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 Council members proposed the bike share program before the Student Budget Committee but were told that details needed to be solidified before the proposal could move forward. StuCo will propose to SBC again this Sunday, and will spend this week investigating bike safety measures.
A key concern raised by SBC was the possibility of bikes being stolen. StuCo hopes to create a system that will encourage students to be responsible when using the bikes but that will not penalize students if a bike is actually stolen. Students will also be required to fix any damages that occur while they are using a school bike.
The Ad Hoc Financial Committee will be presenting their tentative budget cuts to the Board of Managers for approval during their December 4th and 5th meeting. The list of budget cuts, which will be implemented beginning in 2010, can be viewed online.
The proposed cuts were discussed at the meetings with the knowledge that, for the most part, the amount that needs to be cut from each department is firm but the specific events and programs within the department that are being reduced are still flexible.
Financial aid cuts raised the most concern with StuCo members, sparking a debate over what action should be taken to lessen the impact of the cuts on students. StuCo agreed to work to reduce the amount being cut in financial aid by sending a proposal to the Board of Managers but also discussed options for implementing reductions in financial aid. One proposal is to either increase the work-study weekly hours from 7.5 to 10 or to increase the number of summer hours students are expected to receive. This program could them be combined with non-mandatory, low-interest loans offered through the school. Another option discussed is raising the yearly tuition but still meeting 100% of demonstrated need. This would allow families with financial aid awards to pay approximately the same amount, but would have an impact on families not receiving financial aid.
Both proposals were met with criticism, and the general consensus was that students should be polled to find what they feel is the best way for dealing with financial aid cuts. Another option that StuCo will suggest to the Board of Managers is delaying the cuts until it is decided whether they are necessary.
The currently proposed cuts, totaled at $6,855,903 fall short of the $8,000,000 required by $1,144,097. At the moment, it is unknown from where this $1.14 million will be taken.
Board of Managers Meeting
The Board of Managers will meet on December 4th and 5th to discuss and hopefully to approve a list of budget cuts proposed by the Ad Hoc Financial Committee.
Friday’s meeting will not be open to students, faculty, and staff. On Saturday, however, two students will observe the meeting and the Board will announce their decisions at a student luncheon.
StuCo hopes to contact the President’s staff, who plan the meeting, early this week to discuss the possibility of allowing two students, two faculty, and two staff to observe the delegations on Friday. The StuCo members felt that it was important to include current students’ opinions in the Board’s decisions.
StuCo also plans to write a proposal to the Board outlining students’ thoughts on the tentative budget cuts. This proposal will hopefully be presented at the beginning of Friday’s meeting, giving StuCo members the opportunity to interact with Board members and to show them that students have legitimate concerns.
- Student Council will hold a textbook sharing information session on Monday, November 16th at 4:30pm in Sci 199.
- The shuttle to Media will begin this Friday and run from 5:00pm to 9:00pm.
- StuCo members are trying to promote unity amongst the Tri-Co course schedules to make it easier for students to take classes at Bryn Mawr and Haverford. This would also include altering the Tri-Co shuttle schedule.