Monday/Sunday, April 1/2, 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.

Monday/Sunday, April 1/2, 2001
Volume 5, Number 107


1) Bloom declares Swarthmore students “special”
2) Redgrave opens bell tower, inserts giant eye
3) Remaining football supporters change minds
4) Bock finds Mamlet’s chair “comfy”
5) Swattie not in room, social life feared
6) Swat Alums found dead
7) Student performs “fun sweep” of room before Family Weekend
8) SC, BC, SAC same group, says report
9) Freshman drops cup in Sharples, friends look away
10) Canadian national curling champion leads class of ’05
11) World news roundup
12) Campus events


Today: Cloudy. High of 45.
It’s cold.

Tonight: Cloudy. Lows near 30.
Shit, it’s colder.

Tomorrow: Cloudy. High of 45.
Ah, that’s better.


1) Bloom declares Swarthmore students “special”

In response to questions from parents regarding their childrens’ relative value to Swarthmore, President Al Bloom on Saturday declared that each and every student is, in fact “special, in his or her own way.”

Speaking at a roundtable discussion for parents along with Provost Jennie Keith and Dean Bob Gross, Bloom went on to tell parents that “your sons and daughters are all bright, intelligent men and women who display that fire, that passion, that makes Swarthmore the special place that it is.

“Every chance that I have to interact with the students is enlightening – they each add so much to the diversity and character of the College. They’re so special,” Bloom added.

Keith interjected, “Except for the football players.

“Rather, that’s what I’ve heard,” she added.

Bloom, noticing a camera out of the corner of his right eye, leaned forward in his chair, craning his neck upward to flash an ear-to-ear grin. Looking back to the audience, he said, “I’m just so glad that you are all here to enjoy our wonderfully enriching campus environment and to have the pleasure of seeing your sons and daughters engage, as brilliantly and vitally as they do, Swarthmore’s intellectual and community life.”

Bloom later added, “They’re so special.”

2) Redgrave opens bell tower, inserts giant eye

Bowing to the demands of students, Director of Public Safety Owen Redgrave ascended the steps of Clothier Tower yesterday and unlocked the door to the last flight of stairs announcing, “the bell tower is now open to students – please be careful and go up in groups.”

Before he left, however, Redgrave placed what looked like a giant human eye, measuring nearly 25 feet in diameter, atop the bell tower.

The eye, which Redgrave affectionately dubbed “Iris,” is a fully-functioning vision apparatus that rotates on a 360-degree axis and is equipped with laser sensors.

“For ten years I’ve been trying to find a way to quell students’ fears about their safety on campus. The recent rash of violent crimes got me thinking again about what could be done. Then, at last month’s fireside chat, I dozed off and had a dream – a vision, if you will – of Iris,” he said.

“Iris will keep a constant watch over the entire campus, not only looking for intruders, but searching for Swatties with criminal intentions as well,” Redgrave said.

Effective immediately, Public Safety officers no longer patrol in cars or on foot. Officers will work the same shifts as before, but now they will all be stationed in Ben West, renamed “Iris Control Center,” watching the television monitors for suspicious activity.

So far, the officers say Iris is a big improvement over the old methods.

“Last night was fucking awesome,” said one officer, who requested anonymity. “These two girls were giving this guy head on the tennis court – I totally wouldn’t have gotten there in time to get a close look if I was on foot.”

“Thank you, Iris,” he added.

Redgrave warned students ascending the bell tower not to get too close to Iris.

“I’d keep my distance,” he said, adding with a slight chuckle, “those lasers can get pretty hot.”

3) Remaining football supporters change minds

Saturday afternoon, six people on campus still thought that Swarthmore should have a football team. By Sunday morning, all six had changed their minds.

What caused this change of heart? To find out, the Daily Gazette spoke with two of these students. Did President Bloom’s heartfelt round table discussion with parents Saturday morning prove that he really does have the best interests of the Swarthmore community in mind? Did last week’s Diversity Week events clarify the meaning of diversity once and for all?

“Well,” said Annie Mann ’03, “I don’t know about any of that. But you know the DU party? It really sucked.”

Noah Luvin ’04 concurred. “Back in December, everyone was talking about how the football guys contribute so much to campus life, right? So they finally get to throw a party, and it’s completely lame. I’ve had more fun sitting in my room, drinking by myself. Or at SQU parties.”

Annie added, “I wore my best halter top, and I still didn’t get any. The drinks weren’t even up to their usual vodka-and-tang standards. And I swear, I saw someone’s mom there.”

“Hey, it was parents’ weekend – what was I supposed to do, make my mom sit in my room by herself?” said DU member, and football player, Bill Derrup ’03 in response. His mom could not be reached for comment.

“They ought to start having slots for like, art majors or something,” added Noah. “At least they have wine at their parties.”

When it was pointed out that gallery openings are not technically parties, Noah replied, “Yeah? Well, neither was that thing in DU last night.”

4) Bock finds Mamlet’s chair “comfy”

Interim Director of Admissions Jim Bock ’90, leaning back in the deluxe plush leather desk chair left behind by former Dean of Admissions Robin Mamlet, described the experience as “comfy.”

“It seems like a waste to have it just sitting here, not being used,” Bock said. “I mean, I know it’s not my office officially, but I don’t see anyone else using it.”

Bock then proceeded to push off the desk with his hand and swivel four times, saying “Wheeee!!” throughout.

When Mamlet left for Stanford, Bock stepped in and assumed responsibility for running the admissions office, despite not being offered the title of Dean. After successfully sending out admissions letters to the class of ’05 last week, Bock has spent the majority of his time in Mamlet’s old office, swiveling in the chair and measuring the walls to see how many of his
posters will fit.

When asked about the makeup of the class of ’05, Bock said, “I can tell you this – every single student we admitted belongs here. Nope, no admissions mistakes this year, I can tell you that.”

He then put his hand to his mouth, and coughed loudly, muttering “ahem, Robin” under his breath.

5) Swattie not in room, social life feared

According to reports from his quadmates, Mark Thomas ’04 was not in his room last Saturday night. His parents suspect a social life.

“Mark seemed like such a normal kid,” said roommate Tim Sanders ’04. “But lately, he’d been acting a bit strangely. Phone calls, visiting friends, eating in the big room at Sharples… I know it sounds suspicious, but
Mark, a social life? Yeah right.”

Thomas’ parents reluctantly spoke to the press yesterday. “I just want you to know that we did not raise Mark this way,” began his father, Sam. “However, his mother and I have come to terms with the fact that our little
boy has grown up. He has to make choices for himself and he has to live with the consequences of those choices. If a social life is what he really wants… I’m sorry, this is just too painful.”

Thomas himself declined to comment for this story. He said he was going out “to study.”

6) Swat Alums found dead

In what is already being labeled the worst tragedy in Swarthmore history, it was revealed yesterday that thousands of Swat alumni are, in fact, dead.

The horrifying discovery was made late Saturday afternoon by Alumni Office Staffer Tammy Robinson.

“I was closing the office by myself, when I happened to glance at the record book for the class of 1905. As I went down the list of alums, I began to notice a disturbing trend: They were all dead! It was the same for other classes too. I mean, the entire decade of the 1870s was just wiped out.”

The news of the mass deaths quickly spread around campus.

Although some unnamed Swatties leaving last night’s DU party reportedly told “those old dudes” that they “can suck it,” most students expressed concern over the passage of their forebears.

“I’m going to miss the class of 1864,” said sophomore Amy Hawkins. “They always had these crazy stories about ‘the olden days.’ Just funny stuff like respecting others and the Quaker tradition. Man, they really knew how to make me laugh.”

As this concern turned to paranoia, President Al Bloom released the following statement: “I urge the Swarthmore community to stay calm in the midst of this great tragedy. While someone or something is killing our alumni, we must recognize that many of the deceased had not donated in the last century. Furthermore, those who had given fairly recently, were not exactly magnanimous. For instance, Theodore Simpson ’21 contributed 25 dollars in 1930. Yeah, thanks a lot pal.

“Meanwhile, let me assure you that we are actively taking measures to protect our more generous alums. Larry Kohlberg, for instance, is being housed in an underground bunker, while the Computer Science department steals his credit card info and charges the tab for the new science center to his Diner’s Club account.”

As of the time of this publication, Swarthmore police had made no arrests in connection to the deaths, which they are calling a “serial homicide.” However, forensic experts believe they have identified the culprit, saying
that the victims fell prey to a rare strain of “old people’s disease.”

7) Student performs “fun sweep” of room before Family Weekend

In anticipation of his parents’ arrival Friday morning, Michael Liddens ’04 did a thorough “fun sweep” of his dorm room, hiding or removing all traces of a social life from view.

“It’s not that they don’t want me to have fun,” he said, as he carefully placed 38 long-neck bottles of Corona behind his plastic under-the-bed box. “I just don’t need the aggravation, you know?” he added.

After taking care of the alcohol, and making his bed for the first time this year, Michael moved to his desk, where he found a 12-pack of condoms in his second drawer.

“Shit, what am I supposed to do with these?” he asked, “I can’t leave them here – my mom’s gonna go straight for the desk drawers as soon as she’s done folding my clothes.

“And I can’t even put them in my Econ textbook, ’cause my dad’s probably gonna look through it and quiz me,” he went on.

Eventually, he settled on laying them flat on the bed of his scanner and closing the lid. “I’m probably safe there. They don’t even know what it is – they think it’s a VCR,” he said.

As the clock counted down to his parents’ anticipated arrival time, Michael tried calming himself down with a game of solitaire on his computer. Checking his e-mail just as his parents walked in the door, he got up to
greet them, just as the attachment his friend Joe sent him automatically opened to play a 30-second video clip of a nude woman performing fellatio on a horse.

8) SC, BC, SAC same group, says report

Sources close to the operation report that despite what students have been led to believe, the Social Affairs Committee, Budget Committee, and Student Council are all the same group.

“It’s just easier this way,” admitted SCBCSAC Co-Chair Colin Moore ’03. “We don’t have to worry about contradicting one another, and it really cuts down on meeting times.”

“Plus,” he added, “did you honestly think there’s that many people here willing to get off their asses and do something like join one of these committees?”

The hoax is rumored to have been started many years ago. The Gazette was unable to find any alumni who remember it any other way.

“I think it goes back to Gene (Eugene Lang ’38),” said Mildred Magill ’39. “I do recall he was the chair of Budget Committee at the time, and he was getting sick of SAC’s lack of organization and SC’s lack of leadership, so he bought them both out.”

When reached for comment, Lang responded, “Fucking SAC and their forged receipts. They couldn’t keep their big mouths shut, and they ruined the weekends for the rest of us.”

The discovery left students wondering who was really in charge of their governance and representation. The current supposed-chairs of the committee(s) declined comment.

However, when asked who was really in charge of things when he headed Student Council, former Co-Chair Jared Solomon ’01 bowed his head, solemnly acknowledging, “It was all Josh.”

9) Freshman drops cup in Sharples, friends look away

Sid Towson ’04, on his way to the conveyor belt in Sharples yesterday afternoon, dropped his cup. The cafeteria went silent, except for the clattering cup, and everyone turned to face him. His friends looked away.

10) Canadian national curling champion leads class of ’05

Francois Parrish, the star of Canada’s national high school curling championship team, was heavily recruited throughout the US, but Swarthmore will be his home starting next year.

“I am very excite about attending the number one library arts college in your nation,” Parrish, a fifth-generation Swattie, told the Gazette. “And I look forward to continuing my study in fishing.”

Interim Director of Admissions Jim Bock ’90 said in any other year Francois might have been overlooked due to his somewhat low academic qualifications by Swarthmore standards.

“But we had these extra slots that usually went to football players, so we were fortunate to be able to recruit actively for some sports that don’t usually get the recognition in Admissions that they deserve,” Bock said.

When told that Swarthmore does not have a curling team, Bock replied, “Fuck!”

11) World news roundup

Life was revealed to be empirically “not fair,” yesterday in a stunning discovery made by scientists at the Harvard School of Fairness Studies. The researchers initially believed that life was fair, but were led to their
ground-breaking conclusion when they realized that their colleagues at the School of Inequality were being paid more.

Mr. Boddy was found murdered in his mansion last night by area police. Colonel Algernon Mustard, a guest at Boddy’s party, is considered to be a leading suspect, though the investigating detective has also detained Mrs. Henrietta Peacock on grounds of suspicion. The investigation has been slowed by the fact that eight separate murder weapons were found next to the corpse.

12) Campus events

Easter Egg Hunt for prospective students
Parrish Beach, 10:30 a.m.

Career Planning and Placement Information Session
Investment Banking and Consultingz
Students interested in other fields are encouraged to sit in their rooms and cry.
Bond Memorial Hall, 2:30 p.m.

Psychology Colloquium: “Correlations between self-induced stress, misery poker participation, lack of showering and social life measures: A longitudinal in-house study.”
A Psychology Department panel discussion.
Scheuer Room, 4:15 p.m.

Upper Tarble, 9:30 p.m.

Movie: Edward Penishands
Kirby Lecture Hall, 10:00 p.m.

Student Council Meeting
Agenda: discussion
Parrish Parlours, 10:00 p.m


“Oooh, yeah, Jeff – just like that.” – Your mom

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