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Office of Student Engagement Introduces Swatoberfest

Campus Scene

The return from Fall Break can be a challenging time for Swarthmore students, as they leave behind whatever rest the weeklong vacation (hopefully) provided, and face a crunch of midterms before the next respite at Thanksgiving.

This year, however, not so much. The newly created Office of Student Engagement (OSE) will host the inaugural Swatoberfest celebration, which features a full lineup of activities this Friday and Saturday. [See the full schedule below.] The aim is to enliven the post-vacation social scene and show students what the office is all about.

The programming begins Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. on Mertz Lawn with the Swatoberfest Kickoff. Highlights include a rock wall, pumpkin decorating contest, and dance performance from Terpsichore. Later in the evening, students can enjoy a concert at the recently renovated and remodeled Olde Club, a slam poetry performance from Oasis, and a bonfire in Crumhenge.  

Saturday adds epicureans’ beloved Meat Day, which is hosted by the Good Food group and includes a panel discussion with a farmer, a chef, and an anthropologist before eating. Saturday evening features one of Swarthmore’s most robust annual traditions, the Pterodactyl Hunt, as well as an improv comedy performance from Vertigo-Go and Boy Meets Tractor.

Swatoberfest is the first major event being sponsored by the OSE. In addition to offering  a fun-filled weekend, Swatoberfest will help introduce students to the whole array of resources and event planning opportunities that OSE now makes available throughout the year.

Assistant Dean and Director of Student Engagement Rachel Head will oversee student programming along with Assistant Director of Student Activities, Leadership, and Greek Life Mike Elias, She emphasizes that the purpose of the new office, and Swatoberfest as its introduction, is to “show students that we really want to work together and that our goals are the same: to provide a wide variety of programming options for students and help encourage student wellness and balance.” Its mission is to facilitate financial resources and directional support for student-organized social events and programs, with a mind to the community’s common interest in civic responsibility and a focus on plain old fun.

According to Head, OSE, which has relocated its offices to Parrish Lower Level 076, looks to reorient both the social events landscape on campus and the relationship, especially concerning such events, between students and the administration. The office is keen on increasing weekend events programming this year and ensuring that weekend programming is not over-concentrated on certain days and times, so that students do not need to select between many offerings they would enjoy and so that groups do not have to compete inordinately for students’ attention.

By establishing itself as a consistent resource center for students to collaboratively imagine and create social events that excite them throughout the year, OSE hopes to add to the quantity – and quality – of student events going forward. 

Complete Swatoberfest Schedule:

Friday, Oct. 24

Swatoberfest Kickoff

  • Rock Wall
  • Spike Ball
  • Apple Cinnamon Donuts and Cider
  • Photo Opportunities with some props and a photographer
  • Pumpkin Decorating
  • Dance Performance from Terpsichore (PAINT: Dance Meets Visual Art)

Mertz Field

4-7 PM, with the dance performance from 5:30-6:30 PM

Oasis Performance

Slam Poetry


6:30- 7:45 PM

Olde Club

Concert by Jacqueline Constance

Olde Club

8 - 10 PM


Sponsored by the Pyro (ΠΡ) Club    Crumhenge10-12 PM


Saturday, Oct. 25

Meat Day

  • Hosted by the Good Food group
  • Pig roasting
  • Panel featuring a farmer, a chef, and an anthropologist before meal
  • Focus on alternative meats this year with grasshoppers, or chapulines

Scheuer Room

4:30- 6:00 PM

Pterodactyl Hunt

No monster slaying experience necessary; foam swords and trash-bag armor will be supplied.

Science Center Quad

7-9 PM

Swatoctoberfest Munkie Takeover

Improv comedy with Vertigo-Go and BMT

Sci 101

8:00- 10:00PM

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