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.
Swarthmore is a fantastic college, and we have much to be thankful for. We enjoy a great deal of freedom, and a happy, congenial atmosphere. The college and its administration generally treat us fairly, and we all should be excited that we’re students here.
That being said, I believe that there are certain issues that need to be addressed to positively improve our college experiences. As campus life representative, I will listen to and amplify your voices of concerns and raise issues that I believe are adversely affecting the student body. If elected, I will focus on improving amenities, providing better access to internships, jobs, and alumni networking, and generating a greater deal of unity on campus.
Swarthmore has one of the highest college endowments per student in the country. There is no excuse for the lackluster quality of campus food, restroom facilities and their maintenance, and laundry services. Though the food in Sharples and Tarble is prepared with great care, I think many of us find the menu (frankly) rather boring, and in dire need of revamping. Structural maintenance in the restrooms in many of the older dorms is being neglected. In fact, if you ever find yourself in the men’s room of Wharton AB 1st, you will see a sign reading, “This urinal is old, the pipes are old, please be gentle.” I think it’s important that we don’t risk a major flood / hygiene hazard when using the restroom. Finally, laundry machines are more or less costly and ineffective. I will ensure that these matters are dealt with.
As a senior, I’m finding it extremely difficult to network and find jobs through the college. Employers at prestigious law firms, investment banks, consulting firms, and corporations are seldom seen recruiting on campus. Additionally, the use of alumni resources is not a simple process, and I find myself doing most of the networking legwork that alumni offices in comparable institutions would do. Given the current economic environment, I believe that this situation has to change for us to be successful in the real world.
Lastly, I feel that the campus is more fragmented than I would like. I would support campus bonding by organizing more social events that are appealing to a larger fraction of the student body. I believe that a greater degree of unity would foster a happier atmosphere.
In conclusion, Swarthmore students do a lot for Swarthmore College. We’re all hardworking, we all overachieve, and most importantly we maintain the reputation of this institution. I think it’s time that the deans and the administration started doing more for students, and as campus life representative, I will make them do so to the best of my abilities. To the deans I say: ask not what we, the students, can do for Swarthmore, but ask what Swarthmore can do for us.