Student Council 411: Literary Magazines and the 10:1 Campaign

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.

10:1 Campaign | Appointments and Chartering | Elections

10:1 Campaign

The Council is poised to begin the 10:1 campaign, which is designed to encourage students to donate money to Swarthmore and the new no-loan initiative. Any student donations will be matched ten times over by Gil Kemp ’72.

The goal of this campaign is to fire Swarthmore students up about the direction of financial aid at Swarthmore. “The campaign … could send a powerful message to the Board of Managers that this is the right direction,” said Groups Advisor Paul Apollo ’09, stressing that donations do not mean this is the end of changes to financial aid.

The Council decided to hold a kick-off event where students can meet with President Al Bloom and Laura Talbot, the Director of Financial Aid. The kick-off idea was suggested by Appointments Chair Nate Erskine ’10.

Appointments and Chartering

Erksine reported that regular appointments are underway and applications are due on Friday, April 4th. As per tradition, Erskine has received very few applications but expects to see a flood come Friday.

The Charter Committee has faced a series of difficult decisions on major publications at Swarthmore–they have recently had to consider Punc/tum!!!, the Night Cafe, and the Swarthmore Review.

The Night Cafe is designed to mimic the New Yorker, with more in-depth exposés and other writing that doesn’t fit in traditional literary magazines. The first issue was put out using a grant of $3,000 from the President’s Office, but the organizers are requesting $24,000 to continue publication.

Apollo outlined the Charter Committee’s reservations about the magazine in three points: “It would be prohibitively expensive. They wanted to put out two issues a semester and said this was pretty non-negotiable. Secondly, while we were impressed with the first issue, if we hadn’t seen the magazine itself we probably would not have approved it. Thirdly, with the publications market so saturated, we didn’t think this magazine added anything all that new.”

The Charter Committee was reportedly split, with three voting no and two voting yes.

Campus Life Representative Alyssa Work ’08, one of the editors of the Night Cafe, spoke in defense of the publication. She argued that “the publication came out and biased-ly, it looks amazing. … There is nothing for long-form creative non-fiction on this campus.”

The conversation quickly turned to a broader consideration of publications at Swarthmore. Publications currently consume nearly 22% of SBC’s budget, a chunk larger than any other category. However, Student Council has, according to President Peter Gardner ’08, entered discussions with the Development office to share the burden of the Halcyon, which costs nearly $55,000 a year–more than every other publication combined.

The Council also discussed the Swarthmore Review, a poetry magazine open to submissions from anyone in the world. Gardner reported that the magazine had already received hundreds of submissions from award winning poets–but that the Charter Committee was concerned about funding a magazine that would not primarily serve students.

“The concern,” said Gardner, “is students who want to submit and are denied that ability because a poet from … Paris … is better.” The Council discussed how to best find alternative sources of funding for the review, including the President’s Office, the English Department, and alums.

“Let’s bring Rahul [the Review’s editor] to Al Bloom,” said Gardner.


The Council set a schedule for this year’s elections.

April 5: Email the student body
April 8: Hold a discussion on how to join the Council
April 15: Platforms due to the Gazette and The Phoenix
April 16: Presidential Debate
Last Week of April: Elections


  1. Hey Miles,
    the Night Cafe doesn’t “imitate” the New Yorker any more than the Pheonix “imitates” the New York Times. It is designed to be a literary magazine for “more in-depth exposés and other writing” which doesn’t fit into the mainstream journalism/art journals of Swarthmore. It is not an alternative to “other literary magazines” because Swarthmore doesn’t have other literary magazines in this sense of the phrase.

  2. $24000 is ridiculous. sure, the campus could use a venue for long-form nonfiction, but said venue doesn’t need glossy color printing or whatever else they’re asking for. if this were really about the writing, you’d be as happy to staple that shit at Kinko’s.

  3. The reason we are asking for glossy color printing is not because of the writing, but because we would like to print photo spreads to go along with articles, art photography, and student art. High quality printing is to give the art and photography a proper showing. If this were just about the writing, we would be happy to staple “that shit” at Kinko’s. That being said, we are certainly willing to settle for less money than 24,000. That was a high estimate based on the highest circulation, and lengthiest issues we could hope for. Two issues per semester is important to us because only one would make in-depth journalistic reports less than feasible, as news would become outdated. But we have said that between 12,000 and 15,000 will meet our needs. Anyone who would like more information should contact me, eepstei1. Just a last word, I would also not say that we “mimic” the New Yorker, except insofar as we publish essays and lengthy nonfiction. Check out our publication to get a sense of our style, every magazine’s got its own.

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