The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Month: September 2013 (Page 1 of 7)

MDMA drug causes college student deaths in New Hampshire, elsewhere

The Health Center requested that The Bates Student provide the facts on Molly, an illegal drug, for the student body based on recent deaths caused by the drug at other U.S. colleges.

Molly: The Facts

Unfortunately, the start to the 2013-14 school year began with the news that there were at least three college student deaths associated with the use of the illegal drug known as MDMA, or “Molly.” Two of the deaths occurred to students from New Hampshire colleges. There is, to an extent, a false belief Molly causes a “harmless” high.

What Is Molly?

“Ecstasy” and “Molly” are slang terms for MDMA, short for 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine.  It has effects similar to those of other stimulants. “Molly” was a term originally used to denote pure MDMA, usually powdered and in a capsule.  This is no longer the case.  

Molly is often a «mystery powder» consumed with the intent to roll. Powdered materials can contain any number of substances, some which even mimic similar effects of MDMA. They can also cause severe health consequences ranging from allergic responses, deadly temperature regulation issues (hyperthermia), panic attacks, and exaggerated psychological symptoms.

What are the Effects of Molly?

For most people, a “hit” of MDMA lasts for three to six hours. Once the pill is swallowed, it takes only about fifteen minutes for MDMA to enter the bloodstream and reach the brain. About forty-five minutes later, the person experiences MDMA’s “high.” That’s when the drug is at its peak level.

People who use MDMA might feel very alert, or “hyper,” at first. Some lose a sense of time and experience other changes in perception, such as an enhanced sense of touch. Others experience negative effects right away; they may become anxious and agitated. Sweating or chills may occur, and people may feel faint or dizzy.

MDMA can also cause muscle tension, nausea, blurred vision, and increased heart rate and blood pressure. Forceful clenching of the teeth can occur, and individuals at clubs have been known to chew on pacifiers to relieve some of the tension. Even if a person takes only one pill, the side effects of MDMA—including feelings of sadness, anxiety, depression, and memory difficulties—can last for several days to a week (or longer in people who use MDMA regularly). For people with preexisting mental health conditions, these side effects can be more severe.
 
What are the Risks of using Molly?

Many of the powders sold as Molly contain no MDMA whatsoever; others are synthetic concoctions designed to mimic the drug’s effects.  Despite promises of greater purity and potency, Molly is now thought to be as contaminated as Ecstasy once was.  In some cases, the substance believed to be Molly was actually bath salts. Because bath salts can be considered a substitute for Ecstasy, users who think they are taking Ecstasy sometimes unknowingly ingest bath salts.  These are an emerging family of drugs containing one or more synthetic chemicals related to cathinone, an amphetamine-like stimulant found naturally in the Khat plant.

People using MDMA can become dehydrated through vigorous activity in a hot environment causing dangerous overheating (hyperthermia). This can lead to a life-threatening high temperature and serious kidney problems. MDMA can be extremely dangerous in high doses or when multiple small does are taken within a short time period. High levels of the drug can increase the risk of seizures and affect the heart’s ability to maintain its normal rhythms. MDMA causes the brain to release a surge of Serotonin leaving it depleted of this important chemical. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, side effects can include confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving and anxiety lasting for days or even weeks.  “Suicide Tuesday” is the nickname given to the trend for people who use all weekend committing suicide when they fully come down from the high on Tuesday.

If you would like more information or to talk with someone about Molly or any other issue you may visit the Bates Health Center and sign in for a free, confidential visit.

For more information about the harmful effects of bath salts, visit: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/synthetic-cathinones-bath-salts.

Some of the material in this article is used with permission from the Alcohol and Health Education Dept., Tufts University.

Men’s golf besieged by elements at rain-shortened Husson Invitational

After a strong performance last week at the Maine State Tournament, the Bobcats travelled to Orono this weekend to participate in the Husson Invitational. Bates unfortunately could not bring their momentum into the weekend and experienced some disappointing results, placing 10th out of 10 teams including Colby, USM, and tournament host and winner, Husson.

The tournament was scheduled to be a two-day tournament, but was cut short by one day due to weather conditions on Sunday. Therefore, the final standings were based on Saturday’s 18-hole results alone. Senior captain Garrett Johnson and First-year Alex Stekler gave the best performances for the Bobcats, as they both shot 90s on Saturday.

While these scores may not seem overly impressive at first glance, under the tough conditions on the golf course they are certainly respectable. Still, Johsnon was not happy about his play or the play of his teammates. “I’m not going to make excuses for our play this weekend. Every team had to play in the same conditions. We could have been better and we will certainly work hard this week to give a better performance next weekend,” commented Johnson.

Johnson and Stekler finished tied for 26th place among 50 golfers. First-year Brad Rutkin followed Johnson and Stekler with a 92, and Senior Sean Thomas opened up his tournament season with a score of 95. “The conditions were tough with 30 mile an hour winds and hard slick greens,” noted Thomas. “It was a Donald Ross golf course, so it was well designed. We did not play very well, but we had a lot of fun.” Regular starter Garret Bonney was unable to participate in the tournament due to a foot injury.

After a tough start to the tournament on Saturday, the Bobcats were eager to get back out on the course on Sunday to try to redeem themselves and they were upset when they did not have the opportunity to do so.

Thomas thought they should have tried to play on Sunday morning, as he was heard saying, “I’d keep playing. I don’t think the heavy stuff’s going to come down for quite a while.” Senior team manager and super fan Chris Debrase commented, “I was encouraged by the way the team tried to grind it out this weekend. They have a history of performing well after underperforming. This team has a lot of heart and I’m excited to see how they come back next week in Brunswick.”

The Bobcats will see tournament action again next weekend when they head to Brunswick Golf Club to play in the NESCAC Championship Fall Qualifier, one of their most important tournaments to date.

Bobcat Intern: Maddy Youniss ’15

Each week The Student will profile a student who completed a summer internship. This week’s student is Maddy Youniss, a Biology major who spent the summer interning at OvaScience in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

TBS: What was your internship focused on?

Maddy Youniss: OvaScience is a bio-tech start-up company and I was interning in their Marketing and Social Media divisions. The company’s goal is to improve fertility, but they’re still in the research phases.
TBS: What was your schedule like?

MY: I got there every day around 8:30 AM and reported to my boss, and he would give me a list of things to do that day or week or whatever. Then every Friday we would have a meeting and I would show him everything I had been working on.

TBS What sort of things did you work on?

MY: Mainly what I did was research for their social media. I did a lot of looking at their Twitter followers, researching who they needed to be following, and looking at what companies similar to them were doing on Twitter. I also researched about what patients they should be targeting.

TBS: And what about the Marketing side of things?

MY: For Marketing I went along to meetings and stuff like that, but that part of the internship was mainly shadowing.

TBS: Did you enjoy the intern experience?

MY: It was definitely cool being a “real person” and it was interesting to see what a 9-5 lifestyle is like. I mean it wasn’t fun, I was tired literally all the time from the commute, but it was definitely worth it.

TBS: What was the company like?

MY: Well, the company is still really small, which was cool to see. It was a fun place to work because everyone was very open and chatty. And people gave me really good advice on getting a job and the industry and things like that. There’s also really cool science behind their product and that was awesome to learn about.

TBS: What was your favorite part of your internship?

MY: I guess my favorite part of the internship was getting to meet people who had really interesting backgrounds and seeing their commitment to this small company. And the CEO is a really young woman who has already started five companies. So for me it was really, really cool to get to know her and see a young woman in the science field who’s already doing such good things.

TBS: Do you think this is something you’d want to do as your profession?

MY: No, but it did give me good insight. I don’t want to be doing media research, but I am really interested in the scientific research part of things. Also it was good to make a connection like this and I’m going to keep in touch with them.

TBS: Would you want to work for OvaScience in their scientific research division?

MY: Maybe, but I also want to get experience with different types of pharmaceutical companies. I’d like to also try out working at a big company and see from there what I really want to do.

TBS: How would you summarize your experience at OvaScience?

MY: I’m really glad that I did this internship and it was definitely a really good experience. I enjoyed it, and even if it’s not what I want to do at least I’ve ruled something out, and that’s just as important.

Field hockey falls to Wesleyan in hard-fought game

Bates Field Hockey had a tough weekend trip to Connecticut on Saturday to play the Wesleyan Cardinals, losing 2-0.

The game was fairly even on the day, excluding a four-minute sequence in the beginning of the game where Bates allowed Wesleyan to score its two goals.

Bates came out of the gates with a lot of energy, tallying three quick shots in the first few minutes. However, after this initial burst, Bates’ defense faltered momentarily, first allowing Wesleyan to advance down the field and score, then a few minutes later allowing another goal off of a penalty corner.

The defense stiffened up after those first few minutes, but the lapse proved too much for Bates to overcome. Senior goaltender Becca Otley played fairly well, stopping six out of eight shots on goal, and senior defenders Lexie Carter and co-captain Sarah Warden did a nice job disrupting Wesleyan’s offense for most of the game.

When asked about the defense’s effectiveness, Carter responded, “

The defensive unit has worked very hard this season on a new structural strategy, but also on communicating with one another and the rest of the team. I think this has helped us successfully hold skilled NESCAC teams to limited scoring opportunities, or at least limited shots on goal.”

The Bobcats actually outshot the Cardinals 11-10, but with a large disparity in shots on goal as Wesleyan had eight and Bates only two. Senior captain Sarah Warden had one of the shots on goal, while junior forward Caroline Falcone had the other. Bates also indicated its improvement in generating scoring opportunities by gaining an advantage in penalty corners, with 12 as opposed to Wesleyan’s 5.

However, Bates was unable to convert these opportunities into points on the board, and the second half was completely scoreless. To their credit, the Bobcats never gave up on the game, pressing the attack and tallying a total of seven shots. However, all of these shots either went wide or were blocked before reaching the net, but Bates did manage to maintain a good amount of possession throughout the half.

The loss was Bates’ fourth in a row, and the Bobcats have been held scoreless in all three NESCAC games they have played in this season. Senior midfielder Bridget Meedzan commented on the four-game slide, adding,

“A loss stings pretty badly and it is a hard thing for an entire team to press on after one too many. However, I have faith that we will only get more mentally tough and more goal-oriented from this weekend’s defeat.”

Meedzan continued, adding, “It is obvious what we need to change and I think the entire team has the collective effort required to make those changes. We don’t have time on our side so right now with only 9 games left in this season before NESCAC’s, but our future beyond this season looks optimistic if we continue to follow the direction of our coaching staff and out-play the beatable opponents.”

Bates will next play host to No. 8 Bowdoin on Wednesday under the lights of Morgan McDuffie Field.

In response to a question about Wednesday’s game, Warden offered, “The team is constantly improving. Changing our mentality seems to be our biggest obstacle at this point. In order to beat Bowdoin we will have to remember the skills and tactics we have mastered in practice and execute them with confidence. We have the talent to be a winning team, we just have to execute.”

The Rat Bastard sets sail

Bates sophomores Rush Milam of Nashville, TN, and Sam Glasgow of Dedham, MA, were the most productive students in the first week of school. Afraid of growing bored in their sophomore year, these two gentlemen combined their curiosity and creativity to make their own boat. They have astounded fellow students and administrators alike with their expediency and maturity in this endeavor. Customized for their needs and desires, the affectionately named ‘Rat Bastard’ is only at the beginning of its Maritime career. I was lucky enough to sit down with these two engineers by the Puddle this week to find out more about their most recent project.

The Bates Student: Have you guys ever built anything like this before?

Sam Glasgow: I have, actually. I took an engineering class senior year in high school where I built another boat out of PBC pipe and duct tape. So when Rush came to me with the idea, I said “Been there, done that!”

BS: So Rush, if it was your idea, where did it come from?

RM: Well I was trying to find a way to escape boredom on the weekdays when I didn’t have much homework and when there were no poker games going on or things like that. It occurred to me that I should build something. I thought first, “Do I build something small, like electronics?” You know, with one of those build­your­own­radio kits? And then I looked out on the puddle after a walk with one of my friends from Chinese class and I realized, I should just build a boat! And it would be fun to sail around the Puddle. Next I talked to a few people and Sam was very enthusiastic, so we co­designed it. He had the original template for the frame, and then we customized it to make it more of a canoe style. BS: So if it’s like a canoe, does it sit lower in the water?

RM: We’re trying to make it that way, but right now its main problem is that it floats too much. We thought it would sink a little more, but…

SG: There’s a trade off when you’re building a boat between being too low in the water and too high in the water. And the tradeoff is that if you’re too high in the water, then you’re unstable, but you’re also dry because the sides are high. If you’re lower in the water, you’re going to be much more stable, but then water can come in over the sides. You have to find that sweet spot and we, eh, err too much on

the side of high on the water, but we’re not very stable.

BS: Where are you storing it?

RM: 4th Floor Adams.

BS: Does it take up your whole room? How big is it?

RM: The bottom is around seven feet long by about a little less than two feet wide. However, there’s a bevel on the side, so the bottom is a little narrower. Also the front goes outwards. I forget who described it as a landing craft, but that would probably be the most apt term.

SG: We measured before we built it to make sure that it would fit through the door of Rush’s dorm. So it just fits.

BS: Impressive! How long did it take you?

SG: We took two afternoons constructing it. Rush said on Friday night “Let’s build a boat,” I said

“Great!” We met Saturday morning, went out and bought the materials, and then Sunday afternoon we put it together.

RM: We put on the finishing touches on Thursday, and we set it sail on Friday the Thirteenth!

BS: Good date!

I figured that people give up on Friday the Thirteenth, so it’s probably a very sad day just looking for someone to have faith in it. So you know, because we decided to take advantage of that, we probably had some luck for it.

BS: Can you guys say a little about the name for your boat?

RM: Right now the tentative title is the “Rat Bastard”, but in order to be PR we might change the name a bit.

SG: The backstory is that Rush is from Tennessee, and when something goes wrong down South, they say “Rat Bastard!” So, because our boat is put together with duct tape and PBC pipe, it seemed appropriate to name it a Rat Bastard because inevitably something will go wrong.

BS: Have you guys given rides to any Bates students?

RM: Right now we can only fit one person in because we need more plywood at the bottom.

SG: So far we’ve taken Teddy Rube, Will Reber, Montana HIrsch, and Carly Peruccio. Also, a whole gaggle of spectators have come out to watch our various launches. Including, Dean Stiedel?

RM: I heard he was in Pgill and he was apparently just looking out the window with a look of awe and bewilderment, thinking like, “Should we do something about that? Is it legal? Should I give him a high­five? Should I send security?” I guess it’s kind of a stooper.

BS: Do you have any plans for future projects?

RM: Not at the moment, but there’s always time to come up with new ideas. Also, boating season is drawing nigh to a close, and some people said that we should start a boat building club but I just don’t know how that would work. It would be nice, but boats are kind of expensive to make in bulk (even the small ones).

SG: Yes, we’re now in the process of figuring out how to marketize the boat. Anything from advertising on the sides to couples’ romantic gondola rides with Rush pulling the boat as he swims through the Puddle.

What an image…We wish these engineers the very best in their future endeavors and we hope that the

Rat Bastard gets in a few more successful voyages before winter swallows Bates.

Pettigrew’s makeover now in the home stretch

For first-years still learning the layout of campus, the purpose of the giant brick building across from Parker might be somewhat puzzling. However, for those of us who spent many nights holed up in the old Pettigrew Mac lab, performing in Schaeffer Theater, chatting up office hours with different professors, or running practice debate rounds in the Filene Room, the massively damaging flood in Pettigrew Hall last year is still a recent, unfortunate memory.

Many might be wondering what has been happening with the alleged project to renovate the building, and luckily it is almost finished. The building will be fully functioning and arguably much more user-friendly by next semester.

Doug Ginevan, Assistant Vice President for Financial Planning and Analysis, explained that “phase one of two” is complete in the Pettigrew renovations. After forming a committee of faculty and staff, the decision was ultimately made, in his own words, to “dream a little bit” in renovating the damaged areas.

Essentially, this means that instead of using solely insurance money to patch up holes and fix tiles, the College is using institutional money allocated for building renovation to make Pettigrew feel more like a Hedge (or at least a Hathorn). The overseers wished to modernize some of the less technologically advanced classrooms and open up the previously windy, endless hallway where the Mac lab and loaner pool are located in the basement. (The water’s all gone, too.)

“Phase one” involved moving all the Pettigrew-housed faculty back into their old offices, putting in new carpeting, giving the classrooms more user-friendly technology and equipment, and making the basement classrooms more attractive and available for use.

The project has also updated the building’s lighting and the drinking fountain situation, which will no doubt spark a unilaterally positive response; fixed the theaters and the Filene Room; and added a new Rhetoric Lounge. By the beginning of next semester, the ILS (Information and Library Services) area–in the hallway on the second floor on the way to Schaeffer–basement stations, and first and second floor classrooms will be back in use.

Work on Pettigrew began in June under Herbert Construction of Lewiston, and this process has been a long and strained upheaval for those who had to relocate in February. Luckily, Ginevan–and presumably other members of the community and committee–see this as a valuable investment in both time and finances.

For students who have been vaguely on the lookout for a Mac lab or a place to borrow a computer, microphone, or video camera, these resources have been and will continue to be available elsewhere for a few more months. The loaner pool is currently in the basement of Pettengill, and the editing suites are in Roger Williams 104.

Although many of us still cringe when we remember the vandalism that occurred last winter, the results of the hard work of Bates staff and faculty seem to leave us in a sort of Boy Scout’s outcome. Not only are workers cleaning up after a mess, they’re leaving it much nicer looking than it was before.

Keep your eyes out for more information about when you can settle back down into room 200, and be sure to thank the staff working in Pettigrew for their hard work. Additionally, as students, we should continue to remember that the spaces on campus we take for granted are being actively maintained by real people who probably don’t want to sweep up shattered mugs every Monday, let alone stumble upon a flooded bathroom post-snowstorm.

Football scares defending champion Trinity in uplifting performance

While Bates was the loser on the scoreboard at the end of the day, there is no question the entire College is proud of what their football team was able to do on Saturday. The Trinity Bantams emerged victorious in a 28-17 win, but the Bates team was clearly on the same level of competition as Trinity was for the entire game.

Trinity is regarded as perhaps the NESCAC’s best team, having gone undefeated last season and capturing the league championship. In addition, they had statistically both the best offense and the best defense out of all ten teams last year.

IMG_8144The teams traded punts to start the first quarter, as neither side had had any game experience since last November. On its second possession, the Bobcats managed to establish a good rhythm running the ball.

Sophomore quarterback Patrick Dugan made his career debut for the Bobcats, and he worked Bates’ triple-option attack effectively in concert with senior running back Ryan Curit and senior slotback and co-captain Shawn Doherty. However, a confusing sequence in the Bobcat backfield led to a team fumble and turnover within a few yards of the end zone, ending the drive.

Junior outside linebacker Gilbert Brown quickly stole the momentum back by intercepting a pass on Trinity’s 28-yard line, and Bates resumed the attack. On the ensuing drive, Curit would run six times, eventually punching the ball in to give Bates a 7-0 lead.

Trinity responded with a long drive of its own, quickly tying the score at 7, but the Bobcats answered with Curit’s second rushing score of the day after a long pass by junior quarterback Matt Cannone, who split time with Dugan, to junior wide receiver  Mike Tomaino to go up 14-7.

Curit would finish the game with a career-high 104 yards rushing to go along with the two scores, while the completion from Cannone to Tomaino was Bates’ only passing play of note.

But the Bobcats could not pull away from a tough Trinity team, who again marched down the field to tie the game at 14 apiece at halftime.

Bates began the third quarter with a long drive consisting of rushes by Dugan, Curit, and Doherty to set up senior kicker Charlie Donahue’s 23-yard field goal to take a 17-14 lead. Dugan finished the game with 79 yards rushing, while Doherty posted 91 yards on just 10 carries. This would prove to be Bates’ final score of the afternoon, as Trinity’s defense was able to solve the triple-option and force the Bobcats into 3rd and long situations.

IMG_8130The Bates defense performed admirably for the rest of the game, especially considering they were put in some tough field position by two more untimely Bates turnovers.

“We did a good job matching their physicality and intensity all game. Our ability to seek the ball out and relentlessly pursue the football allowed us to make some big plays and get off of the field,” noted senior safety and co-captain Andrew Kukesh, who led the team with 15 tackles. “Obviously, they are a very good offense and we knew coming in that they would make some plays but we put a big emphasis on being able to eliminate their big plays all week. We were pretty successful in doing that for the most part.”

Junior outside linebacker Patrick Gilligan added an athletic interception in the fourth quarter, leaping to steal a pass away from an open slant route. Unfortunately, the effort was not enough to stop the Bantams, who were able to open up their passing game to inflict two more touchdowns on the Bates defense. The Bobcat’s offense sputtered in the last quarter, and Bates fell 28-17.

While they were ultimately defeated, Bates was able to post a truly impressive 290 yards rushing against an imposing defense, and also slightly edged Trinity in time of possession. If the Bobcats can match the level of play they produced on Saturday, then every game that remains on their schedule should be winnable.

The Bobcats will next host the Tufts Jumbos on Saturday during Parents’ Weekend, a team that they have beat for three consecutive years.

Men’s and women’s cross country successful at USM Invitational

Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams saw tremendous success at the USM invitational this past Saturday. The men’s team finished in second place edging rival Bowdoin College by one point while the women’s team finished comfortably in third place.

IMG_0078

Men’s senior captains Tully Hannan and Mike Martin paced the ‘Cats at the invitational. Martin just missed finishing in first by 1.07 seconds out of 284 runners. Fellow runner Hannan completed the five-mile course in 8th place with a time of 25:46.00. Two other Bobcats rounded out the top 25, including junior John Stansel, who finished 17th, and junior Christian Sampson in 24th.

The women’s team was also in attendance on Saturday in Gorham, Maine. Placing third out of 19 teams, the ‘Cats beat rivals such as Colby, Bowdoin, Connecticut College, Wellesley, and Southern Maine. Leading the charge was sophomore Hannah Zeltner, who place third and led the pack out of seven total ‘Cats who finished in the top 32. Zeltner’s stellar performance earned her NESCAC Women’s Cross Country Performer of the Week honors.

“I think our team is at a very strong level at this point, not just physically but mentally as well,” noted Zeltner. “Overall the team ran a controlled and focused race, using other teammates as a driving source of encouragement,” she added.

Senior Kallie Nixon finished solidly in 14th place followed by fellow senior Mira Carey-Hatch in 19th and Gabby Naranja in 22nd.

Both squads will travel to St. Paul, Minnesota next weekend for the Roy Girak Invitational while some runners will star behind and compete in the Bowdoin Invitational the same day.

Consult the Cat

Dear Bob,

 

I can’t believe that Parents Weekend is next weekend! It snuck up on me so fast! This is the first one they have been able to attend so I really want to make it special and show them how fantastic Bates is! What are some fun activities on campus and places near by that I can take my parents to?

 

Thanks so much!

 

Sincerely,

Pressure-by-Parenthood

 

Dear Pressure-by-Parenthood,

 

Don’t fret! Parents Weekend is the perfect time to show your parents the beauty and awesomeness of Bates and the state of Maine. Let’s start with campus events shall we?

 

First, you can go on the Bates website and they will have the whole Parents Weekend schedule in full detail! There are tons of events happening.

 

If you’re looking for something intellectual, you can take your parents to lectures and symposiums by professors or a public debate. For artsy activities, try visiting the museum in Olin, the A Cappella concert, Strange Bedfellows improvisation performance, or the Dance Concert in Schaeffer. There are also endless amounts of sports games going on such as the Football game against Tufts on Garcelon!

 

For off campus activities, the Bates Outing Club is doing a Family Paddle down the Androscoggin in Auburn, which is always a beautiful and fun event! Or take your parents to Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary for a nice scenic walk just a mile from campus!

 

Unfortunately, many of the restaurants in the Lewiston/Auburn area have been booked for this weekend for over a year (CRAZY!) but you can always go to Portland or Freeport for food – or good ole’ Commons. However, Mother India has delicious Indian food and wasn’t crowded last year – you definitely want to try the mango lassi for a tasty beverage! Forage Market has yummy bagel sandwiches, beautiful latte art, and a fabulous atmosphere. Nezinscot Farm in Turner, Maine is about 20 minutes away but totally worth the drive. Everything is grown right there on the farm and has delicious breakfast foods! You can also buy locally grow vegetables and freshly made cheese and fresh baked bread.

 

I highly suggest trying out some local places along with going to some activities on campus to get a nice balance of the Bates/Maine scene.

 

Happy Parents Weekend! If you’re lucky, you might even see me at the Football game in all my Bobcat glory.

 

Love,

Bob

 

 

Dear Bob,

 

My two passions have always been singing and rowing. Coming to Bates I was so enthused to join the crew team! But it meant that I didn’t have time to also be a part of an A Cappella group, which was such an incredibly important part of my life in high school. I love crew but also really want to be able to sing! What can I do around campus that allows me to do so?

 

Sincerely,

Sing-My-Heart-Out

 

Dear Sing-My-Heart-Out,

 

It’s definitely difficult to do both a sport and an A Cappella group since they are such a time commitment. But there are some great and chill vocal activities to do around campus:

 

-College Choir: I have heard only fantastic things about choir and its director John Corrie. It usually meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 4:00-5:30. But there is a Thespian, Debaters, and Athletes rehearsal Mondays from 8:00-9:00. You can go to the night rehearsal and the afternoon ones when you don’t have practice. And you still have the opportunity to sing in the concert in mid November!

 

-Voice Lessons: Bates offers voice lessons for any student interested in improving their singing! The teachers are great and you even get credit for taking lessons! And you still get the ability to sing in front of others for your final exam recital!

 

There are also many other opportunities for much more relaxed singing such as the Jazz Band and the Free Will Folk Society. And if you ask around, you probably will hear of even more vocal opportunities such as being a singer for a student band from the Bates Music Union.

 

‘Take Note’ of these great vocal opportunities!

 

Love,

Bob

Off campus housing policy sacrifices clarity for flexibility

As The Bates Student reported last week, the administration introduced an addendum to the “Off-Campus Complaint Policy” section of the Off-Campus contract that implements a progressive system of disciplinary measures intended to facilitate communication between off-campus students, the administration, and the surrounding community.

To summarize, there are three gradations of disciplinary measures, all of which include dialogue between the administration and the residents of the off-campus house. The first is a simple warning; the second is another warning with a variety of requirements; and the third is a hearing with the Student Conduct Committee potentially leading to severe disciplinary action, like suspensions.

The addendum parallels the three-strike policy in the sense that the disciplinary actions are similar, but some critical parts of the policy remain ambiguous. This is problematic because all off-campus students were required to sign the addendum and doing so indicates “your full understanding of this addendum to the Bates Contract for Off Campus Living”.

While the addendum is a significant improvement compared to the previous policy, how can off-campus students have a full understanding  of the policy if some of the definitions and concepts are unclear?

So I discussed the new policy with James Reese, Associate Dean of Students and Carl Steidel, Assistant Dean of Student Conduct. Both were very helpful, so I am very hopeful the administration will continue to be as receptive to student concerns.

First, two terms require some interpretation because their meaning hasn’t been explained to off-campus residents.

Upon a house being found guilty of receiving a complaint for a second time, another warning is issued with a copy of that warning going to the resident’s parents, and the residents may be required to do community service hours and other requirements. What are these “other requirements”? Dean Reese clarified that it is equivalent to the community service requirement. Yet, Dean Steidel specified the concept was kept intentionally broad to provide the administration with flexibility, but could include a letter of apology to the complainant and educational or counseling sanctions. A list of potential requirements should be explicitly stated in the contract along with what actions would merit the application of those requirements.

The other term is probation, but thankfully it has a more concrete definition. An off-campus house is on probation if upon finding a house guilty of a third incident, the Student Conduct Committee determines the severity of the incident doesn’t justify suspensions. However, if a house under probation was accused of violating the policy again, there would be another hearing with the Student Conduct Committee that would be more likely result in suspensions or worse. Considering that probation allows a high degree of flexibility under certain circumstances, off-campus students need to understand under what types of circumstances would probation be applied.

The flexibility of the addendum is a double-edged sword. The progressive nature of the policies’ disciplinary action depends on the college recognizing potential mitigating factors of each incident. These factors could range anywhere from the police report indicating a high level cooperation to the credibility of the complainant. While these two examples may be obvious, similar factors should be explained to off-campus residents in order for the house accused of a complaint can inform the administration of any mitigating factors the residents believe should be considered.

The flipside of this flexibility are aggravating factors as opposed to mitigating factors. The addendum specifies that “severe and egregious” circumstances could lead to a jump from the first step to the third step, rather than from the first to the second. This is particularly troubling because what the administration or the Student Conduct Committee considers to be severe and egregious is probably different that what many off-campus students interpret that standard to mean. When I posed this question to Dean Reese, he specified that events centered on drinking rather than socializing would fit that definition, like a Beer Olympics competition or a day-long Newman Day celebration. However, this standard would seem to cover conventional drinking games like flip cup or boat-racing where the purpose isn’t exactly socializing.

Fortunately, there have been no complaints this year for off-campus houses so far, so the workability of the policy hasn’t been tested. But when disciplinary actions in the addendum are applied, especially for second and third incidents, these problems will have to be addressed. Fundamentally, there is a trade-off between flexibility and clarity, and while the past policy leaned too much towards clarity at the expense of flexibility, this policy leans too much towards flexibility at the expense of clarity. Continued communication between off-residents and the administration would help to resolve many of these issues.

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