Customs @ Haverford: Welcome!
Customs is Haverford College's First-Year Experience program, which includes a five-day orientation immediately preceding the fall semester.
Customs is about community, not conformity. Customs Week provides everyone the space to settle in and begin the college-experience by engaging each other in fun and interactive ways that promote healthy community. Customs also helps first-year students figure out what they want to do and how they can get there. What's more, Customs is a time to learn from and about each others differences, backgrounds, and experiences.
Customs is one of the few common experiences that all Haverfordians have, and, like the Honor Code, everyone has a different opinion about it. In some sense, Customs is an important part of the glue that brings the community together by providing that common base of experience. Yet in another sense, it's nothing more than a support network put in-place to help students if they need it. What one can be safe in saying, however, is that Customs is a yearlong program that involves nearly 200 upperclass students supporting, in a multiplicity of ways, the first-year class in their transition from high school to college life at Haverford.
Most first-year halls or HCA buildings house between eight and sixteen first-year students, called Customs Groups, as well as a few on-hall resource people. Living on the hall are two Customs People (CPs) and one Upper-Class Advisor (UCA). The Customs Person's primary role is, if needed, to serve as an all-around support person to their Customs Group. The hall's UCA is a trained academic advisor who, along with the Faculty Advisor, facilitates the new students' navigation through Haverford's academic requirements.
Customs Groups are also supported by one or two Honor Code Orienteers (HCOs), one Ambassador for Multicultural Awareness (AMA), and one or two Peer Awareness Facilitators (PAFs), each of which lives off the hall. HCOs are responsible for introducing and explaining the Haverford Honor Code to the first year students. AMAs heighten awareness and increase campus-wide participation in cross-cultural and multicultural programs, activities and understanding. PAFs facilitate a series of eight weekly Customs Group discussions about topics that Haverford students feel are particularly important to student life in college.