What is Ombuds?
Ombuds is a student organization that aims to do three things: (a) facilitate communication between the Swarthmore student body and administration, (b) educate students with regards to advocacy techniques, and (c) promote greater transparency around campus politics for the whole student body.
Ombuds was founded during the Fall 2023 semester by Wyatt Brannon, Tehya Basileia, and William Lee, all of the Class of 2026.
Ombuds members do a lot of things!
Meeting with administrators is our top priority. Regularly, we hold meetings with staff from across campus — from Housing to Textbooks to Shuttles to Worth Health Center — and help students connect with the people who can actually solve their problems. We’re always open to organize one-off meetings to pursue specific issues as well! Just let us know what’s on your mind and we’ll help make it happen.
Writing a regular newsletter helps us keep track of how administrators respond to student requests. Right now, even if you raise a concern, it’s not always clear if anything changes: there isn’t enough transparency around Parrish. Our regular newsletter, delivered straight to your email inbox, will include information about how our meetings have gone, what’s happened to issues raised and questions asked, and what else administration is doing to address student concerns.
Collecting resources on student advocacy ensures the success of future generations of Swatties. As of now, the administration is something of an enigma, hard for students to understand. We want to change that, through simple but detailed resources that help students understand how Swarthmore works and how they can successfully advocate for issues on campus.
Resources We Provide
Ombuds hosts a Google Drive folder which contains various resources for student advocates. These resources include Budgetary Records from the school, a map of Swarthmore’s internal Administrative Structure, and a Contact List of administrators for students to reach out to about specific topics. If we’re doing things right, this folder should be getting bigger every semester!
Joining Ombuds as a Member is as simple as joining our newsletter. It comes with zero obligations and expectations, but you’ll have access to all of our resources and are always free to attend our meetings with admin and help us plan what comes next.
Ombuds has no executive leadership and takes no stances on campus politics. However, someone has to store the records: and that’s why we have a Secretariat. The Secretariat is elected on a semesterly basis.
The Ombuds Secretariat consists of three members. From left to right: Wyatt Brannon (Secretary), Tehya Basileia (Vice Secretary), and William Lee (Vice Secretary).
Wyatt Brannon ’26
Tehya Basileia ’26
William Lee ’26
Ombuds is governed by a Charter, which establishes its highly decentralized structure.