Swarthmore forces students to take cold showers

As part of the overall goal to prepare students for the real world, the Swarthmore’s Facilities Department, with the approval of the administration, decided to limit the availability of hot water usage for showers and sinks in dormitory restrooms. According to Elsa Frost, head of the Facilities Department, this is not only an economic advantage for Swarthmore, but also a chance to prepare students for tragedies in life.
“If they fall off a boat in winter, how are they going to survive the cold water?” Frost said. “What we are doing here in Facilities is preparing them to face the worst of the situations. In a way, this is an extension to the swim tests that we have here in Swarthmore, which I know is very, very necessary for the safety of our students. Every student here can swim, but what use is that if they can’t face the cold water? They have to get used to it, and force themselves to tolerate cold showers. Or else, they can’t survive life, as far as I know. I want to be able to tell my friends that I am saving lives of our future generation when I’m at work.”
Hannah Marine, Head Coach of the Varsity Swimming Team, echoed Frost’s sentiments.
“I am so glad Facilities is forcing students to take cold showers,” Marine said. “You know, I always tell my athletes to not let anything stop you—not just in swimming but in life. You can’t afford to have obstacles bring you down. To me, I think cold water is a perfect obstacle that students need to become brave enough to tackle on their own. Are you going to let cold water hinder your opportunity to shower? Or are you going to just not shower forever? Cold showers teach students character, and I think forcing students to take a cold shower can be an invaluable educational opportunity. Maybe if I start forcing my five-year old son to shower in cold water, he will start behaving himself…”
The plan, dubbed “Operation Cold War,” was first proposed in October but was passed in late November in order to match the transition into winter. It allows Facilities full control over when to turn heating on or off. Although The Phoenix tried to ask the Facilities which times they allow hot water to flow, the department responded that that information is “top secret that cannot be revealed to anyone except the Facilities staff.”
“Another value of this plan is that it teaches patience,” said Facilities staff member Blanche Umbridge. “When a student is in a hurry to shower, I guess this wouldn’t work, because he or she would decide to face the cold water. Otherwise, students need to wait for the cold water because they don’t know when the hot water will come out; they need to practice patience and wait. Patience is a virtue in life, and we are doing our part to educate our students to have patience in life. For this reason, we cannot reveal when we turn on our hot water systems, because it would destroy our goal to provide an educational environment for students outside of the classroom.”
A net effect of this plan is a sudden surge of the number of students reporting to the Worth Health Center claiming that they have caught a cold. At the time of writing, over 600 students have visited Worth in order to receive proper care and medicine for sickness caused by the cold. Despite this, the Facilities Department showed no concerns.
“I am not concerned at all,” Umbridge said. “I know Swarthmore students are brave, strong, young men and women who can definitely handle a cold fine by themselves. Besides, being sick teaches character too. I am satisfied to see my colleagues at Worth working very hard. What I am worried about, however, is whether any of those students were lying purposefully to get us change back to our old system. If there is one thing I cannot tolerate, it is dishonesty. I’m going to find out who of those 600 students are liars and bring them to my office. I will have them write that they will never tell lies again. Of course, I will provide them with tea and cats to pet while they write.”
Operation Cold War is set to end in late February, when the Facilities will switch to an opposite plan to dispense boiling water in shower stalls.
Disclaimer: This article was written purely with a satirical purpose. The information presented in this article is thus false and completely untrue.


  1. This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. For $60,000 a year? Incoming students – go somewhere else. An already depressive environment is now being made worse. This cannot be real.

    • Hi,
      This article is actually a piece of satire and is entirely fictional! Our apologies for not making this clear, we have added a disclaimer within the article to avoid future confusion. Thank you.
      Simran Singh
      Phoenix Opinions Editor

  2. I know many students considering transferring OUT of Swat. This will push them over the edge. This is ridiculous and completely pointless.

    • Hi Kennedy,
      This article is actually a piece of satire and is entirely fictional! Our apologies for not making this clear, we have added a disclaimer within the article to avoid future confusion. Thank you.
      Simran Singh
      Phoenix Opinions Editor

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