At its meeting on Wednesday evening, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) hosted Coordinator for Sustainable Bowdoin Keisha Payson for a summary of the college’s initiatives for campus sustainability. 

Payson’s talk focused on the College’s continued efforts to decrease the carbon footprint in order to become carbon neutral by 2020. The College had initially set out a carbon reduction goal of 28 percent of Bowdoin’s actual emissions, compensating for the remaining emissions with offset credits. 

According to Payson, “we are 22 percent below our 2008 baseline, so we are on track for what we hope to achieve. The fact that we’re already at 22 percent is pretty exciting because we still have seven years to go.” 

Payson noted that the College’s current projects, such as the high-efficiency steam energy plant, a switch to natural gas over oil for heating, and retrofitting various areas with LED lighting contributed to this decrease since 2008. 

She added that the recently announced solar panel project that is planned for installation on the athletic facilities by Farley Field House would continue to aid this trend in the future. 

Payson exhorted the assembly to continue to support sustainable projects on campus, saying that BSG members should try to “be leaders in terms of role-modeling, in terms of advocating for energy efficiency and energy conservation, and to just be an active participant in the conversation.” 

BSG’s regular business included a brief review of the assembly’s operating budget. 

The budget—which includes provisions for a number of services such as providing shuttles, free weekly bowling for students, food during Ivies, Uncommon Hour, Spring Gala and a host of others—went from $55,394.15 in the 2012-2013 school year to $75,142.20 this year.

Vice President for Student Government Affairs Allen Wong Yu ’14 said that the increase in the budget was due to an expansion of BSG’s role in funding activities previously held by other clubs and organization. 

“There are a lot more things in here, some things that we took from other organizations as part of our budget now, which is definitely a bigger part of how our budget has expanded,” he said.
A large part of the increase was the $12,000 that BSG had spent on acquiring the new PolarFlix film streaming service. 

Other additions included a larger amount of money for discretionary spending on previously unplanned events. 

BSG President Sarah Nelson ’14 finished off the meeting by updating the assembly on events related to the recently declared “No-Hate November.” 

BSG will be hosting a reception and discussion on Monday night at 8 p.m. in the Lamarche Gallery in Smith Union. 

The event seeks to inaugurate the Hate Stops With Us photo display in Morrell Lounge, as well as offer students a forum to express their responses to the bias incidents.