Vice-President, Deivid Rojas ’11

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.

My name is Deivid Rojas and I want to be your next Student Council Vice-President.

As you are probably aware, our college is going through a critical time period. No budget cut, whether big or small, is an easy experience. As such, our voices cannot be silent, but rather loud enough for the administration to hear . As students we will be affected directly and indirectly by the proposed budget cuts. We are in charge of ensuring that Swarthmore, as a responsible academic institution, makes decisions which engender sustainability in levels of financial aid, that will allow for all current Swatties and future Swatties to equally enjoy and access Swarthmore. As your Vice-President I plan to facilitate and expand this discussion process, so that your ideas and opinions are integral factors to the decisions made by the administration.

Efforts have been made recently to do just that, opening the possibility for a new wave of student participation. And so, it will be the charge of this student council to take the next step forward and embody the movement as its main source of power. As Vice-President, for example, I will call upon the leaders of student groups, to incorporate the budget cuts into their agenda and develop a consensus of ideas regarding where and how the cuts should be made. These conversations will develop into an agreement between the students and the administration as to which budgets must be conserved and how the groups can be more fiscally responsible. Ultimately, I would like to enable a consensual effort in which communication flows freely between all bodies and that all decisions are understood before they are made.

This plan necessitates a more activist stance on the issues, an effort already initiated by the current Council. This is apparent for instance by their involvement in creating the Student Financial Advisory Committee, which the Vice-President is part of. As Vice-President I will continue to take this approach and even take it a step further by promoting an increase in student participation. Student Council is an influential force on campus that can have a serious impact on the daily lives of the Swarthmore Community, it cannot afford to take a step back at this point in time.

In order to do this though, the student body needs a Vice-President with an array of leadership and activist experiences. During my last two years at Swarthmore I have served as Tri-Co Peace Week Co-Assistant Coordinator, Enlace President and Secretary, Club Despertar Coordinator, Diversity Workshop Facilitator. I have also been involved in clubs such as SLAP (Swarthmore Labor Action Project) and Colors. During my summers I have participated in community action projects, one in Bosnia where I worked with an NGO working with children who were affected by the Bosnian genocide. And most recently, with the help of three other Swarthmore students, I founded a program for children from displaced families in my hometown of Bogota, Colombia.

This is all to say that through my involvement I have fundraised, facilitated meetings, coordinated events, written grants, proposed to committees, planned parties, etc. I have also worked with administrators, faculty, and professors at different levels in order to accomplish these goals. These experiences have taught me how to effectively navigate bureaucracy as well as the importance of an active persistency over a submissive complacency.
Ultimately, I promise that I will listen to your needs and work hard with the rest of student council to continue improving the quality of life for every one at Swarthmore.

Though I have focused this platform principally on the current budget cuts I promise to continue to work with efforts to improve other aspects of campus life, such as security, Sharples, and SBC oversight. Ultimately, I plan to make my position in student council a top priority.

For the last two years, Swarthmore has provided me the space to grow as a person, an opportunity available for me because of past decisions made by the administration. My experiences here have been some of the most precious and formative of my life. I want to ensure that this continues to be an opportunity for me and for other Swarthmore students and prospective students.

Though currently abroad, please do not hesitate to contact me via e-mail to drojas1. I look forward to being able to represent you if given the opportunity!

The Phoenix

Discover more from The Phoenix

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading