Note: This piece is satire and the content of it should not be read as fact. Except for the Crum Woods public hunt of the deer population, which does occur annually to manage the deer population to promote a healthy ecosystem.
On Dec. 1, Swarthmore Dining Services announced that in collaboration with the Office of Sustainability, the Dining and Community Commons (DCC) will be introducing a new dish to the usual Sharples lunch rotation: Mongolian Deer Knuckles. In an effort to spearhead sustainability and follow the college’s To Zero by Thirty-Five goal, the gourmet deer knuckles will be sourced from Swarthmore’s very own Crum Woods following the completion of the annual Crum Woods public hunt of the deer population, which occurs from late October through December.
This measure came after immense questioning by the student body about the annual hunt of the deer population, specifically on why the tradition occurs and questions of the morality of killing the overpopulated deer. In an interview with The Phoenix, Kilal Dear, director of the annual deer hunt, explained why serving venison meat at the DCC would ease anxiety over the hunt.
“We wanted to convince community members that our deer hunt is not as scary as they think – it isn’t some sort of ‘Hunger Games’ simulation,” Dear said in reference to the use of archery to kill the deer. “Now, students and others who dine at the Dining and Community Commons will be able to enjoy our yield from the hunt and celebrate the success of our hard work by eating the venison meat we collected.”
The Mongolian Deer Knuckles follow the same recipe as the current Mongolian Beef dish offered occasionally during lunch, with the dining center shifting towards Zabiha Halal options for both the beef and deer meat. Vice President of the Swarthmore Deer and Diversity Public Affairs Committee Elizabeth Marshall explained the significance of this step.
“We are so grateful to have such an engaging community that constantly pushes us to improve our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices,” Marshall stated. “Offering a new halal option for our students is just one example of our unequivocal commitment to equity for all students.”
However, after further questioning about whether Swarthmore would divest from companies with documented practices of Islamophobia to promote DEI, Marshall explained that “it is just not what the deer would want.”
There are murmurs among students that Dining Services will make a vegan alternative to the Mongolian Deer Knuckles so all students are able to consume the new dish. These reports have been unverified by The Phoenix.
When asked how long the Mongolian Deer Knuckles will be served at the DCC, Dear answered, “Whenever there’s no more leftover meat, I don’t know. Also when does this interview end? The deer are getting away.”
There has been a mix of both support and confusion among the student body, with some students suspecting that the current Mongolian Beef dish already utilizes deer meat instead of beef. Junior Diaz Foxface ’25 explained his concerns with the decision to serve deer at the DCC.
“I know I complain a lot about the food at Swarthmore and how I’m tired of eating the grilled cheese, but I did not think this was going to be the solution,” Foxface explained. “A little bit more seasoning to the chicken would have been fine. Oh, and more Indian bar food.”
When asked further questions, Foxface explained that they could not give any more statements to The Phoenix. “The deer are watching,” he explained. “And I have family back home.”