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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.