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.
In an agreement with the Administration to cover the Dean’s Search Q&As;, the Daily Gazette has agreed to redact all information that could possibly identify the visiting candidate to either the campus community, or outside eyes. Nevertheless, we hope sincerely that the article remains relevant to the student body.
A candidate to become the next Dean of Students may or may not be enthusiastic to be our next Dean of Students may or may not have met with students at the Kohlberg Coffee Bar last night. The candidate—a living, breathing human being identifying as either a male or a female—was able to use sounds to communicate verbally with students at the Q&A.;
The candidate expressed an arguably positive feeling upon meeting the students, who we presume had some emotions in kind to the candidate’s greeting. This entity introduced itself, indicating that they currently worked somewhere, doing something that may or may not be directly relevant to being our next Dean of Students.
“I really felt like [this candidate-agent’s] [previous or current] [job or volunteer position] as a [profession which at least occasionally must interact with others] really qualified them to be our next Dean of Students,” a student beamed.
Following some more speech acts that relied on the symbolic system—a mode of communication in which we assume understood connections between signifiers and things that are signified—the candidate opened hirself to what were, arguably, questions.
The session began with a question asked by a student regarding the candidate’s opinions on student involvement in the budgeting process, the candidate said something about inclusion.
“When it comes to [important decisions about the budget concerning which I may or may not have any direct knowledge], it is [adjective] to [verb] the students,” the candidate considered. “As Dean of Students, I would [verb] the students so that they felt [adjective,] [adjective,] and [adjective.] That is the only way, really, to [verb] with regard to [important decisions about the budget concerning which I may or may not have any direct knowledge.]”
(That we report that the student was asking a question about the candidate’s opinion on something tangentially related to a financial task in no way is meant to suggest that the candidate currently has a role in which they even earn money, much less work with it.)
At some point, another student had what linguists would argue is a “question.”
“Swatties are crazy as all hell! I think, like, at least a fourth of us have a personality disorder. What are you going to do about that?” a student asked. “What are you going to do to make us less crazy?!” The candidate replied something—not through telepathy, but, again, with their voice—that we infer meant that they largely believed in the system of psychiatric disorder classification entailed in the DSM-IV.
“I think that [it may or may not be bad when students go insane for various reasons],” the candidate replied. “We need to [verb] them until they feel [adjective or adverb] about their [nouns].”
Other questions were asked. It’s possible that the candidate replied to all or most of them in some form or another. The candidate then said a farewell of some kind to the student body, and went for a bathroom break. Returning from a bathroom, they ordered a [food item] from the coffee bar, and left the building using a form of mobility either natural or artificial. (We did receive explicit permission to deny that the candidate used a Segway for locomotion, though we can neither confirm nor deny the Razor scooter rumor.)
Next week, another candidate—who we can say is neither an arthropod nor an octopus—will be meeting students at an undisclosed location 10 miles under the ground.