As Bardians avoided the electoral process like the plague this semester with an unprecedented number of unanimously-elected positions, we caught up with Carter Vanderbilt just to make sure that there still is a running student government. Carter gave us the lowdown on Stargon’s practical functionality, fondue subsidies, and why Bardians should have more interest in the student government.
Read the interview below and vote for the Chair of the Student Judiciary Board while the polls are still open!
Does the BSG exist?
Contrary to popular belief, the BSG does exist, and has had an active role in student life at Bard for thousands of years. In fact, recent archaeological work done behind SMOG has found cave drawings depicting its creation by the earliest settlers, sometime around the founding of the farm.
So it’s not that bad thing that gets put in Chinese food?
Well now that we’ve established that the BSG exists and it is not in fact a food additive, what is your role in the BSG?
I’m currently Chair of the Fiscal Committee, which allocates most of the collected Student Activities Fees to all the different clubs on campus and invests the rest in oil stocks. Starting next year, however, I will be the Speaker of the Student Body, who is the liaison between the student body, the Bard administration, and the spirit world.
Is the Speaker of the Student Body kind of like The Mouth of Sauron, Lieutenant of Barad-dûr?
You mean that zombie-looking character from Lord of the Rings with the giant mouth? That sounds about right.
What happened with the BSG elections this year?
7 out of the 8 head positions went uncontested. That’s partly because each BSG Committee head has to have served on their respective committee for a year to run for the position. After our mass purge in March of anyone who wouldn’t deny Communist Party membership, we accidentally wiped out all but one candidate for each position. As for the Speakership and the Secretary of Press, which don’t have that requirement, I think people thought those “BSG Elections” emails were from the Battlestar Galactica fan club. So if I can clarify now: the next set of BSG Elections will be for positions on all the committees, and I encourage everyone who’s interested to run! RUN!!!
Do you think the lack of interest and competition in the Student Government elections this year says something about the current Bard student body?
Probably that our peers don’t fully realize what BSG does. That’s partly on us; we definitely could be doing a lot more publicizing and raising awareness about all the things we do and can do for student life. It’s either that, OR government handouts have made people lazy—which is why we all ran on platforms of Draconian fiscal austerity. Seriously, we’re planning on dismantling the Post Office next year… did anyone read our campaign materials?
Was it stressful to run against yourself?
Honestly, I almost pooped myself during the Free Press debate. I always knew I was a ruthless, mudslinging, Frank Underwood-style dirt bag, so I was surprised when it was a pretty clean campaign—sportsmanlike, even.
Are there any sweet perks that come with your government position (i.e. access to drone missiles, NSA databases, unlimited fondue)?
Yes, actually. The Student Life Committee Chair and I get special access to Botstein’s War Room: The Center for the “Study” of the Drone. Turns out Stargon is actually an anti-alien weapon system that Leon controls with his baton. Unfortunately, our fondue is only subsidized.
What is the top priority on your agenda for the BSG?
Now that we’ve set up the 24-hour student space in Sawkill and successfully petitioned the Board of Trustees to increase the amount of money we have to allocate to clubs, I think we’re going to campaign for introducing a medium-sized population of wild peacocks to Blithewood. That or build a giant golden statue of Neil Gaiman fighting Godzilla. In all seriousness, we’ve got big plans. I know I personally want to reformat our town-hall style General Assemblies. Most of us are interested in creating a BSG Publication that will do exactly as I mentioned above: publicize BSG happenings and promote student life and culture at Bard. And that’s just the start.
Why should the average Bardian be concerned about the affairs of the BSG?
While it is very much designed to be directly responsive to the interests of the student body, BSG’s decisions have wide ranging impacts: we decide how much money goes to each club, what campaigns and projects to help our fellow Bardians pursue, and when or when not to put the plastic bowls out in Kline.
What will change at Bard under the new Student Government?
We really want to increase the safety of the transportation at Bard, so along with the new ID checks we’re also going to install metal detectors and station highly trained government agents in front of the shuttle stops.
Fill in the blank: The most reliable source for news at Bard is…
Easy. Ken Cooper emails.
Will you sign this contract in blood that gives The Bard Star exclusive press rights to all BSG announcements?
I would, but since I’m a vegan I might not have enough blood to write my whole name out. It’d be the last thing I ever sign.
Ok, we’ll end the interview with a softball. Favorite movie, about a hotel, starring Don Cheadle, that isn’t “Hotel Rwanda”?
"Ocean’s Thirteen" (Just kidding, that movie was awful).
"Well, we had our symposium meeting today, but only me and two other kids showed up. One of them was stoned off his ass and just drew giraffes on the board the whole time…"
— First-year in Kline
(Submitted by Anonymous)
From my senior project What Lives Here Now. On display May 9-14 at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY.
"Well, I once had a student write a paper where they compared a medieval poet to Kanye West. At least it was an interesting paper, and he clearly knew a lot about Kanye West…"
— Professor in RKC
(Submitted by Anonymous)
Parent: “Hey, sorry to bother you. What do people do in the library?”
Girl smoking a cigarette: “Um…like, work usually. You know.”
Parent: “Oh, right! …Like schoolwork?”
Girl: “Uh. Yeah. Reading and…stuff.”
Parent: “Cool, cool! Thanks!”
(Submitted by Anonymous)
"It’s all about just changing the font to that Georgia shit…"
— Senior in library
(Submitted by H.)
The artwork on display in the library right now is a bunch of drawings made by children at the Abigail Lundquist Botstein Nursery School.
"Colossal Squid" is my personal favorite.
Boy in RKC: “What’s up with all your Southern swagger?”
Girl: “I spent all my summers in Maryland so, you know…”
(Submitted by S.)
I made a facebook post about how public restrooms don’t phase me because of my dorm’s very own chamring facilities, and when someone made a comment about how her dorm has clean bathrooms I replied
“You’re missing out on prime bathroom bootcamp! You have to break down a man’s walls to prepare him for what lies within the stalls”
and idk man it was so poetic of me
okay so if i talk about a professor in my senior project, and describe him as a “handsome hedgehog of a man,” do you think i could still ask him to be on my board?
THE RIVALRY BETWEEN THE BARD FREE PRESS AND LUX LITERARY MAGAZINE RAGES ON.
…But really, what is truth?
(Submissions to Lux are due on April 1st - send your visual and written stuff to firstname.lastname@example.org for your shot at eternal glory and fame)
Bard College, where the listservs cause drama and the publications secretly love each other.