The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Author: Sarah McCarthy Page 2 of 3

C.T.E. and Cutoff Dates: Inside the NFL Settlement

Imagine this: your loved one experiences a rapid mental and physical decline, raking up doctors bills and draining family funds, and suffers an untimely death, which allows doctors to make a groundbreaking discovery, but you are forced to deliver pizzas to make ends meet. This is the story of Garrett Webster, the son of former Steelers’ center Mike Webster. Mike Webster passed away in 2002 at the age of fifty after playing seventeen years in the National Football League (NFL).

After his death, Webster became the first player to be diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (C.T.E.). While Webster’s diagnosis has led to settlements between the NFL and many former players and their families, provisions and cut-off dates built into the settlement agreement have barred the Webster family from receiving compensation.

The official settlement agreement bars any family members of former players who died before January 1, 2006, from filing lawsuits against the league. During the agreement, the NFL pushed strongly for a cutoff date to prevent claims from families of long dead ex-players. Christopher Seeger, a co-lead counsel for the former players, noted that while many players were opposed to a cutoff date, ultimately they needed a settlement to pass in order to aid players with their medical bills and ensure security for the families of deceased players.

The cutoff date does not apply to players who suffered from diseases covered in the settlement such as Parkinson’s and ALS. For families like the Websters, this is devastating as their husband/father’s diagnosis came posthumously, but his deterioration was taxing both financially and emotionally. Although the settlement itself limits claims from the families of players who died before 2006, the judge presiding over the case left a legal loophole through which these families can have their voices heard. Families can file suits against the league so long as they can prove they have a right to a legal case under their state’s statute of limitations.

While, at the end of the day, the NFL is a for-profit business seeking to protect its own assets, there should be some moral obligation to players like Mike Webster who contributed so much to the success of franchises and the league as a whole.

Additionally, the league vehemently denied connections between football and head injury, especially the role head injuries or concussions played in the development of neurological disorders. As much as the NFL wants to look after itself, the wrongdoing is clear and has had dramatic impacts on the lives of former players and their families. The NFL, as an employer, should consider adding loopholes or creating a new settlement to aid families of players who were posthumously diagnosed with basic things such as covering or reimbursing the families for head injury related medical bills or a small amount of money just to allow them to remain afloat. Perhaps the franchises themselves should take some responsibility and offer to aid widows and children of players who dedicated so many years of their lives to a particular organization.

All parties involved in the covering up and denial of the connection between football and degenerative neurological disorders should meet with and listen to the families of former players in order to understand the suffering they have undergone and to realize that most people are not looking to make a fortune from this settlement but are rather searching for stability and security amidst a great time of personal and financial uncertainty.


The Royal Engagement

On Monday, November 27, Prince Harry announced his engagement to American actress Meghan Markle. After noting the fact that Harry designed the engagement ring himself and even asked his fiancè’s parents for their blessing, it is important to understand what their engagement means in the larger socio-political context. Markle best known for her role as Rachel from the hit-series Suits, will become the first “biracial” member of the British monarchy and only the second American to join the royal family.

Wallis Simpson was the first American to marry into the monarchy. However, the union was so controversial that King Edward VIII decided to give up his throne in order to ensure his ability to marry her. After learning that Harry has been coaching Meghan on how to act “royally,” many citizens noted that American manners are different from British manners and being royalty comes with an entirely different handbook.

Aside from just being an American citizen, Markle presents another challenge to the traditional British ideal as she identifies as a biracial woman. Reflecting in an essay for Elle that as a child, when pressured to check the Caucasian box on the census, she could not and instead chose not to fill out any box. The idea of “passing” has long plagued American society, as people of color are encouraged to deny part of their cultural history and experience to be fully accepted into society.

According to studies and reports, the British culture and media in general tend to operate similarly to the antiquated American thought that even “a drop of black blood” qualifies someone as being entirely black. It is said that the British media do not make the distinction between biracial and black.

Although Markle has already come forward and criticized the media for its focus on her race and ethnicity, many British citizens believe that she will be coached to deny her blackness. Kehinde Andrews, a sociology professor at Birmingham City University, remarked, “she won’t be allowed to be a black princess. The only way she can be accepted is to pass for white.” Even though the media and many theorists seem to perceive Markle’s racial identity as problematic, reports show that the majority of British citizens seem to be unphased by their soon-to-be duchess. It will be interesting to follow the development of this, as Markle has been described as “an independent career woman,” and has been outspoken about her gender and racial identity in the past.

After reading countless articles leading up to the announcement and after the official word was given, I couldn’t help but feel uneasy.

I was left wondering, how are we as a society still stuck at this crossroads? While Markle’s engagement to Prince Harry is a sign of progress, it also draws out trolls and highlights the fact that not enough attention has been given to the ways in which our societal and governmental institutions contribute to the maintenance of white supremacy. Why has it taken so long for non-binary conforming ethnic identities to be added to a government survey, such as the census? How can we support and encourage platforms that allow people the space and freedom to understand and live out their identity?

Even while writing this I am overcome by the privileges I am afforded. We must work to identify, understand, and deconstruct privileges so that one day my delusions of grandeur may actually be realized.

LePage vs. Medicaid Expansion

Last Tuesday, Maine voters overwhelmingly approved Medicaid expansion in the state. It is estimated that, as a result of the passing of this referendum, over 80,000 additional Mainers will qualify for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The health law allows states to decide whether or not to give Medicaid eligibility to any citizen with an income of up to 138 percent of the poverty level. Although Maine is not the first state to expand eligibility for this program, it is the first state in which this referendum was passed by the voters. Advocacy groups argued that expansion would not only allow for greater coverage, but would also revive infrastructure in rural parts of the state and even create new jobs. Even despite the astounding support for the referendum, and its passing by voters, Maine Governor Paul LePage continues to vehemently oppose health care expansion.

According to an article in The New York Times, before the vote had even occurred, LePage said the expansion would burden taxpayers. He described it as a form of welfare. LePage also argued in an audio address that ‘free’ healthcare is actually very expensive, but someone else pays for it. Before the issue was brought to the voters, LePage had vetoed Medicaid expansion bills five times. He claims that the expansion would cost $63 million (an estimate created by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services) and refuses to look into or even consider the estimate that was conducted by the state’s Office of Fiscal and Program Review, which is independent, and was put in place to advise the Maine legislature.

Since the passing of this referendum, LePage has continuously vowed to not enact the expansion. He is firmly against allowing impoverished people to have access to health care because they are “able-bodied.” The one problem is, he doesn’t actually have the authority to veto or block the bill, the most he could do would be to slow down its implementation. If the bill were to be stopped, it would have to be done by the Maine Congress, who are unlikely to interfere based on their past support of health care reform. The cornerstone of LePage’s argument against expansion is that it is fiscally irresponsible and will be detrimental for the state’s budget. As a tea party Republican, he stated that he would not raise taxes in order to fund this bill and has urged members of the Maine legislature to find large sums of money to make this possible.

LePage has reached his term limit. He only has one year left in office. Still, he should listen to what the people of his state want. Other prominent members of the Maine legislature have urged him to pass the bill, even the Republican Senate President Michael Thibodeau. Thibodeau argued that the people have shown what they want and now it is up to the legislature to find and make the means to allow more Mainers access to health care. Part of what makes democracy, especially local democracy, so powerful is the voice of the average citizen. If LePage does not listen to what the people of his state clearly want, he not only has failed to serve his constituents, but has also fundamentally violated the legislative process our nation was founded upon.


On Bates Parking Tickets

With the ongoing changes occurring with Lewiston City ordinances, parking on campus has become more of a hassle than it already was. Due to the overnight parking ban, students are no longer permitted to park their cars overnight on Bardwell Street, Campus Avenue, College Street, Central Avenue, Davis Street, Elm Street, Franklin Street, Oak Street, Vale Street, and White Street. To combat these changes, Bates Safety and Security has changed their parking policies, allowing anyone to purchase a parking permit but not guaranteeing that spots will be available for all students with permits. While this idea, in theory, helps students avoid receiving tickets from the Lewiston Police Department, it, in practice, presents more opportunities for students to receive tickets directly from Bates Security.

The page dedicated to parking regulations on the Bates Safety and Security website lists 21 fineable offenses. These violations include parking in a faculty/staff space, blocking a fire lane, or parking overnight in lots where it is prohibited. All tickets incur fees, with the exception of a warning, most tickets are either 20 or 30 dollars but some can be as high as 100 dollars. Not to mention that if students do choose to purchase a parking permit (that does not guarantee parking availability in student spaces), that alone will cost them 100 dollars. Security does have a policy where you are able to contest your ticket; however you do so in writing and it is voted upon by a student committee. Often times the appeal does not get seen until weeks after you received the ticket but must be submitted within seven calendar days of the issuance of said ticket. Personally, I never heard back about an appeal I made but was told that I would be notified within the month. This happened over a year ago and to this day I am unsure if I was billed 20 dollars for parking in a faculty space during pre-season, before anyone had moved in and classes were in session.

When researching what constitutes a parking violation, I came across a category called warning, something I have never heard of anyone receiving. The “warning” was listed at offense 20 of the 22 listed and revealed that there is no fine when receiving it. Having had a car on campus for three years, I have received at least four tickets, none of which were ever warnings. All the tickets I received were for things that would otherwise be harmless such as parking in a visitor’s spot without a permit or parking in a lot when I had a Merrill-only pass. Neither of those caused anyone significant harm nor presented any real danger. This has led me to wonder why the use of warning tickets is not more prominent at Bates. Most students who receive tickets did not intend to park in an undesignated space but were simply trying to make the best out of an already inconvenient parking situation.

Moving forward, I believe Bates Security should adopt a more lenient approach to student parking and utilize warnings more often. Getting back to your car after several hours of working hard and realizing there is a ticket you have to pay is absolutely disheartening. Security should be seen as putting the students’ comfort and safety at the top of their list of priorities. Officers should use warnings or even try to contact vehicle owners before issuing tickets that include fines. Students and officers should work together to combat miscommunications and to make parking simple and enjoyable for all parties.


The Case for Free Birth Control

In 2009, the Affordable Care Act reformed the American health care system. With its passage came a provision that all insurers had to cover co-pay free birth control of all types for all women with medical insurance. For many women, co-pay free birth control allowed them to choose when and if they want to become mothers without worrying about the cost of birth control.

According to Planned Parenthood, the birth control pill, patch, and ring generally cost $20 to $50 per month, in addition to an exam to get a prescription, which costs between $35 and $250. On an annual basis, it costs between $275 and $850 per year for the average (cisgender) woman to have control over her own body. Multiply the annual cost of birth control by the number of years most women are fertile and sexually active (somewhere between 20 and 30 years), and without insurance, many women will spend between $5,500 and $25,500 on the luxury of avoiding an unwanted pregnancy. According to Mother Jones, one in three women have struggled at some point with the costs of various birth control methods.

If cost is not enough to convince the reader that birth control should be covered, I propose that birth control allows for greater equality between men and women, gives women control over their own bodies and lives, and is fundamentally a medication. Taken all together, it seems ridiculous that women should have to continually prove to conservative men that what they do with their bodies is a choice between a woman and her doctor, not the government.

In the 67 years since the FDA approved the pill, the lives of women have changed dramatically. While complete equality is far from a reality, women and men are far more equal than they were in a large part due to reproductive freedom for women. According to Fortune, the wage gap has narrowed —today (white) women on average earn 78 cents to every dollar a man earns, up from 60 cents. Women also earn more undergraduate degrees than men as well as about half of all graduate degrees, in a large part due to the ability to delay pregnancy. In 1970, women who had access to the pill enrolled in college at a rate 20% higher than women without access and were more likely to graduate. All of these increases in equality are fundamentally good for the United States both economically and socially.

Birth control allows women freedom. Abstinence before marriage, the staple of conservative sex education, is an unrealistic goal. It fails to account for couples who are married and elect to either not have children or wait for reasons that they choose. Even more problematically, though, abstinence takes away choice. While there are certainly some women who do make the choice to be abstinent, it should be just that—a choice. On the most fundamental level, women should have control over their own lives and their bodies.

In the view of Courtney Porfido, Class of 2018, “I need to be in control of my physical and financial future. It’s not just about not having a baby—it’s about giving myself autonomy.”

However, on an even more basic level, birth control is a medication. There is no other medication that is so politicized. Aside from preventing pregnancy, birth control has dozens of uses such as regulating ones period, reducing the symptoms PMS and menstrual symptoms, fight acne, reduce menstrual migraines, and reduce the symptoms of various reproductive disorders such as endometriosis and PCOS. Most importantly, though, because birth control is a medication, the choice to use it is one between a woman and her doctor. It is not the business of anyone else, and especially not the government.


Boko Haram, 18 brave girls and the power of lending a hand

Northeastern Nigeria has long been plagued by the presence of Boko Haram and the violence and terror that they have inflicted on Nigerian citizens in this region. Boko Haram is a militant group that was formed as a result of the poverty and corruption that have long plagued Nigeria.

The former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, claims that the group has cited the corruption of Western educated leaders and Western ideals that they are taught, as reasons for the necessity of Boko Haram. Haram means “forbidden” and thus, for this group, the Western education is that which is forbidden.

In recent years, Boko Haram has been using children, especially young girls, as suicide bombers. Forcing them to go into areas such as universities, military checkpoints, displaced peoples camps, and pretty much anywhere else where people congregate and great amounts of damage can be inflicted, with explosives strapped to their bodies. The government of Nigeria tends to display a discourse that frames families of these children and the children themselves as supporting the cause for which Boko Haram is fighting. The government sends out Public Service Announcements (PSAs) warning families to not give their children over to these men.

The reality is that these children are being kidnapped in the middle of the night without volunteering to contribute.

A New York Times article describes the experiences of 18 girls who were able to escape their explosive belts and share their experience. These girls told stories of being kidnapped and held hostage until they were ready to be used. When they were chosen to inflict harm, the girls were forcibly given bombs or suicide vests, moved towards large crowds and told that their religion required them to fulfill this duty. All of the girls were able to escape based upon sheer determination not to hurt other people. Each one of these girls, relied upon either a civilian, a soldier, or a family member to help them escape a fate they did not want nor deserve. The girls talk about how police officers, family members, and just kind strangers had faith in them and allowed them to not follow in the unfortunate path of other victimized children who were told they would be heading to the nicest place they could think of if they followed the fighters’ orders.

In a world that seems self-centered and devoid of compassion, this story caught my eye and truly moved me. If we all as global citizens can take a few messages away from this story, groups like Boko Haram may have a hard time finding new recruits and continuing the spread of their message.

For these girls, none older than 17, to have the confidence and willingness to risk their own lives to hopefully save those of others, shows true humanity and understanding of your neighbor. Most of these girls recalled contemplating going towards an empty field and detonating their device to spare other lives. The girls’ ability to put others before themselves and to serve the greater good, combined with the calmness and readiness of bystanders to help these girls escape and save lives shows that even in times of turmoil, small bits of hope and love can shine through.

As citizens, but humans foremost, we must remember to find similarities across or differences, help out people when they need a hand and by doing so we can strive to diminish the power of hate and violence.

The Second Ammendment and Gun Control

In the wake of yet another tragic mass shooting, it’s time to finally put aside our differences and take a look into the ways in which we as a nation can protect our fellow citizens. This is a charge that must be inspired by and for the people, and carried out by those we elect to represent our basic rights and needs in the government. Gun control need not be politicized, we all as Americans should support legislation that is beneficial to and promotes safety for all of our fellow citizens.

As an American who believes strongly in democracy, I respect and support the Constitution. With that being said, as time passes and our world evolves and advances, there is a strong need to adapt our laws to ensure the freedom and safety of all Americans. When our founding fathers added the Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights, they were accustomed to your average musket or bayonet, which did not have the ability to potentially injure or kill scores of people in only a matter of seconds. They never could have imagined the technology that is currently available, which is why the amendment process is critical to the continued democratic process of law making. Entities like the National Security Administration (NSA) or any sort of cyber task force were not a threat that even crossed the minds of our nation’s founders, but neither were guns with 17+ bullet magazines.

Although I am personally terrified of guns, I do respect people’s right and desire to own a gun, whether it be for hunting or for self-protection. In her op-ed “The LGBT Case for Guns,” Nicki Stallard urges members of her community to learn how to use a gun professionally because that is what the Second Amendment intends. I agree with Stallard. I am not against guns nor the right to own a gun. What I am against is guns that have the ability to inflict massive harm in a short period of time. I am against the ability of people who are suspected terrorists, known to be violent or harmful to others, or even those who our government has deemed unsafe to board an aircraft to go out and purchase such weapons without so much as a background check.

In the five years following the tragedy that took place in Sandy Hook, there has been an immense increase in overall gun legislation. A Harvard Business School study found that a single mass shooting occurring in a state leads to a 15 percent increase in gun legislation passed in that state. For Republican-leaning states, this generally leads to loosening of restrictions on when, how and who can by a gun. Shootings occurring in democratic states generally see laws that have little to no effect on changing who can buy a gun.

Human life is precious and no human being, especially a citizen of a “free” nation, should have to fear the loss of their life when deciding to attend basic activities such as school, a movie premiere, a music festival or even a night out at a dance club. The answer to such tragedies as these is not thoughts and prayers nor is it eradication of guns in our nation. It is simply effective control and restriction of the types of weapons that can be purchased and by whom.

There is no time like the present for our representatives to put aside party and lobbyist allegiances and come together for the greater good of the people. So, I urge you, along with your thoughts and prayers, to offer your voice and contact your elected officials. Let’s make a change, for far too many lives have been cut short at the hands of gun violence.


Bates, Lewiston, and the State of the Community

Anyone who lives off-campus, knows someone who lives off-campus or who just has frequented off-campus gatherings during their time at Bates, knows there is something noticeably different this year. Due to outspoken members of the Lewiston community, new ordinances have been proposed with regard to students living in off-campus, non-Bates owned houses. Some things proposed include things like inability to park on certain streets or the newly proposed “nuisance party” and “unlawful noise” ordinances.

These ordinances were recently proposed by the city council and go up to vote on October 3. If passed, the new ordinances could come into effect as soon as early November. A nuisance party is defined, by Dean Carl Steidler and Interum Head of Security Paul Menice, as a social gathering or party occurring at a residence within the City of Lewiston that results in any of 12 listed conditions that include disorderly conduct, public urination, or unlawfully loud noise. Violations of this ordinance could result in fines of $300 for tenants in response to a first time offense, and can escalate with repeated offenses.

In addition to these definitions, there is a clause in the nuisance party ordinance that holds tenants responsible for all guests in their home. This could mean that if under-age students enter an off-campus house, the tenants of the house can be charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor, a Class E crime.

The unlawful noise ordinance focuses mainly on excessive noise created in a home or in the streets during nighttime hours, especially from 11 p.m. – 7 a.m. The unlawful noise ordinance states “it shall be unlawful for any person or persons to create, assist in creating, continue or allow to continue any excessive, unnecessary, or unusually loud noise which either annoys, disturbs, injures, or endangers the reasonable quiet, comfort, repose, or the health or safety of others within the City of Lewiston.” This ordinance would focus on fining offenders, with increasing fines for repeat offenders.

As a student who lives off-campus, I am caught at a crossroads. Of course respecting our neighbors and community members is something that should not need laws to encourage decent treatment of each other. However, I am left wondering how many non-Bates student Lewiston residents will be cited for either of the proposed ordinances? How do we as a community work to regain the respect of our neighbors, to the point where they do not feel like they are forced to involve law enforcement in order to get our attention? How do we persist in being good neighbors and not come off appearing as entitled kids who are upset they are no longer allowed to party?

The relationship between Lewiston Police Department (LPD), Bates Security, and the student body is also something worth examining. To what extent do either LPD or security have the right and authority to break up a gathering on suspicion even if neither entity has received a noise complaint? For me, the relationship between Bates students, the community, and LPD go far beyond parties being broken up or people being fined. I feel as though these ordinances are creating an “us versus them” situation that is brewing hostility on all sides.

Although the college has done a good job of keeping students informed and creating alternative options to off-campus parties, there is still much work to be done. Going forward, more clear definitions need to be set in order for students to feel safe within the community and not feel as though they are at the discretion of whatever cop shows up at their door. While it may feel as though Bates students are being attacked, we must all also consider why and how we have driven community members to this point where they must go to the full extent so they too feel safe in their own homes.

Moving forward we as students must also reflect on our tendencies rather than simply being frustrated, upset, or blaming community members.

Battle of the Sexes

Released worldwide on Friday, the new film Battle of the Sexes takes a look into the highly acclaimed tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs that took place in 1973. The film stars Emma Stone as Ms. King and Steve Carrell as Mr. Riggs. The film takes a look at the women’s liberation movement and how men like Mr. Riggs actively tried to keep women at home in domestic roles.

The lead up to the match drew in a lot of attention not just for the particular match itself but also on issues such as equal pay and gender equality. Billie Jean King was known to be a feminist who was a dogged champion of female rights and equal pay. During the 70s, not many trainers were willing to dedicate their time to female athletes because they had biological factors that would affect their ability to play such as menstruation or pregnancy. In addition, Mr. Riggs was labeled a serial hustler and outward chauvinist. He initially challenged Ms. King to a match because he believed women were so athletically inferior to men that the (at the time) top female player in the world would not be able to beat him, a 55 year old retired player with as he described it “one foot in the grave.”

Mr. Riggs made comments insinuating that his victory alone would squash the women’s liberation movement or at least set them back twenty years. He stated that he wanted to put women back at home taking care of our babies, where they belong. Ms. King initially denied the offer to face off against Mr. Riggs but after he defeated Margaret Court handily, Ms. King felt there was something to prove and something to fight for as a female athlete.

According to the New York Times, the actual match featured so much extravagance that it alone could have qualified as a Hollywood film. On the day of the match, Ms. King was carried to the court on a “golden litter,” carried by buff male athletes; while Mr. Riggs was brought in in wheelbarrow pushed by models. Billie Jean was accompanied between games by her secretary at the time, who later outed her as a lesbian.

Members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team recently filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after learning how great the disparities in their pay were compared to their male counterparts. According to data collected by the PBS News Hour, the U.S. Soccer Federation projected they would make $5.2 million in profits from the women’s team while losing $1 million in profits from the men’s side. In spite of this fact, the men’s team were offered luxurious bonuses for reaching the quarterfinals and subsequent rounds of the World Cup, for which the women’s team did not receive any bonuses. Players selected to the men’s World Cup roster received over five times the amount female players received for the same honor, with male players awarded $76,000 and females only receiving $15,000.

The release of this film feels all too timely in the current world. With challenges to movements such as equal pay for equal work and in a time where women feel so uneasy about the future of their own reproductive rights, a film like this may provide the inspiration to continue the fight.

Climate Change … Isn’t That a Hoax?

As we as a nation continue to be devastated by hurricanes and other natural disasters it is hard to understand how climate change is still not a universally accepted theory.

While hearing stories of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma ravaging Texas and Florida, and other tropical storms wreaking havoc in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, I am consistently taken aback when I remember that the leader of our nation — and essentially the free world — believes climate change is a hoax. Not only has he blamed the global temperature rising on China but he has also taken steps to undo legislation and dismantle efforts at reversing this phenomenon.

But in the wake of this most recent onslaught of severe weather, I am left wondering: when will climate change move from being a topic up for political debate to something people begin to confront as a reality, and actively work to fight?

According to Wayne Drash’s September 19, 2017 CNN article, there is a consensus among environmental scientists that although Harvey and Irma were not caused by climate change itself, they were greatly intensified by it. Factors like rising sea levels and warmer ocean temperatures allowed both storms to inflict more damage than hurricanes of their size and nature in the past. Hurricanes thrive in warm water and often intensify over patches of hot water.

In fact, as a result of a three-degree temperature increase in the global oceans, Harvey and Irma were able to gain significant traction, and become even more dangerous. As a result of rising sea levels, many areas of the United States and around the world have become more susceptible to harmful flooding. These two factors leave the U.S. in a vulnerable position. And, to top it all off, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) leader claimed it would be “insensitive to talk about climate change” in the wake of these storms, and President Trump used hyperbole to mask the severity of the storms and the urgency needed for climate action.

In the wake of these environmental tragedies, it is important we support our fellow Americans. Relief for survivors and victims of these storms should not be used as a leveraging point in DACA negotiations nor in any other negotiation that may take place in the near future. We must continue to work together in supporting those affected by severe weather, while also working to limit the frequency and severity of these storms in the future.

While our current government officials seem to be actively working against progressive climate policy and action, it may feel useless or ineffective to rally together for structural change or commit to individually lowering your carbon footprint, but now more than ever is when this type of engagement is needed. Trump may have pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord and set an international precedent on how the U.S. will act in regards to the environment, but other nations have re-committed, and are carrying the metaphorical weight of the world toward a better global climate.

There are several things we as Bates students can do to reduce our school’s environmental impact as well as our own. First, ride a bike or scooter or use those fine legs of yours to get around campus. If you need to drive, make sure to carpool and turn your engine off when you are not driving, limiting idling and the release of pollutants. Turn the light off in your room or the bathroom when its not in use. And, most importantly, recycle or return any paper, plastic, or cans you consume late on Saturday morning!

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