Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) released a “Fall Semester Report” this week summarizing completed, ongoing, and cancelled projects from the first half of the year. The report, compiled by the seven members of BSG’s Executive Committee, also specifies the status of BSG’s long-term goals. This is the first time in recent memory that BSG has published such a report.

“A lot of our work was preliminary; I think this semester is going to be a lot more active-looking,” said Brian Kim ’13, BSG’s vice president for student organizations. “For example, Dani’s GRE test prep program, which took forever to get off the ground, now is actually getting off the ground, which is awesome.”

The test prep program refers to a project spearheaded by President Dani Chediak ’13 that aims to bring comprehensive graduate school exam preparation to campus. BSG brought consultants to Bowdoin to evaluate the campus’ test prep needs, and Chediak is currently writing a proposal based on evaluations from Princeton Review and an independent tutor in Boston.

Other BSG successes from this fall include coordinating a September 11 commemorative event with the Office of Student Activities, the Bowdoin Democrats, and Bowdoin Republicans, sponsoring a photo booth for students to take professional profile headshots, and coordinating a viewing party for the results of this year’s election in Jack Magee’s Pub. Over 200 students attended the election night event.

BSG’s work this year has improved its reputation among the student body. In the Orient’s annual approval ratings survey conducted in November, 82 percent of students approved of BSG, up six percentage points from last year.

Additionally, BSG has made communicating more effectively with the student body a major goal for the year. The organization has revamped its website, increased its use of social media, and designated a bulletin board in Smith Union for updates on new or ongoing projects.

“I think there are more events this year geared towards connecting BSG with everyone else on campus,” noted John Izzo ’15, president of the 2015 class council and BSG at-large representative.

However, many students are still uninformed or apathetic of BSG’s work.

“I honestly don’t know what they did last term,” noted Sam Karson ’14.

According to Izzo, BSG’s work can be “underappreciated, but it’s a two-way street, and I think we’re moving in the right direction in terms of getting more people to understand what BSG does.”

“We’re talking a lot more, I’m just not sure how many people are hearing us,” added Kim.

While BSG fully accomplished  success in many planned projects last term, other goals did not pan out according to plan. Plans to establish a written College House selection procedure, to continue last year’s popular Uncommon Hour program, and to improve the SafeRide tracking system have all been postponed or abandoned.

Vice President for the Treasury and SAFC Chair Charlie Cubeta ’13 recognizes that it often takes BSG more than one academic year to implement larger proposals.

“One of the biggest challenges to the BSG is that it can be difficult to enact change quickly. I think this year the BSG has taken steps to create a foundation for future change that might only become apparent in the next few years,” wrote Cubeta in an email to the Orient.

For example, a proposal to add two days to the academic calendar in order to lengthen Thanksgiving break without curtailing Fall Break failed to gain enough traction among the faculty to take effect next year. Despite massive student support and a demonstration before December’s faculty meeting, no faculty member made a motion to vote on the proposal, and instead a committee was formed to consider all options.

“I think that in the sense of the SAFC allotting funds for projects, that’s a way BSG can be effective,” said Karson. “But in terms of actual governance, I don’t think BSG does much or is able to do much. I think it would be most effective [if] BSG were solely the SAFC.”

Currently, BSG is beginning to make headway on a number of spring semester projects. Its revival of Winter Weekend will take place next month, and a Super Bowl viewing party in Jack Magee’s pub will be sponsored by BSG on Sunday.