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.
Discussions to Address Sexual Assault
StuCo Co-Presidents Gabby Capone ‘14 and Vic Brady ‘13 will meet on Wednesday with Dean of Student Liz Braun for the last time of the semester. At the meeting, the three will consider whether to host collection on the issue of sexual assault.
At last night’s meeting, StuCo members discussed their role during the investigations regarding sexual assault that will take place in the coming months. “How do we show students that as students we are there for them?” asked Educational Policy Representative Rachel Stein ’15.
The group said that a collection would be a good first step, but were unsure what else should be done. Student Groups Advisor Lanie Schlessinger ‘15 said that StuCo is in an awkward position the discussion is taking place primarily on a legal level and has moved far beyond StuCo’s purview.
Capone believes that StuCo’s role will come primarily after the investigations are over. “Once it comes time to respond to the result of the investigation […] we can stop with the discussion focus and switch to an action focus,” she said. She said this might take the form of drafting new party and social life policy in the fall.
Brady said StuCo is working with administrators to show support and solidarity with survivors, but that it will be necessary to have a “larger discussion about definitions, recourse, etc., in the fall when there’s actually time.”
Beyond StuCo, issues about sexual assault will also be a major point of order for the Dean’s Advisory Council in the fall. The Advisory Council will include Mia Ferguson ’15, one of the students who filed the Clery complaint against the College.
Platforms for spring StuCo elections are due this Thursday at 11:59 pm, and will be posted on The Daily Gazette and a Google doc. Voting will take place all day on Monday, May 6th. Both Brady and Capone encouraged everybody to reach out to their friends and encourage them to submit platforms. Three people (one sophomore and two juniors) came to the StuCo Paces takeover to discuss their plans to run for StuCo.
The group also discussed campaigning. Capone explained that students who submit platforms are allowed to campaign for their positions so long as they do not violate any of the specific StuCo bylaws regarding campaigning. The most important of these bylaws states that there is to be no campaigning on Election Day at the voting location.
Student Senate Updates
Brady said that the Student Senate is ready to vote on its statement of purpose, which will be ratified by the student body during elections. An email with an online vote for the statement of purpose will be sent out later tonight. Brady said this is a major accomplishment for the group considering the pilot Senate has only been in exitence for a quarter. “This is a really exciting structural framework to continue with next year,” he said.
Social Outreach Coordinator Aya Ibrahim ’15 added that as the Senate continues to develop and expand its role on campus, StuCo should look into ways to increase communication between the Senate and the student body. Capone said that they would look at how peer institutions facilitate such communication.
Brady said the response to the SEPTA round trip ticket giveaway program has been fantastic and that many students wish more tickets were available. StuCo is looking for a way to survey students about the program and form an overview report about it.
Ibrahim said some students had told her they had never received any tickets but knew of other students who had received more than one. Brady said this occurs because the system is a random lottery and that an individual’s chance at a ticket only decreases after receiving four round trips. He said ticket demand was higher than the estimates that lead to the creation of this four-ticket policy.
StuCo is looking into ways to continue and improve the program next year. Most of the money for the program will come from SBC, supplemented with $240 that remains from this year’s budget. Student Life Representative Jason Heo ’15 also suggested that more tickets be allotted for restaurant week.
Schlessinger suggested that StuCo create a system by which the student body can collect money for disaster relief. She hopes to create a group that collects donations within our extended community for causes such as the recent bombings in Boston. She suggested putting a jar out in Sharples in which students could place a small donation.
The group discussed how they would determine what was worthy of fundraising and Capone suggested that this might be a task to delegate to SAC.
Another possibility raised was having one event or party each semester dedicated to raising money for a specific cause. Student Budget Committee Chair Jacob Adenbaum ’14 said that SBC rules state, “as long as a donation isn’t mandatory for admission, SBC will fund charity events.”
The last quarterly Board of Managers meeting of the academic year is this coming weekend and will include an open discussion on divestment. “We look forward to increased collaboration between the board of managers and StuCo,” Brady said.
Secretary Sun Park ‘16 is hoping to host a fondue study break and is looking for supplies in the student activities closet. If none can be found, she will ask for funds to rent equipment at the SAC meeting tomorrow.