SGa approves $35,000 roost renovation

SGA Executive Vice President Emelio Davalos askes a question about the proposed budget for the Roost renovation at the SGA meeting on Thursday, Oct. 13. (Photo by Stefan Carlson)

After weeks of postponements, SGA approved a renovation of the Roost for half of the originally projected budget of $60,000 on Oct. 13

The final decided budget for the current financial plan to renovate the Roost was set at $35,000 after a majority vote by SGA representatives.

After a third presentation, the representatives did not feel comfortable to give the new budget of $55,000 to the Roost renovation. Some also felt it was unclear how much was actually being spent because the numbers given were from the spring of 2016.

“I have heard multiple concerns from different areas and I think that even ... as a whole board we want to get an idea of where we are as of right now,” president of SGA Esther Pereira said during the meeting, calling for a vote on the $55,000.

When the full amount was denied by majority vote, it was proposed to give the project half of the budget, covering the spending for EC faculty to do the in-house work.

The new vote, which would provide the project with $35,000 and includes another presentation of the final cost of furniture, was passed.

Meanwhile, Jazz Fest received $10,000 for student tickets.

The money will be used for students to go to Jazz Fest for free. Any additional spending will come out of other parts of the fest to make sure any student who is interested can attend, SGA Representative Victoria Clifford said during the meeting.

The $10,000 will be coming out of the Contingency fund, leaving only $2,000 left for the year.

To make spending this money more reasonable SGA would, “move money from the Special Projects back into the Contingency fund,” said Vice President of Finance Jonathon Prehn during the meeting.

Prehn said the funds would be moved in this way for the sake of consistency.

“It has always been done this way. I will have to look more into what the actual process of doing this is,” he said. “But to keep consistent with how we [SGA] have always handled these situations, funds will just be shifted.”

Prehn then said the possibility of voting on moving funds and that it would be addressed in the future.

How to avoid gaining weight in college

(Photo by Stefan Carlson)

The freshman fifteen: that infamous side effect of any first year college student’s venture away from home. It creeps up on unsuspecting freshmen faster than one might realize; and even when you think it’ll never happen to you, many students end up sharing the same story about gaining that extra 10, 15, or even 20 pounds during their first year.

Luckily, there are a few resources near the college that can help any freshman avoid the shock that comes with stepping on a scale to realize they’ve put on some extra pounds.

If you’re a student living on campus with a meal plan that offers pizza, burgers, wings, and ice cream every single day, it can be tempting to eat whatever the hell you please for every meal.

While using the campus meal plan to get food is fine, and helps to save money, it also doesn’t hurt to go grocery shopping occasionally to get used to cooking for yourself. The Jewel Osco on York road, and the Whole Foods near route 83 are both great places to shop for your own food in place of eating at the café or the roost every day.

If you do find yourself primarily dining at Chartwells, there are still a few healthier options to choose from. Downloading a calorie-tracking app like My Fitness-Pal works wonders for keeping track of what you’re eating. The app has a search feature that can search for the nutritional values and calories for specific Chartwells meals.

Aside from eating right, it’s also important to keep active. While the weight and cardio rooms in Fagnell hall are close and free, the facilities aren’t very big and there are better options in the area for gyms.

One of those options includes the Courts Plus park district on West. The park district is with- in walking distance of campus, and has more weight and cardio equipment than Fagnell, as well as a pool. Even though it is a local park district, Courts Plus offers monthly memberships for $26 even to non-Elmhurst residents.

If you happen to have a car on campus or some other way of getting around, other gyms in the area include the XSport on North Avenue or the Patriot fitness gym on route 83. The latter will cost you a lot of money though, with memberships sitting at around $70 a month.

One of the least discussed ways to prevent significant weight gain is to just keep yourself busy. Freshman year can come with a lot of downtime if you aren’t a student athlete or involved in a club. Getting involved in some way or even picking up a part time job is a simple way to keep your mind working and not eating purely out of boredom.

Your first year of college is fun, but looking in the mirror halfway through the first semester to realize that you’re a little huskier than usual can be the antithesis of fun. So keep these tips in mind, take care of your body, and try to have a little bit of fun along the way.

The Leader’s guide to class registration: what your advisor will not tell you

EC student successfully chooses class schedule for upcoming semester (Photo by Stefan Carlson)

With the start of a new semester looming ominously over our heads, we Elmhurst students tend to yield to one of two emotions: Excitement, or more likely, fear. We all become anxious about whether or not we chose the right classes during registration, but this imminent sense of doom is far worse for new students. However, there are a couple of helpful tricks your advisor might not have mentioned during your preliminary registration sessions that will help you get the schedule of your dreams.

-Check Your Degree Audit

Your Degree Audit is the list of classes you need to take to graduate, which you can access in Bluenet. If you can’t decide what to take, taking a class that covers one or more of these general education credits (listed as AOIs and skill tags) is a great option. Your degree audit will also show you what classes you need to graduate within your major, or what classes you would need if you decide to change majors.

-Forget About Your Degree Audit

On the other hand, your degree audit shouldn’t define your academic experience at EC entirely. Take a few classes just because they sound interesting, you think they will be easy, or just for the hell of it. Sometimes the classes you don’t need to take are among the most memorable.

-Don’t Overfill Your Schedule (Seriously)

College is great because there’s a ton of extra activities to take up your time. However, college is awful for the exact same reason. Many new students feel the need to explore and expand their interests. Though this is great and everything, many students are left feeling exhausted and ultimately are not really able to commit to anything. Try a few things at first, and then narrow your extra-curricular activities down to the one or two you like best. You’ll thank us later.

-Schedule Times for Breaks Between Classes

Post-class fatigue is real, especially after three continuous hours of class. After every three hours of class, plan a time in your schedule for you to just relax, decompress, or catch up on homework that’s due later. Trust us on this one.

-Are you a morning bird or night owl?

Ah, the classic college conflict: ‘Should I take all 8 a.m. classes, or should my day start at the crack of noon?’ This is a personal choice. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Early morning classes allow students to have stress-free nights, while classes that start later than noon give some the option of getting a healthy amount of sleep. Pick your poison.

-Don’t Always trust Rate My Professor

RateMyProfessor can be a great tool to help choose your classes, if you use it correctly. Just remember that not all reviews are created equal. Some reviews just consist of post-failure rage, while others are students lustfully pining after their instructors (note the ever-popular hotness indicator). I can’t tell you how to exactly navigate the pages upon pages of the RateMyProfessor archives, but I can tell you that the more reviews a professor has, the more likely you’ll be able to weed out the trolls.

-It’s Never Too Late to Change

EC never advises students to do this, so your mileage may vary, but you can always change your class schedule during the first week of classes by registering for new ones on Bluenet. You can even join a class if you missed the first session. Email the professor telling them you’d like to join their class, even though you missed the first day.

-Communicate with Professors

If you do decide to drop a class and join a new one, let both professors know. Tell the professor who teaches the class you’re dropping that you just decided to go in a different direction this semester. Also, if a class is full, email the professor who teaches it and the department chair of the subject. Let them know how interested you are in the subject and how it could really help in fulfilling the requirements of your major. It never hurts to try.

Victor Ogbebor talks football & track

victor Sophomore Victor Ogbebor wants to take his game to the next level—to be the best athlete in team competition and to be the best person in the game of life. Ogbebor is a dual-sport athlete at Elmhurst College. He currently plays cornerback on the football team and runs on the track team. The Leader sat down with Ogbebor to discuss his views on how he is striving to be the best athlete and the best person that he can possibly be on and off the field. “I like being the best and I just like winning,” Ogbebor said in the interview. Ogbebbor constantly is striving to perform at his highest level and wants to prove that he can be the best. Ogbebor believes that hard work and dedication is the key to success, so he trains hard on a daily basis. “Even Kobe Bryant works hard,” Ogbebor said. Building strong relationships with his teammates is another key to success on the field, according to the player. Ogbebor is motivated by the hard work that his teammates put into training, and in return they are motivated by his work. “I am not a vocal person, they see how hard I work. I focus on what I need to do and if I need to get on them, I will!” Ogbebor said. Ogbebor said he was drawn to the many different aspects of the Elmhurst College community. “I have met a lot of good people at Elmhurst and have felt the ‘family atmosphere’ in the community. There are a lot of good people at Elmhurst… it’s awesome,” explained Ogbebor. According to Ogbebor, he has had many “[great] moments” as a student athlete at Elmhurst. His favorite moment happened last year at his first track meet. In his first 60-meter race, he broke the school record. Since that day, he has been consistently breaking school records. In fact, in the conference meet, he almost broke the record again. Goals are a part of Ogbebor’s life on and off the field. “My goal is to keep progressing as a person and as an athlete and to achieve my personal best in everything,” he said in an interview. “I also want to help everyone else to be the best around me. I want to go to the next level—as a person and as an athlete.” Next time you’re at a track meet, a football game, or in the Frick Center, don’t forget to look up and see Victor Ogbebor reaching for that next level!

EC Sports Roundup

Men’s Tennis The Elmhurst College men’s tennis team triumphed over Illinois Wesleyan on April 15, with a final score of 9-0. This win upped the tennis team’s score in the CCIW tournament, bringing them to 1-1 in the standings, their first victory of the season for the tournament. Seniors Alex Abbuhl and Ricardo Franco won out over the Illinois Wesleyan opponents with a 8-0, starting off the EC winning streak. After, the players were rolling in wins, with Seniors Chris Harrison and Quinn Jennings gaining another point for the team in a 8-3 victory. They finished with another win in their CCIW match on April 17, giving them a score of 2-1 on the books for the tournament. The EC men’s tennis team is scheduled to play Aurora University on Wednesday, April 20 at 3:30 in Elmhurst. While this is not a CCIW game, it does count towards their overall record.

Men’s Baseball

The men’s baseball team finished with a split on April 9 against the Millikin University Big Blue, bringing their CCIW score to 1-6. Their first game ended with a disappointing turnout for EC, a score of 2-1 in favor of Millikin. In the fourth inning, the Big Blue scored once on a wild pitch and another time when a throwing error was made. During the eighth inning, things were looking up for the Bluejays when Sophomore Austin MacMillian made a single out to left field then eventually making his way to second on the throw back. Junior Ben Havel managed to get a run off of a pitch, giving a point to the Bluejays. However, they were unable to find another opportunity for runs and the game ended there. The second game gave the Bluejays the opportunity to gain some runs, something that wasn’t seen in the previous game. The final score of the second game was 11-8, with the Elmhurst Bluejays coming out on top. Things started right away as Junior A.J. Compton made a homer, running in both Havel and McReynolds. Conroy followed that play with a double, causing Freshmen Matt Wilson and Trey Compton to score. It heated up even more in the third inning when Junior Infielder Brandon Kressner hit a homerun, acquiring four more points for the Bluejays. Millikin picked it up after, gaining eight points in the rest of the game, but the damage was done to them and EC won out. The baseball team is set to play against Eureka College on April 20 at 3:30 p.m. in Eureka, IL.

The day I sang at Carnegie Hall

On Tuesday, March 15, the Elmhurst College Concert Choir set off on a six day trip to New York City. They sang at many different places along the way, but the highlight of the trip was a performance at Carnegie Hall. Freshman Natalie Bieri told The Leader about her experience on the trip.  

Tuesday, March 15: People were running everywhere. It was insane. Sue Moninger (the choir director) was packing boxes full of snacks for the bus and people were double-checking everything. A few people were enjoying one last Portillo’s meal before heading off to Portillo’s-free New York. The bus left at 2:30 in the afternoon for a 7 hour drive to Twinsburg, OH. Some people slept. I watched Tangled. When we finally reached the hotel in Ohio, some of the choir members went out. We all had to be back in our rooms by midnight, as we had a long day ahead of us. This doesn’t mean we actually slept--we just had to be in our rooms.


Wednesday, March 16: Breakfast was at 7:00 and we left at 8:00 to sing at our first stop, Twinsburg High School. We performed for some of the school’s choirs both to practice for Carnegie Hall and to (hopefully) induce some students to come to Elmhurst. We got back onto the bus after changing out of our choir polos and khakis. The bus ride was long, but it was nice because you got to talk to people you would not otherwise talk to in choir. After many long hours on the bus, we finally reached New York City! It was late at night, and the buildings were all lit up. When we got to our hotel, the people who were over 21 went out for a night on the town--provided they were back by our 11pm curfew--while the rest of us hung out on the hotel patio where we had a great view of the city.


Thursday, March 17: We checked out of the hotel by 7:00 to go to Queens College, Aaron Copland School of Music. This was sort of a learning day. It started off with an adjudicated performance, where we sang and then received a critique of our singing. We listened to some other choirs perform and then went to a clinic with Dr. Sandra Snow at 10:00. This was followed by a choir exchange, lunch, and then a master class with Andrew Lunsford. At 2:00, we got back on our bus and headed to our new hotel where we got ready to go see a Broadway play. We split up into different groups and explored the theater district around Times Square. My group had dinner at Shake Shack and then had to buy emergency umbrellas because it started to rain. The show, Something Rotten, was a play about two playwrights during Shakespeare’s time who decided to try and outdo Shakespeare by writing the very first musical. It was the funniest play I had ever seen! We were lucky enough to meet the conductor, Phil Reno, and some of the performers afterwards. After the play, we all hung out at the hotel.


Friday, March 18: This was the day we had all been waiting for--the day we finally got to sing at Carnegie Hall! Of course, there was lots to do before our performance that evening. We started the day at the 9/11 Memorial, where we performed Hear My Prayer by Moses Hogan betwen the two waterfalls. It was a very emotional time for some people. After the memorial, we went back to the hotel to grab our concert attire and headed off to Advent Lutheran Church where we rehearsed with Anton Armstrong, Andre Thomas, and the Armonioso Choir. At 5:15 we left for Carnegie Hall where we were going to make our debut as part of the C4| Choral Convergence Celebration Concert, put on by Choirs of America. Some of the pieces, such as a song we were premiering by Andre Thomas we sang with several different choirs; however, we were able to sing two songs, Alleluia by Jake Runestad and Hear My Prayer by Moses Hogan, by ourselves. It was amazing! After the performance, most of the choir members went out to celebrate. Some people hung out with family members who had come to New York to hear us sing. Our curfew was extended to 1:30, but even after this, you could still find choir members having fun on the hotel roof.


Saturday, March 17: This was our last day in New York. We had most of the morning free to explore. I joined a big group of choir members who went to Central Park, where we gave a spontaneous performance. It was awesome! We checked out of our hotel and headed to Pier 16 for lunch and sightseeing. Afterwards, we went on a cruise of the New York City waterfront before getting back on the bus to to head towards home. Our first stop on the way back was State College, PA where we did yet another performance. At the hotel in Pennsylvania, we did our choir award ceremony where each member got an award and the seniors gave speeches. Then we sang for our bus driver, “Mr. Awesome,” who had never heard us sing, even though he’d been with us for five days! It was a very emotional night for all of us as we looked back on all the memories we had made so far as a choir.


Sunday, March 18:. At last our trip was coming to an end. We checked out of our hotel at 5:30 a.m. for a five hour bus ride to Carey, OH. We slept the whole way there. In Carey we gave our last performance at the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, OH. Concert Choir has a tradition of singing in a basilica every year because of the wonderful acoustics they have. After lunch and a tour, we climbed back on board for the last seven hour stretch of our trip. We finally made it back to campus at 7:00, tired but happy, singing the Elmhurst Choir Alma Mater.


Anyone wishing to hear the Concert Choir’s Carnegie Hall program can come to the choir concert on Sunday, April 10, at 2:00 in the chapel.

EC informs students of Wi-Fi problems

Untitled Throughout the 2015-2016 school year, EC students have been complaining about the slowness of the Wi-Fi on campus explaining how it interrupts not only daily entertainment on the internet, but also academics. “One day I was in Memorial Hall and couldn’t connect to any Wi-Fi,” Nicholette LeBlanc, a senior Nursing and Spanish major at EC said. “I had to work on a group project during class and we were only given an hour, so spending 15 minutes trying to connect was a waste of valuable class time.” According to Dr. Jim Kulich, vice president & chief information officer of information services, EC has only 500 Megabits per second (MB) of bandwidth for the entirety of campus and the available amount of bandwidth available is no longer enough with an increasing use of different services. “One thing we have seen and anticipated … is that the demand, as people start to use more streaming services such as Netflix … has absolutely mushroomed in the last 12 months or so beyond anything we’ve ever seen before,” he said in a personal interview. According to Kulich, EC had prepared for this lack of bandwidth in Summer 2015 and signed an additional contract with Wide Open West, an Internet cable and phone line service. However, when building permits were required to continue work, a two to three week process turned into nine months and counting, bringing everything to a halt. EC was left with a demand for fast Wi-Fi and an inability to satisfy the students. Kulich also explained exactly why the bandwidth isn’t enough at this school. “Imagine this really large fire hose of traffic that can be easily accommodated [through the updated infrastructure] but the bandwidth that is available through the service provider is kind of like connecting the huge fire hose to a garden hose at the back end. So all of the stuff can flow, there’s just nowhere for it to go,” he said in an interview. If students were to go into academic buildings such as the Frick Center, the Internet will work much better than in the Residence Halls. This is because a decision was made by EC to prioritize internet to those areas of campus, which normally deal with academics, according to Kulich. Students have expressed their frustration with the amount they are spending on cell phone data because the Wi-fi is so slow. “It took me 10 minutes just to open up Blackboard last week and when it finally loaded, it had an error,” Jayson Anderson, an EC junior and communications major said. “My phone says I have spent over 7GB on my mobile Hotspot alone just trying to get my homework done.” However, until the permits are cleared and the work gets done on campus the college cannot do much. Dr. Dean Jensen, director of infrastructure and web applications at EC, explained that he has heard the complaints of the students and there’s little they can do without the work being done. “We’ve done everything we can at this point,” he said in a personal interview. “We are going to meet with other colleges soon and talk to them about what they did, but we’ve explored every short term possibility.” After all is said and done, the bandwidth for EC should be 1GB per sec by the end of April at the latest, according to Kulich. In addition, this won’t be a complete change from providers; EC will be home to two different Internet providers, Cogent (EC’s current provider) and Wide Open West. The point of having two providers giving the college bandwidth is so that if something fails with one of them, there’s always the other as backup, according to Jensen. Additionally, Cogent had higher rates, which is why EC sought out Wide Open West. Because of the added hardware, buying more bandwidth for the campus should be much easier and the college plans to add more by the end of the summer in addition to the 500 MB by the end of April.

"10 Cloverfield Lane" surprises audiences

10cl “Ok, so John Goodman, Ramona Flowers, and a redneck walk into an apocalypse bunker,” sounds like the set-up for a really weird bad joke, right? Wrong.

It’s actually the premise of the new psychological thriller, “10 Cloverfield Lane”.

This film is a spiritual successor to the critically acclaimed 2008 found-footage horror flick, “Cloverfield”.

The found-footage aspect was—thankfully for the well being of all of our collective stomachs—dropped entirely.

Instead, viewers are presented with slick, traditional Hollywood cinematography, courtesy of a producer credit from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” mega-director J. J. Abrams.

The film opens with Michelle, a late twenty-something having just woken up after surviving a car crash.

She discovers that she is chained to the wall in what appears to be a holding cell belonging to any of the famous horror serial killers (pick your favorite).

However, it is soon revealed that the cell is actually a room located in an apocalypse bunker owned by a somewhat kind, yet mentally unstable man named Howard, played by a perfectly cast John Goodman.

A local farm boy named Emmett also joins the pair.

Howard and Emmett inform Michelle that there has been an apocalyptic nuclear attack, leaving the air completely contaminated, requiring them to remain in the bunker for at least two years.

After a few weeks however, Howard’s already bizarre behavior turns downright psychotic.

Michelle and Emmett decide to work together to escape, but the question still lingers: Which is more dangerous, Howard or whatever might be waiting for them outside the bunker?

Michelle is intelligent, tough, and never self-pitying, making her an incredibly likeable protagonist.

She is played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who is most notable for her portrayal of Ramona Flowers in the film adaptation of “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”.

Winstead brings a gritty toughness to the role, but makes sure to emphasize the more human aspects of Michelle’s character, such as her longing to see her family, throughout her performance.

However, Goodman is the highlight here, bringing a vulnerable sweetness to an otherwise horrifying madman.

If there is any fault to be found within the claustrophobic, subterranean walls of 10 Cloverfield Lane, it is the film’s pacing.

The film switches moods, and even genres, frantically all leading up to a frankly ridiculous and over-the-top ending, but the abrupt pacing isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

If anything, the staccato-like jumps in tone might help the film more than hinder it.

If “10 Cloverfield Lane” is anything, it is a film that plays with its viewers’ expectations.

The film begins as a standard horror flick, then morphs into a psychological thriller, and then takes an unexpected sharp left into crazy town for the film’s final act.

I won’t spoil the twist ending, which, to director Dan Trachtenberg’s credit, comes seemingly out of nowhere, despite the subtle lines of dialogue sprinkled in throughout hinting at the outcome.

The film masquerades as many different genres throughout its one hour and 43-minute runtime, which truly demonstrates the unique genius behind the film’s structure.

It sets up the audience’s expectations then pulls the rug out from under them multiple times, continually raising the stakes.

And after all, isn’t that what a good thriller’s supposed to do?

“10 Cloverfield Lane” is an original and clever thrill ride you definitely don’t want to miss.

Second City continue to help upcoming comics

2city Second City: The jumping point for some of the greatest names in American comedy, including Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Bill Murray, Chris Farley, and many, many more.

Founded in Chicago in 1959, the theatre created its self-deprecating name after The New Yorker published an article naming Chicago the second best behind, unsurprisingly, New York City.

Since this point, though, Chicago has lifted itself up in theatre, comedy, and utter magnitude, especially for homebred locals.

At Second City—located on North and Wells in Old Town—shows are constantly running on the theatre’s multiple stages throughout the building.

One show that runs through this weekend is “Age Against the Machine,” a sketch revue written and performed by Chicago’s sketch troupe, The Luminaries.

“Age Against the Machine,” a fun 52-minute show that finishes its four week run this Saturday at 7:00 p.m. on Second City’s DeMaat Studio Theatre, takes the audience on a thoughtful and hilarious journey through stories about Chipotle dying and trying to get to heaven, a dating website called, and lazy millennials who screech hypocrisy wherever they go.

One of the youngest members of the troupe, Kellie Ruiz, currently attends DePaul University and graduates this spring for Environmental Science.

Even with her science degree Ruiz intends on approaching the comedy world with an open mind, hopeful that it could become something great, with “Kellie Ruiz” in flashing lights a la Amy Poehler or Stephen Colbert.

“It is truly a surreal experience,” said Ruiz. “A year ago if you would have told me I would be doing this I would simply laugh it off and continue reading my environmental science text books.”

The nature of jumping into a career in comedy is not only exhilarating, but also absolutely terrifying as performers like Ruiz jump into the unknown.

It’s a growing industry, with thousands just in Chicago attempting to make a career for themselves through the many stages throughout the city like iO or the Annoyance Theatre.

“It was exciting and scary because there’s so much more to discover,” said Ruiz about the beginning of a prosperous career. “It all began with a leap of faith I took about a year ago. Feeling like I needed to live life fuller, I decided to take improv at Second City.”

Improvisation, or improv for short, involves short-form or long-form scenes that often begin with a suggestion from the audience leading to a full game or scene that builds on that original idea.

“The basic concept of improv is ‘yes, and’, accepting what is given to you and building on it. That improv concept spilled into my own life,” said Ruiz. “I began saying yes and taking things further leading to more opportunity that led me to this sketch show, not to mention I’ve built absolutely wonderful friendships along the way.”

The idea of improvisation helping people in their everyday lives is not a new concept. Tina Fey writes about this in her book, “Bossypants”:

“In improv there are no mistakes, only beautiful happy accidents. And many of the world’s greatest discoveries have been by accident. I mean, look at the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, or Botox.”

Ruiz would like to believe that this journey is no mistake and that it will be a trail of “happy accidents.” As for the near future, Ruiz has hope:

“Well, I have a music improv show coming up! That should be entertaining. I also am taking my improv experience and am going to start a Web series. Writing and such is just days away now that my schedule is clearing up. Stay tuned.”

EC welcomes 14th college president

VanAken delivers a speech introducing himself to the campus community. Photo by Mia Harman Elmhurst College welcomed its 14th president, Dr. Troy VanAken, at a reception on Thursday Feb. 18 in the Founder's Lounge. VanAken was chosen unanimously by the Board of Trustees. VanAken delivered a speech introducing himself and his wife, Annette VanAken, to the faculty, students, and staff in attendance. Many departments and organizations, including student athletes, were required to attend the reception. He was introduced by Chair of the Board of Trustrees, Barbara Lucks. VanAken spoke about his past experiences, ranging from college president to athletic director, and briefly described why he is a good fit for president. "In the search profile, I think your second sentence said something about being 'intensely student-centric'," he said during the speech. "If you look at my Facebook wall you would see that future and current students really define who Annette and I are." While acknowledging that there is work to be done, VanAken stressed that the reception was simply an introduction. "Today is about saying hello to new friends, to meeting students I didn't get to meet when I was here before, and to celebrate the next chapter in Elmhurst's history," he said. The slogan he used during the speech, and repeated again in an all-campus email sent later that day, was: "Work hard, play hard." This encompassed his predictions for the future of EC, citing the importance of balancing academic achievement with fun. "We are going to use co-curricular actives to further enhance the student experience and develop our sense of community," he said. He briefly mentioned a new strategic plan that he will work to create and implement. Later in the speech, he joked about his ability to bring in revenue, alluding to the $60 million dollar fundraising campaign he oversaw as president of Thiel College. "Be forewarned, even if you're a student now we hope you get a job and make a lot of money," he said. "I plan on being here a while and we will come see you after the fact. That's very important, and we are ready to [raise funds]." In his closing comments, VanAken expressed his respect for the position. "Annette and I will do our very best to respect the confidence you’ve placed in us," he said. "We will serve Elmhurst with passion and we will provide its students with the type of engaged leadership you deserve." Following the speech, a receiving line formed to greet the president. Faculty and staff were encouraged by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs to remain at the back of the line so that students could meet VanAken. He asked each student their name and major, but discussions were discouraged. Dr. Larry Braskamp, interim president of the college, was unable to attend the reception, but spoke with The Leader following the initial announcement. "I did meet with him briefly and I am confident that he will be an excellent leader for Elmhurst College," he said. "I will not be actively involved after Troy arrives. I have not determined what I will do but I am exploring a number of possibilities." Tyler Espino, the student representative for the Presidential Search Committee, expressed excitement about this selection. "Even though it was discouraging when we initially didn't come to a decision, it feels like it was meant to be," he said. "[VanAken] has a wide array of experiences and is more personable than past presidents." Similar confidence was expressed by VanAken himself following the reception. "I am even more honored after having met more members of the community," he said. "I'm excited for the future of Elmhurst, not just because Annette and I are coming to campus, but because of the energy that already exists here." VanAken is the past president of both Thiel and Albion College. At Albion College, he also previously served as the executive vice president, vice president for finance and management, and the athletic director. VanAken will officially take office following the spring semester.

EC Seniors’ Artwork Displayed at Capstone Exhibition

Elmhurst College provided a platform for senior art majors Nikki Smith, Vincent Lotesto, and Jon Glabus to display their artwork with the Fall 2015 Capstone Exhibition, which was held in the Accelerator Art Space on Dec. 5th. Nikki Smith’s collection consisted of 10 canvases designed to represent various definitions of art.

“My Capstone is all about addressing the question ‘what is art?’ because that’s something that has been asked to students in every art class but never really well defined. For me, art is different to each person,” she said.

Smith used “five holistic key terms [to] collectively explain what art is” to her. They are: auditory, tactile, kinesthetic, visual, and cognitive. Smith said it was the first time her work had been publicly displayed.

“It’s definitely strange seeing people looking at my work,” she said. “I’m not used to it, but it’s an interesting experience”.

Vincent Lotesto, who has contributed to The Leader, credits his fascination with Hinduism as the inspiration for his art. He described his work, a collection of 11 paintings that make up a series titled ‘Dashavatara Evolution’, as “an evolution series that melds concepts of evolution and the 10 incarnations of the Hindu god Vishnu”.

"I noticed that the way Vishnu’s incarnations follow kind of mirror Darwin’s theory of evolution,” he said. “I tried to see if there were any meaningful depictions of that connection, and there weren’t, so I decided to make one.”

To supplement his paintings, Lotesto displayed his sketchbook, which consisted of notes and original sketches, as part of his work.

“It shows the progression of each piece and gives explanations as to what the avatars are and why they’re depicted in the way they are or what they mean in Hinduism,” he explained.

Jon Glabus’s ceramics collection, titled “Off the Wall”, was inspired by the idea of uniqueness.

“[This collection] is supposed to get you to slow down and feel the cup in your hand and notice that it’s something unique and that there’s no other cup out there like it,” he said.

The collection, which took Glabus all semester to create, consists of 63 pieces. However, Glabus made over 120 pieces throughout the semester.

“In ceramics, they say if you want to make two good pots, make ten. You get better with each one, and sometimes one pot will just be a little better than the next,” he said.

Glabus, who is represented by Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago, said the exhibition was the largest one he had been a part of.

“I’ve entered into juried shows with different cups or plates or bourbon bottles, but I’ve never done anything with this big of a set up”.

Suellen Rocca, Curator and Director of exhibitions at Elmhurst College, described the process students undergo when preparing for the Capstone exhibition.

“They work with an advisor that they select, they do a proposal, and they create a consistent body of work with faculty reviews throughout the semester,” she said. “They also take a class called Capstone 491 in which they discuss the installation of the work, write an artist’s statement, learn how to document their work, and write a paper. It’s a really intensive process and I think it’s great in terms of developing as an artist”.

Rocca expressed her pride with the quality of the work shown at the exhibition.

“I feel extremely proud of the work that’s being shown tonight. To see students being able to create and show work at that level is very, very rewarding as a teacher, because that’s what we work for,” she said.

Peter Flockencier, an EC alum in attendance at the event, also spoke highly of the work that was shown at the exhibition but was unimpressed by the turnout.

“I’m really glad Elmhurst still has a great art program and I know that the students put a lot of hard work into it, but it’s a little smaller than most shows, which is kind of a shame,” he said.

Flockencier, who advocated for the continuation of the art program when it was rumored to be shut down last spring, wants the programs to grow larger.

“There are a lot of talented people at Elmhurst College that are interested in the arts, so I want the program to get bigger, because there are a lot of people who can do a lot more things”.

Photo by Hannah Jasinski

Photo by Hannah Jasinski

Photo by Hannah Jasinski

Photo by Hannah Jasinski