Haverford College Traditions

by Luigie Febres, Class of 2022

Student traditions on campus are a big part of every college! They give you a sense of belonging that is unique to your school. Although this list does not include all of Haverford’s exciting traditions, it has some of the most popular traditions on campus.

Pinwheel Day: *The following information is of the highest clearance, only those a part of the Haverford community are allowed access.* On the dawn of one of the first nice days in spring, the black squirrels come out of hibernation and meet at Founders porch. They organize themselves in a squirrel huddle where they finalize their game plan. Soon after they gather all of the pinwheels from the previous spring and place them all across Founders green. When they hear the first Haverfordian come out of their room from an all-nighter, they put on the finishing touches and scurry back to their trees. They will watch all of the usually stressed out students sprawled across Founders green relaxing and having fun, a chatter amongst themselves.  



Midnight breakfast: It’s 11:55 pm and you’ve been on this problem set for a couple hours and all of sudden you hear a rumble from the depths of the Earth. You think it might be an earthquake but then realize that it’s just your stomach. Now you start thinking about where you can get food but everything’s closed :/  “Ping!” You check your phone and see that you’ve received a reminder email about Midnight breakfast. Wait, that’s today! Then you notice everybody in the library, as if it were rehearsed, stands up and exits to the DC. As soon as you walk into the DC the beautiful smell of french toast and bacon fill your nostrils. Soon your stomach is full and you’re ready to tackle that problem set for another couple of hours.  

Haverfest: Most Haverfordians like the spring semester better than the fall for many reasons: Winter is slowly unclenching its frosty claws, there are two weeks for finals, and the most popular reason is *insert drumroll* HAVERFEST! This is a weekend long fest that happens right before the first week of finals. It is filled with activities, food, art, live music, and did I say MORE FOOD! Each year the Haverfest committee picks a theme for the festival. Just like Pinwheel Day you’ll find students laying all over Founders green just chilling.


Screw Date: Is organized by Ford’s Against Boredom (FAB) a group on campus that offers free (yes, FREE) weekly activities on and off campus! Customs teams match their first years with others based on their preference for a romantic, platonic, or (my personal favorite) “surprise me.” Once paired, first years will have the option to eat out at one of Ardmore’s delicious restaurants with a free coupon!

Lloyd Holiday Lights Competition: Each hall is responsible for decorating their porches in whatever theme. From Scooby Doo to a classic snowman, Lloyd lights brighten that usually dark corner of campus. Even those that live in south campus make the trek to Lloyd to see the beautiful lights. Students and faculty are then prompted to vote for the best porch and the winning porch gets a cash prize to split amongst each other!


Welcome from the First Year Dean’s Council

Congratulations Class of 2023! On behalf of the First-Year Dean’s Council, I am so excited to welcome you to Haverford. Now that the long and grueling college process is over (you made it!), enjoy the remainder of your senior years, gap years, and the many other fun experiences you may be having before college!

As the First-Year Dean’s Council, we are here as a support system for you as you transition to Haverford. Just a few months ago, we all went through the very same transition, and so we are excited to help you navigate it even before you arrive here at Haverford next August. As I found when I was preparing to arrive, talking to current students was a great way to learn more about Haverford. The eight of us are engaged in a wide variety of academic programs, activities, teams, and organizations here at Haverford, so we are more than ready to take on your questions, concerns, or just talk about what life here at Haverford is like! We’ve prepared a series of blog posts for you that will be posted here on a weekly basis.

The First-Year Blog will consist of a range of posts from the members of the First-Year Dean’s Council. The posts focus on many different aspects of life at Haverford, and I highly encourage you to read them in order to get a sense of what the Haverford community is like. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions about anything from the posts–they’re here for you all to learn about Haverford and to prepare for life here. Again, congratulations, and welcome to Haverford!

Jacob Gaba, Class of 2022



Class of 2022 First Year Dean’s Council with Dean Katrina Glanzer. Photo credit: Dex Coen Gilbert ’21

Welcome, Class of 2023!

Congratulations on your acceptance to Haverford and welcome to The First Year blog! From now until Customs begins on August 28th, 2019, current Haverford students will post regularly to get you excited (and hopefully ready!) to begin your first year at Haverford. Over the coming weeks and months you’ll get a sneak peak at Haverford’s resources and traditions, learn about current student communities, and begin to imagine how you will make this campus your own.

As the first year dean, I already know you belong here and am grateful to my colleagues in the Admissions Office for the work that they’ve done to bring you here. I’m looking forward to learning about what aspects of this community, and how we do the hard work of learning with and from one another, resonated with you.I hope you will see yourself and your experiences reflected in the blog as the posts unfold. Whether you are the first in your family to attend college or are intimately familiar with Haverford, whether you are coming from Philadelphia or will arrive with 12-hour jet lag, whether you identify as an athlete, a student of color, a musician, a queer or trans student, an entrepreneur, a nerd, an organizer, a scholar, or all of the above, know that I eagerly anticipate getting to know you and your stories over the coming year.

I also want to share next year’s academic calendar. Customs, our year-long orientation program, will begin for all first year students on Wednesday, August 28th. Please note that International Student Orientation, which is required for all international students, begins on Saturday, August 24th. You may also apply or be invited to a variety of other pre-Customs programs, with earlier arrival dates, so I’d advise you to hold off on making travel arrangements just yet!

Hello, Haverford… Farewell, The First Year blog

Dear Class of 2022,

I can hardly believe that Customs Week begins tomorrow, August 29th. I look forward to meeting you in person, hearing your stories, and watching your first years at Haverford unfold.
This marks the final post for the Class of 2022 First Year blog. I hope you have been informed, inspired, and entertained by the many posts this spring and summer. Perhaps some of you already have contributions in mind for next year’s blog for the Class of 2023!
From now on, we’ll be communicating in person and through email! Please make sure to stay on top of your Haverford email; if you could use some tips on managing all those messages, the OAR (Office of Academic Resources) can help!
Until tomorrow,
Dean Glanzer

Hello from your Customs Co-Heads!

Hello incoming first years!

As this year’s Customs Co-Heads, we (Madeline Guth ‘19 and Tina Le ‘19) are so excited to welcome you to campus next Wednesday! We’ve been preparing for your arrival since last fall, and can’t wait to kick off Customs Week. We know that this whole Customs thing can be really confusing for incoming first years (What IS Customs?? What is a CP?? Why are these upperclassmen bothering me on Facebook and blowing up my email?!?), especially since the program is so unique to Haverford. We hope that this blog post can be a good introduction to the Customs Program and Customs Week (but also feel free to reach out with any further questions!).

First, let’s back up and start with the basics: Customs is Haverford’s first year orientation program. It starts with Customs Week, which takes place as soon as you arrive on campus (Wednesday, August 28th!!) and continues until the day before classes start (Monday, September 3rd). All first years are members of a Customs group, which is based off of your room assignment (e.g. everyone in Apartment 22 is on the same Customs team, while everyone in each section of Gummere is on a different Customs hall).  In addition, each Customs group has a Customs team composed of six upperclassmen who serve as resources for first years, with each taking on somewhat different roles:

Three Customs team members live on every first year hall:

  • 2 Customs Persons (CP): Your two CPs are typically sophomores. Their job is to help create an inclusive and fun hall environment, and to assist your adjustment to college life.

  • 1 Upperclassmen Advisor (UCA): Your UCA is a junior or senior. UCA’s provide academic guidance and support to first years, and serve as a liaison to the administration.

Three Customs team members do not live on your hall. They all facilitate discussions (some mandatory, some informal) on a range of topics related to identity. The positions are:

  • 1 Ambassador of Multicultural Awareness (AMA): Your AMA focuses on facilitation related to personal identity and how one’s own experiences relate to both Haverford’s and the broader community.

  • 1 Honor Code Orienteer (HCO): Your HCO serves to “orient you to the honor code,” as well as to focus on facilitation related to the Haverford community.

  • 1 Peer Awareness Facilitator (PAF): Your PAF focuses on facilitation you related to broader issues of identity and social justice in the world beyond Haverford.

You may have received an introductory email earlier this summer from your Customs team, and all of these folks will be up and smiling early on Wednesday to help you move into your new home here at Haverford! Move-in day can be overwhelming, but you can depend on your Customs team to help out however they can, be it to answer questions about the registration process or where panels are located, or to help you carry all your belongings up to your room. Customs Week itself includes a mix of informative panels and presentations and fun events (like an outdoor movie screening, a super fun concert/dance, and a scavenger hunt)! The week will end with Dorm Olympics, when we’ll pit the first year dorms against each other in an epic competition full of all kinds of different events.

After Customs Week, your Customs team will continue to be a major source of support for you throughout your first year here at Haverford. Various members of the Customs team will facilitate different sessions on topics ranging from race to sexuality to Honor Council abstracts. Don’t be surprised if members of your Customs team are also around for less formal events, such as hall time, pre-games, dinners, etc. While the six days of Customs Week are a central part of the Customs program, it is the interactions with your Customs team and the program throughout the year that makes Customs so unique.

For many first years, their Customs team and hall become their first circle of friends at Haverford; at the same time, there are also a wide range of other resources and communities on campus there to support you and help you find your friends. There are a wide variety of first year experiences and all are okay— whether your Customs hall becomes your very best friends or whether you find your community elsewhere on campus, the Customs program is here to support you and help you find your place and be your best at Haverford.

Also, if you want to check out our preparations for Customs, follow @haverfordedu on Instagram— we’re taking over the account through Tuesday! To keep up with the Customs fun once you arrive, follow @haverford.edu on Snapchat— we’re taking over that account starting on Wednesday! Finally, please feel free to email mguth@haverford.edu and tle1@haverford.edu with any Customs-related questions!

Guest Post: Marilou Allen Office of Service and Community Collaboration

Hello Class of 2022!

Haverford is excited to welcome you all onto campus in a few short days!

My name is Sarah Curtis (Class of 2020) and I am a staff member with the Marilou Allen Office of Service and Community Collaboration (formally 8th Dimension). I’m writing today to inform you all about how community service and engagement will shape your Customs experience.

First, a brief introduction to the OSCC. the OSCC is comprised of eight student staff members who plan events and service trips (both around campus and in greater Philadelphia) as well as work with satellite student groups (ex: Street Outreach (which feeds homeless people in Philly weekly), or Stitch and Bitch (which knits clothing for homeless people in Philly)) to get students involved in the greater Philadelphia community. The OSCC also oversees the summer camp “Serendipity” which makes Haverford its home in the summer. The student staff members at the OSCC are dedicated to confronting inequality and enacting positive change in our communities. We support students by making service inclusive, accessible and meaningful. By challenging their ideas about service and the communities they work with, we facilitate growth and learning. We aim to build relationships with, and advocate for, the groups we serve. Through connecting students with opportunities we provide tangible ways to engage outside the classroom.

Each student staff member undertakes a year-long partnership with a community organization in local Philly. My partnership for example is with Mill Creek Farm, an urban is West Philly. Any student can participate in community service with the OSCC, but if you think you would be interested in becoming a staff member and undertaking a community partnership, we will be accepting applications in the spring of 2019.

Now, onto the part of the blogpost that directly pertains to all of you. Every first year Customs group will participate in a service trip organized by the OSCC and your Ambassador of Multicultural Affairs. For this service trip you might be outside weeding on an urban farm, packaging food in a food bank, or helping with wildlife conservation. Each service trip will take place on a Saturday morning in the fall.

For my first year service trip my hall and I worked with Cradles to Crayons (an organization that provides school and life supplies to impoverished families with children) to help clean and sort donated shoes. It was a great bonding experience for my frosh hall and we took some fun photos:

Your frosh service trip could also be a great way to get off campus and explore Philly; and we hope that these trips will inspire all of you to take advantage of both our resources, and those of greater Philadelphia.

If you have any questions about the service days feel free to reach out to the OSCC student staff members at 8dstaff@haverford.edu. We hope you enjoy your service days and look forward to working with all of you in the future!



Your 2018-19 OSCC staff members:

Gabe Halperin-Goldstein ’19

Dita Cavdarbasha ’19

Seanna Viechweg ’19

Jharna Jahnavi ’19

Sarah Curtis ’20

Angie Petrichenko ’21

Mary Cott ’21

Catherine Kim ’21

(Un)Official Mascots

7cc1h8bheigeudasMany of you may know that Haverford’s official mascot is the Black Squirrel. While some teams have adopted the Black Squirrel as their mascot, many also have their own. These mascots often replace our official nickname “Fords” and represent their teams in all manners. We thought we might share with you some of the unofficial mascots currently on campus.



Among the varsity teams we have:

Goat Logo

Goats: Members of the Varsity Men’s Cross Country and Track & Field teams are referred to as Goats. It started with a tale involving a talking blue and red goat that appeared in the sky (“Haverford” itself means “goat crossing” in Welsh).

Bees: Members of the Varsity Women’s Cross Country and Track & Field teams are Bees because of outstanding performances at a meet following a meal at a Bumblebee diner.



A number of our club teams have also adopted their own mascots and nicknames:



Men’s Rugby: Angry Newts


Men’s Ultimate: Donkeys




sneetchlogo (1)

Women’s Ultimate: Sneetches



Tips For Arriving On Campus

Move in day is almost here!! So Isabel and I (Blien) have returned from the dead (aka we wrote this before we left) just to give you some tips for arriving on campus!

Here’s a interactive map of campus where you can filter for what you need to find! This is extremely helpful for learning about Haverford’s layout and for preparing for arrival. We also suggest printing out a map and bringing it with you!

Helpful Locations To Know (you can memorize paths to other building in relation to these!):

– If you can keep track of where
Founders Hall is in relation to where you are, that’s an easy way to stay oriented.
– Another building to know is the Whitehead Campus Center, this is where you can find Office of Admission and Financial Aid, the Bookstore, and more! 
– Another building full of resources including student support, academic resources, and the International Student Office is Stokes Hall!
– In the future, the Dining Center will be useful! Food is wonderful!
– Don’t be afraid to ask for help/directions… we are a friendly bunch, and most Haverpeople you’ll see will be expecting questions from confused first years and parents.  But if you aren’t confused, nice! You can also help people navigate around!

For more information on transportation and getting to campus, check out this page on the First Year Website.


Arrival Time:
Registration opens at 8:30am, but you can move in anytime before 4pm. Lunch will be provided for incoming students and their families/friends and a program for parents begins at 1 p.m.

If you have not been pre-approved to arrive early, arrive on Wednesday, August 29, 2018. Arriving after 4 p.m? Inform Dean Katrina Glanzer—your room key and OneCard will be available at the Campus Safety Office.


What to expect when you get here:
First things first, you’ll go to check in for Non-Academic Registration (New Student Check-In) somewhere on campus. This includes picking up your one card and room key*, so you’ll need to do this before you move in. The building for this isn’t set yet, but there will be plenty of signs and people telling you where to go, so it won’t be hard to find.

*If you arrive early, you’ll be able pick up your room key and one card when you get here. Note that if you are not participating in a pre-customs program, you will have to pay for meals. Check out this link for more information. However, regardless of arrival date, all First-Year students are required to go through New Student Check-In on Wednesday, August 29, 2018.


Meeting Your Customs Team:
On August 29th, your customs team will be ready and waiting to meet you and help you get settled. These strapping young folks can help you schlep (carry) your stuff upstairs and into your room, and will guide you through the rest of move-in day. To be honest, this part can feel like a rush, but you’ll have plenty of time to introduce yourself to everyone properly throughout the week!

Annnnddd… that’s about it. If your parents/guardians/friends came with you, then at around 4pm, they will be gently shooed away, and Customs will begin! *air horn sounds* P-P-P-PEEEEEWWW!!

For more information, including how to get to campus, early arrival information, etc, you can visit this link to the First Year Website’s Arrival Page. We recommend that you read through this page!

Guest Post: The Clerk

Hello to the class of 2022!

We are writing to introduce you to The Clerk, Haverford’s online, independent newspaper. The Clerk publishes news, opinions, and features articles about all aspects of the Haverford community. We publish a few articles a week to keep students informed about everything that’s happening on campus. We also publish an in-depth series every couple of months which focuses on a different issue on campus, such as student workers or transparency in student government. We’ve been around since 2012, so we hope our site’s archives serve as another resource for you if you want to learn more about campus life before arriving!

The Clerk aims to promote dialogue on campus and to serve as a platform for student voices. To achieve this goal, we maintain a staff of writers, photographers, and visual artists who regularly contribute to the website. We also welcome freelancers, so you can submit articles or photos one time (or as often as you’d like!). We love to hear a range of perspectives and ideas, so we welcome contributions from all members of the community. Whether you want to attend our weekly meetings (Sunday nights at 7:45 pm!) as a staff contributor or have an opinions piece to publish on one particular topic, there is a place for you at the Clerk. In fact, you don’t need any previous journalism experience to join! We have a great Editorial Board, and any of the editors can help you throughout the process of writing an article. We also compensate authors from $5 to $25 per submission, depending on medium and length.

Here are a few articles that the Clerk’s editorial board recommends for their popularity and relevance:

  1. A recap of the 2017-2018 school year
  2. A conversation with the president of the college, Kim Benston
  3. A statement from this year’s Customs co-heads about how they’ve changed the program for you all this year, and a follow-up from the Clerk
  4. This opinions piece about working at the Dining Center, part of last semester’s series on student workers
  5. Clerk editor David King ‘20’s piece on religious life at Haverford and response from Emily Chazen ‘18

And make sure to follow us on Facebook (Haverford Clerk), Twitter (@HaverfordClerk), and Instagram (@haverfordclerk) to see more of our articles and stay up-to-date!

If you think you may be interested in contributing to the Clerk, want to join our mailing list, or have any questions, please feel free to email Editor-in-Chief Ellen Schoder at eschoder@haverford.edu or Associate Editor Alison Rosenman at arosenman@haverford.edu. See you on campus in just a few weeks!

Guest Post: Welcome to the CPGC

Hello Class of 2022!

My name is Julie, and I work in the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship (CPGC) as a program coordinator – you may remember seeing the CPGC mentioned in a post by Aarushi earlier in the summer. As an academic center, the CPGC’s mission is to advance peace, social justice, and global citizenship through research, education, and action. This means we support (though funding, facilitation, and in other ways) students and faculty who create intersections between academic work and ethical engagement on and off-campus.

These intersections can take shape in so many ways and at so many points in a Haverford student’s career, but by way of introduction I want to share a few examples of how some students utilized the CPGC’s funding resources in their first year on campus. This is truly a small sampling of how you can get involved – for a broader picture of how the CPGC fits in with your academic and activist plans over the next four years, browse the webpage (linked above) or send me an email! And once you’re on campus stop by the office in Stokes 107 to meet the CPGC staff and pick up some informational materials. We can’t wait to get to know you all!


Some quick links to know about:

CPGC Newsletter – Sign up at the bottom of the webpage for weekly Bi-Co event announcements, funding opportunities, local community happenings, and more!

Social Media – Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to see how your peers are working to advance peace, social justice, and global citizenship.

CPGC Cafe – An open space for studying, meeting, and discussion with coffee, tea and snacks! Located in Stokes 104.


Saede Eifrig ’21, Global Citizenship: Migration in Philadelphia and Beyond (PEACH209) & Migration Field Study:

“The Philadelphia component introduced us to the types of work involved with documented and undocumented immigrants and served as almost a warm-up to the work we were exposed to in Mexico and Arizona. Getting to talk to the people who worked at and those who benefited from the organizations motivated me and was one of the ways in which I was able to gain the most insight, hearing how they got into their work (or just their past experiences) and what struggles it involved.”


Catherine Kim ’21, Global Health and Innovation Conference, Yale University:

“The program was valuable as it showed me a variety of ways that art/design can intersect with global health…. As someone interested in both health and art, this conference has shown me what kind of opportunities I can pursue with these passions.”

Catherine learned about the conference through an info session held by the HC Pre-Health Advising team, CCPA, and CPGC during her first weeks on campus, and applied for funding through the CPGC’s Off-Campus Conferences and Workshops fund. CPGC supports one or two students in attending Unite for Sight every year.


Rafael Rodriguez ’20, internship at RECLAIM in Manchester, UK: “Even though I look forward to being a computer science major, most of the work I did [at the internship] was related to personal convictions and expectations I have for all people both at home and abroad. I really want people to start engaging in conversations that show them the true nature of people, thus allowing the prevention of attitudes that are harmful to society overall. However, I also developed designs and infographics that relate to my future academic interests.”


Lourdes Taylor ’21, BIOL118 Economic Botany Field Study, Trinidad and Tobago:

“Amongst many other things, Asa Wright Nature Centre demonstrated to us that one cannot simply study science and hope to understand the environment. Trinidad and Tobago’s culture, politics, history of colonisation, economy, and people are inseparably linked to understanding the environment, and we are more informed students, scholars, people, and most importantly, global citizens, for having spent time there.”

(The Economic Botany Field Study is taking a break for AY18/19 while Professor Jon Wilson is on sabbatical.)


The CPGC will hold info sessions and open houses in the first weeks of the academic year – keep an eye on the social media accounts linked above (and the newsletter) for details as they are announced.