Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Student Council elections begin Thursday for one-year positions as Co-President, Campus Life Representative, Secretary, Campus Relations Representative, Student Events Advisor, and Appointments Chair. Following are the candidates running for each position and the complete text of their platforms as submitted to the Gazette.
CO-PRESIDENT: Tom Evnen ’07, Matt Meltzer ’06
TOM EVNEN ’07
At Swarthmore, the Student Council Co-Presidents are given an important and unique opportunity to improve student life because they are in constant communication with the College administration. During my term as the Student Council Appointments Chair, I have worked to ensure that the appointments process become more efficient and objective and helped make possible the campus-wide viewing of the first presidential debate by spearheading the effort to get the SAC funding that it required. Student Council Co-Presidents must be able to run meetings efficiently and productively. My semester on Council has given me the experience necessary to do this.
If elected Co-President, I hope to be able to encourage more students to participate in discussions about student life by offering myself as a committed advocate of their concerns and proposals. I believe that Swarthmore’s student body could benefit immensely from a renewed engagement with campus-wide initiatives, as evidenced by the tremendous energy with which Swarthmore students took up “get out the vote” efforts this November. In order to facilitate this engagement, Student Council needs a Co-President who cares about student proposals, will take them to the administration, and get things done.
MATT MELTZER ’06
Hey Swatties, Matt Meltzer here. Over the summer and during the first week of school, I chaired the 2004 Orientation Committee. To say the least, chairing Orientation was a tremendous amount of work, but the fun I had working with a talented and dedicated group of CAs, meeting new students, hiring the entertainment, and working with the deans and administration more than made up for the few gray hairs I ended up with once it was over. The experience also gave me a valuable insight into how the administration’s clock ticks and the knowledge of how we should work with the administration to get the results we want. A few things that come to mind are: parking arrangements such that those with cars off campus are no longer repeatedly ticketed while on campus; more open lines of communication to the board of managers so concerned student groups can have a voice; and more information about the resources on campus available to those who want to bring speakers, host events, and run programs but aren’t exactly up to speed on the way to get there. If some of these concerns sound familiar to you, feel free to drop me a line!
SECRETARY: Jonathan Ference ’07, Sarah Hobbs ’06, Adam Wallwork ’07
JONATHAN FERENCE ’07
What are you looking for in a Student Council representative?
Someone who knows the school inside and out, someone who knows how Student Council works, and someone who is in touch with the student body and not afraid to take a position of political activism inside and outside the Swat bubble once she or he has obtained an accurate and fair representation of student opinion.
Hopefully at least some of you already know who I am and that I’m a pretty approachable, friendly guy. You might have met me riding the Evening Shuttle or Airport Shuttle or requesting vans, from classes, from Wind or Jazz Ensemble, from reading the Daily Gazette, from Motherpuckers, from the Catholic Student Association, or maybe I’ve bumped into you at a party. Not only have these activities given me a chance to get familiar with so many students, they have granted me a deep understanding of the way the school functions. The same is true of my position on the Council on Educational Policy, where I am one of three student representatives who interact with administration and faculty on a weekly basis to determine the future academic directions of the school.
But you also want a representative who knows how to get things done on Student Council. This past semester I served as the Daily Gazette observer, and I have formed a strong rapport with the current members. I also know how the council works, and seeing as the secretary is responsible for ensuring the Council follows correct procedure, I feel I would be a good fit for the position. In high school I studied parliamentary procedure extensively, so I am well versed in how to run and participate in efficient yet productive meetings.
As secretary, you will become a better-informed student body, because Council minutes will be posted on the website within 24 hours of Student Council meetings. I also fully intend to increase dialogue between SC and the student body by initiating close touch with student opinions on important issues like the Living Wage, the College’s academic and developmental future, and making sure that SAC works efficiently and appropriately to ensure we all have fun parties to go to on the weekends. On tough issues, my outlook is this: the majority may rule, but the minority must be heard and its interests must be recognized, compromised on, and protected by the majority.
As the election approaches, feel free to come up to me whenever and introduce yourself. I think I can do a superb job, but I’ll be doing it as YOUR representative, and I promise never to forget that.
SARAH HOBBS ’06
Although it will be impossible to ever fill the shoes of our current, and may I say brilliant secretary, I, Sarah Elizabeth Hobbs, wish to run for Secretary – my only real qualification being that I undoubtedly have the neatest handwriting on the entire campus. The way I see it, is that anyone who wanted to be secretary here could take good notes and stay up to date on students council proceedings. That platform certainly won’t set me apart, and judging from the presidential election, no one really cares what I want to do in the upcoming year anyway. The following is all I ask you to remember when casting your vote.
I have impeccable moral character, am from the south (and by south I mean Colorado), and I have incredible handwriting. This way, were there ever to be an electronic failure, power outage, or alien takeover, I could quickly and neatly write out 1400 copies of the minutes and neatly place them in every mailbox. I take lots of notes, so my right hand is in great shape and in 7th grade I attended a three day conference on note taking methods. Even with ITS, in todays world of terror we can not rely on technology. I am the solution.
ADAM WALLWORK ’07
In my first two year at Swarthmore I have become an active member of our community, organizing community service events and taking part in student activities, organizations and sports. I love Swarthmore and as Secretary I will work with the Student Budget Committee to ensure that your interests are represented. As Secretary, I will do everything in my power to make our school environment as fun, interesting and exciting as it can possibly be by listening to my fellow students and enacting several specific policies:
1. I will work to increase the quality and availability of food on campus. We must be able to get food after 10:00, beyond vending machine munchy food.
2. I will suggest that the administration take steps to increase the availability of parking on campus. Larger parking facilities will allow us to increase our options beyond the bustling metropolis that is The Ville.
3. I will work to increase student access to residence halls on campus. Every student should have a key that allows them to go into any other dorm without crawling through windows at 2:00 a.m.
If elected Secretary, I will ensure that all students have a say in the decisions that affect our campus life.
CAMPUS LIFE REPRESENTATIVE: Win Ling Chia ’06, Etan Cohen ’07, Alex Ginsberg ’08, David Moore ’06, Rasa Petrauskaite ’08, Kyle White ’08
WIN LING CHIA ’06
The Campus Life Representative serves as the bridge between the students and the school. This requires strong leadership ability, good interpersonal skills and a fine knowledge of the workings of the school. I have those abilities. As an RA, I’ve been well acquainted with the workings of the admin, and will be better equipped to find solutions to your problems.
I like Swat. It’s my home away from home (Go Singapore!). I know some of you don’t like it much. I can help you with that.
ETAN COHEN ’07
Hey Hey! My name is Etan Cohen and I am running for Campus Life Representative. From increasing the selection of chips at Tarble to extending swim hours, the Campus Life Representative voices the concerns of Swatties in order to improve the quality of life at Swarthmore. That’s what I want to continue doing! What do you all think about snack machines in the science center or about late night food options? How many of you feel that there need to be more safety call boxes on campus? There’s so much to do! Do you all remember last year when I promised a book fair? Next semester, an online book-buy-back program will exist for us students to buy textbooks more inexpensively. This past semester, as Campus Relations Representative, I was able to start working on these many issues. Currently, I’m working with Dining Services to enhance food selection and presentation. I want to continue this interaction to finish what I have started. For that, I’ll need your vote. Together, we will make Swat a better place.
I would be honored to be a voice that represents my peers. So just do it. Vote for Etan.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
ALEX GINSBERG ’08
Some of you may know me from the articles I have written in the Phoenix, others from Rugby, Paces, DU, or any number of other groups on campus. I consider myself a social person. I love to meet people, and I like to have a good time. Most important to me, however, is that my friends have a good time too. Thus, the decision to run for Campus Life Representative was simple. If elected, I will sit on the Dean’s advisory board and advocate the students’ every concern. How will I do this? Well, I will be accessible and ready to listen to your ideas and complaints. As Campus Life Rep. I will set up a weekly night of Coffee, Cookies and Criticisms (CCC-New Deal Style baby!). In fact, so that I can better grasp your ideas before taking office, come see me this Wednesday the 17th at 9:00 in the Kohlberg Lounge.
There are several issues I have already begun to think about, and I have started developing plans to mollify these problems.
1. Years ago Dave Mathews held a concert at Swarthmore. Since then we have not had any big-name artists, and I see a problem with this. Together with the Large Scale Events committee, I will work to bring big names to Swarthmore. Personally, I would like to have a Hillary Duff concert on campus, but it’s your opinion that counts.
2. Ever get hungry late at night? I have spent more money ordering pizzas late at night than on anything else while at Swat, and it’s just wrong. We need more late night point and meal options. We pay a ton for food, and damnit, we should get it. 3. On that same note, I have learned that a few years ago, the campus could have gotten a 24 hour convenience store, but other projects were pursued instead. That would have been amazing! I think it is time to raise that subject once again.
4. Swat is a great place to spend your time, but there is a whole world outside, which includes movie theatres, the Valley Forge Mall, museums, sporting events, Great Adventure (in my home town), and many other places to go. I believe we should start sending shuttles out into the world, bringing Swatties to these various locations.
5. My high tech plan for Swat will bring vast and unprecedented improvements to campus…I shall fight to reset the timers on all of the dorm dryers so that clothes will dry in one cycle!! Furthermore, I believe our meal cards should be programmed not only for meals and points, but also to open all of the dorm doors, and perhaps even to pay for washers, dryers, and concession machines.
If elected, I will immediately begin working with the Dean’s Advisory Committee, Student Council, and you to implement these ideas and many others. The key here is that your opinion can dictate change. In high school I served as an executive officer for my class and for Student council for four years. Looking back, I regret that Student Council was such a titular thing. Though we righted some wrongs, our job was mostly throwing dances and such. As campus life representative, I will have the power and the voice to represent your views; and this is truly exciting to me.
In conclusion, I am running a platform of accessibility and productivity. So, on Election Day, remember to vote for the candidate who will be available and ready to put out for you. Vote Alex Ginsberg. ( Please visit my website, alexginsberg.tripod.com)
DAVID MOORE ’06
I was made for this job. I have the ability to absorb the concerns of many students. I work well in groups and I will be a valuable asset to the dynamic of the SC. Here are two of my ideas:
I propose cataloging all of the community service and activism efforts of the students to provide us with easy access to knowledge of what others are accomplishing. Not only will this make it easier to reach out into the community, but it will also ensure that the volume and scope of our efforts achieve their maximum potency. Concretely, such cataloging will help existing groups by ensuring that our limited funding is used to its maximum efficiency (I love efficiency…and bubble gum).
I was outraged to find the Swarthmore Police harassing and arresting students at the ML Halloween Party for the second year in a row. This trend has to end immediately. Therefore, if elected I will create a student group with the full backing of the administration, whose sole purpose it will be to maintain official relations with the Swarthmore Police Department so students on college property will be left to their own devices as they should be.
RASA PETRAUSKAITE ’08
Get a Life! I would absolutely love to improve campus life here. More campus wide communication will do the job.
Were I to be elected, I would open up an on-line discussion forum where students would be able to post their suggestions for campus activities. I would moderate the forum and occasionally summarize the relevant discussions of events that go on in the student council. I would in turn bring those discussions to the attention of other members of the student council. This way, one would not have to organize an event in order to drop a few suggestions for it and have the student council consider them. Then, everyone would be able to participate in planning campus events at will. Further, nobody would be left out. Consider as well, when else would you be able to engage in a meaningful discussion with someone else who goes here whom you haven’t really met?
I think that in our age of electronic media we can use the internet to try to unite us even more. We can use it to share information between all of us about upcoming campus events even before their dates and times are completely set in stone!
For more information, please visit www.sccs.swarthmore.edu/~rasa
If you have any questions or suggestions, please email me at rpetrau1.
Thanks for your interest,
KYLE WHITE ’08
Hi, my name is Kyle White and I am running for Campus Life Representative. As an incoming freshman, I feel that I have the abilities to bring new light to this campus – a fresh start, new ideas, and better communication. From experiences I have had as high school class president, as football captain, drama club president, and student council member, I believe that communication is the most important resource for success. I hope to be the student’s liaison within the student council at Swat and within the administration and faculty. Below are a few issues I would to address:
-Final’s Week: I urge the availability of Sharples and Essie Mae’s for late night snacks during Final’s Week. The purpose is for open study area and light meals.
-Security: I propose the construction of a lighted path from the Septa station to the east side of campus (to New Dorm and Mertz vicinity).
I would appreciate your vote and remember: Kyle White Does It Right.
STUDENT EVENTS ADVISOR: Jaime Cardenas ’07, Zsaleh Harivandi ’07, Ben Mendelson ’08, Emily Nolte ’07, Dan Sartori ’08, Lizzy Vogel ’07
JAIME CARDENAS ’07
Hi, my name is Jaime Cardenas and I’m running for Student Events Advisor. Student Events Advisor has a unique responsibility as both a member of student council as well as a voting member of SAC (Social Affairs Committee). After a year at Swat, I feel that I understand the community and would like to make some changes that would improve the quality of the social life at Swat.
SAC: The weekly Paces parties, often half-full on Friday nights, can get old, and need a viable alternative for Swatties not inclined to them. The fact is that the majority of campus does not attend these parties. I would propose that the school pick an event each week, possibly a sporting event, concert, bowling, or a movie. Students sign up for the event during the week and then transportation is provided. I believe that this could provide an alternative to a Paces party every weekend, and get more students out of their rooms on the weekends.
Student Council: Student council often seems very detached from the student body. The very people they are representing often have no idea what projects student council is working on. As a member of student council, I would work to make sure the student body is well-informed. Also, I would do everything I could to complete the proposals I work on as quickly as possible, rather than allowing them to drag on for years.
These are just a few of the ideas I have and the improvements that can be made with your support. Thank you for your time.
Jaime Cardenas ’07
Hallowell 209 x3985
ZSALEH HARIVANDI ’07
Having spent this last semester as a member of the Social Affairs Committee (SAC), I am already familiar with the role of the Student Council member who attends SAC meetings. As a liaison between Student Council and other student groups (including SAC), I will work diplomatically to ensure that all voices are heard. This is not to say that I will be unwilling to take a stand on important issues: I was one of the SAC members who believed in the importance of funding political events on campus. I’d like to expand the opportunities for political dialogue, with an eye toward an airing of diverse views. As importantly, this position exists to connect students to life outside the Swarthmore bubble. I will pool my ideas with others’ to keep campus life as stimulating as possible. Variety and quality of events are both important. I’d appreciate your vote!
BEN MENDELSON ’08
My name is Ben Mendelson, and I’d like to be your student events advisor. Not to sound like John Kerry, but I believe we can do better, here’s how:
1. Online Calendar on the Swarthmore Portal: Every Thursday I routinely check my e-mail to find out the events scheduled for the weekend, but quite frankly, it’s inconvenient. Wouldn’t you like to know what’s going on ahead of time rather than at the last minute? Think about it, you can easily be a click away from an entire schedule of events. As events are scheduled, they’ll be posted. I mean, Swatties work hard, and damn it we need a light at the end of the tunnel. Thursday: Orgo exam. Friday: Celebrating the Bolshevik Revolution over vodka shots. You’ll never be more excited to study.
2. Party Balance: I’m sorry, but SAC does a poor job spreading parties out. We should have the option to party both Friday AND Saturday nights. I don’t understand how one night I need to choose between Olde Club or Paces, and then the next night I’m subjected to watching Dirty Dancing. We need options.
Now, I realize that every candidate always says the same thing: I’ll be accessible. Your ideas matter. Okay, I’m no different. But who else will sit in the big chair, in January, to listen to you? Some may say it’s too cold, some it’s crazy. I just say I’m from Maine.
EMILY NOLTE ’07
I am Emily Nolte and am running for Student Events Advisor. The SEA acts as a liaison between SAC, student groups, and Student Council.
I am the best candidate because:
I HAVE EXPERIENCE:
-on SAC for both of the last two semesters
-current SAC secretary
-active in the reevaluation of SAC by-laws including incorporating funding for political events
I HAVE GOALS:
-a quick, comprehensive, and positive conclusion to the SAC bylaws reevaluation
-work with Public Safety so students receive prompt and adequate responses to issues of personal safety
-increase awareness of Student Council by recreating the SC bulletin board
-encourage dialogue between the student body and council by hosting discussion forums at convenient times I AM QUALIFIED:
-a campus leader as demonstrated by leadership positions in multiple campus groups
-worked with the administration as a member of the Parrish Building Renovations, Dining Services, and Professor Search Committees
-organized and reliable as seen by perfect attendance at SAC meetings
-approachable and willing to talk with anyone about campus issues
I am aware of the time and energy commitments associated with this position and pledge to represent you for the full term. Please vote EMILY NOLTE for Student Events Advisor.
DAN SARTORI ’08
A position on the Swarthmore Student Council is one to be filled by a motivated, diligent, and responsible student, thus fitting the criteria of seemingly the entire student body. The position of Student Events Advisor, however, seems to require a student not only with the above qualifications, but one who has a desire to facilitate the opportunities made available to students with the aim of presenting an open and encouraging social environment for all to partake in. I have an interest in the social affairs at Swarthmore and hope to bolster the student body’s unity through the position of Events Advisor.
Swarthmore College students are surrounded by opportunities in the academic realm. As these offerings are beneficial components of an education at a small liberal arts college, student-run events provide a form of interaction in a social setting that is just as important in college life. My goal, if elected as Student Events Advisor, will be to unite student events with the hope of bringing about a more unified campus. Rather than always having a themed event available, as if to constantly accommodate separate groups, having consolidated events that the entire campus can become involved in and get excited over will bring students together and create a more vibrant social atmosphere. Some campuses rally around a football team, some around a music program, some around their reputation – Swarthmore is unique in that students get excited over each other’s abilities, talents, backgrounds etc. Student events should be forums to extend this interest.
I want to bring a sense of campus identity and community to Swarthmore and will work at this through coordinating campus affairs as Events Advisor on the Student Council.
LIZZY VOGEL ’07
Since Swarthmore is an intense academic experience, the expectation of a fun weekend helps Swatties get through their week. Unfortunately, most students do not attend the meetings where major decisions about social events are made; it is easy to feel left out of the process. As your elected student events advisor, I would strive to bring together the concerns of students and decision-makers to provide students with a satisfactory variety of social options each week. I would encourage all students to contact me personally with any questions, suggestions, or concerns about the Swat social scene, so I can ensure that they are addressed at both Student Council and SAC meetings. Furthermore, in the past, Student Council has shied away from making political decisions. Rather than avoiding these decisions all together, Student Council should step up to best represent the political views of the student body. If elected, I would not shy away from making these decisions but would instead make these decisions my priority. Swarthmore has amazing resources that should be used to further the social and political awareness that makes our school unique, and if elected, I will do my part to ensure that Student Council does this.
APPOINTMENTS CHAIR: Eric Cooperman ’07, Alex Leader-Smith ’06, Ethan Ucker ’07
ERIC COOPERMAN ’07
Every day, students appointed to Swarthmore committees make important decisions affecting everything from who gets a parking spot to the amount of the student activities fee. With the wide influence these committees have, we need an appointments process that is fair, efficient, and more accessible so more people can get involved in student government. As a two-term member of the Student Budget Committee, I have twice seen the appointments process from the applicant’s side. I want to make the appointments process more flexible and efficient to keep up with the pace of life at Swarthmore. It should be more user-friendly as well. I’ll accomplish these goals by keeping applicants informed of the status of their application at all stages of the process, and I’ll ensure that every qualified candidate has an opportunity to speak with the Appointments Committee about their ideas. If I am elected, I guarantee I will put in the time and energy needed to swiftly fill vacancies, because positions should not go unfilled for months. If you have any questions or suggestions, please email me at ecooper1. Thanks for your time, and I hope to have your support in this election.
ALEX LEADER-SMITH ’06
“Alex Leader-Smith: Swarthmore College Appointments Chair. It has a nice ring, doesn’t it? Don’t let that fool you, though; I’m not in this for the title. I’m running because I believe I have the time, energy, and dedication to do justice to the very difficult student appointment process. I will strive to publicize and fully detail all committee openings. I will work diligently to instate the best, most responsible people in every available role. And I will seek to offer auxiliary positions to qualified candidates not chosen for committees. Capable, devoted individuals who want to make a difference should always have jobs.
I will also be a dedicated, vocal member of Student Council. I’m willing to listen and learn from others, but I’m also prepared to speak my mind. More importantly, though, I’m prepared to act. I want to leave Swarthmore a brighter, happier, more enjoyable place than when I found it. I want to put enthusiastic, dynamic people in places where they can succeed. That’s why I want to be on Student Council. That’s why Alex Leader-Smith: Swarthmore College Appointments Chair rings so nicely.”
ETHAN UCKER ’07
As leader of the SVRC organizing for this last Election, I saw first-hand that when students felt that they had something at stake, they snapped out of their notoriously apathetic mindset and assumed the role of politically engaged members in the community. If elected Appointments Chair I hope to cultivate and maintain a more proactive attitude among the student body towards the operations of Swarthmore’s student government. I will ensure that all potential appointees are screened rigorously through the application and interview processes. I will expect that all appointed members of student groups are committed to an agenda that reflects the principles upheld by the Student Council – a body by definition representative of all students.
My hope is that by holding appointees more accountable to their proposed agendas more students will recognize that they are affected by the decisions made by Student Council and the appointees. More students will apply for appointments and get involved in voting, and hopefully a more active, socially responsible attitude will be woven into the fabric of this community. I hope that the hard work, energy, and commitment that students gave to the November Election can be a consistent feature of our student government.
CAMPUS RELATIONS REPRESENTATIVE: Joella Fink ’07
JOELLA FINK ’07
I realize that not a lot of people do this, but I went onto council.swarthmore.edu recently. The last time minutes were posted from a meeting was on October 28–in the fall of 2003. It’s been over a year since a student could go onto the council’s own website to figure out what’s being done during meetings.
I know that most students aren’t interested in the minutes to every meeting–but I also believe that they should have access to them. I’ll work to make sure the website has information about what’s going on during meetings, for you to either read or scroll past. It’s up to you–but I believe student council will be much more effective when students know what’s being accomplished and what’s being worked on.
And there are a lot of things on campus that I’d like to work on. I liked the newer version of Swatmail, and I’d like to have it back (along with those e-mails I put into folders that disappeared). I’d like to have more bag lunches made on weekdays, with extra ones left at Tarble. I would really like a 24-hour food source on campus. I want to make sure the van service will work when it’s most needed, and doesn’t shut down for ML on the day it starts to snow. I’d like students living off-campus to have the option of being included in the directory. I’d like freshmen during orientation week to be introduced to the people in environmental services who will be working in their dorms. I want to get the voice-recognition operating system working again, and more lights set up for the walk to PPR, Woolman, and Whittier. I want dorm printers that automatically print double-sided like they do in McCabe and Cornel. I want the student council website to have a direct link from the Portal; and I want the website itself to be relevant and updated.
Also, I’d like more people to see Triplets of Belleville so someone will talk with me about it. I want more students at musical performances, and I want more people to listen to WSRN. I’m not on the facebook, because it makes me uncomfortable. This new paragraph hasn’t said anything related to my platform, or even anything particularly informative. But, see, it’s all part of my strategy. I may not have met you, but I am definitely becoming more of a person to you. Now you know things about me–I can peel oranges in one peel, I’m good at balancing books on my head, my middle name is Noga. These things, though not all that interesting (well, maybe the middle name is), do make me more real to those of you that haven’t met me. See what I’m saying? Maybe you could have voted against a random sophomore with a weird name. But now–now I’m Noga to you. I’m a person. I’m the kind of person who’d be a really good Campus Relations Representative.
Okay. I’m going to end this now, because it’s getting out of control. I’d do a really good job as Campus Relations Representative. And I promise that nothing else I ever send in to the Daily Gazette will ever be this long. Just let me keep student council in touch with you. I want to keep in touch with you. I think the size of this platform has proven that I have enough time to do it. So, yeah. Vote for me.