The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Day: March 8, 2017 (Page 2 of 3)

Open letter to Bates Campus Life

Since the removal of Keith Tannenbaum, it seems that Bates Campus Life has lost its taste for good parties. Rather than spending a little bit of money on things students might actually enjoy, Bates Campus Life has been hosting lackluster events that remind us exactly why off campus housing is necessary to have a good time on the weekends. While I love a good washed-up rapper and even wouldn’t mind a techno-synth-pop-nobody named after UMaine’s prized mascot, there are more efficient ways to get Bates students to spend their money. Bates students are pretty simple, and get even simpler on the weekends. The three things that get Bates students excited are food, alcohol, and dancing, hence why the Den is so successful, especially on the weekends. If the faculty on Bates Campus Life would recognize what I’m sure represented students argue for, the budget would be high enough in the future to get artists and performers students would actually pay $15-20 to attend. To fundraise for events like this, it would be as simple as the following scenario.

Bates could hire an average DJ (or a student volunteer) to play songs that everyone enjoys. The event could be held in a big space, like the Gray Cage or even the Silo. If Bates put in the extra money to buy a few kegs and wine or cider, security could check I.D.’s at the door and put wristbands around everyone who is 21+. Of course only these people would have access to the alcohol provided, but everyone at the event could have access to the pizza and other snacks near the alcohol. Bates Campus Life would have extra money from selling so many tickets costing around $5.

The success of an idea like this is extremely simple, seniors would be enticed to go for the “free” alcohol (free even though they paid the $5 entry fee). And if seniors are at an on campus event, monitored by security guards and other safety personnel, there will be no off-campus parties for underclassmen to wander off to.

There is no doubt in my mind that Bates Campus Life student representatives have already suggested this idea, since it is so simple and easy to execute. It is up to the Bates Campus Life faculty to spend money on events that Bates students would actually like attend.

Get out there and travel

Bates students stop by the Off-Campus Study Office to talk about abroad options. JOHN NEUFELD/THE BATES STUDENT

Bates students stop by the Off-Campus Study Office to talk about abroad options.

Of the many learning and growing opportunities accessible to Bates students during their four years on campus, the option to spend a semester away is perhaps one of the most valuable and sought after. For students who wish to experience a semester in a new place, or for those who are simply exhausted by the never-ending Maine winter, the Off-Campus Study Office provides a range of study abroad programs that aim to include all class years.

The Off-Campus Study Office provides three opportunities for Bates students to venture off-campus for studies and travels. While most students are familiar with the traditional semester abroad, which either occurs during the fall or spring semester of junior year, there are also opportunities through the Bates Fall Semester Abroad program and various short-term courses for students to spend time away from campus.

The Bates Off-Campus Study Office works to include all class years in the range of programs they provide. The Bates Fall Semester Abroad, unbeknownst to many students, is actually open to first-years, as well as sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Should students be enticed by the opportunity, first-year’s may spend their first semester at Bates abroad with other Bates students and professors. The Bates Fall Semester Abroad also fulfills the General Education Concentration (GEC) academic requirement, eliminating the tedious need to fulfill a GEC at a later point.

“The Bates FSA has many perks that are not normally found in a traditional study abroad experience”, says Marina Dickson ‘17 who spent her sophomore fall semester in Vienna, Austria.  “You get to spend time with Bates professors whose quality of teaching is better than what you find in most abroad academic programs”, Dickson added.

In addition, students who wish to experience off-campus study but may be reluctant to spend a whole semester away from campus may be enticed by the various short-term courses with off-campus study components. These off-campus study programs are designed to allow students to remain on campus for a few weeks of short-term, while also traveling domestically and/or internationally to gain learning experience pertinent to their respective short-term course.

Through inclusion of these three off-campus study opportunities, the Bates Off-Campus Study Office has worked to include as many Bates students as possible in their off-campus study program. Statistics provided by the Off-Campus Study Office highlight the success that these programs are having in reaching students.

In the 2016-2017 academic year, the Bates Off-Campus Study office received 334 application in February 2016. Of the 334 applications submitted, 285 students studied off-campus during Fall 2016 and Winter 2017 semesters, and the complete academic year. In addition, 60% of the Class of 2018 studied off-campus for a semester of the academic year.

It is evident then that efforts from the Off-Campus Study Office to include programs that target as many Bates students as possible have been successful. The opportunity to study abroad is paramount in taking advantage of all the opportunities Bates students have to formulate a well-rounded and worldly education. Students interested in off-campus study opportunities are encouraged to reach out to the helpful faculty at the Off-Campus Study Office.


Lewiston-Auburn ranking

A small business blog titled “HeroPay” run by CEO Hiro Taylor, recently “analyzed data from 358 cities and conducted a survey of 150 small business owners countrywide to compile a list of the Best cities to start a business in 2017.” The blog featured the city of Lewiston-Auburn, which ranks as number 235 out of 358.

Taylor believes that “entrepreneurs are the backbones of many communities across the country. The businesses they start have the potential to create widespread value and benefit millions of people. The environments they work in has a major influence on their success.” The point of the survey was to “understand the changing landscape of America — and help the entrepreneurial community make informed decisions… Through [the] study [they] analyzed data from 358 cities, synthesizing local data across 10,000 points focusing on 17 metrics.  Business activity, quality of life, labor costs, and taxes were some of the key metrics driving the study.”

On the HeroPay website he further states that “in addition to the data analysis, our researchers surveyed 150 small business owners distributed throughout the country to help understand what aspects are important to small businesses.  The survey explored how small business owners are thinking in 2017 and how they plan to operate their businesses in the coming year. Some of the key questions addressed how companies are thinking about labor costs, revenue, and taxes.”

Some of the statistics they came up with are as follows: the unemployment rate is 2.2%; the median household income is $50,338; percentage foreign born is 3.6%; the ratio of household value to 12 month income is 2.2x; the combined state and local sales tax rate is 5.50%; the percentage below the poverty level is 10.6%; the mean to commute to work is 24 minutes; the percentage of the workforce with a bachelor’s degree or higher is 21.1%; the monthly owner housing costs (median) is $1,266; the real estate taxes (median) are $2,536; the median gross rent for a one bedroom apartment is $511; firms per 100 employable people is 2.4; new establishments +/- rate per 100 is .3; the percentage of firms started in the past year is 5.4%; the percentage of total metro employment from start-ups is 1.7%; the total index score of the city is .46.

In addition to featuring Lewiston, Taylor conducted the economic research on 358 other cities in the United States. If you are looking to compare and contrast your city with Lewiston, go to


Michael Dease brings the history of jazz to Bates

According to the Bates website, the goal of the Olin Concert Series is to “engage the community with vibrant and eclectic programming that promotes artistic excellence, explore the widest spectrum of world cultures, and enhance the College’s academic programs.” This past Friday, Michael Dease Quartet played at Bates as part of the Olin Concert Series, and as far as I was concerned, achieved all of those goals.

Dease grew up poor in Alabama before moving to New York City to pursue his music career. He currently lives in Michigan where he teaches music at Michigan State University. In fact, the other members of his band are students of his that he recruits and takes on his tour all over the country.

According to Dease, jazz is the story of a journey. A journey from where you are, to the one you are going to. In his music, he relates to people from all over the South and the angst and struggle they faced as they moved to other parts of the country. Dease plays from a personal perspective, as he had difficulties adjusting to city life in New York.

Jazz is also the story of America, the story of the Great Migration, and the story of freed slaves sharing their African musical culture. It was interesting to see the variety in the audience. There were students required to come for class, students who were interested in the performance, and locals of an older generation, all of whom left satisfied by the sweet tones of Dease.

With that in mind, Dease’s album, “All These Hands,” represents all of the hands and lives that make America what it is today. The music traces the spread of jazz from New Orleans through the Midwest and up the East Coast with songs dedicated to New Orleans, Mississippi, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Washington D.C amongst others. After each song, Dease would talk a little about the meaning and inspiration that went into it. As an audience member, you could feel his passion for his music and the culture behind it. Not only were we exposed to beautiful, soulful, enlightening music, but also to an educational experience that created a deeper meaning and connection to the music. I felt like I learned about the history of jazz and how it moved through the United States.

The best part for me was to see Dease’s willingness to share the stage and spotlight with his students. Many times throughout the performance he would step off to the side during a piano, bass, or drum solo, close his eyes, and enjoy the beautiful sounds. It was obvious that all of them were having an enjoyable time, which gave off a great energy that was palpable to the audience. As Dease said, “You can’t lose with the blues.”

The next, and final installment, of the Olin Concert Series is the Momenta Quartet on May 12, 2017. They are known for their passion for developing emerging composers and commitment to the forefront of the new music world. They also are an advocate for international and up and coming composers. Described as “diligent, curious, and excellent” by the New York Times, Momenta should be an educational music experience that should be attended by all Bates students.


Women’s representation

Many have asked this question for decades, even centuries: Why are women not represented in the American political system? Typically, the answer is that a combination of factors stop women from running, let alone winning. Common reasons given according to NPR and Vox are that women don’t think they are qualified, women are more often busy with childcare, there aren’t many female role models in office, and people are less likely to encourage women to run for office.

While these are intriguing and probably influential, I wonder if we should flip the question from why aren’t women represented by our political system to why our political system doesn’t represent women? Instead of simply telling women to get over our hurdles, is there a larger problem in our political system that deters a significant portion of our population from entry?

A recent Gallup study reported that, while some may have expected people to turn out in large numbers when dissatisfied with Congress, this was not the case in 2014 even though dissatisfaction stayed near all-time lows before and after the midterm elections. This could show any number of things, but I see dissatisfaction and inaction. Rather than engaging to change something or encourage others to run, most people turned out to vote for the same people they had been dissatisfied with.

Similarly, and more recently, studies from the University of Chicago after this year’s presidential election report that most people are dissatisfied with our political system and even report that the two-party system doesn’t seem to be working. Not only are Americans frustrated with our political system, but they don’t think its structure serves them well. Once again, however, along with this widespread dissatisfaction, how are we to change?

If our political system is neither working for women nor most people, isn’t there something wrong with our system? In asking this question, we perhaps introduce the very thing that could crumble it – doubt. Doubting any idea, any intangible substance makes us realize its true nonexistence. If this becomes widespread, the idea actually becomes nonexistent – the democracy of our democracy could become nonexistent. Perhaps some would say it already is. Some may wonder how, if the Constitution was written in 1776 for a country of 3 million according to the University of Washington, it could possibly support the 318 million today.

But, doubt also perpetuates the necessary questioning that continues betterment. Is that all the current tumult is? It feels so raw, but are the questions and anguish just part of the incremental betterment of the system we are a part of? Should we look past the faults and shine the flashlight of history through the doubt, reminding us of Rosa Parks, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Ida B. Wells? Perhaps some day just a little better than today, we will be the ones in college students’ newspaper articles.

Spring sports: stock up or stock down?


Bates Baseball is headed into the 2017 campaign with a brand new coach, and little practice time per NESCAC rules. Nevertheless, the Bobcats were able to pick up two wins in five games during their annual trip to California. Because of the unique Bates academic calendar, Bates is the only team in the NESCAC that has played thus far. This should give the Garnet and White a leg up against other NESCAC teams.

The team is coming off a tough season last year, in which they finished 14-21 and did not qualify for postseason play. Outfielder Samuel Warren ‘16, second on the team last year in RBIs, will certainly be missed at the plate this season.

That being said, most of the big hitters on the team will be back. Captains Brendan Fox ‘17 and Ryan McCarthy ‘17 look to lead the team offensively again this year. Fox had a team leading .377 batting average and 25 RBIs in 2016.

A number of the team’s top pitchers were lost to graduation. Connor Columbo ‘17, Rob Difranco, Chris Ward ‘17, Mark Cunningham ‘17, and Warren all had a number of appearances last year.

However, newcomer Coach John Martin feels good about his group of pitchers. “On the mound, we have depth and experience. Some returners, like Connor Speed [‘18] and Connor Russell [‘18] will help anchor a staff that will be tough at the start of the game and also on the back end,” Coach Martin said in an email. “I’ll look to Anthony Telesca and Matt Doyle to have great senior seasons, as both of them threw well on the trip. Newcomers Alex Simon and Miles Michaud should expect to see some innings out of the bullpen.”

Martin comes to Bates from Vassar College, where he is the winningest coach in the program’s history.

The baseball team has a number of notable returners, but there will inherently be an adjustment period with a new coach. Look for the team to pick up steam towards the end of the season.

Stock: EVEN

 Women’s Rowing

The Bates women’s rowing team finished as the national runner up last season. Losing a number of key performers to graduation, this will be a tough act to follow.

But if you take a closer look at the history of Bates rowing, they have had incredible consistency. The Women’s team has been to the 6-team national championship in 10 straight seasons, including a national championship in 2015. There is no reason to believe this streak will end this season.

Look for women’s rowing to make the NCAA championships for the 11th straight season, and compete for a national title.

Stock: Even

 Men’s Rowing

The two biggest races of the spring for the Men’s rowing team are the New England Rowing Championships (NERC), and the National Invitational Collegiate Regatta (NIRC).

Last spring, the team won the NERC for the second straight season. At the NIRC, which doubles as the NESCAC championship, the Bobcats finished in 5th out of 21 teams.

Losing just three members of the first boat to graduation, the team returns much of its core and is poised to race even faster this season.

Look for the Men’s rowing team to win both the NERC and NIRC races.

Stock: Up


Women’s Tennis 

Men’s and Women’s tennis coach Paul Gastonguay, back for his 21st season at the helm, said in a recent Bates Bobcast episode, “this is the best team, in terms of training in the off-season we’ve ever had.”

This is high praise for a team that also returns its top three players from last season, a season in which they finished with a disappointing 4-13 record.

So far this year, they have compiled a 2-3 record, including their annual trip to California.

Playing number one singles so far this season is Maisie Silverman ‘18. Meanwhile, newcomer Isabelle Rovinski ‘20 has solidified herself at number two.

With so much returning talent and first years with high potential, the Bates Women’s tennis team should easily eclipse their 4-13 mark last season.

Stock: UP

 Men’s Tennis

The Men’s tennis team compiled a 6-10 record last season, and ended the season ranked no. 24 in the country.

Despite an 0-3 start so far this season, Bates is currently ranked no. 26. Look for them to be continue to be ranked within the top 40 all of 2017.

All of the team’s top talent are back for another season. The team is headlined by Ben Rosen ‘18. Rosen, an All-American and All-NESCAC performer last season, made it to the quarterfinals of the individual national championship. Rosen is backed up by Chris Ellis ‘17, who is also a former All-American (2015).

In addition, Vidyut Vidav ‘20, Jacob Kauppila ‘20, and Nick Glover ‘20 are talented first-years that have already been featured in the lineup this season.

With so much talent, look for the Men’s tennis to get at least 7 wins, and possibly have multiple All-Americans.

Stock: UP


Bates’ softball team is entering its fourth season under the leadership of head coach Mckell Barnes. They are coming off a challenging season, in which the team finished with an overall record of 5-32 and did not record a victory in the NESCAC. All five of their victories last year came at home. This year’s team is set for significant improvement. Maddie Inlow ‘17, who hit .392 last year, will anchor the infield and the offense as the lone senior. A bevy of first year talent will augment the roster around Inlow as well.

“Kirsten Pelletier ‘20, from Oakland, ME is someone to keep an eye on,” said Coach Barnes in an email. Pelletier was the 2016 Gatorade Player of the Year in Maine and 2016 Maine Softball Player of the Year during her senior year of high school. She recorded 185 strikeouts in just 105 innings.

“The team has really stepped it up this offseason. Everyone is coming in much stronger and faster than in years past. Something that’s very important, especially when you play eight games in four days,” Barnes said of the team’s mentality during the winter. The softball team travels to Clermont, FL tomorrow to kick off their season with a contest against Haverford. Their home-opener is March 29 against Southern Maine.

Stock: UP

 Men’s Lacrosse

Last year, the men’s lacrosse team fell in the opening round of the NESCAC tournament to Middlebury, and just missed out on an NCAA bid. This year, the elusive invitation to the national stage won’t be any easier to obtain, but it is certainly in Coach Peter Lasagna’s sights as the 2017 season begins.

Lasagna cited in an email returning All-Americans Charlie Fay ‘17 and Fred Ulbrick ‘17 as players to watch in the upcoming season, along with midfielder Kyle Weber ‘17 and first year Matt Chalastawa ‘20. According to Lasagna, Weber “is as capable as any midfielder in the country.” Lasagna also suggested that emerging senior Andrew Melvin ‘17 “will have his best year as a senior” this year. Sam Francis ‘17 performing steadily on face-offs will also serve as the eternal x-factor for the Bobcats. Additionally, Lasagna mentioned Mitchell Drake ‘19 as a key player to watch as the new starter in goal, and Stephen Bull ‘19 on the close defense who in his words “one of the most hardworking, fit students on our team.”

Lasagna also pointed to Bates’ strength and conditioning coach, Mike Seltzer, as a key cog in his team’s preparation this go-around. “Mike Seltzer provides us a significant edge in January and early February,” Lasagna said in the email. “Our people are better athletes, more confident performers because of Coach Seltzer’s foundation. His Kinetic Stretch program was new for us this season. Our people believe “Kin Stretch” is a game changer for them.”

This year’s team serves as an enticing ‘UP’ option, but an 11-4(7-3) performance last year is impressive, and any team playing in the NESCAC (except Tufts) is hard-pressed to put up similar marks year to year. Look for this year’s team to play everyone on their schedule competitively, finish above .500 in the NESCAC, but just miss out on another NCAA bid. I hope they prove us wrong.

Stock: EVEN

 Women’s Lacrosse

Last year’s women’s lacrosse team qualified for the NCAA tournament for just the second time in program history, the first time since 1994, and the first time under coach Brett Allen. Allen is entering his 11th season at the helm of the program, and is set for another impressive year.

This year’s team features a trio of seniors who are set for breakout seasons. Drew Barry ‘17, Sydney Cowles ‘17 and Kaileigh Maguire ‘17 all scored 10+ goals last year, and will have to help fill the void left by Moriah Greenstein ‘16 and Emma Brinkman ‘16, two of the team’s top three goal scorers last year. Maguire and Barry will serve as the senior captains alongside classmate Erin Shea ‘17. Camille Bellette ‘18 will also have to shoulder some of the scoring load if this team is going to return to its 2016 form. Another interesting plot line to follow will be how well they can replace All-American goalie Hannah Jeffrey ‘16.

This one is another hard decision. The women’s team could very well be one of the best teams of the spring this year, but the bar of their successful season last year is just a little too high. This team will be competitive in the NESCAC all-season long, but will just miss out on another NCAA bid.

Stock: DOWN

 Men’s Track & Field

Last year’s men’s outdoor track and field finished 3rd at their ECAC meet, and 82nd at NCAA’s. Long-time coach Al Fereshetian will look to continue his steady guidance of the men’s team. Weather always serves as a challenge, especially transitioning from the climate-controlled indoor tracks the team has been competing on to the blustery conditions of a New-England spring.

The highlight of the indoor season for the men has been their performance in the distance medley relay. The group of four includes Patrick Griffin ‘17 running the 1,200 meter leg, Mike Somma ‘19 running the 400 meter leg, Rob Flynn ‘18 pacing the 400 meter bit, and Jack Kiely ‘18 legging out the 1,600 meter finish. This cohort of runners have already set the Bates school record with a spry time of 9:49.74, which is also serves as the 6th fastest DMR time in indoor DIII history. Following these four in their outdoor efforts will be the most important plotline to look out for this spring.

This men’s team has illustrated their depth with impressive performances during the winter. This team will do no better than 3rd at ECAC’s again, but will improve on last year’s finish at the national meet, and for that their stock gets our stamp of approval.

Stock: UP

 Women’s Track & Field

Coach Jay Hartshorn, in her 11th season as head coach of Bates’ women’s cross country and track and field programs, was awarded NESCAC coach of the year this past fall for her steady leadership and guidance. Her work has continued during the indoor season, where records are falling left and right, toppled by Bates runners seemingly every weekend. She has high hopes for the outdoor season this spring.

“We will have a lot of positive momentum going from indoors to outdoors,” she said in an email. “I think we might be a better outdoor team, we were last year. Indoor is tough as it is short so if you get sick or injured, it can be hard to get back on track. I am looking forward to the next month of just training for the outdoor people and then seeing what we can do once we start competing at the end of March.” If the indoor season is any indication, this spring’s group of athletes will continue their high level of performance.

As the ultimate measure of their success, how they finish at their final meets of the season, anticipate the women to make a push for an ECAC meet victory, and improve on their 68th place finish at nationals this spring.


The push for Illiberalism

This past November, the Bates student body mobilized in a way that it had not for many years. The school achieved a record turnout for the 2016 election, and had a huge upsurge in student voter registration. Yet now all of that progress is under the threat of delegitimization from the Maine state government, all because students took the dangerous action of exercising their civil duty.

Voter suppression is not new in Maine. Prior to the 2016 election, a misleading pamphlet was being circulated around Bates college stating that students would have to pay to register their vehicle in Lewiston if they were to register to vote, which they did in fact not have to do. This is an example of a poll tax, when the act of voting itself requires some form of payment, and it was a tactic used in the Jim Crow South during the post-civil war period to restrict minority and immigrant voting, specifically African American voting. After the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, poll taxes became illegal, and for the most part this remained true, right up until the last decade.

Voter IDs, which many claim would reduce the amount of illegal voting that occurs and ensure voter security, are in many forms a poll tax, since IDs cost money. The movement for ‘voter security’ has grown, and restrictive voter laws have been implemented across the United States, all in the name of so called ‘security’. Yet perhaps it would be wiser to remember the words of Benjamin Franklin who said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

Nonetheless, currently in the Maine state house, the Committee on Veteran and Legal Affairs is considering a bill that would not only require an ID to vote, but also change the legal definition of residency to restrict students from voting. The bill, LD 155, is “an Act to Protect Voting Integrity by Establishing a Residency Verification Requirement for Purposes of Voting.” Proposed by House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, the bill slyly masks itself within the terms of ‘protection’ and ‘integrity’, but whether it actually provides these thing is disputable.

Not willing to let their rights be taken from them, the Bates Democrats in collaboration with Bates Student Action have been coordinating with willing students to testify on Wednesday, February 15th during a statehouse public hearing to present their objection to the passage of this bill. Many of the Bates Democrats clearly are outraged at the ramification of the bill.

“Bates has had a record number of voter registration this year. We want to increase that number, not suppress it!” says Maitri Chittidi ‘17, Co-President of Bates Democrats.

Another Bates Democrat, Daniel Fichmann ‘19, commented that “with less than 60% of eligible voters making their voices heard, the government should spending its time figuring out ways to make voting more accessible to everyone and encourage civic engagement especially from young adults.”

The push for voter delegitimization seemingly appears to be only a greater trend in the process of growing American illiberalism. “We are supposed to be the country of the ‘free’, yet more and more it appears that the word ‘free’ applies only to a selective group of people. The greatest stain on America’s history was when the phrase “All men are created equal” permitted the existence of slavery. As we have learned over the last 240 years, ‘all men’ should not only be attributed to a particular group of Americans. It should be all, without exception”, remarked one student who asked to remain anonymous.

Whether or not the bill will reach the house floor has yet to be determined. Bates students should continue to be mindful and cautious of state efforts to limit voting rights.


An alphabetical journey into the English Premier League: M & S

Middlesbrough F.C. (Smoggies)

Overview: Middlesbrough F.C. was founded in 1876 in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, England. They turned professional in 1889, reverted to amateurism in 1892, and then permanently turned pro in 1899. Their current stadium is their 3rd since their founding. Since their beginning, the club has spent a lot of time in the Second Division. They won their first professional trophy in 1975, the Anglo-Scottish Cup, 100 years after their origination. The team was one of the founding members of the Premier League in 1992 and has mostly stayed in the Premier League since, except for relegation in 1997 and a tough spell in the Championship League from 2009-2016. Their highest Premier League placing was 7th (2005). Middlesbrough won the League Cup in 2004 and qualified for the UEFA Cup for the first time that same year. They have also won the Division Two title 4 times.

Stadium: Riverside Stadium

Notable players:

Brian Clough, F (1955-1961)

John Hickton, F (1966-1978)

George Camsell, F (1925-1939)

George Hardwick, D (1937-1950)

Fun facts:

They have one of the highest proportions of female fans (20%)

7th loudest fans in the Premier League according to a 2008 survey

First football club in the world to launch its own TV channel — Boro TV

Stoke City F.C. (The Potters)

Overview: Stoke City F.C., founded in 1863 by some railroad workers as the Stoke Ramblers, is based in Stoke-on-Trent in Stafforshire. They dropped ‘Ramblers’ in 1878 and added ‘City’ in 1925. They are the second oldest professional football club and are one of the founding members of the Football League. They haven’t enjoyed too much success in all those years though, winning only one major trophy, the League Cup, in 1972. Before rejoining the top league in 2008, they had been out of it for 23 years. They placed 4th in the top division in 1936 and 1947 and came second in the FA Cup in 2011. In the past 3 years, Stoke has finished 9th in the table. Their major rivals are West Brom and Wolverhampton.

Stadium: bet365 Stadium

Notable Players:

Stanley Matthews, M (1932-1947, 1961-1965)

Jimmy Greenhoff, F (1969-1976)

Mike Pejic, D (1968-1976)

Jackie Marsh, D (1967-1979)

Gordon Banks, GK (1967-1973)

Fun facts:

Went bankrupt in 1907

Burnden park disaster: 33 fans died and 520 injured

Known for their violent fans

Stanley Matthews is the only player to have been knighted while still playing

They are called The Potters due to the pottery industry in Stoke-on-Trent


Bates sees the light, Moonlight that is

Chiron: in Greek mythology he is the famed tutor responsible for teaching some of the great heroes, from Achilles to Hercules, Theseus to Jason. But the Bates campus learned on Wednesday, March 1 that Chiron could also refer to the protagonist in Barry Jenkins’ Academy Award winning film, Moonlight. Jointly put on by Filmboard and the Office of Intercultural Education (OIE), the Moonlight screening and discussion afterwards was a way for the Bates community to experience the film and then have a safe space in which to unpack their feelings, questions, or concerns.

In this film, the audience follows Chiron through his life and gets to see all the pivot points and experiences that result in his adult persona. Split into three parts, the movie follows a fairly simply chronological trajectory, posing hard-hitting questions with thought provoking themes.

Maddie Auvinen ’17, a biochemistry major and President of Filmboard, organized the event in conjunction with Julisa De Los Santos, Assistant Dean in the OIE. In an interview, Auvinen remembered, “Julisa and I had talked about showing Moonlight very briefly last semester. I had never heard of the film, but looked up a few trailers and reviews, and thought it would be great to show at Bates.”

After the screening, the audience was invited to stay for a discussion facilitated by Calvin Reedy ’17 and Rhetoric Professor Charles I. Nero. Reedy, an Art & Visual Culture major, often frequents the OIE and was happy when De Los Santos asked him to help lead the discussion. Reedy remarks that, “Julisa asked me specifically because she is very familiar with my studio art thesis work…My body of work in photography and video explores ways to rethink and re-present notions of black masculinity; focusing a lot on tenderness and vulnerability, both with oneself and with others.” Reedy was able to use his thesis knowledge base as a springboard to help propel, steer, and assist the conversation taking place after the credits rolled.

There is more to this movie than its overt tones and topics. Reedy wants the community to “realize that black films don’t have to be about racism to be worthy of being watched and celebrated. There are stories that deserve to be told as well, and that are moving for all people. There don’t need to be white saviors – or in the case of Moonlight, there don’t even need to be white people – for a black film to be excellent.”

Simultaneously, the film was able to bring out salient messages to the audience, be a popular attraction, and shake the foundation of Hollywood, even if just a little. By granting Moonlight the Academy Award, it joins the ranks of giants standing proudly beside Casablanca, Rain Man, and Schindler’s List, to name a few. Hollywood acknowledges that a small budget film with an all-black cast can make a prodigious impact. And by choosing to show it here at Bates and getting the huge turnout from our community illustrates that our college and its inhabitants share this sentiment. Auvinen noted that over one hundred people reserved tickets for the event, an almost unprecedented number for a Filmboard event.

Maybe it all goes back to the name. Chiron. He educates each and every person who sits down to watch the movie and maybe that is what drew much of our community to the Mays Center that Wednesday night. White, Black, Hispanic, Asia, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, immigrant, it does not matter. Once you sit down to watch this movie, Chiron teaches you about his world, about the world many Americans know, the work that many refuse to acknowledge, and about which many are content to forget.


Fifty Shades Darker confuses and bewilders

You, reading this, are young and taut, enduring of stress and substance. You enjoy the sensation of self-destruction: the slick burn of a cigarette, the hot dissolve of a shot down the gullet. Is this you? Do you enjoy fast food? Empty calories, trans fat, the sick sweet of high fructose corn syrup? If you do enjoy this, taking your body and mind, subjecting it to psychological and physiological obstacle, then you should watch Fifty Shades Darker, the middle film of the Fifty Shades trilogy.

It is a ridiculous film, with a ridiculous conception (recall this to be the multi-million dollar adaptation of an online fanfiction) and a poorly written, incredibly lame script. If this script were a live animal it would be a limping raccoon, crawling out of an overturned trash can, a dumb expression on its thoughtless face. The script is a war crime, a real atrocity committed against humankind. This film joins a long list of incredibly destructive American inventions like the M2 .50 caliber machine gun, the self-guided surface-to-surface ICBM, Agent Orange. This film is the reason people around the world burn the American flag. It’s films like this that make me sympathetic to fascism. An authoritarian regime would have never let this happen. This movie is perhaps morally corrosive.

Here are some events that happen within the film: a half dozen scenes of kink and romp synchronized to Soundcloud trap beats; Anastasia Steele (played by the very pretty, enduringly charming Dakota Johnson) kicks a man in the crotch; Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan, admirably handsome, enviably fit) survives a helicopter crash; one very loud and startling gunshot; the audience learns what nipple clamps are; a scene with some spanking; Christian Grey does a prolonged shirtless handstand; a Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream plug.

Things I liked: Dakota Johnson’s bangs; the phrase “sex dungeon” used more than once; Zayn Malik and Taylor Swift collaborate on a single that isn’t as good as Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do” but is this still pretty good, regardless; wine is thrown at faces.

This movie is sometimes a porno, sometimes a drama, sometimes a romantic comedy. It is very pastiche, one might be able to argue that the film is a postmodern masterpiece: ironic, involved, knowing and capable of all the stupid tricks it pulls. I do not think that is the case however; I think it is a goofy, tacky movie with funny writing and so-so acting.

The movie is not difficult to understand or watch, and besides a few moments of especially painful dialogue, the film goes by rather easily. It is a dumb movie, unbelievably so, but it is at least self-aware. It knows what it is doing and sometimes it is very funny. You have to enter this sort of thing with little to no expectation, perhaps a little intoxicated, and just learn to enjoy the stupid things some people do with a boatload of cash and film equipment.

If somebody were to pull a gun on me and touch the barrel to my temple, demanding that I see Fifty Shades Darker, I would acquiesce, but I would not see this movie again under my own will and want. It was a kind of fun thing I did once and will never do again, but if you like putting out matches with your fingers and waking up with hangovers then you might like this movie.


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