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.
One of the many reasons for me choosing Swarthmore was the fervor with which my peers engaged one another with their various values, ideas, and opinions. One of the most impressive aspects of Swarthmore to me was the camaraderie that develops because of the shared ideas amongst peers. Not on did this impress me, but the sheer number of groups available on campus was exciting as well as overwhelming. As a freshman, I was bombarded with propaganda to join this group or that group and like any other clueless, starry-eyed freshman, I signed up for every mailing list in sight. As the year has progressed, I have culled that list to a diverse set of groups that align with my ideas and passions. While I am very satisfied with my experiences with the various groups with which I’m involved, there are many area for improvement. The three main issues that I feel plague student groups here on campus are budgetary constraints, lack of information for the general student body, and lack of a central governing body amongst groups. As a candidate for Student Group Advisor I plan to work closely with the SBC to implement strategies that will better distribute group funds in a more streamlined and effective manner. This would serve two purposes, it would help to prevent further increases to the student activities fee and it would also free up funding to charter more student groups as well as increase funding to existing groups. To increase general knowledge about groups to the general public I would implement a policy that would mandate that all groups that receive funding from the student budget would be required to update its websites and other mediums of communication in a timely fashion, or face sanctions. In order to provide a central governing body amongst groups I would push for the creation of an Intergroup Council or the IGC, and require all groups on campus to elect an IGC representative to represent the group within the council. This council would discuss issues within groups on campus and act as a think tank to implement ways of streamlining group functions. I hope that these ideas appeal to you and I ask that you will allow me to serve as your Student Groups Advisor