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Leadership and Engagement Opportunities

Student speaks during SwatTank competition

Swarthmore affirmed its proud tradition of attracting students who approach problems from distinct perspectives by creating the Center for Innovation and Leadership (CIL). The CIL empowers students with the tools they need to build and broaden their ideas, from thought bubble to execution. It focuses on fostering mentorship relationships, building bandwidth for entrepreneurship and leadership, and forging innovation. Among its hallmarks are the yearly student trip to shadow alumni working in Silicon Valley and the SwatTank innovation competition.

Leadership runs through the daily lives of students on campus, too—from the orientation leaders who make Move-In Day run smoothly for first-year students and their families, to the Resident Advisors (RAs), Student Academic Mentors (SAMs), Green Advisors (GAs), Diversity Peer Advisors (DPAs), and Writing Associates (WAs) who offer support throughout the year, as well as the students who assist peers who have disabilities by taking class notes, scribing essays, or recording lectures, and those who staff the open hours of the Women’s Resource Center.

Our student-athletes exhibit leadership on and off the field, between the players elected as captains and those who help to assess Swarthmore’s athletic and academic balance through the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. They are also eager to give back to the local and global community—as the women’s volleyball and swim teams did by aiding recovery efforts in Puerto Rico during their winter training trips.

Students also take the lead on dozens of organizations on campus, from the MULTI community to Women in Computer Science to the student publication Voices and national powerhouse Peaslee Debate Society. Passionate about something? There’s a club for that.

And their leadership ethic extends through the greater community. Among the students making a difference are the Chester Community Fellows, who each summer work at an array of partner organizations in nearby Chester, helping and learning from the community. This year, the seven fellows served nonprofits such as the Chester Housing Authority, the Chester Children’s Chorus, and the Ruth Bennett Community Farm. In addition, Swarthmore’s Global Neighbors Club helped to organize a fundraiser in the spring for CADES, a local school for children, adolescents, and adults with special needs.

Celebrating Diverse Voices

VISIBILITY, a student-produced magazine, helped build a creative platform for underrepresented communities across campus.


Community Presence

A Putt Putt Palooza organized by Swarthmore students helped raise nearly $11,000 for local residents with disabilities.