The college’s annual admitted students event, formerly known as Ride the Tide, has changed its name to “Swatstruck”. The new name accompanies several minor changes to the event’s programming.
According to the college website, the name Ride the Tide was a reference to Swarthmore’s football team, which was known as the Garnet Tide until the team was disbanded in 2000. The change in name comes as fewer and fewer students understand the reference to the now defunct varsity sport.
“… [Swatstruck] is a much better name, given that I’m not sure what the ‘tide’ is referencing,” said Jimmy Shah ’18.
According to Vice President and Dean of Admissions Jim Bock ‘90, the Office of Admissions believes that it is important to periodically refresh the programming and along with it, the title. Ride the Tide had been the name of the event for at least the past 12 years.
“With the introduction of a new suite of admissions materials and publications this year, we felt the time was right,” Bock said.
The idea for the name “Swatstruck” came from the Office of Admissions’ student-run blog, which was created in the summer of 2014 by Sedinam Worlanyo ’17, Isabel Knight ’16, Mosea Harris ’17, Elliot Nguyen ’17, Tess Wei ’17, and June Lee ’17. Bock said that the decision was made because the name flowed well with their program. To avoid confusion with the event formerly known as Ride the Tide, the blog will be renamed this summer.
As the primary organizers of the prospective student event, Ruby Bhattacharya ’11 and Windsor Jordan ’07 are working closely with the Office of Student Engagement, the Intercultural Center, the Black Cultural Center, and other departments on campus to ensure the event programming reflects as many aspects of the Swarthmore community and life on campus as possible. Bock said Swatstruck will be open to all admitted students and take place Thursday, April 21 through Friday, April 22. Many of the activities during the event will be similar to those seen in past years at Ride the Tide.
In addition to standard Swatstruck programming, 2016 will inaugurate the new Swatlight program, which Bock explained as a pre-Swatstruck, invitation-only program geared towards students who identify as low income, first generation in their family to attend college, or who are working with college access organizations such as A Better Chance, Bright Prospect, and QuestBridge.
“The Swatlight name honors our Quaker heritage, as we think about the Quaker concept of Inner Light and the candles that we light at First Collection, which celebrate all of the unique perspectives and experiences that each individual student brings to our community,” Bock explained.
Some students appreciated how the efforts of the new Swatlight program could foster a more welcoming environment for students from communities historically underrepresented at the college.
“There is a noticeable difference, or gap I guess, between students who are either first-gen or low-income [and those that are not],” said Julia Barbano ’19. “Anything that can be done to combat that or at least try to make the student body feel more ‘together’ would be a step in the right direction.”
However, Barbano did not see a point in changing the event’s name.
Bock encourages current students to get involved with Swatstruck this year by volunteering to host prospective students, getting student organizations involved in the programming, and showing the unique culture of our community.