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.
- Budget & Events Committee: The Budget & Events Committee is a student organization comprised of seven members dedicated to providing budgetary and event planning support to both student organizations as well as students interested in planning events for the Bennington College community. Additionally, the Budget & Event Committee regularly reviews and approves proposals for new Clubs and Organizations on behalf of the Office of Student Life.
- Career Assistants: These trained advisors help students with resume and cover letter assistance, finding on campus and summer jobs, securing a Field Work Term and coordinating FWT logistics, and planning for career and work life after Bennington. Career Assistants are selected and supervised by the Field Work Term & Career Development Office.
- 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, Buildings and Grounds, 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.
- Judicial Committee: The Committee adjudicates cases that involve alleged infractions of the student conduct code. The Judicial Committee consists of seven students, three staff members, and three faculty members. The student members are selected and trained by the Office of Student Life.
- Orientation Leaders (OLs): Each new student (new, transfer, exchange) is assigned to an upperclass student who assists in the academic acclimation to Bennington. OLs start meeting with their group during Orientation and continue their support through the first few weeks of term. They are selected and supervised by Academic Services.
- PAC (Program Activity Council): PAC is a student run board that imagines, creates, and produces a wide variety of programming for the entertainment of the Bennington College community throughout the academic year. PAC strives to foster relationships with the student body by providing opportunities that support and nurture the community while encouraging an open dialogue between its members and the campus at large. Through the continuation of long running community traditions and the consistent development of new programming, PAC aims to balance the Bennington students’ academic workload with social events that bring the campus community closer together.
- Pre-Orientation Leaders: Pre-O Leaders are upperclass students who lead outdoor and recreational trips for incoming students prior to Orientation. Pre-O trips are a great opportunity for incoming students to meet classmates and build bonds with one another in small, intentional group before arriving on campus. Past trips have included backpacking in the Green Mountains, canoeing down the Connecticut River, and learning about local agriculture in Southern Vermont. Leaders are selected and trained by 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.
- Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Process Advisors (SHAMPA): Includes students who volunteer to act in the role of first-responder to reports of incidents of sexual misconduct, and to refer to other campus resources - primarily the Title IX coordinator and deputy coordinator - as well as to health and psych services. Students participate along with appointed staff and faculty advisors in periodic trainings as well as a monthly meeting. The Dean of Students oversees the advisors.
- Student Educational Policies Committee (SEPC): 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 Endowment for the Arts (SEA): The mission of the SEA is to directly aid artistic endeavors of students working in visual art, music, drama, dance, and writing, which seek monetary support extending beyond the applicable department’s funding capabilities. SEA strives to familiarize Bennington students with the act of grant writing. The SEA board is made up of students from all disciplines, who are elected to review anonymous proposals in a professional, respectful, and organized manner. Through assisting students with grant proposals and ultimately awarding grant funds, the SEA aims to support individual artists, as well as strengthen the role of the arts within the broader Bennington community.
- Student Organizations: There is a dynamic group of more than 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 Beyond the Classroom event. These organizations receive budget support from the Budget and Events Committee.
- 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.
- Wellness Peers (BeWell): Wellness Peers are student leaders bringing diverse and inclusive wellness programming to the Bennington community. They work closely with administration and on-campus resources to identify student needs and address gaps in health and wellness education and services. Wellness Peers sponsor numerous events and activities throughout the year, including Wellness Week, Study Breaks, Sexual Health Speaker Series, and more. They report directly to the Office of Student Life.