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Opinion

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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OPINION: Love letter to a divided America

Dear America, I can recall a time in high school when I was sitting in a class called “The History of the Americas,” and our teacher, Mr. Perles, said to the class: “remember, always be skeptical.” As I heard these words, I felt a sense of liberation, but in the moment, I didn’t know why.

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OPINION: An open letter to the mostly white, out of touch, capitalist Board of Trustees: We see you

As the Board of Trustees, you all have the “fiduciary responsibility for the governance of the College, in particular the health, vibrancy, and ability to satisfy our mission,” according to the Bowdoin website. For those unfamiliar with the term “fiduciary,” it refers to a person or group of persons that have legal ownership of a property or assets.

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OPINION: Worth less, or worthless

I should start by saying that I believe that Bowdoin and its administration, by allowing only a limited number of students to return to campus, is doing its best to protect the health and safety of both its students and the wider community.

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OPINION: Where is Bowdoin’s intellectual fearlessness?

When Bowdoin announced its plans for the fall semester on June 22, I was not surprised or particularly upset. COVID-19 is far from under control, and a vaccine is still many months away. The usual residential college model, with its tight learning, living and dining quarters, seems nearly impossible in an era of social distancing.

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OPINION: Behind the visa

The Bowdoin “Facts and Figures” highlight that there are 44 different countries represented in the student body. In the last few months of the pandemic, the administration has failed to address the complexity of this diverse group resulting in a situation where the international students are impacted disproportionately from the lack of attention the administration has put towards tackling concerns during the online transition and with its recent decision of how the fall semester will work.

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OPINION: Bowdoin Admin, we’ve Got a Problem

The 1974 television drama “Houston, We’ve Got a Problem” misquoted the real-life correspondence between Commander Jim Lovell of Apollo 13 and Mission Control. In response to an oxygen tank explosion, Lovell actually stated “Houston, we’ve ?had?

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OPINION: Dear Bowdoin: Don’t rescind the Offer to current students

COVID-19 has altered the college landscape, so I sympathize with current Bowdoin students. Due to Bowdoin’s response to this pandemic, many are concerned about their academic career, livelihood and their personal and family finances. While it is not reasonable to expect Bowdoin to have a perfect solution to an unpredictable catastrophe, I think it is important for the administration to reflect on their response.

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OPINION: President Rose, reconsider tuition

Is it defensible that Bowdoin students must pay full tuition for a semester of online learning? Let us consider President Clayton Rose’s defense of this decision. In the June 23 town hall for returning students, President Rose reasoned, “As I worked through in my own head how to think about this challenge [pricing tuition], the essence of what we do at Bowdoin is provide our students with an outstanding education delivered by outstanding faculty…And I am certain that our faculty will deliver a great education to all of our students in the fall in this digital method.

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Black Lives Matter

OPINION: We must do more than protest

For the past few days, an unmistakable beeping noise has pierced my house at least once a day, notifying my entire family of curfews set by Los Angeles officials. None of us were surprised—protests were occurring throughout the country in response to the latest brutal murder of a Black man by a police officer.

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Editorial

Bowdoin, the Orient and our role in anti-racism

In the weeks since a police officer killed George Floyd in Minneapolis, our country has been embroiled in a critical conversation about the racism, police brutality and systemic violence that Black Americans face every day. With Americans taking to the streets in all fifty states to protest police brutality, we, the members of the Orient’s editorial board, stand in solidarity with Black students and activists.

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Why we must keep the movie theater experience alive

Movie theaters are currently experiencing a grueling face-lift, and it seems the two reasons would be COVID-19 and “Trolls World Tour.” If a Justin Timberlake animated film musical is a catalyst for change within a multi-billion dollar industry, we are truly living in the end times.

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Workin' on it

Lessons from working through a pandemic

About a decade ago, in February 2020, I wrote the first installment of this column. Titled “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Technology,” I argued that society should ready itself for an inevitable replacement of work in its traditional sense with automation sometime in the indefinite future.

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Editorial

Seniors’ farewell

To begin writing this editorial, we, senior members of Orient staff, all wrote down our honest reasons for joining the Orient. Some of us joined because we thought college journalism sounded important and glamorous. Some of us joined because we thought the upperclassmen on the Orient were important and glamorous.

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Letter to the Editor

Working together on COVID-19 working groups

To the Editor: Today marks the 51st day since the College announced the decision to move online. It goes without saying that the moment in which we now find ourselves is unprecedented. Last month, President Rose announced the creation of three working groups: the Budget Review Group to tackle budgetary changes for the 2020-2021 academic year, the Return to Campus Group to consider the physical logistics of reopening campus and the Continuity in Teaching and Learning Group to develop remote learning models should the College decide to continue with online instruction in the fall.

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To the Class of 2020…

To the graduating class of 2020, I offer, in this order, congratulations, condolences, consolation and a few words of welcome. Congratulations first of all on your imminent Bowdoin degrees and on the years of diligence and hard work they represent.

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Editorial

Bowdoin CARES

Facing backlash from lawmakers and the public, wealthy colleges have begun to announce that they will not accept the stimulus money they had received under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Harvard University announced its decision to relinquish funds on Wednesday; Yale, Princeton, Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania soon followed suit.

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BSG Candidacy Statements

In addition to written statements, which the Orient traditionally publishes, we asked each candidate to tell us what they care about in a video statement. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES Marcus Williams ’21 Dear fellow classmates, From speaking to many of you on your first night during Perspectives to sharing Real Talks on Race in the bricks and serving as a representative of the student body, I have immersed myself in our campus community.

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Editorial

Deafening silence

On February 5, Samantha Simonetta filed a federal sexual harassment lawsuit alleging that former Allegheny College Head Football Coach B.J. Hammer ignored reports of sexual misconduct and discrimination while Simonetta was a kicker on Allegheny’s football team in 2018.

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Workin' on it

Who’s the boss?

Once upon a time, company towns dotted the American landscape. From Pullman, Illinois (railroad cars) to Logan, West Virginia (coal mining), these towns proliferated in the latter part of the 19th century as a way to concentrate laborers and tie them to their place of work.

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Letter to the Editor

Thank you, community

To the Editor, On April 2, we started a mutual aid fund to support Bowdoin community members affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The concept was simple: we would fundraise to fulfill individual requests submitted by students, staff and community members who needed immediate, direct financial assistance.

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Editorial

The Offer of the College, adapted 

The Offer of the College is a sort of mission statement for Bowdoin. And, though its meaning holds up through the years, it has undergone several revisions since it was written in 1906. This week, we made some changes of our own to reflect the new reality that we face as a College.

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In a new world order, scholarship must change

Because of the devastation caused by SARS-CoV-19 across people, communities, countries, and the world, scholarship must—and will—change. The only question is whether we resist that change or allow it to transform the ways in which academia interacts with the world, our new reality.

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Editorial

Remember your neighbors

As nearly 10 million Americans have now lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the country is in the midst of an economic crisis and small businesses are particularly vulnerable. Restaurants and retail businesses like the ones that dot Maine street of downtown Brunswick will be hit the hardest.

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Workin' on it

The dead-end of corporate virtue-signaling

International Women’s Day, a holiday unrecognized by the American government, was in part inspired by a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in Lower Manhattan which claimed the lives of 146 women. Because management had locked the doors of the sweatshop in order to crack down on unauthorized breaks, many workers jumped out of the high building to their deaths.

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Editorial

Where credit is due

Since the College’s official decision on March 11 to move classes to a remote learning format, the Bowdoin academic landscape has changed. Nearly every facet of our academic experience has shifted and not necessarily for the better—our classrooms, our meeting times and even our course material look markedly different than they did three weeks ago.

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Dear Bowdoin, what is awareness?

This week, the Bowdoin Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (BSAAC) rolled out a week’s worth of programming dedicated to Mental Health Awareness Week. The offerings are a veneer of help. In terms of awareness, there isn’t much, but, oh yes!

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Editorial

Please … wash your hands

On Thursday, Dean of Student Affairs Janet Lohmann sent an email to campus updating students on the College’s ongoing efforts to monitor the spread of COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus. In her email, Lohmann pointed students towards a new FAQ page on the College’s website with information about the virus, preventative measures and travel-related advisories.

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In our own voice: reflecting on RISE

As two of the creators of the 2020 show, we see “RISE” as a political statement. It works to bring attention to gender-based violence, intersectional discrimination and various forms of gender disrespect. It unapologetically creates a space for women to stand together against marginalizing systems.

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The Fox Box

Post-discourse and the phantom specter

In 2018, whistleblower Christopher Wylie released a cache of documents to The Guardian detailing the dirty work of data-mining and political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica and its role, alongside Facebook, in manipulating the 2016 elections. It revealed Analytica’s alleged unauthorized possession of personal data from 87 million Facebook user accounts which were used to deploy targeted political advertising for the Trump campaign.

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BSG

The J-Board responds to election re-structuring

Last week, the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) amended its election procedures, a decision covered by the Orient in the article “BSG Votes to Amend Election Procedures.” While we support this action, we write to clarify the Judicial Board’s relationship to BSG and its role in the student disciplinary process.

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Letter to the Editor

Expand mental health services

To the Editor: Among 38 elite institutions, Bowdoin College is ranked third in the number of students who seek counseling and mental health services. This statistic is not inherently negative—in fact, it demonstrates how, in some ways, Bowdoin is doing something right.

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Editorial

‘Access ain’t inclusion’

This week, Harvard professor Anthony Jack visited campus to lecture about the systemic difficulties of being a first-generation or low-income student, especially of students whose educational backgrounds do not align with norms at elite institutions like Bowdoin, because of an extremely inequitable educational system.

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Workin' on it

Can I copy your work?

In 1998, members of Congress from all political persuasions and sections of the country came together to protect one of America’s most endangered animals. Realizing that time was running out, Sonny Bono, Selena, George Gershwin and a host of other celebrities (or rather their estates) rallied around the cause.

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Editorial

The race doesn’t end in Iowa

With New Hampshire and Iowa behind us, it may seem like the primary season is in the rearview. The media often becomes fixated on the candidates who win these primaries, creating the impression that the race has already passed its most important threshold.

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Justice in the nation’s capital

Article III of the U.S. Constitution reads, “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.” Conveniently, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) defines “trial” as, “a structured process where the facts of a case are presented to a jury, and they decide if the defendant is guilty or not guilty of the charge offered.

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Editorial

How to heal a papercut

Most college public relations departments don’t undermine college journalism by actively censoring publications or by restricting access to information or people. They undermine college journalism by raising minor but constant complaints about our choice of words, our interpretations of facts or our presentation of information.

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Board of Trustees

Clayton Rose’s BSG performance only raises more questions

Our first year, President Clayton Rose taught a First-Year Seminar titled “The Moral Leader.” A young Ben Ray wrote in his course notes that “an accumulation of moral challenges solved with moral choices (either based on principles or consequences) paints a picture of the capabilities of a leader.” Clayton taught that moral leaders have a moral code which guides their decisions.

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Letter to the Editor

Classical myths are as relevant as ever

To the Editor, In your January 31 editorial board opinion, Classical Mythology is called out for seeming “tangentially related to current issues of social differences.” Classical literature, and Myth especially, have always reflected a deep concern with the issues of social difference, not to mention the roles of power and inequity.

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A Statement from the Bowdoin Chapter of the AAUP Regarding Student Journalism

In 2016, a committee consisting of representatives from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the College Media Association, the National Coalition Against Censorship and the Student Press Law Center issued a statement titled “Threats to the Independence of Student Media.” The statement acknowledges what all readers of student newspapers are profoundly aware of: “candid journalism that discusses students’ dissatisfaction with the perceived shortcomings of their institutions can be uncomfortable for campus authorities.” “Nevertheless,” it asserts, “this journalism fulfills a healthful civic function.” In the spirit of affirming and fostering the important civic function that a free student press must play on our own campus, the Bowdoin chapter of the AAUP would like to take this opportunity to call attention to some of the principles, and some of the concerns, articulated in this statement: 1. 

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My generation has failed you, but we can still fix it

Dear young people: my generation owes your generation an apology. We have failed to make urgently needed changes to an economic system that ravages the planet we all depend upon for life. Many of us have been actively involved with, or at least silently complicit in damaging the ecosystem.

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Workin' on it

How I learned to stop worrying and love technology

In 1776, an auspicious year on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, Adam Smith published “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations,” a hefty treatise that outlined the basic principles of what we would now call “free trade” and “capitalism.” His articulation of why certain nations thrive while others falter in a globalized economy dealt a fatal blow to mercantilism, setting the stage for the proliferation of laissez-faire politics in the 19th century.

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Editorial

More than a name change

On Monday, the faculty introduced a motion to revise the “Exploring Social Differences” (ESD) distribution requirement. The proposal aims to strengthen the requirement and rename it “Difference, Power, Inequity.” On a campus where bias incidents seem to recur every four years, preparing students across all academic disciplines to discuss and analyze social differences is essential.

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The Fox Box

Be wary of an inclusive status quo

A few weeks after the start of the new year, Johns Hopkins University (JHU) announced it would be ceasing the long-held history of legacy admissions at the institution. President of the Baltimore school, Ron Daniels, boldly announced that reserving legacy slots had been “impairing [its] ability to educate qualified and promising students from all backgrounds and to help launch them up the social ladder.” JHU’s decision comes during a time when Americans are becoming increasingly cynical about democratic institutions being stacked against them.

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Moral concerns deserve real response

In September, I wrote a few hundred words summarizing widely reported and easily accessible information about how some of this college’s wealth is generated. I am not an investigative journalist: what I wrote contained no revelations.

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Editorial

Planes, trains … and vans?

Students connected flights, caught trains and hitched rides to arrive back on campus last week for the start of the spring semester. Despite the College’s relative proximity to various transportation hubs, returning to campus can often be costly and complex.

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The Fox Box

Gen Z and the ‘memeisphere’

It took only a matter of hours after taking the PSAT in high school before Arthur the aardvark, clutching a disposable camera in his fist, appeared on Twitter. The caption: “When Juan Ribero refuses to teach you how to use your Kodak #psat.” I don’t at all remember what this meant or what section of the test it was referring to.

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Real Talk

Ava DuVernay is a true diamond in the rough

As a cinema studies minor and someone who is highly interested in a career in the film industry, I do not think that it is discussed enough just how inspiring director Ava DuVernay is. In conjunction with DuVernay’s rise, the dearth of female filmmakers is another topic that I think often goes under the radar.

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Editorial

Maine should take the lead

It is time for the state of Maine to be a leader. Individual towns throughout the state of Maine—Portland, South Portland, Bar Harbor and, most recently, Brunswick—are already setting an example. Each has recently passed a resolution declaring a climate emergency, putting them in the company of cities such as San Francisco and New York City.

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McKeen Fellow

Refutation takes time

Raise your hand if Paul Franco’s dog has ever eaten your breakfast. I knew it! I knew I was not alone! One of the great pleasures of a walk across the Bowdoin quad is a chance meeting with that lovable scamp.

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Editorial

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Take off your parking brakes! Thirty days from now, new parking restrictions will take effect on a number of Brunswick streets, including Columbia Avenue, Belmont Street, Longfellow Avenue, Noble Street, Pine Street and Union Street. The restrictions, passed by the Brunswick Town Council at its November 18 meeting, are not unprecedented—the Council placed similar restrictions, specifically aimed at Bowdoin students, on Park Row in 2014, and the College revoked student parking privileges to the lots at the Maine Street College Houses the same year.

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Not my great grandfather’s Bowdoin: the beauty of Af/Am/50

I recently greeted my granddaughter Karis, a student at Bowdoin (Class of 2023), in the lobby of Pickard Theater at Bowdoin. A plaque on the wall at Pickard lists the names of Bowdoin men who fought in the Civil War, including my great-grandfather (her triple-great grandfather) George Beamon Kenniston (Class of 1862).

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Letter to the Editor

Misleading sustainability statistics

To the Editor, I recently was shown the latest issue of the Installment, which is published by the campus Sustainability Office. The following was provided as resulting from the energy challenge between dorms. They were able to save 6,452,949.1 pounds of CO2e resulting in reductions up to 27.1 percent.

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Editorial

Dempsey talk misses mark

Last night, actor Patrick Dempsey, H’13 sat down with Marcus Williams ’21, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) chair of diversity and inclusion, for a conversation serving as the keynote address for No Hate November. Though the topic at hand was a dialogue on dyslexia, many of the audience’s questions focused not on the implications of living with the disability, but rather on clarifying what it actually is.

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McKeen Fellow

The appointment of Arthur Brooks was deeply undemocratic

The appointment of Arthur Brooks was undemocratic. We woke up to an email one day, and that was it. No consultation, no presentation of candidates, nothing. When we praise democracy so much at this school—helping students to vote, promoting voting and encouraging students to voice their demands—this appointment felt completely opposite to the values we propose.

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Housekeeping

A first year’s perspective on living wage victory

On October 21, Bowdoin students, employees and the broader community awoke to a surprising announcement that Bowdoin would be increasing wages for benefits-eligible hourly workers. Indeed, this was great news and a fantastic step towards achieving a better workplace for all Bowdoin employees, but President Clayton Rose’s refusal to acknowledge the powerful worker and student activism is both troubling and, sadly, expected.

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Editorial

Showing up to Af/Am/50

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of Bowdoin’s Africana Studies program, the John Brown Russwurm Center and the Black Student Union (BSU, formerly the African American Society). A celebration is in order. Throughout the next few days, students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors will have the opportunity to participate in programming that provides a multi-faceted and community-wide recognition of this milestone.

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