The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Month: November 2016 (Page 1 of 6)

Mumps outbreak and the changing Health Center

If students have any concerns regarding the Health Center, they should contact Zsiga and Visbaras. MAX HUANG/THE BATES STUDENT

If students have any concerns regarding the Health Center, they should contact Zsiga and Visbaras.
MAX HUANG/THE BATES STUDENT

The first cases of the mumps outbreak within the Bates community occurred about a month ago, the 6th of October. According to the article published on the Bates website by Health Services, entitled “Community Update from Health Services about Mumps,” three students were diagnosed with mumps, where the symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, and “pain and swelling of the salivary glands at the angle of the jaw (the parotid glands).” The treatment process involves “rest, fluids and pain relievers/fever reducers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen” and can be transmitted through “contact with respiratory secretions or saliva droplets through activities like kissing or sharing of glasses or utensils.”

As stated by Erin Foster Zsiga and Cynthia Visbaras, “we are currently in the incubation period from the latest cases of mumps. The risk for mumps will decrease when one incubation period (eighteen days) passes with no new cases.” They went on to state that “students with symptoms of mumps should visit Health Services or CMMC Urgent Care for evaluation.  Students diagnosed with mumps will be isolated until they are no longer contagious.  The healthcare provider will counsel students regarding the length of time isolation is necessary (no longer than 5 days).  The college has provided special housing and dining arrangements for students with mumps who are not able to return home while they are ill. Health Services clinical staff and the Dean on Call stay in close contact with students isolating on campus.”

A way to decrease the chances of receiving mumps is through the process of acquiring a vaccine after the child’s first birthday. The state of Maine “requires that all college students provide proof of immunity to measles, mumps and rubella with two doses of MMR vaccine after age one or with an immune blood titre result.” Of course, according to Zsiga and Visbaras “students can choose not to receive the vaccine for a legally permitted reason but they can be excluded for the eighteen day mumps incubation period from the latest confirmed case on campus. This eighteen day timeline resets to day one each time a new case is confirmed.”

Amidst the chaotic mumps outbreak, numerous students have complained about the current state of the Health Center. One of the complaints revolves around the Center’s hours, to which Zsiga and Visbaras responded saying that, “after a thorough review of Health Services utilization by our students as well as practices at other colleges, Health Services will remain open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday during the academic year. By an overwhelming margin, our utilization data showed that students access health care services at Bates during these hours. In response to this pattern, students are now better served, with increased staffing from last year during these hours, allowing Health Services to see a greater number of students per day.”

If the Health Center is closed, students have access to Ubers, ZipCars, Taxis, and could ask a friend to drive them to the hospital. Further, “outside of our on-campus operating hours, students have easier access to CMMC’s Urgent Care Clinic and Central Maine Medical Center, providing our students round-the-clock access to high quality medical care. All of CMMC’s practices and hospital services, including their retail pharmacy, utilize a common electronic medical record system to ensure continuity of care.  There is concern having undiagnosed students in the back of a Security vehicle without an EMT present to assess and provide care on the way to the Urgent Care Clinic or CMMC. To make access to the Urgent Care Clinic easy for students on weekends, the Bates Weekend Shuttle makes trips there on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.  The hours of operation for the shuttle on the weekends are: Fridays 5:30 pm – 12:00 midnight, Saturdays 5:00 pm – 12:00 midnight, and Sundays 12:00 noon – 6:00 pm,” Zsiga and Visbaras said.

There has been an increase in students scheduling appointments, thus the Health Center is hiring “three additional staff members, a new Patient Services Representative, a new Nurse Practitioner, and a new Medical Assistant. This increased staffing plan will help reduce wait times and allow Health Services to accommodate more students in a single day than our current augmented capacity.”

To voice any concerns or feedback the students may have in regards to the Health Center, they should contact Erin Foster Zsiga or Cindy Visbaras. However, it should be known that “to evaluate Health Services up to this point, Student Affairs, CAPS, and Health Services have held four open sessions for students to present feedback. Student Affairs, CAPS, and Health Services, also have met with multiple student groups on campus to hear their experiences about interactions with Health Services.  At the end of this semester, surveys will be sent to students who have accessed care at Health Services.” There are multiple outlets for students to voice their issues; therefore, take advantage of them.

5 easy ways to be a white ally in the face of a Trump presidency

The past week, the majority of my social interaction has been centered around the election. Interactions with my friends, my professors, my family and even now small talk with my peers has been intensely concerned with the election, and for good reason. For some people in this county, in the world, and at Bates, this is an intense threat to their body, identity and autonomy. While Trump’s election represented freedom for some group of people, it represented detainment of, control over, and outright other-izing of others. Rather than collect my thoughts towards the possible causes of this election, my disappointment in the 50% of his voters who were white and college educated, and possible results and extremes that could happen, I will keep this article simple. Here is a simple how-to from my own personal experience of how to be an ally in the face of a Trump presidency. While this is directed at white people (who generally need the most guidance in terms of how to be an ally), it can also be applicable to other privileged groups.

1. Listen. Do not say your opinion about the election until the marginalized person you are talking to has said everything that they would like.

2. Do not speak to any marginalized person about how “scared” you are of the Trump presidency.

3. Acknowledge your privilege [whiteness, class, etc.]. Acknowledging your whiteness as something that gives you an unfair social power over someone who does not have access to certain social power such as freely speaking their mind and being listened to acknowledges that you are aware of your identity. By acknowledging your identity, you are acknowledging that there may be differences between your experiences and you are helping dismantle media and social control which normalizes whiteness.

4. Actively try to act gently. I don’t know how else to say this one. Minorities in the U.S. are collectively facing more violence than I can imagine. One of the ways to delineate this violence is to be a safe and gentle source of social interaction.

5. When your friends/peers make offensive comments or jokes about an identity they do not belong to or about the Trump presidency [that won’t actually affect their social status or life opportunities], challenge them. Use your privilege to speak up for underprivileged groups. This does not in any way mean that you are “saving” them. This does not in any way mean that you are “helping.” It means that you are trying not to participate in social behavior that condones your [or your friend’s, if they are different] use and abuse of privilege.

 

Mock Presidential campaigns on campus

In the midst of the nation’s current obsession with this year’s presidential campaigns and election, Bates students are also eager to get in on the action. While Bates students take political activism on campus quite seriously, some students find ways to mimic the reality of presidential elections through academic opportunities. Exemplary of this opportunity is a seminar in the rhetoric department, known as the Presidential Campaign Rhetoric seminar, which grants students the opportunity to conduct mock campaigns for portions of the semester.

This year, the President Campaign Rhetoric seminar ran mock campaigns featuring four students on campus: Gabriel Nott ‘17, Matthew Baker ‘17, Molly Chisholm ‘17, and Courtney Foster ‘18. Nott and his running mate, Foster, ran as the democratic candidates for president and vice-president, while Chisholm and Baker ran as the republican candidates.

Throughout the semester, these four candidates conducted mock campaigns and debates that addressed social and political issues pertinent to the current election cycle.

“The issues we discuss are in the modern day. Our election is situated in the now, so we’re both running to succeed Barack Obama. Mainly, we’re focusing on crime, national security, the economy, and education. The issue of mandatory minimum prison sentencing, for example, has been central in this campaign”, Nott explained.

Since this seminar is offered by the rhetoric department, as opposed to the political science department, students use the mock campaign to analyze ways in which a presidential persona is created and maintained through the use of language and discourse. However, the seminar does interact and engage with other classes during the semester, so students who are not necessarily taking the course may still have a chance to get involved. For example, this year over 600 students participated as voters in the election.

It is important to note, especially for current underclassmen who are potentially interested in participating in the Presidential Campaign Rhetoric Seminar in their Bates career, that the seminar is only run every two years. For students who wish you receive more information regarding this particular rhetoric seminar, please refer to the rhetoric department’s webpage at https://www.bates.edu/rhetoric/.

 

Canine Companions

Hogwarts had it right. Maybe you won’t see many owls or toads on college campuses (then again, that sounds like a great idea) but plenty of other fantastic beasts with important jobs are making campuses their homes. Harry Potter jokes aside, the benefits of interacting with animals on emotional health are backed up by scientific studies and there’s a growing field in psychiatric medicine known as Animal-Assisted Intervention (AAI) used in the treatment of trauma. Bates has its own processes for accommodating emotional support animals as well as service animals. The policy detailed on the college website, in part, states: “Emotional support animals (ESA) may be permitted to reside in the residence hall with a student who has a documented disability as a reasonable accommodation. […] In order to qualify for an ESA as an accommodation, a student must show that the assistance animal is necessary to afford the student equal opportunity to enjoy and participate in the residential life program.” However, this policy is not as straightforward as its language might suggest.

First, it is important to distinguish between emotional support animals and service animals. Service animals are dogs that have been trained to perform tasks or services for disabled owners. Service animals have special rights like being allowed on any property open to the public, including business and college campuses. Emotional support animals provide comfort and security to owners with conditions such as anxiety or depression, but are not specifically trained or certified. ESAs don’t have special access to public places pets are not usually allowed with the exception of housing accommodations. According to Bates’ policy, both categories of animals are permitted if a student goes through the official application process. Technically speaking, Bates is required to allow service animals onto the Bates campus and in housing, even without this policy, because their presence is protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as the Fair Housing Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Kelsey Pearson ‘17 is a Bates student with a service dog– an Australian Shepherd named Kiley who has been in Pearson’s family for almost nine years. Pearson says that the process of securing Kiley’s home on campus was emotionally draining and at times left her “distraught, frustrated, sad, and angry.” Pearson wrote to me, “One would think that it shouldn’t be a problem to get ‘permission’ to [have] a service dog on campus, since denying such a ‘request’ would be breaking the law. (I have permission and request in quotes because to me it’s more of letting the school know that I will be having a service dog on campus since technically Kiley is allowed on campus under federal law) However it wasn’t easy for me at all.” Pearson says that Bates requested confidential information about her medical history and asked to personally speak to her doctor before they would consider letting Kiley live with her. It’s important to note, and Pearson quotes The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, “a housing provider may not ask an applicant or tenant to provide access to medical records or medical providers or provide detailed or extensive information or documentation of a person’s physical or mental impairments.” While the housing office can ask for supporting documents proving the need for a service animal, they can’t ask to see medical records themselves or ask to speak to their health care professional directly. One has to wonder why the administration seems unfamiliar with laws concerning medical privacy and even finds its own process for evaluating ESA and service animal cases so complicated.

Despite an ill-informed administration, Pearson fought hard and now Kiley has a home with her on campus. How has it been having Kiley on campus? “In short: it has been life changing,” says Pearson, “Whenever I feel sad or stressed Kiley is always there to ground me. I feel the safest and most secure when she is with me because I know she is always watching out for me. Kiley is my guardian angel. Kiley has made the biggest difference not only in my life but for others around me. I constantly get comments from both students and faculty about how much they enjoy petting and seeing her around campus. I only hope now that Bates administration sees how much Kiley has benefitted not only me but the Bates community as a whole.”

 

Election comments

DARRIUS CAMPBELL:

I am not sure how I feel about the election really because with or without Trump, my life as an African-American male is still going to be extremely difficult and I will most definitely face oppression. There are two things that really concern me though: first, Trump is a racist, sexist, bigot, and misogynist, but yet 53% of white women still voted for Trump. This is confusing and alarming because I get the sense that by voting for Trump, women are essentially bowing down to the idea that women are inferior to men and that should not be the case. Second, because Trump is president, I think it sends the message that it is okay to speak your mind and disrespect other people’s cultures, so I am concerned about my day-to-day interactions with people who agreed with Trump’s hateful campaign and who may try to disrespect me and my culture. Although, I wish Bernie Sanders could have been my president for 2016, I just think that Trump’s presidency is another hurdle that I know I can jump over because my people have dealt with far worse and are still continuously striving to make this world a better place for everyone.

JULIA PANEPINTO:

As a first time voter who poured their heart into the election process, going door to door for over 7 hours on election day with a viral infection in my throat making it painful to talk, the election results were infuriating. I voted for two qualified women on election day and three qualified men. Emily Cain and Hillary Clinton lost. I am still with her. However, I will not leave Bates College and flee to Canada as I once said I would do if he was elected. I know I said those words because I never thought this would happen, but is has. Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States, yet I and the millions of other people who believe in equal rights will not stop fighting. I hoped the election would be over and I could relax, but now more than ever the United States needs to stop mourning this election and start rallying against hate. Remember, we truly are stronger together.

GABRIEL NOTT:

Since Wednesday morning, America has felt like a pretty strange place to me. Growing up, so many of us get taught that the hateful ideas plaguing America’s past are nothing to be afraid of; sure, some people still hold those beliefs, but we as a society have pushed past that. The hateful, disgusting things that people have said and done to marginalized folks since Trump’s victory are a cruel reminder that those sentiments continue to exist in our country, and that victory serves as an opportunity for those who feel that hate to bring that hate to the fore. It makes me worry for our future; it’s hard to be optimistic when, in 2016, the KKK is holding a victory parade for the next president.

 

An alphabetical journey into the English Premier League: A

Throughout the coming weeks, in an attempt to increase the American interest in the premier league, I will introduce each team that is currently competing in the premier league this year. I will simply start at the beginning of the alphabet and work my way towards the end. So without further ado, the first team is…

Arsenal

Location: London

Nickname: The Gunners

Current Standing: 4

Overview: Arsenal is a northern London soccer team founded in 1886 by a group of cannon makers, the second most valuable English club ($2.0 billion), and home to the fifth largest soccer fan base in the world. Their current manager, Arsene Wenger, has led the team to many successes over his 20 year tenure including a Premier League title in 2004 and 2 FA cup wins. They have never won the Champions League

Stadium: Emirates Stadium

Notable players:

Alexis Sanchez, F (current)

Petr Cech, GK (current)

Mesut Ozil, M (current)

Thierry Henry, F (1999-2007)

Dennis Bergkamp, F (1995-2006)

Fun facts:

Leading goalscorer- Thierry Henry (228)

First English League match to be broadcasted on the radio (1927)

They are the only team to never be relegated

Arsenal won the Premier League in 2003-2004 undefeated

 

Election thoughts: What do we do next?

At first I was at a loss for words. “It was supposed to be a joke,” we kept saying to each other. Yesterday, this morning, thirty minutes ago, that’s all it was. I went to bed Tuesday night not knowing what world I would wake up to. I woke up Wednesday still not knowing what world I had woken up to. I went for a run because I didn’t know what else to do, and the neighborhoods I run through every day felt unfamiliar. A man on the side of the street yelled something to me, and it bothered me more than it ever had before. You could feel it on campus. The only way I could describe it was that it felt like someone had died. People didn’t know how to interact with each other: some hugged, some cried, and others looked around for guidance. It was like a death in the way that you didn’t know how to enjoy the things you normally did. Even if for a brief moment you were lucky enough to forget, you felt guilty and forced yourself to remember.

But mourning the results of this election is different from mourning a death in that our work is more than working through our pain and moving on. Our work is to hang on to our anger and hang on to our passion and use them to make positive change. The outcome of this election scares me, and I know that a lot of people have more to lose from it than I do. But this country is now at a point of change, and it is on us to fight to make this change a positive one. This election is the tipping point of too much injustice experienced by too many people, and we need to finally bring these injustices to an end. We are in a moment where educated young people are more involved and fired up than any of us have ever experienced, so let’s grab onto this moment and use it to make changes that should have been made a long time ago.

At no point before this election have I said the words “I wish I could wake up and have this all be a dream” but I know that at least once during those surreal hours between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning I did. But at some point during the day Wednesday I stopped feeling that way. In the alternate universe where Hillary Clinton was elected president, we would have gone on living in a white, male dominated society that we have accepted and upheld for far too long. We would have gone on pretending that the extreme class inequality that led to utter polarization of political thought was not a big deal. And we would have gone on with a “democracy” that consistently excludes the majority of the population.

We can talk forever about the electoral process and how corrupt it is, but the reality is that Donald Trump truly got more votes than any of us expected, and we need to take this seriously. Let this remind us of two things.

First, the largely white, middle class population that put Donald Trump into office is real, and we cannot simply dismiss this half of our country as ignorant and racist. Whether or not we agree with them, we need to listen to them and try to understand. We need to stop ignoring and rejecting the lower and middle classes of this country, and instead educate. We need to educate against racism, educate against sexism, and encourage open conversation and respect.

Second, Donald Trump and his followers have brought to the surface systems of oppression that have plagued this country throughout its existence. This country prides itself on freedom and equal opportunities for all, yet we have no idea what that even looks like. Minorities and immigrants and women and all who are not heterosexual white men face disadvantages from birth, and as they try to battle these disadvantages the oppression and discrimination continues at every step along the way.

It is sad that it took electing a president who is undeniably misogynistic, racist, and so many other things to get us to finally pay attention to these problems, but it did. So let us stop turning a blind eye, let us take this as a wake up call and an opportunity. Our work now is not just to fight the negative discourses and new injustices promoted by Trump’s campaign, but to fight all the systems and institutions that have impeded upon equal opportunities and respect for all citizens for far too long.

 

Women’s team continues historic season, places 5th at regionals, receives bid for

The Bates women’s cross-country team placed 5th at the New-England regional meet last weekend, all but guaranteeing them a team at-large bid to the national meet in Louisville, Kentucky on November 19. Jessica Wilson ‘17 and Katherine Cook ‘18 continued to shine for this well-rounded group of racers, pacing with each other throughout the race and finishing in 19th and 20th place, respectively.

The top two teams in the regional meet clinch an official spot in the national meet, but after a stellar showing earlier this season on the national stage at the Louisville Cross Country Classic meet on the same course where nationals are to be held, the Bobcats have been on the national radar. They cracked the top 25 after their 2nd place finish there, and were ranked 8th nationally heading into regionals this past weekend.

The day after their stellar showing at regionals, it was confirmed the team had secured a spot in the final meet of the season for the fourth time in team history. The Bobcats will be represented by captain Molly Chisholm ‘17, Sarah Rothmann ‘19, Wendy Memishian ‘19 (who will serve as the team alternate), Katie Barker ‘19, Mary Szatkowski ‘18 and Olivia LaMarche ‘20, along with Cook and Wilson at nationals.

 

Talking about Trump

On the morning of November ninth, my professor opened the class with something I didn’t want to hear: talk to each other.

Like many Bates students that morning, I had shuffled down Alumni Walk with my head down. Chalked on the ground were catchy messages pushing the community to vote; many of these vouched for Hillary, some denounced Trump. But the character of these notes had changed radically overnight. These messages, once cheerful reminders the future of America, were the salt in the wound.

I was baffled with the election results, and shared this confusion with many other Bates students looking for groups of likeminded friends. In these conversations, we fed off of each other. I’d leave riled up and impassioned, but with little pushback to my own perspective. Out of anger, these interactions became vehicles through which I could vent my anger, opposed to forums for effective intellectual discourse. I was comforted by the sound of my own echo.

The one sided nature of these conversations felt fundamentally wrong, but the ideological gap felt impermeable. I knew that I had to break out from my liberal bubble, but I felt trapped. After all, I feared for the civil rights of millions of Americans. Trump is unapologetically misogynistic, racist and nativist. Pence is openly anti-LGBT, actively fighting to unravel decades of progress in the gay rights movement. And half of Americans support the duo, nonetheless. How was I supposed to talk to someone who voted for a candidate that makes so many people I care about feel worthless?

And this animosity towards minorities was unrestricted to the sphere of political ideology: the manifestations of it were very, very real. In the days after the election, incidents began to crop up across campuses. Witnesses watched in horror as two young men with Trump signs parked their car in front of a house for Black students, spitting on one student.

In these initial glimpses into Trump’s America, my professor’s hanging advice seemed impossible to grasp. After all, the differences felt more than political– they were ethical. But I had to reconcile the fact that one in two Americans had voted for the candidate. But at Bates, I struggled to find spokespeople of the other side. In a dearth of conservative perspectives on campus, I sought out this perspective digitally.

Although the conservative presence on campus seemed lacking, brief research suggested that it was merely silenced. I read an article in the New York Times called: “How My Liberal University Cemented My Vote For Trump,” written by a student at fellow NESCAC Wesleyan. Readings his specific delineations of his reasons for voting for Trump, I began to understand his view. I knew that Wesleyan and Bates were both small, left leaning liberal arts Colleges, and shared much in common. So if Trump supporters were at Wesleyan, they were at Bates as well. But they stayed quiet.

And the explanation behind their silence was clear– we live in a fragmented America. Whether it’s between rural and urban, or liberal and conservative, divisions are everywhere. If we ever want to bridge these gaps, we must first understand how they got there.

Finally, let’s not forget where we are. In the security of the Bates bubble, it’s easy to forget that our own district voted for Trump. We may have removed the fence from our campus perimeter, but an ideological divide still exists. But by opening dialogues, we can begin to understand these barriers– and perhaps begin to deconstruct them.

 

A very Dobbin Thanksgiving: Featuring 6 pies

I remember sneaking maple leaf foil-covered chocolates from my family’s fancy dining room glass candy dishes when I was barely as tall as the bureau on which they were placed; now, I openly stock up on three slices of pie while my family scoops six types of ice cream into bowls.

Allow me to explain this transition:

Back in the days of yore (about twelve years ago), my sister, brother, two cousins and I were the only young children around on Thanksgiving. At the ripe old age of 8, my parents had realized they didn’t need to constantly watch me, but did need to make sure I kept out of certain candy drawers and was not left alone with the ice cream. With ever the sweet tooth, I constantly sought after any sugary treat I knew the whereabouts of, including the special Thanksgiving glass candy dishes. Why would they have such beautiful and aptly-themed chocolates if not for me to sneak in between every meal in November?

On Thanksgiving day, if not for these chocolates, my sugar intake would be severely limited due to my mother’s strict pie slice portion control. She made sure that all children under the age of 10 received no more than one slice of pie and one scoop of ice cream. I know this sounds like a fair portion, but to an 8-year-old, sugar was king and I needed it like oxygen.

As all the cousins aged, I moved away to boarding school and starting managing my own portions; the freshmen fifteen were on my mind and I realized that portion control wasn’t always a bad thing. When I came home for Thanksgiving break, we had two more Dobbin cousins around for dinner as well, and we all were over the age of 14. My paternal uncle and his family moved to the U.S. from Sweden. With our age and supposed maturity, parental concern over our diet was only taken as suggestion. Consequently, pie and ice cream consumption increased exponentially.

To provide some context, my family Thanksgiving dinner involves between 15-20 people each year. My mother, ever the hostess, will purchase ice cream for about 30 people, in addition to the pies family members bring. I take pride in the pie-to-person ratio; this past year, it was 6:18. We had two chocolate pies, one pecan, one pumpkin, one apple and one chess (it is like a sugar cookie pie). In a house with 6 pies, it became very difficult to abstain from eating excessive amounts of dessert, especially as a child whose sugar intake was very limited.

Upon discussing my Very Dobbin Thanksgiving traditions, I realized my family goes a little heavy on the dessert side of things, due to the amount of energy I spent thinking about desserts. This was further emphasized when I asked my peers about their favorite Thanksgiving recipes, assuming they would all be dessert-related. I was wrong. Riley Hopkins ’18 shared a delicious recipe NOT involved with dessert – green bean casserole. To make, combine and pour into a casserole dish:

1 can of cream of mushroom soup

2 cups of fried onions

2 cans of green beans

¾ cup milk

Bake at 350 until hot and then enjoy! Hopkins notes that the onions are the highlight of this simple dish, so be sure to sprinkle some on top before baking.

To make a Very Dobbin Thanksgiving dish, simply purchase your preferred Ben & Jerry’s ice cream pints as well as a pecan pie baked by Lulu’s Southern Pies (found at Walter Stewart’s in New Canaan, CT, among other locations).

Dessert has been a huge part of my Thanksgiving experience both overtly and covertly. Through homemade pies and store-bought Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, dessert has shaped how I think about Thanksgiving to this day. How have you thought about Thanksgiving? Let me know- send me an e-mail at vdobbin@bates.edu. I hope to hear back about the diverse experiences Bates students recall throughout their break that relate to Thanksgiving and memories.

 

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