Friday, October 24, 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, October 24, 2003
Volume 8, Number 35

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


1) President Al Bloom and Dean Bob Gross discuss freedom of expression
at Student Council fireside chat

2) Professor Atsuko Sakaki speaks about “the woman who wasn’t

3) Four Quaker panelists study the way of peace in a violent

4) Low attendance hinders inaugural Student Council open mic

5) Weekend roundup

6) World news roundup

7) Campus events


1) Upcoming contests


Today: Mostly sunny. High of 55.
Capitol Steps doesn’t just spoof politics,

Tonight: Clear with a low around 40.
It appears that they’re bringing fundamental aspects of politics to campus as

Saturday: Mix of sun and clouds with highs in the 60s.
With tickets selling out so quickly,

Sunday: Mostly cloudy. High in the upper 60s.
If you didn’t have a high level connection, you couldn’t get one.


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

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


1) President Al Bloom and Dean Bob Gross discuss freedom of
expression at Student Council fireside chat

by Siyuan Xie
Gazette Reporter

A number of students gathered in Kohlberg Coffee Bar Thursday night with President
Al Bloom and Dean Bob Gross for a Student Council sponsored fireside chat on
freedom of speech and expression. Bloom began the discussion by saying, “I
see the development of the recognition of the ability to engage in complex ethical
issues at Swarthmore as being very important.” From there he went on to
talk about the different reasons to protect freedom of speech, which he said
was essential in fostering “trust in a community and the kind of educational
program we have.” In addition, participants spoke about types of expression
or speech that compromise the idea of free speech, such as deception, violation
of privacy and security. Bloom noted the distinction between free speech intended
to “foster intellectual discussion or to insult or break harmony.”

The topic of the IC vandalism was also briefly touched upon. Bloom referred
to SQU’s action, putting up the vandalized IC sign, as a “no-brainer, it
speaks to the values of this community.” He also stated that an act such
as the vandalism was “clearly done with the intent to insult or offend,”
and that this type of free speech should not be protected. Because of these
different issues involved in freedom of expression, he said it was “risky
to assume that there is an easy answer.” Gross pointed out that there is
a policy in the Student Handbook governing freedom of expression, referring
to an incident in the past where a racial epithet was chalked on Magill walk.
According to Gross, “the policy says there are certain kinds of speech
that are prohibited, but it needs to be repeated so that it becomes harassment.
Therefore, you can actually insult someone, it may be offensive, despicable,
but it is not a violation of the policy. We have a policy that encourages students
to act civilly, schools that have tried being stricter have been sued. There
is an argument for a speech code that allows insult in order to generate intellectual
dialogues.” There have never been any charges raised against the Swarthmore
speech code.

Attendees also spoke about the Coming Out Week chalkings and their strategic
effectiveness, as well as whether or not the Swarthmore queer community’s reaction
to the IC vandalism was reflected in the chalkings. Al Bloom stated that there
is mostly positive recognition for Coming Out Week. “Students know more
how much homophobia there is on campus, which hopefully is very little. People
can break a sign just to cause a commotion, in which case it may not be a homophobic
act.” In the previous case of the Magill Walk chalking, the act was done
by a 16-year-old visitor to the campus. “We can’t allow one or two individuals
to define a community,” said Gross. Such acts have been done mostly in
an anonymous fashion and late at night.

The discussion moved to the issue of freedom of expression in the classroom
and community. Students spoke about the difficulty of expressing a dissenting
opinion, not due to any structural conditions set on a class, but more from
the fear of being the one dissenting voice. Bloom also said that “there
is a very difficult climate in the country which people label political correctness,
and people on both sides feel uncomfortable being explicit about their feelings,
this is hopefully not the case in this community.” The discussion then
became focused on the academic side of freedom of expression, including listening
in the classroom and community. Students had much to say about expressing themselves
freely and articulately in class, one student council member saying that, “if
we are confident that our peers are good listeners, we can be good talkers.”

Participants in the discussion also talked about the nature of faith, especially
faith as something that is not falsifiable. In dealing with the expression of
faith, Bloom said, “The person should not be demeaned in any way. The nature
of a discussion about faith it very different from an intellectual one. Many
conservative students are afraid to express conservative views because they’re
afraid of being seen as less intelligent.” One issue raised during this
portion of the discussion was the tearing down of signs for the World Bank.
Another faculty member said, “One of the core values of this place is that
we try to work it out by talking. It is one of the major ideals that we strive

Returning to the IC vandalism issue and the tearing down of SWAT Survivor signs,
one student asked about the consequences of being caught in such an act. “Our
approach is usually educational rather than punitive. Usually just confronting
someone is sufficient. We sometimes issue a formal warning or probation. In
most of these cases, we do not discover who did it,” said Gross. Bloom
added, “Confrontation or punishment may not change the person doing it,
but in stopping others from doing it, a more punitive approach may be effective.”
He ended by saying, “We have to enforce an environment where the things
we believe in are upheld.”

The next Student Council fireside chat will be held on November 12th and will
include members of the Board of Managers.


2) Professor Atsuko Sakaki speaks about “the woman who
wasn’t there”

by Pei Pei Liu
Managing Editor

Professor Atsuko Sakaki of the University of Toronto delivered a talk yesterday
afternoon about the life, works, and critical interpretation of Japanese author
Kurahashi Yumiko. Sakaki has translated Kurahashi’s “The Woman with the
Flying Head and Other Stories” into English and has written several articles
on the author.

Entitled “The Woman Who Wasn’t There: The Fantastic as the Alternative
Confessional in Kurahashi Yumiko,” the talk focused on the interplay between
fantastic or supernatural elements and autobiographical aspects in Kurahashi’s
work. Instead of viewing fantasy and reality as a dichotomy, Sakaki promoted
a more complicated view of the two concepts as “mutually dependent…adjacent
and complementary” and examined how the fantastic contributes to the Japanese
literary tradition of the confessional narrative.

In order to explain the classification of Kurahashi as “the woman who
wasn’t there,” Sakaki gave some biographical information on the author.
Kurahashi always “maintained a proud distance from her contemporaries,”
in politics and literary movements. She also was geographically removed from
her father when he died of a stroke, and later suffered a stroke of her own
that resulted in a feeling of disconnect from her own body. Receiving a Fulbright
to the U.S., she recovered physically but never assimilated to American society
and eventually returned to Japan.

Though Kurahashi’s works incorporate many of these biographical elements, like
traditional confessional narratives, Sakaki pointed out that they also include
otherworldly events and accounts, distorting any self-image of Kurahashi into
a caricature rather than a straight transposition of reality. “[Kurahashi’s]
life story does not feed her fiction,” Sakaki said, “but rather her
fiction cannibalizes her life.”

Finally, Sakaki discussed Kurahashi’s interest in creating a literary anti-world
that would not be subjected to the rules of five W’s: who, what, when, where,
and why. Instead, she seeks to develop “autonomous worlds with no connection
to outside politics and ideologies…but this does not mean that her fiction
does not reflect the real world.”

Rather, Sakaki encouraged readers to see the way in which the unfamiliar in
Kurahashi’s work informs the real or familiar, rather than vice-versa–the traditional
way of seeing it. Sakaki described a Moebius strip, rather than a simple binary,
as a model for looking at the relationship. Instead of being two separate sides,
the unfamiliar and familiar can be considered “an extension of the same

“Kurahashi Yumiko questions the world as a negative function,” she
said. “Instead of asking ‘why is that the case?’ she asks, ‘why is that
*not* the case?'”


3) Four Quaker panelists study the way of peace in a violent

by Maki Sato
Gazette Reporter

Pendle Hill’s Peace Network and Forum Program hosted a conference last night
entitled “Walking the Way of Peace: Peacebuilding in a Violent World,”
featuring four Quaker panelists who shared their thoughts on the night’s two
queries: “How do we manifest ‘that life and power that takes away the occasion
of all wars’?” and “how do Friends’ testimonies of peace, equality,
integrity, and simplicity interrelate in our responses to a broken world of
exploitation, domination, and violence?” John Meyer, Director of the Forum,
stated that the purpose of the Peace-building series is to “bring academics
and activists together because peace-building is everyone’s business. We are
all peacemakers.”

Mike Heller, a professor of English at Roanoke College and editor of “The
Tendering Presence: Essays on John Woolman” (Pendle Hill Publications,
2003), shared his fascination of language and how “words make things happen.”
He also quoted several peacemakers who have inspired him like the Dalai Lama
who had said, “Although attempting to bring about world peace through the
internal transformation of individuals is difficult, it is the only way.”

Helen Garay Toppins, the administrative secretary for New York Yearly Meeting,
dedicates her life to help bring about racial justice because she feels, “We
cannot just skim over racism or fast forward to peace in Iraq when we have racism.”
She asked, “How can we have a united effort for world peace when we have
racism at home?” She emphasized the necessity to come together and “cross
racial lines” in order to successfully tackle these serious problems.

Vernie Davis, a professor of anthropology and peace and conflict studies at
Guilford College, gives lectures on mediation, negotiation and conflict resolution
across cultures. He believes “recognition of God in everyone, not only
the victims, but those who we may call adversaries” is a key component
in peaceful conflict resolution. As a mediator, he strives to be multi-partial
rather than impartial because he wants to support everyone and “watch and
observe others to discover new things.”

Mary Lord, the Director of the Peace-building Unit at the American Friends
Service Committee, opened with the problem peacemakers face, “We live in
a culture that believes in the power of violence.” She stated that the
US culture upholds the idea that the “way of war is pragmatic and peace-making
is naive,” but argued that in truth, “the way of peace-making is pragmatic
and war is naive.”

All four panelists shared personal experiences and provided insights on several
challenging issues that the world faces but that must be resolved through individuals.

To continue the discussion on peace, another forum entitled “Doing Justice:
The Path of Peace” with former President of Costa Rica and 1987 Nobel Peace
Prize winner, Dr. Oscar Arias Sanchez, is scheduled for October 30 at 7:30 p.m.
in Lang Performing Arts Center.


4) Low attendance hinders inaugural Student Council open mic

by Greg Leiserson
Campus News Editor

The initial open mic session held by Student Council got off to a slow start
yesterday, as students passing through Kohlberg Coffee Bar seemed largely uninterested.
Scheduled from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. few people had approached the microphone before
1:00. Alex Leader-Smith ’06, who chose not to stop in the coffee bar, commented
“the only thing the hours between twelve and two are good for is lunch
and class.”

However, after 1:00 p.m. the session became somewhat more active as students
began a discussion of the recent controversy involving the campus groups Why-War?
and the Swarthmore Coalition for the Digital Commons.

Members of Student Council were generally optimistic about the session, noting
that since it was the first one of its kind it was only to be expected that
it would have somewhat lower attendance. Audrey Dorelien, SC Campus Relations
Representative, said that she hoped with time the open mic would become a part
of the Swarthmore culture and that students would make greater use of it.

Student Council Secretary Andrew Gisselquist characterized the session as “a
qualified success.”


5) Weekend roundup

by Evelyn Khoo
Living and Arts Editor

It’s getting cold out there! The Daily Gazette *would* suggest you make like
the geese and head south (preferably to the sunsoaked beaches of California)
for the winter…but since we know that you’re looking forward to acing that
midterm or writing that fabulous ten page paper (you, Swatties, you), we’ll
just give you a few tips to stay warm in Philly (not quite San Francisco) for
the weekend.


Warm those cold toes by letting your inner punk rocker out! the Foundation
Community Arts Initiative is hosting a rock and roll/punk show featuring Helen
Back, the Str8 Razers, the Low Budgets, and more at the Rotunda, 4014 Walnut
Street at 6:00 p.m.


Tired out from all that head-banging? For a relaxing visual treat think sugar
but with a touch of spice: the ‘Ballet Boyz’, the hit duo of former British
Royal Ballet dancers are headed to University City! Check out their take on
traditional ballet at the Zellerbach Theater/Annenberg Center for the Performing
Arts at 3680 Walnut Street. They will be performing at 8:00 p.m. this Friday
and Saturday with tickets ranging from $28.00 to $39.00. Call 215-898-3900 for
more information.


To wind down a hectic weekend, spend a thoughtful hour or two at the compelling
exhibit of “Resurrection: Belkis Ayon, Collographs from Cuba”, featuring
contemporary Afro-Cuban works from the young, tragically deceased artist. The
exhibit is on display at the Arthur Ross Gallery, 220 South 34th Street from
now until November 23rd. Admission is free and the gallery is open from 12:00
p.m. to 5:00 p.m.


6) World news roundup

* At the end of his trip to Asia, President Bush visited Pearl Harbor on Thursday.
There he dropped flowers into the water near the sunken battleship the USS Arizona.
While touring the site, the President also passed ships that had just arrived
in Hawaii from the conflict in Iraq. Lastly, the trip included a fundraiser
for the President’s reelection campaign, where he raised more than $600,000.

* Federal agents raided Wal-Mart stores on Thursday for illegal immigrants,
arresting more than 300 workers at stores in 21 states. Federal agents charge
that Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, knew that the workers were illegal
even though they were cleaning crews employed by an outside contractor.

* Three Israelis were killed, and 2 wounded, in an attack on the Israeli settlement
of Netzarim on Thursday. Officials reported that Palestinians had entered the
settlement and opened fire, though it is not clear whether the attackers were
also killed or if they had fled the scene.


7) Campus events


Lecture by Professor Robert Ji-Song Ku: ‘Carlos Bulosan and the (Com)Oddity
of Performance’
Kohlberg 228, 5:15 p.m.

Medea Production
Scott Amphitheater, 4:30 p.m.

Movie Committee Screening: ‘Donnie Darko’
Science Center 199, 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

International Club Movie Screening: ‘Amelie’
LPAC Cinema, 8:30 p.m.

Anime/Manga Club Showing: ‘Ghost in a Shell’
Kohlberg 116, 9:00 p.m.

Rapper JenRo Performance
Wharton ‘D’ Basement, 9:00 p.m.

Olde Club concert: ‘I Am Spoonbender’, ‘Swords Project’, ‘I am the World Trade
Olde Club, 10:00 p.m.


Swarthmore Friends Jumble Sale
Friends Meeting House, 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Scottish Music Workshop with Susie Petrov
Lang Concert Hall, 5:00 p.m.

Movie Committee Screening: ‘Donnie Darko’
Science Center 199, 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

Coming Out Week Screening: ‘The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love’
IC Big Room, 9:30 p.m.

Metamorphosis Party
Paces, 10:00 p.m.

That ’70s Party
Phi Psi, 10:00 p.m.


Medea Production
Scott Amphitheater, 3:30 p.m.



1) Upcoming Contests

There are no contests scheduled for today.

Volleyball hosts Johns Hopkins and Dickinson, 11:00
Field Hockey hosts Muhlenberg, 1:00 alumnae game follows
Women’s Soccer at Dickinson, 12:00
Men’s Soccer at McDaniel, 1:00

There are no contests scheduled for Sunday.



“It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.”
–Oscar Wilde


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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