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.
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.
Over 78,000 American cases. 1,135 dead in the United States as we write this on March 26, 2020. Over the past several weeks, each of us has experienced a dramatic change in our routines of daily life.
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.
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.
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, 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: 1.
As a first year at Bowdoin, I was beyond excited to cast my first-ever vote in the 2018 midterm election. I’ve always held great respect for voting, largely because of my dad, who was born in Canada and became an American citizen when I was 11.
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.
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.