Wednesday, April 16, 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
Wednesday, April 16, 1997
Volume 1, Number 53


1)  Curriculum committee proposes change in Senior Honors Study grading

2)  Housing committee giveth, and Housing Committee taketh away


1)  Yesterday’s results:  women’s tennis, baseball, women’s lacrosse, men’s

2)  Tonight’s and tomorrow’s contests

Weather Forecast

Today:    Cloudy and windy, but small chance of rain. High around 65.
         Fleece jacket or pullover.
Tonight:  Rain beginning around midnight. Low around 40.
         Stay inside.
Thursday: Showers throughout the day. High of 55.


The Daily Gazette suggested on Monday that Movie Committee planned to show
Scream and The People vs. Larry Flynt next semester. Movie Committee will
be showing both films at the end of this semester, on May 9th and 10th,
location TBA.


1)  Curriculum Committee proposes change to grading of Senior Honors Study

At its meeting yesterday, the Curriculum Committee decided to propose a
change in the way Senior Honors Study would be graded. Under this proposal,
which must be discussed by the faculty before it becomes official policy,
Senior Honors Study will be given a grade on a student’s transcript of “H”
for Honors, “HH” for High Honors, and “HHH” for Highest Honors. Located
elsewhere on the transcript will be a description of what each grade of
honors signifies.

The Curriculum Committee viewed this as a more elegant way to grade senior
honors study than assigning a simple letter grade, said Rachel Henighan
’97, a student representative to the Committee. The Committee, which had
previously decided to assign grades of A+ for Highest Honors, A for High
Honors, and B+ for Honors to Senior Honors Study, also briefly considered
changing the B+ to A, or giving credit/no credit. However, the vote was
unanimous in favor of the new proposal, after a lengthy discussion, said

The rationale for including grades for Senior Honors Study was that
graduate programs often look at GPA as an important determining factor for
admissions, and without a letter grade for SHS, they were unable to
calculate GPAs. The descriptions of the levels of Honors at the bottom of
the transcript will include letter grade equivalents, so, with a little
work, GPA can be calculated. It is the same thing external examiners see
when they’re told how to grade students for the honors exams, said

The proposal will now be discussed by faculty before becoming official.
Students, who had expressed concern over the earlier grade proposal, will
be able to give their input into the process in a special open meeting next


2) Housing Committee giveth, and Housing Committee taketh away

After erroneously awarding a block on Friday to students whose application
was invalid, Housing Committee has decided not to recalculate housing
results. A block in Wharton was awarded to a group of students who were
ineligible for it because HC members misread the block housing application.
Later, when the error was discovered, the block was declared invalid and no
one was awarded the block.

However, at least one other group had applied for that block. Said Dave
Mimno ’99, “I’m glad that I’m going to be living in Mertz, but I would
rather have lived in Wharton. [The Wharton] block was my first choice. I
got my third choice instead…”

Director of Residential Life Myrt Westphal explained the rationale for not
awarding the block to another group: “We stated at the beginning of the
blocking session that we would take away blocks if we discovered mistakes,
but we would not reassign them.” It would take too much effort to
recalculate blocking, as each block reassigned would have a “domino

Currently, block applications are processed by hand; it takes Housing
Committee student members several hours to allocate blocks. Calculations
are checked several times, and the block assignments are read aloud. “No
one noticed the mistake, even though the gender balance for the block was
all wrong,” said Westphal.

The system is not computerized, Westphal said, because the current AIMS
software is “not doing what it is supposed to do,” and the college is in
the midst of changing over to the new BANNER system.

Mimno remains unsatisfied with the explanation: “We were basically screwed
over. It was’t bad luck… it was that Housing Committee made a mistake,
and they’re not going to take the effort (albeit a very substantial effort)
to try and fix it.”



1)  Yesterday’s results

Swarthmore 8, Muhlenberg 1
Playing her first full game since returning from a sprained ankle, Michelle
Martinez ’97 won at #1 singles and lead the Garnet to their second
conference victory for the season. “I still can’t run down all the shots I
want to run down.” said Martinez. “But it’s so good to just be playing

First-years found themselves playing doubles matches, and rose to the
challenge: Sara Coe ’00 and Laura Brown ’00 won their doubles match.
Swarthmore swept all the singles matches even without Neena Shenai ’99
playing, and only dropped one close-fought doubles match. The Garnet are
2-6 in the conference, and 3-11 overall.

Muhlenberg 18, Swarthmore 17
The Garnet came from behind twice in the final innings but failed to
preserve the tie in the bottom of the ninth inning. Joe Aleffi ’00 went 3-5
including a base-clearing triple. Steve Farneth ’00 also collected three
hits, one of which was a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth that
tied the game at 17.

Swarthmore 14, Mulhenberg 11
Betsy Rosenbaum ’98 led the Garnet with 4 goals, with Holly Baker ’99
notching 3 goals and 1 assist. Alicia Googins ’00 also turned in a solid
performance, winning key draws to help the Garnet gain momentum after an
otherwise sluggish start. Swarthmore is now 8-2 overall, and 4-1 in the
Centennial Conference.

Swarthmore d. West Chester  15-9, 15-3, 1-15, 12-15, 15-6
It took five sets, but seniors Matt Sosland and Kevin Koo saw victory in
the last home match of their careers.


2)  Tonight’s and tomorrow’s contests

Men’s lacrosse plays at Washington in a 3:30 p.m. game.
Softball has a doubleheader at Ursinus, first game starting at 2:30 p.m.
Track and field hosts a dual meet against Bates at 4 p.m.

THURSDAY (17 April)
Women’s lacrosse travels to Rowan for a 4 p.m. game.
Women’s tennis hosts Franklin and Marshall  in a 4 p.m. match.


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This concludes today’s report.

Copyright 1997 by The Daily Gazette.  All rights reserved.

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