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.
My name is David Pipkin. I’m a junior, and I’m running to be your SGO Co-President. There are many reasons why I decided to run, and they are outlined in my platform. But right now I wanted to focus on just two: fostering a more inclusive campus community and increasing campus dialogue, and why they’re important to me.
When I arrived at Swarthmore, my family was just coming out of a financial rough patch. I remember that my newly made friends would often go into Philly for the weekend, and sometimes I wouldn’t, because I needed to save my money. The cost of travel into Philadelphia would add up over time.
Things have changed a lot for my family over the past three years, and the hidden costs of attending a suburban college, are no longer an issue for me. But I know that for others they can be. That’s why providing a free shuttle as well as subsidized tickets is close to my heart. After I graduate, hopefully finishing my term as SGO Co-President, I want that no one will have to worry about hanging out with their friends or being unable to make as many new ones, simply because they can’t afford to go with them into the city. I believe that breaking down financial barriers, like the one I just mentioned, is a sure-fire way of strengthening Swarthmore’s community.
Another way of fostering community is facilitating honest discussion. My most precious memories here are late night conversations with both friends and strangers about politics, philosophy, and very often — campus issues. I have always made a conscious effort to talk and be friends with people that hold different views than I do. Creating communities requires above all conversation. I would like for our student representatives to be more involved in facilitating discussion around the issues that affect the Swarthmore community. This would take shape as SGO partnering with invested organizations and the administration to host town halls and debates on those issues. Whatever the issue or question, it should be discussed in front of the student body by all interested parties— SGO can help facilitate that. Done alongside the referendum process, this would create a new avenue for intellectual and social exchange. This will bring us together, and when we disagree, we will do so intellectually, honestly, and passionately, building a community of mutual respect.
If these issues resonate with you please vote for me to be your next SGO Co-President on Sat. April 22nd through Tues. April 25th. This community has welcomed me and given me so much; I’m compelled to give back.
Featured Image Courtesy of David Pipkin ’18.