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Students report increased workload in BSG fall semester survey

November 6, 2020

According to a survey conducted by the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) sent out on October 28, 83 percent of upper-class students report that they have either more work than usual or substantially more work than usual during this online semester than in a typical, in-person semester. The survey, which asked about both academics and student life, garnered 872 responses from students in all class years.

In the email sent to all students on October 28, BSG Chair of Academic Affairs Patrick Bloniasz ’22 prefaced the survey with an assertion that students’ workloads had increased this semester.

“It is no secret that for many students there has been an uptick in workload that has made it difficult to 1) achieve a work/life balance, 2) demonstrate content understanding to the best of one’s ability, and 3) take advantage of social and academic support programming due to insufficient time,” Bloniasz wrote.

This assertion may have impacted which students chose to answer the survey.

Responses were evenly distributed across classes, with the highest percentage (27 percent) of responses from the Class of 2023 and the lowest percentage (22 percent) from the Class of 2021. About 35 percent of students who responded to the survey are residing on campus, with the remaining 65 percent living off campus.


In response to a question about whether students feel able to manage their workload during remote learning, around 56 percent selected “more often than not the workload is overwhelming,” and about 19 percent chose “not at all, there is too much work.” Approximately 24 percent selected “the workload is manageable,” and 1.3 percent selected “the workload is slightly easier than normal.” Only 0.1 percent selected “the course load is way too easy.”

The majority of the survey participants, 57.5 percent, also reported that they did not have time to use most of the resources they wanted or never have time to use the College’s resources.


Student Life

Under the student life section, approximately 80 percent of off-campus students reported added responsibilities at home that have affected their ability to do classwork.




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