At its first meeting of the month, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) announced that it has purchased picnic tables which will be placed outside of Moulton Union later this spring. BSG also devoted a substantial amount of time to planning a diversity-centered event called “Behind the Facade.” The event was originally proposed by Representative At-Large Ian Culnane ’20.

According to an email that BSG sent to the student body on Monday, “Behind the Facade” “seeks to confront stereotypes and facilitate storytelling by coordinating conversations among volunteers from Bowdoin and the larger community who are willing to speak about their life experiences.”

The email included a link to a survey asking students about the types of people from whom they might be interested in hearing. The survey suggested “young single mother, unemployed person, [or] refugee” as potential identity categories.

Several students voiced concerns during the meeting about the potential marginalizing or stereotyping effects of the event, expressing that volunteers might be viewed only as one salient part of their identity and be expected to represent everyone who fits into a similar category.

Members of BSG ultimately voted to push forward with the event and will make the necessary changes to make the program as inclusive and informative as possible.

“I feel [“Behind the Facade”] needs to be amended in a way that makes participants, observers and volunteers more comfortable being part of the program,” said Representative At-Large Ural Mishra ’20, following the meeting.

“Volunteers [should have] the autonomy to show people what they want to show and be perceived in the way the want to be perceived, instead of being boxed into a preconceived category or [having a] preconceived idea put upon them,” Mishra added,

BSG President Harriet Fisher ’17 voiced opinions similar to Mishra’s. She said BSG will take great care in planning the event.