Author Archives: Blien Habtu

Guest Post: The Honor Code – Past, Present, and Future

Hi everyone! Today we have another guest post from recent graduate, Emily Chazen. Emily ‘18 double majored in English and Religion, and she is now off to Harvard University where she will get her J.D. and her masters in theological studies. Emily was incredibly involved in the Haverford community, including but not limited to being co-chair of Special Plenary Committee, Haverford Law ReviewHaverford Review, and was an HCO (Honor Council Orienteer) last year. We reached out to her to give an overview of how the Honor Code has changed and what conversations occurred in the process. Here’s what she wrote:


The Honor Code: Past, Present, and Future

As Haverford students, we seek an environment in which members of a diverse community can live together, interact, and learn from one another in ways that protect both personal freedom and community standards. For our diverse community to prosper, we must embrace our differences and be mindful of our varied perspectives and backgrounds; this goal is only possible if students seek mutual understanding by means of respectful communication. The Honor Code holds us accountable for our words and actions, and guides us in resolving conflicts by engaging each other in dialogue.

So begins the Honor Code, the guiding document of Haverford College. Constantly in flux and continuously being shaped by the lived experiences of students on Haverford’s campus, the Code not only reflects the aspirational goals of Haverford students, but also seeks to inculcate a certain, respectful way of being with one another in a continually-expanding, vibrantly heterogeneous and diverse community.  On some level—and as I’m sure you heard some iteration of this on your tour of Haverford—the Honor Code fundamentally looks to instill in students a sense of trust, concern, and respect by encouraging student self-governance in a variety of ways. It is a two-part Honor Code: there is both an Academic and Social Code. Overall, the Code creates an academic experience wherein students are entrusted to take unproctored, take-home, and/or self-scheduled exams; it empowers students to confront (read: engage in a respectful dialogue with) one another when experiencing potential conflict; and it strives to foster a general ethos of Quakerly kindness across campus.

Of course, the Honor Code—as a written document, one which prescribes a series of values and yet may never fully ensure the actual implementation of those values on a daily basis—is far from perfect. For some students, the Code serves as a constant reminder of the community’s inability to adequately address their experiences of intolerance and inequity on campus. For others, it encapsulates the general desire for students to be and do better, to embrace academic honesty and try their best to uphold respect within the community. Still others hold that the Honor Code is a vestigial remnant of a Quaker past that grants us the privileges of academic freedom and that matters little otherwise. Though what I wrote here is slightly reductive and doesn’t adequately address the nuanced interactions that students have with the Code, I hope that I provided here makes one thing clear: that every Haverford student has a different relationship to the Honor Code.

It’s important to remember, then, that the goal of the Honor Code is not and has never been to be perfect. I’d even venture so far as to suggest that the Code can never be perfect. That said, there remains a sense on campus that the Honor Code can continue to develop and improve. And so, twice a year—once in the fall and once in the spring—the campus congregates in the Gardner Integrated Athletic Center (GIAC) for a process known as Plenary. Plenary, which is arguably where student-voice manifests itself most clearly, is the time of the year when students come together to discuss either the Alcohol Policy (in the fall) or the Honor Code (in the spring). Prior to each Plenary, students have the opportunity to propose amendments to the Honor Code; at Plenary, the community votes on each of the amendments as well as the document in question. It is important, however, to note that Plenary cannot begin until Plenary reaches quorum, the presence of a certain percentage of students within the space of the Plenary session. For much of Haverford’s history, quorum was 50 percent of the student body; as of Spring 2018, it is now 66 percent of the student body.

The 2017-2018 academic year was a rather tumultuous one for the Honor Code. In the Fall of 2017, students holding historically-marginalized identities on Haverford’s campus led a protest of Plenary called #AllStrugglesOneCode. Their goal was to encourage “productive dialogues around identity and other issues that students with marginalized identities face regularly at Haverford.” The efficacy of the protest was particularly rooted in its ability to block quorum: by standing outside of Plenary, the students participating in the protest demonstrated how students of color, queer students, students with disabilities, students from low income backgrounds, first generation college students, and international students form a critical coalition—if not the very foundation—of the Haverford community. Following the #AllStrugglesOneCode protest, they hoped to see:

  1. A discussion of the Social Honor Code that placed the voices of students from marginalized backgrounds at the fore
  2. Active collaboration between Students’ Council, Honor Council, and Customs committees with the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA)   
  3. Increased community support and attendance at special events (…and not just parties!!) and discussions that affinity groups / organizations hold for all students
  4. Students’ Council support for improved resources and involvement for affinity groups and community housing
  5. Improved administrative and institutional support for faculty so that they “are better equipped and funded to support the needs of marginalized students.”

(Source: #AllStrugglesOneCode Statement)

The #AllStrugglesOneCode protest offered a strong contingency plan: should their demands not be adequately met by their peers, the faculty, and the administration, the participants would not consent to the ratification of the Honor Code in the Spring.

Come Spring 2018, little had arguably changed. While the Student Council Co-Presidents had managed to talk to the protestors and encourage some of them to join Fall Plenary so that we could reach quorum, campus more broadly failed to demonstrate any sense of renewed energy or commitment to the goals that #AllStrugglesOneCode had offered. Following Spring Plenary, the student body—mostly citing the failures of the Social Honor Code—largely voted against the ratification of the Honor Code (for all of the reasons offered, see here. And for a general summary, see here).  

After the Honor Code’s failure to ratify, the process that began was a Special Plenary. Per the Students’ Constitution, 40 percent of the student body must commit to attending a Special Plenary in order to create one; approximately three hours after Honor Council sent out the commitment form, 40 percent of the student body had committed to attend. Subsequently, Students’ Council and Honor Council created a Special Plenary Committee (SPC) of ten students to compile feedback from the community, to write amendments, and to propose them at Special Plenary.

Seeking to address the general issues occurring on campus, the Special Plenary Committee brought six amendments. An additional two amendments were brought by two passionate students who were not members of the Committee. The amendments were as follows:

  1. Plenary Scheduling: ensure that Plenary could not be scheduled at the same time as a religious or cultural holiday
  2. Confrontation: reintroduce confrontation as a process of self-healing for harmed parties with the inclusion of active bystanders and an emphasis on addressing the needs of students from backgrounds historically underrepresented on Haverford’s campus
  3. Social Honor Code: acknowledge the active role that the Social Honor Code must play in protecting students from marginalized backgrounds; clarify that dialogue between students should be safe, inclusive, and respectful; ask for continued reflection on the Honor Code and its values
  4. Academic Honor Code: incorporate aspects of the Social Code into the Academic Code in order to recognize power imbalances that students experience in the classroom
  5. Quorum and Accessibility: increase quorum from 50 percent to 66 percent; make Plenary a more accessible space for students with mental health concerns, claustrophobia, and/or other concerns surrounding accessibility
  6. Day of Community Reflection: create a day that will allow students to reflect on issues pertaining to the Code and community
  7. Gender Neutral Bathrooms: support the Presidents’ office initiative to increase access to all-gender bathrooms
  8. Presidential Powers: give the President of the College more freedom in responding to amendments passed by the student body at Plenary

All of the resolutions except #6, the Day of Community Reflection, passed at Special Plenary. Overall, though, the Honor Code was ratified by the student body at Special Plenary. For the complete list of changes proposed at Special Plenary, see here.

However, following concerns surrounding the intersections of Title IX and the Academic Honor Code, the President of the College was in a position where he unfortunately could not accept the new resolution. As a result, SPC, Students’ Council, Honor Council, a committee of faculty members, the Provost of the College, and the President of the College came together to revise the Academic Code. Subsequently, a Town Hall meeting was held, wherein students, faculty, staff, and administrators came together to discuss the implications of what was termed the “new-new” Honor Code (the minutes for the Town Hall are available here). After that, a Digital Plenary—the first (and potentially last) of its kind—was held. 943 students voted for the ratification of the new-new Honor Code; 113 voted for its ratification with objections; 24 voted against its ratification. In total, about 90 percent of the student body present on campus at the time the vote was held voted on the Honor Code; 88 percent voted in favor of the new Honor Code. On May 4, it was approved by President Benston.


THE HONOR CODE FOR THE 2018-2019 ACADEMIC YEAR CAN BE FOUND HERE: I also posted it some time ago in the Haverford College Class of 2022 Class Page. Please note—it’s different than the one you originally signed, and so it’s truly important that you at least glance it over!

For more details on what occurred this year regarding the Honor Code, here are some Haverford Clerk articles:
OCTOBER 7, 2017: New Resolution Hopes to Make Plenary More Accessible and Inclusive
OCTOBER 8, 2017: Planned Protest at Plenary Seeks to Prevent Quorum
NOVEMBER 12, 2017: [Fall] Plenary Wrap-Up
NOVEMBER 12, 2017: Controversial Athletic Amendment Narrowly Defeated at Plenary
NOVEMBER 15, 2017: First-Years React to Plenary
DECEMBER 11, 2017: Community Members Meet to Discuss President Benston’s Rejection of
    Plenary Resolutions
FEBRUARY 17, 2018: [Spring] Plenary Preview: The JSAAPP Resolution
FEBRUARY 21, 2018: [Spring] Plenary Round-up
MARCH 5, 2018: The Honor Code Failed. What now?
MARCH 17, 2018: My First Take-Home Test—Reflections on the Honor Code
APRIL 1, 2018: Meet the Special Plenary Committee!
APRIL 5, 2018: Why I Don’t Go to Plenary
APRIL 7, 2018: Special Plenary Preview
APRIL 15, 2018: Special Plenary Round-Up
APRIL 19, 2018: Honor Code Expires, is Replaced by Administrations ‘Interim Procedures’
APRIL 24, 2018: Old Honor Code Reinstated as Interim Measure
APRIL 28, 2018: Check Your Privilege!: On Process and Digital Plenary
APRIL 29, 2018: Special Plenary Committee Hosts a Town Hall for Students, Faculty, and Staff
APRIL 30, 2018: What are the Legal Concerns with the New Honor Code?
MAY 1, 2018: Message from Kim Benston Regarding Digital Plenary


So what now? What does all this mean for you, as an incoming First Year?

While I recognize that my graduation from Haverford means that my opinion doesn’t necessarily matter—after all, my voice shouldn’t hold much sway, particularly if the community is doing things that it feels will make it better—I do have a few hopes. First, I hope that some passionate students will revisit the Day of Community Reflection resolution that was rejected, that they’ll revamp and improve it (with particular emphasis on incorporating the voices of staff and the needs of international students), and that it will be ratified by the student body in the future. I hope that students will try their absolute best to live up to the Honor Code, and that if/when they see it failing, they’ll serve as active bystanders and intervene to help their peers. I hope that Haverford will continue to hold Town Halls to bring together members of the community and increase overall collaboration. I hope that the entire community will continue working towards building an inclusive and safe Haverford for students from marginalized backgrounds. But most importantly, I really do hope that I look back on the Honor Code in a few years and find that it’s radically different from the one I left behind—not because I don’t think we’ve done good work as a community, but because I think what we started this year was only the beginning. My biggest hope, though, is that students (and particularly the next generation of Haverford students) realize that the biggest takeaway from this year is that the Honor Code can always be better, and that students really do have the power to strive to make Haverford a better place.

20 Clubs in 130… err… 90 seconds

  1. Haverford historical society – Works to uncover Haverford’s past by collecting materials and knowledge “with honesty, openness, and transparency”
  2. The Outskirts – A Haverford women*s A Capella group. Note: I (Isabel) am in the Outskirts, and though our website currently says we are an “All-female” A Capella group, this is no longer how we describe ourselves. We welcome all who feel comfortable in a femme-identifying group.
  3. Ford explorers – A group that coordinates excursions into Philly.
  4. Sneetches – Bi-co women’s ultimate frisbee club team.
  5. Table tennis – Club for table tennis lovers
  6. Nerd house – Student organization that “hosts themed weekly events, organizes special activities, and freely provides community members with a friendly, supportive, substance-free, and nerdy environment
  7. The Clerk – Student run online newspaper
  8. BLAST – Student run group that handles some sound, tech and lighting requests on campus.
  9. Spotlight – An on campus theater community “of actors, technicians, and administrators dedicated to bringing stories to life through performance”
  10. Cricket (actually a varsity team, not a club)
  11. Lighted Fools – A bi-co sketch comedy group
  12. Effective Altruism for Animals – “a club dedicated to alleviating the suffering of animals in the most effective ways we can.”
  13. Archery – “A place for archers of all experience levels, from absolute beginner to Grandmaster, to learn, practice, and perfect technique.”
  14. Mock trial – A club that competes “nationwide in the 600+ team American Mock Trial Association”
  15. Eighth Dimension – A group dedicated to providing “accessible community service opportunities to the Haverford College Community”
  16. Charcuterie Union – A bi-co club for charcuterie enthusiastes.
  17. Bounce – Bi-co hip-hop dance club
  18. Crew – A Haverford club crew team for (men’s and women’s).
  19. Bi-co Anti-capitalists – A group which “exists to offer a space for leftist thought and action in the Bi-Co”
  20. Haverfarm – “A year round farming and educational space designed to integrate sustainable food and agriculture into the academic and extracurricular lives of Haverford students, faculty, staff, and community members”

And that’s not all! Here’s a list of over 100 completely student-run clubs and organizations at Haverford! You can meet and sign up for a bunch of them during our Club Fair in the fall!



Your objectives for this week are…
16) Picture with Haverford gear/memorabilia (even if it’s just your acceptance letter)
17) Picture of you on a swing
18) Picture of a favorite book
19) Picture of a pothole or uneven road near your house
20) Picture of your pet

Since you can submit items from previous weeks, we’ve created a document with a compiled list (which we will update every week!) and the rules of the game. Email us with photos of these things to win sweet 🤑💸 gift cards 💸🤑 to Haverford area hotspots.

Have a blog post idea? Tell us what it is using this form! We won’t mention you in the post, so feel free to ask anything at all. Also, follow us on Snapchat @FYsquirrel for fun snaps and important updates/reminders!

Academic Life #2: Personal Stories

Note: Don’t forget… the Havenger hunt is on! Email us with photos of these things to win sweet 🤑💸 gift cards 💸🤑 to Haverford area hotspots. Now, on to your regularly scheduled program…

Isabel – On Being Heckin’ Undecided:
          Coming into college, I was adamantly undecided about my major. Though I was confident in this stance, it was frequently validated by well-meaning adults. A typical interaction between me (before I declared my major) and an adult:

Well-Meaning Adult: Haverford? That’s a good school! What’s your major?
Me: I’m undecided right now, but I’m interested in political science, philosophy, computer science, growth and structure of cities, sociology, psycho–

          Anyways, long story short, it’s okay to be undecided. Explore stuff, try new things! One way or another, you’ll end up with a major by the close of your sophomore year. I chose Philosophy, which is something I really enjoy, and something that challenges me. That said, I’ve still got a lot of space to learn in different disciplines: I’ve got a Computer Science minor as well, and even with my major and minor requirements, I’ll have one free credit a semester to fill with whatever class I want outside of my major/minor departments. I guess what I’m trying to say is, though you’ll have to choose a major at some point, you’ll be able to explore a lot of different disciplines throughout your college career if you want to!

Blien – On Thinking You Know What You’re Doing:
          On the flip side…. Throughout the years, I’ve been kind of consistent in my love for Math, Computer Science, and my curiosity for Linguistics. But that didn’t stop me from wondering if I should’ve given myself more “wiggle room” with my academic interests. However, I’ve learned to allow myself to feel happy where I am. I love these subjects and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. But I have to remember to not close myself off from other opportunities. In high school, I kept telling myself that “humanities was never really my thing” and excused myself from actually putting effort into it. For years, I refused to put effort into subjects out of my comfort zone. But I learned this year that just because something is hard to do, doesn’t mean that I should just give up on it.
          For example, I took a course where we discussed the role religion played in the regulation of American bodies. Granted I did take this class at first because around seven of my friends were also going to take it, but I enjoyed that class. I found myself reading ahead and feeling really interested in the texts. And it opened my eyes to the different ways that I can interact with humanities-based classes. Basically… It’s definitely good to feel secure in your academic interests, but also be open to changes and allow yourself to explore. You never know what you might find!

Isabel – On Sweating the Small Stuff:
          Don’t do it! Here’s a fun story from my freshman year: my first week of class, I somehow missed the memo that I had a math problem set due on Friday. My professor mentioned it in class, hours before it was due, and I panicked… there was no way for me to get it done in time. Here I was, I thought, forgetting whole assignments and practically failing out of college already in my very first week (okay, I didn’t take it that extreme, but you get the idea–I was down on myself). Anyway, I ended up submitting it a week later for half credit, and everything was fine. Ultimately, I ended up doing quite well in the class and really enjoyed it. My moments of utter panic over a seemingly huge (but actually small) problem were completely unwarranted.
          The moral of this story is to cut yourself some slack. There’s a lot to keep track of when you transition to college, and you’ll miss something, or mess up, or oversleep a class. That’s okay. With time, you’ll learn how to get into a rhythm and keep organized, but until then there’s quite a lot of room for error.

Blien – On Discovering The OAR
          During my first semester, I ignored the fact that I college came with adjustments. So I decided to hit the ground running and took courses that required more time than I had. I constantly felt like I had to be studying and that I was always behind. Then one day, my suitemate helped me schedule a meeting with an academic coach. And let me tell you, that was such a good decision!! During my first meeting, I told my coach that I wanted an accountability partner. Hypothetically, I felt like I knew what to do, but I needed someone to actually make sure I was staying on track. I also needed help in figuring out how to maximize the time that I was studying (and not like.. staring off into space, looking for that one song on a playlist, or falling down a “Youtube recommended” hole).
          I learned that sometimes I had to switch up my studying location depending on what subject I was working on, that sometimes I had to kick my friends out of my room so I can focus, and that Google Calendars are so underrated. Through my meetings in the OAR, I realized that there’s power in trial and error and the first semester is such a great time to experiment with different studying techniques. Hopefully throughout the year, you’ll find what works for you too!

Have a blog post idea? Tell us what it is using this form! We won’t mention you in the post, so feel free to ask anything at all. Also, follow us on Snapchat @FYsquirrel for fun snaps and important updates/reminders!

Academic Life #1: Resources

NOTE: We’ve extended the Housing Questionnaire deadline to Monday, June 25th at 11:59pm EST! Remember to complete the Student Entry Record (SER) first and then wait 24 hours before attempting to open the questionnaire on our Housing Portal. Here’s a link to our First Year Website, which has a checklist that links you to pages with all required and optional forms.

Also, scroll to the bottom for more Havenger Hunt items! Now, onto our regularly scheduled programming…


Today we wanted to compile for you a few academic resources that can come in handy once you start classes. You definitely don’t have to worry about this now (enjoy your summer!), but this can be a helpful list to skim now, bookmark, and refer to later.

As a refresher, Access and Disability Services (ADS) “works collaboratively with each student applying for accommodations to determine eligibility, and to identify accommodations that are necessary and helpful to the student without altering the fundamental nature of the academic program”.

Next, we have the Office of Academic Resources (OAR). Within this office, you can find one-on-one coaching and extra workshops/resources to help enrich your academic experience here, or you can just reserve a room and chill. Most students use the OAR during their time at Haverford. In fact, around 92% of the Class of 2021 used the OAR in some form during their first year. On their website, they write:

“2016-17 academic year we had over 1,300 coaching sessions with students from all class years. Whether you’re interested in creating a more valuable scheduling system, a more strategic approach to your heavy reading load, or need accountability on your thesis**, we’re here to help you remove the barriers to deep learning so you can experience everything a Haverford education affords.”

**Omg you don’t need to worry about this right now… please don’t.

Other resources offered by the OAR: (“Look links! We love links!” – Isabel)
– Individualized, one-on-one academic coaching
– Workshops, seminars, and other events
– Online learning and study tools
– Peer tutoring

For specific classes, the OAR also has Academic Review Centers. These are also great places to get work done and ask questions along the way. Follow this link to check out the locations and schedules for when they’re open.
– Biology Question Center (BQC) – drop in anytime to ask questions from 100 (introductory) or 200 level courses.
Biology Guided Learning Group (GLG) – a peer-led discussion group, staffed by Biology majors supporting students taking Biology 200
Calculus Resource Center (CRC) – a walk-in tutoring center staffed by student Teaching Assistants (TA’s) for students in Math 118 and Math 121
Chemistry Questions Center (CQC) – open to students in CHEM 111, 113, 115, and 222
Math Question Center (MQC) – faculty and math majors are around to help with work from any math class
Physics Clinic – a student-led space to get help for introductory physics courses (Physics 101, 102, 105 and 106)
Writing Center – trained students with a wide range of majors are available to meet once or for regularly scheduled tutoring sessions to work on papers and oral presentations

To be honest, I (Blien) often went to the Calculus Resource Center with no questions in mind, but just to listen to fellow students’ questions. Even if you don’t think you need it, go once at the beginning of the year to check it out and get a feel for the vibe, and then a second time with more questions/material to review. If you decide then that it’s not working, that’s fair! But still know that these places are always available for you!

Teaching Assistants (TA’s) are another great resource. TA’s are students who have taken classes at a higher level in the discipline that they are assisting in. Often, they have previously taken the class that they are TA-ing. They can help with tricky problem sets or difficult concepts in a class. Pro-tip from Isabel: Befriend your TA’s – They can be one of your greatest allies for succeeding in a class. In moments of struggle, good TA’s have helped me out over and over (and over, and over) again.

Office Hours are a set time to go and ask questions of your professor or TA. In a given class, professors will always hold a couple of office hours a week, and if the class has TA’s, they likely will hold office hours too. These are a great opportunity to ask questions and go over tricky material.  

Haverford Libraries: Your Haverford accounts also give you access to research guides, academic journals, books, and other forms of scholarship. If you’d like assistance with doing research for a paper, you can contact the research librarian assigned to your first year hall. Your Upper Class Advisor and Customs People will tell you more about this during Customs week.

Even though the transition to college can sometimes be a bit challenging, there are many people who are available and want to help make this process as smooth and successful as possible:

Upper Class Advisor (UCA): You’ll meet yours during Customs Week. They’ll help you plan your fall semester schedule and be around on your hall if you have any questions.

Pre-Major Advisor: Every person gets assigned a faculty advisor to meet with during your first few semesters to help give more of an “adult” perspective to navigating academics. Your pre-major advisor will be identified using this questionnaire (due July 21, 2018).

Dean Katrina Glanzer: All incoming first years are assigned to Dean Glanzer!! She is also a great resource to offer academic advice, talk about immediate or future plans, or to celebrate accomplishments. Dean Glanzer is an important resource if/when you find yourself to be struggling, unsure of what to do, or need help identifying the right set of resources. She can act as a liaison with professors and has the authority to provide certain resources and extensions that even professors can’t (this, however, is only in truly extenuating circumstances).  

Anyways, there’s a lot of learning that happens here and it can be cool and exciting but can feel overwhelming at times. If you ever need a little support, just know there are resources available to help you thrive. Stay tuned for an extra blog post tomorrow where we bust some myths about academics in college, and also tune in on Tuesday when we talk some more about our personal experiences with academics!



Your objectives for this week are…
11) Picture of your high school/secondary school’s logo
12) Picture of you carrying something (common guys… this is practically a freebie… get in the game)
13) Picture of a feather
14) Picture of an exit sign

15) BONUS (worth double the points): 10-second video of you singing along to one of your favorite songs

You can still do the tasks from last week if you like!  As per suggestion from a Havenger Hunter, we are going to keep the numbering continuous so it’s easier to submit items from different weeks. Also, don’t forget that we have prizes! Check out this post where we explained the rules!

Have a blog post idea? Tell us what it is using this form! We won’t mention you in the post, so feel free to ask anything at all. Also, follow us on Snapchat @FYsquirrel for fun snaps and important updates/reminders!

HOUSING FORM DUE TOMORROW! (also a nature trail post)

ATTENTION: The Housing Questionnaire and Housing Accommodations for Students with Disabilities applications are due tomorrow (06/20/2018)! Here’s a link to our First Year Website, which has a checklist that links you to pages with all required and optional forms.

NOTE: You can only get access to the Housing Questionnaire after you set up your Student Entry Record. Then after 24 hours and your information is processed, the questionnaire will be visible to you on our Housing Portal under the “Applications” tab at the top of the page. Here’s a link to instructions on how to fill out the questionnaire and more information on housing. 


Now, onto your regularly scheduled program…

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

We present to you, 2.2 miles of trees (A.K.A the Haverford College Nature Trail)! Here’s a video of us tackling the outdoors… *cue dramatic music*

Warning: Maybe not the best video for those who get motion sickness or those who have difficulty watching shaky videos…

If you want to check out this path on your own, here’s the route!


Have a blog post idea? Tell us what it is using this form! We won’t mention you in the post, so feel free to ask anything at all. Also, follow us on Snapchat @FYsquirrel for fun snaps and important updates/reminders!

Social Life #2: Weekends

Let’s cut to the chase. Some of you might be wondering about the “party scene”…

Most Friday and Saturday nights, there is at least one large-ish party happening on campus. Though some people might gather socially on weeknights, there are almost never large parties on school nights. Parties can vary a lot in vibe, depending largely on who is throwing them and where they are thrown. FUCS (Federation United Concert Series) concerts and James house parties tend to have a more artsy, chill vibe. Sometimes different affinity groups on campus, such as ALAS (Alliance of Latin American Students) or BSL (Black Students’ League), and these parties tend to have good music and lots of people dancing. School sponsored dances held in the Dining Center or Founders hall are dry (substance free) parties, and they often have snacks and a lot of people dancing. Snacks are often provided by JSAAPP (the Joint Student-Administration Alcohol Policy Panel). Parties hosted by sports teams (normally in Drinker house, Gummere basement, or Apt 19 basement), can tend to be a little, well, louder and more populated. That being said, everyone knows they should be respectful of party spaces on campus. It’s a part of our Honor Code to clean up after ourselves. Also, at large parties there are Quaker Bouncers to ensure that everything thing stays safe and fun.

But wait! Who are the Quaker Bouncers?
Quaker Bouncers (QBs) are Haverford students who act as a sober presence during parties and social events.They are dedicated to ensuring Haverford’s social scene is safe for everyone through working as intentional active bystanders during these events, and checking that party attendees are either Tri-Co students, or guests of Tri-Co folks. QBs are a resource for students to turn to when they feel uncomfortable, or think a situation needs to be addressed and do not feel confident facilitating the confrontation. They can be identified by the yellow bandanas/pins they wear. Ultimately, they want folks to have fun, while ensuring that people in the space feel comfortable, and will only intervene when necessary. If you are interested in keeping your peers safe and fostering the Haverford community, make sure to attend Quaker Bouncer training in the Fall!
(Adapted from:

But that’s only a part of the Haverford weekend experience! Here are some of the many things to do on the weekend nights (that aren’t campus parties):

  • Go to a Nerd house event, like laser tag or murder mystery night
  • Host a movie screening in the DC basement or VCAM movie theater
  • Bake some cookies in the VCAM kitchen
  • Go to an a capella concert, play, dance concert, comedy show, or other performance on campus
  • See an artsy movie off campus at the Bryn Mawr Film institute
  • Get ahead on homework/laundry/other stuff
  • Treat yourself to dinner in Philly or Ardmore
  • Throw an impromptu karaoke or dance party in your common room
  • Go on a late night Wawa/CVS run
  • Have a board/card game night with some buddies
  • Go on a late night walk on the nature trail
  • Give yourself a facial and paint your nails
  • Throw a mocktail party with cheese and stuff
  • Binge your favorite show or start a new one
  • Read that book you’ve been thinking about
  • Go to bed early, recharge, and get a good night’s sleep

The weekends are what you make of them! There’s also always the option to hop on the Blue Bus and spend the evening at Swarthmore or Bryn Mawr! During your first year, your customs team can also help you figure out how to balance your weekends in a way that’s fun and productive for you.

Have a blog post idea? Tell us what it is using this form! We won’t mention you in the post, so feel free to ask anything at all. Also, follow us on Snapchat @FYsquirrel for fun snaps and important updates/reminders!

Introducing the Second Annual Havenger Hunt!!

Hey everyone! Last summer, interns Anna and Ken hosted the First Annual Photo Havenger Hunt. Loathe to break such a long established tradition, we have decided to put on the Second Annual Photo Havenger Hunt. So, without further ado, here’s the deal (instructions adapted from Anna and Ken’s)…

Rather than us simply talking at you, we wanted to open another avenue through which we can actually interact with you! The Havenger Hunt will be primarily a photo scavenger hunt. You’ll take pictures and send them to us in order to win points. We’ll post point leaders and our personal favorites at the end of every week, and, once you get to campus for Customs, we’ll award the top finishers and a group of randomly selected participants with a prize!

1st Place: $50 Amazon Gift Card
2nd Place: $40 CVS Gift Card
3rd Place: $30 Trader Joe’s Gift Card
3 randomly selected participants: $15 Wawa Gift Card

And, of course, all winners will have ultimate bragging rights.

Here’s the plan: We will send out a small list of objectives every week (mostly photo objectives).  Each photo item will be worth 10 points. We will post new challenges every Thursday at the bottom of our blog posts until late July. We will feature one or two of our favorite pictures each week on our instagram page HC_StudentLifeOffice (follow us for that, and for photos of our lovely campus and posts about all things student life). Towards the end of the photo scavenger hunt, we will tally all the points and announce the winners.

To participate, you will need to be able to take pictures as evidence that you completed each challenge. This is NOT a photo contest; quality doesn’t really matter––though we do have to be able to tell what we’re looking at.  So use your cell phones, your tablets, or your cameras. They are all welcome! Then just email the picture to with your name, item number, and where you are from. Also include the subject line “Havenger Hunt”. (Note: if you do not want us to share your picture, please include that request in your submission).


DISCLAIMER: None of the items are dangerous or illegal, but please make sure not put yourself in dangerous or illegal situations to accomplish a given task. We expect you to exercise good judgement and be responsible.


RULES  #Honor code

  1. You have to take the picture yourself/be in the picture yourself (if the task requires you to be in the picture, someone else can take it for you). Relevant photos taken in the past are admissible but must still be your own.
  2. Each photograph-related item accomplished is worth 10 points.
  3. Spending money is not encouraged or required to complete any task. Please do not spend any money on this Havenger Hunt.
  4. Each item can only be completed once; only one submission per item is required.
  5. List items can be completed outside the week they are posted, but they must be completed by August 1st.
  6. Feel free to send multiple submissions in the same email.
  7. When you send in your pictures, include: Full Name, Town/City, State (if applicable), and Country, and which item you’re completing.
  8. All people who send in a submission (even if it’s only one) will have their name put into a draw for the $15 prize.



  1. Picture of a sunset
  2. Picture/video of some piece of art you’ve created (or the picture itself might be the art!)
  3. Picture of graffiti in a bathroom
  4. Picture of you beneath an arch
  5. Picture of you planting something


Get started! Be creative!!

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for…

Housing GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

24 hours after you set up your Haverford account and complete the SER, the housing questionnaire will be live for you! Your answers to this questionnaire (accessible under the “Applications” tab) will give us all the information we need to match you with a customs team and housing for your first year at Haverford. Therefore, it is very important that you fill out this form honestly and thoroughly so that we can put you in the best possible living and social situation. Please read these instructions first and keep them open as you complete the questionnaire so that you know exactly what each question is asking of you. But of course, feel free to email us at if you have any questions, concerns, etc. This form is due on Friday, June 20, 2018. 

*Your Student Entry Record (SER) must be completed 24 hours before you can access the housing questionnaire. You should receive an email from (subject line “Haverford Information”) with your new user account information, which will allow you to access your Haverford email account along with this and other important forms.

Link to instructions:
Link to questionnaire (under the Applications tab):

A note to parents, family and friends:
We know that a student’s transition to college can be a new (and perhaps anxiety inducing) experience for parents, family and friends. That said, it is important that you give your first year space to mold their own life at Haverford. For this reason, we ask that you allow them to complete this questionnaire, and other student-directed questionnaires, privately and on their own. Thank you for respecting this request, and we look forward to meeting your first year at Haverford.

A note about housing accommodations:
The Office of Access and Disability Services (ADS) supports Haverford College’s mission to promote an increased sense of independence and confidence in students, and a concern for individual growth.  Accommodations remove barriers in the environment to provide equal access. ADS works collaboratively with each student applying for accommodations to determine eligibility, and to identify accommodations that are necessary and helpful to the student without altering the fundamental nature of the academic program.

It is not unusual for students to have different academic needs. For instance, many Haverford students (about 15%) identify themselves as needing accommodations due to an identified disability, medical or psychological diagnosis, or learning difference. While incoming students can disclose their need for accommodations at anytime they want (by August 1st, 2018, to ensure accommodations are in place for the fall semester), the deadline for requesting a housing accommodation and providing the requisite documentation is June 20, 2018.

For more information on receiving accommodations, please contact Sherrie Borowsky (,, Coordinator, Office of Access and Disability Services or you can check out our Access and Disability Services page.

To submit an accommodations request, head to this link:


To recieve fun updates about important deadlines and important Mario Kart races, follow us on Snapchat @FYsquirrel.

Have a blog post idea? Tell us what it is using this form! We won’t mention you in the post, so feel free to ask anything at all.

Social Life #1: Communities on Campus

There are a number of different ways to be social and make friends on Haverford’s campus. I (Isabel) met most of my closest friends through the customs program, Blien met most of hers in the Summer Social Justice Institute and on the hall next to hers. Often, Haverford students find their people through plain old serendipity. That said, there are a lot of things you can do to feel socially connected on campus.

Customs group
Your customs group can be a great resource for social connection on campus, and they are conveniently located exactly where you live. Customs is a great way to meet people who you might never have occasion to interact with in other facets of campus life. With most of my (Isabel’s) best friends from customs, I have no shared academic or extracurricular interests. Yet, through sheer proximity, we got to know and love each other. Some of my best memories from my first year hall include belting ‘I’ll make a man out of you’ on Disney karaoke nights, linking arms as a we would walk together to dances or parties, and baking together on the weekends.

That said, not everyone finds their community through Customs, and some halls get close for a while early on, and then disperse a bit. This is all okay! There are so many ways to feel socially connected on campus, and Customs is just one of them.

Sports teams
A lot of people find their community in their sports team, which can be another great resource for social connection. None of us are athletes, so we don’t feel equipped to talk in depth about how being on a sports team affects students’ social life. So, we reached out to one of last year’s first year dean’s office interns, Anna Neuheardt (Class of 2019). This is what she said:

“Being a part of the varsity fencing team has played a large, very positive role in my social life at Haverford. With five days of practice a week and a full day competition every weekend or so, the bare minimum of time we spend together is quite a bit. Personally, though, this has been really good for me in terms of helping me manage my time as well as introducing me to my best friends at Haverford (<3). Per the latter, I end up spending a lot more than the bare minimum of time with my teammates. Being on a team has also given me a sense of consistency through my past three years of school. Housing, classes, and extracurricular commitments may change year to year, but the team is always there. Having a part of my life that is so dependable is, personally, very helpful and appreciated.”

For more information about sports teams at haverford, check out this page about club sports, or the athletics homepage for more information about our varsity teams.

Clubs/Interest groups
I (Blien) think interest groups are another great way to get connected on campus. Student-run clubs provide safe spaces in which students can come together to meet friends with similar interests and hobbies. Some of my hallmates wrote for newspapers on campus like the Haverford Clerk, others were in activism groups like Rethink Incarceration, and so many were in acapella groups. Having friends involved with different clubs helped me also become a more active member of the community. This also helped our own conversations become more dynamic when we all got together and updated each other on what our clubs were working on. Many of these clubs often organize on-campus events not only to educate and inform the community about important issues, but also just to help everyone de-stress after busy school days. For example, FAB (Fords Against Boredom) has many activities like Quizzo, Finals Week’s Ben & Jerry’s Bingo (free ice cream and Bingo) and Midnight Breakfast.

Here’s a link for the list of official clubs on campus:

And if you want to read more about what clubs have been up to, here’s another link to the club tag on Haverblogs:

Affinity groups
Affinity groups were critical to my (Aarushi’s) journey to finding community at Haverford! I was a late bloomer, so it took me a little while to feel comfortable enough on campus to start searching for my people. For many students with marginalized identities, affinity group spaces become a refuge and support network. I met some of my dearest friends through Black Students’ League (BSL) meetings and the Pan-Asian Resource Center (PARC). Affinity group spaces can take a number of forms, like weekly meetings, events, or a physical room. Also, the great part about Haverford’s social life is that you can create spaces that you want but don’t currently exist! I started a group called AFFIRM for self-identified students of color to talk about mental health/illness. We will be doing a post on affinity groups later in the summer, so keep an eye out for that! Here’s a list of affinity groups:

Community and Special Interest Houses
Note: First years cannot be placed into any of these houses. But you can start thinking about potentially applying in a future year. Also, many of these houses hold frequent events that are open to the entire Haverford community. You can find out more about these houses and the cool things they do at the Community House Fair in the fall.  

BCC (Black Cultural Center): This is a community house and cultural center for students interested in the “histories, legacies, and traditions of the African diaspora”.
Existence as Resistance: This community house is a space for students to acknowledge and celebrate the intersectionalities and multidimensionality of identity.
Q house: A community house for LGBTQ students and their allies.  
Quaker House: This is a house for Quaker students and people interested in Quakerism.
Ehaus: This is a house for people interested in environmental issues and living sustainably.
Nerd House: This a house for self-identified nerds interested in organizing fun, dry (substance free) and nerdy community events.
La Casa Hispánica: An interest house for students who are interested in raising awareness about the cultures and civilizations of the Spanish-speaking world.
Music and Arts House: A community house for students interested in spreading artistic and musical collaboration and creativity at Haverford.
SoHo: A brand new community house for students interested in organizing community events geared at providing support for Sophomores after their customs experience.
Quiet house: An interest house for students seeking a calm and quiet living environment.  

Stay tuned for a post next Friday that continues this conversation about Social Life at Haverford. We will focus more about weekends at Haverford and the TriCo.

Have a blog post idea? Tell us what it is using this form! We won’t mention you in the post, so feel free to ask anything at all.

Hello from the Dean’s Office Summer Interns!

We are aiming to write two blog posts a week and to post them on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tell us what you want us to write about using this form! We won’t mention you in the post, so feel free to ask anything at all.



Isabel Floyd  ‘20, Dean’s Office Summer Intern
Hi all! I’m Isabel Floyd, class of 2020 and use she/her/hers pronouns*. I’m from the lovely seaside city of Portland, Maine.

*A quick note about pronouns: Talking about pronouns during introductions is a good way to prevent mistaken assumptions about a new acquaintance’s gender identity. When you introduce yourself to a new person at Haverford (or in general!), it’s a good idea to tell them what pronouns you use. I’m most comfortable with people using she, her and hers when they refer to me. Other examples of pronouns people use include they/them and he/him/his. In most cases, it’s best to ask–rather than assume–someone’s pronouns, as mistakenly assuming a person’s pronouns or gender identity can be hurtful. For more information about why we do this, check out this link from Bryn Mawr college.

Things I am excited for you to experience at Haverford: I am constantly amazed by my peer group here. I have met some really smart, creative, motivated and all around fantastic people during my time at Haverford so far, and I’m excited for you to as well. Also, I love the customs program! Customs week was really fun time for me as a first year, and I hope it will be for you all as well.

Things we were nervous about during the summer before our first year: I was really concerned that I wouldn’t be well matched with my first year hall. In particular, I was afraid that they would all end up partying really hard all the time, and that it would be uncomfortable for me. However, the hall ended up being a really relaxed and inviting social space, and my first year hall mates are my closest friends on campus to this day. Part of Blien, Aarushi and my job this summer will be to assign your housing and customs groups, and we are going to do everything in our power to create halls that are the best fit for everyone involved. We will do this based on the housing forms you submit in June, so make sure to give us lots of info about yourself in those!

What I do on campus: I’m in a womxn’s A Capella group called the outskirts! It’s a really fun group, and I highly recommend auditioning in the fall if you are womxn who likes to sing. If you are interested, you can check out some of our music here. I also do theater here, and am on the board of a student theater company called Spotlight, which puts on a play every semester. Last year, I also served as a CP (Customs Person), which meant that I lived on a first year hall and acted as a support person and informational resource to the first years living there. As for my academic interests, I’m a philosophy major at Haverford and a computer science minor at Bryn Mawr. I’m headed abroad to Belgium this fall to study philosophy and the taste of chocolate.



Blien Habtu ‘21, Dean’s Office Summer Intern
Hey there, Class of 2022! I’m Blien (the ‘i’ is silent so it’s pronounced ‘Blen’) Habtu. I am a rising sophomore, I use she/her/hers pronouns, and I’m from Baltimore, Maryland.

Things I am excited for you to experience at Haverford: One thing I’m really excited for you to experience at Haverford is the amount of support that members of our community can provide. There is always someone rooting for you, who wants you to succeed, and who wants to help you feel safe and comfortable here.

Things I was nervous about during the summer before my first year: As a rising sophomore, memories from first moving to Haverford are still incredibly fresh in my mind. Last summer, I remember being nervous about if I was really ready for this, for all of the social and academic challenges that came with entering college. I honestly thought that moving here would be a bit like being tossed into open waters. However, I quickly realized that Haverford has so many resources that can be used to build support systems. There are both official academic and counseling resources with staff who are who are here to help you (and more importantly, who want to help you!!), and there are also affinity groups and organizations formed by students who aim to uplift each other. I’m so excited for you to see and feel that.

What I do on campus: I am a prospective Computer Science Major, and I’m considering a double minor in Math and Linguistics. Last summer I was a part of TRICO (now known as the Summer Social Justice Institute), I am currently a co-leader of BLAST (a student run group that handles some sound/tech/lighting requests on campus), and I’ll be a CP for some of you next year!



Aarushi Mohan ‘20, Dean’s Office Summer Intern (International Student Support)
Hello, friends! My name is Aarushi (pronounced aah-roo-she) Mohan, I’m a rising junior (class of 2020), and I use she/her/hers pronouns. I’m an international student from Bangalore, India.

Things we’re excited for you to experience at Haverford: I’m excited for you to find communities/spaces where you feel a sense of belonging and kinship, be it through bonding with your Customs hall, going to an affinity group meeting, taking a cool class, or joining a club you love. I can’t wait for you to find your people, and your voice on campus. Making Haverford your home is a process, but we can hopefully lead you to the resources you need! I’m also excited for you to experience the arboretum campus, especially through the turn of the seasons.

Things I was nervous about during the summer before my first year: I was nervous about how I would fit into the Haverford community. I was anxious about making friends, meeting unfamiliar academic standards, and finding spaces centred around my interests. College was my first time away from home, so I was terrified about being alone so far away from my usual support network.

What I do on campus: I’ve been involved in different parts of campus life during my time at Haverford. I was an Ambassador of Multicultural Affairs (AMA) last year, and am currently serving as AMA Co-Head on Customs Committee. We’ve been working very hard to shape your first experience, and are so excited for Customs week in the fall! I’m on the Pan-Asian Resource Center board, and have helped facilitate conversations on mental health in the Pan-Asian community. In the fall, I’m going to be a part of the new all-PoC (people of color) acapella group.

In terms of academics, I’m a Philosophy major, and a Classical Culture and Society minor. I’m a Philosophy Department Student Representative, so I’m happy to discuss philosophy spaces and events on campus with you! This summer I’ll be doing research for the Classics department along with this position. I’m also invested in thinking about how classroom spaces can be more accessible for every Ford. In my free time, I enjoy writing poetry and watching terrible movies with my friends.


Once again, congratulations on your choice of Haverford, and we hope you have a lovely summer! We are very excited to meet you all in the fall!