Students propose SWOLE
The Spiritual and Wellness Optimal Living Environment (SWOLE) is a new Special Interest housing facility initiative on the Hill whose mission is to foster and “create a supportive environment for individuals looking to develop and enhance their wellness,” according to the housing proposal. Adam Spierer ’13 and Katherine Connolly ’13 spearheaded this initiative to create an environment where individuals are willing to grow and nurture each other.
Swole, as defined by Urban Dictionary, is “having muscle on top of muscle,” or “being big or buff,” which is what SWOLE seeks to achieve by applying this definition at a more holistic Colby-oriented level with an active lifestyle. The residence hall will be a combination of quiet, substance-free and regular living arrangements, or as Spierer said, “substance light and semi-quiet with 24-hour courtesy hours.”
Spierer, one of the current Community Advisors in Coburn and a member of the Colby swim team, said, “It is an environment for students to reach their academic and athletic goals with the support of their dorm-mates, who are of like minds. As a new dialogue house, it will endeavor to create a hybrid community of the best qualities offered by each of the types of housing offered at the College.”
Spierer believes that, as a junior and having been a CA for the past two years in different dorms, he has been able to determine what qualities of housing appeal to people and ultimately create a healthy and comfortable living and working environment. This housing will allow like-minded people who are motivated to feed off of and into the positive energy that the dorm will foster.
Anne Friedrich ’15, a future resident of SWOLE and a member of the swim, team said, “This will be a perfect transition from my dorm [Averill], which is a chem-free dorm where, because there are people who I have quite a lot in common with, I established friendships. Likewise, SWOLE will bring people together who understand the thrills and challenges and appreciate having to balance being, first and foremost, a student, then an athlete and having a social life. These are people who will respect that sometimes you will need to have an early Friday night because you have a meet or a game the following day.”
SWOLE aspires to offer something different and to cater to people dedicated to having a balanced lifestyle. Ryan Bachur ’15 said, “When [Spierer] approached me about the new SWOLE dorm, I was excited to learn that it would combine [some] features of chem-free, quiet and regular dorm life.” Bachur also expressed how the idea of leading an active and healthy lifestyle appealed to him the most.
SWOLE invites anyone who is willing to share in the sense of its community and beliefs to which this dorm will adhere. Connolly emphasized that, “the SWOLE house is not limited to athletes, we want any and all students who already live this lifestyle and simply want a dorm dedicated to preserving that.”
As the Feb. 10 deadline for special interest housing draws closer, students will likely reflect on what exactly they want out of their living arrangements, factoring in prior experiences on the Hill as well as personality and extracurricular interests.