NESCACs work to reform campus-wide policies

In the past week, the NESCAC has been full of excitement, ranging from educational reform to campus security issues.

At Bowdoin College students are calling for heightened security after a string of break-ins. There have been multiple reported break-ins and sexual assaults at Bowdoin’s senior apartments. The students have taken action starting a Facebook group for members of the Bowdoin community that desire the option to have a companion to walk them home at night. “In addition to increased security measures from the College, a number of student initiatives including a Safe Walk Facebook group, a Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) proposal and self defense classes have been created to increase real and perceived safety on campus,” according to the Bowdoin Orient. The break-ins are currently being investigated by both Bowdoin security and the local police department, but as of now no suspects or arrests have been made.

In response to these crimes Bowdoin has implemented increased security at many of their student apartments. The upgraded security ranges from motion sensor lights on the front porch of one apartment to new security cameras covering the entrances and exits of the buildings. The Orient reported that, “Nichols highlighted multiple steps that Safety and Security and Facilities are taking to improve student safety on campus. The porch lighting at Mayflower Apartments now turns on automatically. Additional lighting has also been added to the front and rear of the building. Nichols also said that there will be significant changes to lighting at Brunswick Apartments, updates to cameras around campus and additional cameras in key areas.” Even with the heightened security, many students still want more protection from possible danger.  In response, a few students will be leading self defense classes at various points that are open to  any Bowdoin student who want to attend.

In other news, Middlebury professors will be meeting in the coming weeks to determine whether or not pass/fail classes have a place at Middlebury College. According to The Middlebury Campus article says, “Faculty members will meet in small groups on Dec. 14 to discuss the measure, and then will formally vote on the motion at their next plenary session on Jan. 15. If the motion passes, the option will go into effect immediately, so that students can invoke it as soon as the spring 2016 term.”

The pass/fail option was approved previously at Middlebury in 2012, but that decision is set to expire at the end of 2015. Middlebury is debating the positive effect, if any, of the pass/fail option, as reported  in the Middlebury Campus. “Ideally, by now we would be able to see concrete results showing whether the option was achieving what it set out to do—which is to encourage students to explore the curriculum beyond their comfort zone. Yet the results are not concrete either way, so we can’t draw definite conclusions,” the paper wrote. With no conclusive evidence for either side of the argument, it will be up to the committee to decide the merit of the pass/fail option at the college.

Connecticut College has announced a new partnership with the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success. The goal of the partnership is to allow a broader range of students to apply to the college. The College Voice, Connecticut College’s student-run newspaper, explains, “While the Coalition asserts their goal is to improve the college application process for all students, there is considerable emphasis on making the process more accessible to students of historically underrepresented backgrounds, particularly those representing lower income households. As a member of the Coalition, Connecticut College joins over eighty institutions of higher education, both private and public, all meeting the Coalition’s definition of “affordable.”  For public institutions, the Coalition defines affordability based on low in-state tuition in combination with need-based financial aid.

Meanwhile, the private schools within the Coalition mirror Conn in a commitment to meeting the full demonstrated financial need of every admitted student.” The college is hoping this new partnership will diversify their incoming classes, as well as boosting application rates.