Tuesday, March 24, 1998

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, March 24, 1998
Volume 2, Number 102


1)  Student Council debates role of Representative to Board of Managers

2)  Swarthmore MicroMouse triumphs at regional meet

3)  World news roundup


1)  Baseball falls to Widener

2)  Today’s and tomorrow’s events


Today:        Sunny early, but not after noon. High of 50.
               Titanic wins Oscar for Most Over-rated Movie!!
Tonight:      Not sunny. Its night. (clearing). Low around 30.
               Let’s face it — The Full Monty was cheated.
Wednesday:    Another cloudy day. High near 55.


1) Student Council debates role of Representative to Board of Managers

The Student Council discussed yesterday what action to take after SC
representative to the Board of Managers Laura Barandes ’99 distributed an
eight page report about the Holocaust revision debate on campus to
the Board of Managers at their last meeting .

Student Council co-Chair Ryan Peterson ’00 brought the issue to the table,
arguing that although the report was issued under Barandes’s role as voice
for student opinion, Barandes had not received enough input from students
to legitimately present such a packet to the Board of Managers.

The revisionism controversy began several weeks ago when Holocaust
revisionist pamphlets were placed in student mailboxes. After the Phoenix
printed a letter from a Holocaust revisionist defending the distribution of
revisionist literature about the campus, student Ari Plost ’98 wrote a
letter to editors Patrick Runkle ’98 and Min Lee ’00, arguing that the
revisionist letter should not have been printed.  The following week’s
Phoenix featured a cartoon by Wilson Kello ’98 with the words “censored by
Ari Plost” written across the cartoon box.

At the Board of Managers meeting the next morning, February 28, Barandes
distributed an eight page report on the revisionist debate at Swarthmore.
The packet included Plost’s letter, the Phoenix’s response, a Time Magazine
article about the distributor of the pamphlets, and a two page letter by
Barandes about the situation which mentioned Lee, Runkle, and Kello.

On the same day Barandes distributed copies of these packets to members of
the Student Council.  All Student Council members received copies of the
material presented in the mail the next Monday, except for Peterson and his
co-Chair Ashwin Rao ’99, who did not receive copies in the mail until that

According to Article 1, Section 1, 2:4 of the Swarthmore Constitution,
student representatives to the Board should act as “observers.”  Peterson,
Vincent Jones ’98, and Runkle voiced concern during the meeting that by
presenting material to the Board Barandes had overstepped her role as

Runkel called Barandes’s actions “a gross abuse of power. Laura is an
observer. If that doesn’t prohibit her from handing out information, it
damn well should. 68 of the most influential people in the USA were
discussing Min Lee, Wilson Kello, and me, and we had no ability to respond
to the Board of Managers.”

Barandes stated that in handing out the packets her “general purpose was to
inform,” and that she had been attempting to give the Board of Managers a
context in which to view the situation. She stated that the Board had asked
her to comment on the situation.

Barandes said, “my job is to find out student opinion. The cartoon came out
that Friday, I talked to many students on Friday. I did my homework: I
solicited student opinion. I petitioned 120 people.”

However, Peterson argued that between the 12 hours that the Phoenix cartoon
came out and the Board met, Barandes should have contacted the Student
Council about distributing the packets.  “I feel it is abhorrent that Laura
abused her power in this way,” he stated.

The debate over the actions of Barandes also focused on Barandes’s
signature to the documents. Barandes signed the packet “Student Council
Representative to the Board of Managers.”  Peterson argued that this
signature was a misrepresentation, since only one other SC member, Mauriel
Acevedo-Diaz ’01, was consulted before the distribution of the packets to
the Board of Managers.

Several SC members, including Acevedo-Diaz, felt that the night’s agenda
failed to explain ahead of time that Barandes was in danger of impeachment,
and thus did not prepare SC members for a good discussion of the topic.
The agenda read “Ryan will discuss Laura’s response to the Board of

After about 90 minutes of sometimes heated debate, a movement by Peterson
to impeach Barandes was not seconded.  The Council then decided 6-5 against
sending a notice to the Board of Managers explaining that Barandes had
acted without consulting much of the Council and that the Council did not
necessarily support her views. Several students present at the meeting had
spoken in support of this measure.

A proposal to reword the current Constitution to redefine “observer” and
more clearly explain the observer’s role was then defeated 5-5 with one
abstention. The Council concluded the discussion by tabling the topic
until the next week by a vote of 9-2.

The SC will resume the discussion at its next meeting, Monday, March 30, at
8:00 p.m. in Kohlberg 228. The SC welcomes student input about the


2) Swarthmore MicroMouse triumphs at regional meet

On Saturday, March 21, a team from Swarthmore won first place in the Annual
IEEE Region II MicroMouse competition for the second year in a row. The
Micromouse competition involves building and programming an autonomous
robot to navigate and solve a maze in minimal time.

The Swarthmore team was led by John Rieffel ’99 and included Allison Marsh
’98 and Noah Salzman ’98 and advisors Professor Silvio Eberhardt and
Professor Carr Everbach. Swarthmore’s “SwatBot” swept the maze in a mere 40
seconds – 55 seconds seconds faster than second-place micromouse of Penn
State. Lafayette
College’s mouse placed third but never solved the maze.  The competetion
was held at Drexel University.


3)  World news roundup


The Supreme Court passed over two high-publicity appeals were passed over
by the nation’s highest court yesterday.  The Court refused to review an
appeal of a decision overturning an Ohio state law banning partial birth
abortion. The bill had been overturned on the grounds that there was no
provision allowing operations for pregnant women under risk of “severe
psychological and emotional injury.” The other appeal concerned a
California Proposition imposing term limits on state Senators and
Assemblyman. By refusing to review the appeal, the Supreme Court has
allowed the term limits to remain law.



WEST REGIONAL                        EAST REGIONAL
Duke (2)                77                 North Carolina State (4)     60
Arkansas (9)            72                 Connecticut (2)              52

Lousiana Tech (3)       72                  Tenessee (1)                76
Purdue (4)              65                  North Carolina (2)          70


This morning, at 12:32 a.m., James Cameron’s $200 million megamovie
“Titanic” received the Academy Award for Best Picture, its eleventh award
of the night and one short of breaking “Ben-Hur”‘s 1959 record. “Titanic”
also won in the categories of Best Director, James Cameron, and Best Song,
“My Heart Will Go Down.” Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt won Best Actor and
Actress for the romantic comedy “As Good as it Gets,” Robin Williams won
Best Supporting Actor for “Good Will Hunting,” and Kim Basinger received
Best Supporting Actress for her role in “L.A. Confidential.”

other awards:








250,000 Ghanaians cheered Clinton yesterday in the nation’s capital of Accra,
as he called for close U.S.-Ghana relations in the future. … A North
Korean spokesman announced yesterday that the DDPK (North Korea) would not
participate in any peace talks until the U.S. signs a peace treaty with the
nation and withdraws the 37,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea. …
Pope John Paul II was warmly welcomed in Nigeria as he spoke on his
conviction that the Islam government will do all in its power to ensure
human rights for members of all religions. … The California Supreme Court
ruled yesterday that the Boy Scouts are an expressive group rather than a
business and can therefore discriminate based on religion and sexual
orientation. … Boris Yeltsin fired the majority of his cabinet yesterday,
advising his now ex-prime minister to run for president in 2000 and
assuring news services that there would be no change in Russion policy.  An
administration official proclaimed U.S. approval for the action. … Demi
Moore won her second consecutive Golden Razzie award for her performance in
“G.I. Jane-” last year she won the imprestigious award for “Striptease.”



1)  Baseball falls to Widener

The baseball team lost to Widener 17-5 yesterday. Carlos Fitti ’00 played well
both offensively and defensively, hitting one homerun and 3 RBI’s. Joe Aleffi
’00 went 3 for 5 with 1 RBI. First year Clayton Cohn ’01 had a single.
Swarthmore is now 3-6 for the season.


2)  Today’s and tomorrow’s events

Golf hosts Philadelphia Pharmacy and Drexel at 1:00 p.m.
Softball hosts Washington in a doubleheader starting at 2:30 p.m.
Women’s tennis hosts Washington in a 3:30 p.m. match.
Women’s lacrosse jets to Washington College for a 4:00 p.m. match.

There are no contests scheduled for tomorrow.


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

Want to contact our sports editors? E-mail

The Daily Gazette
Board of Editors
Mary Elizabeth Alvarez
Ross Bowling
Massey Burke
Fred Bush
Steve Dawson
Lorrin Nelson
Cathy Polinsky
Elizabeth Weber

Staff Writers
Josh Bess
Joseph Genereux
Aarti Iyer
Jennifer Klein
Tamala Montgomery
Nathanael Stulman
Maureen Vernon

Rafi Dowty

The Daily Gazette is published Monday through Friday by an independent
group of Swarthmore College students. Technical support from the Swarthmore
College Computer Society is gratefully acknowledged.

To subscribe to the Gazette, free of charge, send e-mail to
requests@student-publications.swarthmore.edu with the words “subscribe
daily” as the subject of your message. Use the words “unsubscribe daily” to
cancel a subscription.

Back issues are available on the World Wide Web at:

This concludes today’s report.

Copyright 1998 by The Daily Gazette. All rights reserved.

The Phoenix

Discover more from The Phoenix

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading