At its second meeting of the year on Wednesday, the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) spoke with Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster and discussed T-shirt distribution over Homecoming Weekend.
Foster praised the BSG for its "widely generous gift" of $27,850 to renovate what was the Watson Fitness Center into a new study and game space for students.
"It's a wonderful gift you've made," he said. "This is going to be a great place holder that's going to bring joy to a lot of people."
Foster opened the floor up for questions from BSG members.
BSG Treasurer Kyle Dempsey '11 asked whether the Trustees might cut the Student Activities Fund, considering that BSG received an increase from last year. This year, they are working with $680,000, whereas peer schools only work with about $400,000 to 500,000 every year.
"I don't think this is an area the Trustees are going to delve into," Foster said. "It is tied to the increase in tuition and fees, and it remains to be seen how aggressively we will increase these areas."
Looking ahead to the weekend, BSG At-Large Representative Kata Salow '10 asked about the Trustees' agenda for Homecoming.
"We were initially intending to celebrate the success of the campaign" said Foster. However, "it didn't seem appropriate to have a wild celebration, so this aspect of the weekend will be more subdued."
According to Foster, there will be a presentation during Homecoming Weekend that includes the campaign's success, a budget update and committee reports. In addition, the Student Affairs Committee will also be talking about swine flu, "not because it is fascinating and interesting, but because it was a training episode about something that could be more dangerous and virulent," said Foster.
Foster also fielded questions from members about longer hours at the Language and Media Center, the impact of the Invitational Weekend for prospective students, and the 10 student increase in the first-year class.
After Foster left, BSG discussed the distribution of the black "Bowdoin Nation" T-shirts over Homecoming Weekend, and argued whether they should be free or not.
According to Vice President for BSG Affairs Anirudh Sreekrishnan '12, the T-shirts have "traditionally been free," but Class of 2010 Representative Rutledge Long proposed a small fee to be donated toward saving polar bears, "our endangered mascot."
"Members of the BSG should look beyond their resumes and use their position, money and power to enact positive chance for our campus and when possible, our world," Long wrote in an e-mail to the Orient.
"Adding another t-shirt to the dresser drawer of the campus is a decent start but simply not a resourceful enough use of our finances and project."
After a long discussion, there was a motion to extend the conversation and vote on the bill of funding the t-shirts.
"I'm pretty disappointed with everyone here tonight," said Long.
Members voted to distribute t-shirts for free. Two hundred T-shirts will be distributed on Friday at the pep rally at 8 p.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Members also voted for $100 to be donated to Sustainable Bowdoin for energy-saving CFL light bulbs, which will be handed out for free in Smith Union on Monday.
Dooley ended the meeting by telling BSG to "have hope," noting that "things are going to be heating up next week."
"I promise you we don't just fund things," he added.
At an earlier meeting on October 7, its first of the year, BSG passed two routine funding requests.
The first bill allocated $4,750 for the fall semester to the BSG shuttle and night taxi, services which transport students to places such as Cook's Corner, Freeport and Portland. Though the program is a staple of BSG's offerings to the student body, the proposal was met with some opposition by new members unfamiliar with the body's history.
The second bill provided $700 for the purchase of movie tickets from Regal Cinemas. The tickets are purchased at a cost of $7.50 each and resold to students at a subsidized rate of $6.