StuCo Report: Chartering, Capital, and Master Plan

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.


Student Groups Advisor Lanie Schlessinger ’15 initiated a conversation about reforming the group charter process. She said the process is inefficient and can feel intimidating to students, and said that information needs to be conveyed more clearly to groups seeking charter status.

She said the five-minute meetings she has with these groups should be replaced by public information sessions, where tips like how to get SBC funding and board space could be discussed. Co-President Gabby Capone ‘14 agreed with Schlessinger’s proposal to reform the process and asked Schlessinger to work on an amendment to the constitution.


Financial Policy Representative Natalia Choi ‘15 updated the council on the capital replacement initiative. Under this initiative televisions around the campus (in large communal spaces like Shane Lounge and in dorm lounges) could be repaired and remote controls would be replaced for all televisions. They also discussed repairing or replacing the foosball table in the Essie Maes’ game room.


Campus Life Representative Ali Roseberry-Polier ’14 and Campus Life Representative Tony Lee ‘14 attended the first Swarthmore Working Activities Table Talk (SWATT) meeting hosted by Mike Hill, director of Public Safety. At this meeting Public Safety brought up how large-scale student events can be  improved when they receive advance notice. This extra time allows various college departments to communicate with one another about available resources and helps them better coordinate the event as a whole.


Co-Presidents Victor Brady ‘13 and Capone sat down with Dean of Students Liz Braun last Wednesday to discuss several things. The first issue raised was the pending proposal for a campus-wide referendum on sororities. There was also discussion of paving part of Cunningham Field as part of the Inn Project. They will follow up with Vice President for Facilities and Services Stu Hain about a timeline for this project.

Brady and Capone also discussed obtaining SEPTA tokens for students to travel into Philadelphia without cost. A pilot program is underway at Bryn Mawr and a fully running program is installed at Haverford. Braun expressed concern over how funding for the program might work and over how efficient the program might be. Brady and Capone said they will reach out to the other colleges to get a better understanding of their programs.


The lead architects on the master plan have reached out to StuCo for their input and ideas. Schlessinger asked the council members for their suggestions to make part of the master plan. She brought up lighting around campus as one point of concern. The architects are also thinking of developing and creating more student community spaces on campus including creating more student lounges in the dorms.


Appointments Chair Will Lawrence ’13 and Roseberry-Polier spoke of the need for more diversity and anti-oppression workshops for students. They will follow up with Deans Office members and groups about this issue.

Choi brought up the need for more transparency about financial aid information and mentioned an upcoming Q&A with Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Jim Bock ’90.

Schlessinger presented the idea of having mandatory class-wide meetings at the beginning of each academic year where deans could speak to the class about important information. Sophomores might discuss what it means to pick your major, juniors might discuss plans for studying abroad, and seniors might talk about accessing the alumni network.

Secretary Sarah Dwider ’13 made a proposal for regular, school-wide collections. She said she believes that for a community like ours to be close knit and cohesive, it is important that we gather as a community a couple times a semester.

Two weeks ago, StuCo discussed having a run-off election for Educational Policy Representative between Ben Goloff ‘15 and Rachel Stein ‘15. In this semester’s election, “no preference” was elected by three votes over Goloff, who in turn was a mere two votes ahead of Stein. This prompted StuCo members to consider a revision to the constitution.

Additional reporting by Monika Zaleska.

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