This year, we have seen the power that Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) can enact. The organization’s actions and responses have become a visible part of campus culture, and BSG frequently shows up on our front page. BSG has been redefining itself and its role on campus. It has released statements of solidarity with the victims of racist attacks at the University of Missouri, as well as two statements of solidarity with students at Bowdoin following the “gangster” party and the “tequila” party. In the fall, students voted in overwhelming support of adding the seat of Multicultural Representative and throughout the year BSG’s “public comment” time has proved itself a heated platform for airing grievances and debate. This has led to an increase in discussions about the role of BSG in representing the student body and the standards it holds itself to. For instance, it has adopted new, more comprehensive procedures for the impeachment of its members and introduced a Good Standing Amendment that allows the BSG Executive Committee to review previously confidential disciplinary records should members fall out of good standing with the College. 

In past years, during the week of BSG Executive Committee elections, we have written an editorial endorsing a candidate for president. This year, though, we think it’s more important to use this space to urge you to vote and to make sure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision. While we used to use our interviews with the presidential candidates to inform the position we took, this year we are posting clips of these interviews online for you to evaluate. We are also presenting you with all of the candidates’ candidacy statements in the Opinion section and we have extensive coverage, both in print and on Twitter, of last Tuesday night’s debates, if you were unable to attend.

Ballots were sent by email to all students this morning, and voting will be open until Sunday night. While we realize BSG has its limits, its position as a governing body nonetheless makes it the face of our student body. If the laws it enacts and statements it makes reflect our campus, it should do a good job of representing us. So, be aware of the information you have available to educate yourself about the candidates. If you have opinions on what BSG should be next year, then you should vote for the candidates you think best represent your interests. If you choose not to vote, know that abstaining is tacit agreement with whatever decisions are made on BSG next year. Seniors, too, can vote in this BSG election, as well as students who are abroad, facts that are often overlooked. Voting in this election—like any other election—is a privilege that we have in deciding what our governing body looks like and how we are represented as students and citizens. This year has shown us that BSG’s actions affect our lives, which makes our decisions as voters all the more important. 

This editorial represents the majority view of the Bowdoin Orient’s editorial board, which is comprised of Julian Andrews, Jono Gruber, Meg Robbins and Emily Weyrauch.