Friday, October 25, 2002

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
Friday, October 25, 2002
Volume 7, Number 35

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Photo of the day:

Today’s issue:


1) Students hold rally to protest war on Iraq

2) Sulak Sivaraksa gives lecture on Buddhism and 9/11

3) Royal Renegades to perform tonight

4) Weekend roundup

5) World news roundup

6) Campus events


1) Upcoming contests


Today: Cloudy early with showers late. High around 53.
Well I’m glad they finally turned the heat on in this place.

Tonight: Showers become a steady rain. Low near 48.
But now what’s with the lawn mowing and construction work under my window
every morning?

Saturday: Cloudy with occasional rain. High around 63.
Listen, the lawn and the buildings aren’t going anywhere, so is it too much
to ask that we get some warm *and* uninterrupted sleep?

Sunday: Partly cloudy. High around 60.
I guess this just shows where we are on the priority list around here.


Lunch: Fried shrimp, french fries, stuffed cabbage, broccoli, mushroom
casserole, vegetable blend, corn, hoagie bar, brownies

Dinner: Meat lasagna, breadsticks, vegetarian lasagna, curry green beans &
seitan, broccoli, baby lima beans, caesar bar, pound cake


1) Students hold rally to protest war on Iraq

by Roxanne Yaghoubi
Gazette News Reporter

Despite the chilly weather, more than 100 people gathered in front of
Parrish at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday for a rally protesting the Bush
administration’s proposed war on Iraq. The rally was organized by SPAC, the
Swarthmore Progressive Action Coalition.

Faculty and community members served as speakers. The speakers urged
listeners to consider the ramifications of the war on Iraq and to take any
action needed to stop it. The Radical Cheerleaders, a group of students
dedicated to promoting activism and progressive issues through cheers and
routines, performed, as did the progressive a capella singing group, the
Octivists.This group of students sang a particularly impressive rendition
of “Down by the Riverside,” with audience members joining in on the chorus
of “I ain’t going to study war no more, ain’t go study war no more, no
more, no more.”

Throughout these speeches and performances, a nearby table held information
about the war. Included among this information was an anti-war petition
that had been started at Haverford and the “Iraq pledge of Resistance”
which allows its signers to agree to protest against any attack on Iraq,
and to engage in civil disobedience. The petition and pledge fit into the
larger theme of the rally which was to encourage students to play a larger
role in the peace movement.

Audience members will have a chance to fulfill this role further in the
next few days, in a protest Friday morning at Penn where Dick Cheney is
scheduled to speak and in a protest in DC on Saturday.

The rally concluded with an open mic session. Overall, SPAC members felt
satisfied with the outcome of the rally. As Arthur Chu ’06 commented “It
was amazing to see this level of commitment to our ideals across the board,
expressed in all these different thoughtful ways.”


2) Sulak Sivaraksa gives lecture on Buddhism and 9/11

by Megan Mills
Gazette News Reporter

In front of a Kirby Lecture Hall filled to bursting, the Lang Distinguished
Visiting Professor of Social Change, Sulak Sivaraksa, contemporary of the
Dalai Lama and co-founder of the International Order of Engaged Buddhists,
presented a thought-provoking argument on the importance of non-violence in
world affairs.

Sivaraksa, or Ajan Sulak as he is called by his students and colleagues,
dressed humbly in muted colors and Birkenstocks. Almost seeming to fade
into the background, he nonetheless exuded an air of confidence and wisdom
that immediately settled the energetic audience.

After being introduced by Religion Professor Donald Swearer, who listed
Sivaraksa’s many organizations, books, and awards, Ajan Sulak began his
speech with an excerpt from a letter the Dalai Lama sent to President Bush
a day after September 11, 2001 in which the Tibetan spiritual leader
counseled non-violence. Following this, he read a poem by Buddhist monk
Thich Nhat Hanh relating the pain incurred by violent acts. Sivaraksa went
on to caution against “cultural ideas of exclusivity,” saying that it
breeds violence.

One of the main points Ajan Sulak emphasized was that non-violence does not
mean “doing nothing” but is actually a “powerful force.” As an example, he
mentioned the Chinese occupation of Tibet and the peaceful means that the
Dalai Lama and others have used to effect change.

Ajan Sulak also compared the means to inner peace to the means for enacting
global peace. Meditation is important to free our minds from greed, hatred
and ignorance and lead them to generosity, compassion, and wisdom. We must
then, however, use these attributes to help the world by eliminating
structural violence.

According to Sivaraksa, when Bush named the terrorists “evil” and certain
countries an “axis of evil,” he fell prey to dualistic thinking, a
dangerous philosophy similar to that of Hitler and Stalin. Instead,
Sivaraksa urged people to look at conflict from all sides, and thus help
create peace. He contrasted peacekeeping, which is akin to firefighting;
peacemaking, which is “forging agreements;” and peacebuilding, which is
creating “a culture of peace.” Ajan Sulak argued that the last is the best
option, but is also “an endless task.”

Ajan Sulak also stressed the value of “transnational grassroots movements,”
reconciliation, and “re-examination of our concept of justice.”
Non-violence “takes great courage,” he said, and “does not mean opting out
or doing nothing.” He ended his speech by urging the audience to “find the
imagination and courage to take the initiative” to lead America to “promote
peace and justice, democratic political institutions, [and] fairer and more
egalitarian economic systems the world over.”

Afterwards, Kenneth Kraft, professor of Buddhism at Lehigh University,
compared Ajan Sulak to a gentle bulldozer, highlighted the “seeds of peace”
aspect of his speech, and once again urged us to use our imagination. He
also offered a conundrum: “How do we know when we have done all that can be
done?” Kraft believes that political understanding is required in engaged

Professor Swearer opened up the floor for a few questions at the end. When
asked what young people can do to help effect non-violence in the current
post-9/11 situation, Sivaraksa suggested that students like those at
Swarthmore should use “compassion” when writing congressional letters and
speaking to politicians. Additionally, he clarified his belief that there
is no such thing as a “just war.”

In the words of Kenneth Kraft: “[Sulak] says ‘I don’t have all the
answers,’ but I think he does.”


3) Royal Renegades to perform tonight

by Pei Pei Liu
Co-Managing Editor

In celebration of Coming Out Week, the Royal Renegades Drag King Troupe
will be making its return to Swarthmore tonight in Upper Tarble.

Previously seen at Swat during Sager Weekend last spring, the troupe–which
includes nationally recognized drag kings, Swat seniors Mara Fortes, Liz
Brainard, and Emily Chavez, and alum Elizabeth Lindsey ’02–has rapidly
been gaining recognition in the area, performing at various clubs and the
Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in Philadelphia, the International Drag King
Show in DC, and Bryn Mawr College. Last weekend, the troupe also
participated in the International Drag King Extravaganza in Columbus, Ohio,
which hosts a major drag king scene.

“We’ve got lots of energy from the IDKE,” said Brainard. “We’ve been
growing in popularity in Philadelphia, and it’s been really cool to be
shaping the drag king scene here, to be part of that.”

While the troupe was originally formed in February 2001, the Swatties
currently in the group all joined at different times. Brainard became
involved last February, and Lindsey, who MC-ed the Sager event last year,
joined this past summer. Fortes performed in the troupe’s most recent show,
and Chavez’ first performance will be the one tonight. In total, the troupe
now has about 12 members of varying ages and experiences, and is looking to

Drag king performances generally feature drag characters lip-synching or
otherwise performing to a popular song, often sung by a male vocalist,
although there are also female drag performers who portray female
characters. For example, Brainard explained that her drag character, a
14-year-old boy called Junior, often performs Aaron Carter songs. She has
also portrayed Eminem in numbers that examine the media attention directed
at the rapper’s homophobic lyrics.

“For me, the troupe has been really wonderful–a place I can go to practice
and laugh and be silly, crazy, goofy,” Brainard said. She also revealed the
serious side of using drag as a creative way to explore issues of identity
and representation. “You’re always conscious of race, gender, class when
you’re performing various characters,” she said. “Doing drag has also
helped me think about body image and how there are so many different ways
to be sexy on stage.”

“This is the first performance-oriented thing I’ve done,” Brainard added,
“but the theater experience is amazing, and it’s great to be on stage and
have the audience energy. This is also the first time I’ve really felt
connected to a group of queer people in a way I haven’t, ever.”

The Royal Renegades Drag King Troupe will be performing in Upper Tarble
tonight at 10:00 p.m. The show will feature a mix of old and new numbers,
plus a DJ with a drag band, and will last about an hour. It will be
followed by the SQU party in Paces.


4) Weekend roundup

by Evelyn Khoo
Living & Arts Editor

It’s the first weekend after fall break–get back into the swing of Swat
things by attending the numerous events happening on campus.

On Friday, end Coming Out Week with a bang by checking out the Drag King
Show in Upper Tarble at 10:00 p.m. and then partying the night away at the
SQU party in Paces. If you still haven’t quite danced loose all the kinks
in your McCabe-cramped muscles, stop by Olde Club at 10:00 p.m. to
experience the rhythm of hip hop maestro Sage Francis.

On Saturday, make the trek out to ML in your spookiest gear. The ML
Halloween party, this year themed Ghost Ship, is a Swattie tradition, so
it’s a definite must to go get your freak on (literally)! The shuttles will
be running every 8 minutes instead of the usual 10 to 15 so the wait won’t
be too much of a bother.

Remember, though, not to trip over any specs–the school will be rampant
with them, for it’s Discovery Weekend! There will be a host of related
activities for our consumption, but the jewel in its crown will be the
famous Asian American female spoken word duo, Yellow Rage, who will be
performing in the IC on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. The pair have been featured
on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and have performed in numerous college campuses
across the country. Their poetry explores topics from fetishes to cultural
appropriation to ethnic pride, and challenges mainstream misconceptions of
Asian Americans. The event will also feature Asian American poets from
local colleges. Refreshments will be served.

Finally, over at Bryn Mawr, the Bryn Mawr College Concert Series welcomes
Dear Nora, Jody Bleyle, and Kierstin Gray for a concert on Saturday at 3:00
p.m. in the Campus Center. The concert is free for Tri-College students; $5
for the general public. All of the artists will be available after the
performance to meet audience members and sign CDs. For a campus map or
directions, visit
. If you have
any questions about the event, please contact Anne Martin at 610-527-5712, or Andie
Novakovic at 610-526-5660,


5) World news roundup

* Forensic examination of the assault rifle found in the car of the two
suspects involved in the Washington DC area sniper attacks has conclusively
linked it to 11 of the 14 shootings. John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo
were taken into custody early Thursday morning and made their first
appearance in court Thursday afternoon. The arrests were made at a rest
stop in Maryland without any problems. No charges related to the shootings
have yet been made against Muhammad or Malvo, but Muhammad has been charged
with the possession of a weapon forbidden for him by a outstanding
restraining order and stalking his ex-wife and children. The suspects’ car,
a 1990 Chevrolet Caprice, had two holes in the trunk, one for the gun and
one for the scope, according to This would allow the gunman to
shoot without ever leaving the car.

* The Chechen gunmen holding approximately 700 hostages in a theater in
Moscow released seven on Thursday morning. This brings the total number of
hostages who have escaped or been released to 37. The gunmen are demanding
the cessation of hostilities in Chechnya and have threatened to kill the
remaining hostages if their demands are not met within a week. Russian
officials are still optimistic that there is the possibility for a
nonviolent outcome, but as of Thursday evening official negotiations had
not yet begun.

* Indian and Pakistani officials announced on Thursday that they would
begin pulling their troops away from the countries’ shared border. Both
nations said, however, that their troops in the disputed Kashmir region
would remain in their current state. Indian defense minister George
Fernandes said that the process would take about a month and a half, but
that they would try to complete it as soon as possible.


6) Campus events


Vans to protest Vice President Dick Cheney’s visit to U-Penn
Parrish Circle, 7:30 a.m.

Sana Musasama, 2002-2003 Heilman Visiting Artist
Lecture by the artist, followed by reception
LPAC Cinema, 4:30 and 5:30 p.m.

Shabbat services and dinner
Bond Memorial Hall, 5:00 p.m.

Film: “The Wild Bunch”
LPAC Cinema, 7:30 and 10:00 p.m.

International Club movie
SCCS Lounge, 8:00 p.m.

Senior Recital: Olivia Gruber, flute
Lang Concert Hall, 8:00 p.m.

Sage Francis, Dos Noun, DJ Cabell
Olde Club, 10:00 p.m.

Royal Renegades Drag King Troupe
Upper Tarble, 10:00 p.m.

SQU party
Paces, 10:00 p.m.


Comedian Julie Goldman
Pearson-Hall Theatre, 7:00 p.m.

Film: “Brotherhood of the Wolf”
LPAC Cinema, 7:30 and 10:00 p.m.

Asian American Spoken Word: Yellow Rage
Intercultural Center, 8:00 p.m.

Halloween party
Mary Lyons, 10:00 p.m.


Breakfast and Meeting for Worship
Friends Meeting House, 9:30 and 10:00 a.m.

Celebration of Mass
Bond Memorial Hall, 11:00 a.m.

Protestant Worship
Bond Common Worship Room, 4:00 p.m.

Peter Richards workshop in performance video
Troy Dance Studio, 7:00 p.m.

SAC meeting
Trotter 303, 10:00 p.m.



1) Upcoming contests

There are no contests scheduled for today.

Volleyball at McDaniel with Ursinus, 11:00 a.m.
Women’s soccer v. Dickinson, 12:00 p.m.
Field hockey at Johns Hopkins, 1:00 p.m.
Men’s soccer v. Muhlenberg, 2:00 p.m.

Men’s soccer v. Gettysburg, 2:00 p.m.



“The world is round; it has no point.”
–Adrienne E. Gusoff

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Managing Editors: Pei Pei Liu
Jeremy Schifeling
News Editor: Alexis Reedy
Living & Arts Editor: Evelyn Khoo
News Reporters: Charlie Buffie
Mary Harrison
Lola Irele
Ben Kligfield
Greg Leiserson
Megan Mills
Nelson Pavlosky
Kent Qian
Aude Scheuer
Siyuan Xie
Roxanne Yaghoubi
Sports Writers: Jenna Adelberg
Saurav Dhital
Sarah Hilding
Holice Kil
Pat Quinn
Photographers: David Bing
Liz Bada
Elizabeth Buckner
Casey Reed
Webmaster: Jeremy Schifeling
World News: Greg Leiserson
Campus Sports: Pei Pei Liu

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