With the student body scattered across the globe, the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) class councils are working hard to prioritize connecting students and providing them with helpful resources.
Each class council has slightly different goals. While first years are focusing on facilitating meetings and building community, upperclassmen are striving to make their final semesters special and enjoy more time together.
Despite these ambitious goals, the online environment and technology fatigue among students have proven challenging for all class councils this semester.
“It’s hard because we can’t make people respond to what we’re doing, so it’s really hard to track how people are feeling … We’ve been trying to think of ways to incentivize people, and we’re still trying to work that out … I’d assume doing some Zoom event while we’re getting bombarded by all this work is the last thing people want to do, but it’s an effort at least on our part,” said 2022 Class President Ryan Britt in a Zoom interview with the Orient.
According to 2023 Class Vice President Tiffany Delgado, scheduling events around class schedules and for students living in varying time zones has been an additional obstacle. The sophomore class council is trying to overcome this challenge by using social media.
“We are trying to post a little more often to advertise our events, but also to post about [Black Lives Matter] and important current events. We are trying to connect the community via events, but just feeling like we are active and we are listening [is important],” said Delgado in a Zoom interview with the Orient.
Each class council has been finding its own creative ways to remain connected. So far this semester, the 2023 council has held a virtual Lobster Bake, a discussion about the vice presidential debate and a yoga event.
“[The Lobster Bake] was fun. People came, we had breakout rooms and people were randomly assigned, and then we had some funky questions for people to answer—just some icebreakers. And then we had a student artist who made some prints to give out as raffles, so that was awesome as well! They were all lobster-themed,” said 2023 Class President Rory Devlin in a Zoom interview with the Orient.
The 2022 Class Council hosted a virtual Junior Fall Social last week in an effort to bring students together.
“It was as simple as open the Zoom link, come chat, go into breakout rooms, connect with members of the class that you may know by name, by face or neither, and just kind of chat,” said 2022 Programming Director Firas Abboud in a Zoom interview with the Orient.
The senior class council has emphasized creating meaningful memories for seniors’ final semesters.
“We would like to identify the things that seniors, under normal circumstances, cherish the most and to try and identify the things that they would like to preserve as much as possible,” said 2021 Class President Wayne Harding in a Zoom interview with the Orient.
With students both on and off campus this semester, the 2024 Class Council is working on an event where students in both situations can meet each other in either one-on-one or group settings.
“We sent out a survey about a week ago basically asking people whether they were on or off campus, whether they’d be interested in getting to know someone on campus or off campus depending on where they are, if they’d prefer to have that one-on-one or in a group setting, things like that,” said 2024 Class President Philip Al Mutawaly in a Zoom interview with the Orient. “We really just want to focus on class unity …especially as we are going to be transitioning into the off-campus learning environment for all of us.”