Skip to main content

Chapter 2: Campus Resources

Educational Assistance Programs

Learning for Life

Learning for Life is a campus-based community service program that pairs Swarthmore College students with members of the College staff. The program is based on "learning partnerships" where students and staff members are paired up to work one-on-one to achieve various goals, such as learning basic computer skills, taking and developing pictures, or preparing for the GED. Full time and benefits eligible part time employees of the College are allowed up to three hours of paid work time a week to work with their student partners and all meetings take place on campus. Most learning partnerships meet for about two hours per week, at times that are tailored to the individuals' schedules. Through the program, students and staff have the opportunity to become learning partners. The Learning for Life program is supported by a Eugene M. Lang Opportunity Grant (through Swarthmore College) and a Literacy Action Network Grant (through
Student Coalition for Action in Literacy Education).

Taking courses at Swarthmore

Occasionally an employee may want to take courses at Swarthmore, for example, to study a language. Any full-time or part-time benefits-eligible employee or his or her spouse or domestic partner may enroll, without charge, for one course each semester for non-degree credit or audit, depending upon the permissions of the employee's supervisor and the instructor of the course. All retired employees of Swarthmore College are also eligible for this benefit. If an individual enrolls in two or more courses for credit in a semester, normal tuition or audit fees will be charged. In cases where a College employee wants to attend an over-subscribed class, preference is normally given to degree candidates of the College. As an extension of Swarthmore's inter-institutional agreements with Bryn Mawr and Haverford, courses at those institutions are also available within limits under this policy. All inquiries should be directed to the Registrar's Office.

Cultural & Athletics Events

Many cultural and athletic events take place on campus throughout the year. These events are announced on the College News & Events webpage. Most College events are free but a College ID card may be required for admission or you may need to request tickets in advance.


Using Athletic Facilities

The Matchbox is an inclusive, non-discriminatory facility designed for the use of the entire Swarthmore College community. The Matchbox is intended for use by Swarthmore College students, staff, faculty, alumni, and affiliates with appropriate Swarthmore College ID, and upon an annual completion of a waiver and a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q). All regular full-time and part-time employees and retirees, their spouses or domestic partner, and dependent children over the age of 15 may use College athletic and recreational facilities. A Swarthmore College employee identification card will allow access to and use of the Matchbox, Mullan Tennis Center, Tarble Pavilion, and Ware Pool. Outdoor track and tennis courts are also available.

Access to the athletic facilities requires an ID card; employees may use their college ID card. Photo ID cards for dependent children, spouses and domestic partners are available from Public Safety at a cost of $10. When presenting to Public Safety for the ID card, the family member must be accompanied by the College employee. Retirees may obtain a retiree ID card at no cost. For more information about hours of use and guest policies, please contact the Athletic Department at ext. 8218 or see the Athletic Department’s Web page.


Cultural Activities

Scott Arboretum

The Arboretum hosts a regular schedule of events open to the public. Contact the Scott Arboretum for further information.

Music and Dance

The Department of Music and Dance hosts many performances throughout the year. These are announced on the College News & Events webpage. Events are in Lang Concert Hall or in the Lang Performing Arts Center and are free to the public unless otherwise indicated.


Each year the List Gallery mounts five or six exhibitions of both emerging and nationally-known artists. The months of April and May feature a series of senior thesis exhibitions by art majors. An Alumni Weekend exhibition takes place in June.

Lectures and Readings

McCabe Library, academic departments, and many other groups on campus sponsor lectures and readings throughout the year. These are announced on the College News & Events Webpage and are open to employees and the general public.

Black Cultural Center

Swarthmore College's Black Cultural Center (BCC) actualizes the College's commitment to "ethical intelligence" in every aspect of its co-curricular work. This work functions primarily at four levels:

  • To uphold the college's commitment to maintaining a multicultural living and learning campus
  • To develop the leadership skills of students interested in making a meaningful impact upon black populations both locally and globally
  • To support a thriving and inclusive black campus community
  • To celebrate the breadth and depth of black traditions, practices, and experiences

Intercultural Center

The Intercultural Center (IC) strives to build community among and between students of color, LGBTQIA , low-income , international, and first generation college students at Swarthmore, while also paying careful attention to their unique intellectual, cultural, social, and personal concerns.


Campus & Community Store

As a staff member of the College, you receive the benefit of a 10% discount on most items in the Campus & Community Store. You are also eligible for significantly discounted academic pricing on some computer supplies and software products. The Campus & Community Store carries leisure reading books, children's books, beverages, snack foods, cards, gifts, toys, school supplies, office supplies, art materials, non-prescription drug products, and many imprinted clothing and gift items. A fax service is in place for both sending and receiving faxes. Postage stamps and phone cards are also available. The Community Store is located at 4 South Chester Road, by the Swarthmore Train Station.


Computer Resources

Swarthmore College has public computing areas in several places on campus that are open and available to employees. Most public areas include both Macintosh and Windows computers and printers. These include:

  • Beardsley Hall – Check with Information Technology Services for hours of operation.
  • McCabe Library - Check with the Library staff for hours of operation.
  • Cornell Library - Check with the Library staff for hours of operation.

Computer Loan Program

The purpose of the Computer Loan Program is to assist our community members in acquiring computing equipment.  Official communications from the College routinely occur via an electronic format and employees need to be able to access this information in order to participate in open enrollment and stay current with payroll and benefits information.

All benefits eligible employees in a regular ongoing position with one year of service in good standing (no active counseling notices) may participate in the program.  Once eligibility is approved by Human Resources, the loan agreement can proceed.


Financing is available through the College's Business Office. Interest rates will be set based at 110% of the short term Applicable Federal Rate. Loan agreements may range from a minimum amount of $500 to a maximum of $2,000. Individuals are required to sign a loan agreement and payment to the College will be made through payroll deductions. A person may have one loan every four years and the loan must be paid in full within twelve months or within the normal work period if employees are in a less than 12 month position. There is no penalty for prepayment of the loan and any remaining balance is due and payable upon separation. The College is required to disclose all participants in the loan program to the Internal Revenue Service annually in our informational Form 990 tax return.


The first step is to obtain a computer loan application from the Human Resources (HR) office on 101 South Chester Road.

Next, decide if you want an Apple computer or a personal computer (PC). If you are interested in an Apple computer, contact the Technical Support Specialist in the Information Technology Systems (ITS) department at ext. 8571 to make your computer selections. If you are interested in a PC, make your selection at a Best Buy store of your choice. Make note of the ‘SKU’ number(s) of the items you select; they will be used to purchase your computer items. The price of a computer system may include the purchase of the system hardware,
software, and any associated computer peripherals (e.g. printer, laptop cases, external drives or modems). It may also include items required to make the system functional (e.g. cables, batteries, memory cards) and shipping and handling, and sales tax. Sales tax will apply.

Once a computer has been selected and you know the amount of the loan you desire, complete the top section of the computer loan application and send it to Human Resources for approval. You will be notified by HR whether or not your application has been approved. Once your application is approved the purchase can be made by the College. Your next step, once the exact cost of the computer is determined, is to complete the loan agreement with the Business Office Manager at x8390. After signing the loan agreement, you can collect your computer. For more information and/or to begin the Computer Loan process, please contact the Human Resources Department at x8397.

Computer Training

Information Technology Services offers a series of training sessions each semester designed to help faculty and staff learn how to use various programs, such as Adobe products, Google, Drupal or Excel. Contact Information Technology Services for further information. Employees should consult with supervisors about appropriate workshop scheduling.


Dining Facilities

While College is in session, employees are welcome to use any of the meal facilities on campus. Employees may bring guests or family members to dine with them. Employees who wish to take meals in Sharples Dining Hall may pay at the door using their OneCard. Essie Mae's Snack Bar serves breakfast, lunch, and snacks at modest prices and is open year round. The Kohlberg Coffee Bar, open Mon.-Thurs. 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and Fri. 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., offers coffee, cappuccino, chai, fruit and mocha smoothies, fresh baked goods, and light lunch items.


Libraries & Archives

Employees and members of their families are welcome to borrow books, videotapes, albums, CD's, and to use the facilities of the libraries, including public computers, at Swarthmore College. The library home page lists information on hours, collections and policies.


Lost & Found

The College mailroom is the official lost and found headquarters of the College. Lost items might also be found at: the circulation desk in McCabe Library, the Director of Dining Services Office in Sharples Dining Hall, the Office of the Athletic Director in the Field House, and the Department of Public Safety in the Benjamin West House, or the Business Office.


Facilities Rental

Some College facilities can be rented by College employees for their personal use, such as for weddings. Facilities are not available for rent during the academic year, and long-term planning is highly recommended. For more information contact the facilities coordinator (e-mail:


Campus Mail Services

The College maintains a central mailroom on the ground floor of Parrish Hall. Although this office is not a substation of the United States Postal Service, it does offer common postal services such as selling stamps and weighing and mailing of small packages. Hours are: weekdays 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m., while school is in session. Package pickup only is available from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturdays.


Staff Lounge

A staff lounge is open to employees during regular working hours. It is located in the Scott Map Building adjacent to Parrish and Lang Halls on Tarble Circle.


Staff Advisory Council (SAC)

The Staff Advisory Council (SAC) serves in an advisory capacity to the president and the associate vice president for Human Resources. Its primary function is to serve in a listening and communicating capacity on behalf of both staff members and the College administration. SAC representatives are elected to three-year terms by their peers organized into circles. SAC meets on a monthly basis during the academic year and minutes are posted. If you have questions, or would like a copy of the by-laws or list of representatives, contact


Commuter Benefit Program

Swarthmore participates in a Commuter Benefit Program, which allows employees to have pre-tax dollars deducted from their paycheck to purchase public transportation vouchers. Information is available from Human Resources. Be reminded that this program is to be used for the employee’s commuting expenses to and from work. IRS regulations do not allow employees to purchase for family members. The Payflex enrollment form is available in the main HR office, 101 South Chester, and on the HR web site.