The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Day: February 14, 2018 (Page 1 of 2)

A Bittersweet End to a Terrific Season for Men’s Hockey

It’s about that time of year again when winter sports start to come to a close, and men’s hockey is no exception. After a tough season, the Bobcats were hoping to get a win out of Friday night’s game versus Husson and they were not disappointed. Arguably one of the most exciting games of the year, every single member of the team gave it their all on the ice to walk away with a 3-2 win.

The final game of the season drew a large crowd, and the energy on the ice mirrored that of the filled stands. Their season finale was not the only reason for the impressive spectator showing. Friday night was special — it was senior night at Underhill. Out of the five leading goal scorers this season, four are seniors. The influence of the team’s six seniors — captains Nick Barker and Sam Levin and assistant captains Andrew Cahill, David Katzman, Ryan Chinn, and Max Watson — can not be underestimated. Both Chinn and Watson came off of injuries and made some instrumental defensive plays. Katzman, Levin and Cahill were inches away from goals in the game vs. Husson, and if it was not for the opposing team’s outstanding goalkeeping performance, all three players would have walked away with more points. Barker, to the crowds delight, extended his point streak with the first goal of the night, and just missed out on a hat trick with a goal in the third, sealing the deal for the ‘Cats.

However, the seniors’ influence spans much deeper than simply on the ice. From the battle against Wentworth Institute of Technology this year, to winning the NECHA open in 2016, to memories of the first moments with the team as first-years, all six men have grown together as friends and teammates.

It is no doubt that all six of them are strong leaders, and will be dearly missed next year by teammates and fans alike. Surely no one could know these players better than their coach, Michael O’Brien.

“I’m really proud of this hockey team, their effort and attitude was excellent all season,” says Coach O’Brien. “The senior class created a fantastic environment, and those guys will be greatly missed. There’s no doubt in my mind that next year’s team will pick up where this club left off, continue to improve, and keep moving the program in a positive direction.”

When I spoke to the six seniors, this was more than evident.

“With the perseverance and determination of this team’s leadership, captains, and players we have been able to rebuild this team into a legitimate hockey program that I am confident will encounter much success for many seasons to come. I cannot be more proud or honored to have played alongside my fellow senior teammates, as we stood together since day one and carried this team with us,” says Chinn. His fellow players could not agree more.

“Playing hockey at Bates College has been a true honor. I cannot thank my teammates and coaches enough for their support over the last four years. For us, hockey is more than a sport, it’s a lifestyle,” says Barker. “While this program is not considered a varsity sport, we aim to practice, perform, and behave as though it is. Over the last four years, we have improved as a team and a program, leaving the door open for future success under Coach O’Brien. I would be seriously remiss to not thank the fans who pack the Underhill on the norm. Thank you for all the support. Finally, thank you to my folks who started me off on skates at a young age and encouraged me to pick up hockey. Without your support over the years, driving me to early practices and packing in the cold rinks on Saturday nights, I wouldn’t be here.”

Finally, no one summed it up better than senior captain Sam Levin. “The ice hockey team has been a cornerstone of my experience at Bates. One thing that I told the guys a lot this year is that, inevitably, someday we’ll look back on our memories here and want it all again — and when we do, it is important for that to be for the right reasons,” he says. “Friday’s win, a hard-fought team effort in front of the diehard Bobcat faithful, was a fitting way to cap off an incredibly rewarding season. The alumni game and reunion the following day were also nothing short of spectacular. We had guys out there ranging from recent graduates and former teammates of mine to members of the classes of 1965 and 1980, respectively.”

As noted by Levin when asked about the weekend, “I cannot possibly express enough gratitude; Bates Hockey is a family that it is truly an honor to be a part of.”

 

Taking a Closer Look at Literary Production

Personally I find it overwhelming to enter a bookstore. Obviously the cultural productions of any given bookstore are highly variable. Bookstores, like books themselves, can be read in many different manners. Yet, even as there is a degree to which bookstores have great variation, there are some fairly constant dynamics within most western bookstores.

For example, bookstores are usually understood to contain an eclectic panoply of literature. Though this seems fairly logical, it depends how someone defines ‘eclectic’ and what standards of difference constitute a wide variety of styles. Even further, there is a divergence between what physically exists in bookstores and how a consumer interacts with the space. Yes, there may exist many different styles of literature, according to a variety of definitions, in most bookstores. This does not, however, mean that those different styles are displayed equally.

Most bookstores, particularly large chains, prioritize section labels over the titles of a book. Books are usually placed in shelves only visible by the side. In contrast, newly reprinted “classics,” best sellers, award winners, or other literature deemed of note, are usually made more visible. Though book stores might be imagined as a type of cosmopolitan, multicultural haven, a small number of forms and content dominate the space. Bookstores often highlight the commercial success of a book as a marker of popularity, and therefore quality. Most bookstore chains, such as Barnes and Noble, place “best sellers,” often on The New York Times’ list, in the main entrance of a store. The New York Times best sellers are not calculated based upon how many books are actually sold, but the number of copies retail chains purchase.

Even though many people regularly buy books for pleasure, far fewer have much understanding of how publishing or other institutional frameworks of literature operate. In general, consumers believe authors have far more control over the creation of their book than they do. Authors usually have little control over what gets written on the back cover of their book. This knowledge is fairly easily accessible and basically public record. Any description I could give would only barely scratch the surface of common practices within publishing industries.

Similarly, many people give great value to certain prizes, but far fewer know the basic operations, let alone the historical precedents, behind them. For the Pulitzer Prize, much cursory information can be garnered from a brief perusal of the website.

I am trying to give some idea of the extent to which cultural productions of spaces associated with objects described as “art” are invisible in popular consciousness. Many people go to museums, yet far fewer know the basic processes behind artistic installation selections. I know I do not.

I started thinking this through when I went from my local library to the nearest Barnes and Noble to purchase a copy of Janet Mock’s first book Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More. After meandering about aimlessly for a bit, I asked an employee to look up the book for me. The employee gave me directions. I searched high and low where they suggested and sheepishly returned five minutes after I started. They led me to the cultural studies bookcase, located in the corner of the store next to the bathroom. On the bottom shelf, of about 20 books, was the “African American and LGBT” section.

When considering the “new inclusion” of underrepresented groups, it is misguided to just count best sellers and award-winning authors. The structures surrounding literary, and artistic production more generally, must be interrogated.

 

Who Makes the Best Takeout in Town?

As a second-semester senior, I often find myself yearning for food outside of Commons, yet also hoping to stay in my pajamas. Luckily for all of us Bates students, Lewiston is home to more than 20 restaurants, many of whom offer takeout or delivery. For your convenience, I have here ranked the top 4 options for a lazy student desirous of a quick bite. Here’s my opinion on the best takeout in town:

1. Mother India

This Lewiston staple has been the recipient of many a grateful phone call on weekend nights, when I’m not feeling corn dogs, chicken patties, or carbonara. Serving up basics like Chicken Tikka Masala and garlic naan, the pangs of hunger are always quelled by a quick visit to the Lisbon St establishment. All entrees are served with rice, so you know you’re getting a full meal. This place also gets top ranking due to their wide variety of vegetarian and gluten-free options; Mother India easily accommodates those dietary restrictions, providing healthy options for all hungry people.

2. Pure Thai

Coming in second is Pure Thai, located at the end of College St. This Asian fusion restaurant offers both takeout and delivery: a dangerously convenient option for readers without transportation. Having ordered from here numerous times, I can confidently say that Pure Thai’s lunch special is the most magical food deal on the planet: a full entree and appetizer for $6.99 (or $7.99 if you get shrimp or beef), served every day 11am-3pm. Contributing to the magic is that the operator always overestimates the time necessary to prepare the food. Often frustrated by the usual 40-minute wait time, I noticed that my food regularly arrives 10-15 minutes early! The Pad Thai is a generous portion of noodles with egg, sprouts, peanuts, chives, and your meat/vegetable of choice, while the Basil Fried Rice lives up to its warning of “very spicy.” All in all, an excellent option replete with heaping dishes of noodles, spice, and good service.

3. Kim’s Kitchen

A Bates classic, this convenience store-turned-takeout place quickly realized a potential market for takeout food and capitalized on the hungry college student population right next door. My freshman year, Kim’s Kitchen was simply known as Lewiston Variety; since then, Kim and her Kitchen have risen to Bates fame via her popular and quick fried rice and sushi options. Included here simply due to the impact Kim’s has on Bates (see “Kims: Praise in 9 parts” by Nico Lemus, published in 2016 for more information), I personally do not find the food to possess a magical quality warranting its popularity. However, Kim’s still remains in the top three due to ease of access and friendliness of employees. Whatever Kim’s lacks in flavor is made up in charm.

4. Bua Thai

Located across from Hannaford’s on Sabattus St, Bua Thai confers a hassle-free dining experience. Offering takeout and sit-down eating, I used to frequent this restaurant during my first two years at Bates; my sister, Becky Dobbin ’16, took me here while we were on the hunt for sushi, and I have been loyal ever since. The restaurant sells pan-Asian fare, ranging from Thai entrées like Red Curry to Japanese seaweed salad, and everything in between. Personal favorites include the decadent Bua Thai roll and the Spring Rolls. While away from the center of town and campus, this little spot is worth the drive!

There you have it: the best 4 options for dinner that you can eat in pajamas!

 

Ice Climbing Is the Hidden Jem of Winter Sports

Ice-climbing is the type of Bates Outing Club (BOC) activity that has the potential to arouse tremendous fear amongst students. I can not speak for everybody but the thought of being suspended upwards of 30 feet, let alone 80 feet in the air when it is five degrees outside sounds intense but also very terrifying. After talking with BOC members Adam Dohn ‘20 and Sarah Abbott ‘21 about their ice-climbing adventures my perspective on the sport changed. Although Dohn and Abbott come from different levels of experience, they both agreed: “It is safe, fun, and the closest mountain, “The Crag,” is only 25 minutes away. No experience is necessary and everybody is welcome!”

BOC is able to provide equipment to make these ice-climbing trips a feasible possibility for everybody. The most important pieces of equipment that are necessary for a successful ice climb are crampons, which are metal spikes that latch onto your boots, and ice axes, which, in the words of Kohn, are “gnarly looking picks that swing into the ice and allow you to hang on.” Rope, climbing slings, and boots can also be found in the equipment room.

Kohn, from Corning, New York, has been ice-climbing for four years and recently led a BOC trip to the Mount Washington Ice Festival in North Conway, New Hampshire. He started climbing at the beginning of his junior year of high school. Before Bates, Kohn had to scramble to look for different cliffs to climb around the area where he lived and even remembers climbing the Sandstone boulders in the middle of the Pennsylvania woods. Now, as an active BOC member, he enjoys being able to find events that he can lead and undergo adventures with people who share a similar drive to try an activity completely new.

“In the climbing community having people to climb with is really huge because it is nice to have people that know the skills and can help you learn and get better,” says Kohn. “The outing club is just a great place to connect with those kinds of people and if you are not super experienced with climbing, it is a great place to have somebody take you under their wing and teach you all that you need to know.”

One such member of this tight-knit climbing community is first-year Sarah Abbott. Abbott, originally from Chatham, New Jersey, started ice-climbing as an after-school sport when she attended the White Mountain boarding school in Bethlehem, New Hampshire.

“Before I started school at White Mountain, I got a sports list and saw ice climbing. I didn’t know what it was so I checked the box and signed up!” says Abbott. “It is interesting to know people who have the same hobbies but it is also cool to just meet people who want to learn things that you never knew about.”

Among Abbott’s favorite ice climbing spots are “The Flume Gorge” in Franconia Notch, New Hampshire and “The Shagg Crag” in Bryant Pond, Maine. As a busy first-year who wanted to continue to find climbing adventures at Bates, Abbott finds herself at the “The Shagg Crag” at least once or twice a week.

Kohn’s favorite ice-climbing memory happened last year on a BOC trip.

“The trips can be really intimidating to start so we had one person that was coming up to the climbing wall and was absolutely terrified,” Kohn remembers. “Everybody was cheering him on and he went one arm, one leg at a time. He slowly made his way to the top with everybody cheering and was super happy and proud. Just seeing people go through the huge span of challenging emotions of trying to push themselves to accomplish a feat that they have never done before is something that I love to see.”

The peak ice-climbing season is relatively short and currently underway. During one of these cold winter weekends, especially as March lurks around the corner, be sure to stop at the BOC equipment room, contact Adam Kohn or Sarah Abbott, and sign up for an ice-climbing escapade!

 

Hitting the Pause Button: Mindfulness at Bates

Every afternoon, a handful of Bates students sit together in Gomes Chapel. They aren’t talking or working, rather they are just being. This small group is the Dharma Society, and their regular meditation involves a sitting practice that takes place in the chapel for about twenty minutes a day. Dharma Society co-president Caleb Perlman ’19 describes the practice with the frankness of a regular meditator: “We bring out the cushions…we light some incense. We get out a gong. We do the twenty minutes. Hit the bell three times to start, once to end. It’s silent in the middle. Sometimes we chat at the end.”

The Dharma Society’s daily sits are just one example of mindfulness programming that is regularly offered at Bates. Another is Pause, a weekly secular service of dance, music, art, poetry, and silence that is designed to allow Bates students a break from their busy lives. According to Pause Coordinator Emilio Valadez ’18, at Pause, students can be present in a way that daily life at Bates often does not allow for, “Pause gives you the freedom to let your whole being just choose what you want it want to do, which is different from the set of expectations we find when studying, working, or talking in our everyday ordinary way of being,” Valadez says. “[Pause is] just being and maybe being aware of your being.”

For Valadez, mindfulness is a uniquely conscious state of mind. He says, “Mindfulness is an appreciation and an awareness of ways-of-being.” To illustrate his point, Valadez lays out three examples: a person that finds joy through others, a person that wants to find solutions to tough problems, and a person that is consumed by stress. In each of these situations “being mindful is being aware of the way-of-being they are expressing” reflects Valadez.

For Perlman, group meditation, like the kind practiced by Dharma society, allows for a unique community experience: “There is something intangible about breathing and being aware of what’s going on in the space and being aware of other people that are doing that to,” he says. “Being in the presence of another person, that could be enough.”

Yet Perlman says that mindfulness can be challenging. He likens it to weightlifting for your mind, “It’s not necessarily always pleasant and comfortable in the moment,” he says. Yet it’s worth it in the end, because, “you can live in a mindless state but it is not as pleasant or efficacious.”
According to Perlman, a lack of mindfulness can even show up in our eating habits. Oftentimes, we may find ourselves fast and thoughtless when in commons, our thoughts miles away. To Perlman, “We live in an environment of abundance…if we’re just mindlessly eating, we’re not going to tune into the actual desire to eat.”

His suggestion for eating more mindfully in Commons? “Get small bowls of things, then do multiple trips.” That way, he says, you can break up your meals. Plus, you’ll be distracted between trips by conversations with friends, which will slow even the most hurried eater. This slower eating can lead to more awareness of when you’re hungry, subsequently improving your relationship with food.
To get involved with these mindfulness practices, stop by the chapel at 4:15 p.m. on weekdays for Dharma meditations or 9 p.m. on Wednesdays for Pause. All are welcome to both events. Also, look out for a mindfulness event on February 26 from 5-7 PM in Commons, complete with Zen coloring, a mindful eating exercise, and a yoga class in the Whelan Balcony.

From the Ashes: Mining for Answers in America

Since its rise in the 18th century to the present, coal has held a tight grip on the United States’s economy and job market. It helped power the United States through the industrial revolution and propelled the country’s economy forward. But despite the many positive things that coal afforded this country, and many others around the world, such things have not come without consequence. Environmental disasters, health crises, and economic monopolies have risen along with coal. From the Ashes, a documentary produced by Bloomberg Philanthropies and National Geographic, explores coal’s history in the United States and the implications of the industry. With perspectives from miners, activists, scientists, and regular citizens, the film presents an in-depth view of the many people that the coal industry impacts.

Not only is the film focused on the coal industry, but more importantly, the changing climate of the industry. As it becomes more evident that coal is an outdated energy source, many consumers are choosing to move to natural gas or renewable energy sources. While this is good news for the environment and many people facing the environmental health issues caused by coal, it also leaves many people unemployed and struggling to make ends meet. From the Ashes explores how families and individuals are coping with both the environmental and economic problems associated with coal. A certain focus is also given to grass-roots organizing and the politics of coal in the United States, especially given the Trump administration’s strong pro-coal stance. Finally, the documentary also asks important questions about how this country starts to move forward and questions whether that is with or without coal.

Regina Lilly, a resident of Lincoln County, West Virginia, reflects on the many different impacts that the coal industry has had on her family. Not only has coal impacted the economic livelihood of her family, but also their basic health. Her husband was a miner, but he was laid off, and, as in much of Appalachia, the heavy strip mining and mountaintop-removal practices have contaminated the well of their home. Of course, impacts on Regina Lilly and her family are not unknown to others. Despite its aged technology and negative impacts, many people, as well as companies, continue to invest in coal. Many places in the United States still rely on coal to exist.

The documentary takes viewers to Appalachia, specifically in West Virginia, and the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana to investigate how the industry is changing and what this means for miners and their families. In the Powder River Basin, as in Appalachia, many towns exists due to coal and completely revolve around the industry. Colstrip, Montana, as its name implies, is completely derived from coal mining and processing in the area.

The film presents many characters from the region, including residents as well as Montana state senator Duane Ankney, and their perspectives on the changing climate of coal. From all stories presented in the film, it is obvious that there is a divide in methods to move forward. Those who benefit heavily from the money in coal are stern in their unwillingness to give up the industry and invest in new technologies. But on the other side, film makers show the many residents who experience the severe and even deadly hazards of coal. Such people are also stern in their anti-coal stance. So how does the United States move forward? From the Ashes doesn’t present definitive answers, but does provide the audience with a special look inside the many angles and impacts of the industry. Perhaps Americans may still be able to rise from the ashes and climb out of the deep pit of struggles surrounding coal.

 

Q&A with the Women’s Basketball Rookie of the Week: Taylor McVeigh ’21

I interviewed Taylor McVeigh ‘21, a forward on the Bates women’s basketball team from Hanson, MA, who was named “Rookie of the Week” by the Maine Women’s Basketball Coaches Association on Tuesday February 6th.

Kerry Manuel (KM): How did you begin your basketball career?

Taylor McVeigh (TM): I actually was forced into playing basketball by my mom in third grade. She wanted me to try it and I was so upset I cried — I will never live that down. My aunt played at Curry College and coached younger players. I guess I didn’t want to get sucked into all of that….but then after I started playing I absolutely loved it.

KM: Tell me about this season.

TM: This season was very rewarding. We learned a lot from the ups and downs and we learned about the culture of our team and the program we are trying to build, which is something our coach has emphasized for us all season. We unfortunately did not get the end results we had hoped for, but I think it’s important that we know now what the foundation of our team is.

KM: Congratulations on receiving Rookie of the Week! How did you feel after hearing the news?

TM: I was excited! It was nice to find out that what I had been working towards this season had paid off enough.

KM: When did you find out?

TM: It’s funny, my dad was the first person who told me! He saw the post on Twitter and screenshotted it and sent it to me, and soon my aunts tagged me on Facebook. My whole family heard about it before me! They said they were really proud of me, and excited to see my hard work pay off.

KM: Why do you think you received this award?

TM: I had pretty good games against Hamilton and Amherst, but I think it was because of the comfort factor that made me stand out. A lot of the plays I made were based on my teammates, and the meshing of our team, that’s why I was able to perform. All of the plays I made were the result of a great pass by one of my teammates and I wouldn’t have been able to make the plays without them.

KM: How has college basketball been different than high school?

TM: The mindset of the team is a lot different. Everyone is willing to put in a lot of time on the court and off the court to work towards the goals of our team.

KM: What are those goals?

TM: One of the goals is to win, but unfortunately we didn’t get that result this year. However, the othergoals were about what the foundation of our team will look like for the next three years and beyond. Something we talked about at the end of our last game on Friday was around the culture shift — we want to become a winning and competing program in the NESCAC.

KM: How have you improved the most this season?

TM: Something that our coach pushed us all to do is to become a leader no matter what grade you are in. I think she really pushed us to do that and our teammates pushed each other.

KM: What is the “Leader of the Day” about?

TM: Every day at practice our coach would assign someone to be the “leader of the day” and that morning she would send her practice recommendations to our coach that she thought we needed to work on based on the previous practice or game. We would meet with [our coach] and talk about our practice plan. It was also a way she could check in with us and talk about what she wanted from us. Everyone on the team did it like three times throughout the season.

KM: What was your experience like being “Leader of the Day?”

TM: It was definitely a little bit uncomfortable because I am not one of the most vocal leaders. In high school I was more of a “leader by example,” and that is what I wanted to work on coming in. But by the end I was more comfortable with it and and more confident knowing what I could bring to the team.

KM: What would you say was the highlight of this season?

TM: I would say that the highlight was the Middlebury game in January. It was the only game we won in the NESCAC. It was nice to see everything we worked for come together and we got everything done that we needed to get done…we executed everything our coach asked us to.

KM: If you could give advice to your pre-college self, on and off the court, what would it be?

TM: I’d say on the court, I struggled with coming in injured, so I would tell myself to just keep pushing through it. It was a frustrating injury but I know I will be able to work through it.

Off the court, I would say to keep up what you have done, because it has gotten you to where you want to be. I think that’s something my parents have told me, to keep doing what you are doing and it will all work out.

KM: What are you most excited for going forward?

TM: We need to prepare this off season and throughout the summer. We will be working towards what we need to do to bring to the team. Getting prepared means doing lifts and playing pickup. But half the prep is the mindset we bring into next season — a winning mindset and focusing on what we can do to get the results we want. We have the effort, talent and ability but it is the x-factors that change a lot of the games for us, so we will be in a better position if we have those for next season.

KM: In three words, how would you want people to know you?

TM: Hard worker, leader, humble.

Navigating the Gym at Bates

Walk in to the Bert Andrews Room (BAR) in Merrill Gym at 4 p.m. on a weekday, and you are bound to become annoyed. People jocking for treadmills, looking over your shoulder as they are on the elliptical eagerly awaiting you to finish your workout; or worse, not being able to use the machine you wanted because they are all taken. Nevermind the inability to get a cubby to put down your backpack. Being a varsity athlete, I have had the opportunity to compete at and view the athletic facilities offered at other NESCAC schools. With the exception of a small school to the North, every other school has newly renovated multi-floor fieldhouses that cater to the athletic and fitness desires of the entire student body. While I may be hyperbolizing the status of Bates’ fitness facilities, I have frequently heard comments from friends, teammates, and general students about how crowded both Davis and Merrill fitness centers can get during peak hours.

Since the flow of students at particular times is not something that can be controlled, it is hard to argue that this is an issue without sounding like a brat. And steps are being made to improve current facilities and implement more diverse classes into the offerings for physical education classes and the BWell program. Just this fall, ten brand-new treadmills were added to the BAR and are not only better-functioning, but also allow for more people to use the treadmills at one time, due to the restructuring of the layout of other cardio machines. Also recently, more spin bikes have been added to the Gray Cage, allowing for greater participation in the BWell spin classes. But even still, if you choose to show up to the gym at 4 p.m. on a Tuesday, you run the risk of riding a stationary bike even though you are a month into training for a half marathon. Davis Fitness Center can be equally as bad, if not worse, with many groups of varsity athletes getting in pre-practice lifts and a limited number of platforms for Olympic lifting.

While this issue does not have a quick fix and is definitely on the radar of the administration and the athletic department, I propose a few things to make everyone’s experience more enjoyable. First is etiquette: while it may seem as though you need to jump onto a machine as soon as someone else gets off, even if their sweat is still all over it, take a breath and let them finish their workout peacefully, so you can do the same. Next, be aware and respectful of everyone else in the gym, use headphones, don’t talk on the phone for the entire duration of your workout, and be swift in cleaning and exiting the machine once you have finished exercising. In Davis, let people work in. And if you are resting or going to use a cable machine for a set, let someone else borrow your platform for a quick set and rotate on and off. Finally, in both locations, carry the shoes you are going to work out in. Sand and salt not only damage the treadmills and the platforms, but also make a mess and are generally annoying to have to deal with when you just want to exercise.

Although the athletic and fitness facilities at Bates need a lot of love, all of us Batesies can do our small parts to make these facilities enjoyable for the time being.

 

Alpine Ski Teams Earn Impressive Placement at the Dartmouth Carnival

On February 9 and 10, Bates’ alpine ski team competed at the Dartmouth Carnival in Lyme, N.H. Here, the alpine and nordic ski teams obtained a combined score of 365 team points, earning a season-high seventh place finish out of 17 teams.

While both the men and women of the alpine ski team competed well, the women were the dominant point scorers for this competition, posting strong performances in both events. On the first day, the alpine ski team competed in the giant slalom. Hannah Johnson ‘18 led the women, placing 21st out of 52 skiers with a first run time of 1:04.93, a second run time of 1:05.57 and a combined time of 2:10.50. On the men’s side, Calvin Wilson ‘21 came in 40th place in a field of 50 competitors, hitting 1:03.33 on his first run, 1:04.06 on his second run and a combined time of 2:07.39.

Rounding out the scoring on the women’s side was Sierra Ryder ‘18 in 25th and Hannah West ‘21 in 26th, skiing combined times of 2:11.54 and 2:11.66. In total, the women earned 60 points in the giant slalom.

Maximilian Schneider ‘21 came in second for the Bobcats with a combined time of 2:08, placing 44th. Tagert Mueller ‘20 was third in 46th place and finished with a combined time of 2:10.34. The men earned 25 points total in this event.

The Bobcats shined on day two of the Dartmouth Carnival, competing in the slalom event. Twins Griffin Mueller ‘20 and Tagert Mueller led the way for Bates, placing 12th and a personal best placement of 20th out of fields of 52. Griffin Mueller hit 55.24 and 55.42 in her runs, with a combined time of 1:50.66 and Tagert Mueller skied a time of 54.12 on his first run and 53.06 on his second for a combined time of 1:47.18.

The women showed their strength in this event with four top-thirty finishes. Coming in behind Griffin Mueller was West in 15th with a time of 1:52.19 and Johnson in 28th with a time of 1:55.14. Following close behind Johnson in 29th was Ryder with a time of 1:55.37. The women received 76 points for their effort in this event for a total of 136 points overall in the carnival.

For the men, Wilson came in 42nd with a time of 1:50.78 and Joe Gillis ‘21 followed in 43rd with a time of 1:50.91. The men earned 42 points in the slalom and 67 points total last weekend.

“This season has gone well so far,” says team captain Ryder. “It’s hard to believe we are already more than halfway through the college races. The women’s team has been doing very well…we have a very deep team this year, making it good for team scoring.”

She continues to note that the men’s team is unfortunately currently lacking one of their key skiers, Michael Cooper ‘19, due to a back injury.

“The circuit that we ski on is always filled with incredible ski talent and, in my opinion, it has been getting harder almost every season with many schools recruiting top athletes from national teams [which makes] the carnivals exciting, but also very difficult. Regardless, we are all working very hard and I am hoping that we get some more personal bests these next two weekends,” Ryder finishes.

The alpine ski team will continue their season next weekend at the Williams Carnival held at Jiminy Peak in Hancock, MA. This will be their last carnival before the NCAA regional and national championship competitions.

 

Suffering Industry Disproportionately Impacts Immigrants of Color

On Monday, February 5, a New York City cab driver named Douglas Schifter shot himself to death outside of New York City Hall. Just hours before his death, he posted a Facebook status in which he claims that politicians drove him to his suffering. In his status, he states the following: “I will not be a slave working for chump change. I would rather be dead.” There has been a negative relationship between the New York cab industry and so-called “startups” like Uber and Lyft for a while now, as there has been between taxi drivers, and Uber in particular, during the taxi strike against the Muslim immigration ban around this time last year.

I assume it’s pretty well-known that many of New York City taxi drivers are immigrants of color. The New York Times reported in 2004 that 84 percent of taxi and livery drivers in the city are immigrants. This number has only risen over the years, from 38 percent in 1980 to 64 percent in 1990. The majority of taxi and livery drivers come from the West Indies (Dominican Republic or Haiti), followed closely by drivers from South Asia (Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India). The majority of yellow cab drivers, specifically, are South Asian immigrants.

So, why is this relevant? Let’s trace back the timeline. In January of last year, there was a taxi strike at the John F. Kennedy International Airport. I remember the energy of this entire weekend being heavy and urgent. Donald Trump had issued an executive order on that Friday as part of what he called an “extreme vetting plan” to keep out whom he Islamophobically calls “radical Islamic terrorists.” So, lawyers were stationed at international airports across the country working to release people who were denied entry and detained. The taxi drivers were protesting outside of JFK airport between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.. That afternoon, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance Facebook page posted the following statement: “by sanctioning bigotry with his unconstitutional and inhumane executive order banning Muslim refugees from seven countries, the president is putting professional drivers in more danger than they have been in any time since 9/11 when hate crimes against immigrants skyrocketed.”

While the organization was standing by (Muslim) immigrants of color, Uber had decided to continue operating with service to the airport and lower its rates as well. This difference in response between New York City taxi drivers and companies like Uber (and Lyft, which capitalized on the public’s outcry at Uber’s continued service as its rival) reflects a much larger issue under the surface: over the years, Uber and Lyft have used their “political might,” as executive directer and co-founder of NYTWA Bhairavi Desai claims on Democracy Now!, to win deregulation bills and outcompete the existing taxi industry.

Still known to many as startups, Uber and Lyft combined “ironically spent more on lobbying than Amazon and Walmart combined, and Microsoft, as well.” Desai claims that these companies are operating in a “gig economy,” which she describes as “destroying what has been a full-time profession, turning it into part-time, poverty-pay work,” and they’re using Wall Street money to do it.

Douglas Schifter, according to Desai, was the third taxi driver to commit suicide in just the past few months. Desai states, “I have never seen drivers in more deeper despair and crisis.” This situation runs deep, and it is highly political.

 

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