The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Month: October 2014 (Page 1 of 9)

Shots Fired: Students protest outside of Commons

On Monday morning, students woke to find a shipwreck outside of Commons—a battle scene between the H.M.S McIntosh and the boat Academia Batesina. Mounted with canons, the H.M.S McIntosh pointed towards a sinking Bates College. Alongside the shipwreck stood a green highway sign that read, “Friendly fire from Lane Hall tragically sinks Academia Batesina…But at least there was pizza.”

Facilities Services was quick to dig up the sign and the broken canoe buried multiple feet into the ground. The H.M.S McIntosh was carted away on a trailer along with canoe and sign before eight in the morning.

Students, professors, and even Facilities Services workers were quick to take photographs before the nautical statement was removedm, the dirt was filled in, and grass seeds planted.

The identity of the people responsible remains a mystery, but speculation has already surfaced on Yik Yak and NESCAC website In The ‘Cac, mostly calling out the campus pranksters, The Juice Boys (infamous for placing the Commons knight in odd locations), as well as the Bates Sailing Team. The Sailing Team has made a statement falsifying these claims.

This has been the first form of physical protest since the Bates administration announced its decision to cancel Trick or Drink.

The new era begins: Taylor Swift’s 1989

Contrary to recent album releases, 1989 did not fall from the sky on a random day, nor was it free for everyone with an iTunes account whether they wanted it or not.

Unless you have been living in a bubble (which let’s be honest, Bates kind of is), then you should have seen Taylor Swift in a presidential-campaign-style tour of America. Yet, all of this fanfare comes down to whether these thirteen songs are actually worth listening to.

When Swift declared that 1989 would be her first “documented pop record,” it did not seem like much of an actual declaration. Swift had already begun to lean towards pop music in Red, but with this statement she seemed to imply that 1989 would simply include more of “22” and “I Knew You Were Trouble” than “All Too Well.” Well, that is definitely not the case.

The experience of listening to 1989 is like when someone comes to tell you big news, you need to sit down for it. This album does not follow the steady evolution of Swift’s sound from Fearless to Red. Swift has discarded any trace of fun banjos for booming synths.

This is not to say, however, that 1989 is a bad album; it is actually pretty amazing. Swift’s songs have always been more about the stories they tell rather than the beats behind them, and her (admirably original) lyrics are just as beautiful and honest as they have always been.

Songs like “Out of the Woods” and “I Know Places” tell vivid stories of prior romances. It is amazing how Swift can sing about someone (usually an ex, of course) who got “twenty stitches in a hospital room” and still make the song hauntingly beautiful. In “Style,” Swift sings about a relationship over a slick throwback beat while you imagine yourself driving down the highway in a vintage car with neon lights all around you.

First-year Ethan Benevides said, “The new album surprised me when I first heard it, but the songs are pretty catchy and fun.”

As Swift is no longer seen with a new boyfriend every few months and is rather seen baking and playing with cats along with her friend group of famous females (how do I get into that friend group?), her songs are no longer all about exes. In the already popular “Shake it Off,” Swift presents the ultimate anti-hater anthem that almost everyone can relate to, because don’t we all have some haters?

In “Welcome to New York,” Swift gives her wide-eyed account of moving to the city as a young adult. This song is a strong departure from “Never Grow Up” from Speak Now, where Swift wrote an honest account of feeling alone when moving to her own apartment in Nashville. Maybe this is a sign of Swift’s growing maturity, but moving to a big city is scary, so “Welcome to New York” is not as relatable as many of her other songs, but it nonetheless captures the magic of the city.

The funniest and seemingly most talked about song is “Bad Blood.” Supposedly about Katy Perry, this song is the wonderfully overdramatic account of a friendship gone horribly wrong. Swift talks about having “scars on my back from your knife” and how “Band-Aids don’t fix bullet holes.” This song is at least relatable to two best friends in middle school who get into a petty argument and blow everything out of proportion.

One of the highlights of the album is “How You Get the Girl,” which oddly enough would have fit well on Speak Now or Red. The song is classic Swift, optimistic and bright with fun lyrics. This song is the perfect song for the impromptu dance party, as is “Shake it Off.”

First-year Emily Bacon says, “Shake it Off’ is Taylor’s most exciting song; I have to dance to it whenever it comes on.”

Overall, 1989 proves that all Swift needs is a pen and paper to create an album. Her fans would not care if her next album were heavy metal or folk, because under any genre Swift’s music is undeniably unique, and she can thrive with “this sick beat” in any kind of song.

All points North: Reflections on immigration history

Fleeing the oppression of Tsarist Russia and the Old World, my great-grandfather, also named David Weinman, immigrated to this country around the turn of the century.

In the United States, he found opportunities which would have been unthinkable in his country of origin. Even though he had no money and little formal education, David quickly found work in the jewelry industry. Within a few short years he was able to build his own jewelry business that persists to this day.

Although his story represents the classic American tale of successful assimilation and the promise this nation has offered to those who seek it, David’s life also demonstrates the great challenges and hardships which the immigrant endured. Learning a completely unfamiliar language and navigating the delicate balance of adapting to a new culture while preserving sacred traditions and values must have been a great struggle. In a nation of immigrants, his experiences certainly were not uncommon.

In the Short Term of 2013, I was fortunate enough to participate in a project titled “All Points North: Stories of Immigration,” with Zoe Fahy ’14. It was lead by Phyllis Graber Jensen and funded in part by the organization Documenting Maine Jewry. Our work focused on reaching out to members of the Lewiston/Auburn community to help them share and document their personal and familial stories immigrating to this country.

This project culminated in a booklet, which was distributed to the freshman class. On Thursday, October 30 from 12:00 to 1:00 P.M. we will be presenting this project with many of its participants in Commons 221 and 222.

Although each experience presents its own unique circumstances, these stories all displayed many common themes such as the importance of family, hope, and perseverance. Although a great deal has changed since my great-grandfather immigrated to this country, I was amazed by how much his life had in common with many of the people who were generous enough to share their stories with me.

The aspirations and experiences of immigrants in our nation today not only connect us to our past but also reaffirm our identity as a nation. It is critical that our nation not lose sight of this critical truth. We would all benefit from a better and more nuanced understanding of these stories not only in the Lewiston/Auburn area, but also throughout our nation.

A call to serve: Leveraging privilege in the classroom

When I think about my time here at Bates, I think about a whirlwind of incredible experiences: working in the admissions office as an Admission Senior Fellow, writing my senior thesis, volunteering in the Lewiston school system, and studying abroad in Spain, Copenhagen, and Malawi. But I also think about the gnawing question that always lurked: What in the world am I going to do after I leave here?

Although the question is the quickest way to get any senior’s heart pounding and palms sweating, I actually have several ways I could answer it. I could look for a job at a non-profit, I could stop toying with the idea and just apply to graduate school, and I could go to Europe or Asia and teach English. I have choices.

But the question of what I could do after graduation actually has a second part – what should I do? And as I turned each choice over in my head, none of them felt quite right.

The truth is, as a first-generation Asian American earning a college degree, I now have access to opportunities that many kids growing up like me don’t. I think of my friends and classmates whose ambitions were just as great as mine and whose intelligence was often greater, but who are back home in California raising children and working two part-time jobs rather than worrying about exams or picking classes. I worked hard to get to and through college and faced struggles along the way, but I also know that it was the hard work of many others that got me to this point. If just a few things were different—a different teacher, a different group of friends—and I might not be a Bates student.

But I also know this isn’t just true for families like mine growing up in California. Too many kids growing up in diverse communities across the country lack the opportunity to imagine a future for themselves. Among students growing up in our lowest-income communities, just 6 percent will graduate from college by the time they’re 25. Knowing this, I want to use my experiences to change it.

I didn’t decide to teach because I think I’m going to be a hero. This work will be incredibly challenging and humbling, and I will have to push myself harder than I ever have to give my students the education they deserve. I will need to work in close partnership with the parents, teachers, and community members who have been working towards justice and equity long before I arrived. But I don’t want a job that lets me turn a blind eye to the injustice kids face every day. I want one that forces me to look injustice in the face and fight it with all my heart. I want one that holds me accountable for the injustices that plague our communities – because although I did not create them, I’d still bear responsibility if I chose not to address them.

As I become a Teach For America corps member after graduation, I’ll be joining a network of more than 47,000 people working relentlessly to make access to opportunity equitable. It’s a network of leaders vastly diverse in background and experience, working across sectors to create change. But we are all united around the fundamental belief that a quality education is not a privilege – it is a right. We can fight to ensure all students get to enjoy that right. As you think about what in the world you’re going to do after you leave here, I hope you’ll join us.

Steidel and Foster Zsiga offer perspective to College’s proactive programs and policies

The unexpected cancellation of Trick or Drink has sparked discussion about alternative means of changing the drinking culture on Bates campus. Assistant Dean of Students and Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug counselor Erin Foster-Zsiga and Assistant Dean of Students Carl Steidel shared some of the more proactive, educational policies in place that can help shape the campus culture.

First-Year Orientation is when most of the alcohol education takes place because this is a pivotal point of development in the student’s life. It is also a matter of convenience, because it allows the Deans to target and educate a large portion of the student body at once.

An online alcohol education course, which gives incoming first-years a baseline understanding about alcohol, is taken before school starts and again in October. The program provides data for the administration to help them tailor certain orientation programs. The JAs and RCs play a big role in these programs. If for example, the numbers show a spike in alcohol related incidents during the first-year’s third week on campus, they can have JAs/RCs reach out to students at this time.

Other programs focus not only on the consequences of poor decisions, but also how to learn to be responsible for your actions from a harm-reduction standpoint. Essentially, they want to teach students, “If you make the decision to drink how can you do it as safely as possible,” Dean Steidel said.

After orientation, the education continues, yet many times students learn only through the reactionary policies, like the strike system. In and of itself, the strike system is designed around and educational, developmental-based model in which the students can examine their actions and decisions and figure out how to move forward in a positive way—and the Deans office can figure out how they can support that student along that path.

Treating Bates students like adults has always been the philosophy held by the administration.

“From the philosophical standpoint, I think it is always important to treat college students like adults and to give them some sort of agency in the decisions they are making,” Steidel said.

Practically speaking, the administration and security cannot be omnipresent. These proactive policies reinforce students’ agency, in that it gives them the resources and support system necessary to make good decisions.

“This is your community, you own a huge piece of it, if not most of it, and it’s your responsibility to take some ownership, not only for your own actions but to also help take care of your friends and your neighbors,” Dean Steidel said.

“I think that proactive policies are most effective,” junior Emma Pagano said. “I believe that if we are equipped with the skills and knowledge beforehand, we are more likely to take an active stance against alcohol abuse, sexual misconduct, and other misbehavior. I think it would be great if the administration moved us from a place of passion rather than fear.”

Another proactive policy is in the works to help students take an active stance. Last January, Dean Foster-Zsiga and a group of students, faculty and administration rolled out a new program called C.A.T.S. (Confront a Tough Situation). C.A.T.S. is a bystander intervention program designed to teach students from all class years different modes of intervention.

In the simplest terms, the C.A.T.S. Program teaches students, “If you see something say something,” Dean Foster-Zsiga said. “The program teaches there are all different ways to intervene.”

Bystander intervention does not always have to be confrontational. Modes of intervention include distraction and redirection as well. As Dean Steidel noted, a senior’s intervention may be more direct than a first-year’s, but the bystander intervention program gives all class years the skills and resources necessary to help out their friends and keep the community safe. Dean Steidel noted the program is a very “Bates way of handling the situation.”

“Also an important tenant [of the philosophy] is accountability,” said Dean Foster-Zsiga. “We want to hold [students] accountable to the community.” This intervention program, among other initiatives, gives students the skills necessary to make smart decisions, ones that don’t harm us, our peers, or our community. Treating students like adults encourages them to take ownership for their actions and the actions of those around them.

When the reactionary policies must be applied, students have the opportunity to hold their peers accountable when there are community-based infractions. An extension of the Student Conduct Committee is the Student Judicial Board, which allows students to help their peers address a situation in which the Code of Conduct was violated and work together towards a solution. Dean Steidel hopes to utilize this student board as much as possible.

“Restorative justice” was also emphasized by both Dean Foster-Zsiga and Dean Steidel as an important component of the reactionary policies in place.

“When someone has caused some harm, either to individuals or the community, [restorative justice is] working with all parties involved to figure out what that individual can do to help repair that harm,” Dean Steidel said. Restorative justice, like the Judicial Board, directly involves students in the reactionary processes.

As the academic year progresses, Dean Steidel mentions that Dean Josh McIntosh’s working group will take a comprehensive look at the policies in place—both proactive and reactionary—to figure out how to best support the student body in their decision making. In the meantime, Bates students can utilize the resources already available to influence the campus culture in a positive way.

Bates men’s soccer still in NESCAC playoff race

Over the past couple of weeks, the men’s soccer team has competed against a variety of tough teams. On October 13, they faced an 8-5 Curry College team in a nonconference game. Bates dominated the entire game to post a 4-0 victory. Aaron Nickelsberg, a senior captain, opened up the scoring in the tenth minute on a set piece. Freshmen Max Watson and Nate Merchant each had a nice finish to put Bates up 3-0 in the first half. In the second half, sophomore Justin Pertierra had an incredible goal to put the nail in the coffin. After dribbling through half the Curry team, Pertierra delicately finessed the ball around the keeper for a spectacular finish. This brought Bates’ win streak to three in a row. Junior goalkeeper Sam Polito had six saves on the night.

Next up for the Bobcats was Middlebury (7-2-3) over fall break. The Panthers scored in the 18th minute of play, when Adam Glaser slid a ball into the net past Bates keeper Polito for his seventh goal of the season. The two teams battled back and forth, each having opportunities but failing to capitalize. However, in the 70th minute, Bates freshman midfielder Sal Sprofera was able to find the back of the net after his shot ricocheted off a Middlebury defender. Sophomore Peabo Knoth, who leads the team with four assists, assisted the goal. Knoth almost became a hero in the final minutes, but his shot was saved by the diving Middlebury keeper. The game went into extra time, where Panthers unfortunately needed just three minutes to score the golden goal. The ball was sent into the box from a corner kick and bounced around before being chested into the net by Greg Conrad. Middlebury outshot Bates 14-7 and had eight more corners than the Bobcats. With the win, Middlebury maintained the Hedley Reynolds cup, which is given to the winner of the two teams. Named after Thomas Hedley Reynolds, who served in administrative roles at both schools, the cup has a long history between the two teams. Middlebury has held it the past two years.

After the heartbreaking loss to Middlebury, Bates hosted Williams at Homecoming Weekend. Williams is currently fourth place in the NESCAC, while Bates is in tenth. Williams opened up the scoring 40 seconds in when Chris Conder put away a cross from Malcolm Moutenot. Bates answered four minutes later when Merchant connected on a volley, which he sent past the Middlebury keeper. Merchant is tied for second on the goals leaderboard with four along with classmate Max Watson. Knoth leads the pack with five goals. The two teams then went scoreless for the next 105 minutes, resulting in a 1-1 hard fought draw. Both Bates and Williams had chances to take the lead. Bates keeper Polito made some incredible saves that kept his goal pure. Knoth used his wizardry to dribble through Williams’s defenders but could not find a finish. Throughout the game, the home crowd was very supportive of their team, cheering loudly and frequently as Bates fought their way to a draw.

Bates still has a shot to make the NESCAC Championship Tournament if they defeat Colby under the lights at Garcelon Wednesday night at 8:00. With a 2-6-1 conference record, Bates also needs Connecticut College to lose to Wesleyan or for Trinity to lose or tie against Amherst. The team is confident that they can still make it, and that they can beat anyone on any given day.

“Everything comes down to just believing we can win and compete against anyone in the NESCAC,” said Peabo Knoth.

With this attitude, Bates looks to beat Colby in their season finale Wednesday and advance into the playoffs.

Planche and Ellis compete at ITA National Tournament

Before fall break, Bates’ stellar men’s doubles tennis pair traveled to Sumter, South Carolina to compete in the Fall Men’s Doubles ITA National Small College Championships. Pierre Planche ’15 and Chris Ellis ’17 earned the number three seed at the national tournament comprised of eight teams from around the country by winning the New England ITA regional tournament earlier this fall.

This tournament serves as the final climactic event of the Division III fall season, with the opportunity for the winner to continue competing at the indoor championships in the winter. The ITA Small College Championships include schools from all small college conferences, not just Division III, creating an all-encompassing tournament for schools from different conferences to compete.

At the Small College Championships, Planche and Ellis lost 7-6(5), 7-5 in the opening round to a doubles team from University of Chicago. The Bates pair did not compete in the consolation bracket of the eight-team tournament because of an injury sustained.

“The trip to South Carolina was bittersweet, as we had to return home earlier than expected due to injury. However, it was great to be able to see the different types of competition that’s out there in Division II, NAIA, and JUCO,” said Planche ’15 of their journey to the south.

For the Bates men, this marks the end of the fall season and the beginning of prep for the spring. Looking forward, Planche is confident about the team’s outlook for the spring season.

“I feel confident that as a team we will train hard and do the right things in the offseason to overcome the injuries that we are currently dealing with,” the senior standout and newly minted All-American remarked.

Sophomore racetrack

When people talk about sophomore year of high school, they say it’s the “best” or “worst” year–in either case because it’s the “stable” one. “Best” because freshman awkwardness is over, you’ve established a group of friends, and, even better, you don’t have to think about SATs, ACTs, or the big word: COLLEGE. “Worst” because you are literally stuck in that awkward 15-to-16-year-old stage, living with your parents and siblings, you have a crush on that girl who’s taller than you or boy who’s shorter than you, and somehow parts of your body are growing faster or slower than you care to acknowledge.

Unlike high school sophomores, most college sophomores do not live at home, they’ve left their SAT/ACT scores behind, and their parents are not constantly looking over their shoulders. Yet amongst those newfound freedoms of living with friends, sophomores in college are dealing with the essence of what it means to be a college student. Probably the most common question besides “What college do you go to?” is “What are you majoring in?” That question is so exhausted that we have all gotten to the point where we introduce ourselves and identify ourselves based on our (assumed) majors.

But what is college about, besides learning to live independently, experimenting with relationships, and creating bonds with others that will (hopefully) last a lifetime? College is about figuring out what your passion is, regardless of what your grandmother may want you to do or what your mother says you must do. As freshmen, we are encouraged to try new classes, maybe fulfill some of those SLQ requirements, and branch out with extracurricular activities.

But as sophomores, the college path becomes a race track. Before you know it, the study abroad application deadline is right around the corner and classes for next semester are open and you need to finish that paper and study for that test AND be happy and social with your friends.

Many students enter college with a clear sense of a few subjects they are interested in, while many others enter with a long list of subjects ready to be checked or deleted. With 4 years, 8 (or 7, if you study abroad) semesters, and typically 32 classes in your college career, it seems as though a new student has endless time to explore. Between the summer of freshman and sophomore year, that nice calm feeling is destroyed by a large ticking clock that somehow turns weeks into days, days into hours, and hours into minutes.

When new interests are discovered and old ones are left behind, it is undeniably the feelings of frustration, sadness, and panic that overwhelm you under that huge ticking clock of sophomore year. You feel like you’ve wasted the past year delving into subjects that you convinced yourself you were interested in or that you stupidly let your dad pressure you into taking. Why did I take that Bio class that whipped my ass and lowered my GPA to unacceptable? What possessed me to try that English class that required an essay every week? When did I think that math was easy when in fact my Japanese class was easier to understand?

The reality is, sophomores, it’s okay to feel that constant thumping heart and it’s okay that it took three Environmental Science classes to realize that it wasn’t your thing. Yes, time is on the opposite team, but stop and take a breath. You may feel the social pressure to double major and minor or triple major, all while your friends are advising against a double or triple thesis saying that your senior year will “suck,” but here’s the deal: if you truly feel passionate about a subject, one that you want to explore no matter how many hours you must dedicate, go for it. College is about discovering you. It’s not about your parents, friends, or siblings. This is your time to acknowledge that little voice inside your head telling you that visual design is your calling when all along you thought it was acting. Drive off that racetrack, take the batteries out of that ticking clock, and let your passions roam free.

Everybody wants to be loved: Dancer-activist Sean Dorsey becomes part of Maine commmunity

I looked out blissfully, head tilted, into the floods of light onstage that were beaming down on my classmates’ directed glares. As the lights began to dim and the dancers onstage dispersed in a slow walk backward from their collective stare, the words “everybody wants to be loved” flooded through the speakers in Schaeffer Theater, and a ripple of understanding shook my stomach in a way that few dance pieces ever do. It was a moment so visceral that it forced me to acknowledge my most organically human sense of self before walking onstage to perform in the second segment of this piece.

The piece was an excerpt of Sean Dorsey’s The Secret History of Love which had been performed in full on Schaeffer stage just two weeks prior by Company members themselves. My anecdote is just a kernel of the abundant experiences that countless community members in Maine have had and will have surrounding Sean Dorsey’s yearlong collaboration with the Bates Dance Festival.

Laura Faure, director of the festival, met Sean Dorsey four years ago, and she immediately loved his work and identified it as a rare success story of art as a platform for activism. He is a young transgender and queer modern dance artist who has the ability to draw in members from diverse community across generations and the country.

Faure conceived a new project for the festival that involved Dorsey coming to Maine on three occasions and engaging with students of the college both in and out of classes. The first visit was this September, which was initially intended for Dorsey to connect with and get to know the LGBTQ community. The second will be during the 2015 Short Term, and the third will be with his company during the Young Dancers Workshop at the Bates Dance Festival where Sean Dorsey Dance will be the emerging company in residence.

The project then evolved into a larger partnership when the Harward Center for Community Partnerships contributed some funding and the Bates Department of Theater and Dance decided to bring Sean Dorsey as a guest artist for academic classes. Dorsey’s community work has brought him to liberal arts classes in a variety of disciplines, Bates OUTFront meetings in the newly opened OIE space, OUTFront L/A meetings, and the AIDS center in Portland. While he couldn’t spend extensive time in this visit with every group, the goal was to introduce him as a supportive community member so that groups can have more intimate and targeted discussions when he returns during Short Term in May.

In his first of these three visits to Maine in September, Sean Dorsey Dance performed a free showing in Schaeffer Theater of The Secret History of Love. For those who were unable to attend, the piece tells the stories of elders in the LGBTQ community and how they were able to find love throughout the 20th century when, to put it lightly, their identities were not as well accepted as they are today. The piece is the product of Dorsey’s extensive creative process involving one-on-one interviews with LGBTQ elders, building a score from those recorded narratives, and creating movement that would capture, explain but not wash out the potency of the recordings.

What makes Sean’s educational and affecting work so unique is that it assures audiences that modern dance can be a platform for activism without impeding the work’s ability to stand on its own. The poignancy of the piece doesn’t rely solely on content or movement, but rather the harmonious integration of the two so that each enhance the effectiveness of the other to draw us in, and help us think. When we leave the performance, we don’t feel guilty for not having known the history of the unfairly oppressed, we feel humbled by their determination to find love and thankful that we have become aware of this example of human resilience.

Sean’s wide range of responsibilities as researcher, composer and choreographer for Secret History of Love will be repeated in the creative process for his upcoming work The Missing Generation, which will premiere at the Bates Dance Festival in the upcoming 2015 season, when Sean Dorsey Dance will be the emerging company in residence.

The Missing Generation, not to be confused with the phrase “the lost generation,” is Dorsey’s next full length work, and it will examine the loss of almost an entire generation of gay and transgender people to AIDS during the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and 90s, as well as the contemporary impact of this loss. Dorsey has already recorded oral histories from survivors in five cities and plans to spend the next year travelling across the country to record more.

This new piece developed out of his research for Secret History when he realized that there was an entire generation of community members that he couldn’t interview about their experiences of finding love because they had lost their lives in the early part of the AIDS epidemic.

While the subject matter is dauntingly dark, the community members he already met to talk about their experiences, some of them from Maine, have been “phenomenal, remarkable, amazing, super, powerful, brilliant, curious, dynamic, insightful, hilarious, saucy, playful,” in Dorsey’s words.

I’m convinced that the effectiveness of his work as a platform for activism is due to the fact that Dorsey himself is a positive person. Reflecting on the dark content in The Missing Generation, he noted, “It’s also important to capture that people made incredibly vibrant art in response to AIDS and were powerful, they did amazing street art and street protests.” He is the best version of a self-proclaimed history buff, because while he’s intrigued by past events, he only looks positively towards the future.

“I’m excited to push myself as an artist because it’s the largest project that I’ve ever undertaken,” he says of his upcoming work, and “I’m excited about the disparate communities that the project is bringing together. I’m very thrilled and grateful for Bates Dance Festival and Laura Faure for being one of the lead national commissioners of the project, for being so supportive of the work, and for bringing us to Maine to work with many cities and towns here to reach transgender and queer people throughout Maine.”

Battle for the Senate: Election predictions

Next Tuesday, November 4th, voters throughout the nation will go to the polls to participate in the Midterm Elections.

The most hotly debated question at stake is whether the Democrats will be able to preserve their current 55-45 majority in the Senate. This outcome will be critical in shaping the final two years of President Obama’s term. Below are a series of predictions on regarding closely contested Senate races.

Louisiana (Win–Republicans): Although, Democratic incumbent Senator Landrieu will be able to force a run-off in a three-way race. She has been dragged down too deeply by the unpopularity of President Obama in a deeply red state and will lose in the runoff to Bill Cassidy.

Arkansas (Win–Republicans): In a similar situation as Louisiana, another Democratic incumbent will lose their seat.

Alaska (Win–Republicans): Polls indicate that the respected legacy of Senator Begich’s father in Alaska will not be enough for him to hold off Dan Sullivan.

Colorado (Win–Republicans): The traditional Republican turnout advantage in Midterm Elections will power Congressman Cory Gardner to victory over Senator Mark Udall.

Georgia (Win–Republicans): Despite a late surge by Democrat Michelle Nunn, the Republican David Perdue will hold on.

Iowa (Win–Republicans): Joni Ernst has run an impressive campaign and will capture this seat.

Kansas (Win–Independent): In an anti-incumbent wave, Independent Greg Orman will surprise Republican Senator Pat Roberts.

Kentucky (Win–Republican): Despite his poor popularity, Senator McConnell will emerge victorious over Allison Grimes.

New Hampshire (Win–Democrats): Despite a late surge by Brown, Shaheen will win a close race.

North Carolina (Win–Democrats): A libertarian candidate Sean Haugh will help Kay Hagan survive in a tight battle.

I predict the Republicans will win a majority of 52 seats to 47 for Democrats with one Independent.

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