Wednesday's meeting of Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) was focused on a student proposal advocating that the admissions office actively recruit veterans currently enrolled in community colleges.

Nick Daniels '12, Amanda Gartside '12 and George Aumoithe '11 all spoke in favor of recruiting students through the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program (Yellow Ribbon Program). The program was established in 2008 to support returning veterans in their pursuit of higher education at private colleges and universities.

The Yellow Ribbon Program is part of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. The program assists veterans in paying for tuition at private colleges by providing a housing stipend, contributing an amount on par with tuition at public universities, and matching dollar-for-dollar financial aid provided by the private college. Bowdoin is a participant in the program.

Aumoithe said that the institution of the Yellow Ribbon Program at Bowdoin is important to the College's responsibility to promote and cultivate intellectual diversity on campus.

"I think it is very important to bring different perspectives. I think that veterans can bring something enriching and something challenging. We can appreciate the life experiences they've lived," said Aumoithe.

About 15 veterans are currently enrolled at Dartmouth as a result of the Yellow Ribbon Program, and Stanford also has enrolled a comparable number.

"The students and faculties who have interactions with veterans have been extraordinarily surprised by how knowledgeable these veterans are of currents affairs," said Daniels, referring to experiences of veterans enrolled at Dartmouth and Stanford. "It's a proposition that further helps to produce excellent Bowdoin graduates."

Gartside remarked on the positive impact of diversity in her growth as a Bowdoin student.

"My freshman year, my floor had people from all over the world and different socioeconomic backgrounds. It [allowed for] a huge growth in my personal life and my academic life," she said.

BSG representatives debated whether veteran students are prepared to enter a rigorous academic environment like Bowdoin.

At-Large Representative Matthew Spring asked for data of veterans' performances at elite institutions to which Daniels answered that Dartmouth has graduated two of its veterans, and that there have been no drop-outs. He noted that post-traumatic stress disorder was among the challenges facing the veteran students.

Daniels, Aumoithe and Gartside hope to generate student support in favor of their proposal.

Next week, BSG will again hear from representatives about the proposal and will vote on the measure.