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Coronavirus

Coronavirus

Shift in off-campus study policy now allows more students to go abroad for the fall

Students who were set to study abroad in the fall of 2021 have had a tumultuous few weeks. Following the U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) decision to merge its travel advisories with those set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these students were notified during the first round of course registration that, if they were traveling to a country that the DOS had just categorized as Level 4, they were strongly encouraged to withdraw from their prospective study abroad status with Bowdoin and register for courses.

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Coronavirus

Despite relaxation of state mask mandate, the College requires that masks stay on outdoors

On Thursday, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen addressed Governor Janet Mills’ decision to loosen the state’s mask mandate in an email to the College community. Despite new state guidelines that people do not need to wear masks outdoors when they are practicing social distancing, Ranen asked in his email that members of the community continue wearing masks on campus.

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Coronavirus

Moulton Union reopens following COVID-19 cases

Yesterday, Moulton Union re-opened for lunch for the first time since closing last week after six positive COVID-19 cases emerged among the dining hall’s staff beginning April 6. After the initial case, the College began administering rapid antigen tests to Moulton employees, which led to the identification of four more positive cases.

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News in Brief

Student tests positive for COVID-19 after reporting symptoms to Health Services

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.

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Coronavirus

Over 900 Bowdoin students register for vaccine appointments through College program

On Sunday at 5 p.m., registration opened on CampusGroups for students to receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at Mid Coast Hospital’s clinic at the Brunswick Recreation Center beginning Wednesday. Despite website glitches and slowdowns, according to COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen, over 900 students were registered for an appointment within half an hour.

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Coronavirus

Reflecting on COVID-19 two months into the semester

Two months into a spring semester like no other and with over 1,000 students on campus Bowdoin has managed to keep its positive COVID-19 case numbers relatively low. Despite a recent uptick in cases, it has also managed to stay in the least restrictive campus status level—”yellow”—since leaving “Hibearnation” and three days of “orange” in mid-February.

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Coronavirus

Moulton Union temporarily closed after three employees test positive for COVID-19

Moulton Union will be closed until breakfast tomorrow after three employees tested positive for COVID-19 this week, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen wrote in an email to the community on Thursday. Ranen wrote that the College closed the dining hall as a “precautionary measure.” Moulton dining employees will come to campus to receive a rapid antigen and PCR test every day, but they will leave campus immediately after they complete both tests.

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News in Brief

College to facilitate access to Pfizer vaccines for students living in Maine

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.

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Coronavirus

Student-Athletes pleasantly surprised with decision to compete in the spring, but most of their focus remains on the fall

Catching many athletes off guard, yet pleasantly surprised, President Clayton Rose announced in a campus-wide email on March 9 that the NESCAC has decided to conduct limited competition for spring sports. While many athletes and athletics staff members are excited for this opportunity, they know that competition is not guaranteed and is dependent on the rate of COVID-19 cases on Bowdoin’s campus and at other colleges.

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Coronavirus

Many Bowdoin students left behind by age-based vaccine rollout

Despite Maine’s relatively efficient rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine—the state is currently ranked tenth nationally in percentage of the population that has been fully vaccinated—the state’s transition to an age-based distribution plan has placed many Bowdoin students at the end of the line, resulting in a sense of uncertainty, disappointment and a scramble to find alternate solutions.

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News in Brief

College employee tests positive for COVID-19

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.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 comparison: Bowdoin sees fewest cases among NESCAC peers

With the week of February 21 coming to a close, all 11 NESCAC schools have now welcomed students back to their campuses for the start of the spring semester. While Colby brought students back to start their January term on January 8, most NESCAC schools made significant adjustments to their academic calendar in order to delay the start of their spring semester until early or mid February.

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Coronavirus

Back on campus, ready to get back on the ice

After a virtual fall, an extended winter break and the cancellation of their season, most of Bowdoin’s men’s hockey team is back on campus and ready to get back on the ice. Bouncing back from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic’s impact on their season and the team’s social atmosphere, the team is excited to be reunited once again.

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Coronavirus

15 students study abroad as countries close borders

In addition to transforming life on campus, COVID-19 has complicated the plans of students who were intending to study off campus during the 2020-21 school year. Only 15 of the 29 students who, as of this past fall, intended to study off-campus were able to, three of whom are studying with domestic programs while the rest are at various institutions in the United Kingdom.

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Campus

ResLife, Student Affairs provide details about Spring Campus Community Agreement

Staff from Residential Life and the Office of the Dean for Student Affairs—including Director of Residential Education Whitney Hogan, Associate Dean of Upperclass Students Khoa Khuong and Dean of Students Kristina Bethea Odejimi—offered several clarifications about the Campus Community Agreement on Monday, November 23 during an informal question-and-answer office hours session with students.

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Coronavirus

Adjusting and adapting: virtual athletics satisfies some, but not all

Throughout the fall semester, Bowdoin athletics has been forced to “adjust and adapt” in response to the new challenges presented by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Despite grappling with geographically divided teams, a lack of competition and Zoom fatigue, athletes and coaches alike were pleasantly surprised by their teams’ ability to provide a meaningful and engaging athletic experience, but long for the return to an in-person season.

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Campus

On-campus students depart early as COVID-19 cases rise at the College and in Maine

As COVID-19 cases surge nation-wide, the Bowdoin community has not been immune. Confronting rising cases of the virus on campus, the administration and on-campus students are evaluating steps forward as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches. In a Microsoft Teams interview with the Orient, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen said that he was not surprised about the recent positive cases on campus.

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Coronavirus

Spring athletic competition remains “highly unlikely”

Bowdoin’s spring athletic teams will likely not compete during the spring semester, Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan announced in an email to all student athletes on Thursday. Fall and winter teams will also not compete during the spring semester, with the possible exception of Nordic Skiing, given that it involves exclusively outdoor competition.

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Coronavirus

Equestrian team faces budget cuts and distanced community in wake of COVID-19

Once bustling with life from eager riders and half a dozen horses, an unfamiliar silence overtook Underwood Farm, the local, family-owned equestrian facility that the club uses. For a team once racing toward the finish line at a breakneck pace, the Bowdoin Equestrian Club found itself grinding to a halt as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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Campus

Students understanding, but frustrated, with campus rules change

Amid a spike in COVID-19 cases throughout Maine, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced on Friday, November 6 that students would no longer be permitted to leave campus for any reason, effective Saturday, November 7. While many on-campus students said they understood the reasons for this decision, the change was still met with disappointment.

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Highlight Reel

Highlight Reel for November 6

VOTES Bowdoin’s athletes turned out to vote on Tuesday, according to the Bowdoin Orient’s Election survey. Of the 328 athletes who responded to the survey, 321 athletes, or 97.9 percent of the total, said they planned to vote.

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Coronavirus

Faculty member tests positive for COVID-19

A faculty member who is infrequently on campus and teaching completely remotely tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, according to an email sent Thursday morning to the Bowdoin community from COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen. The individual is the first faculty member and the second College employee to test positive since the beginning of the semester.

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Coronavirus

Families to explore Bowdoin during remote Family Weekend

Family Weekend, a long-time Bowdoin tradition, has gone fully virtual for the fall 2020 semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The celebration, which started yesterday and will end on Saturday, features a mix of synchronous and asynchronous online events intended to recreate some of the essence of the traditionally in-person occasion.

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Coronavirus

Off-campus student tests positive for COVID-19

A student living off campus in Brunswick tested positive for COVID-19 last Friday, Senior Vice President and Dean for Student Affairs Janet Lohmann said during a town hall with off-campus students on Sunday. “We became aware of this on Friday because the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] (CDC) contacted us,” said Lohmann.

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Coronavirus

All NESCAC conference and championship play cancelled for winter season

The presidents of New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) member schools announced October 8 that all regular season competition as well as championships for the 2020/2021 winter season are cancelled. In their announcement, the presidents of the NESCAC member schools pointed to limited off-campus travel, restrictions on visitors to campuses, and strict social distance protocols as reasons for cancelling the season.

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Coronavirus

Men’s soccer team stays active despite challenges

In a normal year, the Bowdoin men’s soccer team would be in the midst of a busy season. They’d be practicing constantly and traveling for games almost every other day. But in a unique fall, one where the season is cancelled and practices are limited, the team is using a variety of tactics to stay in shape and bond as a team.

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A Cappella

Ursus Verses sings together despite the distance

With only first years, transfer students and a select few upperclass students on campus this semester, maintaining club connections requires extra creativity in the virtual sphere. Ursus Verses, one of  Bowdoin’s coed a cappella groups, is working to overcome the challenges of remote learning and to cultivate a supportive musical environment despite the distance.

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Coronavirus

College grants exemption on student gathering size limit

The High Holidays are considered a time of reflection for the Jewish community, but this year they fall during a time of reflection for the whole College community. When Hillel received requests from 29 on-campus students to attend the organization’s Friday Rosh Hashanah dinner—nine students more than the maximum capacity for campus gatherings—the College had to make a decision.

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Campus

Campus COVID-19 testing program sees success in initial rollout

The first week of the semester saw the rollout of the College’s ambitious testing program for the fall. The plan dictates that students must be tested three times a week—Monday, Wednesday and Friday—for the first two weeks of the semester, and then twice a week—with one group tested on Mondays and Thursdays and the other tested on Tuesdays and Fridays—until campus closes before Thanksgiving break.

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Editorial

First years: It’s in your hands

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.

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Coronavirus

First-year athletes adjust to new athletic experiences

This fall, the first-year athlete experience will look a little different than it typically does. Instead of splitting their first couple of weeks on campus between practices with their new team and in-person orientation programming, first-year athletes will, along with most of their classmates, adjust to a life on campus that includes regular COVID-19 testing and social distancing.

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Admissions

Athletic department redesigns recruiting with a virtual visit

Due to the COVID-19—and Bowdoin’s first ever semester with entirely remote learning for most students—the College’s athletics department has adapted its recruitment procedures. This year, prospective recruits and high school student-athletes can visit the Bowdoin athletics department’s “virtual visit” webpage, where they will find a virtual tour of the College’s athletic and academic facilities, testimonials from Bowdoin coaches and athletes and a virtual information session featuring members of the Office of Admissions and the athletics department.

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Comedy

Improvising 2020: Bowdoin Improvabilities move remote

Between a pandemic and a precarious political climate, very little has gone according to plan over the past several months, and the world has had to learn how to improvise. “Improvabilities,”  Bowdoin’s oldest improvisational comedy group, has worked to modify and adapt their craft to suit a remote model.

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Campus

On-campus students share hopes, fears for the semester

As first years, student staff at the Office of Residential Life and approved upperclassmen moved onto campus in late August, they said goodbye to a number of things. Some of the 653 students residing on campus said goodbye to their hometowns, while some said goodbye to their home states or home countries.

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Coronavirus

Bowdoin Spring Priorities raises over $1.27 million since March 12 launch

Bowdoin Spring Priorities—the College’s fundraising effort to address financial needs that have emerged due to the coronavirus (COVID-19)—has brought in hundreds of donations since its launch on March 12. The College designated four separate funds within Bowdoin Spring Priorities: the COVID-19 Response Fund, the Class of 2020 Commencement Fund, the Financial Aid Fund and the Greatest Need—the Unrestricted Alumni Fund (Alumni Fund).

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Coronavirus

College toughens leave of absence policy, anticipating possible spike in requests from students

Janet Lohmann, dean for student affairs, announced updates to the College’s “Personal Leave of Absence” policy on May 21 in an email addressed to all returning students. The changes reflected the College’s concern that a possible remote or semi-remote fall semester would dramatically increase requests for personal leaves of absences, and it aimed to address the logistical issues this rise would present.

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Coronavirus

As College decides what to do with CARES funds, Rose tells students, ‘Don’t wait’

The College has yet to accept the $1.2 million allocated to it through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. According to President Clayton Rose, who commented on the matter during Wednesday’s Town Hall, the College has not accepted the funds because “there are some possible conditions or terms around taking the money, which could be problematic.” According to Rose, this provision could potentially lead to the names of students who accept CARES Act aid to be disclosed to any federal agency under the Freedom of Information Act.

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Coronavirus

Student organizers end mutual aid fund after pushback from College

Members of the Bowdoin Labor Alliance (BLA) shut down their online mutual aid fund on Tuesday after College administrators notified them that the effort violated College policies that prohibit independent student fundraising. Before closing on Tuesday, the fund had raised and distributed over $15,000 to Bowdoin students, staff and other community members struggling with the economic fallout of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis since April 1.

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