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 Daily Gazette has reprinted these platforms in full without changes:
My name is Christine Kim, a senior with an Economics major and an Education minor. I believe I can contribute to this committee exactly because I had been abroad at the London School of Economics and Political Science for an entire year. Throughout college, including the time I was abroad, I have been involved in volunteering in some form or another. Thus, I believe I am cognizant of what Swarthmore does well and could use more improvement on.
Here are some of my priorities for next year:
Build a Better Dining Experience
- Create Healthier, Diverse options (esp. for vegetarians and those with religious dietary practices)
- Decrease frequency of Pasta Bar.
- Extend Essie’s meal swipe hours to accommodate late night classes and help sessions.
Increase Campus Sustainability
- Reduce the amount of un-recyclable number 3 and 6 plastics used on campus
- Create more recycling bins around campus – especially on walkways throughout campus.
Increase the Opportunities to venture out of the Swarthmore to connect Swarthmore to surrounding communities (whether that is for volunteer or extracurricular opportunities)
- Designate a permanent, bi-monthly shuttle into Philadelphia with clear schedules
- Offer to subsidize Septa tickets (singular, or independence passes) in a more sustainable manner
- With the above, we hope to promote volunteer organizations within and outside Swarthmore to streamline off campus volunteer work that could transition into internships.
Increase Campus Dialogue
- SGO becomes more engaged in social and civic campus issues by holding time sensitive, moderated conversations, which could range in content from science to politics, and style from coffee talks to debates from a diverse set of speakers.
Email me with ANY suggestions or questions at email@example.com
Dear Swarthmore Community,
My name is Jeremy Seitz-Brown, and I’m running to be a Class of 2018 Senator. Every issue—big or small—is an opportunity to improve student life, but in general, I would work as a senator to challenge SGO to “go big” and address the most salient and potentially transformative issues on campus. I will always be willing to adapt my priorities based on your input, but as of now, these are my priorities:
Promoting Student Wellness
- One of the biggest challenges our campus faces is a culture of toxic stress and over-working. We might joke about playing misery poker, but I have seen far too many friends subject to misery and breakdowns.
- SGO should support Woodjerry Etienne ‘19 and Professor Gladstein’s Misery Poker research project to identify the root causes of toxic stress. SGO support could include advertising, hosting a study break with good food to encourage more survey responses, or funding a gift card raffle for those that participate in the survey.
- As a student representative on the Ad hoc Committee on Wellbeing, Belonging and Social Life, I will work to ensure SGO’s and the student body’s perspectives on how to reduce stress are represented.
Supporting Student Voices on Issues of Social Justice and Equity
- SGO should follow the lead of IC groups and low-income, POC, and queer students by highlighting and supporting any demands that they make to the administration.
- To be concrete: Why is Black Studies not a department? Why do we not have a Native American Studies professor? These are just a couple of issues where the administration does not seem to be responding to student needs and where SGO should amplify student voices as needed and requested.
Always Striving to Make SGO More Democratic
- The referendum process is a critical (and I think under-utilized) tool for students to make their voices and demands heard. We should review the referendum process to make sure it is as strong as possible. Is there enough time between a petition being submitted and a vote being held for adequate education and debate on the proposal? Are we advertising the referendum process and sufficiently educating the student body on how to use it?
- I would work to implement ranked choice voting for future SGO Executive Board and Senate elections. This reform would improve the quality of our elections and model a democratic best practice that can make elections more civil and increase representation of POC and women in politics.
Thank you for your support. If given the chance to serve as Class of 2018 Senator, I will do all I can to make progress on the most important issues we face as students.
Jeremy Seitz-Brown ‘18
SGO senior class senator platform
Hi all, my name is Jinjie Dong. I am a senior running for student senate. Three years of life in Swat have made me grown attuned to many little aspects of it, and I have come to have a much better grip of facets of life in Swat.
We interact with a lot of spaces on campus on a daily basis. Yet, plenty of the spaces can be improved by rethinking how they should be configured. As a senator, I will work on better campus space arrangements. By doing so, I aim to:
- Make life in Swat more convenient. Many people have had unnecessary troubles because of inconvenient arrangements of space, time, and things on campus. Although we might just complain and forget about them, I believe most of them stand for issues that deserve attention. I would like to hear your concerns, suggestions, and complaints, and work on solving the problems therein.
- (For example, have you wished Matchbox did not close as early as 5pm during weekends? Can we somehow alleviate the problem of long lunch hour lines? Would a different shuttle schedule be better? Would you have liked different chairs and desks for the libraries, for example on Cornell 2nd? Do Cornell or McCabe need more chargers or study space? Would it be helpful to know the occupancy situation of practice rooms in Lang Music? Would our lives be easier with an additional printer or stapler somewhere?)
- Create a more inclusive environment for many kinds of people. Swarthmore does not have enough space for people to be relaxed, and as a result many people suffer from unnecessary anxieties and stress. I will push for better development and reorganization of campus spaces, so that people can find campus life that is enjoyable. I will also work with other members in SGO and the Dean’s Office to organize events that Swatties find meaningful.
tl; dr: Sometimes, “it’s a bug, not a feature.”
- Lmk when that happens. I’ll work on fixing it.
Kirsten Morehouse ’18 for Senior Class Senator
Hi everyone! My name is Kirsten Morehouse and I’d like to be one of your Senior Class SGO Senators. For those who don’t know me, here is a little about myself: I’m a senior (as you probably guessed) from Southern California, double majoring in Psychology and Cognitive Science (yes, they are pretty much the same thing). At Swarthmore, I played Varsity Women’s Soccer during my freshman and sophomore years, was a leader of Speak to Swatties, the mental health and peer counseling group that (sometimes creepily) drops compliments on your desks during finals, coordinated Swat participation in the suicide awareness walk in Philly and hosted the “I am the admissions mistake” open mic night, where we brought peers, professors, coaches and deans together to discuss and embrace failure. Additionally, I am a member of mock trial, help coordinate all Intramural Sports and am an RA in Mertz. As an RA, I’ve welcomed the new responsibility of cultivating an inclusive, caring and safe environment Swat strives to be and have had the opportunity to cultivate relationships within the Mertz community. I’d like to employ my knowledge and experience from the opportunities to serve the Swarthmore community in order to act as an effective senior class senator.
Last fall I worked with Dean Anderson, the Academic Curriculum Committee and Provost Tom Stephenson to write a policy memo that helped change the Pass/Fail policy (though, tragically, we won’t get to use retroactive CR/NCs during our time here). As your class officer, I hope to continue to lobby for the student perspective and effectively use our institutional resources to address issues most important to the senior class, whether that be more senior events/study breaks or more platforms to make your concerns heard. I believe this is best done through open dialogs and collaboration, so I hope to work with many of you in identifying possible projects, areas for change and initiatives you want to see during your last year here.
As cliché as it sounds, at the end of the day, I just want to make Swarthmore a better place and as the senior class’s senator, I will make sure your voices and concerns are heard and addressed.
If you have any questions or want to learn more about me please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your consideration, I hope I have the opportunity to work closely with all of you.
All the best,
Hello, my name is Rares, and I would like to become one of the senators of the senior class!
First and foremost, as seniors we have all felt at some point trapped in what we like to call the Swat Bubble. Both physically and mentally, our campus can at times feel too restrictive. In order to fight this negative trend, I hope to use my voice in the student senate to fight for improved logistics when it comes to travelling outside of the campus. I will propose the designation of a bi-monthly shuttle into Philadelphia, and I will advocate for SGO and the College to work together to subsidize students’ travel to Philadelphia. Although so close to the city, Swarthmore’s culture and geographical location can make us feel disconnected from the opportunities to grow that only a city can offer.
Additionally, as a class senator I hope to use the SGO platform to advocate for a better dining experience. Sharples, Essie’s, and the coffee bars offer a wide range of unhealthy snacks, while neglecting more healthy options. A better diet can help all of us maintain better health during the school year, when academics put us under a great deal of stress. Moreover, Essie’s swipe hours can be very restrictive for most students, and therefore I will fight for a change in swipe policy that would allow
more of us to grab food at Essie’s more often.
Finally, campus sustainability is something I deeply care about. Although we’ve been showing improvement in the last couple years, we are still underperforming when it comes to responsible recycling of our waste. I believe this can only be attributed to a lack of clear information regarding recycling schemes on campus. If elected, I hope to act as a liaison between SGO and the Green Advisors, as well as the Office of Sustainability, with whom I hope to develop new ways in which we can help inform the student body of the recycling options our campus offers. An increase in recycling bins, as well as a reduction in the amount of plastics number 3 and 6 are used on campus, could act as first steps towards this goal.
With these ideas in mind I hope you will find me to be a suitable class senator for #EIGHTEEN. Our work to make this campus a better place for everybody should not be cut short in our minds because of the approaching graduation date; quite opposite, it should make us want to leave a significant impact upon our campus that future waves of students can enjoy.