Thursday, November 20, 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 20, 2003
Volume 8, Number 54

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


1) Woman escapes attempted kidnapping near campus

2) Students deal with aftermath of vandalism in two residence

3) CBC in the process of studying budget

4) World news roundup

5) Campus events


1) Upcoming contests


Today: Partly cloudy and windy. High of 57.
I’m growing concerned for the smaller Swatties…

Tonight: Partly cloudy. Low of 45.
With all the wind blowing around lately…

Tomorrow: Partly cloudy. High of 62.
One of them is bound to get stuck in a tree.


Lunch: Tortellini with rose sauce, foccacia, indian style chick peas, crinkle
cut carrots, zucchini italiano, hoagie bar, lemon bars

Dinner: Salsa chicken, spanish rice, vegetarian dumplings, eggplant parmesan,
tex mex cauliflower, potato bar, ice cream bar


1) Woman escapes attempted kidnapping near campus

by Roxanne Yaghoubi and Megan Mills
World News Editor and Associate Editor

On Monday morning, a juvenile female survived an attempted assault while walking
on Myers Avenue near S. Princeton Avenue, according to a report by the Swarthmore
Police Department. Swarthmore College residents learned of the event through
a reserved-students email sent by the Director of Public Safety Owen Redgrave.

At 10:15 on November 17, a white, low-riding pickup truck slowed near the train
station and asked the walking woman for directions. When she approached, the
man in the passenger seat held a knife to her throat and ordered her to get
into the vehicle. In the process of entering the truck, she was able to break
away. Luckily, neck bruising was the extent of her physical injuries.

The identity of the woman is not being released, but Redgrave did note that
she was not a member of the college community. Anyone with information on the
suspects–a Caucasian male with dark hair and light unkempt beard and a heavyset
Hispanic man–is asked to contact Borough Police at 610-543-0123.

Chief Craig of the Borough Police explained that a police composite artist
will work with the victim to create a sketch of the suspects to distribute to
local law enforcement agencies, including Public Safety. In addition, the victim
has been interviewed and “pictures of various pickup trucks are being taken
to be shown to the victim in hopes of better identifying the type of truck involved.”

According to Tom Krattenmaker of the Office of News and Information, this incident
emphasizes the need for people to be more careful about safety on campus, especially
since people tend to become complacent. An event like this happens every few
years, he added, shocking students and faculty. He explained that the administration’s
response to the recent attack is to call attention to the safety measures already
in place, rather than implement new ones.

Among these campus safety precautions are the dorm shuttles that run until
3:30 a.m, campus telephones at key locations, and the fact that Borough Police
also patrol campus at night. Further, nearly 1000 students a year make use of
the ability to call Public Safety at any time for an escort, and every year
Public Safety analyzes the Arboretum’s foliage to see if there are places where
suspects could easily hide.

Chief Craig added that students feeling worried about their safety after the
attacks should simply exercise the same caution they always would. “Avoid
walking alone or in isolated areas,” he said. “When someone asks for
directions, provide the answer from a safe distance–do not approach the person
asking. Be aware of your surroundings and be ready to react if necessary. If
a contact is suspicious, report it to the police immediately.”


2) Students deal with aftermath of vandalism in two residence

by Jonathan Ference
Gazette Reporter

As the semester nears its end, students living in Mertz Hall and Willets Hall
have been forced to deal with one more headache on top of the pressures of classes.
Both halls, two of the campus’ largest, were targets of recent vandalism incidents,
Willets this past weekend and Mertz the weekend before. Both vandalism incidents
were committed on weekends to dorm entrances, and the very visible damage to
Willets has gained much attention on campus.

In Mertz Hall, superglue was applied to the locking mechanism of the door that
leads to the driveway circle. According to an email forwarded to all Mertz residents,
the glue “kept the door from locking properly”, thus posing a major
security risk. The campus locksmith subsequently replaced the lock, which the
Daily Gazette has learned cost approximately $280.

In Willets Hall, a glass window next to the door at the south entrance, closest
to McCabe, was smashed on Saturday night. The window, currently covered with
yellow caution tape, has not yet been replaced. The glass was special security
glass with wire mesh imbedded in it, keeping it from completely shattering,
despite cracks all the way to the corners of the window.

According to Myrt Westphal, Assistant Dean and Director of Residential Life,
she first learned of acts of vandalism from Public Safety. In turn, Westphal
sent a note to the hall’s RAs, asking them to investigate and inform their
halls of what occurred. Next, RAs informed the residents of their halls, generally
via email. The question then became whether someone “inside or outside”
committed the vandalism.

If the College believes a student actively vandalized the building, it will
levy a charge on all residents of a hall unless the guilty party is revealed.
This was the case with the vandalism to Mertz, because, as Westphal explained,
the glue was placed on the mechanism in the door’s edge, meaning the perpetrator
probably had a key. If, however, the College does not feel a student had to
be responsible, a fine will not be levied. This could happen if the College
believes an incident was an accident or was committed by an “outsider”,
the debate currently being studied in the Willets incident.

This is the distinction, Westphal said, between “a soccer ball being accidentally
kicked through a window” and, for instance, food being stolen from a vending
machine. She said that above all, students need to be responsible and come forward
if they have information about any such incident. This sentiment was echoed
by Willets resident Federica von Euw ’07, who said that it was “kind
of disappointing that people weren’t smart enough to respect the building.”
If a fine is levied against an entire hall, the cost of the replacement will
be divided amongst a hall’s residents via a fee added to students’
tuition bills. This will not be the case in Mertz Hall, as the responsible party
came forward and will be charged for the damage, according to Mertz RAs.

Some students have begun to wonder if such vandalism is a growing trend or
whether the two events simply occurred close together. Westphal felt it was
the latter. “[Whether it’s a trend] is really hard to say…if there
is any event we had the most of, it was probably vending machines,” she
noted, pointing out various cases in recent years of vending machine glass being
broken or of the machine being left unlocked and students taking all the food
out of it. As a result, Willets’ vending machine now has a screen around
it, and the College is working with the vending companies to make them more

As to whether students should be concerned, Westphal said: “Whenever there’s
vandalism, there’s cause for concern.” Von Euw herself “didn’t
feel personally threatened…because it only affected one window” and she
“didn’t really know why it was smashed”. Westphal also explained
that even if students don’t feel their security was at risk, the College’s
resources are being directed to fix something that shouldn’t have needed
that time and money. Willets residents felt the same way. Asked how they felt
about a potential fee, the sentiment was it would be more “annoying”
and “unfair” rather than an incredible outrage, because such a fee
would be divided across a large number of students.

Anyone who has information about the broken glass window in Willets is urged
to contact a Willets RA.


3) CBC in the process of studying budget

by Jonathan Ference
Gazette Reporter

At the Student Council meeting on Tuesday, November 11th, news on Swathmore’s
financial future was presented to the council by College Budget Committee (CBC)
member Ryan Budish. This report represented a preview of the CBC’s full
presentation of its Five Year Financial Projection to the Finance Committee
on Wednesday, November 19th. These presentations represent two steps in an annual
process to examine the College’s financial future, according to Suzanne
Welsh, College Vice President for Finance and Treasurer, who oversees the process.

Welsh explained that each fall the Five Year Financial Projection is updated
by “constructing a base model of all that [the College] does now”,
including predicted endowment growth, inflation, capital campaigns, etcetera.
Using that model, the groups can then study the impacts of various options that
could be implemented. The CBC presents the Five Year Projection to the Finance
Committee of the Board of Managers so that it can “get a rough idea of
the status of the budget for the next few years and identify the choices that
will need to be made.” No decisions will be made until the CBC creates
its detailed budget recommendation for the 2004-5 year and presents it to the
President and to the full complement of the Board of Managers in February.

The budget process has garnered extra attention this year over rumors of tuition
increases. Assessing the situation, Welsh admitted that the “financial
environment that will continue to be challenging for the near future.”
Because of “stable enrollment, a desire to keep tuition increases in line
with increases in family incomes, and an unwavering commitment to need-blind
admissions”, Welsh said, “growth in revenues from tuition is expected
to be modest.”

Welsh went on to say that such a financial situation would allow the College
to maintain its “existing program”, but would mean “fitting new
initiatives into [the] budget will require a careful look at prioritizing our
needs.” One projection cited a figure of a $1.6 million dollar deficit
for the 2008-2009 school year, which, by that year, could represent a much higher
cost to students than the current $37,716. Yet, there are many concerns that
could factor into a tuition increase, including a bill in Congress that might
withhold federal financial aid from schools that raised tuition by more than
twice times inflation. The actions of other schools could also have significant
impact on the College’s ultimate decision, as could other internal factors,
like the Living Wage and the success of the current capital campaign.

As the College moves forward, Welsh said, managing its budget will “require
a focus on priorities and an emphasis on saving costs and capturing efficiencies.”
The next step in raising the campus’ awareness of the issue is discussion
at faculty and staff meetings in December. Given the potential deficits cited
in the presentation to the Student Council, it seems like tuition increases
are feasible. If such increase is to occur, it will not happen until decided
by the Board of Managers at their February meeting. Until then, as the College
plans its future in a still uncertain economy, the CBC will continue working
on its detailed budget recommendation for the next school year, bearing the
recently-presented projection in mind.


4) World news roundup

* Pop star Michael Jackson was served with an arrest warrant on Wednesday.
The warrant alleges several counts of child molestation, and officials said
that it was likely the star would be charged with the crime. This was not the
case with allegations of such molestation a decade ago. The victim is alleged
to be a 12-13 year old boy who had visited Jackson’s Neverland Ranch and later
told a therapist about the molestation. However officials, who searched the
ranch on Tuesday for evidence, would not collaborate the report of the victim’s
age and gender. Though Jackson is currently believed to be making a video in
Las Vegas, District Attorney Thomas Sneddon urged Jackson to turn himself in,
saying “Get over here and get checked in.” The warrant set bail at
3 million.

* A three month, joint US-Canadian investigation concluded on Wednesday by
blaming the FirstEnergy corporation for the August blackout that affected 50
million people. The report said that the company’s operators were improperly
trained, and that computer problems delayed the company from finding out immediately
that the Midwestern power grids were having trouble. US energy secretary Spencer
Abraham said, “This blackout was largely preventable.” Officials did
reassure the public however that there was no evidence of tampering with the
grids, and that computer viruses were not to blame.

* On Wednesday President Bush urged Isarel not to jeopardize the United States-backed
road map for peace by erecting walls and fences. The call comes as Israel erects
a large barrier in the West Bank. Pope John Paul II also made a similar call,
asking Israel to build bridges with the Palestinians, and not walls. But Foreign
Minister Silvan Shalom said that Israel was doing everything it could to “put
up this fence that will prevent infiltrations.”

* The Massachusetts supreme court announced on Tuesday that the state constitution
guarantees gay couples the right to marry. The 4-3 decision gives the state
legislature six months to rewrite its laws in favor of marriage for gay couples.
Although Vermont and California have passed laws that allow same-sex partners
much of the same benefits as marriage, the Massachusetts ruling does not leave
open the possibility of any alternatives (like Vermont’s civil unions) other
than marriage. However courts in both Hawaii and Alaska had made similar rulings
in past years only to have state constitutions amended to ban such marriages,
a situation which Massachusetts could also face. Conservative Republicans, including
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Roomey and US President George Bush, said they would
support such an amendment whether at the state or national level.


5) Campus events

Study Abroad in Japan Information Session
Kohlberg 226, 4:00 p.m.

Artist Lecture and Slide Presentation by John More
Science Center 101, 4:30 p.m.

Resume Blitz
Career Services, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Diya Week Lecture by Dr. Sunita Kishor on Women and Health
Kohlberg 228, 6:00 p.m.

MAC OS X Info Session
Kohlberg 117, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Psychology Lecture: Mary Banks, UC Berkeley “How does the brain combine
different sources of information”
Science Center 199, 7:00 p.m.

Biology Summer Research Opportunties – Information Session
Science Center 101, 7:00 p.m.

Search Associates Info Session
Scheuer Room, 7:00 p.m.

Real Life Writing Panel
Kohlberg 115, 7:00p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Lecture by Dan Snyder: “Nonviolence and the Dynamics of Transformation”
LPAC Cinema, 7:30 p.m.

Diya Week Movie Night: ‘Taxivala’
Science Center 101, 9:00 p.m.



1) Upcoming Contests

There are no contests scheduled for today.

Men’s basketball: Equinox Classic, 8:00 p.m. vs. Whittier.



“Colors fade, temples crumble, empires fall, but wise words endure.”
–Edward Thorndike


Interested in reporting or writing for the Gazette?
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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
Anya Carrasco
Jonathan Ference
Alex Glick
Lauren Janowitz
Jaeyoon Kim
Sanggee Kim
Ken Patton
Melissa Phruksachart
Maki Sato
Angelina Seah
Christine Shin
Siyuan Xie

Sports Writers: Sarah Hilding
Holice Kil

Robbie Hart
Kyle Khellaf
Max Li
Casey Reed


Charlie Buffie
Greg Leiserson

Weathercaster: Josh Hausman

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Our world news roundup is compiled daily, using a variety of sources, most
notably the Associated Press (,
Reuters (, CNN
(, and The New York Times (
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summaries are derived from information provided by the Swat Athletics Department

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This concludes today’s report.

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