The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Day: February 7, 2018 (Page 1 of 2)

Despite Losses, Men’s Basketball Takes Pride in Leadership and Growth of Progam

Although this week’s matchups for the men’s basketball team did not go quite as planned, the team is by no means held down.

Friday’s highly anticipated game against Hamilton proved to be tough, with the Continentals creating a substantial lead by the end of the first. However, the Bobcats didn’t go down without a fight. Jeff Spellman ’20 ended the game with twelve points, coming second only to senior captain Justin Zukowski ’18, who scored the team high for the night of thirteen points. Additionally, first-years David Akinyemi ’21 and Raheem Spence ’21 got on the board, with Akinyemi scoring the first point of his college career, and Spence grabbing two rebounds. Unfortunately, that was not enough to sway the game, and the ’Cats fell 89-57 to Hamilton at the end of the night.

Hoping to snag a win, the Bobcats hosted the Amherst College Mammoths the next evening. The star of the game was undoubtedly Kody Greenhalgh ’20, who scored a team—and season—high of seventeen points. Greenhalgh, with help from consistent scorer Spellman and Nick Gilpin ‘20, held off Amherst until the very end of the game. But the Mammoths were up to the challenge—with help from their 6’ 10” center—scoring nearly fourteen straight points in the following five minutes, and eventually outscoring Bates 80-61.

When talking with the team, their two losses did not seem to be of highest concern. With the ’17-’18 season coming to a close, first-year Billy Larhart ’21 took a moment to appreciate the senior leadership on the team. Zukowski and Shawn Strickland ’18 have been forces to reckon with on and off the court.

“Strick is a natural point guard and has been a floor general for us all season long. He’s always poised with the ball in his hands, and he makes his teammates better. Always has an awesome attitude,” says Larhart. “And Zuke is an animal, simply put. He has a crazy high motor and a great shot. He gives maximum effort every time he’s in between the lines, practice or game. He’s on the floor for every loose ball and makes winning plays every time he’s on the court. That says a lot about him as a senior and a leader.”

When asked to reflect on the past week and their Bates basketball career, both Zukowski and Strickland were candid and cogent.

“Basketball has really shaped my entire experience at Bates. I’ve met some of my best friends, because of the basketball program, and it’s served as an outlet for me when the semesters have been tough, in terms of how much school work I may have at certain points throughout the year,” says Strickland. “Also, being with the program for four seasons now, I’ve been on just about every part of the spectrum in terms of our success. My most memorable moment came during my first season, as I was able to be a part of the first men’s basketball team to advance to the sweet sixteen of the national tournament in school history. It was an incredible feeling to be a part of something that will remain a bright spot in the history of the program for many years to come.”

Zukowski brought the truth about being a student-athlete. “I feel like a lot of people don’t understand how much time is put into being on the basketball team. It’s a long season, and it stretches through both semesters, which makes it hard to keep up with school work,” he says. “It really forces you to enjoy every second of the experience and the people around you. Our program has kept hold of those strong relationships with its alumni, which goes to show how much players have invested themselves in the program. I will never regret playing hoops at Bates, because I made so many great friends along the way who are looking out for me, while I’m doing the same for them. The culture we have built here is really something special.”

The men’s basketball team will have their final matchup of the season this Friday at 7:00 p.m. versus Trinity College.

Men’s and Women’s Hockey Teams Face Off and Revive Lost Tradition

The 2017-18 season has been nothing short of remarkable for both the men’s and women’s hockey teams. The men’s team started the season off by welcoming their new head coach, Michael O’Brien, to Bates. Under the leadership of O’Brien, and senior captains Samuel Levin and Nick Barker, there has been tremendous growth and team chemistry on and off the ice.

“Going into this season we always knew it was going to be a rebuilding year,” says Levin. “Guys are playing new positions for the first time and are being forced to step up. Everyone has been taking their new roles and executing them the best they can. This year, we have really worked toward keeping a smart system: playing disciplined hockey, and capitalizing when we get opportunities.”

Led by head coach Jon Anctil, and captains Anna Clements ‘18, Julia Kavanagh ‘18, and Anastasia Leff ‘19, the women’s team has yet to lose a game. They have three games left and hope to continue their undefeated record.

“We have a really strong team with lots of experienced players that span all class years,” says Kavanagh. “We also have a lot of new players come as well,” Clements adds. “It is fun to be able to have both and be a team that is open to everyone but is also very serious.”

To celebrate the successes of both programs, the men’s and women’s team challenged each other to an exhibition game. The matchup took place on Wednesday, January 31st at Underhill Arena and marked the first time that the women’s and men’s teams have had an organized faceoff on the ice in program history.

“Although we practice separately, the game is still the same and is enjoyable regardless,” says Ned Moreland ‘19, a junior from the men’s team. “Hopefully this starts a long-lasting tradition between the teams as a way to build a camaraderie between the programs and create a fun sporting event for Bates students to attend in years to come.”

The rules for the men’s game differ from that of the women’s game. Therefore, the teams balanced the varying components of the game to make the competition as fair as possible. Checking was not allowed, and teams played three 20-minute periods on a running clock. The women’s team took an early lead, but the men’s team ended up winning 11-6.

“There has been a lot of talk about whether or not the women’s team could actually play the men’s team,” Clements laughs. “We all skate with the guy’s team during free time but we have never had a real game. We all had a lot of fun! It was awesome to see that both of our coaches are working on having more solidarity between the two teams.”

“The women’s team is spectacular, and I thought that both teams got a lot out of the match. It is one thing to have a solid relationship between the two teams, but when there is some structure to it, there is a little more meaning,” adds Levin. “A lot of the time, during a game, when it is more of an exhibition, there is a tendency to just fool around and deviate from what you have been learning all year. We all wanted to make sure to keep working on playing smart hockey.”

January 31st not only marked the first men’s and women’s match up; the date also saw the revival of the Bates College Alumni Hockey Award. The award was last presented in 2008 and is granted to Bates ice hockey seniors who display outstanding leadership, spirit, skill, dedication, humor, and sportsmanship on and off the ice. The 2017-18 recipients of the award were Julia Kavanagh and Sam Levin.

“I am really glad that the coaches came together and decided to bring the award back,” Kavanagh says. “I am honored to have received it and am also excited for it to become a tradition at Bates.”

“I have been playing on this team for four years, and hockey has always been a huge part of my life, so it is always nice to see that hard work pays off,” adds Levin. “But, at the same time, the mean is lost without all the other guys out there. We all wanted to work harder to make sure the program survives, thrives, and succeeds.”

Both Kavanagh and Levin value the organization and leadership skills that they have acquired through their four years playing ice hockey for Bates. While it is definitely bittersweet to see their time repping the Bates uniform come to a close, they are both eager to see what the future holds for both programs.

“In the end, the success of the program hinges on a willingness and drive to play a great game of hockey and have fun with it. If people are out there and dedicated to play, there is always going to be something for them,” says Levin.

Although the 2017-18 season may be coming to a close, the success of the men’s and women’s ice hockey programs has just begun.

 

Situating Race in Gun Control Debates

On Thursday morning, there was another school shooting in the United States–this time, at a Los Angeles middle school. The count for school shootings this year has climbed to twelve and it’s barely been over a month since the year started. Conversations around the time of school shootings are generally varied and contextual, but they rarely end in a consensus for gun control measures. This sparse follow-through is a product of different politics: those who favor ‘comprehensive gun control’ are liberals or progressives and those who are averse to it are conservatives and ‘traditionalists.’

Ideals for ‘comprehensive gun control’ appear to be compelling to liberals and progressives, but its proponents also often differ in their political stance toward the position itself. These political differences distinguish the two groups: the liberals and the progressives. Where liberals lean toward reform, trust in the criminal legal system (credit to writer and activist Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha for the phrase), and ‘love not hate’ slogans, progressives lean in the direction of revolution, community and restorative justice, and explicit race consciousness.

So, looking back on the incident on Thursday morning, gun control advocates could have a range of responses. The shooting was in an area that is reported by news outlets to have had a gang presence. The Los Angeles Times shares interviews with students’ parents who claim, though, that the school itself doesn’t have problems with safety. The February 1 article reports that the Los Angeles Unified School district “is the only district its size that requires every middle- and high-school campus to conduct daily random searches for weapons using metal-detecting wands.” However, an internal district audit of twenty schools released in April of 2017 found inconsistencies in the way these random searches were conducted.

Although the random searches are a part of the district’s safety plan, there have been debates by locals as to whether or not they are useful and necessary. Another Los Angeles Times article entitled “Amid middle school shooting, a debate rages over random weapons searches on L.A. campuses” reports that interviews with teachers, students, and administrators in the district reveal that “elements of the searches–from who gets picked to be searched and how the search is done–are not uniform across the school system.” During these searches, school officials did not only search for and confiscate weapons but school supplies and other materials. According to the article, on April 20, 2015, “a day in which many people celebrate marijuana,” North Hollywood High School randomly searched 100 students and did not find any drugs but simply several permanent markers and a lighter. Some school faculty and students claim that these searches are less common in advanced placement, honors, and magnet classrooms, which “have more white students, which means nonwhite students in other classes could be targeted more frequently.”

Some advocates of gun control, especially those who are liberal leaning, may read the district’s safety plan as one prong to a two-pronged approach to achieving increases in student safety (the safety plan along with gun control). But others may be critical of rises in surveillance on campuses which could result in increases in criminalization, especially for Black and brown youth. The differences in these two stances has become pivotal in present politics with a divide between relative allegiance to the state, and critique of the state’s base structure and foundation. To me, it’s ludicrous to claim that so-called political ‘divides’ like this one are unproductive and dangerous. It’s the urgency of the present climate that should be regarded with such conviction as opposed to the perceived polarity in people’s responses to it.

 

Broomball: The Elusive Winter Sport You Wish You Knew About

In the cold months of the Maine winter, many sports come out of summer hibernation for us all to play. Most people are familiar with skiing, snowboarding, hockey, and snowshoeing. But have you ever heard of broomball? Broomball is winter’s true hidden gem. A sport that few are familiar with, it is a game much like field hockey that is played on ice. That’s ice hockey, right? Wrong. In broomball, players wear sneakers, not skates, and run all around the rink chasing a ball, not a puck. It is not necessarily the most graceful of sports, but it is quite fun.

While there is no definite record as to the exact roots of broomball, historians believe that the game originated in Canada and possibly some parts of Sweden. Since the first recorded games took place in Perdue, Saskatchewan on March 5, 1909, broomball has taken off to become an ever-growing sport. Much like a smaller version of field hockey, six players from each team, one goalkeeper, and five field players, are permitted on the ice at once with the ultimate objective being to get the ball into the hockey net as many times as possible. The game consists of 2 halves, 20 minutes each.

From its North American roots, broomball has spread to the international community, including countries such as Australia, Japan, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland. The International Federation of Broomball Associations (IFBA) was also established in 1998 and has acted as the governing body for broomball worldwide. Every two years, the IFBA hosts the Broomball World Championships, also known as the Challenge Cup, in which teams from all around the globe come together to compete for the ultimate broomball title.

While teams here at Bates are not sanctioned with the IFBA, we do have a bustling intramural circuit running from January through the end of February. This year there are four Bates teams competing on the Bates circuit to take home the school championship title. The sport brings friends and strangers alike to the ice for a riveting game of fun.

Adair Andre ‘18, another senior member of team SwUGGs, says, “Broomball lights my fire. I’m a naturally competitive person and broomball gets me going.” Throughout the game, there are countless falls, trips, and dives, demonstrating the players’ eagerness and willingness to put it all out on the ice to take home the win. But there are also plenty of laughs and smiles to go around, too. It’s clear that everyone involved is having a great time, while also enjoying the opportunity to let off steam and dip into their competitive edge.

Hadley Moreau ‘19, a junior member of SwUGGs, talked about the excitement of the broomball. After her Wednesday night game, she exclaimed, “I love the adrenaline rush of broomball!” Based on the excitement of all players, it seemed clear that players were enjoying sliding aggressively on the ice to capture the ball and take a shot at the goal. And while there was some very healthy competition involved, fun was obviously the ultimate goal. Senior captain of SwUGGs, Anna Franceschetti ‘18, discussed the great combination of competition and fun on the Bates circuit. She noted, “It’s awesome we have an eclectic group of people that are willing to get sendy on the ice,” hinting at her team’s competitive vibe. But in the end her team is all about having, “lots of fun!” And how could you not, running around on ice with all of your good friends? The Bates broomball season continues until February 28th, 2018.

 

Free Speech Panel Sparks Contentious Debate

On Wednesday January 31, Bates Student Government held a discussion and open panel regarding free speech on campus. Leading the panel were Kim Trauceniek, the Associate Dean of Students for Campus Life, Nick Dressler, the Assistant Director of Campus Life, and Margaret Imber, Associate Dean of Faculty. Members of Bates Student Action, as well as various interested individuals from the student body, joined their peers in Student Government. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Bates’ Free Speech policy, as well as an upcoming “statement of principle” regarding free speech from the faculty. Throughout the course of the night, the discussion grew more contentious, with students and administrators engaging in a back-and-forth style of argumentative discourse.

The Free Speech policy was made available to students in December of 2017, and sets guidelines for invited speakers, performers, and on-campus protests. The policy is, in many ways, a reactionary one; Imber stressed that the college felt they needed to quickly design a framework that defines free speech at Bates to prevent free speech crises that have happened at similar institutions, such as Middlebury and Berkeley. Perhaps the most controversial issues regarding the Free Speech policy are its specific provisions regarding protest. The policy first and foremost states that Bates “recognizes and supports the right of individuals or groups on our campus to protest peacefully,” but adds an addendum that “Bates retains the right, recognized by law, to regulate the time, place, and manner of protests.” The policy was heavily criticized by students at the discussion, who argued that it lacked student input and imposed unfair restrictions on student demonstrations. One member of Bates Student Action remarked to the panel leaders that the “policy could have engaged more with Student Government. I know that you offered it up for comments, but I don’t think from what I’ve heard that you’ve actually taken any of those comments. And I think for this policy to be a policy that really can fairly regulate a community, the community should have a say.” To this, Trauceniek responded, “I’m sorry you’re disappointed. I think that we’re here to really start that conversation.” The panel leaders also expressed that they had made efforts to include students in the decision-making process, but had received few emails and little student initiative.

More particularly, students rejected the “time, place, and manner” restrictions designed to prevent protests that may be “disruptive to the normal operations of the college or that violate college policy.” One student argued, “Why do people need approval from the Bates campus to use a microphone? That’s a staple of protest. That’s a staple of free speech.”

To counter, Imber responded that “every free speech case that’s been tested legally has permitted ‘time, place, and manner’ restrictions. So, I would assume that if people were asking for mics to use at 3:00 in the afternoon, it would be very hard to come up with a rational basis to deny that. Conversely, if they wanted to have their protest at 1:00 in the morning outside of a dorm, it would be easy to come up with a rational basis to deny the use of mics.”

The statement of principles is currently in a process of iterative drafting. Imber expressed, “The faculty are working on a statement of principles which are meant to be a general statement of values that administrators can turn to, so that when something requires them to implement the policies that were promulgated through the Student Affairs office, they’ll be able to see that the faculties have these values in this situation if we have a potential free speech problem or conflict.”
The final draft will be presented to the faculty in March. Until then, free speech will remain a hotly debated and enormously divisive issue on the Bates campus.

It’s Two Minutes to Midnight

It seems like Doomsday is almost here. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved the minute hand of the influential Doomsday Clock on Thursday, January 25. We are living the closest to midnight the world has been since 1953, the height of the Cold War. A common threat underpins all the reasons for the change: hateful and unmeasured words.

In the statement released on January 25, The Bulletin states, “The greatest risks last year arose in the nuclear realm. North Korea’s nuclear weapons program made remarkable progress in 2017, increasing risks to North Korea itself, other countries in the region, and the United States. Hyperbolic rhetoric and provocative actions by both sides have increased the possibility of nuclear war by accident or miscalculation.”

Important here is that The Bulletin is not excusing one side or the other. Both leaders of the United States and North Korea must be held accountable for inflammatory rhetoric. Leaders’ ravings are little more than declarations of superficial power; each wants the other to cower behind their might.

Let’s consider why Kim Jong Un might feel he needs nuclear weapons. From the onset let me clarify that a person cannot know what another really thinks. I am speculating based on a foundation of nuclear proliferation theory.

I believe the general population forgets that there can be influential domestic drivers for the development of nuclear weapons. Kim Jong Un was third in line to the dictatorship, and in theory he should never had gotten to the seat of power. He was also very young when he took control, clocking in somewhere in his early thirties. In a country where coups are the norm and political power shuffling happens at gunpoint, there was a necessity to show his generals that he was capable of holding power and preserving his regime.

Consider his propaganda speeches. They occur in front of compulsory audiences and always have a strong message of North Korean superiority and unity against their enemies. Each time, Kim Jong Un—again this is my supposition—is trying to prove he has complete control over his domestic policies and those policies prevent both external and internal forces from deposing him.

North Korean nuclear buildup is not the only factor given to explain the minute hand’s change. Other contributing factors to the new time are: U.S.-Russia straining relations, tensions in the South China sea, India and Pakistan’s mutual nuclear arsenal build-up, uncertainty surrounding U.S. support for the Iran Nuclear Deal, and the looming calamity of climate change.  The Bulletin even suggests that the world is looking at another arms race, but on an even larger scale than what we have seen during the Cold War.

The statement released by this think tank criticizes the U.S. isolation policies that look frighteningly similar to those of FDR in the 1930s.  Unstable U.S. leadership is also highlighted as a major catalyst for the minute hand’s move. Now, there is a lack of predictability coming from top U.S. officials.  Translated into political terms, the U.S. is unable to provide reassurance to its allies and delivers weaker deterrence against enemies.

“… [allies] have been forced to negotiate a thicket of conflicting policy statements from a U.S. administration weakened in its cadre of foreign policy professionals, suffering from turnover in senior leadership, led by an undisciplined and disruptive president, and unable to develop, coordinate, and clearly communicate a coherent nuclear policy,” states The Bulletin.  In past administrations, the U.S. has been seen as a helpful and stable force for its allies.  But now, with the current administration, it seems that is not the case.   

On the flip side, deterrence of enemies is only viable if the threat is credible. Without predicable follow through by the defender, the challenger, the object of the deterrence, is more likely to make a move against the defender’s interest. Weak deterrence, poor reassurance, and now frightening movement towards Doomsday seem to stem from the isolationist policies the Trump administration imposes.

Words have immense power. They can build lasting relations between allies but can also be escalatory if enemies spout rhetoric with the sole purpose of reaching a political boiling point.

In these last two minutes to midnight, remember that we need to watch our words, consider our actions, and strive to deescalate the problems at hand.

Students Shine at VCS

On Thursday, February 1, Bates put on a Student Showcase Village Club Series (VCS). Given its wide attraction, seats were sparse, the food quickly disappeared, and the room was filled with good music and talented people. A variety of groups and ages performed, all of which were a pleasure to watch. Each act was unique, displaying the variety of talent at Bates, from vocals to collaboration with others to using technology (a looper) to create a piece of music. Nick Osborne ’19 and Will Sanders ’19 opened the show, followed by Will Crate ’21 and Billy Lahart ’21.

Crate loved performing, and feels that the amount of people that showed up to hear performances was amazing. He was unaware of how many people would be attracted to the scene. When asked about his motivation for performing, he says that both his “interest in music,” which stemmed from learning piano in second grade, as well as “collaboration with Billy” led him to perform. The duo has been trying to find a performance that would work for both their schedules, and VCS was the perfect venue for them. They began with a cover of “Most Beautiful Girl in the Room” by Flight of the Conchords and ended with Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me,” a crowd pleaser.

Later in the program, Elliot Chun ’18 utilized both his guitar and violin skills to play Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars” and Ed Sheeran’s “Give Me Love.” Utilizing his loop, we were able to witness the creative process behind his performance. Joshua Redd ’21 performed a beautiful poem about his own race, using his creative license to construct an honest piece of art. Walter Washington ’19 performed two beautiful covers, but his favorite part of the night was watching Lahart, a member of the Men’s Basketball Team, on stage; he says that “another athlete getting involved in performing is always good to see. You realize everyone is so talented her and he’s a freshman, so he will be a huge part of the Bates fabric for years to come.”

Washington has been involved in the Bates music community for a few years and had always wanted to do a VCS but had always “back out before submitting something.” This year, however, he decided he would give it a shot, and luckily, “everything worked out.” Music has been a large part of his life for years, with his mom being a singer and his dad playing the guitar, “back in his glory days,” according to Washington. He also feels that “music has become a getaway and will always be a big part of [him].”

The showcase closed with seniors Sophie Moss-Slavin ’18, Summer Peterson ’18, Emma Schiller ’18, and Sarah Curtis ’18 singing acoustic covers of Aretha Franklin’s “I Say A Little Prayer For You” and Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Overall, the performances were wonderful and exciting to watch and the audience appeared to thoroughly enjoy each performance.

VCS is a special Thursday night activity at Bates that everyone should attend at some point throughout the semester. Next Thursday, there will be a Spoken Word Night which invites Nkosi Nkululeko, 2016 New York City Poet Laureate and a Callaloo fellow, to the stage. The week after that, we will have the winner of NBC’s The Voice, Javier Colon, perform and hopefully hear some of his originals. It is clear that VCS brings in a variety of different performers, all wonderfully unique from one another. The Student Showcase was highly successful and will definitely be replicated in the future.

 

Women’s Basketball Ready for Fresh Start

For the Bates women’s basketball team, this season has not been what they wanted it to be. With a 7-16 record overall and a 1-8 record in the NESCAC, expectations have not been met for what they wanted to accomplish in terms of wins and losses. However, the record may not reflect everything. Speaking with Emily Freedland ’18 about her four years playing basketball at Bates and the team looking forward, she says, “Although our record may not show it, I feel that this season was definitely a huge turning point for the program. As a team, we’ve grown so much in terms of basketball, but also team culture-wise, which is something that can be carried on for future seasons.” It seems that the adversity faced this season can help the team in the future. Freedland continues, “This season has been a particularly special one, not only because it was my last one, but because we have such a great group of girls. Every single person on the team contributes in different ways, and everyone genuinely wants to work hard and push each other to get better, which has contributed to our successes this season.”

With this young team, the future is bright for the Bobcats. Freedland says, “We have a strong, talented group of underclassmen, and several of them have gotten the experience playing this year and have made a huge impact on the team already.” With such great experience in their first-years, they will have lots to build off of and contribute even more as they become upperclassmen.

Speaking with Freedland about what playing in her last game on Friday will be like, she says, “It’s definitely a sad feeling, especially because I have put so much time and effort into the sport and the team, and to know it’s all coming to an end is surreal. I’m definitely going to miss all of the games and practices and everything that goes into it, and also the time we spend together as a team.” The team atmosphere is especially strong, as she stresses here, and losing that after four years will be a hard adjustment, as it is for any athlete. But Freedland is happy to have had the experience she has with basketball at Bates. She says, “My experience at Bates would not be complete without playing basketball. I learned so much, on and off the court, and have built such strong friendships with my teammates. My team has really been my family away from home for the past 4 years.” This certainly is the atmosphere that athletics at Bates are supposed to create, and with this kind of culture present for the women’s team, their future seems bright. They play their last game of the season at Trinity on Friday, February 9.

 

Arts Crawl Features a Year of Creativity

The Arts Crawl is one of my favorite events at Bates. The campus-wide celebration of creativity and arts happens once a year and represents the daily work of amazing students, faculty, and staff. After being fascinated with the Arts Crawl in 2017, I had the opportunity to join the Bates Arts Collaborative, who are the ones responsible for organizing the event every year. The Collaborative, co-chaired by Lecturer in Education Bronwyn Sale and Associate Professor of Dance, Rachel Boggia, is responsible for representing the performing, literary, and visual arts at Bates. We advocate for and organize the arts programming, making sure it fits the community as best as possible.

This year, the Arts Crawl was spread across three different locations: Olin, Commons, and Chase Hall. In Olin, there was a series of events. There were open-studios for those who are interested in seeing the amazing work in progress of senior Arts & Visual Culture students. There were also student pottery sales, student classwork showings, and an incredible animation screening with live performance. In the Fireplace Lounge, a number of A Cappella groups entertained the community. In Chase Hall, there was an otherworldly installation in Skelton Lounge: literary readings, theatrical excerpts, dance, and musical performances. “It is an opportunity for the Bates and LA communities to see and experience the results of the hard work and intense discipline that students put into their artistic practices,” Professor Sale writes. With three hours of programming, there was something for everyone.

There were a few new events in Arts Crawl 2018. The Video I and Animation I classes, taught by Assistant Professor Carolina Gonzalez Valencia, are relatively new additions to the Arts and Visual Culture Department at Bates. For the first time, there were video and animation screenings in the Arts Crawl – the animation screening, together with live performance, was a powerful display of students’ dedication, passion, and creativity.

The screenings were not the only novelty; Visiting Assistant Professor Julie Fox organized a “flash-mob-like” event traveling from Olin to Chase Hall. Professor Fox restaged a dance parade called NELKEN-Line, by famous dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch. The composition was originally part of a larger project called “Carnations.” With a simple score of four movements that mimic the seasons, the NELKEN-Line is an elegant and accessible dance event that the Pina Bausch Foundation has made available for people across the globe to restage. Amateur and professional dancers alike have restaged the NELKEN-Line in the past, submitting recordings to the Pina Bausch Foundation.

Another intriguing event this year was the immersive installation in Skelton Lounge, created by Emily Jolkovsky ’18. The piece, named “Heavy on Air,” invites the audience to walk around clouds, fog, and lights. Handmade “clouds” made of stuffing hang from the ceiling, ascending from one side of the room to another. A fog machine blurs real clouds with the fake clouds. A number of lamps are spread across the lounge, increasing the sense of an elusive, ephemeral atmosphere. Students were simply mesmerized, myself included. The interactivity of the piece allowed people to play with clouds in a space that requested no specific action of them but their presence. Even though the arts have a limited physical space available on campus, I heard a number of requests for more works of this kind during the academic year.

If there is one thing that I take from the Arts Crawl this year, it is that our community is full of life and creativity. For students, professors, and staff alike, the Arts Crawl is the moment to see all the arts and artists come together at once. Professor Boggia writes: “One of my favorite things about Arts Crawl is that I never fail to learn something new about one of my students. I had one student in several dance classes and thought I knew him quite well. When I heard him sing at Arts Crawl, I was absolutely floored. It was a side of him that had been invisible to me until that moment.” I second Boggia’s words, as I was, and still am, surprised by the incredible breadth and depth of the arts that live right here on our campus. For me, this summarizes the Arts Crawl – Bates is a community of incredibly talented people.

 

Dear Sustainable Abigail

Dear Sustainable Abigail,

I’m a huge yogurt person! Unfortunately, I always feel bad eating yogurt in Commons because we just have the individual yogurt cups (unless it’s a Sunday hooray for Greek Yogurt!), and it seems like a lot of packaging. I remember hearing once that Bates had some sort of deal with the Stonyfield Yogurt Company that allowed them to help with our sustainability. I can’t quite recall the details on that, but if that was the case at some point, is it still? Also, what exactly did it entail? Thanks so much!

-Don’t Want to Give Up Yogurt

 

Dear Don’t Want to Give Up Yogurt,

I too am an avid yogurt eater, and do understand where you are coming from with the concern about packaging. If every Bates student eats one yogurt everyday for a week that is around 14,000 wasted yogurt cups. In one month that becomes about 56,000, and in one academic year we’re looking at about 448,000 yogurt containers (give or take, this is a rough estimate).

In any case, that is a LOT of little wasted plastic containers. Fortunately, you are correct: Bates does have a great relationship with Stonyfield Farm and they actually collect and recycle all of these 448,000 yogurt cups! So every time you are eating a yogurt, don’t worry too much because Commons and Stonyfield are looking out for each of our individual impacts. Nonetheless, your question inspired me to do a little research regarding the sustainability of our yogurt. It turns out we are pretty lucky at Bates to support Stonyfield! Stonyfield is one hundred percent organic and to the best of their abilities aid and invest in family-farmer-supplied organic milk by not only exclusively purchasing milk from family farms, but also investing when they can in strategies to aid family farmers as well as in organic education and research. However, of course, there are a lot more factors that go into being sustainable.

One such that is great to have on your radar is the carbon footprint of the food products that you consume, or what is called the “CO2e” score of the product. This score is the “carbon dioxide equivalent” score, which references the amount of greenhouse gases emitted throughout the entire life cycle for a product. So for example, thinking about yogurt, the CO2e score of yogurt with fruit is about 306. Now, let’s compare that to an alternative breakfast food: a Tuesday or Thursday omelet with meat and cheese in it has a CO2e score of 1573! In other words, in terms of carbon footprint, there are many worse things than yogurt. Thinking about the carbon footprint of the different foods you eat is a great way to get serious about being sustainable in even more nuanced ways. Thanks so much for writing, and thanks for caring about the way your food has a big impact!

-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!

 

 

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