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 Lanie Schlessinger, and I am hoping to be your Student Groups Advisor for the 2011-2012 school year.
What is consistently enticing to me about Swarthmore–the reason I chose to come here–is the channeled energy on campus. In my college search, I was constantly disappointed in the frizzy energy that I feel exists on most college campuses. But at Swarthmore, students seem genuinely dedicated to their causes. Students elsewhere dare the world to change; students here dare themselves to change it. For example, students could have written and sent dozens of angry letters to top news sources for providing biased media coverage on the Middle East. But instead, they took it upon themselves to provide unbiased news. Rather than fighting the tyrant, they superseded him. Swatties truly are the change they wish to see in the world.
Swarthmore is filled with diverse groups of students who find one another and dedicate themselves to a purpose. They channel their energy into effective measures and do what they ask of others. Due to this overarching theme among the clubs and activities at Swat, it makes sense for these groups to utilize their greatest resource: each other. On such a diverse campus, the easiest thing to forget is how similar we all are; how we all chose this place above the others. In any thriving, innovative community, collaboration is key. This is why we all chose a school with fewer than 1,600 students, where almost everyone lives on campus, and almost everyone eats meals at the same time in the same place. This collaboration should also translate to student groups.
As Student Groups Advisor, I will ensure that this helpful, effective collaboration is taking place. In high school, I served on Student Council for all four years and absolutely loved it. During
my senior year, during which I served as Vice President of Student Council, I did the work that is most relevant to my hopes for this position. Due to a lack of organization, the clubs in my high school were all disconnected, despite the fact that many of them were similar and could benefit from collaborating with one another. In response, I constructed a school-wide database that detailed the goals of each club, their meeting times, the student leaders, and the faculty advisors. We then used this database to establish incredible collaboration among the clubs and sports at school. Every project for the remainder of the year was a collaborative effort, which not only boosted general school spirit, but additionally made every project more efficient and effective. Student Council became a support network for the school. We were finally able to channel our vibrancy, creativity, and manpower into representing and supporting the student body.
In addition to creating a similar database at Swarthmore, which can be posted to the Student Council webpage or another relevant site, I would like to begin to organize meetings in which student leaders can voice their concerns and hopes for the future of Swarthmore. This will increase transparency and communication on campus, thereby helping Swarthmore students to gain what they are looking for from the Swarthmore experience.
Outgoing Student Groups Advisor Anna Stitt also informed me that the bulletin boards in Parrish hall were recently renovated, but have since not been regularly updated. By making certain that these boards are updated routinely, we can make certain that people have a way of gaining information about the groups on campus, their events, and their short-term and long-term goals. We can also begin posting other groups’ events to an event calendar on the Student Council webpage to aid in publicity.
By undertaking these initiatives and continually striving to better understand the needs of old and new groups, we can make significant improvements in the struggle for the best possible Swarthmore. I am dedicated to this task and eager to take on the responsibility of supporting and representing you.
Thank you so much for reviewing my platform. Please feel free to contact me with any follow-up questions at email@example.com!
Lanie Schlessinger ‘15