May 16, 2016
Dear Harpoon Editors,
In his inauguration speech, President Clayton Rose said that we here at Bowdoin must “exercise a willingness…to be deeply uncomfortable down to our core.” So why did he ignore me when I tried to talk to him when we were both using urinals in the bathroom near his office?
I loitered around Clayton’s bathroom, waiting for him to make his 2:21 p.m. pee run like I usually do, finally working up the courage to engage with him. After I walked up to the urinal next to Clayton, I asked, “Want to get full-throated?” In response, Clayton did what he warned against in his inauguration speech: he turned away and made no attempt to push himself out of his comfort zone. I called after him, inviting him to go to the Women’s Resource Center nude photo-shoot exhibit with me. He just ran away faster. Why isn’t Clayton “willing to wade deeply into all manner of texts, films, and art” and experience a “deep emotional reaction” with me?
I think we all need to consider the outright incongruity of Clayton’s rhetoric and his actions. Our president must be committed to the liberal arts ideal in theory and in practice; it won’t do to have him abandon his principles just because we’re standing next to each other in the men’s room with our penises in our hands while urinating and he’s grunting a bit and I’m trying to get a little peek because honestly wouldn’t you?
I urge the Harpoon editors, and the rest of the studentry, to take up my humble cause. I am for free speech, the examined life, and the common good. Sometimes that involves being unafraid at the urinal.
The Bowdoin Doughface