The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

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

On Bates Parking Tickets

With the ongoing changes occurring with Lewiston City ordinances, parking on campus has become more of a hassle than it already was. Due to the overnight parking ban, students are no longer permitted to park their cars overnight on Bardwell Street, Campus Avenue, College Street, Central Avenue, Davis Street, Elm Street, Franklin Street, Oak Street, Vale Street, and White Street. To combat these changes, Bates Safety and Security has changed their parking policies, allowing anyone to purchase a parking permit but not guaranteeing that spots will be available for all students with permits. While this idea, in theory, helps students avoid receiving tickets from the Lewiston Police Department, it, in practice, presents more opportunities for students to receive tickets directly from Bates Security.

The page dedicated to parking regulations on the Bates Safety and Security website lists 21 fineable offenses. These violations include parking in a faculty/staff space, blocking a fire lane, or parking overnight in lots where it is prohibited. All tickets incur fees, with the exception of a warning, most tickets are either 20 or 30 dollars but some can be as high as 100 dollars. Not to mention that if students do choose to purchase a parking permit (that does not guarantee parking availability in student spaces), that alone will cost them 100 dollars. Security does have a policy where you are able to contest your ticket; however you do so in writing and it is voted upon by a student committee. Often times the appeal does not get seen until weeks after you received the ticket but must be submitted within seven calendar days of the issuance of said ticket. Personally, I never heard back about an appeal I made but was told that I would be notified within the month. This happened over a year ago and to this day I am unsure if I was billed 20 dollars for parking in a faculty space during pre-season, before anyone had moved in and classes were in session.

When researching what constitutes a parking violation, I came across a category called warning, something I have never heard of anyone receiving. The “warning” was listed at offense 20 of the 22 listed and revealed that there is no fine when receiving it. Having had a car on campus for three years, I have received at least four tickets, none of which were ever warnings. All the tickets I received were for things that would otherwise be harmless such as parking in a visitor’s spot without a permit or parking in a lot when I had a Merrill-only pass. Neither of those caused anyone significant harm nor presented any real danger. This has led me to wonder why the use of warning tickets is not more prominent at Bates. Most students who receive tickets did not intend to park in an undesignated space but were simply trying to make the best out of an already inconvenient parking situation.

Moving forward, I believe Bates Security should adopt a more lenient approach to student parking and utilize warnings more often. Getting back to your car after several hours of working hard and realizing there is a ticket you have to pay is absolutely disheartening. Security should be seen as putting the students’ comfort and safety at the top of their list of priorities. Officers should use warnings or even try to contact vehicle owners before issuing tickets that include fines. Students and officers should work together to combat miscommunications and to make parking simple and enjoyable for all parties.

 

Saudi Arabia and North Korea: Following a Similar Pattern

We all have perceptions of Saudi Arabia; it’s most widely known for its oil tycoons, prohibiting women from driving, and having thousands of royal princes. We also know, limitedly, about the power struggles that go on behind the scenes in the family court. One of only four active absolute monarchies in the world (not including Vatican City), Saudi Arabia often captivates Western audiences because of its complete otherness. But lest we forget, layered under the plethora of multi-billionaires is a complex political system that thrives on inter-family deceit and upheaval.

This past summer, Mohammed bin Nayef (MBN) was removed from his position as heir by King Salman in favor of Mohammad bin Salman (MBS). That upheaval was highly irregular because MBS is only in his early thirties, much younger than multiple other princes who could take on the role. However, MBN was merely a nephew of the king while MBS is his son. The strong tie between fathers and sons can help explain why the previous heir was passed over in favor of the new one.

The most current episode in the Saud family saga of drama is the arrest of eleven princes on November 4. One of the men detained was Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a giant in the region who also happens to be one of the world’s richest men with controlling stakes in Kingdom Holdings, a very powerful investment firm with ties to Apple, Time Warner, Citigroup, and more.

David D. Kirkpatrick of The New York Times posits, “[t]he sweeping campaign of arrests appears to be the latest move to consolidate the power of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman…”

In 2015, MBS rose from a virtually unknown position within the plethora of princes. Soon thereafter, he became Saudi Arabia’s defense minister and in charge of the country’s economy. But being as young as he is, this man must constantly prove himself and assert his power both in his domestic arena and to the international world.

Domestically, these arrests prove that he is not afraid to take down any opponent he deems in the way. On the international stage, it showcases his resolve to maintaining control over the government and succession line, obliterating the idea of intervention

I am going to posit something in the next paragraph that may seem controversial. Reader, I want you to read the whole argument first and then make a judgment.

Here is a pattern I see: a young, virtually unknown man in a highly influential ruling family who was probably never supposed to come into power takes control, or near control, in his country. That same man uses measures of terror and political purges, to root out perceived competition while also consolidating his power.

Now, who does that sound like? I’ll give you a hint, the country he rules rhymes with Fourth Maria.

Alright, I won’t leave you in suspense any longer.

The pattern I perceive MBS following closely mirrors with the trajectory Kim Jong Un charted on his rise to prominence within North Korea. Like MBS, Kim Jong Un was a younger son of his country’s leader and quickly rose out of near obscurity to prominence in North Korea’s political party system. Once in power, Kim Jong Un purged many high-ranking members of the Workers Party of Korea whom he deemed threatening. One of the most prominent examples was the purging of his uncle, Jang Song Thaek. Granted, in North Korea, purging means executing rather than imprisonment, but the general trend remains similar.

I am not claiming that Saudi Arabia and North Korea are alike in every respect or that they should be considered equally dangerous. But, the ruling parties are following frighteningly close to the same pattern. Now this is probably a larger comment on some geopolitical themes at work, but the comparison I made here – rise of an unknown figure, consolidation of power, and removing political rivals – should not be ignored.

In our present-day world, leaders of totalitarian countries (Saudi Arabia as an absolute monarchy and North Korea as a dictatorship) are rising to prominence in this seemingly formulaic way. You know what they say: once is chance, twice is a coincidence, and thrice is a pattern. Now all we need to prove my theory is another example of such a rise to power.

If one comes along, what does that say about ruling powers in this type of regime?

The Value of Medical Skepticism in Psychiatry

On Thursday November 2, 2017 the Bates philosophy department sponsored a talk by Kathryn Tabb, an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University.

Tabb has recently been studying John Locke’s theories on medical explanation, which she calls “early modern medical skepticism.” Tabb has found that his line of skepticism applies to today’s times.

The equivalent of anatomy, according to Locke, is walking in the woods when one is supposed to make a map of an entire landscape. In getting caught up in the details like the location of certain trees and rocks, it is impossible to get a general sense of the landscape.

“So if you’re thinking about mental illness,” started Tabb, “and if you think it’s not going to do you any good to look at what the blood is doing or what the cells are doing, or what the nerves are doing, what are you going to think about? You’re going to think about experience.”

Indeed, Tabb believes that knowledge should be a means, not an end, in medicine. After researching Locke and his contemporary, Thomas Sydenham, Tabb opined that “there’s what looks like an abyss of causal explanation underlying diseases. We just can’t know much about what causes disease, but… we can still get somewhere with curing diseases if we look at the clinical picture.”

In the proceeding section of the talk, she was mainly concerned about how the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has influenced clinical research. The DSM is a manual for clinicians to diagnose patients with mental illnesses. It is also the same tool that researchers use when researching psychiatric phenomena. Tabb sees this as a cause for concern.

“We only think of mental illnesses in the categories we get in the DSM, but a lot of people suffer in terms of their mental health and are below the threshold for a diagnosis that is in the DSM…This is a problem for the clinic, but it is also really a problem for research, because it means researchers are only researching a small percentage of the population,” explained Tabb.

Tabb went further to argue that the DSM has become something like an epistemic prison, since it constrains both the knowledge we can acquire about mental illness and the kind of inquiry we can do. As a result of this, people in multiple medical fields have looked to alternative ways of diagnosing illnesses.

“There are a lot of general categories of disease,” Tabb continued, “and for many of those categories we know how to help people. We know that a combination of drugs and talk therapy is helpful for a large percentage of the human population. A lot of people aren’t getting those services.”

So what to do? Per Tabb, “The NIMH, the National Institution of Mental Health, thinks we should get rid of the clinical categories and just do the basic science. And the hope is that then cures will come out of that, and on the basis of those cures we can draw new diagnostic categories.”

Tabb believed this to be a step in the wrong direction. For her, there is no one thing that we can target when it comes to psychiatry. Mental illnesses usually stem from a plethora of causes including environment and genetics.

According to Tabb, the best approach to using the big data that the NIMH has collected so far is through the process that Locke and Sydenham came up with centuries ago: “You think about the nature of the disorder, you think about what it is you want to cure, what are the needs that people have, and then you use that to think about what sort of questions scientists should think about asking when they use these massive data sets.”

Hopefully, through this approach, we can help expand the realm of possibilities in psychiatry.

 

 

Women’s Basketball Prepares to Play to Their Strengths in Upcoming Season

As the fall sports season draws to a close and many athletes hang up their gear, the women’s basketball team is just getting started. With nightly practices beginning November 1, the Bobcats have been sprinting, shooting and dribbling their way across the court in preparation for the upcoming 2017-18 season.

Last year, the Bobcats posted an overall record of 8-16 and a conference record of 3-7, qualifying for the NESCAC playoffs. Here, the women’s team fought hard against the No. 1 nationally ranked, and eventual NCAA champion, Amherst, but ultimately lost 76-35.

This was the second year in a row that Bates made it to the NESCAC playoffs; the team has not made it past the NESCAC quarterfinals since 2010.

Though the team graduated three seniors last year, including second team All-NESCAC and All-State captain Allie Coppola ’17 and Captain Bernadette Connors ’17, six enthusiastic freshmen have joined their ranks.

“Allie was our center and Bernie was kind of our playmaker, so we’re definitely trying to fill those holes,” Ashley Kulesza ’18 comments.

Nina Davenport ’18, Emily Freedland ’18, Lyse Henshaw ’18, Kulesza and Lexie Nason ’18 will return as seniors this season to lead the underclassmen. Nason will hold an especially important role as captain of the women’s basketball team this season.

We are unique in that we have five seniors and six freshman [this year],” says Head Women’s Basketball Coach Alison Montgomery. “We are young in a way, but we have a great opportunity to be impacted by both our youth and upperclass leadership.”

As the leading point scorer for Bates during the past three season, Davenport will surely be a key player for Bates this year. With a total of 882 points to her name, she is just 118 points shy of reaching the 1,000 point mark. On average, she has scored 294 points each season at Bates; if she continues this trend, she will reach 1,000 points with room to spare, making her the 20th person in Bates women’s basketball history to reach this prestigious milestone.

Similarly, Carly Christofi ’20 and Henshaw will return as guards for Bates, working to defend the hoop from their opponents, control the ball and score whenever the opportunity presents itself.

“We are very excited about the upcoming season,” Coach Montgomery says. “We have a nice core group of leaders in our senior class and we hope to have our most consistent year since my time here by committing to and investing in our camaraderie.”

Kulesza echoed this remark, saying, “Our dynamic this year is completely different and I think everyone is super excited and eager to do well, prove themselves, but also work together, which I think is something that we haven’t had on our team before.”

“There’s way more of a camaraderie and I think that Coach should get a lot of credit for that. She’s really focusing on rebuilding our culture and program to be a successful team who celebrates each other in all aspects, on and off the court. I think that that’s really coming through this year in more ways than it has in the past,” Kulesza continues.

However, one potential shortcoming Kulesza noted is the team’s lack of height, which, she explained, is “definitely important.” However, she believes that this weakness can instead be made into a strength for the Bobcats.

“We’re definitely an undersized team this year in terms of height,” she says. “I’m the tallest and I’m six feet, which isn’t that large in the grand scheme of things. I think we’re going to be a quick team this year, really focusing on transitions, getting up and down the court faster than our opponents and being more gritty and [using an underdog mentality] to hustle and outcompete other teams … size is definitely important, but we can work around it by playing to our other strengths.”

The women’s basketball team will test their skill in the alumni game this weekend as they prepare for their first game against Castleton at Smith College in the Tyler Tip-off Classic on Saturday, November 18.

Senior members of the women’s basketball team share a laugh and are excited about the upcoming season. OLIVIA GILBERT/THE BATES STUDENT

Senior members of the women’s basketball team share a laugh and are excited about the upcoming season. OLIVIA GILBERT/THE BATES STUDENT

Senior members of the women’s basketball team huddle during practice. OLIVIA GILBERT/THE BATES STUDENT.

Senior members of the women’s basketball team huddle during practice.
OLIVIA GILBERT/THE BATES STUDENT.

Pondering Free Speech at Bates

Across the country students, professors, pundits, and politicians are arguing what does and what does not to constitute free speech, as well as what official stances universities should take on the matter. Bates College, however, is not shying away from these tense yet important topics. On Wednesday November 1, Professor Margaret Imber led a “Free Speech Salon” with several professors, staff, and students in attendance.

According to Imber, “members of the faculty have formed a committee and are working on a statement of principles on free speech,” which they hope to propose by winter’s end. “Whatever formulation the Faculty ultimately approves will have an effect on campus. The Salons are opportunities for students and staff to provide insight on how formulations might affect them and to provide the faculty with the benefit of their thinking.”

Each table was given the exercise to act as Bates administrators and decide how they would react to a hypothetical free speech crisis on campus. Wednesday’s crisis was inspired by news stories about free speech controversies that Imber had tracked down.

My table consisted of Imber, Professor Myra Wright, Nick Morgoshia ’21, and two other patrons who asked to remain anonymous, whom we will call D and M. Our scenario consisted of events that took place after a homophobic incident between two students. OutFront plans a protest in front of Lane Hall, which leads to a white supremacist militia from Lewiston accompanied by a group of Bates students to counter-protest, which subsequently leads an Antifa group from Portland to arrive on campus to join OutFront. Our job was to decide if the off-campus groups should be allowed onto Bates property, if any protests should be allowed to happen at all, and what statement, if any, Clayton Spencer should make post hoc.

Imber caveated the talk by stating that “Bates has no policy on outside groups coming onto campus, but we are a private institution so we could simply kick them off.”

Much of the conversation was contingent on the violence the white supremacist militia and Antifa group would undoubtedly incite. For M, “the pivotal part remains outside groups coming onto campus. From a free speech point-of-view for groups on campus, it doesn’t really matter.”

D later added that Bates would have the responsibility to distinguish between the ideologies of the groups coming onto campus. For him, it “isn’t just a simple difference of opinion. These are the sort of views that are dangerous,” referring to the white supremacist views; “explicitly violent speech or not doesn’t matter, because the result is violence.” On this topic, it was mentioned how controversial speakers like Charles Murray have unintentionally incited violence at their speeches on campuses. Morgoshia then asked “should a guy like Murray be invited,” even though he would not be as explicitly violent as the white supremacists or Antifa. To this, Wright rhetorically asked “what reason do we have for inviting them [Murray et al]. Are we there to listen, to learn, to engage?”

In the end, our table decided that all violence was unacceptable, and thus on campus groups would be allowed to protest outside Lane Hall while the white supremacist militia and Antifa would be forbidden. We also concurred that President Spencer should release a statement condemning the violence of the off-campus groups and state that Bates abides by freedom of speech. There was, however, disagreement as to whether or not she should distinguish between the ideologies and specifically condemn the white supremacists.

At the neighboring table with the same hypothetical, Charlotte Karlsen ’20 told me her group was called upon answer some big questions: “Were we [Bates] inherently created to serve solely those inside our classrooms, or the greater world? What value should we place on emotional wellbeing? Should the school be playing the offensive or defensive with predicting what material/language might be upsetting to the student body?” Despite these difficult questions, Karlsen said it was clear to her that “the student body and administration at Bates are fiercely committed to one another. This is a discussion we must be having because it defines what that commitment looks like.”

More Free Speech Salons will be planned for the coming months, so be on the lookout for opportunities to make your voice heard about how we should hear voices.

Free Speech Salon

Batesies are stepping up and saying what free speech means to them. CHRISTOPHER HASSAN/THE BATES STUDENT

Minority Labor at Bates College

The environment in and surrounding Bates College is not “safe” for marginalized groups. Many of my friends of color here have experienced innumerable microaggressions and direct discrimination in social settings, while queer and trans folks of color also experience this violence toward multiple of their identities. Being that queer and trans people of color (QTPOC) who are “out” on this campus make up roughly one percent of the student population, there is not much hope for the community at-large to understand the complexity of QTPOC lived experiences unless they have some external exposure to them. Thus, this reality brings us to the question of: whose livelihoods are threatened in striving for greater diversity and cultural exchanges, through what Bates refers to as “the transformative power of difference”?

In my semester abroad, when I was in Johannesburg, South Africa, I was rubbing my head and looking down at my shoes as I thought about something — is there such thing as ethical cultural exchange? As I was walking down the street, I noticed that many people were selling paintings of elephants and persons carrying water on their heads, to tourists. I asked my friend the question that was in my head. They responded, “I think the answer relies on the what the power dynamics are between the people participating in said exchange.” I nodded my head and smirked. I had the impression that my question did not have an answer, but I liked what I heard.

At Bates, marginalized students — namely, people of color, international students, trans and queer students — are also in the minority. So, while it cannot be assumed that all people within minority groups experience anxiety as a result of their minority status, it is true that, at the very least, they possess less ‘power in numbers.’ And, many students who do experience an anxiety with their minority or marginalized status are in a position in which their exchange of knowledge does not enter at such a level playing field compared to others of a privileged majority group given that their ‘truth,’ and the norm of their lived experience, is displaced from or lacking representation within the mainstream culture.

So, then, the notion of emotional and intellectual labor becomes relevant. When students are expected to serve as authorities on their less represented cultures or truths, they are also expected to participate in more emotional and intellectual labor to participate in whatever exchange. It then becomes a matter of marginalized people teaching people of privilege (with the simplified binary as not a representation of the true social reality but instead as facilitating the broader point for argumentation). In “Self-Care and Black Intellectual Labor,” Claire Garcia asks the questions, “how do we ensure our own well-being within an institutional framework that has historically undervalued the contributions of men and women of African descent?” and “what strategies must we utilize so that we can sustain satisfying careers in the Academy while maintaining our own health and sanity?”

Garcia asks these questions in the context of an existing U.S. historical reality involving the exploitation of Black labor. I think the fundamental concepts behind her questions, though, are also relevant to discussions about other structurally marginalized groups. It’s very much time to discuss self-care in the context of power, exchange, and minority existence at predominantly white institutions (PWIs) like Bates. Then, marginalized groups existing within and entering Bates can begin thinking about survival within the institution and considering healthier alternatives.

 

This is Home: How Sense of Place Defines the Skiing World

What defines home? Where do you find it? How do you share it with others? – These are the questions that this film chases all over the world through the eyes of skiers on their home snow. This is Home, the newest installment of films presented by Faction Skis, a gear company as well as a collective of skiers from around the world, premiered on Thursday, November 2 at Bates. Thorn Merrill, a former Faction athlete and current Bates senior, brought the movie along with some great swag to give out to members of the audience. The entire room was ready to get excited about ski season by watching amazing footage of epic skiing all over the world. There is a reason that most, if not all, ski movies premiere in the late fall. There is no better way to get an audience snow-crazed than showing epic shots of powder skiing in Montana or hitting crazy terrain park features in France.

This is Home brings a new concept to the world of ski movies. Originally a concept birthed from the mind of JP Auclair, a since passed professional skier who was in all senses a legend in the industry, the film follows six athletes from the Faction Collective to their hometowns. The audience is taken to Montana, Finland, Utah, France, the Czech Republic, and Switzerland for six segments of film, all of which has its own focus.

Some segments highlight big mountain and backcountry skiing, others highlight freestyle and big air skiing. The film is also able to combine the two types of skiing by featuring big air and big tricks in big mountain terrain. But what truly makes this a different kind of ski movie is its focus on the concept of place and what that means to the featured athletes. This is Home brings a new and exciting feel to the world of ski movies by giving the audience a local’s guide to their home mountains.

Opening with beautiful aerial footage of the various filming locations, the audience gets glimpses of majestic unknown scenery coupled with famous locations like the Matterhorn. There are the typical ski movie shots: big mountains with an athlete skiing a beautiful spine and another shot of an athlete hitting a massive jump in the terrain park. There is a large focus on urban terrain park skiing–athletes hitting features found throughout cities and towns. Such segments show that where there is snow there is skiing, like in Finland where the mountains are particularly large, but the freestyle options are endless. Or the Swiss Alps, where home is defined by massive, hard-to-access terrain.

This is Home is also special is the way in which it conveys its mission to define home through the skier’s perspective. While there are short interviews with the featured athletes, in which the audience is given the backstory of each athlete and their home, the filming is really what conveys the idea and feeling of home for each location. It is easy to see and hear the excitement in each athlete’s voice for their home mountain and such emotions are translated into their segment. Whether it is a small hill with massive jumps in the Czech Republic or the snowcapped peaks of the Wasatch Mountains in Utah, it is made obvious that these athletes can’t wait to share their home with the audience. For these athletes, home is defined by the opportunity to ski in the place they know best. Each athlete’s home is shared with the audience as well as fellow Faction Collective skiers. Such a layout for this film helps to establish the sense of community that the ski world shares. All around the world, skiers are able to connect over their love for skiing, in whatever form, creating an international community eager to get out and explore new places.

 

Toxic Appropriation of Identity Politics

People usually discuss versions of politics in fairly binaristic terms. People describe themselves as ascribing to a particular politic as though it were a static state. Yet, a person acts with different politics at any given moment. As Professor Ibram X. Kendi explained in his talk at Bates entitled “How to Be an Antiracist,” antiracist actions happen from instant to instant. Though it may appear unlikely according to conventional wisdom, one person can take an antiracist action in one second and then only moments later commit a racist one. This phenomenon with antiracism, a particular ideology (although hopefully not a controversial one), represents the fluidity of ideologies in general. People hardly act with a singular ideology uniformly.

Broadly, politics describe the way in which people distribute, maintain, and gain power, an admittedly vague term. Different versions of politics explain varieties of theories of how to effectively access power and for what purpose. A rather common political distinction would be between leftist and conservative politics. Yet, this characterization often seems overly simplistic. Black nationalist and white feminist politics, though both “left,” have largely oppositional belief sets. Yet, the greater points of tension are often between groups of people with less visibly divergent politics. Though people regularly envision the LGBTQIA+ as a big family that all gets along, queer politics often serves as a corrective for the failings of gay politics. And still, even radical queer politics historically and to this day center on white queerness.

This framing may be a tad disingenuous. Differing politics often behaves in an imperceptibly small way completely distinct from broad categories. I only use these broad categories to demonstrate a point. Many of the politics I have described have a clear connection to identity politics.

Identity politics is an incredibly loaded term. The word does not have a common agreed meaning. When I use the word I refer to the unique knowledge of living with a particular salient identity and how linked and connected identities informs accessing, maintaining, and theorizing power. In my view, confusion surrounds identity politics because it describes a theory that comes to fruition within many other specific forms of politics.

Most political organizing relies upon forging coalitions based upon similar belief sets. People do this by developing sympathy or empathy along the lines of shared experience. Since many people of particular identity groups possess some level of shared experience, identity politics often readily bridges this gap.

Many critique this theory of value as inviting of essentialism. Essentialism is a term that means describing certain features as essential for belonging. “Gay people are promiscuous” is an example of essentialism. Similarly, this theory has been historically critiqued as not intersectional as it often gets applied to one or two salient identity groups at a time. Intersectionality, a term first explicitly invoked by Black feminist Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989, describes multiple layers of identity as not additive but complicating. Historically, white women activists have described the experiences of Black women as the problem of women added with the problems of Black people. This conception paternalistically disregards how these identities interact with one another. Another criticism levied against identity politics is it reifies socially constructed identity groups. To this point, it tokenizes people as if they are exclusively defined by these identities.

But all of these criticisms disregard the fact political theories never happen in a vacuum. People make decisions not exclusively rooted in identity politics or any other specific form of politic. Right-wing news organizations will often deploy theories of identity politics by bringing a Black commentator to espouse ideas rooted in anti-Blackness.

More readily, at Bates College, many arguments about racial equity in institutional spaces hypocritically level identity politics. Many will not respect the knowledge associated when mass amounts of people of color coalesce to protest a policy that preserves white-centricity. Yet these same people will delegitmize the broad coalition on the basis of the opinions of a singular person of color who disagrees.

Though it is often hard to recognize when it is done, it remains incredibly important to not use political theories in a way of cyclic confirmation bias and of oppressive consequences.

 

Off Campus-Police Relations Disussed at Open Forum

As a part of their efforts to make changes to the social life experiences at Bates, the department of Student Affairs brought in two outside experts to give their input. While their open forum with students was sparsely attended, a variety of important issues related to the Bates experienced were discussed; particularly student relations with security, the Lewiston police, and the Lewiston community as they pertain to campus housing and party culture.

Kristin Cothran, of Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, and Francesca Maresca from Rutgers University in New Jersey, facilitated the discussion. Cothran is her university’s Director of Student Involvement, while Maresca is Rutgers’ Director of Health Outreach, Promotion, and Education. Erin Foster Zsiga, Associate Dean of Affairs here at Bates, introduced the pair, before stepping out of the room for the discussion to commence.

Despite notices about the meeting on Bates Today, the discussion only drew one student attendant, Jack Mulligan ’20. Mulligan said that he was surprised to be the only student participant, as he felt that many of his friends and peers had strong opinions on some of the changes between this year and his freshman year.

“I was surprised that more people didn’t show up because there’s been lots of conversations almost every day with my friends [about social life],” said Mulligan.

In particular, Mulligan said that he wanted to share his opinion and get more information on the increased Lewiston police presence around off campus parties this year. Mulligan is considering trying to live off campus for his senior year and thinks that the heightened police involvement may be a deterrent. In particular, Mulligan felt that the police focus on students living in the community might make an off campus house feel less independent than it ordinarily would.

“A lot of my friends and I are wondering if it’s worth it to live off campus because I think one of the major driving forces is to live independently and have a different social life than the first three years at Bates,” said Mulligan.

While Mulligan admitted that he was at times frustrated with Bates’ social life this year, he also acknowledged that Bates students have not always been respectful of their neighbors. Mulligan said that he was hoping to find ways to lead by example in dissuading his peers from disrespectful behavior, such as being loud late at night and public urination. Both Cothran and Maresca commended this attitude and discussed the ways that individuals can make a large difference in a community.

“I think it starts with one person. If you have an interest and a desire to make those changes, than those changes can be made,” said Maresca.

Bates College has looked to find ways to shift student nightlife away from off campus houses. Since the beginning of the summer, residents and the Lewiston city council have complained about the behavior of Bates students living in their neighborhoods. From early autumn to current day, a “nuisance party” ordinance has been put in place that gives Lewiston police greater authority to break up off campus festivities and penalize students.

Cothran, Maresca, and Mulligan all acknowledged that creating a balance that keeps all groups happy will be always be difficult but agreed that conversations like the one they had last Friday can be good starting points.

Private Eyes Tricks Minds, Leaving Audiences at Gannett Breathless

Matthew and Lisa rehearse a play for the British director, Adrian. The director seduces Lisa as Matthew tries to convince himself that Lisa couldn’t possibly be cheating on him. Moving along “with dispatch” as Adrian would put it, mistrust takes over my attention. This messy affair becomes more confusing as Adrian’s wife, Cory, shows up on stage playing different personae, and Matthew’s counselor Frank tries to convey “the truth” to the audience. The line between reality and fiction is thin for everyone, but particularly so for Matthew and Lisa, whose scenes from the framing play and the play-within-a-play constantly tricked me into believing something to be true that was proved wrong soon afterwards.

Private Eyes seemed to confuse many audience members’ minds this weekend, creating a breathtaking and quasi-illusionary atmosphere at Gannett Theater. The production had been widely talked about on campus; it was to be the thesis performance for one senior; and expectations were high as they always are when Professor Martin E. Andrucki is directing. However, air was running low this weekend at Gannett Theater. Was it worth the suffocation? Needless to say, yes it was.

Call it deception, call it surprise, the air running through Private Eyes by Steven Dietz this weekend appeared to leave its audiences breathless laughter after laughter, “discovery” after “discovery.” Private Eyes’ Matthew called it “truth,” I call it the act of wanting to remain speechless at a shooting of truth and equally believable fraud.

Entering Gannett Theater, the audience was seated in a proscenium set up that seemed to distance them from the performance. However far from that initial thought, the venue of Gannett (even in a proscenium setup) quickly became intimate. As lights went up on stage, the audience was bombarded by a minimalist stage design that promised to leave a lot of the show’s agency in hands of its performers.

Showcasing the extraordinary talent of Bates theatre, Private Eyes’ owes a lot of its success to its cast. John Dello Russo ’18 gave us a witty and opportunistic Adrian, while Samuel James ’18 played Matthew’s “real” and “fictional” characters in a crystal clear way. Hope French ’18 portrayed a disloyal Lisa, who can both be viewed either as a snake in the grass or, through a critical female gaze, as an object to Adrian and Matthew. Lila Patinkin ’20, on the other hand, presented an always-changing “private eye” in this whole affair and a beautifully cynical, hurricane-like Cory. The understanding of the many layers of the play would have not rendered as “frank” without Michael Driscal ’19, who proved to be a truthful Frank with the exception of the nonsensical end to his presence on stage.

The production was outstanding. Fusing minimalist design and complex acting, Andrucki took his audience on a journey of deception, where anything could be “the thing itself” as long as it was believable. Taking Dietz’s quasi-absurdist play to Gannett Theater, the cast and crew of Private Eyes brought laughter and disbelief to campus as they turned love, lust and deception into a ludicrous and comic enterprise. Characterized by its minimal stage design and often cold lighting, Private Eyes presages the coming of winter and the end of the Bates theatre season a month from now.

 

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