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BSG Candidacy Statements

April 23, 2021

This piece represents the opinion of the author.

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

Ryan Britt ’22

Hello everyone! Throughout my time at Bowdoin, I have had the privilege of serving as the BSG Chair of Student Affairs and as Class President. As a first-generation/low-income student in student government, I focused mainly on supporting our Counseling Center and creating programming for first-generation/low-income students. I hope to earn the privilege of serving you as the next BSG President to continue the work I’m passionate about, as well as to work collaboratively with other advocates on campus.

As President, I commit to:

1. Continue pressuring the administration to hire more counselors, especially of diverse identities, to meet the student body’s demand.

2. Creating a committee of students, faculty and staff to collaboratively address issues of mental health at Bowdoin.

3. Providing fun Family Weekend events for students whose families cannot afford to travel to Bowdoin.

4. Providing seminars for first-generation/low-income students to learn how to build good credit while in college.

5. Advocating for the athletic department to create a position that focuses solely on diversity and inclusion issues and how it affects student athletes and the department as a whole.

6. Hosting monthly meetings with affinity groups to provide a space for the BSG to listen to and better support these groups on campus.

 

Wilder Short ’22 

Hey all! My name is Wilder Fray Short, and I am running to be the next President of the Bowdoin Student Government. My time in the assembly as both Class of 2022 President and Chair of Facilities and Sustainability was productive, informative and the perfect preparation for running for BSG President. Having had the opportunity to work closely with three past BSG presidents, I feel more ready than ever to better serve the community this upcoming academic year.

My platform rests on work I’ve already begun, dealing with issues that can be tackled realistically:

1. Coordinating BSG training for mental health response preparedness, OutAllies training, Safe Space training, anti-racism training and Peer Health training. The BSG is elected by students, and thus should represent them as such.

2. Weekly dialogues with club and community leaders in order to stay atop of concerns and better show support to all members of the Bowdoin community.

3. Greater accessibility to the assembly through captioned streamings of meetings.

4.  Preparing and sharing meeting agendas one month at a time.

5.  Examining orientation week programming, with a focus on addressing mental health and financial aid services in a clearer and more accessible way.

6. Working to assure further development of covered bike racks around campus.

Thanks,

Wilder

 

VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE

Andrew Kaleigh ’24 

Currently, I’m the Class of 2024 Vice President and sit on the BSG. Although my experience is limited to one year, I’m passionate about improving Bowdoin. This semester, I created a class-wide community service initiative that raised over 500 hours in its first week, and I made our Class Council the first to feature public comment time.

Gaining more leverage in the BSG, I hope to:

– Establish a non-performative response plan to hate crimes

– Improve Brunswick-Bowdoin relations through service initiatives and BSG volunteering

– Ensure BSG transparency by reinstating the publication of minutes

– Work with BSG Chairs to develop accessible, comprehensible budget transparency

– Campaign with BSG Chairs to extend Credit/D/Fail windows

Outside of Bowdoin, I work full-time waiting tables and substitute teaching. I’m also starting a non-profit (generating and collecting revenue for legal defense funds).

 

CANDIDATES FOR THE CHAIR OF ACADEMIC AFFAIRS

Philip al Mutawaly ’24 

It is time we fundamentally change the way we view the relationship between academics and mental health. The College currently treats them as separate and inadequately treats the symptoms of poor mental health instead of addressing the causes.

That is why we need to:

– push to expand the Pass/Fail model at Bowdoin,

– extend the Credit/D/Fail deadline in non-COVID semesters,

– and work with administrators on a schedule system that spaces out students’ workload.

In addition, we must:

– make sure faculty keep beneficial teaching practices like recorded lectures with transcripts, open exam times, etc.,

– keep pushing for funds for test prep for low-income students,

– and push to evaluate bias properly in the admissions process.

Lastly, it is crucial that we provide compensation for the invisible emotional labor too often done by BIPOC students and faculty as well as making sure that people like Tim Ryan do their jobs. Additionally, faculty of color should not always be forced to proactively take on diversity initiatives on their own.

Vote Philip al Mutawaly for Chair of Academic Affairs to set a better precedent for academics at Bowdoin that works for us.

 

Sophia Pantzer ’24

Hi all! I’m Sophia Pantzer, and I am running to be Chair of Academic Affairs on BSG. I chose to run for this position because it would allow me a high level of access to faculty and administrators to convey concerns of the student body and get things done. This year, I have been the Counseling and Health Services Representative and part of the larger Student Affairs team. I feel that working in Academic Affairs would give me an even greater chance to positively influence the well-being of the whole student body. It is very important to me to maintain the quality and integrity of a Bowdoin degree but at the same time recognize that people sometimes need a little extra support. Making sure a student can change the grade mode of a class when they feel they need to, or making sure that breaks are actually breaks and not immediately followed by major deadlines—these sorts of things will be my priority. I will also of course continue pushing for the double minor and for academic flexibility in general. Finally, I will prioritize increasing student/faculty interaction and making up for what may have been lost this year.

 

CANDIDATE FOR THE CHAIR OF STUDENT AFFAIRS

Miranda Baker ’24

Hey everyone! My name is Miranda Baker, and I’m running for the Chair of Student Affairs position on the Bowdoin Student Government. I’m currently a first year, and as of right now, I’m the secretary for BSG and also sit on the Student Affairs Committee. I now understand the faults of BSG and, more precisely, areas in which we can improve to help the student body. As the chair of the Student Affairs Committee, I plan on implementing a program where students would have opportunities to put down their work and focus on their wellbeing. I plan on building on the “Polar Pause Day” implemented this semester to create a space for Bowdoin students to feel comfortable taking breaks from work and occupying their time with programs that are engaging and creative. I plan on frequently requesting feedback from the student body to see where improvements and action are needed. My overall plan is to engage with the student body and improve well-being on campus.

 

CANDIDATES FOR THE CHAIR OF FACILITIES AND SUSTAINABILITY

Bella Turk ’24

Hi, my name is Bella Turk, and I am running to be the Facilities and Sustainability chair for BSG! If elected, I plan to continue the work that I did as the Dining and Campus Services Representative this year for BSG because I’m passionate about improving sustainability and the facilities on campus. Working alongside the current Facilities and Sustainability chair Thando Khumalo ’23, I encouraged Bowdoin Dining to distribute metal silverware at the start of the semester for students’ personal use in their dorms to reduce plastic waste, and I improved Bowdoin’s dining experience by enabling the cameras in the dining hall to stay beyond just this year. But my work as the Dining and Campus Representative in bettering sustainability and facilities on campus is only the beginning of what I plan on doing.

As Chair of Facilities and Sustainability, I will organize a campus-wide event where students can help rid the Maine coastline of trash and other forms of pollution, and I will expand the Bowdoin FreeCycle initiative to include a wider range of school supplies, like books and textbooks. Additionally, I will improve wheelchair accessibility and create more study spaces on campus.

Vote for me, and together, we’ll make a better Bowdoin!

 

Luke Bartol ’23

Hi everyone! My name is Luke Bartol, and I’m hoping to be your next Chair of Facilities and Sustainability. As someone who has been involved in the Office of Sustainability for the past two years, I would be honored to continue working to make Bowdoin as fun, sustainable and stress-free as possible.

On the sustainability side, I look forward to continuing to work in furthering Bowdoin’s climate action plan, increasing our recycling and renewable energy initiatives and taking every opportunity to make the school greener. As for reducing stress, I am excited to work with facilities to tackle problems that add unnecessary strain on students’ lives, such as making sure you can get to class in the middle of winter, having comfortable study spaces and ensuring that buildings and activities are accessible to all students. In terms of fun, I hope to make the Bowdoin experience more enjoyable wherever possible, from improvements to Smith Union and other communal spaces to more fun and inclusive ways to get active to a wider variety of dining options. If elected, I promise to work hard to make this school the best it can be, and I can guarantee more pictures of cute dogs in your inboxes.

 

CANDIDATE FOR THE CHAIR OF THE TREASURY

Anna Constantine ’23

Hi everyone! I am running for the BSG Chair of the Treasury. After serving on the SAFC this past year, I have not only gotten the opportunity to oversee and allocate funds to all of the amazing student organizations on campus, but I have also been able to witness the strength of our clubs as they bring students together through creative events that include both in residence and remote students.

My experience serving on the SAFC during a year with predominantly remote events was very valuable, as it provided adequate time to reflect on the SAFC guidelines to equitably fund remote events. However, this also means that many clubs had less opportunity to access SAFC funds and gain exposure to our policies and guidelines.

Thus, in the coming year, I plan to provide more transparency with regards to the proceedings of the SAFC and the distribution of funds, as half of the student body will never have attended campus with upperclass students present. I also plan to use my role on the SAFC to support programming that specifically targets the inclusion of the rising first-year and sophomore classes for the same reasons. With the College’s social responsibility to DEI work in mind, I will also ensure that the SAFC makes certain that the programming events we fund provide equitable spaces and resources for students of all backgrounds.

Thank you for your time, and I hope to have the opportunity to serve as the BSG Chair of Treasury in order to enact these goals.

Thank you,

Anna

 

CANDIDATE FOR THE CHAIR OF STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

Katalina Echavarri ’24

If elected Chair of Student Activities, I will help student organizations create opportunities for inter-class connections—this is the top priority of my campaign. In looking towards an in-person 2021-2022 school year, student organizations need to re-engineer themselves to suit a disconnected campus. As of now, the rising class of seniors is the only class that has experienced a full year of non-virtual life on campus, and with the arrival of a new group of first years upon us, it is important not to overlook the separation that exists between the classes. Bridging this divide can be eased through student organizations, and because of this, the role of the SOOC is more important than ever. I will work to expand lines of communication between clubs and classes, which is more critical than ever, and I would like to establish an optional peer mentorship program between and within clubs on campus. This will create opportunities for upperclass students to “show the ropes” to rising first and second years who have not yet experienced in-person student organizations at Bowdoin (or have had very limited opportunities). I hope for these reasons and others, you will consider electing me your Chair of Student Activities.

 

CANDIDATE FOR THE CHAIR OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

Carolina Escobar ’24

Hello everyone,

I hope all of you are doing well as we strive towards the end of the semester. My name is Carolina, and I am excited to share that I am running for Chair of Diversity and Inclusion! As the I.T. Representative for BSG and the First-Year Representative for QuestBridge, I have noticed both the benefits and flaws of this institution. Through these roles and my experience as a woman of color, I am compelled to advance a progressive agenda. As Chair of Diversity & Inclusion, I will strive to:

– Support club and community leaders through weekly conversations

– Facilitate more dialogue around race, gender, class, sexual orientation and so forth

– Offer opportunities for students of different backgrounds to engage with one another

– Host “office hours” for students to share their thoughts/suggestions

– Re-examine first-year orientation week, specifically conversations centered around DEI

– Collaborate with Admissions to increase diversity on campus

With the guidance of these initiatives and the participation of students, we can all foster a community that embraces the complexity of diversity, equity and inclusion. Please reach out if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions: cescobar@bowdoin.edu.

I look forward to growing together!

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