According to the Orient's most recent approval ratings survey, the 2012 and 2014 Class Councils are losing the support of their constituents. The 2014 Class Council's rating dropped 13 percentage points to 73 percent approval, while the 2012 Class Council received the second-lowest approval rating, 44 percent.
The survey, distributed to the student body on December 14, was the second of two approval ratings conducted during the fall semester. There were 393 respondents, compared to 388 respondents from the first survey, and the amount of surveyed entities increased from 16 to 27.
Almost all of the decreases in the second approval survey occurred in the administration and faculty section, though nearly all were by slim margins. President Barry Mills' rating decreased by 2 percent, as did the rating of the Office of Safety and Security, the Health Center and the Career Planning Center. While many entries had little to no variation in approval rating, there were a few noteworthy changes.
Information Technology's approval rating decreased by 5 percent, from 80 to 75 percent, with one respondent citing a less reliable wireless internet connection and malfunctioning printers as major problems.
The Office of Residential Life also decreased, from 84 to 80 percent. One respondent wrote that "the Housing Lottery process certainly needs to be re-evaluated. Forced [quintuplets] are not an acceptable alternative if we want to boast about having great housing options."
The organization that suffered the largest decrease in approval over the course of the fall semester was the 2014 Class Council, whose approval rating dropped 13 points, from 86 to 73 percent. Class of 2014 President Alex Tougas offered his take on decrease.
"We haven't had an event in which the whole class comes together for a little while, and people don't see the work that we do behind the scenes," said Tougas. "The first-year semi-formal will probably change this, though."
Tougas said he is confident that the drop in approval would not cause much concern for the 2014 class officers.
"73 percent of the class is still a large majority in terms of popularity," said Tougas. "We need to continue programming and doing appealing events, which will help the class realize what we are doing for them."
The 2012 Class Council struggled the most of all College institutions to gain the approval of its constituents. The council received a 44 percent approval rating. One respondent commented, "2012 Class Council—not sure if they actually exist!"
Class of 2012 President Hartley Brody, who is currently taking the semester off to intern with a software company, cited two main factors contributing to the low rating.
"We made an effort to be more financially conservative than most classes. Some class councils are more liberal with [money] and spend it freely throughout their four years on various events and activities," said Brody. "The other issue that we had is that junior year presents a lot of challenges for class councils. We really only had one semester to work with and not a full year, we couldn't spend a lot of time working on bigger projects that would have spilled over into the spring."
In addition to these approval rating decreases, there were also several increases in approval since the first survey in early November.
Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) increased its approval rating five percentage points, from 65 to 70 percent. BSG President John Connolly '12, whose personal rating also increased by five points to 87 percent, discussed the improvement with the Orient.
"I think that this ratings cycle coincided with the realization of a lot of our planning and goals and efforts.," said Connolly. The survey was posted "shortly after the Harry Potter buses, it was around the time people were signing up for shuttles to go home, and we had just put up the government course syllabi online promoting online class reviews."
Connolly added, "If I were to attribute it to something, it would be having more realization of what we're working on and how it's benefitting [the student body]."