This past Monday, numerous students reported the smell of smoke on Coe Quad, inside David Saul Smith Union, in Druckenmiller Hall and in other spaces around campus. While the cause remains unknown, Executive Director of the Office of Safety and Security Randy Nichols speculated the smoke came from intentional fires off campus.
At 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, a car that was left unlocked with the keys inside was stolen from the William Farley Field House parking lot. Executive Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols initially announced the theft in an email to the campus community on Saturday.
After a steep decline in active cases in the past week, Covid-19 Coordinator Mike Ranen announced in an email to the campus community on Wednesday that masks will be optional again in most locations across campus, with a few exceptions.
In an email to the campus community, Vice President and Interim Chief Diversity Officer Benje Douglas announced that the College has appointed Kate O’Grady as the College’s first director of institutional equality and compliance. O’Grady, the current associate dean of student affairs and community standards, as well as the deputy Title IX coordinator, will transition to the new role on July 1.
The price of student summer housing has increased from $65 to $70 per week. The change comes after a price reassessment, undertaken by the Office of Summer Events and Programs, determined that an increase was necessary due to recent wage raises for housekeepers and other employees of the College.
Effective July 1, Scott B. Perper ’78 will take over as chair of the Board of Trustees. Perper was elected unanimously during a virtual meeting that took place this February. Perper’s election follows the recommendation of an ad hoc committee composed of six trustees and President Clayton Rose.
In an email to students on April 5, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for Inclusion and Diversity Eduardo Pazos announced that Oliver Goodrich will take over his post as director of the Rachel Lord Center for Religious and Spiritual Life beginning June 6.
Last Friday evening, a student’s violin was stolen out of Gibson Hall after the building was burglarized. The instrument was later recovered and returned after the suspect, now identified as Domenic B. Hutchins of Portland, was arrested the next day by the Brunswick Police Department.
Over spring break, facilities on campus underwent several notable upgrades, the most prominent of which were the introduction of OneCard-restricted access to Hubbard Hall and new signage in and on the exterior of the connecting Sargent Gymnasium and David Saul Smith Union.
The College currently has a total of 50 active Covid-19 cases, with 42 from students and eight from employees, according to the Covid-19 dashboard. “Some told us they were positive. Many were actually part of teams that were traveling together over break,” Associate Dean for Academic Administration and Covid-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen said.
Rapper IDK will headline this year’s spring concert, along with a student band opener, according to the Entertainment Board (E-Board). The concert will take place on Friday, April 8. “We wanted to bring [IDK] for the fall concert, but the administration did not allow that, so we moved him to the Spring.
Radu Stochita ’22 and Mary Nzeyimana ’22 were awarded the 2022 Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. In addition, Clara Benadon ’23, Seamus Frey ’23, Ari Geisler ’23 and Kellie Navarro ’23 were awarded the 2022 Barry M.
In an email to the student body on Thursday, Covid-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced that all students are expected to take an antigen test before traveling back to the College after spring break. Some additional restrictions will be in place, as students will return to the Monday/Thursday PCR testing framework that has remained in place this semester.
Eliana Roberts ’23 came home to her Brunsick apartment on Tuesday afternoon to find that a hot water pipe supplying water to the radiator in the apartment above hers had burst, showering hot water over the bedroom of her roommate, Esther Park ’23.
Users of the underground college directory known as the “Better Bowdoin Directory” were greeted by an upsetting message Wednesday when they tried to visit the site. Instead of the usual search bars, they found a screenshot of an email written by Erik Pearson, who works as a team lead of integrations and customization at the College’s Office of Information Technology (IT), to the site’s creator James Little ’19 asking that he remove the site.
On Tuesday, the College launched its Digital Excellence Commitment (DExC), a plan to enhance its engagement with digital equity, building on the announcement by the Bowdoin Information Technology Department at a Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) meeting earlier this month.
This week, the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) invited Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for Inclusion and Diversity and Director of the Rachel Lord Center of Religious and Spiritual Life Eduardo Pazos to speak at its weekly Wednesday evening meeting.
Members of the Bowdoin Information Technology (IT) Department addressed the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) on February 9 to detail plans for expanding the technology distribution program. Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Michael Cato spoke to the group about including MacBook computers in addition to iPads for all existing and incoming students.
In a February 4 email to the campus community, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced that some masking and dining restrictions would be relaxed effective immediately. This is the latest development in a series of recent updates loosening COVID-19 restrictions.
Emily Dobson, Bowdoin women’s basketball assistant coach, stepped down from the team this past week after holding the position for just seven months. During her stint with the team, Dobson helped lead the Polar Bears to a 14-3 record (4-1 NESCAC).
In an email to the campus community on January 18, Jason Pelletier announced that the IT Tech Hub had moved to the enclosed seating area on the second floor of Smith Union. Pelletier is the senior director of client services and technology.
Ladd House will no longer be used as a College House following the end of the spring semester. When asked for comment, the administration said that announcements regarding the future of the college house would be forthcoming.
In an email to the campus community on January 28, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator and Director of Residential and Student Life Mike Ranen announced that the College’s COVID-19 restrictions would once again be lightened. Most of the new guidelines took effect on Monday as masked students returned to the classroom.
In an email to the College community on Thursday, Senior Vice President and Dean for Student Affairs Janet Lohmann announced two new staff appointments in the Division of Student Affairs. Katie Toro-Ferrari will serve as Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Director of Student Life, having previously held titles of Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Assistant to the Dean for Student Affairs.
On Wednesday evening, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) held its final meeting of the semester where members reflected on their accomplishments and discussed goals for the spring. BSG is going to continue its work confronting mental health in the coming months in an attempt to address the need for student resources on campus.
In an email to faculty, Senior Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs Jennifer Scanlon announced that COVID-19 Resource Coordinator and Director of Residential and Student Life Mike Ranen will be transitioning into the newly-established role of associate dean for academic administration sometime in the spring semester.
Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) held its first meeting since Thanksgiving break on Wednesday night. Topics covered included the successful extended Thanksgiving recess, or “Polar Pause,” as well as two surveys recently sent to the student body.
Last Friday, Director of Security Randy Nichols announced the rollout of a new app called Bowdoin SAFE in an email sent to the campus community. “Bowdoin SAFE has personal safety features of all sorts, and makes it easier to contact Safety and Security or 9-1-1 in an emergency,” Nichols wrote.
Last Monday, the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge announced that Bowdoin tied for the highest undergraduate voting rate in a nationwide democratic engagement challenge. 85.4 percent of students voted in the 2021 election—a 9.5 percentage point increase from the last recorded data from 2016.
Last week, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) recognized Bowdoin in the organization’s annual Sustainable Campus Index. The College received a gold Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) rating. As established by the Sustainable Campus index, STARS is a robust and widely-used system by higher education institutions.
James “Jes” Staley ’79 P’11, the former CEO of Barclays, stepped down from the Bowdoin Board of Trustees on Monday, according to a statement from Director of Communications Scott Hood. The statement followed an announcement earlier in the day that Staley would resign from his position as Chief Executive of Barclays.
On Wednesday, mental health took center stage when the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) convened to discuss two proposals. The assembly first considered a proposal endorsing the creation of a Mental Health board jointly administered by the Administration and BSG.
Masks will no longer be required in student residence halls, administrative or academic buildings, athletic facilities and Smith Union, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced in an email to the campus community today. Additionally, dining halls will reopen for faculty and staff, effective immediately.
On October 14, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), chaired by President Clayton Rose, announced its long-term plan to increase racial, ethnic and gender diversity in science. The institute committed to investing $2 billion over the next decade in pursuit of ten goals, all of which are designed to significantly promote equity and inclusion in academic, research and professional environments.
The College saw a small number of new COVID-19 cases as students and staff returned to campus after fall break. Two students and one staff member tested positive for the virus on October 14, followed by two more positive cases among staff members on October 17 and 18.
In an email to the Bowdoin community on Thursday, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator, Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Residential and Student Life Mike Ranen announced that one student tested positive from over 2,000 PCR tests administered Tuesday and Wednesday.
In an email to the campus community on Thursday, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced that the College would be moving back to Yellow status that evening following an uptick in cases after Homecoming weekend. This change came on the heels of an email sent Tuesday in which Ranen announced that the College would transition back to Yellow beginning Monday, October 11 after fall break.
Dining Services announced this week its plan to raise the starting wage of student employees to $14.25 per hour in response to the nationwide labor shortage that has led to a staffing deficiency across many of the College’s departments.
On Monday and Tuesday, Health Services will hold an influenza vaccine clinic. Students will be given the shot after their usual PCR COVID-19 test at Farley Field House. Since all students are required to get the shot this year, Health Services has ordered more vaccines than they do during a typical year.
On Wednesday evening, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) held its inaugural meeting of the semester, where it outlined its goals for the coming year. Members of the assembly expressed their desire to launch efforts in addressing the mental health of Bowdoin students and providing support for students of traditionally under-represented backgrounds.
In an email to the campus community on September 17, President Clayton Rose announced a range of changes to upcoming activities and events and a continuation of the indoor mask mandate in light of the recent outbreak of COVID-19 cases on campus and continued concerns related to the Delta variant.
In light of the recent number of positive COVID-19 cases on campus, the College has increased the number of mandatory PCR tests from once a month to twice a week. COVID-19 Coordinator Mike Ranen announced the change in an email to the community on September 3.
Due to the College’s transition to Yellow Status, the Class of 2024 Convening Brunch, President’s Welcome and Class Photo—which were planned for Sunday, September 5—have been postponed until further notice. These three events traditionally take place when a new class arrives on campus each fall.
Due to unforeseen weather and poor field conditions, the Office of Residential Life (ResLife) cancelled the annual College House Olympics, which was originally scheduled for the night of August 30 at Ryan Field from 8 p.m.
While the majority of Bowdoin’s student body was fully vaccinated prior to arrival on campus, a few students—primarily international students unable to obtain one or both doses of the vaccine in their home countries—were vaccinated upon arrival through Bowdoin Health Services or at Mid Coast Hospital.
On Tuesday, August 31, Associate Director of Residential Education and Residential Life, Stephanie Patterson left the Bowdoin College Office of Residential Life to join the Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life at the University of Maryland.
Serving students in-person or, temporarily, through take-out, Dining Services is readjusting to accomodating a full-capacity campus for the first time in a year and a half. But as the number of people lining up for meals every day has risen, the number of dining employees has lagged behind.
An indoor mask mandate will be in effect on campus for all students, faculty, staff and visitors beginning Tuesday, August 24, President Clayton Rose announced in an email to the College community Monday morning. There are three exceptions to the indoor mask mandate: face coverings are not required for individuals while actively eating, for students in their own residence halls or for faculty and staff in their own offices.
In an email to the college community on Friday, President Clayton Rose announced that the college’s fall re-opening plan will remain mostly unchanged, even as the COVID-19 Delta Variant continues to spread. While stressing that the college will closely monitor the recently rising number of COVID-19 cases nationwide, Rose wrote that he remains encouraged by the high number of vaccinations in Brunswick and throughout Maine.
Graffiti at Bates being investigated as possible hate crime; Bowdoin students write letter in solidarity with protestors
The Lewiston Police Department (LPD) has referred graffiti written in chalk on the campus of Bates College to the Maine attorney general, who is investigating the case as a possible hate crime. The Bates Leftist Coalition (BLC) shared pictures of the graffitied phrases, “Free Palestine,” “Stop Ethnic Cleansing,” “Israel is killing innocent people” and “[expletive] Zionist Israel.” According to the Associated Press, Gwen Lexow, Bates’ director of Title IX and civil rights compliance, wrote in an email to students that said she heard members of the Bates community “expressing deep concern about the impact of the language contained in the flyers and graffiti, particularly on Jewish members of our campus community.” Since the investigation was announced on Monday, members of the Bates community have responded to the news of the investigation.
On March 26, President Clayton Rose announced a series of anti-racism workshops, to be delivered by the Racial Equity Institute (REI), that ran earlier this month on April 15 and April 24. The workshops, designed to build a dialogue as well as generate awareness regarding racial discrepancies in American culture, were a success, according to Benje Douglas, associate vice president for Inclusion and Diversity.
A student reported symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and subsequently received a positive result from Health Services’ rapid PCR testing instrument, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced in an email to the community on Monday. The student is being moved to isolation housing, and through contact tracing, the College determined that no additional students are required to quarantine.
Outside contractor tests positive for COVID-19; College to prohibit contractors to enter campus building
An outside contractor who worked in Kanbar Hall this week tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced in an email to the community Thursday evening. As a result, outside contractors will not be permitted to enter campus buildings, effective immediately.
A second staff member in Moulton Hall tested positive for COVID-19, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced in an email to the community on Tuesday. Ranen clarified in his message that the case was not related to the positive case reported on Monday.
On Tuesday, one employee in Moulton Hall tested positive and one student who received an inconclusive test in Monday’s testing received a positive result on an antigen test, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced in two separate emails to the community.
Editor’s Note on Friday, April 2, at 12:02 p.m.: This article has been updated to reflect additional information released to the student body about the College’s vaccination partnership with Mid Coast Hospital. The College will work with Mid Coast Hospital to provide Pfizer vaccinations to all Bowdoin students after vaccine eligibility is extended to all Maine residents over the age of 16 on April 7, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced in an email to students on Thursday afternoon.
A College employee who works in Rhodes Hall tested positive for COVID-19 in Wednesday’s testing, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced in a community-wide email Thursday afternoon. According to Ranen, this case is the second positive reported in Rhodes Hall in seven days.
One student tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced in an email to the community. Through contact tracing, three additional students were identified as close contacts and have been moved to quarantine housing.
Two students tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. The cases are not believed to be “connected to each other or to any of the cases reported last week,” COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen wrote in an email sent to the Bowdoin community on Tuesday afternoon.
One College employee tested positive for COVID-19 in Wednesday’s testing, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced in an email to the Bowdoin community on Thursday afternoon. This case marks the fifth on campus in the last week, after three students and one employee tested positive on Friday.
Three students and one employee test positive for COVID-19; eight students identified as close contacts
In an email to the campus community, COVID-19 Coordinator Mike Ranen announced that three students and one employee tested positive for COVID-19 this morning. The College has identified eight students who were in close contact with the students who tested positive.
Following an order issued by Maine Governor Janet Mills on March 5, Bowdoin has modified its rules for travel related to official College purposes, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced in an email to all students and employees on Wednesday.
In an email to the community sent on Saturday afternoon, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator announced that an employee of the College tested positive for COVID-19 in Friday’s on-campus testing. The employee is isolating at home. One other employee was identified as a close contact through contact tracing and is now quarantined at home.
President Clayton Rose sent an email to the campus community on Thursday afternoon announcing that the College expects to welcome all students back to campus in the fall. Rose also outlined plans for commencement and summer on-campus activity.
On Wednesday the College announced that the new building that will house the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum will be named the John and Lile Gibbons Center for Arctic Studies in honor of trustee emeritus John A Gibbons Jr.
In an email to the community on Monday morning, President Clayton Rose announced the appointments of two new Senior Vice Presidents (SVP) following the recent resignations of SVP and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Whitney Soule and SVP and Chief Investment Officer Paula Volent.
A College employee tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced in an email to the community this afternoon. The employee is on campus infrequently and was found to have been in close contact with one other employee, who is now quarantining at home.
After welcoming more than 1,000 students to campus on Friday and Saturday, two students have tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19), wrote COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen in an email to all students and employees early this afternoon.
The Dean’s Office granted permission for 104 students to reside on campus after November 21. These students, with either home lives unsuitable for remote learning or other extenuating circumstances such as an inability to travel home due to safety concerns, will be allowed to remain in residence until December 22.
An employee of the College who works at the Schiller Coastal Studies Center tested positive for COVID-19 late last evening informed COVID-19 Resource Director Mike Ranen in an email to the community this afternoon. The employee is isolating at home, but the College did not disclose whether the employee is showing symptoms.
A first-year student living on campus tested positive for COVID-19 this morning, informed COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen in an email to the community this evening. The student does not have symptoms and is isolating on campus.
A College employee who works in Thorne Hall and a first-year student living on campus tested positive for COVID-19 today, wrote Mike Ranen, COVID-19 resource coordinator, in an email sent to the community at noon. The employee and student are both asymptomatic and are both isolating.
164 students will take personal leaves of absence for the remote fall 2020 semester; all guaranteed readmission within requested time frame
The College has confirmed that 164 returning students, or approximately eight percent of the student body, will take personal leaves of absence for the fall 2020 semester. Another 37 students from the class of 2024 will defer enrollment to the fall of 2021.
Though recipients have not yet been informed, the Office of Residential Life decided last week that students awarded Career Exploration and Development’s (CXD) Funded Internship Grants will not be permitted to live on campus this summer.
Bowdoin OneDay, the College’s largest annual fundraising event for the Alumni Fund, has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This year’s event had been scheduled to take place on April 7. Scott Meiklejohn, senior vice president for development and alumni relations, explained that the Alumni Fund is working to reschedule the celebration.
The Bowdoin Institutional Review Board (IRB) announced last week that any research requiring in-person interaction with subjects, previously approved or exempted, should stop immediately. The announcement applies to faculty, staff and student research. The decision was made by the IRB in consultation with the Senior Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs Elizabeth McCormack due to concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
President Clayton Rose announced preliminary plans to reschedule commencement exercises in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in an email to the Class of 2020 on Thursday morning. Rose stated that, in addition to a virtual gathering on May 23, current seniors will be invited back to the College in May 2021 to walk across the steps of the Walker Art Building.
After two years of housing juniors and seniors, Ladd House will again house only sophomores for the 2020-2021 academic year, said Director of Residential and Housing Operations Lisa Rendall. College House decisions were sent to applicants on Monday.
With one construction project complete, the College is moving forward with its plan to revamp housing for upper class students. Construction began in May on the new Harpswell Apartments, which will house 132 students in three buildings of four-, six- and eight- person apartments, and virtual renderings of the apartments are now available online.
A Bowdoin student was issued a court summons early Saturday morning after failing to pay his bar tab at MyTie Lounge & Bar, a club about half a mile from campus on Maine Street. Brunswick Police Department (BPD) received a call from MyTie reporting a man who had left without paying around 1 a.m.
Starting in the fall of 2018, eCampus will replace Chegg as the College’s textbook provider. Mary Lou Kennedy, the executive director of dining and campus services, said the change was driven by cheaper prices, a longer return period and a streamlined return process.
Along with 48 other college presidents, President Clayton Rose signed a letter to Congress at the beginning of March, calling for a repeal or amendment of the recently-passed tax code, which imposes a 1.4 percent tax on certain college endowments.
The Orient was named the 2018 College Newspaper of the Year by the New England Society of News Editors (NESNE) and the New England Newspaper and Press Association (NENPA) in an announcement on Wednesday. In an email to the Orient, Sydney Conway of NENPA, wrote “It is clear that in the past year you have produced great material, and that lots of hard work has been put in by the newspaper’s staff.” The editors of the Orient will travel to a reception at the Boston Globe on April 19 where all NENPA AND NESNE honors will be presented, joining editors and reporters from news outlets across New England.
The Brunswick Town Council formally approved the second phase of Bowdoin’s plans to renovate Whittier Field, the Forecaster reported yesterday. The project includes building a new road to connect Pine Street and Bath Road. The decision this Tuesday followed a vote in December to allow the College to discontinue Pine Street in order to build new athletic facilities alongside Whittier Field.
Students have until Sunday to vote on a string of amendments to the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) constitution. For the constitution to pass, at least one-third of the student body must vote in the election, and at least two-thirds of those students must vote in favor of the changes.
Police investigated threats of violence at two Topsham schools last Friday. Woodside Elementary School was evacuated after a bomb threat while Mt. Ararat High School was placed on heightened security due to student statements about violence, the Portland Press Herald reported.
Journalist and undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas will be speaking on campus next Thursday in the Kenneth V. Santagata Memorial Lecture. His talk, titled “Define America: My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant,” will take place in Kresge Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
Half of Bowdoin students who applied for Fulbright awards for the 2017-2018 academic received them, the best ratio among any of the nation’s top undergraduate Fulbright Student producers, according to the Fulbright Program. Forty Bowdoin students applied for Fulbrights last year, and 20 received them, the most from Bowdoin since data became available a decade ago.
Correction: In our desire to break this story, an earlier version of this article jumped to the conclusion that Boody-Johnson House was to become student housing next year. In an email to the Orient, Dean of Students Tim Foster said the administration was only exploring the possibility of the house being converted into student housing, timeframe unknown, and confirmed that if this transition were to happen, it would not be next year.
As falling temperatures, rain and snow hit midcoast Maine this week—knocking out parts of campus power on Wednesday—Facilities staff got to work extra early to clear ice from the College’s streets and paths. Over the course of Wednesday afternoon and evening, Brunswick received about seven inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service.
Bowdoin students, and anyone with an iPhone or Android device, will soon be able to use a lobster emoji thanks to lobbying efforts from Senator Angus King H’07 (I-Maine). The Unicode Consortium, a Silicon Valley-based group of individuals and corporations that is responsible for designing emojis, unveiled the lobster along with 156 other new emojis on Wednesday.
The Amtrak Downeaster, which currently runs from Boston to Brunswick, could go as far north as Rockland this summer if the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA) approves a pilot program in March. NNERPA wants to ensure that Maine communities will be active Amtrak partners before it finalizes the service, the Maine Free Press reported last week.
In an email to the Bowdoin community on Wednesday, Dean for Academic Affairs Elizabeth McCormack and Registrar Martina Duncan ’97 officially shared changes to the daily time block schedule and final exam period that will take effect in the fall 2018 semester.
Citing student concerns about the short timeline for applying to live in Ladd House, the Office of Residential Life (ResLife) extended the deadline for the senior-only College House to next Wednesday. ResLife initially notified the junior class that living in Ladd for the 2018-2019 academic year was an option on January 18.
This week, the student-designed mobile food ordering app PolarEats announced a new collaboration with Jack Magee’s Pub and Grill, which will allow students to place orders for pickup through the app. App developer Sawyer Billings ’18 said that while delivery service from the Pub is not yet available, discussions are taking place.
On Saturday, the New York Times reported that Representative Patrick Meehan ’78 P’17 (R-Pa.) used thousands of dollars of taxpayer money to settle a personal sexual misconduct complaint made by a former aide. Last night Meehan announced that he would not be running for reelection.
Twelve students will participate in a trial intergroup dialogue (IGD) curriculum on socioeconomic class beginning this February. Kate Stern and Leana Amaez, associate deans of students for diversity and inclusion and co-directors of the Center for Sexuality, Women & Gender will facilitate discussion with students from various class backgrounds.