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.
This past weekend, the Board of Managers met for their annual spring meeting. According to Sam Asarnow ’08, the newly elected Student Council Vice-President, the first spring meeting “is always the least exciting meeting of the year.” The primary purpose of the meeting is to set the budget, including tuition, IT expenditures, and capital budget changes.
Of greatest import to most of the student body, charges will increase 5% next year, bringing total costs to $45,700. This price puts the school “in the middle of a comparison group of peer institutions,” according to a summary of the budget released by Suzanne Welsh, the Vice President for Finance and Treasurer. Most of the $106.8 million budget is still paid by the endowment, however. A large portion of this cost hike was driven by increasing fringe benefit costs, such as health insurance.
The most notable development, and a coup for Earthlust, was the college’s decision to “go ahead and increase… reliance on wind power from 19 to 35%.” According to Samuel Asarnow ’08, the Board of Managers had been “impressed by the duration and vigor of student wind power activism” and the activism had been the “driving force behind their decision.” The change was “what we were hoping for” reported Earthlust president Elizabeth Crampton ’09. Still, Earthlust views this as only a first step towards their long-term goal of “complete carbon neutrality,” with the “College buying all of its energy from renewable sources.”
Other committees that met included Property, Development, Student Affairs, and Social Responsibility. At the Property meeting, the Board focused on Paul Hall’s sibling, David Kemp Hall, and on the possible Inn to be built between the train station and PPR. No conclusions were reached.