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.
I am running for Financial Policy representative to be a strong voice for students as Swarthmore moves into more difficult times. We have all seen students contribute both personally and financially to Swarthmore in astonishing ways. Swarthmore in return has given us an unparalleled education. However, as coming to, paying for and succeeding after Swarthmore becomes more difficult than ever, it is essential that we focus on getting the most out of our school. I will make sure that students are heard clearly and that our needs are met.
I also want to encourage and be a part of greater dialogue about the economic role of higher education in America. It is clear that students feel strongly that change is needed. The recession has only increased the heavy financial burden on students. Even amidst the worst economic year in decades, tuition has outpaced inflation once again the administration taunts us with cuts in financial aid. It is true that our shrinking endowment dramatically impacts the budget. Yet I believe Swarthmore can do better. The primary goal of our endowment policy should not be to protect the endowment, but rather to protect students. As of this June, our endowment was reportedly worth around 1.15 billion dollars, yet our budgeted 47 million 09-10 spending is just a four percent rate. This is below our historical target of 4.25%. It was still a cut from last year’s contribution by ten million dollars. Imagine if President Obama decided to raise taxes and cut spending this year.
I believe that this is the time that Swarthmore can set itself apart in financial justice. It will take hard work and new ideas. It will also take prudent decisions and belt-tightening. As Financial Policy Representative I will witness the start of discussions that head us down that road. I look forward to helping to turn student frustration into action and ideas. I will always work to listen and I will always strive to protect and project student interest. Swarthmore can be of value to you; I hope you’ll let me help.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.