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.
Hey Swarthmore Student Body!
My name is Watufani Mtafuta-Ukweli Poe, and I would like to represent you on Student Council as your Campus Life Representative. Let me start by saying I love the Swarthmore Community. If I’ve already had the pleasure to meet you, you know that I greet you all with a beaming smile and rambunctious laughter. One thing that strikes me about the Swarthmore community is that we’re concerned about the issues on campus. You and I care about our fellow Swatties, and their well-being. I want to be able to act as a liaison between all student communities on campus and the administration. for the community to tell me the issues they are concerned about, so that I can take it to Student Council and we can make change together.
In today’s dismal economy, I am especially worried about how budget cuts will impact student life on campus. Being a student heavily dependent on financial aid, I know how much is at stake if things like financial aid are cut in the budget. I believe in the importance of financial aid for keeping a diverse student body—which contributes to the academic culture and rigor of the institution and the strong student culture on campus. Diversity is integral to the Swarthmore Experience, which is why we are one of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the country. I understand the grave importance in keeping Swarthmore diverse and keeping our financial aid program strong, despite any budget cuts.
Another issue that’s important to me is campus safety. With the recent trashing of the Swarthmore Queer Union room in the beginning of the semester, I know that protecting our student body and our student cultural groups is more important than ever. I am a huge fan of our campus being open to the outside community, and our cultural buildings like the IC and BCC being open at most all times, but safety and security of our campus must be secure if that is the case.
As Campus Life Representative I would brainstorm new ways of hearing, representing and maintaining Swarthmore. I would work towards making a drop box where students can submit comments about Student Council, the administration and events on campus can be heard and reviewed by Student Council. Currently there are teacher and course evaluations that allow students to express their opinions about their academic life; however, I would also like to see our advisors and deans more accountable to students. As Campus Life Representative I would like to have evaluations for academic advisors, administrators and institutional programs, like Worth Health Center, Dining Services, CAPS and Career Services. Finally, I believe that students often have creative solutions to major issues on campus, I like to host open forums where students can respond to and collectively brainstorm about solutions to campus issues.
All Swatties, whether we have met yet or not, know that you have a friend in me. If you elect me I will do my best to serve as your link to our Student Council
Watufani Mtafuta-Ukweli Poe