President: Paul Apollo

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.

What should Swarthmore look like in ten years? Which programs should be expanded? What new programs should be introduced? Next year, the students of this campus are going to have the opportunity to answer these questions. We have an opportunity that only comes once a generation. When the Swarthmore 2020 campaign steering committee wraps up its work next year, it will have allocated several hundred million dollars answering those questions. It will consist of eight members; one of them will be the Student Council President.

There are things that I feel that money should go towards: turning Film Studies in to a real department, expansion of the Women’s Studies Department so it can offer majors, expansion of the Asian Studies Department to include more South Asian classes, numerous measures to make Swarthmore greener, expanding large departments, like Political Science, so students need not have to fear most of their classes going to a lottery, need blind international admissions, and a decrease in the summer work expectation for financial aid. As president, what I would be much more interested to know, however, is what direction the other 1,484 or so other students that attend Swarthmore want to see the school head. I would take numerous steps to ensure that Student Council solicited opinions concerning this from every possible group from SAO to Earthlust, from Phi Psi to Psi Phi. Furthermore, I would make the whole process more transparent so students could ensure that the President is working for them and accurately representing their interests.

Of course, I have short term goals as well: I want to send all members of SBC, FFS and SAC to the same anti-oppression workshop that StuCo attends twice a year, I want to have card reading locks put on the dorm doors for safety and security, I want to continue to work with Sharples on improving their selection and accessibility. I would be no less passionate about soliciting short term goals from students and groups, as well.

So what should be the direction of Swarthmore? I think it is time for the student body to unite and assert their presence in deciding the answer to that question. Having served for a year on Student Council and nearly two years on SBC, I believe that I have the experience and passion needed to help that body assert itself as a powerful force for deciding change. I hope the voters of this school agree with me. My time and effort is a small price to pay for all of the joy, fun and stimulation this school has given me, and I think it is time for me to start to repay my debt. Together, we can substantially shape the present and future of this school.

0 thoughts on “President: Paul Apollo

  • April 16, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    …I want to have card reading locks put on the dorm doors for safety and security…

    How much do you estimate that these locks will cost?

  • April 20, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    You’ve talked about need blind international admissions. What do you think are the main issues and problems at Swarthmore about this right now and why and how do you think we can make it happen?

    You have also talked about to decrease in the summer work expectation for financial aid. Can you elaborate on this? What do you think is a better earning target for students to reach, if there should be one at all?

  • April 20, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    In regards to the question on international need blind admissions, I think the only real problem preventing it has been financial. I think that the will exists among the administration of the school to bring the program about, but there are serious budgetary concerns. The last improvement in financial aid (loan free) by itself cost $40 million. Next year, we have the capital campaign and I think that it will be the job of the president to push for for these improvements as part of that campaign. This can and will happen, provided that the student body selects someone with the will to to advocate for it in the 2020 committee.
    The decrease in the summer work contribution would be put in to effect to allow students of less means to have more freedom in their choice of summer programs. As it is, many students on this campus simply don’t have the option of taking that cool unpaid internship, they have to earn money to pay for school. I would work with the board and financial aid to push for the maximum decrease in this contribution possible. If it financially feasible to abolish it all together, than that it what I will push for.
    I hope this answered your questions. Feel free to e-mail me if I have any more.

  • April 21, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    About the locks question, I forget the actual number. I’m sure you can get it from vice president of facilities Stu Hain. It will be pricey, but I think that they will be worth it for two reasons: Firstly, given that there is very little “student space” on this campus, I would like to see recreational dorm improvements. In order to do this, in the spirit of fairness, everyone would need access to every dorm’s resources. Secondly, I would like it for security reasons. If someone is being followed or feels otherwise threatened, I would like them to be able to get in to any dorm on campus. We’ve been working on this issue with the SMART team this year.

    I hope this informs your decision, David. Again don’t hesitate to post or e-mail me with any additional questions.



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