Meeting with Chopp, Parrish Board Space, and Survey

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.

Meeting with President Chopp

Simon Zhu ‘11, President of Student Council, and Deivid Rojas ‘11, Vice President of Student Council, met with President Rebecca Chopp last Tuesday to discuss her vision for the proposed inn. According to Rojas, Chopp said that she does not wish to outsource the bookstore. In addition, she doesn’t envision “a Sheridan with 30 floors,” Rojas said.

At the meeting, Chopp also said that she hopes to have a fireside chat with students in regard to strategic planning after the issue is discussed at the Board of Managers meeting, scheduled for the weekend of October 1st.

Parrish Board Space

Anna Stitt ‘13, Student Groups Advisor, has been in contact with Paury Flowers, Assistant Coordinator of Student Activities, as StuCo tries to decide how the display boards along the walls on the 1st floor of Parrish should be allocated. StuCo discussed opening up more board space in Tarble near Essie Mae’s but no action was voted upon. StuCo plans to email the student body in the coming weeks asking groups to respond if they would like to be considered for board space and also to note if their organization already has a display in Parrish. From here, StuCo hopes to create a system that will allow groups with active boards to keep at least a portion of their space and some, if not all, groups currently without space to receive a space on the wall.

StuCo and Flowers hope to have the new displays prepared for Garnet Weekend and discussed planning an event for groups that are allocated board space to create or update their displays in the coming weeks.

Survey Results

StuCo’s survey, which covered topics ranging from Sharples’ operating hours to student group email access, closed at 11:59 PM on Saturday. At Sunday’s meeting, StuCo discussed the survey results, trying to pick several short-term initiatives.

Many StuCo members felt that providing additional food options should be considered because of the fact that students saw “more local and organic fruits and vegetables in Sharples” and “using meal points in the ville” as the two most important initiatives out of the six mentioned on the first portion of the survey (they were the only two initiatives ranked as “very important” by a majority). StuCo plans to meet with Linda McDougall, Dining Services Director, in the near future to plan the next steps and to discuss Sharples’ budgeting policy.

StuCo members also expressed an interest in creating a comprehensive resource on planning and funding events, which was ranked at “neutral” by a majority of students who submitted a survey.

In addition, StuCo plans to collect more information on implementing a laptop-sharing program. The “I would like to see a laptop-sharing initiative instituted” option was ranked as “neutral” by the majority of survey-takers; however, according to Rojas, part of StuCo’s role is to “speak for those who might not be represented.”

Watufani Poe ’13, Campus Life Representative, also wants students to know that the program would differ from McCabe’s laptop-sharing program in that students would be able to check laptops out for multiple days. Sean Thackurdeen ’11, Educational Policy Representative, said that Bryn Mawr has a program similar to the one proposed which he believes allows students to check out laptops for an entire semester.

StuCo did not pick specific initiatives to pursue at this time; however, members hope to create a plan of action after more information is collected from the administration about the feasibility of various initiatives.

StuCo also discussed what groups should be allowed to automatically subscribe students to their mailing list. In the survey, 41.3% of students felt that both the Daily Gazette and the Phoenix should be allowed to automatically register students; however, after much discussion, StuCo decided to recommend that Liz Braun allow only the Daily Gazette to automatically subscribe the student body, citing the fact that 48.7% students also said that they receive “just the right amount” of emails and that 43.2% of students felt that they receive “too many.”

At first, StuCo was split between wanting automatic subscription for only the Gazette and wanting it for both the Gazette and Phoenix. Rojas argued that sending daily emails to the student body is “clearly spelled out” in the Gazette’s mission statement and that the Phoenix already has access to all students through their print edition.

Several StuCo members pointed out that allowing the Phoenix to send a weekly email would set a precedent that StuCo would not be able to uphold for future student groups who wish to send an email to the student body after creating a web site. In the end, StuCo was unanimous in deciding that the Gazette should have the ability to automatically subscribe students but 7 of the 10 members voted against allowing the Phoenix to have this ability.

StuCo will also recommend that the Reserved Students Digest be reformed so that students receive fewer emails each week from the service.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Several StuCo members discussed the idea of implementing a bridge program with Chopp but felt that further research must be done before a decision is made as to whether or not a program will be created.
  • StuCo discussed installing plastic displays in bathroom stalls around campus that would hold StuCo updates. StuCo hopes that these flyers would help to inform students of current StuCo initiatives.
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