Student Council 411: SAC, Deshi, and Appointments

Deshi | Appointments Updates | SAC and SAO

This week’s Student Council meeting was fairly uneventful. The Council was joined by two representatives from Deshi, while several Council members were absent.

Deshi

Deshi has had an active semester. Their Cycle Relief fundraising efforts have netted roughly $250 and the money will be donated to BRAC, a Bangladeshi charity organization.

The organization has also been working closely with SAO and I-20 to organize a cultural show on April 18th with, they hope, dance, music, and performances.

Campus Life Representative Andrea Cornejo ’09 asked if the group has had any trouble finding funding for their events. The group reported that it has not. “We’ve gotten the money we asked for,” said Parth Lakhani ’10.

Appointments Update

The Council met with College Librarian Peggy Seiden to discuss the library committee. According to Appointment Chair Nate Erskine ’10, the current committee is rarely active and is targeted more at faculty. Seiden has endorsed the creation of a second committee with the same student representatives that acts as a student sounding board.

Coming of out of the discussion, the Council briefly settled on how the library is facing an enormous amount of printing for posters. Erskine suggested that SBC pay for groups to have copy card on file in the library at the beginning of each semester to encourage students to use the photocopier, which is cheaper per-copy.

Many Council-members expressed concern that the ease of use is a nearly insurmountable advantage for computer-based printing.

Drama Board, meanwhile, is concerned that a large number of graduating seniors could leave a large gap in their ranks, so they asked Erskine to select their newest members at an earlier date. Drama Board is in this situation because members are expected for the duration of their time at Swarthmore: “It is like the Mafia,” explained Erskine. “There is no exit.”

SAC and SAO

Student Council had a meeting with SBC and SAC to discuss their policies in light of the discussion regarding the aborted amendment last week. One point that came up is that the SAC Co-Directors are employees of the Student Activities Office, while all other funding for SAC comes directly from SBC and the student body.

At that meeting, Student Groups Advisor Paul Apollo ’09 suggested SBC begin to hire the SAC Directors.

It is not completely clear why the Directors are hired by SAO. “I’m not clear on that,” said President Peter Gardner ’08, before positing that SAO selects the co-directors because the two bodies work closely in tandem every semester.

Apollo seemed clear on the rationale for the Directors becoming Student Council employees. “The philosophy for us is that, since SBC is paying all the money, it should answer to SBC not to the Student Activities Office. If we take over and start paying them, they become Student Council employees and the Council can hold them accountable for SAC’s actions.”

The relationship would mirror the Forum for Free Speech.

Many members of the Council appeared uneasy with the idea, referring to “bad-blood” between on of last year’s Co-Directors and the Student Budget Manager. Apollo would not expound on these difficulties, saying “I’m not comfortable talking about it without the SAC Co-Directors here to tell their side of the story.”

The discussion was tabled for a later date, but observer Chris Green ’09 reminded the Council that “because this is a difficult bit of political maneuvering, you don’t want to be doing this in a case where there is a problem. … If there were a problem and SBC had to act, you do not want to be doing it then.”


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