Student Government Celebrates 109th Transition of Power


On Tuesday, March 2nd Student Government celebrated its 109th Transition of Power from one Student Body President and Vice President to the next. The former President Arundhati (Aru) Gupta and former Vice President Clare Helmer relinquished their positions to new President Ezra Ohly and Vice President Ryan Bolin.

Student Body President Ohly

Gupta’s major is Financial Economics, and she will graduate in the Fall of 2021. She has been involved with Student Government since the first semester of her first year at BW. “On March 2nd we inaugurated the new Student Body President who will be stepping in this role and taking on the responsibilities. The inauguration looked very different this year since it was held virtually. I am glad that we were still able to celebrate the achievements of our terms and welcome the new Student Body Officers.”

Student Body Vice President Bolin

“I have seen BW Student Government grow and adapt to student needs over time,” Gupta said. “I had the honor and privilege to serve as the 108th BW Student Body President. As I end my term, I feel sadness, satisfaction, and pride in transferring the position’s responsibilities to two outstanding leaders. But the feeling that gains the most strength is gratitude.”

Clare Helmer, former Student Body Vice President, is an Environmental Science major with a double minor in Geology & Sustainability. She has been involved with Student Government since her sophomore year. “Throughout the years, I have seen many new people come through Student Government.  These people have brought fresh ideas and energy,” Helmer said. “With each new group of people that come through BW, there is always a change in focus.  I have seen students who are focused on diversity, student wellness, sustainability, and more.  Student Government always continues to evolve, and each group of students brings their own positive changes to BW.”

Gupta said, “When I started this term, I knew it would challenge me to grow into a better leader. I don’t think any of us expected this past year to look so different, but I am proud to say that I was able to adapt to the changing needs of students and still able to work on the platform initiative I ran on.”

Despite the changes brought about by the pandemic, Gupta and Helmer focused on trying to make this year a success.  “COVID added its own twist to the year. Aru and I kept working on our platform and initiatives, but we switched to a virtual platform.  Through our social media, we were able to communicate with the students very readily and easily. We were still able to communicate student concerns to the administration,” Helmer said.

Former Student Body President Gupta (L) and Vice President Helmer (R).

“COVID has impacted our term as Student Body Officers,” Helmer said. “We had to learn how to adapt to communicating with students virtually.  We have learned things this term that will be able to help next officers,” Helmer said.

The new President of Student Government Ezra Ohly spoke about how the COVID-19 pandemic and how it impacted her campaign. “Starting off the year in a pandemic, my challenges were internal. I lacked ambition and excitement for the semester, which resulted in slow execution and minimum inspiration. Thanks to the student government, this didn’t last for long,” Ohly said. “In some ways, we all felt the lack of motivation, but together we dug ourselves out by keeping each other accountable. What’s great about Student Government is that the work is hard, but the reward is worth it! It’s a great feeling to do good work for the student body while being surrounded by leaders who push and support you.

Helmer is set to graduate in the spring but she shared her hopes for next year saying, “I hope to see Student Government grow and expand its presence on campus.  I would like to see the next group of student leaders continue to grow the BW spirit and the sense of pride that comes along with being a BW student.  I hope that they continue to respect the honor of being a member of Student Government and continue to build up Student Government.”

Gupta did the same saying, “I am at peace and confident in the ability and leadership of the new Student Body Officers and the rest of Student leaders to continue to achieve great things at BW. And while they do that, I hope they make memories that will last them a lifetime!”

President Ohly also shared her hopes for the future. “Throughout my term, I hope to achieve transparency, engagement, and excitement. I think our past presidents did a great job communicating campus information to the student body. I want to build upon that momentum to continue representing the student body well by staying connected.”

Ohly continued saying, “I want to encourage engagement by providing presidents with virtual meeting tips and tricks to enhance their virtual meeting experience. Engagement between the students and student resources is equally important, so I want to connect with staff and faculty to share their information to the student body effectively. Lastly, I hope to achieve excitement by providing a welcoming atmosphere for students and organization presidents. I want to be a helpful resource and an inspiring colleague for the student body and student leaders.”