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How Did We Get Here? Carbon Neutrality at Bates

Bates has promised to go carbon neutral by 2020, a seemingly daunting task, as few other schools have accomplished such a feat. However, the college is not falling short. This year, we are proud to say, Bates College has reached 95% carbon neutrality, with further improvements still coming. This has happened through working on three major areas that are critical to carbon neutrality: fuels, efficiency and culture. With all of these changes working in conjunction with one another and with the dedication from the team of Eco-Reps led by their fearless leader Tom Twist, Bates has gone from emitting 11,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide to now we are on track to emit only 600 metric tons, mostly from travel both from commuting faculty and study abroad travel. So the question is: how did we get here?
Beginning with Fuels, much of Bates Campus runs on the energy from three boilers in which we once burned heating oil or natural gas, largely dependent on which was cheapest at any given time. Over the past three years, however, we have transitioned all of these boilers to burn Renewable Fuel Oil (RFO). This is a wood-based liquid fuel with an extremely low carbon emission profile. The “wood-base” is collected through scrap wood, namely wood chips, bark, and other such wood that would often be discarded.
It is also cheaper than its fossil fuel alternatives, thus the college is benefiting financially from this switch. All the major buildings run now on this main steam line, the only buildings that do not are the smaller wood-frame houses which have their own boilers. This was a major step on the path to carbon neutrality, and it is one that many places have yet to consider because RFO is a relatively new technology with less than five other places in the nation using this option.
As for efficiency, this entails wasting less energy within the systems that we already have. These changes have been more straightforward, however have had profound impacts. First, the simple question of light bulbs was tackled- we moved away from incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs and towards the LED bulbs. This is lightbulb jargon translates to mean we are now using lightbulbs that use as much as one-tenth less energy than some other types of light bulbs. Our lighting has changed in other ways as well, including a system called “Daylight Harvesting.” This means that rooms are motion sensored, along with people light sensored, that is, the room can detect when there is a significant amount of sunlight in the room and thus will dim or shut off entirely. Beyond light bulbs, major energy losses have come from the poor insulation of old buildings that make Bates the classic New England college that it is. So systems were put in place so these cozy buildings could keep the wonderful New England aesthetic, while being more energy efficient. Systems like “Air to Air Heat Exchange” or “Variable Frequency Drive” make the warming of the building more energy efficient. These systems seem complex, but in fact have been rather small changes, to the placement of pipes closer together or implementing a dial rather than only on and off switches, both of which reduce energy usage and keep the buildings more comfortable and consistent in temperature.
The final piece to the sustainable puzzle was the culture change on campus that had to take place. Changing behavior is one of the hardest methods in making change, however, particularly with a change that is focused on such a small and specific community, behavioral changes can make a difference. Over the past three years, Bates students have left less windows open, left less lights on, have improved their recycling habits, and even have been asking Sustainable Beanie questions about what more they can do! This is an incredible cultural change within the student body, and it is long lasting. It was a student-led effort to get rid of the paper cups in commons and now three-quarters of a million cups are no longer going into the landfill, and this is just the number that weren’t recycled! It has been with the support and effort of the student body that has risen to the challenge of sustainability that has made this campus the (almost) carbon neutral place that it is, and it is this same student body that will get this campus to the 100% carbon neutral goal. With only 5% left to reach the goal, these small behavioral changes really are going to make a difference. Thus this is not only a congratulatory piece to the excellent work that has been done, but also a call to action- not necessarily in the large or dramatic sense, but rather a call to urge students to take on their days with sustainability in mind, with simple and small daily incremental changes, which will help us push through this last 5% to finally reach 100% carbon neutral. A ‘Congratulations Bates’ is in order, but let’s not reward ourselves quite yet- there is still work to be done.

Debating 4 Democracy

Bates College is a constituent member of Project Pericles, a consortium of 31 institutions that have a commitment to public and community engagement. On February 9, Project Pericles held at Bates its Debating 4 Democracy workshop, which aims to train individuals interested in activism and advocacy work to effectively reach their goals.
Leading the workshop was Beth Huang, a senior trainer at Midwest Academy, an institution founded in 1973 that provides training for successful activism and organizing. Among the participants in the workshop were students from the University of New England, Bates College, Unity College, Lewiston High School, and Central Maine Community College – all who came in with specific social problems about which they felt passionate and needed systemic reform.
At the beginning of the workshop, Huang pointed out an often unrecognized but crucial distinction: the difference between a problem and an issue. “A problem is something that’s wrong, whereas an issue is the solution to the problem… so that’s what the issue is – it’s defining what the demand is.”
A good issue, posited Huang, is one that is worth the time spent fighting for it, capable of actually being won, arouses interest and passions in others, is “widely felt” by others, is comprehensible to others, is not polarizing within one’s own group, possesses a clear figure who can make decisions, and establishes leadership.
Students then split into three groups, where each group tackled either race inequality, environmental injustice, or education inequity. In the race inequality group, participants discussed issues of systemic racism that were especially prevalent in Maine. One student, a senior at Lewiston High School, remarked powerfully on his experience with racial stereotyping after recently moving to Maine from the city of Detroit.
“Since I’ve come here, I’ve been stereotyped so many times. One time I went to the gas station with my friends… It was a white dude who was checking me out, [and he asked me] are you paying with food stamps? And I was like, just because I’m black you’re asking me if I’m paying with food stamps? I just wanted to hear what he was going to say… and he was stuck. So he went back and talked to the manager, and he said yeah, [he asked if I was paying with food stamps] because I’m black.”
The lack of racial diversity in Maine seemed to be a focal point in the conversation. Increased communication, dialogue, and interaction amongst different ethnic and racial groups, specifically within the realm of public education, were common threads among the proposed solution. The group devised three potential solutions, or “issues,” to help tackle racial inequality in the United States: desegregation bussing in schools, changes in school curriculums to provide accurate histories of people color, and equalization of school funding.
Upon hearing these solutions, Huang had two key questions. Firstly, she inquired “do these three [issues] positively impact people’s lives? Do they make real improvements in people’s lives?” Secondly, she asked the group “If you ran a big campaign for any of these three [issues] would people feel like they have more power?” To both questions, the group answered in the affirmative – these solutions would help alter existing structures of power and lift marginalized voices.
Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the entire six hour workshop. However, after meeting in small groups, the workshop’s schedule moved to strategizing tactics for the issue’s success. According to the goals stated by Debating 4 Democracy, groups would design for their issues “appropriate tactics to carry out the strategy, including voter mobilization and holding a meeting with an elected official.” Given the creativity, passion, and expert guidance from the workshop, there is no doubt students at the Debating 4 Democracy workshop will make enormous social progress in their local communities and beyond.

How Gender, Race, and Geography Play a Role in Sentencing

On Monday January 21, Chad Posick, a Criminal Justice and Criminology professor at Georgia Southern University held a lecture as part of the MLK Day events program called “At the Intersection of Race, Gender and Geography: Criminal Justice Sentencing in the United States.” Posick is situated in Statesboro, Georgia— a small, rural town outside of Savannah. Most of his research involves reaching out to rural communities to attempt to understand issues they face around poverty, unemployment, drug use, and sentencing.
“Today, I’ll be talking about prison incarceration,” began Posick, “Hopefully, what this will do is to get us a better understanding of sentencing overall in the United States, and maybe how we can go into these areas and try other types of strategies to one: reduce the prison population, and two: make sure those who receive any kind of punishment get the rehabilitation services that they need to move forward and not be plagued by a criminal record.”
Part of his research looking at jurisdictions around the United States is identifying disparities and biases in the Criminal Justice System. “What disparity on its own basically means is that there is a difference. There’s a disparity in the height of basketball players compared to college students, right? Does that mean that it’s a bad thing or a good thing? No, it’s just a disparity,” said Posick. “However if we think of bias, ‘is there a bias between groups of individuals?’ Well this is a difference that is due to some sort of preferential treatment or favoritism towards one group or one person over another. So disparity is sort of a neutral term where bias is a negative term.”
While a lot of research is being conducted on how race and gender influence sentencing, there is a lack of data collected on how geography works into the equation. Many of the issues that people living in rural areas face are different from those living in urban areas. According to Posick rural areas “tend to have a focus on natural goods and biodiversity, and mostly what you see that the norm context is is contact with nature and open spaces” while “Urban areas tend to be more focused on health, academics, engineering, working in factories, and the context is more contact with people. So there’s a little bit more individualism and isolation out in rural areas and a little bit more egalitarianism and working-with-each-other in urban areas.”
In the middle of the lecture, Posick showed a video of Natalie Collier, president and founder of the Lighthouse Black Girls Projects, deliver a speech called “Blurred Focus: The State of Black Women in the Rural South” – if you’d like to check it out, it’s on Youtube. During her speech, she highlighted how most of the numbers and statistics reporting disparities in the criminal justice system are conducted in urban areas, ignoring disparities in rural areas. Her speech gave voice to the experience of black women living in the rural south where there is little to no industry and limited access to homeless shelters and healthcare.
What Posick’s research attempts to do is provide a rural data set on the disparities in sentencing that should be added to the wider picture of the injustices of the criminal justice system. “What we’re starting to do is to look at state court processing data. So this comes from statistics that were gathered from 1990 to 1998…What’s good about this data is that it includes felony arrests as well as incarcerations of almost 130,000 individuals across 59 counties in the United States. So we can understand a little bit about characteristics of those counties as well as those individuals in those counties to examine incarceration and admissions into prison.”
His research has shown that regardless of race, ethnicity or gender, those in rural areas are more likely to be incarcerated for the same crimes as their urban counterparts. An interesting prospect in his research shows that the more diverse a county is the less disparity there is in the way that people are sentenced.
This leads into possible things that can be carried out to reduce discrimination in the justice system. In his talk, Posick focused on sentencing commissions—groups that try to understand issues and implement strategies to reduce bias in sentencing.
“We have to make sure we’re getting enough data from rural, suburban, and urban areas—all three of those to really understand this issue. And we need to analyze those data. So these commissions can be responsible for providing the funding and organizing the analysis of data so we have a well-rounded database on all the information that we can get on individuals and the communities they come from and then make sure to identify any disparities for any group—so it can be race, ethnicity, gender—but also narrowing it down by sexual identity, veteran status, all of those groups that we think may or may not be treated differently by the criminal justice system.”

Dive into February with a New Year’s Check-in

As January comes to a close, it’s a good time to check in with your New Year’s Resolution. How is it working? Has it been a beneficial addition to your life? Whether or not they notice it, most people have tossed their resolutions to the side by the end of January. However, depending on your goal, this may be the best thing that could have happened. After a few weeks of large and indulgent holiday meals, many people choose to start the new year with a new clean-eating resolution. A recent poll by Insider magazine asked participants about their resolutions and found that around 40% had goals that were related to healthier eating or dieting. Of those 40%, half of the diets mentioned involved calorie restriction and low-carb diets.
The Commons Healthy Eating and Wellness Society (CHEWS) theme of the month is Jump-Start January—named as such partially because many people believe that this new diet will “jump-start” their year; healthier eating will lead to other healthy choices in life, or possibly counteract previous unhealthy choices. While the staff of CHEWS certainly does acknowledge balanced meals may improve physical indicators of health, it may not target some of the root causes of “unhealthy” decisions.
The idea of trying to eat healthier is not bad in and of itself, but it can become dangerous when dieting is equated with health. For example, low carb diets may involve cutting out food items that may be high in carbs but are also high in nutrients—foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Low carb diets may also negatively affect athletic performance and lead to short-term weight loss rather than any significant weight and lifestyle changes. Calorie restrictive diets come with similar pitfalls.
Calorie counting can lead to an obsessive and unhealthy focus on the number of calories one eats, rather than the quality of said calorie. Insider Magazine provides a great example when comparing pretzels and almonds; while pretzels have fewer calories, almonds have more protein, fiber, and healthier fats. Any diet will come with some positives as well as potential negatives.
Nevertheless, regardless of the advertised merits of any diet it is important to understand what the short-term and long-term effects of that diet will be on your health.

#MeToo Means Who?

This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, in keeping with the theme of intersectional activism, Bates students explored the issue of sexual violence against marginalized groups and the ways in which we can support women as well as LGBTQ people whose stories have been ignored. So many people showed up for the “#MeToo means Who?” panel that the faculty had to find a larger space on campus in order to fit everyone. Once settled in the new room, Professor Melinda Plastas, Professor Emily Kane, Professor Carolina González Valencia, and Professor Leslie Hill, as well as Gender and Sexuality Studies major Paula Espinosa Alarcon ’19, led an interactive discussion, pushing the audience to reevaluate the power structures that enable sexual misconduct in this country and around the world.
The panelists began by asking the audience about their expectations for the talk and if there were any particular topics they wanted to tackle. Several people expressed interest in addressing the #MeToo movement outside the scope of Bates and other institutions of higher education, emphasizing events such as the Women’s Marches as well as issues of inclusivity. Professor Hill echoed these goals, saying, “There has yet to be a broad conversation about the #MeToo movement on Bates’ campus. And it is important especially to talk about it in a framework of intersectional feminism.”
Professor Hill then opened up the presentation by asking, “What are the structural, ideological, material, cultural, and social conditions that make people vulnerable to sexual assault and violence?”
Professor Plastas was the first to present on some of the historical conditions that have contributed to vulnerability. Specifically, she wanted to draw attention to the role that black women have played in speaking out against instances of sexual violence throughout history.
Professor Hill described the ways in which their stories have served as the centerpieces in efforts of organized activism. From the era of slavery to Rosa Parks’ activism during the Civil Rights Movement to the Free Joan Little Campaign in 1974 to the recent #SayHerName movement and Tarana Burke’s promotion of #MeToo, black women have been passionate activists and fought adamantly to end the culture of sexual violence throughout a variety of social and political environments.
Gender and Sexuality Studies major Alarcon then continued to speak about the power of social protest and pointed to the #NiUnaMenos (NotOneLess) movement that took place in 2015 in Argentina. The murder of 14-year-old Chiara Perez, who had been pregnant and was found buried in her boyfriend’s yard, sparked mass mobilization and soon an international movement through social media.
The hashtag became a platform for advocating gender equality issues like the legality of abortion, workers’ rights, and transgender rights. Alarcon argued that this campaign was a great example of intersectional activism due to its inclusion of transgender and non-binary voices as well the strategies it provided for other similar movements in other parts of South America.
Professors González Valencia and Kane then brought the discussion back to the United States and the ways in which cultures of unequal power are perpetuated by workplace norms here. Professor González Valencia, the proud daughter of a domestic worker, explained that Title VII laws have neglected to protect domestic workers since they only regulate employers that have more than fifteen workers. For example, domestic workers have no HR department to go to for help with language barriers, family issues, or reports of sexual assault. They are isolated in their work and struggle to mobilize for change without an organized community to lean on. Though nonprofits and advocacy groups have been springing up in the past three years, there is still so much more to be done to improve their rights.
We need to remember to stand up for those who are not in the spotlight and foster a sense of solidarity whenever possible. Professor Kane cited the Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, the National Farmworkers Women’s Alliance, as a great example of a group whose moral courage was a step toward building a network for change. In the wake of all the accounts about Harvey Weinstein, the Alianza Nacional de Campesinas wrote to the women in Hollywood who were sharing their stories to assure them that they were believed and had similarly been suffering in silence for a long time. Their letter, titled “Dear Sisters,” was incredibly courageous, as they were undoubtedly risking their present and future job positions in writing it.
To wrap up, Professor Hill asked the audience to expand on our considerations of vulnerability and examine the power imbalances that exist in the spaces we inhabit. “Work can’t only take place in the context of organizations, nonprofits, and institutions. We need to talk about what we can do to help those who are vulnerable get their voices heard.”

{Pause}: Cookies, Art, and Zero Expectation

Students are frequently told to prioritize “self-care” practices such as meditation, reading, or signing up for yoga classes instead of aimlessly scrolling through social media. More often than not, these activities feel time-consuming, particularly when already faced with homework, exams, and club meetings. Devoting a half-hour on a Wednesday night to secular meditation may seem particularly impossible, though for many students, {Pause} provides a simple escape from the intensity of college life.
Every Wednesday night at 9pm, attendees arrive at Gomes Chapel and are greeted with hot chai, a plate of cookies, and candlelit pews. After a brief introduction and the bang of a gong, students sit in silence, interrupted only by short spurts of music, poetry, dance, or other forms of art.
One of the program coordinators, junior Lila Patinkin ’20, appreciates {Pause} for its lack of expectation. A common issue for college students is feeling a constant pressure to find a place, a group, and an activity. She referred to the event as “a really wonderful break from that, and a time where you can re-center and think on something that you wouldn’t give yourself a half-hour to think about otherwise.” For Patinkin, {Pause} provides a space to forget about the social pressures of college and take time for her own thoughts.
Sophomore Abigail Kany ’21 also mentioned enjoying the lack of expectation put on {Pause} attendees. She particularly likes the fact that unlike most activities on campus, students do not have to interact with anybody while at the event. “Everybody goes into this space and you can sit next to people or far away, and it’s one of the only times during the week at college that nothing is expected of you,” Kany describes.
{Pause} has a similar calming effect on the other program coordinator, junior EB Hall ’20. She struggled with adjusting to Bates as an underclassman, and the event has not only given her something to be passionate about, but has also provided her with a space to focus on her own growth. “It has allowed me to be more centred and actually enjoy myself in college,” Hall described, attesting to the powerful ability of {Pause} to create an approachable meditative atmosphere for students.
What is special about {Pause} is that although its aspirations are similar to more classic meditation styles, it does not force students to dwell in silence. Threaded through the event are small snippets of art, which serve a dual purpose of breaking up the quiet and sparking guided thoughts in students. Although this past week’s theme was MLK day, other themes are more abstract, such as “crows” during the first week back.
Kany began attending last year, after hearing about the event from her Bates tour guide. She appreciates the prompts, although she admitted that her mind frequently wanders and moves to things that she had been thinking about during the day. “That’s what I like; I can think about things that I don’t really have time to process during the day, and I’m given an excuse to sit there and think about that one thing.” Similar to the program coordinators, Kany appreciates {Pause} because it allows students to take time to reflect.
Although devoting time on a Wednesday night may seem infeasible, and {Pause} is “kind of a weird concept when you talk about it out loud,” as confessed by Kany, the event is special in its ability to balance reflective silence with artistic entertainment. Looking for a way to quell the demands of endless people encouraging you to attempt “self-care”? Try giving {Pause} a shot.

Maintaining Our Wild Tongues

Each year, the observance of the Martin Luther King holiday honors the life of an instrumental figure of the civil rights movement. It also acts as a day to celebrate our shared diversity and spread awareness of contemporary social issues. The theme of Bates’ 2019 MLK observance, “Lifting Every Voice: Intersectionality and Activism.” The title of one workshop under this theme was “How to Maintain Our Wild Tongues: Language Diversity and Language Rights in Policy and Practice,” and was derived from an essay by Gloria E. Anzaldúa’s called, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue,” in her provocative work Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza.
Faculty and students involved in the Bates Writing Center and Academic Resource Commons ran the workshop. In her introduction, Assistant Director of Writing at Bates Stephanie Wade said, “In my work I’ve noticed a big gap between what the research and what the policies say about language diversity.” The other facilitators echoed Wade’s observations and aimed to fill in the gap by creating greater awareness of language diversity staring with the Bates students and community members assembled at the workshop.
Sophomore Sarah Raphael ’21 began the morning by delivering a presentation on the roots of American English. Raphael discussed how geographic barriers allowed different dialects of Germanic English to evolve in Europe, and the effect the slave trade had on influencing the English language in the United States.
“It’s not a coincidence that we speak differently than [other] areas. We have ancestors from different parts of the world and they have influenced how we speak and how we accept the languages that we speak,” noted Raphael. Some surprising statistics were also shared, including: before colonization, there were more than 300 indigenous languages spoken by Native Americans, and over 70 million Americans speak a language other than English at home today.
The loss of language diversity directly coincided with the arrival of white settlers in North America. Stephanie Wade reported that missionaries and colonizers “[Connected] the practice of taking a land with taking the language and culture of the local people.” Many people have and still choose to ignore the influence of other languages and dialects on English, when according to Wade, “The English language at its core is a language that’s composed of many different dialects.”
One of these dialects that makes up the English language is African American Vernacular English (AAVE), formerly known as Ebonics. In an “MTV Decoded” video shown at the workshop, the show’s host Franchesca Ramsey explains the origins and stigmatization of AAVE in the episode, “Why Do People Say ‘AX’ Instead of ‘ASK?’”
According to Ramsey, AAVE finds its origins from slavery and communication between slaves who did not share the same language. Today, AAVE is commonly associated with lower and middle class black populations. Despite popular belief, AAVE isn’t “just misspeaking,” but rather has an alternative grammar system. Language stigma is derived from racism and classism which is fortified by mainstream media and academics.
Code switching is a practice that in the past has been championed by schools and used by members of society who speak languages or dialects different from Standard American English (SAE). Code switching is the idea that a person moves between two different languages or dialects based on their audience or the context of a situation. Although code switching can seem to honor diversity and legitimacy of different types of English dialects and languages, at its core it promotes a hierarchy of language.
For instance, a student may use AAVE in a social situation, but be expected to use SAE for a school presentation. Additionally, self-esteem issues have the opportunity to manifest.
Code meshing as a counter to code switching is the practice of moving between one or more languages or dialects in the same sentence or situation. Code meshing does not require the compartmentalizing of languages, and reduces the perpetuation of racism through language stigma. Wade sums up research regarding language diversity, “Literacy experts have come to the conclusion that home languages and dialects are inherently as valuable as the conventional English that is typically taught in school.”
The workshop concluded with the creation of a collective action tree. Participants of the workshop defined their values regarding language rights and proposed actions to generate their desired outcomes. At Bates we ought to be committed to the encouragement of the use of multiple dialects and languages, but members of the workshop see places in the community where the commitment can be strengthened. If you want to get involved in promoting language diversity in the Bates community or elsewhere, get in touch with the Bates Writing Center.

Generation Action, Elections, and Printing: A Student Government Update

At the Student Government meeting on January 16, Budget and Clubs Board (BCB) and Generation Action met with the Student Government to discuss why Generation Action was not approved as a club. Because Generation Action was not granted club status, they could not book rooms on campus, table in Commons, or receive funding. When this happens and a club appeals, Student Government takes a vote and has the last say in the decision. BCB originally denied Generation Action this status as a result of their connection to Planned Parenthood. The constitution states that clubs cannot be affiliated with an organization outside of the college, as clubs must have local autonomy and therefore be able to regulate themselves without direction from an outside organization. BCB was concerned that Generation Action was too connected to Planned Parenthood, and BCB did not want to make the decision of robbing Generation Action of this affiliation with Planned Parenthood. BCB cited work at other schools, like Bowdoin, where there are clubs that advocate for reproductive rights but have no affiliation with Planned Parenthood. BCB also feared that, were they to make Generation Action a club, other outside organizations could try to make a club on our campus, potentially including hate groups.
Generation Action wants to become a club so that they can host more events on campus, and they are the only group on campus having these open conversations about reproductive justice. The organization does not receive any funding from Planned Parenthood, and any money they raise will not go to Planned Parenthood. One of the goals of Generation Action is to provide vending machines around campus with Plan B and similar health services so that students could have access to them on the weekends. They hope to mobilize students to work with the health center to make Plan B and STD testing free resources for students. Student Government took a unanimous vote to grant Generation Action club status on campus.
Additionally on 1/16, Student Government discussed the election system currently in place, since annual re-election may not allow students to learn the skills that make Student Government at Bates effective. We are hoping to develop restructural plans for this throughout the rest of the year.
At our meeting on 1/23, we discussed the continuous issues surrounding on-campus parking. Some suggestions included not allowing first-years to bring their cars and adding a warning system to the ticket process. If we were to prohibit first-years from having cars, we would need to expand the shuttle system around Lewiston to ensure that students can get where they need to go. We also discussed student concerns related to the gym hours at Bates, and many representatives argued that a 5:30am opening time would benefit students rather than the current 6am time in place. Representatives in Student Government plan to meet with the necessary faculty to discuss the plausibility of this change. We appointed two additional representatives to the Library and Information Services Committee, and discussed the difficulty students have had finding working printers this year. In order to address that issue, we talked about the prospect of
being able to look online to see which printers were currently working. Overall, we hope to be engaged in the conversations to improve the printing services.

Get Connected With the Harward Center


If your interests lie with assisting those with disabilities, then you may want to get involved in the Social Learning Center Friendship Program. Bates students get the chance to form a one-on-one connection with a member of the Social Learning Center. Coordinator Maddy Shmalo ’19 described the program as “A very rewarding experience.” The friendships acquired can be gratifying for all parties involved.

George Steckel ’19 has been involved with the Harward Center for all of his time here at Bates and characterizes the center as a family. Steckel is in charge of the Book Buddies program which entails reading to early-elementary aged children who might not have access to books outside of school.

To discover the wide assortment of ongoing and onetime community programs outside of this selection, you can go to the Harward Center website and visit the opportunities page. Contact the community outreach fellows for information if you would like to participate in any of these programs. Most of the locations of the programs can be reached using the Service Learning Shuttle for Community Engaged Learning (CEL) which leaves outside of Chase Hall.

Funded summer opportunities are also available through the Harward Center. The Center has generated a list of non-profit organizations in Lewiston and Auburn that Bates students can spend the summer working for. Students are also encouraged to bring their own ideas for community-engaged experiences that align with their interests. For 8 to 10 weeks or full-time work up, to $4,000 can be earned. For more information, students can visit the Harward Center and speak with Peggy Rotundo. The deadline for applications is March 18.

Students can get involved off-campus in numerous ways. To get on the Community Links email list if you are not already, send an email to Marty Deschaines. The Center encourages students to take community-engaged courses at Bates or participate in community-engaged research. Approximately 50 seniors every year complete their thesis or capstone project in relation to community-engagement.


Bates is fortunate to be situated in the diverse and vibrant Lewiston-Auburn community, and there are a multitude of ways to engage with the members and organizations of L-A. As George Steckel put it, “When you come to Bates, your home becomes Lewiston.”

Get Connected With the Harward Center

The frigid temperatures did not stop students from attending the Harward Center open house this past Friday, January 11, to learn about the Center’s many opportunities. The purpose of the event was to connect or reconnect students with the off-campus community for the upcoming semester. Information about funded summer activities was also given.

The Bates College Harward Center for Community Partnerships strives to promote civic awareness and action in Lewiston-Auburn and the wider world. The director of the Harward Center, Darby Ray, remarked that the goal of the Center is to “help the Bates community to connect with the outside community.” Students can access community-engaged activities through various facets of Bates, including; academic courses, research, dorm life, athletic teams, and clubs. The Harward Center will make connections between volunteer programs and students’ interests, academic or otherwise. “We are kind of like a matchmaker,” added Ray.

Casey Kelley ’21 is a community outreach fellow. She notes, “It’s really important to be involved in the community where you live.” Kelley is the coordinator for Art Programming. These programs include weekly opportunities with the ArtVan and at Hillview Family Development to work with low income youth on art projects.

If your interests lie with assisting those with disabilities, then you may want to get involved in the Social Learning Center Friendship Program. Bates students get the chance to form a one-on-one connection with a member of the Social Learning Center. Coordinator Maddy Shmalo ’19 described the program as “A very rewarding experience.” The friendships acquired can be gratifying for all parties involved.

George Steckel ’19 has been involved with the Harward Center for all of his time here at Bates and characterizes the center as a family. Steckel is in charge of the Book Buddies program which entails reading to early-elementary aged children who might not have access to books outside of school.

To discover the wide assortment of ongoing and onetime community programs outside of this selection, you can go to the Harward Center website and visit the opportunities page. Contact the community outreach fellows for information if you would like to participate in any of these programs. Most of the locations of the programs can be reached using the Service Learning Shuttle for Community Engaged Learning (CEL) which leaves outside of Chase Hall.

Funded summer opportunities are also available through the Harward Center. The Center has generated a list of non-profit organizations in Lewiston and Auburn that Bates students can spend the summer working for. Students are also encouraged to bring their own ideas for community-engaged experiences that align with their interests. For 8 to 10 weeks or full-time work up, to $4,000 can be earned. For more information, students can visit the Harward Center and speak with Peggy Rotundo. The deadline for applications is March 18.

Students can get involved off-campus in numerous ways. To get on the Community Links email list if you are not already, send an email to Marty Deschaines. The Center encourages students to take community-engaged courses at Bates or participate in community-engaged research. Approximately 50 seniors every year complete their thesis or capstone project in relation to community-engagement.

Bates is fortunate to be situated in the diverse and vibrant Lewiston-Auburn community, and there are a multitude of ways to engage with the members and organizations of L-A. As George Steckel put it, “When you come to Bates, your home becomes Lewiston.”

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