The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Author: Frances Snellings

Bad hombre

“Hey Hey Ho Ho, Donald Trump has got to go” was one of the chants employed by Bates protesters who attended Donald Trump’s rally in the neighboring town of Lisbon this past Friday. While the rain and blustery wind may have stalled some from engaging with the protest, it certainly did not halt concerned Bates students. For an hour, huddled in raincoats, students challenged Trump through chants, signs, and solidarity.

This rally in Lisbon marks Trump’s fifth visit to Maine since March. In the rowdy crowd of about 1,200 people packed inside a small gymnasium, there was a noticeable contingency of women wearing “Women for Trump” shirts, smiling proudly at the Republican nominee.

Bates Student Action, a club on campus that aims to fight for change on the local, state and national level through intentional and deliberate leadership building, co-lead by Cash Huynh ‘18 and Emily Manter ‘18, was largely responsible for this large mobilization of students. They organized rides and sent out mass emails to garner support. The message for the peaceful protest was clear: denounce the sexually violent language Trump has promoted, especially his recent locker room comment. Huynh explains, “By engaging in this rhetoric, Trump invites others to participate as well. And as a club we stand in direct opposition to his violence.” The students attending the protest made it clear that Trump’s discourse is not acceptable. In addition to the catchy chants, students made witty signs. “My favorite sign was definitely one that read, ‘Hands off my cunt-re,’” Alexandra Gwillim ‘18, says, whom attended Friday’s rally.

While there was minimal aggressive heckling from Trump supporters, Bates students still received verbal pushback. Echoing similar rhetoric that circled during the Ben Chin election last November, local Trump supporters attending the rally were angered by the Bates’ liberal and peaceful presence: “For a while, there was one woman denouncing us. Telling us that we are too young to understand politics. That we are just privileged Bates students” Alexandra Gwillim says. “But we are so much more than that, we belong to this community too. We want change and we are going to fight for that change.”

Bates College WITH parents

The weekend was full of activities with Homecoming and parents visiting MAX HUANG/THE BATES STUDENT

The weekend was full of activities with Homecoming and parents visiting
MAX HUANG/THE BATES STUDENT

 

Back to Bates, the second annual fusion of Homecoming and Parents Weekend into one mighty event was met with smashing success. Over the weekend, hundreds of Bates alumni and families gathered on the Bates campus to celebrate in unison the academic, athletic, and artistic hallmarks of this distinctive institution. The weekend kicked off with the biggest a cappella concert of the year that included a goosebump-inducing version of Adele’s Hello, sung by the ever-talented Maddie Mclean 17’.

As Nico Bardin ‘17 expressed, “I would pay good money to see our a capella groups perform.” However, as with almost every event of the weekend, including Brewfest with unlimited beer and hard cider, the weekend was free of personal expenses. Perhaps more exciting for Bates students than the arrival of parents is the annual arrival of the mini cartons of fresh pressed apple-cider and the plentiful sampling of maple cookies.

With more than 60% of Bates students’ involvement in athletics, the weekend was full of red and black-donned families and alumni, celebrating various athletic team successes or, in the case of some, still celebrating in the wake of failure. Parents and students bonded over generational gaps and overlaps at the Tailgate and cheered loudly as Bates Football resoundingly defeated Williams 27-19. The victory marks the fifth time in the last six years the Bobcats (1-2) have defeated the Ephs (0-3) on the gridiron. While football took the center stage, based on locality, other Bates athletic teams dominated in their own respective fields and courts, with women’s volleyball sweeping two NESCAC matches in a row over Trinity, and a win for both Field Hockey and women’s soccer.

In conjunction with athletic affairs, alumni and families also roistered around Bates academics. From a networking event at the Bates Career Development Center, to the ever-popular summer research poster session, to a Ladd planetarium demonstration, Bates academics and student’s personal engagement with purposeful work in and out of the classroom was recognized and celebrated.

Many parents who hadn’t seen campus before, and perhaps begrudging younger siblings starting the college process early, were also acquainted with the Bates academic buildings and classes, while attending one of the various campus tours offered throughout the weekend.

Music also played a key role in the weekend, starting with the house-packed a capella concert Friday night to the small acoustic gathering at The Ronj. Although brewfest ended earlier in the day, the tent remained intact and as the sun set, it swiftly filled with small children, parents, alumni and Bates students alike indulging their sweet teeth with a sampling of autumn desserts. As various Bates bands bellowed their songs into the brisk fall air, parents, alums and students danced together. When the dessert supply slowly dwindled down and the excitement of the day settled into sleepiness, parents and older alums headed to their hotels to rest and Batesies and young alumni rallied for an evening of “networking” and celebration.

The rain on Sunday afternoon signaled the end of the weekend, gently pushing parents and alumni to head home after attending a few of the final events. While the decision to conjoin parents weekend and homecoming into one event last October initially raised the eyebrows of some, it is quickly gaining appreciation by students, alums and parents alike. As the saying goes: the more the merrier.

Sticks and balls

The path from Merrill to commons seldom remains empty; and throughout the day, even during the late hours of the evening, the path is full of cheerful Batesies hauling various sports bags and athletic equipment back to their dorms. Somewhere amidst all the sticky bustle lies the beauty of college sports: the fact that different levels of competition (varsity, club, and intramural) allow anyone to compete.

But while some of these levels require certain skill and commitment, all produce similar benefits for the student participating. Bates college is no exception to this, in recent years, club and intramural sport participation at Bates has sprouted, with the involvement of over 60% of Bates students in club and IM sports.

Club and varsity sports, respectively, have huge benefits for students. For many students who may be bored of the treadmill or who perhaps lack the motivation to go to the gym at all may find playing a club sport an easy cure to their workout blues. By focusing on the competition at hand, instead of the tortuous “calories burned” meter on that elliptical, students are able to attend fast-paced practices that help them stay healthy and have fun.

Research done by the New York Times suggests that playing a sport helps reduce stress, for sometimes all it takes is getting active to get rid of that writer’s block or re-energize yourself for a night of note-taking. Additionally, playing a sport teaches valuable time management skills that allow you to make the most of those blocks set aside for strictly studying. With all of this information in mind, it is not surprising to find flourishing club sports and intramural teams at Bates. This year, there have been additional club sport opportunities added, particularly exciting is the creation of the Bates Women’s Club Lacrosse Team.

Although the Bates Women’s Club Lacrosse team was established in the 2014-2015 academic year, it slowly lost momentum and the team never actually got around to playing a full game. This year, however, under the leadership of Brie Wilson 18’, the Bates Women’s Lacrosse Team is briskly gaining momentum, with the participation of over 10 ladies.

Although lacrosse is typically a spring sport, the team has already committed to practicing this fall. “Although we have made it clear that there is no pressure in attending our Thursday and Sunday practices, there have consistently been about 10-15 girls who have shown up,” Wilson excitedly relayed. “That is the beauty of club sports,” she goes on to say. “You can be involved in the sport but still have time for other interests and academics as well that perhaps are not possible with a varsity sport.” This is a form of college athletics without the pageantry or prerogative, and that’s the way athletes, like Brie Wilson, in club sports like it. They devise the practices, make the team rules, decide whom to play and when, budget the money for uniforms and game officials, schedule the hotel and travel arrangements and manage the paperwork.

Joining the team is easy and all levels of fitness and lacrosse experience are welcomed and encouraged. “Some girls who come to practice have never picked up a stick, others played on travel and varsity teams in high school. The diversity is awesome!,” Wilson contends. Interested in learning more about club lacrosse? Contact Brie Wilson at bwilson@bates.edu.

 

No Batesie Left Behind

Anyone who has wandered the maze hallways of the cozy Harward center on Wood street can recognize the gentle hum of voices and sound of aggressive typing occupying the building. Colorful photographs of smiling past and present Bates students engaging in the wider Lewiston community don the hallways.

The Harward center serves as a physical manifestation of Bates’ commitment to the Lewiston community; the old white building on Wood street serves as concrete evidence of the outstanding history of community engagement at this institution, and offers students and faculty alike golden tickets into the plethora of opportunity in the wider Lewiston community. The Harward center is a hallmark of the academic program at Bates, with close to half of all students taking a community-engaged learning course each year and many students undertaking community-engaged research projects and theses.

In our interview, Darby Ray, Director of the Harward center, smiles as she describes the growth of community engagement in recent years. “Students are becoming increasingly involved with the Harward center,” Darby relays as she cites the growth of the community-liaison program as the most recent example. This program, intended to engage students of all kinds in the Lewiston community, first piloted last year, has had great success. Essentially the community-liaison program works to ensure that every sports team, club, and organization on campus has a community-liaison whose responsibility is to get its members involved. Not only do these programs work as excellent team and club bonding, but also work to strengthen ties between the Bates and Lewiston community. This fall break, the soccer and field hockey teams plan on organizing clinics for Lewiston Middle School students. Every Monday night, the men and women golf teams bring local youth from Auburn mini-golfing and out for ice cream. Additionally, something that has helped ensure that every Bates students has a point of entry into the Lewiston community is the Junior Advisor community-engagement requirement, verifying that first-years be exposed to the community during their first few months on campus.

Darby was also excited to share of the Harward Center’s current participation in a National Research project exploring whether civic engagement experience is correlated with student well-being – the hypothesis being, of course, that there is a positive relationship between the two. A couple hundred Bates students took a survey in the beginning of this semester and will take another survey at the end of the year.

Lastly, Darby and I talked about the role of the Harward center in the coming election, a topic unavoidable in a building whose mission is to literally help Bates students develop the intellectual, ethical, and personal skills needed for lifelong civic responsibility and purposeful work. Darby and others at the Harward center are particularly concerned about student attitude in this election: “I am working hard to encourage students not to be silenced by apathy, anger or disgust in this election and to get out there and vote,” Darby explains. She maintains, “in the coming weeks we will be setting up tables in commons where students can easily register to vote and I encourage everyone to pick up non-partisan voter guides and other materials that help educate what state’s students should vote in.” Darby also shared with me troubling demographic statistics of Bates students from the 2012 election. Only 42% of Bates students, overall, voted. 70% of students were registered. This average, which is regrettably less than half of the student body, is below national average for college and universities. As Darby accurately declares: “this is an appalling figure for a school whose mission and outlook is grounded in human action.” Our mission statement literally has the words “informed civic action” in its nexus. Let us, as Bates students, please do better this year. Look out for tabling in commons where you can engage in our democratic society that only works when everyone votes.

Interested in becoming more involved in the Lewiston community?

Did you miss the activities fair?

Do YOU want to be the community-liason for your club?

Email Darby at dray3@bates.edu or swing by the Wood Street location yourself and enjoy a selection of delicious tea and meet kind, engaging and passionate people.

 

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén