The overarching goals of the Program are to introduce students to Haverford and to prepare them for the upcoming year. To facilitate this, Customs introduces frosh to a wide range of resources and information on campus, as well as encouraging students to pursue the College's mission: "Non Doctior Sed Meliore Doctrina Imbutus" or "Not more learned, but steeped in a better learning." This essentially hints at the College's commitment to the ideal of not just giving students a degree, but helping them learn about both themselves and the world around them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we have Customs?
What are Customs People (CP)?
Customs People are Haverford's alternative to a Residential Advisor program. Essentially, CPs are live-on-the-hall resources for frosh who help new students get the hang of Haverford and college life and help create community on the hall. Two Customs People live on each freshman hall.
What's an Upper Class Advisor (UCA)?
Upper Class Advisors (UCAs) support the academic advising of First-Year Faculty Advisors. UCAs are juniors or seniors who live on a first-year hall and are trained to support first-years as they navigate academic life at Haverford, including academic requirements, academic departments, and course selection.
What's an Ambassador for Multicultural Awareness (AMA)?
AMAs open up avenues for first year students to explore new communities, cultures, and contexts through experiential learning and reflection. AMAs help students navigate Haverford culture, and provide spaces for them to challenge their perspectives and better understand their own experiences. Additionally, AMAs seek out ways to enable students to create new networks through community service opportunities, social events, connections with alumni, as well as resources on campus.
What's an Honor Code Orienteer (HCO)?
HCOs are responsible for overseeing first-year students' introduction to the fabled Honor Code. Nearly as old as Customs, the Honor Code is quite possibly one of the most talked-about issues on campus. HCOs facilitate discussions about Honor Code issues and encourage attendance at the twice-yearly Plenary meeting. HCOs also function as a more objective, off-the-hall resource for frosh.
What's a Peer Awareness Facilitator (PAF)?
Peer Awareness Facilitators, in addition to being members of the Customs Team, are upper-class students who work with each first-year hall to foster dialogue about issues that are important to college students. PAF sessions take place throughout the course of the year and cover topics such as Alcohol and Drugs, Gender Identification, Class/Socioeconomic Status, Sexual Health and Practices, Race Relations, Body Image, Sexual Orientation and Attraction, Sexual Misconduct, Religion and Spirituality, and (Dis)Ability. PAFs also function as off-hall resources for the first-year students and typically help students get in-touch with the many student life offices available. PAFs work either in pairs or individually.
Is Customs really a year-long program?
Absolutely. While the language may seem a little confusing, the Customs Program itself reaches far past the first five days of the year. Customs Week is the Orientation, but Customs is what happens afterward. It's the interactions and education that happens outside of the classroom, in the halls and spaces where professors fear to tread, where frosh teach Customs People and the other way around.
What is "pluralism"?
Rooted in Quaker tradition, the long standing Customs Week practice of Pluralism provides a forum for students to express their thoughts, ideas, and life experiences with their hall members. During this time, students are invited to reflect upon life experiences that have helped to define or shape who they are, and/or what they hope to get out of their collegiate experience. Pluralism serves as an opportunity for customs group members to get to know one another, and learn about one another, on a more personal level. (Essentially, it is our unique way of beginning to understand and celebrate the diversity of views and experiences that each student brings to the Haverford community.) Although each customs group member has the opportunity to participate and share something, speaking is not a requirement.
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