The Phoenix In Review: Editors’ Picks

With the academic year soon coming to a close, The Phoenix’s Editorial Board has taken time to reflect on the collective body of work of our incredible, indispensable, dedicated writers. Here are our picks.

NEWS

Over this turbulent past year, The Phoenix’s news section has committed to delivering timely and relevant coverage of affairs within the Swarthmore College community. A month into Fall semester, Eva Nahass ’24 featured the reopening of Sharples and the Matchbox and covered the RA-sponsored Screw-Your-Roommate tradition with co-writer Kirit Minhas ’24, representing the first couple of semblances of a return to normalcy. Virginia Moscetti ’23 effectively summarized the costs and benefits of the college’s unprecedented decision to offer a j-term semester, detailing students and faculty’s diverse opinions about the term. Bringing attention to the critical topic of disciplinary force on campus during the pandemic, Nicholas Urick ’24 and Editor-In-Chief Anatole Shukla ’22 detailed students’ experiences with Pub Safe and their extensive surveillance measures. Interviewing a wide variety of campus community members, Remy Kanegene ’24 and Zane Irwin ’23 reflected comprehensively on the student strike led by the Black Affinity Coalition in December.

Following the one-year mark since the pandemic began, Sadie Smart ’23 confronted the various challenges students have faced while learning through Zoom — be it from isolated dorm rooms or childhood bedrooms on the other side of the world. Also in April, Sofia Frumkin ’23 delivered a report on the important topic of sexual health resources available to Swatties during the pandemic, generating nuanced conversation about what the Garnet Pledge means for students’ sex lives. Most recently, Lauren Mermelstein ’24 highlighted Swarthmore’s vaccination efforts this spring and delivered the groundbreaking news that vaccinations will be required for students in the fall. 

OPINIONS

The Opinions section had an eventful semester, with Adrianna Knight’s ’21 feature on The Spring of Our Discontent, TWO articles with opposing views on the Chamberlain Project from Billie Potts ’21 and Sicheng Zhong ’22, and Alicia Liu’s ’24 sequence of articles on being a woman in the STEM fields, among a host of other outstanding pieces. Zachary Robinson ’24 put together an outstanding bi-weekly column all year on obscure niches in technology that underlie the systems we rely on each day. We on the Editorial Board are fans of his demystification of the inner workings of Bitcoin and his breakdown of the interactions between free speech law and social media in light of January’s protests at the White House. Last but not least, James Sutton ’21 surgically critiqued and admonished Swarthmore and its student body’s tendencies to invoke Quaker Values in campus discussions.

ARTS

This Spring semester the Arts section has had no shortage of artist workshops, virtual performances, film showings, or hybrid art exhibits. Powell Sheagren ’21 shared a reflexive message on what it means to create tangible art for a show, to be able to see something you created propped up in a white-walled room. Kayla Parks ’23 wrote and co-wrote three reviews of new Netflix releases as well as an addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In an equal parts entertaining and thought-provoking column on dissecting tropes in media, Rodessa Caguioa ’24 touched on such subjects as the damsel in distress, and autism representation. Several plays were reviewed, including Anatole Shukla’s ’22 experience watching GLARE, a live and virtual performance that lasted about thirty minutes. It explored grief in all its confusing intricacies. Kirit Minhas ’24 covered a reading from Pulitzer Prize winning poet Jericho Brown, and Virginia Moscetti ’23 chronicled the illustrious career of French musical duo Daft Punk after their sudden break-up. 

SPORTS

Despite abbreviated practice schedules and reduced athletic competition over the past year, Phoenix sports writers have continued to provide exciting coverage of events occurring on and off the Swarthmore College campus. This past Fall, Ben Wesley ’24 explored how the COVID-19 pandemic affected various professional sports teams, including the NFL and the MLB. Steven Castro ’21 kept us updated on all things UFC, and as we transitioned into spring, Asha Bhuiyan ’23 and David Yang ’24 produced exciting pieces on the successful conclusion of the first inaugural season of the Athletes Unlimited Women’s Volleyball league, and potential NBA championship contenders, respectively. Ally Scheve ’22 also provided a detailed review of the College’s decision to forgo participation in the Centennial Conference’s modified spring season. As this semester wrapped up, Anna Suh ’22 wrote an exciting piece on the Exercise for Earth and the Environment event (E^3), organized by Swarthmore’s Garnet Go Green (G^3) group. Finally, Francis Eddy Harvey ’21 co-wrote his final piece for the Sports section along with Shaurya Bhaskar ’22, recounting the evolution of European soccer and the formation of a new and highly controversial Champions League.  

CAMPUS JOURNAL

The Campus Journal writers rose to the occasion this semester with funny, thoughtful, and heartfelt pieces that encompassed every aspect of campus life. Gidon Kaminer ‘22, well known as our resident king of satire, delivered magnificently with scorching takes on the Swarthmore Co-Op’s new alcohol sales policy, the G.E.T. reservation app, and the economics of the iClicker market. Shannon Friel ’24 brought us an insightful take on The Gluten-Free Zone and an essay on arriving at Swarthmore for the first time. Grace Griego and Powell Sheagren ’22 wrote humorous pieces about the pandemic-adjusted places to cry on campus and the new politics of dining at Sharples. In one of the strongest articles of the semester, Ellie Tsapatsaris wrote beautifully about living through her first year of college as a pandemic freshman. Dessa Caguoia offered future students guidance with her survival guide to living at Swarthmore, and Bess Markel shared the beauty of the flowers on Swarthmore’s campus with all of us. An anonymous author delivered a Holmes-style investigation of a mysterious crime, and Campus Journal Editor Hannah Watkins ’21 reflected on the semester-long quilting project that has defined the end of her time at Swarthmore. 

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