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
Thursday, September 30, 2004
Volume 9, Number 24
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NEWS IN BRIEF
SPORTS IN BRIEF
Today: PM showers. High of 70.
As fall break nears, I am once again faced with a pressing dilemma. At
home I can pawn off the laundry on someone else, but I have to cook. At
Swat, I don’t have to cook but I do my own laundry.
Tonight: 30% chance of showers. Low in the mid 50s.
Successfully manipulating this paradigm for greatest personal gain has
been a goal of mine since freshman year, but until now I have never
been able to completely match the cycles.
Tomorrow: Sunny. High in the mid 70s.
Now, though, having broken the “full week of Swarthmore department
t-shirts” barrier this is no longer a problem. Never shall I have to
laundry at Swat again!
Lunch: Tortellini with creamy pesto sauce, foccaccia, Indian style
chick peas, crinkle cut carrots, zucchini Italiano, hoagie bar
Dinner: Blackened chicken with corn salsa, Spanish rice, portabella
burgers, California casserole, Tex Mex blend, cauliflower, Thai bar
by Victoria Swisher, Living and Arts Editor
additional reporting by Alex Glick, Sports Editor
On Friday, President Al Bloom will present his recommendation on the
Living Wage to the Board of Managers. Having already distributed copies
to the faculty and staff and discussed it with Student Council,
President Bloom talked about his proposal with the student body and
members of the community at a tea hosted by the Living Wage and
Democracy Campaign on Wednesday in Kohlberg Coffee Bar.
Initial reactions to the President’s proposal by the Living Wage and
Democracy Campaign were passionate. In a statement released on
September 24th , the campaign wrote that “family health coverage alone
is insufficient” and “because the proposal doesn’t clarify the family
income requirements for the means test, it is difficult to judge how
many low wage staff members would even be eligible to receive this
proposed additional benefit.” The campaign also expressed concern over
the long-term implementation of a living wage saying, “The proposal
must provide for the creation of a permanent college committee to
oversee the implementation and maintenance of the standard of a living
wage.” The Living Wage and Democracy Campaign was also disappointed in
the amount of time required to implement the President’s proposal,
which “could take up to three years, but leaves no indication as to how
or when the timeline will be decided.”
President Bloom’s proposal recommends “that the Board consider adding a
health care subsidy for low income employees of Swarthmore College.
This will allow employees who meet a means test for household income
the ability to utilize their benefit bank cash for income, instead of
having to spend it to purchase health care coverage for their families.
This, in turn, will ensure that all Swarthmore employees are able to
earn a salary consistent with the level recommended by the Ad Hoc
Committee on the Living Wage of $10.72/hour for a single adult.”
In preparation for the tea on Wednesday, President Bloom said that he
hoped to explain the motives and constraints behind his proposal. The
proposal calls for an investment of $180,000, which “represents $4.5-5
million of endowment to support this very important improvement to our
community.” He further stated, “I really believe that, at this point,
the college is not in a financial position to go further.” President
Bloom defended the decisions behind the proposal, noting that when the
ad hoc committee had been investigating a living wage at Swarthmore,
they had explicitly said they were not looking at the financial
implications of their recommendations. He also commented that
“[d]espite how much money [my proposal demands], I really believe we
should do this for our staff. But going beyond that begins to make me
weigh other priorities of the college in a higher priority.” Three
areas that he suggested were high priorities for the college were
providing financial aid to international students, continuing various
temporary academic programs, and continued education for staff members
to enable them to move to higher positions of responsibility.
Along with Melanie Young, Director of Human Resources, and Sue Welsh,
Treasurer, President Bloom reiterated these sentiments as he spoke to a
crowd of at least 40 people in Kohlberg Coffee Bar. The Living Wage and
Democracy Campaign handed out copies of the President’s proposal, the
proposal of the ad hoc committee, and a sheet of paper listing details
the President’s proposal does not include which “will not create a
living wage at Swarthmore” as students gathered to hear President Bloom
speak. In response to the audience’s questions, President Bloom
remarked, “I was convinced we should give $10.72 an hour” and that this
wage increase is “a big jump from two years ago”. Welsh added that with
the new healthcare benefits included in the proposal, the wage is “as
high as $14.” President Bloom concluded, “I want the staff to have as
positive of a life as the College can responsibly support.”
Valerie Maulbeck ’06, who recently joined the Living Wage and Democracy
Campaign, said of the discussion, “It was frustrating because he isn’t
committed to a Living Wage at Swarthmore” and that “we’re doing so much
better than everyone else, but it’s not enough.” She did concede,
however, that she is “really happy that we’re doing anything” and that
it is tough to find sources for funding a living wage.
Upon reading the proposal, Edward Smith, who has been a staff member at
Swarthmore College for a little over two months, stated that “it does
need improvement” and that the most glaring omission from the
President’s proposal is childcare.
After the discussion that will follow President Bloom’s proposal to the
Board of Managers on Friday, the smaller committee of the Board that
has already seen his proposal, and expressed their support for it, will
continue to meet with President Bloom to discuss the living wage. The
Board of Managers will meet again in December to discuss the proposal
further and to reach a final decision.
by Victoria Swisher
Living and Arts Editor
The Social Affairs Committee (SAC) issued a formal statement about the
DU Party themed “Professors and School Girls” on Wednesday, writing,
“We did not intend to support or in any way promote the gender
stereotypes or power dynamics to which [two Swarthmore] students were
so opposed.” The committee elaborated, “advertisements for all
SAC-funded events are the responsibility of the group throwing the
party and are not screened by SAC members. Offensive signs and banners
were not and have never been endorsed by SAC.”
Two students, David McCandlish ’05 and Raghu Karnad ’05 had originally
approached student council with the complaint that DU’s theme
“Professors and School Girls” was inappropriate. McCandlish and Karnard
took issue with the fact that a “student body [funded] a party whose
theme was in conflict with our community values”. McCandlish also
added, “Imagine being a first-year and having attended the party – you
might have walked away with a skewed perspective of how we view gender
roles and sexual identity on this campus. We feel that SAC and Student
Council have an obligation to correct this false impression and to
affirm our core beliefs on gender equality.”
SAC voted to issue a statement after it became aware of complaints from
the community. Myra Vallianos ’05, Student Events Advisor on Student
Council and an ex officio member of SAC, stated that while SAC knows
the titles of events prior to giving funding, it does not know how
student groups will advertise for the events. In the case of the DU
party “Professors and School Girls”, Vallianos said that advertising
was “a little over the top”.
The full text of SAC’s statement appears below:
The members of the Social Affairs Committee recognize that it is
impossible to expect that every SAC-funded event will not offend any
students. Our decisions are always subjective – they depend on the
collective opinion of eleven members, though each week our decisions
are (theoretically) filtered through both our dean’s advisory council
and Student Council. Still, we do not assume that our decisions will
directly reflect the opinions of every single Swarthmore student but
rather strive to be certain that the events we fund will appeal to a
broad range of students.
In last week’s Phoenix, two students expressed serious concerns with
SAC’s decision to fund the “Professors and Schoolgirls” all-campus
party. We did not intend to support or in any way promote the gender
stereotypes or power dynamics to which these students were so opposed.
Additionally, we feel it is important to note that SAC funding is
determined based on the proposal alone. Advertisements for all
SAC-funded events are the responsibility of the group throwing the
party and are not screened by SAC members. Offensive signs and banners
were not and have never been endorsed by SAC.
Social Affairs Committee
by Jonathan Ference
In a marathon meeting that stretched from Tuesday night well into
Wednesday, Student Council (SC) voted to take the rare action of
disagreeing with a Social Affairs Committee (SAC) decision on the
funding of a campus event, choosing to grant the Swarthmore Voter
Registration Coalition (SVRC) $150 for an event that will include the
screening of the presidential debates on Thursday night. The decision
was the culmination of over two hours of sometimes heated and sometimes
philosophical debate about SAC, Student Council, and their roles in
representing the student body.
The process for funding began with a typical proposal to SAC for
funding. Ethan Ucker ’07, one of the heads of SVRC, requested $350 at
SAC’s Monday evening meeting–a quantity of funding which Ucker said he
was told was consistent with that for a large weekend party. SAC
rejected the proposal on the basis that it fell under the category of
“events which advance political ideologies.” Ucker expressed to Student
Council that he felt that the event was not promoting a political
ideology but rather was “a chance to forego partisanship,” and thus was
requesting that Student Council provide funding for the event. He noted
the value of SAC funding for an event, saying that it increases campus
awareness of the event and serves as an endorsement by the student body.
Student Council representative and ex officio SAC member Myra Kate
Vallianos explained SAC’s decision to SC, saying that “although it
doesn’t promote an ideology…it is promoting political
ideologies–that’s what debates do.” She added that the vote was
Student Council members, with SAC Co-Directors Darshan Patel ’05 and
Charlie Sussman ’05 present for reference at various times, set about
the task of debating the correctness of SAC’s decision. With Vallianos
abstaining, the other ten members of SC quickly decided that SAC had
incorrectly interpreted its bylaw and that the SVRC event should have
The decision on the proper course of action to rectify the error was
much tougher, and heated debate ensued between those who wanted simply
to send a message by funding a minimal amount for the party and those
who felt that SVRC deserved to get all $350 it initially requested.
Complicating the matter were the fact that SVRC had been offered
funding by the President’s Office should SAC refuse to pay for it and
that SAC had already granted its weekly suggest amount of funding.
Student Council attempted to balance all of these concerns, including
the dominating theme that SC and SAC are ultimately organizations that
work for the good of students. Jon Fombonne ’05 expressed this view,
noting that “SAC is supposed to represent, in its decisions, what the
student body wants to spend money on.” Sussman explained that even if
SAC had agreed to fund the party on a philosophical basis, it would
likely not have given SVRC all $350.
While Student Council strongly considered granting SVRC all $350, an
8-2 vote (Vallianos abstaining) ultimately granted Ucker and his group
$150, with the understanding that the rest would be provided by the
Such a debate on SAC’s interpretation of its bylaws has long been
anticipated. Last spring a similar question arose when the College
Democrats requested funding for an all-campus study break. Student
Council may further consider revising the bylaws to make them more
explicit on this issue, especially since this decision may set a
precedent for the funding of other nonpartisan political events.
Asked his reaction to the decision, Ucker said: “I think it was
important that the organizations that represent the student body get on
board with this in more than a symbolic way without taking away funding
from other events.”
Check out further coverage of last spring’s debate about funding for
political events at:
by Jonathan Ference
As reported in the Daily Gazette last week, the New Dorm will soon be
getting a name thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor. Tuesday
night, Student Council announced the next step in the naming
process–identifying the method for student input in choosing a name.
As reported in the Gazette previously, the donor did not wish to name
the dorm and wanted to solicit student input; this will be accomplished
through the sending of name suggestions to Student Council via email.
The Council plans to set up an email account expressly for this purpose
and will ask students to submit suggestions and explanations for their
suggestions. A list of about ten will then be culled and given to the
donor to pick from, with the help of College administration.
Some students are already excited at the possibility of suggesting
names; on September 22nd, Mark Hanis ’05 sent an email with a list of
suggested names to undisclosed recipients, including Gazette staff. His
list included names such as Alice Paul class of 1905, women’s
suffragist; Mary Schroeder, class of 1962, chief judge of the 9th
Circuit Court; and familiar names like Magill (Helen Magill, first
woman in the United States to earn a Ph. D.).
Check out the original coverage of this story in the Gazette archives
by Jonathan Ference
If you’re thinking about attending any on-campus party, there is one
thing the Party Associate (PA) program would like you not to forget:
your college ID. Students attempting to enter college parties this year
without theirs have found themselves being turned away instead of
simply being allowed in. This unexpected surprise to some is the result
of an effort by the PA program to ensure that their policies are being
enforced more strictly than they have been in recent semesters.
According to Director of Student Activities Jenny Yim, “there are no
new policies…the enforcement is a bit more of a crackdown.” Yim
explained that the College deans and the PA program simply are
interested in making sure all of their rules are followed by all Party
Associates–something they were concerned did not happen often enough
in the past.
The first policy which tends to come into question is the requirement
of identification. Yim explained that all students must have Swarthmore
College identification present at the door of the party so that the PA
can mark their hands as being of drinking age if appropriate. Students
are also only permitted to have one guest at any party, and that guest
must be signed in on a form that the Party Associate brings. In doing
so, the Swarthmore student takes responsibility for his/her guest and
the guest’s actions–something very important in case there is damage
or injury caused by the guest. Lastly, students are not permitted to
bring alcohol outside of a policy–something PAs are supposed to check
as students leave the party.
Yim stressed that the PA program is a service offered to party hosts by
the College. The hosts retain ultimate responsibility for checking
hands and not serving alcohol to those under 21. If there is a legal
issue, the person who signed the party permit will be held liable.
Still, the PA program is there to provide the service of assisting
students in throwing parties. “The reason we do that is so students can
watch out for each other,” Yim explained.
Asked what constituted a party that required a PA, Yim explained that
any event which expected to have more than 25 people gathered in any
location necessitates the possession of a clearly posted College party
permit–even if the party is private. Most parties that are open to the
Swarthmore community are also open to TriCo as a convenience, Yim added.
Have these efforts been effective? Yim responded in the affirmative,
crediting PA Coordinators Jaky Joseph ’06 and Rob Buechner ’05 with
making sure everything was in order: “ever since training, the PA
coordinators have circulated the parties to make sure PAs are doing
Not all Swarthmore students seem to be aware of the PA enforcement.
When asked what he thought of the PA program’s efforts, Benjamin
Oldfield ’07 asked: “do they check IDs at parties?” Swarthmore’s peer
institutions do, however, have similar identification policies; Ursinus
College (Collegeville, PA) student Antoinette Gardner ’07 said that at
her school parties always check IDs, noting that “at least you have a
good idea of who’s there…it doesn’t seem like a huge hassle to me.”
In closing, Yim stressed that students should be understanding that PAs
are just trying to do their jobs, and that bringing IDs to parties will
go a long way towards alleviating long lines outside Olde Club and
Paces on the weekends.
by Greg Leiserson
Presenting the findings of a recent report, World Bank Economist Radwan
Shaban ’80 told students and faculty Wednesday evening that while it is
possible to cut Russian poverty in half in the next three years, a
number of challenges stand in the way of doing so. Russian President
Vladimir Putin has recently made such a reduction in poverty one of the
three priorities for his second administration. Shaban’s talk was based
on the World Bank report “Poverty Assessment of the Russian Federation”
released on September 22, of which he is the lead author.
In order to set the context of the report, Shaban recalled that when he
first became involved in Russian research efforts a senior colleague
told him that in Russia he could never discuss the P or the two C’s:
poverty, Chechnya, and corruption. Instead, in order to discuss
poverty, economists had to use euphemisms such as “living standards
improvement.” In a culture with strong egalitarian roots, Shaban found
“a denial problem” that made dealing with poverty a difficult issue.
Today, Shaban is proud to report, poverty has been made a national
priority. There is good reason for the newfound focus: roughly 20% of
the Russian population lives in poverty, down from a high of 40% on
some measures as recently as 1999.
In order to address the problem, Shaban proposes a program with three
pillars: pursuing a program of broad-based growth, engaging in targeted
interventions to deal with deep pockets of poverty, and developing
improved social programs. However, while economic growth in Russia has
been strong in the past three years, a number of factors suggest that
sustaining such growth will be difficult. In 1999 there was significant
excess capacity due to the economic slump, but today most businesses
are producing at or near capacity. In addition, over the past three
years Russia’s exports have benefited from a large depreciation in the
value of the currency, but the effects of that depreciation have likely
run their course. Finally, the high oil prices which are a boon to
Russia’s oil industry may not be sustainable for an extended period. To
meet Putin’s anti-poverty goal, Russia needs to sustain a growth rate
in excess of 5% over the next three years without any increase in
income inequality. In addition to the challenges of sustaining such a
growth rate without any outside influences, a number of economic
reforms on the horizon are likely to come with short-term costs
hindering anti-poverty efforts.
Key to any anti-poverty program in Russia, Shaban argues, is a reform
of the privilege system. Variously described as a program addressing
poverty or as a program supplementing wages, the system lacks
transparency and the benefits disproportionately accrue to the wealthy.
In total, the program makes up a large chunk of the Russian economy, at
roughly 5% of GDP. As Shaban describes it, the system has developed as
a mishmash of programs with a new one put in place every time a
political crisis arises.
In his lecture, Shaban presented an optimistic picture of a Russia
emerging from the struggles it faced in the transition to a capitalist
economy, and one that would likely be able to reduce its current high
level of poverty in the coming years. Whether Russia will be able to
meet the ambitious goal set by President Putin remains an open question.
* In Yemen on Wednesday, a judge sentenced two men to death and four
others to 10 years in prison. The men had all been convicted of
involvement in the 2000 terrorist attack against the USS Cole. The
attack was one of the first to show the power and breadth of Osama Bin
Laden’s terrorist network. While American authorities are happy that
Yemen was willing to cooperate with the US on sentencing the men, it is
still unclear whether they will be transferred to the US before their
* International experts confirmed this week that there has likely been
human to human transmission of a strain of virulent bird flu. They are
preparing for a possible pandemic. So far this year, the strain A(H5N1)
has killed 30 of the 42 Southeast Asians it has infected, as well as
hundreds of animals. Worries are compounded by the fact that there is
no known vaccine or treatment for this strain of flu.
* After a 3-decade long campaign, baseball has returned to the nation’s
capital. Currently based in Montreal, the Expos will move to DC, taking
the place of the old Washington Senators team, which was in residence
until 1971. Before the move will take place however, the city must
approve a $440 million financing package that would renovate the old
RFK stadium, as well as begin to construct a new stadium along the
Physics and Astronomy and English Colloquium: “Like a Work of
Shakespeare: Reality and Metaphor in Modern Physics”
Science Center L26, 4:30 p.m.
Environmental Studies Study Abroad Meeting
Science Center 199, 6:00 p.m.
Kohlberg 202, 7:00 p.m.
French Film Screening: “Cyrano de Bergerac”
LPAC Cinema, 7:00 p.m.
John Ross lecture: “Murdered by Capitalism”
Science Center 199, 7:30 p.m.
McKinsey and Company Information Session
Kohlberg Scheuer Room, 7:30 p.m.
Presidential Debate Broadcast Party and Study Break
Parrish Lawn, 7:30 p.m.
Swarthmore Massage Sessions
Bond Memorial Hall, 10:00 p.m.
Swat’s men’s soccer team dominated Washington 6-0 in yesterday’s game,
moving the team to 5-1-1 overall and 2-1 in the Centennial Conference.
Two goals each were scored by Kirk Ellison ’05 and Michael Bonesteel
’08, with one goal apiece for Scott Long ’06 and Brandon Washington
’08. Nate Shupe ’05 had his third shutout of the season with six saves
in goal, while Colton Bangs ’07 provided two assists.
Women’s Soccer hosts Muhlenberg, 7:00 p.m.
Volleyball hosts Gettysburg, 7:00 p.m.
There are no contests scheduled for tomorrow.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.”
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This concludes today’s report.