For most students, breaking out of the Bowdoin bubble may mean hiking with the Bowdoin Outing Club or taking a weekend trip to Portland with friends. For Andrew Kaleigh ’24, however, it means something different: a foray into state politics.
The Maine Referendum Election will be held next Tuesday, November 2. There are three statewide questions on the ballot, as well as local elections for Town Council and School Board. Bowdoin Votes will be running shuttles to the polls—located at Brunswick Junior High School—every 15 minutes from 7 a.m.
Last Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of Labor and former Mayor of Boston Marty Walsh visited campus for a roundtable conversation with Governor Janet Mills, College President Clayton Rose and a panel of regional business leaders at Moulton Union.
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.
On Tuesday evening, students and community members gathered on Zoom for the fifth discussion in the College’s “After the Insurrection: Conversations on Democracy” series. The event, moderated by President Clayton Rose, featured U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) as she discussed “The State of Our Democracy and Political System.” In her introductory remarks, Collins highlighted four main causes of political polarization in the United States: the role of social media, fragmentation of news, residential sorting and the expectation of political purity.
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 campus on Thursday afternoon, President Clayton Rose announced the launch of a semester-long lecture series titled “After the Insurrection: Conversations on Democracy.”The series includes six events featuring speakers who are experts on voting and extremism, including Senator Susan Collins (R-ME).
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.
Over 90 percent of students expressed their support for Former Vice President Joe Biden in yesterday’s presidential election, while just five percent expressed their intention to vote for President Donald Trump, according to the Orient’s election survey.
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.
When Bowdoin announced that seniors would not be returning to campus this fall, Sophia Salzer ’21 decided to take the semester off, instead dedicating her time and energy to Maine Planned Parenthood’s campaign for Sara Gideon, the state’s Democratic candidate for U.S.
On Tuesday evening, in collaboration with the government department and Bowdoin Votes, the McKeen Center for the Common Good hosted a panel titled “Anticipating the Unanticipated: Puzzling Through What Might Happen Post-Election.” Moderated by Sarah Chingos, director of the Bowdoin public service initiative, the panel featured Thomas Brackett Reed Professor of Government Andrew Rudalevige, Professor of Government Michael Franz and Assistant Professor of Government Maron Sorenson.
Five days before what is likely to be the most contentious national election in recent history and as more than 345,000 Mainers have already cast their ballots, Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives and Democratic candidate for U.S.
In the lead-up to Election Day, the Bowdoin College Republicans have been focusing their programming away from organizing and activism and toward internal, issue-focused discussions. The club has elected not to endorse a candidate in any election, including the presidential race, which co-president Oron Steingrub ’22 called a “typical” practice.
While the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will certainly make this election unlike any other, the Bowdoin Democrats (Bowdoin Dems) are still offering interested students multiple opportunities each week to participate in Democratic organizing. Between thrice-weekly phone banks, twice-weekly group walks to the polls in Brunswick and in-person canvassing, Bowdoin Dems’ eight-person officer team has created ways for students, both remote and on-campus, to get involved as Election Day quickly approaches.
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.
In lieu of speaking about Joshua Chamberlain at the annual convening dinner, Senator Angus King (I-ME) took part in a Zoom conversation with the Bowdoin and Brunswick communities on Thursday night, addressing a variety of pertinent political issues, such as the upcoming election, the nomination of a new Supreme Court Justice, the growing partisanship in Congress and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not long after students arrived on campus this semester, posters supporting various political candidates began to appear. The ongoing primary season prompted the Division of Student Affairs to remind students of a longstanding policy regarding political posters and events.
“How many people here think you can buy an election?” asked U.S. Senate candidate Bre Kidman. Every hand in the room went up. “How many people think you should buy an election?” asked Kidman. This time, no one raised a hand.
As a Senate staffer in the 1970s, U.S. Sen. Angus King (I-ME) witnessed the impeachment proceedings against President Richard Nixon. This week, over four decades later, King voted in the impeachment trial of another president—Donald Trump.
Students and community members packed into the Pickering Room on February 1 for coffee, cookies and a chance to ask questions of Democratic Senate candidate and Speaker of the Maine State House Sara Gideon. Of all the candidates running in the Democratic primary, Gideon is probably the most connected to Bowdoin: she lives in Freeport and is the aunt of two current Bowdoin students.
With the sun dipping below the skyline in downtown Portland, temperatures fell below freezing as 13 Bowdoin students and Southern Maine community members shifted uneasily, half trying to stay warm, half nervous for the political action they were about to undertake.
Last Friday, more than 50 students at the University of Maine Orono participated in a sit-in on the second floor of Memorial Union, a central hub of student activity on campus. The students were protesting in response to a three-part series published in the Maine Beacon, which revealed that Director of Government and Community Relations for the University of Maine System Samantha Warren had lobbied the state government to exempt students from a recently passed law granting workers paid time off.
Like most visiting for Family Weekend, presidential candidate and United States Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) P’23 spent the weekend eating brunch at Thorne, exploring campus and spending time with his family. Unlike other visiting parents and family members, Bennet spent Saturday afternoon answering questions about national issues and his presidential campaign from a crowded room of parents, students and Brunswick residents—among whom was Senator Angus King (I-ME)—during a town hall in Chase Barn.
While seniors on campus update their LinkedIn profiles and rush to the Career Exploration and Development office, Jean Claude Kagame has crossed borders and oceans in search of work. He moved from Kigali, Rwanda to Brunswick, Maine in late June.
Bipartisanship took center stage during the Maine Politics discussion last Monday. Marisa O’Toole ’17, co-leader of the Bowdoin Democrats, and Jack Lucy ’17, co-leader of the Bowdoin Republicans, moderated the discussion between Speaker of the Maine House Sara Gideon (D-Freeport) and State Senator Roger Katz (R-Augusta).