Tuesday, April 27, 1999

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, April 27, 1999
Volume 3, Number 120


1) What happened Saturday night?

2) Reflections and contradictions

3) World news roundup

4) Campus events


1) Warmothers win sectionals

2) Men’s rugby finishes regular season undefeated

3) World sports roundup

4) Today’s and tomorrow’s contests


Today: Partly cloudy. High in the mid 60s.
 There’s a strange paradox to reading week.

Tonight: Cloudy. Low in the mid 40s.
 You have more free time than you’ve had all semester to relax
out on Parrish Beach…

Tomorrow: Cloudy. High in the low 60s.
 And you also have more stress than you’ve had all semester. Go


1) What happened Saturday night?

Early on the morning of Monday, April 19, Phi Psi fell victim to an arson
attempt, an act that Swarthmore Police Intelligence determined to have come
as a “result of conflict between rival fraternities.” Chief Craig of the
Swarthmore Police Dept. reported that there was a State Police Arson
investigation, whose interviews gave Swat Police reasonable cause to
suspect that the incident was an act of malice directed at Phi Psi from DU.
In what Craig called an effort to get some answers regarding the fire,
Saturday night’s Margaritaville party at DU was raided by the Swarthmore
Police Force around 9:30 p.m. Twenty-seven people were arrested, and cited
for underage drinking. Swarthmore Police Liquor Control Enforcement
conducted the raid.

Allegedly, Swat Police planned on using the LCE raid as a way of
interrogating people about the fire at Phi Psi. They sent an undercover
policewoman into the party Saturday night, dressed to look underage. Her
mission was to observe any illegal activity, at which point she was to
phone in the squad cars waiting nearby. She was not checked for ID, either
TriCo or age verification. Once inside, she observed the consumption of
alcoholic beverages by minors, at which point she called in Swat Police.
This observation was not based on any fact, as she had not checked the IDs
of any of the partygoers; reasonable assumption led her to make the call.
Once inside, police first divided people up by age: over and under 21. They
then divided the underage persons based on whether they said they could
blow into a cup to prove they hadn’t been drinking. Those who said they
could did so; some passed, some did not. Those who did not joined those who
had admitted to drinking as Swat Police administered a formal breathalyzer
test. Only one of the 27 people arrested had a blood-alcohol level
exceeding 0.10, the legal limit for drunk driving violations. The next
highest was at 0.06, with the others averaging about 0.02.

Police went on to confiscate all the alcohol in DU, about $700 worth, and
they searched obvious locations for more alcohol. Chief Craig explained
that this was not an illegal search; they only searched closets and places
big enough to hide large quantities of alcohol, such as cases and kegs. In
some of these locations they also found a number of street signs which have
been missing from the area in recent years.

Chief Craig confirmed that all the students arrested received citations for
underage drinking. From there they will go before district judge Stephanie
Klein. All the students will likely be recommended for the diversionary
program, in which they will serve a given amount of community service and
have their records wiped clean afterwards.


2) Reflections and contradictions

“When you draw attention to yourself through drinking, you bring down the
heat,” explained Dean Bob Gross, “This school’s policies aside, we are
still operating under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of Swarthmore.”
Gross emphasized the fact that the incident Saturday night would not have
happened if students had followed the school’s party guidelines. “The
undercover policewoman should have been checked for ID – she shouldn’t have
been allowed into the party. If there had been someone checking IDs, this
never would have happened.”

Gross went on to express his desire for more control over ways in which to
provide responsible avenues for students to drink. Gross said that “Most
deans aren’t happy with the drinking age being at 21. If it were at 18,
then alcohol could be served in controlled circumstances, following the
policy we call harm reduction.” Harm reduction entails devising methods by
which students can engage in potentially dangerous activities such as
drinking while minimizing the actual dangers that can come as a result. An
obvious example is the idea of having alcohol served on campus, so that
students don’t have to go elsewhere to get it, potentially endangering
their lives and the lives of others by taking to the road.

Gross added that action will likely be taken to reassess the Party
Associate program. Started four years ago in response to a similar
incident, the PA program aims to have students paid to work at parties
checking IDs, escorting people out if they determine they’ve had too much
to drink and generally helping out the party hosts in whatever ways
possible. This program hasn’t really worked out as well as hoped. There
haven’t been that many students interested in the job, and those that are
interested are often overwhelmed and unable to fulfill the needs of the
position. Gross thinks that changes in the PA program might help to
alleviate situations such as these in the future. Whether that means
changing the duties of the PAs, hiring more PAs, or just paying them more,
he’s not sure.

As for the motives of the Police in being there in the first place, there
are some contradictions. Chief Craig explained that the raid Saturday night
came as a result of the attempted arson at Phi Psi the previous weekend.
Gross concurred, saying that Swat Police were not out to bust underage
drinkers, pointing out the fact that they chose to come at 9:30, while they
could have easily come at 1:00 a.m. at which time they surely would have
rounded up many more underage drinkers. He cites this as evidence that
their motive really was to find out information regarding the fire at Phi
Psi. However, Ben Gaines ’01, one of the 27 arrested and brought down to
the station, reports that to the best of his knowledge neither he nor any
of the other students were asked about the Phi Psi incident at any time. He
said that although the incident lasted approximately two hours from start
to finish, at no point did he hear the topic of Phi Psi brought up. “They
didn’t question anybody. They just had us fill out the forms and wait for
the shuttle to pick us up,” Gaines said.

Despite this inconsistency, Chief Craig stressed that this was not a case
of Swat Police randomly busting a party for underage drinkers. He said, “We
don’t want to be there [on campus] if we don’t have to, but attempted arson
is a serious issue that can’t be ignored.”


3) World news roundup


NATO bombings against Yugoslavia continued and officials say that there may
be a rift developing in Milosevic’s government. Deputy Premier Vuk
Draskovic said yesterday that his government is ready to accept a peace
settlement and a UN presence in Kosovo. NATO officials acknowledge,
however, that Draskovic’s stance is most likely different from that of
Slobodan Milosevic. … In India, President K.R. Narayanan dissolved the
parliament and called elections for the third time in as many years. His
announcement came nine days after the Hindu nationalist-led government of
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee collapsed. … President Clinton
declared that he wants to initiate more three-way talks between Israeli,
Palestinian, and American leaders. His statement came less than three weeks
before the current negotiations end and PLO leader Yasser Arafat might
declare Palestine an independent state. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu warned that such a move would ruin the peace process. … In the
wake of the Columbine High School tragedy, President Clinton will propose
legislation today that would require background checks on sales of
explosives and would hold adults, even parents, criminally liable for
allowing children access to guns.


4) Campus news

Film Screening: “Independence Day”
LPAC Cinema, 7:00 p.m.

“Using Education Research to Evaluate and Reform Public Education,”
by Alan Krueger, Princeton University
Kirby Lecture Hall, 7:00 p.m.

Ballroom Practice
Upper Tarble, 9:30 p.m.



1) Warmothers win sectionals

The women’s ultimate team swept through its sectionals tournament like a
whirlwind on Saturday, beating all four teams by a wide margin and shutting
out their most feared opponent. Every team member played at the top of her
game, and especially impressive were the three freshwomen Sierra
Curtis-McLane, Sarah Gravelin and Sarah Kates-Chinoy. Gravelin formed a
fearsome defensive cup with Curtis-McLane and Anna Sugden-Newberry ’99 that
shut down the other teams’ offenses, while Kates-Chinoy joined Cathy Wirth
’99 and co-captain Jenny Hoedeman ’01 in amazing layout catches in the
endzone for a score. Impressive handling and backup, and most of the
assists for scores, were provided by veterans Gabi Kruks-Wisner ’99, Simone
Brant ’99, and co-captain Lindsay Goldsmith ’01.

The Warmothers easily won each of their first three games against
Haverford, U Penn and Penn State. The final game was against Bucknell, who
was also 3-0 so far in the tournament and had beaten Swarthmore in last
weekend’s Penn State tournament. In an unprecedented level of play for this
team, the Warmothers stepped up the intensity and shut out Bucknell 13-0.
The team advances to regionals next weekend as one of the top-seeded teams.
The top two teams from the region will travel to nationals at the end of May.

Swarthmore 13 – Haverford 2
Swarthmore 13 – U Penn 4
Swarthmore 13 – Penn State 2
Swarthmore 13 – Bucknell 0


2) Men’s rugby finishes regular season undefeated

Men’s Rugby finished its regular season undefeated on Sat. (8-0) with a 40
to 5 victory over Widener. Tries were touched down by Tony Sturm ’99, Mike
Turick ’99, Adam Booth ’00, Kelley Hauser ’00, and twice by Mike Sheer ’99.
The team takes on the alumni this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. on Dupont field.


3) World sports roundup


Toronto goalie Curtis Joseph stopped 40 shots on goal to help the Maple
Leafs to a 2-1 victory over the Flyers, giving them a 2-1 series advantage.
…The Carolina Hurricanes jumped on the reeling Bruins, seizing a 2-1 edge
in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with a 3-2
win Monday night. …The Utah Jazz lost at home for only the third time
this season, as Phoenix handed them a debilitating 99-85 loss.  Jason Kidd
led the way with 19 points, 12 assists, and seven rebounds.


4) Today’s and tomorrow’s contests

Golf plays Philadelphia Textile, Cabrini, and Queens at 1:00 p.m.
Baseball hosts Ursinus at 3:30 p.m.
Softball visits Widener at 4:00 p.m.
Women’s lacrosse hosts Haverford at 4:30 p.m.

No contests are scheduled for tomorrow.


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Editorial Board
    Jeff Heckelman
    Melanie Hirsch
    Claire Phillips-Thoryn

Staff Writers
    Jack Borrebach
    Ben Geller
    Joseph Genereux
    Megan Haberle
    Alma Ortiz
    Jessica Salvatore
    Pete Schilla

Contributing Writers
    Kelley Hauser
    Margaret Parker

    Melanie Hirsch

Online Editor
    Lorrin Nelson

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