SGO Meeting 9.23.18
This week’s SGO meeting began with an icebreaker to create, as SGO Vice President Kat Capossela ‘21 put it, some more “team love.” The six executive board members in attendance (out of 11 total members) each answered the question, “What constitutes a perfect day?”
Akshay Srinivasan ‘21, Chair of Student Organizations began with updates on Organizing for Survivors (O4S) and the Student Budgeting Committee (SBC). Srinivasan attended the O4S retreat and meetings, highlighting their continued concerns about administrative accountability and transparency in regards to the College meeting their demands. Srinivasan also informed the executive board about SBC’s new constitution that greatly reduces SGO’s influence in SBC’s daily activities. Capossela raised concerns over the lack of checks and balances with the new constitution. There was also confusion about whether or not the constitution needs to be approved by SGO. Yin Xiao ‘20, Chair of SBC will be attending next week’s meeting to formally propose and describe in more detail the changes to the constitution.
Capossela then asked about each Chair’s plans for meeting with their committee members. Though most committees have not yet been filled, members agreed to hold meetings at least once every two weeks, with others planning on meeting even more often. Kendelle Durkson ‘20, Chair of Diversity emphasized the work his committee already has planned, including attending a student government summit in Philadelphia and meeting with an Antifa representative. The committee is also planning on meeting with the presidents of all affinity groups this coming week, and eventually holding meetings twice a month to increase communication between the groups.
Capossela reminded all members to fill out the “Mapping Your Reach” sheet, a document meant to identify the various identities held by SGO members and find what identities are not represented in the group.
Finally, Capossela shared new information she learned from the Board of Managers meeting that she attended this past weekend. These included updates from Chair Salem Shuchman ‘84, Dean of Admissions Jim Bock, and Interim Dean of Student Jim Terhune. In his first year as Chair, Shuchman hopes to increase transparency and meet more students as well as analyze how professors are compensated. Bock informed Capossela and Orbea that Swarthmore accepts 5% of students from the waitlist and that all admissions in higher educational institutions give a leg up to folks who are "visibly conservative” though this percentage greatly decreases when looking at matriculation to Swarthmore. Terhune’s main focus of the year is to speak with students and understand their concerns so that he can create a strong framework for his successor. He also is forming a Dean of Students Committee to find the next permanent Dean of Students.
The meeting adjourned following these updates, though a few members brought up additional concerns regarding unionized workers at BEP and student parking.
SGO executive board meetings are held every Sunday from 7:00-7:45pm in Kohlberg 116, while meetings with senators are held from 7:45-8:45pm every other week. All meetings are open to the public.
Correction: We stated that Gilbert Orbea ‘19, President of SGO attended the Board of Managers meeting. He was not present. Swarthmore’s incoming classes also are not consistently 50% “visibly conservative,” they just make an effort to do so.