Monday, March 23, 1997

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

The Daily Gazette

Swarthmore College
Monday, March 23, 1997
Volume 1, Number 36


1)  Swarthmore engineers build a better mouse

2)  The Washington Post’s Juan Williams speaks on objectivity in the media

3)  Student Council highlights

4)  Rattech in need of director, seeking applications


1)  The weekend’s results

2)  Tonight’s and tomorrow’s contests


1) Swarthmore engineers build a better mouse

A robotic “mouse” programmed by a group of Swarthmore engineering students
captured first place by a wide margin in a race Saturday at Drexel
University. Teams of engineers from area colleges and universities
programmed small robots to explore a maze and find the fastest way to go
through it. Each robot’s final score was a combination of the time it took
on its fastest run through the maze, plus a penalty for time spent

Swarthmore’s mouse finished in 51 seconds, including the penalty for
exploring the maze. The second-place team, from Temple University, had a
time of 2 minutes 39 seconds. Swarthmore also entered a second mouse, which
would have taken second place in 1 minute 12 seconds had judges not decided
that each school could enter only one robot.

Other contestants in Saturday’s contest, which was sponsored by the
Philadelphia chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics
Engineers, included teams from Penn State, Drexel, Widener and Lafayette.
Swarthmore will now take its mouse to a regional competition at Princeton
University on April 12.

Andrew Brown ’97, Allison Marsh ’98, John Rieffel ’99 and Noah Salzman ’98
programmed Swarthmore’s mouse under the direction of Silvio Eberhardt,
assistant professor of engineering.


2) The Washington Post’s Juan Williams speaks on objectivity in the media

Juan Williams of The Washington Post delivered the McCabe Memorial Lecture
Friday night, focusing on objectivity in the news media. As Friday was the
first night of Black Alumni Weekend, the lecture attracted a capacity crowd
of students, faculty, and alumni to the Scheuer Room.

The lecture was followed by a panel discussion on the media and the
liberal-conservative divide here at Swarthmore which included Reuben Canada
’99 of SASS, Franklin Rubinstein ’97 of HOLA, Hillary Thompson ’99 of SCU,
and Vincent Jones ’98 of the College Democrats.

As a political analyst for the Post as well as a frequent guest on
television programs like Crossfire, Capital Gang Sunday, and Inside
Washington, Williams cautioned, “I don’t come to you as a casual
observer…this speech is coming from one of the talking heads.”

According to Williams, persistent and dangerous biases in the media taint
both the print and broadcast mediums of his trade, subtly influencing
American politics and minds. The biases are not necessarily liberal or
conservative, he said, but always stem from the need for reporters and
writers to be “sensationalistic voyeurs” of pop culture and politics.

The media, Williams emphasized, strives “to dramatize news, to make
everything into a crisis” in order to secure readers and viewers. By
focusing on theatrics, he explained, the media ignores the real power
processes of politics, disregards long-standing problems, and facilitates
interest-group politics. These biases are dangerous, he concluded, when
“the media becomes a mirror for skillful, manipulative politicians” who use
such theatrics to give Americans subconscious impressions of politics and
public figures.


3) Student Council highlights

Student Council members reported the progress of a number of their working
groups this week. One SC working group will survey students this week on
the quality of food and service in Essie Mae’s snack bar in Tarble, and on
smoking in the Tarble lounge.

Another SC working group says it will present a proposal at next week’s
meeting for Council to sponsor a major event, such as a lecture or a
concert, next fall. Funding would come from the Student Activities Fund and
the Dean’s Office, said SC member Josh Alloy ’98, who is in charge of the

In other business, SC treasurer Frank Mote ’00 said Council has resurrected
its Take-a-Professor-to-Lunch program, after a hiatus of nearly a year. The
program was suspended because too many students were treating their
professors to meals in the dining hall, and SC couldn’t afford to pay the
resulting bills.

Council also heard several reports from Budget Committee treasurer Vincent
Jones ’98. Jones asked Council to approve a BC allocation of $1650 to Spike
magazine, since under BC’s rules SC must approve any expenditure over
$1000. Council approved the allocation after noting that this was the first
time in recent memory that SC actually reviewed a large BC expenditure.

Jones also asked Council to coordinate the dates on which the BC treasurer,
the Student Publications Coordinator and the Halcyon editors are hired, so
that all student government employees are hired at the same time so as to
improve the operation of BC. After discussing the issue for an hour, SC
decided to defer a decision until later in the week.

Finally, Jones presented Council with a report indicating that
approximately one third of the Student Activities Fund is spent on campus
publications, an amount that he thinks should be reduced. SC did not
discuss the report but thanked Jones for presenting it.

The Daily Gazette is an independent organization and does not receive
funding from student government.


4) Rattech in need of director, seeking applications

Rattech, the student organization that provides sound systems for campus
parties, is without a director because apparently no one applied for the
position during the recent round of Concessions appointments. Without a
director, Rattech will be unable to organize music for campus parties after
April 1.

According to John Todd ’97, SEO co-director and member of the Concessions
Committee, the Committee is now seeking applicants for the position. Anyone
interested should contact Shirley Salmeron or Jen Leigh.



1)  The weekend’s results

Delaware Valley 25, Swarthmore 12
Delaware Valley 11, Swarthmore 6
On the day, Pat Straub ’97 collected five hits, scored five runs, and drove
in three. Dan Malkoun ’97 also had a fine day at the plate: four hits, four
runs, and two driven in. Jeremy Bonder ’97 collected three hits in the
first game. The Garnet fall to 1-9 on the season.

Drew Invitational Tournament
Tufts 7, Swarthmore 6
Drew 8, Swarthmore 2
Marcus Shin ’00 scored two goals in the losing effort against Tufts. Adam
Dickinson ’00 and Pete Karacki ’98 each scored a goal against Drew in the
consolation game. Swarthmore falls to 0-5 on the season.

Swarthmore 10, Lynchburg 5
“We played with a lot of heart,” said senior captain Kristen Osborne.  “We
were always the first to the loose balls.”  The Garnet defense did an
excellent job of denying cuts the entire game and held Lynchburg to only
one goal in the first half.  Sam Peltz ’97 intercepted many goalie clears,
holding Lynchburg to a primarily defensive game.  The Garnet’s record
improves to 2-0 on the season.

University of Pennsylvania 22, Swarthmore 10
Dan Schwan ’97 scored a try. The second try was pushed in by the pack off a
line-out and touched down by Chris Jahnke ’98.

Swarthmore A-Side 15, Lehigh 0
Swarthmore B-Side 15, Lehigh 0
On the A-side tries were scored by Christina Costas ’99, the forward pack,
and forward captain Hanan Hussein ’97.  On the B-side tries were scored by
Pia Houseal ’97, Danielle D’Olivera ’00 and Sarah Cross ’99.  The Women
Ruggers are now 2-0.

Drew 11, Swarthmore 2
Drew 23, Swarthmore 12
Rhiana Swartz ’00 pitched a complete game in her first start ever in game
two. Only nine of Drew’s 25 runs were earned. Michelle Walsh ’98 went 4-4
at the plate in the second game. Swarthmore stands at 2-8 on the year.

Ursinus 5, Swarthmore 4
In their season opener last Friday, the Garnet were even with Ursinus going
into the final match of the day, #5 singles.  Elena Rosenbaum ’98 lost a
close game at that spot, forcing her opponent to three sets.  Swarthmore is
now 0-1 on the season.

Swarthmore 6, Maryland 2
Swarthmore 10, William and Mary 4
Swarthmore 11, Penn State 7
Swarthmore 11, Delaware 2
Princeton 11, Swarthmore 3
The War Mothers took second this weekend in the Kobayashi Maru tournament
at the University of Maryland, losing only to Princeton in the title match.
Their record advances to 7-2 in Ultimate Players Association
(UPA)-sponsored matches.


2)  Tonight’s and tomorrow’s contests

The golf team opens its season with a tri-match against Philadelphia
Textile and Philadelphia Pharmacy. The baseball team hosts Lebanon Valley
at 3:30 p.m.

Men’s tennis travels to the University of Pennsylvania for a 3:00 p.m. contest.
Softball travels to Washington College for a doubleheader starting at 2:30 p.m.
The baseball team hosts Wesley at 3:30 p.m.


***Write for The Daily Gazette! If you are interested in reporting or
writing, please reply to this email or contact a member of the Board of

The Daily Gazette
Board of Editors
Fred Bush
Kate Doty
Jennifer Klein
David Lischer
Eric Pakurar
Sam Schulhofer-Wohl
Sylvia Weedman

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This concludes today’s report.

Copyright 1997 by The Daily Gazette.  All rights reserved.

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