Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) has operated in stealth mode in years past. With the exception of a few scattered emails here and there, students were largely left unaware of what their representatives were doing?or not doing?on their behalf. Like any governing body, BSG cannot be effective unless it is accountable to those it serves. And the only way for it to be accountable is to run it transparently with productive communication going both ways between BSG members and students.
Thankfully, this year's student government has made a turn around. Communication is now a priority, and as a result the student body has a much better idea of what BSG is up to. Most noticeably, email communication from BSG has greatly improved. Emails now come more frequently, are more relevant, and have a standardized format that allows readers to know exactly from where the message is coming. In addition, the BSG web site is now regularly updated and allows visitors to access the minutes of each meeting and check shuttle times.
More recently, BSG set up an excellent feature on its web site where students can make suggestions to their representatives and have other students vote on those suggestions. It also held public forums to discuss campus security and the debate over political bias in the classroom. Few students showed up, but at least BSG made the effort and provided the opportunity for students to make their voices heard.
This year's BSG deserves praise for its vastly improved communication?an improvement that has gone a long way to making the body appreciably more effective than its predecessor. The student government has significant power to affect campus administration, academics, and student life. We encourage students to recognize the impact BSG can have, and take advantage of the opportunities offered to them to communicate with their elected representatives.
The editorial represents the majority view of The Bowdoin Orient's editorial board. The editorial board is comprised of James D. Baumberger, Drew Fulton, Bobby Guerette, Evan S. Kohn, and Beth Kowitt.