An anonymous email was sent last week to the Student Activity Funding Committee (SAFC) alleging that the salaried directors of the Bowdoin Outing Club had mishandled club funds and disenfranchised student members. Whoever sent the letter has thus far guarded their anonymity, and the message's claims remain unsubstantiated.
The email's authors did not respond when contacted by the Orient. The stated purpose of the email was to encourage the SAFC to conduct an investigation of the Outing Club, but the inconsistent logic of the message, its meandering composition, and the authors' refusal to provide evidence to corroborate their allegations have prevented the SAFC from conducting a formal investigation.
After receiving the email, SAFC Chair Brian Kim '13 and Director of Student Life Allen Delong spoke with multiple Outing Club (BOC) leaders and club members, almost all of whom disagreed with the email's claims. Signed from "Alarmed Outing Club Leaders and Members," the email was sent from a Gmail account registered to "Concerned Students." The main allegation of the email is that the BOC directors misuse funds, wasting money on individually-packaged goods from Hannaford instead of buying in bulk, and purchasing meat from an "artisan butcher in Topsham."
However, according to BOC Co-President Miguel Reyes-Zaragoza '12, funding for food does not come from SAFC funds, and purchases from Hannaford are generally for perishable goods only, which could not be stockpiled in bulk. The BOC patronized the Topsham butcher in an effort to eat local, humanely-raised meat.
Reyes-Zaragoza said that he did not know who had sent the letter, and that it "was published behind everyone's backs...no one had voiced these concerns previously."
The reactionary nature of the letter was ill-received by the majority of club members, according to Reyes-Zaragoza. "Everyone I've talked to is outraged." A number of BOC leaders interviewed by the Orient expressed similar sentiments, and no member of the BOC contacted by the Orient agreed with the allegations in the email.
Recounting a BOC executive meeting on Tuesday evening, Kim said that the letter "was pretty much unanimously disagreed with," and noted that "generally speaking, from what we've heard, it appears to be very inaccurate."
Michael Woodruff, director of the Outing Club, wrote in an email "I feel it was unfortunate that the individual(s) who wrote this anonymous email did not take advantage of the opportunity to air their opinions in a manner that would allow a productive dialogue on any issues that they have with the direction of the BOC."
-Nick Daniels contributed to this report.