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EDITORIAL: The Semester in Review: Editors’ Picks

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This semester has been a historic one for The Phoenix, with our print newspaper returning from the only period in our 140-year history during which we did not physically print. Additionally, The Phoenix’s website received a much-needed revamp thanks to the skills of our Webmaster Matt Koucky ’22. We are proud of all of the articles we’ve published this semester and are thankful to have been able to return to fully in-person production after three semesters of limited publication. Here are some of this semester’s articles that we, as an EdBoard, are proudest of.

NEWS

This semester, news writers confronted the reality of returning to a regular campus free from many of the stringent COVID-19 restrictions in place for the 2020-2021 academic year. The Swarthmore community experienced many changes as a result of inactivity in the past year, including understaffing of several campus sectors, including Dining Services and Public Safety, as reported by Gidon Kaminer ’22. Another new development for students on campus was the construction of the new Dining and Community Commons; Sadie Smart ’24 covered developments surrounding the construction of the new facility, highlighting the consequences of the closure of Magill Walk and surrounding paths for students’ walks to campus. 

Despite the rocky start to in-person learning and residential life, students during the Fall semester have focused their efforts on creating an active campus community once again. Highlighting new club and student developments, Owen Mortner’23 reported on the new, popular rock climbing club SwatRocks, Gian Zaninelli ’23 reported on the rebranding of the Swarthmore College Computer Society, and Zaid Ali ’25 and Sharru Tatachar ’25 covered the return of Psi Phi’s annual Pterodactyl Hunt, and Eva Nahass ’24 wrote about the reopening of the Crumb Cafe, a student staple, and Editor-in-Chief Anatole Shukla ’22 highlighted the return of the Cooper Series events featuring Henrietta Lacks

OPINION

This semester the Opinions section covered a delightfully wide range of students’ perspectives on a variety of topics. For instance, the Young Democratic Socialists of America put forth a blistering rebuke on labor shortage hysteria, while in equally serious political matters, Zachary Robinson ’24 enlightened us to the truth behind Subway Tunagate. In matters closer to campus, Abie Rohrig ’23 and Sameer Halepoto ’23 engaged in a lively critique on and defense of fireside chats with Goldman Sachs, and James Sutton ’22 covered the COVID hypocrisy of virtue signaling

ARTS

This semester, The Phoenix Arts Section saw the return of Artist of the Week, featuring interviews with beloved and inspirational student artists like Sharples window artists Andy Im ’22 and Judith Weng ’23, first-year painter Julia Stern ’25, senior art major Marcos Castro ’22, singer Veronica Yabloko ’22, ballerina and actress Lydia Churchill ’22, future architect Philippe Kame ’23, and watercolorist Yanyi Liu ’22. Many of these delectable insights into student artists were written by star new writer Katherine Kihiczack ’25, a first year with a genuine gift for capturing her subjects. We also saw new columns like the fun and engaging column from Dani Gomez ’22 reviewing movies and TV shows with an expert eye on directing, acting, and production quality. Finally, check out Jordan Rothschild ’22’s deep dive into the rising Instagram culture at Swarthmore. 

CJ

CJ certainly had a rollicking and delightful semester full of creative, off-the-wall pieces. Don Nguyen ’25 kicked off the first issue with a poignant, introspective reflection on his first few weeks as a freshman on campus in “Lonely Greetings: Your People.” The article touches on the struggles of finding your place in an unfamiliar environment and gives the reader a glimpse into the life of a Swarthmore student trying to find his feet. For a lighter and no less delightful read, check out Anatole Shukla ’22’s “Five Emails I Didn’t Need to Receive But I’m Glad I Did.” The succinct, witty commentary and the sheer ridiculousness of the emails included is sure to bring a smile to your face. Sometimes, you need to take time to appreciate the absurdity of the everyday, and this piece does exactly that. Also be sure not to miss the amusing, thought-provoking “Dish-Lifters: The Unsung Heroes of Sharples” by Cat Crochunis-Brown ’23 and Clare D’Amato ’23, which will heighten your awareness of a daily Sharples struggle and perhaps motivate you to reconsider your dish-stacking practices. Finally, for a delicious bit of satire, check out Gidon Kaminer ’22’s “Guerrilla Architecture Group Challenges “Cornellification” Of Campus.” You will finally obtain the explanation for the odd new Cornell door that you’ve been missing all this time.

SPORTS

This past semester, Phoenix sports writers have been writing excellent articles covering both Swarthmore Athletics’ return to campus and athletics off campus. In November, Anatole Shukla ’22, The Phoenix’s editor-in-chief, wrote a hilarious piece about how COVID plunged him into basketball fandom. Addressing all NARPs (non-athletic regular people), Shukla provided a convincing argument to why we should all care about basketball. Covering athletics on campus, Santi Caicedo ’22 provided a detailed look into the Swarthmore women’s and men’s soccer teams. Capturing incredibly thoughtful quotes from both teams, the article conveys a pride for the teams’ successes in their regular and postseasons. Sports Editor Ally Scheve ’22 wrote an exciting piece on the field hockey team’s resurgence, interviewing various players eager to continue their recent success. Finally, Joe Barile ’22 wrote an evocative piece reflecting on his lifelong soccer career. Coming to terms with the bittersweet conclusion of his Swarthmore soccer experience, Barile portrays the deep impact of Swarthmore Athletics. 

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