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BSG discusses belonging with representatives from the Office of Inclusion and Diversity

November 3, 2023

At its weekly meeting on Wednesday evening, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) invited Senior Vice President for Inclusion and Diversity Benje Douglas and Marcus Gadsden ’24, who works in the Office of Inclusion and Diversity, to speak about building belonging at Bowdoin.

Gadsden and Douglas shared the office’s plans to conduct a Student Belonging Survey. The Office’s goal for this survey is to gain insight into social dynamics at Bowdoin, including the divide between athletes and non-athletes and the role of campus affinity groups. The Office of Inclusion and Diversity intends to use the survey results to create meaningful events that connect students from different campus sects and bridge existing social divides. Additionally, the Office plans to publicize survey results for students to reference when planning events on behalf of clubs, College Houses and more.

Gadsden sought BSG support in maximizing survey responses. He asked BSG to host events raising awareness ahead of the survey’s anticipated release in February.

BSG also passed an amendment to create a budget committee. The committee will meet three times a year to develop a budget for the upcoming school year. BSG hopes that the committee will increase its transparency in budget allocation.

At last week’s meeting, BSG passed an amendment to use its budget to compensate certain student summer workers who are currently unpaid. During this meeting, concerns were raised about how often the award would be distributed and who specifically should qualify for it. In light of these concerns, voting on the award was tabled for a future meeting.

Student Affairs Committee Chairman Edmundo Alvarez ’23 proposed a student book club featuring nonfiction personal narratives of people experiencing the violence in Israel and Palestine firsthand. Students would read two books over the spring semester and meet after completing each book. According to Alvarez, the book club would add a personal perspective to this international conflict. His request for six hundred dollars to purchase 30 copies of each book will be voted on at the next meeting.


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