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.
It’s midnight. Do you know where your RA is? Soon, it will be a lot easier to find out. Taking a cue from the most recent James Bond movie, RAs will soon be fitted with GPS trackers so that they can be found at any tense moment involving vomit, boyfriend/girlfriend trouble, clogged toilets, existential crisis, locked doors, or fire.
“The RA is the first person you should go to with these kind of problems,” said Housing Coordinator Liz Derickson. “But sometimes an RA leaves their cellphone in Paces, is in class, or even goes to Philadelphia. This way we can track them down whenever crisis hits. RAs are already a student’s most valuable resource. Now, they will also be the most accessible.” The GPS chips will be small and implantable with a minimum amount of pain.
Students will be issued a special username and password to a website where they can locate their RA at any time. ITS is currently working out the details, but expects the system will be operational within the month, pending a few minor legal clearances.
“I think it’s great,” said Hallowell 3rd RA Will Green ’07. “This way I can go over to my girlfriend’s room in ML without worrying about my first-year students getting too worried about their Orgo tests. They can get me if they need to. Of course I told them to knock when the site says I’m in ML 407!”
Swarthmore is the first school to have implemented such a system, though it has been in place in certain classified areas for some time. “It’s a significant step forward,” said Derickson. “We think everyone will be happy with it.”
Upon graduation, RAs can have the chips removed at Worth free of charge.