Recommendation 3. Swarthmore should provide a residential liberal arts experience that serves the needs of students and contributes to the vitality of substantive community. Efforts should strengthen leadership initiatives, support athletics, develop wellness programs, and encourage extracurricular arts programs.

Swarthmore must provide a living and learning environment that enables students to explore, experiment, discover, and lead on campus and, ultimately, in the world. We must support and challenge students while encouraging the fortitude, creative expression, insight, self-awareness and other habits they will need in the world they will inhabit. Critical needs include the abilities to communicate well, listen carefully, consider alternative points of view and possibilities, and persuade. Programs in leadership, athletics, wellness, and arts should serve current students while contributing to the vitality of the community.

This recommendation has four parts:

Create a comprehensive approach to Swarthmore-style leadership development including a Center for Innovation and Leadership for students. This recommendation builds on our tradition of educating socially responsible leaders who lead in creative, collaborative, and ethical ways in a range of professions and forms of civic engagement. Components should include a Center for Innovation and Leadership that helps students develop the abilities to lead, inspire, listen, and learn in ways that reflect the values of Swarthmore’s tradition and community. The Center could facilitate Web-based alumni mentoring programs; and initiate an alumni innovation fellows program linking students to alumni representing fields that range from academics to business to arts to law and the sciences. This Center could build upon the Program for Socially Responsible Leadership and the Lax Conference in Entrepreneurship.

Affirm support for athletics including recreational, varsity, and club sports and continue to address associated facilities needs. Swarthmore values the interconnection between mental and physical health and well-being. We should think even more creatively and broadly about the physical education courses we offer to encourage lifelong practices and habits related to fitness. Our fitness center has become overcrowded due to increased use by our students, faculty, and staff in addition to the ongoing needs of our athletics teams. We should expand or build a fitness center to accommodate our community’s wellness and fitness efforts.

Swarthmore affirms the positive contribution that athletics and wellness make to our students’ lives while on campus, and in a more enduring way as alumni. Competitive sports encourage students to learn to strategize, listen carefully and take instruction, to provide leadership, cope with loss, and celebrate achievement. The College should encourage the lessons of fair play, integrity, discipline, sportsmanship, and teamwork.

Swarthmore should support its athletics teams by upgrading out-dated equipment and facilities. Serious consideration should be given to whether the Lamb-Miller Field House meets the needs of our athletics teams as well as whether it positively supports the wellness and communal experiences for all members of our community. A thorough audit of our athletics and wellness spaces should be conducted, building upon the recent selfstudy conducted by the Physical Education and Athletics Department. In addition to improved facilities, we should adjust varsity team travel allowances, and generally support athletics in ways that match the excellence we expect in all areas of the College.

Develop a wellness program for students and the community by expanding and enhancing the variety and scope of our wellness initiatives, focusing on sleep, stress management, time management, meditation and reflection, and healthy eating. The goal is to promote student success and a strong ethos of caring for oneself, and prepare students to continue positive self-care beyond Swarthmore. We should also imagine new ways for the Crum Woods, lounges, and other physical spaces to contribute to wellness efforts. We should analyze patterns of events and programs to ensure that they offer positive, coordinated, and manageable options for students.

Encourage students to engage in and with the arts outside the classroom. Swarthmore has many academic programs in the arts but students who wish to do studio work or pursue their interest in theater and dance on a noncredit basis have no access to our oversubscribed facilities. We should examine the requirements for students to use these facilities for extracurricular work and provide adequate space for all students to create, rehearse, and perform on campus including studios for visual and media arts.