As the fall semester comes to a close, we're looking forward to finding out what Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) will do in the spring.
That's because throughout the semester, BSG has proven itself ready and able to take up issues meaningful to students and the College generally. The body has considered policy issues ranging from academic life to investment policy, and the College is a better place for it.
This week, the group unanimously approved a resolution calling for the creation of a Community Response Committee to consider if and how the College should act in response to particular national and international humanitarian crises as they are happening. Only good can from come from a committee that would, from time to time, come together to consider such issues and recommend action in those rare cases where a college response is warranted. That BSG initiated such a proposal on its own is particularly commendable. Coupled with its resolution on Darfur earlier this year, the group demonstrated that students should have a say in policy at the highest levels of this college's governance.
Nor has the body ignored issues of direct concern to students' day-to-day lives and academic success. Discussion topics in recent weeks have included credit/D/fail policy, sexual misconduct, upper-class housing, and campus safety. That represents a big step from the BSG of past years, which seemed to focus on relatively unimportant projects. Nearly every top official, including President Barry Mills, has visited Daggett Lounge in recent weeks for lengthy discussions about policy issues. Indeed, at Wednesday's meeting, which was attended by Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster, discussion lasted for more than two hours?and the group still had topics left to consider. This is a student government with substance.
As it continues through the year, BSG will need to work hard to make sure that policy issues that are considered and voted upon result in actual policy change. We particularly look forward to its planned collaboration on the academic advising problem at the College. Given the body's willingness to consider weighty issues, we do not doubt that it is capable of creating such change on policies that are important to students and the College.
The editorial represents the majority view of The Bowdoin Orient's editorial board. The editorial board is comprised of Bobby Guerette, Beth Kowitt, and Steve Kolowich.