The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Month: October 2014 (Page 2 of 9)

Question One stirs emotions over low-income housing

Next week, Municipal Question One on the election ballot will decide the fate of a proposed low-income housing project in Lewiston.

Last Thursday, through a panel organized by a coalition of Bates students, Batesies and members of the Lewiston community gathered to discuss Question One’s implications for the city. Present among the thirty-plus Bates women and five Bates men was City Council member and Harward Center Assistant Director Kristen Cloutier, Neighborhood Housing League organizer Melissa Dunn, and several Lewiston residents.

The panel centered on the discussion of rebuilding of several subsidized housing units burned in the rash of fires in Lewiston’s downtown in the spring of 2013—twenty-nine families and two hundred people displaced, and an empty lot now sits in the heart of Lewiston’s Census Tract 204. This is the second poorest community in the state of Maine, in which 50.10 percent of families live below the federal poverty line of $11,640 in annual income. The poorest community in Maine is also in Lewiston. Along the western border of Tract 204 lies Census Tract 201, in which 56.04 percent of families live below the federal poverty line. These areas lie in what the Federal Census Bureau deems “extreme poverty,” where more than 40 percent of residents are below the poverty line.

Question One addresses a petition to repeal the Lewiston City Council’s 4-3 approval for landlord and developer Phyllis St. Laurent to rebuild on the empty lot, approved originally in the Spring of 2014. The petition was headed by rival landlord Stan Pelletier, and consists of the signatures of 824 landlords from the Lewiston area. Pelletier openly cites the undesired increase in competition amongst local landlords, noting the existence of approximately three hundred vacancies in Lewiston, but fails to acknowledge how many of those vacancies are safe for habitation.

The $5 million, federally-funded project proposed by St. Laurent would include three buildings with seventy seven bedrooms collectively, a large green space, and a family resource center which will provide aspirations programming for the development’s younger residents, while also making available other regular enrichment activities to senior and disabled residents.

A rebuilt Pierce Place would host several substantial transitions to the Lewiston community. As previously mentioned, the proposed project will be centered in an area where over 50 percent of the current population lives below the poverty line. This project intends to turn the empty lot, which is currently generating $3,533 in tax revenue to the city into, when built upon, $37,226 in tax revenue, 50 percent of which will be used in assisting local landlords in maintenance of safe, reliable housing. The Joint Development Agreement between St. Laurent and the City would increase the minimum future assessed value of the empty lot from $132,890 to $1,400,000.

Tracts 204 and 201 also contain some of the oldest housing in the city, the majority of which, as stated by the recently-issued sample ballot, was built prior to 1940. Before the 1950s, lead paint was commonplace in coating both the interiors and exteriors of homes, and can still be found in Lewiston’s older subsidized housing today. Surprisingly however, a 2003 report prepared by Bates’ own Heather Lindkvist entitled “Lead Hazard Awareness in Lewiston, ME”, found that among seventy-five surveyed families in Tract 204, “respondents expressed concern that if they point out the potential lead hazards in their apartment, the landlord will evict rather than perform a lead abatement.”

The apparent paradox connecting the petition headed by Pelletier and the seeming necessity of new subsidized

housing in Lewiston may have deeper undercurrents than those financial reasons alluded to in debate. Deemed by Dunn a “racist and classist” campaign against the poor, venues for informal debate and discussion veers toward a racialized view of the controversy surrounding the rebuilding of Pierce Place.

In the Skelton Lounge last Thursday, Ashley Medina, a nursing student, single mother of two and Lewiston resident displaced by the 2013 fires, concisely answered for many Batesies whether or not she thought safe housing was a human right.

“We’re all human and we all deserve a place to live,” Medina said.

Lewiston residents will vote on whether to repeal the federal funding or uphold the project next Tuesday.

Bates overcomes 14-point 2nd half deficit to defeat Colby in Homecoming Game

Last week there was a pervading gloominess on campus. The rain didn’t show any signs of stopping, vitamin D levels were on the decline, and Alumni Weekend was fast approaching without any sign of good weather. But when Saturday arrived it came gift-wrapped in 61 degrees and sunlight, and campus was anything but gloomy after Bates defeated Colby in thrilling fashion, 34-28 in overtime on Homecoming Weekend.

It was a perfect afternoon for football, as the Bobcats battled through a back-and-forth affair on Garcelon Field that required a two-touchdown comeback in the second half in order to pull out the victory. Quarterback Matt Cannone ’15 and wide receiver Mark Riley ’16 kept the ‘Cats in the game during the first half, connecting five times for 109 yards and a touchdown, continuing to be one of the most dynamic quarterback-wide receiver duos in the NESCAC this year. The Bobcats had to overcome two missed opportunities in the red zone during the first half as well, fumbling the ball at the 1-yard line in the 2nd quarter after a Josh Freedland ’15 interception set up a golden opportunity, and throwing an interception right before halftime. Colby quarterback Gabe Harrington tallied two touchdown passes of 23 and 59 yards in the first half, giving the Mules a 14-7 lead heading into the break.

At halftime, the mass of students attending the game found their way back to the tailgate while Bates honored legendary baseball coach William Leahey, retiring the number 11 in his honor.

The Bates defense set an aggressive tone early on in the 2nd half, forcing back to back three-and-outs to start the third quarter. But Colby was able to piece together a scrappy drive to take a 21-7 lead. An 80-yard punt return for a touchdown by Gilbert Brown ’15 appeared to spark the Bobcats, but was called back due to a penalty. Still, the comeback was on for Bates at this point when Cannone connected with Shaun Carroll ’16 for a touchdown pass, and then handed off to Tyler Janssen ’17, who scampered in for the game-tying score early in the fouth quarter.

Colby took a 28-21 lead on a fade pass to the right corner of the end zone from Harrington, good for his fourth touchdown pass of the day. Colby appeared to have the game in control after Bates was forced to punt on their next two possessions, leaving the Mules the ball and the lead with 3:04 to go. However, on third down with 2:06 to go, Colby lined up in their Wildcat formation with Jabari Hurdle-Price in the backfield. The Bates defense forced a fumble that was recovered by linebacker Adam Cuomo ’15, electrifying the Bates faithful and sending Cannone and the offense back out onto the field with a chance to tie the game. After moving the ball inside the 5-yard line, the Bobcats faced a 4th and goal with 36 seconds left. Cannone found Frank Williams ’18 out of the backfield for his first reception of the afternoon and the game-tying score, igniting chaos in the stands and completing the comeback.

There was a tangible buzz in the air as Colby took a knee, sending the game to overtime. Whether momentum truly exists or not, if you were there Saturday you had the feeling that there was no way Bates was going to lose. The defense proved clutch again, forcing three incomplete passes to start the overtime period. Colby missed their 42-yard field goal attempt, giving Bates a chance to win the game by getting points any way they could. Cannone made it look easy, connecting with Frank Williams ’18 again, this time directly over the middle for the game-winning touchdown. Williams was mobbed in the end zone by his teammates, as the feeling of elation that only comes with a defeat of Colby washed over players and fans alike.

“Our defense has carried us through the season, they continue to step up and make plays. It is nice knowing that no matter what happens on the offensive side of the ball, we have a tough defense that can back us up. I was really proud with the amount of passion the team played with,” said Cannone of the clutch play by the Bobcat defense Saturday. Despite giving up four touchdowns through the air, the defense made timely plays and ultimately gave the squad a great chance to win.

Cannone had this to say about the late game heroics by first-year Frank Williams: “We have a solid freshman class with a lot of potential. Frankie is a talented player and has been doing good things for us all year long. He takes advantage of his opportunities and does his job well.”

Cannone set career highs with four touchdown passes and 203 yards passing. Stellar play in such an important rivalry game can inject energy and excitement into a NESCAC football season with no postseason and only an eight-game schedule. Bates will look to take the title of best Maine NESCAC school next Saturday against Bowdoin in Brunswick, and after putting themselves in great position to do so with their win against Colby on Saturday, you can count on a gritty effort to complete the sweep.

Twice a victim

For the past several weeks, I have contemplated writing this article. It is a story that is deeply personal and emotional, but one I feel compelled to share. During the first week of my senior year, I was sexually assaulted. I awoke at 4:30 a.m. to a naked male in my bed. His body was draped around mine. I didn’t recognize him. I didn’t know when or why he had come to my room. And I didn’t understand how I could have slept through all of this. I was startled, confused, and scared. I maneuvered my way out of his arms, careful not to wake him. I took my phone, put on a pair of shoes, and locked myself in the bathroom. I called friends and knocked on their doors, but no one responded. For whatever reason, I didn’t think to call security. Maybe because I was in shock or perhaps it was too early for me to think logically. Regardless, I knew I had to do something. So, I returned to my room and held my door open. I did not want to be alone, behind closed doors with him; I just wanted him out of my room. I spoke loudly enough to wake him up and instructed him to leave. I shut the door to give him privacy while he put on his underwear. A few minutes passed and he still hadn’t left. I opened the door to find that he had gone back to sleep. With more force and volume, I told him to get out. This time, he awoke and arose from my bed. There was no apology or explanation; he just left. Over the next few hours, I thought about what had happened. If I didn’t awake to or remember him entering my room, did something else happen that I wasn’t remembering?

On the following Monday and Tuesday, I met with the health center, campus security, Gwen Lexow, the Title IX officer, and Dean McIntosh. I was curious how Bates would respond to this incident given the fact that so many schools mishandle victims of sexual assault. There were certainly missteps. Security laughed when I first reported the incident and I was asked whether or not I had consumed alcohol on the previous night. When I said “yes,” and that I was of legal age, he proceeded to ask me if I had drunk beer or hard alcohol. He admonished me when I told him that I had drunk vodka. Whether I had consumed three beers or three shots, it shouldn’t have mattered; either way, I had been sexually assaulted. But the administration’s timely and appropriate response outweighed these minor, yet unfortunate interactions. The perpetrator, who I had identified in a photo spread, was removed from my hall within two days. Gwen Lexow called and emailed me to see how I was feeling and if I had any questions. She offered academic accommodations and told me about different resources available to me. Overall, I was very satisfied with how the administration responded. Until recently that is.

I was stupefied when Dean McIntosh referred to this incident at the Forum on Student Life. I don’t recall his exact words, but I remember him referencing the incident as he discussed the need for Bates students to adopt healthier drinking habits. He explained that binge drinking leads to situations such as strangers waking up in other students’ beds. Of course, I know that I am among many other students who have dealt with issues regarding sexual assault. I don’t believe that Dean McIntosh meant to single me out and I know that he has the best interest of the student body in mind. But, it still felt like my situation was being used as a justification for cancelling traditions like ‘Trick or Drink.’ For many reasons, I am uncomfortable with this. I do not discuss this incident lightly; I am still very upset about what happened and am uncomfortable talking about it, even with close friends. It felt like a violation of my privacy that someone else was telling my story to hundreds of people without my consent (obviously, my name was not mentioned).

I do not mean to belittle the administration’s stance on alcohol. In no way am I promoting binge drinking or condoning sexual assault. I am also not equalizing what happened to me in September with what happened at the Forum. But, in both incidences, my voice and choice were not taken into consideration. In both circumstances, I felt vulnerable and that my privacy had been violated.

Top 10 Bates Athletes: #6 Harry Lord ’08

Before the Boston baseball team was called the Red Sox, they were known as the Boston Americans. On September 25, 1907 fiery Bobcat third baseman Harry Lord made his major league debut for the Americans, surging to fame by 1908, when he played for the first ever iteration of the Boston Red Sox, going on to lead the team in hitting with a stellar .315 average in 1909. Bates was where Lord first determined that, instead of pursuing his interest in law, he wanted to be a ballplayer.

“I never regarded the game with serious thought until I entered Bates College,” Lord said. “There I settled down to study baseball. The further I advanced in baseball the more I saw in the line of making plays. The game interested me beyond the mere physical enjoyment derived.”

A Porter, Maine native, Lord played both baseball and football at Bates, although he honed his skills in the minor leagues during his tenure at the school. In fact, Lord, who was busy playing baseball across the country, actually didn’t graduate from Bates until 1908, by which time he was already 25 years old and a major leaguer.

For a few years, Lord was one of the top third basemen in the sport. But, even judging by the defensive standards of his era, he wasn’t exactly a stud at the hot corner, compiling an unbelievable 49 errors in 1909. What made Lord stand out, however, was his gritty, competitive style of play, dependable bat, and blazing speed. In eight major league seasons, Lord averaged 24 stolen bases per year and batted a solid .279. He was once reportedly timed from home to first in 3.4 seconds. To highlight how ludicrous that number is, consider that many were incredulous when Reds’ speedster Billy Hamilton allegedly put up a 3.3 time this season. The statistics from the early 1900s are indeed a bit shaky overall; for instance, the only year that caught stealing tallies for Lord were tracked was 1912, when he posted a startling 33 in comparison to 30 stolen bases.

The stories about Lord’s often tumultuous relationships across baseball are perhaps more intriguing than his occasionally odd stats. Ty Cobb, one of the best players in the history of the sport, was one of Lord’s best friends. Walter “The Big Train” Johnson, an all-time legend and inaugural Hall of Famer, struck Lord in the hand on July 1, 1910, fracturing Lord’s finger and precipitating a trade to the Chicago White Sox. Elected team captain by his White Sox teammates, Lord nevertheless bickered constantly with management, particularly the notoriously cheap owner Charles Comiskey. The problems with Comiskey and his manager Nixey Callahan (whose conservativeness clashed with Lord’s aggressive attitude) never ended, and Lord ultimately decided to request a trade early in the 1914 season.

After sticking around the sport he loved for another decade or so in a variety of roles, including player-manager for the Buffalo Blues, third baseman for Portland in the Eastern League, and coach at South Portland High School, Lord worked in the coal industry the remainder of his life, eventually passing away on August 9, 1948. Reflecting back on the slightly premature end to his major league career, Lord regretted exiting before the infamous Black Sox scandal of 1919, when eight White Sox players were banned for allegedly throwing the World Series.

“I’m sure that if I could have been there, Joe Jackson and Buck Weaver, whom I still don’t believe were in it, and the others would have listened to me,” Lord remarked. “I could have stopped it if I’d had to punch the ringleader in the nose.”

That sentiment shows exactly why the stormy, strong willed Harry Lord is one of the most memorable athletes in Bates’ history.

Skip Annabelle, stick with The Conjuring

It is an unfortunate truth that, when film studios produce a successful movie, they often milk the premise for all that it’s worth.

This results in one or more sequels or spin-offs, which often disappoint.  Take, for instance, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, which started out strong but fizzled out over time (and yet, the fifth film in the series is set to release in 2017), or The Hangover trilogy, which followed a similar pattern. This often occurs in the horror movie genre, which, in the race to crank out more sequels, tends to sacrifice decent plotlines and real scares in favor of cheap tricks.

Sadly, this is the case with Annabelle, released in 2014.

The premise of Annabelle revolves around a creepy, possessed doll of the same name. “Creepy” is not an overstatement. This doll is terrifying. Horror movie fans will remember the toy from the 2013 scary movie The Conjuring, which focuses on a team of paranormal investigators.  The Conjuring was, in my opinion, a fantastic horror movie, and critics and audience members agree as well. Sophomore Christina Colman described it as “creepy and twisted.” That success spurred New Line Cinema to produce another film, in hopes of replicating the wide acclaim garnered by The Conjuring.

Unfortunately, Annabelle, which is a prequel to The Conjuring, is just a less exciting version of its predecessor. It had the potential to be fantastic, considering the scream-worthiness of The Conjuring, but it just did not meet expectations. There were a few particularly frightening scenes, but overall, the movie was a clichéd mess.

For one, the story did not make a lot of sense–which was confusing, after the precision in the plotline of The Conjuring. The acting was also sub-par; movie reviewer David Palmer jabbed, “The doll [was] the best actor in the movie.”

Apparently, however, the negative reaction from film critics and viewers is not stopping New Line Cinema, as the company is currently developing a sequel to the series. If Annabelle is any indicator, don’t waste your time; there is simply no way to top the triumph of The Conjuring.

That being said, if you are not an aficionado of horror movies, or if you get scared easily, Annabelle might just be scary enough to keep you satisfied this Halloween. But if you’re looking for a truly great scare, watch the better film of the franchise, The Conjuring.

Misogyny in the Muggle World: Emma Watson launches He-For-She campaign

Emma Watson, best known for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movie franchise, has taken up a new issue.

The renowned actress launched the HeForShe campaign that strives to end gender inequality across the world. On September 20th, surrounded by ambassadors at the United Nations Headquarters, Watson delivered a powerful speech, formally inviting boys and men to unite with the feminist movement asking, “How can we affect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?”

The feminist movement has been confused, as Watson pointed out, with notions of “man-hating,” while instead it ought to be a movement for all people to unite for in an effort to ensure the political, economic, and social equality of women to that of men in our society. In order for this effort to be a successful one, boys and men must understand and realize that this effort must come from all sides. The first step of bringing about legitimate change is to understand gender and its subsequent expectations that then shape the way both men and women are viewed in society.

As Watson eloquently put it, “It is time that we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals.” Instead of assigning social expectations on men and women in all domains of life, it is time to begin understanding people as complex human entities. Chivalry must begin shifting towards a human virtue, not a gender-specific social expectation. Being called a “girl” ought not be considered insulting or offensive, given that there is nothing wrong with being a girl. The fact that one is attempting to use the term in a derogatory manner should be disapproved of in conversations. Personality traits, characteristics, and expressions should not be delegated to one’s gender.

Watson said she started caring about the issue “when at 15, my girlfriends started dropping out of their beloved sports teams because they didn’t want to appear muscle-y; when at 18, my male friends were unable to express their feelings, I decided that I was a feminist.”

A major aspect of achieving gender equality is the fact that there is a large stigma against violating one’s expected gender. Any deviation oftentimes will result in social disapproval in one way or another, eventually leading the individual to believe that they are doing something wrong, or even worse, that something about them is wrong.

In an effort to move towards a more equal world, one in which everyone can express themselves as they wish and not feel socially obliged to adhere to arbitrary roles, society’s perception of women will begin to change, moving away from objectification and exploitation to one of respect and understanding. The feminism movement is not one exclusive to girls and women. It is vital that boys and men understand the cause and support it through honest dialogue and by questioning social issues openly. While it is frightening to go against social norms and easy to fall into the passive mindset that these social issues will simply vanish over time, it is imperative to know that nothing will change without the dedicated and enthusiastic effort of all people to make a difference. As Watson succinctly said, “In my nervousness for this speech and my moments of doubt, I’ve told myself firmly, ‘If not me, who? If not now, when?’”

2015 FSA announced

Each year, Bates offers a study-abroad alternative for Batsies only. The Off-Campus Study Office, in conjunction with the departments of German and Math, recently announced that for the fall of 2015, students will have the opportunity to study in Berlin, Germany. The program will last for 15 weeks, beginning with a four-week-long intensive German course and including a one-week-long break in late October. Professor Greer of the Math Department and Professors Kazecki and Cernahoschi of the German Department will be conducting courses for Bates students while abroad.

Berlin is a “real hub of past and current research in math and science,” Professor Greer noted at Monday evening’s information session, so the program will have an emphasis on quantitative learning. This shouldn’t deter students whose strengths lie in the humanities, however. “You don’t need any particular background in math,” Professor Greer said. “If you haven’t taken a math class since high school, that’s fine.” But if math is your thing, “There are opportunities to get more in depth.”

Beyond the math course taught by Greer titled “Culture, Controversy, Cryptography, Calculus,” students will take two German language courses with a native German speaker, as well as a course taught by Kazecki and Cernahoschi called “Mapping the City: The Urban Landscape as Text.” This course is “about understanding space and imagining space through literature and film,” Kazecki stated. Students will study narratives of Berlin, both past and present, and compare the literary city with the real one. “We’ll be out on our feet a lot. I’m very excited about this course,” Kazecki said enthusiastically.

Throughout the course of the 15 weeks, students will have lots of opportunities to travel within Germany and throughout Europe. Besides the one week long October break, courses will be scheduled so that students will have Fridays free, allowing more time for traveling on the weekends. As a group, the students and faculty will also take several trips, including a trip to the coast of the Baltic Sea and to Poland.

Bates is still in the process of deciding between two “host institutions” in Berlin, which will facilitate living and dining situations for students. At this time, it is undecided whether students will be living with host families or in dorms. Both professors Kazecki and Greer assured students at the Monday information session, however, that in a home-stay situation students would have a high degree of autonomy. Whether students wind up in dorms or houses, they will be provided with both a food stipend and a cultural stipend. Jessica Garson ’17, who is currently studying in Vienna, Austria with the 2014 Fall Semester Abroad program, noted that both stipends are very generous.

“We can get anything from a horse show to a festival ticket reimbursed,” Garson said. And if you’re frugal with your food stipend, she added, you can have left-over money to use for more recreational activities.

As for the benefits of attending the Bates Fall Semester Abroad program instead of an outside study abroad program, Garson praised the simplicity of the application, as well not having to worry about credits transferring from a university abroad to Bates; an issue that many students in outside programs may encounter. As an added bonus, one FSA translates directly into a complete GEC. Another perk, according to Garson, is the relationships students get to build with the Bates professors on the program. “It’s a more casual environment, plus you even travel with [the professors] so you get to know them as people. It’s also nice that it doesn’t have to end once the semester is over; we can continue that unique relationship once we return to the Bates campus.”

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter: The indie video game we’ve been waiting for

Many indie and big-budget game developers alike struggle to pull off an enormous creative vision while delivering a well-rounded final product. But the Astronauts, the Polish indie developers behind the spectacular and chilling mystery-adventure game The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, have created one of the best story-driven games of the year.

The player takes on the role of Paul Prospero, a private detective with psychic abilities investigating the disappearance of a boy, Ethan Carter. Players are free to roam Red Creek Valley, a visually stunning and expansive mountainous region built up around a sprawling lake and dam. Built on the Unreal Engine, the game is one of the most visually intense indie games ever created. There is no HUD (heads-up display); there is no map; there is no inventory list. It is just Paul Prospero and Red Creek Valley.

Although the game takes the form of an unwinding narrative, it does not force players to go from Point A to Point B, thus allowing them to explore locations and crime scenes in any order they choose. Before the game even starts, a message appears on the screen reading, “This game is a narrative experience that does not hold your hand.”

There are several grisly murder scenes scattered across the map, all of them connected; but just as a real detective might not find all the clues in the proper order, so too might players discover one event before another.

While the idea of a psychic detective might seem a bit overpowered, the developers balanced the ability well enough so that it helps the player uncover bits of the puzzle without showing them.

From the very beginning the game takes on a mystical, almost mythological, air, one that only builds more throughout the game. The whole game, set around an archetypal run-down New England mill town, feels very much like an H.P. Lovecraft story: a constant, never-ending sense of dread permeates the entire landscape, and sudden, shocking revelations occur both in the form of narration and in riveting, world-changing moments of intense action.

“It’s got the nice graphics of first-person RPGs (role-playing games) like Skyrim, but it’s a different genre. I like that,” says sophomore Leah Sturman.

The game itself lacks any form of combat, focusing instead on exploration and puzzle solving; however, the world in several parts is dynamic, changing after certain puzzles are solved and granting access to formerly restricted areas.

The sole issue with the game is its use of invisible walls. For decades, invisible walls have been used by game developers to keep players out of undeveloped areas or to keep them from jumping off bridges or cliffs, but in recent years more games have started pushing away from the concept; but Ethan Carter is an exception. It makes sense that a detective without any great physical strength wouldn’t want to jump off ledges, but it breaks the immersion in the game nevertheless.

While the game relies mostly on suspense to creep out its players, there are one or two jump scares to be aware of. Luckily they are few and far between, and the real terror stems from arriving in the wake of unnerving human destruction against innocents.

Women’s varsity eight wins Head of the Charles Regatta

When a typically underappreciated Bates team makes the campus buzz with a potent excitement, you know they’re a pretty big deal. After the Bates women’s varsity eight won the 50th Head of the Charles Regatta, it’s safe to say that they fit that definition quite comfortably.

The Bates women finished first of 30 teams in the largest, most prestigious regatta of the fall season. Their 17:25.60 final time on the 4,800-meter course on Sunday, October 19 edged second place Trinity by a little less than two seconds. NESCAC boats from Amherst, Williams, Colby, Wesleyan, Middlebury, and Trinity all lost to the Bates eight by a substantial margin. Head coach Peter Steenstra credited sophomore coxswain Kate Traquina for guiding the Bobcats to their first Head of the Charles victory ever.

“It’s very important to understand that Kate Traquina is the MVP of this particular result,” said Steenstra. “She grew up on the Charles and was able to provide an impeccable course for her crew, allowing them to maximize their effort and efficiency. It’s very likely this win would not have happened without Kate at the helm.”

The eight women beside Traquina were sophomores Elise Emil and Savannah Stockly; junior Alison Simmons; and seniors Elizabeth Sangree, Mallory Ward, Rebecca O’Neill, Jenna Armstrong, and Eliza Barkan. In the same race, Bates also entered another boat, which performed very impressively as well. The Bobcats’ second varsity eight boat, led by senior coxswain Emma-Kate Lindsay, managed to beat out many first varsity eights, placing 11th overall and first of all second varsity boats with a time of 18:11.53. Steenstra was pleased with the way both teams rowed.

“What it means is that the entire team is in good racing form heading into the mandatory NESCAC off-season,” said Steenstra, “and this should provide and incentive to the women to maintain this form as we look toward the spring racing season. But for right now, I just want these women to savor the victory.”

With the Bates women’s massive win in Cambridge, the entire campus is vicariously proud of the often underrated and overlooked Bobcats.

“Purposeful Work Unplugged” with President Spencer

Last Wednesday, President Clayton Spencer and Professor Rebecca Fraser-Thill initiated the first of a series of “fireside chats” on Bates’ new Purposeful Work Initiative. The series is titled “Purposeful Work Unplugged” and is designed to inform the Bates community about the Initiative.

President Spencer, an ardent proponent of the Initiative, spoke on both the program itself and her own vibrant career history: “Lives and career paths only look linear in retrospect,” Spencer said.

A graduate of Williams College, President Spencer double-majored in History and German—she discovered her interest in the study of Religion too late in her undergraduate career to add it to her diploma. While pursuing further graduate study in the field of religion, Spencer was drawn to a career in law. However, she soon found that she was what she described a “spectacularly mediocre federal prosecutor.”

Ultimately, Spencer’s path led her to education politics, a field which she had “marinated in since a young age.” As the daughter of a college president, education was a familiar topic at the dinner table.

President Spencer advises students to play close attention to what has meaning to them. “Live from the inside out,” Spencer said. “Start from your intellectual foundings and work from there.”

Purposeful Work Unplugged, 2014

Reflecting on her own career path, Spencer refuted the idea that an individual can simply wake up with all the answers. She emphasized strongly the importance of asking big questions and paying close attention to what is important.

The Purposeful Work Initiative is strongly grounded in the both the college and liberal arts mission. In a prior interview, Professor Fraser-Thill—the Director of the Purposeful Work Initiative—emphasized the Initiative’s uniqueness in its focus on the whole individual. “There is no definition of what is purposeful and what is not,” President Spencer remarked in a previous interview with The Student, “except an alignment with the individual’s deepest interests.”

“Your work is what you are doing now,” Spencer said. This mentality is reflected in the Initiative’s holistic intentions wherein a student’s academic, extracurricular, volunteer, and athletic interests are all given weight.

The program encourages students to experience the breadth of the liberal arts environment, while at the same time linking these experiences to future endeavors.”Reflection is at the core behind everything in purposeful work. Always step back and [ask] why,” Professor Fraser-Thill said.

This reflective process is used in the program’s three-pronged approach through Purposeful Work infusion classes, practitioner taught courses, and the Purposeful Work internship program. The Initiative’s aim is to encourage students to explore and expand their relationship to ‘work’, a term defined as much broader than its traditional association with the term ‘career.’ President Spencer underlined the intentionality and pragmatism at the foundation of the program’s structure.

This event is the first of many in a series. The next “fireside chat” will consist of a conversation between alumnus Jean Thompson, the CEO of Seattle Chocolates, and Steve Fuller, Chief Marketing Officer for L.L. Bean.

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