Student Groups Advisor, Ben Francis

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.

Student groups make Swarthmore what it is. You’ll find the bad food and the awkwardness at other colleges. What you won’t find is a student body devoted to such a wide range of causes. On my campus tours I make a point of saying that I’ve learned as much from listening to fellow Swatties as I have from listening to my professors. Student groups foster this kind of participation by providing a forum for like-minded people to come together, as well as a space for newcomers to be introduced to the field. As Student Groups Advisor I would:

Keep groups informed. SBC is fantastic, but sometimes funds can get tight. I will keep groups informed about nontraditional methods of funding, such as Forum for Free Speech and various discretionary funds, and help them through the application processes. As a voting member of SBC, I will extend a standing offer to review all SBC proposals before they are actually proposed. In addition, I will maintain close contact with group leaders about relevant networking opportunities. I will keep them informed as to what events similar groups are planning, and whether or not there is room for them to get involved.
Update the Student Activities Website. Sometimes just finding the group you’re looking for can be frustrating. On the website I will include contact information for all participating groups, add new groups to the list, and remove defunct groups from the list.
Seek out group input. Every group has unique concerns. Some of these—for example, that one group requires equal access to school resources as academic departments, or that another needs extra funding for advertising—you cannot know without asking. I will contact group leaders regularly, listen to their concerns, and help them decide on a course of action accordingly.

If elected, I will work tirelessly to fulfill these aims and more. Thanks so much for your consideration.

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