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BSG non-presidential candidate statements

April 12, 2024

This piece represents the opinion of the author .

The Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) will open voting for its second and final round of elections today at 9 a.m. and will close voting on Sunday at 8 p.m. Below are the candidate statements for the contested, non-class-council positions. The statements that the Orient excluded from this article because of space constraints will be available in the online voting form, which can be found on CampusGroups or in the BSG’s email to students.

Zak Asplin ’27, candidate for Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee

Textbooks are too expensive. Academic Affairs is inaccessible and unclear. Let’s change that!

Maine is the only state in New England still imposing a textbook tax—harming low-income and first generation students in Bowdoin and across the state.

As a first-generation college student reliant on financial aid and from a low-income family, I was encouraged to run for this position because it is legitimately difficult for some students to afford textbooks.

My name is Zak and I am running for head of Academic Affairs.

Firstly, I want to lobby the Maine State Assembly to make textbooks tax-exempt. I would work with other colleges’ student governments, use grassroots activism and contacts in the Maine House of Representatives. This would signal that Maine supports students, promotes student activism and, most importantly, helps avoid the cost of educational necessities for many low-income students like myself.

Secondly, I want to make academic policies clearer and more accessible in two ways.

I will push the Office of the Dean of Academic Affairs to publish either syllabi or course rubrics on Class Finder pre-registration. The unhelpful course descriptions—which are often out of date—require updating with more information.

Thirdly, I want to increase accessibility for international students and those coming from high schools with fewer opportunities by working with Academic Affairs to publish videos and information to admitted students reassuring them that Bowdoin’s academics are accessible for all, teaching how to cite and write and tips for settling into life at Bowdoin.

Jonathan Li ’25, candidate for Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee 


It takes a nerd to be the Chair of Academic Affairs. And I’m not your typical kind of nerd. As someone fluent in four world languages, I’m great at listening to people and speaking for people. On top of that, I am a nerd who acts.

The Bowdoin academic experience should be one that best fits YOUR ambitions. Whatever you aspire to be, you should be able to easily find a path tailored to your goals. That’s what I’m here for: to listen to you, speak for you and act for you.

Before I get to hear more from you, here are some items on my current agenda:

– Goal: provide greater clarity on course content to help students decide on courses.

Action: allow for past syllabi to be published during course selection period.

– Goal: better prepare students of all majors for the career landscape driven by quantitative methods.

Action: continue discussion and push for implementation of second-year data seminars.

– Goal: expand international students’ job opportunities, remove current barriers to summer internships in the US.

Action: allow international students to declare a tentative major for CPT/OPT eligibility during the first year.

– Goal: centralize display of course assignments to help students keep track of tasks and minimize confusion around assignments.

Action: provide clearer faculty guidelines on Canvas usage.

Like I said, this is about YOU, not about me. Feel free to share your thoughts on any of the goals and actions above or beyond. Thank you!

Khush Patel ’27, candidate for Chair of the Student Affairs Committee

Hello, Polar Bears! My name is Khush Patel and I am running for the position of Chair of the Student Affairs Committee. I have loved getting to know everyone in the Bowdoin community and witnessing the magic of the Bowdoin Hello. Coming from active participation in local and student government, as well as work I have done with Bowdoin alumni, faculty and school administrators, I am prepared to work with every student to ensure their needs are met at Bowdoin. While serving as your voice in the Bowdoin Student Government, my focuses will include:

1. Providing access to textbooks for all classes and allowing students to reference course syllabi during the registration period.

2. Reforming campus transportation, including expanding the radius of the Bowdoin Shuttle and the creation of an app for ease of use

3. Supporting student and on-campus workers

4. Expanding the career center’s current offerings for real-world shadowing and networking in various industries

5. Increasing the visibility of student government and educating the student body on how it can address their concerns

I understand that an important part of serving you is the consistent communication of Student Government initiatives, as well as how the Student Government’s time and resources will be distributed. When faced with a role that requires me to consider the needs of our campus, I will do everything in my power to make myself available to listen to what you have to say, and I am poised to deliver what is asked of me.

Harper Stevenson ’27, candidate for Chair of the Student Affairs Committee

Hello! My name is Harper Stevenson, and I am running to serve as the Chair of Student Affairs for the 2024-25 year. I have been a member of the Student Affairs committee on BSG as a representative this year and have thoroughly enjoyed the people I’ve met, connections I’ve made in the deans’ offices and am proud of what we have accomplished (Thanksgiving Break, student conversations with Health Services directors and helping student groups execute their events).

This year has been very fulfilling, and there is so much more of this work that I’d love to continue with next year as the chair of the committee. Firstly, I would prioritize a strong relationship with the incoming dean of students, as they will offer invaluable guidance and channels to accomplish our goals. To continue a project we have started this semester, I will work with ResLife and the College Houses to ensure better continuity and positive experiences with the social scene. Additionally, I think there is a great opportunity to offer airport shuttles and trips to the grocery store, Target or Walmart by hiring van-certified students to offer transport on the weekends. And finally, the end of January and February can be tough months on campus with not many student events. To remedy this, I would work with the Office of Student Activities  to devise some winter social events to spruce up these dreary months. Thank you for your consideration, and I would love the chance to make the changes that you want to see!

Yiyang Shi ’27, candidate for Chair of the Sustainability and Facilities Committee 

Hi everyone! My name is Yiyang Shi. I’m running for BSG Chair of the Facilities and Sustainability Committee. I’m currently a BSG Assembly member of the Facilities and Sustainability Committee. In the past year, I was able to learn a lot from our current Chair and members as we worked with Dining and ResLife to improve dining options and laundry problems. I really appreciate working with these amazing people! Throughout a year at Bowdoin, living on our small campus and talking to classmates, I realized how important the physical spaces and environment that we inhabit can change our experiences of college life. If I were to become the Chair, I would like to focus on making students and faculty more involved in the process of shaping our most immediate environments, engaging active feedback on all aspects that they concern about our spaces and creating a more sustainable and livable campus with collective efforts. Some ideas that I have in mind at the moment include: continuing the bike share project started by the current committee; collaborating with Reslife in gathering student feedback on dormitory conditions; increasing accessibility of campus buildings and dining hall services; improving severe weather precautions and counter-measurements; initiating possible conversations and collaboration with Brunswick town in facilitating the sustainability of our larger environment; increasing advertising for Bowdoin’s current effort in sustainability and engage students in participating in such efforts on their own and bringing new ideas to existing methods and procedures, etc. Hope to hear more about your precious opinions on making Bowdoin a more sustainable and welcoming space! Thank you!

Angelica Gordon ’27, candidate for Chair of the Sustainability and Facilities Committee 

Hello, I’m Angelica Gordon, a first-year and representative on the Sustainability and Facilities Committee this year. As the name alludes to, mostly in the committee I have worked with making the places we stay as students more accessible, dynamic, and efficient in light of students’ needs—such as providing, packing and distributing laundry sheets to buildings on campus or establishing a collection of things in the library for multi use (and even giving recommendations whenever the game room is in need of something. What’s better: a potential air hockey table or another ping pong table?). Significant questions aside, it has been fun to learn from my peers how to be more innovative and use creative thinking as well as expanding on my own. Even if it doesn’t come to fruition, it leaves roots for solving issues, allowing for daily student life to hopefully be enhanced even in the slightest. We’re also involved in sustainability promotion, which mostly shows through our partnership in sustainability office events (like the upcoming Earth Day event!). Little facts about me are that I’m a potential government and legal studies major and Chinese minor and am in a swing dance club—so you know you can trust me to make some good moves not only in dance, but for you as chair. It has been awesome to learn from all my peers in BSG and I look forward to taking more action for students if I’m honored with the role!


Angelica Gordon is a member of the Orient. 

These statements were provided by BSG President Paul Wang ’24 to the Orient for publication. All statements are the intellectual property of the person indicated above.


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