At the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) meeting on Wednesday, Hugh Ratcliffe ’15 discussed the Central Maine Power (CMP) rate increase that will effectively punish Bowdoin for its renewable energy efforts.
“It’s going to cost the College roughly $280,000 per year,” said Ratcliffe.
The College plans to install an array of solar panels at the former Naval Air Base, the originally intended to pay them off within a decade. If this new rate increase goes into effect, it would be closer to 40 years.
The solar panels would actually “ease the burden on CMP [...] and we’re being punished for it,” Ratcliffe said.
“They’re losing profits because their business isn’t operating as smoothly as it should, and they’re blaming that on renewable technology,” he said. “They’re trying to basically eliminate that factor so they don’t have to deal with what is basically competition for their business.”
Ratcliffe asked BSG for an official statement to increase media coverage of this issue and to “send a clear political message that this is not what Maine students and citizens want.”
Vice President for Facilities and Sustainability David Levine ’16 and the Facilities and Sustainability Committee drafted a proposal for this purpose that was debated.
There will be two public hearings to discuss the rate changes, one on April 2 at the Maine Public Utility Commission’s office in Hallowell, and one on April 3 at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. BSG President Sarah Nelson ’14 stressed the importance of rallying students to attend the hearings.
BSG also discussed a potential campus “blackout” in April in which lights to non-essential facilities would be cut for a 5-10 minute period of time in order to show solidarity and support for renewable energy creation and use.
In other business, Representative-at-Large Chrissy Rujiraorchai ’17 presented an initiative to upload past course syllabi onto Polaris so that students can see approximate assignments and materials required for classes in which they have interest.
Rujiraorchai also brought up an idea for a website where Bowdoin students can buy used textbooks from each other. BSG plans to discuss this with the textbook center.
Director of Programming Emily Serwer ’16 discussed next Wednesday’s Health Center lunch. The event will be for students with questions about the proposed changes to the Health Center’s structure and how these will affect students. It will be in Mitchell North Dining Room in Thorne Hall, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Vice President for the Treasury Megan Massa presented the new Student Activities Funding Committee’s (SAFC) operating budget form, which will streamline the budget proposal process.
Nelson reported that Bowdoin alumna Ellen Baxter ’75 will speak at the College on Friday about issues of homelessness in New York City.
Daniel Cohen ’15 announced that he had been live-tweeting the entire BSG meeting, to positive reactions from other Bowdoin Twitter accounts.
“Bowdoin College has favorited two of my tweets already. I’m pretty excited about that,” said Cohen.
A representative from the Inter-House Council announced results from College House applications this year. The 313 applicants included 20 upperclassmen, with every House receiving more applications than it has beds. Block interviews will continue until next Thursday.
David Vazquez of the Entertainment Board (E-Board) confirmed that Sean Paul is not performing at Ivies, and that last week’s posters using all of the E-Board’s official logos had been a prank by an unknown student.
There was a discussion about an email service proposed by Representative-at-Large Kiyoko Nakamura-Koyama ’17. The service would inform students on a weekly basis about any events on campus that provide free food for attendees. Objections to the service included the fear of inbox-oversaturation and food as a bribe for attendance. This idea will be discussed further within the Academic Affairs Committee.