Hiking and Camping Trigger Microaggressions at Maine College

The student-run outdoors club at Bates College in Maine is way too white and way too privileged, according to a columnist who writes for the student newspaper.

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The “Bates Outing Club” sponsors freshman field trips into the wilds of Maine — from hiking and camping to backpacking and canoeing. It’s all about team building and bonding.

But student journalist Justice Geddes described the club as  “massively white, sickeningly privileged, and the close thing to a fraternity we’ve got at Bates.”

“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,” the author bemoaned.

It sounds like someone who would be triggered by the presence of an L.L. Bean catalog.

Geddes also said the outdoors organization has “prehistoric policies regarding gender” and called the field trip cruel and exclusionary and hurtful to marginalized groups.

“Why isn’t there a trip focused on queer identity formation in tabletop role-playing games,” the author wondered.

Why, indeed?

I never thought I’d see the day when roasting marshmallows around a campfire while some guy with a guitar warbles “American Pie” would trigger a microaggression.

We’ve got some mighty big problems, America — some mighty big problems.