Please Return the Swem Sheep


Callie Booth ’24 is a government and history double major. She is also involved with Random Acts of Kindness Club and serves as a DJ for WCWM 90.9 FM. Email Callie at

The views expressed in the article are the author’s own.

After my return from spring break, I was dreading the last few weeks of class before the summer break. With papers and final projects looming near, I walked over to Earl Gregg Swem Library the night before classes were to resume and saw what would become a phenomenon around the College of William and Mary campus: the Swem sheep.

The Swem sheep were a flock of three yellow, plastic sheep which were located on the newly constructed patio outside of Swem Library.  The sheep were the newest celebrities on campus, gaining massive popularity on social media. Many other students could be seen studying with the sheep on the patio. These sheep became a point of discussion for my friends and I, and several of us joked about potentially “adopting” one of the sheep to be a new decoration for our dorms. 

However, less than a week after students returned from break, these sheep were stolen from their home pasture of the Swem patio. Although one of the sheep has been returned, the other two are still adrift from their home. These sheep brought so much happiness to the campus community and need to be returned to their rightful home.  

Swem can be a scary, stressful place for many students to go. The atmosphere in the library is almost one of universal imposter syndrome for me, where I always feel like I’m not doing enough compared to the other students who are sitting around me typing away on their upcoming papers. I used to fully dread going to Swem, but when the sheep were there, they were able to put a smile on my face and lift my spirits before going inside for a study session.  

It wasn’t just the adorable appearance of the sheep that made people happy either.  Sometimes, students would arrange the sheep onto the patio furniture to look like they were sitting at a table together.  Other times, I could walk by and find all three of the sheep stacked on top of each other. The sheep were like a quasi-moral support system, always there to remind you that there will be good in the world, even if you don’t ace your paper and even if it is in the form of animal-shaped plastic patio furniture.  

The College’s official library account, meme accounts and many other students have posted about wanting the sheep (or “Sweep”, as some call them) to be returned. Now, I also join them in imploring you to return the Swem sheep. As we enter the last full month of the school year, people need a pick-me-up in the form of a plastic sheep now more than ever. Finals, term papers, projects and job applications are on the minds of all students. Swem is becoming even more crowded as students pile in to complete their ever-growing list of assignments.  

To whoever has the Swem sheep: I implore you to think of your fellow students, who also loved seeing the Swem sheep. The Swem sheep deserved to be enjoyed by all and not just the select few who decided to steal them in the cover of night. The next few weeks are some of the most stressful of the year for many students, so please return the sheep. 


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News Editor Callie Booth ’24 is a History major and American Studies Minior from Rustburg, VA. She previously served as a Chief Staff Writer, and is also involved with with Random Acts of Kindness Club, the Botetourt Squat, and serves as a Resident Assistant. Outside of the Flat Hat, you can find her crocheting, walking through Colonial Williamsburg, or studying at the Daily Grind.


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