Monday, March 30, 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
Monday, March 30, 1998
Volume 2, Number 106

NEWS IN BRIEF:

1) Recent anti-white chalking stirs up controversy

2) Deans call meeting of students to address possible anti-semitism

3) Gospel Jam 98 brings students together for a capella extravaganza

4) World news roundup

5) Campus events

SPORS IN BRIEF:

1) Varsity scoreboard

2) Intramural scoreboard

3) Upcoming events

WEATHER FORECAST

Today:    Still sunny; hot but breezy. High around 85.
           Its time to start worrying about sunburns.
Tonight:  Clear. Low near 60.
           But thats so much nicer than worrying about frostbite.
Tuesday: Some clouds, but mostly sunny. High of 85.

NEWS REPORT

1) Recent anti-white chalkings stir up controversy

On Friday morning those waking up early were greeted by one of the most
extensive chalkings Swarthmore’s campus has seen recently. The chalkings
were mostly accusations of white racism, but also included various other
negative stereotypes about white people. Accompanying the chalkings was a
statement which was stuffed in most students’ mailboxes. The administration
had the chalkings removed before noon and sent an e-mail addressing the
issue at 2 p.m.

The mailing, signed “Your Conscience,” explained that the chalkings
consisted of “degrading remarks” and “political statements.” The degrading
remarks, which “mirror[ed] the hate crimes … targeting racial and sexual
minorities,” were intended to force the majority to “deal with the
powerlessness, hurt and confusion that targeted minorities face.” The
political statements, on the other hand, were “meant to expose the implicit
power systems that benefit the white/straight majority at Swarthmore and
the larger society,” and thereby “foster meaningful dialogue.” The mailing
also expressed a hope that the chalkings would “lead our Swarthmore
community to take a hard and serious look at [itself].”

The administration’s e-mail, sent by Maurice Eldridge, Executive Assistant
to the President and Associate Vice President, stated that “this community
cannot accept this means of expression as a way of realizing [meaningful
dialogue].” According to the e-mail, the chalkings were “devoid of
intellectual content and indefensible on grounds of academic freedom.”
Furthermore, there are already plans for fostering a dialogue on racial
issues as part of the National Dialogue on Race in early April.

Associate Dean Tedd Goundie expressed desire to speak with those who did
the chalkings, but said that while he “would classify the chalkings as
hateful, the person(s) would not be subject to formal adjudication and
sanctioning. This case actually supports our policy of only adjudicating
harassing expression that is repeated and persistent.” According to the
Student Handbook on p. 55, “anonymous offensive expression is generally
inexcusable,” but not adjudicable.

While many students were concerned by the offensive and hateful nature of
the chalkings, many others were concerned by the fact that the
administration chose to erase them. While few objected to the removal of
hate speech in general, many questioned why the administration was so quick
the erase anti-white hate speech while in the past hateful chalkings have
often been left for the rain to wash away.

Campus support groups held a meeting on the issue on Friday night.
According to Bohee Yoon ’01, the meeting mainly addressed the
administration’s inconsistency and the reactions of other members of the
college community. “Why is it that everyone pointed towards the support
groups – they’re there to support, not talk anyone else down,” Yoon
explained. The presidents of many of the support groups will be holding a
follow-up meeting in the near future to finish discussing the issues.

The Friday meeting of campus support groups resulted in the following
statement: “We, the support and diversity groups, would like to inform the
Swarthmore community that the chalkings that occurred last Friday morning
were not associated with any of our groups. This incident and the campus
response raises issues that trouble us.”

“I like to think [the removal] was about asking activists to be responsible
about their activism,” Tim Sams, Assistant Dean and Director of the Black
Cultural Center, said. Illustrating his point, Sams explained that “an
activist gets in front of the tank; an activist does not throw someone else
in front of the tank.”

*****

2) Deans call meeting of students to address possible anti-semitism

In response to the protracted uproar that began with distribution of
pamphlets encouraging a debate of the historical reality of the Holocaust
in student mailboxes and continues tonight at the Student Council meeting,
the deans called an urgent meeting of those students involved. Acting Dean
Bob Gross, Tedd Goundie, Tim Sams, and two Jewish student advisors summoned
students to this meeting possibly in the hopes of addressing the possible
anti-semitic tones of the debate.

To summarize, Ari Plost ’98, considering Holocaust revisionism to be
anti-semitic expressed verbal protest to Patrick Runkle ’98, co-editor of
the Phoenix over the “irresponsible” printing of a letter to the editor
defending the pamphlets’ distribution. The Pheonix responded the following
week by printing a cartoon blacked out with the words “censored by Ari
Plost” drawn by Wilson Kello ’98.

Laura Barandes ’99, observer to the Board of Managers and Plost’s
girlfriend presented the Board with a packet she prepared covered with a
letter summarizing the debate and signed inaccurately as “Student Council
Representative to the Board of Managers”. In the Student Council meeting
last Monday night, co-chair Ryan Peterson ’00 moved to impeach Barandes for
what he considered inappropriate behavior, but the motion was tabled and no
action was taken.

Thursday morning, an edition of the L-Word, a liberal student publication
was published which sparked debate about possible anti-semitic tones of the
discourse surrounding Barandes’s action. The paper was pulled from
distribution after the editors Brendan Nyhan ’00 and Owen Lipsett ’01
realized possible resemblances of its content to Nazi anti-semitic
propaganda from the 1930’s.

In addition to the invited key “players” (as identified in the L-Word),
Plost, Barandes, Kello, Runkle, Peterson and Budget Committee Treasurer
Vincent Jones ’98, other students attended to lend support and voice
concerns that the administration may be “infringing on the sovereignty of
student council,” according to Tamala Montgomery ’98. The main topic of the
meeting was why and how the deans called it. Runkle commented, “[the
conversation] was mostly about the meeting itself and the deans’ handling
of the meeting, not about the issues at all.”

Frustration was expressed that the issue has become much larger, personal
and more emotional than it should be.  Kello summed up what he feels to be
imperative in the controversy: “My cartoon[s] sparked emotion which led
people to abuse their power. [We should] try to suck the emotion out of it
and address the issues.”

After some heated discussion concerning this administrative action, debate
on the issue was postponed until tonight’s Student Council meeting. When
asked by Dean Sams about the best way to handle this, it was decided that
the deans should let the debate run their course and let the students take
care of the issue. Plost and Barandes did not comment for this article.

*****

3) Gospel Jam 98 brings students together for a capella extravaganza

Eight Christian a capella groups gathered at Swarthmore this weekend for
Gospel Jam 98. Psalters and Gospel Choir were the two Swarthmore groups
that participated. The event was part conference and part concert, drawing
singers from as far away as Cornell and Wellesley. Saturday, around 100
musicians participated in several workshops. These covered general topics,
such as the business aspect of running an a capella group, as well as
specific issues that Christian groups face.

Saturday night 350 people listened to the three-hour concert in Lang that
was the official culmination of the event. Musical styles presented ranged
from traditional gospel to contemporary and “rock-apella” to  rap.

According to one of the coordinators, Michelle Park ’99, the best part was
“finding out what everyone had in common in all of the colleges around the
area.” Dan Marrin ’01, a member of Psalters, added that “the whole thing
was amazing–the worship service, the group sing at the concert, just
everyone being together.”

*****

4) World news roundup

MEN’S NCAA DIVISION I TOURNAMENT RESULTS

Kentucky   86              Utah                 65
Stanford    85 (OT)       North Carolina  59

WOMEN’S NCAA DIVISION I TOURNAMENT RESULTS

Friday:
Lousiana Tech            84             Tennessee        86
North Carolina State  65             Arkansas         58

Sunday:
Tennessee        93
Lousiana Tech   75

NIT

Minnesota                  79
Penn State  82

MANDELA REJECTS CONDITIONED TRADE RELATIONS WITH U.S.

On Sunday, South Africa President Nelson Mandela welcomed United States aid
for Africa, but firmly rejected any trade relations that would have strings
attached or limit transactions with such countires as Cuba, Libya, and Iran.

FLORIDA SET TO EXECUTE JUDY BUENOANO MONDAY

Barring a last minute appeal from the U.S. Supreme Court, Florida will
execute Judy Buenoano early Monday morning. Buenoano, known as the “Black
Widow,” will be the first woman to die in Florida’s electric chair.  She
was convicted of killing her husband and boyfriend in 1971.  Buenoano has
maintained her innocence from the beginning.

IN OTHER NEWS

Twenty-eight civilians died in Peruvian Air Force plane crash. …An
explosion in West Bank killed at least one person and injured many.
…Communists in Russia threatened to block Yeltsin’s choice for Prime
Minister, 35-year old Sergei Kiriyenko. …A Los Angeles area hospital
worker says he killed up to 50 terminally ill patients.

*****

5) Campus events

Lecture on using U.S. Law to obtain justice for international human rights
violations by Robert Swif, Esq.
Hicks 211, 3 p.m.

Lecture on human rights and Israeli-Palestinian relations by Yefat Suskind
Kohlberg Scheuer Room, 4:15 p.m.

Lecture entitled, “Reconceiving Scientific Literacy as Agential Literacy,
or Knowing How to Intra-act Responsibly within the World” by Dr. Karen Barad
Kohlberg 115, 4:30 p.m.

Roadmark Open Reading
Kohlberg 228, 8 p.m.

Lecture by Stephen West sponsored by the Chinese Section of the Modern
Language and Literatures and Asian Studies
Kohlberg Scheuer Room, 8 p.m.

SPORTS UPDATE

1) Scoreboard

Softball
 Gettysburg 4, Swarthmore 1
 Gettysburg 8, Swarthmore 4

Baseball
 Western Maryland 11, Swarthmore 1
 Western Maryland 10, Swarthmore 8

Women’s Tennis
 Swarthmore 9, Ursinus 0

Men’s Tennis
 Swarthmore 6, Wooster 2
 Swarthmore 6, Kenyon 2
 Denison 5, Swarthmore 2

Women’s Lacrosse
 Swarthmore 17, Sweet Briar 1
 Haverford 19, Swarthmore 13

Men’s Lacrosse
 Scranton 13, Swarthmore 7

Women’s Rugby
 Swarthmore 41, Rutgers 0  (A side)
 Swarthmore 5, Rutgers 0  (B side)

Men’s Rugby
 Swarthmore 15  Widener 14

Women’s Ultimate
 Swarthmore 10, Columbia 3
 Swarthmore 13, Rochester 0
 Swarthmore 13, Penn State 0
 Swarthmore 13, Amherst 0
 UPenn 13, Swarthmore 3
 Rutgers 13, Swarthmore 2

Men’s Ultimate
 Swarthmore 13, William and Mary 11
 Princeton 13, Swarthmore 0
 RPI 13, Swarthmore 6
 Princeton 13, Swarthmore 3
 Salisbury 14, Swarthmore 12
 Swarthmore also won a forfeit from Clemson

Women’s Track and Field
Ursinus Invitational: First place finishers for Swarthmore – Desiree
Peterkin ’00 in the triple jump, Wanda Joseph ’00 in the 100m, Stephanie
Herring ’99 in the 400m hurdles, Joko Agunloye ’01 for the 3000m, and
finally, the 400m relay was won by Joseph, Peterkin, Danielle Duffy ’98 and
Catherine Laine ’98.

Men’s Track and Field
Ursinus Invitational: First place finishers for Swarthmore – Mason Tootell
’99 won both 110 Hurdles and 400 hurdles, Mark Jeuland ’01 in the 10000m,
and  Steve Dawson ’00 in the high jump.

*****

2) Intramural Scoreboard

Softball
  The Sluggers were a forfeit winner over YIELD

Flag Football
  Independence Day  7,  Murray’s Marauders  6
  Westbrook’s Warriors  8,  Decepticons  1

Soccer
  Bretl’s Team  3,  Willets Hoodlums  2
  Faculty/Staff & B. A. To Be a Double Forfeit

Basketball
  Bruce Lee  74,  The Thundercats  58
  No Code  75,  Autobots  34

*****

3) Upcoming contests

TODAY
Golf hosts F&M, Muhlenberg and Ursinus in a 1:00 p.m. tournament.

TOMORROW
Baseball hosts Washington in a 3:00 p.m. game.
Women’s Lacrosse travels to Johns Hopkins for a 3:30 p.m. game.
Softball hosts Beaver for a 4:00 p.m. game.
Volleyball hosts Textile in a 7:00 p.m. game.

*****
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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

Weatherman
Rafi Dowty

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This concludes today’s report.

Copyright 1998 by The Daily Gazette. All rights reserved.