By the end of my first year of college, I suffered from chronic pain in my wrists, neck and back—pain that curtailed my activities as an athlete, musician and student. For some of you, this may sound familiar: a late night cram-session hunched over a laptop coupled with an hour of scrolling on social media and texting friends can do a number on your body.
I originally posted sentiments expressed in this op-ed several weeks ago as an anonymous comment to Emily Ha’s op-ed “Rename the Orient.” At the time, the semester was at a particularly strenuous point for me, exacerbated by the emotions around the March 16 Atlanta shootings and the ongoing anti-Asian violence around the country.
This piece is the third in a series written by members of the Bowdoin Outing Club (BOC) Student Officer Team and individuals within the BOC student leadership. Our goal with these pieces is to share the work we have been doing to examine racism in outdoor recreation and the BOC’s role in creating more inclusive outdoor spaces.
When we began our time at Bowdoin, none of us could have imagined it would end like this. This is not the Bowdoin we signed up for—we never thought we would finish the semester in little Zoom boxes, eating take-out from the dining hall or living at home again.
This past summer, right around the pandemic’s six-month mark, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their annual young adult mental health report. Of the 5,470 participants, a record-high 40.9 percent reported struggling with depression or anxiety, a statistic evidently not jarring enough to push Bowdoin to hire an appropriate number of counselors and psychiatrists.
Our society has an obsession with labels. Because of this, I believe that there are certain labels that are misused, or that carry certain meanings, associations and implications that cause more harm than good. As of late, especially on social media, I have found irksome the overuse of the following terms: liberal, a word so broad that it now has a wide range of less-than-positive associations; girl boss, a term that became popular despite its negative implications and activist, which is commonly misused.
Last week was International Week at Bowdoin—a week when the international student community celebrates its members’ cultures while reflecting on unique struggles that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. In an Orient feature covering International Week, many international students voiced concerns about a lack of sufficient support from the College.
Colleges often make the misinformed assumption that all students understand what resources are available to them and how to use them. Office hours, writing centers, “Q” (quantitative-reasoning) tutors and even libraries are a few of the many “resources” that are commonly advertised to students, but how can they be useful if all students don’t know what they are or how to use them?
It sucks believing you’re the smartest Black person in the room. And it sucks even more having people believe that because you’re the smartest Black person in the room, you must be an exception to the norm, a deviation from your race, a “white” Black person.
I did not come to campus last semester eager-eyed and bushy-tailed. Instead, I came anxious and afraid. Of course, starting college in a literal pandemic did cause some anxieties to arise. I knew that academics would be more difficult online, and I expected that socialization would be more awkward, as I am already a pretty introverted person.
This semester, particularly for those of us living in Brunswick, it has been easier than ever to confine our perspectives to campus. COVID-19 has altered life at Bowdoin in ways that have made it seemingly impossible to talk about anything else—new updates have been released daily all semester, and every announcement of an expedited vaccine timeline or relaxed restriction spawns passionate conversations.
There has been a distinct increase in visibility for Black people right now. Whether it be campaigns by major corporations, the emphasis on “buying Black” or the onslaught of Black death on the internet, there is no denying the fact that Black people are being placed in the spotlight for various reasons.
Editor’s Note 05/10/2021 at 2:19 p.m.: Due to glitches that were allowing comments in violation of the Orient’s policy to appear below without having been approved, commenting has been disabled for this article. Comments that previously appeared that violate the policy have been removed.
Last week, Bowdoin alum Kevin Ma posted a response to my op-ed, “Rename the Orient.” Ma makes some excellent points about the need for people to truly hear Asian stories and voices. I wish to elaborate further on these points, as well as address his and others’ arguments against my piece.
To the Editor, As a journalist, I commend the current editors of The Bowdoin Orient for the care and thought they are bringing to the discussion of changing the paper’s name. There is a simple solution that honors multiple perspectives.
In an especially unusual year in the College’s history, Bowdoin students have had a lot to say. Our representatives to the administration, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG), can fill a crucial role in communicating the needs of students in this unprecedented situation and leading us on the road to, hopefully, a more normal college experience.
PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES Ryan Britt ’22 Hello everyone! Throughout my time at Bowdoin, I have had the privilege of serving as the BSG Chair of Student Affairs and as Class President. As a first-generation/low-income student in student government, I focused mainly on supporting our Counseling Center and creating programming for first-generation/low-income students.
This piece is the second in a series written by members of the Bowdoin Outing Club (BOC) Student Officer Team and individuals within the BOC student leadership. Our goal with these pieces is to share the work we have been doing to examine racism in outdoor recreation and the BOC’s role in creating more inclusive outdoor spaces.
Thinking back, I feel like I’ve never truly evaluated the effects that racial trauma—derived from instances of racial bias, abuse and discrimination—have had on my life. Strange, I know. Sure, in passing I’ve been able to monitor my mental health, assessing how much I need to remove myself from heavy social media use to not become overwhelmed with constant racial violence.
This has been a semester of calculated risks. In devising rules and guidelines for the campus community, administrators were tasked with creating a system allowing for a fulfilling Bowdoin experience for every student while still minimizing the potential for a COVID-19 outbreak on campus.
Since the publishing of the article “Rename the orient,” I have been closely following the comments, discourse and Letters to the Editor regarding Emily Ha’s opinion piece, both on the Orient website and on Facebook. As a Chinese-American with a degree in Asian Studies who is also finishing a masters in Chinese Language and Culture, I take enough personal interest to engage with members of the Bowdoin community on this topic.
On Sunday, 10 miles from the courthouse where former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for the murder of George Floyd, Kim Potter, another police officer, shot and killed Daunte Wright. As he was being pulled over, Wright called his mom to tell her he was getting pulled over because he had air fresheners hanging from his rear view window.
The PRO Act represents an important step for every worker, both domestic and overseas. Given the importance of the United States on the global scale of politics, passing more pro-organized labor legislation could contribute to a further shift towards unions in the rest of the world.
So here we are again. Another Black person killed by an agent of the state. This time, the excuse was that the officer thought she had grabbed her taser, but instead, she not only took off the safety, but also fired her gun, shooting 20-year-old Daunte Wright in the chest and taking his life.
Band-aid on a bullet hole: the plight of the forgotten off-campus, low-income first years this semester
“Greetings, The committee has reviewed your application to live on campus for Spring 2021. Unfortunately, your application has been denied. Please be sure to reach out to campus resources to develop and reinforce strategies for success in your spring classes.
This piece is the first in a series written by members of the Bowdoin Outing Club (BOC) Student Officer Team and individuals within the BOC student leadership to share the work we have been doing to examine racism in outdoor spaces and the role of the BOC in creating more inclusive spaces.
Social media has made it so that a number of people can now see the many injustices committed against our people on camera, including the many assaults, cases of harassment and murder. However, in recent events, as many Black people continue to fight for their lives, a lot of those who like to portray themselves as allies use the Black Lives Matter movement as a mere trend.
How does one measure collegiate eliteness, and how is said eliteness communicated to the pool of applicants for our nation’s top colleges? I suppose this question of measurement could be answered by statistical evidence—placing student selectivity, academic rigor and financial endowment as determinants of prestige.
To the Editor, We write to you in support of the name of the Bowdoin “Orient” as former Editors in Chief of this “Oldest Continuously Published College Weekly.” Tradition and history do have a place in forming connections to a shared past and continuing a worthwhile journey with common bonds.
To the Editor: As former editors-in-chief of the Orient, we want to commend and voice our support for Kate Lusignan ’21 and Nina McKay ’21, who have begun considering changing the name of the paper we oversaw last year.
To Bowdoin students, alumni, faculty and staff; Orient staff members past and present and members of the Brunswick community: When we joined the Orient nearly four years ago, we, along with many other then-first-year staff members, had questions about the name of the paper.
To the Editor: To the guerrilla artist who leaves painted stones on campus: THANK YOU! I find myself walking across campus looking for new stones and surprising myself by how much I enjoy discovering a new piece of pebble art.
When I was younger, I would slightly bend the pages of the book I was reading and tap them with a pencil to stay focused. This habit of mine occurred often; I would rush through my classwork so I could get back to reading books I was actually interested in.
To the Editor: The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the college recruitment and selection process for the majority of graduating high school seniors. We have relied on so many unconventional approaches to research colleges and athletic programs.
“Social justice burnout”: the burden of the expectation to frequently post diversity-related content on the internet
Last summer, Black Lives Matter (BLM) finally got the attention of white America with the murder of 46-year-old George Floyd at the hands of police brutality. Like many other Black people who felt directly connected to the issue, I took to social media to post frequently about BLM, as well as to express my pain in hoping for a better America.
On Tuesday evening on March 16, eight people were shot in three massage parlors in the “red-light districts” of Atlanta, Georgia. Six of those murdered were Asian—all of whom were women—and two were white. Four of the women were confirmed to be of Korean descent.
On Monday, students received an email from President Clayton Rose detailing one of the College’s new virtual initiatives: Mental Health Moments. Designed by nationally-renowned mental health advocate Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas ’89, Mental Health Moments is a program in which students receive weekly mental health tips in the form of an email from Assistant Director of Residential Life Celeste Hynes.
I never thought we would hear the words “Mr. Potato Head” and “canceled” in the same sentence. For those unfamiliar with the backstory: two weeks ago, the toy manufacturer Hasbro announced, in the name of gender inclusivity, that it would drop the “Mr.” and “Mrs.” honorifics from its “Potato Head” line of toys.
Editor’s Note 03/31/21 at 5:30 p.m.: A word in the article has been edited, both for accuracy and to reflect the author’s original intentions. The author initially wrote that Counseling Services had not received “adequate” funding to meet the current demand.
During the fall semester, Bowdoin only housed a third of its student body. Yet, many students decided to live in Brunswick and its surrounding towns in an effort to maintain their connection with friends and the greater Bowdoin community.
We wake up, pick up our phones and check the to-do lists on the well-designed apps we have carefully picked from the virtual store. There were plenty to choose from, but each promised to make our lives more productive and to render us in control of them.
Two weeks ago, President Rose announced a series of speakers who will each discuss an aspect of American democracy in light of the January 6 Capitol insurrection. While the series is laudable, Bowdoin has invited two figures who offer right-of-center opinions or votes that most Bowdoin students should consider problematic.
When applying to Bowdoin, students inevitably hear the phrase “Common Good,” whether through the Offer of the College or the Admissions Office. The “Common Good” is an essential part of the Bowdoin experience. Now, during the pandemic, we are focused on creating a “Bowdoin Bubble” rather than breaking out of it, but what does that mean for Bowdoin’s “Common Good” commitment?
On February 2, healthcare workers in Myanmar announced their intention to strike against the recent military takeover. On February 3, they took to the streets. By February 9, many hospitals shut down and other workers joined the strike, including the Teachers’ Federation, which has over 100,000 members.
“Stand back and stand by.” On September 29, 2020, the 45th President of the United States told his followers to fall back for now but be ready for his call to arms. As per usual, most people in the white community, whether it be in the media, in Congress or online, took note of his threat but doubted anything of concern would happen.
Although the COVID-19 world can sometimes make us feel isolated, the pandemic has also forced us to recognize our role as part of a global environment and reinforced the importance of cross-cultural communication and collaboration. One lesson learned from the pandemic should be the essential role of study abroad.
In December, Bowdoin received approval from the Brunswick Planning Board to cover at least 15 acres of a state-listed critically imperiled natural community with solar panels. The resulting loss of sandplain grasslands, documented in only four places in Maine, greatly diminishes the environmental benefits of Bowdoin’s otherwise laudable investment in renewable energy.
The Mandalorian, having begun its second season on October 30, has taken the internet and Star Wars fandom by storm, provoking discussion and debate among many community members and casual enjoyers alike, including myself. As a show, The Mandalorian is, in the barest sense of the word, good.
Believe it or not, before getting into college became my top priority, my dream was to become a Call of Duty eSports player (eSports = Electronic Sports). I worked relentlessly for this dream. I played every day, fueled by a can of Monster, until I was good enough to join semi-professional teams.
This semester was a doozy to say the least. For those of us on campus, we not only battled a pandemic that was annoying for some and completely terror-inducing for others, but we also had to balance an academic load more rigorous than many of us were expecting.
Fall break, for many, was not a break this year. Students felt overwhelmed with the work assigned—time meant for rest, rejuvenation and the Maine outdoors became time for catching up on copious amounts of work, last-minute papers and even exams.
Yesterday I had to call the bank because I lost my debit card and needed to replace it. I had to spend 35 minutes on the phone listening to a representative repeat that they could not send me a new card because my information wasn’t in the computer and that I should call back in 24 hours.
On October 23, President Rose emailed a “Racial Justice Update” to the community, expanding on his September 2 email in which he described the two pillars of the College’s work toward racial justice. I am grateful for these emails, and for the College’s commitment: we need to address systemic prejudice in the United States and the continued pain and suffering it causes.
For the gaming enthusiasts, Cyberpunk 2077 has been one of the most anticipated titles of the year. Meant to be released in May 2020, it was further delayed to November and then even to December. At this point, we are not sure whether or not we will play the latest creation by CD Projekt Red, a Polish game developer, by the end of the year.
Each year, as the weather gets colder, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) kicks off a month of anti-bias programming dubbed “No Hate November” where students, faculty and invited guests give lectures and host events aimed at addressing intolerance on campus.
The Bowdoin Chapter of the AAUP recognizes importance of non-violent protest in defending Common Good
In light of ongoing efforts to subvert democracy, such as attempts to block the counting of votes and false claims of voter fraud, we, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), reiterate President Rose’s statement concerning the importance of civic engagement and the democratic process.
I was among the majority of voters in Portland, ME who approved a number of progressive ballot measures on Tuesday. We voted to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next few years, require time-and-a-half hazard pay during states of emergency, ban facial recognition technology, protect tenants by implementing rent control, establish a new board to review other potential rent increases and require real estate developers to utilize green technology and provide additional pay and training to workers in what was termed “A Green New Deal for Portland.” These ballot measures reflect political trends and commitments that extend beyond Portland.
If we have learned one thing over the past several months, it is that the Trump administration cannot be trusted in regards to COVID-19. From downplaying the danger and airborne nature of the virus to promoting an unproven steroid treatment despite warnings from health officials about its lack of efficacy, the President has persistently spewed disinformation about the global pandemic.
We are facing one of the most consequential elections in American history, and we find ourselves in a moment where our democracy is profoundly threatened. This is it. We cannot expect to be supported by the leaders in our supposedly democratic system; during Senate hearings for the appointment to the highest court of the land, our new Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett failed to name one of the five protections guaranteed under the First Amendment: the right to protest.
Black people have been grieving the loss of our ancestors and freedom for a long time. From the first time an imperialist stepped foot on the continent of Africa, to the violent removal from our native lands, to the demonization of traditional spiritual practices, to the rebranding of slavery into mass incarceration, to the willfull ignorance of the European American majority, to the very stress of racism lowering the life expectancy of Black women.
Over recent weeks, a debate has erupted in the Orient opinion pages on the merits of ranked-choice voting (RCV). A series of competing op-eds and letters to the editor have argued that the increased turnout among disillusioned voters due to RCV could do one of two things: help Joe Biden gain support from unlikely voters who will rank him second, or hurt Biden by dampening enthusiasm or even creating the possibility of a third-party win.
As fall break rolled around and fall foliage around the Northeast became impossible to resist, news around the country about spikes in COVID-19 cases came to the forefront. For me, and millions of other disabled and immuno-compromised citizens, this meant months more of staying inside and socially isolating due to administrative inaction and others’ personal irresponsibility.
Fall break, for some particular reason, always falls around Indigenous People’s Day (formerly known as Columbus Day). However, this piece will not be about how most American holidays are centered around European-Americans and Christanity; the thing most present on my mind after this four-day weekend was the fact that I, for one, did not get any rest or an actual break.
To the Editor: Though I hesitate to prolong the debate in this publication over Progressives’ voting habits, I object to Theo Danzig’s argument in his recent Letter to the Editor that a vote for Howie Hawkins in Maine is “reckless.” For Hawkins to be awarded four electoral votes, as in Mr.
I grew up about 20 miles south of Bowdoin in the town of Falmouth, an affluent coastal suburb just north of Portland. Falmouth is one of the wealthiest municipalities in the state, and the town is certainly not afraid to boast it (our mascot was literally the Yachtsmen).
This is my response to both the article titled “Progressives, do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” and to the ways that Bowdoin students talk about “progressive voters.” What do you mean by “progressives?” Do you see us as some kind of homogeneous group who share the same challenges, the same social, economic and racial realities and who agree unilaterally on a solution?
Howie Hawkins’ nomination as the Green Party candidate for president is a tremendous opportunity for the American left. It’s true that the Green Party is not a solidly working-class, fundamentally anti-capitalist organizing machine ready to lead a full-scale proletarian (electoral) revolution.
To the Editor: In her op-ed last week, “Maine Progressives: Rank Biden Second,” Livia Kunins-Berkowitz argued that since Maine offers ranked-choice voting, progressives should place as their first choice a more progressive candidate, such as Howie Hawkins of the Green Party.
Four days ago, the Washington Post released an article regarding the Climate Clock, a Manhattan fixture providing us with a deadline for irreversible action on the impending climate crisis: 7 years, 101 days, 17 hours, 29 minutes and 22 seconds from when it was unveiled on Monday.
I spent the night before my American Government final watching the impeachment of Donald Trump from the Hawthorne-Longfellow Library (H-L) basement, an impeachment that I had anticipated since the transcript of his phone call with Ukrainian President Zalensky had been released a few months earlier.
The Maine Senate race between incumbent Susan Collins and Maine Speaker of the House Sara Gideon is one of the tightest, most high-profile races in the country. Both candidates are hoping to gain momentum and build a tangible lead in the next six weeks, yet neither has been able to earn a consistent advantage in the polls.
To the Editor: I write to express my deep approval of last week’s op-ed, written by my classmate, Alexander Banbury ’20. Now, with the passing of Justice Ginsburg and the intensification of the climate crisis, the call for electing Joe Biden has never been more urgent.
It’s been a long three years, and starting this fourth year at Bowdoin has already been incredibly taxing. As the movement for our lives has picked up steam, there’s also an uptick in non-Black comrades realizing that racism is “still a thing” and that anti-Blackness exists beyond the arbitrary borders of the United States.
Joe Biden is the only choice for progressive voters in this election. Abstaining from voting or voting for fringe third-party candidates cripples the progressive agenda and is not an option. Unfortunately, I am afraid that progressive voters do not see it this way because Joe Biden was not their top choice in the Democratic primary.
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.
Editor’s note 09/18/2020 at 2:35 p.m. EDT: A previous version of this article mistakenly reported that James Staley was served with a subpoena. The article has been updated to reflect that the subpoena was in fact issued to JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Imagine your friends are throwing a huge party. “It’s going to be the blowout of the century,” they tell you, as they pile immaculate pastries onto silver trays and stack endless boxes of that pink Franzia everyone likes.
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.
As I begin my senior year at Bowdoin, my mind races. My thoughts have always been rapid; growing up as the oldest daughter in a single-parent household has its fair share of challenges, and being an educated Black woman in the United States has even more.
As rumors began to surface that the Milwaukee Bucks were considering sitting out of their upcoming playoff game in protest of the shooting of Jacob Blake by police, many didn’t expect the players to actually abstain from play.
Bowdoin has failed us. The athletic department has failed us. Our coaches have failed us, and our teammates have failed us. This failure is glaringly obvious to students of color, and it seems to go unnoticed by everyone else.
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.
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.
“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.