New Student Center + Visioning: SGO Hears from Dean, VP of Finance

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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.

This week, SGO members heard presentations about the organizational systems of Swarthmore, ideas coming out of the Swarthmore Visioning process, and briefly discussed plans to send out a Call To Action to the student body.

The meeting began with a talk from Katie Clark, Director of the Center for Innovation and Leadership, and Bruce Easop, Presidential Fellow. The pair went over the organizational charts for the college. These charts can be found here.

Next, Greg Brown, Vice President for Finance and Administration, presented ideas from the Swarthmore Visioning process. (You can read more about the process here.) The major areas the college wants to focus on based on the visioning process are: building connections between student groups, increasing student access to to campus life and activities, promoting fun on campus, helping students maintain a healthy/balanced lifestyle, finding new ways to use outdoor space, developing student activities at a range of scales, and addressing the age and functionality of buildings.

Brown then listed specific ideas for projects and programs within these areas. One idea that SGO members supported was having television monitors around campus with the events for each day posted on it. The hope is that this would increase awareness around what is happening on campus as well as reducing waste from postering. Dean of Students, Liz Braun, also said that the college is trying to streamline the process for booking, hosting, and promoting events.

Those running the visioning process are also looking into complaints around the lack of space and variety in dining and the condition of athletic facilities. Students are unhappy about the absence of air conditioning in the field house, the state of the locker rooms, and the lack of study spaces in athletic areas.

Greg Brown also mentioned the discussion around building a new student center at Swarthmore. The previous student center, Old Tarble, nearly burned to the ground in 1983. (It now houses an art studio space.)

The meeting concluded with a discussion between board members around the Call To Action email SGO plans to send to the student body. Gilbert Orbea ‘19 asked if they should amend the piece to make it clear they support cross-partisan dialogue around the election and how it came to be. However, Mosea Esaias ‘17, SGO co-president, said that he disagreed and thought the proposed text was carefully worded and made no mention of partisanship at all.  

Mariah Everett

Mariah is a junior and double major in Biology and Sociology/Anthropology from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is the assistant News Editor for The Daily Gazette. She is a big fan of walking through graveyards, reading about medical pandemics, trying new foods, collecting bumper stickers, and petting baby goats.

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