The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Day: November 8, 2017 (Page 1 of 3)

Dear Sustainable Abigail…

Dear Sustainable Abigail,

There’re still many people who don’t turn off the faucet when applying soap/brushing teeth etc. Is it possible to change all the faucets to the kind we have in the new dorms, and at least put up signs to remind and educate people to be aware of their behaviors?

-Thinking about water waste

 

Dear thinking about water waste,

Thanks for writing! You bring up a really important point; there are a lot of quick and easy behavioral changes that can be brought about both through structural changes as well as education initiatives. The Ecoreps can absolutely help out with making the signs that you bring up, however excitingly you actually have the power to make such structural changes as changing the faucets in different buildings! All it would take is applying for a Bates Green Innovation Grant. These grants are set up to give students the agency to make sustainable changes to the Bates Campus, and entail simply designing your project and then applying by November 17. The design and application process includes a project description, measurable benefits of project, the implementation and timeline, and an overall budget. If your innovative project gets chosen, it will be funded in between $200-$2000 and then implemented. Your idea about changing the faucets could become a project that you lead and allow you to take on your role as an important agent in furthering Bates sustainability.

The Bates Green Innovation grant is a huge opportunity, and may even seem intimidating, but it is quite accessible. Here are some success stories! Last year, one Bates Green Innovation Grant participant proposed hand dryers in JB to confront the issue of needless paper towel waste, and in doing so helped an older building like JB to stay up to date on sustainability. Because of this motivated student and the Green Innovation Grant, every student who lives in JB from hereon out leads a less wasteful lifestyle! Another neat product of a Green Innovation Grant last year was the bike repair station located right outside of the library. The bike repair station was a project proposed by an avid cyclist who combined his experience with bikes and his knowledge of what cyclists on campus needed with an inspiration to contribute to a more sustainable campus with less waste and consumption of bike parts. This station also contributed to a larger narrative of biking on campus, collaborating with the green bike program to change behaviors and make biking more accessible and exciting! These are just two of the countless projects that were proposed and accepted last year, just two of the initiatives that were led by Bates students to contribute to campus sustainability.

With the Bates Green Innovation Grant, you could change the faucets in bathrooms and in doing so start changing behavior and awareness, and become an important advocate for Bates sustainability yourself. In fact, you are already halfway there by writing to Sustainable Abigail! This grant exists because of people like you who care about sustainability and observe where it could be better all around you, and would benefit greatly from your consideration!

In any case, thank you so much for writing, and keep thinking sustainably!

-Sustainable Abigail

Who is Sustainable Abigail? She is a sustainability advocate at your service! If you’re worried about recycling, have ideas about addressing food waste, or concerns about your role promoting sustainability on campus, Abigail is a great resource to turn to. Whatever your sustainable inquiries may be Abigail is ready to address them all! Simply write to her by either filling out the google form found in Bates Today or by writing your concern on a piece of paper and placing it into her question envelope in Commons. Any question is valid and appreciated and will stay anonymous, so don’t hesitate to ask!

 

 

Clinica de Migrantes and Politics: Filmaker Maxim Pozdorovkin Visits Bates

On Thursday, November 2, Bates hosted a screening of the documentary Clínica de Migrantes: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, by Maxim Pozdorovkin. The 39 minute film documented the routines of workers and patients of Puentes de Salud, a health care nonprofit organization for Latino immigrants. Beyond showing the daily workings of the clinic, Pozdorovkin peeks into the structural exclusion of undocumented immigrants from healthcare and labor rights.

The ideation of the documentary started around 3 years ago, with a possible Trump presidency slowly emerging in the horizon. The film shows a politically and emotionally charged reality that proposes a series of questions. After the screening, Pozdorovkin presented a few of his thoughts and concerns and answered questions from the audience.

Earlier that day, I had the chance to meet with Pozdorovkin in the Den along with other students interested in filmmaking. There, he explained the origin of Clínica de Migrantes. The filmmaker told us that he was contacted by HBO to investigate Puentes de Salud and see if there was a story for a documentary. Initially, Pozdorovkin was concerned that people would not be interested in having their medical appointments recorded, especially in the case of undocumented immigrants. There was a concern for the safety of the people as well as a consideration of the impact of a documentary on the clinic itself. After researching and talking to the patients and healthcare providers involved, Pozdorovkin determined that he could make a fruitful and non-invasive documentary, and he took on the project of recording the clinic.

According to the director, there was a sense of gratitude and visibility that people wanted to express. This humanity was apparent to other Bates students as well; “what stuck for me was how much the staff invested in their patients, not only in their health but in their lives,” Sydney Anderson ’20 stated.

I was personally fascinated by the ethical discussions that permeate representation and documentation. It can be challenging to portray the lack of basic rights without fetishizing pain and suffering; it seems to me that the filmmaker may have paid special attention to this question in the structuring of the documentary, which presents emotion as well as a critical understanding of American politics.

The timing of the documentary is striking. The fear of mass deportation with the Trump administration’s influence in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) puts the documentary into a new light. Pozdorovkin mentioned that Trump winning the election marked a change in the present American context of living. “It seemed prudent, especially during the current administration, to humanize the undocumented immigration issue,” Anderson mentioned.

In the Den, Pozdorovkin briefly mentioned a few of his other projects. One that stuck out to me was a short film called Our New President, which depicts the American President Donald Trump through the eyes of Russian media. The absurd situation of having a person such as Trump in power becomes even more surreal when presented alongside the fake news and state-controlled media outlets Pozdorovkin highlights in the short. The filmmaker seemed particularly excited about the lack of facts in the previously developed 12 minute short film; this short will expand into a feature-length production in the future.

Pozdorovkin mentioned the word “grotesque” to describe the state of Russian media presented in Our New President. He clarified that he used the word “grotesque” to mean a combination between the comic and the horrifying by blending what is funny and scary into one product. This definition presents a sense of bizarre hybridity that makes one uncomfortable with their own laughter regarding the current political situation.

If you could not attend the screening but would like to see the films, Clínica de Migrantes is available on HBO’s website and Our New President can be viewed on Vimeo. I strongly recommend viewing these two films; their honest portrayal of political issues in the US and abroad cannot be overstated.

 

Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Team is Optimistic about Upcoming Season

As the Bates men’s and women’s swimming and diving team gets ready to start their season, there is plenty of optimism from the athletes. Coming off of the success in NESCACs last year, they feel that they can do even better with another year of experience. Hope Logan ’18 says, “We would love to bring more healthy women to NESCACs than last year. We had a lot of injuries and even though our roster is honestly smaller, if everyone stays healthy, we could have more women score this year.” For the men’s team, Riley Ewing ’18 says, “I expect the team to do well again this year. The freshmen have a lot of depth.” The combination of experience and results with the depth of the incoming class seem to have the team set up for a successful season.

The team’s schedule is quite intense, with nine practices a week, and it is therefore of the utmost importance that everyone maintains a good attitude about the tough schedule. On this, Chris Lee ’18 says, “I expect that everyone not only shows up to our nine practices a week, but also gives it everything they have. Our schedule is pretty grueling, so those early mornings and long, exhausting sets are much easier with a group of positive friends who are doing it with you. Bates Swim and Dive operates like a family, and I expect that everyone treats their teammates and coaches accordingly. I think that as long as everyone is physically and mentally invested, we will be more successful than ever before.”

With this kind of an attitude, the athletes seem to believe that they can build on the past to end with even better results this year. Seconding this is Ewing, who says, “So far it seems like the practices have been ramped up so our training early this season will help lead us to one of our best finishes at NESCACs. The atmosphere has been awesome so far. We just finished our first Saturday practice and the energy couldn’t have been higher!” With this excitement, results should follow as the season begins.

In order to maintain this energy throughout the long and hard season, a positive attitude is necessary for these athletes. Speaking of the women’s team, Logan says, “You could feel the drive in the air during our first week of practice, it’s chemical. This is the most supportive women’s team I have ever seen. We are absolutely ferocious.” Lee shared a similar sentiment, saying, “With the first week of practices now under our belts, excitement is at an all-time high. During practice, everyone is cheering for one another, the team’s favorite songs are blaring, and teammates are giving out relentless high fives. It’s truly an unparalleled experience, one which I’ll miss unconditionally.”

The excitement and attitude are at a level that should lead to success for the team, something that the seniors particularly want to see as they enter the last year of their collegiate careers.

Knowing it is their last opportunity with the Bates team, they will work hard to make sure they end on the right note. Lee says “Going into my last year is a bit bittersweet because I’m pumped for the upcoming season and to work with the amazing group of swimmers we have, but knowing it’s my last season will always be in the back of my mind.” Seconding this is Ewing, saying, “I’m feeling really excited about my last season! I’ve been competing for 15 years now so this is the last hoorah.”

The comradery really stands out and helps translate into confidence from the athletes. Logan says, “I couldn’t do it without these women. They rock.” Bates will kick off the season on November 18 against Wesleyan and Trinity with expectations high. Lee says, “We have an incredible line-up of athletes coming off our one of our most successful seasons ever, as well as 15 first-years ready to jump in with two feet. Based on the first week of workouts, BS&D is poised to reach heights never before achieved.”

Rethinking the Visa Lottery

Following the harrowing October 31 attack on Lower Manhattan, Donald Trump vowed to dismantle the Diversity Visa Lottery after learning that Sayfullo Habibullaevich Saipov – an Uzbek émigré and the confirmed perpetrator – had benefitted from the scheme. In a series of tweets overflowing with his usual vitriol, President Trump blasted the program as a “Chuck Schumer beauty” and promised to “[fight] hard for merit based immigration, no more Democrat Lottery Systems.”

Trump’s statements have gotten would-be immigrants worried, diversity advocates furious, and Americans the country over questioning. What is the Diversity Visa Lottery program anyway? The Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery, also known as the Green Card Lottery, refers to a congressionally-mandated program that allows natives of historically underrepresented countries to obtain permanent residency and ultimately apply for U.S. citizenship. Since being shepherded through the Senate by Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and signed into law by George H.W. Bush, the Immigration Act of 1990 has benefitted up to 50,000 people per fiscal year. Every fall, high school graduates (or, in some cases, professionals whose experience is considered equivalent to an American secondary school diploma) born in a country with low immigration rates to the U.S. – India, China, Mexico, Canada, the UK and a few other nations in Latin America are not eligible – have a chance to enter the State Department-chartered lottery. The lottery is indeed a one-of-a-kind selection process, and leaves one’s possibility of moving to the U.S. and becoming part of its political, cultural, and social fabric to chance.

The multi-million pool of people taking a shot at the American dream by entering the lottery is as unique and dynamic as the U.S.      immigration story itself.

When the program first started, it mainly benefitted persons of Irish and Italian ancestry. Then, as Eastern Europeans and Central Asians could finally start travelling internationally, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the program abounded with new entrants. Today, according to the Department of State, most submissions come from Eastern Europe, Africa, and South Asia.

Although Trump’s announcement about bidding adieu to the Diversity Visa Lottery might be nothing short of scoring political points, the President is right in that relegating 50,000 immigration decisions a year to a fiat of luck is neither prudent nor just. Becoming a U.S. permanent resident is a long and painstaking process, and allowing certain individuals to take a shortcut is antithetical to our efforts of sustaining a fair and meritocratic immigration system. Every year, thousands of international students, H1-B workers, and investors – people who are already in the U.S., speak English, and promise to benefit the country given their record of accomplishment at our universities and companies – are denied green cards on quota grounds. At the same time, the Diversity Visa Lottery confers permanent residency on individuals who may or may not be qualified to succeed in the U.S.. Consider this: given that the Diversity Visa Lottery is a lottery by definition, we might be inadvertently prioritizing high school dropouts over much-needed chemical engineers; people with limited English capabilities over those who are fluent; and individuals who have never been in America over ones who have called this country home for years. In light of recent discussion about DACA and the Dreamers’ Act, I cannot help but wonder: would not it make more sense to allocate the same 50,000 permanent resident visas to people brought to the U.S. as children, through no fault of their own?

John F. Kennedy once said: “Immigration policy should be generous; it should be fair; it should be flexible. With such a policy we can turn to the world, and to our own past, with clean hands and a clear conscience.” Abolishing the Diversity Visa Lottery is a first step in the right direction.

Men’s Club Ice Hockey Team Excited for a New Era with Coach O’Brien

After nearly 22 accomplished years with Coach Tom LeBlond, including four consecutive conference regular season titles from 2006 to 2009,  Bates’ men’s hockey team is eager to start their next chapter with new head coach Michael O’Brien.

O’Brien comes to Bates from Sacco, Maine, originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with experience coaching youth and prep school hockey. He coached the hockey team at North Yarmouth Academy and his last team was with the Elite U18 Midget Majors league.

“Ten years ago I sat down with one of my players to talk about his goals and he is the only kid that ever asked me what my goals were. I laughed and was like someday I would like to coach club hockey at the college level,” Coach O’Brien remembers. “A lot of doors got closed but out of the blue Bates more or less fell into my lap. Being able to coach this team is a gift and I am going to maximize this opportunity to the best of my ability.”

Bates’ men’s club ice hockey team competes in the American Conference of the Northeast Collegiate Hockey Association (NECHA), which is part of a larger regional league known as the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) and has seen tremendous success in the past ten years as a club program. Under Coach LeBlond, former men’s ice hockey coach, from 2006-2009 Bates won four consecutive NECHA Colonial Conference regular season titles and were playoff champions in 2008 and 2009. In 2008 and 2009, the Bobcats went further to win the championships, the only two times in team history.

After last year’s lull, with a record of 1-11, senior captains Sam Levin ’18 and Nick Barker ’18 aim to lead the 2018 team to the tremendous success that was achieved in the ’06-’09 golden years, while also keeping the sport fun and welcoming to all. As a club program, team involvement is open to all, regardless of experience. The program encompasses a 12 game schedule, mostly competing against other Maine schools, and the team holds practices six days a week at Bates’ very own hockey rink, otherwise known as Underhill Arena. Underhill Arena  was completed in 1995, is in fantastic shape, and, fortunately, admission to all games is free to students and the general public.

“Our goal is to continue the legacy of the mid 2000s team and develop into a very serious program,” Barker explains. “I was on the varsity baseball team my first-year at Bates and I have definitely noticed that same level of commitment at the club level for the hockey team. We try to get the comradery as a team and focus on a lot of the same goals that a varsity sport focuses on.”

“As a club program you don’t have the recruiting tools that a varsity program has so you have to compensate,” Levin says. “Bates is a really small school and it is really easy to get connected. As a senior class we really want to put an emphasis on giving as much to the program as we can and that comes in a lot of different spheres from the effort you put onto the ice each day to crafting the team philosophy and getting the program back on par.”

Coach O’Brien is thrilled to start his Bates season working with a wide array of different levels of playing experiences and is impressed with the tremendous leadership of all members of the team. As of right now the team has 25 players and the goal is to travel all 25 players.

“There is nothing better for a coach than coming into a program that went 1-11 the year before. This team is governed by Bates and there is some oversight but ultimately everything that they do is up to them,” O’Brien says. “All the players are really excited to improve upon a measurable goal which is a record. You can just tell that years of being athletes from a variety of different sports has shaped them as natural leaders on the ice. This makes starting my coaching career that much easier here.”

Coach O’Brien, Levin, and Barker all agree that another goal for the men’s ice hockey team is to keep creating awareness of the program. They plan to do this by involving other Bates club programs such as the a cappella group “The Deansmen,” to sing the national anthem at home games.

“We could bring in people that are into filmmaking and can help us do some videoing or carrying out jobs such as announcing games, editing videos, or creating a YouTube channel where we can show our product to the world. We can’t get all of these jobs done as hockey players. We need to include other talents into our club because it just makes for a better community and gives those other clubs a bigger platform too,” O’Brien says.

Levin and Barker also hope to follow the great examples of captains from past seasons, establish an identity as a club sport, and to leave a positive impression for the future of the program.

“On a fundamental level it is important that your leadership is compact and solid. There can’t be any discord. Everybody is going to bring something different to the table and it is really about giving what you can and encouraging everyone to work hard and enjoy the experience,” Levin says.

“I think the best teams are the teams in which everybody is a leader, always moving forward, holding each other accountable, and being there for each other as a team,” Barker says. “One of the best captains that I ever had was a really quiet spoken individual that worked his tail off at every practice. Anywhere he went he was making sure that everybody was doing alright on and off the field and that is what I want to stress here as this program moves forward.”

The team’s season started November 4 with a win against St. Joseph’s College. Their next game will be November 11 at 7 p.m. against Central Maine Community College and their first home game will be December 1 against St. Joseph’s. Be sure to support, or even join, the hockey team’s first season with Coach O’Brien.

“We are always looking to reach out to the Bates community,” O’Brien says. “Whoever is interested in getting involved with any skill set they have. They are welcome with open arms and we can figure out what it is that you can do and become a part of us. We are now 25 and if it becomes 35 that would be awesome.”

Sustainable Actions Speak Louder than Sustainable Words

When was the last time you considered the impact of your day-to-day life on the Bates community and the surrounding environment? Perhaps you recently read an EcoReps newsletter while sitting in a bathroom stall in your dorm, or you noticed how much food waste was left on your plate while leaving Commons. Maybe one of your professors led an in-class discussion on the disproportionate health and ecological consequences of the modern fashion industry, or you watched a documentary on the impacts of the industrial food system.

However, when was the last time you noticed the environmental effects of your Bates lifestyle, and in response, acted to address the concerns that emerged? Maybe you attended Eco Service Day to help clean up the waste in the Puddle, or now you’re careful to eat everything on your plate. Or, perhaps you decided to no longer purchase new clothing items, and began volunteering with Lots to Gardens to address food insecurity in Lewiston.

If you’ve observed a gap between your sustainable thoughts and actions, it’s time for you to reflect on what it means to be sustainable as an individual and as a community member. This month at Bates is No Waste November, which will provide numerous opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to not only think about sustainability but to make it a reality. Events will be crafted by Dining Services, the EcoReps, and CHEWS. As EcoRep Madeline McGonagle explains, No Waste November allows us “to reflect on all types of waste, activities, and behaviors we engage in at Bates that cause damage to our environment and our community.”

On Wednesday November 8, the EcoReps will host a screening and informal discussion of the documentary “A Place at the Table,” which highlights the prevalence of food insecurity across the US, and the widespread social, economic and environmental ramifications of hunger. As the film explains, around 50 million Americans are unsure of where their next meal will come from, yet at the same time around forty percent of the food produced yearly in the US is thrown away. These mind-boggling facts and the personal accounts of food-insecure individuals will encourage viewers to consider the broader implications of leaving food on their Commons plates uneaten.

Likewise, in conjunction with the Harvest Dinner on Wednesday November 15th, Dining and the EcoReps will host the 2017 Annual Trashion Show in the Gray Cage. For this event, Bates community members design and model clothing designs made entirely out of waste items. Many past creations incorporated common recyclable and non-recyclable items on campus into their designs, such as paper cups, yogurt containers, printed readings and papers, and cans salvaged from the returnable bins in dorms. As EcoRep Alexis Hudes emphasizes, “Who would have even thought that cans can be sleeves and wrappers can be incorporated into a dress?” The Trashion Show is incredibly entertaining, but it is also very thought-provoking, as the outfits demonstrate the extensive amount of waste produced by Bates. “While Bates is already proactive in decreasing the amount of waste we produce, No Waste November reminds the community that there is always more that can be done,” says EcoRep Sophie Landes. Events such as the Trashion Show are important because they work “to spark inspiration for the possibility of a more waste conscious campus.”

So, this No Waste November, I challenge you to examine whether your day-to-day actions are in alignment with how you think and speak about sustainability. Don’t just say to yourself, “Wow, a lot of paper towels end up in the trash in my dorm bathroom,” and then add more paper towels to that growing pile. Take responsibility for your actions. Get involved on campus, in the Lewiston-Auburn community, or within your hometown. Ask questions and educate yourself and those around you. And if you haven’t thought much about sustainability before now, this is the perfect opportunity to start!

No Waste November Photo

Being sustainable requires daily, conscious efforts. SARAH SACHS/THE BATES STUDENT

The football team celebrates after their big win against Bowdoin, clinching the CBB title. .  SARAH dU PONT/THE BATES STUDENT.

The football team celebrates after their big win against Bowdoin, clinching the CBB title. SARAH dU PONT/THE BATES STUDENT.

It was a great day to be a Bobcat on Saturday, November 6. The football team beat the Bowdoin Polar Bears 24-17 to capture the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) title for a team-record fourth consecutive year. No team has won four in a row since Colby won five in a row between 1988 and 1992. The senior class of this team become the first to beat Colby and Bowdoin all four years of their careers,  an impressive feat in Bates’ 123 seasons of football.

“Winning the CBB trophy for four consecutive years is a testament to the strength of this senior class,” senior Grant DeWald ’18 says. “This journey began with Frank Williams’ overtime touchdown at Colby our freshman year, and every member of the senior class has played an integral part in keeping the trophy at Bates ever since. Years of pushing and setting the bar higher for one another has finally paid off, and the Class of 2018 will leave its mark as the first to achieve this record.”

“It was an unreal feeling to be a part of the history that was made Saturday. I’m so happy for the seniors earning four straight CBB titles. It’s an honor to be on the field with them every Saturday,” first-year Brendan Costa ’21 adds.

Bowdoin would strike first, their kicker, Andrew Sisti, hitting a 22-yard field goal to put them up 3-0 with 4:42 left in the first quarter. But Bates responded right away with a one-play, 70-yard rush by first-year speedster quarterback Costa, who has a knack for these runs as this marks his second 70-yarder this season. DeWald made the extra point to give the Bobcats a 7-3 lead with 4:28 left in the first quarter.

Only three points were scored in the second quarter which came late in the first by the Bobcats.   Bowdoin drove 84 yards from its own six-yard line near the end of the first quarter to the Bates 10 early in the second, but the Polar Bears turned the ball over on downs as their quarterback, Robert Kollmer, was stuffed on three straight plays, including a fourth-and-inches stop made by junior Tyler Harrington and senior Collin Richardson, which preserved Bates’ lead 10-3. The Bobcats made the most of their possessions as they only ran 19 plays compared to Bowdoin’s 44.

Bates ground and pound methods did not stop in the second half. Ripping off runs of at least five yards in the first four plays helped wear the defense down and set up first-year Jaason Lopez’s 37-yard scamper for a touchdown. Bates led 17-3 with 13:46 left in the third. Bowdoin responded two possessions later, taking over at the Bates 46 and driving 46 yards. Quarterback Noah Nelson’s 21-yard scamper on a 3rd down up the right sideline nearly earned the touchdown but the quarterback was pushed out at the 3. Bowdoin backed up five yards on a false start penalty, but Nelson made a great play on first and goal from the 8, scrambling out of the pocket and finding his target Gregory Olson crossing through the back of the end zone. Sisti’s extra point brought Bowdoin to within 17-10.

A strong rushing attack by different players and an unnecessary roughness penalty against Bowdoin helped the Bobcats march down the field, capped off by a 1-yard run by junior Kyle Flaherty to put the Bobcats up 24-10 with 14:33 left in the fourth. A turnover at the Bobcats’ own 26-yard by the Bates punt team gave Bowdoin another chance on which they capitalized. Nelson connected with Olsen again to bring the game closer at 24-17 with 13:23 left. No more scores were made by either side as Bates was able to seal the deal with an interception by first-year cornerback Devin Clyburn with 1:15 left.

Run first, ask questions later was the mentality of the Bobcats. Costa rushed 20 times for his 170 yards, his fourth straight game with 131 or more yards. Lopez added 79 yards and a touchdown on six carries and senior captain Frank Williams added 63 yards on eight carries. Bates averaged 6.7 yards per carry on the day.

On the defensive side of the ball, free safety Jon Lindgren ‘20 was all over the field for the Bobcats, finishing with 16 tackles (11 solo) and six pass breakups, the most by any Bobcat this season in either category. Lindgren was also relevant in the special teams, blocking a 40-yard field-goal attempt by Sisti on the opening series of the game. For his great play Lindgren received the honor of NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week. Senior linebacker Max Breschi also had a great day for Bates with 11 tackles, including 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble.

Noah Nelson completed 34 of 55 passes for 302 yards and two touchdowns for the Polar Bears. Nelson connected with Olson nine times for 98 yards and two touchdowns. Bowdoin was stuffed rushing the ball with 31 yards rushing on 26 attempts. Bates’ five sacks is a season-high.

The CBB champions will look to close out the season on a high note as they travel to Hamilton Saturday November 11 at 1 p.m.

 

Men’s and Women’s Nordic Skiing Teams Eagerly Anticipate the Coming Season

In last season’s 2017 opener, the men’s and women’s Nordic team had strong performances at the St. Lawrence Carnival, with Forrest Hamilton ’20, from Shelburne, VT, finishing eighth out of 101 for the men’s sprints and Parker McDonald ’18, from Wolcott, CO, coming in 19th out of 109 for the men’s 10,000 meter freestyle. Halie Lange ’18, from Brattleboro, VT, finishing 23rd out of 95 in the women’s sprints, behind two teammates who have now left.

Overall the team came in 7th out of 17 teams, which was a fine achievement but one which they hope to beat during this year’s opening competition.

Throughout the year, the team consistently found itself in the middle of the pack, coming in eighth out of 16 for the UNH Carnival and the following UVM Carnival, eighth out of 15 for the Dartmouth Carnival, and seventh out of 16 for their very own Bates Carnival.

But several outstanding individual performances accompanied those places, with many of these individuals returning this year to continue their impact on the team: McDonald, Hamilton, and sophomore Graham Houstma ’20, from Aspen, CO, all had consistently good performances for the men last year, while Lange and sophomore Kaelyn Woods ’20, from New Gloucester, ME, played large roles for the women.

Although they will be missing the previous year’s impressive senior class, notably Sadie James with her 5k win at the Bates Carnival, Laurel Fiddler, Max Millslagle, Nathan Moreau, and Wade Rosco, this year’s team is excited and ready to go.

They know that they have some serious competitors returning from last year, and there is also lots of fresh new talent from the first-year class.

“We have a really young team with ten incoming freshmen. The team is anxious and hungry to start ski racing!” says senior captain Parker MacDonald. “There is a lot of talent on the team and we are looking to do big things. The team is looking strong and motivated which should make for an exciting season to come!”

    

Behind the Scenes of the Tournées Film Festival with Alyssa Frost, Avery Margerum, and Trevor Fry

This past week, Bates and Lewiston hosted the Tournées Film Festival. The festival, a presentation of Francophone cinema, was brought to campus through close collaboration between Bates students, faculty, and community members. The festival was initially brought to campus through the hard work of Alyssa Frost ’18 and Avery Margerum ’18, though Trevor Fry ’19 and Gillian Coyne ’19 have also played large roles in the Festival’s development. This past week I interviewed Frost, Margerum, and Fry to discuss their connections to the Festival at large and this year’s films.

The Bates Student: Why did you become involved with the Festival?

Avery Margerum: I became involved in the festival because I was part of the leadership of the French club and we thought it would be wonderful to host such a festival at Bates.

Alyssa Frost: I was really interested in the opportunity to bring a set of films that are internationally acclaimed to campus as well as the Lewiston community. This was also a great project for the Francophone Club to work with the French & Francophone Studies department in spearheading this festival.

Trevor Fry: I became involved with the festival all thanks to Alyssa Frost and Professor Laura Balladur who have really lead the charge with the festival over the past two years. I also became interested because I’m very committed to showing how relevant and important the French language is not only in the francophone world but also in our backyard, right here in Lewiston, ME.

BS: What changes have you overseen in the Festival the past few years?

AF: Together with Avery, Trevor, and Gillian, we’ve seen improvements to efficiency in the process. Avery and I started the festival last year. As it was the first try, from writing the application for the $2,200 grant from the FACE foundation to figuring out the designs for all the posters- it takes quite a bit of delegation and organization. Communication has been easier as we had difficulties reaching the film distributors last year and as Avery and I picked last year’s movies, Gillian Coyne and Trevor Fry got it down this year selection wise. We also had more help this year since more underclassmen were involved in the French & Francophone Studies Department such as El Khansaa Kaddioui, Emma Wheeler, Julia Nemy, and Elizabeth Kiley-Bergen. As we divided up publicity more this year, members of the planning committee went to area French departments and gave them a list of appropriate films their classes could attend. Posters and advertisements also were placed in local newspapers and circulated in the Portland film community as well.

AM: As Alyssa said, our planning, preparation, and execution of the festival went much more smoothly this year after having done it all once.

BS: What are your hopes for the Festival?

AF: We want to bring attention to a wide span of issues of the Francophone World many people may not know about. These films are also quite incredible, from a coming-of-age film set in Tunisia to reflections on post-war trauma, we have a pretty impressive lineup this year.

TF: My main hope for the festival is to bring people together using the films that we show. By having showings both at Bates and at the Franco Center in Lewiston we can start to build bridges between all the French-speaking communities in our city. My other goal is to break the stereotypes people have of French and French culture. Francophone culture stretches from the streets of Paris, to the docks of Marseille, to the woods of Quebec, to the beaches of Casablanca, and it comes all the way to the riverbanks of the Androscoggin. I hope that people leave each viewing feeling as though their viewpoint on the language has been changed and broadened.

BS: Will you try to bring the Festival back to Lewiston next fall? Where do you see the Festival going in coming years?

TF: I definitely hope that we can bring the Festival back to Lewiston next fall! After having spent 5 months in France, I have many new ideas and suggestions of movies to show. It’s also a great way to get younger French and Francophone Studies majors involved in the department and in learning how to create a grant proposal, design posters, and run a festival smoothly. I see it becoming a staple of the calendar at Bates and in Lewiston for years to come.

BS: What benefits does the Festival bring to the Lewiston or Bates community?

AM: We screen at least one film at the Franco Center, which brings Bates students outside the “bubble” to engage with the community and learn more of its francophone heritage.

AF: There is a large population of people with Franco-American roots as well as a big French-speaking immigrant population, so we wanted to select an array of films that would best resonate with them. We also have one showing of Examen d’État at the Franco Center which will be an awesome event with a Congolese reception beforehand.

TF: The discussions that follow each movie are also great opportunities to people to share their differing opinions and to hear professors and students give their take on what can be contentious topics.

BS: What else would you like to share about the Festival?

TF: I’d just like to say that I hope people come even if they aren’t French majors! So many of our films deal with issues that are pertinent to a wider audience or have storylines that I’m sure the majority of Bates students would find interesting.

AM: It’s a fantastic opportunity for anyone to see some critically acclaimed French and francophone films for free!

AF: We collaborated with a multitude of departments including Politics, History, Anthropology, Environmental Studies, Rhetoric, Women and Gender Studies, German, and Art, among others as these [films] covered a variety of topics.

The Festival still has a few viewings this week- look out for Bande À Part Wednesday at 7pm and Fort Buchanan Saturday at 2pm, both playing in Olin 104.

A Tour of Brunswick: Little Saigon and Gelato Fiasco

This past week, I did everyone on campus a favor: I went and taste-tested the food at two fine food establishments in the town of Brunswick, ME. If you ever get tired of Commons, read on to discover two places off-campus to visit for a bite to eat and dessert.

Little Saigon is a cozy restaurant located in a small storefront on Brunswick’s Maine St. Though aptly named, Little Saigon’s small size is not a metaphor for the quality of food found within. In fact, the restaurant packs a concentrated punch of Southeast Asian cuisine in its small square footage. The menu focuses on Pho, Mien, Egg noodle soup, and Bun, though the appetizer selection is more diverse.

Hungry after a long day of thesis research and a little sniffly, I ordered the Appetizer Platter and Chicken Mien. When the Platter entered into my view, my stomach did somersaults. As the kind waitress placed the dish on the table, I was already planning my attack on the meatballs, shrimp, egg rolls, and rice crêpes. I was out with a friend who didn’t like shrimp, so we had previously decided that I would eat the shrimp and they would eat the meatballs, however, I immediately forgot our agreement and dug into his steaming and savory garlic honey pork meatball once the plate hit the table. Juicy and sweet, the meatballs’ flavor quickly dissolved any guilt I felt about violating my agreement. The egg rolls were also delicious and crispy, as were the rice crêpes. Both were filled with pork and shrimp, a theme of the Appetizer Platter.

Just as my friend and I finished the Platter, our main dishes arrived. The chicken mien I ordered was presented in a gigantic white ceramic bowl full of broth, clear glass noodles, fried garlic, chicken, mushrooms, bok choy, cilantro, and scallions. For those of you unfamiliar with Vietnamese cuisine, all these flavors combined to create what tasted like a giant bowl of fancy chicken noodle soup. The addition of herbs and mushrooms elevated the mien above the likes of canned soup, however, the comforting effect of salty chicken broth remained.

My friend ordered the Chicken Pho, and he also noted the similarities between his dish and chicken noodle soup; pho typically includes a meat broth, meat, noodles, fresh cilantro, limes, and bean shoots, so it is decidedly similar to chicken noodle soup. However, unlike the classic canned chicken noodle of my childhood, Little Saigon’s pho and mien had more complex flavor profiles and the benefit of a warm atmosphere. Consequently, our dining experience was elevated above any other chicken noodle soup experience.

After dinner, my friend and I walked down Maine St. to Gelato Fiasco’s flagship store. A lover of all things chocolate, I ordered a “treat” size serving of Dark Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt and Hazelnut Dark Chocolate. The salty and sweet mixed well together, and my friend and I tried to make our frozen confections last longer than 2 minutes. We both failed, and our precious gelato was gone within seconds of paying.

As we walked back to our car, my friend and I reminisced on our dinner and dessert; both fit well in our stomachs and minds, and we made plans to go out to dinner in Brunswick again.

 

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