Students who find themselves stressed over meeting the requirements to graduate may soon find a solution to their problems. A change to the ECIC Skills and Development or ‘tag’ system was presented to faculty members during two special meetings on Nov. 29 and Dec. 1, called by Psychology Department Assistant Chair Thomas Sawyer.
“The students will no longer be required to check o tags on a transfer sheet, a form for graduation or anything else,” said Sawyer at the Nov. 29 meeting. “So now, students will no longer be required to collect tags, but departments are required to offer them, is the idea of this proposal.”
Under the proposed system, departments would hold the responsibility of making sure that students in their discipline were collecting the necessary amount of tags, even allowing the departments the ability to create new tags relevant to their respective disciplines.
Biology professor Paul Arriola theorized that this new system would result in students gaining more skills in more key areas than they do under the current system at the Dec. 1 meeting.
“What’s likely to happen is tags proliferate across a curriculum because we start innovating. They’re actually going to get more exposure to these key ideas or these key skills and values that already sort of permeate our college,” he said. “In all likelihood, a student will probably graduate with many more tags and tags of greater diversity than what they currently get.”
Sawyer argued that the current tag system was making it difficult for transfer students in particular to take the necessary classes to graduate on time.
“One big issue with the current system is what I call transfer uncertainty. And that is when we meet with our transfer students we need to be able to tell them what courses they need to take to meet our requirements. And right now you cannot do that,” he said. “It depends upon a whole bunch of complex and complicated issues of what courses are tagged and when they’re offered and whether or not they’ll be offered at times [the students] can take them.”
The proposal didn’t seem to resonate with everyone in attendance, as Chemistry Department Chair Michelle Applebee voiced her issues with how the new system would undermine the core values of the ECIC system at the Nov. 29 meeting.
“My biggest concern about this is that a lot of departments don’t offer [Intercultural Global Engagement] and a lot of departments don’t offer [Intercultural Domestic Engagement] because of the nature of the discipline,” she said. “I think that we’re going to be losing that intercultural piece, which is important to employers and was one of the signature pieces of ECIC.”
Another one of Sawyer’s initiatives brought up in the proposal was to make the Experiential Learning development requirement into a tag explaining that, “This is basically calling a duck, a duck. Meaning it looks like a tag, it acts like a tag, so why not call it a tag?”
This also struck a chord with the professors in attendance as some believed such a system would lead to students being able to get out of doing any kind of experiential learning, which would be detrimental toward students’ future careers.
“Not everybody needs experiential learning, but experiential learning is now being touted as a way of getting skills that you need for jobs,” said Applebee. “I’m worried that moving it to something that students can get or not is going to reduce the number of students getting internships, doing study abroad and things like that.”
Though not every concern was directly addressed, Sawyer was confident in the strength of the new system. When questioned about whether or not students would even be aware of what tags they were collecting, Sawyer proposed that perhaps there could be academic awards given to those who collect a certain amount of tags. “We can offer achievements for collecting tags if we wanted to do so,” he said. “We could offer somebody a tag master designation or something for collecting all the tags. We have other things on campus that are positively motivated in that way. Why can’t this be one of them?”
Sawyer’s proposal will need to be officially presented to academic council before being voted on by the faculty.
At the height of discord between civilians and law enforcement, the EC Black Student Union (BSU) invited members of the EC community and the Elmhurst Police Department to take part in a dialogue in the Blume Board Room on Nov. 28.
“We want to fully understand both perspectives and understand how we can contribute positively to both sides of the conversation and the equation to ensure that both civilians and law enforcement all basically help each other, protect each other and all go home safely at the end of the day,” stated Adjunct professor Dr. Vincent Thomas Jr. who was the moderator for the discussion.
Students and faculty voiced their concerns over personal experiences that they felt involved racial profiling by Elmhurst law enforcement.
Junior Derrick Mayfield shared a recent experience in which he and a group of his six friends were walking towards Krave and were stopped by a police officer on St. Charles Street under the suspicion that they were carjackers.
Mayfield recalled that the officer then proceeded to follow them to Krave despite the group doing nothing ostensibly wrong.
“He literally gets there [Krave’s] just right before us, orders whatever he ordered, I don’t even know if he really ordered anything and he sat across the room from us and literally stayed there until we left,” he added.
Similarly, Thomas recalls a situation in which he and his friend were still students at EC and were stopped by police due to the suspicion that they were stealing from Dominick’s.
“To be honest, the officers saw two young black men, one with locks and one with a ‘fro in Elmhurst, Illinois in 2003. at’s why we got stopped,” Thomas stated.
In light of those incidents that have occurred within the Elmhurst community, Diamond Dixon an Elmhurst attorney and EC alum expressed the critical use of good judgement by officers in dealing with civilians.
“Police officers are trained differently so maybe their discretion levels are a little different, but at the end of the day, because we are expecting officers to be trained properly, your discretion is what’s going to matter on whether or not these people are going to jail,” Dixon stated. “We have to trust that you guys are trained to be unbiased and to do the right thing in that regard.”
Elmhurst Chief of Police Michael R. Ruth, who seemed to express disbelief at the shared experiences of both Derrick and Thomas, asserted that racial profiling should not be a standard of judgement for any law enforcement officer.
“Good judgement is going to warrant a citation,” he said. “Race, ethnicity and age should never be a factor in the enforcement of the law. It should be based on the totality of the circumstance.”
In light of EC’s growing diversity, Dixon commends the chief for playing a role in implementing diversity training to his officers.
“I applaud the Chief for giving his officers diversity training and things like that because honestly Elmhurst as a whole right now is a lot more diverse than it was when I was going to Elmhurst College and that’s still not even a lot,” she stated.
Ruth makes it clear that he wants his officers to be engaged with the community and to assume active roles within Elmhurst.
“We hire people from the community to be police officers. We work an eight hour day, we go home, we have families where we assume different roles,” he said. “A multitude of roles are going to be son, father, husband or wife, siblings. So, we’re members of the community as well.”
Unfortunately, he feels that there is still an air of misconception about officers that make their duties substantially more difficult.
Media platforms such as Facebook’s new live streaming feature have only proved to mislead the public more than it informs according to Jeff Kedrowski executive director of security and emergency management.
“We are a microwave society,” Kedrowski stated. “We’re so used to getting things done quickly. I think sometimes that impacts perspectives of the police, perspectives of incidents and perspectives of people in the community,”
“We have all the video cameras we want, we can articulate the reason for the stop all we want, but if the person inside that vehicle feels differently then that’s something that we have to try to overcome,” Ruth stated.
Former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro dies at age 90
Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary and long time enemy of the U.S died on Friday, Nov. 25.
According to the New York Times, Cuban state television announced his death, but gave no further details.
Castro had been in poor health for years and stepped down from power in 2006 when his condition became too severe for him to carry out his du- ties as Cuba’s President, hand- ing the title over to his brother Raul Castro.
Castro’s communist revolution at the height of the Cold War resulted in the decades long embargo from the U.S. and rocky relations that were only recently softened under President Obama’s administration.
The Cuban government reacted to the death of its long time leader by canceling all public events and engaging in a nation-wide day of mourning, while many cuban Americans in the U.S. have engaged in a day of celebrations.
Cuban Americans flooded the streets of the Miami neighborhood of Little Havana, the home of many Cuban exiles.
Donald Trump calls Taiwanese president
Donald Trump broke decades of diplomatic precedence by calling the Taiwanese president on Friday, Dec. 2.
According to the New York Times, Trump is the first president or president-elect to speak with a Taiwanese leader since at least 1979 due to the rocky relationship between China and Taiwan.
It is unclear if it was indeed Trump who reached out to Taiwanese president Tsai Ingwen as he claimed on Twitter that was actually Ingwen who reached out to him. Taiwanese diplomats have said that this is highly unlikely, as their president would never have reached out to an American president-elect without arranging it beforehand.
Trump, who has been very critical of China, spoke with the Chinese president in mid November in a conversation that went well according to both parties.
China’s foreign minister dismissed the call as harmless stating, “I also believe this will not change the One China policy upheld by the American government for many years,” the New York Times reported on Saturday, Dec. 3
A group dedicated to witchcraft was recognized at the Student Government Association [SGA] meeting on Dec. 1.
Investigation of Modern and Past Witchcraft and other Pseudo-Sciences [IMP] is a group of students dedicated to furthering their own knowledge as well as others on the world surrounding different pagan practices, their history and place in the modern world.
“We want to make Elmhurst College a more inclusive environment for those who don’t identify with [the UCC]. [IMP] is a learning place for those who want to learn and broaden their knowledge beyond the bad name given [to witchcraft and other practices] by movies and television,” said EC sophomore Rex Wessel during a presentation to SGA.
After Wessel’s presentation, the discussion was then opened to the members of SGA to give their opinions on IMP becoming a recognized organization.
Many were supportive and thought this group was a way to further include EC’s diversifying student body.
“I think this is a really cool idea. I’m interested. It informs people of things that they aren’t necessarily knowledgeable about,” SGA member Maria Anguiano said.
However, one SGA member was not open to the idea of allowing such a group to meet on campus.
“I’m not interested in this whatsoever because of my Christian beliefs. I agree that this will fill in the gap and make the campus more inclusive, but this is a school affiliated with the UCC. I think it is important to stick to the core beliefs of the school,” SGA member Shawndell Young said.
This sparked a conversation that went over the allotted discussion time between Young and other members of SGA on what EC and the UCC stand for.
“The whole point of the UCC is we are inclusive to everyone of all different beliefs,” Janisa Hicks said. “Just because they are ‘different’ to you, Shawndell, does not mean they should not have that platform to be a group and come together and be recognized as a group.”
Cutting the discussion short to leave time for other business matters that needed to be attended to, President of SGA Esther Pereira called for a vote on the recognition of IMP.
IMP won recognition with a majority vote with only one member, Young, voting against the group.
Stop As one of the most heated and vitriolic presidential elections came to a close on Nov. 8, the reactions of the EC community have shown that the divisiveness that the process has wrought will linger for a while longer.
As the polls came in on election night, the EC Democrats hosted a watch party in Founders’ Lounge where students watched for hours as the fate of the country was decided. Some reacted to Donald Trump’s ascent to victory with shock and terror, others with vindication.
Some students in attendance were moved to tears as Hillary Clinton’s path to victory became increasingly narrow. However, others saw this result coming.
When Trump took the lead in electoral votes junior Lucas Barnard speculated that Trump’s lead should have come as no surprise, arguing that many Americans share Trump’s views.
“As bad as he is, a lot of people have the same opinions, which is shitty but a lot of people have the same views,” he said. “He kept saying [Clinton] owns the media, [and to] wait until election day. He already has more [votes] than what CNN expected him to have, and we’re not even halfway done.”
Faculty members such as English Department chair Ann Frank Wake noticed the apparent divide on campus between those who are deeply troubled by Trump’s victory and those who are not.
“We faculty are perceiving a disconnect on campus between students who are really devastated and frightened right now, and people who have what we call in intercultural studies, the luxury of obliviousness,” said Frank Wake at a faculty meeting on Nov. 11.
Frank Wake even went so far as to post a sign on the door of her office in the chapel stating that her office is a safe space for marginalized groups. Shortly after the sign was put up, a note was posted below it reading “What about students who voted for Donald Trump?”
Philosophy department chair Katrina Sifferd echoed Frank Wake’s sentiment and brought forward the topic of professors wearing safety pins to symbolize a safe space for students.
“So this is something that happened in the UK after Brexit. People started wearing safety pins as a symbol for a sympathetic, empathetic ear and that if students felt threatened they could go to that person for a safe space,” she said. “So there’s been kind of a general call across some of the groups I belong to in academia to start wearing a safety pin around campus as that symbol.”
Sifferd clarified the purpose of the safety pins in an email interview stating that, “The idea is to signal that you are an ally of groups who might be targeted by the racism, misogyny, homophobia that seems to be on the increase after the presidential election. If you wear a pin, you pledge to intervene if someone is being picked on or victimized due to their race, ethnicity, sexual preference, religion, etc.”
She went on to clarify that the pins are not an attack on Trump supporters in any way.
“The pin does not symbolize a rejection of students or others who voted for Trump. As a pin-wearer, I do not assume that Trump voters are necessarily racist or sexist or homophobic,” she said. Instead, I wear the pin because I want it to be known I take it as my job to intervene if I see racism or sexism or homophobia.”
In direct reaction to the presidential election’s results, EC’s Muslim Students Association (MSA) hosted a discussion on Nov. 10 to encourage students to voice their thoughts and feelings amidst the fear and shock that has touched the minority communities at EC.
The discussion proved to be an emotional moment in which tears were shed for many students as they shared their experiences following President-elect Donald Trump’s shocking victory.
“Trump’s campaign rhetoric didn’t support my very existence in this country,” senior Uroosa Nafasat said. “I can honestly say I was blindsided by his victory but it’s just the cards we’re being dealt right now.”
Nafasat expressed her fear that Trump’s victory has normalized the antagonization of several minority groups.
“Trump’s victory has not been easy on minority communities,” she said. “Due to the rhetoric used and replayed in the media constantly, a lot of people are not scared to voice their biases toward Muslims, Latinxs, LGBT and any other minorities.”
Amidst the fear, Sophomore Obaidullah Kholwadia expressed his confidence in the support of the surrounding community.
“One of my friends was at the gym on Saturday minding his own business when a middle aged white man approaches him and says ‘I don’t know if this does much good now, but you should know that America hasn’t abandoned you guys and you’re as much a part of this country as we are,’” he said.
“We have all heard stories of people being harassed by Trump supporters, but this shows that those people do not truly represent all Americans or their values,” he added.
Nafasat asserted that differences must be set aside regardless of which candidate someone supported.
“I know some of my peers are Trump voters,” she said.
“And I want them to know that I understand that you might not support his more hateful rhetoric and many of you voted for him because you weren’t satisfied with the other candidates,” she said.
“So instead of ostracizing you for your political beliefs and saying you’re wrong I invite you to hold a conversation with me so we can talk about what our concerns are in this country,” she added.
The Office of Campus Security at EC released the 2015 Security & Fire Safety Report on Sept. 30. The report includes crime statistics for each calendar year.
According to the report, there has been one reported incident of burglary and stalking in 2015. The report also cites one case of rape and two incidents of forcible fondling all in 2015. The reported cases of burglary, rape, forcible fondling, and stalking all occurred on campus.
Jeff Kedrowski, executive director of security and Emergency management at EC, said that all investigations of the crimes cited on the 2015 Security and Fire Safety Report have either come to a resolve or have been closed.
In April 2015, Kedrowski told the Chicago Tribune that one of the incidents of forcible fondling was between two students who knew each other. The incident had occurred on March 12, 2015 in a dorm room at Stanger Hall.
It is unknown if any disciplinary action has been taken against the alleged student offender.
The annual Security and Fire Safety Report also cites 75 liquor law violations, 10 drug law violations, one weapons law violation and two unfounded crimes.
In an attempt to acknowledge the divisiveness experienced by members of the EC community following the contentious U.S. presidential election, the Chaplain’s Office hosted a rally on the Brune Patio on Tuesday, Nov. 15 to “offer words of encouragement to all, light candles of peace and speak of unity.”
“There’s no mistake that we’ve gone through a long haul of eighteen months, nineteen months — however long the election has been — [and] the last week,” Chaplain Scott Matheney said during the rally.
“This was a chance for my little world to say ‘let’s be together’ [and] o er words to each other, for those of us who voted for Trump, for those of us who voted for Hillary, for those of us who voted independent [and] for those of us who didn’t vote,” he added.
The event featured an open forum where students, faculty and staff members were encouraged to voice their opinions regarding the results of the election, a platform senior Perode Charles said was unique.
“[This event] was important because it gave us the opportunity unlike any other to just talk about differences [and] to be exposed to the pain that [some of us] are going through,” he said.
Many of those who spoke at the rally emphasized the need for the campus community to participate in discussions regardless of individual political views.
Charles said it is important for individuals to attempt to understand opposing perspectives in order to bridge political divides.
“We all need to listen to the different perspectives that we have and put our differences aside,” he said. “I really believe in continuing to talk about things instead of trying to hush them.”
Senior Michael Horwath, who has contributed to e Leader, agreed with Charles that differences in opinion must be cast aside in order to maintain a strong sense of community.
“The fact of the matter is no matter which side you stand on, you’re talking to family, and [that] goes ... for Elmhurst College. Leave the politics aside and we still stand together,” he said.
“I think it just goes to show [that] united we stand [and] divided we fall. Don’t let your differences take away too much from the loving community that we all should feel for each other,” he added.
In addition to students’ perspectives, the faculty and staff perspective was represented at the rally through the reading of a statement created by faculty and staff members.
Ron Wiginton, professor of English and adviser to The Leader, read the statement, which was meant to be a letter to the student body expressing support to students experiencing fear as a result of the elections.
“We condemn any attempt to humiliate or intimidate any of the groups that form our community,” Wiginton said. “Though our professional mission may focus on the classroom, our concern for the welfare, dignity, and happiness of our students extends to every hour and every place, on campus and off.”
“We will treat you with the utmost respect and compassion and we will insist that others do likewise,” he added.
Cameras capture the aftermath of a Syrian regime airstrike in Aleppo on Sunday, Nov. 20. (Internet Photo)
Syrian city of Aleppo bombarded by airstrikes
The death toll could be as high as 300 after Aleppo was bombarded for the sixth straight day on Sunday, Nov. 20.
The airstrikes were carried out by the government regime and have been described as the most intense series of bombings since they began five years ago.
According to CNN, the latest bombing came in the form of a chemical attack that has killed four children as well as their parents. is was the latest bombing after the regime resumed strikes on Tuesday after a three week cease fire.
The strikes are backed by Russian air power and analysts have speculated that this particular series of attacks are a precursor to an eventual ground attack to seize control of eastern Aleppo.
Mike Pence called out at “Hamilton” performance
The cast of the hit play “Hamilton” took aim at Vice President-elect Mike Pence when he attended a performance in Washington on Friday, Nov. 18.
During the shows curtain call, cast member Brandon Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr, pointed out Pence’s presence and called on him to provide an inclusive administration when he is inaugurated.
According to CNN, the statement drew a large crowd response. Many in the audience booed the VP-elect while others booed Dixon.
Pence’s running mate Donald Trump took to twitter to criticize the cast and demand an apology.
“The theater must always be a safe and special place. The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!”
South Korean president linked to corruption scandal
South Korean President Park Geun-hye was implicated in a corruption scandal involving extortion and abuse of power on Sunday, Nov. 20.
The allegations surfaced after prosecutors indicted Choi Soon-sil, a friend of Geun- hye’s, for extortion, coercion, abuse of power and fraud. Prosecutors uncovered evidence that Geun-hye was involved in the crimes as well.
According to the Washington Post, the president’s political opponents have doubled down on their efforts to push her out of office using the investigation as political ammunition.
For four days prior South Korean citizens marched through the streets of Seoul calling on the president to resign. These protests were South Korea’s largest since it was democratized in 1987.
Protected hour could be changing in the next few years according to the Student Government Association [SGA] on Nov. 17.
Students at EC want more time for obligations they may have with campus organizations and to get caught up on their work according to SGA representative Maria Anguiano.
“A lot of students do not have the opportunity to join other organizations because they all meet during protected hour. ” Anguiano said during the meeting.
SGA came up with solutions such as extending protected hour by adding another half hour or adding another day with a protected hour.
Even with the solutions given, there is still a complex system a change like this would have to go through in order to be put in place according to President of SGA Ether Pereira, causing this to be something that will not be solved for some time.
The prior meeting on Nov. 10 continued the debate on what to do in regards to the parking shortage on campus.
Executive Director of Security and Emergency Management Jeffrey Kedrowski came in to discuss what has been done and what has been planned regarding the parking situation at EC.
“Parking [at EC] has been tight most of the time [over the last 20 years]. However, over the last few years we have not run out of parking outside of the first couple weeks of class,” Kedrowski said. “For the rest of the year we do periodic parking inventories and we’ve got space available all the time. Primarily in the off campus lots.”
Kedrowski continued with the many solutions that have already been put in place to solve the parking issue.
“The least restrictions we can put on parking, the better use we are going to get out of our limited parking resources,” Kedrowski said. “We reserve very few parking spaces and over the last few years we put in a policy to reserve fewer parking spaces for guests that come to speak to the college.”
Kedrowski also wanted to hear the thoughts from SGA on things they thought could be done to make parking more accessible for students.
“One of the biggest [solutions SGA was] discussing was getting students a map of where that parking [off campus] is,” Pereira said during the meeting to which Kedrowski agreed to implement.
No major changes to the parking at EC will be done for quite some time, according to Kedrowski.
The documentary lm “70 Acres in Chicago: Cabrini Green” details the consequences of Chicago’s Cabrini Green’s public housing destruction and was screened for EC students in Illinois Hall on Nov. 6.
The film featured interviews from the former residents of Chicago’s Cabrini Green public housing as well as interviews from the people in the neighborhoods the displaced residents moved to after Cabrini’s destruction.
The film’s director, Ronit Bezalel, was at the screening and led a discussion afterwards about the history of displacement in public housing.
“The more I dug into the history of Cabrini, and you see in the film that it happens in so many cities, this was the displacement of low income folks of color from the city center,” she said. “And before Cabrini it was the Italian/Sicilian community that was displaced and we couldn’t find any record of anybody from that community who had come back.”
When asked why the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) has yet to provide affordable housing for those displaced by the destruction of Cabrini, Bezalel took aim at the competence and intention of the CHA.
“I think if you look at the macro level, they don’t care about black people in the inner city. Low income African-Americans are not seen as important because we have institutionalized racism,” she said. “That’s my big picture. But if you take that a step lower, the CHA is a completely inept bureaucracy and it was allowed to become inept and corrupt.”
Bezalel also touched on how the segregation of Chicago has limited the opportunity for those displaced by the loss of public housing.
“It’s not necessarily just the segregation, but it’s also the inequality of resources,” she said. “I want to see the south side and the west side be just as built up as the north side. And then have the same resources in those areas that you do anywhere else.”
On the subject of Cabrini residence and the police, Bezalel explained the contentious relationship in the area.
“It’s not good in Cabrini Green right now, it’s really bad. There’s a lot of tension right now between residents that are left and the police,” she said. “There’s a private security company that does security for the houses and they’re more welcomed by the community. There’s violence that has started again, there’s shootings that have started again. It’s really disturbing ... there’s a lot of hostility there, and that’s what breaks my heart.”
Despite the bleak current state of the area, Bezalel still maintained sight of her initial inspiration in telling the story of those displaced by the destruction of Cabrini and those who still remain.
“Something about that community that I found [is] it was a very warm community, a very authentic community,” she said. “I’m not saying it was perfect, I don’t think you can [say that]. There were a lot of problems in the community and that’s what makes it interesting. It’s a contradiction, it’s a paradox.”
Ending the religious based hate growing in America requires the multi-religious discourse of other religions according to Rabbi David Fox Sandmel’s lecture at EC on Sunday, Nov. 13.
“Is religion the reason for conflict in the world? Blaming the world’s ills on religion is not the answer,” Fox Sandmel said during his lecture. “Religion is neither a positive or negative thing. There are positive and negative aspects in every religion.”
Religious prejudice towards Islam in the face of global events became a major focus of the rabbi’s lecture as he argued those in other faiths should strive to understand each other.
“Looking at Islam as a religion of peace or violence misses the point,” said Sandmel. “No religion stands alone. There is no island for any religion. There is only how each religion is taught and understood.”
Multi-religious dialogue was the main solution Sandmel came to during his lecture.
“Repairing the world requires a dialogue to occur between the worlds religions. There needs to be discussion on life, theological exchange, experiences, and actions,” Sandmel said. “Meaning there needs to be discussion on living with openness and a neighborly spirit, deeper personal experiences and community collaboration. And no religion can do that alone.”
During the open discussion portion of the lecture, one audience member asked about “the 300 pound gorilla in the room,” the 2016 presidential election results.
To which Sandmel responded by starting off with a joke about how he “would not start by addressing [the president] as a 300 pound gorilla.” Sandmel then reiterated his overarching idea on continuing the discourse about others’ cultures and differences and keeping an open mind with the upcoming years.
Sandmel’s suggestion to Donald Trump was to “set the tone for the nation” and he “hopes that [Trump] would make a point of speaking to all Americans affirming the American values of freedom and diversity.”
Another audience member, who had brought his high school inter-religious discourse class to the lecture, asked about what Sandmel would advise the students do when going into the real world.
“Keep an open mind when learning about things you might not agree with or are new to you,” he said. “Be willing to put yourself in uncomfortable situations, and go outside of your comfort zone when making friends and meeting new people.”
Thousands of protesters marched down the streets of downtown Chicago on Nov. 9 in opposition towards Donald Trump’s election victory.
The vocal crowd, which included a group of protesters led by Columbia University sophomore Isabella Aimone, were seen chanting and flipping off Trump’s 98-story skyscraper.
“We want to make sure the world sees that here in Chicago, one of the most diverse cities in the country, we will not allow Donald Trump to have power over us and we will not allow him to take away our culture, our neighbors and our friends,” Aimone said.
Helicopters hovered above as crowds mostly made up of young college students filled the streets and blocked incoming motorists who honked their horns and waved their fists in encouragement, some even high-fiving protesters as they passed by.
“The cars we blocked weren’t at all upset by the protest,” Aimone stated. “We had them honking with us, chanting with us, sticking their hands out the window to high-five us as we passed, playing music very loudly for us. We even witnessed people crawl out onto the roof of their car, and out their windows to join us. It was very beautiful.”
One Trump supporter that passed by the marching protestors screamed “I voted for Trump,” but was barely audible as the overpowering voices of protesters filled the city.
“I did hear that the later protests did have some counter protesters, but I doubt their voices out-spoke any of ours,” said Aimone.
Chicago, along with other big cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Portland, Washington D.C. and Boston witnessed demonstrations sparked by Trump’s rhetoric against marginalized groups like Latinos, Muslims, women, immigrants and the those in the LGBTQ community.
As the protest went on, some protesters climbed onto CTA buses holding up a giant yellow baby with Trump’s head and chanted offensive language and vandalized bus stops and sidewalks.
The presence of the Chicago police on horseback did little to subdue the energy of the frustrated protesters who spat on the ground and made bold remarks such as “F--- the police.” Even escalating to the point of pushing a line of police on horseback to try and break their lines and continue moving the protest.
In response to the change in the protest’s tone, EC Sophomore Bri Uriostegui said that violence was not the message people should be sending.
“Stopping traffic, being on the news, etc. is enough to get people watching. While in the protest, I noticed so many instances where the violent individuals were not wanted with the majority of the group,” Uriostegui said in an email interview.
Others such as Junior Frances Diedrich and her group of coworkers from Columbia University stood in a circle across from Trump’s building and chose to offer free hugs and held signs stating: “If you are Native American we love you” and “If you are Gay we support you.”
“Many people in the main protest were shouting things like ‘F---- Donald Trump.’ I’ll be honest, I definitely wanted to shout that too. But at that moment, we wanted to just spread love and positivity and try to show others that there were people who cared about them,” Diedrich said.
Onlookers responded to Diedrich’s group with tears and hugs while others took pictures of their demonstration.
“Of course there were a few hateful comments from Trump supporters, [but] for the most part, everyone seemed to be so thankful for what we were doing. So many of us got hugs from the people our signs were for. Other people went down the line and hugged each of us,” Diedrich said.
A group of protesters were seen passing out flowers to surrounding protesters and hugs were exchanged between two women who seemed to be strangers.
“We’ll get through this,” one woman stated to the other.
“I hugged at least 100 strangers that night,” Diedrich said. “I know it’s a weird thing to say in light of recent events, but I truly felt surrounded by so much love in those few hours, even as I stood there crying over the future of our country. It was an incredibly therapeutic experience.”
“It is very moving to see a crowd this big and united, especially one so full of youth displaying the future of this country,” Aimone said.
Protesters of many nationalities continued this sense of unity by linking arms and walking behind the Mexican flag chanting “Si se puede,” showing pride and support for a culture they were not a part of.
“We are showing him that not only are our minorities and women strong, so are our allies and we are going to stand strong together,” Aimone said.
When the Chicago Cubs defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 6 of the World Series, EC was devoting time to watching the NCLS Championship unfold live at President VanAken’s Inaugural Ball.
Since then, the Cubs have won the World Series after coming back from being down three games to one against the Cleveland Indians.
The championship-winning game was held at Progressive Field but could have easily been mistaken as being hosted right in Wrigleyville.
Thousands of fans showed up at Wrigley Field during Game 7, showing off Chicago’s admirable dedication to supporting the Northsiders even when they are competing for the championship 350 miles away.
EC students were amongst the masses in Wrigleyville when the Cubs stole the ultimate W away from the Indians.
Residents who were on campus when the game finally ended in the 10th inning could be heard throughout the residential halls.
Some took to the campus Mall, shouting things like, “We did it!” and “108 Years!”
Students with cars drove to Wrigleyville, or around the campus parking lot, their horns acting as celebratory noisemakers and blasting the Cubs theme song, “Go Cubs Go!” with the windows down.
Others were banging pots and dishes together, essentially creating temporary noisemakers to celebrate.
Even fireworks could be seen being shot into the midnight sky on the mall.
Students, faculty and administrative members posted their live reactions to social media, sharing great stories, anecdotes and thoughtful remarks on the historic win for the Cubs.
Sophomore Natalie Murtaugh publicly thanked the Cubs, citing her grandmother’s joy as being the source of her appreciation for the team.
“Noni [my grandmother] waited 85 years for a W in the World Series. Remembering her smile from last night will light up my life forever. Thank you, Cubs,” Murtaugh shared.
Junior Molly Madira admitted to not being a dedicated MLB fan but was able to acknowledge the joy in the moment.
“While I am not a huge baseball fan, or even live in the state of Illinois, it has been truly amazing to witness history and to see how happy the Cubs win has made everyone,” Madira said.
EC’s athletic director Paul Krohn of course watched the game and shared his thoughts.
“It’s been a lot of fun watching history be made. But the most interesting to me is the global phenomenon of widespread joy and shock brought about because of the Cubs victory,” he said.
“Across multiple generations and all different kinds of people — sports fans, Cubs fans, Chicagoans, you name it. Young and old. This sport and the outcome of this MLB season has touched everyone you know,” he added.
Sophomore Veera Qureshi mentions how nice it will be for Cubs fans to stop being poked at by Sox fans for not winning a Commissioner’s Trophy in over 100 years.
“I went to my first game in third grade and have been a fan ever since, and it’s especially amazing for the die-hards who have waited so long for this because Sox fans can finally stop asking ‘oh when’s the last time you won the World Series?’” Qureshi joked.
Even before the Cubs made it to the biggest stage in baseball, EC was being touched by the Cubs phenomenon, as was explained by Tim Ricordati, EC’s dean of admissions.
“Saturday morning/after- noon/evening was the most amazing day I ever experienced at Elmhurst College ... all capped off by the Cubs winning the pennant,” said Ricordati in an email interview.
“While my dad passed many years ago, he was with me in Blume [last night] cheering and smiling with all there,” he added, referencing the live streaming of the Cubs game during the Inaugural Ball.
The city of Chicago held a parade and rally to honor the Cubs and their accomplishment on Nov 4. The event brought out approximately five million people, making it the “7th largest gathering in human history,” according to Fox News.
Senior Maggie Resillez expressed her excitement with the sheer amount of people who turned out.
“It’s amazing that five million people can come together to celebrate history being made,” she said. “[It was] one day I will never forget, one amazing experience.”
Sophomore Madisson Klooster, a Philadelphia native, shared, “You know, living in Chicago you find out all new things about a new place. Things like, when the Cubs win the World Series, the entire town goes insane, literally,” she said. “Also, I had no idea the Cubs had their own theme song. I’ve had ‘Go Cubs Go’ stuck in my head for 15 hours.”
Sophomore Cyndi Marquez shared, “So blessed to have been home for this historical moment.”
A victory long-awaited, it seems the Cubs’ World Series championship is being celebrated by millions of people, probably worldwide, including just about everyone at EC.
New president Troy VanAken and members of his administration announced plans for reallocation of program and office spaces as well as changes in benefits for faculty and staff members at a full faculty and staff meeting in the Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel on Thursday, Oct. 27, according to sources.
The meeting, which was called by VanAken, was mandatory for all EC employees to attend. Students were not made aware of the meeting and The Leader was barred from attending.
Among the reallocation plans announced at the meeting was to move the Center for Professional Excellence (CPE) into the A.C. Buehler Library and relocate the admissions office to the space the CPE is currently occupying, according to sources.
This will require construction in the library that will likely take place during the summer, according to Susan Steffen, director of the A.C. Buehler Library.
“Right now what’s happening is there is planning going on,” she said. “We’ve had meetings and all the staffs involved know what’s going on and the architects are working on drawings that we will see soon,” she added.
Once the blueprints have been completed they will likely be sent to the President’s Office or to the Cabinet for review before being approved, Steffen said.
Although the project does not yet have a budget, Steffen speculated the recently announced $3.2 million gift to the CPE by Board of Trustee members Russell and Joyce
Weigand, which was previously reported by The Leader, will partially finance it.
“[The donation is] helping a great deal because this isn’t going to be free,” she said. “I think the cash part of that donation will be ... used for this,” she said. “I don’t know yet if it’s the whole thing or if they are going to take part of it [the donation].”
While the project requires a large amount of work, Steffen hopes to keep the process of the construction as smooth as possible for students.
“My main goals here are to do this in a way that helps students and makes things better for students and has a minimal [impact] on students as we are doing it,” she said, referencing the noise and dust that will accompany the construction.
In other business, VanAken announced a $750,000 investment in EC and members of his administration told faculty and staff their medical premium expenses are not going to be increased for 2017.
However, sources told The Leader that while premiums will not be increased, certain surcharges — such as one for smoking and one for spouses listed on faculty or staff medical insurance — will be added.
VanAken also announced the long-term plan to bring all EC offices currently on 180 Park Ave. back to the EC campus as well as the addition of an athletic dome for sports programs and recreational facilities to accommodate for the space.
The results of the 2016 presidential election will soon be upon the nation; however, ac- cording to the EC student body Hillary Clinton will emerge as the victor.
Clinton narrowly won a poll sent out by The Leader on Nov. 1, garnering a total of 41 per- cent of the votes from the 371 responses. Her closest com- petition was Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who polled at 34.8 percent despite not being a nominee of the two major parties.
As votes started to come in, Stein held a comfortable lead before Clinton pulled ahead towards the end. The two were neck and neck for the duration of the poll until Clinton took a 5.2 percent lead.
Earlier in the semester The Leader polled students to find out how many of them would be voting for a third party candidate. Resulting in an 11 percent of student democrats and 16 percent of student republicans saying they were voting third party.
Though the latest national polls from the New York Times show a dead heat between Clinton and republican nominee Donald Trump, the opinions of EC students seem to be far different.
Despite being the republican frontrunner, Trump finished in a distant third place with only 18.1 percent of the vote.
Gary Johnson, the candidate for the Libertarian party, finished the poll in last place only receiving 6.2 percent of the vote.
If it were up to the EC student body, the 2016 election would not even be looking at Trump or Johnson as a possibility for the next president.
FBI sticks with original ruling on Clinton emails case
After reopening the investigation into the emails of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in late October, the FBI has opted to stick with its original ruling: Clinton should not face criminal charges.
According to CNN, FBI director James Comey revealed the bureau’s ruling in a letter to congressional committee chairmen on Sunday, Nov. 6, stating that: “Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July.”
The FBI discovered these news emails as part of an investigation on former congressman Anthony Weiner.
Despite the FBI’s ruling that there was no need for criminal charges in July, the deleted emails have remained an important point of discussion in the concluding presidential election.
Car bomb in Turkey kills 9, injures 100
Seven civilians and two police officers were left dead after a car bomb went off outside of a police station in southeast Turkey on Friday, Nov. 4.
According to CNN, the Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim declared that 100 people had been injured in the blast, but 93 of them had already been released from hospitals.
The explosion came only hours after the detainment of several Parliament members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) after refusing to answer the summons of a prosecutor.
The Turkish government also claimed that the attack was the doing of the PKK. However, later on Friday ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack via a statement online.
After the bombing, internet restrictions were put in place that prohibited citizens from accessing Twitter, Facebook and Youtube in hopes of preventing civil unrest and protests.
Indian citizens protest toxic air over New Delhi
Citizens took the streets of New Delhi on Sunday Nov. 6 wearing masks to protest the government’s slow response to the toxic cloud hanging over the city for over a week.
According to the Washington Post, the polluted air has already resulted in the cancellation of cricket matches and school days. The Indian declared an emergency situation as the fit of pollution continued for a seventh straight day.
Government officials have already called for a halt on construction projects until the haze over the city has lifted. However, public outcry has demanded for more permanent solutions as New Delhi is the 11th most polluted city in the world according to the World Health Organization.
The defunding of the MAP Grant in August of 2015 created a swell of student backlash, causing student leaders to combine their efforts to force a rein- statement of funding.
Representatives from various Illinois universities gathered together on Oct. 29 at Loyola’s Water Tower campus to help organize student leaders to rally for support of the recently defunded MAP Grant.
The meeting went from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and was mostly lead by student leaders of various universities including Roosevelt, Loyola and DePaul. EC’s SGA Vice President of administration Estrella Vargas and representative Christian Canizal were the two EC student representatives to attend the summit as well as Senior Director of Communications and External Relations Desiree Chen.
The summit opened with an emphasis on communicating students’ individual stories to state legislators to demonstrate the need for ongoing funding of the MAP grant. Adam Roberts, VP of Loyola’s SGA, was the first to take the stage to stress the importance of effective storytelling.
Roberts shared examples of students explaining why MAP matters to them in the form of short youtube videos that are sent to the offices of state legislators. He then encouraged students to make similar videos to illustrate their stories to those who can potentially have a hand in returning the fund- ing to the MAP Grant.
Shortly after, Nathan Stoll, president of Roosevelt University’s SGA, further fleshed out the importance of making the voices of the students heard.
“Part of what we’re trying to capture in these videos is that this is about you,” Stoll said. “Reminding them of your story shifts the narrative, and per- haps for someone who isn’t currently a student experiencing what it’s like to not get the MAP grant it’s kind of hard to understand why it’s so integral.”
The focus was then shifted toward efforts to reach out to students through social media to raise further awareness to those who are not currently engaged in the fight to regain MAP funding. This effort, dubbed Grassroots Advocacy 101, was started off by Avp for Roosevelt University’s Government Relations Program Jennifer Tani, who laid out the steps for mobilizing students as a comprehensive force.
“I think that it’s a helpful tool to think of grassroots advocacy as five steps. And we’ve been using this as an organizing group for today’s meeting, but it’s something that you can also use back on campus,” she said. “The first is planning, second is recruitment, third is engagement and leadership development, the fourth is mobilizing and finally celebration and evaluation.”
After two more speakers went on in detail about recruiting students through social media and organized gatherings, the summit switched to a series of breakout sessions where attendees were separated into groups to tackle different aspects of MAP Grant advocacy.
These sessions largely reiterated many of the points brought up in opening discussion, though there was a computer tutorial aimed at teaching students how to directly contact their state’s congress reps and state senators.
After these breakout sessions concluded, there was a form passed around asking the reps of each school to pledge to organize as many students as possible to a rally in Springfield in 2017 for the MAP Matters movement. Cheron Mims closed the summit by revealing that in the representatives in attendance had pledged to bring 500 students to the rally.
Solutions for the parking situation at EC were devised at the Student Government Association (SGA) meeting on Nov. 3.
President of SGA Esther Pereira opened the floor to the representatives to bring attention to any issues they have noticed on campus.
Parking was the issue that took up a majority of the discussion, as it seemed the most prominent issue at hand.
Many ideas to resolve the issue were mentioned during the meeting.
“This seems like the issue that if we [SGA] don’t plan to solve it is only going to get worse as time goes on. If it is a problem now, and they [EC] want more students to come to the school, the problem is only going to continue to get worse,” SGA Representative Lauren Downer said during the meeting.
While parking is not something SGA can fix directly, Pereira pointed out there are ways in which they can get the ball rolling to let people know the importance of the issue.
One solution was to make more relations off campus that could result in more parking for students, even though a walk may be necessary.
Another idea was to make dorm life more attractive to commuter students. This was dismissed due to the costs of living on campus and it possibly not being affordable for the commuter student.
Next, there was the idea of using the parking EC already has and creating designated parking based on year or creating designations for commuter students and residential students.
The problem that arose with this idea was that it would just exacerbate the issue of finding parking, because it would take an already full campus and try to squeeze the population into a smaller area.
Finally, there was the idea to start fundraising for a parking garage.
SGA did not vote on a solution for the parking, but it will continue to be discussed in future meetings.
In other business, representative Christian Canizal brought up the idea to install new facilities and workout equipment for students to use instead of buying gym memberships to avoid using EC’s equipment.
Canizal also mentioned the need for better living arrangements and responses to issues with dorm living to the parking issues students have had over the course of the semester.
Approximately 100 students, many of them chained together, shut down a portion of Michigan Avenue on Oct. 24 to demand free tuition in Illinois higher education.
Eight students were arrested after gathering together to protest the cuts in funding to many Illinois universities and demonstrate their desire for free tuition. Dressing in navy blue caps and gowns, many of the protesting students chanted, “Education’s for the masses, not just for the ruling classes!” and “Say it ’til they got it, students over profit!”
UChicago Junior Jessica Law, a student organizer for the gathering, was one of the eight students arrested for sitting on the intersection in front of the Art Institute of Chicago and blocking traffic.
“Student power is definitely a force to be reckoned with,” said Law in an email interview. “And even people who aren’t students are standing behind us and fighting alongside us too.”
Freshman Ivy Li, a student from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, was on her way to class when the protesters stopped traffic.
“It was quite peaceful for the people who were sitting [in] the middle of the road,” said Li. “The people who were supporting on the sidewalks were shouting. All the students sitting [in] the middle of the road got arrested.”
Amidst the backlash towards what is perceived as an expensive push for free public higher education, Law stands firmly to address a solution.
“From the practical standpoint: people point to how expensive it would be to make public higher ed free, but there are many ways of raising ‘progressive’ revenue to pay for this, e.g. a progressive income tax to make the super-wealthy pay their fair share.”
Law agrees that expensive college tuition serves as yet another hindrance towards student graduation rates in Illinois.
“When students have to worry about paying for college (or food, rent, etc.), they can’t focus on being a student,” she added. “Moreover, students may have to drop out or take semesters off because they can’t afford it, hurting their academic success and eventually graduation.”
For many students, community college serves as a stepping stone towards transferring to a four year college by earning credits at a considerably lower price.
According to Senior Director of Communications and External Relations Desiree Chen, “944 transfer students are currently enrolled in traditional undergraduate programs at Elmhurst College, and nearly all of them (more than two-thirds) transferred here from community college.”
Free community college tuition could essentially broaden opportunities for many students wishing to pursue a four year degree at colleges such as EC.
EC Senior Chris Dominguez believes that free community college will open up more opportunities for many students in Illinois. However, she believes that public universities tuition costs should be considerably lowered.
“For community colleges I think yes the education there should be free because that alone can generate a lot of positive outcomes such as trade school options or associate degree options. As far as [higher] education goes I don’t think it should be free, but it should be lowered to a reasonable cost”.
Junior Noelle Voigt agrees and mentions the burdens of student debt for those who have graduated.
“I think it should be free or reduced significantly so that it is affordable to obtain without burying students in loans and debt,” she said. “Often times the debt students obtain is more than their starting salary, which I find to be ridiculous because it will leave them in debt for a majority of their life just to better themselves.”
Voigt adds that other countries have successfully implemented free public higher education.
“It would also work as can be seen in other countries, some even pay college students a living allowance so that they can strictly focus on school and gaining an education,” she said. “So if they can do it we can as well.”
EC sophomore Jacob Rosada disagreed with the notion that college tuition should be free, stating that making tuition free would eliminate the financial motivation to remain in school.
“Free college would cause a graduation rate because you would not be wasting your money by dropping out,” he
said. “I’m not saying the prices aren’t ridiculously high, but if it was free then the dropout rate would be at least double.”
Despite the opposition, Law remains positive that the movement has been successful in generating support.
“From my standpoint as a student organizer there is a huge, growing student movement in Chicago, in Illinois and nationally. Students are getting fired up about the issues that affect them and are demand- ing change (and winning too),” Law said.
“I think fighting for free public higher ed is not only incredibly worthwhile and necessary, but also very possible,” she added
“I am confident that we can win this fight.”