Friday, September 19, 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
Friday, September 19, 2003
Volume 8, Number 15

Write to us!
Photo of the day:
Today’s issue:


1) Rodolfo Acuna speaks about “Latino” culture

2) Virgin Videos: “Bachelor Mother” a mother of a
good movie, if you like that sort of thing

3) College Corner: A resident of Whittier Place

4) Weekend roundup

5) World news roundup

6) Campus events


1) Upcoming contests


Today: Showers and wind. High of 78.
Usually I like the suburban small campus feel that Swat has.

Tonight: Partly cloudy. Low in the 60s.
Having buildings only five stories or less rather than 20 stories or more is
a nice thing.

Saturday: Partly cloudy. High in the 70s.
However, I now must admit that there would be a benefit to 20 story dorms…

Sunday: Sunny with a high in the mid 70s.
Project Bandaloop would be able to perform in an area with heights more like
those it is used too.


Lunch: Fried shrimp, French fries, Creole cabbage, broccoli, mushroom casserole,
vegetable blend, corn, brownies

Dinner: Meat lasagna, garlic breadsticks, vegetarian lasagna, Hawaiian beans,
Italian green beans, baby lima beans, Caesar bar, pound cake


1) Rodolfo Acuna speaks about “Latino” culture

by Megan Mills
Associate Editor

Though his Cooper lecture was titled “Is Antonio Banderas Latino?”
Rodolfo Acuna’s talk worked through many different topics related to the Latino/Hispanic/Chicano
community in America and was peppered with amusing stories from his own experiences.
Speaking to a crowd of about 50 people on Thursday night, the founder of the
first Chicano studies department in California and author of “Occupied
America” began the evening with a quickly increasing clapping rhythm and
never once stepped behind the podium provided.

The first of the many ideas raised was elitism. Acuna claimed that “Often
activists, like me, are elitists.” He also said that one of his heroes
is a young Chicano man who, at 16 years old, felt that the internment of Japanese
Americans was unfair and so went with them to Manzanar. Acuna felt jealous of
his inherent sense of right and wrong, and is currently impressed by people
protesting the war. However, Acuna said that the current trend of patriotism
helps minorities to feel more “white” only by joining in the hatred
of an outside group, because to be accepted means to be white.

Another theme that ran through the lecture was the idea of identity politics,
which Acuna feels is not passe, but is confused. He then addressed the title
of the lecture, asserting that Antonio Banderas is technically more Latino than
he himself or most Mexicans are, because Latino means Latin or Roman. However,
Acuna believes that because in this country “Latino” is a political
term that entitles groups of people to legal protection, it should therefore
be contingent on life experiences. To be Latino, one should have suffered discrimination.

Acuna said that it is difficult to explain discrimination to “your generation”
because nowadays, people “think it, but don’t say it.” He then related
stories from his own life where, as a teenager, his prom date’s father refused
to let her attend with him, and later, as a PhD, a Texan told him that “[you’re]
still a greaser to me.”

Returning to the topic of Banderas, Acuna was quick to mention that he is supposed
to be a “damn nice guy, [and] talented actor;” however, to cast a
Spaniard as a Mexican would be like having a white man act as an African American.
Though sometimes people get away with it, in the case of a historical figure
such as Pancho Villa or Emiliano Zapata, “it’s different.”

Concerning the controversy surrounding affirmative action, Acuna posed the
question “should a Spaniard get affirmative action for Latinos without
the life experience?” He answered no, and went further to say that he does
not believe that his own daughter should receive financial aid for college because
he is upper middle class, a professor, and can afford it.

Speaking again about identity, Acuna stated that “identity is our Achilles’
heel.” He mentioned that his sister still believes that his success is
due to the lightness of his skin. He detailed the differences between many of
the Latin American national groups and also the different Latino makeups of
different regions of the United States. Citing the 2000 census, he remarked
that 48% of Latinos consider themselves white and therefore we should analyze
whiteness. Referring to the term Hispanic, he said that “we are building
an identity that does not have an identity.”

Next Acuna delved into the history of Mexico, debunking the myth that Spaniards
wanted “God, glory and gold” as “romantic bullshit: everything
revolves around money.” Because the atrocities of slavery and colonialism
were so horrid, making heroes out of Spaniards and making Banderas into a Latino
is almost an insult, to him.

After a humorous interlude where he described the differences between his students
at CSU Northridge and Swatties, Acuna got serious about inequality in education
and politicians’ unwillingness to change it. He says that “Republicans
won’t because they’re pigs and Democrats won’t because they’re sheep.”

Ending the lecture portion of the evening, he exhorted students to communicate,
because “if you don’t listen to each other, we don’t have any hope.”

At the end, Acuna said, “I wish the people here were more antagonistic.
In Chicago, one guy called me a liar and we got in a fistfight.” He decided
to end the session with a “racist story.” After George Harrison was
attacked in his home and his wife hit the assailant with a lamp, Acuna’s wife
found out she was a Chicana from Los Angeles and said “I knew she was a
Chicana” because a white lady “woulda run.” Acuna disagreed,
saying “I know some hillbilly white ladies who wouldnt’ve run, and some
middle class Mexican women who woulda.” Later, he mentioned that “at
one point, I didn’t like whites. Now I have a lot more friends that are white.
I’m more tolerant.”

When asked about his experience visiting Swarthmore, Acuna said “it’s
like Disneyland.” When further pressed about attitudes towards Latinos,
he said that people here “don’t necessarily want to know anything about
Latinos. They don’t know very much about Latinos and don’t care very much about
Latinos.” He claimed that Swatties like sensational things but that the
Latinos attending Swarthmore are “probably token.”


2) Virgin Videos: “Bachelor Mother” a mother of
a good movie, if you like that sort of thing

by Megan Mills
Associate Editor

Last semester marked the Gazette’s first foray into movie reviews. However,
our efforts didn’t always go over so well, particularly when we were hindered
by circumstances such as not having actually seen the movie in question. But
this year, we’ve decided to change all that. Today marks the first of our new
weekly “Virgin Videos” series, in which we review McCabe’s Bottom
40–videos that have never, ever been checked out from the library. Well, before
July 2002, at least. We may find some undiscovered treasures, or we may find
out why these videos have never been rented. But we do promise that we’ve watched
them and given them a fair chance. And maybe, if you’re so inspired after reading
our review, you will too.

Starring the lovely and talented Ginger Rogers, the I’ve-never-heard-of-him
David Nevin, the movie with the earlier, less-PC term for “single mother”
as a title was directed by Garson Kanin and graced by a cameo by a slightly
creepy mechanical Donald Duck.

The plot is actually rather racy for a 1939 movie. Through coincidence and
happenstance, the twinkle-toes Rogers is stuck with a baby from an orphanage
whom everyone believes is hers, scandalously enough. Her boss, Niven, somehow
becomes involved in her life and, as they say, hijinks ensue.

It’s a Ginger Rogers movie, you might be saying–where’s Fred Astair? Well,
there are one or two scenes where we get to see her on the dance floor, but
this movie is a chance for this actually talented actress to shine. I particularly
enjoyed the scene where she pretends to only speak Swedish at a swanky party
on New Year’s Eve.

Now Swatties, if you decide to spend 82 minutes enjoying the black and white
goodness of contrived romance and a cutely gurgling baby, be prepared to abandon
your modern notions of a woman’s place in the world. This movie was made in
a different era, so you can either set aside your feminist sensibilities for
the duration or consider it a primary source on gender relations in pre-World
War II America. Hey, it could be fun and educational!


3) College Corner: A resident of Whittier Place

by Evelyn Khoo
Living & Arts Editor

While we slum it in our commune-like mass residences, these folk are living
it up at Whittier Place the large house (remember those?) out behind the Friends
Meeting House. A dorm-weary Daily Gazette catches up with Whittier resident,
Rozina Ali ’06, who gives us the real deal about Whittier, which both tempts
us with its real-life resemblances and makes us sometimes grateful for our own
noisy homes.

Daily Gazette: What made you choose to live in Whittier Place?

Rozina Ali: Well, I don’t think I had much of a choice really. Emma [Kalb
’05, Ali’s roommate] and I were on the waitlist and we were fairly high on the
list. We got an email from Myrt giving us some choices for places we could live.
There were other dorms but the most appealing were Whittier and Parrish. The
Parrish room, however, was a double converted into a triple. First of all, we
didn’t have another person to room with, and even if we did, it would seem to
cramped. So we decided on Whittier! We figured it would be a cool place to live
because it was a house, and there wouldn’t be a lot of people, and….well,
it’s better than a cramped room!

DG: What do you think are the advantages of living in WP as compared to a
regular dorm?

RA: It’s so spacious! First of all, there are only eight people living in
the dorm, so it’s fun just having a small house type place which is different
from other dorm life. I feel like we have our own apartment, especially since
we have our own bathroom. And I feel we are far enough from campus to feel like
we are actually off campus but close enough to get to classes quickly. Plus,
it’s fun living in a house…it’s so much more homey, is that a word? and Emma
and I have a fireplace in our room which we are trying our best to decorate.
We went around Philly looking for the perfect poster to go over it, and we found
it, but we’re still in the process of decorating it.

DG: The disadvantages?

RA: It really doesn’t have a hall life, which is what I miss about my dorm
last year. It was fun to have a big hall and big study breaks. And having a
hall is a good way to meet people. Also, it’s a little strange because there
aren’t people constantly moving about outside; Whittier is fairly quiet, which
is good too but sometimes its nice to know that you go to a college where people
are active.

DG: Are you very close to the rest of your hall? Do you think the size and
nature of Whittier has anything to do with it?

RA: I’m not that close to my hall, although it really isn’t a hall. Not that
there’s anything wrong with the people! No, everyone is really nice, but I think
it’s a little weird living in a house because you don’t have the hall atmosphere
where you feel you can just go to a hallmate’s room and hang out. It’s more
like we live in separate apartments and we see each other occasionally; also
people are usually outside and not in their rooms since its a little far away
so it’s just natural to stay on campus.

DG: So do you throw massive house parties?

RA: No, not yet, although we were thinking about throwing barbecues for (the
rest of the) campus, although I don’t know whether that plan will work out.
We’ll see though, it’s only the beginning of the year.

DG: Do you think you had to change your schedule to fit the new location of

RA: Oh no, I didn’t have to at all. Whittier is fairly close to campus so
I don’t have to worry about being late to morning classes, and if I have time
between classes, I could always come back to my room if I have to. But then
again, my schedule worked out that I have mostly morning classes so I could
just hang out in my rooms in the afternoon!

DG: Do you get lots of visits? Or do you think it’s too far away for most
of your friends to drop by?

RA: Well, this is strange now that I think about it. My friends do come by,
but those are planned visits; they don’t just drop by, maybe because people
still think it’s a little far away but it really isn’t! It’s actually fairly
close so people should come over and stop by to visit!

DG: Sum up your Whittier Place experience in one word:

RA: Luxurious…although that may not be the word I’m looking for…


4) Weekend roundup

by Evelyn Khoo
Living & Arts Editor

Starting this semester, the Weekend Roundup will feature only off-campus and
trico events to provide you with just the right balance for your weekend appetite.
So dig in and feel free to compliment the cook! (i.e. send your comments and
suggestions for off-campus and trico events to


The title sounds strangely appropriate for this windswept weekend, but don’t
expect a Helen Hunt Hollywood blockbuster. “A Mighty Wind” is a mockumentary
about three folk groups from the ’60s who reunite for a memorial concert in
New York City following the death of a legendary folk manager. Check them out
at Tower Theater, 69th & Ludlow Sts, in Upper Darby at 8pm. To buy tickets
call 215-336-2000, where tickets are going for $29.50-$50.


Did you turn 21 this week? If so, exercise those rights by swinging by the
Tribecca nightclub at Samson Street where PaperStreet presents House Night with
DJ Christian James, while Kyle Grambino works the lounge.


You’ve heard of model-turned-actresses (they’re crawling out of the woodwork)
but are there that many rockstars-turned-artists that we know of? Take a peek
at the Institute of Contemporary Art at South 36th Street between 11:00 a.m.
and 5:00 p.m. to look at a fine specimen of one: the Patti Smith exhibit, “Strange
Messenger”, a collection of small photographs and drawings.


5) World news roundup

* Though Isabel weakened to a tropical storm late Thursday, it was still responsible
for the loss of power for 2.5 million households and at least three deaths.
The storm was felt strongest in eastern North Carolina, though Philadelphia
and other points north were sustaining winds of 40 mph throughout the evening.
In DC, the federal government shut down for two days because of the storm, as
school closings and airline delays were experienced up and down the coast.

*Three U.S. soldiers were killed in Tikrit, Iraq on Thursday. The soldiers
were inspecting a possible grenade launch site when they were ambushed. Two
other soldiers were wounded west of Baghdad, though the cause of that incident
is unclear. CNN reported that when they received word of the incidents, some
Iraqis were seen to be celebrating by holding pictures of Saddam Hussein and
firing guns into the air.

*Yale University and two labor unions have reached a tentative agreement to
end a three-week long strike. The unions are to vote on the agreement, which
includes increased pensions and signing bonuses for Yale’s clerical and technical
workers, on Friday. The strike attracted large-scale protests, including arrests
of several union leaders.


6) Campus events


Women in Black Vigil
Swarthmore train station, 5:00 p.m.

Shabbat Services and Dinner
Bond, 5:30 p.m.

SCF Large Group
Kohlberg 115, 7:00 p.m.

Dialogue for Peace Initiatives
LPAC, 7:00 p.m.

Movie Committee Screening: “Igby Goes Down”
Science Center 199, 7:30 & 10:00 p.m.

Bryn Mawr’s Performing Arts Series: “Jane Comfort and Company; Underground
River & Persephone”
Goodhart Hall, BMC, 8:00 p.m.

Anime/Manga Club Movie Screening: “Laputa: Castle in the Sky”
SCCS Media Lounge, 8:00 p.m.

Concerts: Ted Leo, Rebecca Gates, the Perfectionists
Olde Club, 10:00 p.m.


Mayor’s Annual Cleanup Day
Meet at Lang Center (Swat train station), 8:15 a.m.

Hourly Shuttle Service to Philly (20th and Parkway) for College Festival
Parrish Circle, 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (return-only trips begin 8:30 p.m.)

Athletics Symposium: “Current Issues and Challenges in Division III Athletics”
Science Center 101, 10:30 a.m.

Scott Arboretum Plant Sale
College Avenue, 1:00 p.m.

Swarthmore Coalition for the Digital Commons Meeting
SCCS Media Lounge, 3:00 p.m.

Columbia University Info Session
Bond, 7:00 p.m.

Project Bandaloop
Pearson-Hall Theater, 8:00 p.m.

Tsunami Party
Olde Club, 10:00 p.m.


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

Catholic Mass
Bond, 11:00 a.m.

Potluck Brunch and Celebration of International Day of Peace
Friends Meeting House, 11:30 a.m.

Scott Arboretum Plant Sale
College Avenue, 12:00 p.m.

Terpsichore Dance Exposition
Troy Dance Studio, 7:00 p.m.

Orchestra 2001 concert
Lang Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m.

German 5 Film Showing
Kohlberg 328, 8:00 p.m.

SPAC Meeting
Kohlberg 116, 9:00 p.m.

Sexual Health Counselors’ Meeting
Kohlberg 202, 9:30 p.m.



1) Upcoming Contests

There are no contests scheduled for today.

Volleyball hosts Garnet Classic, 9:00 a.m.
Men’s Tennis hosts Swarthmore Invitational, 9:00 a.m.
Field Hockey at Seven Sisters at Wellesley
Cross Country host Alumni Meet, 12:00 p.m.
Men’s Soccer hosts Dickinson, 2:00 p.m.



“Anyone who uses the phrase ‘easy as taking candy from a baby’ had never
tried taking candy from a baby”


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

Managing Editor: Pei Pei Liu
Campus News Editors:

Greg Leiserson
Alexis Reedy

Living & Arts Editor: Evelyn Khoo
World News Editor: Roxanne Yaghoubi
Sports Editor: Saurav Dhital
Associate Editor: Megan Mills
News Reporters:

Scott Blaha
Charlie Buffie
Jonathan Ference
Alex Glick
Mary Harrison
Jaeyoon Kim
Sanggee Kim
Ken Patton
Melissa Phruksachart
Maki Sato
Aude Scheuer
Angelina Seah
Christine Shin
Siyuan Xie

Sports Writers: Jenna Adelberg
Sarah Hilding
Holice Kil

Robbie Hart
Kyle Khellaf
Max Li
Casey Reed


Charlie Buffie
Greg Leiserson

Weathercaster: Josh Hausman

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 (,
Reuters (, CNN
(, and The New York Times (
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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