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.
Hey everyone! My name is Matt Lamb ’12, and I would love to be your Student Council Co-President. I have spent three incredible years at this school and would love to end my time here by giving back to the Swarthmore community. We are already pretty far into the spring semester, and the elected candidate will only serve as Co-President until the end of this semester. For this reason, I believe the student body and Student Council is in need of an experienced leader who, once elected, can hit the ground running. Last semester I was fortunate enough to serve on Student Council as your Campus Life Representative, where I learned the inner-workings and procedures of Student Council, worked and developed relationships with various administrators, implemented a variety of Student Council initiatives, and addressed numerous student body concerns. Throughout my time here at Swat, I have served on DART and SAC, as an RA, as President of DU Fraternity, on the Deans Advisory Council, the Student Philanthropy Council, a catcher on the Baseball team, and Campus Life Representative. With this invaluable experience I am confident that I am the right person to be your Co-President.
I have tons of ideas for the direction in which Student Council needs to head. All of these ideas are predicated upon more student involvement and input in Student Council. As a great friend of mine once said, “Let’s make StuCo sexy!” This concept has been brought up and addressed year after year, and unfortunately student engagement with Student Council has still remained pretty low. However, Student Council has made great strides in the right direction. As a council, we must make a more concerted effort to reach out to the student body for your input and ideas. Last semester the most effective method for receiving student input was the open forum held for addressing student life, specifically the Thursday night Party Permit policy. With incredible attendance and support by a wide-array of student groups, change was realized. Clearly, Student Council is capable of solving large student issues. Now, let’s effectively use this method to solve problems and better our time here at Swat.
I recently attended one of the GenderFuck planning meetings in which we raised party concerns and found pragmatic solutions. While this was a productive meeting, I noticed something profound, which I have never seen in my time here at Swat. For the first time, numerous student group leaders met in one place to solve a major campus problem. I must commend the GenderFuck planning committee for putting this together. Our campus contains a ton of great student groups. Student Council must serve as a facilitator for student group leaders to come together and help solve one another’s problems. There must be a forum for student groups to come together, seek advice, and offer ideas and possible solutions to one another.
While there are many large, pressing concerns that must be addressed, Student Council cannot ignore simple, small changes that make daily life at Swat just a little bit easier. Last semester, the Small Steps Forward initiative was implemented. Essentially, students informed Student Council of minor concerns and frustrations through a suggestion board. While the initiative was short lived for logistical reasons, small problems were solved. Student Council can revamp this initiative through an online forum for issues to be voiced and active outreach by Student Council members. Student Council must address large, broad concerns along with these small steps.
These are just some of my ideas for Student Council. However, my hope is that as Co-President, I can actively seek out your ideas and solutions for campus concerns. Whether it is a small problem like why isn’t the game room fixed, or a major, widespread concern, Student Council is a powerful and effective tool to instill positive change at Swat. Thanks for reading my rambling, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at mlamb1.