At its weekly meeting on Wednesday, Bowdoin Student Government discussed whether it should support changes to first year chem-free housing at the College, in light of a BSG report on the modifications and a hearing with chem-free students opposed to the proposed changes.
The report was filed on April 1 by the Committee on Student Affairs, which was tasked by the Executive Committee of BSG to compile a comprehensive review of the proposed changes to chem-free housing. Alongside the report was a hearing with students John Grover '14 and Kailey Bennett '14, who argued that dissolving Hyde Hall—an entirely chem-free dorm—into floating floors would cause many complications.
Grover, who started a petition against the reforms, had 250 signatures at the time of the hearing and argued that the stigma of students who live in Hyde has been exaggerated. Bennett agreed, and said that the label loses power after the first year. Both stressed the importance of a chem-free and quieter living option to incoming students. They argued that the proposed floating floors of chem-free students might polarize floors within dorms, as they argue occurred with the basement and first floor of Coleman Hall in the 2009-2010 school year.
BSG members read the transcript from the hearing and expressed additional concerns about ramifications of the changes. While some believed that the label "chem-free" is the true derivation of the stigma, similar to Bennett and Grover, others claimed that the existence of a solely chem-free living space separates these students from the larger body.
Most members were confused on how College House affiliation would shift to retain Howell House as a chem-free living space. Dani Chediak '13, BSG president-elect, said this would lead to a "convoluted house system," as members discussed the possibility of the chem-free floors within first year dorms retaining separate affiliations to Howell House.
BSG also heard from Branden Asemah '12, who requested of up to $360 for his Club Rage event at Jack Magee's Pub and Grill. Asemah first organized the event last year. BSG approved the funds, and Club Rage will take place next Friday, April 20.
BSG also approved $150 for food and refreshments following the third Uncommon Hour with Paul Franco, professor of government.
Brooks congratulated the newly elected officials and expressed excitement that BSG will be visited next week by Randy Nichols, director of safety and security, to talk about safety during Ivies. The assembly will also welcome the Brunswick Downtown Association on May 2 to discuss what services Bowdoin students would like to see from Brunswick.