In response to the challenges posed by social distancing and remote learning, several dance groups at Bowdoin—including Polar Bear Swing Dance, VAGUE and Arabesque—have adapted their structures to keep their members socially connected and active. Polar Bear Swing Dance, led by Sydney Cox ’23 and Zachary Kaplan ’21, has been meeting exclusively over Zoom since last semester.
Spencer Wilkins ’21 has known that he wanted to write a play since the fall of his junior year. Four semesters later, he is preparing for the premiere of his senior studio project, “WALDO,” an original, 87-minute Zoom play that will be pre-recorded and streamed to the Bowdoin community on April 8.
This semester, Elena Sparrow ’22 and Dalia Tabachnik ’21 started the Mail Art Collective, a student group dedicated to building a sense of community by creating and sharing postcards. According to the group, participants are now in their second round of cards, centered around the theme of “the old and the new.” “[Art] is a gift.
With indoor gatherings limited by low occupancy limits in private residential common rooms, the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) recently partnered with Facilities to purchase outdoor fire pits as a means to give students another option to safely socialize—the most recent initiative to enhance the student social experience in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
Programming for this year’s Black History Month opened with a dialogue between three prominent alumni. This conversation, a reflection on the history, barriers and foundational principles of the Harlem Children’s Zone, was moderated by President Clayton Rose and featured founders of the Harlem’s Children’s Zone Geoffrey Canada ’74 H’07, George Khaldun ’73 and Stanley Druckenmiller ’75 H’07.
Co-hosted by Maya Dowling-Wolfe ’23 and Esther Park ’23, the Stripped Bear podcast explores self-identity and self-love every Friday. Each month has two solo episodes—one hosted only by Dowling-Wolfe, and one hosted only by Park—one joint episode and one “wild card” episode.
The Bowdoin Animation Society (BAS) continues to virtually watch and critique animation through online platforms in an effort to maintain their tight-knit community during the mostly remote fall semester. The members of BAS hope to simulate the social experience of gathering together and discussing animation by using a variety of messengers and servers.
Bowdoin’s Catholic Student Union (CSU) fosters unity and strength through shared faith and experiences. Despite its members being scattered across the country, CSU has maintained a regular schedule that includes weekly meetings, mass watch parties, prayers and meditation.
This fall, a group of students is engaging in a six-week workshop series called “Race, Power, Oppression, and Liberation.” Responding to students’ interest in engaging in racial justice work at Bowdoin and beyond, the workshop will meet weekly to discuss personal identity and power, institutional and social systems of oppression, anti-racist work and liberation.
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.
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.
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.
President Clayton Rose informed students that the College may not be able to reopen the campus to “everyone” for the fall semester in an email sent on Thursday. “We do not know if it will be possible to bring everyone back to campus for the fall semester, but I want us to carefully examine if it can be done (and if so, how) in a manner that accounts for the presence of the virus and would be safe for our community,” Rose wrote.
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.
This week, the Orient sent out its biannual approval rating survey, known as the Bowdoin Orient Student Survey, to gauge student opinion on campus institutions. The survey was sent to all 1,973 students and yielded 504 responses (25.5 percent).
Around the bar at Moderation Brewing on the first Friday in March, 10 students and 10 professors discussed the purpose of American colleges. The group, formally titled the Concordia Forum, had departed from the couches in the Massachusetts Hall Faculty Room and walked to Moderation Brewing to continue their conversation, which lasted for over two hours.
Ishani Agarwal ’20 says she came to Bowdoin “blind.” An international student from Mumbai, India, Ishani gleaned everything she knew about Bowdoin from pamphlets and the internet. Once transplanted to campus and settled in small-town Maine, Agarwal wondered about a lot of things.
The College plans to introduce two new upperclass student living spaces in fall 2019—four suite-style apartment houses as well as the conversion of Boody-Johnson House into a College House. Born out of more than 1,600 survey responses from students, faculty, staff and neighbors as well as the efforts of a working group on off-campus and upperclass housing, these two changes to Bowdoin’s campus work to address student desires and entice students to remain living on campus.
Four students have received court summons in the past two weeks for charges of jaywalking and possession of liquor by a minor. One of those summons resulted after the Brunswick Police Department (BPD) showed up at the annual Cold War party at MacMillan and Quinby Houses last weekend, while the remaining three were issued the previous weekend.
Correction: In our desire to break this story, an earlier version of this article jumped to the conclusion that Boody-Johnson House was to become student housing next year. In an email to the Orient, Dean of Students Tim Foster said the administration was only exploring the possibility of the house being converted into student housing, timeframe unknown, and confirmed that if this transition were to happen, it would not be next year.
Eleven percent of seniors have used cocaine during their time at Bowdoin, according to data from an Orient survey conducted this past December. Use of the drug among the class of 2018 substantially outpaces the other class years, and represents an increase from the last Orient survey on drug use, conducted in 2013.
Bowdoin has already seen some effects of the influenza epidemic, characterized by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as moderately severe this year. According to Director of Health Services Dr. Jeffrey Maher, the bulk of the cases will present in the coming months.
The number of students seeking counseling services at Bowdoin has increased dramatically over the past decade, making it difficult for Counseling Service to accommodate all students’ needs and driving some students to seek help through off-campus providers.
Twenty students in the class of 2017 received Fulbright Fellowships and one student received the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, which funds a student’s travel and research for one year. Nineteen students have already accepted fellowships, 14 of which are English Teaching Assistantships (ETA) and five of which are Study/Research Awards (SR).
This Monday, the Bowdoin Financial Literacy Club (BFLC) will hold a financial literacy day in order to educate the Bowdoin community about money management. A series of workshops targeting those already in the workforce and students interested in investing will run throughout the afternoon and address a variety of subjects related to personal finance.
This evening, Bowdoin V-Day, an organization dedicated to fighting sexual violence against women and girls, will end nearly 20 years of performing “The Vagina Monologues” due to debate about the Monologues presenting a one-dimensional, outdated portrayal of womanhood. In its place, V-Day is debuting the student-written show, “RISE: Untold Stories of Bowdoin Women.”
The Health Center has seen an increased demand for longer-term contraceptives among students concerned about insurance coverage of birth control, according to Director of Health Services Jeffrey Maher. This increase in demand for long-acting reversible birth control coincides with the Health Center’s current emphasis on education about more proactive, effective forms of preventing pregnancy Under the Affordable Care Act, private health insurance plans have begun reducing or eliminating co-pays and deductibles on contraceptives.
The Housing Lottery opened on Monday with several changes in housing options for the 2017-2018 academic year. Cleaveland Street Apartments will no longer be offered as student housing; one-bedroom triples in Brunswick Apartments will revert back to doubles and the fifth floors of Osher and West Halls will no longer be available to upperclassmen in order to eliminate quints in the first-year bricks.
Journalist and author Helen Zia discussed her career as an activist and the future she envisions for America at a talk entitled “Building Bridges Across Communities” in Kresge auditorium on Wednesday. The event was sponsored by the Asian Students Association as part of Asian Heritage Month.
Last night, Macauley Lord ’78 and Reverend Jeff McIlwain, volunteer chaplains at Cumberland County Jail in Portland, spoke about their work during this month’s Theology on Tap event at Jack Magee’s Pub and Grill. Bowdoin Catholic Student Union co-leaders Jack Lucy ’17 and Sam Hoegle ’17; Director of Religious and Spiritual Life Reverend Robert Ives; and Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland Campus Minister Joy Segovia organized the event.
Rev. Dr. Marvin M. Ellison, former Willard S. Bass Professor of Christian Ethics at the Bangor Theological Seminary and a Presbyterian minister who is openly gay delivered a talk yesterday afternoon discussing the difficulties of interpreting the Bible and how people should approach issues of homosexuality and religion.
Despite the generally positive reception of the Free Flow project—which installed dispensers for free pads and tampons in 12 women’s and four men’s bathrooms across campus—the initiative has also elicited negative responses. Housekeeping confirmed that all the tampons and pads in the men’s restroom of the first floor of David Saul Smith Union were thrown away unused several times.