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.
Last spring, many members of the class of 2019 “rode the tide” into Swarthmore during the admitted students weekend. Now, the tide has gone out forever.
This April, when admitted students come to Swarthmore to be courted by the admissions office, the program that brings them together, formerly known as “Ride the Tide,” will be called “Swatstruck.”
“Periodically, it’s important to refresh programming, and even names of programs,” Dean of Admissions Jim Bock ’90 said over e-mail.
The new name didn’t come out of nowhere. Since summer 2014, it has been the name of an admissions-run blog that students write for. Some of these students have been paid specifically to write; others were summer interns at the admissions office. Sedinam Worlanyo ’17 interned at the office in summer 2014. She remembers how the interns first came up with the blog’s name. They sat around brainstorming ideas, some of which were words based on “Jim Bock,” since the interns admired him greatly. But then, they struck gold.
“I mentioned something about how the name should represent what Swarthmore means to us,” Worlanyo said over Facebook Messenger. “It was eventually Mosea [Esaias ’17] though who said ‘Swatstruck,’ in relation to the word ‘awestruck.’ ” She added that the idea immediately garnered positive reactions. “We were all like, ‘oh my god!’ ” she said.
The name was a hit with admissions deans as well.
“[I]t flowed well with our program,” Bock said.
The name change is not the only difference with previous years’ admitted-students programs. The inaugural Swatstruck will be preceded by another novelty: “Swatlight.” As part of this new program, the college will invite first-generation and low-income students, as well as students in programs like QuestBridge, to arrive early and participate in special programming.
“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,” Bock said.
To avoid confusion, the Swatstruck blog will get a new name this summer.
Featured image courtesy of swarthmore.edu.
1. The program for low-income students is a great idea and I support it wholeheartedly. Low-income students need every leg up they can get, and speaking as the child of two parents who were both the first in their families to go to college, first-generation students also need every bit of help they can get.
2. Ugh, I do NOT like “Swatstruck”. The old name was fine and didn’t need change. Changing things for the sake of changing them is pointless, and honestly Ride the Tide sounded better. Inexorable and unstoppable, with a sense of inevitability about coming here. “Swatstruck” sounds like a cheap High School Musical knockoff.
this is an OUTRAGE and I will NEVER donate to Swarthmore again!!!!
jk I don’t donate, and I hope the accepted students enjoy Swatstruck as much as I liked Ride the Tide. I think plans for an event for low income students has been in the works for a few years, and I’m glad to see it’s getting off the ground.
I first read it as Swat truck