Presidential Response to Influx in Campus Safety Incidents Leaves Community with Lingering Doubt

Bates students have raised concerns about recent assaults on campus and in response, President Clayton Spencer released a statement regarding campus safety. In her letter, she addresses the incidents on campus, noting that Bates is working with a safety consultant. She emphasized Bates’ duty to protect the safety and well-being of students, faculty and staff and, she included what students can do to enhance safety on campus. 

“Coming from a school administrator, you have to be very careful about the words you choose. At the same time, it would have been great if they included more resources for students, whether that be mental health sources or a meeting where they can get opinions from students. I do understand they need to protect other students’ privacy though,” Zoe Schaedle ‘26 said.

According to President Spencer, Bates will consult with campus partners to create strategies to help maintain the welcoming atmosphere that Bates is known for. Spencer’s note, however, provides little detail on who these partners are or what they intend to pursue.  

“I’m glad that a statement is being made, a lot of scary events were occurring, and I was just super confused on what was true and not,” said Carley Freund ‘26.

Bates Families have also expressed concern, with parents on the Bates College Parents Facebook Page expressing that they were unhappy with President Spencer’s letter and that there seems to be a big problem. 

 President Spencer’s note did include steps students can take to help their own safety including, “maintaining situational awareness, not allowing others to follow behind when entering a building, locking office doors and dorm rooms when we are not present, and securing personal possessions.”