Campus tour guides at Swarthmore College have been told to stop taking prospective students to see the Willets dorm after parents allegedly complained of getting a "contact high," according to a school newspaper.
The newspaper based part of its report on tour guide Jordan Reyes, class of 2019. Reyes said Associate Director for Admissions Communications Tara Eames informed the tour guides that parents complained of the smell after walking through Willets.
"The school administration has not clarified the reason behind the restriction," the article stated.
Efforts to reach Eames were not immediately successful.
Daily Gazette Head News Editor Natalie Flores is also a tour guide and attended the meeting. She backs up Reyes' statements about the reason the dorm was blocked from tours.
"The contact high, the smell of marijuana, is not enough of a legitimate reason to cut a crucial part of the college tour that we are lucky enough to give and parents are lucky enough to receive," Flores said when reached by phone.
"A lot of alums think it is the most hilarious thing in the world that they have banned Willets from tours," Flores said. She has not received complaints during the tours, she said.
Flores also stated in the comments section of the story that it was always "iffy" to take tours to Willets but it had always been left to the discretion of guides.
Tour guides, many of whom live in Willets, said they were "shocked and confused" when they were told Willets is now off limits, Flores said.
When reached by phone Jim Bock, vice president and dean of admissions said there has been no policy change, but a "clarification" made for tour guides. Bock said the tour of Willets added too much time to the tour.
"We have tried to streamline the route - even though this is a small school there is a lot to see," Bock said.
As for the smell, Bock said there have been some general complaints over the years but he has not directly received them.
"It is the reality of what college is like," Bock said.
Willets is described as one of the "livelier dorms on campus" on the college website. It houses mostly freshman and sophomores and has a no-smoking policy.
On the website Swat History, the author goes a bit further, saying the residential housing unit is the "loudest, rowdiest, and most social dorm" on campus.
"Its reputation for bad smells and drunk inhabitants (which is only partially deserved) makes Willets one of the last dorms to be picked in the housing lottery," according to the website.
Student reaction to the story in the newspaper has been mixed.
"Willets is a miserable, noisy, smelly, outdated, ungodly hot, hellhole of a pit, but that's exactly why prospective students should tour it. They might be unlucky enough to get stuck there," stated Ian G., class of 2018, in the comments section.