Halloween Party, Student Marginalization, Sharples, Elections, and Goals

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.

Halloween Party

StuCo members discuss the communications confusion about cleaning after the Halloween Party. Deivid Rojas ’11, Vice President of StuCo, explained that there was a miscommunication about the hiring of a cleaning crew for the party.

Dean Braun thought that Paury Flowers of the Student Activities Office and the Social Affairs Committee (SAC) would be in charge of hiring a cleaning crew. On the other hand, SAC assumed Flowers/Dean Bruan would take care of the cleaning crew. Unfortunately, SAC didn’t realize the lack of a cleaning crew until Tuesday in the week of the party. They were only able to find a single individual to clean the party and some SAC and StuCo members ended up staying behind to clean the party.

Simon Zhu ’11, President, said, “Next year, it’s worthwhile making sure that it [the cleaning plan] is not all down at the last minute.”

Flyering Dispute

A student who posted various flyers for the new unchartered group, Swarthmore Young Americans’ Foundation (SYAF), approached Dean Braun and President Chopp about feeling marginalized on campus. SYAF is a new politically conservative group and many flyers were defaced or torn down. Dean Braun reached out to StuCo to see if members could look into this issue, and into how Student Council can help further civic campus dialogue and discourse.

Many members were hesitant about taking up the issue of the student in particular. Liz Bryant ’13, Campus Life Representative, said, “I think the administration should handle this. The feelings of a student on campus shouldn’t be put into the hands of other students. This is not our job and we aren’t trained for that. It would be careless for us to try to address this.”

Watu Poe ’13, Campus Life Representative, agreed and added, “This issue would be different if it was an organization coming to us instead of an individual.”

Sharples Updates

There will be various initiatives with Sharples. Ben Hattem ‘12, the Financial Policy Representative, will meet with Sue Welsh, Vice President of Finance, on meal points in the Ville. Hattem also plans to meet with Stu Hain, VP of Facilities, and Linda MacDougall, director of Dining Services in the near future.

Anna Stitt ’13, Student Groups Advisor, brought up students’ suggestions about changes in the bag lunch program. Zhu says that it seems to be a matter of rotation and Bryant will email Linda MacDougall, director of dining services, about potentially changing the rotation schedule.

StuCo members will also ask about the TV in Sharples.

Election Timeline:

Rojas, the member in charge of elections, presented the election timeline to Council. Next week, there will be a campus-wide email on available positions. Interested candidates will turn in their platforms by Sunday, November 28th. Elections will open December 1st on Wednesday to December 5th, Sunday. StuCo members will organize a StuCo lounge informational event for interested candidates on Tuesday, 10pm on November 16th. There will also be an campus-wide debate with the candidates on Tuesday, 7:30pm on November 30th.

Short- and Long-Term Goals:

StuCo reviewed their short-term and long-term goals. For their short-term goals, they want to make a resource guide for students on issues such as hosting events to seeking personal help. They also plan to work on the laptop sharing program.

StuCo’s major long term goal is managing the rollover funds initiative. StuCo and SBC members met on Saturday to talk about the overall strategy with what StuCo is going to pursue with this initiative. StuCo plans to remove the Fun Fund and form a new committee that would fund broader types of events, projects, and programs.

Hattem explains, “We want to put the rollover funds to a more expansive program that can grant money for projects…The whole new fund will be the Fun Fund in a way, but broader in scope and more money behind it.” Currently, the Fun Fund funds one-time events and the types of events often overlap with other student funding committees, such as SAC and FFS. Stuco hopes the new committee and a more expansive program will foster innovation and creativity in students. For instance, this new committee could fund ongoing student projects, provide seed funding for a new program, etc. Hattem will draft this idea in a document to have StuCo look over it and present it to SBC.

StuCo also talked to SBC about changing the rules on budgeting to make the budgeting process more precise, particularly potentially establishing expiration dates on student organization budgets. Zhu explains that once money is allocated to groups, it stays there until the end of the year. The current situation contributes a lot of money to the rollover fund because many student groups do not end up spending their group money. StuCo also mentioned that SBC is interested in de-emphasizing spring budgeting and doing more student group fund allocations throughout the school year.

Miscellaneous Notes:

  • Student Council members recently received an email from a student at Occidental College. The student was interested in investigating the Swarthmore’s programs that “develop students’ morals, principles, and values of the students outside of academics.” The student is interested because Occidental College is currently reassessing its student health programs. Zhu will forward the email to the communications office.
  • The Bike Share is up and running.
  • StuCo purchased 100 plastic sheets for StuCo biweekly updates in the bathroom stalls in various academic buildings. The updates would inform students on what StuCo is currently working on.
  • Sean Thackurdeen ’11, Educational Policy Representative, is investigating dorm cable services. He will email various people in Facilities on details on the cable services in the dorms.
  • StuCo members recapped their brunch meeting with Alumni council this Sunday. Sonja Spoo ’13, Student Appointments Chair, said, “It went really well at my table. The discussions were important and we talked about postering and hot issues on campus.” StuCo Members mentioned that Alumni Council members are interested in being more involved with students and StuCo decided to email the head of the Alumni Council their student council email address for future inquiries, comments, etc.
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