SGO Report, 2/7: New Diversity Efforts, Student Survey, Philly Dinner Raffle

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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.

On February 7, 2016, the Swarthmore Student Government (SGO) held a joint Senate and Executive Board Meeting in SCI 105 at 7:05 P.M. At the meeting, each committee chair gave updates on their committee’s project progress.

Senate Gives Feedback on WayUp and Updates on Coffee Fund

WayUp contacted Chair of Academic Affairs Bobby Zipp ‘18 two weeks ago about using SGO’s distribution channels to disseminate monthly curated internship and job opportunities. Co-President Christine Kim ‘17 said, “WayUp compiles the internships on one platform so you don’t have to go on all these different sites and search individually.”

Zipp received a mix of responses from the Student Senate. Senator Nancy Yuan ‘19 said, “I feel like it would feel a little exclusive. I feel like career services has all the avenue of the delivering the information, so it seems more natural to me.”

“I personally feel like this is not a job for Student Government. My opinion as it stands is this doesn’t fit with SGO’s mission. But my question for students is, ‘Is this a need?’” Kim asked. 

Some SGO members doubted the necessity of distributing the newsletter through SGO. Chair of Student Outreach Ellen Liu ‘18 said, “You can sign up as a member yourself, so we don’t have to get the newsletter sent out every month.”

After about 12 minutes of deliberation, Kim articulated the next action steps regarding WayUp, “We need to find the answers to two questions: One: is it any responsibility of the SGO to disseminate this information, is that what SGO’s mission is and what SGO is here for? The second issue is, do we feel like it’s Career Services’ job to take this type of information.”

Regarding the Coffee Fund, Zipp said, “It looks like it’s finally in progress and we’ve targeted a funding source.” The next step is to secure funding from Provost Tom Stephenson.

Rethinking Diversity and Inclusion

Chair of Diversity Salman Safir ‘16 is working on re-establishing and refining the aims of the Diversity Committee.

“We need to rethink what diversity and inclusion means. We think it’s just race and ethnicity, but it’s also physical and mental health,” he said.

Reflecting on this new definition of diversity and inclusion, Safir recalled an instance at Worth Health Center: “I went into Worth and they asked me if I had past mental issues, and I said I had anxiety, and [a nurse] said, ‘Well, everyone has that here.’ So the problem is that we’re normalizing mental issues here.” When asked about the details of the anecdote, Safir said, “I think she was probably joking, but it’s definitely a larger conversation to be had with Worth.”

Safir is hoping to increase the intercultural center’s presence on campus. He said, “I think these intercultural centers are a grain of sugar in a bowl of salt. A lot of the activity goes undetected.”

New SGO Student Survey

The SGO is distributing a new survey to the student body on Tuesday, February 9. Chair of Student Outreach Ellen Liu ‘18 crafted the survey in an effort to gather comprehensive data on student thoughts and needs. Liu said, “the survey is part of a response to the feedback that students aren’t completely satisfied with SGO and how we have been representing the student body.”

The survey will be disseminated via email. It can also be accessed here. The survey will close on February 23. There is a raffle for SEPTA tickets upon completion of the survey.

Other News

  • For Valentine’s Day, SGO is raffling away the opportunity for a couple to have dinner in Philadelphia.
  • SGO Study Breaks planned for March and April
  • Student Survey released February 8. Raffling SEPTA passes for participation.
  • SGO sponsored Karaoke Night (11 P.M to 1:30 A.M.) following Pub Nite on Thursday, February 11.

The meeting was adjourned at 8 P.M.

A copy of the minutes can be found here.


Min Zhong

Min covers news regarding the Swarthmore Government Organization for The Daily Gazette. Min is interested in finance and anthropology, and any other topics that seek to understand how and why human beings make the choices they do. At Swarthmore, Min is involved in Swat Tank, and an investment club. Min only eats gala apples, shares a birthday date with John F. Kennedy, and is a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar from Arlington, VA. Min enjoys reading in her free time, and prefers savory over sweet.

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