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Opinion

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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Letter to the Editor

Housekeeper speaks out

To the Editor, I would like to thank everyone for all your support for a living wage. I feel it was a little weird for President Rose to announce our wage increase right before “the fall social” and “parent weekend.” Now with my increase, my pay in July, as I understand it, will be a little more than $2.00 more than someone starting new.

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Escuchando sus voces

Estudié en Valparaíso, Chile, el año pasado. Ahora, a la luz de un poderoso movimiento contra 30 años de abuso económico, imploro a nuestra comunidad para conocer las historias de nuestras compañeros/as chilenos/as. La versión que vemos en las prensas se centra en la delincuencia y la destrucción, reforzando la criminalización del movimiento referida por el presidente Sebastián Piñera para justificar su autorización de violencia policial y militar sobre la comunidad.

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The Fox Box

Zoomers on social media

Zoomer: Generation Z + Boomer. My grandfather Friday is a small, bald Nigerian man with a character of immense proportions. He’s been living in my family’s home for the past few months, entertaining guests and visiting the public library.

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A major wakeup call: abroad in Chile

Friday, October 18 was a major wakeup call for me. Disasters happen around the world—around the clock—but as the massive evasion of metro fares in Chilean capital, Santiago, turned into violent state repression, I was brought back to where I spent almost half of 2019—living, studying and dancing in Valparaíso, Chile.

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Listening to Chilean stories

I studied abroad in Valparaíso, Chile last year. Now, in the wake of a powerful, unified movement against 30 years of economic abuses, I implore our community to listen to the stories of our Chilean peers.

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The Sarah and James Bowdoin Day ceremony was an exercise in hypocrisy

Bowdoin, like all elite academic institutions, tasks itself with the contradictory responsibilities of fostering “critical” thought while pumping out successive generations of the ruling-class elite it is beholden to. At the Sarah and James Bowdoin Day ceremony this past Friday, the hypocrisy that results from such a contradictory mission was laid out in full display.

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Editorial

What are you afraid of?

Two days, one night—that’s about how long prospective students on an overnight visit spend getting a taste of Bowdoin’s campus. It’s also about how long the College’s first Joseph McKeen Visiting Fellow, Arthur C. Brooks, will be spending at Bowdoin after he arrives on Thursday.

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Community Depends on Our Accountability

I introduced the motion on the faculty floor requesting that President Clayton Rose provide an account of the process he used to invite Arthur Brooks as the inaugural Joseph McKeen Visiting Fellow. President Rose had not consulted any member of the faculty before doing so, and had thus committed a simple, procedural infraction.

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Editorial

The right thing to do

If all goes to plan, by July 1, 2022, Bowdoin’s minimum starting wage for hourly employees will increase to $17.00 an hour, and existing employees will receive raises to compensate for the effects of wage compression.

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Do you believe your thoughts hold no ideological bias?

What should we think of Bowdoin over-emphasizing the need for reaching a common ground between different political sides? What should we think of Arthur Brooks—who works at a right-wing think tank—coming to campus in an attempt to mediate a discussion on love and solidarity and its importance in bridging the social and political gap?

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Editorial

“All that is great about Bowdoin”

Yesterday, the College’s Board of Trustees commenced the first of its three meetings that will take place this year. Among the Board’s 40 members is James “Jes” Staley ’79 P ’11 whose ties to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein have landed him in the pages of newspapers nationwide.

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Exploring the unfamiliar is real academic fearlessness

Two weeks ago, the Orient published a piece by Ella Crabtree ’22 calling Credit/D/Fail at Bowdoin “academic cowardice.” Crabtree bases her argument on the supposition that students primarily pass/fail in order to preserve their GPA, remarking that students do not Credit/D/Fail “easy” classes as much as they do more challenging courses.

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There is no shame in taking a class pass/fail

I refuse to be shamed for supporting my learning with a pass/fail class. In her op-ed “Pass/failing is an act of academic cowardice,” Ella Crabtree ’22 accuses students of taking classes pass/fail simply to “safeguard [their] averages and preserve their egos.” She argues that students who simply want to learn without the pressure of a letter grade are “unable to stomach the possibility of B’s and C’s,” and therefore “deprive [themselves] of valuable, challenging learning experiences.” I beg to differ.

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A defense of taking classes credit/D/fail

Reading the October 4 opinion article, “Pass/failing is an act of academic cowardice” brought me back to what was definitively my hardest semester here at Bowdoin, sophomore fall. I was balancing a ton of different things that semester, just like so many other Bowdoin students.

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Stop giving bigots platforms at Bowdoin

Two weeks ago, at an on-campus event highlighting the authors Richard Ford and John Banville, President Clayton Rose introduced Ford, saying that “he has been awarded too many prizes to count.” While Ford’s resume boasts impressive prizes including the Pulitzer, it hides a part of his character that Rose chose not to highlight.

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Why it is your duty to bite the hand that feeds you

Throughout my childhood I was reminded that I should never bite the hand that feeds me. I should just smile, sit quietly and accept what I received without further questioning it. As some people have put it: “At least you got something, why should you complain?” This philosophy dominated my life back home in Romania, where one had to adapt, to tacitly accept the wrong-doing of others, with the hope that one day it would get better.

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Letter to the Editor

The time of Richard Ford is over

To the Editor, The day following a 16 year-old female’s indictment of the devastation wrought by white western men at the United Nations General Assembly Climate Change Action Summit, Bowdoin hosted a conversation by two proud members of another flank of that canon—the part reserved for great important self-awarding white male writers (Richard Ford and John Banfield).

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Pass/failing is an act of academic cowardice

As the leaves change color and students trade their flip-flops for Bean Boots, professors begin handing back assignments. Essays and exams return marked up, commented upon, praised and constructively criticized. Concurrently, the school approaches its Credit/D/Fail deadline.

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Editorial

In support of those speaking up

Twelve Bowdoin housekeepers wrote an op-ed this week detailing the realities of the work they do to clean Bowdoin’s spaces. The letter paints a picture of Bowdoin as an employer that is, frankly, shameful. The College presents itself as an institution guided by the principles of the Common Good.

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BOC, due better

The outdoors have a financial accessibility problem. The College touts Maine as a valuable resource that professors and students should use as a forum for discovery and experiential learning, and the Bowdoin Outing Club (BOC) is part of that.

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Introducing the American Association of University Professors

To the Bowdoin Community, In the first faculty meeting of the year, I had the pleasure of announcing that Bowdoin now has an active chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). I am writing here to offer a bit more detail about our mission, to invite those who are eligible for membership to join us and to invite all members of the Bowdoin community to consider the AAUP as a partner and an ally.

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Real Talk

Police shootings: who is at fault?

On August 3, 2019, a situation that has become a mainstay of American culture took place in Colorado Springs. A police officer shot a young black male. Nearly two weeks after the fatal shooting, the family of the victim forced Colorado police to release body camera footage of what happened.

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Hating Immigrants: America’s self-destructive tradition

I was a sophomore at Bowdoin when Donald Trump was gaining momentum in the presidential election in spite of his xenophobic rhetoric. Anxiously dreading a near-fascist regime in the event of a Trump presidency, I talked with my mother about getting reacquainted with Nigeria, my mother’s native country.

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Bowdoin’s moral tanglements are bigger than the Epstein case

This newspaper recently reported on the connection between Bowdoin trustee James Staley ’87 P’11 and billionaire sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. The reporting makes no conclusions about Staley’s possible implication in criminal activity, but leaves the reader with the clear impression that further investigation is warranted.

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Editorial

Unite at the museum steps

In solidarity with the largest global youth strike in history, Bowdoin Climate Action (BCA) organized a climate rally on the museum steps earlier today. While this once would have been a rare sight on our campus, instances of student activism are becoming increasingly frequent and visible.

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Editorial

Just a reminder

Last year, frustrated by unrealistic platforms and uncontested elections for Bowdoin Student Government’s (BSG) executive committee, we published an editorial titled “BSG, do better.” Members of last year’s BSG executive team replied, assuring us that the incoming BSG officers have the opportunity to do just that.

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Who's Left?

Mayor Pete is all persona

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the Democratic primary is the sudden success of South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. He came out of nowhere (sorry Indiana) to become a formidable fundraiser and top-tier candidate. However, the obsession with Mayor Pete demonstrates that liberals have learned nothing from the endless missteps of the Democratic Party in the 2016 cycle.

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Housekeeping

Misclassified workers show why Bowdoin has to do better

This past year, the Bowdoin Labor Alliance (BLA) exposed the vast distance between low-wage workers at the College and an administration indifferent to their needs. Leadership at the College prioritizes the financial bottom line over its obligation to our community members, even when we, as a wealthy liberal arts college and “non-profit,” have the luxury of making financial decisions that reflect our core values.

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Editorial

The “Living Rooms” of Campus

Congratulations to everyone for making it through the first week of classes. It’s finally the weekend! Tonight, hundreds of students—predominantly first years and sophomores—will descend upon the College Houses. And tomorrow, it will happen again. To those first-year students planning on attending house crawl: this may be your first time drinking.

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The bias incidents are on us

Let’s take ownership of our own actions. The “bias incidents” (which, if you ask me, is a rather ineffective term) that have transpired on the Bowdoin campus over the past few academic years are on us.

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On Second Thought

An ode to my friends

On the Friday of Ivies, amid the eclectic outfits and wild antics of Reed brunch, my senior friend placed her hands on my shoulder, looked me dead in the eye and said, “We’re going to stay in touch next year, okay?” Making her demand from under the brim of an oversized yellow bucket hat, it was hard to take her seriously.

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Editorial

Stick together

In an email to the College on Thursday afternoon, President Clayton Rose detailed a string of bias incidents that occurred over the last week. While four bias incidents were reported in the past week alone, it is anyone’s guess as to how many others remain unreported.

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Editorial

How the Orient reports

This week, like many other weeks this semester, we’ve encountered questions about the Orient’s editorial decisions. We are always learning and striving to do journalism better, and we welcome feedback. We want to take a moment to answer some of the questions that we come across, in the hopes that transparency on our part can build trust with you, our readers, and foster a stronger dialogue.

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Say it like it is

Please stop tokenizing conservative speakers

On Monday, President Clayton Rose hosted Governor John Kasich for a discussion of current issues. Pickard Theater was packed almost to capacity, and yet the event was largely inconsequential to campus life. I left with more questions than answers, partly because Kasich never actually answered a question but mostly because he offered little in terms of conservative thought—Kasich is a moderate.

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On Second Thought

Is the grass really greener?

It’s 4:15 p.m. in January and I excitedly hurry out of my last class of the week, ready to kick up my feet, watch some Netflix and forget about work until Sunday night. As soon as I exit Sills Hall, the icy wind begins to freeze my body to the core.

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Editorial

What is the Common Good anyway?

In his inaugural address, President Joseph McKeen said, “It ought always to be remembered, that literary institutions are founded and endowed for the common good, and not for the private advantage of those who resort to them for education.” How far have we strayed from this purpose?

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Breaking down the wall

“Trump es malo.” “Trump is bad,” a middle-aged woman tells me while she measures flour. I’m in an aisle of the central market in Merida, Mexico on a Sunday, speaking with the woman who sold me cinnamon and cloves.

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Our America

Why I want to donate my kidney to a stranger

Living at the country club that is Bowdoin College, I often forget just how much suffering there is in this world. Deep in the stress and sleep deprivation we all experience as Bowdoin students, I consistently fail to recognize that my life is charmed beyond measure and that my experience at this school is, for the most part, one wonderful experience after another.

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Editorial

BSG, do better

This weekend, students will have the opportunity to elect officers for next year’s Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) executive committee. Sort of. Only three of the officer positions are actually contested this year—the chairs of diversity and inclusion, facilities and sustainability, student organizations, student affairs and the treasury will win by default.

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BSG Candidacy Statements

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES Nate DeMoranville ’20 After three years of public service, it is with great excitement that I run for President of Bowdoin Student Government. In this position, I will strive to bridge the divides of this campus by working with students to help other students.

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On Second Thought

Embracing long distance

Thinking back to the beginning of my first year, I remember feeling like half of my class entered college with commitments to significant others back home—myself included. As the months went on it seemed like more and more people were breaking up with their partners from home and joining the “single community” here on campus.

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Do I belong here? Questioning Bowdoin’s meritocracy

“You all belong here.” It was a statement repeated over and over again as the class of 2022 filled the seats of Morrell Gymnasium on August 25, 2018. As various faculty speakers made their way to the podium to offer welcoming remarks to the incoming class, I remember a feeling of exhaustion as students finally allowed ourselves to sit back into our chairs to relax.

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Say it like it is

We’re all in this together

In September of 2018, I wrote an article about why the black kids sit together in the classroom. I argued for academic reform to engage students across difference. Crucially, my conclusion was this: “when we as students present ourselves as a unified front to the administration, how can they tell us that this system works?” Student activism was only one part of my proposed solution to self-segregation.

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Editorial

Accessing emotional support

“Although you may believe that having a cat in residence will help you, we have determined that authorizing the cat as a reasonable accommodation is not necessary in light of the evidence of your long history living in residence without such an aid and your excellent academic accomplishments.” That was the message that a student received via email from the Office of Accessibility, denying their request for an emotional support animal on campus.

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Letter to the Editor

Daily demonstrations of respect

To the Editor, As members of the Residential Life Head Staff, we collectively live in all of Bowdoin’s residence halls and communicate regularly with Bowdoin’s hardworking housekeepers. We deeply respect our housekeepers and commend the Orient staff and contributors for their ongoing attention to the living wage movement.

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Housekeeping

Dear Matt Orlando: the College has the money

After months of conversations with workers to formulate Bowdoin Labor Alliance (BLA) demands, and Orient reporting on Bowdoin’s compensation program, we lament that only public pressure could generate a response from the College. We are deeply troubled by the College’s effort to mischaracterize student and worker demands, malign the Orient’s reporting, reject Maine Department of Labor standards and silence workers’ voices.

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Pine Tree Perspective

Exploring the diversity of Maine English

In 2013, Josh Katz, a graphics editor for The New York Times, published an online dialect quiz entitled “How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk.” After you answer a series of questions about what term you might use for a specific concept and how you might pronounce a certain vowel, the quiz compiles your answers and shows you a heat map of what areas of the United States correspond to the linguistic features of your speech.

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Our America

The impossible quest to fix the Senate?

Whether you view the Constitution as tantamount to scripture or as nothing but a hypocritical piece of parchment, it seems Americans can agree that in these decisive times it is a deeply unamendable document. Yet, during the Progressive Era of democratic zeal that swept our nation from the late 1890s to the early 1920s, many viewed the Constitution as too easily amendable; when this era of reform was finally snuffed out by the economic euphoria of the Roaring Twenties, our Constitution was left four full amendments longer.

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Editorial

All’s fair in admissions?

While we were all away on Spring Break, news broke of a particularly salacious college admissions scandal. From photoshopped athlete photos to fake diagnoses of learning disabilities, the extent to which some parents would go to get their children into college shocked many of us.

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On Second Thought

Opinion: The responsibility of upperclassmen

In high school, I used to think one’s age was indicative of one’s grade. For me and my friends, class year was an indicator of maturity, academic ability and social value. Your grade was a defining characteristic of your identity in high school, and as such, it was easy to tell by looks and personality what grade you were in.

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Editorial: “How was your break?”

A week from now, the student body will scatter across the globe for spring break. Some will head home, whether that is as close as down the road in Brunswick or as far as China. Others will set off on vacations, to cities across the country and around the world.

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Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: Bowdoin’s treasurer on housekeeper wages

To the editor, We have been concerned about misperceptions and incorrect or incomplete information published here, and circulating elsewhere, about Bowdoin’s compensation program for our housekeepers. I want to take the opportunity to set the record straight about our compensation, the importance we place on this issue, and our substantial, ongoing efforts to make sure our housekeepers are compensated appropriately.

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Editorial

Real talk

Almost exactly three years ago, on February 20, 2016, a group of (mostly white) Bowdoin sophomores infamously gathered in a room in Stowe Hall, donning sombreros and drinking tequila. Although this story is a familiar one to Bowdoin seniors, it might not be to first years.

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Editorial

Pack the house

The Bowdoin women’s basketball team has danced its way to the number one seed in the NESCAC tournament, and the music doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon—though it may be changing tempo. Taylor Choate ’19 told Orient columnist Ian Ward this week that “in the postseason, everything’s different.

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To address the Bowdoin-Maine divide, we must go deeper

There are two homeless shelters within walking distance of campus. Many Bowdoin students, maybe even most, don’t know they exist. Tedford Housing operates both shelters, one on Federal Street and the other on Cumberland Street, which together provide safe and temporary housing for six families and 16 individuals.

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Our America

The Green New Deal needs nuclear

Climate change is our Cold War. While Boomers lived in constant fear of Soviet nuclear annihilation, we suffer daily from the thought—the truth—that the life we now live is set to slowly deteriorate. Every morning we wake up to a new report telling us how many more years of inaction we have left before the Amazon turns into the Sahara; thus, every evening, our existential dread builds.

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The American Dream: reconsidered

The January 2019 economic report proved that little can stop the steam of the American free enterprise system. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had its best January since 1985, rising 7.2 percent; 304,000 jobs were created and wages rose 3.4 percent, the highest in a decade.

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Editorial

Planning for the future

According to an article in this week’s edition of the Orient, many seniors are dissatisfied with the resources provided by the Career Planning Center (CPC). In the Orient’s biannual approval ratings survey, more than a third of seniors reported disapproving or strongly disapproving of the CPC.

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Editorial

Midd divested. Will we?

This week, Middlebury’s Board of Trustees voted for a plan that will divest the college’s endowment from fossil fuels within the next 15 years. Our neighbors in Vermont will also be switching to 100 percent renewables by 2028 and have pledged to reduce their energy consumption on campus by 25 percent.

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