On Wednesday, the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) conducted its first meeting via Zoom. The meeting discussed the goals of various committees for the remainder of the academic year.
BSG President Ryan Britt ’22 opened the meeting by echoing the sentiments of many Bowdoin students during the return to a largely remote campus.
“I know Zoom is the absolute last place that any of us want to be,” he said.
Following a brief COVID-19 update from COVID-19 Resource Coordinator and Director of Residential and Student Life Mike Ranen, student committee chairs discussed their plans for the spring semester.
Miranda Baker ’24, student affairs committee chair, described her goal of fostering a greater sense of connection across campus. To achieve this, Baker suggested pairing student groups across campus who otherwise would not interact on a regular basis––such as a sports team and a dance group––to host events together.
Academic Affairs Committee Chair Philip al Mutawaly ‘24 detailed several initiatives he seeks to pursue in spring 2022. His plans include the ongoing effort to establish a syllabus repository for students’ reference as they register for courses, access to preparation materials and services for graduate school entrance exams, exploring student appetite for changes to the Credit/D/F system and creating a textbook exchange network.
al Mutawaly also mentioned the possible forthcoming release of the results from the mental health survey his committee conducted at the end of the fall semester.
“[The results aim to] let students know that––even in one of the worst semesters of our Bowdoin career––they were very much not alone in how they were feeling,” al Mutawaly said.
Carolina Escobar ’24, chair of the diversity and inclusion committee, discussed her continued work on orientation programs for first-generation students, as well as ideas for future programs for undocumented students that she is pursuing with her committee.
Chair of the Student Activities Funding Committee (SAFC) Anna Constantine ’23 announced her plans to increase transparency surrounding the committee’s schedules and guidelines. She explained that this initiative stemmed from confusion during the fall semester that may have inhibited some organizations from asking for and/or obtaining funding.
“Last semester, it felt like it was the same couple of groups coming in week after week,” she said. “And while it’s great that they have a wealth of programming going on, I want to make sure that other clubs that are active on campus are getting what they need from the SAFC as well.”
BSG Vice President Andrew Kaleigh ’24 mentioned his discussions with the Conduct Review Board (CRB) surrounding revisions to the Academic Honor and Social Code and the work he is doing to prepare for the BSG constitutional review, which will occur later in the semester.
Britt and Sophomore Class President Sophia Pantzer ’24 brought up their mental health initiatives. Britt explained that he is meeting next week with administrators to discuss the foundation of a mental health board. Panzter said that she will meet with Counseling and Wellness Services to investigate the possibility of creating a support group exclusively for sophomores after a class-wide survey in the fall semester demonstrated significant support for the formation of such a group.
Britt concluded the meeting by touching on the preparation for new leadership that will occur throughout the BSG as his graduation approaches this spring.
“Going forward, the transition [will be] a big part of leadership roles,” Britt said. “I really hope you can continue the work that you’re passionate about.”