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The Squirrel’s Scoop, 2/23/2022

Welcome to The Squirrel’s Scoop—The Clerk’s weekly news bulletin. The Squirrel’s Scoop brings you the biggest stories from the past week in one place.

Spike in COVID Cases

As its COVID-19 guidelines become more lenient, Haverford has seen a spike in student cases. As of February 21, 2022, there are 36 active student cases. This is the largest spike in student cases of the Spring 2022 semester. Still, both students and professors are skeptical that 18 is even accurate. Without mandatory testing in place, many community members believe that case counts are actually much higher. English and Comparative Literature Professor Maud McInerney expressed her suspicions: “Over the last two weeks, [five] students in my classes have tested positive, some symptomatic. These numbers seem a bit unlikely if the official count is correct, or am I just lucky?”

With a rise in student cases comes an increasing number of students moving into isolation. Since the numbers have not gotten drastically high just yet, many of the students testing positive in recent days are being moved to the third floor of the Whitehead Campus Center, while others are staying at 8 Railroad Ave.

Area Colleges Remain Divided on COVID Policy Next Steps

Last Thursday, Haverford announced that it would be rolling back many of the COVID policy adjustments designed to mitigate the Omicron variant. Though student response to this decision has been mixed, the school’s decisions mirror a larger rollback of COVID restrictions across the country. Haverford is not the only college in the area to make a shift.

On February 11, Villanova University announced that masking would no longer be mandatory anywhere, indoors or outdoors, on the college’s campus. The email announcing the shift invites anyone “who feels more comfortable wearing a mask” to continue the practice. Additionally, faculty are permitted to require masking in their classroom, and students are supposed to mask at the request of other students or staff.

Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore Colleges, which have been in step with Haverford throughout the pandemic, have not announced changes to their testing or masking policies. However, both schools have stated an intention to reassess their COVID policies by mid-February, and changes are likely in the coming weeks. 

Customs Co-Head Applications Go Live

On Thursday, February 17th, an email was sent from Students’ Council announcing that applications to be one of next year’s Customs Co-heads had opened. Students can apply as individuals or in a pair, and applications are due at 5 pm today: Wednesday, February 23rd. In the following week, applicants will interview for the position, and the chosen candidates will be hired immediately after. As such, the College will already have new Customs Co-heads before spring break, and according to the email, the two selected students will be put to work right away. 

With Customs undergoing a plethora of changes over the past few years, especially this year, the Customs Co-heads will play a critical role in the lives of the class of 2026. Students’ Council’s email explains that the Co-heads have the task of designing much of the program which “welcomes new students to the college, engages students in Haverford’s unique culture and traditions, and provides inclusive and accessible information about resources to help students thrive during their first year and beyond.”

As Students’ Council Co-president, Sam Aronson ‘22, has been working on the newest redesign of Customs. Speaking on behalf of himself and his Co-president, Amolina Bhat ‘23, he expressed excitement about hiring new Co-heads and entering the next phase of planning for Customs 2022: “We are tremendously excited to be taking this first step in bringing people together to facilitate this revitalized customs program. We highly encourage folks eager to help welcome first years into our community to apply to this as well as subsequent positions to make this important program a success.”

Ford’s Closet, a Student-run Pop-Up Shop, Brings Consignment to Students

Mimi Lavin ’24 and Allie Cubell ’24 partnered to create an on-campus consignment store for students to shuffle their closets and make a bit of money while they’re at it. Last Friday, Ford’s Closet made its successful debut, transforming the VCAM into a shopper’s paradise. “The pop-up shop was a huge success,” said Lavin. She describes her feelings after the event: “It was great to see how many people showed up, and even more rewarding to see people wearing their new clothes around campus.”

About 40 students donated their unwanted clothes, and over 100 others were able to pick up some second-hand apparel. With prices ranging from $3 to $20, there was something for everyone at the pop-up. Students left the VCAM with boot-cut jeans, pajama two-pieces, embossed leather jackets, and more.

Although nearly all the clothes brought to the sale were sold, the store’s Instagram teases more to come. “We’re excited to see what we can do moving forward,” adds Lavin.

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