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.
During orientation week, it wasn’t uncommon to hear a freshman greet another freshman with “hey, aren’t we Facebook friends?” Even now, some freshman, such as Tramane Hall (301), Fumiko Egawa (282), and Ming Cai (233), have more Facebook friends than the average upperclassman. Even the famous “fake Swattie,” Sara Alexander, has 175 Swarthmore friends.
While the classes of 2010 and 2009 primarily used a separate student- run site [ swarthmoreforum.org ] to communicate with each other, Facebook was the preferred means of communication for incoming Swatties this year. For example, the “Swarthmore Class of 2011” group currently has 302 members, while “The Super Sexy Swarthmore Class of 2010!!” only has 123 members. Dina Kopansky ’11, one of the officers of the 2011 Facebook group, was dubbed the “Swat News Channel” on Facebook for her knowledge of Swarthmore information and deadlines. She says “It [Facebook] really helped me… meeting especially early [decision] kids.”
One of the more frequent posters on the 2011 group this year was a New Yorker named Sara Alexander. Says Kopansky, “She was really excited about Swat.” Sable Mensah ’11 agreed, “This girl just got really hyped up… and then in came out that she didn’t even get in.” Suddenly, Alexander’s posts were deleted from the 2011 group. Myles Louis Dakan ’10 posted on the thread titled “Drug Testing” in the 2011 group, and says “She was posing as a student of at least four different colleges which she has since removed from her profile.” Kopansky explained, posting “she never officially joined the network. She had it in her profile because anyone can – anyone can put down that they’re going to Swarthmore and their class year in their Education info…”
Reactions were strong on Facebook. Kopansky posted that she was really “annoyed,” and Yaeir Heber, ’11, said the whole thing was “bizarre.” Since school has begun, upperclassmen and freshmen alike have been wondering about the elusive “Sara Alexander.” Jesse Hoff, ’11, heard that Alexander had called leaders for information about the pre-orientation hiking trip. New Yorker Natasha Tonge ’11 says that Alexander told other New Yorkers that she was coming to a “meet-up” but that although they waited for her, she never showed up.
Alexander’s Facebook profile now says that she is attending Columbia University, but she is not part of their network. Alexander refused to speak with the Daily Gazette.