Dear young people: my generation owes your generation an apology. We have failed to make urgently needed changes to an economic system that ravages the planet we all depend upon for life. Many of us have been actively involved with, or at least silently complicit in damaging the ecosystem.
In 1776, an auspicious year on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, Adam Smith published “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations,” a hefty treatise that outlined the basic principles of what we would now call “free trade” and “capitalism.” His articulation of why certain nations thrive while others falter in a globalized economy dealt a fatal blow to mercantilism, setting the stage for the proliferation of laissez-faire politics in the 19th century.
On Monday, the faculty introduced a motion to revise the “Exploring Social Differences” (ESD) distribution requirement. The proposal aims to strengthen the requirement and rename it “Difference, Power, Inequity.” On a campus where bias incidents seem to recur every four years, preparing students across all academic disciplines to discuss and analyze social differences is essential.
A few weeks after the start of the new year, Johns Hopkins University (JHU) announced it would be ceasing the long-held history of legacy admissions at the institution. President of the Baltimore school, Ron Daniels, boldly announced that reserving legacy slots had been “impairing [its] ability to educate qualified and promising students from all backgrounds and to help launch them up the social ladder.” JHU’s decision comes during a time when Americans are becoming increasingly cynical about democratic institutions being stacked against them.
Bernie Sanders is building momentum going into the Iowa caucuses on February 3. Recent polls put Sanders in first place in Iowa, New Hampshire and even nationally—leaving pundits wondering, can Sanders be stopped? The answer may be no.
Students connected flights, caught trains and hitched rides to arrive back on campus last week for the start of the spring semester. Despite the College’s relative proximity to various transportation hubs, returning to campus can often be costly and complex.
[Trigger warning: Eating disorders.] Some of you may have seen the display that went up on Moulton’s bulletin board the day of Bowdoin’s famed Thanksgiving Dinner. If you did not see it, good. It was thankfully only up for a day and a half.
It took only a matter of hours after taking the PSAT in high school before Arthur the aardvark, clutching a disposable camera in his fist, appeared on Twitter. The caption: “When Juan Ribero refuses to teach you how to use your Kodak #psat.” I don’t at all remember what this meant or what section of the test it was referring to.
As a cinema studies minor and someone who is highly interested in a career in the film industry, I do not think that it is discussed enough just how inspiring director Ava DuVernay is. In conjunction with DuVernay’s rise, the dearth of female filmmakers is another topic that I think often goes under the radar.
It is time for the state of Maine to be a leader. Individual towns throughout the state of Maine—Portland, South Portland, Bar Harbor and, most recently, Brunswick—are already setting an example. Each has recently passed a resolution declaring a climate emergency, putting them in the company of cities such as San Francisco and New York City.
Just another day: I pick up my phone and open Skype, scroll through my contacts until I reach the “m” section. I select “Mom” and dial the long +86 number for the 28th time since the last time I had spoken to her: April 1, 2018.
To the Editor, We appreciate Professor of Chemistry Richard Broene’s recent Letter to the Editor drawing attention to the results from the October Energy Challenge and felt it would be beneficial to explain where and how the Sustainability Office arrived at the numbers posted in the Installment.
As a New Yorker, I must apologize for the barrage of our former mayors (Bloomberg, DeBlasio, Giuliani) that have found themselves far too close to the presidency. It is simply New York narcissism at its worst.
Take off your parking brakes! Thirty days from now, new parking restrictions will take effect on a number of Brunswick streets, including Columbia Avenue, Belmont Street, Longfellow Avenue, Noble Street, Pine Street and Union Street. The restrictions, passed by the Brunswick Town Council at its November 18 meeting, are not unprecedented—the Council placed similar restrictions, specifically aimed at Bowdoin students, on Park Row in 2014, and the College revoked student parking privileges to the lots at the Maine Street College Houses the same year.
I’d like to comment on last week’s Orient article about taxes on college endowments. Wealthy non-profit colleges should not oppose efforts to collect taxes on their enormous endowment funds. Colleges like to brag that they encourage critical thinking.
I wake up to my host sister yelling outside. “MAAAA EL PERRO!!” Ah. She’s yelling at the dog. Most Sundays start like this, a slow stirring into bursts of ruckus, until the whole family settles around our chair-packed kitchen table.
My sister is a relatively ‘woke’ 17-year-old, attending a progressive private high school in the Hudson Valley. She does extracurriculars like a capella, is the captain of her field hockey team and heads a club called “mixed,” which is a space for interracial kids to vent.
I recently greeted my granddaughter Karis, a student at Bowdoin (Class of 2023), in the lobby of Pickard Theater at Bowdoin. A plaque on the wall at Pickard lists the names of Bowdoin men who fought in the Civil War, including my great-grandfather (her triple-great grandfather) George Beamon Kenniston (Class of 1862).
To the Editor, I recently was shown the latest issue of the Installment, which is published by the campus Sustainability Office. The following was provided as resulting from the energy challenge between dorms. They were able to save 6,452,949.1 pounds of CO2e resulting in reductions up to 27.1 percent.
Last night, actor Patrick Dempsey, H’13 sat down with Marcus Williams ’21, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) chair of diversity and inclusion, for a conversation serving as the keynote address for No Hate November. Though the topic at hand was a dialogue on dyslexia, many of the audience’s questions focused not on the implications of living with the disability, but rather on clarifying what it actually is.
The appointment of Arthur Brooks was undemocratic. We woke up to an email one day, and that was it. No consultation, no presentation of candidates, nothing. When we praise democracy so much at this school—helping students to vote, promoting voting and encouraging students to voice their demands—this appointment felt completely opposite to the values we propose.
On October 21, Bowdoin students, employees and the broader community awoke to a surprising announcement that Bowdoin would be increasing wages for benefits-eligible hourly workers. Indeed, this was great news and a fantastic step towards achieving a better workplace for all Bowdoin employees, but President Clayton Rose’s refusal to acknowledge the powerful worker and student activism is both troubling and, sadly, expected.
This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of Bowdoin’s Africana Studies program, the John Brown Russwurm Center and the Black Student Union (BSU, formerly the African American Society). A celebration is in order. Throughout the next few days, students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors will have the opportunity to participate in programming that provides a multi-faceted and community-wide recognition of this milestone.
To the Editor, I would like to thank everyone for all your support for a living wage. I feel it was a little weird for President Rose to announce our wage increase right before “the fall social” and “parent weekend.” Now with my increase, my pay in July, as I understand it, will be a little more than $2.00 more than someone starting new.
Estudié en Valparaíso, Chile, el año pasado. Ahora, a la luz de un poderoso movimiento contra 30 años de abuso económico, imploro a nuestra comunidad para conocer las historias de nuestras compañeros/as chilenos/as. La versión que vemos en las prensas se centra en la delincuencia y la destrucción, reforzando la criminalización del movimiento referida por el presidente Sebastián Piñera para justificar su autorización de violencia policial y militar sobre la comunidad.
To the Editor: I strongly support the editorial in the October 18 issue of the Orient, “All that is great about Bowdoin,” calling for the resignation of Jes Staley ’79 from Bowdoin’s Board of Trustees. Staley worked closely with Epstein, even after his 2008 conviction for soliciting a minor and sex trafficking.
Friday, October 18 was a major wakeup call for me. Disasters happen around the world—around the clock—but as the massive evasion of metro fares in Chilean capital, Santiago, turned into violent state repression, I was brought back to where I spent almost half of 2019—living, studying and dancing in Valparaíso, Chile.
Bowdoin, like all elite academic institutions, tasks itself with the contradictory responsibilities of fostering “critical” thought while pumping out successive generations of the ruling-class elite it is beholden to. At the Sarah and James Bowdoin Day ceremony this past Friday, the hypocrisy that results from such a contradictory mission was laid out in full display.
Two days, one night—that’s about how long prospective students on an overnight visit spend getting a taste of Bowdoin’s campus. It’s also about how long the College’s first Joseph McKeen Visiting Fellow, Arthur C. Brooks, will be spending at Bowdoin after he arrives on Thursday.
I introduced the motion on the faculty floor requesting that President Clayton Rose provide an account of the process he used to invite Arthur Brooks as the inaugural Joseph McKeen Visiting Fellow. President Rose had not consulted any member of the faculty before doing so, and had thus committed a simple, procedural infraction.
To the Editor: We applaud the College’s administration for the decision to substantially raise wages of staff in a progressive manner. We also applaud the workers who bravely spoke out about concerning conditions here, and pushed the College to do our best to honor our commitment to the Common Good.
This summer I had the opportunity to hear both Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren speak to a room of grassroots activists from across the country. Warren delivered her usual stump-speech—rousing and effective. She detailed her phenomenal plans and exuded competence.
To the Editor, Opinions about how we should run our economy and society should be welcomed and discussion from multiple viewpoints is important. In that regard, we might be interested to engage with Arthur Brooks. While we may disagree with another viewpoint, it can help to listen and debate.
What should we think of Bowdoin over-emphasizing the need for reaching a common ground between different political sides? What should we think of Arthur Brooks—who works at a right-wing think tank—coming to campus in an attempt to mediate a discussion on love and solidarity and its importance in bridging the social and political gap?
Yesterday, the College’s Board of Trustees commenced the first of its three meetings that will take place this year. Among the Board’s 40 members is James “Jes” Staley ’79 P ’11 whose ties to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein have landed him in the pages of newspapers nationwide.
Two weeks ago, the Orient published a piece by Ella Crabtree ’22 calling Credit/D/Fail at Bowdoin “academic cowardice.” Crabtree bases her argument on the supposition that students primarily pass/fail in order to preserve their GPA, remarking that students do not Credit/D/Fail “easy” classes as much as they do more challenging courses.
I refuse to be shamed for supporting my learning with a pass/fail class. In her op-ed “Pass/failing is an act of academic cowardice,” Ella Crabtree ’22 accuses students of taking classes pass/fail simply to “safeguard [their] averages and preserve their egos.” She argues that students who simply want to learn without the pressure of a letter grade are “unable to stomach the possibility of B’s and C’s,” and therefore “deprive [themselves] of valuable, challenging learning experiences.” I beg to differ.
To the Editor, I’m a Bowdoin junior and member of the new campus chapter of Defenders of Wildlife. Our current focus is on preventing the exploitation of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from drilling by oil and gas companies.
This past summer, the U.S. women’s national soccer team (USWNT) won the 2019 Women’s World Cup, its second consecutive World Cup title. After shredding Japan 5-2 in the 2015 Women’s World Cup final, USWNT comfortably defeated the Netherlands 2-0 in 2019.
Reading the October 4 opinion article, “Pass/failing is an act of academic cowardice” brought me back to what was definitively my hardest semester here at Bowdoin, sophomore fall. I was balancing a ton of different things that semester, just like so many other Bowdoin students.
To the editor: An opinion piece by 12 of Bowdoin’s 54 housekeepers and the lead editorial in the October 4 edition of The Bowdoin Orient remind us that housekeepers do critical and challenging work at the College.
Two weeks ago, at an on-campus event highlighting the authors Richard Ford and John Banville, President Clayton Rose introduced Ford, saying that “he has been awarded too many prizes to count.” While Ford’s resume boasts impressive prizes including the Pulitzer, it hides a part of his character that Rose chose not to highlight.
Throughout my childhood I was reminded that I should never bite the hand that feeds me. I should just smile, sit quietly and accept what I received without further questioning it. As some people have put it: “At least you got something, why should you complain?” This philosophy dominated my life back home in Romania, where one had to adapt, to tacitly accept the wrong-doing of others, with the hope that one day it would get better.
To the Editor, The day following a 16 year-old female’s indictment of the devastation wrought by white western men at the United Nations General Assembly Climate Change Action Summit, Bowdoin hosted a conversation by two proud members of another flank of that canon—the part reserved for great important self-awarding white male writers (Richard Ford and John Banfield).
As the leaves change color and students trade their flip-flops for Bean Boots, professors begin handing back assignments. Essays and exams return marked up, commented upon, praised and constructively criticized. Concurrently, the school approaches its Credit/D/Fail deadline.
Twelve Bowdoin housekeepers wrote an op-ed this week detailing the realities of the work they do to clean Bowdoin’s spaces. The letter paints a picture of Bowdoin as an employer that is, frankly, shameful. The College presents itself as an institution guided by the principles of the Common Good.
Things have changed. The housekeeping department isn’t like it used to be. I have to struggle to get out of bed to come to work. I loved coming to work. But now everything is so different.
To the Bowdoin Community, In the first faculty meeting of the year, I had the pleasure of announcing that Bowdoin now has an active chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). I am writing here to offer a bit more detail about our mission, to invite those who are eligible for membership to join us and to invite all members of the Bowdoin community to consider the AAUP as a partner and an ally.
On August 3, 2019, a situation that has become a mainstay of American culture took place in Colorado Springs. A police officer shot a young black male. Nearly two weeks after the fatal shooting, the family of the victim forced Colorado police to release body camera footage of what happened.
I was a sophomore at Bowdoin when Donald Trump was gaining momentum in the presidential election in spite of his xenophobic rhetoric. Anxiously dreading a near-fascist regime in the event of a Trump presidency, I talked with my mother about getting reacquainted with Nigeria, my mother’s native country.
This newspaper recently reported on the connection between Bowdoin trustee James Staley ’87 P’11 and billionaire sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. The reporting makes no conclusions about Staley’s possible implication in criminal activity, but leaves the reader with the clear impression that further investigation is warranted.
In solidarity with the largest global youth strike in history, Bowdoin Climate Action (BCA) organized a climate rally on the museum steps earlier today. While this once would have been a rare sight on our campus, instances of student activism are becoming increasingly frequent and visible.
Ever since I came to Bowdoin in the fall of 2018, I have been asked endless questions about my background. Some of my classmates knew a bit about Romania, while others had no idea that it is even a country.
Last year, frustrated by unrealistic platforms and uncontested elections for Bowdoin Student Government’s (BSG) executive committee, we published an editorial titled “BSG, do better.” Members of last year’s BSG executive team replied, assuring us that the incoming BSG officers have the opportunity to do just that.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the Democratic primary is the sudden success of South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. He came out of nowhere (sorry Indiana) to become a formidable fundraiser and top-tier candidate. However, the obsession with Mayor Pete demonstrates that liberals have learned nothing from the endless missteps of the Democratic Party in the 2016 cycle.
This past year, the Bowdoin Labor Alliance (BLA) exposed the vast distance between low-wage workers at the College and an administration indifferent to their needs. Leadership at the College prioritizes the financial bottom line over its obligation to our community members, even when we, as a wealthy liberal arts college and “non-profit,” have the luxury of making financial decisions that reflect our core values.
Congratulations to everyone for making it through the first week of classes. It’s finally the weekend! Tonight, hundreds of students—predominantly first years and sophomores—will descend upon the College Houses. And tomorrow, it will happen again. To those first-year students planning on attending house crawl: this may be your first time drinking.
“It was in losing the fear of death that I began to understand faith and hope.” DeRay McKesson ’07 writes these words in the first chapter of his book, “On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope.” He describes a time when he pulled into his driveway only to find an unfamiliar car at his curb.
On the Friday of Ivies, amid the eclectic outfits and wild antics of Reed brunch, my senior friend placed her hands on my shoulder, looked me dead in the eye and said, “We’re going to stay in touch next year, okay?” Making her demand from under the brim of an oversized yellow bucket hat, it was hard to take her seriously.
Dear Editor, It is now firmly established that human activity is the cause of global warming. The temperature’s rise is extraordinarily rapid and is accompanied by acidification of our oceans, which threatens the habitability of the Earth.
In an email to the College on Thursday afternoon, President Clayton Rose detailed a string of bias incidents that occurred over the last week. While four bias incidents were reported in the past week alone, it is anyone’s guess as to how many others remain unreported.
On Maine’s southern border with New Hampshire, a large blue sign stands at the north end of the Piscataqua River Bridge. “Welcome to Maine—the way life should be,” it reads. For decades, motorists have passed this landmark on their way north, and it’s become an iconic part of the state’s brand.
This week, like many other weeks this semester, we’ve encountered questions about the Orient’s editorial decisions. We are always learning and striving to do journalism better, and we welcome feedback. We want to take a moment to answer some of the questions that we come across, in the hopes that transparency on our part can build trust with you, our readers, and foster a stronger dialogue.
There are three weeks left in my undergraduate education in neuroscience at Bowdoin, and I have yet to take an ethics class on scientific practice. In most science programs across the globe, students are in this same situation: having learned the wonder of our craft, but never considered its philosophy and consequences for more than two lectures.
It’s well known that the American people hate Congress, and it’s no mystery why. Congress is an increasingly dumb and dysfunctional organization that seems incapable of improving our nation. Lice and colonoscopies have polled consistently higher than Congress in recent years.
On Monday, President Clayton Rose hosted Governor John Kasich for a discussion of current issues. Pickard Theater was packed almost to capacity, and yet the event was largely inconsequential to campus life. I left with more questions than answers, partly because Kasich never actually answered a question but mostly because he offered little in terms of conservative thought—Kasich is a moderate.
It’s 4:15 p.m. in January and I excitedly hurry out of my last class of the week, ready to kick up my feet, watch some Netflix and forget about work until Sunday night. As soon as I exit Sills Hall, the icy wind begins to freeze my body to the core.
We would like to thank the Orient Editorial Board for publishing last week’s piece entitled “BSG, do better.” We hear you. Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) works for all students, and we strive to be a platform where students can share their ideas and concerns about campus.
As recent alumni, our lives continue to be shaped by what Bowdoin taught us: the value of critical thinking and connection to place, and a desire to work towards the Common Good in our own ways.
In his inaugural address, President Joseph McKeen said, “It ought always to be remembered, that literary institutions are founded and endowed for the common good, and not for the private advantage of those who resort to them for education.” How far have we strayed from this purpose?
In my two years at Bowdoin, I have thought about my home state more than ever before. Surrounded by people from different regions of the country and around the globe, I have the opportunity both to engage with diverse perspectives and to critically consider my own.
Living at the country club that is Bowdoin College, I often forget just how much suffering there is in this world. Deep in the stress and sleep deprivation we all experience as Bowdoin students, I consistently fail to recognize that my life is charmed beyond measure and that my experience at this school is, for the most part, one wonderful experience after another.
This weekend, students will have the opportunity to elect officers for next year’s Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) executive committee. Sort of. Only three of the officer positions are actually contested this year—the chairs of diversity and inclusion, facilities and sustainability, student organizations, student affairs and the treasury will win by default.
To the Editor, I wanted to publicly thank all the Bowdoin students who are spending their Saturday mornings this month teaching Brunswick’s youngest schoolchildren how to play soccer. I’ve seen firsthand all the smiles these student-coaches are bringing to kids’ faces as they play.
PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES Nate DeMoranville ’20 After three years of public service, it is with great excitement that I run for President of Bowdoin Student Government. In this position, I will strive to bridge the divides of this campus by working with students to help other students.
Thinking back to the beginning of my first year, I remember feeling like half of my class entered college with commitments to significant others back home—myself included. As the months went on it seemed like more and more people were breaking up with their partners from home and joining the “single community” here on campus.
“You all belong here.” It was a statement repeated over and over again as the class of 2022 filled the seats of Morrell Gymnasium on August 25, 2018. As various faculty speakers made their way to the podium to offer welcoming remarks to the incoming class, I remember a feeling of exhaustion as students finally allowed ourselves to sit back into our chairs to relax.
In September of 2018, I wrote an article about why the black kids sit together in the classroom. I argued for academic reform to engage students across difference. Crucially, my conclusion was this: “when we as students present ourselves as a unified front to the administration, how can they tell us that this system works?” Student activism was only one part of my proposed solution to self-segregation.
“Although you may believe that having a cat in residence will help you, we have determined that authorizing the cat as a reasonable accommodation is not necessary in light of the evidence of your long history living in residence without such an aid and your excellent academic accomplishments.” That was the message that a student received via email from the Office of Accessibility, denying their request for an emotional support animal on campus.
To the Editor, As members of the Residential Life Head Staff, we collectively live in all of Bowdoin’s residence halls and communicate regularly with Bowdoin’s hardworking housekeepers. We deeply respect our housekeepers and commend the Orient staff and contributors for their ongoing attention to the living wage movement.
After months of conversations with workers to formulate Bowdoin Labor Alliance (BLA) demands, and Orient reporting on Bowdoin’s compensation program, we lament that only public pressure could generate a response from the College. We are deeply troubled by the College’s effort to mischaracterize student and worker demands, malign the Orient’s reporting, reject Maine Department of Labor standards and silence workers’ voices.