Student Government Updates

Vanessa Paolella, Editor in Chief

The Bates College Student Government (BCSG) has continued to pursue new initiatives and organize events for the benefit of the student body into the second part of the academic year. Below is a brief summary of BCSG’s activities during the first half of the winter semester.

Upcoming Elections

General information meetings on the upcoming BCSG elections for the 2020-2021 academic year will be held on Monday, March 2:

12:30-1:30 p.m. in Upstairs Commons 226

6:30-7:30 p.m. in Upstairs Commons 201

Security Report Transparency

Until this semester, students were not directly informed when their name appeared in a campus security report. Coaches and administrators might receive these reports and call meetings with students who were unaware that they had even been written up. BCSG encouraged the administration to change this policy, and now students will receive a notification when their name is mentioned in a report through BatesReach.

According to the Bates Today announcement, this notification will contain basic information about the type of report filed and the following steps which must be taken. It will also detail who to contact to request the full report.

Students written up for student conduct violations will also have the option to submit a statement via Bates Reach to the Office of Student Support and Community Standards before their required meeting.

Fem Folxs Fitness Night

Davis Fitness Center is the only weight room on campus; all students share this space regardless of their gender or involvement in varsity athletics. One of the primary goals of BCSG Athletics Committee this year has been to make this space more inviting and inclusive to all students.

The BCSG Athletics Committee and Weightlifting club, in conjunction with the Department of Athletics, hosted the first Fem Folxs Fitness Night on Saturday, Feb. 1. Organizers reserved Davis that evening for the exclusive use of female-identifying and gender non-conforming students.

Experienced lifters assisted newcomers in navigating the weight room, teaching exercises and correcting form.
Julia Pinepinto ‘20, one of the organizers of the event, said that the event was well received, with the number of attendees tripling from the first to second event.

“We went from having ten people the first week to 30 the second week,” Pinepinto wrote. “I have received multiple texts, emails, and in-person testimonials about how sore people felt the following days, and how excited they are for the next one after the break.”

Additionally, Pinepinto has been working with Bates Strength and Conditioning Coach Mike Seltzer to contact professional trainers in the area to come in and assist with the program.

This is a recurring weekly event which will take place every Saturday night from 5-6:30 p.m. in Davis.

Town Hall

On Feb. 11, the Tuesday before February break, BCSG held a town hall encouraging students to stop by, voice their concerns, or suggest new project ideas. This event was poorly attended with only two first-year girls taking advantage of the opportunity.

Ella Lungstrum ‘23 and Lucy Sherman ‘23 stopped by to discuss a proposal for more public art on campus. BCSG referred them to the Arts Collaborative Committee at Bates.

“The purpose of hosting a Town Hall was to address concerns that arose during the campaign season last spring when students [requested a forum to] complain about issues important to them,” Lizanecz said. “In the past, town halls had almost zero attendance despite mass marketing efforts. This time we saw a similar result.”

Feminine Hygiene Products

Currently, BCSG is researching the possibility of eliminating fees for menstrual hygiene products in academic buildings. Some students argue that basic hygienic necessities should be available to students at no cost.

This project is only in the early stages of development and the Student Affairs/Life Committee is investigating whether other schools have a similar program in place. Additionally, they are looking to potentially partner with Bates clubs and outside companies.