Tuesday, December 9, 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.

Dear Readers,

Today marks not only the end of classes and this semester’s publication schedule,
but also the end of my tenure with the Daily Gazette. As I transfer my energies
to student teaching next semester, my fellow staff members insist that I follow
in the tradition of departing seniors and bid farewell in my final issue. But
I find it difficult to say goodbye to something I cannot remember being without.

I have worked with the Gazette since the first semester of my freshman year
and it’s been a uniquely rewarding experience every step of the way. So much
so that I would prefer not to try to encapsulate it in platitudes or cliches,
because it’s worth much more than that. Moreover, I don’t wish to simply say
goodbye and trivialize the experience as something fleeting and isolated, because
it will continue to resonate with me as an integral part of my Swarthmore life.
For that, I thank former and current staff members for making my time with the
Gazette so memorable and fulfilling.

It has been an enormous pleasure working with the Gazette, but now the greatest
pleasure will be watching it continue to flourish under its talented, energetic,
and capable new leaders. Like the rest of you, I am eagerly awaiting its return
next semester.

Pei Pei Liu ’04
Managing Editor (Emeritus)

The Daily Gazette
Swarthmore College
Tuesday, December 9, 2003
Volume 8, Number 65

Write to us! daily@swarthmore.edu
Photo of the day: http://www.sccs.swarthmore.edu/org/daily/photo.html
Today’s issue: http://www.sccs.swarthmore.edu/org/daily/


1) Outlook optimistic for December housing lottery

2) Producer Christine Vachon speaks about independent film

3) Athletes, coaches upset by changes to meal replacement plan

4) World news roundup

5) Campus events

6) Corrections


1) Upcoming contests


Today: Mostly sunny. High of 41.
To end, a haiku:

Tonight: Partly cloudy becoming overcast. Low of 32.
Managing editor leaves.

Tomorrow: Cloudy with possible showers. High of 50.
Jokes become funny.


Lunch: Moo goo gai pan, jasmine rice, vegetable moo goo gai pan, eggplant casseroles,
baby lima beans, mixed vegetables, mexican bar, rice krispy treats

Dinner: Boneless center cut pork chops with chutney, roasted red bliss potatoes,
three bean casserole, broccoli-mushroom bake, vegetable blend, pizza bar, rocky
road brownies


1) Outlook optimistic for December housing lottery

by Roxanne Yaghoubi
World News Editor

Calling it a “good lottery to be in,” Dean of Housing and Disablity
Services Myrt Westphal reassured students on Friday that there would be ample
rooms available for all students returning to college housing in the spring.

Westphal expects 60 students to participate in the spring housing lottery tonight.
Meanwhile, 90 beds are expected to be open as a result of students studying
abroad, going on leave, or moving off campus. Though both of these numbers could
fluctuate in weeks to come as students finalize their plans, the 30 extra beds
left over after the lottery will provide a cushion for such changes. Though
a few of the extra rooms in Dana and Hallowell will be changed back into lounges,
the majority of the empty rooms or beds will stay that way if they do not have
occupants by the beginning of the second semester.

Those 30 extra beds do not include the juniors who will be allowed to stay
in one-room doubles by themselves when their roommates leave. These so-called
“orphan roommates” will be allowed the luxury of a double room to
themselves in part because they were denied single rooms (usually available
to juniors and seniors) during the housing crunch of the fall semester.

Dean Westphal emphasized that the period leading up to the lottery has been
a busy one for her and her assistants Joanne Nealon and Diane Watson, as they
have tried hard to make sure that all of the returning students had proxies
available to pick for them in the lottery. The proxy issue in the past has been
a contentious one for some returning students who were not pleased with the
rooms that they ended up receiving. Westphal urged students going abroad this
spring to keep that in mind when picking their proxies for the fall lottery,
advising that students choose someone who would be a responsible proxy.

Despite that, Westphal emphasized that her worry quotient for the lottery was
“down at the floor, not at the ceiling.”


2) Producer Christine Vachon speaks about independent film

by Lauren Janowitz
Gazette Reporter

Christine Vachon, producer of independent films such as “One Hour Photo,”
“Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” and “Boys Don’t Cry,” and author
of the book “Shooting to Kill” spoke last night in LPAC Cinema. Her
talk was sponsored by the English and Film and Media Studies departments.

Vachon had visited Swarthmore in the past, after the release of her film “Go
Fish,” and has since come a long way. In 1996, she founded her own production
company Killer Films with help of friend Pamela Koffler, and has gone on to
produce numerous award-winning films, most notably “Far From Heaven.”

Her talk consisted of various clips from her films punctuated with discussion.
She first spoke on the controversies surrounding some of her films, explaining
that “Happiness,” a film that won the International Critic’s Prize
at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival, was dropped from domestic distribution due
to its “sympathetic portrayal of a pedophile,” and had to be independently
distributed. Similarly, “Boys Don’t Cry” was difficult to distribute
because of its brutal rape scene.

Vachon also discussed the success of her movies. Ironically, she considers
her little-known film “Go Fish” to be her biggest success. “Penny
for penny, ‘Go Fish’ was my best film,” she explained. “It grossed
$4 million in the theaters while only costing $100,000 to make, which is a lot
more than, say, ‘One Hour Photo,’ which grossed $30 million, but cost $15 million
to make.”

Afterwards, the floor was opened up to the audience for questions. One member
asked Vachon her feelings on the MPAA screener ban, which prevents members of
the Academy from receiving early copies of films. She explained that screeners
were very important for independent films, which have a hard time attracting
audiences in general. In response, Vachon and others from the independent film
industry filed a class-action lawsuit against the MPAA, which just recently

Vachon’s latest film “The Company” will be released on December 25.
She is also currently in production with friend John Waters on the film “A
Dirty Shame.”


3) Athletes, coaches upset by changes to meal replacement

by Lauren Janowitz
Gazette Reporter

A recent change to athletes’ meal replacements has left many upset about the
lack of choice and flexibility. Under the old replacement plan, which had been
in place for decades, whenever a game or practice forced athletes to miss a
meal, they would be docked a meal credit and be given a cash equivalency. This
same plan was used to feed athletes over breaks.

The athletes would be given $3.00 for breakfast, $4.00 for lunch, $7.00 for
dinner, and $3.00 for a late-night snack. They could use this money at whichever
restaurant they chose and whenever they pleased. Athletes were also free to
purchase and cook their own food, allowing them to eat as nutritiously as they

This year, the athletic department has changed the plan, removing the meal
equivalencies and limiting athletes only to food from Essie Mae’s or Swarthmore
Pizza. Because of this, athletes now have to order their food and eat together.
“We just want to make sure the students are eating. Meal money isn’t always
the best way since the money is sometimes spent on other items rather than food,”
explained women’s soccer coach Amy Brunner.

The plan does have a few advantages. Athletes now get to keep their meal credits.
They no longer have to deal individually with money, as the athletic department
takes care of the food payment. “The volleyball team hasn’t really been
affected by the change. We always eat together as a team, and now the athletes
don’t have to bother with meal equivalencies,” said coach Harleigh Leach.

However, many athletes and coaches oppose the new plan. “In my opinion,
the new plan has caused more difficulties than improvements for athletes,”
said one coach, who wished to remain anonymous. In the past, athletes could
save their money until it was convenient for them to eat, which was especially
important if they had a job to go to right after a game. Now, they either have
to eat with the team or spend their own money on food.

There are also concerns about the type of food offered. “The new plan
is discriminatory towards vegans, vegetarians, celiacs, and students with other
restrictive diets,” said one coach, referring to the limited choice in
food available. In some cases, athletes don’t even get to pick the items they’d
like: food from Swarthmore Pizza is simply ordered for them. “In many cases,
the food wasn’t even healthy or something that an athlete would want to eat
right after a game,” explained Heidi Fieselmann ’06.

Despite numerous student complaints, the athletic department will continue
the new meal plan over winter break. However, some students maintain that everyone
loses under the plan: “With this new system, the athletic department money
is just going to be wasted, because athletes will use their own money instead
to get what they want and the food will not be eaten,” said Fieselmann.


4) World news roundup

* The U.S. military has launched a major ground operation in Afghanistan in
an effort to eliminate the remnants of al Qaeda and the Taliban regime overthrown
in 2001. Military spokesman Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty described “Operation
Avalanche,” which began over the weekend, as the largest ground operation
yet in Afghanistan. Between 2,000 and 11,500 soldiers will be dispatched in
east and south Afghanistan to pursue Taliban and al Qaeda militants. The operation
will focus on areas where international troops and aid workers have been hit
by terrorist cells. The new offensive was marred by a botched weekend operation
in which U.S. military aircraft appear to have accidentally killed nine children
in an airstrike on the east-central Afghanistan village of Petaw.

* The U.S. warned Taiwan on Monday against any steps that could move the island
towards independence, including an upcoming referendum. It also warned Beijing
against using force or taking other provocative steps to increase tensions across
the Taiwan Strait. A senior Bush administration official said that Taiwan in
recent days “seems to be pushing the envelope pretty vigorously” in
issues related to its future status. The official criticised a March 20 referendum
in Taiwan proposed by Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian asking voters to demand
that China stop threatening the island and remove hundreds of missiles aimed
at it. Since nearly every citizen on Taiwan would like to see China remove those
missiles, the official said, it was not clear what purpose the referendum would
serve other than to underscore the obvious, and it could prompt China to dig
in its heels further.

* Communists and liberals were the biggest losers in Russia’s elections, which
some observers claim were rigged. Four parties will share power in the the new
parliament, with United Russia, the pro-Kremlin party, taking more than one-third
of the votes. The poll has all but destroyed the Communist Party-led left opposition,
seen as President Vladimir Putin’s main rival. The party clawed its way to second
place, but faced a solid challenge from flamboyant nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s
Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, or LDPR. The communists allege ballot-box
stuffing and votes cast under deceased people’s names. International observers
from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for the Security and Cooperation
in Europe panned the results. The watchdog’s boss, Bruce George, said the poll
“failed to meet…international standards,” adding that attacks against
the opposition in the state-owned media “overwhelmingly distorted”
the results.


5) Campus events

Terpsichore Open Dress Rehearsal
LPAC Pearson-Hall Theatre, 5:00 p.m.

American Narrative Cinema Film Screening: “The Matrix”
LPAC Cinema, 7:00 p.m.

Acapella Jamboree
hosted by Sticks and Stones
Lang Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m.


6) Corrections

Yesterday’s Gazette featured an interview with Ms. Mimi Geiss in which she
was incorrectly referred to as Gigi Geiss. We apologize to Ms. Geiss for the

Additionally, in the article on the DC++ file-sharing program, the Gazette
explaind that the hub was shut down for “legal reasons.” The hub operators
would like to clarify that they do not condone illegal file-sharing and closed
the hub precisely because of these concerns, rather than because of any threatened
legal action.



1) Upcoming contests

Women’s basketball at Johns Hopkins, 7:00 p.m.

Men’s basketball at Johns Hopkins, 7:30 p.m.



“Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator,
but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.”
–W. H. Auden


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 daily@swarthmore.edu

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
Maki Sato
Angelina Seah
Christine Shin
Siyuan Xie

Sports Writers: Sarah Hilding
Holice Kil

Kyle Khellaf
Robbie Hart
Max Li
Anthony Orazio
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 (
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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go to our subscriptions page on the web at

Back issues are available on the web at:

This concludes today’s report (and Pei Pei’s DG career).

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