Swarthmore College Archives: Student Activities


If an activity has an individual finding aid, it can be accessed by clicking on the name of the organization:

Asian Association

Swarthmore Asian Organization (SAO) is a student organization founded in 1987 to support students who self-identify as Asian, Pacific Islander, Asian American, or Pacific Islander American.
Call number: See RG6/Q030, Intercultural Center (IC) Records

Athletic Association

The Swarthmore College Athletic Association was an organization that served in various administrative roles and functions relating to men's athletics at Swarthmore College from 1877 to circa 1939.
Call number: RG6/Q015

Black Cultural Center

The Black Cultural Center of Swarthmore College was founded in 1969. The BCC serves as a home for a number of organizations on campus including SASS (Swarthmore African-American Student Society), Gospel Choir, and Mjumbe, a literary magazine representing black students.
Call number: RG6/Q006

Book and Key (Club)

Book and Key was a Swarthmore College men's secret honor society established circa 1906 and modeled after the secret societies at Yale University. It was active at Swarthmore College until 1957.
Call number: RG6/Q005

Camera Club (Swarthmore College)

The Swarthmore Camera Club was a student organization devoted to the study of photography. It presented an annual Lantern Slide Exhibition for which the participants took the photographs and manufactured the slides for presentation. This small collection contains a volume of minutes, 1896-1902, with some financial records.
Call number: RG6/Q028

Chi Omega (Sorority)

Chi Omega, Gamma Alpha Chapter of Swarthmore College,  a women's fraternity, was chartered in April 1919 and ceased to exist in 1933 when the College abolished sororities.   This small collection contains membership cards and initiation stubs, 1919-1931.
Call number: RG6/Q019

Committee Opposed to Registration and the Draft (CORD)

This collection consists of twelve paintings created by Swarthmore College students as an expression of reactions to the Gulf War. The artworks were created as part of a group activity, "War Art Painting Session," sponsored by Junto and the Swarthmore Committee Opposed to Registration and the Draft (CORD).
Call number: RG6/Q038

Community Housing Project Group (Swarthmore College)

In 1976 a group of Swarthmore College students organized to propose a  communal living experience within the context of the College housing.  The experiment ended after the Spring 1982 semester due to student disinterest.  The collection contains proposals and studies, The Ashton House Log which includes meeting minutes, informal log entries, and topics of discussion, and miscellaneous notes.
Call number: RG6/Q023

Debate Board

The collection includes one bound volume containing the minutes of the Debate Board, 1903-1922, and literature and scoring of the Interscholastic Oratorical Contest of Swarthmore College for the Phi Kappa Psi cups. 1903-1918
Call number:  RG6/026

Delphic Literary Society

The Delphic Literary Society was a Swarthmore College men's literary society established in 1874. In 1913, the group merged with the Eunomian Society to became the Athenaeum.
Call number: RG6/Q002

Delta Gamma (Sorority)

The sorority was founded in 1905 as a local, Pi Sigma, and in 1912 became the Alpha Beta Chapter of Delta Gamma, the national women's fraternity.  The collection contains the records, 1905-1912, of Pi Sigma Society of Swarthmore College before it joined the national.
Call number: RG6/Q019

Delta Sigma Rho (Debate Society)

Delta Sigma Rho was a collegiate honor society devoted to the promotion of public speaking.  It was founded in 1906.  This small collection contains one bound volume of membership records of members of the Swarthmore Chapter, ca. 1915-1929.  Also the debate schedule for Swarthmore College 1903-1922, with debate topics.
Call number: RG6/Q027

Delta Upsilon (Fraternity)

Delta Upsilon, along with Phi Psi, is one of the two surviving men's Greek letter fraternities at Swarthmore College (2013). The Swarthmore Chapter of Delta Upsilon (DU) was established on March 3, 1894.
Call number: RG6/Q014

Eunomian Literary Society

The Eunomian Literary Society was a men's debating and speaking club founded at Swarthmore College, Pa., in 1871. In 1913, the group merged with the Delphic Literary Society, forming the Athenaeum. Records include minutes from 1871 to May 1913. Also includes printed copies of the constitution and by-laws and correspondence from 1872 to 1900.
Call number: RG6/Q003

Folk Dance Club and Folk Festival

See RG 6/J02, Swarthmore College Dance Program records

Glee Club

Swarthmore College Glee Club was an auditioned, all-male vocal group.  It was founded in 1888 as a coeducational ensemble, but by 1893 it had become a men's group.
Call number: RG6/Q012


The first Swarthmore College yearbook, Halcyon was published in 1883. It has appeared annually nearly every year since. This small collection contains an advertising accounts book, receipt and expenditures journal, and banking records, 1924-1925.
Call number: RG6/Q034

Intercultural Center

The Intercultural Center (IC) at Swarthmore College was founded in 1992 to promote systemic change toward a multicultural perspective across the institution and to foster community-building and collaboration among diverse groups within and outside of the college. The collection contains records relating to the founding of the IC and its activiites, as well as records that detail the activities of groups within the IC, specfically HOLA (Hispanics Organized for Latino Awareness/Hispanic Organization for Latino Awareness), SAO (Swarthmore Asian Organization), SQU (Swarthmore Queer Union), and NASA (Native American Student Association).
Call number: RG6/Q030

Joseph Leidy Scientific Society

The Scientific Society of Swarthmore College was organized in 1880.  In 1895, it was renamed the Joseph Leidy Scientific Society. The organization was open to students, faculty and staff as well as local residents of the Borough of Swarthmore.  Its mission was to keep abreast of developments in science. The collection contains the constitution, a published paper read before the Society, and a book of minutes, 1902-1915. 
Call number: RG6/Q025

Kappa Alpha Theta (Sorority)

Kappa Alpha Theta was the first national Greek letter fraternity for women. The Alpha Beta Chapter at Swarthmore College was established in 1891 and ceased to exist in 1933 when the College abolished sororities.
Call number: RG6/Q013

Kappa Sigma (Fraternity)

The Swarthmore Chapter of Kappa Sigma was suspended from the national fraternity in 1962 because it attempted to propose a non-discriminatory membership amendment ot the fraternity's constitution.
Call number: RG6/Q017

Kwink (Club)

The Society of KWINK  was an organization of the managers of the men's athletic teams at Swarthmore College.  The collection contains one folder of the minutes, 1951-1960.
Call number: RG6/Q022

Little Theatre Club

The Little Theater Club was established at Swarthmore College about 1922 to create a stable foundation for theatrical projects and coordinate productions on campus. No course credit was given for participation. After Swarthmore created a Drama Department in 1968/69, the Little Theater Club became inactive.
Call number: RG6/Q004

Outing Club

The Swarthmore Outing Club, still active and known as "The Outsiders" as of 2015, plans excursions such as hiking, climbing, and backpacking for students. In 1961, interested students in the Outing Club registered as Swarthmore Grotto #98, a student chapter of the National Speleological Society. This collection of Swarthmore Outing Club records, circa 1961-1968, consists of files on caves explored by the Grotto Club and issues of the Grotto Club's biannual newsletter.
Call number: RG6/Q037

Phi Beta Kappa

Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest honor society, founded to promote academic excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. The Swarthmore College Chapter, Epsilon of Pennsylvania, of the Phi Beta Kappa Society began as a preliminary organization in 1893.   The Swarthmore Chapter remains active.
Call number: RG6/Q008

Phi Psi (Fraternity)

Phi Psi began as Pennsylvania Kappa, a chapter of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, established in 1889.  After failing to amend the fraternity's constitution at national meetings in 1960 and 1962, Pennsylvania Kappa surrendered its charter in 1963, becoming the third Swarthmore fraternity to become local. It operated for a time as Phi Omicron Psi before becoming Phi Psi. The local fraternity continues to the present.
Call number: RG6/Q009

Phi Sigma Kappa (Fraternity)

The Phi Chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa was  established at Swarthmore College in 1906.  By 1991, it was abolished, a victim of mounting debt and student disinterest.  The collection includes correspondence, 1956-1957, concerning the Chapter's pledging of an African American, the first at the College; other correspondence mostly concerning the mounting debt; and agreements and leases.
Call number:  RG6/Q010

Phoenix (Student Newspaper)

The Swarthmore Phoenix was first published as a monthly newspaper in December of 1881. This journal was named after the mythological bird because it was founded in the year that the Main Building at the College was gutted by fire and rebuilt. In 1919 when Drew Pearson was editor. the Phoenix received the first prize of the Intercollegiate Newspaper Association   It continues to be issued weekly during the academic year.
Call number: RG6/Q020

Pi Beta Phi (Sorority)

This collection consists of two song books used by Pi Beta Phi, Pennsylvania Alpha Chapter. Pi Beta Phi was the second sorority to maintain a chapter at Swarthmore College (est. 1892) and the largest sorority on campus in 1932, just before the college abolished sororities in 1933.
Call number: RG6/Q035

Pi Sigma (Sorority)

The collection contains the records, 1906-1912, of Pi Sigma Society of Swarthmore College.  The sorority was founded in 1905 and in 1912 became the Alpha Beta Chapter of Delta Gamma, the national women's fraternity.
Call number: RG6/Q016

Nulset Review (Literary Magazine)

The Nulset Review was a semi-annual Swarthmore College student journal of the creative arts, published 1976-1980.  This small collection contains writings and images submitted for publication and financial records.
Call number: RG6/Q021

Race Relations Club

In response to an incident in which an African-American resident of the town of Swarthmore was denied service at a local barber shop, the Swarthmore College Race Relations Club conducted a race relations survey in the community and on campus in the 1950-1951 school year. The Swarthmore College Race Relations Club surveys, 1950-1951, is a small collection that contains the code and response of the community questionnaire, and several interviews and a card record of responses to the student questionnaire.
Call number: RG6/Q029

Sager Committee

See College-Wide Committees and Activities, call number:  RG6/P004

Somerville Literary Society

The Somerville Literary Society was a women students' literary organization founded in Swarthmore College in 1871. The purposes of the organization were to discuss literature, strengthen the friendship between its members, and prepare them "for the wider field of action and influence opening to women," according to the group's constitution.
Call number: RG6/Q001

SWIL (Club)

The Swarthmore Warders of Imaginative Literature,  Swarthmore College's science fiction and fantasy club, was formed in 1979. The club regularly organizes showings of science fiction and fantasy movies, short story readings, and occasionally brings writers to speak at Swarthmore.
Call number: RG6/Q007

Tau Alpha Omicron/Phi Delta Theta  (Fraternity)

Tau Alpha Omicron was founded at Swarthmore College in 1907.  It became part of the national fraternity Phi Delta Theta in 1926, designated Pennsylvania Kappa Chapter.  Its charter was revoked in 1958 when its members protested the national organization's racial, ethnic, and religious restrictions on membership.  It then became a local fraternity, resuming its original name.
Call number: RG6/Q018

Women's Athletic Association

This collection contains meeting minutes, handbooks, and other records of the Women's Athletic Association of Swarthmore College (WAA), a student organization that held various administrative responsibilities relating to women's athletics. It was founded in 1898 as the Girls' Athletic Club of Swarthmore College. The Women's Athletic Association existed in some form into the 1980s at least.
Call number: RG6/Q036

Women's Resource Center

The Women's Resource Center at Swarthmore College was founded in 1974. It was named the Alice Paul Women's Center until the name was changed in the early 1990s to the Women's Resource Center. This collection includes records relating to the  founding of Swarthmore’s Women’s Center, minutes, logbooks, and other papers.
Call number: RG6/Q031

WSRN (Radio Station)

The Swarthmore College Radio Club, founded before 1933, was reorganized in 1939. It was open to all students interested in short wave radio communication. The club had its own transmitter and operated station W3YJ, affiliated with the American Radio Relay League.  In 1940, the Radio Club began to sponsor the Swarthmore Network, a wired wireless station on the commercial broadcast band.  The station acquired its current call letters, WSRN, sometime before 1952; it was a member of the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS).
Call number: RG6/Q011

Ye Monks of the Black Cowl (Club)

Ye Monks of the Black Cowl was a secret society composed of ten male students chose from even year classes at Swarthmore College.   The file contains the initiation rite, constitution, a scavenger hunt, and other papers.
Call number: RG6/Q024