The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Day: November 9, 2016 (Page 2 of 2)

Football secures third consecutive CBB title

The Bates football team won the acclaimed CBB championship outright for the third consecutive year last weekend, as they relied on an improbable performance from backup quarterback Matt Golden ‘20 to defeat Bowdoin 24-7.

The CBB championship, awarded to the Maine NESCAC school who defeats both of their in-state rivals, serves as an exciting punctuation mark for Bates, Bowdoin or Colby, in a season that does not include Division III postseason competition. Bates has had a share of the title since 2011, having won at least one game against either Bowdoin or Colby each of the last five seasons.

In the last three years Bates has swept both Bowdoin and Colby, certainly serving as some of the best moments in each of the last three seasons. The last time Bates held the CBB crown three years running was 1931. This year’s clinching victory was as exciting as it was historic. “It is a great feeling to be a part of a team who was able to win games that are so important to our program and it’s history,” said Golden.

With starting quarterback Sandy Plashkes ‘19 exiting the game late in the second quarter due to an injury, and the score in favor of Bowdoin 7-3, the Cats had to turn to their young backup, Golden. On just his second snap of the game, Golden fumbled, but any chance of the Polar Bears capitalizing were ended by a timely Trevor Lyons ‘17 interception that brought the half to a close.

Golden would finish the game strong. He was at the center of the action in the 4th quarter, when Bates strung together three unanswered touchdowns. Golden accounted for two, a 35 yard strike to Marcus Ross ‘19, as well a 65 yard scamper of his own. “As a team we trusted our preparation at all positions, and because we trusted each other we were able to play ball and make plays,” said Golden of the team’s ability to prepare, and overcome their starting quarterback exiting the game with an injury.

The squad goes for .500 mark this weekend, as they finish their season at home against Hamilton at Garcelon field at 12:00 pm. “We still have one game left on the schedule, and we have moved past the CBB for now and are looking to finish with a win, and we are all looking forward to a great week of practice and we hope to be prepared to come away with a win this Saturday.”

 

Bates dancers “promote the value of the arts” in the Lewiston-Auburn community

To say that Bates students are passionate about community engagement is an understatement. Many take part in classroom help in the local middle school or one of the several elementary schools near campus either during the day or after school. However, not much has been done about integrating dance into these interactions between Bates students and elementary/middle school students. Mallory Cohen ’17 and Shae Gwydir ’20 are two members of the Bates dance community expanding their passions for movement and teaching into the Lewiston-Auburn community.

Cohen, a Sociology and Dance double major, designed and launched this program last year after a summer internship with Urbanity Dance in Boston, a non-profit contemporary dance company that also partners with the Boston Public Schools, community health centers, community housing developments, juvenile detention centers and the local population with Parkinson’s disease, just to name a few of their relationships. For this internship, Cohen was responsible for writing dance curriculum and teaching numerous classes in several different communities in the Boston area. She said it made her “recognize that arts education is something really valuable that all children should have access to as it aids so much in cognitive, emotional, social and physical development.” On a more selfish note, she said, “It also completely brings me life to be teaching movement and engaging with children who are really benefitting from it, so it seemed obvious to bring with me back to Lewiston, for myself and for the community.”

Cohen received grants from the Harward Center for supplies to enhance her classes here in Lewiston in addition to building steady partnerships. Now, her position is a part of the Community Outreach Fellowships which will solidify her work and allow it to grow and continue in the future.

Along with Cohen, Gwydir has also found her work as a dance teacher to be extremely fulfilling. The two of them, along with others, teach multiple classes per week at the YWCA. The preschool classes run during the day as part of their physical education class and focus not on technique, but on the idea that “movement is a way to communicate with our bodies instead of our mouths in order to learn how to express ourselves in a more dynamic way,” says Cohen. To foster this creativity, they play with different themes, such as animals or superheroes. The elementary school kids participate in dance classes later in the afternoon. Cohen and Gwydir offer them modern/contemporary/ballet classes or a fusion of hip-hop/funk/jazz classes. Cohen said, “In these classes we mainly teach technique in a fun, creative and engaging way through the lens of promoting self-confidence, comfort with one’s own body, self-love and using dance as a healthy physical outlet.”

Gwydir is currently taking an education class and needs 30 hours of fieldwork, which is how she got involved with teaching in the first place. However, expresses how much she has been benefitting from this experience in more ways than just receiving credit. She noted how the immense social improvement among the elementary school students has truly made her work worthwhile. “For the first two weeks, one of the girls would stretch and then go hide and cry in the corner and no matter what we did we couldn’t get her out. Only her mom could take her outside. This is the fifth or sixth week now and last week she had a beaming smile on her face the whole time and was dancing with her friends. So there is definitely improvement.” She also noticed how the boys, who usually do not want anything to do with dance, are breaking the “gender expectations” and actually having a great time in class.

For Gwydir, this teaching these kids has provided her with just as many rewards as it has the students. “This is the one time during the week when I can completely shut my brain off to anything happening at Bates. You have to give all of your attention to the kids.”

Both Cohen and Gwydir are seeing huge transformations that translate to applications in their everyday lives and behaviors; this is true for both the students and the teachers. The power of arts education is truly at work here. After graduation, Cohen plans on attending graduate school for Dance/Movement Therapy which will directly align with her current work of fostering personal growth and promoting the value of the arts.

 

Women’s Cross Country places 3rd in NESCAC, looks ahead to Regionals

The last time the Bates Women’s Cross Country team had a better finish in the NESCAC Championships, the most popular song was Billy Idol’s, “Mony Mony”, and the top movie in the box office was The Running Man, starring none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger. Zac Efron, Kevin Jonas and Blake Lively were just weeks old.

Cross Country came in 3rd place in the 2016 NESCAC Championship meet, which they haven’t done since 1987.

The team was paced by the usual suspects, Jessica Wilson ‘17 and Katherine Cook ‘18, finishing in 9th and 14th place respectively. Their excellent performances in the meet earned them both second-team All-NESCAC honors. But the dynamic duo has been dominant all season.

“We both have very high expectations and work very hard,” Cook said of her relationship with her fellow superstar teammate. “Knowing that Jess is never going to give up, pushes me even harder in practice and races.”

Wilson reciprocated the sentiment. She said in an email, “Katherine is a positive force, and makes me feel like we can accomplish anything as long as we work together.

Running just behind Wilson and Cook was Katie Baker ‘19, who finished 16th overall. Placing three runners in the top 16 is a testament to the team’s stellar depth.

In addition, Molly Chisholm ‘17 finished in 34th place, and Olivia LaMarche finished in 39th. In Cross Country, the top five runners on each team determine the collective score. The Bobcats’ score was a 109 which placed them just ahead of Middlebury, but behind Williams and Tufts.

Days after the meet, Coach Hartshorn received NESCAC coach of the year honors for the first time in her 12 year tenure at Bates. Before coming to Bates, Hartshorn attended Colby College. A Government major, she was an academic All-American in Cross Country, and three time All-American in indoor track.

Cook thought it was about time that Hartshorn finally won coach of the year. “She (Hartshorn) is a phenomenal coach,” Cook articulated. “She instills a sense of confidence in the team, gets to know all her players, and is very approachable. Coach is especially good at managing fatigue and preventing injuries.”

In the most recent Division three rankings, Bates was chosen as the number eight team in the country. Why has the team been so successful this season? Cook attributes it to their pack mentality. Just like Bobcats in the wild, the runners stick together as they grind through races. This gives them a mental edge, and is only made possible by their great depth.

Women’s Cross Country will continue their historic season at NCAA Regionals in Westfield, Massachusetts on November 12. A top 2 finish will qualify the team for nationals, but an at large bid may be in the cards as well. Typically between four and seven teams are chosen to represent New England at the national meet.

Cook is confident about her team heading into Regionals. She said late Sunday afternoon, “we don’t really need to change anything up. As long as we do what we have done all season, we will have a good chance at qualifying.”

As for how she feels about nationals, Cook is not looking ahead just yet. The team has preached a one race at a time mentality all season.

As long as the Bobcats stay in their pack, anything is possible.

 

Screenwriter Jason Hellerman comes to campus with “Shovel Buddies” and exposes “harsh realities” of the film industry

The Rhetoric Department has done a fantastic job bringing screenwriters and new films to campus to give students a look into the film industry. On Wednesday, November 2, Jason Hellerman brought his film, “Shovel Buddies,” to the Filene Room to talk to Bates students about life as a screenwriter, which happens to be not-so easy. The film itself is about a group of friends who join forces to fulfill the last request of their friend who passed away.

The event on campus served as an important networking space for students interested in a career in this field. They were able to ask questions about the film and screenwriting in general during a discussion following the screening. Laura Pietropaoli ’17 attended the event and said, “Listening to Jason talk about the harsh realities of working in the Hollywood film industry was simultaneously eye-opening and frustrating. Making commercially successful films is a complicated business, and sometimes executives make decisions that are geared more toward monetary progress than social progress.”

Jason Hellerman discusses life in the film industry. DREW PERLMUTTER/THE BATES STUDENT

Jason Hellerman discusses life in the film industry. DREW PERLMUTTER/THE BATES STUDENT

Chobani Faces Nativist Critics

Hamdi Ulukaya emigrated from Turkey in 1994 to study English and business in Long Island, New York. After starting a feta cheese business, called Euphrates in 2002, Ulukaya went on to found Turkish-style strained yogurt company, Chobani (called “Greek” yogurt in the US). By all accounts, Ulukaya is the epitome of the glossy ‘American Dream–’ he worked hard and was able to build a profitable business. However, Ulukaya has recently spoken publicly to encourage other companies to hire refugees, as he himself has done. While Ulukaya has been praised for his humanitarianism and activism on behalf of displaced persons, according to nativist bloggers and other right-wing adherents, this behavior is anti-American and should be boycotted.

Ulukaya has donated significant portions of his income to refugees in Iraq and Syria and founded the Tent Foundation, which serves to aid refugees by offering support to individuals, governments and organizations. His yogurt company, Chobani, has roughly 2,000 employees, 30 percent of whom are refugees. Conservative blog, 100% Fed Up, doesn’t see this as the problem, however. They write, “BTW, if he wants to spend his millions helping mostly Muslim refugees where they are, that is wonderful and commendable, but lobbying for more to be admitted to the US should be opposed at every turn.” In other words, they think Ulukaya can send money to refugees if he wants to, but encouraging the resettlement of refugees is the bigger problem. So why is Ulukaya being targeted specifically? Washington Post reported that, although other companies have followed his lead, Ulukaya in particular has faced more backlash than anyone else. They trace this back to the vitriolic rhetoric of the current Republican presidential candidate: “It is no mere coincidence that Mr. Ulukaya, an immigrant, was targeted while other executives who have aided refugees were not.”

The root of the hatred seems to be this: Ulukaya is an immigrant, hiring refugees and immigrants and getting big businesses to do the same thing. If enough people follow his lead, in boycotter’s eyes, there will be no more jobs left for Americans. Obviously, these nativist sentiments are rooted in fear and ignorance and inflamed by right-wing politicians and conservative media outlets such as Breitbart. In their eyes, jobs at Chobani factories are rightfully those of natural born citizens. Phrased a more demagogic way (here’s looking at you, Trump), immigrants are taking OUR jobs. Not only are these statements incorrect (as has been shown in studies such as “The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration”), but they perpetuate growing xenophobic politics in our country.

As the election comes to a close (or, when this is published, finally ends) we need to recognize hatred for what it is and understand from where it stems. Some have responded to the proposed ‘boycott’ by tweeting pictures of themselves buying shopping carts full of Chobani yogurt, and supporting businesses that take initiatives to hire refugees is a great start, but as a nation we also need to focus on the understanding of these issues. Tweeting a picture isn’t going to change anyone’s mind, but starting real conversations about the refugee crisis can. Fear of difference and the unknown is born from ignorance and can only be combatted with education.

 

Costume Controversies

As we take down our Halloween decorations and pack away our costumes, consider what this holiday leaves behind. The stinging repercussions of costumes likely comes to mind. Whether it’s the appropriation of historically oppressed cultures, or the fetishization of a racial demographic, costumes can be dangerous.

It’s not my place to discuss the issue of appropriation itself. In light of recent motions on campus, appropriation seems to be an issue for which the Bates community exhibits a genuine care. With the new poster campaign, We’re a Culture Not a Costume, the problem of appropriation is visibly present on campus as well. In a Bates Today released in the week before Halloween, a faculty member delineates the issues with appropriation– as well as a suggested list of responses. Through several movements on campus, the vital dialogue of appropriation has already been opened.

Instead, I want to initiate a different type of discussion altogether. I’d like to explore what these costume controversies mean on an institutional level– that is, for Bates as a liberal arts college. A concerted effort has been made to combat appropriation with the aforementioned poster campaign and email alike. The content of these messages is essential to understanding the hegemonic society of which we are a part and in spreading awareness of the toxic ramifications of appropriation. But where are these messages coming from?

The driving force behind this campaign seems largely staff-centric. As to the poster campaign, the email cites the Office of Intercultural Education, Office of Residence Life and Health Education, the JARC staff, and the professor as the central contributors. And of course, the email itself comes directly from a professor. For an issue prescribing the behavior of students, the message seems to be coming heavily from the administration.

Many will recall the Yale Halloween controversy, in which faculty member Erika Christakis sent out an email reacting to a statement from the University urging students to rethink their Halloween costumes. Her email was certainly not devoid of flaws, and I won’t argue in defense of the piece as a whole. After all, Christakis has received widespread criticism from Yale faculty and students regarding the semantics of her email. But buried beneath the controversy, Christakis raises important questions.

At its core, the email explores the role of the administration in controlling student speech, illuminating the “consequences of an institutional exercise of implied control over college students.” The purpose of an educational institution is to allow for the intellectual growth of its students. So we’re left with a complex question– what role should the administration play in facilitating that growth?

With the one-year anniversary of the Yale controversy in our wake, the questions it raises have never been more relevant. And with Bates faculty spearheading initiatives against appropriation, this issue certainly pertains to our community.

If one thing is for certain, this problem is not limited to Bates. This Halloween, the administrations of several institutions cracked down on appropriation, including several NESCAC schools. Wesleyan University recently disseminated a “checklist” around dorms to thwart appropriation and general offensiveness in costumes. Tufts’ Dean of Student Affairs delineated specific repercussions for wearing disrespectful costumes on campus. As these controversies continue to crop up, a pattern among liberal arts colleges begins to emerge.

Several of Bates’ fellow NESCAC schools have set a precedent of how we should approach student speech. It’s now in the hands of the Bates community to decide if we want to follow suit. Christakis questions what administrative censure says about “our view of young adults, of their strength and judgment”. If Bates is a community that instills an intellectual trust in its students, we should allow for student organizations to lead these efforts against appropriation. We are a community of fiercely intellectual students– shouldn’t we deserve the ability to learn from each other?

In the end, we’re left with many more questions than answers. But I think that’s the purpose of any forum– to foster dialogue. Without question, raising awareness of appropriation is imperative. Perhaps, we just need to rethink who should be doing it.

 

Elizabeth Acevedo brings intense spoken word to Bates VCS

Elizabeth Acevedo performed several of her spoken word poems in the Benjamin E. Mays Center this past Thursday. Known for her discussion of social issues such as race, many students were excited to host her last week. Acevedo did not disappoint; performing poems dealing with race and gender relations, she discussed complex issues within her poems.

Sarah Keith ’18 reported, “She did a really good job of having serious poems while keeping the mood light in between poems. She tried to bring up big problems in the world – like race problems and BLM – without placing blame.” Performers and visitors like Acevedo are what make Bates so unique, and students look forward to more performances that present difficult topics and discussions in the future.

Elizabeth Acevedo performs her poems at VCS. DREW PERLMUTTER/THE BATES STUDENT

Elizabeth Acevedo performs her poems at VCS. DREW PERLMUTTER/THE BATES STUDENT

An exploratory playlist into contemporary shoegaze (AKA Nu-gaze) listed in no particular order

A foreword on this list and shoegaze as a whole: the term “shoegazing” refers to the act of a musician staring down at the effects pedals at their feet, and using those pedals to distort their music into walls of sound and texture. Shoegaze as a genre was founded upon the slowcore and post-punk movements of the 80’s and effectively ended in the early 90’s, with the release of My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless in 1991. The term nu-gaze (the pretentious portmanteau of new (nu) and shoegaze) is used to describe anything that comes after genre’s climax and refers to music that continues to utilize the techniques developed in the first wave of shoegaze. This playlist is meant to give a small, expository glance into what nu-gaze is and what shoegaze has become. I really enjoy shoegaze and I just think these are good songs.

  1. “Keep Slipping Away” by A Place to Bury Strangers

Though often classified as a noise rock band, A Place To Bury Strangers has definitive and audible roots in shoegaze. This song is taken from their 2009 album Exploding Head and departs from the usual dreaminess of gaze, taking a more industrial and post-punkish approach. The overall instrumentation is hollow and hard, making the atmosphere less encompassing and more confrontational.

  1. “Starting Over” by LSD and the Search for God

LSD and the Search for God has one of the coolest band names I have ever seen and some marble-smooth psychedelia/nu-gaze to offer. From their 2007 self-titled album, “Starting Over” features dueling male-female vocals as well as a gentle, slowdive-like approach to gaze. The song never startles, every sound colluding into an especially fluid, gauzy piece of love and regret.

  1. “Keen on Boys” by The Radio Dept.

The Radio Dept. is a Swedish group that has, of recently, solidified as a dream pop outfit. One of their earlier albums, however, veers more on the side of shoegaze, static and all. The song “Keen On Boys,” from their album Lesser Matters, is especially reminiscent of early gaze and is carried along by sheets of sharp guitar, ghostly vocals and soft presence.

  1. “Kim and Jessie” by M83

Anthony Gonzalez (M83) is a French electronic composer well known for his indie pop single “Midnight City.” Gonzalez, however, is no one-hit wonder and has a well-established discography going back seven albums and venturing into genres like post-rock, ambient and dream pop. From his 2008 album Saturdays = Youth comes “Kim and Jessie,” in which he attempts to blend the sounds of shoegaze and yesteryear synthpop into a single love ballad. The result is a youthful dance song, piloted by 80’s drum machines and interspersed with moments of sonic immersion. It is not true shoegaze, but certainly shows its colors.

  1. “Leave” by Whirr

The Bay Area band Whirr is an especially talented one, sharing members with metal band Deafheaven as well as indie rock duo Best Coast. They have a history of being somewhat hostile towards their listeners whether through inflammatory social media presence or their music, which is dark in atmosphere and ventures into deathrock. “Leave” comes from their 2012 album Distressor and thrives in moody, cymbal-shattering energy.

  1. “Holy Forest” by Pinkshinyultrablast

Pinkshinyultrablast is a Russian shoegaze group formed out of St. Petersburg. They write in English, however, and have an incredible working knowledge of shoegaze before them, their name actually being a reference to an album by fellow gaze artist Astrobrite. The track “Holy Forest” is from their 2015 debut Everything Else Matters; it is glossy, twinkling with electronic noise and sustained with distant female vocals.

  1. “Strawberries” by Asobi Seksu

Asobi Seksu is a female fronted, bilingual gaze band based in Brooklyn, New York. Their 2006 album Citrus (from which this track was chosen from) is well known as one of the better albums to come out of the shoegaze revival in the mid 00’s and features songs sung in both Japanese and English. This song begins with a plucky, quasi-country twang which then fuzzes over into a song that is stretching with noisy, pop enthusiasm.

Where are the conservatives?

This one goes out to the small business starting, gun loving, border patrolling, abortion hating, death penalty loving conservatives. Where have you been? Where was your response to the DAPL, Flint Water Crisis, the global Syrian Refugee Crisis, Trump’s leaked videos addressing sexual assault, Clinton’s email scandal and our recent military action in Yemen? Where has your response the whole of the presidential election been? To Trump’s “tax-cutting” economic policies? To Clinton’s “student debt-cutting” redemption policies?

I have seen and heard snippets of intelligent discourse across CNN and Fox News. I have seen and heard snippets of intelligent discourse from the right in class, in Commons and on social media. I know that there have to be smarter conservatives than what the media is showing and what Trump is representing (if he is even representative of the conservative thought process). I know that Bates can often seem overwhelmingly liberal (as most college campuses seem), but based on actions, events and conversations I have witnessed and heard on campus, the conservative voice is being underrepresented within the Bates Student and other intellectual platforms. This is not acceptable. We need you. We need your voice if we are ever going to have an honest conversation.

If you are afraid of social repercussions or not being published, we can talk about ways to shield your identity. I am calling you, those who generally disagree with me, to stop shaking your heads and just write about it.

 

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