StuCo Report: Student Senate, SEPTA, and Clothier

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.

No Referendum

Joyce Wu ’15 did not formally present the Greek Life referendum petition that she created at Sunday’s meeting, though the petition does have at least the required number of signatures, 155.

Student Senate

The Swarthmore Student Senate convened for their inaugural meeting on Thursday evening. The Senate formed four working groups, which will explore ways to improve ITS, dining services, student activities, and Senate logistics over the course of the semester. The meeting “went shockingly well,” Gabby Capone ’14, co-president of Student Council (StuCo), said, “Everyone seems really enthusiastic about it.”

Capone said that the next Senate meeting has not yet been scheduled but encouraged StuCo members to attend. Victor Brady ’13, StuCo co-president, said that Senate members will be voted into the positions of Student Senate Scribe and Speaker during the next meeting.

SEPTA Tickets

The number of students requesting SEPTA tickets through StuCo’s Philadelphia Access Program continued to rise this week, with 226 submitted requests. “It’s very exciting,” Brady said, “It’s been very successful.”

Brady and Capone have begun looking for additional sources of funding for the program and will meet this week with Director of Public Safety Michael Hill to talk about StuCo’s options. Capone suggested that she and Brady look into cutting the Philly shuttle and then applying those funds to the Philadelphia Access Program. StuCo will also talk to Jacob Adenbaum ‘14, Student Budget Committee (SBC) manager, about obtaining additional funding.

Clothier Renovations

Work began last week on the short-term renovation of the Clothier Hall game room. With a wall removed and new carpet installed, Brady said, “the space has been completely opened up.” According to Aya Ilbrahim ’15, student outreach coordinator, students have reacted positively when they learn that the renovation will create a “Kohlberg-style coffee bar.”

Brady will meet with the project architect on Thursday and hopes that the project will be completed by graduation.

Financial Policy Representative Natalia Choi ’15 said that students have expressed concern over losing the space provided by Upper Tarble after Clothier is renovated in accordance with the long-term Campus Master Plan. According to Capone and other Student Council members, the new Wellness Center, which is planned to take the place of the squash courts, will provide spaces that function similarly to Upper Tarble. “There’s not going to be a net floor space loss,” Brady said.

Student Resource Guide

Campus Life Representatives Jason Heo ‘15 and Tony Lee ’15 created a mock-up of StuCo’s Student Resource Guide (SRG) using a Google website platform. Although Heo and Lee had initially planned to create a Wiki page, they said that they were exploring Google as easier alternative for students who want to contribute to the guide. According to Lee, accessing the SRG would be similar to accessing Google Drive with a Swarthmore email account.

Heo and Lee will meet with Joel Cooper, chief information technology officer, next week to discuss the SRG website. The StuCo subcommittee on the SRG will also meet next week or the week after. In the meantime, Lee asked StuCo members to explore the provisional Google site and to offer feedback. “The fact that it’s so easy is really nice,” Secretary Sun Park ‘16 said.

Constitution Amendments

Capone, along with Ilbrahim and Student Groups Advisor Lanie Schlessinger ‘15, discussed two potential amendments to the Student Council constitution. One amendment would prohibit first-semester freshmen from running for Student Council positions. According to Brady, Student Senate offers freshmen “a better way to get involved in student government.” The second amendment would require students running for StuCo’s co-president position to have previously served on either StuCo or SBC.

Capone said that she would edit the amendments this week and hopes to have StuCo vote on them during next week’s meeting. No StuCo members had questions or objections regarding the amendments.


StuCo discussed dates for their proposed parlor party, which will feature the dogs of faculty members. Appointments Chair Yuan Qu ’14 suggested that the party be held in early May, once the weather is nicer.

Ilbrahim suggested that StuCo ask Hill to write an op-ed for The Phoenix and The Daily Gazette about recent Public Safety initiatives on campus. According to Ilbrahim, many of the “small steps” submitted to student council concern public safety issues that are already being addressed.

All of the bike share bikes are now working and ready for student use, Lee told StuCo. Lee also hopes that StuCo will be able to purchase more bikes next year in order to increase the program’s size.

Lee said that he is looking into “a more equitable distribution of student spaces” on campus and plans to speak with Rachel Head, assistant dean for residential life, tomorrow. Lee discussed implementing a system that would allow new groups to apply for space on campus and would assess the spaces being used by existing groups.


  1. Don’t cut the philly shuttle! It’s a really awesome resource and the philly shuttle, unlike the SEPTA, runs after 12 AM. Plus our friendly philly shuttle driver is really nice! I’m okay with having fewer SEPTA tickets if we keep the shuttle. They meet different needs.

    This kind of a policy change would be StuCo needlessly messing with something THAT IS CURRENTLY WORKING. The SEPTA ticket initiative has been a major success of an administration that has been riddled with completely pointless initiatives. Don’t turn this from “Yay StuCo can do something!!!!” to “Jeez, StuCo is completely self absorbed and out of touch, as usual.”

    • SEPTA runs 24/7. You can get home via the 109 bus from 69th St Terminal at any hour of the day. It’s not the most fun thing in the world, but it is an option. You can do this for free if you have an Independence Pass (at $11, cheaper than a round trip on the Regional Rail from Swat to Center City, and it allows you unlimited use of all forms of SEPTA transportation INCLUDING Regional Rail–you could ride our line back and forth ten times in one day and still only pay $11), or for $3 (ticket on MFL to 69th St+ transfer to 109 bus) from Center City if you don’t.

      As a senior, I haven’t been following the ticket situation much. Are students only given round-trip Regional Rail tickets? It would be so much more beneficial for the college to hand out the Independence Pass, so they can experience Philly beyond the bland and overpriced confines of Center City. But whatever; it’s not really relevant to me anymore.

    • We are very much aware that the Philly shuttle does fill a void that SEPTA fails to, which is why we haven’t taken action to cut the shuttle. In an ideal world, the shuttle would only run in the SEPTA off hours, but it is not really feasible to ask for a driver to take a two hour shift, twice a week, at a terrible time of day/night. We will continue to explore other options for funding since the Philly Access Program has garnered so much interest. And, in response to Miriam, the end goal would be for students not to have to submit to a lottery for the tickets. Please feel free to leave any more comments here: http://swarthmorestuco.tumblr.com/ask.

      Thanks for your comment!

  2. I really like that Joyce NOT doing something is the first thing mentioned in this report.

  3. What happened to the referendum? People put thought and time into deciding whether or not to sign it and we deserve and explanation.

    • I’m very sorry about the confusion — a more accurate subheading should be “No Referendum Yet“! I’m presenting the petition to StuCo this Sunday instead of last — the referendum is definitely still on the books. My inbox (jwu3) is always open if anyone has any more questions/comments!

  4. The Scottish Tory Dilemma Someone needs to tell Tom Harris MP that the “Unionist” in the “Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party” referred to the Union with Ireland, not that between Scotland and England. Equally, the fact that the Conservatives (in London) and the SNP (in Edinburgh) sometimes seem to be reciting similar talking points should scarcely come as any great surprise: the Labour party is their common enemy. True, the Conservatives oppose the Nationalists north of the border but as far as the UK party is concerned that’s a secondary front and one, more particularly, on which there’s little need for a fresh offensive this year. If, as Alan Cochrane hints, the Scottish Tories have dropped “Unionist” from their name then fine, even if they might actually be better off dropping the “Conservative” bit. That remains a tainted, even toxic, brand in Scotland – not least because the electorate doesn’t care that the Tories have spent the past decade on their knees begging forgiveness for their supposed sins. As is so often the case, the Bavarian model is the attractive one here. Cochrane asks how the Tories are supposed to win back support if they don’t distinguish their attacks from those salvoes the SNP.

  5. Could you post the link for StuCo’s Student Resource Guide (SRG)? Or is it not open for the public to look at yet?

  6. Hey Hannah!

    The SRG is still in the works, we have a platform for the guide but are still in the process of gathering information. Given the intended scope of the guide, there is a lot of ground to cover. We hope to have it up soon and even then we will continue to add content.


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