Correction, Feb. 3: There have in fact been more recent Winter Weekends. See story.
On February 15, Bowdoin will celebrate the season with the revival of Winter Weekend, an old tradition of the College. Dani Chediak ’13, president of Bowdoin Student Government (BSG), and Michael Hannaman ’13, co-chair of the Entertainment Board (E-Board) have been working together to organize an event to bring the campus together during the drab winter season.
“This is actually a tradition from back when frats were at Bowdoin,” Hannaman said. “And what we’re trying to do is revive, but also redefine, what it is. We’re trying to make it about sports at Bowdoin, and College Houses and being outside during the winter.”
Winter Weekend was an annual event at Bowdoin that included snow sculpting competitions, snowball fights and other activities, though the festivities were largely restricted to fraternity life, and began to dissipate after fraternities were removed.
The last reported instance of Winter Weekend was in 2006, but the celebration had long since lost its lustre.
“It’s really about bringing the campus together as a community,” Hannaman said. “I think that we don’t have enough events on campus where everyone is together being a part of the same college community. We have Common Good Day in the fall and Ivies in the spring and that’s about it.”
The event involves numerous groups and organizations around campus. Hannaman and Chediak emphasize the involvement of the Bowdoin community as a whole.
“It’s a lot bigger than E-Board and BSG,” Hannaman said.
Chediak sees the Winter Weekend as a reason to celebrate winter itself, which often goes by without many campuswide events.
“We find that in February, a lot of times, we don’t really embrace the winter in Maine, we kind of hide from it, and then we come out, in spring, and have Ivies,” said Chediak. “We want to bring [attention] back to winter.”
On Wednesday, BSG discussed a proposal by the Student Organizations and Oversight Committee (SOOC) to eliminate clauses in the SOOC bylaws that stipulate that the SOOC oversees the hazing resolution process for clubs.
“There’s a lot of inconsistency in the way it [hazing] has been dealt with, especially when it comes to clubs,” said Vice President for Student Organizations Brain Kim ’13. “Right now, SOOC is supposed to sit in and adjudicate hazing [in clubs], which makes no sense because we don’t have the training. There’s no consistency between the BSG and administration, and we want to allow the college’s hazing policy to supersede ours.”
Kim went on to say that the procedures that govern hazing are unclear, as individuals and groups are treated differently.
Furthermore, under the current policy, College administrators has the power to bypass the SOOC and deal with hazing cases involving clubs themselves.
At-Large Representative David Levine ’16 proposed that hazing cases be brought before the Judicial Board rather than the SOOC.
A straw poll was taken to determine the possibility of amending the SOOC proposal to include Levine’s proposition. Chediak said that she would speak with the administration and announce her decision at the following meeting.
BSG will also be holding a vote to replace Vice President of Student Affairs Sarah Levin ’13, who resigned earlier this week for personal reasons.
“It’s a shame that we won’t have Sarah’s talents on the BSG,” said Chediak, “but I understand her decision to resign and we are in the process of filling her position.”
The new vice president of student affairs will be selected from within the current assembly, and the new vice president will then have their position filled from outside BSG.
If the person elected was appointed by BSG, then the BSG will appoint someone for that position; however, if the individual was elected to their position on BSG, a school-wide election will be held for their replacement.
During the meeting, BSG also discussed a public comment by Catalina Gallagher ’16, who came before the BSG on behalf of Bowdoin Climate Action to discuss divestment from fossil fuels.
Gallagher said that the group wanted to assess whether if the BSG had interest in officially backing divestment, and Vice President of Facilities Tessa Kramer ’13 said that it is something BSG should look at and discuss further. Chediak said that BSG would begin perusing a proposal, and invite Gallagher back if were considering passing a resolution.
At-Large Representative Heidi Cao ’16, At-Large Representative Sam Vitello ’13, and Class of 2012 Representative Peggy Zhao ’13 were all absent from Wednesday’s meeting.