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The Squirrel’s Scoop, 4/13/2022

It’s Pinwheel Day!

Today, April 13, 2022, marks the unofficial start of spring on campus. Students awoke to find hundreds of pinwheels spread across campus, pulling them out of their rooms into the 80° sunny weather. The annual tradition, which began as a celebration of queer student life, is now an annual staple of second semester. A highly-secretive group chooses a sunny day towards the end of the semester to put out the spinning plastic toys, which let students know that winter is finally over. Many classes are canceled in celebration, and even when they aren’t, lots of students will choose not to attend class in favor of lounging with their friends in the nice weather.

While past pinwheel days have been marked by some drama, today is nothing but fun. “I think it’s kind of beautiful to see everyone get out in shorts and sunglasses and collectively decide to take a break,” said George Doehne ’22. With hundreds of students spread across Founders green by noon–playing lawn games, climbing trees, and drinking out of solo cups–it is clear that students are taking the day to unwind. Doehne declared: “screw classes, screw obligations! Just take a break and enjoy everything. I wish life after college had pinwheel days.”

The Joe Schwartz ’83 Memorial 3K raises nearly $10,000 for ALS Treatment and Research

The Joe Schwartz ’83 Memorial 3K, which fundraises for ALS research, took place on April 3, and the turnout was inspiring. This year’s event was the 15th annual race, and the Haverford community raised nearly $10,000. All the donations from the race go toward research, care, and public policy programs dedicated to treating and curing ALS. 

Joe Schwartz graduated from Haverford College in 1983, and he excelled as a committed member of the cross country and track teams. Schwartz is described as a passionate and enthusiastic teammate, as he believed in being a part of something bigger than himself. In 1995, at the age of 34, Schwartz noticed ALS symptoms while training for road races. He valiantly fought the disease for thirteen years before he died on March 2, 2008. 

All Haverford athletics teams raise money for the event. The team that raised the most was Haverford Men’s Lacrosse. Nate Rose, who collected the most money on an individual level, spoke about the moving nature of the fundraiser: “The Joe Schwartz 3K means a lot to so many people at Haverford. It was so cool to see everyone supporting the cause of raising money and awareness for ALS. This was a huge opportunity to not only raise money toward fighting ALS and finding a cure but also to spread awareness about ALS to the broader campus community. I had such a great time at the event with my friends and teammates, and I hope we can continue to spread awareness and raise money for years to come.”

THRIVE Conference Kicks Off Last Weekend

This past Saturday, April 9, the first event of the THRIVE conference took place from 1:30-4:00 pm. The THRIVE program was established in the wake of the 2020 student strike, which encouraged the College to increase initiatives focusing on diversity, equity, inclusion, and most specifically, antiracism. This week’s event was called “From Harm to Healing”. According to one of the program’s organizers, Emily Johnson, the conference “featured a range of sessions, including a workshop with the restorative justice group Let’s Circle Up which focused on communicating about racism as a step towards healing and connection and how restorative justice may provide tools for transformation of systemic harm into healing.”

The conference also featured a keynote speech from Dr. Kimberly M. Ashby. Johnson described Dr. Ashby as a Black, Afro-Indigenous psychologist, artist, and activist. Ashby attended Boston College and engaged in student activism there. Much of her speech was centered around racial trauma and the impact of racism on mental health.

Finally, Aissatou Seck ‘24 spoke at the conference. Seck discussed the aftermath of the student strike and the progress that the College has made and still needs to make going forward. Representing herself and her fellow Community Outreach Multicultural Liaisons (COMLs), Seck expressed, “I was so surprised by the number of people that showed up! It brought me a great peace of mind, like the college has a lot of work to do, but if that many people can show up over the strike, then we’re starting from a good place.” 

ALAS Spearheads the Return of La Gala

Saturday, April 9 also saw the return of a great Haverford tradition, specifically for the LatinX community on campus: La Gala. La Gala was organized by members of the Alliance of Latin American Students (ALAS) and was held Saturday at 6:30 pm. It was a formal event held to celebrate the achievements and culture of the LatinX community, both at Haverford and beyond. Maria Reyes Pacheco ‘24, a member of the ALAS Board and Co-Head of La Gala, expressed her excitement about gathering the Haverford LatinX community with that of the greater Philadelphia area: “The event was beautiful for many reasons, of course, the decorations made it seem amazing. But for me what made it most beautiful was seeing so many people from the Latine community in one space, not just from within the tri-co but from Philly as well.”

Jorge Paz Reyes ‘24, another ALAS Board member and Co-Head of La Gala, noted the importance of the event for ALAS and the Haverford LatinX community: “Having La Gala at the center of Founders Green highlights the position of the LatinX community on campus. Planning this event meant a lot for the community because it highlighted our intentions to be seen and be present on campus. This year in general is a key moment for ALAS as it marks the comeback of a great tradition and the presence of the LatinX Cultural Center.”

Keyla Ramirez ‘25, one of the MCs of La Gala, expressed a sense of pride for her role and that of her fellow ALAS Board members in organizing and pulling off this event: “It was an absolute pleasure to have worked with such talented and dedicated individuals to make this event happen. Seeing the final result come together after the many hours La Gala Committee spent coordinating everything was such a fulfilling experience.”

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