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.
Hi, I’m Elowyn, and I’d be honored to serve as next year’s educational policy representative. I know that if I’m chosen to be next year’s educational policy representative I’ll give it everything I’ve got, and I believe I have the experience and dedication needed to do the job well. Educational policy and student government have always been fascinations of mine, and especially at a small school like Swarthmore where a few persistent students can really have an impact, I can’t imagine a better way to spend my senior year than representing the student body’s voice on StuCo and to the administration.
I believe I’m qualified for the position: I have extensive experience in student leadership, and in working with non-students on college policy issues — a large part of the ed. policy rep. position. Before coming to Swarthmore I spent two years on the student senate of my local community college, where I chose to take classes instead of attending a regular high school. While there, I probably devoted more time to student government than I did to my actual schoolwork: 18 of us represented a student body of 17,000, and it became something of a full time job. Through skill, luck, or (most likely) my persistent obstinate streak, I was able to get onto a number of important college-wide committees and form strong relationships with the administration and faculty I worked with. While there I also served as the chair of the inter-club council, and at the end of my second year I was awarded the annual Outstanding Student Leadership Award. Here at Swarthmore I currently chair the Forum for Free Speech, and over the years I’ve been part of a number of different student groups.
As an honors political science and peace education double major, I have a fair amount of experience with educational policy: I took a course in it last year, did an externship with a group working to increase minority and disadvantaged student enrollment in community college, and spent last summer working at the College Access Center of Delaware County. I believe these experiences would inform my perspective as the ed. policy rep., and would help me keep my focus where I believe it should be: on the needs of the students.
Beyond what’s strictly part of the ed. policy rep. job description, there are a number of other issues that I’d like to make sure are on the StuCo agenda next year: our school has a long way to go on budget and investment transparency, and we need to reevaluate the way our administration deals with sexual assault on campus. I believe that as the voice of the students, StuCo is uniquely positioned to play an active role in protecting students’ interests on campus, and I hope to be part of that process. If elected, I also encourage you all to talk with me about your own concerns and priorities: I’m far from omniscient, and I know I’ll do my job better if you help me know what we need as a community.
Thank you for your consideration!