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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Brandeis senior cheers as member of Rev Girls

Published: January 16, 2015
Section: Features

Like many students at Brandeis, Jennifer Swain’s ’15 precious free time is divided between obligations that demand nearly as much commitment and time as academics. Swain spends her time outside of the classroom as a member of the New England Revolution soccer team’s Rev Girls.

Far more than a soccer cheer squad, this all-female promotional team makes appearances at charitable venues as well as promotional and business events throughout the greater Boston area and in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Despite being born in California, Swain considers herself a New Englander after spending the majority of her childhood in Massachusetts and attending school in Concord, MA. She joined the Rev Girls after many years playing as a right forward in soccer and visiting Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, throughout her childhood.

The process for becoming a member of this team is competitive and based as much, if not more so, on soccer knowledge than on cheering skills and experience. After rounds of resume review, candidates must go through formal interview processes at Gillette Stadium. Finalists advanced to rounds of Revolution-based questions designed to test candidates’ knowledge of the team, including trivia questions and even facial recognition tests of Revolution players, as well as question and answer sections. The girls are also tested in varying social situations, as interaction with fans is a central part of being on the team.

According to the Revolution Club homepage, the Rev Girls provide more than a roster of uniformed faces. The website states, “The Rev Girls perform various roles at nonprofit events, including providing assistance with fundraising efforts, added value and presence for promotional events and an outgoing dimension of soccer and sports knowledge.” This, according to Swain, is the most rewarding part of being on the team. “I love the fans and the feeling of being at the games … but the charity events are absolutely amazing,” she said.
Swain came to Brandeis in 2013, after two years at the University of Rochester where she was an active member of the cheerleading team. On a whim, the then-junior decided to try out for the Revolution Cheerleading team, given her new proximity to Foxborough. She became an official member last February.

The team is comprised of 22 women in their 20s, some college students and others college graduates, and all united by a love of sports. With so many differing lifestyles and ages present on the team, Swain admits conflicting schedules are often problematic. Still, the Rev Girls manage to practice every other week. They also participate in multiple events per month during the season, which runs from March to December, depending on how the soccer team performs in regular season and playoff games.

Swain chose to transfer to Brandeis in order to be closer to home. According to Swain, the smaller classes and proximity to Boston made Brandeis the best choice for this Concord native. Despite what she admits to be marginally sub-par food and lack of availability of campus parking facilities for commuter students, Swain has never regretted her decision. Since arriving almost two years ago, she has thoroughly enjoyed the sense of community that Brandeis’ smaller student body size offers. As Swain put it, “I like going into classes and knowing people and having one-on-one time with professors who seem invested in their students.”

Despite changing schools, Swain’s academic focus has remained the same: politics. Following her switch to Brandeis, she has since added a history minor to her political science major. Outside of academics and cheer, Swain also competes on the Brandeis equestrian team. When not traveling to events as part of the Revolution’s busy seasonal schedule, the senior waitresses at Bertucci’s in Waltham and does promotional work for Miller Light and Bacardi beverage companies.

Looking to the future, Swain hopes to stay at Brandeis to earn her master’s degree in teaching so that she can teach social sciences for middle and high school students.