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Opinion

More from Mina

Let’s be real: it’s bigger than temporary solidarity

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.

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Thank you

In the last week, Bowdoin has provided the student body with access to vaccines through Mid Coast Hospital and, in response to recent cases, upped the testing protocol to three tests per week for all students.

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Thoughts in passing

Is it a secret?

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.

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Rename the Orient

February 19, 2019; The Walker Art Museum. A birthday party of sorts, celebrating the Museum’s 125th year. I was standing in a throng of people in the lobby, half-listening to a speech about the Museum’s opening.

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Afia Tells All

“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.

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Editorial

More than a moment

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.

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OP ED: Why is Mr. Potato Head making national news?

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.

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Mental Health

OP ED: We need a break

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. 

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OP ED: Collins, Nossel part of problem, not solution

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.

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Editorial

Common good for uncommon times

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?

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Editorial

An empty highway

After clicking the red “Leave Meeting” button for the third time in a day, your door locking behind you is an inviting sound. You don a coat, hat, mask and the hope that you won’t slip on the ice again.

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2021: The year of the labor movement and unions

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.

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Saffy Says

Who are you to call for my death?

“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.

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Mental Health

We are not okay.

[Content warning: Eating disorders.] I am not okay. I’m 20 years old—I’m supposedly in my prime. And I can barely leave my room. I combat crippling social anxiety when I try to preserve my sanity through socialization.

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Editorial

The hardest part is yet to come

Many of us are looking forward to the end of “Hibearnation,” galvanized by the fact that only two cases of COVID-19 have been recorded among students living in residence, the end of Bowdoin’s intense restrictions appears to be in sight.

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Our environment is the common good

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.

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The Mandalorian and the Disney problem

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.

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The case for eSports

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.

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Saffy Says

Please, take a break

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.

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OPINION: On prescribed equality of outcome

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.

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OPINION: The video games in our houses

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.

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Saffy Says

OPINION: Don’t stop now

On Saturday November 7, around 11:50 a.m. EDT, most major news networks called the election in favor of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, who received the most votes of any presidential ticket in U.S.

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Editorial

EDITORIAL: It’s Not Just November 

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.

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The Pinko Dispatch

Biden Conservatives and Trump Progressives?

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.

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Mind the Gap

OPINION: Maine needs to independently review any COVID-19 vaccine

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.

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Editorial

EDITORIAL: Why you should vote for Biden, and why that should be just your first step

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.

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Saffy Says

OPINION: Next Tuesday, all we have is community.

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.

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Ranked-choice voting is good, actually

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.

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OPINION: Bowdoin students, do better.

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.

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Saffy Says

OPINION: Stop colonizing our break

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.

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EDITORIAL: Where to Draw the Line

On Thursday morning, President Clayton Rose released a video regarding the upcoming election and uncertainty that may follow after election night. He questioned how long the results may take and highlighted that the election may become a legal battle.

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Election

OPINION: Obsession with perfection

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?

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The Pinko Dispatch

OPINION: A million votes for socialism

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.

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Editorial

Stop expecting normal

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.

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Saffy Says

OPINION: Allies and adversaries

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.

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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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