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Student Handbook

Department Overview

Swarthmore College Official Student Handbook 2023–2024

Since its founding in 1864 by the Religious Society of Friends (aka Quakers), Swarthmore College has given students the knowledge, insight, skills, and experience to become leaders for the common good. The diversity of perspectives represented by Swarthmore students, faculty, and staff--including different viewpoints, identities, and histories--contributes to the community’s strong sense of open dialogue and engagement with ideas and issues. As such, we are a community that prioritizes the intellectual, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing of all our members. 

Swarthmore aspires to create an academic environment grounded in intellectual discovery and guided by rational discourse and civility. In that regard, Swarthmore promotes and fosters personal growth and learning; preserves both individual rights and the wellbeing and respect of others and the community; encourages healthy choices, not only in one's self but also in relation to others; and creates opportunities to make positive impacts at Swarthmore.

To assist Swarthmore in establishing a vibrant, respectful, and inclusive community, the College has identified both support resources and developed policies and procedures that outline and support our shared community values. To that end, and as members of the community, students have a shared responsibility to ensure that their actions and behaviors are grounded in integrity, respect, and trust. As members of the Swarthmore community it is important to remember that each of us hold the responsibility for the wellbeing of all of our members, including students, faculty, and staff. The vitality and vibrancy of our community is deteriorated and diminished when an individual’s behaviors work against our shared values. 

When conflict or disagreement arises, students are encouraged to turn toward one another and work through dialogue as an important step to restoring the community. Together we all share the responsibility of creating an inclusive community that values both its members that the academic environment in which we live, learn, and work. 

The Swarthmore College Student Handbook (Handbook) is produced by the Division of Student Affairs (DoSA) and is a compilation of official policies of the College. The Handbook assists the College in framing our community expectations for students and creating a mechanism to inform students of these expectations. Overall the Handbook includes information regarding student support resources and services; policies and procedures that help establish a healthy and inclusive College community; and serves as a companion piece to the Swarthmore College Bulletin. Though the Handbook addresses some academic and other administrative resources and guidelines, the College Bulletin includes detailed information about academic programs, academic requirements and policies, course descriptions, off-campus study, and graduation requirements.

This Handbook and the College Bulletin are shared with every student of the College, and students are expected to read and adhere to the policies, regulations, and procedures within the Handbook and College Bulletin. Students are responsible for abiding by all College rules and regulations, as soon as they arrive on campus.  Students should contact any member of the Division of Student Affairs staff if they have questions or need advice regarding College policies. 

The Handbook and specifically, the Student Code of Conduct, creates a set of expectations for student conduct, ensures a balanced process for determining responsibility when behavior may have deviated from those expectations and provides appropriate sanctions when a student or student organization/team has violated the Student Code of Conduct. When addressing allegations of misconduct, effort will be made to balance the needs and rights of the student or student organization/team with the welfare of the greater College community, as a whole. 

Rules and policies are reviewed annually and may be changed at any time without prior notice; in general the community will be notified annually of changes that occur after the Student Handbook is published each fall. [Handbook pdf]

Table of Contents

Academic Resources and Support

Academic Advisers
Academic Support
Campus and Community Store
Career Services
Information Technology Services (ITS)
Global Engagement
Registrar’s Office
Student Disability Services

Academic Policies

Academic Freedom and Responsibility
Academic Misconduct
Academic Progress Standards and Requirements
Computer Systems and Networks Acceptable Use Policy
Leaves from the College
Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity

Social and Residential Resources and Support

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS)
Division of Student Affairs (formerly Dean’s Office or Student Affairs Division)
Identification (ID) Cards
Parking on Campus
Public Safety
Office of Student Engagement (OSE)
Student Health and Wellness Services

Student Code of Conduct: Rules and Regulations 


Alcohol and Other Drugs
Assault, Endangerment, or Infliction of Physical Harm
Banners, Chalkings, and Posters
Bullying, Intimidation, Stalking
Disorderly Conduct
Events and Parties
Failure to Comply
False Representation
Fire Safety
Discrimination Based on Protected Class
Sexual Misconduct: Title IX and College-Defined Sexual Misconduct
Theft and Vandalism
Unauthorized Entry
Unauthorized Use of College Facilities and Services
Violation of Local, State, or Federal Law
Weapons and Other Prohibited Items

Student Conduct Policies and Procedures

Contact Restrictions
Student Conduct Sanctions
Interim Temporary Suspension
Student Conduct Procedures
College Judiciary Committee (CJC)
Pre-College Judiciary Committee Adjudication Procedures
College Judiciary Committee Adjudication Procedures

Student Conduct Annual Reports

Note: the following documents require authentication to Google Drive using your Swarthmore network credentials.

Student Conduct Annual Report 2013-2014
Student Conduct Annual Report 2014-2015
Student Conduct Annual Report 2015-2016
Student Conduct Annual Report 2016-2017

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Parental Notification Policy

Title IX and College-Defined Sexual Misconduct Policy


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