Tuesday, March 18, 2003

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
Tuesday, March 18, 2003
Volume 7, Number 102

Write to us!: daily@swarthmore.edu
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1) Opening of Commons area in new science center delayed

2) Alumni prepare report on consensus

3) Debaters win Virginia tournament

4) World news roundup

5) Campus events


1) Upcoming contests


Today: Cloudy. High of 57
Spring has definitely sprung at Swat!

Tonight: Cloudy. Low of 33.
Not that we can afford to take the time to notice in real-life…

Tomorrow: Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 40s.
But on paper (or in the Gazette), it sounds awfully good!


Lunch: BBQ chicken sandwich, cottage fries, ratatouille, pierogies, brussel
sprouts, corn on the cob, chef salad bar, cupcakes

Dinner: Chicken marsala, buttered noodles, casbah couscous, sweet potato
whip, spinach, peas and carrots, potato bar, lemon meringue pie


1) Opening of Commons area in new science center delayed

by Charlie Buffie
Gazette News Reporter

As students returned to classes in the Dupont building on Monday, they were
greeted with a novel development in the construction of the new science
center.  However, this surprise was not the grand opening of the
much-anticipated Commons area and sushi bar, but rather a new detour around
more sprawling construction and a curiously still-unfinished Commons space.

The Commons area, a lounge space in between the Cornell science library and
the rest of the new science center, was originally scheduled to be complete
and open to the community after spring break.  According to Rachel Merz,
Biology Professor and consultant on the new science center construction
project, the official opening of the Commons area has been delayed
approximately seven to ten days, with the area likely to be open by April
1st.  Merz explained, “It is […] not the major building systems that have
held things up,[but rather] a variety of architectural details [like] the
final finish on some metal surfaces and the replacement of some fritted
glass that arrived with blemishes.”

Merz also divulged that the delay was partly due to problems coordinating
the final details of the sushi bar and the catering space in the Commons
that will house it.  According to Merz, negotiations with a number of
possible vendors are currently being conducted, and that new menu items will
be introduced gradually at the bar.  “It’s my sense that it will take a
little trial and error to see what items are successful,” Merz said.

Despite this slight delay in the opening of the area, things are now
progressing smoothly.  According to Merz, state and local inspections of the
facility have already begun and will continue this week.  As these
inspections are completed and passed, the Commons area facility will be
turned over to the College officially so that cleaning and installation of
furniture in the space can commence.

Students and faculty still yearning for a first-hand glimpse of the new
Commons area can satisfy their desire by signing up for the March 24th tour
of the science center construction project.  Contact Professor Rachel Merz
rmerz1@swarthmore.edu to reserve a
place on the tour.

Check out the Gazette’s latest photo log of the ongoing construction:



2) Alumni prepare report on consensus

by Roxanne Yaghoubi
Gazette News Reporter

From June 2002 to February 2003, a group of alumni were busy preparing a
report on consensus and its role within the college community. Formally
called the Alumni Task Group on Consensual Decision Making and headed by Jed
Rakoff ’64, the group arose out of a series of meetings in the fall of 2001.

The meetings took place between College President Al Bloom, President of the
Alumni Council Rich Truitt ’66, members of the Board of Managers, and
several representatives of Mind the Light – an organization that was formed
after the athletic cuts of 2000. One of the major concerns arising out of
these cuts was that the Board of Managers did not use consensus when making
its decision.

Consensual decision making is grounded in the Quaker Tradition and
traditionally does not include voting. Instead the participants in the
debate must be willing to listen to all sides of the issue and then come to
an agreement on the issue which everyone could support.

The Alumni Task Group thus spent several months reseraching the history and
uses of consensus. Particularly it focused on the College’s decisions
regarding divesture from South Africa and the revision of the Honors
Program. In both of these instances, the Board of Managers had been able to
use consensual decision making in order to resolve the issue.

In its report, the Alumni Task Group points to several reasons, including
strong leadership, effective use of committees and an orientation for new
board members, as to why the consensual decision making process worked in
these instances.

The task group presented its report to the Board during its meeting on
February 28, 2003. The Board then approved the report, and its findings on
consensus, in a minute issued on March 1, 2003. The report was then made
available to the public.

To read the Task Group’s report, click here:



3) Debaters win Virginia tournament

Seniors Sarah Drescher and Rob Peterson won the annual University of
Virginia debate tournament this past weekend.  Confronting a team with
debaters from MIT and William & Mary in the final round, the Swat squad
succesfully debated the resolution “The US would be better off if handguns
had never been legal,” earning a 6-5 decision of the judges and audience.
In addition, Peterson was named the second-place speaker while Drescher
finished seventh overall.  Sonya Hoo ’05 also fared well at the tourney,
winning eighth-place team honors with her partner from Princeton.

The victory came just one weekend after Drescher and Peterson finished in
second-place at a University of Maryland – Baltimore County tournament.  It
was also a strong tournament for individual speakers as Peterson was named
the fifth-place speaker and David Bing ’03 took ninth-place overall.

Drescher and Peterson, the fourth-ranked team in the American Parliamentary
Debate Association, have now won two tournaments this season and have been
runners-up at three others.


4) World news roundup

* In an internationally-televised address Monday night, President Bush
promised military action if Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his sons do
not give up power and leave the country within 48 hours. Bush said that
intelligence shows Hussein is hiding weapons of mass destruction and has
been systematically violating UN Security Council resolutions since the end
of the Gulf War 12 years ago. The bigger concern for Bush, however, is that
“using chemical, biological or, one day, nuclear weapons obtained with the
help of Iraq, the terrorists could fulfill their stated ambitions and kill
thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent people in our country or any
other.” If Hussein does not voluntarily leave the country, military action
will begin at a time decided upon by the US and its allies, but it is
unlikely that they would wait more than a few days after the 48 hour
deadline expires. Earlier in the day, Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri
announced that Saddam would not step down under any circumstances
andsuggested that another route to peace would be for Bush to step down. The
US and the UK also withdrew the second Iraq resolution they had previously
introduced to the UN Security Council because of the threatened vetoes and
said that military action was justified under the original resolution the
council has passed. Also on Monday, Canada announced that without a new UN
resolution it would not commit military forces to any action in Iraq.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard said that his country would join the
US in its endeavors. The complete text of the speech can be found at


* The UN and government officials from Cambodia announced on Monday that
they had reached an agreement to set up a tribunal to address crimes
committed by former members of the Khmer Rouge. It is estimated that about
1.7 million people died while the Khmer Rouge held power in the country
between 1975 and 1979. The proposal now needs only final approval from the
two groups before it can be put into effect after almost five years of
talks. To this point, no member of the Khmer Rouge has ever been brought to


5) Campus events

Holi Celebration
Parrish Beach, 1:00 p.m.

Fashion Focus Group
Kohlberg 115, 4:00 p.m.

German Film Series
Kohlberg 328, 7:00 p.m.

Maurianne Adams Discussion – Sponsored by Lang Center
Scheuer Room – Kohlberg, 7:30 p.m.

Tango Dance Lessons
Upper Tarble, 9:00 p.m.

Good Schools PA Meeting
Parrish Parlors – West, 10:00 p.m.

Student Council Meeting
CRC – Parrish 2nd, 10:30 p.m.


Are you interested in fashion?  Do you have something to say about style on
campus?  If so, then you may want to participate in this afternoon’s Fashion
Focus Group, sponsored by Women’s Wear Daily.  WWD (
is a New
York-based fashion trade newspaper that is publishing a story on campus
style in an upcoming issue.  A reporter will be discussing fashion in
Kohlberg 115 from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. and snacks will be provided, so check it


Come celebrate Holi, the Indian festival of spring, with Deshi this
afternoon on Parrish Beach (1-3)!  Wear white and be prepared to get
colorful and wet.  The weather will be warm and the colors will bright, so
head to the Beach for Holi!



1) Upcoming contests

Baseball hosts University of the Sciences, 3:30 p.m.
Softball at Widener, 4:00 p.m.

Baseball hosts Neumann, 3:15 p.m.
Men’s lacrosse hosts Gettysburg, 3:30 p.m.
Women’s tennis hosts Muhlenberg, 3:30 p.m.



“Only the mediocre are always at their best.”
–Jean Giraudoux

Interested in reporting or writing for the Gazette?
Got a news or sports tip for us?
Just want to tell us what you think?

Contact the staff at gazette@swarthmore.edu

Managing Editors: Pei Pei Liu
Jeremy Schifeling
News Editor: Alexis Reedy
Living & Arts Editor: Evelyn Khoo
Compilation Editors Charlie Buffie
Greg Leiserson
Megan Mills
News Reporters: Charlie Buffie
Jennifer Canton
Wendy Cheung
Mary Harrison
Sanggee Kim
Greg Leiserson
Megan Mills
Aude Scheuer
Siyuan Xie
Roxanne Yaghoubi
Sports Writers: Jenna Adelberg
Saurav Dhital
Sarah Hilding
Holice Kil
Photographers: David Bing
Liz Bada
Miriam Perez
Casey Reed
Christine Shin
Webmaster: Jeremy Schifeling
World News: Greg Leiserson
Campus Sports: Jeremy Schifeling

The Daily Gazette is published Monday through Friday by an independent
group of Swarthmore College students. The Daily Gazette Web Site is updated
regularly, as news happens. Technical support from the Swarthmore College
Computer Society is gratefully acknowledged.

Our world news roundup is compiled daily, using a variety of sources, most
notably the Associated Press (www.ap.org),
Reuters (www.reuters.com), CNN
(www.cnn.com), and The New York Times (www.nytimes.com).
Our campus sports
summaries are derived from information provided by the Swat Athletics Department

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This concludes today’s report.

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