Being Liberal. When people hear the word "Swarthmore," they think "that crazy liberal school." However, while Swarthmore does live up to it's reputation of being very liberal, I would never associate any negativity with that label. Swarthmore is liberal in that it accepts a very diverse student body and encourages freedom of expression. Everyone is accepted at Swarthmore for who they are. Students here aren't critical of each other's superficial differences; rather, they acknowledge that each and every student has something amazing to bring to the table, simply by virtue of being accepted to this school.
Much the same answer as what I said above, really. It's highly academic and allows rigorous, small-group engagement with issues, some of which matter and some of which might not. The honors program is the epitome of this, with its small seminars (never larger than 12) and its external examinations at the end of the senior year. It's a rough thing, but you can never get as much out of academics as you do when you read a lot and talk about it a lot with just a few people. Also, we've a big tension grid.
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