Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) debated an amendment to the bylaws proposed by Wylie Mao ’18 to begin using an instant runoff voting system for future Bowdoin student elections during Wednesday’s meeting. BSG also heard speeches for a special election being held to elect a new vice president of facilities and sustainability, a position recently vacated by Bridgett McCoy ’15.

The new runoff voting system would allow students to choose a first, second and third choice candidate when voting. If a majority was not reached for one candidate, the bylaws would allow for an immediate runoff between the top candidates.

“It’s in the interest of making our elections more fair and to allow better representation to what each constituency wants,” said Mao. “This is a system that is adopted widely by a lot of our peer schools.”

However, many of the representatives voiced concerns over how this amendment would affect first-year voters or voters not familiar with all of the candidates running for office. They feared that runoff voting would lead to candidates being ranked in alphabetical order or in other superficial ways.

The debate, however, was inconclusive and a vote on the matter will occur at a later meeting.
BSG elected Kyle Wolstencroft ’15 to replace McCoy in an internal election last night. He and the other candidate, At-Large Representative David Levine ’16 , had the opportunity to pitch themselves at Wednesday’s meeting.

“I believe that I have the experience necessary to take over the position with so little time left in the year and this is because I was actually [vice president for facilities and sustainability] last year,” said Levine. “I have also already established relationships with the staff and administrators throughout the College.”

While Wolstencroft was unable to attend the meeting, his speech was read on his behalf. 

“As a member of the Facilities and Sustainability Committee this year, I believe I’ve added significant value,” his speech read. “I took the lead on main projects.”

BSG also suspended its two-week rule—which requires BSG to wait two weeks after a bill is proposed to vote on it—to vote on two events sponsored by the Good Ideas Fund.

The first event, which BSG voted to pass, is a Mainers mini-series—with whoopie pies—in which students will be allowed to have discussions with Maine state legislator Drew Gattine. The event will take place on February 28. 

The second event, which also passed, will be a screening of “Boyhood” with brunch provided in Adams Hall at 11 a.m. on February 22.