Student Leadership at Bennington
Whether you're interested in supporting the first year student experience, serving as an advocate for campus educational policies, working with budgetary committees or developing new programming for the campus community, Bennington provides myriad ways for students to take on leadership positions that provide enormous opportunity for personal, academic and professional growth. In tandem with these opportunities, the Office for Student Engagement regularly hosts F.L.EX (Facilitate Leadership, Explore, Expand, Excel) Series events which offer student leaders and those interested in developing/honing their leadership skills an opportunity to think critically about their co-curricular engagement, encourage the exploration of best practices and collaborate with peers, Bennington staff, faculty and community partners.
A partial listing of student leadership opportunities are presented below. For more information, please email the engagement office directly and we'll put you in touch with the best point of contact for each.
Interns give tours of campus, interview applicants and connect with prospective students. Interns are selected and supervised by the Office of Admissions.
The Budget and Events Committee
The Budget & Events Committee is a student organization comprised of seven members dedicated to providing budgetary and event planning support both to students 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 Student Life office.”
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.
Two House Chairs for each house work collaboratively to foster inclusive communities 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.
This Committee hears cases concerning infractions of community standards. The Judicial Committee will be made up of seven students (a minimum of three hear any given case); three staff members (a minimum of one hears any given case); and three faculty members (a minimum of one hears any given case). The Director of Community Standards chairs the committee. Cases before the committee are brought by the Dean of Students. Faculty and staff members are appointed each academic year in consultation with the Provost and Dean of the College. Student members (in good standing, academically and disciplinary) are selected via an application process by the Office of Student Life. Selected students are re-appointed annually until graduation or resignation.
PAC (Program Activity Council)
The Program Activities Council, overseen by the office of Student Life, 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 out the Bennington students’ academic workload with social events that bring the campus community closer together.
Publication Boards (SILO and the Bennington Free Press)
SILO (the art/lit magazine) and the Bennington Free Press are two student publications which are coordinated by student panels, authors and editors.
Student Endowment for the Arts (SEA) Board
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.
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.
Pre-Orientation 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.
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.
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.
Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Process Advisors (SHAMPA)
include 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.