Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) has passed a constitutional amendment to allow juniors studying abroad for a semester to serve half-year terms as class representatives. The half-year representative amendment will now be brought to a school referendum for ratification on Wednesday and Thursday.

After discussing and voting on a few variations of an amendment that did not pass at the March 28 BSG meeting, Vice President of Student Government Affairs Dustin Brooks '08 said "the half-year representative bill, while not my favorite, will provide a good solution."

The amendment creates two junior class representative elections: one for the fall semester seat and another for the spring semester. Candidates planning to study abroad can run in either the fall or spring semesters, while candidates staying on campus for the full academic year can run in both elections.

The two candidates with the most votes in each of the spring and fall elections will then be selected. With this system, it would be possible to elect either two candidates for full year terms, one full-year and two half-year representatives, or four half-year representatives.

In contrast to previous discussions regarding election logistics, debate about the amendments focused on the possibility of electing different representatives in the fall and spring semesters, and whether this presents a problem for BSG operations.

BSG President DeRay Mckesson '07 said that BSG is a strong system now, but he is concerned about the lack of continuity if the junior class representatives were to change each semester. He said an issue could arise if BSG makes a commitment in the fall semester with which the spring semester representatives do not agree, adding that the potential turnover could be "dangerous" for the body.

"I understand that people feel strongly for the amendment, but I worry that members didn't think it through," Mckesson said. "It works, and I think it can be functional. I don't think people weighed the costs, but just assumed the benefits."

Class of 2007 Representative Torri Parker said she did not vote for the amendment because she felt it was a "rushed vote," without enough discussion considering alternatives or scenarios.

While Vice President of Student Affairs Carolyn Chu '07 said that she preferred a variation proposed by the BSG Affairs Committee that would have created one full-year position and two half-year seats, she is pleased with the outcome.

"I'm really glad we passed something, but I definitely was more in favor of the BSG affairs bill for various reasons I have about the process of democracy and process of voting," she said. "I think we have an overall positive result?we will see how this system goes and then see in the future if we have to amend it."

Other members were more enthusiastic about the amendment, saying that continuity is not an issue if representatives are committed to BSG and the junior class. Others were pleased with the voting process that the new amendment creates.

Class of 2008 Representative Nate Tavel said that more discussion about the amendment was valuable.

"I'm happy that the 'no' vote last week was able to keep the conversation going until we had a majority vote to get an amendment passed," he said.

Class of 2008 Representative Clark Gascoigne said, "I think it was a good thing that we waited a week and were able to get to something that ensures that the candidate the student body wants the most is the candidate that will be elected, instead of voting for an amendment that was riddled with compromises."