We would like to thank the Orient Editorial Board for publishing last week’s piece entitled “BSG, do better.” We hear you. Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) works for all students, and we strive to be a platform where students can share their ideas and concerns about campus. That said, we understand that sometimes it’s hard to know what BSG is up to, especially when our meetings are in Daggett Lounge at 8:45 p.m. on a Wednesday night—not a typical student hang-out spot. However, in our meetings with administrators, trustees, faculty, staff members and, of course, you, we diligently work to represent your interests.
Much of what we do as BSG is behind the scenes—emails that students never see, projects that we try to push through but are unsure of whether they’ll come to fruition, as well as regular operations of the College like Spring Gala, port-a-potties at Ivies and “free” bowling on Thursdays. Navigating the bureaucracy of Bowdoin can make it difficult to implement our projects and initiatives within a year. A lot of our work focuses on long-term visions to improve Bowdoin’s community for future generations—but that can mean that in the moment, it looks like we aren’t doing a lot.
In this light, we as an Executive Team would like to share some of the things that we have been working on this year. Our tenure is almost up, but we are hopeful that the long-term projects will be continued by the new BSG Exec Team next year. These projects have included:
• Establishing a Driver’s Ed program that will begin in the fall and will provide students with driving lessons and help them obtain a Maine license
• Adding important information like counseling and mental health resources to the back of our OneCards—they’ll be phased in over the next few years
• Renovating the Game Room!
• Partnering with Communications to bring Xfinity to campus
In our separate committees, we’ve: published our BSG budget to be more transparent with the student body, worked to address the athlete/non-athlete divide by providing t-shirts at a women’s basketball game, organized a town hall about the string of bias incidents in the fall, placed benches in Thorne and worked closely with Associate Director of Student Wellness Programs Melissa Quinby to increase wellness offerings across campus. And these are just some of the flashier things—unless you also consider condoms in upperclass housing “flashy.”
We wish we saw more students during our Public Comment Time. However, we recognize that we could do a better job of encouraging you to come. It is our hope that next year’s Executive Team will make student involvement a greater priority. We hope they will commit to sending the minutes from the meeting, updating our social media platforms and soliciting student feedback in the places that you are, not necessarily just in Daggett. By emphasizing other means of engagement, BSG can truly partner with and speak for the student body.
But, for the rest of the semester and for years to come, remember that BSG works for you. Ask us questions, tell us the issues you care about on and off campus and demand that we do something about them. We’re listening.
This piece represents the views of the members of BSG Executive Team: Nikki Tjin a Djie ’21, Harry Sherman ’21, Nate DeMoranville ’20, Benjamin Painter ’19, Amber Rock ’19, Jenna Scott ’19 and Mohamed Nur ’19,