There has been no formal communication between Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) and President Barry Mills since BSG passed a resolution endorsing a permanent committee to identify crimes against humanity on September 27, Mills said Thursday in an interview with the Orient.

The BSG resolution defied Mills's recommendation to the Board of Trustees that a permanent committee should not be formed.

"No one at BSG has come to talk to me," said Mills. "Accordingly, I've not changed my position, because nobody has come to me with any justification why I should."

"I have no ideas about why [BSG] disagreed with me," he said.

BSG President DeRay Mckesson '07 said Thursday that he has been in contact with Mills's office, but a meeting has yet to be scheduled.

Vice President of Student Government Affairs Dustin Brooks '08 said that the resolution was not brought to Mills's attention before it was passed because the representatives themselves were unaware of it until two days before the votes were cast.

He added that the resolution is "an impetus to talking about it, not a demand," and that it would not have sense to approach Mills beforehand because "we wouldn't really have [had] anything to say."

Class of 2008 Representative Clark Gascoigne introduced the resolution because he was frustrated that at how sluggish the College was in its response to the genocide in Darfur.

"Reacting as slowly as we have on Darfur is unacceptable," said Gascoigne, who thinks that a permanent committee would facilitate a quicker College response to crimes against humanity in the future.

Brooks '08 agreed, saying that the College should be prepared to respond to major issues without "spending the time to set up a committee."

"It seemed like the Darfur issue was on the table for a while before a committee got going," he said.

Brooks and Mckesson will sit at the Trustees' plenary session in November, where they will represent BSG's opinion on Mills's recommendation.

Gascoigne, who is also the treasurer for Bowdoin Students for Peace, believes that BSG's support for a permanent committee accurately reflects the views held by the majority of Bowdoin students.

"I've spoken to a number of people, and others have approached me [about the issue]," Gascoigne said.

In his recommendation to the Trustees, Mills stressed the importance of "individual activism" on issues such as Darfur, writing that "our efforts in community service are designed to 'bubble up' from our students, faculty and staff?rather than being imposed by the College?and to demonstrate the effectiveness of activism where the interest is self-motivated."

Mills said that students have lacked a spirit of individual activism concerning Darfur, and added that the College as an institution is no more efficacious in combating the genocide in Darfur than individual activists.

"Certainly the institution can make symbolic actions, but that doesn't alleviate the responsibilities student might feel individually," said Mills.

"I find it interesting that instead of creating these committees themselves, they're asking the College to do it for them," he said.

Despite his emphasis of individual activism, Mills said that Bowdoin does have moral obligations as an institution, which is "why we're taking the action that we're taking [regarding Darfur]."

Still, Mills said, "I continue to believe that it's wrong to do this type of thing by committee."

Seven members of BSG agreed with Mills's skepticism about creating a permanent committee on crimes against humanity, casting their votes against the resolution.

"The committee's mandate was too vague and broad," At-Large Representative Charlie Ticotsky wrote in an email to the Orient. "If it's not called to meet, does that mean that there are no crimes against humanity occurring? I would argue that there are crimes against humanity happening in hundreds of places daily."

Class of 2009 Representative Ben Freedman thought the resolution contradicted itself, citing a section stating, "the Bowdoin Student Government recognizes that the College should refrain from taking positions that advocate specific religious political, or economic issues."

"In making this proposal, Gascoigne is doing exactly that?taking a position advocating a political (and indirectly economic) issue," he wrote in an email to the Orient.

Mills said that as long as students and faculty are aware of what's happening in the world and willing to protest what they think is unjust, a committee should not be necessary.

"It's a matter of education," he said. "We are an educated community, and we ought not need more committees to recognize a [situation akin to] Darfur."