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.
SRG (Student Resource Guide)
StuCo continued discussions about creating a comprehensive guide to Swarthmore life. The aim of the Student Resource Guide (SRG) is to compile information on every aspect of student life from meal equivalencies to athletics to campus buildings in one, up-to-date document.
Campus Life Representative Tony Lee ’15 researched the possibility of creating a wiki page and found that not many other universities have one. The group discussed the difficulty in creating a wiki page for student life at Swarthmore would be finding students willing to continuously contribute to and moderate the page.
Although StuCo acknowledged most of the information that would be included in the SRG is already available on Swarthmore’s website, they said much of the information is either out-of-date or difficult to find. Appointments Chair Yuan Qu ’14 suggested working with the college to improve the information on their website may be a better option than creating an entirely new document. However, as Student Groups Advisor Lanie Schlessinger ’15 pointed out, StuCo is not authorized to fix any outdated information on the website.
“The best we can do is send an email saying it’s out of date,” Schlessinger said.
StuCo agreed it would be beyond the scope of the project to try to work on the college’s website and decided to begin by compiling information for a single document.
“I think this is a really huge StuCco project that if we could do would get us really good PR,” Schlessinger said. “Having that resource as a freshman, even as a sophomore is invaluable.”
Since StuCo no longer has a chartering committee, the five members who would have been part of it will be tasked with putting together information for the SRG, Co-President Gabby Capone said.
Co-President Victor Brady ordered $185 of corkboard this week for StuCo’s Student Calendar, which will be placed in Shane Lounge. StuCo acknowledged that students may scoff at the corkboard calendar.
“People are going to rip on it, and then they’re going to be happy that for the first time in their life they have a functional calendar,” Schlessinger said.
Brady is also working with the communications department on developing an online version as well. He said he met with them to discuss aesthetics, layout, and accessibility. They told him they are going to work with their current service provider on improving it. He also said the communications department will reach out to The Daily Gazette about collaborating with the Reserved Student Digest.
“Having two [calendars] is inefficient,” Brady said.
Once the corkboard is installed, any group that hosts an event that is funded by SAC will be required to post it on the calendar. Then, someone will be in charge of looking at the corkboard and entering the data online.
Brady emailed all the students on the 31 committees yesterday asking them to elect a representative for the Student Senate. Committees will have until Wednesday, February 13 to choose their representatives.
In addition to the committee representatives, the Student Senate will be comprised of 10 members at large as well as President Rebecca Chopp and Dean of Students Liz Braun. The senate will meet once a month and will be charged with discussing big-picture issues such as College policies and long-term, campus-wide initiatives.
The group discussed whether there should be designated member-at-large positions for students from each class. StuCo proposed having perhaps two positions designated for each of the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior classes, which would encourage freshman to take an active role on campus.
“I like the idea of having people from different classes,” Qu said. “There’d be a better representation of voices.”
“It’s there,” said Brady. He will meet with Braun tomorrow to finalize details.
The College will provide 40 round-trip SEPTA tickets to Philadelphia each week. Starting this Saturday, Brady will send out an email with a Google form and students will have until Sunday afternoon to reply. If more than 40 students apply for tickets then students will be entered into a lottery. Students who have received more than four tickets per semester will be put at a disadvantage in the lottery and will only be awarded tickets if fewer than 40 students apply for tickets.
One issue raised is that the tickets do not expire.
“So then you could . . .” Secretary Sun Park ’16 said.
“Yes you can . . .” Brady said, acknowledging that it would be possible for students to hoard tickets.
Tickets will be distributed in students’ mailboxes on Mondays.
Small (and Big) Steps Forward
Brady announced the Panini maker is now available at Sharples. StuCo responded with applause.
“That’s a big step,” Capone said.
Brady also announced that snack bars will not be open late this semester. Linda McDougall told The Daily Gazette that an outside consultant has been hired to evaluate dining options and the College is waiting for his advice on the snack bar hours. It is possible they may resume late night hours next semester.
On Thursday, February 21, members of StuCo will help serve dinner at Sharples. Many members expressed enthusiasm and disbelief at being able to work at Sharples.
“This is going to be a learning experience. I’m excited,” Ibrahim said. “What am I going to be doing? Am I really going to be serving? Do I have to wear a hairnet?
Ibrahim reported she was able to insert a box on The Dash with a link to StuCo’s suggestion box. Ibrahim said she received 65 suggestions this week and has been replying to them via Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.
“You are doing such a good job with that,” Park said.
Some suggestions seemed impractical. One asked if StuCo could create a program that would tell students which washers and dryers were available in residential halls, a service University of Chicago and Baker University already have.
Other suggestions included providing more recycling and composting bins and having coin machines in every residence hall.
After more than a semester of reforming the chartering process, Schlessinger said that the final piece of the puzzle is a “precedent rule” which would require clubs to show that they are active before being chartered. Schlessinger said many chartered groups are not active. For example, three creative writing groups chartered last semester are no longer active, though their charters remain.
StuCo voted unanimously that a club must be in existence for a month and supply a list of interested students before applying for a charter.
Puppy Study Break
Park announced she is currently working on providing a puppy study break, which it was one of her campaign promises to implement. Swarthmore used to have pet parlor parties every semester until H.R. told them pets were not allowed in the building. Park plans to have the puppy study break on the front porch of Parrish.
StuCo said they were interested in hosting more creative study breaks such as cupcake breaks and breaks with Braun.
Lee raised the issue that many student groups want a space to keep their stuff long-term. He reported Assistant Dean for Residential Life Rachel Head was open to reevaluating assigning student spaces on campus.
“All the stuff for the Pterodactyl Hunt is stored in a great room in Parrish basement,” Lee said. “That’s prime real estate, and it’s opened once a year to take it out and put it back.”
“We need a student group locker room,” Brady said.
This article has been changed to reflect the following correction: Late-night snack bar hours have been put on hold while the College waits for advice from an outside consultant, not an outside company.