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Opinion

Our bodies and tech: a journey through pain and healing

By the end of my first year of college, I suffered from chronic pain in my wrists, neck and back—pain that curtailed my activities as an athlete, musician and student. For some of you, this may sound familiar: a late night cram-session hunched over a laptop coupled with an hour of scrolling on social media and texting friends can do a number on your body.

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Renaming and power sharing

I originally posted sentiments expressed in this op-ed several weeks ago as an anonymous comment to Emily Ha’s op-ed “Rename the Orient.” At the time, the semester was at a particularly strenuous point for me, exacerbated by the emotions around the March 16 Atlanta shootings and the ongoing anti-Asian violence around the country.

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Saffy Says

To freedom

After four long years, I can say that I am glad that I came to Bowdoin. I was able to learn about something I never would have been able to learn anywhere else: the way white people live.

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Editorial

Reflect and rebuild

When we began our time at Bowdoin, none of us could have imagined it would end like this. This is not the Bowdoin we signed up for—we never thought we would finish the semester in little Zoom boxes, eating take-out from the dining hall or living at home again.

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Mental Health

It’s time for Bowdoin to be proactive about campus mental health

This past summer, right around the pandemic’s six-month mark, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their annual young adult mental health report. Of the 5,470 participants, a record-high 40.9 percent reported struggling with depression or anxiety, a statistic evidently not jarring enough to push Bowdoin to hire an appropriate number of counselors and psychiatrists.

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Afia Tells All

Liberal. Activist. Girl boss. The complicated nuances of popular labels that often go unpacked

Our society has an obsession with labels. Because of this, I believe that there are certain labels that are misused, or that carry certain meanings, associations and implications that cause more harm than good. As of late, especially on social media, I have found irksome the overuse of the following terms: liberal, a word so broad that it now has a wide range of less-than-positive associations; girl boss, a term that became popular despite its negative implications and activist, which is commonly misused.

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More from Mina

Creativity does not replace capital

Colleges often make the misinformed assumption that all students understand what resources are available to them and how to use them. Office hours, writing centers, “Q” (quantitative-reasoning) tutors and even libraries are a few of the many “resources” that are commonly advertised to students, but how can they be useful if all students don’t know what they are or how to use them?

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Thoughts in passing

Is this our identity?

It sucks believing you’re the smartest Black person in the room. And it sucks even more having people believe that because you’re the smartest Black person in the room, you must be an exception to the norm, a deviation from your race, a “white” Black person.

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Afia Tells All

No rest for the weary: emotional exhaustion as a Black woman, from last summer to the present

I did not come to campus last semester eager-eyed and bushy-tailed. Instead, I came anxious and afraid. Of course, starting college in a literal pandemic did cause some anxieties to arise. I knew that academics would be more difficult online, and I expected that socialization would be more awkward, as I am already a pretty introverted person.

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Editorial

Looking beyond the bubble

This semester, particularly for those of us living in Brunswick, it has been easier than ever to confine our perspectives to campus. COVID-19 has altered life at Bowdoin in ways that have made it seemingly impossible to talk about anything else—new updates have been released daily all semester, and every announcement of an expedited vaccine timeline or relaxed restriction spawns passionate conversations.

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Saffy Says

The dangers of hypervisibility

There has been a distinct increase in visibility for Black people right now. Whether it be campaigns by major corporations, the emphasis on “buying Black” or the onslaught of Black death on the internet, there is no denying the fact that Black people are being placed in the spotlight for various reasons.

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Context speaks: why I stand firm on renaming the Orient

Last week, Bowdoin alum Kevin Ma posted a response to my op-ed, “Rename the Orient.” Ma makes some excellent points about the need for people to truly hear Asian stories and voices. I wish to elaborate further on these points, as well as address his and others’ arguments against my piece.

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Editorial

Your vote matters

In an especially unusual year in the College’s history, Bowdoin students have had a lot to say. Our representatives to the administration, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG), can fill a crucial role in communicating the needs of students in this unprecedented situation and leading us on the road to, hopefully, a more normal college experience.

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More from Mina

Let Black women exist

To be a Black woman in America is to suffer from the intersectionalities that make up your identity. Amongst many things, it is to be medically disposable, aesthetically fetishized and subdued in order to make others comfortable.

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BSG

BSG Candidacy Statements

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES Ryan Britt ’22 Hello everyone! Throughout my time at Bowdoin, I have had the privilege of serving as the BSG Chair of Student Affairs and as Class President. As a first-generation/low-income student in student government, I focused mainly on supporting our Counseling Center and creating programming for first-generation/low-income students.

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Thoughts in passing

Is it just a dream?

Thinking back, I feel like I’ve never truly evaluated the effects that racial trauma—derived from instances of racial bias, abuse and discrimination—have had on my life. Strange, I know. Sure, in passing I’ve been able to monitor my mental health, assessing how much I need to remove myself from heavy social media use to not become overwhelmed with constant racial violence.

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Editorial

A risk we don’t condone

This has been a semester of calculated risks. In devising rules and guidelines for the campus community, administrators were tasked with creating a system allowing for a fulfilling Bowdoin experience for every student while still minimizing the potential for a COVID-19 outbreak on campus.

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Forget renaming the Orient, just take us seriously

Since the publishing of the article “Rename the orient,” I have been closely following the comments, discourse and Letters to the Editor regarding Emily Ha’s opinion piece, both on the Orient website and on Facebook. As a Chinese-American with a degree in Asian Studies who is also finishing a masters in Chinese Language and Culture, I take enough personal interest to engage with members of the Bowdoin community on this topic.

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Black Lives Matter

The myth of the absent father

On Sunday, 10 miles from the courthouse where former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for the murder of George Floyd, Kim Potter, another police officer, shot and killed Daunte Wright. As he was being pulled over, Wright called his mom to tell her he was getting pulled over because he had air fresheners hanging from his rear view window.

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The PRO Act

The PRO Act represents an important step for every worker, both domestic and overseas. Given the importance of the United States on the global scale of politics, passing more pro-organized labor legislation could contribute to a further shift towards unions in the rest of the world.

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More from Mina

Let’s be real: it’s bigger than temporary solidarity

Social media has made it so that a number of people can now see the many injustices committed against our people on camera, including the many assaults, cases of harassment and murder. However, in recent events, as many Black people continue to fight for their lives, a lot of those who like to portray themselves as allies use the Black Lives Matter movement as a mere trend.

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Thank you

In the last week, Bowdoin has provided the student body with access to vaccines through Mid Coast Hospital and, in response to recent cases, upped the testing protocol to three tests per week for all students.

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Thoughts in passing

Is it a secret?

How does one measure collegiate eliteness, and how is said eliteness communicated to the pool of applicants for our nation’s top colleges? I suppose this question of measurement could be answered by statistical evidence—placing student selectivity, academic rigor and financial endowment as determinants of prestige.

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Rename the Orient

February 19, 2019; The Walker Art Museum. A birthday party of sorts, celebrating the Museum’s 125th year. I was standing in a throng of people in the lobby, half-listening to a speech about the Museum’s opening.

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Afia Tells All

“Social justice burnout”: the burden of the expectation to frequently post diversity-related content on the internet

Last summer, Black Lives Matter (BLM) finally got the attention of white America with the murder of 46-year-old George Floyd at the hands of police brutality. Like many other Black people who felt directly connected to the issue, I took to social media to post frequently about BLM, as well as to express my pain in hoping for a better America.

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Editorial

More than a moment

On Monday, students received an email from President Clayton Rose detailing one of the College’s new virtual initiatives: Mental Health Moments. Designed by nationally-renowned mental health advocate Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas ’89, Mental Health Moments is a program in which students receive weekly mental health tips in the form of an email from Assistant Director of Residential Life Celeste Hynes.

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OP ED: Why is Mr. Potato Head making national news?

I never thought we would hear the words “Mr. Potato Head” and “canceled” in the same sentence. For those unfamiliar with the backstory: two weeks ago, the toy manufacturer Hasbro announced, in the name of gender inclusivity, that it would drop the “Mr.” and “Mrs.” honorifics from its “Potato Head” line of toys.

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Mental Health

OP ED: We need a break

Editor’s Note 03/31/21 at 5:30 p.m.: A word in the article has been edited, both for accuracy and to reflect the author’s original intentions. The author initially wrote that Counseling Services had not received “adequate” funding to meet the current demand. 

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OP ED: Collins, Nossel part of problem, not solution

Two weeks ago, President Rose announced a series of speakers who will each discuss an aspect of American democracy in light of the January 6 Capitol insurrection. While the series is laudable, Bowdoin has invited two figures who offer right-of-center opinions or votes that most Bowdoin students should consider problematic.

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Editorial

Common good for uncommon times

When applying to Bowdoin, students inevitably hear the phrase “Common Good,” whether through the Offer of the College or the Admissions Office. The “Common Good” is an essential part of the Bowdoin experience. Now, during the pandemic, we are focused on creating a “Bowdoin Bubble” rather than breaking out of it, but what does that mean for Bowdoin’s “Common Good” commitment?

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Editorial

An empty highway

After clicking the red “Leave Meeting” button for the third time in a day, your door locking behind you is an inviting sound. You don a coat, hat, mask and the hope that you won’t slip on the ice again.

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2021: The year of the labor movement and unions

On February 2, healthcare workers in Myanmar announced their intention to strike against the recent military takeover. On February 3, they took to the streets. By February 9, many hospitals shut down and other workers joined the strike, including the Teachers’ Federation, which has over 100,000 members.

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Saffy Says

Who are you to call for my death?

“Stand back and stand by.” On September 29, 2020, the 45th President of the United States told his followers to fall back for now but be ready for his call to arms. As per usual, most people in the white community, whether it be in the media, in Congress or online, took note of his threat but doubted anything of concern would happen.

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Mental Health

We are not okay.

[Content warning: Eating disorders.] I am not okay. I’m 20 years old—I’m supposedly in my prime. And I can barely leave my room. I combat crippling social anxiety when I try to preserve my sanity through socialization.

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Editorial

The hardest part is yet to come

Many of us are looking forward to the end of “Hibearnation,” galvanized by the fact that only two cases of COVID-19 have been recorded among students living in residence, the end of Bowdoin’s intense restrictions appears to be in sight.

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Our environment is the common good

In December, Bowdoin received approval from the Brunswick Planning Board to cover at least 15 acres of a state-listed critically imperiled natural community with solar panels. The resulting loss of sandplain grasslands, documented in only four places in Maine, greatly diminishes the environmental benefits of Bowdoin’s otherwise laudable investment in renewable energy.

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The Mandalorian and the Disney problem

The Mandalorian, having begun its second season on October 30, has taken the internet and Star Wars fandom by storm, provoking discussion and debate among many community members and casual enjoyers alike, including myself. As a show, The Mandalorian is, in the barest sense of the word, good.

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The case for eSports

Believe it or not, before getting into college became my top priority, my dream was to become a Call of Duty eSports player (eSports = Electronic Sports). I worked relentlessly for this dream. I played every day, fueled by a can of Monster, until I was good enough to join semi-professional teams.

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Saffy Says

Please, take a break

This semester was a doozy to say the least. For those of us on campus, we not only battled a pandemic that was annoying for some and completely terror-inducing for others, but we also had to balance an academic load more rigorous than many of us were expecting.

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OPINION: On prescribed equality of outcome

On October 23, President Rose emailed a “Racial Justice Update” to the community, expanding on his September 2 email in which he described the two pillars of the College’s work toward racial justice. I am grateful for these emails, and for the College’s commitment: we need to address systemic prejudice in the United States and the continued pain and suffering it causes.

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OPINION: The video games in our houses

For the gaming enthusiasts, Cyberpunk 2077 has been one of the most anticipated titles of the year. Meant to be released in May 2020, it was further delayed to November and then even to December. At this point, we are not sure whether or not we will play the latest creation by CD Projekt Red, a Polish game developer, by the end of the year.

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Saffy Says

OPINION: Don’t stop now

On Saturday November 7, around 11:50 a.m. EDT, most major news networks called the election in favor of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, who received the most votes of any presidential ticket in U.S.

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Editorial

EDITORIAL: It’s Not Just November 

Each year, as the weather gets colder, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) kicks off a month of anti-bias programming dubbed “No Hate November” where students, faculty and invited guests give lectures and host events aimed at addressing intolerance on campus.

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The Pinko Dispatch

Biden Conservatives and Trump Progressives?

I was among the majority of voters in Portland, ME who approved a number of progressive ballot measures on Tuesday. We voted to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next few years,  require time-and-a-half hazard pay during states of emergency, ban facial recognition technology, protect tenants by implementing rent control, establish a new board to review other potential rent increases and require real estate developers to utilize green technology and provide additional pay and training to workers in what was termed “A Green New Deal for Portland.” These ballot measures reflect political trends and commitments that extend beyond Portland.

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Mind the Gap

OPINION: Maine needs to independently review any COVID-19 vaccine

If we have learned one thing over the past several months, it is that the Trump administration cannot be trusted in regards to COVID-19. From downplaying the danger and airborne nature of the virus to promoting an unproven steroid treatment despite warnings from health officials about its lack of efficacy, the President has persistently spewed disinformation about the global pandemic.

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Editorial

EDITORIAL: Why you should vote for Biden, and why that should be just your first step

We are facing one of the most consequential elections in American history, and we find ourselves in a moment where our democracy is profoundly threatened. This is it.  We cannot expect to be supported by the leaders in our supposedly democratic system; during Senate hearings for the appointment to the highest court of the land, our new Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett failed to name one of the five protections guaranteed under the First Amendment: the right to protest.

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Saffy Says

OPINION: Next Tuesday, all we have is community.

Black people have been grieving the loss of our ancestors and freedom for a long time. From the first time an imperialist stepped foot on the continent of Africa, to the violent removal from our native lands, to the demonization of traditional spiritual practices, to the rebranding of slavery into mass incarceration, to the willfull ignorance of the European American majority, to the very stress of racism lowering the life expectancy of Black women.

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Ranked-choice voting is good, actually

Over recent weeks, a debate has erupted in the Orient opinion pages on the merits of ranked-choice voting (RCV). A series of competing op-eds and letters to the editor have argued that the increased turnout among disillusioned voters due to RCV could do one of two things: help Joe Biden gain support from unlikely voters who will rank him second, or hurt Biden by dampening enthusiasm or even creating the possibility of a third-party win.

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OPINION: Bowdoin students, do better.

As fall break rolled around and fall foliage around the Northeast became impossible to resist, news around the country about spikes in COVID-19 cases came to the forefront. For me, and millions of other disabled and immuno-compromised citizens, this meant months more of staying inside and socially isolating due to administrative inaction and others’ personal irresponsibility.

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Saffy Says

OPINION: Stop colonizing our break

Fall break, for some particular reason, always falls around Indigenous People’s Day (formerly known as Columbus Day). However, this piece will not be about how most American holidays are centered around European-Americans and Christanity; the thing most present on my mind after this four-day weekend was the fact that I, for one, did not get any rest or an actual break.

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EDITORIAL: Where to Draw the Line

On Thursday morning, President Clayton Rose released a video regarding the upcoming election and uncertainty that may follow after election night. He questioned how long the results may take and highlighted that the election may become a legal battle.

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Election

OPINION: Obsession with perfection

This is my response to both the article titled “Progressives, do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” and to the ways that Bowdoin students talk about “progressive voters.” What do you mean by “progressives?” Do you see us as some kind of homogeneous group who share the same challenges, the same social, economic and racial realities and who agree unilaterally on a solution?

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The Pinko Dispatch

OPINION: A million votes for socialism

Howie Hawkins’ nomination as the Green Party candidate for president is a tremendous opportunity for the American left. It’s true that the Green Party is not a solidly working-class, fundamentally anti-capitalist organizing machine ready to lead a full-scale proletarian (electoral) revolution.

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Editorial

Stop expecting normal

Four days ago, the Washington Post released an article regarding the Climate Clock, a Manhattan fixture providing us with a deadline for irreversible action on the impending climate crisis: 7 years, 101 days, 17 hours, 29 minutes and 22 seconds from when it was unveiled on Monday.

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Saffy Says

OPINION: Allies and adversaries

It’s been a long three years, and starting this fourth year at Bowdoin has already been incredibly taxing. As the movement for our lives has picked up steam, there’s also an uptick in non-Black comrades realizing that racism is “still a thing” and that anti-Blackness exists beyond the arbitrary borders of the United States.

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OPINION: A misleading light luring us in the darkness

Bowdoin students who are currently living off campus in the Brunswick area are selfishly breaking social distancing guidelines and deliberately jeopardizing the well-being of the community. Their actions can have a serious impact on Bowdoin students, Brunswick residents and Mainers.

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Editorial

EDITORIAL: Cultivate a life offline

The average day in the life of a Bowdoin student has changed dramatically in the past few months. We have traded our award-winning dining halls for boxes of Annie’s mac and cheese. Our walks across campus have been replaced with a commute from our beds to our desks.

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Editorial

First years: It’s in your hands

Class of 2024: congratulations on making it through your first week! You have been nasal-swabbed, contained to your new (isolation-friendly) home and introduced to most of your professors and peers through a laptop screen. You have relocated during a pandemic, and you have trusted the College with your health and safety.

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Athletes of Color Coalition Op Eds

OPINION: The Offer of the College: an unfulfilled promise for students of color

To be at home in all lands and all ages To count Nature a familiar acquaintance, and Art an intimate friend; To gain a standard for the appreciation of others’ work And the criticism of your own; To carry the keys of the world’s library in your pocket, And feel its resources behind you in whatever task you undertake; To make hosts of friends… Who are to be leaders in all walks of life; To lose yourself in generous enthusiasms And cooperate with others for common ends— This is the offer of the college for the best four years of your life.

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Athletes of Color Coalition Op Eds

OPINION: Summer 2020 as a leader of the Athletes of Color Coalition

“We thank the many police officers who strive every day to do the right thing and keep us safe, and we require accountability for the small handful who abuse their power and stain the work of their colleagues.” -President Clayton Rose (Friday, May 29, 2020) Imagine the feeling when the president of your college thanks the perpetrators of police brutality rather than rightfully condemning them.

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