Haverford Discusses Ways to Save Funds, Asks Students to Help

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.

In light of the now-official recession, Haverford’s administration is seeking ways to save money. As a part of their effort, they are asking students to help where they can, specifically in terms of energy conservation.

President Dr. Stephen G. Emerson, ’74, said, “How can we save resources that are optional…so that we can cushion a recession for as long as possible?”

Emerson said that the school has already identified about a million dollars that can be saved this year alone.

Director of Facilities Management Ron Tola expects that funding for his department for the 2009-2010 school year will decrease more than for other departments because Facilities has been well-funded in the past. Still, Tola recognizes the important of academics as a priority for funding, and said that Facilities was willing to cope with decreased resources so that all educational needs could be met.

However, Vice President of Finance Richard Wynn said that the effort to save funds wouldn’t affect the transition of HCA to Facilities Management.

While the facilities budget for this year has not been reduced, the department is subject to a hiring freeze that affects almost all positions on campus.

In a letter to the community last month, Emerson wrote, “When individuals retire or leave, we must ask whether the jobs of those who have left can be temporarily performed by those of us still working in our areas without replacement hires.” This policy has taken effect in Facilities Management, as a custodian position that recently became vacant will not be filled.

In addition to weathering cuts in funding, Facilities is attempting to identify other ways that the college can save money.

Tola stressed the need for students to help the effort.

“The campus community can, as they go through the campus, identify wastes of energy and resources, and report those to Facilities to increase the number of eyes that are watching what is happening on campus,” he said.

Individuals could participate by noting where lights or heating are unnecessarily on all day. Students have already begun to ponder how they can contribute to this campus-wide endeavor.

Dorm President for Apartments 38, 42, and 46 Faraz Sohail ’12, said that students should be able to conserve heating energy by keeping doors in dorms and apartments closed when not in use.

He stressed that students in the apartments have more responsibility than students in dorms to look for ways to conserve energy.

“In the apartments, students are more in control of their lighting and heating, and so they are more accountable for their energy usage,” said Faraz.

The administration seems to echo the call for more efficient use of energy by students. SC Co-Presidents Will Harrision ’10 and Harrison Haas ’10 discussed the matter with Emerson. They related the conversation, concerning lowering temperature in the apartments to save costs, to The Bi-College News.

Will Harrison said, “Steve Emerson supports people sharing beds…”

“…In order to save on heating costs,” said Harrison Haas.

Other students expressed desire for a collective effort.

Kat Wyly ’12, said, “It would be helpful if all students could come together to decide how we can best help the college.”

— by Gemma Donofrio


  1. In other news, tonight Spike Magazine is hosting a study break, for which they hired a professional clown. Maybe I should request funds for a money burning study break. SAC, SBC, the Parlour Parties fund or whatever can write me a check, I'll cash it in ones, and we can briefly bask in the warm, fiery glow!

  2. JM: As someone who is particularly excited for the clown party, I don't really see it as burning money. It's a one-time thing that ultimately doesn't cost very much money and the college saw fit to allow Spike to spend money on it. There are plenty of student groups that are just as draining to the College's finance that give me as little benefit as the clown party gives you. Basically, don't try to take away the funding for the things I enjoy and I will give you the same service. Also, clowns are awesome and it's high time that more people at Swarthmore realized that.

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