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 Hilary Pomerantz and I am running for Student Council Secretary. Serving in this position, I will not only take weekly meeting minutes and post them on the Student Council blog in a timely manner, but I will also work to make Student Council more accountable to the campus at large. As Secretary, I will advocate that the group act as a mediating body between Swarthmore’s administration, student-run organizations, and the larger student population. When incidents happen on campus that affect student safety or student groups, I will fulfill my duties of publicity and outreach by informing the student body. I believe that in many cases there is no neutral position to take, and that Swatties have much to gain from Council’s ready access to the administration. I would also push student-run organizations, such as SAC and SBC, as well as committees to have more accountability on campus, by encouraging them to publish their own minutes and inform the student body of their decisions.
My inspiration for running comes from taking part in Student Councils’ recent efforts to reach out to students about the college’s budget cuts. Having taken part in the recent Budget Cut talks that Student Council has sponsored, I have witnessed the opportunity that Student Council can offer the student voice in decisions that affect our lives and experiences at Swarthmore. As Student Council Secretary, I will push to make sure that students continue to have a say in the coming Budget Cut decisions, by encouraging and helping Student Council to host more open discussions and panels with members of the administration and reaching out to students to get them involved in this decision making process. Students have repeatedly expressed that they do not want budget cuts to affect financial aid and I will push fellow Council members to put the full weight of the group behind this issue. Additionally, I will continuously seek input from the Swarthmore community so I can act on and express students’ concerns during Student Council meetings and to the administration.
In my past year and a half at Swarthmore, I have had lots of experience taking meeting minutes and keeping institutional memory for groups such as Swarthmore’s IC/BCC Coalition. In addition to serving as the minute taker at Student Council’s meetings, Student Council Secretary also submits Budget Proposals to SBC for Student Council. Through my work as Treasurer for Class Awareness Month, as a planning member of Swarthmore’s Sager Symposium and Coming Out Week, and as a member of the Swarthmore Queer Union (SQU), I have had extensive experience with submitting proposals for funding and working with SBC. Additionally as a part of these groups, I have planed and run many events on campus such as this years Coming Out Week: “Coming Out Live” spoken word and Hip Hop event, last years’ Sager Symposium: “Intersections of Queer: Coalition-Building Across Our Communities”, and this year I facilitated the Class Awareness Month student panel “Class Experiences at Swarthmore”. From these experiences, I have gained lots of useful information about running groups and events on campus that will inform my work on Student Council and I will use my position as Secretary to pass on useful information to students and student groups.