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Opinion

Now is not the time to become desensitized

On November 23, 13 U.S. federal agencies came to the agreement that climate change is real and is an imminent danger to national security and the economy. They predict costs in the billions of dollars due to heat-related deaths, agricultural loss, rising sea levels and damage to infrastructure.

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Follow Bowdoin’s lead

When students return to campus in January, the first phase of the Lived Name Initiative will be launched. Created in cooperation with Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Information Technology and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, the project is aimed at streamlining the process through which students change their names across platforms such as Polaris, Workday and new OneCards.

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Editorial

Local alliance

Before email existed, on Thursday nights the Orient staff would create pages by pasting words and images onto boards and hand delivering them to the press room of Alliance Press in Brunswick, our printer of more than thirty years.

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Thanks for Bowdoin Thanksgiving

Right now, as we write this editorial late on a Thursday night, we’re still basking in the warm, sleepy feeling that follows Bowdoin Thanksgiving. In one of our favorite Orient traditions, we all crammed into the Pinette Dining Room in Thorne Hall—too many chairs to a table, elbows and knees bumping against each other—and dug into Bowdoin Dining Service’s holiday best.

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Editorial

Confronting transphobia at Bowdoin, again

Last Friday, the Orient reported that transphobic language was found in a bathroom in Smith Union. While the Bias Incident Group has convened about the issue since, reaction on campus has been muted. In light of the Trump administration’s memo about defining gender as immutable and assigned at birth, this silence is deafening.

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Orient coverage of Helen Andrews talk inaccurate and incomplete

Dear Editor, I write in response to the Orient’s recent coverage of visiting lecturer Helen Andrews’ talk last week. While I am glad the reporter attended the talk and even stayed to ask Ms. Andrews follow-up questions after the lecture, I’m disappointed that the Orient’s subsequent reporting on its content was inaccurate, incomplete and disingenuous.

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I am tired

I am tired. Every time I look up, I see the tentacles of hate spreading. This was a hydra whose heads were supposed to have burned off long ago, something which was supposedly laid to rest, but obviously was not.

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Editorial

Voting counts

In 2014, Brunswick candidate for the Maine House of Representatives Ralph Tucker won the Democratic primary by 10 votes. In 2016, Maine voters passed a referendum on marijuana legalization by a margin of less than four thousand votes.

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Study abroad: a triggering experience

Something that not many people know about me is that I’m a sexual assault survivor, but not in your typical college campus rape story. From the age of five to about 14, I was repeatedly raped and molested along with three of my other cousins and to make matters worse, I’ve suffered another assault and attempted assault from two other people.

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Letter to the Editor

Change in the world by voting

Dear Bowdoin neighbors, On Tuesday, November 6, 2018, you have a prodigious opportunity to exercise a precious and fragile right that we have as Americans. Your privilege to vote was made possible by hundreds of thousands of men and women that gave “the last full measure of devotion” to protect the freedoms that I treasure more than life itself.

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Beyond Belief

Constructing revolution from redemption: the #MeToo movement in retrospect

On October 10, New Yorker columnist Jia Tolentino extracted one of the #MeToo movement’s many tenuous threads in her piece, “One Year of #MeToo: What Women’s Speech Is Still Not Allowed to Do.” Tolentino reflects on the one-year anniversary of #MeToo, but with the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh still raw and national discourse no less barbarous or reliant on an attack/defense binary (to reference a certain op-ed published in the Orient a few weeks ago) she is hesitant to rejoice, as are many of us.

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Editorial

Budget breakdown

This year, in an email to the campus community, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) Chair of the Treasury Harry Sherman ’21 released the first issue of the SAFC Digest, a monthly publication outlining major budgetary decisions of the Student Activities Funding Committee (SAFC).

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A call for empathy

I would like to begin by saying that Brett Kavanaugh does not need defending. He has lost nothing as a result of these accusations and has, in fact, gained access to one of the most powerful positions in the nation despite them.

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The toxicity of social media influencers

Wake up, open Instagram and let the day unwrap itself. Slowly, painfully, moving from picture to picture. Analyze the perfection that lies behind the smiles of the girls, as they wear branded tights and a sports bra sponsored by some ultra-expensive company.

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Editorial

Allyship or athlete-ship?

In 2005, Executive Director of the Christian Civic League of Maine Michael Heath visited campus, campaigning to overturn Maine’s recently passed sexual orientation anti-discrimination law. As a form of protest, students wore yellow shirts to the event.

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Compassion in discussions about sexual assault

Writing well about sexual assault is both extremely difficult and critically important. Every piece tangentially related to assault sends a message to survivors, whether the author intends to or not. The culture around assault and the treatment of survivors is one factor in whether or not they choose to report their assault.

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Hear What You Want

A Swedish proverb that is applicable for consideration in the current polarized political climate is as follows: Man hör vad man vill höra. Originally from the 1981 publication “Svenska Ordspråk” by Fredrik Ström, a prolific Swedish writer and prominent Social Democrat, the proverb translates to: You hear what you want to hear.

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You are Brett Kavanaugh

I am angry. I am angry at the College I go to for not creating a safe enough environment for people to report their assaults. I am angry at my country for believing Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, while still putting the man who assaulted her in a position of power.

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Kavanaugh supporters’ willful blindness to truth

As a woman and an attorney, I have been disturbed by Brett Kavanaugh supporters’ willful blindness to evidence that corroborates his accusers’ claims. While I will not be able to discuss every piece of evidence that the Republican leadership seemingly ignored, I would like to highlight some information I believe could have corroborated the sexual aggression accusations against Kavanaugh—information which American politicians ignored in their unquenchable thirst for power.

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Fear, safety and Kavanaugh

Being abroad during the Kavanaugh proceedings left me with very few options for action. Unable to attend any protests or call my senators (not to mention the additional roadblock of Susan Collins’s conveniently timed website maintenance), I was limited to sharing posts on social media and preparing to vote for representatives who may end up not representing me at all.

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A discussion on bravery and Kavanaugh

This article is a direct response to the article “I am Brett Kavanaugh.” However, more than anything, I hope this serves as a learning opportunity. For those who were just as appalled by the article as I was, I hope this helps in knowing that you are not alone.

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Kavanaugh: an attempt to be fair

I’ll start with the three things that might be most helpful to know. For starters, I know that I identify as a conservative Bowdoin student. It’s nothing to write home about, but being a conservative person influences the activities that I am part of on campus, and it affects the way that I think about certain topics.

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Editorial

Civility doesn’t make history

In 1773, a group of people, upset that they were not being listened to by their government, dumped the modern equivalent of a million dollars’ worth of tea into the Boston Harbor. Almost 150 years later, a group of women fighting for voting rights picketed outside of the White House six days a week for the summer of 1917.

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Collins shows how to make a winning argument

I am reasonably certain that most people at Bowdoin were disappointed at Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation as an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. Most were probably not only disappointed, but angry, at the role Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) played in his confirmation.

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Letter to the Editor

Crossword correction

Corrections Corner: Here’s our issue with the latest issue: the crossword puzzle “Word-Up!” published on Friday, September 28. We would like to call attention to the incorrect clue of 65-across. As avid Olympic-heads/Olympic-aficionados, we couldn’t help but notice that the answer “Los Angeles” is not in fact the host city for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

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Environmental studies and the Roux Center: Where the liberal arts converge towards success

Yesterday, the new Roux Center for the Environment was officially dedicated and opened to the campus community. As current and former directors of the Environmental Studies (ES) program at Bowdoin, we celebrate this important milestone in the College’s longstanding commitment to the interdisciplinary study of the environment.

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I am Brett Kavanaugh

Some rights are above popular opinion. We could hold a vote right now and a majority could decide to put me to death, but that wouldn’t be justice. I have a right to life not only as a student, not only as an American, but as a human being.

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Letter to the Editor

Class Council election results show need for ranked-choice voting

Dear Editor, The recent Class Council election results are counter-majoritarian. Winners in four different elections won with less than 50 percent of the vote, due to the plurality system that the Bowdoin Student Government uses. Most egregiously, a supermajority (73 percent) of first years voted for a candidate other than Wilder Short ’22, their new president.

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In the footsteps of Dr. Ford

Yesterday, the nation watched as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford relived the details of her sexual assault in front of the United States Senate. “I am terrified,” she bluntly stated, in front of a group that is 77 percent male.

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Don’t do drugs

I do not advocate for the use of any psychoactive compounds. Nor do I advocate for their non-use. You can do whatever you want. Isn’t that beautiful? Our culture sees “drugs” as either 1. indispensably useful in medicine or 2.

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Editorial

Prioritize public speaking

Last night, we watched Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Katie Benner ’99 interview former White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. McDonough’s talk was edifying, but maybe the most impressive moment of the evening was when he turned a simple student question about his Irish heritage into astute thesis on the value of immigrants in America, both historically and in the present.

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Dear First Generation Bowdoin Student

Dear First-Generation Bowdoin Student, this school is yours too. I remember my first year was plagued with imposter syndrome. I never felt good enough and always questioned if I really belonged here. Sure, this was a combination of being so far away from home, being one of the few students of color in my classes and just being new to the campus.

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Say it like it is

We tolerate hate here

What was your transition to Bowdoin like? Be careful before you answer, because this is a political question. Your race, your class and your background likely played important roles in your adjustment. This column is a transcription of my own transition as a low-income Black man, as well as a more general reflection of racialized space on campus.

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Full need, some loans

In 2018, Bowdoin topped the Princeton Review’s list of colleges with the best financial aid. The College is without question committed to making higher education more accessible and prides itself on meeting students’ full demonstrated need.

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Editorial

Let’s get political

If you’ve attended a campus event recently—anything from first-year move in to a senior networking and interviewing workshop—you’ve likely seen the new Bowdoin Votes tables, staffed by students eager to help their peers register to vote.

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Letter to the Editor

Rename Pine Street Apartments

Dear Editor, I can only assume that the Pine Street Apartments were named for the magnificent evergreens that surrounded them on three sides, sheltering residents from loud traffic. For years, many students chose to live there because of the beautiful and quiet environs.

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Beyond Belief

The Darkness confronts the light: alternate realities and american religiosity

I often struggle to follow—and rarely attempt to contribute to—conversations that veer into the nebulous realm of “gaming culture.” From my clumsy “Mario Kart” skills that cost me a middle school friendship to the non-committal nods I give in response to “Fortnite” references, it is safe to say that video games exist firmly outside of my comfort zone.

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Letter to the Editor

The power of organizing

To the Editors, I want to say thank you for your story on the economic conditions of Bowdoin’s facilities workers. Your reporter deserves great praise for thoughtfully taking on a challenging subject. After graduating from Bowdoin in 1994, I helped organize a union for teaching assistants in the University of California system while I was in graduate school.

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Editorial

Whose Common Good?

The College knows that members of Bowdoin’s house- and groundskeeping staff regularly struggle to make ends meet, as we reported this week in the Orient. In addition, the Orient has learned that workers in dining make similarly low wages.

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A call for Bowdoin to recruit African American students

In 1954, Brown v. Board of Education determined that the racial segregation of schools is unconstitutional. Discussions of “affirmative action” in the context of admission into federally-funded programs emerged in the 1960s. In the subsequent decades, educational spaces across the United States began to admit African American students and students of other marginalized groups at a slow but steadily increasing pace.

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Censorship is alive on Bowdoin’s campus

The annual Delta Sigma/Delta Upsilon art competition took place on April 14 in Smith Union. While this event ostensibly served as a “way to continue the tradition of ‘non-formalized’ creativity that Delta Sigma/Delta Upsilon fostered during its time at Bowdoin,” the actions of the curators belied a more elitist vision of what works warranted inclusion.

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Don’t block the sun: stop taxing solar panels

Ben Franklin said nothing is certain in life except death and taxes. If I had to state a preference, I’d say death is better, because it only happens once and makes more sense. I’m generally accepting of taxes because we need to finance and maintain quality roads, police and fire protection, schools and other shared services.

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Editorial

Fun in the sun

If you have not experienced it (actually, you’re in the middle of experiencing it), you have probably heard the stories. Drinking games in class on Thursday and Friday (bad). Students sprinting across Brunswick Quad with stolen beers, pursued by the rightful owners of said beers (depends on the brand of beer).

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Continuing the conversation: beyond carbon neutral 2020

In a campus-wide email last week, President Rose announced that the College has reached carbon neutrality two years ahead of schedule. Bowdoin Climate Action is pleased to hear of the steps the College has taken to reduce emissions and reach this goal, and we are excited to engage in conversation around the College’s plan for 2030.

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Relevant Politics

Marketing conservative counter-culture: a response to Steve Robinson ’11

On Monday, April 16, Steve Robinson ’11 returned to campus to give a talk entitled “Conservatism and the Liberal Arts: How Bowdoin Made Me Conservative.” During his time at Bowdoin, Robinson was outspoken about his conservative beliefs and penned a regular column in the Orient (similar to this one) that was well known for its controversial content and audacious headlines (all of which are archived on the Orient’s website).

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Editorial

Equalizing resources across disciplines

As students solidify plans both for the coming summer and, in the case of graduating seniors, for their careers, the College provides invaluable resource, whether in the form of the Office of Career Planning, the Office of Institutional Fellowships and Research, or through informal information networks.

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Letter to the Editor

Everyone’s included in Theater and Dance

To the Editor, I appreciated reading Jonah Watt’s call for more queer-inclusive spaces, but I don’t recognize the theater he describes as displaying “largely heterosexual relationships” at Bowdoin. Theater has been accused of many things throughout its 2,500-year history, but heteronormativity is not often the foremost complaint.

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Editorial

Dear future polar bears

The Offer of the College (a document whose sanctity on campus falls somewhere between the Constitution and this newspaper) offers you these next four years as the best ones of your life. We’ve helpfully annotated it for you, so you can understand what it really says.

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Vote Mohamed Nur for president

The editorial board formally endorses Mohamed Nur for BSG president. The board feels that Nur’s platform offers comprehensive solutions to a more varied set of campus problems than his opponent. He has set attainable goals and has proposed creative actions.

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Letter to the Editor

In support of Susan Rice

To the editor, I must make two points in response to the article in the most recent issue of the Orient concerning Susan Rice as an Honorary Degree recipient at graduation. First, the number of communications to the College disagreeing with the above action hardly constitutes a “backlash” of alums.

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The monster we know: the need for call-out culture

I spent the majority of my freshman year at the center of a complex and painful Title IX case. What is important about this case is not any salacious detail, but rather the immersive introduction it allowed me to the brutality many members of the Bowdoin community exhibit when their friend or teammate is accused of and found responsible for sexual violence.

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Relevant Politics

Performative nationalism on the U.S.-Mexico border

I wrote about the U.S.-Mexico border in this column a few weeks ago, discussing the potential environmental consequences of a border wall. In the time since my writing, the situation has developed. Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, the focus of my article, has been spared from construction due to immense public outcry and organizing from local activists.

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Editorial

International and ignored

Last spring, the Orient’s editorial board argued that institutionally supporting international students should be a top priority for the college. Since then, we have welcomed to campus a class with a seven percent international student population, the largest percentage of any class currently enrolled at Bowdoin.

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Fighting Islamophobia: a call for action

Earlier this week, Muslim communities across the U.K. and the U.S. prepared themselves for an escalation of violent threats inspired by “Punish a Muslim Day.” Anonymous letters arrived to the homes of Muslims in England and circulated throughout social media intended to strike fear among Muslim communities.

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Call-in culture and the landscape of sexual assault

The latest article of Polar Views attempted to acquaint its audience with phenomena that are already readily apparent. Given previous responses to this column and the bevy of articles written by women in the past year, it is worrying that these phenomena were addressed as if they were novel to the author and to his audience.

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Editorial

Not-so-scary Larry

On Wednesday, conservative economist Larry Lindsey ’76 H’93 gave a talk moderated by President Rose in Pickard Theater. The event with Lindsey, an outspoken right-wing pundit, and the discussion that has followed provided a model for the sort of productive and respectful discourse that can and should arise from events that challenge our campus’ political consensus.

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Rael on Lawrence Lindsey’s problematic history

In his book, “Conspiracies of the Ruling Class,” Lawrence B. Lindsey ’76 distorts history to make an elite argument for privatizing government look like economic populism. Lindsey, a supply-side economist who served as an economic advisor to President George H.W.

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