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By Brian Sobotko '16

September 26, 2013

Bates begins OIE speaker series
While students at Hamilton are bringing discussions about race and safe zones to the foreground, Bates College is also working towards developing a more inclusive, compassionate community. Last week, the Bates Office of Intercultural Education (OIE) launched the OIE Speaker Series with a speech from Manal al-Sharif, a women’s rights advocate from Saudi Arabia. al-Sharif is known internationally for filming and posting a video of herself breaking Saudi Arabia’s law banning women from driving. According to the Bates website, OIE programs “are grounded in an understanding that difference includes people of all sexual orientations, ethnicities, abilities, religious, spiritual and cultural traditions, gender identities, socio-economic backgrounds and races. The OIE endeavors to increase intercultural competence through ongoing dialog and academic engagement.”

This week, photographer Jeff Sheng, showed an exhibition called The Fearless Project: Photographs of LGBT Athletes. Finally, in October, the OIE will welcome poets Alix Olson and B Yung.

Bowdoin revisits hazing policy
Following a recent acknowledgement of hazing on campus, Bowdoin announced a revised hazing policy this month according to an article in The Bowdoin Orient. Bowdoin, which has not had Greek societies since the 1990s, focuses this new policy on the relationships between sports teams. According to Director of Athletics Tim Ryan, all team captains received a coach-led seminar on what constitutes hazing and teams held mandated discussions on the issue.

“It opens up a dialogue between students and coaches that will hopefully enable us to have conversations in advance of activities taking place,” Ryan said.

This renewed emphasis comes months after the Bowdoin men’s tennis team forfeited four matches and was ineligible for postseason play because of the discovery of hazing. In 2011, Bowdoin forfeited a men’s hockey NESCAC championship because of hazing.

“Compared to a vast majority of schools, we are way ahead. Our work builds on environmental efforts we have had in place for a long time. But we have now reached new heights in holistic sustainability and we have committed the College to a long-term plan for even greater achievement,” President Leo I. Higdeon Jr. said at convocation.

The message of sustainability has become campus wide.  During Convocation, Art Professor Denise Pelletier echoed the theme.

“It’s natural to compare the enormity of a problem with our own smallness, and we tend to rationalize at least some bit of helplessness in this equation,” she said. “We all need community for personal and global sustenance. Nobody here’s going to go it alone.”

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