I think I did my MIT swim test about a week before graduating. Still not sure what the point was. (We also had to do four PE classes. I did ice skating and archery.)
Last I heard, Dartmouth still requires one. I did my swim test in the dead of winter and my wet hair froze on the way home. Ah, the good old days...
Kids today ... I had to do my swim test at Columbia despite the fact that indoor pools give me the howling fantods. They oughtta have to do it too! Right after they get off my lawn!
Just make it part of the scav hunt.
I really think this is a bad idea to can. Everyone needs to at least feel okay in the water.
The more significant thing is that it looks like U of C has dropped all Phys Ed requirements. We were required to have 3 half semesters of PE (pass/fail) to graduate, and it was one of the last things I finished, courtesy of some friends who got them to create a bowling course. We bowled for 2.5 hours for 7 straight weeks on Saturday at a sketchy bowling alley in Southeast Memphis.
Clearly, you would be a force to be reckoned with in the annual MIT Hunger Games.
At Cornell, the swim test is done on the first day of orientation. It makes for a hectic day, trying to get that done while you're also trying to move into your dorm, but it's a bonding experience--I remained friendly with some of the other girls I had to wait in line with. Anyway, I think it's still useful.
I love hearing about others' crazy PE courses. My two required semesters were ballroom dancing and scuba diving. Word to the wise Cornell undergraduates: if you take bowling, you can drink beer during class.
I was told the point was a donor had stipulated that all students had to pass a swim test, in memory of his drowned son (who may or may not have been an MIT student at the time, it depended on who was telling the story).
Wait. What is the purpose of a swim test? Beyond determining your swimming ability. Why would a university need to know this? This is one of those places I was ripped off because I went to public school, isn't it? No one cared if I could swim there.
We were told the same story down the road at Wellesley, but you only had to do the swim test if you wanted to do any other sort of aquatic activity (dorm/class crew, etc.)
I vaguely recall someone saying something about some influential alumni's kid drowning, and how the requirement was instituted after that because Never Again ... but that actually may have been when I learned what an urban legend was, come to think of it.
As far as I am concerned, learning to swim is a required life skill, like cooking and doing your own laundry. Oh, and learning how to drive stick shift. (Sorry, just gearing up for yelling at Race contestants.)
My husband shared the same story about Columbia. Either wealthy donors all fail to teach their kids to swim, or....
Notre Dame still has one. http://www.ndsmcobserver.com/news/fitness-test-undergoes-changes-improvements-1.2866463#.UGmokY7B7aq
Indeed. Knowing how to swim is way, way more useful than anything I picked up in Music Appreciation or Art History or any of a number of other required courses. If parents are sending their kids to get a broad liberal education, why shouldn't a few basic physical activities be included in the mix?