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News

Orient survey finds most faculty approve of College’s fall 2020 plans

A survey conducted by the Orient and sent to all Bowdoin faculty members shows that most approve of the College’s plan to bring some, but not all, students back to campus. Of the 65 faculty members who participated in the survey, 86 percent approved or strongly approved of the plan, three percent disapproved or strongly disapproved and another 11 percent neither approved nor disapproved.

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fall 2020

College discusses academic changes during Town Hall

In the midst of Bowdoin’s preparation for the fall 2020 semester, Jennifer Scanlon, dean for academic affairs, hosted a Zoom Town Hall for students and their families on Thursday. Michael Cato, chief information officer, along with the members of the Continuity in Teaching and Learning Group, joined Scanlon in answering student questions and discussing how Bowdoin will execute its first-ever entirely remote semester.

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International Students

International student Town Hall: confusion and assurance over ICE guidance and possible next steps

In a Zoom Town Hall for international students hosted Thursday morning, College administrators answered questions from international students adversely impacted by the new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) guidance which would deny current student visa holders legal presence in the United States if their classes are held entirely online.

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Douglas appointed associate vice president for inclusion and diversity

Benje Douglas, director of Title IX and compliance, took on an expanded role on July 1 as the associate vice president for inclusion and diversity as well as the director of Title IX. Michael Reed, senior vice president for inclusion and diversity, and Janet Lohmann, dean of student affairs, announced Douglas’ new role in an email to the College community on June 26.

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College announces changes to time block schedule and teaching as transition to remote learning continues

Since the College announced that nearly all courses will be online for the Fall 2020 semester, faculty and students have been approaching academics at Bowdoin in new ways. As students anticipate browsing course offerings, which will be released on Classfinder today, professors have been preparing for the fall by rethinking course material and modes of teaching.

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Black Lives Matter

Community responds to death of George Floyd

As Minneapolis erupted into protest in response to George Floyd’s killing in police custody, communities across the nation followed suit, with large-scale anti-racist demonstrations occurring in more than 75 cities. As Bowdoin students watched the protests unfold on their screens and in their streets, with some choosing to join in, sign petitions, make donations and spread awareness on social media, the College formulated its own response.

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Coronavirus

Bowdoin Spring Priorities raises over $1.27 million since March 12 launch

Bowdoin Spring Priorities—the College’s fundraising effort to address financial needs that have emerged due to the coronavirus (COVID-19)—has brought in hundreds of donations since its launch on March 12. The College designated four separate funds within Bowdoin Spring Priorities: the COVID-19 Response Fund, the Class of 2020 Commencement Fund, the Financial Aid Fund and the Greatest Need—the Unrestricted Alumni Fund (Alumni Fund).

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Coronavirus

College toughens leave of absence policy, anticipating possible spike in requests from students

Janet Lohmann, dean for student affairs, announced updates to the College’s “Personal Leave of Absence” policy on May 21 in an email addressed to all returning students. The changes reflected the College’s concern that a possible remote or semi-remote fall semester would dramatically increase requests for personal leaves of absences, and it aimed to address the logistical issues this rise would present.

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Approval ratings

Clear majority of students say they will not enroll in a remote fall semester, Orient survey shows

Over 70 percent of non-senior students said they will not enroll in a remote fall semester, according to the Orient’s biannual approval rating survey. However, students overwhelmingly support Bowdoin’s handling of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Last week, the Orient sent out the survey—the Bowdoin Orient Student Survey, which asks for student opinions about various campus institutions.

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Financial Aid

Student aid office to waive summer work expectation

The Bowdoin Office of Student Aid has announced that it will waive the summer work expectation component of student financial aid packages as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In an email sent to all students who receive financial aid, Micheal Bartini, director of financial aid, cited an effort to relieve financial pressure in what he called a time with a “unique combination of stresses related to COVID-19.” Bartini clarified that the work expectation would be replaced with an additional grant, and that this change was only applicable to the 2020-2021 academic year.

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Coronavirus

As College decides what to do with CARES funds, Rose tells students, ‘Don’t wait’

The College has yet to accept the $1.2 million allocated to it through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. According to President Clayton Rose, who commented on the matter during Wednesday’s Town Hall, the College has not accepted the funds because “there are some possible conditions or terms around taking the money, which could be problematic.” According to Rose, this provision could potentially lead to the names of students who accept CARES Act aid to be disclosed to any federal agency under the Freedom of Information Act.

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Health Center continues supporting students, opens virtual consultations

Since the College transitioned to remote learning due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Bowdoin Health Services has continued to provide free medical services to students both on and off-campus. While the limited number of students on campus can still schedule in-person visits, those who are living off-campus can now reach out to the Health Center to request prescription refills and schedule remote consultations through Microsoft Teams.

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Administration

Responding to College’s financial woes, Rose cuts his pay by over 20 percent

President Clayton Rose has voluntarily reduced his salary “well in excess of 20 percent,” as of April 1. The move, announced in the April 29 virtual town hall with students and subsequent email to the College community on April 30, comes in the face of financial losses the College has incurred as a consequence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and switch to remote learning.

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Coronavirus

Student organizers end mutual aid fund after pushback from College

Members of the Bowdoin Labor Alliance (BLA) shut down their online mutual aid fund on Tuesday after College administrators notified them that the effort violated College policies that prohibit independent student fundraising. Before closing on Tuesday, the fund had raised and distributed over $15,000 to Bowdoin students, staff and other community members struggling with the economic fallout of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis since April 1.

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Coronavirus

College incurs $6.8 million in virus-related costs, receives $1.12 million in federal aid

As of March 30, Bowdoin has lost $6.8 million due to expenses related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the transition to remote learning, according to senior administrators. Most of the sum—$6.2 million—comes from room and board refunds issued to students, and the remaining $600,000 of expenses came from the costs associated with conducting classes online and moving students out of campus housing.

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Coronavirus

Bowdoin IT expands Zoom licenses to students, increases security

Due to the Bowdoin community’s increased use of the video conference platform, Zoom, for virtual classes and meetings, Information Technology (IT) acquired Zoom licenses for all students, faculty and staff. These licenses were obtained, in part, because of the “Zoombombing” that occurred April 1 and 2, during which unknown individuals disrupted a virtual class and a meeting.

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News in Brief

OneDay postponed, administration says not the time to “focus on Bowdoin”

Bowdoin OneDay, the College’s largest annual fundraising event for the Alumni Fund, has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This year’s event had been scheduled to take place on April 7. Scott Meiklejohn, senior vice president for development and alumni relations, explained that the Alumni Fund is working to reschedule the celebration.

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News in Brief

IRB requests any research requiring in-person interaction stop immediately

The Bowdoin Institutional Review Board (IRB) announced last week that any research requiring in-person interaction with subjects, previously approved or exempted, should stop immediately.  The announcement applies to faculty, staff and student research.   The decision was made by the IRB in consultation with the Senior Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs Elizabeth McCormack due to concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

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Bowdoin Student Government

SAFC reopens budget requests for the remainder of the spring semester

Student organizations can once again request funds for club activities despite the College’s move to remote learning, the Student Activities Funding Committee (SAFC) announced on Tuesday in an email to club leaders. Chair of the Treasury for Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) Charlotte Hall ’20 oversees the SAFC, which is responsible for allocating funds to student groups and organizations throughout the year.

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News in Brief

Class of 2020 commencement tentatively scheduled for May 2021

President Clayton Rose announced preliminary plans to reschedule commencement exercises in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in an email to the Class of 2020 on Thursday morning. Rose stated that, in addition to a virtual gathering on May 23, current seniors will be invited back to the College in May 2021 to walk across the steps of the Walker Art Building.

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College to host first responders and emergency personnel in on-campus housing

Bowdoin will open 12 apartment units for first responders—fire and emergency services personnel who come into contact with individuals infected by the coronavirus (COVID-19)—and 75 housing units for Mid Coast Hospital employees. After receiving requests three weeks ago from Mid Coast Hospital Parkview Campus and the Town of Brunswick for housing units with an en suite bathroom and kitchen access, the College prepared units in Stowe Inn, 52 Harpswell, Brunswick, Federal Street, Mayflower and Pine Street Apartments, each unit designated to house only one individual to comply with social distancing recommendations.

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Coronavirus

Fall semester return to be decided by June, Rose says

President Clayton Rose informed students that the College may not be able to reopen the campus to “everyone” for the fall semester in an email sent on Thursday. “We do not know if it will be possible to bring everyone back to campus for the fall semester, but I want us to carefully examine if it can be done (and if so, how) in a manner that accounts for the presence of the virus and would be safe for our community,” Rose wrote.

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Coronavirus

All hands on deck as College donates gloves, masks

As the last students vacated campus on March 18, Laboratory Instructor in Chemistry Ren Bernier was scouring an empty Druckenmiller Hall for gloves, face shields and cotton swabs. The personal protective equipment (PPE) that Bernier and other instructors, technicians and professors gathered from labs across campus will be donated to MaineHealth, a Portland-based medical supplier, to augment depleted supplies of critical protective equipment in hospitals throughout Maine.

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Brunswick

Brunswick orders all nonessential businesses to close

The Town of Brunswick declared a civil state of emergency Monday night in response to the growing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, ordering all businesses to close except those included in the 29 types of sanctioned “essential businesses.” The order is in effect for seven days, after which it is expected to be renewed.

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Coronavirus

Students stay in Brunswick, opt for off-campus housing for remainder of semester

Over the past few weeks, a small group of students has returned to Brunswick to live in off-campus housing and complete the semester of remote learning close to campus. Sarisha Kurup ’21, who is now living on Atwood Street, created a Facebook group for these students and titled it “Study Abroad Brunswick.” In an introductory post, she wrote, “some of us were thinking of establishing a little community in Brunswick.

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Coronavirus

College braces for “significant economic impact” of coronavirus crisis

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to roil global financial markets, colleges and universities around the United States are entering uncharted economic waters. In Brunswick, Bowdoin is battening down the hatches. “It is really too soon to know how severe the impact will be or how this compares with economic challenges of the past, but there is no question that this is a very difficult environment for investments,” wrote Matt Orlando, the senior vice president for finance and administration and treasurer of the College, in an email to the Orient.

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Coronavirus

Despite College’s assurances, students return to campus from Italy

Editor’s Note, 3/7/20, 3:02 p.m.: The college sent out a statement at 1:36 p.m. today regarding the contents of this article. The Orient has since published a story addressing those updates. Despite assurances from the college that students studying in Italy would not immediately return to campus due to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) precautions, several students who were studying in Italy returned to campus earlier this week.

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Dance

Dance Marathon raises record sum for Portland children’s hospital

Last Friday, Bowdoin College Dance Marathon hosted its third annual Dance Marathon to raise money for Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland. This year’s Dance Marathon had more students registered than ever before and raised a record amount of money, an increase the leaders of the event attributed to improved collaboration with athletic teams and College Houses.

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Outing Club and SWAG Center partner to create LGBTQ+ ski trip

For many Bowdoin students, outdoor trips are opportunities to relax and unwind off campus. When it comes to trips specifically for LGBTQ+ students, this sense of comfort takes on a new meaning. Today, 15 LGBTQ+ Bowdoin students are skiing with Perry Cohen, founder and executive director of the Venture Out Project, on a trip created in partnership with the Bowdoin Outing Club (BOC) and the Sexuality, Women and Gender Center (SWAG).

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Construction

Architect reveals plans for Center for Arctic Studies and Mills Hall

Dudley Coe is coming down, along with dozens of pine trees. In its place, HGA—a Minneapolis-based architecture firm—envisions new buildings inspired by arctic landscapes and constructed with sustainable design principles. In presentations on Tuesday and Wednesday, project architect Nat Madson of HGA brought Barry Mills Hall and the new Center for Arctic Studies (CAS) to life, explaining in vivid detail the plans for the two projects.

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Amy Walter addresses community about election

Political journalist Amy Walter joined students, faculty and members of the Brunswick community in Morrell Lounge to discuss the upcoming presidential election in her lecture titled, “The 2020 Election with Amy Walter—The Fundamentals of What You Need to Know.” Tuesday’s talk was sponsored by the Tom Cassidy Lecture Fund, Bowdoin Public Service, Bowdoin Student Government, the Sexuality, Women and Gender Center (SWAG) and Student Activities.

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Election

Maine issue: the Orient’s guide to the 2020 ballot measure

Question 1: Should Maine allow religious and philosophical exemptions to requiring vaccinations for students? Question 1—the only question on the Maine ballot next week—will ask voters whether they want to keep or repeal a law passed last year that would eliminate “religious and philosophical exemptions” to vaccination requirements.

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Bowdoin Student Government

BSG introduces mental health support proposal

Ryan Britt ’22, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) Chair of Student Affairs, introduced a motion to request increased support for mental health and counseling services on campus at Wednesday’s BSG assembly meeting. The motion proposes an increase in hired counselors, additional funding for mental health services and programs and a new college body to look specifically into issues of mental health and wellness.

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Anthony Jack demands more of higher education

Anthony Jack, assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, nearly broke into song as he spoke in front of a packed audience in Kresge Auditorium on Wednesday. With three fingers pressed against his palm and his pointer extended, he painted the air with his outstretched arm while addressing the crowd.

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Administration

The president in the living room: Rose answers student questions

President Clayton Rose joined a small group of students in the living room of Reed House for an intimate question-and-answer session on Thursday evening. During nearly two hours of discussion, students pressed Rose on an array of hot-button campus issues, ranging from James “Jes” Staley’s ’79 P’11 status on the Board of Trustees to campus mental health services and the fight for a living wage for Bowdoin’s housekeeping staff.

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