Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) allocated funds to several projects during its Wednesday night meeting. Two proposals passed—one funding an Uncommon Hour lecture and the other Mental Health Awareness Day.

The Student Activity Funding Committee (SAFC) then voiced its concerns about paying for clubs’ extensive travel expenses.

Representative At-Large Lucia Gibbard ’18, who works for the Orient, discussed the ongoing funding dilemma faced by clubs like Model United Nations (MUN), which travels frequently to conferences. BSG has been cautious in handling funding requests of this kind in the past. The chair of the SAFC, Ryan Davis ’15 was absent from the meeting, but was represented by other members of the committee.

“The whole situation is pretty convoluted,” said Representative At-Large Liam Nicoll ’18, who sits on the Student Organization Oversight Committee (SOOC). 

Nicoll noted that the BSG must be careful when handling the allocation of funds to clubs like MUN, whose requested budget would consume a large amount of student club funding and set a dangerous precedent.

“You can’t override the precedent for one club. Then that’ll set the precedent of overfunding for every club,” Nicoll said.

Representative At-Large Nickie Mitch ’18, who also works for the Orient, pointed out that funding the participation of MUN in regional and national conferences is standard practice at many colleges.

“I’m not sure the concern about precedent is entirely valid because it’s a pretty select activity,” he said. “If there were other activities like MUN requiring all the traveling stuff, I don’t think it would be wrong for MUN to be the precedent to fund them.”

Conversation then moved to discussion of the ability of clubs to hold their own fundraising events. 

“There is a lot of fundraising happening on campus right now. Students can raise money among students. They can raise money by providing service,” said Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Student Activities Allen Delong. “What we don’t want is that more than 120 student organizations to go out and say, ‘There is not enough money for us to do this thing at Bowdoin. Can you support that?’”

BSG did not find a solution to funding clubs like MUN, but it did approve $100 for food and advertising for the Uncommon Hour lecture set to take place on February 20.

BSG also authorized the expenditure of $475 for the cost of Mental Health Awareness Day, which took place on February 9.

Editor's note: A previous version of this article stated that Liam Nicoll sat on the SAFC. He is, in fact, part of the SOOC.