At its Wednesday meeting, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) discussed both a recent incident at Colby and Ivies weekend in a question-and-answer session with members of the Dean's Office and Security, and also addressed funding issues with representatives from the Orient and Bowdoin Cable Network (BCN).
The Bowdoin community became aware this past week of a confrontation between Colby students and Colby Security, although the facts surrounding the incident remain unclear (see story, page 1).
Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols said that he knew few details about what had actually happened.
"We are all waiting for the facts at this time," he said. "I have read the reports and I have read bcuria, but I have yet to talk with my counterpart up there. Once they get through their investigation, we will talk with them, and we will learn from them...I can tell you that Bowdoin tries very hard to avoid situations like that, and so do the guys up there."
Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster said that in light of the incident, the College will host a community meeting on April 20 in Daggett Lounge to allow students and faculty the opportunity to ask questions and voice their concerns about the Colby incident.
"I think it's easy for us to throw rocks, and I think it's a time for us to think about how we can support them," he said. "I think they are still trying to figure out what happened. We can use this as an opportunity, to come together and reaffirm our values here on campus."
At-Large Representative Mary Connolly '11 asked Nichols, "What is your biggest concern about Ivies weekend?"
Nichols said that he was concerned about alcohol consumption at Ivies, and called on students to exercise prudence if they choose to drink.
"Usually whenever something bad happens, it's due to alcohol...that is the trend in our society," he said. "If you choose to drink, you've got to do it safely."
Nichols stressed that students should not hesitate to call security during Ivies.
"We really rely on our students to alert us when other students are in trouble," he said. One of my worst nightmares is that a student won't call us when their friend is in danger, because they fear their friend will get in trouble."
"It is the community security model," he added. "I consider every member of this community a part of the security force."
In other business, BSG Treasurer Ugo Egbunike '09 announced a proposal to regulate the manner in which the Student Activities Funding Committee (SAFC) gives money to student organizations that deposit profits into revenue accounts.
Student organizations including The Bugle, BCN, and the Orient maintain revenue accounts from which they pay their employees.
"Clubs with revenue accounts...still come to the SAFC for money," Egbunike said. "There's no way to regulate that. With BCN right now, someone could get paid $75 an hour and we wouldn't find out until after the fact."
Egbunike said that the changes were needed as it was unfair that some student organizations paid their members and others did not.
"I don't think it's fair for the Orient to pay themselves until they're totally self-sufficient," he said. "That being said, if you pay yourselves and then come back and compete with other clubs to ask for money, that's not fair."
Orient Co Editor in Chief Nick Day '09 said that paying stipends to student employees of the Orient ensures that the paper remains a high-quality publication.
"I think this is a way to hold people accountable for what they're doing and to make sure they're doing an honest job," he said. "Anecdotally from what I've heard, the Orient, seven or eight years ago, was a very different publication and wasn't taken seriously by the staff...I think that was partly because people on staff weren't getting stipends."
The assembly passed Egbunike's proposal, but mainly for procedural reasons; two votes on separate occasions are required to pass the measure. Formal debate of the proposal will take place at the final BSG meeting.
Vice President for BSG Affairs John Connolly '11 said that since BSG is only meeting once more before the end of the semester, the assembly had to pass the proposal in order to keep it on the table.
"In order to make changes to our most important rules, which are contained in the bylaws, we have to vote on them twice in the same form to make sure that the change is really supported by the body," he wrote in an e-mail to the Orient. "If they could be changed easily or quickly, they wouldn't be very effective rules, and doing it this way means that those affected by the changes have ample time to express their views and be part of the conversation."
The assembly also passed a constitutional amendment requiring the Campus Activities Board (CAB) representative to BSG to be elected by the student body, rather than by members of the CAB.