Student Council 411

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 met for the second time yesterday in a brief meeting to organize the upcoming semester. Paul Apollo ’09 was absent.

Four issues dominated the agenda: arranging the event to advertise the Swarthmore planning campaign, the upcoming Board of Managers luncheon, a meeting with members of ITS, and the idea of creating a student handbook.

Planning Campaign

Most of the details of the planning campaign event were ironed out last week. Student Council has reserved Science Center 199 for February 13th at 9pm, and debated exactly what food to supply at the event. They were unanimously in favor of coffee.

Different names for the event were tossed around—”The most important meeting of your life,” was suggested by Vice President Sven Udekwu ’08, while Finance Representative Sarah Roberts ’08 suggested “Plan Swarthmore’s Future.” The Council eventually settled on “The Power is Yours.”

Part of the Council’s advertising plan revolved around asking the Phoenix for a cover-page story. President Peter Gardner ’08 suggested moving to Sci 101 if the event did make the front page.

ITS Meeting

Student Council is meeting with ITS this Wednesday. They particularly aim to discuss upcoming changes to the Dashboard, and briefly discussed how the events calendar could be better advertised.

Several student council members were interested in adding a brightly colored scrolling marquee to the Dashboard to really grab students attention and display extensive amounts of information without taking up enormous amounts of space.

“It would be like on a MySpace page,” Alyssa Work ’08 said with a laugh, trying to describe the effect.

Student Council also mentioned that they plan to keep the changes to the Reserved Students Digest until the calendar has exhausted most advertising outlets and, most notably, been given a prominent spot on the Student Dashboard.

Student Handbook

Appointments Chair Nate Erskine ’09 advocated creating a printed handbook for all students that could serve as a generalized guide to Swarthmore, with information like open hours for meal places, how to get funding, what exactly committees do, and other key services.

The Council was skeptical. Several members were concerned about costs, and others were worried by the enormous time commitment creating such a book would required. Gardner was unsure how such a handbook would significantly differ from the current handbook given out every year.

Udekwu advocated creating such a document, but putting it online “just as a big long Word document,” perhaps with a printed version attached to the Student Council board in Parrish.


The Council is trying to arrange one-on-one meetings with leaders from Intercultural Center groups. Keith, an observer, urged the Council to focus on “groups who don’t feel like they can project their power.”

Gardner plans to use the Council’s mailing list of student groups leaders to advertise and advocate for the events calendar.

Athletics will be the theme of the Board of Manager’s lunch, but due to a cap on slots for students only the captains of Spring sports and select few others will be invited to attend.


  1. This is a dramatic improvement in the Gazette’s Student Council coverage. Please keep providing names, quotes and details. One suggestion: When you reference discussion from previous weeks, a link would be helpful – I have no idea what the “planning campaign” is about.

  2. I agree with Stephan – scrolling marquees are unnecessary and hard on the eyes. If something like that appears, I’ll set my browsers to a different homepage. Also, if there’s to be a handbook, distributing in .doc is almost as silly as distributing in dead-tree. It’s the 21st century, folks – use a wiki.

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