Wednesday, April 5, 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
Wednesday, April 5, 2000
Volume 4, Number 107

NEWS IN BRIEF

1) Students express concern about new minors proposal at fireside chat

2) World news roundup

3) Campus events

SPORTS IN BRIEF

1) Women’s lacrosse fall to Ursinus

2) World sports roundup

3) Today’s and tomorrow’s contests

WEATHER FORECAST

Today: Windy. High in the mid 50s.
    Hey, rising sophomores…    

Tonight: Cloudy. Low in the upper 40s.
    As a current sophomore who went through utter and absolute hell in
the housing lottery last year, I have a very important piece of advice
that I’d like to share with you.

Tomorrow: Scattered showers. High in the mid 60s.
    Actually, there’s no advice anyone in the world could
give to you right now. I just wanted to get your hopes up so I could laugh
at you.

NEWS REPORT

1) Students express concern about new minors proposal at fireside chat

The idea of “minors for all” sounds great, but upon closer
inspection, it may not be as wonderful as it first seems. At least, this
was the opinion of more than 20 students who attended a fireside chat with
members of the Council on Educational Policy (CEP) last night. The CEP
wanted student input before bringing the issue to faculty.

The proposal is not simply an addition of minors to the College
curriculum. It also includes a “major-plus-one” limitation clause which
means that students would only be allowed a major and
one other curricular element–double major, concentration, or
minor. Although the faculty, especially those in departments with a
small number of degree candidates, appear to be very much in favor of the
introduction of minor programs, they are concerned about the quality of
students’ work as they try to do too many things in order to fulfill their
degree requirements.

Mimi Hanaoka ’02 questioned the fairness of the proposed program, saying
that it penalizes the entire student body for a selective few who “cut
corners” in their studies. Other students shared her view that the
Swarthmore experience is the result of the wealth of freedom that the
school offers. Andrew Fefferman ’02, for example, believes that the
restriction of choices brought by the major-plus-one clause “detracts from
the self-selecting nature of academics at Swarthmore,” he said. “Often, it
is up to the student to decide whether to take on a challenging course,
and it should be the same way with choosing to have multiple majors,
minors and concentrations.”

Another important point was brought up by Ira Lindsay ’01, who noted that
different groups are affected differently by this proposal. Notably, the
honors majors who currently have the privilege of having a minor are the
targets of the restraint, while the course majors seem to only benefit
from it. Provost Jennie Keith  agreed with Lindsay and offered to modify
the proposal so that the honors major and minor become one package which
allow those students to have an additional curricular element if they
wish. Another student suggested making minors a privilege similar
to that of the honors major, so that a student’s admission to the
program would be largely dependent upon his/her performance in that
department. This modification would also make the diploma a true
reflection of the student’s priorities.

While an overwhelmingly positive response from the student body could
certainly affect the decisions of the faculty members, the proposal is
not likely to affect current students because of the amount of
preparation that would be required to create new academic programs.

The CEP, composed of student, faculty, and administrative
representatives, will present the proposal to faculty on
April 14, possibly for a vote.

-k.x.

*****

2) World news roundup

Yoshiro Mori was elected president of Japan’s ruling party today, putting
him in line to become prime minister in place of the Keizo
Obuchi, who remains comatose after suffering a massive stroke
Sunday. …The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights urged
Russia yesterday to set up an independent panel to look into allegations
of human rights abuses by both sides in Russia’s war with rebel fighters
in Chechnya.  Mary Robinson said she had heard numerous reports of abuses
by both Russian troops and Chechen rebels and that there must be a
“day of reckoning.” …Researchers have informed about 25,000 women taking
part in a federal study of hormone replacement therapy that it
may have put the women at a slightly higher risk of heart attacks and
strokes; hormone replacement therapy was thought to prevent heart disease
in healthy post-menopausal women. Those who had been randomly assigned to
take estrogen were having slightly more heart attacks, strokes and blood
clots in the lungs than those who had been assigned to take placebos for
comparison. …Yesterday was Wall Street’s busiest trading day on record,
with the Nasdaq recovering nearly all of a 574-point, 13.5 percent tumble
that would have been the index’s biggest percentage drop in history–ahead
of the 11.3 percent plunge of Black Monday, Oct. 19, 1987.

*****

3) Campus events

Dialogues
Mary Lyons Lounge, 9:00 p.m.

Dialogues
Wharton E/F Lounge, 9:00 p.m.

Film Society Screening, 10:00 p.m.

Carnival! All-Campus Study Break
Parrish Parlor West, 10:00 p.m.

*****

SPORTS UPDATE

1) Women’s lacrosse fall to Ursinus

The women’s lacrosse team lost to Ursinus 14-9 yesterday. Katie Tarr ’02
led with three goals and one assist; Mavis Biss ’02 had two goals and one
assist; Kim Cariello ’02 had two goals; Erika Williams ’01 had one
goal; and Mariam Levy ’02 had one goal. The team is now 5-3 overall and
1-2 in the Centennial Conference.

*****

2) World sports roundup

The national rating for Monday night’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament
championship game between Michigan State and Florida was 14.1, the worst
since the network began airing the event in 1982.  The tournament as a
whole finished with an average rating of 6.4, down 6 percent from 1999’s
6.8, the previous low mark. …An Oct. 2 trial was set for Boston Bruins
tough guy Marty McSorley, who is charged with attacking Vancouver’s Donald
Brashear during a game, giving him a concussion. McSorley has already been
suspended for at least 23 games. …South Carolina coaches Eddie Fogler
and Lou Holtz marched with Clemson’s Larry Shyatt and Tommy Bowden
yesterday, united to say the Confederate flag should be lowered from atop
the Statehouse.

*****

3) Today’s and tomorrow’s contests

TODAY
Softball hosts Ursinus, 3:00 p.m.
Baseball at Muhlenberg, 3:00 p.m.
Women’s tennis at Gettysburg, 3:30 p.m.

TOMORROW
Women’s lacrosse hosts College of New Jersey, 4:00 p.m.
Softball at Albright, 4:00 p.m.

*****

Quote of the day:
“I hold it to be the inalienable right of anybody to go to hell in his own
way.” — Robert Frost

*****

Interested in reporting or writing for the Gazette?
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E-mail gazette-news@student-publications.swarthmore.edu.

Editorial Board
    Jeff Heckelman
    Melanie Hirsch
    Claire Phillips-Thoryn

Staff Writers
    Karla Gilbride
    Jeremy Schifeling
    Kai Xu

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This concludes today’s report.