The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Month: December 2016

President Clayton Spencer signs a letter

On November 30th, President Clayton Spencer emailed the students, faculty, and staff informing them that Bates “recently signed an open letter to the President-elect Trump from college and university presidents affirming the basic values of human decency, equal rights, freedom of expression, and freedom from discriminating and pushing back against a climate of harassment, hate, and acts of violence.”

The “racist, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and similar incidents” are “contrary to the values on which Bates was founded and they contribute to an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty.” Therefore, over 100 colleges and universities stated that they want a “continuation and expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.”

According to the letter to the community published by Clayton, “Bates welcomes applications from all students without regard to their immigration status, and applications for admission from DACA and undocumented students are treated the same as those from domestic students. Likewise, DACA and undocumented students are eligible to apply for institutional, need-based financial aid, and, as with all students, we meet the full demonstrated financial need of any admitted student.” The act of adding our name to the letter is not to be taken politically, rather it is a way to emphasize what are our values are.

Some or the colleges and universities that signed the letter are Amherst, Bard, Bowdoin, Colgate, Cornell, Davidson, Middlebury, and Williams. The short but informative letter is directed towards Donald Trump and begins with “as do you, we ‘seek common ground, not hostility; partnership, not conflict.’”

It urges the President-elect to “condemn and work to prevent the harassment, hate, and acts of violence that are being perpetrated across our nation, sometimes in your name which is now synonymous with our nation’s highest office.”

President Clayton’s letter to the school discusses the personal fear many students have given their background, whether immigrant or LGBTQ+, therefore it is important to remember that we “have the responsibility to do everything within our power to defend our values, to ensure the safety of our students and protect them from discrimination, and to foster a campus climate defined by deep listening, mutual respect, and honest discourse on even the most difficult subjects,” especially since we do not have control of what is happening in the world.

An alphabetical journey into the English Premier League: B

Burnley FC (The Clarets)

Overview: The team is based in Burnley, Lancashire and was founded in 1882 by a rugby team. They have won the Football League twice (1921, 1960), the FA Cup once (1914), and the Community Shield twice (1960, 1973). Last year they won the Championship League to get promoted to the Premier League for the current season.

Stadium: Turf Moor

Notable players:

Tom Heaton, GK (current)

Sam Vokes, F (current)

George Beel, F (1923-1932)

Danny Ings, F (2011-2015)

Jerry Dawson, GK (1907-1928)

Jimmy McIlroy, M (1950-1962)

Fun facts:

One of three teams to have won all four professional divisions of English football (Burnley, Wolverhampton, Preston North End)

Their colors, claret and blue, were chosen in 1910 to honor Aston Villa, the best team at the time

Have used one stadium for the second longest amount of time

Known for the earliest recorded case of match fixing in soccer (1899)

First team in the world to build a training ground next to their stadium

A.F.C. Bournemouth (The Cherries)

Overview: A.F.C. Bournemouth plays out of Bournemouth, Dorset and was founded in 1890 as part of the Boscombe St. John’s Lads’ Institute. They are called the Cherries due to their cherry-red striped shirts and the fact that their stadium was built next to some cherry orchards. Their current manager, Eddie Howe, began as a caretaker before becoming the youngest manager in the Football League at the age of 31. In the 2014-15 season, he led them to a Championship title and their first promotion into the Premier League. The current season is their second in the top flight in Englad, avoiding relegation last year. They have won both the second and third tiers.

Stadium: Dean Court

Notable players:

Eddie Howe, D (1994-2002, 2004-2007)

Callum Wilson, F (Present)

Harry Arter, M (Present)

Dickie Dowsett, F (1957-1962)

Fun facts:

They have changed their name 4 times

Suffered from financial woes in recent past

A Community Comes Together


Beatrice Bell Verville passed away at the age of 90. Photo courtesy of Claire Schmal.

Beatrice Bell Verville passed away at the age of 90.
Photo courtesy of Claire Schmoll

Katie Vale passed away due to a cardiac arrest. Photo courtesy of Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College.

Katie Vale passed away due to a cardiac arrest.
Photo courtesy of Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College

The past two weeks have been marred by tragic news of the passing of two beloved members on campus. On November 20, Beatrice Bell Verville, who joined the accounting office in 1977 and retired in 1992, passed away at the age of 90. It was not more than a week later that current faculty member Katie Vale, Vice President of Information and Library Services, suffered a sudden and tragic passing due to a cardiac arrest. Both individuals were stellar members of the faculty and staff and have helped to improve the campus in a plethora of ways. It is with great regret that the Bates community must say a final farewell.

Verville was not only a valuable and exemplary member of the staff in the accounting office here on campus. According to an email sent by President Clayton Spencer on November 28, “She was a talented seamstress who created heirloom quilts for her children and grandchildren. She was active in the Knights of Columbus, taught line dancing, and enjoyed bowling, crocheting, knitting, senior bus trips, and playing cards. An open-armed matriarch, she was able to weave together three families into one.”

Verville’s countless examples of outstanding citizenship were not limited to her work at Bates College, but also extended into the community around her. Evident in President Spencer’s remarks, she was a person who enjoyed giving back to the community throughout her life, and her presence within the Bates and local community will be greatly missed.

The passing of Vale last week was as tragic as it was unexpected. Vale had recently undergone surgery just a little over two weeks before her untimely death, and was reported to be recovering well.

President Spencer shared some remarks in another email circulated on campus stating, “Katie joined Bates 15 months ago, and she quickly proved herself to be a strong and creative organizational leader, a wonderful, collaborative colleague, a professional of enormous breadth and intellect, and a person possessed of quick wit and self-deprecating humor. She was a national leader in educational technology and a valued member of the senior leadership team.”

As incidents such as these occur at Bates, it is important to recognize the inherent bond that each and every person on this campus share with each other in simply being a part of the Bates community. While many members of the Bates community may not have known either Verville or Vale personally, it is important to recognize the role both played in contributing to the Bates community and their work in moving Bates forward.

On behalf of The Student staff, the community, and myself it is with respect that we offer our condolences and support to the families of Beatrice Bell Verville and Katie Vale in this trying time. May they both rest in peace.

Dear Bates College Administration,

We, the concerned students of the Bates Community, move that Bates College follow the lead of over 200 colleges and universities across the nation in seeking official status as a sanctuary campus for undocumented immigrants living at Bates and in Lewiston. This is an imperative step as we prepare to protect the members of our community directly threatened by President-Elect Donald Trump and his administration.

Within the first 100 days in office, President-Elect Donald Trump plans to block funding for sanctuary cities and states and overturn Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA specifically grants protection from deportation to undocumented immigrants who came to the United States under the age of 16 and before June of 2007. With the repeal of DACA, over 13,000 U.S. college students will be in danger of deportation. It is the duty of college and university administrations across the country to act in defense of students most vulnerable to President-Elect Donald Trump’s proposed immigration policies.

Sanctuary spaces around the country—including cities, states, and college campuses—serve to protect undocumented immigrants by refusing to comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Colleges and Universities hold unique power in that ICE officials cannot step foot on campus property without authorization (policy number 10029.2). Not only will sanctuary status serve to protect DACA-mented, undocumented students, faculty, and staff, but it will also serve as a gesture of protection and kindness to Lewiston’s large Somali refugee population (one of the largest populations in Maine with approximately 7,000 Somali refugees)—a group of people whom Donald Trump has directly targeted in his campaign, blaming them for Maine’s increasing crime rates. Lewiston Mayor Robert Macdonald even quoted that he and Lewiston police “will not tolerate the harassment of any members of our community for any reasons.” We need to preserve Bates’ values and the values of Lewiston.

Bates College is responsible for manifesting the inclusive values and progressive history it boasts. Bates College holds a proud history as a place of progressive thought and equality, dating all the way back to its abolitionist founding. The college mission statement declares, “With ardor and devotion — Amore ac Studio — we engage the transformative power of our differences, cultivating intellectual discovery and informed civic action.” It is crucial that we uphold the truth of these words and follow in the history of progressive equality.

For these reasons, we call on Bates College to act immediately, and to declare itself a sanctuary before President-Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20th, 2017. We implore the college to adopt and uphold a written policy declaring, clearly and publicly, the protections it will offer according to our vision of a sanctuary campus, outlined below:

– Bates College will guarantee the privacy and confidentiality of undocumented students, faculty, and staff

– Bates College will take immediate action to protect, serve, and ensure the safety of DACA-mented and undocumented students so that their path to academic success continues to advance

– Bates College will refuse disclosing or voluntarily relinquishing information with ICE/CBP to its fullest capacity under the law

– Bates College will refuse ICE’s presence on campus and any property that is owned by the college

– Bates College will prohibit campus security from inquiring about an individual’s immigration status and/or commit practices that are enforced by ICE/CBP (e.g., referring to undocumented people as “illegal aliens,” infringing undocumented students their human rights, and much more)

-Bates College will continue to push for an ongoing, healthy dialogue with students, faculty, and staff regarding college policy and provide unconditional support for communities who study, reside, and work at the college, and push for support in the Lewiston community

President Clayton Spencer was recently quoted in a message to the Bates Community on November 9 saying, “Bates is a strong community because of the conscious effort we make every day to honor our founding values. At our best, we work hard to know, encourage, and celebrate one another, and we embrace the transformative power of our differences. This work is our duty and our privilege, and it is more important than ever.” Our history, founding values, and vibrant Community demand that we act quickly and compassionately. We, as the Bates Community, need to show that Bates College respects, values, and celebrates the undocumented members of our Community. We cannot afford to stay silent.

BSA tabled in Commons on Monday and Tuesday collecting signatures for the petition. More information as well as a sign able petition will be coming electronically in the coming days


The concerned students, faculty, staff and alumni of Bates College


Art is more important than ever now

Art is not frivolous. Art is not just for the privileged. Art is not a waste of time. Art is more important than ever right now. “There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal,” Toni Morrison said in an interview after the election of George W. Bush, “This is precisely the time when artists go to work—not when everything is fine, but in times of dread. That’s our job!” As a studio art major, the current political climate has inevitably influenced my work. In conversation with fellow studio majors and seeing work from Art Basel Miami Beach and other sources, I have found that I am not alone in this.

“The Theater must always be a safe and special place. The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize,” tweeted Trump after Hamilton actor Brandon Victor Dixon directly addressed Pence at the end of the play and expressed hope that the President and Vice President-elect would be “inspired to uphold our American values.” Nothing about what Dixon said was “rude,” as Trump claimed. But more importantly, the theater is not a “safe place” in that art cannot be apolitical– particularly a play like Hamilton, with its mainly Black and Latino cast and political overtones. Trump, who belittles those who want safe spaces in schools, is sorely misguided in his view of art. Yes, art can be comforting, but it is also necessarily political. Art is not created in a vacuum, so we cannot ignore the psychological process of the artist and the temporal and geographical setting in which the art is created.

Art Basel, which ran from December 1 through 4, featured many overtly political works. Many of the messages are particularly factious if you consider that the art fair largely caters to the wealthy and privileged. Senior Arts and Culture Editor at The Huffington Post, Katherine Brooks, wrote, “Art has long been used to agitate the privileged, to amplify the voices of the less powerful.” A mixed media piece by Rirkrit Tiravanija proclaims, “THE TYRANNY OF COMMON SENSE HAS REACHED ITS FINAL STAGE.” Artist Sam Durant’s lighted sign near the entrance of the venue reads, “End White Supremacy.” Myriad other artists contributed portraits, sculptures, and works in other media directly responding to the current political state of affairs. The New York based gallery, Queer Thoughts, presented a work by Puppies Puppies, in which visitors walked over a floor tiled with American flags. This is only days after Trump announced on Twitter, “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag — if they do, there must be consequences — perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!”

Throughout history, artists have been suppressed, jailed, and killed by dictators and despots. Despite this, they continued to take a stance against injustice and fight the status quo. The contributions of people of color, queer folk, women, immigrants, and other targeted groups have transformed and developed art, culture, and societal values throughout history. We, as artists, need to continue this legacy. Bates studio art major Hannah Tardie ‘17, wrote in an artist statement, “if [art] doesn’t advocate for social change it is irrelevant.” By actively choosing not to make ‘political’ art, the artist is still making a clear social commentary. Depending on who we are as individuals, we need to use our fear, our pain, our privilege, our knowledge, and our love to create work that incites change. To quote Brooks again, even if you are not an artist, “see plays. Go to museums, concerts, exhibitions. Read.”


Largest group of studio art majors shows promising thesis work

This year is a particularly exciting one for the Art and Visual Culture Department; with 17 seniors, it is the largest class of Studio Art majors that Bates has seen yet. As a Studio Art thesis occupies both semesters and Bates is a rather rich community for the arts, I could not wait until the Annual Senior Exhibition to see what is being produced. In an attempt to satisfy all of our curiosities, I met with four seniors, Hannah Tardie, Calvin Reedy, Mary Schwalbe and Alyssa Dole, to talk about their bodies of work.

As a double major in Studio Art and English, Tardie incorporates poetry into her installation work. The fact that the “female body has been excluded from literature as a thing that has a brain and can be autonomous, smart and creative, [and that] art, just in its basic, formal elements is based off of being a man” has inspired her to craft feminine objects. And while Tardie draws on a contradiction in her work, noting that, on one hand, creating representation of women is important, on the other it is “ridiculous … like why is my body being feminized.” Pushing past this feminist puzzle of representing without necessitating or objectifying, Tardie is well on her way to creating an extremely successful body of work that is neither an autobiography nor a representation of the female experience, “because there is no one female experience.”

In a similar vein, photographer Reedy is focusing on creating a new kind of representation for black men. “Growing up in America, especially as a Black person surrounded by white people, is going to make your race salient to you, it’s always been something that I’ve had in my life.” Frustrated with a narrow representation of Black roles, Reedy wanted to make a series depicting what black men are normally not seen as: intimate, loving and vulnerable. Painting their cheeks with real gold, the photographer “adds connotations of worth and value, while also referencing the idea of price and the Transatlantic slave trade that exploited the Black body to build wealth.” Having successfully captured the Black man “with a certain agency that is often taken away from us,” Reedy has an exciting semester ahead, filled with refining his already powerful series and finding methods of presentation that will emphasize the impactful experience for viewers.

Schwalbe continues in this direction with her project; while her work looks at the experience of being a woman, she focuses on what is beautiful and grotesque. Having spent a lot of time in Philosophy and English courses thinking about beauty standards and the syntax involved, Schwalbe thinks that “beauty is something terrifying.” To her, beauty is more raw than what is messaged through pop culture and is more easily found in a medical textbook. Growing up in a medical household and looking at depictions of chronic diseases inspired the artist to explore the relationship between beauty, weight and illness. “Historically, women in painting are pale and frail and have consumption–tuberculosis was viewed as a beautiful way to die.” Disturbed by thinking about how disease can be beautiful, Schwalbe’s exploratory phase of her painting series is focused on how “there really is a historical context for women suffering separately and silently.”

Dole, whose consideration of representation also inspired her work, uses documentary photography to give people a voice. In a Humans of New York style, Dole photographs and interviews members of the Lewiston-Auburn community. Curious about the different views of life that different people may have, Dole originally wanted to portray new Mainers. Soon finding difficulties in accessing such a specific population, the “process first semester was very much revolved around learning what worked well… now that I’ve figured that out, I feel confident going forward that I can produce more photographs of higher quality.” Though it depends on what people are comfortable with sharing, Dole hopes to present the final portraits with the subjects’ stories; “everyone has such unique stories,” and while portraiture is complete in itself, the background adds a touch that makes it deal more with individuals.

Though the seniors that I spoke to seem to all be in different phases of their production, what has been produced thus far is impressive. For more of a sneak peak, the incomplete work of all 17 students is hanging on the wall of the second floor in Olin.


Squash teams reel off winning streaks

The Bates squash teams are off to a phenomenal start to the 2016-17 season. After both the men’s and women’s teams dropped their opening matches against Trinity, they have gone on to win a collective 10 matches in a row.

The men’s team is currently 4-1, and have only dropped two individual matches during their four match winning streak.  They  shutout Connecticut College and Bowdoin 9-0, and followed up those two definitive victories with a pair of 8-1 victories over Wesleyan and Dickinson at the Wesleyan round robin this past weekend.  Ahmed Hatata ‘17 and Darrius Campbell ‘17 have anchored the top of the ladder for the Bobcats, tallying a collective record of 7-2. Graham Bonnell ‘20 and Garon Rothenburg ‘20 have also made a splash in their first collegiate season, contributing steadily in the middle of the team’s lineup.

The women’s side has seen similar success.  The team is sitting on a 6-1 record and are ranked 16th in the country after reeling off five consecutive victories over the past two weeks.  The top of the ladder has been led by youngsters Kristyna Alexova ‘19 and Luca Polgar ‘20 who have tallied 5-2 and 6-1 personal records respectively so far this season.  Molly Brooks ‘19 has not yet lost this season, putting up a perfect 7-0 record.

Both teams will break for a full month through the holidays, and will have to rally come the new year if they want to build on their early success.  The squash season resumes January 7 as both teams take on Middlebury away.        

CORRECTION: In an article published in the November 16 issue of The Student, a source was used without permission in discussing the character of former Bates squash player Ahmed Abdel Khalek ‘16.  This piece of information was improperly published, and we regret the error. The quote has since been withdrawn from the online version of the article.

Eccentric Energy: The Bates Fall Dance Concert

Each fall, Bates Dance come together to produce a fall concert; this fall, the concert included performances by DANC253: Repertory Performance, DANC270: Improvisation, and thesis research by Laura Pietropaoli ’17. Repertory Performance involves the biweekly integration of guest artists into regular technique class and choreography. These artists then set a piece on students during their two week residencies at Bates. These pieces compose the majority of the performance, and provide insight towards the wider world of dance performance and creation.

The concert opened with a dramatic and mysterious work by Takehiro Ueyama of Japan. As the lights slowly came up, I started to see spastic movements and hear violent whispers. I noticed both overwhelming fog and a stage-length fabric that appeared to both contain and connect all dancers together through holes for their heads. Slowly Becca Howard ’19 produced erratic and human movements to the sound of mechanical chaos in a solo. The fog still covered the stage and prevented the lights from fully illuminating the stage, so audience members could hardly discern the entrance of new dancers until they were front and center. As the piece progressed, I noticed the detail of dancers’ grey-white faces reminiscent of a Parisian clown’s make-up. As the piece comes to a close, two dancers mimic the opening image of the fabric, and I am left questioning the symbolism of the fabric in relation to group dynamics. Ueyama’s work made me question sanity, nature and technology, and human relationships. Further, the frenetic, tense and original live sound score operationalized the dancers’ distress. In all, an evocative piece.

Following Ueyama is Bates Dance icon Sean Dorsey. Dorsey, on his second Repertory Performance residency, set a recent piece about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in relation to the LGBTQ+ community. This piece elicited tears in several audience members due to the emotional and upsetting subject; however, Dorsey successfully communicates his message through the humanity in his movements. For this piece, Bates dancers were split into two groups to perform either the soft, dream-like portion or the quick, dramatic portion. Both groups came together in the last section, in which Dorsey used police and riot audio to generate a sense of chaos. Successful, I was shaken to my core and sat in stunned silence as the piece ended and cast members took their bows.

Laura Pietropaoli ’17 presented her thesis research with Claudia Lavista and Omar Carrum as the third piece. In this piece, Pietropaoli used color, sound, and wind to communicate with the audience. As she moved through space, I saw themes of resistance, indulgence and uncertainty. Pietropaoli approached four fans gradually throughout the piece. However, I did not know if they were a tool for creating a certain visual aesthetic in her costume or a meaningful prop within the theme of resistance. Regardless, the piece kept me thinking and engaged.

As the concert continued, the Repertory Performance group piece that Lavista and Carrum set took the stage. To me, this piece explored humanity and abstract relationships. A group of duets that demonstrate intimacy and tension convinced me that this piece would question healthy friendship and needs, and the final section exemplified these. As one dancer lays relatively calmly, another appears to go mad over her body. Other dancers must restrain the mad dancer, and the extremity of that particular relationship emphasized the difficulty inherent in interpersonal relationships.

In “24 Cooks: an Improvisation,” I noticed the energetic nature by which all the performers were engaging with each other and their environment. The improvisation demonstrated a much-appreciated break from the gravity of the other pieces. Lead by amusing vocalizations, the repetition and manipulation that this improvisation presented were both entertaining and meaningful.

Finally, Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance Julie Fox’s playful piece closed out the concert. Beginning like a cookbook or instruction packet, the piece swiftly descended into organized chaos. I saw some traditional ballet movements and patterns, such as an across-the-floor combination and pas de chats. Professor Fox also projected the “night sky” on the traveler, which gradually filled with stars, alluding to the title “How to Make a Moon.”

After the curtain went down on the last piece, I am left still processing the emotions, symbols and themes of the night. After entrancing me in the movements and stories, I am excited to experience the next performances that the Bates Dance Department produces.

The dance concert featured works by various international and local artists. DREW PERLMUTTER/THE BATES STUDENT

The dance concert featured works by various international and local artists. DREW PERLMUTTER/THE BATES STUDENT

Bates dancers perform in a piece choreographed by Julie Fox. DREW PERLMUTTER/THE BATES STUDENT

Bates dancers perform in a piece choreographed by Julie Fox. DREW PERLMUTTER/THE BATES STUDENT

Each piece demonstrates the work the dancers put into the concert all semester. DREW PERLMUTTER/THE BATES STUDENT

Each piece demonstrates the work the dancers put into the concert all semester. DREW PERLMUTTER/THE BATES STUDENT

Dancers rely on each other in each performance. DREW PERLMUTTER/THE BATES STUDENT

Dancers rely on each other in each performance. DREW PERLMUTTER/THE BATES STUDENT

Isabella Del Priore ’19 is lifted during the Fall Dance Concert. DREW PERLMUTTER/THE BATES STUDENT

Isabella Del Priore ’19 is lifted during the Fall Dance Concert. DREW PERLMUTTER/THE BATES STUDENT

The group runs “How to Make a Moon” in dress rehearsal. DREW PERLMUTTER/THE BATES STUDENT

The group runs “How to Make a Moon” in dress rehearsal. DREW PERLMUTTER/THE BATES STUDENT

Johanna Hayes ’19 and Allison Ricciardi ’17 perform together in the Fall Dance Concert. DREW PERLMUTTER/THE BATES STUDENT

Johanna Hayes ’19 and Allison Ricciardi ’17 perform together in the Fall Dance Concert. DREW PERLMUTTER/THE BATES STUDENT

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