Monday, December 14, 2015

The Bowdoin "Seventeen"

Nine days ago we posted this item regarding the atmospherics on the Bowdoin campus:

We pondered whether you, or Side, for that matter, might qualify as one of the 17, or whether new 'identity groups' would have to be created to accommodate us.  We posted an inquiry in the comment section of a related Orient article, and a kindly soul replied with this link to the specifics:

To make life easier for you, we're simply going to post the information verbatim, and here it is:

Affiliated Student Organizations

Multicultural Coalition
Multicultural Coalition is the collective of student organizations affiliated with the Student Center for Multicultural Life. The Coalition meets regularly to discuss programming, calendaring and general organization and community concerns.


African Alliance Welcomes students interested in learning about the continent of Africa. This group is for those interested and related to those on the continent of Africa and their descdents. We share music, language, dance, and all aspects of culture with members. All are welcome.

African-American Society (Af-Am) The African-American Society is a cultural group to promote black unity on campus and raise awareness. It seeks to promote community and support for all of its members. We push our members to succeed academically and socially, in order to reach the highest levels of achievement on Bowdoin's campus (and beyond). We strive to be a strong-knit, inclusive community. Through dialogue and programming, we work to enrich, engage and inform the campus of black culture as well as diverse black experiences.

Asian Student Association (ASA) The objective of the Asian Students Association is to foster a community among students, faculty, staff interested in Asian cultures and to bring multicultural awareness to the College. We hold weekly dinner meetings and organize a wide range of club or campus-wide events to promote a variety of Asian cultures. Past activities include the ASA Fashion Show, Calligraphy Night and Asian Nibbles etc. Students of all cultural backgrounds are welcome to join ASA.

International Club (I-Club) I-Club connects international students with the greater Bowdoin campus. Bowdoin International Club seeks to connect international students with the greater campus and foster intercultural understanding and appreciation.

Korean American Students Association (KASA) KASA is for students interested in Korean culture. The Korean American Students Association is committed to promoting cultural awareness and understanding on Bowdoin campus. KASA aims to reach its goal through the various political, social and cultural events held throughout the year.

Latin American Students Association (LASO) LASO aims to educate and unite the Latino and greater communities. A cultural organization aimed at assisting the Latino community adjust to life at Bowdoin and find a place of comfort while striving to educate the greater community about Latino culture, customs, and issues and combating stereotypes and bias.

Native American Students Association (NASA) NASA seeks to educate interested students in Native American culture. It is the mission of NASA to create and maintain a supportive environment for Native American students and to increase awareness of Native American cultures on campus and within the community through a collaboration of Native American and non-Native American students. NASA strives to develop a supportive space for the unique struggles faced by Native American peoples in order to help improve academic success and individual growth of these students. NASA also believes that it is essential to foster a community of learning and growth with people from all backgrounds; inclusiveness is central to our mission.


Belly Dancing All students welcome, any belly can dance. The Middle Eastern Dance Ensemble is meant to maintain a space in which students can learn a cultural dance form while also exploring their own interpretation of the dance form through their bodies. The aesthetics of bellydance encourage openness and an appreciation of one’s body, which we find to be a valuable contribution to campus.

Gospel Choir BCGC seeks to encourage, inspire and uplift through gospel music. Bowdoin Community Gospel Choir seeks to unite community members and Bowdoin College faculty and students from all walks of life through music. The choir's major objective is to spread encouragement, inspire, and foster creativity through Gospel music.

Slam Poet Society A community of writers and thinkers ensuring all voices can be heard. We are a social circle of poets seeking to morph the world with words. As a cohesive collective of writers, we shall make it our mission to actively engage our peers with thought-provoking pieces. The performance(or slam) of written poems is the means by which we accomplish this mission. We commit to utilizing the power of poetry to uplift and transform Bowdoin's consciousness. -Slam Poet Society.

Taiko Learn to smash drums rhythmically in a group! Great fun awaits with us. Bowdoin Taiko, est. fall 2002, is a learning-oriented club whose goal is to teach Taiko to Bowdoin College and the Brunswick community, and to perform in concerts, dance shows, and other venues. Our songs are handed down year-to-year, building in repitoire with each new leader, who teaches during practice times. In addition, Bowdoin Taiko occasionally will host professional taiko players to give workshops and/or demonstrations. Bowdoin Taiko will teach interested people the proper rhythms, stances, and movements of traditional, modern, and original taiko pieces.

Brazilian Jiu jitsu Learn a great sport and fighting style. No prior experience needed. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu club serves to teach both gi and no-gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to its members. Members will be able to learn the sport safely by coming to our twice-weekly practices where we warm up, learn new skills, drill, and have live matches, often taught by coaches. Members can also learn by watching professional matches either screened on tv or attending live fights in Lewiston. The club would also like to give the opportunity for members to train with and compete with other clubs or gyms in Maine.

Social justice:

Amnesty International organization to combat human rights issues. Amnesty International is a worldwide organization working to combat human rights offenses. The Bowdoin Amnesty International Chapter holds weekly meetings and raises awareness on campus about human rights issues. The club also brings speakers to campus and holds letter writing campaigns to help free political prisoners and end human rights abuses.

J-Street J Street U is the student organizing arm of J Street, the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans. On campuses across the country we are organizing as students to act together on behalf of a two-state solution and a more peaceful, secure, and democratic future for both Israelis and Palestinians.  In so doing, we strive to bring to our campuses and our communities an inclusive, pragmatic, and values-driven conversation able to meet the urgency and seriousness of the challenge that we face.

OxFam Oxfam Bowdoin seeks sustainable solutions to poverty and injustice. Oxfam America is an international relief and development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice. Together with individuals and local groups in more than 90 countries, Oxfam saves lives, helps people overcome poverty, and fights for social justice. We are one of the 17 affiliates in the international confederation Oxfam. Oxfam’s approach is about tackling the conditions that cause poverty in the first place, rather than the distribution of material goods. We start by asking questions and challenging assumptions. What are the root causes of poverty? What can we do to change the power dynamics that keep people poor? These questions inform the four categories into which our work falls: -Saving lives -Programs to overcome poverty and injustice -Campaigning for social justice -Public Education Nearly one out of every three of us lives in poverty. But we see a future in which no one does.

Students for Justice in Palestine SJP educates, organizes, and creates for the rights of Palestinians. Bowdoin Students for Justice in Palestine is an organization that promotes the self-determination of Palestinian people and their liberation from Occupation. The group works to educate both itself and the student body with regards to historical and political circumstances in Palestine while appreciating the interconnectedness of all struggles and opposing oppression in all forms.

Undiscussed Undiscussed organizes discussions groups each spring about identity. Our tag-line is “Breaking Barriers and Enabling Change Through Dialogue”. Every February, we bring groups of ten to twelve Bowdoin students together to discuss the good and bad about how their identity influences their Bowdoin experiences. In other words, what does it mean to be a soccer player at Bowdoin? Chem-free? From Memphis? Bisexual? Jewish? Latina? Receive financial aid? Our prompts are intentionally open to allow for each group to discuss the topics that matter the most to them. We rewrite our discussion guide each year, meaning you can participate again and again and have a new experience each time. The groups openly discuss perspectives and personal experiences and consider the positives and the negatives of how identity manifests itself at Bowdoin.

The Bowdoin Globalist The Bowdoin Globalist strives to provide an outlet for student writers on campus interested in global affairs, politics, social issues, science, economics and public health. The publication is released four times per academic year with a growing online presence. Writers convene once per week not only to work on their articles but also to discuss general topics of interest in global affairs. The organization offers leadership positions for students interested in the field of journalism, and we strive to start dialogue and raise questions about global issues to the Bowdoin community. 


Well, we gave up Belly-dancing a few years ago to save our hips. And as to slamming?  We've been known to slam down a few brewskis, but not any poetry, unless you think blog posts fit within the category.

So we're not sure where we might fit in the established specialty groups, which pretty much makes us worth spit (or bupkis) in the Bowdoin campus culture.  We're guessing it might mean the same for you, but we'll await your personal response.

BTW, an interesting parlor game might be derived from the above.  You could place bets on the frequency with which approved politically correct terminology of our day appears in the above.

Terms like dialogue, inclusive, justice, identity, oppression, liberation, struggles, awareness, diverse, stereotypes, and the like.

If you have time, you might read this item as well, which recently crossed our transom, and uses the Balkanization concept we referred to:

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