Many students take an active role in campus governance, contributing to and helping foster discussions of academic policy, community living, and other aspects of life at Bennington. Through committee work and ongoing conversation, they join with faculty members and administrators to create a culture informed by tolerance and respect for individual differences, self-discipline, and a commitment to the common good.
Many advisory organizations provide student input on campus issues
- Admissions Interns: Interns give tours of campus, interview applicants and connect with prospective students. Interns are selected and supervised by the Office of Admissions.
- BFP (Bennington Free Press): The student newspaper is managed by a group of editors and financial support if provided through the Office of Student Life. The BFP produces 4 issues each term and one additional welcome back issue in the fall.
- Budget & Events Committee: Every year, the College allocates funds to support the Student Activities Fund, which is overseen by the Budget and Events Committee in collaboration with Office of Student Life. Students can request monies for supplies, speaker honoraria, or general event support, either through a registered student organization, or as an independent event. Students apply for money through the Office of Student Life and the Budget and Events Committee reviews proposals and makes allocation decisions bi-weekly.
- Career Assistants: These upper class students help all students with FWT placements and logistics. Career Assistants are selected and supervised by the Field Work Term & Career Development Office.
- COA (Community Outreach and Action) Representatives: Students interested in helping connect Bennington College with local and global community issues comprise the members of this team. These students are selected and supervised by the Office of Student Life.
- House Chairs: Two House Chairs for each house work collaboratively to foster community development and cooperative living. They also work to enrich the residential community through collaborative work with Student Life, Campus Safety, Health/Psych Services, Facilities and Dining Services. House Chairs are selected and supervised by the Office of Student Life. Several House Chairs from each street sit on a House Chair Advisory Committee and serve as leaders within the House Chair body.
- House Reps: Two house reps are selected by the house each year to work, in partnership with Student Life, on community action initiatives and environmental awareness and activism. The reps coordinate programs and work with the house to support campus wide projects.
- Judicial Committee: This group, which involves seven students as well as two faculty and staff members respectively) adjudicates cases that involve alleged infractions of the student conduct code. The student members are selected and trained by the Office of Student Life.
- PAC (Program Activity Council): This group is the expansion of the former Campus Activities Board. Primarily responsible for planning and implementing student activities (bands, traditional campus events, weekly coffee house type programming, etc.), this new incarnation also assumes responsibility for campus scheduling of student events. PAC coordinators are selected and are advised by the Office of Student Life.
- Peer Mentor: Each new student (first year or transfer) is assigned to an upper-class student (Peer Mentor) who assists in the academic acclimation to Bennington. Peer Mentors start meeting with their group during Orientation and continue their support through the first few weeks of the term. They are selected and supervised by both the Dean’s Office and the Office of Student Life.
- Publication boards (SILO and plain china): SILO (the art/lit magazine) and the plain china (literature) are two student publications which are coordinated by student panels and editors.
- Recreation Assistants: Working with the Coordinator of Recreation this group focuses on expanding the recreational/athletic opportunities for students. Two assistants for each area focus on the following areas: outing programs, intramurals, and the Meyer Recreation Barn/climbing programs. This group is advised by the Office of Student Life.
- Sustainability Committee: Chaired by Valerie Imbruce and Liz Coleman the Sustainability Committee is comprised of faculty, staff and students who review proposals regarding implementation of sustainable environmental initiatives. Students who participate on the committee are selected through an application /interview process
- Student Endowment for the Arts (SEA) Board: SEA board members review applications from students requesting grant monies for independent art and performance projects. Board members are selected by the previous leadership of SEA and work in connection with the Office of Student Life.
- SEPC (Student Educational Policies Committee): Each academic discipline has two elected student representatives who serve as liaisons between faculty and students. This group is elected by the student body and is supported by the Dean’s Office and the Office of Student Life.
- Student Organizations: There is a dynamic group of over 40 student organizations that exist at Bennington. A listing of these organizations is attached. Any two or more students who want to start an organization can do so by registering in the Office of Students Life. Organizations recruit new members at the start of each term at the Campus Involvement Fair. These organizations receive budget support from the Budget and Events Committee.
- Trip Leaders: In addition to leading pre-Orientation experiences for incoming students, trip leaders are trained to lead trips of varying types (wilderness, guided experience, recreational, etc.) throughout the year. Leaders are selected and trained by the Office of Student Life.