In its first meeting of the 2013-2014 academic year, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) dove right into business by unanimously voting to retroactively authorize funding proposals that had been implemented by BSG over the summer and during first-year orientation. 

The first of the three proposals discussed on Wednesday night—introduced by Vice President for Facilities and Sustainability David Levine ’16—retroactively authorized an expenditure made over the summer for $12,000 to provide a film service to stream new movies online and over Bowdoin’s cable system. According to Levine, the program is run through Swank Motion Pictures, a company that provides colleges and other institutions with licenses to stream recently released Hollywood films.

According to BSG President Sarah Nelson ’14, the program had previously been under the operating budget of the Bowdoin Cable Network, “but it fell by the wayside last year, so we talked a lot about it and decided that it was a service that was popular enough that we felt it was something that BSG could be providing to students.” The $12,000 covers the rights to the 15 new films—chosen by BSG—per month which will be streamed online, as well as played on loop on a channel of the college’s cable.

The second proposal, introduced by Nelson and Vice President for Student Government Affairs Allen Wong Yu ’14, was to spend $1,000 to provide students free access to TurboVote, an organization that allows online voter registration. Along with this, TurboVote—a not-for-profit created to increase voter participation—mails out absentee ballots to voters and sends registrants reminders to vote as election dates come closer. While registering with TurboVote is free, BSG’s authorization of $1,000 will cover the cost of mailing absentee ballots and registration forms for up to 600 Bowdoin student voters. 

“We’re hoping—although it is an off year—that it is a service that will increase voter participation at Bowdoin,” said Nelson.

Yu said that the lack of electoral activity this year was actually helpful for the initiative’s trial run.

“This is going to allow us to roll this out, test the waters, see if people are receptive to using it,” he said. 

The final proposal authorized the past purchase of $900 of gelato for BSG’s first-year meet-and-greet event—A Gelato Afternoon with BSG—that was held in September.  

Although the money had already been earmarked in the budget by last year’s BSG, Yu said that the job of the current assembly was “to approve the fact that we actually did spend the money.”