Political Stickers Plastered on Republican, Democratic Boards

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.

Gazette reporters noticed several anti-Republican political stickers featuring an elephant shaking his fist and saying “Vote ’08, We’ll Rule You Like Despots” posted on the College Republican board in Parrish on the afternoon of Friday, August 29th.

A “Shut up and Vote!” sticker from the same cartoonist, but satirizing both political parties, was posted once each on both the Republican and Democratic boards. Molly Weston ’10 of the College Democrats told us that she found said sticker on her board on Sunday, and posted a flyer for another event over it.

College Republican President J.B. Donnelly ’09 told the Gazette that “In terms of a reaction, I really don’t think it is that big of a deal. The stickers that were posted on the board are clearly absurd, and should be treated as such. It wasn’t any sort of incisive or substantial attack, and we consider it to be a minor, and mildly amusing, inconvenience.”

Another member of the College Republicans, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Gazette, “It’s sad that even at an open place like Swarthmore some people feel the need to silence opinions counter to their own.”

It is unclear who placed the stickers on the boards and why, but Registrar Martin Warner, who walked by when this Gazette reporter and some members of the College Republicans were looking at the stickers, wrote the Gazette in an e-mail: “Parrish bulletin boards have a special place in Swarthmore’s tradition of civil and accountable discourse, and any vandalism of them is totally inappropriate. New members of our community are still learning how important our traditions and expectations for civil discourse are here, so this can be a learning moment for many. I hope our response to the vandalism will include a reminder and a call to respect, listen to, and engage each other responsibly and accountably.”

One way to engage respectfully, of course, is to talk with the College Republicans. Although they did not have a presence at the activities fair, Donnelly assured us that the club is still active. “We will be announcing the time and location of our meetings within the next day or two, and will likely be hosting an event during the convention, though the schedule has been disrupted by the weather in the Gulf. Those that are interested in conversing with us are more than welcome to attend.”


  1. There appear to be hypocrisies on both sides here. How can the republicans (with the democrats’ complicity) who voted for the Patriot Acts I and II, the Telecommunications Act, and additionally condone the brutal oppression of free speech and the media at the DNC and RNC be complaining about civil liberties infringement.? On the other hand, how can the leftists–implicitly responsible for this “vandalism”–who wish to protect civil liberties and freedom of speech engage in actions, such as these stickers, which silence other opinions?

  2. It’s an interesting notion that to happen to be members (say, a Swarthmore student) of a group in which other, distant, prominent members (say, the folks in Congress) held opinions that we might find objectionable requires that the former, who was not responsible for said opinions, forfeit their ability to object to wrongs committed against them.

    And people say college students overcomplicate things. Classy stickers.

  3. The republicans and democrats have been oppressing too many domestically and abroad, killing millions over the second half of the century to present, staging coup d’etats in the name of the free market, etc. How would we feel on campus if there was a Nazi Party board. Certenly people would be outraged. I am not equating the republicans to Nazis; however, both have been responsible for a large amount of repression on the home front and exploitation and killings abroad.

    And let’s be honest, after stealing two elections, they have ruled us like despots over the last eight years–while the democrats, with their “majority” stood idly by and let them hijack our country.

  4. I’d hardly call the actions of Republicans in office “despotic”. Our government may not have been especially clear-headed in its actions towards other countries, but American citizens are in relatively good condition. Now, if you’re a leftist radical operating in an underground cell, you may find your ability to express your opinions crushed by the reactionary PATRIOT Act. I speak partly from mildly fascinating experience. Nonetheless, the life of the “common man”, though negatively affected by our shitty economy, does not resemble the life of a person living under say, Stalin.
    I’m going to venture to say that most of the Republicans on this campus are Republican because they support, for example, the economic positions of that party, or small government, or whatever. Republicans in office do not necessarily have the same views as Republicans at Swarthmore. The same goes for Democrats.
    If you actually have felt that you are living under the iron fist of a despot, I’d be interested to know how.
    And if you’re concerned with just how much Swat Reps support “repression on the home front”, I suggest you attend one of their meetings.

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