Tuesday, February 17, 2004

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
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
Volume 8, Number 87

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) Students discuss Living Wage proposal

2) Chemistry professor reports on trends in college

3) PaCes MeNu this week

4) World news roundup

5) Campus events


1) Upcoming contests


Today: Scattered Flurries. High of 37.
Just when we thought spring was on its way,

Tonight: Snow. Low of 28.
lots of little flurries…

Tomorrow: Snow showers, wind. High of 40.
to *brighten* up the day.


Lunch: beef stew, cornbread, broccoli-mushroom stir-fry, spinach
crepes, corn, brussel sprouts, falafel bar, jewish apple cake

Dinner: fresh fish, cous cous, bow tie pasta, mushroom medley with
spinach, broccoli, vegetable blend, chicken patty bar, blondies


1) Students discuss Living Wage proposal

by Ken Patton
Gazette Reporter

Students gathered Sunday evening to hear from the Living Wage Ad Hoc
Committee and to discuss the proposal that was released last Tuesday.
Due to technical difficulties, the meeting was moved from the Science
Center Auditorium to the LPAC Cinema, but unfortunately, further
complications prevented the committee from showing the originally
planned PowerPoint presentation.

Instead, working off a printed copy of the presentation, Nate
Wessler ’04 began with an overview of the history of the Living Wage
and Democracy Campaign as well as the details of the new proposal.
After the presentation, the floor was opened up for questions and
comments from the audience.

Wessler and several other members of the Ad Hoc Committee, including
Melanie Young and Sarah Willie, fielded questions ranging from how
specific the numbers in the proposal are, whether or not students will
be informed of budget issues, questions about unfair hiring practices,
and what the turnover rate at the college is.

To answer the first question, the committee replied that the
proposal has very rough but reasonable estimates. They also mentioned
that there would be panels in the future to inform students about how
money gets raised and allocated at the college. These panels will
discuss where the money for the proposal should come from. Young said,
“It is already illegal to make discriminatory hires. I am more worried
about job loss and qualification creep.” She explained the
“qualification creep” as the increase in number of qualified candidates
who will apply to work at the college: “We will start to get the best
candidates, since they will want to work here.” And since it is illegal
to make discriminatory hires, the college cannot turn away those that
are significantly over-qualified for a job. In addition, Young also
answered questions about the turnover rate stating, “People who leave
due to their own reason is about 4-6%,” adding, “This is an extremely
low turnover rate.”

Overall, students seemed content with the discussion. Bernadette
Baird-Zairs ’06 mentioned that despite technical problems, she thought
“Nate Wessler did an incredible job.” About the discussion, Wessler
commented, “I think there were some really insightful questions from
the students who came. It is vitally important to have these

The complete text of the proposal can be found online at http://www.swarthmore.edu/Admin/reports/LWReport7.Feb04.pdf.


2) Chemistry professor reports on trends in college

by Brendan Moriarty
Gazette Reporter

Chemistry Professor Paul Rablen recently completed his
semi-confidential investigation of budgeting trends at Swarthmore
College and several other institutions. The report highlights overall
expansion in college expenditures in the last several decades, financed
by growth in the tuition and endowment. Information on the other
colleges’ budgets is not being made public.

Just about all areas of the college have experienced growth in the
last several decades. In a personal interview, Rablen characterized the
1980s as a time of “explosive growth,” with an average increase in
annual expenditures of 7.3%. He reported that spending is now more
“moderate,” as the average annual growth rate has slipped to 4.0% in
the 1990s. If the trends of the 80s had continued into the latter
decade, spending would be $50 to $60 million more per year than it is
today. Total spending during the 2002-2003 academic year amounted to
just over $100 million.

The college’s expansion in the last two decades has been financed
largely by growth in the endowment and tuition revenues. Currently at
slightly more than $1.2 billion, the endowment tends to grow at 5.75%
above inflation, outstripping the overall rate of growth in
expenditures. However, at least 1.5% of those returns are reinvested so
that the endowment will continue to grow. Revenues from a growing
tuition are assisting the increase in spending. Tuition revenues have
outpaced inflation by 4.6% in the 80s and 3.1% in the 90s.

In order to soften the burden of rising tuition on low-income
families, spending on financial aid has seen the most marked expansion.
Financial aid expenditures grew at 9.5% annually in the 80s and 5.2%
annually in the 90s. Today, financial aid is one of the college’s
greatest expenditures.

In absolute dollars, the academic program—one of the largest areas
of college expenditure—has experienced the greatest increase in
funding. Over slightly more than ten years, 35 faculty positions—not
all of which are permanent, tenure track—and 19 academic staff
positions have been added as the college created new departments such
as Computer Science and Japanese. In addition, as the existing faculty
is tending towards more full time leaves, the college must spend more
on temporary replacements. This despite that fact that positions are
left vacant in 60% of all cases. 33 non-academic staff positions have
also been created during this time.

In confidential sections, the report compares these trends to those
at Williams, Amherst, Wellesley, Carleton and Haverford Colleges. Only
a select few administrators will have access to these sections. They
include the college president, provost, vice-president for
administration, vice president for finance and treasurer, director of
institutional research and select members of the Board of Managers.
According to Rablen, institutions make themselves vulnerable when they
share budget reports. He explained that information can easily be
misrepresented when in the wrong hands. The last thing an institution
wants is for their most sensitive records to be used against them in a
rival’s publications.

Rablen conducted his research while on leave during the 2002-2003
academic year. He was drawn to these issues as a member of the College
Budgeting Committee since 1999.


3) PaCes MeNu this week

ReaL FooD
TueSDaY & WedNeSdaY
* twice baked potatoes (V!) *
* WiNGs! *

* French lemon tart *
* hazelnut torte *

* frosted orange layer cake *
* triple chocolate cake with choco-mint frosting *


4) World news roundup

* L. Paul Bremer III, the US administrator in Iraq, suggested he
would block any legislation that would make Islamic law the foundation
of an interim constitution. Bremer said that the most recent draft of
the constitution, which is scheduled to take effect by the end of this
month, would officially make Islam the state religion and “a source of
inspiration for the law,” but not the primary source of Iraqi
legislation. However, Mohsen Abdel-Hamid, the president of the Iraqi
Governing Council and a Suuni Muslin hard-liner, wants to make Islamic
law the “principal basis” of legislation, which frightens Iraqi women’s
groups who worry they will lose some of their rights that they have
under Iraq’s secular system. Especially in the realms of divorce, child
support, and inheritance, women would have stricter limitations under
Islamic law. However, since Bremer must sign any proposed measures by
the council before they become law, he assured that he would not sign a
charter that made Islamic sharia law the principal basis of legislation.

* Leonid Nevzli, one of the main shareholders of stocks in Russia’s
largest oil company, Yukos, said he is willing to exchange his stock to
the government for the release of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Yukos’ former
chief, out of prison. Khodorkovsky had been arrested on Oct. 25th on
charges of fraud and tax evasions, although his supporters argue his
arrest was “politically motivated.” Nevzli, who is thought to own 3.5
percent of Yukos through Menatep, said, “I’m ready to do anything
including handing over all shares belonging to me to whoever the
government or the Kremlin said I should give to,” but also noted that
he has not officially made “any offer to the Russian government.” He
also added that the offer was contingent on the release of Khodorkovsky
and another shareholder, Platon Lebedev. Nevzlin is currently living in
“self-imposed exile” in Israel with a fellow Menatep shareholder
Vladimir Dubov because all of Manetep’s shareholders are now charged
with alleged fraud and tax evasions.

* By noon yesterday, approximately 140 couples, most of them gays or
lesbians, married at City Hall in San Francisco, California. Monday was
the fifth day in a row that gays and lesbians came to get marriage
licenses before two court hearings on Tuesday: San Francisco County
Superior Court Judge Kevin McCarthy is scheduled to hear an injunction
request to stop same-sex marriages at 11 a.m., and Judge James Warren
is to hear a second request at 2 p.m. PT. No one is sure whether the
judges will void the licenses that have recently been issued, stop the
issuing of more licenses, or continue to permit same-sex marriages.
However since so many of the couples that came were from outside of
California, a legal expert thought the case might end up in the federal
court. On Sunday, 487 couples got married, making the total since
Thursday to over 1,600 couples. Their goal is to exceed 2,250 by the
close of Monday night. Although on any usual day, only about 30 couples
get married in City Hall, after Mayor Gavin Newsom announced that
“licenses be granted to same-sex couples,” city officials volunteered
to work this holiday weekend to marry hundreds of gay and lesbian
couples. Mabel Teng, County Assessor and Recorder, who signs the
marriage certificates to make them legal, said, “It’s purely out of
love and commitment to equal rights,” thanked the couples for being
much “joy and love to City Hall,” and wished them “a lifetime of
happiness together.”

* In an attempt to protest affirmative action, The College
Republicans at Roger Williams University recently created a new
scholarship for white students only. The application for the $250 award
requires an essay on “why you are proud of your white heritage” and a
recent picture to “confirm whiteness.” Jason Mattera, 20, who is
president of the College Republicans, said the group is parodying
minority scholarships. “Many people think that coming from a white
background you’re automatically privileged, you’re automatically rich
and your parents pay full tuition. That’s just not the case.” The
recent move has angered some at the university, but the administration
is staying out of it, saying that it is a student group’s initiative
and is not endorsed by Roger Williams. When it comes to controversy,
this new scholarship is not a first for the Republicans. As reported by
CNN, the school temporarily froze their money in the fall during a
fight over a series of articles published in its monthly newsletter.
One article alleged that a gay-rights group indoctrinates students into
homosexual sex.


5) Campus Events

Ubiquitous Cycle: “Book Artists Look Back” lecture and gallery walk
with Ruth Copans, College & Special Collections Librarian at
Skidmore College
McCabe Library Coffee Bar, 2:00 p.m.

“A Bridge to Babylon” with Tamar-yair Dalal, sponsored by Ruach
Clothier Tarble, 4:00 p.m.

“Missus President: Women and Political Leadership in Iran” Lecture by
Shahla Haeri, Department of Anthropology & Women’s Studies, Boston
Scheuer Room, 4:30 p.m.

Swarthmore Living Wage & Democracy Campaign Meeting
Kohlberg 228 6:30 p.m.

Film Screening: “Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election”
Science Center 101, 8:30 p.m.



1) Upcoming contests

Badminton at Bryn Mawr, 7:00 p.m.

Women’s Basketball at Washington, 6:00 p.m.
Men’s Basketball at Washington, 8:00 p.m.



“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first
four sharpening the axe.”
–Abraham Lincoln


Interested in reporting or writing for the Gazette?
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Contact the staff at daily@swarthmore.edu

Communications Editor: Megan Mills
Features Editor Alexis Reedy
Living & Arts Editor: Jonathan Ference
News Editor: Greg Leiserson
Sports Editor: Alex Glick
Photo/Graphics Editor: Charlie Buffie
News Reporters: Anya Carrasco
Lauren Janowitz
Sanggee Kim
Brendan Moriarty
Ken Patton
Maki Sato
Angelina Seah
Victoria Swisher
Siyuan Xie
Sports Writers: Sarah Hilding
Holice Kil
Cara Tigue
Photographers: Kyle Khellaf
Robbie Hart
Nicole Oberfoell
Anthony Orazio
World News Roundup: Maki Sato
Campus Sports: Alex Glick
Webmasters: Charlie Buffie
Greg Leiserson
Weathercaster: Josh Hausman

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