This semester was a doozy to say the least. For those of us on campus, we not only battled a pandemic that was annoying for some and completely terror-inducing for others, but we also had to balance an academic load more rigorous than many of us were expecting.
Fall break, for many, was not a break this year. Students felt overwhelmed with the work assigned—time meant for rest, rejuvenation and the Maine outdoors became time for catching up on copious amounts of work, last-minute papers and even exams.
Yesterday I had to call the bank because I lost my debit card and needed to replace it. I had to spend 35 minutes on the phone listening to a representative repeat that they could not send me a new card because my information wasn’t in the computer and that I should call back in 24 hours.
On October 23, President Rose emailed a “Racial Justice Update” to the community, expanding on his September 2 email in which he described the two pillars of the College’s work toward racial justice. I am grateful for these emails, and for the College’s commitment: we need to address systemic prejudice in the United States and the continued pain and suffering it causes.
For the gaming enthusiasts, Cyberpunk 2077 has been one of the most anticipated titles of the year. Meant to be released in May 2020, it was further delayed to November and then even to December. At this point, we are not sure whether or not we will play the latest creation by CD Projekt Red, a Polish game developer, by the end of the year.
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.
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.
In light of ongoing efforts to subvert democracy, such as attempts to block the counting of votes and false claims of voter fraud, we, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), reiterate President Rose’s statement concerning the importance of civic engagement and the democratic process.
I was among the majority of voters in Portland, ME who approved a number of progressive ballot measures on Tuesday. We voted to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next few years, require time-and-a-half hazard pay during states of emergency, ban facial recognition technology, protect tenants by implementing rent control, establish a new board to review other potential rent increases and require real estate developers to utilize green technology and provide additional pay and training to workers in what was termed “A Green New Deal for Portland.”
These ballot measures reflect political trends and commitments that extend beyond Portland.
If we have learned one thing over the past several months, it is that the Trump administration cannot be trusted in regards to COVID-19. From downplaying the danger and airborne nature of the virus to promoting an unproven steroid treatment despite warnings from health officials about its lack of efficacy, the President has persistently spewed disinformation about the global pandemic.
We are facing one of the most consequential elections in American history, and we find ourselves in a moment where our democracy is profoundly threatened. This is it. We cannot expect to be supported by the leaders in our supposedly democratic system; during Senate hearings for the appointment to the highest court of the land, our new Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett failed to name one of the five protections guaranteed under the First Amendment: the right to protest.
Black people have been grieving the loss of our ancestors and freedom for a long time. From the first time an imperialist stepped foot on the continent of Africa, to the violent removal from our native lands, to the demonization of traditional spiritual practices, to the rebranding of slavery into mass incarceration, to the willfull ignorance of the European American majority, to the very stress of racism lowering the life expectancy of Black women.
Over recent weeks, a debate has erupted in the Orient opinion pages on the merits of ranked-choice voting (RCV). A series of competing op-eds and letters to the editor have argued that the increased turnout among disillusioned voters due to RCV could do one of two things: help Joe Biden gain support from unlikely voters who will rank him second, or hurt Biden by dampening enthusiasm or even creating the possibility of a third-party win.
As fall break rolled around and fall foliage around the Northeast became impossible to resist, news around the country about spikes in COVID-19 cases came to the forefront. For me, and millions of other disabled and immuno-compromised citizens, this meant months more of staying inside and socially isolating due to administrative inaction and others’ personal irresponsibility.
Fall break, for some particular reason, always falls around Indigenous People’s Day (formerly known as Columbus Day). However, this piece will not be about how most American holidays are centered around European-Americans and Christanity; the thing most present on my mind after this four-day weekend was the fact that I, for one, did not get any rest or an actual break.
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.
To the Editor:
Though I hesitate to prolong the debate in this publication over Progressives’ voting habits, I object to Theo Danzig’s argument in his recent Letter to the Editor that a vote for Howie Hawkins in Maine is “reckless.”
For Hawkins to be awarded four electoral votes, as in Mr.
I grew up about 20 miles south of Bowdoin in the town of Falmouth, an affluent coastal suburb just north of Portland. Falmouth is one of the wealthiest municipalities in the state, and the town is certainly not afraid to boast it (our mascot was literally the Yachtsmen).
During Tuesday’s debate, we watched the country divide further as our nation’s political future devolved into images of chaos. The next four weeks will only hurtle us further into this uncertainty as the election grows near.
This is my response to both the article titled “Progressives, do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” and to the ways that Bowdoin students talk about “progressive voters.”
What do you mean by “progressives?” Do you see us as some kind of homogeneous group who share the same challenges, the same social, economic and racial realities and who agree unilaterally on a solution?
Howie Hawkins’ nomination as the Green Party candidate for president is a tremendous opportunity for the American left. It’s true that the Green Party is not a solidly working-class, fundamentally anti-capitalist organizing machine ready to lead a full-scale proletarian (electoral) revolution.
To the Editor:
In her op-ed last week, “Maine Progressives: Rank Biden Second,” Livia Kunins-Berkowitz argued that since Maine offers ranked-choice voting, progressives should place as their first choice a more progressive candidate, such as Howie Hawkins of the Green Party.
Four days ago, the Washington Post released an article regarding the Climate Clock, a Manhattan fixture providing us with a deadline for irreversible action on the impending climate crisis: 7 years, 101 days, 17 hours, 29 minutes and 22 seconds from when it was unveiled on Monday.
The Bowdoin Orient recently published an article titled, “Progressives, do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” in which the author admonished progressives who are critical of Biden and may opt to vote for a third-party candidate.
I spent the night before my American Government final watching the impeachment of Donald Trump from the Hawthorne-Longfellow Library (H-L) basement, an impeachment that I had anticipated since the transcript of his phone call with Ukrainian President Zalensky had been released a few months earlier.
The Maine Senate race between incumbent Susan Collins and Maine Speaker of the House Sara Gideon is one of the tightest, most high-profile races in the country. Both candidates are hoping to gain momentum and build a tangible lead in the next six weeks, yet neither has been able to earn a consistent advantage in the polls.
To the Editor:
I write to express my deep approval of last week’s op-ed, written by my classmate, Alexander Banbury ’20. Now, with the passing of Justice Ginsburg and the intensification of the climate crisis, the call for electing Joe Biden has never been more urgent.
Imagine, for fun, that a meteor is hurtling towards Earth at 25,000 miles per hour. As it inches closer and closer to our stratosphere, the human race mere hours from obliteration, you prepare for an afternoon Zoom class.
It’s been a long three years, and starting this fourth year at Bowdoin has already been incredibly taxing. As the movement for our lives has picked up steam, there’s also an uptick in non-Black comrades realizing that racism is “still a thing” and that anti-Blackness exists beyond the arbitrary borders of the United States.
Joe Biden is the only choice for progressive voters in this election. Abstaining from voting or voting for fringe third-party candidates cripples the progressive agenda and is not an option. Unfortunately, I am afraid that progressive voters do not see it this way because Joe Biden was not their top choice in the Democratic primary.
Bowdoin students who are currently living off campus in the Brunswick area are selfishly breaking social distancing guidelines and deliberately jeopardizing the well-being of the community. Their actions can have a serious impact on Bowdoin students, Brunswick residents and Mainers.
Editor’s note 09/18/2020 at 2:35 p.m. EDT: A previous version of this article mistakenly reported that James Staley was served with a subpoena. The article has been updated to reflect that the subpoena was in fact issued to JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Imagine your friends are throwing a huge party. “It’s going to be the blowout of the century,” they tell you, as they pile immaculate pastries onto silver trays and stack endless boxes of that pink Franzia everyone likes.
The average day in the life of a Bowdoin student has changed dramatically in the past few months. We have traded our award-winning dining halls for boxes of Annie’s mac and cheese. Our walks across campus have been replaced with a commute from our beds to our desks.
As I begin my senior year at Bowdoin, my mind races. My thoughts have always been rapid; growing up as the oldest daughter in a single-parent household has its fair share of challenges, and being an educated Black woman in the United States has even more.
As rumors began to surface that the Milwaukee Bucks were considering sitting out of their upcoming playoff game in protest of the shooting of Jacob Blake by police, many didn’t expect the players to actually abstain from play.
Bowdoin has failed us. The athletic department has failed us. Our coaches have failed us, and our teammates have failed us. This failure is glaringly obvious to students of color, and it seems to go unnoticed by everyone else.
Class of 2024: congratulations on making it through your first week! You have been nasal-swabbed, contained to your new (isolation-friendly) home and introduced to most of your professors and peers through a laptop screen. You have relocated during a pandemic, and you have trusted the College with your health and safety.
To be at home in all lands and all ages
To count Nature a familiar acquaintance, and Art an intimate friend;
To gain a standard for the appreciation of others’ work
And the criticism of your own;
To carry the keys of the world’s library in your pocket,
And feel its resources behind you in whatever task you undertake;
To make hosts of friends… Who are to be leaders in all walks of life;
To lose yourself in generous enthusiasms
And cooperate with others for common ends—
This is the offer of the college for the best four years of your life.
“We thank the many police officers who strive every day to do the right thing and keep us safe, and we require accountability for the small handful who abuse their power and stain the work of their colleagues.” -President Clayton Rose (Friday, May 29, 2020)
Imagine the feeling when the president of your college thanks the perpetrators of police brutality rather than rightfully condemning them.
Just because I am the captain of my team and the leader of the Athletes of Color Coalition (AoCC), that does not guarantee that my team is exempt from problems surrounding race. While these problems have become more visible now, they are not new experiences.
Being an athlete of color at Bowdoin comes with a certain degree of difficulty. During my time at Bowdoin, I have considered it a privilege to be part of Bowdoin football, where I am not the only person of color and have felt support from my teammates, especially my teammates of color.
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.
Only 164 returning students have chosen to take time off from the College this fall. Given the overwhelming consensus last spring that anything would be a better option than an online semester, this number seems remarkably small.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
It was August 1858 during a doctor-ordered trip to Maine when Jefferson Davis, the Secretary of War for Franklin Pierce (Class of 1824) and the future President of the Confederate States of America, was granted an honorary degree by Bowdoin College at its 53rd Commencement.
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.
President Clayton Rose’s decision to reopen campus to a select group of students is short-sighted and harmful to the Bowdoin community. I understand the concerns around the spread of COVID-19, especially on a college campus, but I believe the administration failed to take into account the factors that made this decision more harmful than helpful.
While the world keeps changing every day, and indeed even Bowdoin’s world will change again for the Fall 2020 Semester, it is important to remember that COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon. During these difficult times, we must think of the mental and physical health of students and faculty first.
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.
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.
Author’s Note: While Bloniasz sits on the Curriculum and Educational Policy Committee, this article does not represent the opinion of the committee.
Bowdoin’s institutional priorities matter in that they clearly state who is important at this school, what constitutes serious scholarship and how funding will be spent.
The dictionary defines “pod” as a “detachable or self-contained unit on an aircraft, spacecraft, vehicle, or vessel, having a particular function.” My pod is my bedroom, its function: isolation. It is said that isolation is the new heroism these days.
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.
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.
On April 30, President Rose sent out an email to the Bowdoin community addressing the financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for the College. He assured the Bowdoin community that “a top priority is job preservation”—but which jobs, at what pay and for how long?
You’ve lost me, Bowdoin College.
Of all the moneyed institutions that have been rightfully lambasted for accepting federal aid during this crisis, I was shocked to read that my alma mater was among those who have yet to refuse it.
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.
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.
During times of economic crisis, which we are already rapidly approaching, matters of risk and debt become ever more relevant producers of anxiety, especially with students facing uncertain job markets and weighing the return on investment of Zoom-attendance next semester.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once upon a time, company towns dotted the American landscape. From Pullman, Illinois (railroad cars) to Logan, West Virginia (coal mining), these towns proliferated in the latter part of the 19th century as a way to concentrate laborers and tie them to their place of work.
To the Editor,
On April 2, we started a mutual aid fund to support Bowdoin community members affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The concept was simple: we would fundraise to fulfill individual requests submitted by students, staff and community members who needed immediate, direct financial assistance.
The Offer of the College is a sort of mission statement for Bowdoin. And, though its meaning holds up through the years, it has undergone several revisions since it was written in 1906. This week, we made some changes of our own to reflect the new reality that we face as a College.
Because of the devastation caused by SARS-CoV-19 across people, communities, countries, and the world, scholarship must—and will—change. The only question is whether we resist that change or allow it to transform the ways in which academia interacts with the world, our new reality.
The window in my bedroom looks out onto a cluster of North American sycamore trees in the backyard, trees that in the summer are so thick and plush and layered with leaves that they fill the whole window frame even from a distance with a deeply opaque green.
As nearly 10 million Americans have now lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the country is in the midst of an economic crisis and small businesses are particularly vulnerable.
Restaurants and retail businesses like the ones that dot Maine street of downtown Brunswick will be hit the hardest.
As Bowdoin students, we are fortunate enough to have access to an immense range of databases from which we can draw information for our academic research. I benefit from it daily, curiously searching for new articles and sources related to my studies and my life as a student.
International Women’s Day, a holiday unrecognized by the American government, was in part inspired by a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in Lower Manhattan which claimed the lives of 146 women. Because management had locked the doors of the sweatshop in order to crack down on unauthorized breaks, many workers jumped out of the high building to their deaths.
To our readers:
This has never happened before. Even in the great crises of the 20th century—two world wars, student movements in the 60s and the Spanish Influenza pandemic in 1918—Bowdoin’s campus has never been vacated in the way it has been in the last few weeks.
In the past two weeks, the impossible has come to pass. The global economy is crashing, borders are closing and billions of people are self-isolating in their homes. It feels as if the whole world has ground to a halt.
Since the College’s official decision on March 11 to move classes to a remote learning format, the Bowdoin academic landscape has changed. Nearly every facet of our academic experience has shifted and not necessarily for the better—our classrooms, our meeting times and even our course material look markedly different than they did three weeks ago.
Our parents told us many clichéd things growing up. Many of these things—if you happen to be American—are intended to convince us that work, more than just being a necessary evil of existing society, is actually valuable and fulfilling.
This week, the Bowdoin Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (BSAAC) rolled out a week’s worth of programming dedicated to Mental Health Awareness Week. The offerings are a veneer of help. In terms of awareness, there isn’t much, but, oh yes!
On Thursday, Dean of Student Affairs Janet Lohmann sent an email to campus updating students on the College’s ongoing efforts to monitor the spread of COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus. In her email, Lohmann pointed students towards a new FAQ page on the College’s website with information about the virus, preventative measures and travel-related advisories.
As two of the creators of the 2020 show, we see “RISE” as a political statement. It works to bring attention to gender-based violence, intersectional discrimination and various forms of gender disrespect. It unapologetically creates a space for women to stand together against marginalizing systems.
As you read this, Julian Assange is facing a court case that could change the practice of journalism, full stop. He’s charged with “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a classified U.S.
In 2018, whistleblower Christopher Wylie released a cache of documents to The Guardian detailing the dirty work of data-mining and political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica and its role, alongside Facebook, in manipulating the 2016 elections. It revealed Analytica’s alleged unauthorized possession of personal data from 87 million Facebook user accounts which were used to deploy targeted political advertising for the Trump campaign.
Last week, the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) amended its election procedures, a decision covered by the Orient in the article “BSG Votes to Amend Election Procedures.” While we support this action, we write to clarify the Judicial Board’s relationship to BSG and its role in the student disciplinary process.
To the Editor:
Among 38 elite institutions, Bowdoin College is ranked third in the number of students who seek counseling and mental health services. This statistic is not inherently negative—in fact, it demonstrates how, in some ways, Bowdoin is doing something right.
Last Friday, a friend and I went to see the annual showing of “RISE: Untold Stories of Bowdoin Women.” Throughout the show, we heard stories from various women, with topics ranging from friendship and romantic relationships to trauma and abuse.
This week, Harvard professor Anthony Jack visited campus to lecture about the systemic difficulties of being a first-generation or low-income student, especially of students whose educational backgrounds do not align with norms at elite institutions like Bowdoin, because of an extremely inequitable educational system.
In 1998, members of Congress from all political persuasions and sections of the country came together to protect one of America’s most endangered animals. Realizing that time was running out, Sonny Bono, Selena, George Gershwin and a host of other celebrities (or rather their estates) rallied around the cause.
With New Hampshire and Iowa behind us, it may seem like the primary season is in the rearview. The media often becomes fixated on the candidates who win these primaries, creating the impression that the race has already passed its most important threshold.
Article III of the U.S. Constitution reads, “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.” Conveniently, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) defines “trial” as, “a structured process where the facts of a case are presented to a jury, and they decide if the defendant is guilty or not guilty of the charge offered.
Driving around Brunswick and surrounding communities in Maine, you may have noticed some signs in people’s yards: “Yes on 1: Reject Big Pharma.” At a first glance, this seems to be a perfectly reasonable view to hold.
Most college public relations departments don’t undermine college journalism by actively censoring publications or by restricting access to information or people. They undermine college journalism by raising minor but constant complaints about our choice of words, our interpretations of facts or our presentation of information.
Our first year, President Clayton Rose taught a First-Year Seminar titled “The Moral Leader.” A young Ben Ray wrote in his course notes that “an accumulation of moral challenges solved with moral choices (either based on principles or consequences) paints a picture of the capabilities of a leader.” Clayton taught that moral leaders have a moral code which guides their decisions.
To the Editor,
Who will be the rising star on the political horizon this coming year?
I am every day more and more convinced that Lisa Savage ’77 is the one. Thank you for featuring her op-ed in last week’s Orient.
To the Editor,
In your January 31 editorial board opinion, Classical Mythology is called out for seeming “tangentially related to current issues of social differences.” Classical literature, and Myth especially, have always reflected a deep concern with the issues of social difference, not to mention the roles of power and inequity.
In 2016, a committee consisting of representatives from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the College Media Association, the National Coalition Against Censorship and the Student Press Law Center issued a statement titled “Threats to the Independence of Student Media.” The statement acknowledges what all readers of student newspapers are profoundly aware of: “candid journalism that discusses students’ dissatisfaction with the perceived shortcomings of their institutions can be uncomfortable for campus authorities.”
“Nevertheless,” it asserts, “this journalism fulfills a healthful civic function.”
In the spirit of affirming and fostering the important civic function that a free student press must play on our own campus, the Bowdoin chapter of the AAUP would like to take this opportunity to call attention to some of the principles, and some of the concerns, articulated in this statement: