pandemic delays

As a compressed and atypical academic year comes to an end, some graduating seniors are wrapping up their honors projects despite delays caused by limited access to laboratories and difficulty obtaining sources remotely. For seniors conducting scientific research, the pandemic’s biggest impact on their work was the closure of on-campus labs last summer.

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Paula Volent, nationally acclaimed chief investments officer, to leave Bowdoin after 21 years

On July 1, Paula Volent, Bowdoin’s chief investments officer, will be stepping down from her position after more than two decades of service to the College. Over the duration of her career in Brunswick, Volent oversaw the growth of Bowdoin’s endowment from $465 million to its current $2.4 billion valuation—growth which has fundamentally altered the College’s financial capabilities and enabled it to be one of 19 need-blind colleges nationwide in its admissions policies and meet full demonstrated financial need with zero loans.

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News in Brief

Nearly 300 community members attend Racial Equity Institute workshop sessions

On March 26, President Clayton Rose announced a series of anti-racism workshops, to be delivered by the Racial Equity Institute (REI), that ran earlier this month on April 15 and April 24. The workshops, designed to build a dialogue as well as generate awareness regarding racial discrepancies in American culture, were a success, according to Benje Douglas, associate vice president for Inclusion and Diversity.

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COVID-19

Fewer Bowdoin applicants granted Fulbright awards than expected

The College saw fewer acceptances for the Fulbright Student Program this year than is typical, despite a record number of applicants, many of whom advanced to the semi-finalist stage. Of the 62 applicants for the 2021-2022 program year, 39 were recommended to be semifinalists and eight students were selected for English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) programs, while five were selected for the study/research award—a 20 percent acceptance rate.

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Asian Students Alliance

ASA and AoCC co-host campuswide conversation on allyship

On Monday, the Asian Students Alliance (ASA) and the Athletes of Color Coalition (AoCC) hosted a campus-wide conversation, “How to be a Better Ally,” over Zoom. The event was split into two sections, with the first half designated as an “open mic for people to share their feelings on the continued violence against the AAPI community and police brutality against Black and brown people.” During the second half, participants were split into breakout groups to discuss their personal experiences on campus and how to make Bowdoin a more inclusive, supportive place.

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International Students

International students will be exempt from U.S. travel bans this fall

Federal officials announced late Monday that international students from Brazil, China, Iran and South Africa will join students from Europe in being exempt from the nation’s COVID-19 travel bans in the fall—a long-anticipated move that will clear a significant roadblock in the return of many international students who left for their home countries at the start of the pandemic.

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Coronavirus

Despite relaxation of state mask mandate, the College requires that masks stay on outdoors

On Thursday, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen addressed Governor Janet Mills’ decision to loosen the state’s mask mandate in an email to the College community. Despite new state guidelines that people do not need to wear masks outdoors when they are practicing social distancing, Ranen asked in his email that members of the community continue wearing masks on campus.

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Summer housing to predominantly return to normal, some restrictions still in place

On March 4, President Clayton Rose announced that the College will offer on-campus housing for students pursuing summer employment and research. Last summer, few students were offered on-campus housing due to COVID-19 restrictions. According to Director of Events and Summer Programs Tony Sprague, the guidelines for summer housing eligibility will be returning to normal—students who are employed for at least 20 hours a week on campus, pursuing a research fellowship on campus or completing a CXD-funded internship off campus or remotely will be eligible to live in campus housing.

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Faculty committee revisits time block schedule amidst faculty concerns, expected challenges next semester

Last amended at the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester to accommodate remote learning, faculty members are encouraging the administration to revisit the Spring 2021 time block schedule to alleviate unnecessary class conflicts, make the process of time block selection more equitable within departments and accommodate for larger on-campus student population in the fall.

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College to require vaccinations for fall 2021

Bowdoin will require students, faculty and staff, pending medical exceptions, to receive a COVID-19 vaccination before returning to campus for the fall 2021 semester, President Clayton Rose announced in an email sent to students, faculty and staff on Friday morning.

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Asian Heritage Month

API Heritage Month begins with remembrance

May is Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Heritage Month, and the Asian Students Alliance (ASA) is hosting a variety of events over the next month and a half to recognize and celebrate students’ heritage. This year, given the recent spike in anti-Asian hate crimes and sentiment in the United States, the month takes on increased importance for many.

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Coronavirus

Moulton Union reopens following COVID-19 cases

Yesterday, Moulton Union re-opened for lunch for the first time since closing last week after six positive COVID-19 cases emerged among the dining hall’s staff beginning April 6. After the initial case, the College began administering rapid antigen tests to Moulton employees, which led to the identification of four more positive cases.

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EOS

eARTh exhibition blends the line between science and art

Ana Gunther ’23 and Sawyer Gouldman ’23 have been collaborating with Bridget Spaeth, the academic department coordinator for the Earth and Oceanographic Science (EOS) Department, to highlight the “art” in “Earth” with their upcoming exhibition, “eARTh,” which will open in the Roux Center for the Environment on May 17.

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Events

Senator Susan Collins addresses political polarization and “State of Our Democracy” in discussion

On Tuesday evening, students and community members gathered on Zoom for the fifth discussion in the College’s “After the Insurrection: Conversations on Democracy” series. The event, moderated by President Clayton Rose, featured U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) as she discussed “The State of Our Democracy and Political System.” In her introductory remarks, Collins highlighted four main causes of political polarization in the United States: the role of social media, fragmentation of news, residential sorting and the expectation of political purity.

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News in Brief

Student tests positive for COVID-19 after reporting symptoms to Health Services

A student reported symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and subsequently received a positive result from Health Services’ rapid PCR testing instrument, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced in an email to the community on Monday. The student is being moved to isolation housing, and through contact tracing, the College determined that no additional students are required to quarantine.

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Anti-Racism

Community gathers for vigil recognizing anti-API racism and violence

On Monday evening, as the sun began to dip below the horizon, hundreds of students, faculty and staff gathered on the quad in front of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. On the Museum steps stood leaders of the Asian Students Alliance (ASA), other students who identify as Asian and Pacific Islander (API), faculty and staff affiliated with the Office of Inclusion and Diversity and individuals and groups of allies, including the Native American Student Association (NASA) and the Black Student Union (BSU).

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Coronavirus

Over 900 Bowdoin students register for vaccine appointments through College program

On Sunday at 5 p.m., registration opened on CampusGroups for students to receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at Mid Coast Hospital’s clinic at the Brunswick Recreation Center beginning Wednesday. Despite website glitches and slowdowns, according to COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen, over 900 students were registered for an appointment within half an hour.

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Coronavirus

Reflecting on COVID-19 two months into the semester

Two months into a spring semester like no other and with over 1,000 students on campus Bowdoin has managed to keep its positive COVID-19 case numbers relatively low. Despite a recent uptick in cases, it has also managed to stay in the least restrictive campus status level—”yellow”—since leaving “Hibearnation” and three days of “orange” in mid-February.

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Coronavirus

Moulton Union temporarily closed after three employees test positive for COVID-19

Moulton Union will be closed until breakfast tomorrow after three employees tested positive for COVID-19 this week, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen wrote in an email to the community on Thursday. Ranen wrote that the College closed the dining hall as a “precautionary measure.” Moulton dining employees will come to campus to receive a rapid antigen and PCR test every day, but they will leave campus immediately after they complete both tests.

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Students relocated after fire at Brunswick Inn; none injured

Editor’s note 04/05/2021 at 3:31 p.m.: This article has been updated to incorporate additional details about the events surrounding the fire.  Jacob Trachtenberg ’24 was eating lunch early in the afternoon of Monday, March 29, at the Brunswick Inn, where he and a handful of other first-year students are living this semester, when a fire broke out upstairs.

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News in Brief

College to facilitate access to Pfizer vaccines for students living in Maine

Editor’s Note on Friday, April 2, at 12:02 p.m.: This article has been updated to reflect additional information released to the student body about the College’s vaccination partnership with Mid Coast Hospital.  The College will work with Mid Coast Hospital to provide Pfizer vaccinations to all Bowdoin students after vaccine eligibility is extended to all Maine residents over the age of 16 on April 7, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced in an email to students on Thursday afternoon.

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Black Lives Matter

Author Emily Bazelon discusses role of prosecutors and voting in combating mass incarceration

On Tuesday evening, journalist and bestselling author Emily Bazelon spoke to the Bowdoin community about the role of prosecutors in contributing to systemic mass incarceration. Bazelon is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine, the Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law at Yale Law School and co-host of the Slate Political Gabfest podcast.

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Alumni

Lex Horwitz ’19 leads virtual programming series with athletic community

In a three-part virtual programming series, Lex Horwitz ’19, a queer, non-binary transmasculine LGBTQ+ educator and activist, and a former member of the Bowdoin men’s squash team, has returned to Bowdoin to share their knowledge and experiences with the Bowdoin athletic community, providing insight into how to cultivate a more inclusive and supportive environment for all.

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College Houses

College set to meet increased demand for housing next year

More students are expected to live on campus next semester than in past years, primarily due to returns from personal leaves of absence, gap years and decreased participation in study abroad. Despite the projected increase in the on-campus student population, the College is positioned to meet increased demand for housing because of the recent openings of Harpswell and Park Row Apartments.

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Academic

Brown professor Corey Brettschneider addresses the Constitution and the presidency in virtual visit

On Monday night, in collaboration with the Phi Beta Kappa visiting scholars program, 2020-21 Carl F. Cranor Visiting Scholar Professor Corey Brettschneider came to Bowdoin for a virtual visit and lecture on his book “The Oath and the Office: A Guide to the Constitution for Future Presidents.” Brettschneider, a professor of political science at Brown University and a visiting professor of law at Fordham Law School, spoke to members of the Bowdoin community about the constitutional powers and limits designated to the President of the United States.

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Study Abroad

Office of Off-Campus Study reports a 38 percent decrease in applications for the 2021-2022 academic year

After spending much of the past year away from campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students are reconsidering their plans to study off campus during the 2021-22 academic year. The Office of Off-Campus Study received fewer applications for study away this year than in previous years, with a majority of applications being for the spring semester rather than for the fall.

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Climate Change

Sunrise Bowdoin hosts climate justice panel

On Wednesday, Sunrise Bowdoin hosted “Envisioning Climate Justice: A Progressive Policy Panel.” The event featured Hannah Vogel, staffer for Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey; Arjun Krishnaswami from the National Resources Defense Council and 2020 Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins.

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Tenure

College faculty votes to update tenure review guidelines

On Tuesday, faculty voted in favor of approving a motion to revise teaching criteria for tenure and promotion. Starting in the 2022-23 academic year, candidates for tenure and promotion will be evaluated on the basis of whether they “demonstrate inclusive excellence in teaching,” replacing the current “demonstrate excellence in teaching.” “This change is not just about simply using the right terminology, but really using something action-based,” Stanley F.

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Coronavirus

Many Bowdoin students left behind by age-based vaccine rollout

Despite Maine’s relatively efficient rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine—the state is currently ranked tenth nationally in percentage of the population that has been fully vaccinated—the state’s transition to an age-based distribution plan has placed many Bowdoin students at the end of the line, resulting in a sense of uncertainty, disappointment and a scramble to find alternate solutions.

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BOC

McKeen Center and BOC plan for return of Orientation trips

The College expects to resume Orientation trips and activities for the Class of 2025 this upcoming fall, President Rose announced in an email to the Bowdoin community on March 4. He also wrote that similar class-building activities may be offered to the Class of 2024, which did not have Bowdoin’s typical orientation programming this past fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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News in Brief

College employee tests positive for COVID-19

In an email to the community sent on Saturday afternoon, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator announced that an employee of the College tested positive for COVID-19 in Friday’s on-campus testing. The employee is isolating at home. One other employee was identified as a close contact through contact tracing and is now quarantined at home.

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BSG

BSG brings fire pits to campus to encourage outdoor socializing

With indoor gatherings limited by low occupancy limits in private residential common rooms, the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) recently partnered with Facilities to purchase outdoor fire pits as a means to give students another option to safely socialize—the most recent initiative to enhance the student social experience in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Alumni

Suzanne Nossel brings conversation on free speech and misinformation to College’s democracy series

Suzanne Nossel, free speech advocate and Chief Executive Officer of PEN America, a nationwide organization that strives to protect free expression, virtually visited Bowdoin on Monday evening to participate in the College’s “After the Insurrection: Conversations on Democracy” series that explores the current state and future of the country’s democracy.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 comparison: Bowdoin sees fewest cases among NESCAC peers

With the week of February 21 coming to a close, all 11 NESCAC schools have now welcomed students back to their campuses for the start of the spring semester. While Colby brought students back to start their January term on January 8, most NESCAC schools made significant adjustments to their academic calendar in order to delay the start of their spring semester until early or mid February.

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BSG

BSG plans to release guidelines for student safety on campus

Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) has announced it is releasing its Student-Driven Behavioral Expectations—a document meant to help clarify how students can safely enjoy the spring semester. “We’ve already signed a community agreement form, and the purpose of this is to help explain how to live student life,” said BSG President Marcus Williams ’21 in a Zoom interview with the Orient.

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