04 Mar 2016

The Worst Thing Ever Happened Recently at Bowdoin

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Washington Post editorialist Catherine Rampell has the story.

On Saturday, two members of Bowdoin College’s student government will face impeachment proceedings. What heinous transgression did they commit? Theft, plagiarism, sexual assault?

Nope. They attended a party where some guests wore tiny sombreros.

Two weeks ago, some students threw a birthday party for a friend. The email invitation read: “the theme is tequila, so do with that what you may. We’re not saying it’s a fiesta, but we’re also not not saying that :).” The invitation — sent by a student of Colombian descent, which may or may not be relevant here — advertised games, music, cups and “other things that are conducive to a fun night.”

Those “other things” included the miniature sombreros, several inches in diameter. And when photos of attendees wearing those mini-sombreros showed up on social media, students and administrators went ballistic.

College administrators sent multiple schoolwide emails notifying the students about an “investigation” into a possible “act of ethnic stereotyping.”

Partygoers ultimately were reprimanded or placed on “social probation,” and the hosts have been kicked out of their dorm, according to friends. (None of the disciplined students whom I contacted wanted to speak on the record; Bowdoin President Clayton Rose declined an interview and would not answer a general question about what kinds of disciplinary options are considered when students commit an “act of bias.”) …

Within days, the Bowdoin Student Government unanimously adopted a “statement of solidarity” to “[stand] by all students who were injured and affected by the incident,” and recommend that administrators “create a space for those students who have been or feel specifically targeted.”

The statement deemed the party an act of “cultural appropriation,” one that “creates an environment where students of color, particularly Latino, and especially Mexican, students feel unsafe.” The effort to purge the two representatives who attended the party, via impeachment, soon followed.

Read the whole thing and be glad you went to college years ago, when the country was comparatively sane.

3 Feedbacks on "The Worst Thing Ever Happened Recently at Bowdoin"

Jacob's Step Stool

Oh it was insane back 20 years ago when I went, just not the batshit insane that it is now.


Let us erase Mexican (and Latino) from the zeitgeist. All things Mexican must be taboo. And who would blame them, look at Mexico, a nation where millions of the citizens are willing to die trying to escape.

But all in all, if it cannot be spoken of, it is taboo, there is no value in acknowledging it. Unless it has to do with sex. Those sex taboos are exciting.

Leave it to a Brit to be rational on the topic


Sue every damn one of them. Sue the school. Sue individually each representative of the school involved in any part of any of these decisions. Haul them into court for an accounting of themselves and their actions.


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