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.
Did you see the solitary individual scribbling notes at First Collection? Yes, that was me. I am a perpetual note-taker. I like to write and consider myself to be well organized; in fact, I tend to take notes voraciously. It can be embarrassing at times, but I feel as if this component of my personality has finally found a calling. Maybe I have been in training for this secretarial position all along and failed to realize it until a junior on Student Council suggested that I run for secretary. Regardless, I am now out of my note-taking closet: I want to be your Student Council secretary.
While I applaud Student Council’s efforts to provide opportunities for students to voice their concerns, I feel that active leadership entails more. Though it is essential that student representatives listen, we must also think critically, propose concrete ideas for change, and seek feedback to reach a consensus. And, as a contender for this position, I come with not only a critical yet constructive perspective but moreover the energy and will to put my ideas into action: I see myself as a motor for change.
As secretary, I would like to pave the way for more student involvement in Student Council: more dialogue and increased accountability. According to its constitution, Student Council aims to function as a “vehicle of communication.” While our vehicle is not “totaled” by any means, it could still use a little work. (Or perhaps a motor for change?) The broken links and lack of recent newsletters posted on the Student Council website are clear signs that this vehicle is in need of repair. I would first focus on improving the website with a special emphasis on making the minutes concise and easy to read. It is essential that all students know when Student Council meets, that the weekly meetings are open to all, and most importantly that Student Council exists to “serve, represent, and protect” the interests of students.
In short, please vote for me to be your secretary. Aside from my note-taking passion, I would love to make Student Council work for all Swarthmore students. In concordance with my do ask, do tell policy, I encourage you to ask me questions and tell me your thoughts so that I can be your voice. If you don’t happen upon my smiling face, please email me at abortne1 [at] swarthmore [dot] edu. I appreciate your vote.