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.
The council heard a suggestion, submitted via its Smalls Steps Forward initiative, to push for the extension of the College’s Add/Drop Period from two weeks to four weeks.
Co-President Lanie Schlessinger ’15 initially expressed little enthusiasm for the idea, citing the potential difficulty of catching up with the coursework of a class after joining it up to four weeks into a semester. However, the council decided to look into how an extension of the period might relate to the College’s existing withdrawal policy.
Secretary Sun Park ’16 raised “fundamental issues” with the Party Associate (PA) program.
One such issue is the laxness with which some PAs treat the requirement that all students show their TriCo ID cards upon entering parties—Park cited the importance that a student have their ID card on-hand in the case that they get sick and EMTs arrive to attend to them. The council discussed possible methods of procuring and distributing lanyards in order to encourage students to bring their IDs to parties.
Another issue is the apparent employment of minimally trained PAs. The council discussed possible broader efforts to strengthen the provision of drug-and-alcohol education and bystander training to students.
Park also noted that, at last Friday’s Paces party, partygoers’ access to water became obstructed. The council will follow up on the issue of water’s availability during parties.
The council discussed Public Safety’s sometimes-problematic responses to emergency situations at parties in various spaces, as well as the general tone of Public Safety officers’ interactions with students. Councilmembers noted that it was difficult to follow up on certain issues with officers who only work at night, and that not all officers wear standard nametags. Co-President Gabby Capone ’14 mentioned ongoing efforts by the administration to ensure the positivity of interactions between officers and students.
StuCo Office Hours
Capone plans to hold regular StuCo office hours in the future, beginning this week. She said that the hours will be used both to field general concerns from members of the community and specifically “to connect with all the student leaders that could potentially be impacted by the Student Senate.”
Student Groups Advisor David Ding ’16 solicited other councilmembers’ thoughts on potential courses of action in the case that a chartering group’s proposed mission and activities overlap extensively with those of an existing group.
While Ding suggested that the two groups might be asked to combine, Schlessinger proposed that StuCo refuse to accept the new group’s charter application on the basis of the similarity, potentially prompting the new group to revise its charter in order to distinguish itself from the existing group.
Ding said that he would explore the issue further.
Subsidized SEPTA Tickets
The council discussed ongoing issues with its subsidized SEPTA ticket program. Specifically, the council covered its efforts to smooth out the processes by which it purchases and distributes the tickets, including its plans to implement Venmo as a payment option for those students selected through the weekly ticket lottery.
Student Resource Guide
Campus Life Representative Jason Heo ’15 briefly updated the council on the progress of the long-planned Student Resource Guide, which he predicted would be complete by the end of the semester.
Student Groups Master List
The council continued to coordinate the compilation of its Student Groups Master List, covering the logistics of collecting up-to-date information on each active group. Schlessinger suggested using Google Docs to collect information from group leaders.
Appointments Chair Yuan Qu ’14 read a list of committees to be formed for the spring semester, including a Parking and Transportation Committee and a Sophomore Class Dean Search Committee.
The council also worked to resolve scheduling issues relating to the upcoming interviews of applicants for committee appointments.
Schlessinger proposed that StuCo clean up three little-used rooms in the basement of Bond Hall, identifying one of the rooms as a potential StuCo office. (StuCo has been searching for a permanent office space.)
The council will respond to offers from several administrators—including College President Rebecca Chopp and Dean of Students Liz Braun—to attend future StuCo meetings. Schlessinger proposed that the council prioritize administrators whose roles are particularly relevant to discussions in which StuCo it currently involved. As such, the council decided to schedule a meeting with Associate Dean of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Development Liliana Rodriguez first.
The council plans to begin producing flyers that outline major developments at recent StuCo meetings. Financial Policy Representative Razi Shaban suggested that the flyers could also be used to introduce the council’s current members. The flyers will be posted on tables in Sharples.
Ibrahim detailed plans to update StuCo’s Facebook page and website with a photo of the current council and personal blurbs from each of its members.