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.
Hello all! My name is Yuan, and I am running for the position of Appointments Chair. I believe that I have the necessary social and administrative experience required for the position. People deal with Swat in different ways –I choose to distract myself from the incessant pool of academics by throwing myself into various administrative extra-curriculars.
To summarize my below platform: My position at the Activities Office means that I am familiar with groups and the administration and how stuff goes down at Swat. I want to increase diversity and transparency within Committees to ensure the student body is fairly represented, but also so that students have the ability to add their voice to large-campus-decisions, for instance with LSE, the Yule Ball, budget allocation, and policy implementation.
I’m currently in my second glorious year working with Paury Flowers at the Student Activities Office. As part of this position, I have organized the annual Activities Fair (where I exercised my skills in vocal projection and frenzied running), as well as the Parrish Board Space reallocation which happens in the spring. These large undertakings have made me (perhaps a bit too) familiar with the various student groups and leaders on campus. I also have been working this semester as the booking manager for Paces and Olde Club, which has involved rewriting the contracts and streamlining the process so weekly funtimes can happen for all.
In terms of Committees, I have been on the Orientation Committee for the last two years, and have served as the Activities Office liaison for the Social Affairs Committee this semester. I have also been involved in LSE prep through, once again, my position at the Student Activities Office. These positions have made me privy to inner dialogues on budget allocation and the student hiring process. In addition to planning more funtimes for all before the reality of Swat smacks down, part of my role on the Orientation Committee was to aid in the process of hiring Campus Advisors. This involved reading through around 80+ applications, conducting interviews in partnership with various Deans, and ultimately whittling down the field to a diverse and talented pool of CAs.
While I comment the Appointments Committee for all the hard and important work they do, I believe that there should be two major goals to work towards: 1) transparency, and 2) diversity. Outside of my official roles at the Activities Office, and other administrative duties such as eating leftover snacks and stapling things, my position has made me privy to certain dialogues and an understanding of how decision-making is made at this College. For the most part, decisions that have an impact on the entire campus community fall into the hands of a few select individuals. In light of certain Committee-related Swat controversies – the Gambino LSE, and the Yule Ball come to mind – much of the campus fallout seems to have drawn from a frustration at the lack of student voice and awareness of the decision-making processes. In both scenarios, the campus fallout came too late to make any real change.
By making Committee-happenings more transparent, I hope that conversations, for instance regarding budget allocation, may be made when they actually have the possibility to change things, as opposed to after-the-fact on Facebook. This transparency could be made in a variety of ways: having board space in Parrish beside the mailboxes to post Committee updates; starting a bi-weekly digest, through email or blog or the DG. For inter-Committee experiences, having students representing various sub-sections of campus is essential to making sure that a comprehensive sample of Swat is represented. I refer to diversity not only in the sense of race and gender, but also in the sense of various student groups and clubs. For instance SAC this semester has been a great mixture of genders, races, but also student-athletes, fraternity brothers, and students involved in the IC.
In conclusion, I promise to appoint the hell out of your Committees, and I will try my hardest to makes this a productive and fun process for all. Please contact me at yqu1 if you have any questions or concerns.