StuCo Report: Party Permits, Semester Goals and Open Positions

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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.

Weeknight Party Permits

At its first official meeting of the year last night, Student Council (StuCo) addressed its first major campus issue. According to StuCo President Tramane Hall ‘12, several professors went to the Provost with complaints that students were still drunk in classes Friday morning from Pub Nite on Thursday.

While party permits are not issued for parties later than 12 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, Hall said the administration may be looking to start enforcing the normally ignored party policy.

Campus Life Representative Matt Lamb ‘12 said if students don’t have an organized, “safe,” place to drink they are more likely to continue drinking in unmonitored areas, referencing a dangerously drunk student who was left alone in a bathroom during last Thursday’s Pub Nite.

If the administration started enforcing the party permit policy, Hall said it would put more pressure on R.A.s and Public Safety as they wouldn’t know where people are drinking and who to hold accountable.

Campus Life Representative Victor Brady ‘13 said the main problem is personal responsibility.

“The underlying issue is that students are showing up to class drunk. Unless we have a way of addressing that, there’s nothing we can do,” Brady said.

While they said they cannot yet decide on a resolution, StuCo said it plans to talk to Dean Braun this week to continue discussions of drinking policies on campus.

Semester Goals

The main focus of StuCo’s first meeting was to outline its goals for this year, which they discussed as increasing transparency, creating integration between student groups and becoming more efficient as students’ voice for change on campus.

“I want to start breaking down the various wall there are between the administration and students,” StuCo Vice President Olivia Ensign ‘12 said.

Open Positions

Three positions still remain unfilled, but the council said it is hopeful for more involvement both on the ballot and in the polls, saying they have at least three candidates for each open position with the largest number of candidates coming from the freshman class.

“We want to make StuCo sexy to the students,” Hall said.

However, in order to make significant accomplishments, Hall said he hopes to fill these positions before StuCo’s first big event, Halloween with the Deans.

“We don’t have a lot of clout until we have those spots filled,” Hall said.

Mark your Calendar

Wednesday, Sept 7, 7 p.m., Shane Lounge: Info session with the current StuCo about how to get involved.
Monday, Sept. 12: Platforms due
Wednesday, Sept. 14, 7:30 p.m., Kohlberg: Q&A session with StuCo.
Sunday, Sept. 18: Voting closes.


  1. I don’t think this Thursday night party permit situation was thought through well enough. It is completely naive to think that people will stop drinking at midnight on Thursday just because no legal parties are still open around campus. I see this having a few unintended effects. One, it will lead to more underage students trying to buy their own alcohol (or having upperclassmen do it for them) so that they have access and can keep drinking on Thursday nights. Two, it will mean more drinking in dorms after Pub Night, which is distracting to others in the halls and puts more pressure on RA’s who suddenly have to deal with it. And that’s not even mentioning how against the fundamental principles of the Swarthmore alcohol policy this is. If our policy is promoting safety and education, which is better: drinking at organized, PA’d parties in public with access to help, or in small groups hidden in dorms with no supervision or accountability? And if a group of freshmen is drinking illegally in the dorm, won’t they be less likely to call for Public Safety in an emergency than a trained PA or DART member at a party with a permit? Finally, I see this producing little to no change in the amount of students who are drunk or hung over in class on Friday. As Victor says, this comes down to personal responsibility. A student who wants to drink on a Thursday night can do so, and in the end it’s up to each individual to make that decision for him or herself.

    The most well-intentioned rules can go wrong, and I think this is a clear example of such a case. Driving drinking underground like this is completely against everything I’ve come to expect from the Swarthmore alcohol policy and I can’t understand the reasoning behind it. Has anyone heard of a strong argument supporting this move? I hope the Deans have a clear, well-thought-out response, OR are open enough to student feedback to perhaps change a poor rule. Just because a rule exists in the handbook doesn’t make perfect, and I hope we can be reasonable enough to change this one.

    –Student, Class 2012

  2. What? The minutes are exactly the same as this article.

    Great reporting, DG. The quotes suggest that StuCo is talking about interesting and important issues, and taking stances on them students can respect.

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