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.
Swarthmore denizens heading down to Sharples this morning found a series of colorful chalkings waiting for them. “I’m not a geek, but my (lab) partner is!” “UNIX is the new first base!” “Closets are for servers.”
What at first glance appears to be a second iteration of the Swarthmore tradition of Coming Out Week chalkings is in fact a gentle parody by the Swarthmore College Computer Society (SCCS), celebrating their first ever “Geek Coming Out Week.” The stated goal of Geek Coming Out Week is to raise awareness of SCCS, and what SCCS offers to the campus community as a whole.
SCCS is best known for offering free email and webspace to students, but it actually provides a number of technology-related services as well, including the online edition of the Cygnet, through which students can look up photographs of their peers, free loaning of digital cameras and other hardware, and multimedia expertise.
SCCS also runs two spaces open to students. The Media Lounge is a public Linux and OSX computer lab located in the basement of Clothier Hall (better known as Tarble), for students who eschew Microsoft’s Windows operating system. The SCCS Video Pit, also located in Clothier basement, is outfitted with a projection screen, video games, and a VCR for film screenings.
In previous years, SCCS has provided homes for tech-heavy productions such as the Boy Meets Tractor video sketches, as well as temporary space for War News Radio before they acquired a permanent location.
Dan Crosta ’06, one of the system administrators at SCCS, described the event to the Gazette. “We were hoping to do it last week, right after SQU’s Coming Out Week, but the rain foiled that plan. It’s an idea we’ve been throwing around for a year or so, and now we’ve finally gotten around to doing it.”
He emphasized that the purpose of Geek Coming Out Week is not to mock SQU’s Coming Out Week: “The point behind Geek Coming Out Week is positive and slightly joking, but that we are here to make a positive impression for ourselves. We provide services to lots of groups on campus, but people don’t know we lend equipment and help with technical expertise for personal projects, as well.”
The chalkings will be followed up later in the week by posters in all of the dorm bathrooms, which will provide a list of SCCS services and include information about applying to become an SCCS system administrator.
The SCCS website can be accessed at: http://www.sccs.swarthmore.edu/