Monday, December 6, 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.

A MESSAGE FROM THE EDITORS

For those of you not on campus, allow us to bring you up to date. In this
week’s Phoenix, which came out Friday, December 3, there was a letter to
the editor on page 5 titled “Daily Gazette lacks sensitivity,
professionalism.” Specifically, the author points to the November 19th
issue of the Daily Gazette. In the world news roundup, we reported about
the tragic bonfire accident at Texas A&M University, concluding with
“Well, that was a stupid school tradition.” That afternoon, we received
an email from the author of the Phoenix letter, lambasting our poor taste,
among other things. She was right. It was in poor taste, and the Gazette
hereby apologizes.

Out of the 1,453 people who currently get the Daily Gazette every day,
this was the only email we received about our editorial comment. Despite
the fact that it truly was in poor taste, we decided as a matter of policy
that it wasn’t necessary to print an apology in the next issue, three days
later, about something that 0.0006% of our readers found offensive enough
to write to us about.

Every single day we receive about 5-10 emails from readers responding to
something about the Gazette that day. Sometimes they are compliments, and
sometimes they are complaints. In our time as members of the Editorial
Board, we have learned two things regarding these emails, both the hard
way. First, we have made it a matter of policy not to respond personally
to email we get regarding the Gazette. This is why the author of the
letter didn’t receive a response from us, not because we didn’t feel that
the complaint was worthy of mention. At the beginning of spring ’99, we
personally responded to every single bit of correspondence we received. We
soon realized that this was an impossible thing to do, and most often,
nothing we could say to the person would change the way they felt. So we
stopped doing it entirely. Second, we also made it policy to not print
apologies unless a significant number of our subscribers complain. Check
the back issues from January of this year. Practically every other day we
apologized about one thing or another, often because one person emailed to
tell us we missed a comma somewhere. Eventually, we were swamped with
emails from people telling us to stop printing corrections and just do
things right the first time. So we did.

The main thing we’ve learned is that we can’t make everyone happy all
the time. The editors of the Phoenix will surely agree, as will anyone in
a position of authority in any journalistic endeavor. We realize the
impossibility of such a task, so instead we’ve chosen to try and make our
readers smile. We are not professional journalists, nor do we claim to
be. NO ONE who isn’t a professional journalist should try and make that
claim. There is not a single student at Swarthmore College who is a
professional journalist–that is a fact. As students of journalism, we
make mistakes. So in the meantime, while perhaps we try to become
professionals, we write the Daily Gazette. Its mission is to present as
much relevant news and information as can be expected in a day’s time in a
quick and easy-to-read fashion, along with a few jokes
now and then aimed at nothing more than shedding a little light amidst the
stress that we’re all going through. As in any humorous endeavor,
occasionally we push things a little too far. Our jokes belong only in the
weather and in the quote of the day, and we have taken steps to ensure
that it will stay that way.

As for the letter-writer’s claim that “most students admit they read it
only for the weather and campus events,” we know for a fact that this is
not the case. It is true that there has been much less coverage of campus
news than in the past. We admit that our lack of consistent campus news is
our biggest problem right now, and rest assured, improving our campus news
coverage is our number one priority for next semester. We have a staff of
great writers, and they are sadly unused. We have taken the blame for
this and are taking steps to correct the situation.  Despite this, it also
is true that no one but the three of us (and our few writers) seems to be
willing to do anything about it. Every day we get email from people ready,
willing and able to tell us what they think is wrong with the Daily
Gazette and how it should be better, but none of these people seem at all
willing to join the staff and help us make these changes. The author of
the Phoenix letter points to the poor quality of our articles. We invite
her and anyone else to come and show us how to do things right. The fact
remains: Swarthmore is a different place than it was two years
ago, when the Gazette was led by an Editorial Board of seven
upperclassmen, with a staff of eight additional writers. For whatever
reason, many people don’t seem to want to commit to any time-consuming
extra-curricular activity. We hope to change that next semester, and make
the Daily Gazette the best publication it can be.

With that in mind, we welcome our readers to share their
thoughts. Comments, suggestions, advice–we’ll read it all. And most
importantly, if you like what we’re doing, please write and tell us
why–we want to know that too.

The Editorial Board
Jeff Heckelman
Melanie Hirsch
Claire Phillips-Thoryn

The Daily Gazette
Swarthmore College
Monday, December 6, 1999
Volume 4, Number 56

NEWS IN BRIEF

1) College Bowl team comes in 3rd in tournament

2) Debate society storms GW tournament

3) World news roundup

4) Campus events

SPORTS IN BRIEF

1) Women’s basketball places 3rd at Seven Sisters tourney

2) Swim team goes to ECAC championships

3) Wrestling sweeps quad meet

4) Men’s b-ball beats Western Maryland

5) World sports roundup

6) Today’s and tomorrow’s contests

WEATHER REPORT

Every member of the Gazette’s Editorial Board has some Jewish blood, so
the next few day’s jokes will have Chanukah somewhere in mind…

Today: Rain. High around 60.
    What’s purple, syrupy, and repulsive?

Tonight: Showers and clouds. Low near 40.
    No, not Barney.

Tomorrow: Partly cloudy. High near 50.
    Manischevitz  wine. Vile, vile stuff. Never drink it before
trying to write a paper. Or at all, for that matter.

NEWS REPORT

1) College Bowl team comes in 3rd in tournament

This weekend, Peter Austin ’02, Josh Miller ’00, Ben Schak ’03,
and Jonah Volk ’03 trekked to Harvard to come in third at Harvard’s
T-Party. They were 8-0 in the preliminary round robin, beating teams from
Yale, Williams, Penn and Chicago.  In the final rounds, they lost to Yale
A, and defeated Princeton (who came in second), to end the tournament 9-2,
and, behind only Princeton and Yale. Besides this team success, Austin
placed as the highest undergraduate scorer, as well as the fourth highest
scorer overall, with 46.87 points per game. Miller placed eighth overall,
with 38.12 points per game.  Schak and Volk both scored very well, also,
earning 21.88 and 11.25 points per game.

*****

2) Debate society storms GW tournament

The “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” debate tournament at George
Washington University this past weekend might have foreseen the end of the
world, but for Swarthmore’s Amos J. Peaslee Debate Society, it was another
mark of success.  Four Swarthmore teams overcame transportation
difficulties to attend the tournament, and were entertained with
extemporaneous speeches inspired by _The Machiavellian Guide to
Womanizing_.  In the end, the team was rewarded with success.  John Dolan
’01 and Rob Peterson ’03 fought through preliminary rounds, arguing about
everything and everyone from George W. Bush to Donald Duck.  Losing only
once in preliminary rounds, they went on victory in quarter finals and
semi-finals.  In the final round, they proposed that King Henry
VIII not break with the Catholic Church, but unfortunately lost to
Protestant heathens from Columbia University.  For their second place
finish they qualified to attend Nationals, which will be held at
Swarthmore in April.  Additionally, Dolan captured ninth speaker
while Peterson finished as fourth place novice speaker.  The team will
attend tournaments nearly every weekend  next semester, should the world
not end.  For those interested, a demonstration round will be held early
next semester.

*****

3) World news roundup

After a fifth failed attempt to make contact with the Mars Polar Lander,
NASA Mission Controllers acknowledged that the craft might have
experienced serious problems during touchdown. A lander failure would be a
double blow to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, still recovering from the
September loss of its sibling spacecraft, the Mars Climate
Orbiter. …Heavy floods have killed at least 70 people in central coastal
Vietnam, and rescue workers have evacuated hundreds of thousands to higher
ground. The death toll from the floods, which come just one month after
600 people died in the region’s worst floods of the century, is likely to
rise. …Cuban president Fidel Castro demanded Sunday that the U.S. return
a boy rescued at sea to his father in Cuba within 72 hours. …An
Icelandic company plans to begin collecting DNA samples from Iceland’s
270,000 citizens and linking the genetic profiles with their health
records and family trees.  The database it plans to build would offer an
unprecedented chance to discover genetic links to disease–and an
unprecedented danger to privacy, doctors and researchers attending a
packed meeting of the American Society of Hematology said Sunday.

*****

4) Campus events

“Beyond the Molecule: Assembling and Dissembling Molecular Aggregates” by
Peter Collings, Physics and Astronomy, and Bob Pasternack, Chemistry
Scheuer Room, 12:00 p.m.

All Women Over Lunch
PACES, 12:15 p.m.

Penance Service
Bond Memorial Hall, 12:30 p.m.

“Computation and Inter-Disciplinary Mathematics: Curriculum and
Pedagogy”, a Technology in Mathematics in Science Education
Consortium Presentation to Faculty by Dennis DeTurck
DuPont 190, 4:00 p.m.

Chemistry Colloquium
Kohlberg 115, 4:30 p.m.

Fireside Chat with the Curriculum Committee: Revising the Academic
Calendar
Scheuer Room, 7:30 p.m.

Empty the Shelters Meeting
Kohlberg 228, 9:00 p.m.

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

SWIL Movie: “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes”
Kirby Lecture Hall, 10:00 p.m.

*****

SPORTS UPDATE

1) Women’s basketball places 3rd at Seven Sisters tourney

The women’s basketball team garnered third place spot at the Seven Sisters
Tournament at Vassar by trouncing St. Joseph 81-47. Heather Kile led the
team with 19 points and 15 rebounds in only 22 minutes of play and was
named to the all-tournament team. The team fell to Wellesley 59-40 on
Saturday and beat Mount Holyoke 59-46. Their record is now 5-2.  

*****

2) Swim team goes to ECAC championships

On Saturday, the swim teams traveled to the ECAC championships, where Ted
Sherer set a conference and school record time in the 200 breast stroke,
in addition to winning the 100 breast stroke. At Western Maryland
yesterday, the women won 64-27, with Mari McCrann as a double winner. The
women’s team is now 5-0, 3-0 in the conference. The men won 56-25, with
David Whitehead bringing in two wins. The men are now 3-2 overall, 2-1 in
the conference.

*****

3) Wrestling sweeps quad meet

On Saturday, the wrestling team swept a quad meet, beating Valley Forge
36-18, SUNY-Maritime 25-18, and Centennary 37-18. The team is now 3-1 on
the season.

*****

4) Men’s b-ball beats Western Maryland

The men’s basketball team defeated Western Maryland 68-58 on
Saturday. Gregg Holtmeier led the team with 21 points and six
steals. while Dave Gammill had 12 points and Eran Ganot had 10. The Garnet
is now 2-4 on the season.

*****

5) World sports roundup

FSU and Virginia Tech will be playing in the Sugar Bowl. …LeClair vaults
Flyers into Eastern Conference lead. …The Canadian federal government is
considering sports lottery licensing fees to raise money for Canadian NHL
teams weakened by high taxes and a weak dollar. …Four people were in
comas with life-threatening injuries Sunday after being crushed by
stampeding crowds that claimed five lives at a snowboard event in
Austria. …The University of North Carolina’s women’s soccer team won the
NCAA women’s soccer championship for the 15th time in 18 years yesterday.

*****

6) Today’s and tomorrow’s contests

TODAY
No contests scheduled for today.

TOMORROW
Men’s basketball v. Washington College at 7:30

*****

Quotes of the day:
“If my grandmother had wheels, would she be a bus?” — Prof. Rich
Schuldenfrei
“If my grandmother had balls, she’d be my grandfather.” — Yiddish proverb

*****

Interested in reporting or writing for the Gazette?
Just want to tell us what you think?

Contact the Editorial Board at
gazette-management@student-publications.swarthmore.edu.

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

Editorial Board
    Jeff Heckelman
    Melanie Hirsch
    Claire Phillips-Thoryn

Staff Writers
    Ilya Leskov
    Alma Ortiz
    Jeremy Schifeling
    Kai Xu

Online Editor
    Lorrin Nelson

The Daily Gazette is published Monday through Friday by an independent
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Swarthmore College Computer Society is gratefully acknowledged.

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This concludes today’s report.