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.
My name is Dawei (David) Ding ’16, and I am running for Student Groups Advisor. At this point, we have seen that Swarthmore has weathered through some rather tumultuous events. Last spring, because of various cases, the campus atmosphere had grown so uncomfortable that I felt quite uneasy. I felt that Swarthmore had changed in such a way that it was no longer the Swarthmore I knew and loved, and I experienced severe distress and sorrow for the woes of the students which was caused – I believe – by the continued lack of communication. It was not the four year journey I signed up for. Swarthmore should be a place where we came to grow both as academic students and as responsible human beings, and I want our college to continue to be such a place.
Things cannot stand the way they are. I believe Swarthmore should be a place where everyone can flourish, not a holding pool we go to for another four years. If some existing attitudes and structures don’t change, I think it will be difficult for Swarthmore to achieve its goals to its students.
Thus, I want to REBUILD TRUST AND UNDERSTANDING at Swarthmore through a few simple goals:
1. Improve communication amongst all groups and individuals
2. Develop a system to help students navigate the college and improve administrative visibility*
3. Foster the social accessibility of students and staff to improve alertness and readiness when situations arise.
(*By “administrative visibility” I mean students knowing the general intentions of the administration. We want to know everything, but they just can’t disclose it. I want to try to see where a happy median is.)
We must tackle the problems as a campus of students, faculty, and staff if we want to see Swarthmore become a better place. If students are to take the initiative, we need to create a system so the college both listens and responds accordingly.
To achieve these goals, I am currently in the process of formulating a Liaison Program to remedy the problems we have encountered in the past. I am currently talking to multiple Deans, student leaders, and staff to obtain information to try to see how to set up the Liaison Program to achieve the goals I listed. I realize that it is a work in progress, and I will not make any promises to you because I can only give you my time and effort to make Swarthmore a better place.
Swarthmore has been good to me; give me a chance to make Swarthmore a better place for you!
David Ding ‘16
Past leadership roles and experiences: Founder/President of Interact Club, City of Oklahoma City Youth Council, YLX leadership Class XV, Boys State 2011, RYLA 2010
Past and concurrent activities at Swarthmore: Academic Assessment Committee, Fencing, Change to Charity, Rotaract Secretary (Fall ’12), Tri- Co 2012,