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.
Student Council discussed the Dash for Cash, last weekend’s Board of Managers meeting, Parrish board space, the state of TVs on campus, the state of the bike share program, and aerobics at this week’s meeting. Several members were not present because they were at Discovery Weekend events.
Dash for Cash
Representatives of the men’s and women’s rugby teams were present to discuss the Dash for Cash, the fundraiser which deans discontinued last year.
Myrt Westphal, Associate Dean for Student Life, requested that the rugby teams talk to Student Council about sending out a survey to the student body to gauge opinions. The teams wanted to dispel the idea, which they said was expressed by some commenters on the Gazette, that StuCo would be putting this issue to a “campus-wide vote.” Rather, they said, it is just one factor that will be considered in the decision-making process; if, say, it came up that 15% of the student body was strongly opposed to the Dash, that would probably be enough to stop it. The final decision will be made by the deans in conjunction with the rugby teams.
There was some discussion about whether it would make sense for Student Council to distribute the survey at all. Ben Hattem ’11, the Financial Policy Representative, felt that this issue was different from the email access issue, where the deans were asking Student Council for an opinion which would be based on student opinions, whereas in this issue StuCo is not being asked for an opinion of its own.
The teams were asked to consider other options, including discussing with the deans whether it makes more sense for the deans themselves to send out a survey, as well as to consider op-eds in the Gazette and the Phoenix. If they do want Student Council to send out a survey, they will return to the next meeting, where there will be a quorum.
Board of Managers Luncheon
StuCo members discussed their thoughts on the student lunch component of the Board of Managers meeting, which took place on Saturday and had a focus on the strategic planning process. One Student Council member and two students not on StuCo sat with a table of several members of the Board and were asked to discuss a handful of questions about the future of Swarthmore. The general consensus was that the format allowed for a good discussion and that it was helpful to see how Board of Managers responded to the issues presented.
StuCo Vice President Deivid Rojas ’11 said that this format encouraged the best discussion when compared with the several previous Board of Managers meetings that he has attended, and that he got a lot of good suggestions in regard to things that Student Council could easily accomplish.
Sean Thackurdeen ’11, the Educational Policy Representative, noted that one member of the Board of Managers who was at his table is planning to send a letter to the administration based on the more realizable suggestions that came from this discussion.
Parrish Board Space
The deadline has passed for student groups to request board space in Parrish. Student Groups Advisor Anna Stitt ’13 said that several groups with current space did not reply, while many groups that do not currently have wall space requested it.
Stitt is planning to meet with Coordinator of Student Activities Paury Flowers later this week to figure out how much space each group should get and how to arrange the spaces. Before taking down old group’s posters, however, she will contact the groups that did not reply.
StuCo is planning to hold an event with decorating supplies and with food, probably the week after fall break.
Rojas emailed all of the RAs on campus asking for information about the TVs in their dorms. He found that most televisions do not have working cable service and that at least one dorm has a student TV in the lounge because the college TV does not work. StuCo will summarize the responses and send them to Director of Facilities Stu Hain.
Rojas will meet this weekend with Jeff Cao, of Chester BikeWorks, to see if something can be worked out with him for repairing the StuCo bike share program’s bikes. If not, he said StuCo should start looking for another solution; seeing if SBC will give them money to buy more bikes and/or looking for students to employ to fix bikes.
He has been unable to contact Lindsey Yanez, the former owner of the bike shop in the Ville with which StuCo formerly had an arrangement and thinks it unlikely that anything will come of that.
Two students were present to propose that Student Council help them fund an aerobics instructor for half of each semester, as Athletics is no longer willing to fund the class for the full semester due to budget cuts.
Student Council did fund the instructor for half the semester last spring, as part of a rollover initiative from last year. Currently, however, StuCo has no money itself to fund an instructor.
Council suggested that the easiest long-term solution would be to charter an aerobics group and request funding from SBC for half of each semester, with the Athletics Department continuing to offer the course for the other half of the semester. The group should talk to Athletics about PE credit for the group, which would presumably work similarly to the way in which some dance clubs offer PE credit.
It is also possible that the deans will help with this, for example, as part of Dean of Students Liz Braun’s health and wellness initiatives.