Welcome to Earl Gregg Swem Library, where stressed-out students madly typing papers due the next day and procrastinating students sneakily watching “Gilmore Girls” gather for the perfect blend of silence, camaraderie and caffeine.
Silence and camaraderie are not difficult to find at Swem, after all. The second and third floors are often so quiet that even a cough is met with death glares, and camaraderie is built as the hours tick by torturously with no one moving a muscle except to turn page after page of readings.
Caffeine is also found easily at Swem, but students arguably value it more than the silence or camaraderie.
Swem Aromas, fondly dubbed Swemromas, lies on the ground floor of Swem, directly to the left of the library’s entrance. It’s a new addition to the College of William and Mary, opening this semester as part of the Dining Services transition from Aramark to Sodexo USA.
Like its larger and better-known counterpart – the popular Aromas World located on Prince George Street – Swemromas offers a plethora of beverages and food.
Hot chocolate is a popular choice among students, as are specialty drinks like the s’mores latte, tribe mocha and rooibos tea. Caffeine, in the form of coffee, is also a favorite.
Unlike the main Aromas cafe, Swemromas’ fare is limited to soup, sandwiches and desserts that are prepared at Aromas and transported to its sister location daily. Baked goods, such as chocolate croissants and biscotti, are also available.
Swemromas has been the object of student adulation since its opening, a fact most evident between classes, when the ordering line extends almost out of the door.
Students spend time (and Flex) at Swemromas for a variety of reasons — first, the quality of everything on Swemromas’ menu, from its coffee to its cookies, is comparable to the high quality available at the main Aromas.
Additionally, the atmosphere at Swemromas is a welcome change from the rest of Swem. Swemromas is cozy; photos of the College decorate the walls, which exude positive vibes and induce a relaxing state. It can also be comforting to hear a din of voices, rather than stark silence, when pretending to dissect Nietzsche while actually chatting with friends.
The final selling point of Swemromas is its staff. Even though the rush of students looks daunting to most observers, Swemromas’ baristas are always friendly, serving up smiles, delicious food and drinks, and even compliments on a daily basis.
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