Friday, April 10, 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
Friday, April 10, 1998
Volume 2, Number 115


1)  Secrecy surrounds decision on Windows support

2)  Upcoming movies on campus

3)  World news roundup

4)  Today’s and this weekend’s campus events


1)  Today’s and this weekend’s contests


Today:     Some sun, some wind. High around 55.
            Seniors have no sympathy for you room-choosers:
Tonight:   Clear. Low near 30.
            You may not have rooms, but we don’t have jobs.

Extended Weekend Forecast
Saturday:  Bright and sunny. High of 60.
Sunday:    Nice again. High close to 60.


1) Secrecy surrounds decision on windows support

The college’s recent decision to provide support for Windows-based
computers was made without meaningful community input, several students
involved in Computing Services have charged.

In last week’s edition of The Weekly News, an announcement from the
Computing Center detailed the college’s plan for moving from a Macintosh
environment to a dual platform environment; that is, one providing
institutional support and funding for the Windows operating system and
Intel-based hardware.

According to Judy Downing, Director of Computing and Communication
Services, plans to support dual platforms were discussed as early as three
years ago and have been studied extensively for the last eight months. The
Computing Center consulted with the Computing Services Committee, the
College Planning Committee, the College Budget Committee, and senior
administrators in reaching a decision, which was finalized by the approval
of funds for the transition by the Budget Committee.

Several students have raised concerns that the decision was made in secrecy
and without truly consulting the Computer Services Committee. The Computer
Services Committee includes several students appointed by Student Council
and is the most direct connection students have to the executive structure
of computer services and information technology.

Brendan Nyhan ’00 recently resigned from his position on the Computing
Services Committee in response to the way the Windows decision was handled.
He said that the issue is not whether the college should support Windows
but rather how the decision to offer support was reached. “What I’m really
concerned with here is how committees work on campus. PC support or no PC
support isn’t the issue. At this point, the decision itself is irrelevant,”
says Nyhan.

Melissa Binde, Manager of Dorm Consultants, concurs. “Right now, talking
about whether the college should support dual platforms is just confusing
the issue. The real question is why the decision was made in secrecy,”
she says. Binde does not serve on the Computing Services Committee but
says that, based on her experience in Computer Services, she finds it “very
strange” that the committee was largely ignored in the decision making

According to several accounts of this year’s committee meetings, the
Computing Services Committee was asked earlier this year whether it had any
objection to Computing Services studying the idea of offering PC support.
It had none. Several members of the committee, though, have claimed that
this request did not constitute any type of endorsement of PC support. But
members of the committee apparently learned of the final decision and all
the details only by reading the Weekly News last week.

Thomas Stephenson, Associate Provost for Information Technology, chairs the
Computing Services Committee. He was unavailable for comment.

“The decision is a dramatic reversal of CC policy. Only a couple years
ago, CC was vehemently opposed to providing PC support. Because the
decision affects a host of computing issues and is potentially very costly,
it should have been considered in a more public atmosphere,” Nyhan said.
Nyhan hopes committee roles in general will be studied in greater detail by
the Student Government Planning Sub-group of the College Planning Committee.

According to Downing and Chris Couples, Social Sciences Computing
Coordinator, there were several reasons why the decision was made,
including a lack of third-party software support for Macintoshes, a concern
over Apple’s future as a corporation, fairness for incoming freshmen who
already own Windows computers, and a difficulty in hiring staff who are
properly skilled with Macintoshes. Dowling added that she has heard only
positive things about the decision.


3)  Upcoming movies on campus

BOOGIE NIGHTS                           Friday, 4/10   7:00, 10:00   LPAC
Nightclub employee Eddie Adams become a porn star due to his enormous…
assets. He experiences changes in life in the ’70s and ’80s. Based on the
life of John Holmes. Julianne Moore and Paul Thomas Anderson won Oscars.
(Drama, 1997.)

GOOD WILL HUNTING                        Saturday, 4/11 7:30, 10:00   LPAC
A young janitor at MIT (Matt Damon) is actually really smart and one
special prog (Robin Williams) and one special woman (Minnie Driver) show
him how to be all he can be. Issues of class play an important role.
(Drama, 126 minutes, 1997)

TENCHI: THE MOVIE    Monday, 4/13   10:00      Kirby
A Japanese boy encounters various strong-willed women, including a demon, a
space cop, and an alien princess, all of whom fall for him. He then battles
a powerful evil force. Music by Christopher Franke of Tangerine Dream.
(Sci-fi/animation, 95 minutes, 1995: Japan)

IRON MONKEY                              Wednesday, 4/15  10:30      Kirby
A Robin Hood-like bandit nicknamed the “Iron Monkey” robs the officials of
a corrupt Chinese village, so they coerce a physician into flushing him
out. The physician and the Monkey join forces to battle an evil Shaolin
monk and the local authorities. (Action, 1993: Hong Kong)

AMERICAN DREAM       Thursday, 4/16  10:00      LPAC
A documentary describing a 1984 strike at a Hormel meat-packing facility
over a pay cut and the consequences. Directed by Barbara Kopple, it won the
1991 Oscar for best documentary. Part of the Left-wing Film Festival.
(Documentary, 1990, 100 minutes)


3)  World news roundup


At least forty-three people have been confirmed dead as a result of the
tornadoes that terrorized much of the Southeastern United States Thursday.
President Clinton has declared much of Georgia and Alabama to be disaster
areas, and has despatched Vice President Gore to inspect the damage. Five
hundred homes were destroyed as wind speeds reached 250 mph (400 kph).
Rescue workers fear that more bodies will be found as they search the


Saudi Arabian officials are still trying to determine exactly how many
pilgrims were crushed on the Jamraat bridge during yesterday’s “stoning of
the devil.” As a part of the ritual, pilgrims threw stones at pillars from
the one-way bridge, but many tried to leave the way they had came, leading
to a stampede. Last year, a tent fire killed over three hundred pilgrims,
prompting the Saudi Arabian government to set up 10,000 fire-resistant
tents this year.


Police in Poscatello, Idaho convinced a 14-year-old who had barricaded
himself with hostages in a school for troubled teenagers to exchange his
.22 caliber handgun for a carton of cigarettes and his .45 caliber
automatic for a pizza… The World Court has ordered Virginia not to put to
death Paraguayan national Fransisco Breard on his scheduled Tuesday
execution date; the Supreme Court has asked the opinion of the solicitor
general’s office in their decision on this case… An Ohio woman was
surprised to receive a notice from the IRS informing her that she owed the
U.S. government $270 billion, and offering to let her cover it in three
easy payments of $90 billion each.


4)  Today’s and this weekend’s campus events

Friday, April 10

Lunch with David Henry Hwang, playwright
Intercultural Center, 11:30 a.m.

Collection: “Myths of Asian American Authenticity.” Lecture by David Henry
Hwang LPAC Cinema, 1:00 p.m.

Drama performance: Night of Scenes
Paces, 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 11

Linguistics Department Colloquium
Bond,  9:00 a.m.

Drama performance: Night of Scenes
Paces, 8 p.m.



1)  Today’s and this weekend’s contests

Baseball hosts Franklin & Marshall in a 3:30 p.m. game.

Men’s and women’s track and field hosts Johns Hopkins at 11:00 a.m.
Men’s lacrosse hosts Dickinson at 1:30 p.m.
Women’s lacrosse travels to Gettysburg for a 1:00 p.m. game.
Men’s tennis travels to MIT for a noon match.
Women’s tennis hosts Dickinson at 1:00 p.m.
Baseball hosts Dickinson in a double header at 1:00 p.m.
Softball hosts a double header against F & M at 1:00 p.m.
Women’s rugby hosts Bryn Mawr at 11:00 p.m.

No contests are scheduled for Sunday. (That whole Easter thing.)


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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
Tamala Montgomery
Nathanael Stulman
Maureen Vernon

Rafi Dowty

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This concludes today’s report.

Copyright 1998 by The Daily Gazette. All rights reserved.

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