StuCo Report: Emergency Elections, SBC Budgeting and Charter Reform

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.

On Sunday Student Council discussed Student Budget Committee funding, the elections for the open StuCo positions and ways to reform student group charters in an effort to establish and maintain a more current list of campus activities.

Emergency Elections to Fill in StuCo Seats

In preparation for the emergency elections to fill the positions of Co-President, Secretary and Campus Life Representative the week of February 6th, StuCo decided that they will continue to use paper ballots to increase voter turnout.

Voting will take place in Sharples and Shane Lounge from Monday to Thursday of that week. There will be a live Q&A with candidates on Monday February 6th.

Student Budget Committee

The SBC task force, comprised of StuCo and SBC members, had a meeting last week at Dean of Students Liz Braun’s house in which they discussed alternative methods of budgeting. Among the proposals was switching to a system of semesterly or quarterly budgeting for groups that needed to be funded more regularly. The hope is that this would also decrease rollover funds.

StuCo also discussed splitting student groups into categories and then capping the amount of funding that category could receive, this after questions have been raised about the disproportional funding of men’s and women’s club sports, as well as club sports in general over arts and culture groups.

StuCo members discussed a possible consolidation of the Deans’ and President’s offices’ funding as well as a more uniform structure for the way that departments could fund groups and events.

Potential Charter Reform

Student Group Advisor Elena Schlessinger ’15 discussed the problem of keeping the list of campus groups up-to-date. She expressed the need to establish which groups on campus are active and which groups exist only in name.

“Part of having a thriving student body is having thriving groups,” said Schlessinger.

Educational Policy Advisor Fai Wisittanawat ’13 added that some of the groups on the Swarthmore College website are non-existent or have contact information for students who graduated in ’08 or ’09.

Appointments Chair Will Lawrence ’13 expressed concern about making chartering groups more difficult.

Schlessinger, however, said that the point was not to make chartering more difficult but to create accountability for those groups that were “inactive or inefficient.” She wants to see the contact information for group leaders updated every semester.

Additionally it was decided that all current StuCo members will serve on the Chartering Committee. The Appointments Committee will also consist of all members except for Financial Policy Representative Eugene Prymak ’13.


StuCo is currently working to launch a new website that will contain information on current council members and descriptions of council positions, as well as an administrative page with past resolutions, proposals, minutes and open meeting times.

There will be a Parlor Party on February 5th to update students on educational policy-related committees.

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