Thursday, February 3, 2000

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
Thursday, February 3, 2000
Volume 4, Number 68

NEWS IN BRIEF

1) Falun Gong tradition alive and well at Swat

2) Coinless laundry prompts passionate, but clean, debate

3) World news roundup

4) Campus events

SPORTS IN BRIEF

1) Intramural scores

2) World sports roundup

3) Today’s and tomorrow’s contests

WEATHER FORECAST

Today: Partly cloudy, with possible scattered snow showers. High in the
upper 30s.
    The man who want be president: language problems from George
W. Bush include …  “Is your children learning?” (used in selling his
education policy), calling tactical nuclear weapons “tacular”, and
repeatedly mispronouncing the word “obfuscation.”

Tonight: Partly cloudy. Low in the mid 20s.
    “When I was coming up, it was a dangerous world and you
knew exactly who they were,” he said. “It was us versus them and it was
clear who them was. Today we are not so sure who the they are,
but we know they’re there.”    

Tomorrow: Partly cloudy. High around 40.
     Bush thinks it’s fair for reporters to write about his verbal slips
when he says “something silly.” However, “Just make sure you put in there,
‘He was real tired too,'” he said.

NEWS REPORT

1) Falun Gong tradition alive and well at Swat

Falun Gong is an ancient Chinese practice which focuses on an integration
of mind and body through a series of gentle exercises and
meditations. Aimed at improving spiritual as well as physical health, the
practice emphasizes three principles–truthfulness, compassion, and
tolerance, which participants are encouraged to exercise in all aspects of
their lives. Proponents of Falun Gong also praise its ability to reduce
stress, improve overall attitude, and enable those who practice it
regularly to function with less sleep. With help from a Falun Gong
workshop coming up this weekend, Swatties may soon be reaping those
benefits.

In January 1999, a census survey revealed that between 70 and
100 million people in China were practicing Falun Gong. The popularity
of the practice had been steadily increasing through word of mouth, and
its participants had come to outnumber the Communist Party, which at the
time of the January census was listed as having 60 million members.
Emily Myers, ’01, who practices Falun Gong and is familiar with
the situation in China, says that she believes that the Chinese
government may have felt threatened by this fact despite the
nonpolitical nature of the practice. On July 22, 1999, the government
banned the practice of Falun Gong and began arresting anyone connected
with it, including several high government officials. The Hong Kong Center
for Human Rights estimates that since the crackdown began, 6,000 people
have been sent to labor camps and at least six have been tortured to death
due to their connection with Falun Gong. Many others have been detained
and sent to “programs of reeducation.”

Matt Kutolowski ’99, Liam O’Neill, ’00, and Myers have all
been practicing Falun Gong for some time and both Kutolowski and O’Neill
were in China around the time of the government crackdown. They all feel
that practicing Falun Gong has made a substantial positive difference in
their lives. Kutolowski explained, “I had tried other forms of Qi Gong,
as well as yoga and meditation, but I still had some lingering health
problems. Practicing Falun Gong has made me feel better than anything
else I’ve ever done.” Myers, who became interested in Falun Gong
because of chronic back pain, said that it has not only helped her
back to feel better but made her a more relaxed and patient person as
well. “The three principles make it a lot more comprehensive than other
forms of Qi Gong I had tried,” she added.

Since the fall of 1999, O’Neill, Kutolowski, and Myers have been
meeting in Bond Hall for daily sessions of exercises and meditation
which are open to the college community. They will be holding a
Falun Gong workshop Sunday, February 6. At the workshop,
they plan to show a brief video on the history of Falun Gong, discuss
their personal experiences, and teach some exercises. In addition, several
people from the Philadelphia area who are experienced in Falun Gong will
be at the workshop to assist with teaching and answering questions,
including one woman who was detained while recently in China and sent to
a reeducation program. The workshop will take place in the first floor
of Bond Hall from 2 to 4 p.m.

– k.g.

*****

2) Coinless laundry prompts passionate, but clean, debate

The Student Council’s Housing Committee has begun deliberating over a
proposal to make the current dorm laundry system coinless.

The tentative plan “would involve replacing the standard washers and
dryers with newer, non-coin models that are adjustable for load
size,” according to Committee minutes. Total costs to the college for this
conversion would involve only a per-machine rental cost and usage costs.
For students, a $50 annual fee would be included in either tuition or
room/board costs, although the current total cost of attendance would
remain the same, with the difference being that the once-discretionary
laundry cost will now be required. However, many committee members
agreed that $50 was too much, especially since it would no longer be an
optional expense, as laundry traditionally has been.  In order to warrant
this removal of personal choice, much of the committee argued for a $30  
price tag to make the plan more reasonable.

Those in support of the proposal point out the immediate convenience
of a coinless system, especially in relation to the oft-empty Parrish coin
machine.  However, a number of issues were brought up by those who felt
the added ease did not justify the change.  Among these qualms were
“off-campus residents taking advantage of ‘free’ laundry on
campus” (though the transportation of laundry was seen as a big enough
hassle to deter this scenario) and a correlation between the potential of
unlimited usage and an abuse of resources (however, the proponents
countered by saying “that students generally don’t like doing laundry and
wouldn’t do it more often even if it was ‘free'”).

Additionally, a failure to come to a general consensus within the
Swarthmore population hindered committee approval.  According to Housing
Intern Jill Ratzan, an informal poll by the committee members of fellow
students found decidedly mixed results. Nevertheless, the decision will be
left up to the Facilities staff, who will make their decision based on
cost of implementation and environmental concerns, in addition to the
recommendations of the committee.  Dean of Housing Myrt Westphal, noted
that even if approved, the conversion “would take several months, and
probably would be done over the summer.”

Although this plan’s long-term viability is still very unclear, its
discussion has led to several other possible improvements being suggested
by Housing Committee.  As Ratzan put it, “there are two issues here,
coinless laundry and new machines, and the latter may actually prove more
beneficial to the students.”  Along with machine replacement, the addition
of new coin machines, as well as the possibility of a debit-card activated
laundry system are being considered. But even with “free” laundry, it is
clear that being clean will always cost too much, even if you don’t have
to hunt for quarters.

-j.s.

*****

3) World news roundup

Investigators recovered the cockpit voice recorder from Alaska Airlines
flight 261 last night. All 88 people who were aboard the jet, which went
down off the coast of California, are now presumed to be dead. …US
Navy sailors boarded a Russian ship in the Persian Gulf yesterday, due to
suspicions that the ship may have violated the U.N. oil embargo on
Iraq. The United States had been monitoring two Russian ships for several
weeks. While the inspection of ships in the Persian Gulf for suspected
smuggling is not unusual, it is the first time a Russian ship has been
involved. …Thousands protested in Vienna yesterday against a proposed
coalition between the far-right Freedom Party and the more centrist
People’s party, while Austria’s president, Thomas Klestil, was still
considering whether to approve the new government. The European Union’s 14
other members had been considering sanctions if the Freedom Party shared
power, and Israel said it would withdraw its ambassador to Austria if
Klestil approves the coalition. …The Senate approved a sweeping
overhaul of the nation’s bankruptcy laws yesterday, passing a
measure that would make it harder for people to seek legal
protection of their debts. However, the measure also included a $1
increase in the minimum wage over the course of three years,
bringing it to $6.15 per hour. Willie B., the famous Zoo Atlanta
gorilla who was successfully reintroduced to gorilla society after 27
years in near isolation, died yesterday at 41.

*****

4) Campus events

“History and Anthropology in the American Museum” by Steven Conn
Bond Memorial Hall, 4:15 p.m.

Psychology Colloquium by Paul Bloom
Scheuer Room, 4:15 p.m.

Summer Opportunities in Bolivia
Pearson 113, 4:15 p.m.

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

Sophomore Paper Departmental Meeting: Comparative Literature
Kohlberg 228, 4:30 p.m.

Sophomore Paper Departmental Meeting: Theatre
Kohlberg 226, 4:30 p.m.

Lecture by Sarah Purcell
Trotter 203, 5:00 p.m.

Resume Workshop
CP&P, 6:00 p.m.

English Country Dance Class
LPAC Troy Dance Studio, 6:05 p.m.

Sophomore Paper Departmental Meeting: Chemistry
Dupont 190, 6:30 p.m.

Sophomore Paper Departmental Meeting: Black Studies
Kohlberg 226, 6:30 p.m.

Facilities Resource Management Information Session
Bond Memorial Hall, 7:00 p.m.

Sophomore Paper Departmental Meeting: Latin American Studies
Kohlberg 226, 6:30 p.m.

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

*****

SPORTS UPDATE

1) Intramural scores

NON-COMPETITIVE BASKETBALL

41 – Bonobos
27 – Lightnings

51 – Dr. Phat Tony
47 – Big Bad Ballers (OT)

45 – GuillaumeSansVincent
29 – Hawaii

45 – Faculty
31 – Mothership Connection

SOCCER

7 – I20
5 – Toothpaste

*****

2) World sports roundup

The New Orleans Saints have narrowed their search for a new coach to
Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and Denver Broncos offensive
coordinator Gary Kubiak. …Whoever wielded the knife in the
post-Super Bowl double slaying that led to murder charges against
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis “knew what they were doing,” a
medical examiner said Wednesday. …Colorado Avalanche center Peter
Forsberg, who missed the first two months of the season while recovering
from shoulder surgery, will not be able to participate in Sunday’s
All-Star game because of a concussion.

*****

3) Today’s and tomorrow’s contests

TODAY
Men’s basketball at Washington at 8 p.m.
Women’s basketball hosts Eastern at 7 p.m.

TOMORROW
No contests scheduled for tomorrow.

*****

“We are all worms, but I do believe that I am a glow-worm.” — Winston
Churchill

*****

Interested in reporting or writing for the Gazette?
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Contact the Editorial Board at
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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
    Karla Gilbride
    Alma Ortiz
    Jeremy Schifeling
    Kai Xu

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This concludes today’s report.