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  • A letter to the College community

    A letter to the College community

    We would first like to thank Colby Emergency Response (CER), the Waterville Police Department, and the College’s Security Department for their bravery on Saturday morning. With little information about the shooting, perpetrators, or potential victims, these students and officers courageously descended on the Alfond Senior Apartments, quickly tending to bystanders and neutralizing the threat. We are thankful that such courageous and dedicated people protect Mayflower Hill.

    We understand that since the shooting, the recent information vacuum has frustrated many on campus. As the situation developed on Saturday morning, most students had little information until about an hour after the incident. Many feel that the Administration has been too opaque. 

    As the Co-Editors-in-Chief of The Colby Echo, we will use our medium to clear up as much of this confusion as possible. In this week’s issue, the Echo’s editors, reporters, and columnists have comprehensively covered the shooting and its consequences. As news continues to break in the coming weeks, we promise to share everything we know so that students can access the information they need and demand.

    Along with our duty to report the news, we also have a duty to document the student life on Mayflower Hill. We are incredibly thankful to the students who shared their stories with us, which you can read about in our News and Features sections. We welcome everyone to submit their thoughts, feelings, and experiences to the Echo, regardless of the form that those might take. 

    Finally, we encourage everyone to keep caring for one another. Community is more important now than ever, and after witnessing the recent wave of empathy and compassion wash over campus, we are confident that our community will bounce back stronger.


    ~ Avery Rosensweig `23 and Matt Rocha `23

  • Incident of gun violence at the College

    Incident of gun violence at the College

    Over the weekend, students at the College were in the midst of Doghead, an annual all-night event that starts Friday evening and ends Saturday at sunrise. In the early morning of Saturday, Mar. 11, the Doghead festivities came to a halt when three people got into an altercation, and one person pulled out a gun and fired two rounds into a wall at the Alfond Senior Apartments. The shooting occurred around 1:30 a.m. At 2:21 a.m., students received an email from Interim Dean of the College Barbara Moore. Prior to Moore’s email, information traveled only from student to student, with no official word from the school, except for an email from Student Government Association (SGA) Vice President Bibatshu Thapa Chhetri `25 asking students to shelter in place. Because nobody knew what had happened, many people were speculating about the situation, and some thought that somebody had been shot in the chest. 

    “There was a lot of confusion going around… I got locked in Heights. That’s when people finally started being like ‘lockdown the doors.’ Everyone was kind of freaking out, my girlfriend was having a major panic attack,” Thapa Chhetri said. “We all knew there were gunshots and we were hearing ‘this person got shot a lot in the chest and there’s a lot of blood.’ And we all were thinking there was actually an active shooter that was going to do some mass shootings. So I texted the [SGA Executive Board] and they were like yeah, send it out. People were confused and lost and scared, I thought it was important to have something out there.”

    Zainab Karim `23 was in the vicinity of the incident when it happened and expressed having a similar reaction to Thapa Chhetri.

    “We came into the hallway where the shooting happened and there was a guy outside of room 111 yelling at us and telling us to turn around and lock ourselves in a room,” Karim said. “My friends and I are turning around and going down the stairs with a hoard of people, and my friend literally shakes me and is like, ‘Zainab! That guy is literally bleeding down his face.’ I turn around and this guy’s face is covered in blood. We later realized that guy was the shooter, and we all started running out of the apartment and headed to AMS to lock down.”

    Many students who left the senior apartments went to nearby dormitories, such as Heights, AMS, and Hillside. However, leaving the apartments became stressful for students who did not reside in nearby dorms, because after 1 a.m., students lose card access to dorms that are not their own. This led to students wandering around campus until someone let them into a building. 

    “We got the call on Mar. 11 at approximately 1:30. We actually had multiple 911 calls. We received calls from centers all over the country because students were calling their parents, and their parents were calling 911, and those 911 centers were calling our dispatch centers. So it was very busy for us at a time there,” Interim Chief of Police William Bonney said. 

    Bonney stated that by the time his officers entered the scene, the shooter, twenty-four-year-old Waterville local Andrew Gifford, had been subdued and was being treated for a head wound by the College’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS). According to President David A. Greene’s email to the student body, at least one student was involved in disarming Gifford. 

    “We were working at that point directly with Colby security. And we were consulting with senior staff by that point as well… we did make a decision to leave the lockdown in place because we were uncertain where the other two gentlemen were,” Bonney said. “We believed they had probably fled the campus but we couldn’t guarantee that had happened. So out of concern for the safety of the students we did have a conversation and decided it would be safest to leave the lockdown in place until we were sure that those folks had left campus.”

    The Waterville Police Department has identified but has not yet been able to make contact with the two Waterville locals that had engaged in the initial altercation with Gifford.

    “I am planning on setting up a meeting with the senior staff at Colby to talk about what we did well and what we could do better on both sides of that equation,” Bonney said. 

    Later in the day on Saturday, the deans organized various community support groups and counseling sessions for students. Associate Dean and Director of the Pugh Center for Student Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Kimberly Walton-Trajkovski held a few processing circles in the Pugh Center on both Saturday and Sunday. 

    “This Saturday after the shots were fired… Dr. Alfonso Ortego was here in the Pugh Center from 1 to 3 p.m. We got two processing circles here on Sunday, one from 1–2:30, and another from 3–4,” she said. “That was facilitated by Dr. R.J. Reed in the counseling center, and again just gave students the opportunity to be together, even if they didn’t have anything to say just to be in community with one another if they didn’t want to be alone. Or to just give students an opportunity to express what’s on their mind.”

    On the evening of Mar. 12, in place of their regularly scheduled meetings, SGA provided a space for members of the community to reflect and check in with each other about the incident. Also present at the meeting were Meg Hatch, Associate Dean of the Student Experience and Title IX Coordinator, and Jon-Mark Olivier, Director of Community Values, Conflict Resolution, and Restorative Practice. Throughout the meeting, students expressed their strong dissatisfaction with Administration’s communication during and after the incident. Students were sheltering in place, believing there was an active shooter on campus for about forty-five minutes before the first notification from the school came in, and it was even longer before students were made aware that the situation was contained. The emergency communications system was not activated, and nobody received notifications from Blackboard Connect Emergency Notification System, which is the subscription-based security system they have in place for mass communication. 

    Unfortunately, Hatch and Olivier did not have the answers students were looking for at the time. On the evening of Mar. 13, the Dean’s office hosted a conversation during which students could express their concerns to a panel of administrators led by Moore. Many students who attended the SGA meeting were present at the meeting with the deans. 

    “I was mainly hoping to learn what specific steps the Administration went through following the shooting and why there was no use of the emergency response system,” Henry Jacques `24 said. “I went in assuming that they would not have a full timeline of the morning or answers to every question, but expecting them to be able to answer any question in regards to the existing protocols that were in place when the situation occurred.” Some of the students printed out a list of the six questions that were most prominent at the SGA meeting to get answered by the deans. 

    “On the whole, I felt the administrators did not answer questions well. Some questions could reasonably not have a definitive answer at the time. However, many questions in regards to previous emergency responses, procedures currently in place, and similar matters which should have been answerable were responded to with a confusing lack of certainty,” Jacques said. “Most attempts by the Administration to communicate the policies or hierarchy behind Colby’s emergency response plan were a struggle. In some cases, the Deans’ responses felt dismissive of the experiences students had been through.”

    These sentiments were echoed by students during the meeting itself. The same questions were asked multiple times. The deans had to be asked to directly answer the questions, even if it meant them admitting that they did not know the answer. After the question was repeated multiple times, Moore finally admitted that she did not know why the emergency communications system had not been triggered after the incident. 

    “I think it is possible that the meeting made students’ concerns worse. It was hard to escape the feeling that the Deans did not adequately prepare to answer questions. At worst, it felt as if they themselves did not fully know how Colby operates in an emergency,” Jacques said. “Many older students were especially frustrated at the lack of improvements in Colby’s response this past weekend in comparison to a similar event in the fall of 2020. The absence of President Greene from the event did not help matters.”

    “I think the timeline of events on Saturday morning indicated two things: that the emergency response at the school is effective, but that the communication protocols need to be updated swiftly. In terms of the emergency response itself, CER did an incredible job, as did Security,” Class Dean of Juniors and Seniors Sonnet Graham said. “However, we need faster campus-wide alert systems for situations like the one on Saturday night. Our communications won’t be able to eradicate violence, but more sophisticated software in the hands of Security could alleviate some of the fear and anxiety that accompanies shelter-in-place orders.”

    Two years ago, on August 25th, 2020, there was an incident on College Avenue in Waterville involving gunshots to which the police quickly responded. A couple of students from the College heard that there were shots fired, and word quickly spread to Orientation Leaders (OLs) and Community Advisors (CAs) on campus. 

    “[The incident] ended up spreading through the ranks of orientation leaders and going through telephone until everyone thought there was an active shooting on campus, when in fact it was an event that had already happened and what completely contained forty minutes ago,” said Joseph Savage `22, who was one of the CAs of Woodman at the time. 

    “Colby security knew about this incident when it happened, and they knew it wasn’t a problem. But students started panicking… we told our residents to stay inside and get into a room if they could until we had information and gave them what we knew. We didn’t get any email for over an hour from security, even though within a couple minutes they already knew that students were panicking and had a good idea of what was going on and why it was happening,” Savage said.

    Other CAs and OLs reported being afraid for their lives, thinking that a shooter was actively going after students on the campus, and they spread the information they were given by other students to make sure everyone on campus stayed safe. An hour after students were told to stay inside, however, Savage stated that the CAs were reprimanded by former Assistant Vice President for Student Life Jess Manno for their reactions.

    This response received strong backlash from the CAs, a few of whom had been personally impacted by mass shootings. 

    “We did what we knew we had to do with the information we had. And they didn’t tell us anything,” Savage said. 

    The CAs were then required to participate in active shooter training, which consisted of a half-an-hour-long talk with Head of Security Bob Williams. 

    “The information I remember him telling us is that shootings can happen really quickly, and they can often be over before emergency services even respond. You need to act really quickly and you need to listen for sounds of gunshots and stuff like that,” Savage said. “And then he added that you might not hear that, so you need to quickly get inside, get away, and stay safe. So, several CAs asked, well what were we supposed to do differently than what we had? He said what you should do is stop and listen for gunshots because you’d hear that if there was a shooting.”

    Savage questioned why College security did not inform people sooner that the shooting on College Avenue was contained and did not pose a threat to the College community. 

    “The security has connections to Waterville PD. They should be able to tell people about incidences in the area that aren’t a risk so that people are aware and they don’t just spread misinformation… We did everything by the book with what we had and now you’re telling us that we’re wrong and spreading misinformation?” Savage said.

    In response, they were told multiple times that the College was not required to notify students of incidents that they do not deem to be an immediate threat to the College community. In a follow–up email to the CAs, Manno wrote about what would have happened if the College had thought that the shooting was a campus-wide emergency.

    In addition, on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2020, the Waterville Fire Department responded to a fire on Runnal’s Hills on the College’s campus. Caleb Richardson `23 witnessed the fire department’s response to the incident and got the opportunity to speak to a few of them.

    “I got asked by one of the firefighters that I started talking to, he asked don’t you guys have an emergency alert system? And I said yeah, and he said well why wasn’t it triggered? I thought it was a good question,” he said. 

    When the two shots were fired at the Alfond Senior Apartments on Saturday, Mar. 11, none of those emergency protocols were triggered either. The Colby Echo reached out to Greene for a comment on the emergency protocols. 

    “We have emergency protocols for incidents like the one that occurred. We also have training sessions to help key staff understand and be prepared to implement the protocols. We have already started a rigorous review of where the protocols were followed and where we tell short and why. We are also reviewing whether the protocols themselves need to be changed in any way… I expect to report back to the community on the initial findings of that review not long after everyone returns from spring break. These are very challenging moments and they demand that many individuals follow the protocols while also adapting to an uncertain situation in real-time. We have to be at our very best in these moments, and there are many elements of the response on Saturday morning that showed how the community was at its best. But there are areas where we need to do better as well and we will systematically identify them and report to the community on those findings and plans for addressing the issues,” he wrote. 

    After receiving information from the Administration, some faculty members have made their classes this week optional to give students time to process the events. 

    “Individuals vary widely in the ways they process trauma and in their experiences of past traumas. Because of these individualized responses, robust access to counseling services is necessary. Leniency with midterm deadlines would be incredibly helpful, as it can be very difficult to focus in the aftermath of violence,” Graham said. 

    As Greene said in his email to the student body, the campus was fortunate enough to not suffer any serious injuries or fatalities during this incident. 

    “I feel awful for the students and the parents that had to go through that, obviously it’s very traumatic for a parent to, at 1:30 in the morning, be worried that their child is in a shooting is awful,” said Bonney. “So I feel terrible for those parents, I feel terrible for you guys who had to experience that, and my most important thing that I want the Colby students to know is that your safety is our top priority. That is number one for us. We do not want Colby students being hurt on their campus, it’s supposed to be a safe place and we want to make sure that’s the case.”

    We hope that everyone on campus is taking the time they need to recover after Saturday night. If anyone has narratives they would like to share about their experience, email the Echo at 


    ~ Mahika Gupta `23

  • To America

    To America

    It’s real.

    the gun

    the blood

    the glass

    the table

    She’s approaching him

    thinking he’s who you meant

    when you couldn’t say,

    the boy with the bloody face,

    he has a gun.

    You scream her name because

    if she gets hurt then

    you’ll never forgive yourself

    even though it’s

    not your fault

    you couldn’t say

    he has a gun

    You don’t scream to her

    he has a gun

    because he could use it

    to silence me,

    then her.

    And what if you’re wrong

    and it wasn’t real

    the gun, glass, blood, table.

    Left foot crackles in 

    the glass

    Right foot lands on

    the table

    walk with purpose to the corner of

    the hall.

    You can see her

    Through two windows, the way the hall turns twice

    a safe distance because

    she’s next to him 

    talking and then running.

    he has a gun

    and we’re sprinting.

    Right foot in

    the glass

    Left foot through

    the blood.

    Open the door, you were

    here minutes ago to ask

    the boy on the floor, did

    he come through

    Where Did He Go


    Turn Off The Music

    calm voice

    Sit Down

    they know already

    how to do this

    He Has a Gun

    lock the doors

    close the blinds

    It was packed in here only minutes ago

    and now they are as small as 

    they can muster

    sisters holding each other

    where is my sister

    lights are out

    do you need water

    sitting in tomorrow’s mess trying

    not to think how long

    you may have to sit

    here, and what you might find

    on the other side of that door.

    Mom, I am safe

    Mollie is safe

    Hannah is safe

    Hig is safe

    my friends are safe

    my team is safe

    I saw him Mama

    he has a gun.

    One minute on the phone.

    It all happened in

    one minute, the boy with the bloody face,


    & walking home,

    the sun is peeking out

    glowing softly and 

    by the time you’ve

    washed your face

    brushed your teeth

    changed out of your clothes

    the sun is up

    painting the sky




    Sleep now

    wake up only a couple hours later

    and remember

    It’s real

    the table

    the glass

    the blood

    the gun


    to the rest of your life

    to America.

    ~Maddy Perfetti `23

  • Maine’s first Costco to open in 2023

    Maine’s first Costco to open in 2023

    On Mar. 7, 2023, the Downs in Scarborough Maine posted to its Facebook that the first Costco location in Maine will open this year. While the shopping center did not give an exact date, the news is still exciting to many. The construction of the new Cotsco faced many delays due to planning approval after its initial announcement in Feb. 2022. 

    The Downs is a new 524-acre development in Southern Maine that boasts a mixed-use community. The lot includes residential space, parks, offices, and now, a Costco. The development is one of the largest mixed-use projects in New England. Housing at the Downs comes in a wide variety of options, ranging from senior citizen apartments to townhomes. Affordable housing options are available with an emphasis on making affordable housing available to people with physical disabilities. 

    Costco’s construction at the Downs sparked some controversy among town planners. At the Scarborough town meeting in Feb. 2023, it was unveiled that the store would be 161,000 square feet with 794 parking spaces. However, Costco’s requested parking spaces are 10 feet wide and 20 feet deep, as opposed to the typical 9 feet wide and 16-18 feet deep.

    Concerns over the impact of the lot on the natural environment were raised. Larger parking spaces would result in a much larger surface area, which planners feared would lead to high levels of runoff into neighboring wetlands. 

    “I just see a lot of pavement in a sensitive environmental area that I’m not sure needs to be there. I’m not quite sold on that just yet,” said Scarborough Planning Board member Jennifer Ladd in Mar. 2022. This concern was echoed by the local community, who also feared the environmental impacts. Costco responded by saying that these dimensions were uniform for their 838 stores worldwide. 

    After working together in Sep. 2022, the Planning Board and Costco representatives reached an agreement for the store’s plans. The only unresolved concern was the issue of lighting. One planning member feared that the powerful lights Costco uses would make the parking lot look like a stadium. A Costco employee reassured the board that the lights will look fine, and they are meant to provide safety to the lot by illuminating the entire area. 

    Since its approval, many residents have waited with great anticipation. Costco does not comment on new developments until they are three months away from opening, and while the company has yet to make any official announcements, the Downs Facebook post is certainly hopeful. For students, this Costco will provide opportunities to stock up on the way back from break or for a weekend trip to buy in bulk.


    ~ Adrian Visscher `24

  • Personal Statements from Colby Students

    Personal Statements from Colby Students

    I don’t think anyone thought this would happen. I was on my way to the senior apartments at around 1:30 when my CA texted the dorm group chat telling us to leave the senior apartments immediately. I was confused so I texted my friend and asked what was wrong, and she told me that someone got shot. I immediately went to AMS, which was nearby. I was with some people who came from the seniors apartments. We talked briefly about what happened, and apparently the people down the hall at the concert did not hear the shots. After that we just sort of sat down, staring at our phones, waiting for emails. We waited a while for every email we got.

    Anonymous `26


    It’s been over 48 hours since I was first notified of an active shooter situation and the terror still hasn’t left me. I can barely focus. I want to — need to — but all I can think of is the fear that gripped me early Saturday morning. While I’ve found a home here at Colby, that moment I read the message, I suddenly remembered that I was a foreign student in a foreign land, and I wasn’t sure if I was welcome here.

    Anonymous `26


    It was extremely scary and traumatizing to not know if myself and my friends were safe. We barricaded ourselves in because we thought there was someone still shooting. For about an hour I was worried someone was going to come and shoot everyone in the room.

    Anonymous `23


    I was literally running for my life alone through the snow after being separated from my friends. To feel safe on this campus and be able to continue to participate in party culture, I need the college to increase safety resources and protocols as if people had died, because if we simulated the events of early Saturday morning 10 times, 9 times out of 10 people would have been physically hurt. It is a miracle no one was shot. We can not leave that chance up to the gunman the next time this happens.

    Anonymous `26


    What is simultaneously comforting and troubling is that everyone I was with in the apartments knew exactly what to do in that moment. Get away from the windows. Turn off the lights. Barricade the doors. Stay quiet. Text the people you love that you love them. Wait. Hope. Yes, it could have been much worse and we are lucky it wasn’t, but for those fifty minutes waiting quietly in the dark with no information, we believed it was going to be much worse. I’m caught up in the what-ifs. To everyone who stepped up on Saturday morning, who comforted each other, who stayed calm in the chaos, who opened their doors to myself and others, I love you.

    Emily Riley `23


    I would say I can’t believe how overboard the reaction to this incident has been, but I can believe it. It’s a sad reflection on how sensitive the campus is. Two bullets hit a wall and it’s like the world has stopped turning!

    Anonymous `25

    I wanted us to have fun for our last Doghead. We got to karaoke at 1:31.1:37 I texted my family “Someone just possibly got shot at the apartments.” 1:39 I texted my Co & residents “Is everyone good at the apts??” I started praying. 1:42, I texted my family “I’m in marylow. Nothings been confirmed & we havent gotten an alert or anything yet.” 1:48: I’m in a basement with the doors barricaded” 2:02: “I’m still locked down. We don’t know what happened but the cops are checking every room.” My sister began sending info from some guy on Twitter. 2:04: “They haven’t sent an email. We’re all learning info in group chats and on yik yak.”

    Deekayla Thomas `23

  • Meet Leo: The College’s first incarcerated professor

    Meet Leo: The College’s first incarcerated professor

    Everyone in Carcerality and Abolition, a course in the Anthropology Department, first met one of their professors through a screen. Leo Hylton, who co-teaches the class with professor Catherine Besteman, is incarcerated in Maine State Prison and Zooms into every class.

    Hylton proves that the model can be successful. Just because he is on Zoom does not mean that he is any less involved or tuned into the class.

    Rachel Hatheway `24 explains how the pandemic introduced Zoom to the classroom, so Hylton’s method of participation has been normalized.

    “Obviously with the pandemic, lots of aspects of my academic experience have been virtual and I’ve been in classroom spaces that have been entirely on Zoom. Because of all of that, having Leo on Zoom isn’t necessarily new,” she said.

    She explained that, even though he is on Zoom, he is as present as any other member of the class.

    “The way he is able to participate in class as well as guide discussions, lead centering activities, and connect with us while he is physically apart from us is really amazing,” she said.

    Hylton makes sure that his spatial distance does not stop him from connecting with students in the class. He ribs Besteman when she isn’t on screen enough, chats with students during downtime, and even has Zoom office hours every Sunday for two hours. He never hesitates to answer any questions about his life or what it is like to be incarcerated, creating a space of openness and community.

    Hatheway points out that community is one of the most important things to him.

    “Leo does a great job of setting the tone of community at the core of all of our learning, and he encourages all voices to be heard because he genuinely wants to hear our thoughts and opinions. This also allows for almost a deeper level of learning because you are fully committed to being present and engaged in class because you know that you as an individual are important in everyone’s learning,” she said.

    When Hylton sat down with The Colby Echo, he explained that his teaching journey began when he was getting his bachelor’s.

    “I served as a program facilitator for a number of years when I was getting my bachelor’s degree. A program facilitator is a teacher without a name. Within the system, an incarcerated person cannot be in a position to have power over the trajectory of another person’s life. So, a teacher can grade, and an incarcerated person cannot be a teacher and be able to grade another incarcerated person,” he said.  

    While getting his bachelor’s and serving as a program facilitator, Hylton was also getting involved in activism. He originally served on the board of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as the executive secretary with the plan of becoming president after two years. After a year, he realized that the NAACP conflicted with what he learned as a restorative justice advocate.

    “I started realizing that the adversarial approach wasn’t going to work. It hasn’t worked, and it’s not going to work. I was also growing as a restorative justice practitioner, and living through this restorative lens while working with an inherently adversarial organization. It was creating conflict within myself,” he said.

    He had learned about restorative justice during his earlier studies.

    “During my undergraduate years, I took a 300-level restorative justice course and that was coinciding with the same time that the prison was contracting with the Restorative Institute of Maine to explore how to introduce and initiate restorative practices within carceral spaces. My name kept coming up during listening circles as someone who the executive director needed to get in contact with, and so when the listening circle ended, she reached out to me, I joined, and next thing you know, we were doing a restorative practice steering committee. Still holding strong six years later,” he said.

    While this was happening, Hylton was still focused on his education. He was working on his master’s degree when he started getting speaking engagements about his work. He knew an alum who connected him to Besteman while she was working on the Freedom and Captivity project. 

    Through this connection, Hylton was able to do an Oak Institute talk about the reform of criminal justice on Oct. 27, 2021. 

    Besteman, who was already in the beginnings of planning Carcerality and Abolition, heard this talk and knew she needed Hylton on board.

    “I had arranged for Leo to give a lunch talk on campus through the Oak Institute, and after hearing the talk, I realized I wanted to invite him to co-teach a new course I was developing (Carcerality and Abolition). I first asked the Provost if it could even be possible, and when she said yes, I asked Leo if he’d be interested. He said yes, so I wrote to the Commissioner of Corrections to ask if there was any way he could see to make this possible. I had my answer within about 24 hours and it was a go! We were all pretty surprised that it was so easy since it was contrary to all sorts of policies,” she said. 

    Hylton explained why it was so important that he was teaching at a college, and at the College.

    “Being able to teach in the same country where I got arrested is an avenue of meaning and purpose for me. This is something I can directly contribute to cultivating healing in the same community where I caused so much harm. I didn’t realize how powerful that was going to be. Being able to hold space in the way that Catherine and I do, with this co-creation of space and the development of this community is just a really heartening, really fulfilling process,” he said.

    The goal of Carcerality and Abolition is not to make every student an abolitionist but to explain the prison system in greater detail than many people know.

    “Before working with Leo, I really had no idea how systems of incarceration worked. I had this image of bad guys going to prison, but the narrative that existed in my head had no nuance nor complexity and was not really informed by actual facts. Now I have a deeper understanding of the injustices of carceral systems, and imprisonment specifically,” Hatheway said.

    Along with explaining how the current system works, the class talks about alternative systems, such as restorative justice. 

    Hylton explains that restorative justice is “an avenue of meaningful accountability balanced with healing through repair, and through a reparative process. And repair for all parties involved. It’s an avenue for each person to be able to be heard and be able to gain an understanding of the impact of any interpersonal harm that occurred with the north star of accountability, repair, and healing.”

    This system contrasts with the prison system that the United States uses.

    “The current system is based on retribution and adversity. It perpetuates cycles of harm instead of interrupting them, whereas restorative justice interrupts harm. If we actually want to have safe communities, if we actually want to interrupt the levels of harm and the cycles that continue to persist, if we want to interrupt them then that’s where restorative justice comes in. When it stands on its own, then it is inherently transformative and can serve to cultivate community capacity and hold people accountable without ripping them out and punishing them. There is a massive difference between punishment and accountability. Punishment is a passive process where all you have to do is endure the system. Accountability is an active process where you actually need to participate in repairing the harm that you’ve caused,” he said.

    Besteman explained what it was like working with Hylton these past two years.

    “Working with him is wonderful. He brings a humanistic restorative approach into the classroom, rooted in vulnerability, honesty, openness, and exploration. He treats the classroom as a community-building space and not simply a place to develop and impart knowledge, which brings a very different vibe. We found that we worked really well together – I am more inclined to lean hard into the text and textual analysis, and he is more inclined to want to talk about why the text is relevant and how. It produces a nice balance,” she said.

    This balance of Besteman and Hylton’s approaches has allowed the class to become tight-knit and engaged, learning about the topics at hand while connecting with each other on a personal level.

    Hatheway spoke about how the class and working with Hylton have changed her view.

    “Having someone who is so wonderful and kind, who also happens to be incarcerated, and teaching your class puts a face to this imagined image of an incarcerated person, giving humanity back to how you imagine people who are incarcerated,” she said.

    Along with being a professor at the College, Hylton is in the process of getting his Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) and continues to fight to reform the justice system. 


    ~ Mairead Levitt `25

  • “Monk” Night: A clash with campus traditions

    “Monk” Night: A clash with campus traditions

    The Student Government Association (SGA) officially sponsored a number of Doghead events leading up to this past weekend. These included the annual Colby Universe, Colby Music Incubator Concert, Late Night Trivia, Karaoke, and bingo, to name a few. 

     Early in the week, however, students encountered posters advertising an  event called Monk Night, which would be sponsored by the Colby Student Gregorian Organization, an unofficial student group. 

    The poster insinuated that the event would be held at the same time and in the same location as the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s scheduled private event.

    A quote from the poster read, “Join the SGA for an evening of worship and bell-ringing this Friday!”

    This was followed by an offer that a prize would be awarded to the individual with the “best medieval monk costume.” 

    An Instagram account was later discovered impersonating SGA and advertising Monk Night. The public profile differentiated itself from the SGA account in its bio as the “Official Instagram of Colby College’s Student Gregorian Association.”

    SGA, while working closely with its faculty advisor, Jon-Mark Olivier, encouraged its members to immediately take down any posters they saw and condemned the event in an official email sent to the entire student body. 

    The email read, “For clarification, no such Student Gregorian Association exists. It is not an approved or official Colby organization and has never been. The students involved should immediately cease promoting events or any such activities.”

    SGA continued by condemning the event for its derogatory nature.

    “ ‘Monk Night’ is not a Colby student tradition, and the concept of the event is derogatory to a number of religious traditions. We condemn the encouragement and promotion of any such event or group that mocks any religious identity or clothing,” the email read.

    The fake Instagram account posted a response to SGA’s email. The Association claimed the purpose of the event was to promote medieval culture and condemned the accusation that it was mocking religious traditions. 

    It read, “We do not feel that the simple act of wearing medieval monk robes (as a historical practice) [is] offensive to Catholics.”

    Jackie Hardwick, a representative of SGA, said, “To my knowledge, an investigation has not been launched. If the students involved continue to use the Student Government’s image to promote events or activities such as ‘Monk Night,’ that has the potential to change.”

    Hardwick emphasized to The Colby Echo the importance of distancing SGA from the false association. 

    She said, “A governing body on a college campus cannot be associated with an unregulated drinking event targeted at underage students. When Student Government hosts events that involve alcohol, we are required to follow federal, state, and Colby laws about serving limits and ID checks (seen during Pub Night or Prom). If associated with this event and organization, whether it be mistakenly or purposefully, both the College and Student Government would be facing a multitude of legal issues.”

    She added, “The Student Government did not want to be associated with an event with insensitive religious imagery.”


    ~ Maura Thompson `24

  • A look into student bands on campus

    A look into student bands on campus

    “You get such adrenaline, at least me personally, I get pretty nervous every time and a little bit of almost hands shaking,…but when you are out there, it is high like no other. You’re just on top of the world playing music, you feel the music in a different way. It’s different from just playing at practice or by yourself,” Eli Silberman `23 said.

    After spending their first semester in Salamanca,  Spain through Colby’s Global Entry Semester, Silberman and the guitarist for a band called okay, fine had talked about their shared interest in music and once getting back to campus, met others who shared their same goal of starting a band. The band okay, fine was created in the spring of Silberman’s sophomore year. Since then, his band, as well as the Colby Music Incubator (CMI), has served as a community on campus for Silberman.

    “You meet people after shows, you work together to build and make the production happen because it is not like we’re a band with people setting up for us. We are all working together and it’s definitely a good time. I think it’s fun for me, to have some of my friends meet people that way too, by showing up to concerts and stuff that they would not otherwise go to,” Silberman said.

    The experience of being in a band has allowed Silberman to learn the communication that is necessary when performing in order to produce a coherent sound. Through both verbal and nonverbal communication, bassist Silberman works to keep tabs on all components of the performance. 

    “My role is bringing everybody together. I’m working as the rhythm section with the drums, but I am also doing all the harmonies and the chords for the guitar. I’m bringing sort of the cohesion together in a sort of subtle way that is not necessarily noticed,” Silberman said. “We have taken three years of playing together to get to where we are, and we still could always be tighter.”

    Similar to Silberman, Annika Hogan `24, a keyboard player and vocalist for the band lady bits, enjoys the collaboration of playing with her bandmates. 

    “Playing with other people kind of brings it to life a bit more. When I play on my own, it is a very therapeutic experience where I can lose myself, but when I play with the band, you have to keep track of all these other parts, I keep telling myself I am not soloing up there and I’m going up there with all of [the band],” Hogan said. “It is less of figuring out the notes and playing those notes really well, but it is more of figuring out what sound sounds good and trying to find that and play that.”

    lady bits started last spring and focuses mainly on classic rock, playing a lot of Fleetwood Mac. As the band has morphed into its current state, Hogan and her bandmates have learned to adapt and figure out what works best for them. 

    “We all have been working hard on our own, so that when we come together, we can be pretty well practiced in our parts. The music kind of ranges; it is hard to find songs that have places for all of the instruments,” she explained.

    “Originally, we only played songs written or sung by women. This semester we have branched out more, which has allowed us to expand the materials that we can go through. [In] our pieces, our parts go off of each other. Being in sync with somebody else with that many people in a room is a somewhat euphoric feeling.”

    For more information on upcoming events, follow @okayfinemusic and @ladybitstheband on Instagram, and check out CMI to find resources that support student musicians.


    ~ Annie Goldstein `26

  • Artists Abroad: Bella Farren

    Artists Abroad: Bella Farren

    Chasing stories has inspired Bella Farren `24 to get to know strangers and look for unexpected connection. She has been an artist for years, and crafting her skills has been rewarding and important to her. “Art has always been with me, but something about being abroad, in a new place, surrounded by strangers is exciting to me. I can push myself to meet new people, learn about someone’s story,” she said.

    During her semester at the Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughan, Ireland, the junior art major is learning to explore a new part of the world through drawing and painting. 

    “There is still so much I do not know or have not explored yet in life, so getting other perspectives is interesting to me. And I’ve come to understand that life is meant to be shared, with friends, family, a significant other, or maybe a stranger you talked to for 30 minutes at a bar in Galway,” Farren explained. 

    Her time abroad so far has been filled with observation and experimentation. In painting the human experience, she said it’s a journey and she appreciates the learning process of capturing the light she sees in people. 

    “I’m basically really interested in painting the human experience, and specifically my journey here abroad and how I have met so many kind people through dancing.”

    Along with venturing to find striking scenes to paint, she has made the most of more studio time than she’s had in Waterville, where there are always other classes or things pulling at her attention. Devoting all this time to painting has helped Farren develop her practice in a sense that extends beyond painting. 

    “I’m discovering that I am very interested in painting and drawing people and trying to capture their stories, especially those who have made an impact on me,” she said. This impact is all around for an artist who observes people everywhere she goes. 

    “Everyone in Ireland has been so kind and welcoming. The people here have put my faith back in humanity,” she said.

    Collecting stories to paint has enhanced a sense of community in a faraway place, and she recommends looking for this serendipitous stumbling over something worth capturing wherever you are. Her favorite locations to find such occasions include nightclubs, dance halls, pubs, streets, and cow pastures. Among stunning rural scenery, painting people in moments of joy has had a meaningful impact on the artist. 

    “I feel like it’s so important to have connection, especially in this often crazy world of ours. I just realize that people inspire me, everyday people.”


    ~ Molly George `23

  • Why The Parent Trap (1998) is better than the original

    Why The Parent Trap (1998) is better than the original

    The iconic remake of The Parent Trap, starring Lindsay Lohan, was released 25 years ago. In her film debut, Lohan plays the role of both Annie James and Hallie Parker, twins separated at birth. Annie and Hallie meet at summer camp, discover that they are twins, and swap places at the end of camp in hopes of getting their parents back together.

    While the 1998 version of The Parent Trap is iconic and well-known, it’s a remake of the 1961 movie of the same name. The Parent Trap from 1961 was based on the book Lonnie and Lisa. The 1961 version, while the original, is undoubtedly less enjoyable than the 1998 adaptation.

    The twins in the original version, Susan and Sharon, played by Hayley Mills, were very similar personality-wise; they have the same tendencies and patterns. For the majority of the camp scene, the twins spend most of their time in each other’s presence, even before their time in the isolation cabin. This gives them less time to show the audience their personalities. In Lohan’s version, however, the twins are just different enough. For example, Annie plays piano and speaks French, while Hallie does not.

    The original movie is also overly serious, as well as outdated. The grandmother comments that girls should not have short hair. While this might have been a common belief at the time, it is a somewhat unpopular opinion now. Lohan’s adaptation of The Parent Trap is much more timeless because there aren’t any noticeably outdated comments. This version was also funnier and less solemn than the original, making it better for its target audience.

    Another main point that makes Lohan’s version more memorable is the villain. While the stepmother of the twins in the original version was unlikeable, the stepmother is a better villain in the 1998 version. She was more two-faced and threatened the twins with a foreign boarding school. The mother of the twins was immature in the original version, while the mother in the reboot had better communication and was more responsible. This main difference in the reboot made the stepmother more hateful because she was the only obvious villain in the movie.

    There’s a universal belief that reboots are always worse than the original, but 25 years later, the reboot of The Parent Trap continues to prove that statement wrong.


    ~ Laila Clarke `26