Bowdoin’s Department of Government and Legal Studies has an incredible reputation. But it is clear to me that its highly ranked status has in fact impeded the department’s motivation to improve. Bowdoin’s government department was the only department that escaped criticism in the 2013 National Association of Scholars (NAS) report—a report in which the major criticisms of Bowdoin were that it is accepting of different gender and sexual identities, that it emphasizes multiculturalism and that it does not focus enough on traditional American and Western political values.
The common good is drilled into campus culture—so much so that you may feel you are doing something moral just by attending Bowdoin. For all of the emphasis on the importance of the common good as a value, the College’s actual vision of what this looks like is small and antiquated.
The high quality of our dining hall food is, of course, well known to the entire Bowdoin community. But eating on campus, just as obviously, is not everyone’s preferred option. Especially for those living in campus-provided housing with kitchens or those living off campus, it does not necessarily make sense to pay for the 19-meal, highest-level plan.