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.
Hello Swarthmore Students, my name is Elizabeth Bryant and this semester I will be running for Campus Life Representative in hopes of representing you on Student Council. I truly love interacting with people, and I have found turning dialogue about change in to veritable action to be one of the most incredible processes to take part in. This passion was recently developed last year as I worked diligently with fellow students as president of my high school’s Student Council. Every day I witness the intelligent dialogues that occur often between students; the conversations that tie us to one another, and allow us to develop ourselves as reactive intellectuals within Swat’s richly diverse and academic space. The power behind this form of exchange is extraordinary. I believe that the translation of these conversations from individuals and professors in the classroom to student groups and administrators working through Student Council will serve to further unify and enrich our vibrant community.
If elected, as your Campus Life Representative I hope to encourage and facilitate more of these conversations, and strengthen the ties between student groups across campus. I believe that the activities put on by student groups have a greater potential to serve as places for unification among students. On Student Council, I would work towards greater student group collaboration across the diverse range of organizations while also serving as a liaison between the student body and Student Council. Through communication with students on campus, I would work to genuinely represent the diverse student voice in these dialogues, so as to encourage the planning of events that students would like to see and take part in. I believe that the organization of such events without input from the student body is an inefficient use of the democratic system that we have instated in Student Council, and that is why a strong student voice is necessary.
I also hope to work towards creating more opportunities for students to voice their opinions and ask questions of both the administration and Student Council, electronically and personally. Email has become a very useful way for information and opinions to be gathered quickly and on a broad scale, however, because I believe in the great merit of human interactions, I would like to see panels of both Student Council and administration members that would be open to student’s questions, critiques, and suggestions. Creating this kind of panel and then working towards addressing the suggestions and concerns of students would be a major concern to me as your Campus Life Representative.
I am also concerned about the possible restructuring of funding between Forum for Free Speech and the Student Budget Committee. If elected, I would plan on being active in any discussions and policy changes that might make the funding process for student events next year different. I would also make sure there was a reliable line of communication between these discussions and the rest of the student body. Yet another goal for next year would be to institute opportunities for new leadership in different student groups to have meetings so as to create a network of leaders that could learn from each other’s knowledge and experiences. This would also be an opportunity for new student leadership to lean about all of the possible funding bodies on campus
I believe that Student Council is the medium through which student concern and creativity has the opportunity to become concrete initiatives that serve to strengthen, unify and enrich this campus. As your Campus Life Representative, I would take great care in assuring that my service along with other elected positions would work towards the collective goal of most effectively serving the students of this campus.
Elizabeth Bryant ‘13