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News

BSG focuses on the semester ahead

On Wednesday, the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) conducted its first meeting via Zoom. The meeting discussed the goals of various committees for the remainder of the academic year. BSG President Ryan Britt ’22 opened the meeting by echoing the sentiments of many Bowdoin students during the return to a largely remote campus.

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News in Brief

Division of Student Affairs announces two new staff appointments

In an email to the College community on Thursday, Senior Vice President and Dean for Student Affairs Janet Lohmann announced two new staff appointments in the Division of Student Affairs. Katie Toro-Ferrari will serve as Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Director of Student Life, having previously held titles of Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Assistant to the Dean for Student Affairs.

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COVID-19

Some students reprimanded for low masking compliance in dorms

COVID-19 Resource Coordinator and Director of Residential and Student Life Mike Ranen notified all first-year students and students from select upperclassmen housing on campus Tuesday that a recent lack of adherence to indoor masking policies in dorm common spaces had elicited numerous complaints from housekeeping staff and had even caused some housekeepers to request a change to their building assignments.

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Mold

Mold in Helm forces students to relocate

Editor’s note 01/28/2022 at 11:08 a.m. EDT: A previous version of this article mistakenly reported that the mold related repairs would force Helmreich House relocation for the rest of the semester. This article has been updated to reflect that the repairs may last through the semester, but an official end date has not yet been issued.

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Dining halls provide needle disposals

Moulton and Thorne Halls will now provide containers for proper needle disposal, according to an email sent by Interim Director of Health Services Sandra Hayes on December 1. Hayes wrote that the College has seen an increase in improper disposal of needles and medical sharps on campus in the past month, especially in the dish rooms in the dining halls.

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COVID-19

College to require booster shot

In an email to the campus community Wednesday, President Clayton Rose announced that the College will require all eligible students, staff and faculty to receive COVID-19 booster shots in order to return to campus for the spring semester.

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Bowdoin utilizes federal pandemic funding

Despite email and text notifications about the possibility of receiving a $250 to $1,000 grant made possible by the American Rescue Plan (ARP), only 53 percent of eligible students requested funding. The institutional funding that allowed the College to offer these grants came as a part of multiple packages received from the federal government, which have decreased the financial toll the pandemic has taken on the College.

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Kyra Green departs after five years

On December 15, Kyra Green will be stepping down as the interim director of the Center for Multicultural Life (CML) to take on a new role as the Assistant Director of Equity and Inclusion for the Graduate Arts and Sciences at Georgetown University.

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Faculty

Faculty Meeting focuses on student support

On December 6, the faculty had its final meeting of the semester where, among other matters, they discussed how to empathetically hold students to high standards. The meeting was facilitated by Associate Professor of English Emma Maggie Solberg, a member of the Governance and Faculty Affairs Committee.

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News in Brief

BSG works on mental health

On Wednesday evening, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) held its final meeting of the semester where members reflected on their accomplishments and discussed goals for the spring. BSG is going to continue its work confronting mental health in the coming months in an attempt to address the need for student resources on campus.

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International Students

Omicron variant complicates international students’ travel plans

As fall semester classes come to a close, the development of the Omicron COVID-19 variant and accompanying potential of international border closure is complicating international students’ travel plans of going home for winter break. Depending on their home countries’ ever-shifting COVID-19 restrictions and regulations, students have been forced to make difficult travel decisions for winter break.

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News in Brief

Mike Ranen moving to academic affairs position

In an email to faculty, Senior Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs Jennifer Scanlon announced that COVID-19 Resource Coordinator and Director of Residential and Student Life Mike Ranen will be transitioning into the newly-established role of associate dean for academic administration sometime in the spring semester.

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Young alumni donations impacted by COVID-19

Donations to the Alumni Fund are essential to the financial health of the College, making up six percent of Bowdoin’s operating budget annually. The generosity of Bowdoin alumni has played an integral role in allowing the College to expand its financial aid policies  to their current state, launch new construction projects and support countless internal operations.

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USA Paralympic cyclist Clara Brown comes to Bowdoin

Paralympic cyclist Clara Brown visited campus last night to talk about her experience as a disabled athlete, kicking off a week of programming from the Student Accessibility Office in honor of Disabled Persons Day. At the start of the talk, Brown showed a short film titled “Ability,” by filmmakers Anna Wilder Burns and Jordyn Romero.

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COVID-19

College remains in Green status post-break

Despite detecting 11 new active cases of COVID-19 following Thanksgiving break, the College remains in status level Green. Although COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen had previously reported that the College hoped to loosen mask restrictions on Wednesday, given the current number of cases, the indoor mask restriction will remain in place until at least today, until further notice.

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Coles Tower fire alarm stumps administration, leaves students stranded

At 11:26 p.m. on November 13, smoke in Coles Tower triggered a fire alarm, leading to an evacuation of the building and a call to the Brunswick Fire Department (BFD). “I was walking toward Thorne … with some friends, and we could smell smoke and we thought it was a campfire, but it was raining [outside] so we were confused,” Hayden Weatherall ’22 said.

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Activism

Portland City Councillor visits Bowdoin

On Tuesday evening, the Center for Multicultural Life and the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) partnered to bring Portland City Councillor and community organizer Victoria Pelletier to Bowdoin. The event featured a conversation and Q&A with Pelletier led by Interim Director of the Center for Multicultural Life Kyra Green.

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Frank J. Wood bridge vehicle restrictions tighten

On Tuesday, November 23, the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) banned all commercial vehicles from crossing the Frank J. Wood Bridge. This follows an October 25 MDOT announcement banning school buses and fire trucks from crossing the bridge and lowering its weight limit to 10 tons from 25.

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Remembering Finnegan Woodruff, Class of 2021

Finnegan Woodruff ’21 was a Renaissance man: a spirited fiddle player, a scrupulous tailor and an ambitious whitewater kayaker. Finn passed away on November 16, a month from his 23rd birthday, doing what he loved—paddling on the White Salmon River in White Salmon, Wash.

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Deer examines violence against Native people

On Thursday evening, the Native American Student Association (NASA) and the Office of Gender Violence Prevention and Education (OGVPE) welcomed Native American lawyer and professor Sarah Deer to speak about historical violence against Indigenous people, specifically emphasizing violence prevention for Native women.

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News in Brief

Campus Sustainability Honored

Last week, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) recognized Bowdoin in the organization’s annual Sustainable Campus Index. The College received a gold Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) rating. As established by the Sustainable Campus index, STARS is a robust and widely-used system by higher education institutions.

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lecture

Teju Cole discusses recent works

On Monday evening, author and photographer Teju Cole visited the College to deliver the Kenneth V. Santagata Memorial Lecture, titled “A View of A View.” Cole walked the audience through his work, ranging from his tenure as a photography critic for the New York Times to his most recent book, “Black Paper: Writing in A Dark Time.” His main interest lies in exploring the relationship between words and photographs, a topic he currently teaches at Harvard University.

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Social Justice Institute hosts workshop on class and privilege

On Monday, the Social Justice Leadership Institute held a workshop titled Class, Classism and Privilege. The workshop was the second of eight sessions designed to address various topics related to identity and social justice. The event began with two informative videos that provided context on classism in the U.S.

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College switches employee health insurance

On January 1, 2022, the College will switch health insurance providers for College employees from Anthem to Cigna. The College has been with Anthem since 2003. Working in collaboration with outside consultants, the administration sent out a request for a proposal (RFP) this past Spring 2021, comparing plans to see which would be best for the College.

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Thanksgiving break extended

In an email to the student body on Thursday, President Clayton Rose announced that classes will be canceled the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving break, extending the break to a full week. Thanksgiving break will now start on Friday, November 19, and classes will resume on Monday, November 29.

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Math Department

Cathy O’Neil Visits Bowdoin

The Bowdoin Department of Mathematics welcomed Cathy O’Neil to campus for the annual Cecil and Marion Holmes Lecture on Monday. An accomplished author and Ph.D. graduate, O’Neil had an extensive career in finance and academia before founding O’Neil Risk Consulting & Algorithmic Auditing (ORCAA), an algorithmic auditing company.

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College holds first Fall Fest

Last Friday, campus was home to its first Fall Fest, an afternoon-long event composed of live music from student bands, food trucks, a bouncy obstacle course and baby animals in a makeshift barn. Despite the festival’s ambitious scope, the College began to plan the event only a few weeks ago, according to Senior Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs Janet Lohmann.

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Remembering Theo Danzig, Class of 2022

From his work with Hillel to the Hawthorne-Longfellow library to frisbee and the Bowdoin Outing Club (BOC), Theo Danzig ’22 touched countless lives in his more than three years as a Bowdoin student. Theo’s unparalleled intellect, sarcastic sense of humor and devotion to his loved ones are fondly remembered by his friends, professors and teammates alike.

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News in Brief

Staley ’79 resigns from Bowdoin Board of Trustees

James “Jes” Staley ’79 P’11, the former CEO of Barclays, stepped down from the Bowdoin Board of Trustees on Monday, according to a statement from Director of Communications Scott Hood. The statement followed an announcement earlier in the day that Staley would resign from his position as Chief Executive of Barclays.

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News in Brief

BSG meeting addresses mental health

On Wednesday, mental health took center stage when the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) convened to discuss two proposals. The assembly first considered a proposal endorsing the creation of a Mental Health board jointly administered by the Administration and BSG.

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Frank J. Wood Bridge weight limit lowered

Following a September safety inspection, the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced last week that the single-vehicle weight limit for the Frank J. Wood Bridge traversing the Androscoggin between Brunswick and Topsham had to be lowered from 25 tons to 10.

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Mental Health

Peer Health hosts workshop to help combat imposter syndrome

On Wednesday, October 27, Peer Health hosted an Imposter Syndrome panel and workshop to encourage discussion among students and provide insight into how to find help regarding the issue. An isolating feeling—but not an isolated event—“imposter syndrome” describes the feeling of not belonging in a group of peers, whether socially or academically.

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Brunswick

Voter guide to 2021 Maine referendum election

The Maine Referendum Election will be held next Tuesday, November 2. There are three statewide questions on the ballot, as well as local elections for Town Council and School Board. Bowdoin Votes will be running shuttles to the polls—located at Brunswick Junior High School—every 15 minutes from 7 a.m.

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Board of Trustees

Students host teach-in targeting Jes Staley

Last Saturday, during Family Weekend, members of the Bowdoin Labor Alliance (BLA) and other student activists hosted a teach-in on the Main Quad to educate students and their families about the College’s Board of Trustees. Student activists centered their grievances around James “Jes” Staley ’79 P’11—who has come under fire for his relationship with the late sex offender and financier Jeffrey Epstein as well as his actions as CEO of Barclays—and circulated an online petition calling for Staley’s removal from the Board.

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Running

Mirna Valerio spends Thursday on campus

Ultra-marathoner Mirna Valerio gave a talk last night titled “A Beautiful Work in Progress” about her journey as a Black, plus-sized endurance runner. It was her final appearance in an action-packed day of programming. From a morning talk about DEI work, to meals with students followed by a guided trail run, Valerio generously spent the large part of Thursday with the Bowdoin community.

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News in Brief

College eases campus masking requirements

Masks will no longer be required in student residence halls, administrative or academic buildings, athletic facilities and Smith Union, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced in an email to the campus community today. Additionally, dining halls will reopen for faculty and staff, effective immediately.

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News in Brief

HHMI invests $2 billion in DEI work for STEM

On October 14, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), chaired by President Clayton Rose, announced its long-term plan to increase racial, ethnic and gender diversity in science. The institute committed to investing $2 billion over the next decade in pursuit of ten goals, all of which are designed to significantly promote equity and inclusion in academic, research and professional environments.

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News in Brief

College shifts back to Green

The College saw a small number of new COVID-19 cases as students and staff returned to campus after fall break. Two students and one staff member tested positive for the virus on October 14, followed by two more positive cases among staff members on October 17 and 18.

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Andrew Lardie leaves McKeen Center

After eight years as the Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good’s Associate Director for Service and Leadership, Andrew Lardie has departed the College to take on a role at the Brunswick School District. Since coming to Bowdoin in 2013, Lardie has worked on numerous programs at the McKeen Center, from Alternative Break Trips to his passion project, Bowdoin Votes.

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Writer Nina Maclaughlin visits Bowdoin

On Thursday, Senior Lecturer in Classics Michael Nerdahl hosted a talk with writer Nina MacLaughlin at Searles Hall. In the auditorium, MacLaughlin discussed the topic of “Sex, Violence and Change” in Greek mythology. At the center of the talk was MacLaughlin’s acclaimed 2019 book Wake, Siren, which reimagines and reinterprets Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

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Franco previews new book in inaugural lecture

“[Liberalism’s] weak spot has always been the kind of human being it promoted: one that is preoccupied with comfortable self-preservation, driven by calculation of self-interest, rather than by imagination and lofty goals,” Barry N. Wish Professor of Government Paul Franco said early in the inaugural lecture for his new, endowed position.

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Family Weekend to return with outdoor events

This weekend, the College will host the first in-person Family Weekend since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, albeit with modified policies to mitigate potential spread of the virus. Visiting family members must provide proof of vaccination upon their arrival to campus, and, where possible, events have been moved outside.

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BOC

BOC hires new assistant director

To help with the increase in programming and demand this semester, the Bowdoin Outing Club (BOC) recently hired Eric Giuang ’18 as an assistant director. The position had been vacant since the summer of 2020, and the BOC began its official search for a new assistant director at the beginning of this fall semester.

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News in Brief

College remains in yellow status

In an email to the Bowdoin community on Thursday, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator, Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Residential and Student Life Mike Ranen announced that one student tested positive from over 2,000 PCR tests administered Tuesday and Wednesday.

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News in Brief

College shifts to Yellow following an increase in COVID-19 cases before fall break

In an email to the campus community on Thursday, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced that the College would be moving back to Yellow status that evening following an uptick in cases after Homecoming weekend. This change came on the heels of an email sent Tuesday in which Ranen announced that the College would transition back to Yellow beginning Monday, October 11 after fall break.

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Endowment

College announces record-setting endowment growth

This week, the College released its annual endowment report for the 2020-21 fiscal year that ended on June 30, reporting a return of 57.4 percent. The endowment is currently worth $2.72 billion, its highest-ever valuation. “Historically, the average return to an endowment is in the low teens…to high single digits over the long term,” President of the College Clayton Rose said.

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News in Brief

College to hold influenza vaccine clinic

On Monday and Tuesday, Health Services will hold an influenza vaccine clinic. Students will be given the shot after their usual PCR COVID-19 test at Farley Field House. Since all students are required to get the shot this year, Health Services has ordered more vaccines than they do during a typical year.

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Alumni

Bowdoin celebrates 50 years of women on campus

On September 24 and 25, the Office of Development and Alumni Relations hosted a series of alumnae-organized virtual events to kick off a yearlong celebration entitled “Leaders in All Walks of Life: 50 Years of Women at Bowdoin.” The festivities began on Friday with a session entitled “Using Our Voices: The Bowdoin Experience of Women of Color.” A series of subsequent events, including keynotes and panel discussions, continued through Saturday.

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COVID-19

Students excited to return to Kent Island, New Brunswick, Canada after COVID-19 Hiatus

Cancelled for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the long-awaited field excursion to Bowdoin’s field station on Kent Island in New Brunswick, Canada, finally took place last weekend. Since the recent readmission of American citizens across the Canadian border on August 9, 2021, 16 Bowdoin students taking Ecology and Biology of Marine Organisms this semester were able to cross the border and participate in the Kent Island trip, led by Ian Kyle, assistant director of the Bowdoin College Scientific Station on Kent Island, and Patricia Jones, assistant professor of Biology and director of the Bowdoin College Scientific Station on Kent Island.

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class of 2024

Bowdoin, BOC host sophomore-only events

Following a year of virtual programming and intense on-campus restrictions, the class of 2024 was limited in their opportunities to get to know each other, the school and the surrounding area. Now, the College and the BOC are aiming to help the sophomore class make up for lost time.

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News in Brief

BSG aims to spearhead DEI and mental health efforts

On Wednesday evening, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) held its inaugural meeting of the semester, where it outlined its goals for the coming year. Members of the assembly expressed their desire to launch efforts in addressing the mental health of Bowdoin students and providing support for students of traditionally under-represented backgrounds.

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DEI

Prestigious DEI award granted to Michael Cato

In a press release last week, nonprofit informational technology (IT) association EDUCAUSE named Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Michael Cato its 2021 Diversity, Education, and Inclusion (DEI) Award recipient. EDUCAUSE praised Cato for his exceptional leadership skills and outstanding contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at Bowdoin and beyond.

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Brunswick

OTTO Pizza location opens in Brunswick

Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of downtown on 15 Cushing Street, the Brunswick location of OTTO Pizza opened its doors September 7. OTTO already has 17 locations in total, seven of which are in the greater Portland area, where the pizzeria was established in 2009 by New England entrepreneurs Anthony Allen and Mike Keon.

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Activism

Jhon Narváez talk focuses on historical context

Jhon Narváez has made it his life’s work to re-center the history of his native Cartagena, Colombia around the Black population that defined its centuries-long history as Spanish America’s largest slave port. Through working in the film industry, as well as through activism and grassroots organizing, Narváez has worked tirelessly to subvert historical narratives.

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COVID-19

College revises Yellow status restrictions, missed test conduct policy

In response to the improved COVID-19 infection rate on campus, the College will relax some of its Yellow status restrictions related to dining and residence halls effective today, Friday, September 17. Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Director of Residential and Student Life and COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced the change in an email to the Bowdoin community Wednesday afternoon, crediting the original restrictions for the low levels of transmission over the past ten days.

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COVID-19

College introduces app to assist contact tracing

In a September 9 email, Senior Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs Janet Lohmann introduced NAVICA, a mobile app to help the College’s effort in managing COVID-19 outbreaks on campus. After moving to Yellow status and extending the mask mandate in the past two weeks, this marks another step in the College’s effort to curb infection rates.

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Geoffrey Canada Scholars Summer Institute returns

This July, the Geoffrey Canada Scholars (GCS) Summer Institute returned for its fourth year, offering 18 first year students the opportunity to acclimate to campus life and college-level coursework during the five weeks before the start of Orientation trips.

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Dining Service

Trash quickly piling up after move to takeout dining

The campus-wide shift to status Yellow last Thursday included the dining halls’ abrupt transition to exclusively takeaway meals. However, Bowdoin Dining Services and the Bowdoin Sustainability Office were prepared for the change and have built upon their work from last year to improve food packaging options and further develop a means for efficient and sustainable waste disposal on campus.

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COVID-19

Isolation protocol adapts to rising COVID-19 cases

As students finish week two of classes and workloads begin to increase, so has the number of COVID-19 cases. According to current manager of isolation housing and Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Assistant to the Dean for Student Affairs Katie Toro-Ferrari, there are 30 students in isolation as of Friday morning.

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COVID-19

Mask mandate implemented and extended

After lacking a masking requirement for the summer, on August 23 the College imposed an indoor mask mandate beginning on move-in day and requiring masks to be worn inside all public areas on campus. Although the College intended to reconsider the mandate on September 4, due to a flurry of positive tests the mandate was expanded to include student common spaces and extended indefinitely on Thursday.

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News in Brief

Vaccinations on campus

While the majority of Bowdoin’s student body was fully vaccinated prior to arrival on campus, a few students—primarily international students unable to obtain one or both doses of the vaccine in their home countries—were vaccinated upon arrival through Bowdoin Health Services or at Mid Coast Hospital.

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BOC

BOC to permanently eliminate membership fees

After three decades as the only club on campus to formally charge membership fees, as of the beginning of this year, the Bowdoin Outing Club (BOC) will no longer be collecting membership dues. Although this decision will cost the club close to $10,000 annually, club leaders believe that the resultant gains in access and equity for members is more than worth that price.

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