Finances, Bikes and a Media Shuttle

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 Financial Advisory Panel

The SFAP met for the first time last Friday with college administrators. They discussed financial aid, which involved too much confidential information to discuss in depth at tonight’s meeting, as well as potential changes to faculty/staff benefits. A possible restructuring of faculty/staff health care plans would focus on using in-network providers to lessen costs, and the tuition credit given to students of faculty and staff might be slightly reduced.

The Ad Hoc Group will announce its plan for a modified budget on November 13, at which point Student Council will host an informational session for students and then a town hall discussion with deans and administrators.

The student financial panel includes three StuCo members, President Rachel Bell ’10, VP Nate Erskine ’10, and Financial Policy Representative Dan Symonds ’11.

Textbook Money

The issue of the $10,000 designated for textbook purchases in last year’s rollover initiative came up, with council members noting again the difficulty of effectively using this money to purchase or rent enough textbooks to make an impact. Bell and Secretary Stephan Lefebvre ’11 brought up the possibility of allocating money to the buying supplies for students taking art classes. They noted that such a contribution could be maintained by selling some student artwork at the end of each semester, and devoting some of the proceeds to supplies for the next semester’s students.

Bike Share

Angela Meng ’12, Student Events Advisor, has been working on a budget for a pilot bike share program. This program, starting by the beginning of spring semester, would begin with 10 bikes and helmets that could be returned to any of five locations on campus. Bell brought up the issue of maintaining these bicycles once they’re bought, which would be a continuing expense. Meng expects the project to cost around $1070 at first; an alum has pledged $500 towards the pilot program.

Miscellaneous

  • StuCo members hope to start a shuttle to Media on Friday evenings. Bell intends to make a proposal to SBC to run a shuttle for the rest of the fall semester and gauge student interest.
  • Angela Meng brought up the idea of asking student committees that interact with the administration to submit a report each semester of what they had done.
  • Simon Zhu ’11, manager of the Student Budget Committee, came to the meeting to propose changes both to the Movie Committee, which would expand to include giving funding to students who wanted to bring bands to campus, and to the officially allowed use of the Student Activities Fee — he hopes to set a maximum percentage for money use by non-chartered groups.