Fall 2018 in Review

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Over the course of the semester, The Phoenix has reported on campus life from a variety of angles. In this last issue of the semester, the editorial board is highlighting pieces that we think have significant value to the Swarthmore community. If one has not kept up with The Phoenix this semester, the articles in this piece are a good place to start.

In news, Managing Editor Laura Wagner ’20 reported on the rise in alcohol policy violation referrals to the dean’s office. Her article, “Alcohol Policy Violations up 272%” revealed a troubling trend in the enforcement of the alcohol policy in 2017, as Public Safety officers were breaking up unregistered parties that they discovered while on patrol, without being prompted by a call, medical emergency, or complaint more frequently than in previous semesters.

One of the biggest news stories of the fall semester was Students for Justice in Palestine’s Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign aimed at getting the board of managers to divest from companies it believes are complicit in Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory. News writer Abby Young ’21 thoroughly broke down SJP’s demands and explained the nuances of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in “SJP Announces New BDS Campaign.” News writer George Rubin ’21 reported on the uncertain future of the Crum Regatta, a treasured Swarthmore tradition dating back to the 1970s.

Laura Wilcox ’20 wrote insightful op-eds throughout the semester, poignantly taking on complicated issues such as the Tax Cut and Job Act. Sydney Covitz ’20 took on controversial issues like the Israel-Palestine conflict, condemning Israel’s decision to detain Susan Abulhawa.

In Campus Journal, P. Afdersex ’69, wrote a biweekly sex column that answered student-submitted questions. The column gave important advice about topics that can be difficult to talk about. Faked orgasms, as well as a satirical take on Swat traditions, were the subject of a particularly significant column entry. Sage Rhys ’22 and Eva Baron ’22 co-wrote a piece titled “The Sharples 24* Hour Challenge” in which they attempted to stay in Sharples for 24 hours. As the asterisk indicates, they were unsuccessful, but their journey was still successful as it involved P!nk, Plato, and, to quote, “someone’s orange mouthguard which was left to oxidize on a brown paper towel.” Campus Journal also included a piece from Ash Shukla ’22 titled “How I Became an Underground Crocs Dealer” where Ash shared the experience of placing an order to Crocs for $567.86 for members of the Swarthmore community. Shukla demonstrated to the community that placing a large order for 50% off Crocs is harder than it seems.

In Arts, Reuben Gelley Newman ’21 wrote on Julian Randall’s ’16 homecoming after Randall won the esteemed Cave Canem Prize. Esther Couch gave a stellar description of a dance performance in a piece about Lenny Seidman’s fusion of classical Indian tabla and traditional Japanese taiko. At the end of the semester, first-year Larkin White’s analysis of Terence Nance’s on-campus event and the meaning of his work was an impressive review that covers an array of important issues.

In Sports, perhaps the biggest sports news on campus this fall was the women’s soccer team defending their Centennial Conference title with a 5-1 blowout of arch-rival Johns Hopkins. Alana Elliott ’20 conveys the joy of victory the team experienced in their big win. This comprehensive recap serves as a marker of Swarthmore history and allows the reader to relive the victorious moment. Kevin Liao ’21 has brought a great voice to sports and has made our editorial board interested in professional wrestling. In this article, Kevin tackles the controversy surrounding the WWE’s event in Saudi Arabia. It is an interesting look at the intersection between sports, entertainment, and politics.

As we review a semester of campus life, we reaffirm the importance of collegiate journalism — of coverage from the quotidian to the the grand — and of documenting the state of affairs for the Swarthmore student body. We appreciate your support and look forward to your continued interest in the spring semester. And as always, we are thankful. Sincerely, the Editorial Board.

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