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News

Anti-Racism

Six week workshop on race launches this week

This fall, a group of students is engaging in a six-week workshop series called “Race, Power, Oppression, and Liberation.” Responding to students’ interest in engaging in racial justice work at Bowdoin and beyond, the workshop will meet weekly to discuss personal identity and power, institutional and social systems of oppression, anti-racist work and liberation.

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Brunswick

Bowdoin community mourns death of Justice Ginsburg

Following the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last Friday, the Bowdoin community is mourning her passing this week. A virtual celebration of her life as an icon and trailblazer for gender equality under the law, hosted by the Sexuality, Women and Gender Center (SWAG) and the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies (GSWS) Department, will take place tonight at 7:30 p.m.

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Election

Voter outreach groups gear up for 2020 election

With the 2020 election steadily approaching, groups across campus are kicking voter outreach into high gear. Andrew Lardie, associate director for service and leadership at the Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good, has taken a central role in promoting voter engagement through Bowdoin Votes, a nonpartisan voting initiative run through the McKeen Center.

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Anti-Racism

McKeen Center to hire student antiracism fellow

The Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good is hiring a student antiracism fellow for the first time this year and re-evaluating their programming and leadership structures to incorporate more voices of people of color. Over the summer, McKeen Center staff created an antiracism subcommittee, composed of Sarah Seames, director of the McKeen Center, Andrew Lairde, associate director of service and leadership and Avery Friend, administrative coordinator, to reassess the Center as a whole.

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COVID-19

Students face uncertainty about required departure plans

All students living on campus are required to disclose their departure plans to the administration by October 2, Dean of Students Kristina Bethea Odejimi announced in an email to these students on September 17. The announcement has heightened feelings of anxiety and uncertainty among students for whom returning home is not a possibility and who are still unsure whether they will have an opportunity to apply to stay on campus during the winter holidays or the spring semester.

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Coronavirus

College grants exemption on student gathering size limit

The High Holidays are considered a time of reflection for the Jewish community, but this year they fall during a time of reflection for the whole College community. When Hillel received requests from 29 on-campus students to attend the organization’s Friday Rosh Hashanah dinner—nine students more than the maximum capacity for campus gatherings—the College had to make a decision.

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COVID-19

Emergency funding available to students for fall semester

Dean of Students Kristina Bethea Odejimi reminded students about the College’s supplemental and emergency funding program in an email sent on Monday. The funding, which is available to students through the Office of the Dean of Students and does not have to be repaid, comes from donations from alumni, parents and friends of the College.

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COVID-19

Library launches new resources for remote learning

Previously scheduled to reopen to on-campus students on September 7, the doors to Hawthorne-Longfellow Library remain temporarily closed as campus status remains in orange. However, that does not mean library staff have not been busy behind the scenes—they have been doing everything from revamping the online delivery system to wrapping up dozens of books in brown paper bags for on-campus pick-up.

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Black Lives Matter

“The 1619 Project Event Series” to tackle racism and historical truth

This afternoon, Professor of History Patrick Rael and Geoffrey Canada Associate Professor of Africana Studies and History Brian Purnell will kick off a four part discussion series inspired by the New York Times Magazine’s “The 1619 Project.” The series, sponsored by the history department, was inspired by the social and political movements that swept across the United States after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officers in May.

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COVID-19

Campus gathering prompts investigation and raises concerns about student behavior

During their first full weekend on campus, many first years and their Residential Life (ResLife) advisors found ways to connect and build community that complied with the College’s Residential Community Agreement. However, in an email to the campus community on Sunday, Senior Vice President and Dean for Student Affairs Janet Lohmann explained that some students had engaged in behavior that violated current College protocols.

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Campus

Campus COVID-19 testing program sees success in initial rollout

The first week of the semester saw the rollout of the College’s ambitious testing program for the fall. The plan dictates that students must be tested three times a week—Monday, Wednesday and Friday—for the first two weeks of the semester, and then twice a week—with one group tested on Mondays and Thursdays and the other tested on Tuesdays and Fridays—until campus closes before Thanksgiving break.

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COVID-19

Covid-era rules usher in a new way of life on campus

Students living on campus have agreed to follow the rules outlined in the seven-page Residential Community Agreement, a guide for student life, quarantine protocols and overall health policies. Rules outlined in the Residential Community Agreement governing the conduct of students living on campus are stringent.

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COVID-19

Student tests positive for COVID-19, raises total on-campus cases to two 

One student has tested positive for COVID-19 after results from tests administered on Wednesday were released to students and the College community early Thursday morning. According to an email sent to the Bowdoin community from COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen, this is the first positive case identified through the College’s testing program in partnership with the Broad Institute.

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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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