Swarthmore College seeks to help its students realize their full intellectual and personal potential, combined with a deep sense of ethical and social concern. The purpose of Swarthmore College is to make its students more valuable human beings and more useful members of society. The College is committed to student learning in and out of the classroom and thus supports the personal and leadership development of students through extracurricular activities.
Students are expected to familiarize themselves with the policies and rules concerning their conduct. The Student Handbook provides information about academic freedom and responsibility; ethical use of the library and other educational resources; standard citation practices; the information technology acceptable use policy; and the policies and procedures that guide the process when academic or behavioral misconduct is suspected.
Swarthmore is primarily a residential college, conducted on the assumption that the close association of students and instructors is an important element in education. Most students live in college residence halls all four years. New students are required to live in the residence halls during their first two semesters. After their first year at the College, students are permitted to live in non-College housing.
Seventeen residence halls, ranging in capacity from 8 to 214 students, offer a diversity of housing styles. Several of the residence halls are a 5 to 15-minute walk to the center of campus. Swarthmore's residence halls are Alice Paul; Dana; David Kemp (the gift of Giles Kemp '72 and Barbara Guss Kemp, in honor of Giles' grandfather); Hallowell; Kyle House (named in honor of Fred and Elena Kyle '55); Lodges; Mary Lyon; Mertz Hall (the gift of Harold and Esther Mertz); Palmer; Pittenger; Roberts; the upper floors in the wings of Parrish Hall; Strath Haven; Wharton Hall (named in honor of its donor, Joseph Wharton, a one-time president of the Board of Managers); Willets Hall (made possible largely by a bequest from Phebe Seaman and named in honor of her mother and aunts); Woolman House; Worth Hall (the gift of William P. and J. Sharples Worth, as a memorial to their parents).
A mixture of class years live in each residence hall. About 90 percent of residence hall areas are designated as coeducational housing either by floor, section, or entire building. The remaining areas are single-sex housing.
Although single-sex options are offered, they are not always available and as such cannot be guaranteed. Students should not expect to live in single-sex housing for all four years. In these single-sex sections, students may determine their own visitation hours up to and including 24-hour visitation restrictions.
First-year students are assigned to rooms by the deans. Efforts are made to follow the preferences indicated and to accommodate special needs, such as documented disabilities. After the first year students choose their rooms in an order determined by a housing lottery or by invoking special options—among these are block housing, allowing friends to apply as a group for a section of a particular hall. There is also the opportunity to reside at neighboring Bryn Mawr and Haverford colleges in a cross-campus housing exchange that proceeds on a matched one-for-one basis. First- and second-year students typically reside with roommates, whereas juniors and seniors may select single rooms (as available). All students are expected to occupy the rooms to which they are assigned or which they have selected through the regular room choosing process unless authorized by the deans to move.
Resident assistants, selected from the junior and senior classes, are assigned to each of the residence halls. These leaders help create activities for students, serve as support advisers to their hallmates, and help enforce College rules for the comfort and safety of the residents.
Residence halls remain open during fall break, Thanksgiving, and spring break, but are closed to student occupancy during winter vacation. Specific winter vacation dates are set each year, but generally include a 4-5 week period from mid-December through mid-January. No meals are served during fall and spring breaks.
Guests- Friends of Swarthmore students are welcome to visit campus. If a guest of a student will be staying in a residence hall overnight, the resident assistant must be notified, and all roommates must agree to allow the guest to stay. A guest is not permitted to stay in a residence hall more than four nights each term. Residence halls are designed for our student population, and as such children, non college-aged individuals, parents, and other adults should not be overnight guests. A guest is never permitted to sleep or reside in any public location (such as a dorm lounge, basement, or other public space). Requests for exceptions must be made to the Assistant Dean for Residential Life. The Dean's Office reserves the right to require a guest to leave campus if their behavior begins to have an impact on the campus community or is otherwise disruptive.
Student hosts are responsible for the conduct of their guests on campus and will be held accountable for any violation of the code of conduct or other rules of the College committed by a guest.
Limited storage areas are provided in most residence halls; dorm storage rooms may reach capacity and be closed to students on a case-by-case basis. Insurance is not provided on items stored in dorm storage, and students store their belongings at their own risk. Students are not allowed to store any furniture or large items in these locations.
A limited amount of ‘secure storage' is maintained by Public Safety and available to students on a first-come, first-serve basis. Secure storage may be accessed on scheduled days and times at the beginning and end of each semester. Each student may store up to three items, though space limitations prohibit the storage of furniture, bicycles, musical instruments, rugs, mattresses, fridges, or other large items.
The insurance program for the College is designed to provide protection for College property and does not include the property of students or others. Students and their parents are strongly urged to review their insurance program in order to be sure that coverage is extended to include personal effects while at college.
All students living in campus housing must participate in one of the College's three meal plans. Students living off campus may subscribe to the meal plans, or they may purchase a debit card or a five-meal plan from the Dining Services office in Sharples. The debit card may be purchased in any amount and renewed at any time. The five-meal plan allows access to Sharples for five lunches per week at a rate discounted from the cash entry fee.
Swarthmore's Dining Services oversees the main dining facility in Sharples Dining Hall, Essie Mae's Snack Bar, the Kohlberg coffee bar, the Science Center coffee bar, and the Mary Lyon's Breakfast Room.
Sharples Dining Hall is open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 7:15 p.m.; Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Unlimited servings are permitted, but take-out is not. Although a sincere effort is made to meet the dietary needs of all students, not all special requirements can be accommodated. Kosher meals are not available in the dining hall.
Essie Mae's Snack Bar, the Kohlberg coffee bar, and the Science Center coffee bar are cash operations. Students may use their meal equivalency at Essie Mae's. Points are accepted at all three locations.
Mary Lyon's Breakfast Room serves a hot breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, which is prepared by students. Mary Lyon's residents and guests may use regular meal credit to partake in the weekend breakfast.
Swarthmore students may obtain passes to eat at the Bryn Mawr and Haverford college dining halls. Students may also arrange to have raw ingredients packed for cook-outs and special meals as a substitute for meals. Please see the dining hall staff for details.
Students eating in all college dining locations must present their college picture identification card for meal credit or points. These policies are in effect to protect each student's personal meal plan account.
Parking is very limited on Swarthmore's campus. Students should not plan on being approved for parking for more than one year during their time at Swarthmore. Students must have the permission of the Car Authorization Committee to park on campus and should apply in the spring term for the following academic year. Students who live off-campus in the Swarthmore Borough can secure street parking through Borough Hall, and are not generally eligible for campus parking spots. First-year students are not permitted to bring cars to campus.
The WHC services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week when the College is in session. The center, a gift of the Worth family in memory of William Penn Worth and Caroline Hallowell, houses the Health Service's outpatient treatment facilities, offices of the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) staff, and rooms for students who require non-hospital level infirmary care.
The WHC team includes nurses, nurse practitioners, a student wellness coordinator, a nutritionist, internists, and an adolescent medicine physician. The physicians are contracted through Crozer-Chester Medical Center (CCMC). The WHC staff members are willing to coordinate care with personal health care providers, when given permission by the student. In addition, if a student is admitted to the CCMC, WHC staff members and physicians are willing to coordinate care with the hospital providers.
Students may make appointments with health care providers at scheduled times during the week. When school is in session, a registered nurse will interview and evaluate the health needs of the sick student. Through this easy access to care students are given important health information, scheduled to see a health care provider or treated and released based on the level of illness or injury.
WHC maintains a small dispensary of commonly used prescription medications. Students who need prescription medications may purchase them through their insurance or through WHC at a reduced rate. WHC has arranged delivery services from a local pharmacy for students who are unable to access them otherwise. Similarly, laboratory services are provided at low cost or billed through the student's insurance.
We respect a student's right to confidentiality, do not share personal information about a student but encourage a student to speak with parents when his/her care becomes more complicated.
In supporting the College's mission, the WHC is highly committed to providing comprehensive and clinically exceptional care to students. We invite student and parent feedback as part of our review and assessment processes.
For more detailed information and forms, especially those for new students, visit www.swarthmore.edu/health.
Services for students include counseling and psychotherapy, after-hours emergency-on-call availability, consultation regarding the use of psychiatric drugs in conjunction with ongoing psychotherapy, psychological testing, and educational talks and workshops. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) participates in training resident assistants and student academic mentors as well as other student support groups and provides consultation to staff, faculty, and parents.
CAPS comprises a diverse group of psychological, social work, and psychiatric professionals. The director and staff collectively provide regular appointment times Monday through Friday. Students may be referred to outside mental health practitioners at their request or when long-term or highly specialized services are needed. CAPS main office is located in the Worth Health Center, North Wing.
Treatment at CAPS is conducted within a policy of strict confidentiality. Where there may be a significant question of imminent threat to someone's life or safety, CAPS reserves the right to break confidentiality in order to ensure safety.
Requests for service may be made in person or by phone (x8059) between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. In the event of an after-hours emergency, contact the Health Center (x8058) or Public Safety (x8333).
Students may consult the medical facilities of the College when ill or injured in athletic activities or otherwise, free of charge. The College cannot assume financial responsibility for medical, surgical, or psychological expenses incurred when seeking or referred for care elsewhere. Students and their families are responsible for medical expenses incurred while students are enrolled at the College including medication costs vaccine costs and lab fees.
Students who have no insurance or inadequate insurance coverage must enroll in the College health plan offered to all students. If your insurance status changes, notify student health services immediately. Enrollment to the College health plan must be done within 31 days of the loss of other coverage. Students receiving financial aid may have a portion of the premium cost defrayed. The College provides supplemental health insurance for students who are actively participating in intercollegiate and club sports. For further information, please consult the Medical Administrator/Insurance Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org). All athletes with questions related to sports injuries should contact Marie Mancini (email@example.com).
The Public Safety Department office is located in the Benjamin West House. The department provides round-the-clock uniformed patrol of the campus buildings and grounds by professionally trained patrol officers who can assist students in a variety of ways from emergency response to general advice on crime prevention. Students are encouraged to call the department at 610-328-8281 any time they feel Public Safety can be of assistance. All emergencies should be reported by contacting the department's emergency telephone line 610-328-8333. Any crime or suspected crime should be reported immediately to the Public Safety Department.
Swarthmore College's Annual Crime and Fire Safety Report is written to comply with the (Pa.) College and University Security Information Act: 24 P.S., Sec. 2502-3©, the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, and the Campus Fire Safety Right to Know Act. This annual report includes statistics for the previous 3 years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus, in certain off-campus buildings owned or controlled by Swarthmore College, and on public property within or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. The College's Fire Safety Report contains a variety of fire safety related information in addition to campus fire statistics for the most recent three calendar years. To obtain a full copy of this document, visit www.swarthmore.edu/public-safety/clery-crime-statistics.xml.
The Student Council is the chief body of student government and exists to serve and represent the students of Swarthmore College. Its 11 members are elected semiannually. The powers and responsibilities of the Student Council are (1) the administration of the Student Activities Account; (2) the appointment of students to those committees within the College community upon which student representatives are to serve; (3) the oversight of those students of those committees; (4) the administration of student organizations; (5) the operation of just elections; (6) the execution of referendums; (7) the representation of the student body to the faculty, staff, and administration, and to outside groups, as deemed appropriate; and (8) the formulation of rules needed to exercise these powers and to fulfill these responsibilities. The Student Council provides a forum for student opinion and is willing to hear and, when judged appropriate, act upon the ideas, grievances, or proposals of any Swarthmore student.
The Student Budget Committee allocates and administers the Student Activity Fund.
The Social Affairs Committee allocates funds to all campus events, maintains a balanced social calendar, and is responsible for organizing formals and various other activities that are designed to appeal to a variety of interests and are open to all students free of charge.
Service on College Committees is determined by the Appointments Committee of Student Council which selects qualified student representatives.
Creative arts activities take place in conjunction with the departments of art, English, music and dance, and theater. There are also many student groups that organize creative activities. Professional performers and artists are brought to campus regularly, both to perform/exhibit and to offer master classes. Campus facilities include practice and performance spaces available for student use.
The Phoenix, the weekly student newspaper; the Halcyon, the College yearbook; The Daily Gazette, a Web based news service; and WSRN, the campus radio station, are completely student-run organizations. Lodge 6 is a media incubator for journalism. The campus New Media Center supports student initiatives in video and web formats. Several other student publications include literary magazines and newsletters. For more information, contact the student publications coordinator.
Service and activism activities are an integral part of the lives of many students, faculty, and staff members. The Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility (see 6.6.5) coordinates and supports many of these endeavors, though there are also many independent projects in operation on the campus and in the local community.
Students are encouraged to get involved in extracurricular activities at Swarthmore. More than 100 clubs and organizations span a broad range of interests such as community service; athletics; political action; and religious, cultural, and social activities. If there isn't a club or organization that meets a student's interest, he or she may form one with the guidance of Student Council.
The Black Cultural Center (BCC), located in the Caroline Hadley Robinson House, provides a library, classroom, computer room, TV lounge, kitchen, all-purpose room, a living room/gallery, two study rooms, and administrative offices. The BCC offers programming, activities, and resources designed to stimulate and sustain the cultural, intellectual and social growth of Swarthmore's black students, their organizations and community. Further, the BCC functions as a catalyst for change and support to the College's effort to achieve pluralism. The BCC's programs are open to all members of the College community. The BCC is guided by Assistant Dean Karlene Burrell-McRae, with the assistance of a committee of black students, faculty, and administrators.
There are two fraternities at Swarthmore: Delta Upsilon, affiliated with a national organization, and Phi Omicron Psi, a local association. Although they receive no College or student activity funds, the fraternities supplement social life. They rent lodges on campus but have no residential or eating facilities. In recent years, about 6 percent of male students have decided to affiliate with one of the fraternities.
The Intercultural Center (IC) provides programs, advocacy, and support for Asian/Pacific Islander American, Latino@, multiracial, Native American, LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bi/pansexual, trans*, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual), low-income, international, and first-generation college students at Swarthmore College. In addition, the
IC promotes systemic change toward intersectional perspectives across the institution and fosters collaboration and coalition building among communities both within and outside the IC and the College. Resources and programs include faculty-student-staff events, lectures, concerts, films, poetry slams, workshops and dialogues that explore race, class, gender, sexuality, citizenship, intersectional identities, and equity with a particular emphasis on social justice education and leadership. Alina Wong, assistant dean, is the director of the Intercultural Center. More information is available at www.swarthmore.edu/ic.
Religious advisers are located in the Interfaith Center in Bond Hall and currently consist of Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant professionals. The advisers and the Interfaith Center provide members of the Swarthmore community opportunities and resources, in an atmosphere free from the dynamics of persuasion, in which they can explore a variety of spiritual, ethical, and moral meanings; pursue religious and cultural identities; and engage in interfaith education and dialogue. The center comprises offices, a large common worship room, and a private meditation room.
Student groups of many faiths also exist for the purpose of studying religious texts, participating in community service projects, and exploring common concerns of religious faith, spirituality, and culture.
Various services are available on campus, and area religious communities welcome Swarthmore students.
The Lang Center, located at 3–5 Whittier Place, is a hub for activities that support Swarthmore's mission to “help students realize their fullest intellectual and personal potential combined with a deep sense of ethical and social concern.” The Lang Center supports the College's commitment to social responsibility in the context of academic excellence by providing administrative, financial, logistical, and programming support for a wide range of opportunities to help make connections between the College and communities beyond, both local and global. Its staff works with individual students, student groups, faculty, staff, and community partners. The Lang Center offers extensive information about opportunities for service, advocacy, activism, social entrepreneurship, policy, and research. Its key programs are: Community-Based Learning—The Lang Center offers grants and support to faculty members who wish to add or revise courses in ways that connect academic content with communities outside the College. The grants may be used by faculty for summer stipends or to cover the cost of a course replacement to permit a course reduction or course-related expenses.
The Eugene M. Lang Visiting Professorship for Issues of Social Change—The professorship was endowed in 1981 by Eugene M. Lang '38 to bring to the College an outstanding social scientist, political leader, or other suitably qualified person who has achieved professional or occupational prominence for sustained engagement with issues, causes, and programs directly concerned with social justice, civil liberties, human rights, or democracy.
Lang Opportunity Scholarship Program—Up to six students during the first semester of their sophomore year are selected to participate in this program, which includes a paid summer internship, the opportunity to apply for a substantial grant that supports the implementation of a major project with significant social value, and other benefits. Lang Center staff work closely with Lang Scholars as they develop and carry out their projects.
Student-led service and activist groups—Many student-led groups use Lang Center facilities and also receive guidance from Lang Center staff. These groups include Chester Youth Court Volunteers; College Access Center of Delaware County; Chester Garden Youth Collaborative; Global Health Forum; Global Neighbours; High School Conversations; Learning 4 Life; Saturdays of Service; Taller de Paz (Workshops for Peace); Volunteer Income Tax Assistance; Dare to Soar; Trash 2 Treasure; War News Radio; Village Education Project; and Student Run Emergency Housing Unit of Philadelphia.
Summer Social Action Awards (S2A2)—These grants provide living expenses and summer earnings support for full-time, 10 week summer internships with non-profit organizations, grassroots advocacy groups, and public service agencies. Lang Center staff provides guidance as students find internship placement sites that are congruent with their interests.
The Swarthmore Foundation—A small philanthropic body formed by Swarthmore College in 1987 with endowments from alumni, foundations, and others, the Swarthmore Foundation supports students, staff, and faculty involvement in community service and social action. Applications for grants are accepted three times during the academic year.
The Project Pericles Fund of Swarthmore College—Eugene M. Lang '38 and the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College created the Project Pericles Fund of Swarthmore College in 2005 to support groups of Swarthmore students who propose and implement social and civic action projects that are substantial in scope.
The Tarble Social Center in Clothier Memorial Hall was provided through the generosity of Newton E. Tarble of the Class of 1913 and his widow, Louise A. Tarble. The facility includes a snack bar, a lounge space, the College Bookstore, Paces (a student-run café and party space), an all-campus space, meeting rooms, the Swarthmore College Computer Society media lounge and the offices of the Social Affairs Committee (SAC), Debate Society, and Rattech.
The Women's Resource Center (WRC) is located in a lodge on the west side of campus; it is open to all women on campus. It is organized and run by a student board of directors to bring together women of the community with multiple interests and concerns. The resources of the center include a library, kitchen, various meeting spaces, computer, and phone. The WRC also sponsors events throughout the year that are open to any member of the College community.
The Office of the Dean for Academic Affairs oversees the advising system. The deans are available to all students for advice on any academic or personal matter. A dean is assigned to each class in order to specialize in advising matters that are particular to that year. Students, however, may approach any dean for advising, support, or to learn about College resources.
Each first-year student is assigned to a faculty member or administrator who serves as the student's academic adviser. Once students are accepted by an academic department for their major, normally at the end of the sophomore year, the advising responsibility shifts to the chair, or chair's designate, of that department. Requests for a change of adviser in the first two years will be freely granted subject only to availability and equity in the number of advisees assigned to individual advisers.
Academic support can be accessed through the Office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, through the Office of Student Disability Services, through academic departments (peer mentors, clinics, and review sessions), through the Writing Center (Writing Associates), and in dormitories (Student Academic Mentors). Tutors can be arranged through departments or through the Office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. No fees are required for any of these services.
Student Academic Mentors (SAMs) are upper class students specially selected and trained to work with students on the development of skills necessary for academic success including time management, organization, study strategies and reading techniques. All residence halls with first-year students are assigned a SAM to serve as a resource for its residents.
Writing Associates (WAs) are students who have been specially trained to assist their peers with all stages of the writing process. WAs are assigned on a regular basis to selected courses, and they are located in the Writing Center in Trotter Hall. All students have access to the Writing Center as needed and can receive help on a drop-in basis.
The staff of the Health Sciences Office is available to students and alumni considering a career in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or other health professions. The Health Sciences Adviser counsels students throughout their undergraduate years and beyond, and assists them in the process of application for graduate training.
Swarthmore graduates are represented at 59 medical schools in 23 states in the U.S., including such top schools as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Penn, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, and many fine state universities. In addition, Swarthmore graduates are currently attending The University of Pennsylvania and the University of California-Davis veterinary schools and University of Pennsylvania, Temple and New York University dental schools. The College's acceptance rate is substantially higher than the national acceptance rate.
While many students planning a medical career decide to major in biology or chemistry, others elect to concentrate in one of the humanities or social sciences, while structuring their overall program to fulfill medical school requirements. The following courses are part of a typical program:
Cellular and Molecular Biology
Organismal and Population Biology
Organic Chemistry I and II
Calculus I and Statistical Methods
General Physics I and II
Introductory Psychology and Sociology
As veterinary and dental schools have more variable requirements, in addition to those listed above, prevet and predental students should meet with Gigi Simeone, the Health Sciences Adviser, to plan their programs.
Swarthmore's academic rigor provides an excellent preparation for students considering a career in law. Swarthmore graduates are represented at law schools across the U.S., including such top schools as Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, and Yale.
Swarthmore students interested in law are encouraged to take a varied and challenging academic program, which will develop their analytical, reading, writing and speaking skills. There is no prelaw major or prescribed prelaw coursework. Students have applied successfully to law school with majors and minors in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.
Gigi Simeone, the Prelaw Adviser, is available to any student or alum considering a career in law. The Prelaw Office counsels students throughout their undergraduate years and beyond, and assists them in the process of application to law school. It offers a series of meetings with law school admissions deans each fall. The office also prepares dean's certifications for students applying to law schools that require it. More information is available at www.swarthmore.edu/prelaw.
Career Services offers individualized attention to students who are seeking career direction, considering majors, exploring internships, job searching or applying for graduate school. Career Counselors and Career Peer Advisers help students develop knowledge of themselves and their life options, advance their career planning and decision-making abilities, and develop skills related to their internship/job search and graduate school admission. Individual counseling and group workshops encourage students to expand their career options through exploration of their values, skills, interests, abilities, and experiences. A noncredit Career Development course is available for all students, regardless of their academic discipline or year.
Career programming includes alumni career panels and dinners, presentations, workshops, employer information sessions, an etiquette dinner, career fairs and interview days. The office cooperates with Alumni Relations and the Alumni Council to help students connect with a wide network of potential mentors and the offices co-sponsor the annual Lax Conference on Entrepreneurship.
Exploration of career options is encouraged through internships, summer jobs, and alumni-hosted externships during winter break. Students may receive assistance in researching, locating, and applying for internships, employment, and graduate school admission and receive advice in how to gain the most they can from these experiences.
Career Services hosts on-campus recruiting by representatives from for-profit, government and nonprofit organizations. The Career Services website(www.swarthmore.edu/careerservices.xml) provides access to comprehensive online databases of internship and job listings as well as an events calendar to make information about activities and programs available to students. Recommendation files are compiled for interested students and alumni to be sent to prospective employers and graduate admissions committees.
Swarthmore students assume responsibility for helping to sustain an educational and social community where the rights of all are respected. This includes conforming their behavior to standards of conduct that are designed to protect the health, safety, dignity, and rights of all. The College community also has a responsibility to protect the possessions, property, and integrity of the institution as well as of individuals. The aim of the College's Student Judicial Procedures is to balance all these rights, responsibilities, and community values fairly and efficiently. The judicial system is overseen by the dean of the senior class, and all questions should be directed to this office.
The formal judicial system at Swarthmore College has two main components: (1) adjudication by individual deans of minor infractions of College regulations, where a finding of guilt would result in a sanction less severe than suspension; and (2) adjudication by the College Judicial Committee (CJC) of major infractions of College regulations, including all formal charges of academic dishonesty, assault, harassment, or sexual misconduct. The CJC is composed of faculty, students, and administrators who have undergone training for their role.
Violation of the laws of any jurisdiction, whether local, state, federal, or (when studying abroad) foreign, may, at the discretion of the dean, subject a student to College disciplinary action. A pending appeal of a conviction shall not affect the application of this rule.