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Opinion

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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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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What about the pines?

On Monday, Bowdoin’s Administration announced plans for the construction of two new buildings, Barry Mills Hall and the Center for Arctic Studies. Fitted with “state-of-the-art academic facilities,” President Rose is confident that these additions will “play a significant role in enhancing Bowdoin education.” The Bowdoin website, in their announcement, included a map of campus indicating the location of the new buildings.

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Editorial

Police Patrol

In the biannual Bowdoin Orient Student Survey, published in this week’s issue, 34.61 percent of students indicated that they disapprove or strongly disapprove of the Brunswick Police Department (BPD). This is by far the highest disapproval rating of the individuals, departments and organizations listed on the survey.

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Pine Tree Perspective

There is only one Maine

In her recent inaugural address, Maine’s new governor Janet Mills laid out an ambitious plan to bolster the state’s economy, combat the opioid crisis and address climate change. She also sent a strong message of unity to her audience, proclaiming, “We are one Maine, undivided, one family from Calais to Bethel, from York to Fort Kent.” With this one sentence, Governor Mills did more than set a new course from the divisive LePage era.

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A statement in solidarity with federal workers

We, members of the Bowdoin Labor Alliance, write this statement to publicly express our solidarity with federal workers struggling during these long weeks without pay due to the government shutdown. Workers should not be exploited as political pawns; they are our friends, relatives, community members and peers.

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Why Elizabeth Warren is the president America needs

David Brooks wrote in his January 10 column in the New York Times that what is needed now in the age of the “tribal emotionalism” of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders is a third story—one that does not break the world into the “simple narrative” of the “virtuous us and the evil them (the bankers),” but instead focuses on a remoralization of the market.

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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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Editorial

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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