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.
StuCo’s number one priority is having a “database online to check whether the printers are running,” said Student Groups Advisor Lanie Schlessinger ‘15. StuCo is looking at other colleges’ printer database best practices.
StuCo has also worked with ITS to ensure paper is always available next to the paper tray in dorm printers. They also make ITS members’ contact information easily available.
Co-President Victor Brady ‘13 discussed the soon-to-be-formed Student Senate. “We are the last school among our peer institutions not to have a Student Senate,” he said.
The group, which will meet monthly, will consist of one representative from each of the 31 standing committees, ten students chosen through a campus-wide election, and the StuCo Co-Presidents (Victor Brady ’13 and Gabby Capone ’14) and Campus Life Representatives (Jason Heo ’15 and Tony Lee ’15).
Brady said he thinks that this will provide a “nice cross-section of individuals . . . that’s more representative than StuCo,” though StuCo would oversee the Senate’s activities.
According to Brady, the Senate will consider initiatives coming from the President’s and Dean’s offices. Swarthmore’s Vice President for College and Community Relations, Maurice Eldridge, plans to bring a Climate Action Plan (CAP) to the student senate.
StuCo anticipates that the first meeting will be on the third Wednesday of February (Feb. 20) with additional gatherings as needed.
Co-President Gabby Capone ’14 spoke about the plans underway to provide free SEPTA tickets to Swarthmore students. Dean of Student Liz Braun supports their proposal, and funding for the pilot program is in place.
The number of tickets available each week would be limited, and Capone said that the final hurdle in the program’s implementation is ticket distribution. Brady raised the possibility of using a weekly Google Doc to dole out tickets on a first-come, first-served basis. Members of StuCo will also need to talk to SBC chairperson Jacob Adenbaum ’14 about ticket distribution.
StuCo’s goal is to have the tickets available by spring break.
The Philly shuttle, run through Public Safety’s budget, would likely have its hours of operation cut down to late nights when SEPTA trains don’t operate. Capone and Brady plan to meet with Public Safety Director Michael Hill about logistics.
Upper Tarble Game Room
Last semester, StuCo sent a Google form to students asking for feedback and ideas about the Upper Tarble game room. Brady says that “a good portion wanted something else to be done with the space.” Capone added that many students asked, “What game room?”
Brady said he has been talking with Braun and Swarthmore Vice President for Facilities and Services Stu Hain about the possibility of turning the game room into a lounge like the one in Kohlberg.
For the time being, fully functional games like the newly upholstered pool tables will remain in the space. StuCo is considering moving the games to the Intercultural Center or Mephistos lounge.
In the longer-term, the campus Master Plan will likely repurpose the space. As reported in The Daily Gazette last fall, a popular proposal floated for the Master Plan is to entirely gut Clothier (the Tarble building) and remove the second floor (Upper Tarble).
Schlessinger is working to get funding for the Green Advisors, which empties compost bins, among other duties. The group, though chartered, receives no funding at this time.
Last year, the group’s attempt to secure funding was derailed by the fact they had no one to vouch for the number of hours spent working. Heo mentioned that when the College completes the process of hiring an environmental economist, that professor could serve as an advisor to the group.
Schlessinger reiterated her argument that the group chartering process “has been kind of useless” because StuCo never says no to a charter.
Currently, the Chartering Committee made up of five people meets with students applying for charters and votes to accept or reject their proposals. Schlessinger proposes to repackage the Chartering Committee as a Student Groups Orientation Committee, which would give information about the chartering process to individuals hoping to charter groups.
Schlessinger has looked through the StuCo Constitution and has found “clauses that need to be removed and modified,” as well as “one that needs to be added.” She will prepare the changes for a vote at the next meeting.
Orientation Packet/Student Resource Guide
Campus life representatives Jason Heo ‘15 and Tony Lee ’15 are in the process of designing a student resource guide containing information about student groups, dining, athletics, off-campus life, and other resources such as workbox, facilities, and media services.
They hope that this guide, to be prepared for the class of 2017, would simplify the process of finding information about campus happenings and make event planning and group chartering less confusing.
Lee discussed the progress being made on the revamped McCabe bikeshare program. Two student mechanics on campus want to work together to repair the bikes needed to restart the program.
Though SBC has delayed the cycling club’s funding request while it is determined how much equipment is available on campus, StuCo remains hopeful that it can meet formally open the program on February 24.
StuCo is working to improve the online campus calendar, which one StuCo member called “horrible.” They are looking into the costs of developing a better calendar. Brady thinks that “for about two thousand dollars, they could make a very accessible, user-friendly calendar.”
They have also received funding from SBC to build an 8-foot-by-10-foot corkboard calendar in Shane Lounge that will list SAC-funded events, guest speakers, and upcoming athletic competitions.
Brady proudly noted that every lounge with cable tv now has a universal remote.
Schlessinger said she plans to bring up complaints about the quality of campus wi-fi at an upcoming meeting.
Lee said StuCo should posts suggestions gathered through their “small steps forward” outreach program to the Swarthmore Dash.
Student Outreach Coordinator Aya Ibrahim ’15 noted her concern with the lack of lighting and emergency blue lights on campus. Brady, Capone, Heo, and Lee will raise the issue with Public Safety Director Michael Hill at an upcoming meeting with him. Last semester Hill told The Daily Gazette that a blue light system was under consideration.