In desperate hopes to lure admitted prospective students into matriculating to Swarthmore, the administration sent out strict orders to the students, faculty, and staff—especially the dining staff—prior to Swatstruck, instructing them to show their best performance and be on their best behavior. Furthermore, the college community was ordered to treat prospective students like royalty.
“We must do whatever we can to bring those students in here,” said Blake Trickton, Dean of Admissions. “I cannot bear having these students turn down our offer of admission and go somewhere else, especially our peer institutions like Williams and Amherst. We really need to get back into the top three in U.S. News rankings, you see, and bringing the best students here can get us back into where we belong. How dare they put us in the same rank as Middlebury and below Wellesley. I don’t know about Middlebury, but everybody knows that Wellesley literally got into the top three just because of Hillary Clinton.”
Students who were hosting prospective students were specifically instructed to provide them with the service one would receive at a five-star hotel. As part of their training, hosts were required to attend a seven-hour panel and seminar with experts in the hospitality industry. According to Marla Lago, Admissions Officer in charge of hosting, the admissions office wanted to ensure that the prospective students be treated as if they own the room, and the hosts should be the ones giving up anything they can to make the students feel comfortable. Furthermore, hosts were told to give up their beds for the prospective students, and clean up after whatever mess they create.
“This will definitely make the admitted students feel like Swatties are all very nice people who sacrifice everything for the needs of others,” Lago said. “The tables have turned and now it is our turn to beg them to come, instead of them begging us to give them letters of admission. The Class of 2021 will play a huge role in continuing our reputation as a popular, yet selective, liberal arts college.”
After Swatstruck, hosting students reported numerous incidents where they felt, according to the words of Shifu Xerver ’20, “proud and accomplished for being a great host for the students.”
“My spec got drunk and threw up in my room, but never did I ever show any signs of frustration or anger toward him,” Xerver said. “Instead of getting mad, I told him that it was completely fine, and that accidents can happen. And then I spent the next two hours trying to clean up the mess he barfed up out of his stomach, instead of studying for a really important test I had the next day that was 30% of my entire grade. I’m usually not that much of a nice person, but I’m so proud that I was able to maintain my inner- peace instead of exploding at them and abandoning them in the middle of Swatstruck! Can someone give me an award for that?”
Another student, David McNirvana ’19, shared an even greater accomplishment, a move that even earned him extra money from the Admissions Office.
“My spec hooked up with another spec, and he brought her to my room and asked me to leave,” McNirvana said. “The guy had the guts to kick me out of my own room. But I acted like I was completely cool with it even though I had two tests and an essay due the next day. I not only left the room, but I also lent them my bed to let them do their business. If anyone deserves a Best Host award, it’s me.”
According to Trickton, food is always an obstacle that tarnishes Swarthmore’s reputation. Therefore, Trickton ordered the dining hall staff to bring in the Indian Bar, consisting of freshly baked naan and hand-made curry that is only offered during days when there are a lot of visitors.
“We put much more effort to please our future students and persuade them to come here,” said Aglio McPasta, head of dining services. “In addition to having Indian Bar, which is our go-to Swatstruck menu, we also brought in chefs who own Michelin Three Star restaurants to revamp our signature chef’s pasta bar. In order to do this, however, we had to force current students to eat regular pasta bar in a separate dining area, so that prospective students don’t find out the actual truth”
Trickton is hopeful that the event persuades many prospective students to matriculate to Swarthmore.
“I think we did a good job in luring in a bunch of prospective students into coming here,” Trickton said. “Hopefully this will increase our rankings in U.S. News, and get us the third place that we deserve on the list.”