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.
Serving as your Student Council Appointments Chair has been one of my best experiences at Swarthmore. I have enjoyed the opportunity to meet so many of you and to work with some fabulous committee members. I have used this opportunity to improve the transparency and accessibility of appointments process. I have learned a lot about Student Council and Swarthmore, and thus feel ready to seek the office of Vice-President.
I have decided to run for Vice-President rather than to seek re-election as Appointments Chair because of my desire to tackle some important priorities that are listed below. These are issues that I would not be able to all focus on due to the organizational responsibilities that go with being Appointments Chair.
For the past two years, Student Council has made huge progress in becoming more open and active. Part of successfully continuing this pattern, relies upon having leaders who are experienced and have a record of positive accomplishments. I believe that I can best fit that model.
The following are a list of my priorities that I pledge to work on, if you elect to be the Vice-President:
I promise to better present Student Council as a student advocacy organization. Despite all of our work, many Swatties do not know what beneficial resources Council can provide. I hope to accomplish this by establishing a better website to improve facility of communication. As vice-president, I would see it as my responsibility to encourage Student Council to be more proactive rather than reactive in tackling student issues.
I promise that I will continue to work with Dining Services and students to improve the setup of the meal plan. This November, I lead an open forum for Swatties to learn about Sharples and to be able to question our administrators. We have made substantial progress this semester to facilitating communication with Dining Services. I want to make sure that beneficial changes will be in place by fall ’09.
I promise to ensure that the IC and BCC communities have access to the Board of Managers. Last spring, I successfully petitioned council to invite IC and BCC leaders to a luncheon with the board this fall. This was a tremendous step forward, but Student Council’s support should not end there.
I promise to make sure that Student Council continues its responsible oversight of the Student Budget Committee (SBC). Last semester, I helped to vote down an irresponsible amendment to our constitution that would have made difficult for the SBC members to properly carry out their jobs. It is important that Student Council insures that the $400,000 student activities budget is well managed.
I promise to make a campus security a priority for Student Council. Our current council president, and I have been laying down the foundation for a student committee that will have the mandate to assess security problems and to report back to us. I want to make sure that this committee is created, and that all Swatties have the chance to weigh in. Since the incident in Willets this September, Swatties have done a good job “stopping the prop.” Student Council needs to push for better campus lighting and the placement of call boxes around campus. We should not have to wait for another terrible incident to make us do more.
I promise to continue Student Council support of seeking a more open financial aid process at Swarthmore. We owe a lot to the dedicated Swatties who have collected over 500 signatures from students and faculty to demand a fairer and better financial aid process. With many Swat families being hit hard by the economic downturn, it is extremely important that a successful dialogue continues. I pledge that I will be a dependable liaison to the administration.
I am excited at the prospect of continuing to work on Council and hope to have your support. Please feel free to contact me (nerskin1) if you have any questions about my proposals.