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COVID-19

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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COVID-19

Students finish honors projects amid pandemic delays

As a compressed and atypical academic year comes to an end, some graduating seniors are wrapping up their honors projects despite delays caused by limited access to laboratories and difficulty obtaining sources remotely. For seniors conducting scientific research, the pandemic’s biggest impact on their work was the closure of on-campus labs last summer.

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COVID-19

Fewer Bowdoin applicants granted Fulbright awards than expected

The College saw fewer acceptances for the Fulbright Student Program this year than is typical, despite a record number of applicants, many of whom advanced to the semi-finalist stage. Of the 62 applicants for the 2021-2022 program year, 39 were recommended to be semifinalists and eight students were selected for English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) programs, while five were selected for the study/research award—a 20 percent acceptance rate.

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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

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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BSG

BSG plans to release guidelines for student safety on campus

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.

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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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COVID-19

Two Dining Services employees test positive for COVID-19

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.

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Counseling Services

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.

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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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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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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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Mind the Gap

OPINION: Maine needs to independently review any COVID-19 vaccine

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.

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Brunswick

Voter Guide for 2020 Election in Maine

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. 

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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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COVID-19

Bowdoin Public Service in Washington goes virtual

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.

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Elections 2020

Local candidates speak at Zoom forum

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.

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BOC

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, BOC finds new ways to lead trips

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.

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COVID-19

Dance Marathon kicks off an unprecedented season

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.

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Anti-Racism

Bowdoin alum addresses race, crime and COVID-19

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.

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BQSA

BQSA celebrates fourth annual OUTober

As the end of September concludes students’ first month back in school, Bowdoin Queer Straight Alliance (BQSA) looks forward to its fourth annual OUTtober. OUTtober is a month of programming open to both LGBTQIA+ students and allies.

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Academic

Baldwin Center charts path forward in supporting student academic endeavors

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).

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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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COVID-19

Students face uncertainty about required departure plans

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.

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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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COVID-19

Emergency funding available to students for fall semester

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.

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COVID-19

Library launches new resources for remote learning

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.

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COVID-19

Campus gathering prompts investigation and raises concerns about student behavior

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.

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