The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

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Student advocacy a central focus at recent BSG Congress

With no guest speaker scheduled for this week’s Congress, the assembled members of BSG were able to get straight to business. BSG President Thandeka Bango ’26 had a plethora of updates, meeting summaries and future plans to share, many of which centered around goals of increasing student input, visibility and diversity within programs across campus. 

The University Council, a collection of individuals whose primary aim is to offer advice to the University President in their role, met recently, and BSG advocated to reinstate student voices  on the council for the first time in 13 years. Courses of action are still being worked out, as the Council had originally planned to remove student voices from the council altogether, but BSG hopes to continue to make progress with student-led advocacy on this impactful front.

In addition to the University Council, BSG continues to hold positions on numerous other boards, covering a range of relevant categories. A BSG Congress member was appointed to the Shared Governance Implementation committee, to evaluate the efficacy and integrity of the process by which campus-related decisions are made— this is a new collaboration that will hopefully move that affair out of the shadows and make the greater Bucknell population more aware of standard procedures. 

A potential partnership with the Undergraduate Executive Internship Program, or UEIP, is in the works with more detailed updates to come. Collaborations with Panhel and IFC are also in the process of being brainstormed and more clearly defined, with hopes of increasing inclusivity in Greek life at the forefront of the discussion; fraternities and sororities at Bucknell are asking for BSG support in getting these inclusive initiatives off the ground. 

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“Greening the Lawn,” a student-run effort to reforest neglected or underutilized landscaping space around the ELC/Freas Hall was approved in 2019 and promptly overshadowed by the many events of 2020; with Spring right around the corner, discussions of revitalization efforts have begun. 

Vice President of Operations Amira Faden ’26 had updates of her own. As promised in BSG Congresses earlier this semester, she’s now completed a meeting with the director of Bucknell’s Counseling Center, and successfully rekindled a relationship between their office and BSG. Faden has also heard student feedback about the organization of Homecoming Weekend, and is in the process of scheduling a dinner meeting of 3-4 BSG students to reimagine the experience. 

Eliza Morris ’26, VP of Administration, is working on a new, consistent website for BSG, as well as an updated constitution to ensure only one, accurate document is in circulation. On the technology front, she announced the upcoming presentation of campus Moodle experts in BSG Congress on March 3rd; hopefully this information session will help all members of Congress become more familiar with the system and potential alternatives. Also coming up on Morris’s calendar is a meeting to install an emergency contraception “vending machine” in a subtle location in the ELC. 

Having focused her time and energy on one, important topic since the last BSG Congress, CFO Gerty Hisler ’24 had but one update: the food and supplies budgets for student organizations eligible to be approved by BSG have been raised. 

Outside of these position-specific updates, the Congress had a voting procedure refresher before passing a resolution to table the topic of new bean bag chairs in the library until the following week, when budgeting in relation to the L/IT resource pool can be more clearly decided. They also passed a resolution to fund BSG’s biannual banquet catering.

External committees had several scintillating updates. The CAP Center purchased a ball pit, available for all clubs to check out for use. BSG’s PR Committee has begun plans to revamp their current social media presence to increase student awareness of current BSG issues. Sustainability Committee members are working with fraternities and sororities to reduce visible waste on campus. 

Regarding the tuition increase, the assembled Congress didn’t have much to say during the regularly scheduled meeting. BSG advocated several years ago for a corresponding increase in BSG funds each time the Comprehensive Fee for attending Bucknell changes; as a result, with this most recent tuition increase, BSG will be receiving a 4% bump in their funding. 

Next week’s Congress, Feb, 25th at 4pm, will feature a presentation from co-acting Presidents Margot Vigeant and Scott Rosevear, who will be speaking more on the tuition-raising topic with updated information. 

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Lyndon Beier
Lyndon Beier, Assistant News Editor

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