Course Reviews, Board of Manager’s Meeting, and StuCo Structure

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.

Class Reviews

A new website for Tri-Co course reviews,, has been created; Student Council is manually adding all the reviews from the old course rec book site. There have been discussions about getting support from the Dean’s Office for this new site, but that status is uncertain. One issue the deans have with the site is that it’s completely open to all visitors: there are no logins or verifications that a submitter is a Tri-Co student for reading or writing reviews.

There is also a Student Academic Mentor (SAM) book with reviews of all the courses that SAMs have taken. Council questioned why this isn’t better publicized, and suggested talking to the SAMs about doing so.

Rollover Funds

The funds from last year have been almost entirely spent. StuCo plans to publicize the details with their Sharples Takeover (which will be in the form of a parfait bar on Wednesday the 16th), but the Athletics Department will be reinstating most of the classes for the spring semester that would otherwise have been cancelled, including aerobics and tae kwon do.

Board of Manager’s Meeting

The Board of Managers will meet on the 25th and 26th. Student Council discussed the open luncheon with the Board: President Rachel Bell ’10 thought that past luncheons tended to be mostly socializing, rather than productive discussions about the issues important to students. She proposed the idea of setting a discussion topic for the luncheon, possibly with each table reporting to the rest of the attendants about what they discussed. The idea of having a Council member at each table to facilitate was also brought up. Decisions were put off until the Council’s Wednesday meeting.

Structure of Meetings

Student Council discussed the idea of having meetings focus on a specific topic, which would hopefully both be more productive and encourage students interested in that topic to attend. One or two Council members will lead each of these meetings. It was decided that next week’s meeting would be about student safety and in particular security issues that were a major issue last semester. Vice President Nate Erskine ’10 will lead that session.

Other future topics could include:

  • increasing emphasis on interdisciplinary academic programs, such as Asian Studies, Black Studies, and the like.
  • accommodating disabilities: ADA compliance, the swim test and PE requirements. The idea of pushing to allow independent gym time towards the PE credit was brought up.
  • integrating sustainability and improvements to campus life: for example, a bike-sharing program.

Constitutional Amendment

Vice-President Erskine proposed an amendment to the Student Council Constitution to deal with attendance issues. In its current form, Council members who miss more than three meetings, barring exceptional circumstances, will forfeit their posts. There was discussion about a system for giving advance notice for an absence, and to the amount of allowed absences. Once finalized, the amendment will be published in the Gazette and the Phoenix and then voted on by the Council.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • A van coordinator has been hired, and shuttles should resume soon. Bell proposed the idea of having the Dean’s Office arrange the vans, with money from Student Council, as she thought it might be more reliable.
  • The Dean’s Office has eliminated the game room attendant position. The Council expressed concerns about both the number of student jobs that elimination represents and about its necessity to keep the game room equipment safe, and briefly discussed the idea of recreating it as an SBC position.
  • Responding to a student proposal, Student Council discussed keeping a coffee bar open on Sundays. Depending on Dining Service’s funds, they might choose to ask students whether they would prefer Saturday or Sunday openings; the thought was that Sundays would be preferred, since more students do heavy work on Sundays than on Saturdays.
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