AESOP and the Outing Club are Made of White Privilege


It comes as no surprise to most Bates students that our ‘beloved’ AESOP orientation trips are led by an overwhelmingly white organization. Whiteness is central to this path to entry to our college; to have an identity dissociated from a ‘hip,’ outdoorsy norm rooted in a Northeastern white understanding of self seems almost inconceivable by Bates’ orientation standards.

Many of us have heard AESOP horror stories; friends and peers had AESOP experiences they wouldn’t care to relive, and in my experience, many of those friends are those who inhabit marginalized identities. Women of color on white-majority hiking trips that are entirely made of microaggressions, queer first-years surrounded by straight people making eyes at each other across canoes, or simply geeks forced into a beach camping trip despite social anxiety–these experiences, while not at all equatable, are somewhat parallel. It’s easy to feel isolated and lost when you’re surrounded by people with nothing in common with you on a trip that you signed up for because you had to, especially in an insecure environment.

A large part of this discomfort and unpleasantness stems from the organization that runs AESOP: the Bates Outing Club. A club with prehistoric policies regarding gender (saying “two people of different genders” can lead a trip does not avoid transphobia just because you don’t label those genders as male and female), the Outing Club is massively white, sickeningly privileged, and the closest thing to a fraternity we’ve got at Bates. While the college supposedly bans such organizations, the fact that Outing Club effectively has their own houses, trips, parties, and management of orientation makes the club a fraternity/sorority in all but name.

And just like a frat, the barriers to entry are enormously high. The social capital (and outdoors experience) required to be an Outing Club member–let alone leader–is enormous, and the established pure-white-privilege environment that the club has established makes it unlikely for anyone unlike the club’s intended audience to feel comfortable engaging in their space. Unfortunately, this effectively translates to AESOP leadership–folks that don’t match the Club-constructed definitions of acceptable (that is, non-members who don’t have prominent friends) will never know the inside jokes or match the guidelines necessary to be hired as a trip leader or AESOP coordinator.

Outing Club cannot be allowed to maintain their reign over entry into Bates. The current system actively harms students entering the college in its exclusionary makeup and cruel deficiency of offerings. AESOP leadership must be restructured to include a wider variety of clubs that can help students find friends and connections during orientation, especially for first-years of marginalized identities.

Bates is not just made up of rich white people who want to hike mountains, or strip in public, or smoke weed, and especially as students arrive at the college, it’s important that they don’t find those to be the school’s defining characteristics.

It’s true that over the past few years, AESOP trip offerings have started to expand—notable newer trips include service-oriented trips based in the town of Lewiston. But this slow change simply isn’t enough, and hasn’t done much to make students feel more comfortable and at home in the Bates community.

For AESOP to become a valuable, inclusive part of Bates orientation, other clubs need to be involved in the processes of creating trips and selecting trip leaders. I could list any number of student organizations that could positively contribute to a more healthy AESOP. Let first-years get a jump on participating in things they care about, rather than sticking them on a beach with students they, in all likelihood, will forget about after a few months.

Imagine if students arriving at Bates could take orientation trips that involved topics or activities they were interested in. Why couldn’t there be an AESOP dedicated to anti-racist activism in Lewiston? Why isn’t there a trip focused on queer identity formation in tabletop role-playing games? Bates students have a wide variety of interests–but their options are limited by a club that finds itself the most compelling thing about the college.

Outing Club: consider loosening up on expectations like costumed interviews, or flaunting your drinking in class less. Recognize the privileges your members had coming into Bates–not everyone could surf, or ski, or kayak in their lives before college. The environment you’re creating is unhealthy and unconducive to inclusion. Please help students like me feel okay about your hegemony on campus–and if you can’t, maybe it’s time we shut this frat down.


78 Responses

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  1. a very satisfied bates student
    Mar 16, 2018 - 01:10 PM

    As a non outing club member I think you have to rethink you’re argument. Outing club is not exclusive to those who didn’t have the means to do those activities before college; however, they do provide opportunity to those students to experience these activities. For example, they provide surfboards and skiing equipment for individuals who don’t own their own. Although you may feel it’s discriminatory towards non-whites, an individual such as myself who is not Caucasian has found the group to be extraordinarily inclusive and friendly. Perhaps you should try meeting the individuals within the group and taking advantage of the great amenities they provide before slandering them.

  2. Alumni 16
    Mar 17, 2018 - 07:18 PM

    You make a few points but your hostility is one-sided. The majority at Bates could certainly be exposed to more diversity (culture and opinion), but the lack of it is not unique to AESOP. You should advocate your aforementioned orientations, and coordinate them with likeminded Batesies. Many people will still choose beach or hiking trips but at least they’ll be exposed to something different. Based on my experience at Bates, more than a handful will also enjoy your trip as well. Instead of degrading your felloww classmates at a school you chose to attend you could actually made a difference for the better.

  3. Bates POC
    Mar 18, 2018 - 04:30 PM

    I don’t know how comfortable I am with a white cis male generalizing and speaking for people of colour/marginalized people- especially as there need to be more concrete examples supporting your argument that sounds more coherent and strong than a rant filled with bitterness.
    I am not ignoring the fact that there is a lot of privilege at Bates and not everyone has had the best experiences, but I don’t find this article the best representation of the situation at hand either.
    – A confused queer woman of colour.

  4. Student
    Mar 18, 2018 - 09:50 PM

    The amount of bitternes and misrepresented information in this article concerns me. Let’s start with 1.) you are a white cis male, so I am not sure that you best postioned to speak on the behalf of the margininlized groups you speak of. 2.) The “AESOP horror stories” you mention make little sense as to why AESOP supposedly sucks. Why don’t you tell us HOW hiking trips are “entirely made of microaggressions”? What does that even mean? Why do you think its problematic that queer students are “surrounded” by straight ones on canoeing trips? No matter where a queer student is on cmapus, there is often a heterosexual majority around them. How is this AESOP’s fault? You’re really reaching. As if these people lack the ability to make friends who have different identities. You do not have the knowledge to speak on their behalf. 3.) How is it problematic for AESOP to ask for two leaders of different genders? You said its transphobic. Shoud they list every single possible gender, and consequently offend someone with that by forgetting some variation of gender? No. They could easily accept a female-to-male leader and a gender-nonforming leader. 4.) The Outing Club is no where near a frat. There are no barriers to entry. You literally just give them your email address at the Activites Fair. They provide opportunites to learn a new outdoorsy skils and borrow equiptment. Of course they have a house, ANYONE can have a theme house here. They are actually very accepting and kind people, maybe you ought to talk to them. What would you like from them? Drop their entire club’s nature by not being based on skiing/hiking/canoing etc. just because these are predominantly “white” actvities? They would never turn someone away from participating. Maybe you want them to have no house, no parties, and no trips so that the social aspect is entirely elimated? That is so unreasonable. Maybe they could add more trips that would appeal to more students, but last time I checked, volunteering in Lewiston or practicing Art & Meditation aren’t exactly outdoorsy (yes, tehse were actual trips this past year). Your anger towards a unique and exciting club/program at Bates is frightening, and screams bitter. Maybe learn more before you speak, and provide more concrete examples of how this club does anything corrupt. Best of luck.

  5. Matt
    Mar 23, 2018 - 12:42 PM

    As a Bates Graduate and as a former BOC president, I’m dismayed that any Bates student is so hateful towards the things ANY club has to offer to campus, especially a club that was so inclusive just five years ago when I graduated. Is it perfect? No. Of course not. No club made up of humans is. Does it bring value and added activities to the college? Of course. It’s the longest standing club at Bates and offers a multitude of things. It offers leadership opportunities to those who take advantage of them. It offers hard skills involved in managing organizations (budgets, real collaboration between directors, management of shared and rented equipment, etc). It offers an opportunity to learn new activities that can offer a lifelong connection to nature and the outdoors, from skiing to climbing to snowshoeing to camping to cooking to–Well literally anything that the club members want to offer and learn.

    The outdoor industry as a whole is riddled with privilege, discrimination, and barriers to entry. What an opportunity students at Bates have to break through those challenges with a supportive club that wants to get them outdoors. The BOC has numerous opportunities for students in less privileged classes to engage without white- male- social norms–What started as Women’s Climbing Night (about eight years ago now) has stayed and is now Non-Male-Identifying Night at the Wall. The club has also offered numerous Non-Male-Identifying trips and leadership opportunities–A direct quote from a BOC email inviting non-male-conforming people to come of a trip reads

    “Who: 10 female/non-male gender identifying people** who want to learn how to mountain bike!
    **I realize this may come off as exclusive, but we also want to create a comfortable leadning (sic) environment to empower non-male people to try new things they may not try otherwise. Miles is going to be leading a beginner trip open to all genders as well.”
    When it comes to inclusion, what more do you want?

    When it comes to barriers to entry, as another poster said, according to the bylaws of the club, all members of the campus community are considered “members” of the club and are welcome to rent gear free of charge from the club and are welcome to participate in club functions and events. You literally write down your email to subscribe to the list serve to figure out whats going on. Every year there are dozens of trips, many of which are at a beginner level. When it comes to barriers of entry, what more do you want?

    I have some questions for the author of this piece.
    What actionable steps can you offer the club? What are you doing to encourage the club to be more inclusive? How involved are you or have you tried to be in the organization that you attack so vehemently in this piece?

    Obviously, I dont know the culture of the BOC today–But five years ago, when I was involved, all of our trips off campus were drug and alcohol free–Of course, through college policy, but also through club culture. I’d be shocked and dismayed if that part of the club’s culture had changed. It was a real tenant of what we did to make sure that drugs and alcohol were NOT brought or included on trips. While members of the club might have indulged on campus, certainly not while in official BOC capacities or in ways associated with the club.

    Oh–And by the way–AESOP is not part of the BOC. They share a common history at times, and certainly work together to get people outside, but the are run independently of each other, have separate (though sometimes overlapping) leadership, separate budgets and objectives. In terms of the questions as to why all of the AESOP trips are oriented around camping, farming, outdoor services work, climbing, hiking, surfing, etc–Well its the Annual Entering Students OUTDOORS Program. If you’re interested in starting an Annual Entering Students anti-racism program, or a tabletop role playing program, by all means, propose it to the college’s leadership. Back in the 80s and 90s the BOC got their act together and proposed a OUTDOORS program for entering students–And ya know what, it turned out to be a huge hit that the overwhelming majority of Bates students participate in and enjoy, according to surveys and data that AESOP collects. Then in 2015 AESOP trips became mandatory because all except for 85 students per year were participating voluntarily. The college looked at that and said ‘wow, the outdoors is something we value and appreciate and we think all of our students would benefit from being exposed to something like this.’ At that time AESOP coordinators worked to make sure there were less “intense” options available (see here:

    Just because there are aspects of something that make us uncomfortable do not mean that they are wholly bad. I believe that our generation has been raised to avoid and reject discomfort. Perhaps that’s something worth re-examining. Instead of playing to the lowest common denominator of inclusion, perhaps we should accept and even embrace discomfort at times and challenge each other to grow, because ultimately growth is our only real path to achieving what we want.

  6. Jason
    Mar 29, 2018 - 03:45 AM

    What a sad, deranged rant. You don’t allege that anyone is turned away or that anyone in the group has done anything wrong. Your only specific claim is that hetero students look at each other across canoes. I’m gay and I can tell you that heteros being hetero is not a problem for us. Don’t use us as a shield for your personal gripes, grudges and agendas.

    Reflect on your racial bigotry, your anger, and your failure to respect others.

  7. Marco Ramirez
    Mar 29, 2018 - 06:54 AM

    Justice: I believe that there are some counseling and anger management services on or near campus. Maybe those can help you to get some much needed perspective.

  8. MagicalMcgoo
    Mar 29, 2018 - 10:06 AM

    OMG The HORROR!!!!! Having to go camping?!?!?!? That is truly a terribly horrifying experience. How can we expect college students to deal with the pressures and stresses of real life after subjecting them to something as abominable as a camping trip.

  9. Bob
    Mar 29, 2018 - 10:50 AM

    Holy moly! The first candidate for the title of “Wokest White Girl” of Bates has come out swinging! So woke. So wokity-woke-woke she never sleeps! Good luck to the rest of the field but I don’t see anybody outside of the Dalai Lama or zombie Gandhi putting up much of a fight.

  10. Nathan
    Mar 30, 2018 - 10:03 AM

    Shut up you whiny useless little pissant. If you white progressives want white erasure so much, why don’t you start with yourselves?

  11. Roger Meurer
    Mar 30, 2018 - 06:25 PM

    Is ANYONE refused entry into this club snowflake?
    Or is it, like it is with everyone of you immature CHILDREN, just a chance to create division and hate?

    • jerZart
      Mar 31, 2018 - 07:48 AM

      I graduated from this place last year. The outing club is the only club on campus where it is considered that every single student is a member once they join the college. The outing club is the last thing from a racist group that rules the school with an iron fist. This is such a joke

  12. Dean Roberts
    Mar 30, 2018 - 06:33 PM

    You are a whiny snowflake. Please shed your Millennial skin and grow up.

  13. johnnystorm
    Mar 30, 2018 - 06:46 PM

    Justice Geddes, are you regular stupid or are you the special kind?

    • Boat Drinks
      Mar 31, 2018 - 08:38 AM

      Very Very Special – bet it would be fun to take him camping. Sit up at night and snap small twigs – cast shadows on his Hello Kitty Tent and have pre-recorded bear growls playing in 7.1 Digital Surround Sound. Like Jurassic Park – we will spare no expense. (Chilean Sea Bass) I am laying bets that I could get him to cry, wet himself or at least try to call his boyfriend before dawn or before the Twinkle starts to fall. Don’t get me wrong it could be a girlfriend – but we all talked and no – no one will take the bullet and ask him out. Girls don’t have wingmen.

  14. Moonman
    Mar 30, 2018 - 07:27 PM

    Please, Ms Geddes, take a hike…a little fresh air might help you calm down…as is, you sound shrill to the point of irrational…but please take along some DEET and bear spray should encounter some real hegemony in your life…

  15. Ms. Meds
    Mar 30, 2018 - 07:46 PM

    You really need an ass beating dont you?

  16. Ella Hill Smythe
    Mar 30, 2018 - 08:27 PM

    Lord, you’re pathetic. That’s the problem anymore with you liberal whinny SJW morons… it’s all about me, me, me. You don’t like it? Form your own club or find another college. The rest of us are tired of your racism drivel and your transphobic gibberish.

  17. Bill, just bill
    Mar 30, 2018 - 08:52 PM

    Here’s an idea. If you want alternative activities, get off your duff and start them. Just do it.

  18. Alton D Ledoux
    Mar 30, 2018 - 09:22 PM

    Could someone explain “Outing Club cannot be allowed to maintain their reign over entry into Bates. ” to me? This club has control over admissions to the college?

  19. Scott Allen
    Mar 30, 2018 - 09:50 PM

    so you are afraid to get naked in front of other people, for god sake don’t go to a doctor or be admitted to a hospital, don’t get in a car accident because the EMT’s, the emergency room people and the cops might see your parts and heaven help you if you go into the military.
    You really need some professional help.

    • debinak
      Apr 05, 2018 - 03:53 PM

      I think Geddes might be transmale. The name Justice is so inapt it might be self-chosen.

  20. cardcounter
    Mar 30, 2018 - 09:54 PM

    “The environment you’re creating is unhealthy and unconducive to inclusion.” Is your point the Outing Club is racist? Could you give some specific examples. You talk in generalities that are so non-specific, they are meaningless.

    Is there a rule at Bates banning students from forming clubs and is that rule being forced on Bates by the Outing Club.

  21. Rick3
    Mar 30, 2018 - 09:59 PM

    What a bunch of psychophantic mental masturb@tion from someone who just can’t quite cut the mustard so he whines – whatever- get over yourself you egotistical sack of academic coprolite

  22. Bob S
    Mar 30, 2018 - 10:03 PM

    The outing club is racist but affirmative action and Black only scholarships are not?

    • N64456
      Mar 30, 2018 - 11:53 PM

      She should go read an LL Bean catalog; her tiny brain will explode!

  23. Kelly Jackson
    Mar 30, 2018 - 10:56 PM

    Do you ever realize what miserable nutcases people like Justice Geddes are?

    You don’t like hiking in the woods? Then don’t go

    Start your own club.

    I honestly can’t see how anyone would want to live their lives based on what these fruitloops find acceptable.

  24. Jeff1911
    Mar 30, 2018 - 11:11 PM

    Oh I get it. This InJustice Geddes SJW, was raised by a helicopter parent so SHE (yes I assumed your gender from the TWO that exist) is afraid to venture out into the scary wild world of mother nature because she’s never been further than 20′ from her anti-vaccer mom. Then in high school she was the unshaven, hemp bracelet, dirty hair, no make-up wearing suburban-raised activist who railed against anything “bourgeois.” Then in college she enrolled in Gender Studies classes where she was told, told, told, and told again that there’s this huuuuuuge wage gap and it has been perpetuated by the same patriarchal society that has endorsed and protected this rape culture that she can’t escape from. So now as a senior and facing the reality that her course of major has only prepared her to be a professional whiner with a minimum wage income, she assumes the victim role of her gender and resulting wage. So now EVERYONE who enjoys ANYTHING is to blame and by the rules of socialism must share in her misery. She appropriates another culture’s struggles and injustice and unknowingly flaunts her own racism because these poor minorities are incapable of fighting their own battles and need someone to fight for them. So everyone is a racist and everything is racist because she can’t afford hiking boots, a backpack, and a tent.

    • N64456
      Mar 30, 2018 - 11:53 PM

      Yep…. Pretty much hit the nail right on the head….. Her job training will go something like this: “Would you like fries with that?”

  25. Bill Tynan
    Mar 30, 2018 - 11:31 PM

    Oh, Justice, if “inclusion” means sitting in the same room as you — or worse hiking on the same trail as you — I will humbly remain Not Woke.

    • ChuSez
      Apr 01, 2018 - 08:21 AM

      Good choice.

  26. KaiEr
    Mar 31, 2018 - 01:16 AM

    My God… where to begin on this SJW hypocritical idiocy?

    It’s a social group with an outdoors focus. Do you seriously think it takes white privilege to walk into the woods and go camping? Throughout your whole diatribe, you pointed out that this group is open to anyone and everyone – i.e. accepting, and that it is YOU and those “victims” you pointed out who are not being accepting – or worse, wanting other people to change who they are.

    You pointed out women of color finding themselves in a minority – welcome to reality.
    You pointed out Queers having to deal with straight people making eyes at each other – welcome to reality.
    You pointed out Geeks being uncomfortable in social situations – welcome to reality.

    Do you want whites to stop being white? Straight people to be Gay? Sociable people to be less sociable? Or for an outdoors social group to remove the outdoors focus?

    You seriously don’t see the idiocy of what you are writing, do you? “And just like a frat, the barriers to entry are enormously high. The social capital (and outdoors experience) required to be an Outing Club member–let alone leader–is enormous…” Social capital and outdoors experience requirements for an OUTDOORS SOCIAL GROUP?!?!?! What were they thinking? *sarcasm* And the nerve of them having inside jokes that non-members wouldn’t understand, or that ANYONE who isn’t into camping and being sociable would feel uncomfortable going into “that space”!!! *more sarcasm*

    Yes, let’s burn them down for their lack of interest in “queer table-top role playing games”.
    Yes, let’s burn them down for their expectations of having first year students socializing in an outdoor situation.

    Your solution would be what? Making a membership restriction to equal parts white/black/straight/outgoing/geek, and refusing membership to anyone who threw that parity off… or had any outdoors experience?

    The only “white privilege” you have pointed out is that which YOU and your “victims” have given them by excluding YOURSELVES from them, based on your own uneasiness with WHO THEY ARE! Talk about being racist/bigoted and unaccepting.

    You asked to “Imagine if students arriving at Bates could take orientation trips that involved topics or activities they were interested in.” My question is, what do you have against them doing exactly what you just asked us to imagine?

    You said, “Bates students have a wide variety of interests–but their options are limited by a club that finds itself the most compelling thing about the college.” It seems to me that the only thing limiting your options is YOU, if you think that a social club with a specific interest focus is limiting you from creating/joining a social group with any other specific interest. Or am I really wrong on this? If so, tell me how an outdoors group is limiting a swim club, art club, or…

    But for the sake of argument, let’s say I was wrong. Let’s say this is “white privilige”, and that it’s “outdoorsy norm rooted in a Northeastern white understanding”. Are you asking for an ethnic/racial group to change their roots to YOUR standards? Let me know how that “Let’s make Kwanzaa less black” diatribe goes.

  27. A Guy In Texas
    Mar 31, 2018 - 02:36 AM

    Someone call DHS, we have some weapon’s grade stupidity approaching critical mass right here in this “article”.

  28. North Star
    Mar 31, 2018 - 03:10 AM

    Geddes has filed a lawsuit against winter because snow is white, therefore racist. What a loon.

  29. tropictimes
    Mar 31, 2018 - 04:47 AM

    Apparently our capitalist system makes it profitable for Justice Geddes and her ilk to channel all her murderous tendencies at a globally small, beset group and be cheered on by the masses. Bates must teach Scapegoating 101 and Virtue Signalling 101 to its self-hating students. Geddes should stick with layout.

    • tropictimes
      Mar 31, 2018 - 05:43 AM

      Shouldn’t a college newspaper showcase the critical thinking skills of its students? Isn’t it a sort of resume and practice forum for students, and an advertisement on the quality (or lack thereof) of Bates College? Geddes has just done all her fellow students a massive disservice by showing (whether generally true or not) the apparently tragic level of intellectual argumentation ability at Bates. Employers will remember.

  30. KB Jenkins
    Mar 31, 2018 - 06:27 AM

    Omg grow some balls and quit whining like chicken little. Grow up and quit projecting your “sky is falling” attitude on others. Last I checked this is a free country. You don’t like then ignore it. Stop trying to ruin peoples lives because you are a big baby. Eat a hot pocket you will be alright!

  31. ClintJohnson
    Mar 31, 2018 - 06:27 AM

    I am guessing this Justice person is writing an early April Fool’s Day joke? He/She doesn’t make enough sense for me to determine what her/his point is.

  32. Doug Walker
    Mar 31, 2018 - 07:44 AM

    Social Justice Warriors are silly, not to be taken seriously, and ruin every single thing they touch. This is yet another proof of this. HR managers, remember this person’s name; you’ll want to add it to the “Do Not Hire Under Any Circumstances” file.

  33. John Galt
    Mar 31, 2018 - 08:36 AM

    Sounds like Mr. Geddes has a serious personal problem with expectations.

    If he wanted a more racially diverse student environment, he could have chosen a considerably less expensive college in many other states and shaved $200,000 off the quarter million dollars he’s paying to a school well known for political correctness that produces mostly psychology and social science undergraduates.

    Bates College, located in Lewiston, Androscoggin County, Maine, is one of the most exclusive and most expensive small colleges in the U.S. with annual costs for each of its 1,780 students pegged at a minimum of $68,870 per year for tuition, books, fees and room and board (US DOE’s “College Navigator”). Bates College’s enrollment is over 70% white, and Androscoggin County is sparsely populated with 107,000 people of whom 92.8% are white.

    Mr. Geddes …. back away from your computer, walk outside, breathe in the crisp clear Maine air, and embrace your whiteness!

  34. MKirk
    Mar 31, 2018 - 09:12 AM

    The student making all this fuss has lost their mind and has no sense of reality. Bates is a College in Maine that’s over 85% White, and hiking is a popular activity. Hell, they have a small mountain top on campus (Mount David). If yo didn’t like being among White people and outdoor activities, you should have picked a different college. It’s not like they hide it in the brochure.

    I’d love to give this student a pair of boots, a rucksack and hike them up into the White Mountains for three days and nights and then ask them how ‘privileged’ they feel at the end of it.

    “queer first-years surrounded by straight people making eyes at each other across canoes, or simply geeks forced into a beach camping trip despite social anxiety”. I think you’ll find those ‘looks’ have nothing to do with their color or sexual orientation, but more that they can’t believe people are so triggered about being in the great outdoors when they knew what they signed up for. And no on is forced to got to any activity at Bates except class.

    And if this student wants a “queer identity formation in tabletop role-playing game” student group, all the more power to them. But they should stop whining, get off their ass and start one. If there’s enough interest, I’m sure Bates have enough cash to fund the dice and rule books.

    Whiny crap like this makes me embarrassed to be from Maine that we let such whiners in. People in New England, of all races, sexual orientations and creeds, aspire to be accepted to Bates, and are welcomed with open arms, and have amazing collegiate experiences.

    If someone doesn’t like going to Bates, I’m sure they can go to any other College or University they like anywhere else in the country. And get the f*ck out of my State.

  35. skeptical1776
    Mar 31, 2018 - 11:40 AM

    What a (somewhat) human parody this student is.

    A disgrace to any school which would accept her and a disgrace to the pathological “family” who emanated her into society, like a gaseous emission following an excessive consumption of beans.

  36. janchup
    Mar 31, 2018 - 12:39 PM

    Maybe some day Geddes will escape the prison of his confused deluded thinking. Maybe not. Poor kid, his FaceBook page got scorched and he took almost everything down….

  37. janchup
    Mar 31, 2018 - 01:53 PM


  38. Claudia Gage
    Mar 31, 2018 - 02:17 PM

    Geddes misses his own point. Experiencing Nature is often reserved for privileged white folks, while most Americans without privilege are limited to concrete and asphalt. Education’s main intent is to expose us to the things we don’t know about but might come to love. Nature enables our lives, enriches our spirits and is in essence our common ground.

    • Thomas Conners
      Apr 05, 2018 - 03:12 PM

      How’s it reserved for white folks, dummy? You can’t go to the woods? Are there some sort of barriers preventing non whites from sleeping outside?

    • debinak
      Apr 05, 2018 - 03:44 PM

      You capitalized Experiencing Nature. Was that a typo?
      Quit whining. Get a sleeping bag, a tent, some portable food stuffs and GO CAMPING for crying out loud. Nobody is stopping you.

  39. AJ Bernard
    Mar 31, 2018 - 07:10 PM

    I have to wonder if Geddes realizes the inherent racism in their own article? To single out a group solely because of skin color, even if that color is “white,” is the very definition of racism.

    Honestly, I hope this is just bad satire, because if Geddes actually believes what they have written here, then they really need to turn off CNN and go outside.

  40. ChuSez
    Apr 01, 2018 - 08:19 AM

    PC nonsense by someone obviously bound and determined to find offenses everywhere.

  41. ThanksfortheFishes
    Apr 01, 2018 - 09:51 AM

    I feel truly sorry for this person. She’s going to have an utterly miserable life if she can’t get treatment for her apparent mental illness. Life is so short, it’s a shame someone named Justice is going to spend it trying to create injustice because of her own warped sense of reality.

  42. Dave Love
    Apr 02, 2018 - 12:39 PM

    This woman has never been camping in her life.

  43. Blaine McAvoy
    Apr 02, 2018 - 03:21 PM

    Ignoring all the lib speak and incessant whining about perceived victimization (ad nauseum), why are Bates students forced to pay for and participate in student club activities of someone else’s design that have no bearing on their academic pursuits? Are Outing Club members required to pay the $300 per trip fee assessed to non-club members? Is there an accounting of the revenue and expenditures? I’m suspicious that the Outing Club may have a sweet deal from the Administration that amounts to forced subsidization of their other club ‘funzies’ from non-club members. If so, forget the ‘white privilege’ baloney, this is early training for future swamp dwellers.

  44. ronwf
    Apr 02, 2018 - 04:11 PM

    So here’s a few concepts:

    1) Maine itself is massively white. Wikipedia says 98.4% white. So what do you expect the racial makeup of an outdoors club in a school in Maine will be?
    2) Maybe if you joined the Outing Club, went on the outings, and during and outside of them learned some things about the outdoors you yourself could become a leader. You know, actually work to deserve and achieve leadership rather than expect to have it handed to you.
    3) If you want to start a club “dedicated to anti-racist activism in Lewiston” or “queer identity formation in tabletop role-playing games” then start it. No one is obligated to do the hard work of creating these things for you. Good things come to those who work for them. If you want something, work for it.
    4) Maybe the people running the Outing Club don’t see it as a vehicle for political or social advocacy. Maybe they want it to be apolitical. Maybe the rest of the student body wants it to be apolitical. Maybe student organizations funded by college students with diverse political positions shouldn’t BE political.

  45. CanineCo
    Apr 02, 2018 - 05:26 PM

    If he’s triggered by marshmellows and prehistoric policies, he irrefutably won’t enjoy the USMC School of Infantry….

  46. CanineCo
    Apr 02, 2018 - 05:30 PM

    Hope I got the preferred pronouns correct. It’s so confusing nowadays.

  47. Burn_the_Witch
    Apr 02, 2018 - 11:23 PM

    I see no disclaimer which states that this opinion reflects only the author’s viewpoint. Indeed, the author’s tone is one of an appointed spokesperson. As such, I can only conclude that the editorial staff is unable to recognize student works of subpar quality. This unsourced, accusatory, and quite frankly bigoted work is based purely off of modern humanities tripe. It has no place in a serious-minded institution that is supposed to be teaching young minds how to think. This article reflects regurgitation, not thought.

  48. west coast raffy
    Apr 03, 2018 - 09:56 AM

    I’m willing to bet you’ve never done any serious jail time.

    If you want to see racism, do six days as a white person in a 24 man “pod” where 19 are African-Americans.

    Or go to Juvie jail for a year.

    I remember a Latino who smuggled some Quaaludes in during visitation and face-planted in his mashed potatoes at dinner. He got 3 days of “solitary confinement”.

    Then there was the black guy and white guy in adjoining rooms who removed a 6 by 12 concrete block when they were already on “solitary”- they got 3 extra days of isolation.

    Then there was the white dude who literally ate his Speed Stick deodorant to get a trip to the hospital, and then attacked the black guard who was escorting him to escape for 2 weeks. His penalty was also 3 days in solitary.

    Meanwhile, I simply referred to “Disco” as “nagger dancing” (it was 1979)- I did 67 straight days of “solitary” because I wouldn’t apologize to the black male who was the “unit leader”.

  49. Count_Yob
    Apr 03, 2018 - 11:41 AM

    It’s usually healthier for a white person to go on a nature outing to the wilderness than to go tripping with the brothers in the ghetto.

  50. EdCrunk
    Apr 03, 2018 - 01:03 PM

    Bahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha… This person is serious.

  51. Thomas Mann
    Apr 04, 2018 - 09:46 AM

    Is this serious? Are you really this hate-filled and clueless?

  52. Edward Mattie
    Apr 04, 2018 - 07:37 PM

    Yep! If someone doesn’t like it because it’s not inclusive enough, shut it down, right? Also, if I’m not mistaken, Maine is predominately Caucasian which probably limits the number of in-state minorities actually wanting to be part of their club. As usual, someone doesn’t like what’s going on with a group that don’t agree with and then magically create the appropriate issue to support their divisive agenda. Getting really old. Try creating your own club instead of trying to find out what’s wrong with someone else’s.

  53. debinak
    Apr 05, 2018 - 03:37 PM

    This is the reality: if you are homosexual in a community that is 97% heterosexual, you are a minority—not because people hate you, but because there are far fewer of you.
    No club or group is obligated to center YOUR experience. You have a couple of options: create your own club and host your own events centered on your identity or conform to the group hosting the event.

  54. nemiroff
    Apr 05, 2018 - 04:52 PM

    Does this world really need more unfounded leftist race baiting and virtue signalling..? I say we filled the quota like a long time ago.. It’s time to come together as radical centrists and make the world logic again.

  55. dairy is rape
    Apr 05, 2018 - 08:35 PM

    0 likes and 60 comments. HAHA!

  56. ChuSez
    Apr 06, 2018 - 12:19 AM

    The author is an idiot, steeped in leftist cant and hypocrisy.
    I approved this macroaggression.

  57. blisschick
    Apr 06, 2018 - 12:41 PM

    Fascinating to see how many people have completely missed the point of this well-written article. A call for more kindness and a more welcoming environment for students is being met with a gang of outright hostility. Why would anyone respect a group of people like this? Y’all are attacking a college student for suggesting a reasonable change that will never impact you.

    If you don’t agree, walk on. You don’t have to be part of this attack squad.

    • Kori Claypool
      Apr 06, 2018 - 03:20 PM

      It is none of the student’s business.

  58. Kori Claypool
    Apr 06, 2018 - 03:19 PM

    How long have you been a bigot? If you don’t like the club then don’t join. Your article is full of hypocrisy and putting your foolish opinion in other people’s business. Shame on you.

    • blisschick
      Apr 06, 2018 - 03:26 PM

      You missed the part where the author explains that all students are required to go on these trips. It is the author’s business because all freshmen can’t opt out.

      • Kori Claypool
        Apr 06, 2018 - 05:40 PM

        And? Go to another college. It is to get them to meet others and be outdoors.

        • blisschick
          Apr 06, 2018 - 05:49 PM

          All this drama because a college student makes a suggestion to improve freshman orientation? There are lots of other ways to meet other students.

          • Kori Claypool
            Apr 06, 2018 - 07:02 PM

            No. The title says white privilege. That is a lie. I’m sick of the lies. Enough with spreading lies.

          • blisschick
            Apr 06, 2018 - 08:16 PM

            You keep changing the topic. Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it’s a lie.

          • Kori Claypool
            Apr 06, 2018 - 08:23 PM

            The topic is the article. You are trying to distract. I haven’t changed the topic. It is a lie but opinion has nothing to do with it. Stop making excuses.

          • Kori Claypool
            Apr 06, 2018 - 07:05 PM

            the Outing Club is massively white, sickeningly privileged, and the closest thing to a fraternity we’ve got at Bates.

          • gearbox123
            Apr 10, 2018 - 09:16 PM

            Then don’t go to Bates.

  59. gearbox123
    Apr 10, 2018 - 09:15 PM

    I must have missed the part of the invitation that said “No people of color.” Oh wait, there wasn’t one.

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