On Wednesday evening, the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) held its weekly meeting in Daggett Lounge. President Clayton Rose attended the meeting this week and discussed a wide array of topics ranging from the Board of Trustees to the current labor shortage at the College and beyond. Rose does not typically go to BSG meetings.
Rose began the meeting by discussing the Board of Trustees, specifically its composition and function within the College.
“The Board of Trustees is responsible for the long-term health and viability [of the College] and making sure that the President is doing her or his job,” Rose said.
He added that while the Board does not have a large role in the daily operations of the College, they also provide support in advising structural changes in the College, including financial support.
Rose also spent time discussing the endowment’s divestment from fossil fuels. Such a move would be a step toward lessening the Bowdoin endowment’s dependence on the fossil fuel industry.
“The exposure of fossil fuels in our portfolio is … less than two percent, which is smaller than Harvard’s,” Rose said. “We are focused on managers that are thinking about and are investing in [the] green technologies that are out there.”
In addition to his discussion of divestment, Rose explained that the College is faring relatively well compared to other Maine employers facing the national labor shortage.
“[We have] more resumes and more applications coming [in] for dining [and] other places as well,” Rose added, which he believes is largely due to the College’s recently increased $17 per hour minimum wage.
Rose also explained that it is Bowdoin’s policy to increase the wages of all workers when the College’s minimum wage is increased.
In addition to Rose’s comments, Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee Philip al Mutawaly ’24 outlined his initiative to make syllabi accessible to students before course registration, but he acknowledged that challenges relating to intellectual property may impede his efforts.
“[The Office of the Registrar] fully supports us in creating some type of platform or document to collect all the syllabi and then distribute that document during the registration period,” al Mutawaly said at the meeting.
al Mutawaly is also working with staff to create a mental health dashboard, similar to the College’s current COVID-19 dashboard, which will gauge the mental health of a sample of students in order to give more attention to mental health needs on campus.
“The idea of essentially establishing [the mental health dashboard] was actually inspired by the COVID dashboard,” al Mutawaly said. “We were thinking of first starting out with identifying a few key questions, creating a survey, and then running a very small trial of a well-selected group of students from different backgrounds.”
Rose emphasized the importance of student wellbeing by prioritizing the climate, looking towards the future.
“My generation has completely screwed this up,” said Rose. “So we’re gonna rely on you to do this.”