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.
RA’s and Public Safety Officers
Co-President Gabby Capone ’14 and Senior Campus Life Representative Jason Heo ’15 discussed ways to strengthen the relationships between RA’s and public safety officers. Capone said she believes RA’s are the “point people to connect students with public safety.”
Heo discussed the Adopt a Dorm program, in which dorm RA teams are paired with a public safety officer. Heo proposed that RA’s post photos of their dorms’ public safety officers to increase visibility, and he suggested planning events to foster more positive dialogue between students and public safety.
Student Senate Representatives
Capone proposed the Student Senate include two representatives from the ICC-BCC coalition in order to foster collaboration between the two communities. Student Outreach Coordinator Aya Ibrahim ’15 suggested that, due to the number of students that coalition represents, there should be more than two ICC-BCC representatives. The Council will pursue this debate further.
Capone proposed one Greek Life representative and one athletic representative pulled from the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC). Although religious groups on campus have said they are not interested in student government at the moment, Capone is encouraging them to become more involved. Capone will continue meting with student leaders regarding Senate representation.
Student Committee Positions
Capone has proposed deactivating student positions in the following committees: the College Budget Committee, the College Judiciary Committee, the Dining Services committee, and the Off-Campus Study Committee. According to students and alumni, StuCo representatives argued, these committees do not propose meaningful avenues for student involvement. StuCo plans to fill these voids in more productive ways.
Capone further suggested revamping student roles in the following committees: Admissions Committee, Assessments Committee, Council on Educational Policy, ITS Committee, Advisory Council to Physical Education, and the Board of Managers Committee on Social Responsibility. Some of these committees have not been meeting, and others have not been leveraging the full potential of student members. The Council discussed ways to ensure student committee positions are impactful and meaningful for students and the committees.
Revamping Party Associate Program
Capone discussed her meeting about the Party Associate (PA) Program with Dean of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Development Liliana Rodriguez, Student Activities Coordinator Mike Elias, Sexual Assault Survivor Advocate and Educator Nina Harris, and a SMART Team Representative.
They proposed revamping the PA program to include different types of PA positions. All PA’s would receive baseline training in addition to more specified training based on their specific responsibilities. Capone said that by doing so PA’s will become more confident about their job and more clearly understand their responsibilities.
Under the new PA program, the party spaces, not the number of people estimated to attend the parties, will dictate how many PA’s are needed for a party. With this new policy, everyone involved in party planning knows the logistical and financial expectations for hosting a party.
Secretary Sun Park ’16 raised the concern of recruiting PA’s, which are currently in short supply. StuCo decided to reach out to large groups as a recruitment pool. Capone explained that under the new PA policies, it will prove difficult for large organizations to host parties if they do not have members trained as PA’s. As a result, these organizations will be incentivized to have some of their members trained.
Professor Office Hours Online
StuCo discussed the fact that professors’ office hours are often not posted online. Arguing that students should know the office hour schedules for all professors, Financial Policy Representative Razi Shaban ‘16 said he will contact the Registrar’s office to propose a standard policy of posting all faculty office hours online.
Co-President Lanie Schlessinger ’15 suggested beginning a weekly StuCo riddle. Those who answer the riddle correctly will be entered into a raffle, and the five winners will receive a soda cozy. This initiative will begin next semester.
StuCo will request to Dining Services that they publish on the Dash the times Essie Mae’s accepts meals.
Capone hosted her first office hours and had the opportunity to speak with 10 student leaders about student government’s potential to positively affect their groups.
Capone is currently in discussion with the student group Ecosphere about including environmental concerns more centrally in student government, including the possibility of adding an environmental representative to student government.
Ibrahim raised the need for more colored printers on campus. Schlessinger will bring up the issue at her upcoming meeting with ITS.
StuCo discussed the problem of students smoking during parties, and how to better ensure party spaces remain smoke-free.
Heo brought up the insufficient and inadequate parking signs on campus. StuCo decided to take this issue to Facilities and Services.
StuCo discussed the deletion of the College Judiciary Committee and the lack of transparency regarding this shift. Capone will reach out to Judicial Affairs Coordinator and Dean of the Senior Class Nathan Miller for more information.
Due to perceived faculty interest in student life, StuCo decided to encourage faculty and deans to use the Small Steps Forward program for their own suggestions, questions, and concerns, in addition to those of students. StuCo will reach out to faculty and deans to promote the initiative.