Swat Visually: A New Cartography

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.

Screw Your Roommate is the perfect combination of excitement, unrealistic expectations, fear, confusion, and a pervasive social awkwardness cushioned only by the familiarity of chicken patty grilla bar. Whatever your reason for going, or the costume your roommates or friends have forced you into (shout out to my freshman year roommate for my full Mario costume, mustache included), Screw always manages to be an odd and wonderful time.

In honor of this strange and special tradition, Swat Visually asked you all about your Screw experiences. Before we dive into the data, I’d like to give a shout out to Hannah Armbruster ’15 who suggested a Screw-themed Swat Visually. Thank you for that amazing suggestion!

Without further ado, Swatties on Screw:

What really got me this week were Swatties’ hopes for Screw, and how those changed. For example, while the number of people looking to get some didn’t change from Swatties’ first years to this year, those who were looking to get some did. Most of the people who had gone in with charged expectations their first year are going into Screw this year thinking about it as a fun, strange night. They may have had to lower their expectations for it, yes, but they are all attending Screw this year. This is interesting, since only 50% of the Swatties who went to their first Screw to make friends are going this year, and only 30% of Swatties who went to their first Screw to have fun are coming back. There isn’t enough data to say for sure, but it looks like the higher your expectations your first year, the more likely you may be to keep coming back for more.

Another interesting relationship in the data is between Swatties’ hopes for Screw going in and what actually happened at Screw. For example, out of the 5 respondents who ended up dating their screw date after screw, 4 of them went in looking to meet their Swarthmore romance. On the other hand, those who can’t remember the name of their screws are either not going to screw this year, or just treating it like a fun night. While, obviously, your attitude going in isn’t the only factor determining what happens during Screw, predictably, those going in hopes high were the only ones who ended up moving forward (so to speak) in some capacity with their Screw dates.

A trend I didn’t expect was the sophomore respondents’ general anti-Screw mentality. Seriously, sophomores have the highest percentage of respondents not going to Screw (60%, compared to the overall average of 50%). They’re also the least horny of all the class years. Where 30% of juniors and 11% of seniors are looking for a little somethin’ somethin’, only 10% of the sophomore respondents have dreams of grandeur. When I looked into the data, it appears that only one of the sophomores had any luck with their screw date (and, predictably, this respondent is one of the 40% coming back to Screw this year). This could be a factor in the general bah humbug attitude in the sophomore class, but that may be letting them off too easy.

My advice to sophomores? You don’t have to go in believing you’ll find your true love, or even a college hook up that just won’t work out. In fact, you probably won’t. But that’s fine! Because, seriously, what’s the worst that can happen? Only 19% of Swatties cited Screw as one of the most awkward moments in their Swarthmore career. That means there’s an 80% chance it will be less awkward than that one time freshman year (you know what I’m talking about).

Finally, for those of you who were looking for some last minute costume inspiration, here are some of the best costumes mentioned:
+ Ron Paul and the Gold Standard (Amazing.)
+ The Up House and the man from Up
+ Newt Gingrich and the Moon
+ Dora the Explorer and Backpack
+ Proton and Electron
+ Robert George and Cornell West
+ Fiddler and the Roof
+ Assault (a salt shaker) and battery

For next week, Swat Visually will be following up on your Screw Weekend, in a way. Do you remember the hook up map we did last semester? Since then a few months have past. People have come and gone in your lives, relationships have blossomed, weird one-night stands have happened, and as a result, the campus of Swarthmore has changed. As a testament to that change, Swat Visually is asking you to help us build a Campus Hookup Map 2.0.

That means you have until Sunday to submit your results. It is my hope you have enjoyed some consensual, fun escapades since last semester, but if not, this weekend is your last chance. So get creative, and give us the location here:

Can’t wait to see how much fun you’ve all been having,
Swat Visually

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