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Dining and Community Commons Project

Harvest Dinner

Mission and Scope

The College's recent self-study on “Learning, Working, and Living Outcomes,” and the subsequent work of the Self Study Action Committee and Re-imagining the Student Experience: A Visioning Exercise, revealed the desire for more spaces on campus that facilitate socialization, active learning, and community-building. The Dining and Community Commons Space Programmatic Committee was formed to help facilitate plans for a revitalized dining hall and central commons space, intended to foster meaningful connections among students, strengthen relationships between students, staff, and faculty, and sustain learning beyond the classroom.

In the Spring of 2018, the committee began the work of envisioning how to bring such a space to the heart of campus by taking on three interrelated goals: Firstly, they will evaluate and prioritize community needs for dining and gathering on campus; With that knowledge, they will next begin to determine what type of space or spaces might be needed; Lastly, they will investigate the operational requirements of the proposed facility or facilities.

This work is driven by the following key questions:

Community building

How will this space foster connection, collaboration, and resource-sharing among students and between students, faculty, and staff?


How will this space be welcoming for, inclusive of, and accessible to all members of our community?


How will this space embody Swarthmore’s commitment to sustainable environmental practices?