Letter to the Editor: Clarifications on Pledge-Violating Gathering

To: Editor of The Phoenix

The article entitled “Garnet Pledge Violations Result in Revoked Housing Privileges” published on September 9 made several inaccurate claims about the event that precipitated the dismissal of eight students from campus. This gathering, while branded as a ‘party’ in a letter from Dean Terhune to the Swarthmore community, consisted of less than ten students, the majority of whom were wearing masks and lived in the same dorm (and even on the same floor), and involved no alcohol.

The violation of the Garnet Pledge cited for dismissal from campus was for having more than two students in a dorm room, thereby not being able to properly social distance – a violation that many, if not most, students on campus have violated at some time during the first month of classes. The administration considered this single event an egregious violation and have enforced the Pledge using a zero-tolerance policy. Hopefully, this letter will serve to further educate other students and their families as to how the administration is and likely will be interpreting and enforcing the Garnet Pledge.

A Concerned Member of the Swarthmore Community


  1. I would like to clarify that almost every claim enumerated in this letter is false. There are several witnesses who can testify that these claims are false and there are several reports from RAs and public safety that can do the same. If you all really want to die on this hill then go ahead, but a bunch of sports kids deciding to gather and play drinking games in front of the entire hall while making no effort to hide what they were doing *on the very first weekend of the semester* is not only dangerous (re: the pandemic), it’s stupid. Like, would have been difficult to make a more obviously risky and incorrect choice stupid. Choices have consequences! Even wealthy student-athletes face them sometimes! Wild!

    • Nice clarification! These athletes must face their punishment for their heinous acts! With zero positives case of COVID-19 on campus, these individuals risked spreading the virus to others. Order must be maintained!

      • except that 1. there *are multiple cases of covid on campus and there *were multiple cases of covid on campus at the time, and 2. it was the very first weekend before anyone was aware of their status, so not a single person at that party knew whether they had covid or not. sorry you made poor choices, stay mad 😌🤧

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