Wednesday, February 14, 2001

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.

Wednesday, February 14, 2001
Volume 5, Number 80


1) The Living Wage Campaign, Part II: The Argument In Favor
2) World news roundup
3) Campus events


1) Intramural scoreboard
2) World sports roundup
3) Today’s and tomorrow’s contests


Today: Cloudy with periods of rain. Highs in the low 50s.
Was it just me, or did this campus completely shut down on Tuesday while the network was down?

Tonight: Cloudy with rain. Low around 45.
No one had a clue what to do with themselves without any e-mail to check every five minutes.

Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy with a few showers. Highs around 50.
Personally, I really missed my e-mail – it took me over an hour to find out if there were any new course offerings in the Dance department.


Lunch: French bread pizza, crinkle cut fries, *Tuscan bean bake, succotash, peas
**Greek bar

Dinner: Grilled strip steak, duchess potatoes, pasta with sauce, *wild rice with cranberries and pecans, asparagus, corn on the cob
**Pasta bar


1) The Living Wage Campaign, Part II: The Argument In Favor

The Living Wage Campaign is asserting itself as a venerable new activist force on campus. In the ten days since living wage petitions first appeared in Sharples on February 5, the campaign has met with President Al Bloom and his staff, held a well-attended educational meeting for the college community, and twice delivered presentations to Student Council. The following is a brief overview of the campaign’s arguments in favor of living wage.

Despite the seemingly booming economy of the last few years, the gap between the rich and the poor in the U.S. has increased, and the Living Wage Campaign asserts that neither federal minimum wage nor poverty lines serve as adequate guidelines for living wage. According to the campaign’s official written proposal, “The minimum wage does not protect many Americans from poverty. As Jim Keady of the Olympic Living Wage Project states: ‘It is possible to survive on certain wages, but it’s impossible to truly live on them.”

The campaign aims at allowing Swarthmore staff employees to receive a living wage as well as additional annual raises, in order to give employees the “dignity of self-sufficiency without the burden of having to work multiple jobs.” The campaign also emphasizes that instituting a living wage for all employees is economically “unfeasible only when we forget that our first budgetary priority must be meeting the basic needs of all members of our community, including staff as well as students.”

Campaign leader Sam Blair ’02 explained, “We are hoping to address the actual process of instituting living wage in a broad discussion in the college community sometime soon. For now, we want to move forward exposing the community to our ideas and philosophy, and hopefully getting people to commit to the principle behind the campaign.”

The main argument for implementing living wage at Swarthmore centers around the college’s goal of setting high standards in all areas, and its professed encouragement of individuals to impact and influence society. Many in the campaign feel that Swarthmore should be a leader in trying to alter society’s treatment of workers, and that if Swarthmore were to implement a living wage for all its employees, other colleges and universities would follow suit. “Swarthmore has an opportunity to act as a leader and a model in addressing the wealth disparity in America today,” states the Living Wage Campaign’s written proposal. “To live up to our commitment to social justice, in deed as well as word, we must take this opportunity.”

The campaign also calls on Swarthmore’s renowned Quaker heritage to impose a more democratic system of decision-making at the college. In recent months, many students have expressed their concern about the lack of student involvement in important decisions; the Living Wage Campaign seeks to improve equality as a whole on campus, especially for the staff employees who have been sorely under-represented in decision-making processes: “No decisions should be made without the input of the people directly affected by those decisions…No part of the community should be excluded from decisions that affect their lives and the future of the College.”

Thus, the Living Wage Campaign’s goals extend beyond simply raising staff wages; they emphasize a general improvement in the lives of the members of the college community as well as an enforcement of the college’s social responsibility to these community members. Said Blair, “For me, the most compelling thing about this campaign has been actually talking to the staff members and hearing their testimony, their struggles. The urgency of the issue, for them, has been my strongest motivation.”

Further information about the campaign is available at the weekly Conscious Consumers meetings (every Tuesday at 7 pm in the CRC), or by contacting Sam Blair ’02 or Mariah Montgomery ’04.

– Pei Pei Liu

The Living Wage Campaign, Part I: The Facts

Tomorrow – Part III: The Argument Against the Living Wage Campaign.

2) World news roundup

President Bush announced on Tuesday a new plan for revamping the United States defense system. The proposal, which has already garnered criticism from Pentagon officials, calls for changes in spending to invest in new technologies, including the previously proposed national missile defense system. President Bush, amid protests from Republicans, has thus far proposed only a 6% increase in military spending, aimed at developing weapons defense systems capable of deterring both large-scale and terrorist-style attacks.

The Israeli army on Tuesday morning killed a Palestinian security officer using a missiles launched from a helicopter. The army believed that the official was responsible for several attacks against Israeli citizens. The Palestinians expressed outrage at the assassination and concern that the Israelis seem to have given up on a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine. The leading parties in the Israeli senate, the Labor and the Likud, are currently discussing the future of peace talks, with the unofficial conclusion that a resolution at this point in time is impossible.

At 8:22 a.m. Tuesday morning a deadly earthquake occurred around the towns of La Paz, Cuscatlan, and San Vicente, El Salvador. The death toll has reportedly risen to 173, with around 1,500 injured. The latest reports indicate that the quake measured a 6.6 on the Richter scale, lasting about 20 minutes with the epicenter about 15 miles from San Salvador. In addition to the injuries, considerable damage was done to the surrounding area, including complete destruction of residences and office buildings.

3) Campus events

Small Craft Warnings – Poetry On Demand
Kohlberg Coffee Bar, 1:00 p.m. through 4:00 p.m.

“Color Processing, Racial Discourse in Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982)”
by Nina Zimnik, University of Hamburg
LPAC Cinema, 4:00 p.m.

ARC Meeting and Dinner
Scheuer Room, 6:00 p.m.

“The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks”
by Randall Robinson
LPAC Cinema, 7:00 p.m.

French Movie Night
Kohlberg 115, 7:00 p.m.

Information Session with Cambridge Associates
Bond Memorial Hall, 7:00 p.m.

College Democrats Meeting
Parrish Parlor – East, 8:30 p.m.

Film Society Screening
DuPont 161, 10:00 p.m.

Folk Song Sing-Along
Parrish Parlor – West, 10:00 p.m.


1) Intramural scoreboard

Competitive Basketball

Karma Police 49

Young Bucks 51
Slow Moving Vehicles 40

Non-Competitive League

Mothership Connection 43
Big Gay Asian Invasion 40

Team 3 41
Callaloo Club 20

Team 3 59
DU Pigroast 52

Jeye Squad 49
Dana Buggers 24

2) World sports roundup

Playing their first game without injured All-Star center Theo Ratliff, the Philadelphia 76ers activated Eric Snow and Matt Geiger for Tuesday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks. But it was the same old story, as Allen Iverson scored six of his 49 points in the final minute of the game to erase a five-point Bucks advantage, leading the Sixers to a 107-104 win.

In other NBA returns, Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal played his first game in over two weeks, leading L.A. to a 113-110 overtime win over the New Jersey Nets, despite a career-high 50 points from Nets guard Stephon Marbury. Kobe Bryant scored 38 for the Lakers, including the game-winner.

The Toronto Sun reported that the Philadelphia Flyers have rejected a trade proposal from the Toronto Maple Leafs that would have sent Sergei Berezin and a first-round draft pick to Philadelphia for Eric Lindros. Earlier on Tuesday, Flyers general manager Bob Clarke said he doubts his team will ever trade Lindros to the Maple Leafs, the only team for which the disgruntled star hopes to play.

3) Today’s and tomorrow’s contests


Women’s basketball at Muhlenberg, 6:00 p.m.
Badminton at Haverford, 7:30 p.m.
Men’s basketball at Muhlenberg, 8:00 p.m.


There are no contests scheduled for tomorrow.


“There’s no reason why sexual activity can’t be a vital part of your weekly workout.” – Professor Charles George, the medical director of the British Heart Foundation, at a special Valentine’s Day press conference.


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