Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Despite the 11% increase in applications this year, the college administration is redoubling its ongoing efforts to improve Swarthmore’s admissions profile. To that end, the admissions committee today announced a series of changes to the “Ride the Tide” program (formerly informally known as “Spec Weekend”).
The new program, to be titled “Ride the Tide in Your Sweet-Ass Ride: XTREME,” will attempt to alter the prevailing view of Swarthmore as an academically rigorous school with a socially and sexually repressed student body. It will feature events that promote Swarthmore as an “institution of FUNducation,” in the words of Dean of Admissions Jim Bock ’90.
New events will include a dance party with the deans, featuring Dean of the College Robert Gross at the turntables (under his stage name, “DJ Gro$$tastic”), a wet t-shirt contest on the Parrish steps led by the a capella groups, and a Battle of the Department Bands on the LPAC mainstage. Current odds favor the Biology Department’s hair metal outfit, HAMSTYR, with the Astronomy Department’s power pop trio “The Copernicans” as a possible dark horse contender.
In order to accommodate the new events without preventing prospective students from visiting classes, “Ride the Tide in Your Sweet-Ass Ride: XTREME” will be spread out over the course of two weeks, during which hosts will be restricted from attending class more than twice a week, in keeping with what Bock enthusiastically describes as “the slacker theme.”
Bock summarized the changes thus: “For too long has the name ‘Swarthmore’ been associated with ‘stodgy,’ ‘strenuous,’ and ‘so f***ing dull.’ It’s time to replace those words with ‘sexy.'”