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Opinion

Concerns regarding Bowdoin Science Experience’s “hiatus”

When I came to Bowdoin, I knew very little about college: what my classes would be like, what living in a dorm would be like or what my next four years would look like. With all these unknowns, it was comforting to hear that I would be sleeping in a dorm instead of on the floor of Farley Field House and that I didn’t have to spend several days outside with Maine mosquitoes.

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Editorial

Stay safe, bears

It’s no secret that Bowdoin’s Ivies weekend looks different now than it did just a few years ago. Since its inception in 1865, the event had grown into a weekend-long affair with hundreds of thousands of dollars of programming attached.

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BSG Candidacy Statements

Presidential Candidates Jacob Horigan ’24 Dear Bowdoin Community, I am the only candidate who has balanced athletics with school-work for two years while also having a non-athletic Bowdoin life filled with club meetings and office hours.

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Editorial

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

Editor’s note 04/21/2023 at 1:08 p.m.: This article mistakingly reported that the last faculty meeting was on March 6. This has been corrected to reflect that the meeting was on April 7. An original version also implied that the Academic Fair would be retired.

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We are still not okay

Upon arriving here as a first-generation, low-income student, I identified most with the mission of the Bowdoin Labor Alliance (BLA). Per our website, which is no longer actively maintained due to social discontinuities and expenses: “The Bowdoin Labor Alliance is a coalition of students, faculty and staff dedicated to pushing Bowdoin College to ensure a living wage and humane working conditions for ALL employees.

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Rethinking BSG’s role on campus

I am writing to encourage us to rethink the role of student government at Bowdoin and to articulate my vision for a better Bowdoin Student Government (BSG). In my brief time as a BSG representative this semester, it’s become clear that many of my colleagues and most of the student body are apathetic to BSG: in this past election, less than 17% of the student body voted and most executive positions were left unfilled.

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Unpaid labor: an ongoing dialogue

In the two weeks since our initial opinion piece, many questions have sprung up around campus: How will people be paid? What qualifies as unpaid labor? Does Bowdoin have the money to pay these people? Our campaign has two main demands: first, the payment of unpaid workers who are essential to Bowdoin’s image and welfare, and second, compensation for unlogged student and staff hours.

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A request for clarification

Dear Bowdoin Labor Alliance, I enjoyed reading your article in last week’s edition of the Bowdoin Orient. While I enjoyed the article, I had a few questions that I hope that you can answer to clear up some of my confusion about your arguments.

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Editorial

A penny for our thoughts?

Last week, the Bowdoin Labor Alliance (BLA) published an op-ed in tandem with the rollout of their most recent campaign—securing better pay for campus workers who they deem to be uncompensated or undercompensated. The situation is, of course, complicated.

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Thank you for calling the police on me

It was a normal Saturday evening. My mom had just picked me up from a soccer game. Naturally, I seized the opportunity to engage in one of my favorite pastimes: sleeping. Thirty minutes into my nap, my mother patted me awake to let me know that she was going to take a “quick” stop at the grocery store.

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Dear Bowdoin, pay us.

Despite its 2.5 billion-dollar endowment, Bowdoin runs on under-compensated and uncompensated labor. This labor is unrecognized but profoundly important. We are tired of doing unpaid work for a multi-billion dollar institution—Bowdoin can afford to pay us for the labor it profits off of.

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Editorial

In defense of a free press

Yesterday morning, Evan Gershkovich ’14, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal based in Moscow, was detained by Russian authorities on espionage charges for doing the same job that journalists around the world do every day.

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The myth of thinness in distance running

When you picture a distance runner, what kind of body do you picture? Maybe you think of someone not too tall, with powerful legs, strong but mostly wiry and thin. Thinness is probably key to the image in your mind’s eye.

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Editorial

Observator-we

On a warm, summer night, you journey with your friends to the fields behind Farley. You collapse on the dewy grass and face upward to the great unknown. But wait, what are those lights above you?

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Serving those who served our nation

Maine’s greatest strength has always been our unique heritage and strength of character. It’s a truth that shines bright across our state and in the nearly ten percent of Maine people who answered the call to serve our country.

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Fight for Indigenous Sovereignty in Maine: A Chance to Make Things Better

Maine’s federally recognized Tribes (Penobscot Nation, Passamaquoddy Tribe, Houlton Band of Maliseet and Mi’kmaq Nation) are currently “treated like second-class sovereigns,” according to Chief Kirk Francis of the Penobscot Nation. They have fewer legal rights and protections than any other Native peoples in the United States because of a pair of 1980 laws stripping them of their sovereignty.

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Editorial

BowdoinEvery Day

As Bowdoin celebrated another year of a successful BowdoinOne Day, students were met with free coffee and doughnuts, high-fives from the Bowdoin polar bear, letter-writing stations in Smith Union and an overwhelming sense of school spirit and campus camaraderie.

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Editorial

Buy in.

We’ve all heard it before: “Bowdoin was so much better before Covid-19.” Our fellow upperclassmen seem to constantly mourn the pre-Covid days when days were brighter, people were kinder and they all had more fun. If you’re planning on graduating after May 2023, you’re likely no stranger to being reminded by those around you that you’re experiencing some generic-brand Bowdoin experience; while no one can point to exactly what’s changed, they can’t help but feel like something’s off.

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A sober look at the college houses

Two weeks ago, Reed House had its first meeting of the semester. About two-thirds of its members were there, the rest rarely show up to meetings anymore. As I looked around the room, I couldn’t say I knew all of the faces very well.

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Editorial

End legacy admissions

“What you need to remember about legacies is that they are generally better qualified than other candidates, not weaker,” Bill Shain, former Dean of Admissions at the College (2006–2008) said in a 2008 interview with ABC News.

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A spring concert update from BSG

Ivies is a Bowdoin tradition that dates back to 1865. Over time, the tradition has changed, but one thing that has remained part of Ivies for the last 156 years is the concert. Last year’s Ivies celebration featured several changes, with the primary alteration being made to the concert.

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Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: An Invitation

To the editors, A PeaceWorks vigil has been active in Brunswick for the past 21 years. This letter is an invitation to all members of the Bowdoin community to join us when you can. Sometimes called “Honk for Peace,” we stand at the edge of the green opposite Walgreens every Friday from 5 – 5:30 p.m.

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On Race at Bowdoin

A call to change histories of narrative scarcity

“The reason why we have narrative scarcity is because we have economic scarcity, and people don’t have equal access to modes of storytelling,” Pulitzer-prize author Viet Thanh Nguyen once said. In a discussion with author Maxine Hong Kingston, he delved into the immense weight and pressure placed on literature told by writers from minority cultures.

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Editorial

A case for student space

As temperatures drop below zero this weekend, studying with groups of friends sprawled out on the quad will be but a distant memory keeping all of us warm. Student spaces where we can gather, study, sip hot chocolate and dry off our snowy boots feel more and more important as they become more and more central to our campus experience.

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Let’s have a talk about male birth control

Parenting is hard. I know as a 20-year-old college student that I am not ready to become a parent, even if I do want kids of my own someday. Since I am a sexually active college student, birth control is incredibly important to me so that I do not bring a child into this world before I’m equipped to raise it.

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What grief can be

I had been working at Bowdoin for exactly seven days when my only niece, Emily, was killed in a traffic accident. She was 20. I was 2,000 miles away. My bosses and colleagues said “go, go now,” and that’s what I did.

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Don’t fear the turf!

Bowdoin is committed to sustainability and responsible stewardship of the environment and always prioritizes the health and safety of our students and community when we make decisions about materials for capital projects. Lately, these commitments have been blurred by misinformation and conjecture about our plans to improve the Pickard fields for our students.

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History works best unsanitized: from Woman King to Jefferson Davis

The year 2022 was a thrilling year for Black film fanatics to enjoy empowering representations of Black or African excellence, from NOPE to Black Adam to Woman King. Woman King was a particularly special full-length feature that presents Dahomey women soldiers (often dubbed the Dahomey Amazons) who, in actual history, shocked French troops with their discipline and military might, defied Western European notions of female gender roles and showed promise of potential gender equality before French colonization thwarted it.

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We should have November 8 off

Packed into the Bowdoin van aptly named “the Votemobile,” on November 8, I drove alongside other students to cast my ballot. While there was a general aura of anxiety, it was quickly apparent that our worries were not caused solely by the important election at hand.

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Letter to the Editor

LTE: More informed and balanced views on Russia/Ukraine

To the editors, I see the college is hosting a series of lectures on Russia-Ukraine, the first of which was already held (virtually) on October 27 when Ukrainian scholar Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed delivered “Russia’s War On Ukraine: Culture, Memory, Politics.” I missed the lecture, so I can’t be sure how much the Orient’s coverage omitted, but I was troubled by Shpylova-Saeed’s neglect of historical context.

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Editorial

A permanent “polar pause”

At 7:05 p.m. on November 4, 2021, the sound of applause rang throughout Thorne: a wave of relief cascading across campus as the student body checked their emails. At that moment, President Clayton Rose’s extension of Thanksgiving Break was necessary for a College processing tremendous grief.

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Letter to the Editor

Thanks for voting!

To the Editors, We want to thank everyone who came out and voted on Tuesday. This year was vital for Maine and national politics, and it was more imperative than ever for us to drive progressive thinking and activism at Bowdoin and in our community.

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Don’t buy Black Rifle Coffee

The Bowdoin C-Store is one of the central hubs for buying goods on our campus. From drinks to snacks to some basic groceries, hundreds of students pass through every week. Aware of this, the College works thousands of Polar Points into student dining plans and encourages each student to spend their $150 each and every semester.

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Editorial

Winter is coming

As daylight saving time comes to a close, Bowdoin students are adjusting to the realities of 4 p.m. sunsets and fast-approaching winter gusts. As heavy coats become necessities and daylight becomes increasingly scarce, it is important to find ways to support each other as we enter darker, colder days.

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Does the name Shingo Matsumoto mean anything to you?

It happened on a cold December night in 1995. A twenty-one-year-old Bowdoin student had just left Helmreich House and was crossing Maine Street when a truck accidentally ran him down, killing him. That student was Shingo Matsumoto, and we would do well to remember his name and how he died.

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Think this election doesn’t matter? Think again

“I voted in 2020 when it mattered.” “Why should I vote here when I’m not from here?” “The Democrats are going to win in Maine, so my vote doesn’t matter.” We’ve heard it all. Throughout the country, Democratic candidates have been dragged down by an enthusiasm gap following record turnout and engagement in 2020.

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Editorial

Filling in the bubble

This Tuesday many Bowdoin students and Brunswick community members will gather at the polls. Whether you’re born and raised in Maine or only intend to stay for four years, your presence here matters, as a vote or as a voice.

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The life cycle of the semester

As unpopular as it might be, there is something that I love about the end of the semester. Even in the face of the all-consuming stress of exams, papers and final projects, those last few weeks of both December and May last year were undoubtedly some of my favorites.

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Exercise your right to vote

These have been incredibly difficult years, unsettled by the ongoing pandemic and increasing political polarization. You may feel like voting is too much work, useless, or not worth the trouble, and we get that. You have a right to be jaded.

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Bowdoin needs harm reduction programs for drug use

A 2019 study found that 11.3 percent of people ages 18 to 25 have used cocaine at some point in their lifetime and 5.3 percent reported using cocaine within the past year. That same study found that 5.3 percent of people in this age group reported illicit opioid use within the past year.

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Editorial

A visual reckoning

If one were to teleport onto the Main Quad fifty years ago, it would look familiar. The visual language of the College has remained strong. Similar lamps still line the paths between patches of grass. Squirrels still bury their fall acorn stashes under the same—if now slightly bigger—oak trees.

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Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: “Upgrades” to Pickard Field

To the editors, The proposals for the redevelopment of Bowdoin’s Pickard Field complex sent to members of Friends of the College a week or so ago are both surprising and troubling: surprising because I am coming to think of Bowdoin as an environmentally-conscious institution and troubling because the proposals set the College back several steps in the community trust earned from solar and geo-thermal installations.

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Finding Time

On the need for busyness in our lives

So many times this semester, overwhelmed with the pace of everyday life, I have found myself filled with the desire to hit the pause button. “If I had a week, or even a couple of days just to catch my breath,” I think to myself, “I would finally be able to get ahead on work, get enough sleep and see all the friends I’ve been meaning to.” As much as I like to hold this idea in my head, I know deep down that it’s ultimately a lie.

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Effective altruism: helping those who need it most

Bowdoin doesn’t need our donations. There are other people who do. This is a school of future scientists, leaders and one-percenters. We have the opportunity to make an impact on the world, and we should take advantage of that opportunity to improve the lives of others to the greatest extent possible.

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Editorial

The fight in the dog

In a world where oatmilk lattes are ordered online and to-go orders are taken through the Toast app, it’s concerningly easy to lose the humanity in these seemingly small interactions. The pandemic has exacerbated difficulties in the already-difficult service industry, resulting in a world where customers interact less with workers and more with websites.

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The perils Bolsonaro poses to Brazil

As I approached the polling center in New York City on the first Sunday of October, a frenzied scene of political discord was afoot. A sea of the iconic yellow Brazilian soccer jerseys, a symbol now co-opted by the Brazilian incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, occupied one side of the street.

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The privilege of medical leave

Trigger warning: This op-ed contains content relating to mental health disorders and treatment. While no explicit details are discussed, descriptive language is used. “Hi, I’m Meredith. I use she/her pronouns, and I’m in the Class of 2023, but I intend to graduate in 2025.” This is the phrase I’ve settled on when people ask what year I am.

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Editorial

Fielding harm: no to PFAS

In its Offer of the College, Bowdoin promises students the opportunity “To count Nature a familiar acquaintance.” In keeping with this goal, Bowdoin has served as a leader in environmental protection in a variety of ways.

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Maybe you saw it, maybe you didn’t

Eyewitness testimony is one of the most persuasive forms of evidence used in America’s criminal justice system. It is also one of the most unreliable and contributes to the grave injustices that plague our nation. False eyewitness testimony has led to innocent people like Jarvis Jay Masters being stuck on death row for decades.

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Editorial

To be in community

The smiles of cardswipers and dining staff are some of the first to brighten our days as we swipe in at breakfast each morning; we often pass housekeepers in the hallways of our dorms, and we breeze past staff at the library front desk on our way to study.

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Finding Time

Time, attention and love

In my photography class a few weeks ago, we were discussing a chapter from novelist Anne Lamott’s book “Bird by Bird.” Titled “Looking Around,” this chapter argues that in order to write or, more broadly, engage with any form of art, you have to learn to love and revere the smallest details of both yourself and the world around you.

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Sophia Rosati ’24 artist’s statement

I am the creator of the art installation outside of the Bowdoin chapel, titled “God’s Body God’s Choice.” This is a pro-choice piece for VART 3503 and the prompt was “Small but Mighty.” Important context for my art is represented in my artist’s statement below.

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BSG candidate statements

Cheng Xing ’23 Hello hello, I am Cheng Xing, and I am running for the position of the President of the Class of 2023. Having served as the Treasurer of our class and on the board of the Student Activities Funding Committee, I have learned several important principles regarding student leadership roles and communication on the behalf of the student body.

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Editorial

Demystifying Covid in the new normal

Coughing, sniffling, sneezing—this is the current soundtrack to the College’s dining halls, classrooms and study spaces. Since the pandemic began, it has become harder to decipher whether these cacophonies are due to Covid-19, “the Bowdoin flu” or simply allergies.

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Editorial

Who cares?

Imagine having the chance to be neighbors with your congressional representative; to see the President grocery shopping; to grab coffee with the mayor. In the larger political world, this level of accountability and accessibility is hard to come by.

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Our Responsibility

After more than six decades of unconditional aid to and diplomatic protection of Israel, I guess support for Israel has become a reflex reaction for U.S. officials. The spokesperson for the White House’s National Security Council, John Kirby, probably not remembering why he has to be an apologist for Israel, said in reaction to Israel’s offensive against Gaza last month: “We remain unwavering in our commitment to Israel’s security and will continue to work to strengthen all aspects of the U.S.-Israeli partnership.” He further reiterated Israel’s right to self-defense against Gazans.

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Editorial

The Traditional Path

With just one class who experienced a pre-pandemic Bowdoin remaining on campus, it is easy to take for granted some of the newer cultural changes on Bowdoin’s campus. Often, older students might regularly complain about the “good old days”—literally just Ivies—but it is important to understand that these post-pandemic changes have ushered in the normalization of a new type of Bowdoin student: those on a non-traditional collegiate path.

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Editorial

Digital inexcellence

Bowdoin considers itself a champion of equity—and in many ways, it is. The College has boasted a need-blind admissions process for US citizens since 2008, and earlier this year, it extended this policy to international students.

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Let’s Expand Maine Broadband and Make it Affordable

Early in the 20th century, America’s cities were booming. The era of electrification brought new jobs and opportunities to hubs like New York, Chicago and Boston. Unfortunately, America’s rural areas didn’t see the benefits of these modern technological advancements; in fact, only ten percent of rural households had access to electricity by 1930.

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Letter to the Editor

Bowdoin, treat your Muslim students better

To the Editor: Just this past Sunday, I woke up to the chapel bells. The church bells wake me up every Sunday, serving as a reminder that I’m a foreigner in this land. No matter how many years I’ve been living here, no matter how many friendships I’ve made, no matter that I speak a colonizers’ language better than my mother tongue, the bells tell me that I do not belong.

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The way life should be?

Two Oronos, two Maines

Although I’ve discussed the idea of two Maines being the difference between northern Maine and southern Maine, in my experience there has been an attempt to create two Maines in my own hometown. Where I’m from in central Maine, Orono, is thought to be a fairly bougie part of the region, which may seem like an oxymoron.

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Thoughts on time and the undergraduate experience

Alexis de Tocqueville, author of “Democracy in America,” had the insight that people living in the democratic age suffer from a paucity of time. He wrote how life “is so practical, so complicated, so agitated, so active” in “centuries of equality,” that “little time remains to them for thinking.” “Private life,” he described, “[is] so agitated, so filled with desires and work, that hardly any energy or leisure remains to each man for political life.” As the second quotation points out, what causes this lack of time and leisure (loisir, in the French, means free or spare time), is work.

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Letter to the Editor

Letter to the editor: the experiment worked

To the editor: Usually, I am happy when my experiments work. If they do, it affirms my initial assumptions and supports the story that I constructed around the available data. This is called hypothesis testing. But with Covid-19, I’m not sure I need to test the idea that masks prevent transmission, and I’m not sure I need to test my concepts of common sense.

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Editorial

Looking ahead

On Tuesday, April 19, President Clayton Rose announced his plans to leave the College following the 2022-23 academic year. Rose, Bowdoin’s 15th President, will depart after an eight-year tenure. This transition is a vital opportunity for the College to reflect on the meaning of the presidency and broaden its view of what a college president should embody.

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A veto to Wabanaki sovereignty is history on repeat

The Penobscot Nation made a bid for tribal sovereignty in 1833. Tribal leaders traveled to Boston, which had power over Maine land at the time, to meet with state politicians. In her book “The Name of War,” historian Jill Lepore said, “The Penobscots’ claims were largely ignored, but while the delegation was spurned at the State House, it was welcomed in the theater district.

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A World to Come

What does it mean to write?

What will seem like illegible rambling will, hopefully, embody some of the turbulent currents hidden underneath language. Like any good free-write session, its prose will upset the preconceptions about language that are ingrained in us since our first experiments with language—when well-intentioned teachers taught us how to use periods and what words go with which other ones.

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Exposed

You’re (all) my type

Pornography reflects consumer desires because titles and genres are crafted to attract the largest viewership. The distinction of race as categories implies fetishization because it is recognized enough that porn sites made accessing it easier. Fetishization is the objectification of a person based on some aspect of their identity.

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The way life should be?

At home in all lands

As of 2013, the median family income of a student from Bowdoin is $195,900, and 69 percent of students come from the top 20 percent of household incomes in the U.S. This means that for over two thirds of the student body, in the four years they are at Bowdoin they will feel they share a space with students who come from a class background similar to their own.

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Thinking through carbon pricing myths

In my six years of advocating for Carbon Fee and Dividend legislation to address climate change, I’ve come across a lot of very thoughtful concerns about the impacts and effectiveness of carbon pricing schemes. Some of these have made me really have to think and research about whether Carbon Fee and Dividend is the bright spot of hope for a safe future that I thought it was.

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A World to Come

Moving towards a languid feeling of modernity, pt. I

Social acceleration theory, coined by German sociologist Hartmut Rosa in his essay “Capitalism as a Spiral of Dynamisation,” offers a possible explanation for an inherent flaw in capitalism. “Even if [capitalism] runs smoothly,” she argued, “it leads to a limitless game of escalation that throws even the winners into misery for it commits all their energies to that single telos—the struggle to maintain competitiveness.” The implications of capitalism in its accelerated contemporary state are felt throughout late-modern society in the ‘misery’ felt in all sectors of society as the complications of an unhealthy system.

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James Bowdoin promoted settler-colonialism

Before he became the second governor of Massachusetts, and before his son named a college after him, James Bowdoin II was a financial magnate who started a war so he could steal Wabanaki land. In this reading of his life, Bowdoin was not just complicit in continuing what Penobscot scholar Donald Soctomah refers to as “the world’s largest genocide”—he and his business partners, supported by the British military, provoked a deadly war against Wabanaki people.

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Are students heard? A case for a real Ivies

By now we have all heard about Senior Vice President and Dean for Student Affairs Janet Dean Lohmann’s intentions for the upcoming Ivies. In its last issue, the Orient reported the details of meetings that Dean Lohmann held with several different student groups on campus to vet her plan with students and receive any feedback.

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Rise up for RISE

Many campus events have taken a back seat due to pandemic restrictions, including RISE. An annual production sharing the personal narratives and experiences of Bowdoin women, RISE will take place in person for the first time since February 2020 on Saturday.

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So long, and thanks for the all the fish

On Friday, February 25 the best of what Bowdoin can be was on full display. Professors Laura Henry, Page Herrlinger, Reed Johnson and Mira Nikolova guided students, faculty and staff—all packed like sardines into Searles 315—in grappling with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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The way life should be?

LePage, back on stage?

Paul Richard LePage could potentially be Maine’s governor again. Lepage is the man who vetoed Medicaid expansion seven times and who bragged about an evidence binder of racially-targeted crimes that he falsely claimed showed more than 90 percent of the drug dealers arrested in the state were Black or Hispanic.

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Is it really equity, Clayton?

When I first heard about the new MacBook initiative, I was thrilled. As a member of the first group of students to receive and benefit from the school-wide iPad initiative, it was heartwarming to hear that future Polar Bears would have access to the same, and more, technology they needed to succeed in their education.

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Exposed

Trick or treat: how pornography shapes desire

As Cady Heron says in Mean Girls, “in girl world, Halloween is the one time of year a girl can dress like a total slut, and no other girl can say anything about it.” The sexualization of Halloween has become somewhat of an unsaid expectation among celebrants, so much so that Spirit Halloween offers an online costume category called “sexy women’s Halloween costumes.” The category features their “No Rules Referee,” “Say Ahhh Nurse” and “Lieutenant Misbehave” costumes.

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