StuCo discussed the Board of Managers annual college budget, which includes a raise in tuition, last week’s Board of Managers meeting and upcoming all campus discussions hosted by Council.
Board of Managers Pass Budget, Hold Annual Meeting
The Board of Managers (BOM) just passed this year’s school budget, which includes a slight tuition increase. Co-President Gabby Capone ‘14 said that the Board justified the increase on the grounds that other peer institutions were also raising tuition, but added that “there were board members who weren’t entirely comfortable with that logic.” She said that a summary of the new budget will be available online later this week.
Capone also gave an overview of the BOM meeting held Sunday. Topics discussed at the meeting included the upcoming TedX conference, LAX Conference on Entrepreneurship, and Arts Weekend.
The Board meeting included an update on the Town Center West (TCW) project. Members from the community were in attendance to talk about the project. The discussion centered on how the project would better connect the town of Swarthmore with the college campus.
Capone proposed that StuCo meet with College Vice President for Facilities and Services Stu Hain to get an update on the TCW project. She said the meeting would be an opportunity to solicit student input.
“Obviously [the project] is going to happen,” she said, “so we might as well make sure it happens in a way the students and the community are comfortable with.”
Finally, the BOM received an update from the Student Affairs Committee. SAC brought the Not Yet Sisters (NYS) sorority proposal back to the Board. Capone said that “the general gist” of the Board’s conversation was that “it doesn’t make sense to have fraternities and then say no to a sorority.”
Upcoming StuCo Discussions
StuCo will be hosting three campus meetings in the coming weeks to encourage student input on key issues.
StuCo will host an open discussion about the upcoming Genderfuck party this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in Kohlberg Coffee Bar, which will be an opportunity for the wider student body to dialogue with the event’s planning committee. StuCo has sent students an email about the event.
StuCo plans to host a separate discussion on the topic of sexual misconduct on March 15th. There is not yet a time or location set for this event.
StuCo will host a talk about changes to the student group budgeting process on Tuesday, Feb. 28th at 4:30 p.m. at a location to be decided. Financial Policy Representative Eugene Prymak ‘13 said that at the last SBC-StuCo Task Force meeting, they discussed making “the budgeting process more efficient, intentional and suited to our needs.”
The Task Force, created with the intent of establishing a clear, well-defined relationship between StuCo and the SBC, considered both quarterly and semesterly budgeting as alternatives to the current annual spring budgeting process. Prymak reported that the Task Force ultimately opted to stick with annual budgeting, but decided to set a lower benchmark. This means allocating fewer funds to student groups in the spring, so that more funds are available for supplemental allocation the following school year “when groups have a clearer sense of what they need,” said Prymak.
Student Outreach Coordinator Ian Anderson ’13 reported that the new StuCo website is now live.
The site will soon include descriptions of the various StuCo roles so that students wishing to run for office can see the responsibilities associated with each.
After receiving suggestions by other members of Council, Appointments Chair Will Lawrence ’13 presented his amended proposal to change the bylaw about StuCo decision-making procedures. Lawrence would like a more formal voting process for decisions affecting reoccurring StuCo practices.
A vote on Lawrence’s amended proposal will take place next week.
Since the process of amending the Constitution takes at least three weeks, Capone recommended making these amendments over the summer. A number of Council members volunteered to work on the changes then.