On Wednesday evening, the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) meeting was dominated by public comment time, when the doors of Daggett Lounge opened for students to share their post-election thoughts with student leaders. Over a dozen students attended and voiced their opinions about BSG’s performance so far and offered suggestions for how to continue to operate in the aftermath of the election.

Afterwards, BSG announced in an email to the student body its plans to hold further town-hall style meetings and to use technology that will allow students who might feel unsafe sharing their opinions to comment anonymously.

“Obviously the election is on people’s minds, so why don’t we bring it to campus in a non-partisan way and say, ‘Come and talk to us about your thoughts on the election,’” said Vice President for the Treasury Irfan Alam ’18. “And then it sort of changed into this idea of what can BSG do in its role to continue … whatever is going on in the conversation.”

One of the first ideas posed by a student was a request for BSG to make a statement to the campus on the outcome of the election, sending the message that BSG does not condone the normalization of comments that President-elect Donald Trump made during his campaign, many of which targeted minority groups. 

In response, Joe Lace ’17 noted that a statement ought to address action, not just feelings. 

“I hope, if you’re going to send an email [with a statement on the election], normalize something other than being sad and depressed about this,” he said. “Political action is hardly motivated by depression.”

BSG also discussed holding further forums for students to share their thoughts. However, several students puzzled over how to encourage students holding minority opinions on campus to speak out in such events.

“Town halls are great and they serve a great purpose, but … they aren’t very productive if they’re one sided,” said Vice President for Student Government Affairs Reed Fernandez ’17. 

Students and BSG members weighed in, proposing collaboration with the Bowdoin College Republicans, holding informal gatherings and ways to facilitate anonymous commenting for students. After over an hour of public comment time, BSG President Harriet Fisher ’17 invited students to stay to aid BSG in planning another post-election event.  

In an email to students on Thursday afternoon, Fisher affirmed BSG’s opposition to some of Trump’s statements and offered further opportunities for the campus to engage in political dialogue. 

“We do not stand for some of the rhetoric, ideas and opinions mobilized throughout this election cycle that are in profound opposition to the fairness and equality we hold deeply as a Bowdoin community,” she wrote. 

BSG created a form where students can submit their feedback confidentially. Additionally, BSG will hold an open discussion at 1 p.m. today with anonymous live-polling.