In the wake of several close races, the results of the elections for the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) executive team were announced Sunday night. The newly elected executives include President Sarah Nelson ’14, Vice President for the Treasury Megan Massa ’14, Vice President for Student Organizations Danny Mejia-Cruz ’16, Vice President of Facilities and Sustainability David Levine ’16, Vice President for Academic Affairs Jordan Goldberg ’14, Vice President for Student Affairs Robo Tavel ’16, and Vice President for Student Government Affairs Allen Wong Yu ’14.

Newly elected members expressed enthusiasm about their fellow executive board teammates.
“We’re in this really cool place where the team has some young blood and parts of the team will be made up of people who will be seniors like myself,” said Nelson.

Massa agreed, saying, “I think we’ll work well together. There are a lot of go-getters.”

In order to begin following through on her campaign promises, Nelson plans to work with current BSG President Dani Chediak ’13 in order to ensure a smooth transition. She also detailed plans to collaborate with other executives over the summer.

“Some of these proposals…are things that we are kind of in the process of working on right now but they aren’t going to be accomplished this year, so it’s going to be important that we don’t let these things lose their momentum,” said Nelson.

Other executives have also started taking steps toward implementing their campaign promises.
“I really intend to work closely with the student activities office and obviously talk to the current [Student Organizations Oversight Committee] chair, Brian Kim, to learn as much as I can about how to improve the SOOC and what needs to be done to make for as smooth as a transition as possible,” said Mejia-Cruz.

Levine also voiced plans for “more easy fixes that can potentially be done at the end of this year and over the summer, thus leaving more time to work on the bigger-picture stuff next year.”
Executives-elect expressed a wide variety of goals for the year to come, ranging from personal initiatives to hopes for the executive team as a whole.

“I’m looking forward to being able to coordinate and facilitate the goals of all the rest of the executive committee, because of the experiences and the network I’ve had on campus,” said Yu.
Others had more specific plans that they hoped to achieve during their tenure.

“The one that I really want to focus on is course distribution requirements, because that’s a frequent source of complaint,” said Goldberg. “If we are going to have these requirements…it’s important that they do what they’re supposed to do.”

Massa, who will head the Student Activities Funding Committee (SAFC), expressed a desire for more communication with the SOOC.

“We want to support all the clubs we can, but we have a growing population of students, a stagnant budget for the SAFC, and a growing number of clubs,” she said. “I think it’s really important…that we need to really make sure that we can support these clubs before they’re chartered instead of giving them false hope.”

BSG members agreed that they saw student government as a voice for the student body.
“While there are other avenues to express discontent or complaints with certain aspects of the administration or the school in general, the BSG is the most forceful advocate for the students,” said Tavel.

However, others acknowledged problems with the BSG’s reputation on campus.

“No one is really going to deny that we have a PR problem,” said Yu. “People in my year will say that they have no idea what BSG does.”

Neli Vazquez ’14, the other candidate running for BSG president, expressed similar sentiments in an email to the Orient.

“During the elections, especially as the BSG continuously pushed students to vote on Facebook and Twitter, people started voicing frustrations along the lines of ‘what’s the big deal, the BSG doesn’t do anything anyways’[sic],” she wrote. “As a current member I know this isn’t true, but that won’t be understood by the student body until the BSG makes a genuine effort to gauge from students what they want to see change structurally at Bowdoin. So, I guess I hope to see an attempt at that communication that is promised every year but never really comes through.”
Vazquez added, “That being said, Sarah is an extremely diligent and committed leader so I expect to see nothing but great things coming from the BSG next year.”

On the whole, executives expressed optimism about BSG’s on-campus role.

“When students recognize that the BSG has a lot of tools and resources at its disposal, and when the student body begins to use the BSG toward advancing that end, I think they’ll find that we are an efficient governing force and that many of their complaints will be addressed by us,” Tavel said.