The Official Campus Newspaper of Swarthmore College Since 1881 VOL. 137, ISSUE 14
THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013
TODAY: Very sunny. Chance of rain: 10%. High 71, Low 51. TOMORROW: Partly cloudy, with a 10% chance of rain. High 62, Low 43.
The Politics of Punishment
Shame and Silence After the ER By ANNA GONZALES Assistant News Editor
By COURTNEY DICKENS Living & Arts Writer
At the beginning of this semester, The Phoenix conducted an informal online poll which revealed that a substantial portion of the 189 students who chose to respond had struggled with mental health issues. More than half of respondents reported suffering from anxiety or depression while at Swarthmore, and almost 40 percent had considered transferring to another college. The previous two articles of this Phoenix series focused on mental health services available at Swarthmore and on the experience of a student who sought help from teachers in dealing with psychological issues. Now, the series will detail the experience of Laura Fitzgerald ’14 with administrators in the wake of her suicide attempt last November. The day after Fitzgerald attempted suicide, her friends who had gone to the emergency room with her that night received an email from the Dean’s Office. Somehow, the deans had acquired a list of all of Fitzgerald’s friends who had visited her in the ER. The email told Fitzgerald’s friends that they would face legal repercussions if they spoke about her suicide attempt with anyone. While Fitzgerald believes that the motivations behind this email were intended to protect her confidentiality, ensuring that information about her suicide attempt would be hers to disclose, the wording of the message frightened her friends. When Fitzgerald’s friends told her about the contents of the email, she felt silenced. “It kind of made me feel like what happened was something I should be ashamed of and that I shouldn’t talk about,” she said. Fitzgerald doesn’t think that this was the intended message, but the wording of the email strongly suggested this silencing, shaming motivation. The email incident, in which Fitzgerald was made to feel by administrators that she should be ashamed, guilty, and silent about her suicide attempt last November, is emblematic of the way in which administrators dealt with Fitzgerald and her struggles with mental health issues. Following her suicide attempt, Fitzgerald left campus for the rest-
“Prison can be a wise man’s university or a fool’s playground.” This phrase, the mantra of a “lifer” at Graterford Prison Michael Lions, framed the closing cervemony of Associate Professor of Political Science Keith Reeves’ course The Politics of Punishment. Featuring the candid testimonies of ex-convicts Tyrone Werts and KJ, Reeves “could not see a more fitting ending to the course” than “hearing from those who have been inside the prison system.” Their testimonies, however, were complex counter-narratives: Tyrone and KJ highlighted their victimization to the “politics of punishment” as much as they unexpectedly depicted prison as a transformative and redemptive space. Seated in a circle in Bond Memorial Hall, Tyrone and KJ also demystified the image of the black male “criminal,” humanizing the people these 16 Swarthmore students had only ever debated as numerical statistics or subjects in theoretical studies. Werts, an agreeable, eloquent and mature man with salt-and-pepper hair, a beige suit and a cast foot, is often mistaken for a judge, he explains. Under his warm smile and fancy clothes lies a darker story, the story of a man who has to work every day to walk the straight and narrow. “If the cops get a call that a sixfoot-tall black male has robbed 7-11 and I happen to be walking nearby, they will look at me and think ‘well, I don’t think he did it!’” he explained jokingly. “I even use debit cards to keep a record of where I have been,” he said, and he makes it a point to speak with every cashier he comes in contact with. Despite his light demeanor, what Werts is hinting at is not at all funny; instead, it’s the unfortunate truth of the difficulty ex-convicts face upon reentry. After serving 37 years at Graterford Correctional Facility for being present during an armed robbery that resulted in a murder, Werts is haunted by the prospect of losing his newfound liberty. Convicted as part of a deal that granted the mastermind behind the robbery a lesser sentence for ratting out the others, Werts refused to take a plea bargain that, in exchange for his confession, would have only re-
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ANNA GONZALES / THE PHOENIX
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
SPJP put up a wall by Parrish intended to simulate the IDF checkpoints and to raise awareness surrounding issues involving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
A retrospective interview with two students in Movement Theater, a class that is arguably “the most out-there course offered at Swarthmore.”
Preston takes a look at the upcoming House Race in South Carolina between Elizabeth Colbert-Busch and former governor Mark Sanford.
The Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams look to extend their recent success in the Centennial Conference playoffs.
Students Stage Checkpoint Simulation
Movement Mania in the Theater
Parties Gear Up for SC House Race
Both Tennis Teams Qualify for Play offs
THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013
The Phoenix STEVEN HAZEL Editor-in-Chief KOBY LEVIN Managing Editor PARKER MURRAY Managing Editor The News Section AMANDA EPSTEIN Editor DANIEL BLOCK Assistant Editor ANNA GONZALES Assistant Editor SARAH COE-ODESS Writer COLE GRAHAM Writer AIDAN PANTOJA Writer TIFFANY KIM Writer TOBY LEVY Writer The Living & Arts Section ALLI SHULTES Editor TAYLOR HODGES Assistant Editor COURTNEY DICKENS Writer MIREILLE GUY Writer AXEL KODAT Writer JEANETTE LEOPOLD Writer MAYRA TENORIO Writer VIANCA MASUCCI Writer SERA JEONG Writer IZZY KORNBLATT Columnist DEBORAH KRIEGER Columnist CATHY PARK Columnist
KIERAN REICHERT Columnist DAVID TOLAND Columnist PAIGE FAITH SPENCER WILLEY Columnist ZOE WRAY Columnist DINA ZINGARO Columnist YENNY CHEUNG Artist ELIZABETH KRAMER Artist RENU NADKARNI Artist PRESTON COOPER Puzzle Master The Opinions Section AARON KROEBER Editor Nehmat Kaur Assistant Editor PATRICK AMMERMAN Columnist TYLER BECKER Columnist PRESTON COOPER Columnist CRAIG EARLEY Columnist Nathaniel Frum Columnist PATRICK HAN Columnist HARSHIL SAHAI Columnist The Sports Section SCOOP RUXIN Writer JAMES IVEY Columnist IBIDAYO FAYANJU Columnist
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JUSTIN TORAN-BURRELL/ THE PHOENIX
Swarthmore’s Men’s baseball team defeated Rutgers-Camden by a score of 8-0 and Eastern University by a score of 6-4.
THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013
SPJP Checkpoint Simulation Elicits Variety of Reactions By TOBY LEVY News Writer Last week, members of Students for Peace and Justice in Palestine (SPJP) set up a wall in front of Parish Hall, meant to resemble the one in the Israeli West Bank. The project provided SPJP members with the opportunity to take on the role of Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers who guard checkpoints, and, according to Razi Shaban ’16, raise awareness about the daily difficulties for Palestinians travelling across borders. For SPJP, the purpose of the project was to raise awareness about a less discussed aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ahmad Ammous ’13, a member of SPJP, elaborated on the importance of the project. “When most people think of the conflict, they think of war, bombings and killings,” he said. “Most people don’t know about the daily obstacles and struggles the conflict brings into citizen’s lives. The project aimed to introduce the campus to the reality of everyday life for most Palestinians, and I thought it did a good job at delivering that message.” For Ammous, the issues surrounding the wall are not simply political, they are also rooted in personal experience. When living in the West Bank, he used to experience the checkpoints on a daily basis, and his father still has to cross a checkpoint every morning on his way to work. “I was excited for a project that would be able to communicate the reality of that situation to my fellow Swatties,” he said. “Judging from the reaction of most students I talked to, they were grateful about what they learned for the project.” Shaban, who was also integrally involved in the project, said that his personal goal was to try to get people to pause and think about what it’s like to not be able to get where you want to go, and to be blocked on a regular basis. “In June I went through Kalandia, the largest and most difficult checkpoint of them all,” he said. “As American citizens, my family and I were allowed relatively breezy entry, though we were still hassled, because the guards knew we were Palestinian. I walked by hundreds of people on their way to work, to prayer, to life, stuck in the traffic. Some people had been waiting for hours; most had a few hours wait to see if they would be let through, and many would not.” Shaban cited a particular conversation with Jewish Student Advisor Kelilah Miller as influential and important for explaining why he was
Worth sees 9,000 students an academic year, most of whom have the common cold or mononucleosis, or mono.
so devoted to the cause. “She asked, ‘With what understanding do you base your simulation of an IDF soldier at a checkpoint?’ Primarily, I try to use my own experience and those experiences of my family and friends. I supplement this with another source, the views of the soldiers themselves.” A few months ago J Street [the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans fighting for the future of Israel as the democratic homeland of the Jewish people] managed to bring Oded Naaman, a former IDF soldier, to speak to speak at Swarthmore about of his experiences. “He described to us the psychology of the checkpoint, saying essentially that ‘you can do whatever you want, whatever you feel like doing,’” Shaban said. “‘If you feel there’s a problem with what [a Palestinian has] done, if you feel something’s wrong, even the slightest thing, you can detain him for as long as you want.’” Miller was impressed with Shaban and others for the transparency and provocativeness of the project. She also thought that the SPJP was very communicative about their plans for their week of events. For her, the wall installation and the surrounding events represented the opportunity to raise profound issues of identity and community, issues that have particular significance to the Jewish community at Swarthmore and Jewish communities worldwide. “The installation generated energy among students coming from a variety of backgrounds
and political perspectives, including students who do not typically engage with questions of Jewish self-determination and self-sovereignty, personal Jewish identity, Jewish values and ethical responsibilities, and global Jewish community,” she said. Miller, though, believes that SPJP, as an advocacy organization, has a different obligation than she does. For her, their obligation is to present the Palestinian cause in as persuasive a way as possible, sharply and convincingly. She, however, views the project as a somewhat narrow interpretation of a series of very complex issues, and would have personally presented them in a different manner. “From my perspective as a Jew and in my role as a religious adviser, I would naturally present the issues in a different frame, and in a different style,” she said. “Were I telling the story of the separation barrier, I would have both the inclination and the obligation to broaden the lens to the larger context, including different Israeli experiences of the conflict, and different understandings of the impact that the barrier has had on the lives of Israelis who are faced with choices that are hard to comprehend from where we sit in North America. I would talk about my time in Israel and in Palestine, and the variety of (often paradoxical) perspectives that I encountered there.” Not all students were convinced by the motives of the protest, or moved positively. Izzy Kornblatt ’16 pointed to the demonstration’s lack of explanation for the wall’s ap-
HOLLY SMITH/THE PHOENIX
titude as a defense mechanism for Israelis from Palestinian suicide bombers. “A criticism of the wall, such as this protest, ignores the wall’s success in stopping suicide bombings,” he said. “The issue deserves better treatment than this. It deserves real arguments that take all factors into account, not just an emotional appeal to how cruel barriers feel.” Kornblatt also cited an article written by Leon Wieseltier, the literary editor of The New Republic in a February 15th edition of the publication. In it, Wieseliter asserts that critics of the checkpoints do not take into account what he believes would happen otherwise. “A wall between peoples is an ugly thing,” Wieseliter wrote. But he says the alternative is worse. “A massacre—and a strategy of massacre—is even uglier.” With the campus abuzz on these topics, a discussion was held on Friday, April 26th to discuss the wall, and various other Israeli-Palestinian issues. The meeting was facilitated by Director of the Intercultural Center Alina Wong and Professor of Religion Elliot Ratzman. Miller, the Jewish faith advisor, who was unable to attend the discussion, believes that the dialogue that has taken place in response to the wall has generally been productive, and that students ought to voice their opinions freely. “It is up to those students who wish to advocate for other positions regarding Israel and Palestine to present their narratives passionately and respectfully,” she said. “In good faith and without apology.”
From Malaria to Mono, Worth Sees Range of Illnesses By COLE GRAHAM News Writer Worth Health Center sees about 9,000 cases a year — everything from tropical illnesses like malaria, diabetes crises and the extremely rare tumor, to physicals for job applications and immunizations for overseas travel. “College is a communal environment,” said Beth Kotarski, director of student health services, “when you have all of these students who eat, sleep, and play together, you see a lot of illnesses passed around.” The most common reason for a visit, however, is an upper respiratory infection, also known as the common cold, or mononucleosis, an infection of the immune system more colloquially known as mono that can cause fatigue, sore throat and swollen lymph nodes. “College and mono kind of go hand in hand,” said Kotarski. She also noted that the disease is not always passed around very easily, although it is not difficult to spread to someone with a depressed immune system, like a college student. According to Kotarski, two of the biggest
contributors to a weakened immune system are lack of sleep and alcohol abuse. A drink or two on occasion will not lead to a depressed immune system but consistent binge drinking has been shown to increase a person’s risk of contracting infectious disease. Sleep acts as a regenerative tool, allowing the body to heal and maintain a high level of antibodies and infection-fighting cells. “I think the chronic problem is lack of sleep,” said Kotarski, who also mentioned that when they tell students they need more sleep, “they look at us and roll their eyes.” The Wellness Center, in fact, has a program dedicated to helping students fit good sleep into their lives. “It breaks my heart when I talk to students and they aren’t getting enough sleep,” said Satya Nelms, wellness coordinator for health services. But of academic life, social life, personal hygiene, and sleep, students often sacrifice the latter in order to spend more time focusing on the former. “The easiest thing to do is to maximize sleep that you are already getting rather than trying to squeeze in more time for sleep,” said Nelms, who added that trying to find more time can
often increase stress levels, further detracting from a good night’s rest. Nelms recommended that students develop a routine before they go to bed that allows their minds to slow down and their bodies to recognize it is time for sleep. This routine can involve deep breathing, meditation, or non-academic reading, but should exclude extensive use of technology like phones or computers. She also recommended that students aim for a gentle wake up, allowing some time to breathe before getting out of bed and avoiding hitting the snooze button repeatedly. According to Nelms, napping can also be useful at getting some extra rest, if done properly. Naps are best if they last between thirty and sixty minutes, and end at least four hours before one plans on going to bed. A nap under thirty minutes probably will not be very restful, and a nap over an hour could interfere with one’s sleep cycle later that night. Nelms also cautioned against extensive caffeine use, warning of the adverse effects of caffeine if consumed within three hours of bedtime. She noted that this number varies person to person, and some people may need to leave a six hour window between the last capuccino
and lights out. Fortunately, one of the most useful wellness techniques is also the easiest. “I think it’s very important for students to remember to breathe,” said Nelms, who urged students to take the time everyday to observe the campus, take deep breaths and be present. Being young and tech-savvy also provides an advantage to college students that wish to be healthier. “Young folks for the most part are very resilient,” said Kotarski. “I think students are more aware of health issues today.” Kotarski attributes this fact to the availability of medical information online (which is not always a good thing) but has helped students better understand their prognoses. “When I first started, students wanted an antibiotic for everything,” said Kotarski, but now they understand that that treatment is not always so conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Kotarski had advice for students as finals approach to help them deal with the high-stress, low-sleep weeks, “It’s really important to give yourself permission to shut the books, even for just ten minutes, and take a break.”
‘Wellness,’ continued from page 1 rest of the semester. Towards the end, at the beginning of December, Fitzgerald began to speak with several deans about returning for the spring semester. First, she met with Director of Counseling and Psychological Services David Ramirez, who Fitzgerald said was nothing but helpful. Next, Fitzgerald had to meet with her class dean. She said that it seemed as though the Dean’s Office strongly opposed scheduling the meeting. Fitzgerald was told multiple times that the deans were extremely busy and might not be able to meet with her until the beginning of the next semester. Fitzgerald resisted and continued to push for a meeting because she wanted to sort out her housing situation and find out when she would be able to return to campus. While delaying the meeting further, the deans also told Fitzgerald that they were not only busy, but that other students were in similar situations. “I was kind of uncomfortable with them just offhandedly sharing that information,” Fitzgerald recounted. “They obviously didn’t tell me the name of the student or anything, but for how obsessive they were about confidentiality with my friends it was kind of strange, and they were almost kind of joking about it.” Additionally, the way in which the deans spoke about her experience and that of the other student made Fitzgerald feel as though she and other students with mental health problems were a burden on the administrators. Fitzgerald also grappled with a lack of clarity in her attempts to return to campus. Once she was finally able to schedule the meetings, the deans wanted to know exactly when Fitzgerald would be on campus. She was not permitted to return to her room or to stay in the room of one of her friends. “It wasn’t really clear to me why that was. They just said that they didn’t feel comfortable with my staying on campus at that time, and that I had to stay off campus in a hotel with one of my parents,” Fitzgerald explained. While she is sure that her inability to stay on campus was due to issues beyond the control of administrators, possibly related to liability, none of this was explained or made clear to her. Fitzgerald felt rejected by the campus. “It kind of made me feel like I wasn’t welcome back at that point,” she said. This unwelcoming feeling only grew after Fitzgerald’s meeting with her class dean. At the end of the meeting, the dean told Fitzgerald to remember that her friends were people too, and that her problems could sometimes be difficult for them. “I understand what she was trying to say — I think she meant to say your friends should have support too, but that’s not what she said,” Fitzgerald said. “Then she said — I remember this phrase very clearly — ‘Remember that your actions have impact on other people in the community,’ which made me feel really guilty and ashamed of my suicide attempt,” Fitzgerald remembered. She felt like she was a burden on others and upsetting to other people, which, Fitzgerald thinks, is probably the number one thing which psychologists would not recommend telling someone with suicidal tendencies. Fitzgerald’s dean also told her that she wanted to have weekly meetings throughout the spring semester, to check in on Fitzgerald and see how she was doing. The dean has not contacted Fitzgerald once this semester. While Fitzgerald didn’t necessarily want to speak to the dean again, she was troubled by this response, and does not feel as though the administration has reached out either to her, or to the rest of the student body, to discuss issues of mental health. “It’s upsetting, because unfortunately I don’t think I’m going to be the last student
THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013
“I have suffered from anxiety and/or depression while at Swarthmore.”
“I have considered taking a semester off.”
Results based on The Phoenix Wellness Survey, with 189 respondents. The survey was conducted using Facebook and Google Forms. Infographics courtesy of infogr.am.
who has a similar experience,” Fitzgerald said. Fitzgerald has spoken with several other students who left campus for a semester or a year and had an extremely difficult time convincing administrators that they should be allowed to return to campus. She feels that the administration’s protocol for dealing with issues of mental health and its communication with students returning from leaves of absence, could drastically improve. “Hearing about those stories and reflecting on my own story, it just kind of feels like the administration is probably inadvertently sending the message that mental health issues shouldn’t be discussed, and people with mental health issues aren’t really welcome,” Fitzgerald said. This is especially upsetting to Fitzgerald due to the fact that a large proportion of college-age students suffer from various mental health issues, exacerbated by the transition to college and the difficulty of creating a new social support system. Fitzgerald believes it would be beneficial for the administration
to foster a greater number of conversations about mental health, acknowledging mental health as a problem and providing support for community members. “A lot of the time, it doesn’t turn into a suicide attempt,” Fitzgerald explained. “In severe cases it does, but most of the time if friends and supporters intervene before it gets to that point it can make a world of difference.” In addition to fostering openness and discussion, Fitzgerald wishes that in her case, the administration had attempted more supportive communication with her friends. “I think it would’ve really helped my friends because obviously it was a tough time for them too,” Fitzgerald reflected, adding that she was not the only one affected by her depression or her suicide attempt. “It would’ve been really helpful for them to have felt like they were able to go to the deans or been able to talk about what was going on.” Fitzgerald also wished that the policies about returning or staying on campus for students on leaves of absence were more
clear. Finally, she wished that her conversation with her class dean had been more supportive. “I wish that she hadn’t said some things which focused on the repercussions of my suicide attempt, rather than why it happened or how [the administration] could support me when I came back,” Fitzgerald said. In terms of how Swarthmore’s culture affected her experience with mental health issues, Fitzgerald believes there could be more openness about struggling with mental health issues on the part of not only the administration but also the student body. Fitzgerald had a great deal of trouble with being open about her problems. While she knew that her friends wanted to be there for her, and would try to get her to talk, because they could sense that something was off, she found herself unable to open up. Fitzgerald believes that this is partially due to the environment in which she was raised, but also to Swarthmore’s misery-poker-focused culture. “If someone talks to you about anxiety, I think a lot of times the instinct reaction is to say, ‘Well, I have a lot of stuff going on, too,’” Fitzgerald said. “A lot of people will misinterpret someone saying that they’re stressed as someone trying to play misery poker.” Fitzgerald also believes that there is a great deal of internal pressure at Swarthmore to present oneself as organized and in control of their academic and social situations. “I feel like there’s just kind of an expectation that you can get done everything that you need to get done, so it was hard to have to say, I can’t do this on my own, there’s something wrong, and I don’t know to fix it, and I was never really able to say that,” Fitzgerald said. Because her depression was so severe, Fitzgerald is unsure whether her experience would have been different at another school, as she thinks there is a large biological component to her mental health issues. “It might have been easier for me to ask for help in a different environment, but I’m not sure that any other college I’ve heard about has a much more open environment, at least when it comes to mental health,” Fitzgerald reflected, adding that this silence around mental health problems is not confined to colleges but pervades the culture of the rest of society as well. On April 18, Fitzgerald published an opinion piece in The Daily Gazette, in which she shed light on her experiences struggling with depression and anxiety and recounted the events leading up to her suicide attempt. Following her piece, old friends from high school and fellow Swarthmore students flooded Fitzgerald’s email and Facebook inboxes with messages of support and solidarity. Nearly every message Fitzgerald received was from someone who had been through similar experiences, not necessarily with suicide attempts but with depression and anxiety. “It was just kind of shocking how many people kind of came out of the woodwork,” Fitzgerald said. While Fitzgerald was happy that others shared their stories with her, she was floored by the number of those who had had similar experiences. “There are just so many more people struggling than I think any of us realize,” she said. Fitzgerald was thanked for her piece and told many times that she was extremely brave. While she was happy that many people connected with her story, she wishes that her actions — speaking openly about her own experiences instead of choosing to be silent or ashamed — weren’t so out of the ordinary. “One of my goals in publishing my story was that in the future it doesn’t have to be such a brave act to speak out about struggling with depression or struggling with anything,” she concluded.
Now Hiring THE PHOENIX, THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013
NEW POSITIONS Bloggers Interested in blogging about politics, study abroad, campus life, music or something else entirely? We expect that blogs will be actively maintained, with approximately one post per week. Blogs hosted on The Phoenix’s Web site will have multimedia capabilities with the ability to embed videos or other content directly in the blog. The Phoenix will consider both group or individual blogs, so feel free to apply in a group. We will also be hiring summer bloggers, so consider applying to write about your summer experience if you’ll be doing something exciting. Graphic Designers Responsibilities include working with the editors and staff artist(s) to conceptualize and create cover art and graphics within page designs. The graphic designer should coordinate art and is responsible for ensuring completion of graphics or photo-intensive pages. The graphic designer will also attend editorial board meetings. Previous work with Photoshop recommended. Social Media Coordinator The Social Media Coordinator is responsible for the upkeep of The Phoenix’s Facebook and Twitter pages. The Coordinator should also be willing to teach other staff members, such as writers and photographers, about how to use social media to find sources for articles or how to integrate amateur photos into the paper. This is a great position for anyone who is looking to get into Public Relations. Staff Positions News Reporters A reporter writes at least one story a week for the News section. Writers must attend weekly meetings. Living & Arts Writers A Living & Arts staff writer is responsible for one story each week. Topics range from student performances to Philly events. A variety of writing styles is encouraged and in-person reporting is expected. Sports writers Sports writers are responsible for writing weekly stories or features for the Sports section, and must attend weekly meetings. Sports Editor The Sports editor should maintain a comprehensive knowledge of all varsity and club teams on campus. Duties include reading and editing all sports copy and assigning sports photos. Applicants must be competent sportswriters who are willing to write and take photos as needed. Columnists A columnist receives a biweekly column. The columnists work closely with their respective section editors in developing topics and improving their writing styles.
Copy editors Responsibilities include checking facts, style and grammar and proofing pages. Photographers Photographers are expected to fulfill weekly assignments. This includes taking photos at the assigned time and uploading the photos onto The Phoenix server in a timely fashion. Staff artists Staff artists are required to submit at least one illustration per issue, for various sections of the paper. Staff artists may also be asked to submit smaller illustrations as well. Crossword writers Crossword writers will produce one crossword puzzle every other week, for publication in the Living & Arts section. BUSINESS Positions Director of Business Development The director of business development will work as The Phoenix’s business manager and will also be responsible for both short and long term development and improvement of the paper’s business operations. Responsibilities include maintaining records of the paper’s finances; keeping up-to-date business records, including current figures on advertising income; aiding in the annual budgeting process; holding weekly business staff meetings; and communicating regularly with the Swarthmore College Business Office as well as the editor in chief, the advertising managers and the circulation manager. Advertising managers Advertising manager works to recruit local and national ads. Responsibilities include soliciting advertisements from local businesses; keeping up-to-date advertising records; sending out invoices and tearsheets to the advertisers; documenting paid invoices; providing up-to-date advertising income figures; and attending weekly business staff meetings. Circulation manager The circulation manager must distribute copies of The Phoenix to areas across campus early Thursday mornings; stuff faculty and administration mailboxes; maintain subscriber lists and ensure that subscriptions are mailed out each Thursday on a weekly basis; deliver extra copies to The Phoenix office; and answer subscription requests as they are received.
Living & Arts
THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013
Theater Course Fascinates, Bewilders By JEANNETTE LEOPOLD Living & Arts Writer
Assistant Visiting Professor of Theater Quinn Bauriedel’s “Movement Theater” course is arguably the most out-there course offered at Swarthmore College. Those theater classes you’ve heard about where students roll around on the ground? — this is it. It’s also an extraordinarily moving experience (no pun intended) in which students learn about themselves and their abilities. I interviewed Anita Castillo-Halvorssen ’15 and Nathan Siegel ’15, who are enrolled in the course this spring. They sat down with me and shared their experiences in the course this past semester. Jeannette Leopold: You just did your final projects for the class. What were they like? Anita: It was our final exam — 15 movements that we’ve learned over the semester. There’s “the wall,” which is basically pretending to climb a wall, with 21 specific things that you have to do. Nathan Ice skating, handstand, cartwheel, wheightlifting. Masu—[Anita and Nathan stood up and moved their hands in front of their faces and around their bodies to show “masu”— it’s very hard to describe]. Then we had to put them in an order that we thought would flow well. People did a lot of fascinating things.
N: That can’t be undone and that has some effect on everyone after the fact. Heavily emotional but not trying to be cheesy. A: Also mimeurs, and mimeurs create the space, draw the environment before people are in it, physically and emotionally. So, if a character’s heart is breaking, the mimeur can show that, as well as create tables for the room. We created this story based off of the story of Michaela’s grandmother. Quinn encouraged us to tell stories that we’ve heard, and stories about our lives. N: The last unit we’re doing is mask work. We started the class with the neutral mask, which is a mask with a neutral expression, and when you put it on you’re trying to do away with the idiosyncrasies of your body, and you try to be bigger than yourself and very present in space. So we basically did the impossible but it’s a very helpful exercise. Then once you strip away your own body’s weirdness, you put on character mask. They’re hilarious. We use Commedie dell’arte and Balinese masks, he’s mixed them. A: The one in our group Quinn actually made, so that’s fun. He made it in Bali. N: They have strong Siegel ’15 expressions that evoke a character, and you try to create the character in the mask in your body.
OUTSIDE THE BUBBLE KORESH DANCE COMPANY: COME TOGETHER
“I don’t know if there are many other courses where you’ll learn as much about yourself and your relationship with space and others.”
JL: Was this an individual assignment? A: This was the only individual thing we had to do for the class, and it was horrifying. Alejandro’s [Bellon ’15] was probably the most entertaining project, because the way he ordered it was like a story. Koby Levin’s [’15] was almost like a story. I knew I didn’t want to do a story, because I wanted it to flow. [Bellon’s] wasn’t a story, but he added humor to everything that he did. Nathan: He always goes for it. Whatever he does he goes for it, which makes it great no matter what happens. A: I think we learned a lot about each other today. N: Everyone’s was so good because everyone was owning it with our gaze. [Note: the idea of “gaze” is very important in theater, as it represents belief in the truth of the make-believe; someone can see something that is not really there with their “gaze.”] JL: You have an open-to-the-public presentation on Thursday. What will that be like? A: So maybe something that’s important to say is that Quinn studied Lecoq [a French theater teacher who Quinn and other members of Philadelphia’s Pig Iron theater company studied under] so the class follows Lecoq’s pedagogy. N: With a Quinn flair. A: We have a thing called auto-cours, where it’s sort of students working together outside of class to display what they’ve been learning about in class but on their own, so we had different units… N: The outcomes of these units are what we’re gonna show on Thursday. Tragic chorus… A: We studied tragedy, then the idea of a chorus, like a small group of people moving all together, how they are affected by tragedy as a group. Then melodrama. Pretty much what we learned about melodrama is one character makes a permanent decision...
JL: What was your favorite class activity? A: We were chickens. We did the amazing experience of feeling what animals might be like. We had to study the animals and watch videos about them, and you’re trying to be the animal, not play at being the animal. N: Trying to approach chickenness. I think the craziest thing, most exciting slash craziest, was when we did handstands on top of each other. So someone kneels on the ground and you grip their torso and fling yourself over their body and put your weight into their chest, and it’s actually much easier to do a handstand with someone else than by yourself. A: We all learned to be very comfortable with each other. We all trust each other. JL: Do you recommend this class? A: Yes. N: Yes, but only if you’re excited about it because the majority of the work is done in class, that’s why it’s five hours a week, so you have to be willing to put yourself into it. I don’t know if there are many other classes where you’ll learn as much about yourself and your body and your relationship with space and others. A: Most people in the class have said that they learned the most from this class out of all their classes this semester. JL: Is there anything else you want to add about the course and your experience? N: For me the takeaway from the class is that everything is done in a space of play, and also the initial assumption is that no one is going to be great at it the first time, but everyone will get there. So no one ever says anything discouraging, which makes it possible for everyone in the end to get there. All of these things that I thought in my life I’d never be able to do, like a handstand or a handstand on someone else or a cartwheel, I can now do because of the supportive environment that doesn’t question people’s ability, but just says everyone will try and everyone will get there. The class’s final presentations are this Thursday, May 2nd at 5 pm in Upper Tarble, and will last for about 45 minutes.
Thursday, May 2 -- Sunday, May 5 Suzanne Roberts Theatre
Showcasing the work of 27 local choregoraphers and an assortment of Philadelphia-area troupes, the Koresha Dance Company’s 2013 Spring Dance Festival invites audiences to celebrate diverse dance traditions from around the world. Shows are typically an hour and a half in length, and feature a combination of different Philadelphia groups. Check out shows on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 and Sunday at 7:00 p.m. Additional times are available next weekend as well.
SOUTH STREET SPRING FESTIVAL Saturday, May 4 South Street, Philadelphia Enjoy the sights and sounds of Philadelphia at the first-ever South Street Spring Festival. Traffic will be closed between 2nd and 8th Streets as restaurants and businesses move their wares and fares into the sunshine. Munch on free samples before checking out local performance groups at the festival stage on 5th Street.
First Friday: Zipper Fashion Show Saturday, May 4 Snyderman-Works Gallery Friday marks the 100th anniversary of the zipper’s patent — come out and celebrate at the Zipper Fashion Show featuring unique designs by area artists and carried by city boutiques! The event, held at 330 Cherry Street, will additionally highlight the jewelry of Kate Cusak, a Brooklyn native known for her innovative creations, which have been featured in galleries and exhibitions in New York. The show
THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013
Living & Arts
At Year’s End
Preview: Watching Worthstock
David Toland is an EVS Technician whose new column, Can You Dig It?, details his experiences at Swarthmore, in the US Army, and with his three children: a daughter, Hunter, 11; and two sons, Noah, 13, and David, 12. Driven by an enjoyment of poetry and digital story-telling fostered in Learning for Life, David is writing to share his life experiences with the Swarthmore community.
By AXEL KODAT Living & Arts Writer For many Swatties staggering deliriously towards the hazy end of this semester’s classes, laden with work and seared by the indelible imprint of Sharple’s coffee, there is a singular light at the end of tunnel, a solitary specter of summer bliss gorged with kielbasa, an unwavering, eternal flame powered by solar energy and margaritas: Worthstock. Sure, there are “finals,” but even if this particular beacon of hope — maybe the indisputable monarch of Swarthmore traditions — is more like a momentary oasis, evaporating too soon in the unforgiving desert sun, Worthstock, like water, oxygen and caffeine, is in its own way an essential nutrient, demanding to be consumed, digested, and processed after the fact with two tablets of alka seltzer and a ginger ale. Per FDA regulations, here’s a breakdown of this year’s lineup, in order of appearance. Festivities begin at noon on Sunday. Below is the lineup in reverse order.
This is my last article of the year and I have to tell you this school year went by so fast. It seems like just yesterday it was August, everyone was moving in, and in a few weeks everyone will be moving back home for the summer. Time really flies. This last November, I had my 20-year class reunion. It truly blew my mind that I have been out of high school for that long. It has been such a busy year and I have done so many fun and amazing things. I went to see the Broadway musical, “Rock of DAVID Ages,” and I have to say TOLAND it was fabulous. Growing up in the ’80s, I clearly Can You Dig it? remember Madonna saying to Dick Clark on American Bandstand that she was going to “rule the world.” I finally got to see her live in concert this year. I would have to say it was one of the best stage shows any artist could pull off; she is absolutely amazing. My girlfriend, Jess, and I took two great vacations this year. We went to New York City, which I wrote about in
On June 2nd, when they hand you your Swarthmore College diploma, remember that nobody can ever take that away from you. my article, “The Journey of a Lifetime.” Then, in February, we took a trip to Florida. It was such a beautiful time and we met some wonderful people. This year, all three of my kids are in middle school. It is so hard to believe they are growing up and have some of the same teachers that I had in school. When I started working at Swarthmore, they were just little kids. I am so proud of them for so many reasons. In school, they all made the honor roll almost every marking period. My daughter Hunter’s (a.k.a. Baby Girl) basketball team won the championship for the second year in a row. As for me, one of my dreams came true this year. Thanks to Swarthmore College, I have been writing for The Phoenix. It is hard to believe that with only a high school diploma and ten years in the Army I have had the opportunity write my own column in a newspaper from such a prestigious college. I would like to thank Professor Diane Anderson for always being there for me if I had any questions or concerns. I would say she always “had my back” and she is a truly supportive mentor. I want to wish the graduating seniors the very best and I hope you get to live out your dreams. We had this saying in the army like when I got my sniper tab, “Yeah, that tab and 50 cents would get you a cup of coffee.” All joking aside, my sniper tab was something that I worked very hard to earn and nobody can ever take that away from me. On June 2, 2013, when they hand you your Swarthmore College diploma, remember that nobody can ever take that away from you. You have all worked hard and all have earned it. Now, for the final time I will ask you all, “Can You Dig It?”
Who: Rockie Fresh What: A 22 year old semi-recent Maybach Music Group signee from Chicago riding a certain amount of hype, who just released his sixth mixtape, The Birthday Tape, and apparently intends to release his debut album sometime in 2014. Known in the past for his association with rock artists like Fall Out Boy and Good Charlotte, more recent songs are all unfurling synth bass and braggadocio. Rockie is commandeering the headlining slot, closing Worthstock with a high-energy set. Best Tracks: “Nobody,” “Into the Future,” “Panera Bread”
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Rockie Fresh, a 22 year old hip hop artist from Chicago, holds the closing slot at Worthstock.
The X Ambassadors are a rock quartet from Brooklyn.
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Who: X Ambassadors What: A quartet of four Ithacans-viaBrooklyn who recently signed to an Interscope imprint and make moody, “genre-bending” music with boring chord progressions. Which means ultimately that their songs range from folk-rock to alt-rock shrouded in something approximating artsy introspection, all delivered from a bearded dude in a tank top with a soulful voice, his eyes no doubt swirling with emotional complexity. Previews of their upcoming album suggest the same basic idea with higher production value. This might be a good time to hop over to Margaritaville and refuel. Best Tracks: “Unconsolable” Who: Dangerous Ponies What: Worthstock in particular and summer festivals in general always seem to work out best when there are a lot of people to share the stage — witness last year’s Phony Ppl — and Dangerous Ponies is a Philadelphia seven-piece band making high-energy power-pop, songs which almost invariably begin with a fade-in of amp feedback, a concession to unoriginality. Their music is carefree and poppy and upbeat and unpretentious and even occasionally rhythmically playful. Tracks: “You Are Dangerous,” “Tenderheart” Who: DJ NiiLO What: After a half hour performance from the winner of this Friday’s Battle of the Bands, Worthstock 2013 will open with a DJ set from Philadelphian DJ NiiLO, who describes her sets as a mix of “latin, hip hop, house, reaggeton, reggae and Top 40.”
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Philadelphia band Dangerous Ponies will deliver high-energy pop this Sunday.
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DJ NiiLO will be warming up Worthstock with a diverse fusion set of party-friendly rhythms.
Living & Arts
THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013
After the Syllabus, Beach Tomes By TAYLOR HODGES Living & Arts Editor
The upcoming summer away from Swarthmore means a rare window of reading books not dictated by sylabi. For those for whom sudden litereary freedom might be intimidating, here is a list of summer recommended reads followed by choice selections from Swarthmore English professors. “On the Road: The Original Scroll” (2007, 408 pgs) by Jack Kerouac. Not necessarily a brave pick for summer reading fodder, but there’s a reason it’s a classic of the microgenre: few other novels as well utilize the road novel as a form for expressing the soul-searching and identity transformation of early adulthood. Since one of the book’s strengths is its unadulterated, raw expression, the Original Scroll manuscript released by Viking Press in 2007 is the novel’s ideal form. A facsimile of the infamous “scroll” Kerouac created by taping together typewritten pages into one long document, this version maintains the carnal energy of Kerouac’s prose and uses the real-life names of characters like Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs before they were replaced with pseudonyms in the final edition. “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” (1967, 416 pgs) by Tom Wolfe. A free-wheeling escapade of what would be called New Journalism, Wolfe’s non-fiction account of the adventures of Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters as they pioneered their decade’s notions of counter-culture and experimented with LSD has all the youthful joie de vivre that makes for a raucous beach book. It thrums with much of the same energy as Kerouac’s “On the Road”, but Wolfe’s outsider perspective gives the book a sober tone that questions whether these people he’s following have really discovered an empowering lifestyle, or have simply lost their minds. “Leaving the Atocha Station” (2011, 181 pgs) by Ben Lerner. Ben Lerner is the future. For a while it looked as if “Shoplifting from American Apparel” author Tao Lin would be leading of any literary movement that would continue in Don DeLillo’s thematic footsteps, but it’s
now clear that Lerner will be the leading light of the imnevitable next literary school intent on explaining our hyper-cultured, self-referential, internet-addicted society to itself. A coming of age novella, “Leaving the Atocha Station” is a based on Lerner’s time in Madrid on a Fulbright as the young author fails to do any research or write much poetry. Instead he spends his time loafing through museums and lingering in unsuccessful romantic affairs. A bombing of the eponymous train station brings the novella to a nuanced examination of terrorism heavily informed by DeLillo, but. with Lerner’s dreamy touch. The novella’s best section—a tragic story told through GChat conversation— is a seemingly cloying premise instead realized with poignancy. Its overlapping segments of text underscore the novel’s larger mediations on the unseen drawbacks of electronic communication and the modern disconnect that spills from all of Lerner’s prose. In addition to his prose work, Lerner is also a National Book Award-nominated poet who uses his verse to explore many of the same themes present in “Atocha Station.” The best of his three collections is “Mean Free Path” (2010, pgs 69). Its poems are complicated, weaving together disparate strands of culture and ideology, but that’s not important. First and foremost Lerner’s verse is stunning, slamming you in the chest with the tongue of revelation. You don’t need to understand every line to feel the thrum of his language and be diminished to awe. -Taylor Hodges, Living & Arts Editor “The Way of Ignorance and Other Essays” (2005, 180 pgs) by Wendell Berry. Read Berry’s poetry, too. He is an agrarian writer whose environmentalism is heavily grounded in an awareness of local culture and geography. He’s challenging for all of us in part because he is a traditionalist whose conservatism becomes a radically progressive critique of our current systems of production and social organization. And he is a bracing writer. Berry would be great reading for the summer if you are taking a little time off to think. And if you are heading “home,” wherever “home” is, it might be a good time to think about how your environment shapes you. -Professor Nora Johnson
“The Yellow Birds” (2005, 180 pgs) by Kevin Powers. I don’t know his work but I’ve read it’s the best war novel since O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” (which I’ve taught and admire) so I want to check this out as we enter the so-called post-Iraq and post-Afgan war era without actually coming to terms with what has happened in either country due to our interventions then and now. “Americanah” (to be released May 14, 2013, 496 pgs) by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I admire and have taught her short stories and her TED talk on the “danger of a single story,” so I want to check out her new novel set in Nigeria, London, and New York; it’s gotten stellar reviews. I’d like to compare it to Zadie Smith’s “NW”, which I also hope to read. “People of Paper” (2005, 256 pgs) by Salvador Plascencia. This first novel by a young Chicano author has been recommended to me by two friends of mine on the Swarthmore faculty who’ve taught it, Braulio Muñoz and Luciano Martínez, so I want to turn to it this summer. It’s experimental and metaphysical as well as many other things, comic and macabre, in the great tradition of Latin Am fiction; it also from what I can tell very much intervenes in current U.S. discourse using terms like “documentation,” “illegality,” “alien,” etc. I want to read more Bolaño too.... “Anansi Boy” (2005, 336 pgs) by Neil Gaiman. The 2008 sequel to “American Gods”, so you know I’m there, though I’m a little late to the party and it’s gotten mixed reviews. -Professor Peter Schmidt “Tenth of December” (2013, 251 pgs) by George Saunders. By now surely everybody has encountered at least one article about George Saunders’ latest collection of stories, and some have concluded perhaps that it surely cannot be that good. But guess what? It is that good. Here a twisted pharmaceutical test slides into nightmare; the comedic inner voices of children belie stunning external dramas; the American Dream, stripped bare, reveals only deranged competitive vacuity. And I’ve barely scratched the collective surface, beneath which lies such compassion for our various sins that to read George Saunders is to be amazed and blessed. -Professor Gregory Frost
THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013
Living & Arts
When is the moment? SELECTIONS
Photography by DANIEL Y. CHO
How Do We Select A Studying Space? Some buildings make me feel sleepy, lonely, or distracted; others have the ability to put me in the right place. The balance between the hard and soft qualities of Kohlberg’s lounge makes it a uniquely appealing studying space for me. Though highly ordered with strong edges, bold lines, and heavy materiality, Kohlberg feels soft: it is warm, calming, and welcoming. I like to think that the grid-like organization of this space helps me (literally) find my place. (Clockwise beginning with photo above). Warm | Layers of rectangles and squares encase the soft yellow. Indirect lighting is a defining characteristic of this space. Guided | Armrests are firm and corners look like they would hurt if people ran into them; and for this reason, the cushion of this architecture has a poignant embracing quality to it. Distinguished | Both surfaces are bordered and internally structured by lines and ordered geometry. The clear differentiation of space marks who’s a passerby and who’s settling down. Directional | Lines not only functions as a mapping tool on a grid, but a way in which to suggest movement. Established | The sight of big, heavy blocks built on top of one another calms me down; the suggested weight of these structures depresses my anxieties. Wholesome | Even in this smaller space, the architecture within is highly ordered. Undoubtedly, Kohlberg would not be Kolhberg without the coffee bar. Seeing food and having food as an option makes the space feel wholesome. When I can understand why I like a studying space—I click
Living & Arts
THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013
The Year in Review: Accounts of Activism By MIREILLE GUY Living & Arts Writer Due to the amount of work that goes into course work at Swarthmore, people may wonder how much time students can devote to extracurricular activities. But the time and effort that students put into campus activism exemplifies where many of their passions truly lie. This activism highlights inequality and oppression both on and off the campus, and is an ever-present part of life at Swarthmore. “I think activism on our campus is important because Swatties will grow to become very influential members in their communities,” SPJP member Ahmad Ammous ’13 said. “With that comes a responsibility to understand and sympathize with many different topics and issues that influence the local community and the world at large. It is therefore important for Swatties to be well aware and educated about these topics.” Not only do activists on campus gain skills and connections through their efforts, but the college community as a whole is enriched by its increased awareneness of the issues they raise and the ideals they promote. Some of the busiest activist groups on campus this year have been Mountain Justice, SLAP, and SPJP, all of which have made efforts to highlight various concerns and involve the broader community.
Mountain Justice The student activist group Mountain Justice is committed to fighting climate change, supporting communities imminently threatened by fossil fuel extraction, and building a stronger coalition here on campus. One major initiative of the group its campaign in solidarity with efforts preventing mountaintop removal in Appalachia. MJ originated in 2010 after students visited mountaintop removal sites in West Virginia over spring break. Upon their return to campus, they sought to continue to act in solidarity with the people they had met from these communities in the front-lines of the fight against harmful fuel extraction. However, Swarthmore is a long way from West
Virginia, so the group sought to create a bold stance against fossil fuel extraction in a more general way. MJ is currently working on a campaign demanding Swarthmore College divest from fossil fuel extraction industries. According to MJ’s website, members “decided on a divestment campaign as a way for us to use the power and position we have as students to move our institution’s money to stop funding practices that harm people’s health and communities. By working on a campaign that targets extractive industries, including those practicing [mountaintop removal], we see ourselves as supporting the struggle of folks in Appalachia and in other frontline communities.” Group members have worked to promote this campaign through a variety of methods. They have attended two separate board meetings and have another one coming up on May 4 that is open to the Swarthmore community. “This year, the Board has charged the Social Responsibility Committee with focusing on climate change, but has avoided formal negotiation with students about divestment,” MJ member Patrick Walsh ’14 explained. With such a big goal, Mountain Justice is in it for the long haul, and seeks to involve non-group members in its campaign. They organized trips to West Virginia over both fall and spring breaks. Trips were open to all Tri-Co students, and those who particpated talked with local residents and activists, got involved in local efforts, and built valuable relationships. MJ also seeks to engage the student body through individual meetings and though partnerships with other student groups on campus. On Thursday, May 2, MJ is hosting Dustin White, who will speak about his experience living in communities affected by and advocating against mountaintop removal, and a screening on the topic will follow. Leading up to the next Board meeting, MJ will also host a fun end-of-semester celebration with music, food and faculty who will speak briefly about divestment. Next year MJ will continue to promote divestment from fossil fuel extraction, and hopes to encourage academic de-
partments to write and sign letters in support of their goal. In addition, they hope to further build community networks both on and off campus, plan more trips to Appalachia, as well as to continue their dialogue with the Board of Managers. SLAP (Student Labor Action Project) The Swarthmore Labor Action Project, SLAP, is “an organization of students committed to justice and dignity in the workplace, as well as student-worker solidarity.” Working towards labor justice on campus, one of SLAP’s goals is to ensure that those working at Swarthmore College feel fulfilled, empowered, and content with their jobs and working conditions. In order to fulfill these goals, SLAP advocates for subsidized co-pays on doctor’s visits, subsidized hospital visit fees, subsidized childcare, a rigorous living wage review process, contract parity, a grievance procedure, and an increase in the living wage to account for phasing out of the benefit bank. This past March, Swarthmore’s Board of Managers approved a new College minimum wage of $12/hour, up from $10.38/hour. A living wage is the minimum pay level needed to meet basic needs. What’s considered a basic need is open to interpretation, and SLAP seeks to encourage Swarthmore College to have a more encompassing definition of the term. SLAP’s current campaign is to convince the college to include childcare in the benefits for its employees, either through an on-site center or through subsidies allowing its employees to pay for childcare elsewhere. The group came to this decision after the issue came up in multiple conversations with staff members. Swarthmore students have pushed for childcare benefits in the past to no avail, but the importance of the issue has convinced SLAP members to reopen the campaign. The group has sought to involve members of Swarthmore’s community through a variety of means, including last month’s “Chow and Chat About Childcare on Campus” event. This event aimed to encourage students to meet workers and to discuss issues of childcare on campus. In March, SLAP hosted
Illustration by RENU NADKARNI
a Staff Appreciation Pancake Breakfast with Swarthmore workers as another opportunity for students to meet the members of the Swarthmore community who work to take care of our school. SLAP also launched a photo campaign last fall, where students posed for photos outside of Sharples, and published an editorial in the Daily Gazette in April. SLAP is currently working on creating a survey with the help of Swarthmore faculty and staff, and with the amount of effort both students, faculty, and staff have put into promoting childcare benefits, SLAP members are extremely motivated to continue their campaign next year. “Next year, staff, faculty, and students are going to make sure that our community does a better job of living up to its values by finally choosing to provide meaningful childcare services” explained SLAP member Ben Wolcott ’14. SPJP (Students for Peace and Justice in Palestine) Students involved with SPJP aim to raise awareness about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and the violations of human rights that have and continue to occur. The humanitarian group aims to create an open discourse on campus about the issues and events that are occurring in regards to this conflict through a variety of outreach methods. SPJP seeks to educate and involve students on campus and annually hosts a screening of “Occupation 101”, a 2006 documentary that serves as an introduction for students to the conflict. SPJP has also hosted a hummus-making parlor party, a Paces takeover, and brought a number of speakers to Swarthmore. In the fall, the group put up 174 flags on the Kohlberg lawn to represent 174 Israeli and Palestinian lives lost in the Gaza conflict in October 2012. The group also brought two lecturers to campus this year. They hosted Dr. Jonathan Kuttab, a specialist in human rights law and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, who discussed how the Israeli occupation violates international human rights law on a daily basis. This past semester, SPJP hosted Sa’ed Atshan ’06, a lecturer at Tufts University who studies issues of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, sexuality and gender identity in Israel-Palestine.Through thoughtful choices of lecturers, SPJP has been able to attract students with different disciplinary interests. This past semester, SPJP generated further interest in their cause through the use of more creative tactics. They hosted a slam poetry event, inviting PalestinianAmerican poet Remi Kanazi to perform. The event was extremely successful as it shed light on the conflict through a different, more artistic lens. You might have noticed a large wall in front of Parrish Hall blocking you from trotting down to Sharples after class last week. This was a simulated checkpoint barrier set up by SPJP to highlight other struggles beside the violence, brought on by the conflict. “Our goal with this event in particular was to help Swatties understand a little bit of what it is like to be a Palestinian living in the occupied West Bank,” exaplined SPJP member Ben Bernard-Herman ’14. “Too often, empathy and interpersonal understanding are lost in complex political and social issues; I hope that the wall simulation allowed people to access some feelings of empathy for Palestinians who must go through checkpoints daily.” Nest year, SPJP hopes to continue to create interest and concern about the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. Its members plan to continue inviting speakers and hosting movie screenings, with future plans to consider boycotts, divestment campaigns, and sanction campaigns as well.
THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013
Living & Arts
‘Politics of Punishment,’ continued from page 1 -quired him to serve eight years in prison. “How could I plead guilty to a murder when I didn’t kill anybody?” Tyrone asked his audience. Married, 23 years old and bitter, Tyrone began his long and dismal sentence in ’74 — mandatory life without parole — at Graterford. At a second-grade reading level at 23 years old, Tyrone is the son of two “good” parents. God-fearing people, they raised him in Philadelphia and attempted to instill in him Christian values. Growing up in the thick of the civil rights, black power and anti-war movements, however, Werts became militant and found in the streets a reprieve from the repression he felt at home. Meeting the wrong people for the wrong reasons landed Werts in prison. Smoking marijuana and drinking, he spent his first days in prison with an altered mind. However, he cited two events on Monday that he claims got him out of jail. The first, a compassionate man who pushed Werts to pursue a GED program, despite his low test scores on the mandated prison evaluation exams. Noticing his “above-average IQ,” Mr. Bello enrolled him in a night course and mentored him, completely reversing the humiliation Werts felt as a child growing up in elementary school, when one teacher told him he could never be an astronomer because he was “too dumb.” After receiving the highest score on his GED exam ever recorded, the “proudest moment of his life,” Werts went on to get his Bachelor’s Degree at Villanova while still incarcerated. The second event was the pestering of another “lifer” who introduced him to leadership seminars taking place within the prison. Finding this lifers’ advice to “consider creating a great life” for himself while there “oxymoronic,” Werts eventually heeded it and his identity changed. “I had an epiphany. I was so focused on myself that I didn’t even think of the pain my family and the victim’s family were feeling,” Werts said. Taking “responsibility for my own life,” Werts became president of a leadership group in prison. The relationships he fostered within the prison and with government officials contributed to his appeals being heard and his eventual release from the place he thought he would die in. Describing coming home as “bittersweet,” Werts acknowledged those men who mentored him and who he believes deserved to be let out more than he did. KJ, a 33 year old first time offender, was released this September after serving a 40-month sentence for the possession with intent to sell of 60 grams of marijuana. KJ described himself as the kind of student who was underwhelmed by school, smart but lacking motivation. “Teachers would tell me, ‘you would get all A’s if you only did your homework,” he explained. Having lost both of his parents at the age
American criminal justice system. Reeves, who studied Political Science with a concentration in Black Studies and of six — his mother committed suicide — Public Policy while a student at SwarthKJ was practically raised by his grandmothmore, has conducted on-site prison research er, who kept him in church. Through his for the past decade. He created the course, involvement in the church, he discovered which is offered in two sections, to “provide his natural talent for the arts, namely acting and music. As a member in plays and on the both a critical and in-depth exploration of church choir, KJ began to play the drums, the interplay among American electoral politics, public concerns regarding crime, saxophone, clarinet and eventually piano. His problems began in college. Free of and criminal justice policy.” Building off of his grandmother’s influence, KJ delved into his own research, Reeves asked his students drugs, making friends with “everybody,” to consider everything from the high popuregardless of race. Once out of college, a lation of incarcerated people (2.3 million), full-blown marijuana addict, KJ began sell- the origins of the use of “jails” and “prisons” ing. Using his natural knack for business, as “instruments of social and crime control,” KJ approached selling in a professional way, the racial and class differences in criminal behavior and incarceration rates, to prisonadopting a set of “ethics” with his clients. One day, his “lucrative” business was based “gerrymandering” and the ways in cut short. An acquaintance, a Caucasian which keeping people incarcerated is a lumale, was arrested for suspected involve- crative financial and political franchise. Not satisfied with just informing his ment in drug distribution. Agreeing to a students, Reeves seeks to create dialogue plea bargain, this man made KJ out to be a between Swarthmore students and those “big-time distributor.” When sentenced, KJ imprisoned and to instill the educational was flabbergasted. Comparing his sentence to the case that followed his, namely that fervor Swatties feel within the inmates. After two years of of a Caucasian, tenuous organizrich Swarthmore ing, last spring Comparing his sentence resident with a launched high-power atto the case that followed his, Reeves his first Urtorney who reban Underclass namely that of a Caucasian, ceived two years for possessing rich Swarthmore resident with c o l l a b o r a t i o n course with the two acres of marTemple-founded a high-power attorney who reijuana, KJ felt raInside Out Procially profiled. cieved two years for possessing gram. Once a While at two acres of marijuana, KJ week, a group first frustrated of Swarthmore with his arrest, felt racially profiled. students visited KJ made no exthe Graterford cuses. Upon beprison and ening released, KJ sometimes missed the cell. gaged in an innovative and dynamic learnThere, he challenged his own “preconceived notion of what criminals are,” played a lot ing experience: comprised of a lecture comof chess (the game the “wise” inmates were ponent and small-group discussions, the playing), and sharpened his reading skills, inmates and students gathered in a circle especially with Frederick Douglass’ work. and learned communally, analyzing and disBeing incarcerated also brought him in con- puting the week’s assigned reading. The keyword here is “communal.” A tact with Professor Reeves and the greater native of Chester, Reeves underscores the Swarthmore community, a relationship he treasures. For KJ, jail was predominantly a “reciprocity” of the relationship between cathartic experience: “My body was locked Swarthmore and the Graterford inmates. Undeniably, the Swarthmore students are in, but my mind was free.” What threads both of these men’s testi- engaged in civic engagement: they leave the monies together is the difficulty of re-enter- “safe” bubble they are used to and devote ing after incarceration and the systematic time each week to work with the inmates. problems they see within the criminal jus- However, the inmates also provide an intice system. Questioning the usefulness of valuable piece: filling in the gaps of research arbitrary mandatory minimums for certain with their lived experience, these inmates crimes, life without parole as a sentence, bi- force students to question the raciallyased sentencing, and the $685 million Penn- charged and class-based narratives circusylvania is dishing out to construct prisons, lated about criminals. They make visible the Tyrone and KJ are grappling with the poli- impact of policy and theory, concepts that tics of punishment. Tired of politicians vow- are hotly debated theoretically but rarely exing to be hard on crime, these men call for perientially. Interestingly, at the beginning of each sepreventative methods and early institutional mester, Reeves asks his students to read Walchanges. ter Mosley’s “Always Outnumbered, Always “Politics of Punishment” allows Swat students to engage with these sorts of ques- Outgunned” as their first text. It’s a fictional tions, to paint their own picture of the story about Socrates, a black male convicted felon who experiences difficulty re-entering the world after serving almost 30 years in an Indiana prison. Suggested by Professor Ken Sharpe, Reeves cites his use of the novel as “one of the most significant pedagogical decisions” he has made. The novel “equalizes the playing field” whereas the form of the novel — the beauty of the writing style and the strength of the narrative — attracts the “Outside” Swarthmore students, the content allows the “Inside” students to “see themselves” in Socrates’ character. For many, the Mosley text is the first new book they have ever owned. Reading and re-reading the text, these incarcerated men memorize the book inside and out, carrying it “around with them as if it’s the Bible,” Reeves explained. In its depiction of the struggle of reintegrating oneself into society, it becomes “a book of empowerment and affirmation” for them. For both Inside and Outside students, however, the text serves another critical purpose — to develop “our characteristics of empathy … sympathy … and tolerance.” Only once students are convinced they are
Illustration by CASEY SCHREINER
a part of an environment “infused with empathy, real intellectual integrity” and one that prioritizes not only “hearing what people are saying but also listening” can students begin to grapple with issues like historical and contemporary racism. And as evidenced in the policy projects undertaken by the students of last semester’s “Politics of Punishment,” empathy is the primary ingredient of collaborative political efforts. Hana Lehmann ’13, inspired by her interactions with the participants in the Inside Out Program, wrote a thesis about the potential of prisons as “transformative spaces.” Hoping to fill in the void of scholarship on adult identity formation and crises, Lehmann examines how “criminalization” incites a process of identity shift, one that forces black male inmates to accept a “compacted negative identity that permanently labels them a second-class citizen.” She was first drawn to the subject of mass incarceration in Urban Education, and in particular the school-to-prison pipeline literature. Her interest peaked in the two subsequent courses she took, “Urban Underclass” and “Politics of Punishment,” both with Reeves last semester. For Lehmann, only by “knowing what happens in these transformational spaces” is there hope in “stopping the pipeline” and putting an end to the statistics: 1 in every 100 men and 1 in 3 black men are currently incarcerated in the US. Describing the course as a “humanizing space,” Lehmann worked personally with KJ and others to develop a public policy plan that focused on the Federal Pell Grant: specifically, making it a funding resource for those incarcerated to pursue a college-level education. But as Lehmann shares, this process was anything but painless. “We had to bust our asses to get them what they needed,” she explained. Lacking access to a computer, Swarthmore students would have to print and deliver information needed by the inmates and transcribe drafts of the measure they co-wrote. Lehmann is happy to know that her work was not be in vain. KJ feels deeply indebted to Lehmann’s efforts; he smiled brightly whenever he spoke of the project and the “tears” that came to his eyes when he realized “how serious they [Swat students]” were about enacting change. In the fall, an advocacy group will also be created on campus to support this initiative. Three political science majors in attendance, Jeewon Kim ’13, Cristina Matamoros ’14 and Naudia Williams ’14, reflect on the lecture. Kim, a Political Science Major, greatly appreciated being able to hear Tyrone and KJ speak. Struck by the transformative potential of jail, Kim saw the Closing Ceremony as “humanizing.” Williams, a volunteer at the Chester Youth Court and the apprentice of a public defender, left the lecture believing “that the criminal justice system is in the business of convictions/punishment and not necessarily justice” claiming “punitive policies … serve to marginalize and stigmatize an often forgotten population.” Matamoros, a Film and Media Studies minor, was inspired to take the course after taking a “comparative politics course” abroad in Sweden and comparing “the Swedish and American punitive systems.” Taking Williams’ take-aways a bit further, Matamoros calls for taking a hard look at the war being waged on drugs, the education system that only reserves the basic “right” of “good education” to “privileged white communities,” and, “most importantly we must make sure that ex-felons are rightly integrated into our community.” Asking us to adopt the Swedish mentality that “regard[s] very highly … that everyone deserves a second chance,” she called for the end of the stigma around black and Latino male convicted felons. Met with unemployment, and plagued by feelings of alienation and rejection, these men are inevitably propelled to the very “underground economy,” as KJ put it, that got them incarcerated in the first place.
Living & Arts
THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013
Seeking Serenity in a Crowded Place
As many times as I visited New York City in my youth on various museum adventures, I somehow neglected to pay a visit to the Frick Collection. For those of you not in the know, the Frick Collection is a small but incredibly distinguished collection of European paintings, sculpture, furniture and decorative arts located in the former Frick Family home at the intersection of 70th Street and 5th Avenue, right by Central Park. I made my pilgrimage to the Frick specifically now because the museum was advertising an exhibit called “Piero della Francesca in America,” and as a Renaissance art buff, I knew that I would likely not have another chance to see works by this artist outside of Italy. Piero della Francesca, one of the masters of the early Italian Renaissance, is known for his serene, meditative, enigmatic compositions and his mathematical use of perspective. I could hardly contain my excitement as I found my way along 5th Avenue and entered the museum. While the collection of works is unexpectedly and undeniably fantastic for its small size, my experience at the Frick was ultimately underwhelming. I viewed the Piero della Francesca exhibit as well as the Frick’s permanent collection, but my enjoyment of the extraordinary works on display was severely diminished by the layout and organization of the collection. “Piero della Francesca in AmeriI On the Arts ca” was a smaller and ultimately less ideal exhibit than I anticipated. Consisting of seven works from various American collections as well as one from Lisbon, the exhibit was focused specifically on recreating, in a sense, the Sant’Agostino Altarpiece, a multi-panel work dating from 1459-69. Painted for an Augustinian church in Borgo San Sepulchro, the various panels from the nowdivided altarpiece depicted individual saints as well as the likely centerpiece, “Virgin and Child Enthroned with Angels.” The gravity and solemnity of the “Virgin and Child,” with its monumentalseeming figures and hushed reverence, was the highlight of the show. The various works were hung around the Oval Room, along with a computer reconstruction of where these works would have gone in the original altarpiece, crowning the visual experience. Unfortunately, this exhibit does not really delve into what made Piero so revolutionary and innovative. The majority of the works are small panels with flat backgrounds that do not demonstrate his unique use of space and perspective. The Frick Collection’s Oval Room is behind the “Garden Court,” an atrium with an indoor fountain and reflecting pool. It normally holds several works in the permanent collection and is connected to not only the atrium but also to the East and West Galleries. Why is its location and layout important? Because unfortunately, due to the open nature of the Oval Room, with its multiple entrances and exits and plethora of foot traffic, the setting for viewing Piero’s works was less than ideal. With the noise from the substantial number of people going through the Oval Room to get from the East Gallery to the West
Gallery to the Garden Court and vice versa, along with the echoing noise from the water in the Garden and the noise from people talking, really took away from the experience of seeing the works by Piero della Francesca. As a museum lover, I understood the exhibition directors’ goals of increasing foot traffic, and thus interest, in this showing of an artist who lacks the clout with laymen of a Leonardo da Vinci or a Claude Monet. But Piero’s works seem best observed in a quiet, plain space without outside noise and other distraction. To exacerbate this problem, the room decor, with its deep green wallpaper and gold molding, takes away from the serenity and calmness of the paintings. It almost drowns them out and transforms what should be a spiritual experience into a pedestrian series of moments. The Frick Collection itself is, as I’ve stated, extraordinary for its size. Several of the great masters of European painting are represented, with names like Velazquez, Rembrandt, Turner, Van Dyck, and even Veronese and Vermeer making me continuously turn my head in wonderment. However, the power of the collection of paintings is ultimately diminished by the way they are organized and laid out throughout the building. In the East Gallery, I was surprised by the museum’s choice to display a breezy French 19th-century Renoir impressionist painting of a woman and children on the same wall as a dramatically tense Spanish 16th-century El Greco painting of a religious scene. As I moved along the room and into the West Gallery, my confusion grew. The Frick Collection does not appear to be organized with a sense of rhyme or reason. The rooms are not divided by style, time period, provenance, or even subject matter. There is nothing uniting a 17th-century Flemish Van Dyck portrait and a 19th-century Turner landscape, but at the Frick, they appear side by side in the West Gallery. In the same room, two huge Venetian Renaissance canvases by Veronese are only a wall away from a Caravaggesque painting from the circle of Georges de la Tour, which were likely painted almost a century apart and in different countries and styles. A rare Vermeer gem dating from the 17th century, “Lady with her Maidservant Holding a Letter” hangs almost in a corner right next to a Mannerist Bronzino portrait painted in the 1500s. These are only a few examples of the Frick’s curious methods of display and they are only a part of my issue with my experience at the Frick. To further compound the problems with display, the decor of the vast majority of the rooms in the building threatens to overwhelm the beauty of the works contained within. The West Gallery is particularly notable in this respect, as the astounding works of art are almost drowned out by the thick pooltable green carpet, the richness of the wallpaper, the wood paneling and the gold-flecked moldings, as well as by the presence of the ornate furniture and small bronze sculptures placed without context right below a work of art. Fortunately, the paintings are all labeled in their frames and none are hung too high above eye level. This problem with context and display is taken to its apex in the Living Hall. I almost gasped aloud at the Bellini masterpiece hung amidst heavy green wallpa-
COURTESY OF THE FRICK MUSEUM/NEWYORKSOCIALDIARY.COM
Above: The floor plan for the Frick Collection. Below: The exterior of the Frick Museum, located on 5th Avenue in New York.
per and various distracting furniture, with sunlight streaming in through an open window and reflecting off the surface of the panel. The work itself, a Renaissance Venetian jewel glowing with color, was completely devoured and swallowed by the liveliness of its surroundings and the dimness of the lighting in the room. It is hard to appreciate the beauty of the painting. I could only imagine what the prolonged sun exposure could have done to this fine painting. The issue of context is particularly present in the display of this work, which depicts Saint Francis overcome with rapture. As it was likely originally painted to adorn a chapel or church, it thus seems extremely out of place in a decidedly opulent home. Some reference to the original dignity of the surroundings, or at least a setting that did not render the work easily unnoticeable, would have vastly improved the display. Fortunately, the Library and Dining Room offer a high point amidst some of the surrounding chaos. These rooms seem united in their extensive collection of fine British art, the portraits mainly by Reynolds and Gainsborough, with a remarkable Stuart of President Washington. While it is difficult to see how a work with religious themes meshes well with the interior decorations of a rich man’s home, portraits do not suffer similarly, because most homes have portraits of some kind or another hanging on their walls. The landscapes in the Library and Dining room, also by British painters like Gainsborough, also fit in well. Here the green wallpaper and lav-
ish furniture serve not as distractions, but as lovely complements to the works on display. Another pleasing display can be found in the Fragonard and Boucher rooms. I breathed in a sigh of relief as I took in the sweet Rococo works complemented by pale pastel walls and golden details, all of which absolutely suit the works on display. The Fragonard room is especially successful because the light and frivolous canvases are large enough to cover most of the walls in the room, and because ornamented furniture and the aforementioned wall decorations interact well with the paintings, creating two small oases of rosy pinks, sky blues and puffy clouds. More confusion abounds, however, in the Anteroom and in the Enamel room. These two rooms are located at almost opposite ends of the museum, but both display chronologically and thematically similar early religious Medieval, Gothic and Renaissance works, from Italy and from elsewhere, including the Netherlands. I wonder why these works are not organized, if not in the same room, then in at least adjacent rooms, to create some sense of cohesion while walking through the museum. The Frick Collection has several marvelous paintings in these two rooms, including tiny panels by Simone Martini, Duccio di Buoninsegna, and Gentile da Fabriano in the Enamel Room and Fra Filippo Lippi and Jan van Eyck’s workshop in the Anteroom. Each room is tastefully decorated, with only wood paneling on the walls and a dim atmosphere that seems
to benefit these religious works. Moving through the various passageways that connect the main rooms of the Frick Collection, I was also disappointed by the quality of works left to hang without emphasis in these hallways. A tender marble bust of a young girl by Andrea del Verrocchio, who taught Leonardo da Vinci, sits on a pedestal in a hallway and seems, based on where it is exhibited, barely to be worth a second glance. I was also particularly surprised by the placement of two Vermeer works in a hallway, flanking a large landscape by a lesser-known artist. Why were these Vermeer paintings not located anywhere near the Vermeer in the West Gallery? The Frick Collection is clearly arranged according to the flow of the fine house where it is located, rather than the organization of a museum, which I believe detracts from the appreciation of the works themselves. The level of idiosyncrasy in the display of the paintings, as well as the furniture and sculptures, serves to overwhelm the viewer visually and ends up lessening the impact of the individual masterpieces. I walked away from the Frick Collection with the impression that the museum and the organization of the masterpieces within serve more to advertise the great taste, wealth and largesse of the Frick family, than to focus on the actual great works themselves. In spite of the disappointing display of the works, however, a visit to this collection is still worthwhile because of the masterpieces themselves.
THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013
Parties Gear Up For South Carolina House Race Sanford and Colbert-Busch Vie For an Unusually Contested Seat Just when you thought America was Congressional District derives in no small done with elections for a while, another part from the port. She currently sits on race has succeeded in garnering the at- the board of the Charleston Chamber of tention of the national media, spawning Commerce, which oversees port operaa series of attacks and negative ads, and tions. Colbert-Busch’s experience and contransfixing the attention of political junknection with the port could prove benies everywhere. What’s unique eficial in South Carolina, which was hit PRESTON about the special hard by the recession and continues to election to fill the suffer unemployment above the national COOPER vacant House of average. In addition, her campaign has Inside Representatives seat benefitted from the profile of her brother, Capitol Hill in South Carolina is who has fundraised with her and brought that it features two millions of dollars into her war chest. candidates with national recognition, National Democrats have also taken an bringing it a level of attention rarely seen interest in the race, seeing it as a prime in House elections. Republican Mark San- off-year pickup opportunity and one-step ford, whose second term as South Caro- closer to their ultimate goal of House conlina governor was marred by the revela- trol. Since this is a special election and no tion of an extramarital affair and a very public divorce, will face businesswoman other House races are being run, balance Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, who, despite of power is no longer an issue. This race a lengthy resume of her own, is most fa- will not tip control of the House, makmous for being the sister of comedian Ste- ing Republicans more willing to vote for Democrats and vice versa — the polarizphen Colbert. The election began when Senator ing effects of the uncertainty surrounding Jim DeMint (R-SC) resigned his Senate balance of power are gone in this race, seat to become president of the Heritage making the outcome a more accurate reFoundation, prompting Governor Nikki flection of voters’ feelings about the canHaley to appoint Rep. Tim Scott (R) to didates. This could prove fatal for Mark the vacant seat in the upper chamber. The Sanford, as he will benefit less from the special election next Tuesday, May 7 will Republican label in a very conservative determine whether Sanford or Colbert- state. Sanford’s best bet, then, is to tie ColBusch will fill Scott’s empty House seat representing South Carolina’s First Con- bert-Busch with national Democrats, such as Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi, who gressional District. are deeply unpopuSanford has lar in the state. His represented the campaign has purdistrict before; he sued this angle — served three terms at one point having in the ’90s before Sanford debate a winning the GovThis race will not tip cardboard cutout ernor’s Mansion in of Pelosi in the control of the House, 2002. He was popuplace of Colbertlar while governor, making Republicans Busch. The money earning a wellrespected profile more willing to vote for flowing in from national Democrats in the Republican party and frequent- Democrats and vice versa who want to see Republicans upset ly cited as a possible on their own turf 2012 Presidential has helped this arcandidate. A tiregument considerless advocate of fisably. cal conservatism, Democrats, though, have their own he once brought live pigs into the chambers of the South Carolina House of Rep- ammunition to level at Mark Sanford. resentatives to highlight his opposition to In the 2012 campaign, Democrats across the nation built a significant part of their pork-barrel spending. The revelation of Sanford’s affair in messaging on the charge that Republi2009 marked one of the more embarrass- cans were insensitive to women’s issues. ing and public demolitions of a political Whether that is true or not, this election career. Under the pretext of hiking the plays right into that narrative: a former Appalachian Trail, Sanford snuck down governor who cheated on his wife faces to Argentina to meet his lover, Maria Bel- off against a successful woman. The fear en Chapur. After the media broke the sto- of being associated with Sanford, who ry of their affair, Sanford admitted to it. polls abysmally among women, has led His wife, Jenny Sanford, filed for divorce. national Republicans to withdraw finanTo make matters worse, Sanford admit- cial support for his campaign. Right now, Sanford’s party affiliation ted to using state funds to finance his trip to Argentina, but promised to reimburse and strong tradition of fiscal conservataxpayers in full. To this day, it remains tism are his major strengths. Colbertcontroversial whether Sanford broke any Busch has tried to turn that strength into a weakness, drawing attention to laws during the scandal. Colbert-Busch, by comparison, does her moderate positions on conservative not have any major scandals in her past; issues such as the national deficit and her biggest disadvantage is running as a veterans’ affairs. She has been quick to Democrat in one of the most Republi- criticize Obamacare, calling the health can states in America. She has sought to care overhaul “extremely problematic.” identify with South Carolina’s tradition of She also took the opportunity to hit Sanstrong fiscal conservatism by highlighting ford on his own turf during a debate on her background as a businesswoman. She Monday night. “When we talk about fiscal has worked in many positions, in both the spending and we talk about protecting the public and private sectors, relating to the taxpayers, it doesn’t mean you take that Port of Charleston and the commerce that money we saved and leave the country for flows through it. The economy of the First a personal purpose,” she said, referencing
COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST
Embattled ex-Governor Mark Sanford hopes to make a return to national politics.
At a time that Republicans are trying the 2009 scandal. Whether the moderate image she pres- to improve their poll numbers among ents is an accurate representation of her women and minority voters, Sanford is political views or simply a campaign tac- not the best standard-bearer for the party. tic to make her more palatable to South The dead heat that this race has become Carolina conservatives is an open ques- shows that Republicans can even lose in tion. Judging by the competitiveness of their strongholds, given the right set of the race, though, her messaging seems to circumstances. This is not a sign of changing politics in South Carolina, but more be working. Still, the First Congressional District is of weariness with embattled establisha Republican stronghold. Before being ap- ment Republican candidates like Mark pointed to the Senate, Rep. Tim Scott won Sanford. The ascension of young, diverse in 2012 with 65 percent of the vote. Mitt Republican politicians like Sen. Tim Scott Romney also won by a wide margin, car- and Gov. Nikki Haley in the state demonstrate the beginning rying every county of an evolution of the in the district but Republican Party, populous Charlesone more appealing ton County, which to women and mihe lost only narThis race shows that nority voters. Mark rowly. In order to Republicans can even Sanford is hardly the win, Colbert-Busch face of this evomust expand Demlose in their strongholds, ideal lution, which is why ocratic support national Republicans beyond the urban given the right set have run away from center of Charlesof circumstances. his campaign. ton into more traOn the Demoditionally Republicratic side, a Colbertcan areas. It won’t Busch victory next be an easy chalweek would be a malenge — according to political statistician Nate Silver, South jor win for Democrats looking to expand Carolina is one of the least “swingiest” their appeal into the deep-red American states in the nation, meaning as a red state South. While other Democrats, such as it is highly unlikely to vote for a candidate actress Ashley Judd, who briefly mulled a run against Senate Minority Leader of the other party. A recent poll by the liberal firm Public Mitch McConnell (R-KY.) have failed in Policy Polling had Colbert-Busch leading the South, Colbert-Busch has campaigned by a nine-point margin. On paper this on a distinct brand of moderate liberalism looks impressive, but poll numbers don’t with apparent appeal in the region. Her always translate into election results. The problem, though, will be a competitive First Congressional District has a sizeable election every two years from here on out Black minority, which forms the base of — and not all her opponents will have the Democratic Party support in South Caro- weaknesses of Mark Sanford. Does it matter who wins next week’s lina. The problem for Colbert-Busch is that minority voters tend to have much election, which right now is a tossup? It lower turnout rates in off-year elections could. The winning party will get bragwhen there is no Presidential candidate ging rights, of course, but in the end South at the top of the ticket. While she may be Carolina will remain a deeply Republidoing well in the polls, Colbert-Busch will can state, and Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, have to actually get voters to the polling should she win, will become one of those stations on election day if she wants to cross-party anomalies that are becoming translate her healthy poll numbers into a so rare in the U.S. Congress. victory.
THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013
Handling the Tsarnaevs Sometimes, the systems that we love nation, are many, and our leaders seem in theory seem objectionable when ac- disinclined to do anything about it. But tually put to the test, and we let them this time, on this one case, we haven’t slip and fall by the wayside. All too of- failed. If anything, this case has shown that ten, when it comes to criminal justice, we are over-eager to forget about our our legal system can, and does, work. laws and principles in the name of ven- Already, three others possibly involved geance. It’s easier to assume guilt from with the bombing have been arrested, a suspect in a violent crime, easier to all without violating Dzhokhar Tsardeny the convicted their rights in the naev’s rights. It didn’t take torture, it name of security, easier to treat every didn’t even take circumventing Miransuspect as an exception. Fortunately, da. Civilian law enforcement is alive and well, and it can handle domestic sometimes we get things right. The case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev crimes. I hope this translates into better polcould have been another dark mark icies across the board, a real commitAARON on our history, an- ment to maintaining civil liberties. I other case where doubt it will, but it at least isn’t a step in KROEBER our worst instincts the other direction. There will still be a The Civil could have gotten similar conversation any time a similar Libertarian the better of us. act of terror is committed, and IslamoFrom the calls on phobia will continue to run rampant, Fox News for Tsarnaev to be stripped but at least things haven’t gotten worse of his citizenship, tortured, and tried by in the legal system. Due process is still military tribunal, those instincts rang a guarantee, for American citizens at least. loud and clear. The legal issues Plenty seemed around this case hungry for blood. may seem small Calmer heads in comparison to do,however, egregious sometimes Civilian law enforcement other violations of basic prevail. That liberties, but they Dzhokhar Tsaris alive and well, are fundamental naev will be tried and it can handle nonetheless. The in a civilian court objections to killshould come as domestic crimes. ing Americans a surprise to no abroad without one, and so it’s trial, to the exisalarming that tence of Guantathere had to be namo and other any clarification CIA ‘black sites,’ at all. What about his crime would make it non-civilian? and to torture emanate from our funAccused mass-murderers, even bomb- damental principles with regards to libers, have been tried in civilian courts erty. Protecting these liberties at every before, their crimes do not mandate possible instance is absolutely necesspecial treatment, and so it is unclear sary. Protecting them in more familiar how Tsarnaev’s case is different. Some- situations, at home and in the courts, how, the words ‘radical Islam’ changes. is necessary for us to project them into This case could have been prece- the unfamiliar, as in drone strikes in dent-setting, a return to the worst of Yemen. The demaMcCarthyism. goguery is far Citizenship could from over, even have become if it appears to be conditional on winding down in behavior, civilAn act of terror failed the Tsarnaev case. ians could have This fight will been subjected to cause chaos, we’ve happen again and to military tribuagain; our libernals for certain shown that it could ties will continue crimes, and Islam be contained by our to be tested. But could have been is a step. We further demoncriminal justice system. itfaced a tragedy ized. Certainly and refused to that’s a goal that bend, refused to some still hold. let it bring out our But they have, for inner demons. the moment, been An act of terror failed to cause chaos, defeated. I’ve been disappointed in many we’ve shown that it could be contained ways by the way the US has handled by our criminal justice system. Liberty accused terrorists, but this is not one and security have been shown to be of them. We killed Anwar al-Aulaqi, a compatible. By respecting Dzhokhar US citizen, in a way that I find horren- Tsarnaev’s rights, by treating him as dously objectionable. We still have far the American that he is, we’ve shown too little oversight over drone strikes, that our systems, of rights and of law, as efficient and effective as they may be. are stronger than his terror. This has Guantanamo is still open, more than been a victory for our laws and our lefive years after President Obama prom- gal framework, one that we shouldn’t ised to have it closed. Our failures, as a forget.
Politicizing Tragedies Two weeks ago, the nation was thrown into shock. One of our country’s most dear sporting events was attacked, our friends and family were thrown into danger, and our most historic NATHANIEL and beloved city was shut down entirely. FRUM Within 24 hours, Conservative and even earlier in View some cases, many politicians, pundits, and ordinary citizens were using the bombings to advocate for their various political agendas. Some cited the bombers status as immigrants as reason for immigration reform. Some called for gun control reform while others called for more lax gun laws that would allow Bostonians to defend themselves from the bombers (because arming a pissed off and terrified group of citizens would definitely not lead to anything bad). These cries for change were met with more outrage than support. Many people were appalled that political agendas would take the forefront so soon after a tragedy like the Boston Bombings. It seems that every time there is a tragedy this happens. After the Newtown school shootings there were calls for changes in gun control laws. The same was true after the Gabrielle Giffords shooting. Every time these attempts to use tragedy for reform they are met with the same mix of support and outrage. Many people believe it is disrespectful to those harmed or affected by the tragedy to use their suffering
as tool to advance a political agenda. However, this isn’t necessarily true. Every time I have had a discussion with a friend or fellow student about this issue I find myself asking them the same thing — if not now, then when? Just as there was no more appropriate time to discuss gun laws then after the Aurora shootings, there is no more appropriate time to discuss harder background checks and stricter immigration laws than now. Nothing exposes the flaws in our political systems and laws more than a tragedy like this. Perhaps no reform could have prevented the tragic events two weeks ago, but that’s not the issue. The point is that now that these problems are exposed, we should move to fix them. It is very important that we do not forget the victims of these tragedies. But I fail to see the correlation between forgetting them and having a discussion about fixing a problem that lead to their harm. If we do nothing or wait six months to have a discussion then we are doing little to honor the memory of the victims. What would do more to honor the memory victims than to prevent more people from dying in the same way? I am not advocating any political point about immigration or gun control. All that I am arguing is that no death should be in vain. If we do not learn from the events of in Boston then we are dooming ourselves to more tragedy in the near future.
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THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013
With the new Market Fairness Act bill, online retailer eBay will be on the same playing field as its fiercest comeptitor, Amazon. Pictured above is current CEO of Amazon, Jeffrey P. Bezos.
COURTESY OF ideastream
The Market Fairness Act: A Fair Solution A new bill is being proposed to congress surrounding the sales taxation of online retail purchases. The Market Fairness Act is a bipartisan bill that would allow state governments to collect taxes from online purchases made by state residents. The act has potential effects on the small businesses, large corporations and consumers. What is interesting to note is the large disagreement surrounding the bill, but not necessarily between Democrats and Republicans. In fact, the GOP itself is HARSHIL split. Some argue that SAHAI the bill would allow “brick and mortar Conservatively retailers” (physical, Liberal Economics walk-in stores) to remain competitive with, now dominant, online resellers. Advocates feel that consumers would now consider shopping at local stores, instead of going online to buy tax-free goods. Supporters feel that such a bill puts retailers, both online and not, on an equally competitive playing field. A more obvious reason is the potential gains in tax revenues from the act could surpass $11 billion from online purchases for the first year alone. State governments could use these revenues to grow transportation infrastructure and more heavily invest in public education. However, others argue that the bill may be detrimental to smaller online firms, which will lose revenue over ex-
pensive fees to manage tax audits. Opponents also argue that the bill will also disincentivize the online industry, marking a clear digression away from more convenient, e-commerce solutions. It is also interesting to analyze corporate perspectives of such an act: namely, the views of eBay and Amazon. Although eBay argues its reasons for opposing the bill are to “protect small online retailers,” it seems quite evident what eBay’s true concerns are. As a large online retailer, eBay is against the potential revenue losses of the bill going into effect, forcing eBay auctioneers to hike up prices in order to maintain equal profit margins. Conversely, eBay’s largest competitor, Amazon, is head over heels for the bill. But, as a large corporation self-interested in profitability and competitiveness, Amazon does not voice humanitarian concerns either. For Amazon, the connection from this bill to future profits is a bit complex. Current laws mandate sales taxes on online retailers only if the retailer has offices in that respective state. Amazon, unlike eBay, operates through distribution centers located in various states across the U.S. Thus, Amazon, via deals made with many states, will eventually have to pay sales taxes anyways. In Amazon’s eyes, the Market Fairness Act will simply put eBay on the same playing field. Perhaps the name “Market Fairness” does have its merits. My view is on par with advocates of the bill, but for slightly different reasons.
One view that I disagree with is that the eBay, argue that the bill would force bill would allow brick-and-mortar re- smaller online retailers to invest in systailers to remain competitive with on- tems to manage the taxing regimes of line firms. When was the last time you different states. However, the bill prodecided to buy something on Amazon vides a cushion by making exceptions because of the free 8% sales tax? Al- for online businesses that earn less than though sales tax is not an insignificant $1 million per year. Even if mid-tier amount of money, it is not the reason e- firms have to undergo such expenses, it commerce has grown to become one of will be small relative to their income and the world’s largest industries. It is conve- the projected growth of the e-commerce nience, cost-based-prices, and scale that industry. Ultimately, further expenses make Amazon and by these businesses eBay dominate will boost economconsumer goods ic growth, if nothsales. Thus, adding else. ing sales tax to onBecause of the line transactions bipartisan, supThere is no real reason will not, I believe, portive nature of substantially in- why buying online should the bill, I believe crease sales at in- require less sales tax than that the change store retailers. does not seem to That said, I walking into a store and substantially hurt agree that such a any particular secpurchasing items there. tor of the retail inbill provides for more fairness and dustry. Its purpose equal footing in to level the playing the retail markets. field amongst onThere is no real line and in-store reason why buyresellers is on ing online should require less sales tax point, acknowledging the equal exterthan walking into a store and purchasing nalities that both types of business emit, items there. For one, deliveries to state- and thus should be taxed accordingly. residences use local transportation infra- Further, the potential revenue streams structure and contribute to carbon emis- from the Market Fairness Act will resions. Taxes from such sources could be duce state government deficits and proused to negate these externalities. mote job growth through government More so, opponents, and ostensibly expenditures.
THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013
KATY MONTOYA / THE PHOENIX
Anthony Collard ’14 (left) and Malik Mubeen ’13 defeated Ursinus College yesterday in the first round of Centennial Conference playoffs, advancing to play top-seeded Johns Hopkins this Saturday.
Women’s, Men’s Tennis Teams Qualify for Playoffs By SCOOP RUXIN Sports Writer
Both Swarthmore tennis teams earned spots in the Centennial Conference playoffs by virtue of their impressive regular seasons. The women blew through the Centennial Conference in the regular season, winning their first nine matches before falling Saturday, April 27 to Johns Hopkins. Meanwhile, the men’s team earned the Conference’s number four seed. The women’s team thoroughly dominated throughout much of the season, winning five of their ten Conference matches in shutout fashion, 9-0. The team will play host to Dickinson in Saturday’s semifinal. Swarthmore had little trouble with the Red Devils the last time the two teams met, winning 9-0 on April 20. The Garnet won several close matches that day, especially in doubles play. Both the No. 1 doubles team of Emily Rosenblum ’13 and Lia Carlson ’14, and the No. 2 doubles team of Katie Samuelson ’14 and Brooke Wilkins ’14 for the Garnet won their matches 8-6. Stephanie Chia ’13 and Epiphany English ’14 also earned a doubles victory, winning 8-4. In singles play, Carlson, Rosenblum, Chia and Samuelson all won their matches, while Kelsey Johnson ’13 and Jackie Lane ’16 contributed victories as well. Johnson credited the team’s success in close matches to its commitment to supporting each other. “Our team has played very well under pressure and has supported each other during tough matches,” Johnson said. “Having three teammates cheering loudly behind your court can really make a difference.” While Swarthmore’s season was highlighted by its nine game Conference winning streak, Johnson cited a noncon-
ference win, against The College of New Jersey, as having “helped propel us through the rest of the season.” The win came on April 7 by a score of 5-4 over the then-undefeated Lions, and it instilled an attitude in the Garnet that no match could ever be out of reach. Swarthmore trailed 3-0 after doubles before rallying, winning its final four matches to stun TCNJ. Carlson, Rosenblum, Johnson, Chia and Gayatri Iyengar ’15 were victorious for the Garnet in a win that gave the team the confidence to compete against any opponent. If Swarthmore wins its match on Saturday, it will likely travel to top-seeded Johns Hopkins for Sunday’s final. The Blue Jays handed Swarthmore its only loss of the season, by a score of 9-0, and the Garnet will look to pull the upset and advance on to the NCAA Tournament. On the men’s side, Swarthmore battled through injuries and a tough Centennial Conference schedule, posting a 6-3 record. Swarthmore hosted fifth-seeded Ursinus on Wednesday, defeating the Bears 5-1 in the first round of playoffs. The team will travel to Johns Hopkins to play the top-seeded Blue Jays on Saturday. Malik Mubeen ’13 said that the team looks forward to the challenge of a rematch with the Blue Jays. “We want to dominate our first round match against Ursinus so we can earn another shot at Johns Hopkins in the next match,” he said. Although Swarthmore fell 7-2 to the Blue Jays the last
time the teams met on March 30, Mubeen said, “we’re a different team now than when we played Hopkins a few weeks ago, so we’re looking forward to another potential matchup with them.” Mubeen stressed consistency, saying that, “the main thing we need to improve on is making sure we play consistent, complete matches. We have had a few flashes of brilliance this year that we want to try to channel into the conference tournament.” Swarthmore’s most recent win came April 24 over Washington College, by a score of 9-0. As usual, Mubeen and James Wieler ’13 led Swarthmore with multiple wins. Anthony Collard ’14 and Max Sacks ’15 also won both their singles and doubles matches, while Max Kaye ’14, Christian Carcione ’14, Preston Poon ’14 and Irving Stone ’15 were victorious as well. In order to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, Swarthmore will need to win all three of its playoff matches. Wieler, however, was undaunted by the challenge, saying that, “we control our own destiny. Win and you’re in.” Wieler also stressed the importance of winning doubles matches, saying that doing so “provides a huge momentum boost going into singles.” Despite being the number four seed, Swarthmore remains confident. “Over the past two years, our team has proven that we can beat any team on any given day when we are playing at our best,” Wieler said.
“We’re a different team now than when we played Hopkins a few weeks ago.” Malik Mubeen ’13
Big Spending, Big Talk Lead to the Demise of QPR “The ambition of this club was presented to me by the chairman and the coach and I couldn’t have been more impressed. I have many dreams at QPR, to play well for the fans, the manager, the chairman and myself and eventually finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League, and then one day win the Premier League.” — Julio Cesar on joining Queens Park Rangers At the beginning of the season I said this would happen. It was too obvious. Remember the Sven Goran Eriksson reign at Manchester City where he tried to buy a team that would get into the Champions League? The difference between his team and QPR’s is that he bought quality Out of Left Field players at high prices while QPR just didn’t. It was written in the stars that QPR would be a failure this year: so many players claiming this was going to be a golden age—that the club was moving in an upward direction. Nothing could stop QPR now. And with three games to go in the Premier League season, they are down. They couldn’t even beat Reading when it mat-
tered. “QPR are a club that are certainly heading in the right direction. The ambition to take this Club to the next level was something I really wanted to be part of.” — Junior Hoilett talking about a dream he had, and now he knows the difference between dreams and reality Not that I’m going to keep kicking QPR while they are down, but it is worth analyzing the wreckage of one of the biggest frauds of all time. QPR was one of the biggest let downs of the season as high spending usually equals some level of success rather than complete failure. A team that was able to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge should not be the same team that loses 9-1 overall against Swansea. Plainly there was some talent in this team but what happened to it? “The club is getting bigger and bigger, with a new training ground and talk of a new stadium is very exciting. In the time I have been here, QPR’s ambition has changed. Nobody is speaking about what we can achieve but we really want to move up the Premier League.” — Adel Taarabt, where QPR’s early hopes were placed (foolishly) There have been some suspiscions through-
out the season that the assembled squad was there for reasons other than their desire to make QPR succeed. Money may have been a reason for why these players made the move to West London; this may be the case considering the rumours that are going around about the wages being given to players. The best example of this is Jose Bosingwa who was being paid £65,000 per week while courting controversy throughout the season. The first incident involved him refusing to sit on the bench against the best team in London, Fulham, which led to Redknapp fining him two weeks wages and there being a desperate attempt to get a quick sell (but nobody wanted those wages). Last week, cameras caught him laughing on his way down the tunnel at the Madjeski Stadium having been relegated. Chris Samba is another great example: after signing for £12 million in January and being paid ~£100,000 per week, he confessed this week that he “wasn’t prepared to come back to the Premier League.” In effect QPR were just throwing money at a problem — their defense — without properly considering how to fix it. Some clubs make bad buys (Arsenal comes to mind) and pay players much more than they are worth, but for QPR to pick
up almost a completely new team in a year and for all of those players to be overpaid, overrated, and underperforming is an incredible feat. Their season has been very confusing; they all seemed to be having the same thoughts as Troy Barnes: “I like football but also I don’t.” I thought I’d finish with my favorite quote that pretty much sums up QPR’s season. After Mark Hughes released himself from his contract with Fulham because he believed he was the cat’s pajamas, he was rejected for the Chelsea job, the Aston Villa job and any other job that may have been open in any league anywhere, only then he took the QPR job. Within less than a year he was sacked because QPR started the season with four draws and eight losses. His objectives when taking over the club exemplify the weirdness that has gone on the past two years. “Other situations and other opportunities I have had in the past, possibly prior to this role, have not matched that opportunity. That’s what I’m talking about when I talk about the ambition that I have and that this club has… We want to get to the point where we are consistently tough to beat and consistently in the top 10.”