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.
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.
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.
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.
A year ago, during the first week of March, the Department of Theater and Dance staged a performance of Shakespeare’s “Henry VI, Part II” in Pickard Theater. One week later, students returned home for spring break.
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.
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.
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.
This weekend, the fifth annual production of “RISE: The Untold Stories of Bowdoin Women” will be available for students to watch remotely. The production, put on by the student-led club fEMPOWER, includes over 30 student performers and will be streamed at 7 p.m.
Last semester, the College offered free COVID-19 testing to all students living off campus in the Brunswick area. The program was established in partnership with Mid Coast Hospital to help keep Brunswick safe, recognizing that off-campus students would interact with the greater community at grocery stores and other essential businesses.
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.
Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) has announced it is releasing its Student-Driven Behavioral Expectations—a document meant to help clarify how students can safely enjoy the spring semester. “We’ve already signed a community agreement form, and the purpose of this is to help explain how to live student life,” said BSG President Marcus Williams ’21 in a Zoom interview with the Orient.
As the Class of 2021 enters their final semester, seniors are planning for life after Bowdoin. For international students, however, the matter is much more complicated. Some will return to their home country and some will explore other countries, while others are intending to stay in the United States to pursue citizenship and a career here.
When Emma Hargreaves ’23 was hired as a server at Thorne Hall in February, she anticipated regular hours and a steady income. “I wanted to do two or three shifts a week,” she said in a Zoom interview with the Orient.
The College welcomed over 1,000 students back to campus earlier this month, but the majority of the Class of 2024 was not among them. After spending the fall semester on campus, many first years returned home, but some were able to find alternate housing to spend the semester elsewhere with friends or family.
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.
College tours are typically most high schoolers’ first chance to get to know a school on a deeper level and get a glimpse of campus life. At a time where visiting Bowdoin’s campus is not possible, given COVID-19 restrictions, the Office of Admissions has shifted to an online format for its tours and information sessions.
As Bowdoin’s most important mechanism for tracking campus coronavirus (COVID-19) infections, Bowdoin Health Services has taken on a more prominent role in campus life as they work to manage routine testing, conduct symptom evaluations and provide regular medical care to students and College employees.
Nearly one year after the initial projected start date, the College is slated to break ground on both the Barry Mills Hall and the Center for Arctic Studies (CAS) in mid-March at a total cost of $36.5 million.
This semester, 179 students have taken a personal leave of absence from the College—a slight increase from the fall, when 164 students took leaves. For these students, taking a personal leave of absence provides an escape from Zoom classes and an opportunity for creative or professional pursuits.
In an effort to be more transparent about COVID-19 policy violations, the College has launched a COVID-19 Student Conduct Dashboard on February 16. The dashboard reports the number of students found responsible for COVID-19 policy violations and who have been removed from campus for such violations during the spring semester.
After recognizing potential obstacles not addressed by the College’s formal plan for welcoming students back to campus last week, Thomas Bao ’21 and Maddie Hikida ’22 launched Polar Bear Community Action (PBCA), a mutual aid network intended to streamline the process for students arriving back on campus.
Over the weekend, the College welcomed back 1013 on-campus students and 64 students who are living off campus but have on-campus privileges. This meant the launch of Bowdoin’s second semester of coronavirus (COVID-19) testing protocols—this time with a significantly greater volume of tests to process each week.
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.
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 Office of Off-Campus Study (OCS) is allowing 29 students to study away next semester, significantly more than the five that did so this fall, but small in comparison to the 130 to 160 students that study away in a typical semester.
The overwhelming majority, 81 percent, of survey participants believe the College is handling COVID-19 well or very well, with 19 percent believing the College is handling the pandemic poorly or very poorly. This is only a slight decrease from the 85 percent of participants who thought the College was handling COVID-19 well or very well last semester.
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.
When Renske Kerkhofs ’24 left their home country of Belgium to go to Bowdoin this fall, they did not expect to return home until May. “My plan was to stay all through winter break and then just go straight into the spring semester.
A second Dining Services employee tested positive for COVID-19 this week, Mike Ranen, COVID-19 resource coordinator, announced in an email to all students and employees on Thursday afternoon. Both employees work in Thorne Hall. Two additional employees were identified through contact tracing as having been in close contact with the second individual who tested positive.
Coronavirus and counseling: how the pandemic has left one of the College’s most crucial resources vulnerable
Editor’s Note 11/20/20 at 10:42 a.m.: This article has been updated for accuracy. In a period of stress and uncertainty that has contributed to increasing mental health issues in college-aged adults, Bowdoin’s mental health care, which students can access without paying any extra in tuition and fees, is as important as ever.
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.
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.
The majority of courses will continue to be taught remotely for the spring semester, but students in residence will have limited opportunities for in-person learning, according to an email sent to students from the Registrar Martina Duncan on Monday.
The College released its Campus Community Agreement on Blackboard Thursday for students who intend to live on campus or be in residence for the spring semester. Dean of Students Kristina Bethea Odejimi also sent the agreement to these students in an email yesterday evening.
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.
In an email sent to students on Thursday morning, Dean of Students Kristina Bethea Odejimi shared an update on the College’s spring residential plan for on-campus students. Odejimi laid out the various options, or “tracks,” available to students this spring.
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.
In a few months, some students will be getting on planes and heading across the Atlantic, foregoing the snowy quad for a spring semester abroad like no other. These students will face the challenges presented by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic outside of the Bowdoin bubble.
On Wednesday, the Committee of Governance and Faculty Affairs (GFA) met to continue their discussion about inclusive excellence. Emma Maggie Solberg, associate professor of English, Jennifer Scanlon, senior vice president and dean for academic affairs, and Jeanne Bamforth, assistant to the dean of academic affairs, led this week’s faculty meeting.
A College employee tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, according to an email sent to all staff and students from COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen on Tuesday evening. The employee has not been on campus since October 28 and received their positive result from outside the College’s testing program.
Effective tomorrow at 8 a.m., on-campus students are not permitted to leave campus for any reason, including to conduct personal or essential business, wrote Mike Ranen, COVID-19 resource coordinator, in an email to all students and employees sent today at noon.
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.
After discussion of “safe illicit behavior” and “community norms”, BSG to offer on input spring residential agreement
On Wednesday, the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) convened its weekly Zoom meeting to discuss preliminary recommendations for the Spring Residential Agreement. BSG divided its approach into four categories: community norms, COVID-19 intimacy, how to gather safely and safe illicit behavior.
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.
Last weekend, the Bowdoin Outing Club (BOC), alongside the Bowdoin Sustainability Office and Bowdoin Wellness Services, hosted a sustainability and wellness overnight trip at the Schiller Coastal Studies Center, the second trip to the Center this semester.
Ranked-Choice Voting Explained: Maine voters will use ranked-choice voting for the Presidential, U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives elections. Maine absentee ballots must be returned to your municipal clerk by 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 3.
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.
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.
Adapting to COVID-19 restrictions, the Bowdoin Public Service in Washington program is still moving forward this year. Instead of the program’s normal culminating trip to Washington, D.C., during the first week of spring break, the trip has been modified into a virtual program called Deep Dive D.C.
Last Friday, local candidates for the Maine State Senate, Maine State House and Brunswick Town Council congregated on a Zoom screen to share their campaign platforms and address questions posed by Bowdoin students. The forum, sponsored by Bowdoin Votes, Bowdoin Democrats, Bowdoin Republicans and the Government and Legal Studies Department, was moderated by McKeen Center Associate Director for Service and Leadership Andrew Lardie and Bowdoin Votes fellow Wilder Short ’22.
The Bowdoin Outing Club (BOC) continues to provide trip opportunities for students living on campus despite the limitations on student activities due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). While the trips do look different, the BOC’s goal to provide outdoor experiences driven by student interests while cultivating a sense of community remains the same.
Despite a remote semester, Bowdoin’s Dance Marathon Team has maintained their passion for pediatrics and their desire to brighten the lives of children struggling with life-threatening medical conditions at Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. The club is hoping to preserve its relationship with the hospital and its patients that began when Audrey Aitelli ’20 founded the club in the spring of 2017.
Cara Drinan ’96, a professor of law at the Catholic University of America, joined Bowdoin students and faculty on October 7 for a virtual discussion titled “Race, Crime and COVID-19.” Drinan has become a prominent figure in the battle for criminal justice reform, specializing in the right to counsel and juvenile sentencing.
Effective Wednesday, October 7, students living on campus who miss a total of three COVID-19 tests will be asked to leave campus, according to an email from COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen sent to on-campus students today.
It is officially fall in Brunswick: cooling temperatures, changing leaves and the beginning of essay-writing season. For first years, it means getting back their first college papers and potentially facing the disappointment of lower-than-expected grades. “I was really struggling to get a strong cohesive idea throughout my paper,” said Ian Pratt ’24 of his first paper on Plato for his first-year writing seminar, “Human Being and Citizen.” That’s when Pratt decided to make an appointment with a writing assistant through the Baldwin Center for Learning and Teaching (BCLT).
Over the summer, as part of its adjustment to remote learning, the College launched CampusGroups, a campus community platform that replaced Blink. Although originally intended to help manage clubs, CampusGroups has seen much wider usage, such as scheduling for events and making College-wide announcements.
Every Monday, Jill Tian ’21, who is studying in Beijing, China, logs into her first Zoom class at 9 p.m. and continues to stay on Zoom until 2:30 a.m., eventually going to sleep around 3 a.m.
Not long ago, it was assumed that two types of film could make studios a significant profit: Disney remakes and Christopher Nolan films. Disney has been churning out remakes of animated classics yearly since Rober Stromberg’s “Maleficent” in 2014.
With most first years living on campus and a majority of sophomores, the House residents during a typical semester, remote, the College Houses are facing a unique set of challenges in facilitating and building community this fall.
Immunocompromised is a word that has been tossed around quite often this year. In the terms of the pandemic, it is labeled as a pre-existing medical condition describing these mythical people who somehow can’t handle the coronavirus like the rest of the American population would.
COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced that a member of the Bowdoin staff has tested positive for COVID-19 in an email sent to the College community on Thursday night,. The staff member is the first employee to test positive since the beginning of the fall semester.
Editor’s note 10/04/2020 at 7:56 p.m. EDT: This article has been modified to reflect an update from Dean of Student Affairs Janet Lohmann. Students currently taking a personal leave of absence (PLOA) must submit their request for re-enrollment by 5 p.m.
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.
All students living on campus are required to disclose their departure plans to the administration by October 2, Dean of Students Kristina Bethea Odejimi announced in an email to these students on September 17. The announcement has heightened feelings of anxiety and uncertainty among students for whom returning home is not a possibility and who are still unsure whether they will have an opportunity to apply to stay on campus during the winter holidays or the spring semester.
Bowdoin Dining Service, usually one of the leading employers for on-campus students, has had to make changes to its hiring practices as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among these difference are reductions in hour availability, modified positions and new training procedures.
A space known for its open doors to women and LGBTQ+ students on campus, the Sexuality, Women and Gender Center (SWAG) at 24 College Street offers warm conversations and friendly companionship over tea in the kitchen or around pizza in the garage.
President Clayton Rose laid out the College’s updated spring semester schedule in an email sent to the campus community on Wednesday. Classes are expected to start on February 8—two weeks later than originally planned—and most will continue to be taught online.
With the semester well underway, the looming possibility of the College experiencing an emergency closure and sending all residents home is a persistent threat. For international students living on campus, this threat raises a number of questions regarding embassy closures, time differences and access to technology in their home countries.
The College is offering weekly COVID-19 testing to all students living off campus in Brunswick for the fall 2020 semester. The plan was announced in an August 26 email from Student Health Insurance Coordinator Cathy Hayes.
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.
Over the past few months, the College has implemented various measures to safely bring some students back to campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. From altering dining halls to cleaning common areas more often, many departments on campus have been hard at work.
On Sunday, students were notified that the College’s status had been moved from “orange” to “yellow,” allowing students living on campus to leave for essential needs, visit the College’s libraries, study in certain academic buildings and gather in common areas in both their own and other residence halls.
Face masks were mostly associated with East and Southeast Asia during the pre-COVID-19 era (which I now dub PCE). They helped filter out air pollution or, for motorcycle riders, vehicular exhaust. Cloth masks kept faces warm in the winter.
Walking down Maine Street today is a different experience than many Bowdoin students may remember. Brunswick’s wide sidewalks now hold expanded outdoor dining alongside space for masked pedestrians to walk, but there is also another notable difference—there are few students grabbing gelato or biking to their favorite dinner spot.
Dean of Students Kristina Bethea Odejimi reminded students about the College’s supplemental and emergency funding program in an email sent on Monday. The funding, which is available to students through the Office of the Dean of Students and does not have to be repaid, comes from donations from alumni, parents and friends of the College.
Previously scheduled to reopen to on-campus students on September 7, the doors to Hawthorne-Longfellow Library remain temporarily closed as campus status remains in orange. However, that does not mean library staff have not been busy behind the scenes—they have been doing everything from revamping the online delivery system to wrapping up dozens of books in brown paper bags for on-campus pick-up.
During their first full weekend on campus, many first years and their Residential Life (ResLife) advisors found ways to connect and build community that complied with the College’s Residential Community Agreement. However, in an email to the campus community on Sunday, Senior Vice President and Dean for Student Affairs Janet Lohmann explained that some students had engaged in behavior that violated current College protocols.
In July 2018, I prepared to go to the 75th Annual Florida Boys State Delegation, sponsored by the American Legion. This event is held all over the nation, with 1,000 rising high school senior boys in each state participating in mock state government.
When the initial surge of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the United States led to the shutdown of public spaces nationwide, one of the first things that Brunswick-based singer/songwriter Pete Kilpatrick did was purchase recording equipment with hopes to continue making music.
According to an email from COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen sent to the Bowdoin community on Saturday, a third student on campus has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now in isolation. Three additional students, identified through contact tracing, will be placed in quarantine for 14 days because they were in close contact with the student.
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.
Students living on campus have agreed to follow the rules outlined in the seven-page Residential Community Agreement, a guide for student life, quarantine protocols and overall health policies. Rules outlined in the Residential Community Agreement governing the conduct of students living on campus are stringent.
In an email to all students on July 24, Dean for Academic Affairs Jennifer Scanlon laid out the College’s plan to provide an Apple iPad Pro with available Wi-Fi and cellular data connectivity, an Apple Pencil 2 and the Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad to every enrolled Bowdoin student and interested professor.
One student has tested positive for COVID-19 after results from tests administered on Wednesday were released to students and the College community early Thursday morning. According to an email sent to the Bowdoin community from COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen, this is the first positive case identified through the College’s testing program in partnership with the Broad Institute.