Dinner with Club and House Leaders

Dialogue dinner for residential life and culture club student leaders

We invited two representatives from each College House and culture club to enjoy dinner at MacMillan House together in November 2009 to discuss the challenges they face as student leaders and brainstorm solutions together. The dinner had a high attendance rate, with thirty-two participants out of the forty-two total invitees attending. More importantly, the student leaders, students who wield enormous influence over the College’s social scene, met one another for the first time and expressed enthusiasm for collaboration. The two groups realized that they had common problems and challenges in reaching out to different campus groups.

Many students voiced that they were grateful to meet their fellow student leaders and to begin to work together to organize social events which would be more inclusive of more Bowdoin students. The student leaders discussed how personal interactions are key to breaking down social barriers on campus.

Participants brainstormed the following Group Action Plans:

(note: The following suggestions are not necessarily the opinions or ideas of The Undiscussed)

–    All clubs at Bowdoin should be loosely associated with a College House where they will have priority for reserving space, using the kitchen, offering suggestions for events/parties etc. At the very least, this will provide a personal point of contact between clubs and College Houses.
–    Building off of the importance of personal connection, someone who is not an expected member of the group can help with advertising to make events more approachable (e.g. a white member of the Af-Am sends a campus-wide invitation for the society’s next party).
–    A larger-scale “mixer” at the beginning of the year or each semester for house and club leaders to encourage face-to-face connections in the hopes that more organizations on campus will partner for better, more successful events because they have personal connections and a space for brainstorming.
–    Have houses or cultural clubs specifically invite another organization to a planned low-key event so that members can socialize.
–    The houses and the cultural clubs could work together in throwing parties so that clubs would get more exposure, while houses could reinvent themselves as appealing places to socialize for all Bowdoin students of every class year.
The Undiscussed presented these findings and suggestions to the Director of Residential Life, the Director of Student Activities, and the Student Government vice-president for student organizations so that we may promote both group and institutional changes.

Pictures from the Dinner: