Tuesday, September 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
Tuesday, September 23, 1997
Volume 2, Number 17


1)  Earthlust protests plutonium-fueled space module

2)  Power outages don’t signal trouble in Sharples, McDougal says

3)  World news roundup


1)  Kutztown takes out women’s tennis

2)  Today’s and tomorrow’s contests


Today:      Overcast, windy, good chance of rain. High near 75.
             Tweed.  Definitely a good day for tweed.
Tonight:    Partly cloudy, cool. Low of 50.
             Might be time to break out a heavy jacket.
Wednesday:  Continued cloudiness, breezy. High around 65.


1)  Earthlust protests plutonium-fueled space module

Earthlust sponsored a letter-writing campaign Monday to protest the planned
Oct. 6 launch of the Cassini module, a space probe which is to be fueled by
72.3 pounds of plutonium.

The probe will be launched into space by a Titan IV rocket and will orbit
Venus, fly by Earth and then go to Saturn, where it will collect data.

In 35 handwritten letters penned between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Earthlust
members and their supporters expressed concern about and opposition to the
probe, arguing that it is dangerous because plutonium can cause cancer in
microscopic doses. According to Earthlust literature, there is a one in 12
chance that the rocket will explode while it is being launched. A Titan IV
rocket last exploded during a 1992 launch.

The probe will come within 312 miles of Earth. Earthlust member Jessica
Watson ’00 said, “If the trajectory or anything else is off, then it could
disintegrate into the Earth’s atmosphere.”  The U.S. government has said
that the probe will not explode, although during tests conducted by the
government, the thermal generators that contain the plutonium did not
always remain intact.

Watson said the number of letters written was “not disappointing” because
“having the letters written by hand [takes more time].”  She felt the
letters would carry more weight because they were not form letters.

The letters will be sent to President Clinton as well as writers’ senators
and representatives.


2)  Power outages don’t signal trouble in Sharples, McDougal says

The brief power outage that occurs almost daily in Sharples Dining Hall
around 7 p.m. is due to a switch in the power source, according to Linda
McDougal, director of dining services. Because Swarthmore receives only a
certain amount of power from its main supplier, PECO, the college must
switch to a different source late in the day. During the switch, power in
Sharples is cut off briefly.

“There is nothing wrong with Sharples,” McDougal said.

McDougal also said that the conveyor belt at the tray disposal area had
been repaired at the beginning of the semester. The belt had moved very
slowly because the motor was broken. “It should be running at the speed
it’s always run at when it’s not broken,” McDougal said.

Dining service workers hope the increased speed will alleviate long lines.
But they said the best way to reduce a lengthy wait is to put the trays on
nearby holding carts.

The dishbelt’s speed boost had a mixed reception with students. Daniel
Littlewood ’00 said, “I noticed [the belt] moving much faster on the first
day. … It really makes a difference.” But many have overlooked the
change. “The problem,” Chuck Groom ’00 hypothesized, “is not that the belt
isn’t moving faster … [but] that so many frosh don’t know the ropes so
they end up clogging the lines anyway.”


3) World news roundup


President Clinton on Monday told the U.N. General Assembly that he is
sending the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which would prohibit nuclear
weapons tests worldwide, to the Senate for ratification. He signed the
treaty a year ago but waited to forward it to the Senate. Some Republican
senators signaled their opposition to the pact, saying the United States
would be more vulnerable if it could not test nuclear weapons.


The Socialist Party of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic swept
legislative elections Sunday, but its presidential candidate, Zoran Lilic,
failed to win a majority and faces an October runoff against an ardent
nationalist, the Radical Party’s Vojislav Seselj. Analysts said the
pro-democracy opposition, which boycotted Sunday’s elections, would likely
see Lilic as the lesser of two evils and support him. Milosevic is
constitutionally barred from seeking a third term as president.


A mysterious brown cloud appeared Monday outside Russia’s Mir space
station, which also experienced computer and ventilation problems, but NASA
said it would continue preparing to send astronaut David Wolf to the craft
Thursday. … Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, speaking to the U.N.
General Assembly, offered to negotiate a non-aggression treaty with India,
his country’s long-standing rival. … A former environmental adviser to
Russian President Boris Yeltsin said that some of Russia’s portable nuclear
bombs may be missing, supporting earlier assertions by Alexander Lebed,
Yeltsin’s former security adviser.



1)  Kutztown takes out women’s tennis

The women’s tennis team lost its Monday-evening match against Kutztown 8-1.
Jennifer Pao ’01 had Swarthmore’s only win, beating her opponent 6-0, 6-1.

2)  Today’s and tomorrow’s contests

Field hockey hosts Drew at 4 p.m. on Cunningham Field.

Men’s soccer travels to Stevens Tech for a 7 p.m. game.
Women’s soccer hosts Franklin and Marshall at 4 p.m.
Volleyball travels to Neumann for a 6 p.m. game.


Interested in reporting or writing for the Gazette? Just want to tell us
what you think? Contact the Board of Editors at

Got a news tip for us?
E-mail gazette-news@student-publications.swarthmore.edu.

Want to contact our sports editors?
E-mail gazette-sports@student-publications.swarthmore.edu.

The Daily Gazette
Board of Editors
Fred Bush
Kate Doty
Aarti Iyer
Jennifer Klein
Karen Lloyd
Lorrin Nelson
Sam Schulhofer-Wohl

Rafi Dowty

Contributing Writer
Trang Pham

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This concludes today’s report.

Copyright 1997 by The Daily Gazette. All rights reserved.

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