Bates in Brief Students: Chiao ’13 climbs walls, Dube ’16 vows silence, Cravero ’13 wins Trashion honors

Climbing the Walls with Chester Chiao ’13

Chester Chiao '13 trains on the rock wall in Merill Gymnasium Photograph by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College

Chester Chiao ’13 trains on the rock wall in Merill Gymnasium Photograph by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College

What are you doing in this picture?
I am training for endurance: keeping myself on the wall as long as possible.

Why do you climb?
I ask myself that question when I am 500 feet above ground on a vertical rock face, freezing my butt off. Weirdly enough, I think climbing keeps me sane. Climbing helps me discover my limits, face my fears and overcome them. It also teaches me how to be both physically and mentally in check.

How does climbing fit into your Bates life?
My buddies and I always look for adventures on the weekends — trying to get on multi-pitch climbs in North Conway, N.H., or pulling on hard sport climbs in Shagg Crag, about 15 miles east of Bethel, Maine.

Does your style differ from other Bates climbers?
I am smaller than most climbers at Bates (and the rest of the world). I have to come up with different “beta,” ways or sequences to do a certain climb, and be more dynamic to reach faraway holds.

Why climb shirtless?
Climbing without a shirt is a big part of the bouldering culture. They say it makes you climb harder. Maybe that’s true, or maybe they just want to show off their back muscles. I took my shirt off because it was really hot in the gym, and I didn’t have another shirt to change into before dinner. Plus, I’m too scrawny to show off anything.

Capping It Off

This bespoke investment piece earned top honors at the 2012 Trashion Show. And why not? Model Annie Cravero ’13 of Hanover, N.H., rocks a skirt fashioned from thrifted plastic bags (similar in quality to that four-season Maine fabric, the blue tarp), bags that last fall hauled AESOP trail mix. The leaf-bag bodice is studded with tabs and caps donated by students. As one alumna noted on Facebook, “I would so wear that bottle cap number.” So chica.

Photograph by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College

Photograph by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College

Student Facts

Though optional, 51 percent of last year’s incoming freshmen submitted SAT scores.

About 10 percent of Bates graduates go directly to graduate school.

The Green Bikes program maintains 20-plus bikes for student use.

Bates students coordinate more than 100 organizations and clubs on campus.

Admission deans now read student applications online rather than in hard copy.

How You Talk

“I am taking a vow of silence in protest of a recent hate speech incident,” the sign read. “Stop hate speech at Bates.”

Wearing that sign and letting it speak for him for 12 hours on Nov. 1 was Phillip Dube ’16 of Norton, Zimbabwe. In one of the more effective acts of protest on a campus that has seen its share, Dube undertook his public vow of silence in response to a racial slur directed at him.

The encounter was “not consistent with what I thought about Bates.”

Dube was hurt and shocked when, in his own dorm room, a fellow student used the slur against him during a social gathering. It was an encounter “not consistent with what I thought about Bates,” he told The Bates Student.

And he didn’t just swallow it: Instead, he pressed silence into service as an eloquent comment about the poison of hateful language on campus. Campus reaction was widespread and sympathetic.

President Spencer praised him for parlaying a negative experience into a focus for reflection. Commons fell silent for a minute in his support. And geology professor Beverly Johnson, who teaches Dube in a course, devoted class time to a consciousness-raising exercise in which students were asked to recount their own experiences of hate speech, at Bates or elsewhere.

“There are 18 students in the class,” Dube told the Student, “and everyone had something to say.” — DLH

Bates remembers Troy Pappas ’16

Photograph by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College

Photograph by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College

Football players grieve for their teammate during an Oct. 11 memorial service in the Gomes Chapel honoring Troy Pappas ’16, who died Oct. 5 of injuries suffered in a fall down a Parker Hall stairwell.

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