Survey, Parrish Board Space, BoM, and the Strategic Planning Committee

Student Council discussed their upcoming survey of the student body, Parrish board space, the Board of Managers meeting in October, the Strategic Planning Committee, and upcoming events at their weekly meeting. Meetings are open to the student body and held at 8:00 on Sunday evenings in Parrish Parlors.

Student Body Survey

A draft of the survey had been prepared by meeting time; President Simon Zhu went through the questions and asked for any final feedback. The survey was sent out Sunday night and will be open for feedback through the week. It asks what short-term goals Student Council should focus on, students’ opinions on groups (especially the Gazette and the Phoenix) being able to automatically subscribe students to their email lists, and the possibility of Sharples being open for breakfast on Sunday.

Student Council will use the results of this survey to inform a recommendation that they will make to Dean Braun about the email access issue (discussed last week). Dean Braun said that she will accept StuCo’s recommendation on this matter, as long as it is reasonable.

Parrish Board Space

Rotaract has requested some space on the board in Parrish from Student Council. All of the space is currently is use, so StuCo is in touch with Paury Flowers (who co-manages the space with StuCo) about what the best course of action is. Some currently inactive groups have large amounts of board space (the College Republicans were cited), and other groups have boards that are very out of date. Student Council discussed the idea of having an event where groups would be encouraged to come and update their boards. Such an event would help StuCo figure out which groups actually use their space.

October Board of Managers Meeting

The next Board of Managers meeting will be the weekend of October 1st. This meeting will focus specifically on the strategic planning process. For the closing lunch, Dean Braun has asked Student Council and around twenty other students to join the board to discuss the strategic planning process.

Students will receive an all-campus email asking students questions about what Swarthmore means to them and their visions for its future. Based on those answers, three or four students will be selected to give presentations to the Board, and another sixteen or seventeen to attend lunch. It is not clear yet whether StuCo will pick students or it will be first-come-first-served. In any case, Dean Braun wanted to emphasize that this is only one of many avenues to give feedback on the strategic planning process.

Student Groups Event

StuCo will host an event this Saturday to help students and student groups learn how to get chartered, get funding, host events, and about what committees are relevant to groups. Student Council members, along with representatives from SBC and SAC, will present on these topics in Sci 199, and afterwards they will move to the courtyard for food and a chance to ask any remaining questions. The event will be held on Saturday at 3pm.

Dean Braun Open House

Student Council is planning an open house with Dean Braun for the end of October (tentatively Friday the 29th). It will probably feature some kind of pumpkin-carving contest and food. A student present suggested having an a capella group or some other kind of musical group perform.

Strategic Planning Committee

Student Council will choose a slate of around 15 students for the Strategic Planning committee through the normal process, for which applications were due at 11:59pm on Sunday. From those, Board of Managers Chair Barbara Mather, Rebecca Chopp, and Liz Braun will choose eight students to work in pairs on each of four working groups (on specific topics). Mather will also select two students to sit on the planning committee itself.

It was also clarified that Student Council members would in fact be allowed to apply for the committee; several members expressed interest. Because of the conflict of interest, their applications would go directly to Mather, Chopp, and Braun to decide on.

Long-Term Goals

Student Council will decide on subcommittees to work on their long-term goals (an academic bridge program and the SBC rollover fund) next week.

Provost Connie Hungerford suggested that the best venue for the bridge program proposal would be through the strategic planning process, since it would need a lot of resources, including a committee on it and probably its own fundraising process, to implement. Rojas expressed worries that it might get lost in that process without a Student Council initiative pushing it forward.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • If Sunday breakfast is implemented, there are currently no plans to make any changes to meal plans.
  • Student Council will have its institutional governance meeting with President Chopp and Dean Braun next Sunday.
  • StuCo Lounge will be held in Paces on Tuesday night from 10 to 11; this week’s theme is on issues related to the survey.
  • StuCo is still looking into having their minutes posted in bathroom stalls.