Thursday, November 13, 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
Thursday, November 13, 2003
Volume 8, Number 49

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


1) Fireside Chat discusses Swarthmore’s finances

2) World news roundup

3) Campus events


1) Upcoming Contests


Today: Partly cloudy/windy. High of 52.
I was reading the Sharples menu for today…

Tonight: Partly cloudy/windy. Low of 33.
And I realized that it’s getting a bit monotonous…

Tomorrow: Partly cloudy/windy. High of 48.
Just like the weather.


Lunch: Chicken pot pie, homemade bisquits, baked pasta with spinach, vegetable
ragout, spinach, vegetable blend, fajita bar, cup cakes

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


1) Fireside Chat discusses Swarthmore’s finances

by Roxanne Yaghoubi
World News Editor

At a fireside chat held in Kohlberg coffee bar on Wednesday evening, a group
of about 40 students gathered to hear from the Board of Managers (BOM) and the
administration on issues concerning how decisions, particularly those concerning
the college’s finances, are made within the institution. Hosted by Student Council,
the fireside chat featured free pizza, but it quickly became apparent that the
students present were there more for the opportunity to press the BOM and President
Al Bloom on how the college stood financially.

The very first question reflected this interest as it concerned rumors that
the administration was trying to expand the student body. But President Bloom
quickly deflected this concern by noting that the college has grown steadily
by 1% ever since its founding. And he stressed that any growth was more due
to new academic majors or disciplines rather than any financial concerns of
the college, particularly since tuition covers only a small portion of the institution’s
operating costs.Additinonally the college practices a need-blind admissions
policy with the amount of financial aid rising with tuition and currently 50%
of students receiving some type of aid.

In that vein, Ryan Budish ’04 asked whether the College Budget Committee’s
projections of a 1.6 million debt for the college by the year 2008 would cause
an increase in students tuition rates. But the members of the board countered
that the expenditure review committee (see previous coverage in the Daily Gazette
edition of November 7th) to find more economical and efficient ways to run Swarthmore
without increasing tuition too much. The bad performance of the endowment in
the last several years means that the college will have to re-examine if the
current budget was efficient. Board member Marc Sonnefeld ’68 also said that
the board’s policy of conservative spending of the college’s endowment in the
past means that this fund is now larger than that of Bryn Mawr’s or Haverford’s
and has a large baseline to fall back on.

When, following the questions concerning the college’s finances, it was asked
whether the perception that all the board members were “multi-millionaries”
was true, all those present laughed. Traditionally the board members have possessed
3Ws: wealth, wisdom and willingness to work, but in recent years the last two
qualifications have become much more important. The board also aims to have
a diverse group of members according to age, race and gender.

Despite reassurances that the board was in fact that diverse, students were
still concerned as to whether the group was responsive enough to the student’s
needs. Questions thus arose as to why some of the commitees met off-campus,
why the student observers were asked to leave the board meetin earlier in the
semester and why more members did not choose to have lunch with students. But
the alums (all of the current board members are alums) emphasized that the committees
met off campus purely for convenience reasons, and that 15 members usually did
choose to attend the student lunch. They also emphasized that in order to make
decisions it was sometimes necessary to have closed-door meetings.

A big part of the concern over the board’s accountability and decision-making
processes stemmed from the current living wage campaign. Though little information
was given as to what direction the board will decide that issue, President Bloom
did point out that 2 years ago the staff had decided on a living wage of $9
an hour.

The fireside chat ended with questions conerning how the college decided to
take stands on political issues (like the University of Michigan affirmative
action case) as well as questions dealing with the college’s priorities for


2) World news roundup

* A suicide bomb attack Wednesday on an Italian police base in Iraq has killed
at least 26 people. The attack took place in Nasiriya, a city in Iraq’s
southern region. 16 Italian military personnel were killed, along with two Italian
civilians and eight Iraqis. 21 Italians were wounded, and 12 Iraqis are missing
or wounded. It is Italy’s first experience with deaths in hostile action
in Iraq. The Pope spoke out against the bombing, according to BBC News, calling
it a “vile attack” against peace.

* Senators involved in Medicare organizing announced on Wednesday a tentative
$400 billion plan to help Medicare recipients pay for prescription drugs. The
agreement centers on a “demonstration project” in which Medicare
would “compete with private insurance companies in four cities or one
region of the country, to be chosen by the secretary of Health and Human Services,”
according to Other aspects of the plan include endeavors at controlling
Medicare’s cost and a “means test” that charges wealthier
senior citizens more for Medicare. Democratic leaders condemned the plan before
it was even officially announced, including Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle,
who called it “the end of Medicare as we’ve known it for all these
40 years.”

* To the surprise of many Western intelligence officials, recently-issued reports
have shown that North Korea and Iran have been making significant technological
advancements that may allow them to build nuclear weapons. According to the
report, North Korea has made more progress than Iran and presents more of a
threat to the United States; however, Iran’s nuclear weapons program now
appears to be “broader and deeper than American intelligence agencies
suspected,” according to the New York Times. Iran’s program is from
at least 1985 and includes an “exotic program to use lasers to enrich


3) Campus events

Earthlust Moment of Silence for 5th anniversary of US failure to sign Kyoto
Parrish Steps, 12:45pm

Study Abroad in Japan Info Meeting
Kohlberg 228, 4:00pm

Colloquium by Joachim Von Braun: IFPRI’s New Strategy
Scheuer Room, 4:15pm

“What does Fiction Writing Mean to Me?” : Lecture and Book Signing
by Yu Hua, University of Iowa
McCabe Coffee Bar, 4:15pm

Jacqueline E. Wade Lecture; “Afrocentric Perspectives on Black Male/Female
Science Center 183, 6:00pm

NASA Film Screening: “The Great American Footrace”
IC, 6:30pm

Boston University School of Social Work Information Session
Bond, 6:30pm

Feminist Majority Lecture
Scheuer Room, 6:30pm

Brady Kiesling Lecture: “The Last Leader of the Free World: George W.
Bush Meets the Clash of Civilizations”
LPAC Cinema, 7:00pm

Film Screening of “To Live” Followed by a Discussion with Yu Hua
Science Center 199, 7:15pm

Economics Dept. Lecture by Joachim von Braun, Director General of the International
Food Policy Research Institute: “Redirecting Global Trade and Investment
to Advance Agricultural Development in the Poorest Countries”
Science Center 101, 7:30pm

Living Wage Study Break
Parrish Parlors, 8:00pm

SIRO Meeting
Kohlberg 226, 9:00pm

The Ring: Should Swarthmore Have an Africana Studies Department?
Mephistos, 10pm – 12:00am



1) Upcoming Contests

No games are scheduled for today.

No games are scheduled for tomorrow.



“Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able
to decide.”


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.

The Phoenix