By HUGO HENTOFF Mar. 10, 2017
Inspired by the Orient’s recent piece exploring student perspectives on class on campus, the Harpoon decided to have a candid, personal discussion about an even more divisive and taboo topic. The following story collects student perceptions and opinions on ass at Bowdoin.
Regardless of a student’s background, discussions about ass are often very uncomfortable. When talking about ass, there are assumptions that go along with it that are negative and can often negate an individual’s lived experience.
Despite the unease that talking about ass can cause, it is important to have these difficult conversations. Ass underlies fundamental power dynamics in our social world. Ass influences how people dress, how they spend their free time, and how they see themselves at Bowdoin.
Sophomore Hugh Janus had never dealt with the politics of ass until coming to Bowdoin. “When I first came here I never thought about ass,” he said. “It just wasn’t a conversation anyone around me was having. It was never something that came up with my friends or with my teammates or anything like that.”
But for many students on campus, awareness of ass is nothing new.
“It’s crazy to me that so many students here don’t have to think about ass,” said Richard Dumper ‘18. “Because, as someone who’s always had pretty lumpy cheeks, I’m constantly thinking about it.”
Associate Dean of Ass Seymour Butts has been leading eight students in an Affirmative Sharing Sessions (ASS) program every semester for the past few years. During the introductory session with each group she asks students to introduce themselves, addressing various aspects of their identities such as race, ethnicity, economic background, sexual orientation, and ass.
“The goal is really to start a dialogue about ass on campus, and in the process, to learn more about ourselves and the people around us,” said Butts.
Nearly every student The Harpoon talked to said that for productive conversations to begin, individuals have to look inward and address ass on a personal level. Once we have an understanding of our own ass and the many ways in which it affects our experience in the world, we can fundamentally change the way ass is thought about on campus.