Trends & Campus Life

Five more pieces:

Davanshi Vaid, who covers the culture of Bryn Mawr College, writes about The Breakfast Club, a gorup of students addicted to pulling all-nighters.

Laura Reeve, who writes about the arts, has discovered a trend among home crafts, who are turning to the web to sell their wares and create their own networks.

Erin Seglem, who covers running, has a piece about the latest trend in track shoes: minimalism.

Molly Minden, who covers the sustainable economy, has a piece about a group of Haverford College students who have joined the Community Supported Agriculture movement.

Kady Ashcraft, whose beat is Bryn Mawr, has a story about how administrators of the school intervened this year to convince students to have fun.  You read it right: fun.


Late Nights at the Lusty

The Bryn Mawr Breakfast Club that meets all night

By Devanshi Vaid

The night is cold. It is sharp enough to shake you awake and foggy enough keep you believing that you are existing in a space of suspended reality. Laughter rings in the misty, cloudless sky. The joke is unimportant.

What is important is that Mine Serizawa is doubled over, Meghna Singh is wiping tears away from her face, Amanda Fernandez is grinning stupidly and Lisa Klinman is laughing so hard she almost chokes on the smoke from her cigarette.

It is 4:20 a.m. on a regular Monday morning. Serizawa, Singh, Fernandez and Klinman are still awake and are at The Lusty Cup – a café and 24 hour computer lab located at the bottom floor of Canaday Library at Bryn Mawr College.

Some college students pull all-nighters when they are desperate. This group pulls them because they like them. It’s part of their regular study routine — and their night had just hit its peak.

The Lusty Cup Cafe

Once inside, Serizawa and Singh went back to their computers. Singh packed up, she’s going to bed. Meanwhile, Klinman, 20, a senior from Maryland, D.C., curled up on one of the four couches in Lusty, grabbed a jacket that was lying nearby, placed it under her head and closed her eyes. It was time for a nap.

It does not matter much who the jacket belongs to. Inhabitants of Lusty Cup at this hour are most likely to all be members of the Breakfast Club – they have grown to be friends over the course of the countless nights they spend together at this café.

Needless to say, the four of them had been here for a while.



Klinman entered Lusty with her friends Julia Stuart and Maura Barrett. At this time, the Lusty was well populated – there were groups of students studying, people getting coffee, others checking their email and hanging out.

The atmosphere was lively. The night was ending for a few of the people here, and just about beginning for a few others. However, the ones that were going to be in the café for a long time made themselves prominent.

Klinman and her friends headed to a table at the back where they set up. They were prepared for the night – dressed almost uniformly in sweatpants and comfortable t-shirts, they were armed with bottles of caffeinated drinks, bags of food and candy.

Their work was frequently interrupted with conversation about recent dates, rugby, and comments from the endless stream of passersby. They didn’t forget to talk about the things they were supposed to be studying.

“On Friday, I said I was going to write an outline for my final paper. Until now I’ve got six potential titles…” said Stuart. “I’m giving myself an extension on this outline.” Self proclaimed extensions are valid, the three of them were preparing for finals week and were attempting to work ahead.

“So anyway,” said Klinman looking at her Political Science paper, “back to genocide?” Continue reading

A New Home for Crafts

The web has become a popular venue for home crafters to offer their wares

By Laura Reeve

Flea markets and craft fairs, the marketplace of crafters and hipsters held in parks and high school parking lots, are now open 24/7. The homemade community has gone viral, and young entrepreneurs are making names for themselves in online marketplaces.

The Internet is now bustling with crafters, zinesters, and artists selling their handmade work online. They are also meeting other like-minded individuals and creating communities of artists and art lovers all through the internet.

Kelly-Anne (, 27, a mother of two, started crocheting hats for her own newborn daughter in 2008. Kelly started posting pictures of the hats and headbands she made for her daughter online on “mommy communities,” online communities for women who want to connect with other mothers with similar due dates. Soon she was getting multiple requests to make hats for other women and their babies.

“I started getting requests from my mommy friends to make hats for their little ones, and it was suggested that I open an Etsy shop,” Kelly said. “I had no idea my hats would be so popular. I am so lucky to have found a way to help with the bills, while staying home with my kids and doing something I really love.”

Crafters like Kelly are not limited to one site. Though many of them have set up shop at, an online marketplace and

A Casey Lee Patch

community, these artists also share their work through social media platforms like Facebook and Tumblr. These websites allow artists to market themselves and build their fan base.

“Tumblr has become a huge thing,” Ramsey Beyer (, 26, an artist from Philadelphia said. “I started using it for my comics 6 months ago and it has really increased my readership. Things fly around the internet. It’s like word of

Casey Lee

mouth through the internet.”

Tumblr, a blogging platform that has been described as “micro-blogging,” allows users to “re-blog” other peoples posts so that content is constantly being shared and circulated through the web. Photos, links, and videos are posted and then reposted, spread to a wider and wider group of people.

“Every time someone re-blogs your work, all of their followers see it, and if one of their follower re-blogs it all of their followers see it,” said Kelly. “Suddenly your work is spreading like wild fire and all you had to do was take a nice picture of it.”

Casey Lee (, 21, a college student sells patches for extra income. Patches are screen printed and designed pieces of cloth sewn on to other articles of clothing such as sweatshirts, t-shirts, bags, and jeans. Lee also utilizes Tumblr to sell more of her work. Though, because of how Tumblr works, she felt like people who follow her blog do most of the promotional Continue reading

Barefoot Runners

The newest trend in running shoes is the oldest known to man

By Erin Seglem

Sara Hess, a Haverford college junior, kneels down, grey shoelaces wrapped around her fingers. She secures her sneakers, which she fondly refers to as “bricks.” Hess’ feet need heavy control because she tends to pronate severely, when she’s running –her foot rolls to the outside as it hits the ground. It can cause injury if not controlled. So, she wears shoes developed to provide her feet with strong control.

Ever since the 1970’s running fad, athletic companies have poured billions of dollars into producing the perfect running shoe that were meant to make running safer and prevent injury. Eventually the modern running shoe, full of cushioning and plastic control was developed.

A few years ago, however, runners began to question whether the extra support and control was necessary. So, shoe companies began pouring their resources into developing a new shoe and came up with a minimalist solution. So minimal they are called barefoot-style running shoes.

Part of the inspiration came from Christopher McDougal, a journalist and runner, who suffered from a seemingly unending list of

injuries. McDougal sought out the answer to his problems and found it within the Mexican Copper Canyons. The subjects of his 2009

Vibram Running Shoes

bestseller, Born to Run, are the Tarahumara. Members of reclusive society, they are known for running amazing distances barefoot or in thin leather sandals — generally between 50 and 100 miles at once. Despite the punishment on their feet, they managed to avoid the common injuries that most normal distance runners struggle with today.

McDougal discovered that a major difference between the Tarahumara and the average distance runner was their footwear. This idea has since spread to runners everywhere. Jordan Schilit, a junior at Haverford College as well as a member of the men’s cross country team says he does many of his shorter morning runs in a pair of Vibram Five-fingers, “It’s basically like running barefoot…but it’s a bit more protective on my feet when running over rocks and roots.” he said.

The shoe provides a thin shell that snugly fits the foot and has acts like a glove, separating the toes.

In the last year, two major athletic companies, Brooks and New Balance, have released new lines of shoes meant to mimic barefoot running. Like the five-fingers they provide little more than protection from things that might hurt a truly barefoot. Nike also revised their lightweight shoe, the Free, to more resemble the barefoot style.

Most runners seem to see the new style of running as something to try, but with caution. As Emily Scott, a Haverford College sophomore who, while at home, works for a running store, explained: “Whenever someone comes into the store asking about the minimalist shoes I make sure that they understand that our body is not used to it.” Shifting from a shoe with lots of support to one with none can cause new injuries because running barefoot creates an entirely different kind of footstrike. Continue reading

A Taste of Community

Haverford  College students are finding out how to do well while they eat well

By Molly Minden

Steaming sweet potatoes and roasted radishes sprinkled with salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary. Layers of red and yellow onions and dark purple kale leaves. Sautéed broccoli, chopped bell peppers, heirloom tomatoes, spicy green horseradish leaves and slender stalks of celery. All grown within 50 miles of your house and harvested yesterday.

Freshly dug carrots, bags of popcorn, garlic, peppery black radishes. Bunches of leeks, red and yellow stalks of Swiss chard with deep green leaves, string beans, beets, purple potatoes, and crisp stayman apples.

Haverford College students participating in this semester’s Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, receive a cardboard box brimming with these vegetable and more every week.

For $375 a semester, a group of students can invest in a farmer. They give him the money upfront, so he can use it to buy seeds and tools for the season. Then, every week, the students receive a huge box of freshly harvested vegetables, from cabbage and spinach to butternut squash and fennel.

While some items, such as apples, are already a staple in the students’ lives, others, such as romanesco – a lime-green fractal cousin of cauliflower and broccoli- require experimentation and research in how to prepare them.

A Box of Organic Vegetables

“I like the surprise of what’s going to come, and it’s a challenge to cook with sometimes unidentified green things. I enjoy that,” said Haverford College student Emily Northrop, ’14.

Members of a CSA choose to invest in the farmer. When the farmer grows too much zucchini, the students use it in zucchini lasagna, zucchini bread, and even zucchini soufflé. If the vegetables flourish, the students receive boxes overflowing with goods. When floods or other difficult weather hits, the boxes are less full.

But students aren’t just buying into food shares. They also want more of a connection to their food.

“I like knowing that there’s a face on the other side. It’s his farm, and the employees aren’t mistreated migrant farmers, but people who are actually excited about farming and have good jobs,” said Northrop.

Students want roasted vegetables with a side of community.

Yet, for Andrew Thompson, HC ’14, this connection isn’t as present in reality. “I really don’t feel like we’re part of a community at all. I feel like I show up to a garage and I take boxes out,” he said. Continue reading

Bored in the Bubble

At Bryn Mawr, they are trying to get super-serious students to have fun, fun, fun.

By Kady Ashcraft

All work and no play makes for an unhappy student body — and an incentive to improve the social life at Bryn Mawr College.

School administrators became increasingly aware of the lack of a thriving and enjoyable social atmosphere on campus during the last school year. There was a sharp increase of student visits to the health center’s therapist along with what seemed to be a general depression across campus.

Students also noticed a tired and unenthusiastic attitude spreading amongst their peers.

“Everyone seemed to be in a funk,” said junior, Caroline Herman. “There wasn’t much excitement on campus.”

Adding to the monotonous atmosphere was the difficulty to get off campus. Most students do not own cars and rely on public transportation if they want to travel into nearby Philadelphia.

The Paoli-Thorndale regional rail stops about a block from campus and can get a student into the city in 25 minutes. There is also the option of the Norristown high-speed rail, which is further from Bryn Mawr’s campus, but is less expensive than the regional rail.

A trip on the regional rail can cost up to $10 round trip if the tickets are not bought beforehand. The Norristown rail, a three-quarter

I am soooo bored.

mile distance from campus, costs a little over $5 roundtrip.

Purchasing tokens and transfer stubs was unfamiliar to some students, as well.

“It’s a confusing system,” said senior, Julia Ryan.

While Philadelphia is a center for fun and adventure, students at Bryn Mawr felt removed and isolated from the city. Like many small, suburban schools, students often found themselves trapped inside the “Bryn Mawr Bubble.”

The bubble can be a comforting thing, but also restricting and alienating.

“As an upperclassmen, I kind of know everything about the campus,” said Ryan.

The increasing desire to make college life more fun — outside The Bubble — reached the school’s administrators, namely Bryn Mawr’s deans, who then decided to take action.

Halfway through the summer an email was sent out to students with the title “A Letter to Returning Students.” The innocuous subject line could have easily been overlooked, but it contained big news.

The Dean’s office announced it would be issuing free Septa passes and tokens for the Norristown high-speed line as well as the regional rail. Along with the announcement was a long letter explaining the hope that students would begin to feel more engaged in the world around them. In other words, go out and have fun.

Dean of the Undergraduate College, Michele Rasmussen, wrote that she wondered if “work harder, play less” is the ethos that ends up being adopted when students get bogged down with the incredibly high academic standards they set for themselves.” Continue reading