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Opinion

Editorial

Prioritize public speaking

Last night, we watched Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Katie Benner ’99 interview former White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. McDonough’s talk was edifying, but maybe the most impressive moment of the evening was when he turned a simple student question about his Irish heritage into astute thesis on the value of immigrants in America, both historically and in the present.

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Dear First Generation Bowdoin Student

Dear First-Generation Bowdoin Student, this school is yours too. I remember my first year was plagued with imposter syndrome. I never felt good enough and always questioned if I really belonged here. Sure, this was a combination of being so far away from home, being one of the few students of color in my classes and just being new to the campus.

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Say it like it is

We tolerate hate here

What was your transition to Bowdoin like? Be careful before you answer, because this is a political question. Your race, your class and your background likely played important roles in your adjustment. This column is a transcription of my own transition as a low-income Black man, as well as a more general reflection of racialized space on campus.

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Full need, some loans

In 2018, Bowdoin topped the Princeton Review’s list of colleges with the best financial aid. The College is without question committed to making higher education more accessible and prides itself on meeting students’ full demonstrated need.

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Editorial

Let’s get political

If you’ve attended a campus event recently—anything from first-year move in to a senior networking and interviewing workshop—you’ve likely seen the new Bowdoin Votes tables, staffed by students eager to help their peers register to vote.

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Letter to the Editor

Rename Pine Street Apartments

Dear Editor, I can only assume that the Pine Street Apartments were named for the magnificent evergreens that surrounded them on three sides, sheltering residents from loud traffic. For years, many students chose to live there because of the beautiful and quiet environs.

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Beyond Belief

The Darkness confronts the light: alternate realities and american religiosity

I often struggle to follow—and rarely attempt to contribute to—conversations that veer into the nebulous realm of “gaming culture.” From my clumsy “Mario Kart” skills that cost me a middle school friendship to the non-committal nods I give in response to “Fortnite” references, it is safe to say that video games exist firmly outside of my comfort zone.

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Letter to the Editor

The power of organizing

To the Editors, I want to say thank you for your story on the economic conditions of Bowdoin’s facilities workers. Your reporter deserves great praise for thoughtfully taking on a challenging subject. After graduating from Bowdoin in 1994, I helped organize a union for teaching assistants in the University of California system while I was in graduate school.

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Editorial

Whose Common Good?

The College knows that members of Bowdoin’s house- and groundskeeping staff regularly struggle to make ends meet, as we reported this week in the Orient. In addition, the Orient has learned that workers in dining make similarly low wages.

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A call for Bowdoin to recruit African American students

In 1954, Brown v. Board of Education determined that the racial segregation of schools is unconstitutional. Discussions of “affirmative action” in the context of admission into federally-funded programs emerged in the 1960s. In the subsequent decades, educational spaces across the United States began to admit African American students and students of other marginalized groups at a slow but steadily increasing pace.

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Censorship is alive on Bowdoin’s campus

The annual Delta Sigma/Delta Upsilon art competition took place on April 14 in Smith Union. While this event ostensibly served as a “way to continue the tradition of ‘non-formalized’ creativity that Delta Sigma/Delta Upsilon fostered during its time at Bowdoin,” the actions of the curators belied a more elitist vision of what works warranted inclusion.

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Don’t block the sun: stop taxing solar panels

Ben Franklin said nothing is certain in life except death and taxes. If I had to state a preference, I’d say death is better, because it only happens once and makes more sense. I’m generally accepting of taxes because we need to finance and maintain quality roads, police and fire protection, schools and other shared services.

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Editorial

Fun in the sun

If you have not experienced it (actually, you’re in the middle of experiencing it), you have probably heard the stories. Drinking games in class on Thursday and Friday (bad). Students sprinting across Brunswick Quad with stolen beers, pursued by the rightful owners of said beers (depends on the brand of beer).

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Continuing the conversation: beyond carbon neutral 2020

In a campus-wide email last week, President Rose announced that the College has reached carbon neutrality two years ahead of schedule. Bowdoin Climate Action is pleased to hear of the steps the College has taken to reduce emissions and reach this goal, and we are excited to engage in conversation around the College’s plan for 2030.

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Relevant Politics

Marketing conservative counter-culture: a response to Steve Robinson ’11

On Monday, April 16, Steve Robinson ’11 returned to campus to give a talk entitled “Conservatism and the Liberal Arts: How Bowdoin Made Me Conservative.” During his time at Bowdoin, Robinson was outspoken about his conservative beliefs and penned a regular column in the Orient (similar to this one) that was well known for its controversial content and audacious headlines (all of which are archived on the Orient’s website).

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Editorial

Equalizing resources across disciplines

As students solidify plans both for the coming summer and, in the case of graduating seniors, for their careers, the College provides invaluable resource, whether in the form of the Office of Career Planning, the Office of Institutional Fellowships and Research, or through informal information networks.

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Letter to the Editor

Everyone’s included in Theater and Dance

To the Editor, I appreciated reading Jonah Watt’s call for more queer-inclusive spaces, but I don’t recognize the theater he describes as displaying “largely heterosexual relationships” at Bowdoin. Theater has been accused of many things throughout its 2,500-year history, but heteronormativity is not often the foremost complaint.

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Editorial

Dear future polar bears

The Offer of the College (a document whose sanctity on campus falls somewhere between the Constitution and this newspaper) offers you these next four years as the best ones of your life. We’ve helpfully annotated it for you, so you can understand what it really says.

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Vote Mohamed Nur for president

The editorial board formally endorses Mohamed Nur for BSG president. The board feels that Nur’s platform offers comprehensive solutions to a more varied set of campus problems than his opponent. He has set attainable goals and has proposed creative actions.

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Letter to the Editor

In support of Susan Rice

To the editor, I must make two points in response to the article in the most recent issue of the Orient concerning Susan Rice as an Honorary Degree recipient at graduation. First, the number of communications to the College disagreeing with the above action hardly constitutes a “backlash” of alums.

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The monster we know: the need for call-out culture

I spent the majority of my freshman year at the center of a complex and painful Title IX case. What is important about this case is not any salacious detail, but rather the immersive introduction it allowed me to the brutality many members of the Bowdoin community exhibit when their friend or teammate is accused of and found responsible for sexual violence.

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Relevant Politics

Performative nationalism on the U.S.-Mexico border

I wrote about the U.S.-Mexico border in this column a few weeks ago, discussing the potential environmental consequences of a border wall. In the time since my writing, the situation has developed. Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, the focus of my article, has been spared from construction due to immense public outcry and organizing from local activists.

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Editorial

International and ignored

Last spring, the Orient’s editorial board argued that institutionally supporting international students should be a top priority for the college. Since then, we have welcomed to campus a class with a seven percent international student population, the largest percentage of any class currently enrolled at Bowdoin.

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Fighting Islamophobia: a call for action

Earlier this week, Muslim communities across the U.K. and the U.S. prepared themselves for an escalation of violent threats inspired by “Punish a Muslim Day.” Anonymous letters arrived to the homes of Muslims in England and circulated throughout social media intended to strike fear among Muslim communities.

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Call-in culture and the landscape of sexual assault

The latest article of Polar Views attempted to acquaint its audience with phenomena that are already readily apparent. Given previous responses to this column and the bevy of articles written by women in the past year, it is worrying that these phenomena were addressed as if they were novel to the author and to his audience.

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Editorial

Not-so-scary Larry

On Wednesday, conservative economist Larry Lindsey ’76 H’93 gave a talk moderated by President Rose in Pickard Theater. The event with Lindsey, an outspoken right-wing pundit, and the discussion that has followed provided a model for the sort of productive and respectful discourse that can and should arise from events that challenge our campus’ political consensus.

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Rael on Lawrence Lindsey’s problematic history

In his book, “Conspiracies of the Ruling Class,” Lawrence B. Lindsey ’76 distorts history to make an elite argument for privatizing government look like economic populism. Lindsey, a supply-side economist who served as an economic advisor to President George H.W.

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Seeing structural oppression in shades of grey

Morality has a number of purposes. There’s a social purpose; it makes people’s behavior predictable and helps us to resolve conflicts peacefully. There’s also a critical purpose, which is often at odds with the social purpose; morality provides the basis for us to criticize society, government, culture and even morality itself.

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Editorial

You, me and the BPD

Since Bowdoin’s annual Cold War party was disrupted by the Brunswick Police Department (BPD), students, in the pages of the Orient and at the Bowdoin Student Government’s public comment session, have voiced frustration, confusion and dismay about a perceived increase in BPD’s enforcement on campus.

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Editorial

After Parkland

As this week’s Orient story on political activity and activism at Bowdoin makes clear, much of our campus is slow to take to the streets regarding just about anything. This week has been no exception. As students around the nation mobilize in response to the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, our sleepy Brunswick campus has remained sleepy.

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BPD-Bowdoin relations hurt College House experience

As a senior, I went to last weekend’s Cold War party knowing full well that my friends and I would likely be the only members of our class in attendance. We did not care; we were just looking to enjoy ourselves, cheer on our friends’ band and reminisce about our own College House days.

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Editorial

Show us the money

The Equity in Athletics Data Analysis shows that between the 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic years, Bowdoin’s annual athletic recruiting expenses grew 162 percent, from $30,966 to $81,018, an increase made possible by the NESCAC’s elimination of its cap on recruitment spending.

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Building on BCQs

As the faculty experiments with alterations to Bowdoin Course Questionnaires (BCQs), we encourage students and the College to think more broadly about the role that these evaluations could play in the Bowdoin academic program. The latest changes, which will be implemented in a pilot program this spring, aim to mitigate the influence of students’ implicit biases on their answers by rewording questions to eliminate vague or imprecise language.

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Relevant Politics

Democrats, let’s learn from our mistakes

As we enter the second month of 2018, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on this year’s potential to shake up the American political landscape. Although the 2016 election may still be fresh in our minds, the upcoming midterm elections in November will be similarly momentous, defining the “second-half” of the Trump Presidency and either making or breaking some of his grandiose campaign promises.

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Editorial

Navigating the Silicon Future

As the Board of Trustees prepares to make its pilgrimage to Silicon Valley, we think that its members and the Bowdoin community should consider the implication of this trip. As President Rose noted in an interview with the Orient, the culture of Silicon Valley has given rise to both good and bad.

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Anu's Corner

Style at Bowdoin: a reflection of class and race

As spring fashion week draws closer, I have deeply reflected on our own Brunswick runway. Although there is a fundamental difference between fashion and style, Bowdoin’s culture around both is worth exploring. The collective style at Bowdoin is predictable; only a handful of students maintain a creative and authentic style.

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Editorial

Making the most of Ladd

Bowdoin’s Office of Residential Life (ResLife) should be commended for considering and acting upon student suggestions for changes to the housing policy aimed at revitalizing the on-campus social scene. However, without recognizing the limitations and potential pitfalls of turning Ladd House into a senior-only living space, this latest change is not likely to significantly alter the role of upperclassmen in the campus social scene.

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Aziz Ansari and the prevalence of sexual violence

I recently read the account, published on the website Babe.net, of a woman who claimed to have an uncomfortable sexual encounter with comedian Aziz Ansari. I won’t go into the specific details of the article—you are welcome to read it yourself—but the author states that Ansari repeatedly pressured her to participate in sexual acts despite her discomfort, ignoring obvious verbal and physical cues.

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Bowdoin football: there’s still time left on the clock

One would think for an opinion piece as provocative as “Bowdoin football: your time is running out,” that the author would have supported his argument with facts rather than anecdotal evidence and innuendo. Mr. Covell correctly points out that football participation rates are down across the country but fails to point out that 1.1 million young men and women participated in high school football in 2016, a participation rate nearly twice that of next most popular sport (track and field).

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Letter to the Editor

Respect is reciprocal

The past two “Polar Views” articles are troubling. The platform the author has created is crucial to deepening conversations in the Bowdoin community, and comparing experiences of oppression has an insidious nature which alienates us from the problems at hand—I don’t wish to contribute to the conversation in that manner.

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Editorial

Learning from our alums

This past week, Bowdoin students had the opportunity to hear from two of Bowdoin’s most prominent alumni, U.S. Senator George Mitchell ’54 H’83 and Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson ’07. Both men expressed their grave concern for the current state and direction of American politics and society.

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Polar Views

Culture as context: voicing my Polar Views

It is easy for a minority student to hate Bowdoin. From the classroom, to College Houses, to student clubs, almost everything is perceived through the perspective of a “traditional-student” population. I was tired of it, so I decided to start writing about my experiences from a different cultural lens.

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Letter to the Editor

Defending the football program

I read with interest my fellow football alum Daniel Covell’s piece in last week’s Orient that takes a very academic and somewhat drastic approach to addressing Bowdoin’s football woes. However, sometimes turning a program around simply comes down to the right leadership, and Daniel neglects to mention this fourth, rather basic option, that I believe has the best chance for success: •   Hire a dynamic hard-charging head coach who played NESCAC football and has a track record of building football programs from scratch.

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Anu's Corner

Why Bowdoin fails at activism

Highly selective activism—this is a term I have coined to describe Bowdoin’s advocacy. Our student body is proud of being a culturally sensitive campus that aims to uphold the common good. In my time here, there has been a lot of mobility and activism on campus surrounding issues regarding women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and, recently, DACA.

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@mycolumn

Reconciling the reputations of men whom we admire

Since the initial allegations of sexual abuse against Harvey Weinstein broke, many more high-profile men from different sectors have been accused of similar transgressions. At such a historic point in time, Americans have been forced to reckon with the reality that many of the men whose work we enjoy are in fact vile, reprehensible people.

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Criticizing ‘fuckboy’/‘softboy’ misses the point

An article titled, “The unintended impact of the ‘fuckboy’ and ‘softboy’” published in the last issue of the Orient, argues that the terms the Bowdoin community uses to describe opposite-sex relations creates an unfair binary for “the good guys.” In an attempted plea for empathy, the author claims that while not all men “care about ending rape culture,” he does, but he feels ostracized and at a loss for how to show commendable allyship.

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Editorial

Inequality in perspective

The recent programming surrounding No Hate November has brought questions of class-consciousness and income inequality at Bowdoin into the campus spotlight. Class markers—in the clothes we wear, in our choice of weekend activities and in our classrooms—are constant symbols and reminders of the economic disparities that exist within our small campus.

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Editorial

One year later

The results of Tuesday’s national, state and local elections have brought hope to those Americans who, this time last year, were distraught with the state of the nation’s politics. The contrast is stark to the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election to the presidency, when many on Bowdoin’s campus came together in opposition to the new president, fueled by a sense of anger, frustration and acute injustice.

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Editorial

Bowdoin, thank you

Following this week’s power outage, Bowdoin students were reminded, once again, of how lucky we are to benefit from a team of campus employees, each one committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of students. All deserve our whole-hearted thanks.

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Collins’ anti-consumer vote demonstrates need for continued pressure

I write to urge Bowdoin students and Mainers to continue to hold Maine Senator Susan Collins accountable. Last week, Collins and Senate Republicans voted to repeal anti-forced arbitration rules, a practice wherein everyday consumers are required to waive their rights to class-action lawsuits and other means of accessing the courts, and instead are forced to settle their grievances with large companies through private arbitration.

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Refuting harmful views with logic, not labels

Last week, the Orient published an article profiling Evan McLaren, a former Bowdoin student who is currently the executive director of the National Policy Institute (NPI), a group dedicated to promoting white supremacy and the creation of a white nation-state.

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