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 Anna Stitt and I would like to represent you on Student Council as Student Groups Advisor this fall.
My experiences so far at Swarthmore have made it clear that Swatties have brilliant ideas, take initiative in a wide variety of interests, and want transparency and information. I am committed to communicating well with you as students and as members of groups, making sure you’re supported by Student Council, and providing you with information, money, and advising so you can take strong and creative leadership on campus.
If elected as Student Groups Advisor, I will hold a retreat at the beginning of the fall semester for representatives from all student groups. As part of my commitment to make funding transparent, the retreat will include details of available sources of funding and how the applications work for different sources and events so that you don’t have to navigate financial bureaucracy alone. It will also include support for group leaders and the opportunity for communication between groups that can strengthen student initiatives.
Throughout the year, I’ll prioritize individual meetings with student group leaders to check in and offer resources, and I’ll organize study breaks for leaders and members from different groups to talk, build ideas, and coordinate plans. I will also update the Student Activities website with interested groups’ accurate contact information to increase accessibility and better reflect student life, be available throughout the year for guiding established and new groups through the process of group formation, development, and budgeting, and do my best to give each group a stronger voice in the community by opening channels of communication across groups and departments.
My involvement in Students for a Democratic Society, Swarthmore Labor Action Project, organizing Rise Up (a new baking group), working to establish collaborative college classes (with students and inmates) in a prison in Chester, and several other student projects informs my perspective on the resources and pitfalls for student groups on campus and has helped me develop many of the skills I will need to be an effective Student Groups Advisor and member of Student Council. My experience with securing funding, facilitating group meetings, advertising, coordinating transportation and logistics, planning events and lectures, and navigating the chartering process makes me prepared for the organizational and facilitating work of the Student Council position, but also gives me a perspective on what student groups on campus go through.
If elected as Student Groups Advisor, I will commit to representing and supporting all the student groups at Swarthmore. And as a member of Student Council, I will commit to developing ways to increase StuCo’s resources as a facilitating and empowering body accountable to your experiences and plans, make budget and funding decisions more transparent, continue to increase student involvement in making decisions and work to gain student input in determining what decisions are on the table, and hold the administration accountable to prioritizing students and your hopes, ideas, and needs.
We have an amazing campus with a diversity of groups, both developing and established, and I’m excited to help support your ideas and leadership by serving as your Student Groups Advisor next year, if given the opportunity.
Thanks so much for your time, and feel free to contact me (astitt1) with any questions or comments you have for me this week or in the future.