SEB strives to empower students
This fall, while the rest of the Bowdoin campus has been
adjusting to the strains of being back in school, the Student Executive
Board (SEB) has been preparing for another year of student government.
The SEB is one of two branches of Bowdoin's student government
and consists of nine students. According to the Bowdoin website, the Student
Executive Board is "charged with handling policy issues of the student
body as well as issues that require fast action."
As the SEB heads into the new year, its biggest priority,
in conjunction with the rest of the student government, is reaching the
The head of the SEB, Meghan MacNeil '03 explained, "[Our]
biggest goal is to make student government into a resource for students
to get what they want done."
In order to achieve this goal, Meghan emphasized that the
SEB is in the process of implementing some reforms to help the student
body become more connected with the student government. She cited last
year's passage of Student Matters as a particular force to empower students'
participation in government (Student Matters is a program that allows
students to propose a bill in front of the Student Congress).
Although the overarching theme for student government may
be finding a way to better reach the students, a large part of their work
involves specific initiatives.
In order to firm up their plans for this year's student
government, the student government will be taking its annual retreat to
Breckenridge estate next weekend. Megan Faughnan '02, the head of Student
Congress summed up the purposes of the retreat as a way to get people
acquainted with each other and with how student government works in addition
to setting goals for the year.
MacNeil explained, "Student Government issues take
a long time to work out; it's a matter of working a long time to see things
One SEB priority is to look into the feasibility of getting
Bowdoin on a "One-Card" system. SEB member Jason Hafler '04
explained that this system would allow Bowdoin students to use a single
ID card for meals, laundry, copying, and possibly even local businesses.
Although they work on specific projects, members of the
SEB stressed that the main goal of the SEB and the Student Congress was
to be there for the students and the school.
SEB member Tejus Ajmera '04 said, "The Administration
comes to us and asks for our opinion [about issues concerning the student
He cited the example of last week's crisis when Dean of
Student Affairs Craig Bradley and Dean for Academic Affairs Craig McEwen
came to the Student Government and asked what should be done to bring
the community together in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. Student
Government members led the candlelight vigil held Thursday night.
SEB member Lenz Balan '04 also stressed that " the
SEB wants to establish a good relationship with the student body,"
and that a priority of the SEB is to " make sure the student body
knows [we are] doing stuff [for them]."
In addition to trying to become more accessible to students
and the administration, the SEB and the Congress are working on collaborating
to create a more cohesive student government.
Balan said, " Meghan [MacNeil] really wants to break
down the barrier [between Student Congress and the SEB]
they reconstructed the constitution to give the Student Congress more
[of a] role."
Hafler added that though he had "definitely heard sentiment" that the SEB was too elitist and not collaborative enough with the Student Congress, all the current members "now just want to make Bowdoin a better place." He said "we are all student government; we are all equals."