Category Archives: General

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 on Snapchat— we’re taking over that account starting on Wednesday! Finally, please feel free to email and 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 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 or Associate Editor Alison Rosenman at 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.

Guest Post: Religious Life at Haverford

Dear Class of 2022,

Welcome to Haverford!

Haverford College welcomes students of all faith backgrounds, religious interest, spiritual curiosity, or secular worldview to join in our shared community of trust, concern, and respect here on campus.

A list of active student religious groups at Haverford is available on the College website here:


Quaker students on campus, organize themselves through the programs of Quaker House, a student-run themed housing option.  They can be contacted by joining their Facebook Page:

If you are interested in helping to start an additional student group around your own particular religious practice, feel free to contact the religious and spiritual life office in Whitehead Campus Center 208, or email me at

If you want to know where to go for Rosh Hashanah services, when Catholic Mass is celebrated on campus, what support is provided for the observance of Ramadan, or how to talk to your professor about making time and space for your personal religious observances, you are welcome to contact me about those or any other questions concerning religious life or Quakerism generally.


Whether you consider yourself a person of faith or not, you can greatly support spiritual & religious life on campus by taking this optional survey on religious affiliation at Haverford:

I look forward to welcoming you to campus in just a few weeks. May your time at Haverford be full of growth, courage, and deeper self-understanding.

Best wishes,

Walter Hjelt Sullivan
Coordinator of Religious Life
Director of Quaker Affairs
Whitehead Campus Center 208


Hey folks!

This is a bittersweet moment for us… Cause our time being the Dean’s Office Summer Interns has come to a close! We have scheduled blog posts to post every Tuesday and Thursday (along with some Fridays) to hold you all over until you arrive on campus (we know you desperately refresh the blog every Tuesday/Thursday to get that good content!). And we will have a blog post ‘Tips For Arriving On Campus’ posted at the end of August. However, today is the last day we’ll be in the office, managing social media, and answering emails (if you have any questions, you can still email We had so much fun working on this blog and being able to engage with you all on different platforms. We also loved getting the chance to place you in your first year housing; we spent time thinking about these placements and hope that you will find a fun and supportive community in your hall. With that, we’d like to each offer some final words of wisdom to guide you through your first year:

Blien: The beauty of Customs is that we are able to bring together so many students who all have different stories. As a result, you might actually find that you have become close friends with hall-mates who you might have never interacted with if they weren’t on your hall. On the flip side, friendship can’t be forced… so, you might actually find that your close friends live off your hall. You’ll find your people where you find them, and it’s okay if that takes time… it’s all a process!

Isabel: I know this is a lot easier to said than done, but my advice is not to take your first year of college too seriously. If, by the end of your first year, you’ve learned some things, had some fun and made some friends, then you are probably doing alright. I stressed the small things my freshman year, and I really didn’t need to. Forget a problem set? No problem, that’s recoverable! Feeling lonely? That all natural, and you have plenty of time to make buddies. For the most part, mistakes you make in you first year will all come out in the wash.

Naturally, we can’t send you on your way without one final GIF, so here you go friends:

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Goodbye, and we’ll see ya soon!

Guest Post: Introducing Name Coach!

Next week, you’ll receive an email with information about recording your name pronunciation from a system called Name Coach. It’s not phishing, or a scam (but it’s good to be vigilant!); it’s just an external platform we use. Name Coach is a project from the Council on Diversity and Inclusion and the Provost’s Office, and it allows you to record the pronunciation of your name for others to hear, and then, to pronounce correctly.

Name Coach is integrated into Moodle, the course platform we use, and you will see links on the class pages that look like this:

The email you’ll receive next week will contain a link to record your name, but you can also record your name using the recording tool on the class page. Please note that only the first recording you make (whether in a class page or via email) will be the default recording. If you explore the Name Coach site, and on the “Name Badge” page in particular, you’ll see a number of features, including the ability to add your gender pronouns or insert the recording of your name into your email signature. As an example, take a look at my Name Badge. It’s also helpful if you create a password for convenient access to your NameCoach account in the future.

This is still a pilot program, and we’re hoping to add new integrations this year, so there may be a few bugs as we work things out. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we begin the third year of using this tool, and we hope you find it of use.

We welcome your feedback as well as your questions – please share them with me at Thank you very much.