The Colby Music Incubator (CMI) has held several Saturday Night Live events throughout the semester, and this past week’s show welcomed all styles and genres of music as well as a participant from every class year. The charming musical occasion featured the cozy location and artisanal drinks of Mary Low Coffee House.
Victoria Melehov `25 sang a few numbers with piano accompaniment, and said, “the coffee house is always a great place to perform.”
The piano from the Mary Low common room was pulled into the coffee house for the occasion, and furniture was rearranged to make space for an audience to face the small stage in the bay window of the coffee house.
Melehov chose the songs she performed based on the space and the instruments available. One of her favorites was “Francis Forever,” which she put a slow spin on with more jazz than the original recording. She also performed, “a really beautiful Russian song from 1943 about love and war,” which she enjoyed sharing even though there were not many Russian speakers in attendance. Regardless of the language barrier, people swayed to the song and applauded at the end of each of them.
“Both are quite powerful and they really fit the coffee house atmosphere.”
The acoustic music that impressed a fluid audience fits well in that space, and many musicians look forward to participating in future events.
The relaxed dynamic of these live music events allows the audience to hear the music up close, and the musicians to share details and about the songs.
Sophia Schroeder `23 has been performing with various groups and a solo act through CMI events since her first year.
~ Molly George `23
The Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence (DAI) held a lecture by 2022–23 Lunder Institute Senior Fellow Oscar Santillán last Thursday, Nov. 10 in Ostrove Auditorium.
Santillán gave overviews of his recent projects and what he plans to work on during his time with the Lunder Institute. His work combines the technology of artificial intelligence with artistic choices and poignant statements about “how to live together, recognize the agency of earth itself, and realize that the ethics that we use for one space are very different than those we use for the other space.”
These ideas involve all forms of art, from digitally-generated work with artificial intelligence to land art that brings viewers to a remote island where Santillán has been visiting and working for several years.
Director of the Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence Amanda Stent shared her opinion on Santillán’s presentation of his work so far.
“Oscar’s work at the intersection of technology, society, and the environment is thought-provoking and deeply creative,” she said.
Santillán’s website and the name of his project that spans global locations and artistic, humanistic, and scientific endeavors is called “Antimundo.”
“We look forward to kicking off Colby’s Year of the Arts with Oscar’s ‘Antimundo’ JanPlan and to collaborating further with faculty and students from the visual and performing arts on ways that AI can support and enable creativity, and on ways the arts can inform conversations around AI,” Stent explained.
With his ideas on claims to land and the application of AI, Santillán is working on several projects, such as an interspecies biological computer and a mountain in Britain with an intentional “decentralized form of cognition.”
Santillán said he is interested in colonial representations and possession of land, “the tension between territory and representation, or what we see as cartography on a map, what we call landscape in a painting.”
He has explored this idea with the concept of terra incognita and continues to explore the meaning and feelings of a particular place with his work on Little Fort Island, owned by the Holt-Smithson Foundation, which currently sponsors The Island Project — Point of Departure.
Santillán’s proposal for this project is to figure out how to sense the island, working with his ideas of sensoriality and physicality, things he said, “that we were missing in the virtual overload of the pandemic.”
This technology-driven approach to recording the essence of the island will involve translating natural environments into accessible tech platforms using artificial intelligence in ways yet to be decided.
Santillán’s project centers around the question, “How do we approach this ecological entity, and how do we sense it in a virtual way?” This process brings Santillán to gather data from the ecosystem and sensors to see how it works.
He calls the project in its current form “a rough draft of something that needs to be communally and collaboratively shaped” and looks forward to involving students and as many collaborators as needed to see what they bring to the island. Together, Santillán said, they will work to “sense” it for the ultimate output of the project.
“Once all this data’s been gathered, [the] flow of data coming in from the island, what do we do with it depends on the different skill sets of people who join the adventure,” he explained.
Interested students can join a JanPlan course Santillán will teach, named after the title of his project, “Antimundo.” The multidisciplinary introduction to art and AI can apply to many majors and fields of study.
Assistant Professor of Anthropology Farah Qureshi weighed in on this intersection.
“Ultimately, the main point of the anthropological perspective of AI is that we can actually understand the social consequences,” she explained. “Going along with the digitized systems, we’re often abstracting the social elements.”
These social elements include topics of justice and equality and their opposites.
“Anthropology comes in because you need to be following what happens to people in these systems,” she said, mentioning her research on economics, anthropology, and artificial intelligence.
Qureshi is teaching a course next semester called AI and Inequality, which will cover topics such as inequalities in technology, data culture, and automated decision-making. She anticipates a nuanced discussion on how digital platforms that automate labor take the humanity out of work in some sectors. The human perspective on artificial intelligence can be explored in classroom discussions more extensively than in the platforms where these interactions happen.
Future collaboration in the subject of artificial intelligence will certainly involve the Anthropology Department through courses and research but will likely expand across several departments.
DAI and the Lunder Institute involve great efforts of collaboration across many disciplines, and many participants and leaders in the initiatives have reiterated this intent.
“We are grateful to Jacqueline Terrassa and Erica Wall for inviting us into collaboration,” Stent said.
Jacqueline Terrassa is the Director of the Colby College Museum of Art, and Erica Wall works in the Museum as the Director of the Lunder Institute for American Art. Students, faculty, and fans of the arts will have plenty of opportunities to watch this collaborative project unfold over the rest of the academic year.
~ Molly George `23
The Colby Echo sat down with Jess Xing `24, to discuss life at the College from an artist’s perspective. Xing is a biology and studio art double major. Though she initially thought it would be better to study something related to science, she decided to indulge her artistic drive during her time at Colby.
Why did you decide to be a studio art major?
“I’ve been doing art since [I was] very little, and then my initial thought was to study something more science-related — I’m also a biology major, but I feel like I’m deviating from biology and getting more into art because […] I’m really eager to express myself in some way,” Xing said.
She also expressed that if she doesn’t spend time pursuing art, she will regret it in the future.
What kind of classes have you taken and which have been your favorite?
“I don’t dislike [the classes], but I also don’t like them a lot. Colby’s art curriculum isn’t really good compared to actual art school, especially for a student who wants to pursue art as their career. Colby doesn’t really provide [many] options for concentrations. You’ve only got painting, sculpture, print-making, and maybe photography and studio art.”
She mentioned that some courses in JanPlan can get more interesting, but it is not the norm at the College.
“All the courses are more on fine art, and you don’t get to see a lot of experimental, more contemporary [art].”
What is your artistic focus?
“Right now it’s still mostly painting, but I’ve begun experimenting more by adding [the] knitting sculpture element to it.”
What is your creative process?
“To me, since I’m a painting major, I always have images in my mind, and it’s about putting them down and then revising them. Sometimes I’ll have a thumbnail, which is like a smaller sketch for the composition.”
Jess said she uses this thumbnail to check her progress as she goes.
What is one of your favorite pieces that you’ve made?
“The knitting installation I made last semester [is my favorite]. It was my first attempt in something other than painting, and it was a three-dimensional installation.”
“I really liked the theme of the show [Black Powers]. It was an artist [Natasha Marin] who wanted to collaborate with Colby students to create this show, so she gave us funding and [the] theme.”
Black Powers was an exhibition at Greene Block+Studios shown last semester, in April 2022.
“It was about Black people and their culture, but I was the only Asian in the whole group, so working on something that was out of my comfort zone… it takes some courage to do that. And I really like the result of the work.”
She described turning to art on matrilineality to tie it into the theme of Black Diaspora.
“Instead of focusing on Black culture, which I’m not a part of, I turned away to matrilineality — matriarchal societies.”
~ Nico Flota Sanchez `25
Humans have an extensive history of copying mother nature’s creations, from inventions like velcro (inspired by burs) to needles (inspired by mosquitos). The advantage of natural systems is that they have had the time and patience to evolve in a direction that maximizes efficiency.
But sometimes nature is too complex to mimic, like the various alkaloids found in plants traditionally used in folk medicine. Chemists spend years trying to synthesize compounds that nature seems to make effortlessly, but many have yet to be replicated. But in the instances where they have succeeded, we have ended up with some of the most useful remedies available to us today. The importance of studying the natural processes occurring around us can not be stressed enough; the discoveries made have the potential to change the world.
In October of this year, Barry Sharpless, Carolyn Bertozzi, and Morten Meldal received the Nobel Prize for their collective work in click chemistry. As described by Dr. Sharpless in 2001, click chemistry is a term used to define reactions that seemingly snap together like a sort of molecular seatbelt. Dr. Sharpless drew inspiration from the aqueous chemistry of nature and sought to mimic the speed and single-product outcome of these reactions.
With this goal in mind, he decided to recreate these reactions using highly reactive molecules he described as “spring-loaded”. The first of these molecules was azides, which are known to be rich in energy and highly reactive, much like a spring.
Sharpless and Meldal discovered independently that these azides could react with copper catalysts to lock molecules together. The reactions were both high-yield and incredibly fast, making them a valuable tool for chemists everywhere.
Inspired by their work, Dr. Bertozzi questioned how this new science could be used to invent reactions that can occur in biological settings as complex as the human body. Her contribution was bioorthogonal reactions, which emphasize the importance of finding molecules that can ‘click’ with the right partners in a biological system.
This proved to be a complex task because elaborate reactions constantly occur within biological settings and choosing the right elements to come together in this sea of complex materials is difficult.
Furthermore, the copper catalysts in the previous model could cause damage to cells. To remedy this, Bertozzi came up with the idea of using strained alkynes. As the name implies, these molecules are under a lot of stress, or ring strain, making them highly reactive and seemingly ready to pop. Eventually, her team came across cyclooctyne, which can conduct click chemistry without a copper catalyst due to the immense strain on its rings. Much like a student rushing out of their last class before Thanksgiving break, when this tremendous stress is released, the reaction takes place very quickly.
The possible uses for click chemistry are seemingly endless. Advancements in this field could mean anything from imaging probes in biological molecules that could help us spot cancers to the manufacturing of new medicinal molecules.
~ Victoria Melehov `25
I broke tradition again a couple of weeks ago and brought a friend to tag along on one of my weekend excursions. This time, we ventured to Saddleback Mountain, one of Maine’s fourteen 4,000-foot peaks.
Located fifteen minutes from the small town of Rangeley, the mountain doesn’t have much near it. The winding highway up to the ski lodge reminds me of the kinked roads I’m familiar with in backcountry Connecticut. A little slice of home deep in western Maine. What a thought.
Saddleback is a steep hill. With roughly 2,000 feet of elevation gain over just two miles, it definitely gets your heart pumping. However, the views are truly stunning the whole way up. The clear-cut ski trails make it so that you can see the many Rangeley lakes during the whole climb. Total awesomeness.
We started up the mountain with beautiful weather complementing our climb. It was one of those weekends when it was a little too warm for October. Despite this great weather, we had the trail to ourselves. Sweating and determined, we powered up the skinny trail, swatting away the last remaining flies, a reminder that summer had stuck around longer than it should have.
There’s a reason people make the trek all the way out to Rangeley just to ski or snowboard. The small town has only about 1,500 year-round residents, giving it an intimate feel unlike many other ski towns nowadays. Saddleback takes this value of community to heart with its mission to keep the mountain small and communal.
The mountain first opened in December 1960, boasting only a single T-bar lift. Though they’ve expanded with new lifts and a redone lodge, the mountain’s mission to know its patrons and create a family of customers stays true and is obvious to anyone who visits. Saddleback is definitely the place for anyone looking to escape the gentrification of small ski towns that is sweeping the American West.
I knew from hiking this mountain previously that the Appalachian Trail crossed over the ridge of Saddleback Mountain and its neighbor, the Horn. I had never seen thru-hikers before but hoped that this time we would be lucky and get to meet some. As my friend and I sat to have lunch at the summit, a man approached us and asked for a photo. It wasn’t until after nearly an hour of conversation that I actually took the photo.
The hiker was sixty-two years old and from Saratoga Springs, New York. He had driven six hours that morning to tick Saddleback and the Horn off the list of 115 New England peaks he was attempting (these were numbers 102 and 103). He told me about all the thru-hikers he’d met along the way and their wacky trail names (“Stitches” stuck out to me – no idea where that one came from). He hasn’t had cable television in years. He told me to drop out of college and hike the Pacific Coast Trail (don’t know if we’re at that point, yet). Of course, I’ve heard the long-standing “stranger danger” every parent ingrains in their kids’ heads from day one. Screw that.
There’s a statistic I’m sure we all heard around middle school that we pass between thirty and thirty-six serial killers in our lifetime just walking on the street. That scares a lot of people. So much so that they close themselves off to any and all casual interactions out in “the wild.” This is such a shame because I’ve actually had some of the most interesting and substance-filled conversations of my life with plain strangers.
Of course, I can’t tell you to go up to every person you see and try to strike up a conversation; my mom lived in New York City for twenty-five years and instilled the fear of God into me about strangers approaching me, but I will say that not all strangers are bad. I do keep my wits about me when talking to people I don’t know, and of course I won’t go walking down a dark alley or anything like that, but if I’m on a trail or in a new place and the vibes are good, I strike up a conversation. It’s easy, free, and interesting (quite possibly the only activity that ticks all those boxes these days).
You’ll meet people from all over the country and world, from all walks of life. Sometimes their little nuggets of wisdom can really help you get through whatever you’re thinking about at the moment or inspire you to take a step forward you didn’t even know existed. When I started talking to the dude by the summit, it started just as simply as him asking for a nice picture.
Keep your wits about you but talk to the stranger. It’s always worth it.
~ Liz Cutting `26
On Friday, Nov. 10, the Survivor Support Union (SSU) hosted Sami-Jo Stubbs at the College. Stubbs is the acting secretary on the Board of Directors for Home to Home and a licensed clinical social worker within the community of domestic violence survivors.
Stubbs spoke about her career working with survivors of domestic violence and her personal history with sexual assault and provided resources for people who are in an abusive relationship or know someone who might be in one.
Mahika Gupta `23 and other club members organized Stubbs’ talk on campus as part of an effort to spread awareness and spark a broader conversation about domestic violence during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
“This event was in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which was October. We found Sami-Jo Stubbs through the organization RAINN, which stands for the Rape Abuse Incest National Network. RAINN has a lot of great resources for allies to learn more about signs of domestic and other forms of intimate partner violence and for survivors to seek help and support,” Gupta said.
Stubbs has extensive experience working with survivors of domestic violence. In addition to working with survivors as a clinical social worker, she has also worked as a domestic violence survivor advocate, connecting survivors of domestic abuse to valuable resources and helping them navigate the legal system. Her experience in this field has given her unique insight into the experience of survivors. Stubbs described her work as an advocate as the best part of her career.
“I worked with survivors through the whole process, supporting them and providing them with resources,” Stubbs said.
Domestic violence and sexual assault are challenging topics that can often bring up strong emotions. Stubbs, who is also a registered yoga instructor and meditation facilitator, began and ended the talk with a breathing exercise that grounded participants and connected them with their emotions in the present moment.
After the opening breathing exercise, Stubbs began the talk by sharing her personal history with sexual violence.
She emphasized that the people who came to the talk were also welcome to share their own experiences to whatever degree they felt comfortable. Stubbs created a safe and open space and emphasized that participants were welcome to step out of the room at any time during the talk.
At the end of the talk, Stubbs opened up the floor to questions. One participant asked for advice about what to say if a friend opened up to them about their experience with domestic violence. Stubbs suggested that the best thing to do in that situation would be to empathize with the friend and offer support for them.
“Saying something is better than nothing,” Stubbs said. “What would you want to hear in that situation? We don’t necessarily have to experience the same things as that person to relate to some of the feelings they might be having.”
This was Stubbs’ first time sharing her story as a survivor of sexual violence and her first time giving a talk about the subject matter. Her experience going through the police reporting process and her career of helping other survivors navigate the legal system make her a great resource for anyone struggling with issues of domestic and/or intimate partner violence.
~ Veronica McIntyre `24
Each year, the Pugh Center clubs at the College hold a myriad of events celebrating the many cultures and religions of students on campus. In recent years, members of Colby’s South Asian Society (SAS), Muslim Society (CMS), and Hillel have communicated with the South Asian, Muslim, and Jewish communities at other colleges to broaden cultural communities that are otherwise difficult to come across in rural Maine.
Maaheen Shaikh `25, Head of Public Relations for Colby’s SAS, has been the point person for all communication between Colby’s SAS and Bowdoin’s South Asian Student’s Association (SASA) this past year.
“I’m the first person from our SAS to talk to their SASA, and it’s a super cute story how I met Bhadra, our link to Bowdoin SAS,” Shaikh said.
“I actually met Bhadra when I went to Bowdoin for Eid. She was so kind and when I needed a place to go pray since I had come late to the celebration, she actually showed me where to go and waited for me, and we just kinda got to know each other,” she said.
Colby’s SAS hosted a few members of Bowdoin’s SASA this past October for their Diwali celebration, and Colby’s CMS hosted Bowdoin’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) last semester for Iftar. Despite the well-known sports rivalry between the colleges, the cultural clubs are forming inter-college communities.
“I think our own community here is really strong at Colby, but it’s nice to know there are other colleges with South Asian student associations because in a college in the middle of Maine, it feels like a big fishbowl sometimes, so it’s nice to see others that are also engaged with the culture and connect with them,” Shaikh explained.
In addition, the College hosts a yearly Shabbaton run by the Shabbaton fellow associated with the Center for Small Town Jewish Life, which is run out of Colby. This event is open to Jewish communities all over Maine, including those at Bowdoin, Bates, and the University of Maine.
“This year we invited Wellesley kids because they have been dealing with a lot of anti-semitism,” Sarah Gold `23, the Hillel president, said. Wellesley students have been driving the three hours from Wellesley, MA to Colby for Shabbat dinners because of safety concerns with hosting dinners on the Wellesley campus.
This year’s Shabbaton fellow is Martha Lieberman `24. To get people hyped for the event, which occurred during the weekend of Nov. 4 and 5, Lieberman sent out a bubbly email.
“What is the Shabbaton, you may ask? Well I’m here to tell you! The Fall Shabbaton will bring together students and community members from all over Maine for a weekend full of community, prayer, song, and inspiring learning!! There will be some AMAZING guests coming (Batya Levine and Rabbi Sandra Lawson!) They are both such cool people and it is such an amazing opportunity that they’re coming to Colby!! You can find out more information about the Shabbaton schedule HERE!! Everyone is welcome,” she wrote.
Just like the joint events with Colby and Bowdoin’s South Asian societies and Muslim societies, having an event where Jewish communities all over New England could come together helped people find comfort in their culture in a place with sparse cultural communities.
“I think it’s great to see so many different communities come together, and it makes me feel proud that the Colby Jewish community is able to help foster such vibrant Jewish life, especially in Maine where there aren’t so many Jewish people,” Gold said.
Colby’s SAS, CMS, and Hillel are only a subset of the many cultural clubs on the College’s campus that have collaborated with different schools and organizations across New England. Events like these help students leaving their cultural communities at home find new ones in places that they might least expect.
~ Mahika Gupta `23
If your mom’s anything like mine, she’s already asked you to assemble a detailed Christmas list to avoid the awkwardness of opening up a carefully-wrapped present on Christmas morning that you don’t want.
However, this year, as I prepared to send my Mom links to some red yoga pants and Hailey Bieber’s skincare line, I felt conflicted. I couldn’t stop thinking about the environment and the mass amounts of consumption that occur during the holiday season. As much as I wanted dewy skin and some new clothes, I started to feel bad about the impact that these purchases would have on the planet.
I grew up associating Christmas with gift-giving and was taught that it was a time to ask for things that I wanted but didn’t need. I love getting gifts as much as the next girl, but I think I’m ready to shift the way I view the holidays. While I still plan on participating in consumer culture this holiday season, I plan to do so with the environment in mind. I invite you to do the same.
We are never going to reach a point of zero consumption. We’re also never going to reach a point where this consumption doesn’t drastically increase during the holidays because of the consumer culture in America. But there are many ways you can be an eco-conscious consumer. This holiday season is the perfect time to start.
When compiling your Christmas list (and checking it twice), try to limit the number of things you’re asking for. While everyone deserves a little something special, there’s no need for a list as long as a CVS receipt.
It’s extremely important to consider where you’re buying things from. Shopping secondhand and from sustainable brands is easier than ever, so there’s really no excuse to support fast fashion and companies that use unethical practices. Clothing brands like Patagonia and Reformation are committed to mitigating the effects of climate change and using sustainable materials.
Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Gail Carlson said, “I know a lot of you are interested in sustainable fashion and textiles, so you can certainly be thinking about things like that. There’s a life cycle and a production chain for things like clothing where you can look and see if it was sustainably made if it’s a woman-owned business, a business where workers are treated fairly, a business where they’re using more sustainable materials.”
Another way to be an eco-conscious consumer is to limit the amount of online shopping you do. While it’s extremely convenient, the transportation and energy required to ship products are insane. If you plan on doing most of your holiday shopping online, consider starting early. This alleviates the need for expedited shipping, which uses more energy and increases the likelihood that items can be packaged together if they’re coming from the same store.
According to Carlson, plastic is one of the materials that is especially overconsumed during the holidays. If you have kids, you buy them extraordinary amounts of plastic. We don’t tend to think that’s bad. Do they really need that new Lego set? Everything’s plastic. Fleece? That’s plastic. Spandex? That’s plastic.”
“I feel like if a family was like ‘You know what? This Christmas, let’s focus on plastic. Let’s try to minimize our plastic’ that would go a long way and it would be a good start,” Carlson said.
Another material that is a major source of waste during the holidays is wrapping paper. According to The New York Times, it’s estimated that there is a 25 percent increase in waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Easy (and less expensive) alternatives to wrapping paper are reusable gift bags and newspapers.
It can be overwhelming to think about all of the things that you need to consider to reduce the effects of your consumption. No one wants to have to research a company to determine whether or not they should purchase something from them. And you shouldn’t have to do this. But it’s so important that you do.
I don’t know anyone that dislikes receiving gifts — it’s a love language. The holidays are such a magical time of year and gift-giving is a large part of that. I’m not trying to cancel Christmas or give you an excuse not to get your significant other a present. But please be mindful of what and how much you consume this holiday season. If it could, the planet would plead with you too.
~ Claire Campbell `26
On Nov. 8, Mainers headed to their local polling stations to cast their votes. Many candidates were up for election for a variety of offices, including state senators, the governor, and representatives to the U.S. Congress.
Maine’s 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts had elections to determine their representatives. In the 1st district, voters had to decide between the incumbent representative, Democrat Chellie Pingree, and her Republican challenger, Edwin Thelander. Pingree was first elected to office in 2008 and has held a relatively stable position, winning by more than thirteen points in every general election since her initial election. On the other hand, Thelander was completely new to politics. With 62.8 percent of the total vote, Pingree secured her eighth consecutive term.
The 2nd Congressional District had three candidates on its ballot: Jared Golden, the incumbent Democrat; Bruce Poliquin, a Republican; and Tiffany Bond, an independent. Unlike the 1st Congressional District, this race was much closer. Golden had 48.08 percent of the vote, and Poliquin had 44.66 percent. Because neither had 50 percent of the vote, the race will head to a ranked-choice runoff. This means that the candidate with the least support, Tiffany Bond, will be eliminated from the face. All the people who voted for her will have their votes counted for their second-ranked choice.
Although unofficial, Golden has claimed victory in a statement to Lewiston reporters, saying, “I am deeply honored that the people of Maine’s 2nd District have chosen me to represent them in Washington for another two-year term. Although Bruce Poliquin may not be willing to concede, at this point the final result is undeniably clear.”
One of the most important elections of this year was the race for governor. The ballot had three candidates: incumbent Democrat Janet Mills, Republican Paul LePage, and independent Sam Hunkler. Mills and LePage have long been at odds as Mills had served as the state’s attorney general when LePage served as governor, and they had multiple disagreements. Following Tuesday’s election, Mills walked away with 55.5 percent of the vote and LePage with 42.5 percent. To a crowd in Portland on Tuesday, Mills stated, “Tonight, you sent a clear message — a message that says we will continue to move forward, and we will not go back. We will continue to fight problems, and not one another.”
Waterville also had to elect a new state senator for District 16, which encompasses Albion, Benton, Clinton, Fairfield, Unity Twp., Waterville, and Winslow. There were two candidates on the ballot, Democrat David LaFountain, and Republican Michael Perkins. Although not officially declared yet, LaFountain currently has 52.5 percent of the vote, and Perkins has 47.5 percent.
This year, Maine has enjoyed a strong voter turnout. Over 200,000 absentee ballots were cast, and Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows said, “That’s a record for a gubernatorial election, and at the polls, we’ve seen lines in Portland. We’ve seen steady turnout all across the state,” in reference to the surge of absentee ballots in an interview with Maine Calling.
~ Vivian Nguyen `25
Approaching the season opener, the Colby women’s basketball team looked to build on its work from last year and make a push for the conference playoffs yet again. Last season, the Mules made it to the NESCAC quarterfinals before falling to Amherst.
On their road to the quarterfinals, the Mules demonstrated their growth as a team as they managed to upset sixth-seeded Bowdoin, knocking them out of playoff contention. This was a massive victory for the Mules, as they snapped a twenty-three-game losing streak to the Bowdoin Polar Bears, dating back to the 2009–2010 season.
The Mules ended last season with an overall record of 12–10, 2–8 in the conference. With a wealth of promising young talent, the Mules will look to improve upon their record from last season and contend for a playoff spot again.
This past Saturday, the Mules secured an impressive 69–56 victory over the Rivier Raiders in the 2022-2023 season opener. The two sides were evenly matched for the majority of the game, with the Mules managing to pull away toward the end.
The first quarter was fast-paced and exhilarating, as both sides exchanged impressive offensive spells. The Mules enjoyed the most success on the offensive end when they took the ball aggressively to the rim. Carter McGloon `24 fired the crowd up as she scored through contact and got sent to the line where she nailed the free throw, completing the three-point play.
More aggressive play on the offensive end came through a beautiful exchange between two Mules, as Caroline Smith `24 sent a gorgeous pass to Bray Hunter `24 in the paint, giving the Mules an easy layup and forcing Rivier to call timeout trailing 7–9.
The Raiders hit a couple of big threes coming out of the timeout and managed to stifle the Colby offense to wrap up the quarter, contributing to Rivier taking a 20–13 lead into the break.
The Mules came out firing to open the second quarter; Smith took the ball aggressively to the rim, finishing through contact and hitting the extra point to complete the three-point play. Hunter followed up by scoring a layup, as the Mules quickly scored seven unanswered and tied the game at 20 apiece.
The Mules did an excellent job throughout the quarter staying aggressive and getting to the rim, consistently either hitting their shots or getting sent to the free-throw line. McGloon completed another three-point play off a beautiful pass that found her under the rim, where she scored through contact and was sent to the line, once again hitting the free throw. Lily Naggy `26 also contributed to the red-hot Mules offense in the second quarter as she completed a beautiful move that freed her up to hit a layup.
The quarter ended with the Mules swinging the game back in their favor, as they took a 36–30 lead into the halftime break, outscoring the Raiders by thirteen points in the second quarter.
The third quarter started off a bit slower for both sides on the offensive end. The quarter’s scoring consisted primarily of three-pointers from both teams. Most notably, Sophie Webb `23 hit a three off the offensive rebound from Mackenzie Younker `23, and Rivier responded by getting an important steal leading to a Raider three-pointer, narrowing the Colby lead to just two points.
The quarter ended in exhilarating fashion as the Raiders fired a three-pointer with 1.9 seconds left in the quarter. The shot missed, but the Raiders shooter was fouled, leading to Rivier getting three free throws to end the quarter. The first free throw missed its mark, but the second two were knocked down, squaring the two opponents up at 46–46.
Heading into a vital fourth quarter, the Mules opened the scoring with a mid-range jumper, taking the first lead of the final period. Big offensive rebounds for the Mules gave them crucial second-shot opportunities, contributing to their slowly increasing lead. A massive block on the defensive end by Gabrielle Hemenes `26 was followed up by Smith hitting a clutch layup, extending the Colby lead to ten points.
Despite the Mules extending their lead, Rivier was able to stay on their heels until the end of the quarter, where Colby’s relentless offense and sturdy defense protected their lead. McGloon iced the game with seven seconds left as the Mules celebrated their first victory of the season with a final score of 69–56.
Smith led the way for the Mules, concluding the season opener with a team-high twenty-four points, as well as nine rebounds, seven assists, and shooting 92 percent on thirteen free throws.
The Mules will look to build upon their first victory next Saturday, Nov. 19 when they take on New England College at 2 p.m. at home.
~ Mason Groves `23