Thursday, November 14, 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
Thursday, November 14, 2002
Volume 7, Number 49

Write to us!
Photo of the day:

Today’s issue:


1) SC members debate merits of hosting political referenda

2) Your guide to the budget deficit

3) World news roundup

4) Campus events


1) Upcoming contests


Today: Lots of sun. High near 57.
Now that the College is operating in a deficit, a suggestion for cost

Tonight: Partly cloudy. Low near 43.
*Get rid of the squirrels.*

Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy. Highs in the upper 50s.
Especially since the little devils are always hoarding our nuts.  I mean,
how are WE supposed to survive the winter???


Lunch: Chicken pot pie, homemade biscuits, baked pasta with spinach,
vegetable ragout, spinach, vegetable blend, fajita bar, cupcakes

Dinner: Beef stroganoff, buttered noodles, garden burgers, tofu creole,
succotash, vegetable blend, patty grilla bar, cheesecake


1) SC members debate merits of hosting political referenda

by Megan Mills
Gazette Reporter

One of the issues brought up at Monday night’s Student Council meeting was
the topic of war in Iraq. The Swarthmore Progressive Action Committee
brought a resolution to Student Council, hoping to have the members vote on
their opinions on the international conflict. SC did not agree to this idea;
they did, however, agree to help SPAC by adding a question concerning the
Iraq issue to the ballot in the upcoming election, so as to help SPAC
ascertain the student body’s attitudes on the matter.

Council member Lester Tran ’03 voted against putting the resolution on the
SC ballot. “I feel that it was an unnecessary compromise on Council’s role
of representing the student body.  Council ought to either assume its role
as representatives and speak for the student body or completely abstain from
the Iraq issue on the grounds that it is not responsible for addressing
international affairs,” Tran said in a statement to the Daily Gazette.

Matt Rubin ’03 did vote for putting the question on the ballot, but voiced a
clear distinction between allowing it on the ballot and actually giving his
opinion on the issue. “We did not author the resolution and we in no way
authorize it,” he said. “I think it is just a way for the Council to use its
resources to help students express their opinions.”

He also added, “I think it’s very important to keep the boundaries of what
Council’s duties should be intact… It is not our job to be a political
body. One of the reasons I don’t think that Council should be involved in
partisan issues is that [this] makes Council members accountable to their
partisan politics and distracts them from their job, which is making
students’ lives better.”

Tran disagrees with this distinction. He believes that “Monday night’s
decision is setting a precedent that allows Council to equivocate on
determining which issues the student body can speak for itself on and which
issues it cannot.  If anything, the implications of the decision undermine
Council’s credibility and call into question its legitimacy as a
representative body.”

The SPAC statement given to SC can be found, in its entirety, here:


2) Your guide to the budget deficit

by Jeremy Schifeling
Co-Managing Editor

As was announced in this space yesterday, Swarthmore is currently coping
with a $900,000 budget shortfall for this fiscal year, as well as projecting
a $700,000 deficit for next year.  In order to better explain what this
means for the College community, we’ve compiled a list of answers to some
common questions:

* Where did the deficit come from?

The deficit is a product of changes in a number of areas that affect the
College’s bottom-line.  These include “large increases in health insurance
and property insurance,” according to Suzanne Welsh, VP for Finances and
Treasurer.  Additional factors are higher-than-expected utility costs and
“lower interest rates… leading to lower revenues on our operating cash
balances.”  Welsh cautions, however, that the exact size of the budget
shortfall will not be known until the end of the fiscal year.

* What is the College doing about this?

In regards to balancing this year’s budget, the College’s Board of Managers
has authorized the use of a reserve fund, designed specifically for such
instances of unexpected costs, to cover the $900,000 shortfall.  This action
comes in addition to a 5% “across the board cut in operational budgets” that
departments were asked to make last spring, according to Dean of the College
Bob Gross.

However, the reserve fund cannot be drawn on indefinitely and since Welsh
expects the financial downturn to continue for the near future (including
even greater health insurance costs), the College will need to find other
means to balance its upcoming 2003-2004 budget.  Gross explains that the
President’s staff, in conjunction with individual departments, “will look at
each area of the College over the next few months, gather information on
various expense and income areas, and if we need to find savings we will try
to do so where it will have the least effect on the excellence of the
school.”  Larry Schall, VP of Administration, adds that the recommendations
generated by the President’s staff and the College Budget Committee (CBC)
will be turned over to the Board of Managers and the President for final

* Have any major cuts been made thus far?

No.  Despite possible changes that Schall and Linda McDougall, Director of
Dining Services, discussed at Monday night’s Student Council meeting, no
substantial cost-cutting plans have been agreed upon.  “I think it’s
premature to mention specific possibilities,” said Gross.

* Which departments will most likely be affected?

Again, specifics are still being worked out, but it’s possible that, in the
absence of an across-the-board style of cut, certain areas will end up
bearing a greater burden than others.  Gross notes that “no one is going to
assign a quota to any specific area of the College, but everyone will be
expected to examine his or her area carefully.”

* What is the timetable for the next couple of months?

Between now and February, the President’s staff and CBC will work on
developing updated budget projections for next year, while continuing to
consult with departments on possible areas for cost-savings.  Although the
exact numbers are not yet available, Welsh anticipates “normal growth from
modest increases in tuition and the regular increases in endowment
spending,” in addition to the aforementioned cost increases.  Finally, in
February, the balanced budget, including expenditure reductions (and in some
areas, expenditure increases), will be presented to the Finance Committee
and Board of Managers for approval.

* What can I do to get involved?

While Welsh assures the College community that all relevant information will
be publicized as it becomes available, she also wishes to remind readers
that input is always welcome.  “We encourage the community to offer any
suggestions to the student, faculty, or staff members of the College Budget

For an overview of the College’s complete financial situation, including the
endowment and capital campaign, click here:


3) World news roundup

* Iraq’s ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammad Al-Douri, delivered a
letter of acceptance to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, announcing that
leaders in Baghdad “always [opt] for the path of peace” and would meet the
terms of the recent UN resolution to return arms inspectors to the country.
At the same time he announced that the inspectors would not find any weapons
of mass destruction because Iraq no longer had any. Reaction by world
leaders was skeptical, and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said that the
worst-case scenario, in his opinion, would be for Iraq to appear to comply
while attempting to hide weapons they possess. Rumsfeld said it is too early
to say what the US’s course of action will be if the inspectors do in fact
come up empty even though the US administration has repeatedly stated their
belief that Iraq does possess such weapons.

* Israeli forces moved into Gaza briefly Wednesday night, picked up two men
believed to be members of the militant wing of Hamas, and then withdrew. The
incursion included approximately 30 tanks and personnel carriers along with
air support from helicopters. Witnesses to the movement said that two
Palestinian security officers were wounded in the operation. Earlier in the
day Israel Defense Forces arrested 30 Palestinians in the West Bank city of
Nablus. Both movements were in retaliation for the attack on an Israeli
kibbutz on Sunday.

* The US House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday night to create a
Cabinet-level homeland security agency. The bill, which passed the chamber
299-121, included a compromise position on workers’ rights, which had been a
sticking point in earlier debates, crafted by three moderate senators: John
Breaux, Ben Nelson, and Lincoln Chafee. The Senate began debate of the same
bill on Wednesday and is expected to pass it within a week.

* In a Washington press conference on Wednesday, Democratic National
Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe announced that the 2004 National
Convention would be held in Boston, saying “we should bring our national
democratic showcase to the shining city on the hill. Perhaps no city better
embodies the American spirit. It is the birthplace of American patriotism
and an ideal backdrop for an affirmation of Democratic values.” Boston beat
out bids from New York City, Detroit and Miami who were also hoping to host
the event.


4) Campus events

RUSS 024 “Russian and East European Cinema”
LPAC 301, 7:00 p.m.

College Bowl Meeting
Kohlberg 202, 7:00 p.m.

Screening of Ardiente Paciencia
Kohlberg 328, 7:00 p.m.

Direct Action in Palestine – A Panel of Four Activists
Kohlberg 115, 7:00 p.m.

Aikido Club Practice
Wrestling Room – Lamb-Miller Field House, 7:00 p.m.

Gilbert Lecture: “Is the Old Racism Really Dead?”
An analysis of Anti-Miscegenation Referenda in Alabama and South Carolina
by Phillip Klinkner, Associate Professor of Hamilton College
Scheuer Room – Kohlberg, 7:30 p.m.

DIYA, a DESHI Week of Celebration: Deshi Mehndi Night
Parrish Parlor – West, 8:00 p.m.

Feminist Majority Meeting
Parrish Parlor East, 9:00 p.m.

SASA’s hosting a movie study break this Friday, Nov. 15, at 8PM in Upper
Tarble. We’re showing “Ta Dona” (“Fire”), which was directed by Adam Drabo
and is set in Mali in 1991. The study break starts at 8pm. There will be
refreshments (African food) served. Hope to see all of you there!
* Alumni Panel on Economic Justice and Labor – Saturday, November 16th from
2:00-3:00 in Kirby Lecture hall.
* Workshop on progressive economics with economist alums Mike Meerepol and
Gerry Epstein – 3:15-4:15 in Trotter 201.
* Workshop on labor organizing and racial justice with organizer alum Paul
Booth – 3:15-4:15 in Trotter 202.
All events are free and open to the public. The organizers especially
encourage staff members, economics students, and people interested in social
justice to take part.



1) Upcoming contests

There are no contests scheduled for today or tomorrow.



“There ain’t no rules around here! We’re trying to accomplish something!”
–Thomas A. Edison

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

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