StuCo: Bylaws and Meetings

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.

Decision-Making by Law 

StuCo reviewed the final draft of a new bylaw to be added to the constitution which outlines how StuCo will discuss and deliberate on issues brought before the council. According to the bylaw, issues brought before StuCo will be handled by either “Open Discussion,” a “free-flowing talk about a particular issue,” or “Formal Deliberation,” in which the secretary moderates the flow of discussion through several stages.

The bylaw was proposed by Appointments Chair Will Lawrence ’13, who said after the meeting the council wanted to create “an explicit decision-making structure to ensure that there is space for all StuCo and community members to give input and to make sure that all StuCo members understand exactly what is being decided.”

StuCo passed the bylaw unanimously and will be added to the constitution.

The “Meeting After” Genderfuck Discussion 

StuCo Co-President Matt Lamb ’12 said one of the hopes of the Genderfuck planning committee is that additional RAs at Genderfuck will stay sober to help with the event. Lamb said he will reach out to dorm teams.

Lamb also asked if there should be a committee formed specifically for Genderfuck. Lawrence said he didn’t think a full committee was necessary. The group agreed that it’s important to have better continuity in planning the event from year to year. Co-President Gabby Capone ’14 said it’s important that there be a Genderfuck Committee of sorts each year, although this does not have to take the form of an officially appointed committee which she said could be stifling.

Campus Life Representative Ali Roseberry-Polier ’14, asked if perhaps the discussion could have been better facilitated. Lawrence agreed, saying conversations are more productive when there is a clear facilitator.

“I don’t think this is anything dramatic,” Lawrence said. “I just think any conversation needs to be facilitated if you don’t want to be all over the map.”

StuCo is continuing to work on organizing a discussion on sexual misconduct which will happen on March 15, two-weeks prior to Genderfuck.

Sharples Straits 

StuCo discussed how they might work with Dining Services to alleviate the bottleneck traffic at Sharples during peak hours. Right now students cannot use meals until after 1 p.m. at Essie Mae’s during lunch and after 7 p.m. during dinner. Financial Policy Representative Eugene Prymak ’13 will talk to Dining Services to find out why swiping is restricted to Sharples during peak hours and about possible solutions.

Small Tumbles Forward 

As part of StuCo’s Small Steps Initiative – which asks students to submit small issues that StuCo can work on such as trying to get academic buildings unlocked at night so students can study –   Lamb proposed StuCo add a suggestion box on their tumblr to receive students’ comments and questions.


Lamb will talk with Dean of Students Liz Braun this week about how future agendas of StuCo’s meetings with the Board of Managers are planned. StuCo would like to have more input into how discussion topics are chosen.

Since StuCo doesn’t always use all its time with Braun every week, the Council discussed conceding that time to student groups that would be interested in getting time with her.

Lawrence will talk to Braun about reviving the Sager Fund Committee which has been inactive for several years.  Reviving the Sager Committee will open up funding to students.

StuCo discussed better ways to reach out to students and administrators including inviting administrators and student leaders to StuCo meetings. StuCo would also like to send their representatives to student group meetings.



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