JANUARY 12, 2018
THE INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO SINCE 1892
Obama Foundation Unveils New Layout for Presidential Center BY ALEX WARD DEPUTY NEWS EDITOR
T he Obama Foundation released update plans for the Obama Presidential Center to the media on Wednesday, the same day it filed those plans before the Chicago Plan Commission. The plans incorporate criticisms by members of the South Side community, including the relocated parking garage. In its statement accompanying the plans, the Foundation also responds to national concerns about the Center’s potential to disrupt Jackson Park’s role as a natural enclave and historic site. The Center’s three main structures would consist of a central museum building; a forum building containing public-use spaces, an auditorium, and a restaurant; and a library building that may hold a branch of the Chicago Public Library, according to the Foundation plans. The buildings will partially surround a public plaza, meant to serve as an informal gathering point, an events venue, and a primary entrance to the Center. The museum building, depicted since early designs of the site as a large tower, has been narrowed and made taller in response to criticisms that it appeared uninviting. The tower will be 225 feet tall, as opposed to the original 160–180 foot estimate. The tower has also gained a large glass section on the northern facade, as well as sections of the walls made up of large stone letters, the gaps between which would allow additional light into the building. The museum will feature exhibits related to the Obamas, black history, Chicago history, and American history more broadly. Access to the museum exhibits will require tickets, but the top floor and other areas will be open to the public. An athletic center with a multipurpose sports area will be sunk partially below the surface of the site, in the southwest corner of the site. The tops of all the Center’s buildings, except the museum tower, will be landscaped and open to the public. The designers
VOL. 129, ISSUE 20
NLRB Issues Mixed Ruling on Library Unionization BY SPENCER DEMBNER NEWS REPORTER
The Obama Foundation released several new renderings of the Obama Library site, including one (above) of the site from the southeast and an imagined view (right) from the tower looking south. say the landscaped roofs will help to compensate for the lost park space, in addition to the closing of South Cornell Drive between East 60th and 67th Streets. Critics continue to argue that closing Cornell Drive, a busy sixlane highway that runs next to the Jackson Park Lagoon, will worsen traffic and cost taxpayers large sums. The Foundation argues that replacing Cornell Drive with a strip of parkland will connect the Center to the Museum of Science and Industry and increase the overall amount of parkland by 5.16 acres, more than the 3.6 acre footprint of the Center’s buildings. This claim has been contested, including by Charles Birnbaum, president and CEO of The Cultural Landscape Foundation. According to Birnbaum, “Closing Cornell Drive does not add 5.6 [sic] (5.16) acres of parkland – that’s double counting. Cornell Drive, which unfortu-
Before the Obama Foundation filed its plans, representatives of the CBA campaign at UChicago met with community members and University Church members at an information and discussion session Tuesday night in the Church’s Sanctuary Cafe. Attendees discussed lessons from past local activism campaigns and the importance of bringing the University of Chicago, the City, and the Obama Foundation to the negotiating table as an immediate next step. Photo by Sophia Corning.
Docs Films’s Winter Schedule
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Dearborn Denim Page 5 The new Hyde Park store emphasizes sustainability, America-based production.
Since student library workers voted to unionize with the Student Library Employees Union (SLEU) in spring 2017, the University has raised several objections to the election. In a December 15 ruling, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) upheld previous decisions against the University but kept allegations of electioneering alive. In a previous ruling, the NLRB’s regional director refused to let the University present evidence of SLEU’s conduct during the election, saying the allegations weren’t substantial enough to suggest electioneering. According to William Herbert, executive director of CUNY–Hunter College’s National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions, a hearing will now be held to decide the remaining electioneering allegation. “The recent decision means that a hearing will be held on only one of the election objections filed by the university,” Herbert wrote in an e-mail to T he M aroon. “According to the NLRB decision, the University has witnesses who observed the conduct as well as photographs.” However, the outcome of the hearing itself remains uncertain. The ruling rejects the University’s other objections, including the claim that library workers aren’t employees under the National Labor Relations Act, the law that governs union formation. However, the Board could still potentially decide that library workers aren’t employees in another school’s unionization case, which could reopen the issue at Chicago. A footnote in the ruling suggested member Marvin Kaplan may have recused himself. Kaplan, a Trump appointee whose wife works for Columbia Uni-
Track Team Prepares to Spring Into Action Page 8
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THE CHICAGO MAROON - JANUARY 12, 2018
Events 1/12–1/15 Friday Canyon Cinema 50: Studies in Natural Magic Logan Center, Screening Room 201, 7:00 p.m. The Film Studies Center is hosting a series of programs over winter uarter in celebration of the 50th anniversary of experimental film distributor Canyon Cinema. The first program features a collection of modern, classic, and rare films. Saturday The Path to Peace for Colombia: What’s Next Saieh Hall, 9–12 a.m., free. If it holds, Colombia’s peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia guerrilla group will represent the end of one of the last hot conflicts of the Cold War. At this two-panel conference, people familiar with the deal will consider its future. Sunday MLK Day of Service Ida Noyes, 8:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., free. To honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The University Community Service Center will offer opportunities for students to volunteer for more than a dozen community service organizations. Luncheon will take place at the Cloister Club and professor Charles M. Payne will deliver a keynote address. Participants will be bussed to service sites at 9:15. CUSA Show Mandel Hall, 6–7:30 p.m., free. Chinese Undergraduate Student Association (CUSA) will present a play in which ancient Chinese legend, The Butterfly Lovers, is transformed into a story of time travel. Dinner will be provided in Hutchinson Commons at 6 p.m. and doors open at Mandel Hall at 7 p.m. Monday Martin Luther King Day of Reflection: Film Program and Discussion Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave., 11 a.m.–4:30 p.m., free. This full day of programming featuring film screenings and discussions.
Professor Vargas Brings Violence, Law, and Politics Lab to UChicago BY EMILY MAO NEWS REPORTER
A new research group within the Social Science Research Center—the Violence, Law, and Politics Lab—is piecing together correlations between homicide in American cities and government policy. Robert Vargas arrived at the University of Chicago in the Fall to teach in the department of sociology and to establish the new lab, which launched on October 15. “The lab was created with a dual purpose of conducting research to investigate the historical origins and evolution of homicide in US cities and digitizing volumes of archival materials to conduct such research,” Vargas said. The research conducted by the lab focuses on Chicago, but also studies other urban cities, including New Orleans and San Francisco, to investigate the historical contexts around homicide waves to understand the dynamics of urban crime. “Currently, the lab is digitizing thousands of homicide records from the New Orleans police department from 1890 to 1965. We are also working on a project examining the effects of redistricting laws on rates of violence in Chicago since 1870. These projects are part of a larger effort to better understand how the changing political economy of cities corresponds to changes in the prevalence and location of homicide,” Vargas said. With the conducted research, the lab hopes to engage in homicide prevention by identifying the optimal time for law enforcement and social service interventions. Christina Cano, a third year majoring in sociology and creative writing, has been working in the lab since its incep-
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Correction In the Tuesday, January 9 issue of the Chicago M aroon, the article on the survey of the class of 2021 included a mislabled chart. Four percent of respondents approve of President Trump’s performance, while ten percent have no opninion.
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“I would love for the lab to become a space where scholars and students can conceptualize, measure, and understand the effects of different forms of violence” tion. “My role is a data analyst, and in this first phase of our bigger project [I] go through homicide reports from the turn of the century to assess how a murder is reported, what details are included and omitted. The shared features we [find] in these cases create an overall analytical framework,” Cano said. With the variety of academic backgrounds within the research group, each
University Effective Altruism Hopes to “Do the Most Good” BY OREN OPPENHEIM
Clint Smith – Counting Descent Seminary Co-Op, 3–4:30 p.m., free. Harvard University doctoral candidate Clint Smith will read from “Counting Descent”, his debut poetry collection, in which he explores the contrast between the celebration and stigma of black culture through personal stories.
Courtesy of the University of Chicago
data analyst brings different skill sets to the project. “Because I have experience with ArcGIS, a mapping program, another coworker and I have also worked on another project assessing Chicago gerrymandering and how it affects community areas’ voting results,” Cano said. Other students in the lab do work on collecting other data, such as transcribing police scanner transmissions. Anil Sindhwani, a third year majoring in sociology and public policy, works on both the primary homicide project and a newer project that explores the impact of race and income on the quality of police protection given. “I’ve been doing a lot of digitizing and geocoding of historical data, like homicide reports and locations,” Sindhwani said. “On top of this historical project, Vargas has a Digital Vulnerability project, and I helped with that by listening, recording, and classifying bits of CPD radio communication.” Beyond the current ongoing projects, Vargas hopes that the progression of the lab’s projects could possibly influence political advocacy and policy change. “One of the questions I’d like to explore is the degree to which guns have been used in homicide dating back to the late 1800s. Studying those patterns may yield novel insights on the current gun control debate,” he said. In the future, Vargas hoeps to expand the lab’s potential in exploring different dimensions of violence. “I would love for the lab to become a space where scholars and students can conceptualize, measure, and understand the effects of different forms of violence,” he said. “Not just interpersonal violence, but also state violence, gendered violence, and racial violence.”
A recently reinitiated group on campus, UChicago Effective Altruism (UC EA), plans to spread its message and step up its initiatives this year. The organization is a revival of an older effective altruism club on campus founded in 2015 and counts first-year Parker Whitfill, second-year Andrew Kao, fourth-year Eliza Passell, and Booth research professional Philip Trammell among its leadership. What is effective altruism? Whitfill says it could be framed as “a question about how do we do the most good,” adding, “Effective altruists like to approach that question using both reason and evidence, and also by actually taking action on that question.” There are EA groups around the world; though UC EA is not directly connected to any other EA group, the organization has consulted with groups at other universities for advice, according to Whitfill. The group hopes its members will “ learn more about effective careers and charities, among other topics, while supporting each other in our EA
endeavors,” according to its Facebook page. Earlier in January, UC EA hosted a kickoff event, which Whitfill says was attended by around 20 undergraduate, graduate, and pre-doctoral students. During the event, Whitfill said, the group’s leadership explained “what effective altruism looks like [and] what that means for students here at the Uni-
I”n a world where charitable causes receive limited resources and not every problem can be solved, we feel it’s important to prioritize the most effective causes” versity of Chicago.” The group is planning future events, including EA-focused career workshops, “where we talk about the possible best careers to go into to do the most good,” Whitfill said, and how career options can “intersect with ethics.” The group also plans to explore specific issues people brought up at the kickoff event. The concept of effective altruism has
been criticized in the past for coming across as elitist and for shifting focus from causes or interventions that, while less effective, may still be necessary. When asked about these potential criticisms, Whitfill responded, “There are many very serious problems in the world that are absolutely necessary to solve, and effective altruists want to fight all of them.... In a world where charitable causes receive limited resources and not every problem can be solved, we feel it’s important to prioritize the most effective causes.” When asked to provide a specific example of effective altruism in action, Whitfill brought up GiveWell, an aggregator that rates the cost-effectiveness of charities. “Effective altruists may work for GiveWell and do research for them. Effective altruists may donate to charities recommended by GiveWell. An effective altruist might do none of those things because they’ve determined that another cause is more important and one that could be much more impactful. All of those things could be something that an effective altruist does.”
THE CHICAGO MAROON - JANUARY 12, 2018
New Mackauer Professor Discusses Future of Core BY CAROLINE KUBZANSKY NEWS REPORTER
John Kelly, a professor of anthropology and the chair of the Core sequence Self, Culture, and Society, is the first professor to occupy the newly established Christian W. Mackauer Professorship. The Mackauer Professorship specifically seeks to support the Core curriculum and is the result of a $3.5 million donation from the Redbud Foundation’s Glenn Swogger Jr. Kelly spoke to The M aroon about the professorship, which he sees as a way of furthering the reach of the Core particularly in the social sciences and as a resource for updating it for the 21st century. Kelly used Self as an example of the challenges facing professors who determine the structure of the Core. Given the falling idea of Anglocentrism and new emphasis on non-Western intellectuals, he said, course material needs to be reevaluated. “We inherit a course that hasn’t had a major reconsideration of its curriculum for more than 20 years, because it’s been in…a powerful form for a long time,” Kelly said. “But that means there are no 21st century readings, or few…. It’s time for all of our systems of knowledge to be self-consciously global.”
In order to train Chicago students as not only American but also global citizens, Kelly stressed that the seminar format—a cohort of 19 students taught by a highly knowledgeable, carefully-trained professor—is absolutely essential. This, he said, is the best path to push students toward an understanding of unfamiliar subjects, particularly those that intimidate them. “We have to think about…what constitutes social science for that whole globe, and...not just getting a student ready to study German history,” Kelly said. “Could you articulate Adam Smith with Islamic theory? Absolutely. But how do we begin that conversation, especially if someone feels at war with Islam? If we’re in a lecture hall, you can just tune out. We’re going to be able to have a much more complicated encounter in this teaching format.” Kelly emphasized just how expensive running and improving the Core is and noted that running such a program on tuition money alone would be nearly impossible for a private university. “Why would someone give such a large gift to the school? Because they want a Core curriculum in the 21st century,” Kelly said. “It’s an excruciatingly expensive business, running a university of this kind. We insist that your education
UChicago alum runs for Michigan Attorney General Aims to Address Voting Reform, Environment BY DAKSH CHAUHAN NEWS REPORTER
University of Chicago alumnus William Noakes (A.M. ‘81, J.D. ’82) is running for the office of Attorney General in Michigan this year. A story on his campaign page recalls that Noakes wanted to be a lawyer as a child. However, his father believed that, as a black man in a racially segregated U.S., Noakes would have trouble achieving such a goal. Instead, his fathe wantred him to become a certified public accountant. Noakes grew up in Washington, D.C. before the Civil Rights Act was passed, but he beat the odds and received an A.M. in public policy studies in 1981 and a J.D. in 1982, both from the University of Chicago. He later went on to serve as an attorney for major U.S. corporations like General Motors and to teach law at various institutions, including University of Michigan-Dearborn
and the University of Chicago Law School. Currently, Noakes is running as a Democrat in Michigan and aims to address voting reform, environmental issues particularly focused on providing clean water, and federal issues like the Affordable Care Act. Noakes also plans to focus on the consequences of the 2010 Supreme Court case Citizens United v. FEC. He views it as a mockery of the one person, one vote principle as it allowed the few with money to outweigh the opinions of the many. In addition, he hopes to pass environmental legislation and ensure clear air and water, an issue both Wayne and Genesee county in Michigan have faced. If chosen as a nominee by the Democratic party in August 2018, Noakes will go on to face a Republican nominee in the statewide general election on Nov 6, 2018.
is better if you have an I-Thou relationship with a small number of students and a faculty member.” The Mackauer Professorship will sustain what Kelly believes is the pedagogically soundest college curriculum in the country and allow the Core to move forward into the 21st century to deal with more current issues.
“[It’s like] okay, don’t mess it up. Don’t let it slip with time and ignore the Anthropocene global warming, third-wave feminism on a global basis, and the question of how you have critical race studies in an introduction to social sciences course,” Kelly said. While donations clearly help this cause, Kelly insisted that the ef-
fort would continue no matter what and that this deep commitment to the Core is what makes donors decide to support it, giving professors the resources to better carry out this commitment. “We’re not doing it for the gifts. We’re doing it because it’s the right thing to do. And I think the donors see that too,” Kelly said.
Kuvia participants stretch in Crown Monday, at the outset of the annual tradition. Photo of the issue by Alexandra Nisenoff.
Park Disctrict Plans for Replacement Track and Field BY JASON LALLJEE NEWS REPORTER
The Chicago Park District submitted an application to establish a new track and field facility in Jackson Park on Wednesday. The Park District said in a statement that it is “necessary to replace the current track and field that will be relocated as part of the establishment of the Obama Presidential Center within another area of Jackson Park.” The Chicago Park District’s plan for the new facility involves a multi-use field encircled by a new running track. The new track and field are being considered under the Lake Michigan and Chicago Lakefront Protection Ordinance, which requires a review and public hearings on projects in proximity of Chicago’s Lake Michigan shoreline. The Obama Foundation also submitted an application to the City for the Presidential Center in Jackson Park on Wednesday. The Chicago Park District held its own public hearing last month, where representatives proposed three different plans to potentially redevelop Jackson Park and the South Shore Cultural Center. These plans are a part of the Chicago Park District’s updates to the South Lakefront Framework Plan, which was originally designed in 1999 and will be implemented over the next decade. The South Lakefront Framework Plan is concerned specifically with Jackson Park, Wash-
ington Park, and the South Shore Cultural Center. According to the Chicago Park District, the plan is a way to “enhance… [the parks’] commitments to serving the neighboring communities and preserve the intended historic character.” At the hearing, the Park District presented its three scenarios, named “coastline,” “meadows,” and “lagoon.” The coastline option would displace many of the recreational activities closer to the lakefront. The lagoon option would disperse those activities throughout the park, while the bodies of water would widen. The meadows option would focus on meadows and green space activities. All three plans account for the track and field facility currently located at South Stony Island Avenue to be pushed further south to accommodate the presidential center. The facility would also be expanded to include football and soccer fields. For months, officials have been hosting public hearings to decide on how to best update Jackson Park and the cultural center. Residents at the hearing on Thursday voted on the three presented plans. According to officials, their votes will be counted and considered. Park District officials said in a statement Wednesday that the proposed site for the track is located north of East 63rd Street and east of South Stony Island Avenue, land currently occupied by a senior baseball and junior baseball field.
University Awaits NLRB Guidance Continued from front
versity, has chosen not to rule on that university’s graduate unionization case. The ruling’s language suggests he may avoid campus unionization cases at other schools, which would be a boon to unions’ legal chances. “Typically, these type of procedural decisions are delegated to three-member panels rather than the full five-member panel,” Herbert said, noting that Kaplan and member Lauren McFerran did not serve on the panel or participate in the decision. “The comment in the decision that Member Kaplan ‘took no part’ is suggestive that he chose to recuse himself but it is really not clear.” Members Philip Miscimarra and William Emanuel were in the majority for the three-member panel’s decision, with Member Pearce dissenting. The University has asked the full board to reconsider the employee status of library workers. University spokesperson Marielle Sainvilus declined to comment on the legal specifics of the case. “The University has made its views on this matter clear in its submissions to the NLRB,” Sainvilus said. “At this point, the University is awaiting guidance regarding next steps in the process from the Regional Director, as directed by the NLRB’s order.”
VIEWPOINTS The Trump Administration, in Memoriam Trump’s Ever-Changing Array of Advisors Have Provided America Plenty of Entertainment, but Such Chaos Hardly Bodes Well for the Future of Our Country
BY FRED KARDOS AND KATIA KUKUCKA MAROON CONTRIBUTORS
As we arrive at a full year with President Donald Trump in office, Americans are by now accustomed to the administration’s constant staff changes and general atmosphere of chaos. So in the spirit of Oscars season, it seems appropriate to honor the White House drama as the entertainment it has proven to be. In this vein, here we recognize some of the most entertaining departures of Trump’s first year in office. Steve Bannon Best Stunt (falling from grace) With an illustrious history of advocating for Islamophobic and patriarchal views, it was initially odd to see Bannon in the White House. But once alt-right attitudes took hold in 2017, it was even more bizarre to see him go. Following his departure, Bannon went on to criticize the Trump campaign’s dealings with Russia as being “treasonous” and “unpatriotic,” which Trump countered by saying that “Sloppy Steve” had “lost his mind.” While it is unclear what the political repercussions of Bannon’s departure will be, this banter between former allies is the drama that Bannon’s path of destruction deserved. Sebastian Gorka Best Supporting Actor in a Foreign Film With ties to Hungarian nationalism (and perhaps also Nazism), Sebastian Gorka’s role in the Trump administration was questionable from the outset. After supposedly fighting with White House chief of staff John Kelly, Gorka was ousted with little explanation. With not much known about Gorka besides his intense Islamophobia and a comically bad dissertation for a supposed academic, we know little else about his departure from the White House. However, with so little known, there remains plenty of mystery surrounding Dr. Gorka, leaving intrigue for what’s left to come. If Gorka falls back into Trump’s good graces, expect a potential sequel. Michael Flynn Best Lead Actor in a Foreign Film Barely a month into Trump’s presidency, Michael Flynn was the first staffer to
be fired. After lying to Mike Pence, Sean Spicer, and Reince Priebus about his connections to Russia, Flynn not only earned himself a ticket out of the White House, but he also earned himself a role in practically any spy movie. Flynn set the pace for the ensuing chaos surrounding the Trump administration, and his ousting truly displays how drama can erupt from any unforeseen corner of the White House. Omarosa Manigault Best Extra Oh, Omarosa. No one knew what her role truly was at the White House, except perhaps Omarosa herself—to use it as a wedding set, apparently. Best known for “starring” on The Apprentice three times, the author of The Bitch Switch: Knowing How to Turn It On and Off was technically “director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison,” a job of mysterious purpose that ended with her alleged forcible removal from the premises after much cursing and threatening. Her position of unknown intent and subsequent fiery departure perfectly sums up the reality-show nature of the administration and its rapid cast changes. Oh well, as Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts said about her departure: “Bye, Felicia.” Reince Priebus Best Director of a Comedy Film With a name like Reince Priebus that sounds like he could be the next Pontius Pilate, more was expected from his departure. In a very mild manner, Priebus stepped aside, prompting the rise of the much more entertaining Anthony Scaramucci. Lacking any charisma, a rare attribute for any figure in the notoriously bombastic Trump administration, Priebus merely served as a vaguely entertaining extra when he departed from Trump’s White House. Sean Spicer Best Original Screenplay While Sean Spicer said that “we can disagree with the facts,” there’s one thing we can all agree on: Though terrifying in his blatant aversion to basic truths, his tenure as press secretary was pure entertainment. It began with him angrily attesting that the crowd at Trump’s inauguration was “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration—period—both in person
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and around the globe” despite photographic evidence to the contrary. He also notably said about Syrian president Bashar al-Assad that even “someone as despicable as Hitler...didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.” But by far the best was Melissa McCarthy’s violent, podium-throwing parody of “Spicey” on Saturday Night Live. And yet, despite all his avoidance of the truth and generally terrible job at being a press liaison, only the hiring of Anthony Scaramucci as communications director could get this master of spin to vanquish his post. No shame, all game. Anthony Scaramucci Best Cameo “The Mooch’s” remarkable tenure as White House communications director began with him blowing a kiss to the press after his first briefing. From there, he promised a witch-hunt to root out “leakers,” missed the birth of his son to attend the national Boy Scouts jamboree, and compared his relationship with Reince Priebus to that between Cain and Abel. And this was before his late-night, profanity-laced call to Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker, resulting in an interview that at first glance appeared to be a satire, including these memorable phrases: 1.“Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.” 2.“I’ve done nothing wrong on my financial disclosures, so they’re going to have to
go fuck themselves.” 3.“I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock.” With quotes like these, it’s no wonder why “The Mooch” will be remembered long past his 10-day tenure. Over such a short span in office, he accomplished all of the above in addition to successfully getting Sean Spicer to quit and Reince Priebus axed before his own unfortunate demise at the hands of the freshly-appointed John Kelly. So long, Scaramucci. Gone, but never forgotten. Last but not least, the award for “Most Gullible Person” goes to us—because we’re the ones getting distracted by these antics when serious issues like the national opioid epidemic and the worst refugee crisis in history are taking our world by storm. Just look at our school’s meme page, where posts on any given day tend to involve our orange-hued president spouting more ridiculous words unfit for his office. These firings might be entertaining for now, but the long-term consequences of this administration’s chronic instability will be profound. Fred Kardos is a second-year in the College and a Viewpoints columnist. Katia Kukucka is a first-year in the College.
THE CHICAGO MAROON - JANUARY 12, 2018
ARTS Dearborn and Dearly Worn, New Denim Store Opens on 53rd BY JAD DAHSHAN ARTS STAFF
Dearborn Denim does not stand out among the storefronts populating 53rd Street, but something about the recently opened apparel shop feels refreshingly different. Earthy tones and ambient music pervade an airy space cozily confined by denim-displaying walls, quite in contrast with the cramped labyrinths of many two-story mall retailers. With amicable staff ready to help, one starts to believe in the “stress-free, care-free, easy-livin’, easy-shoppin’ experience” store manager Kaleb Sullivan hopes to create. Dearborn Denim was founded by Rob McMillan, who graduated from Kenyon College in 2008 and worked as a bond trader until 2012, when he realized finance was not his calling. With a background in apparel limited to a T-shirt company he started in high school, McMillan had a long hemline to stitch. However, motivated by the lack of “reasonably priced American-made goods,” he spent nearly a year darning the gaps in his knowledge of everything stitches, seams, and sewing machines, before going on to establish a factory. What started as a team of three grew into a family of 20, divided between the Garfield Park laundromat, where the products are manufactured, and the Hyde Park store where they are sold. “People deserve access to a great product, made the right way, and sold at a great price,” reads the company’s website. And for its founders, what makes the products great are their Chicago roots— the company’s namesake is Fort Dearborn, represented by one of the stars on the Chicago flag. This single star is visible on every pair of jeans they sell. “We’re all about the history of Chicago,” explained Kaleb Sullivan, who also manages retail and brand development at Dearborn Denim. “I like to say that the history is still happening, that we are making it and will continue to make it.… We’re part of a bigger Chicago history that is being molded right now and that a lot of people are taking notice of.” Indeed, there is a historicity to the jeans being produced and sourced in this city. “If you go back to the 1920s, 25 percent of the apparel consumed in the Unit-
ed States was made in Chicago,” explained McMillan. “[But] now, in 2018... only 2 percent of apparel consumed in the United States is made here.” Despite Chicago’s higher taxes and wages, McMillan cited his love for the city as his primary reason to eschew outsourcing. “[I hope] the small part we do, which is sourcing American-made materials...can somewhat alleviate [the unhealthy income inequality resulting from the way American capitalism operates nowadays],” explained McMillan, who was keen to point out that Dearborn Denim employees are paid 15 dollars per hour—notably above the minimum wage. For him, starting the company has always been about producing domestically sourced materials in a “morally sound way” and providing something that “people can be proud is operating in their city.” As such, Dearborn Denim also aims to be “a 100 percent waste-free manufacturer,” and to reuse fabric scraps in sustainable ways. “We are trying to get a hold of some quilters to turn…[our fabric scraps] into quilts,” said McMillan, who plans on using the excess fabric from hemmed jeans as pillow stuffing. “Our leather scraps [could be repurposed] into various homegood items.” Naturally, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that Dearborn Denim— like other brands made in America—is on the pricier side of the spectrum. However, their current jeans prices range from $59 to $63, while other retailers’ denims are “on average probably double our price or higher,” as Sullivan asserted. To top that, they offer an in-store discount for students with IDs. “If the jeans cost $25–30, we all know how they were made, who’s making them, and why that’s wrong,” Sullivan added. Last weekend, along with a few dozen other people, I visited the company’s Garfield Park factory to attend one of three monthly tours hosted by McMillan. With refreshments in hand and denim everywhere else, visitors listened as McMillan shared the process of producing the jeans. Made with long-staple west Texas cotton that was loomed at the centuries-old Mount Vernon Mills in Georgia, the jeans, McMillan claimed, should be comfortable
Alexandra Nisenoff Dearborn Denim prides itself on sourcing American-made materials and being sustainable.
to wear and difficult to stretch. Dearborn Denim also offers custom sizes. One customer at the tour, who was there to buy his second pair, expressed great satisfaction in the denim’s performance and in the wide range of available sizes. “No one else sells [size] 35!” he rejoiced. The company’s greatest current struggle is attracting new customers, but McMillan has faith in persistence. “Everything takes hard work, just like anything else in life that’s worth having,” he said, advising students looking to start their own business to “stop talking about it and do it.” “The worst that can happen is that it fails, and then you go back to doing what everybody else is doing.” Although McMillan does not foresee future collaborations with large retailers, Dearborn Denim is building relationships with smaller boutiques, who order merchandise in volumes Dearborn can accom-
modate. The possibility of opening one or two more stores in addition to the one on 53rd Street also looms on their business horizon. “The growth I’d like to see is becoming as big as we can possibly be without losing our message and ethics and goals and aspirations,” said Sullivan. “Remaining who we are, but on a bigger scale.” Though still a growing enterprise, Dearborn Denim is more than meager business patchwork. In a fashion industry riddled with sexist advertisements and offshore sweatshops, the proudly Chicagoan company is on a path toward setting a new standard for ethical apparel consumerism and even—as reporter Jay Shefsky described in a feature filmed at the factory—“stitching together an American revolution.”
Alexandra Nisenoff Dearborn Denim founder Rob McMillan hosts three factory tours a month.
Alexandra Nisenoff The company was founded by former bond-trader Rob McMillan.
THE CHICAGO MAROON - JANUARY 12, 2018
From Moving Pictures to Moving Vehicles: Doc Films Presents Winter Lineup BY LILY REN MAROON CONTRIBUTOR
From Afro–sci-fi to feminist revenge, Doc Films brings a lively, eclectic mix for cinephiles this quarter. Get a taste of each series and the programmers’ favorites in this brief guide to the winter 2018 Doc lineup. Mondays The Future is Black: Afrofuturism in World Cinema Curated by fourth-year Jola Idowu, this series reflects her vision of “a future in which black pain is not exploited for art...but is told, cared for, and felt.” It features Blade (fifth week), an action-packed film about a half-vampire on a vampire-hunting vendetta, and An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (sixth week), which tells the story of a young
artist grappling with romance and platonic love (the film also features a captivating score from Flying Lotus). Alfonso Cuarón’s renowned Children of Men (seventh week) offers a glimpse into a terrifyingly relevant dystopian future, and Space is the Place (eighth week), a fashionable sci-fi piece from 1974, follows a musician’s mission to use music to resettle African Americans on a foreign planet. Tuesdays Deep Seijun: Rare Films of Suzuki Seijun Graduate student Will Carroll, who programmed this series, secured some of the rarest prints by Seijun Suzuki—on whom he is writing a dissertation—from the Japan Foundation Film Library. The most bizarre of them all, Capone Cries in His Sleep (10th week), tracks a delusional ra-
kugo (Japanese storyteller) performer’s odyssey in San Francisco and Chicago, as he meets gangsters, cowboys, jazz musicians, minstrel singers, the KKK, and visits internment camps for Japanese-Americans. Almost as bizarre is A Tale of Sorrow and Sadness (ninth week), a beautifully colored piece which Carroll describes as his favorite of the series, and a perfect embodiment of Suzuki’s ability to somehow combine totally outrageous and seemingly incongruent elements into a cohesive whole. Carroll also hopes to draw attention to Suzuki’s TV thriller series from the 1970s and ’80s; fourth week features Eight Hours of Terror. Wednesdays Le Samouraï: An Alain Delon Retrospective Wednesdays this quarter, programmed by fourth-year Alexander Fee, provide a retrospective into prominent French actor Alain Delon’s career spanning from 1960 to 1970. The series aims to demonstrate the “vast breadth of Delon’s abilities—from a nihilistic coldness to an impassioned fervor.” Third week features his performance as a materialistic broker in a love triangle in Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Eclisse, and Le Samouraï (sixth week) will be screened on 35mm twice. Thursdays Series I—A Dish Best Served Hot: Feminist Revenge Fantasies
Courtesy of Doc Films Space is the Place, set to a mesmerizing soundtrack, screens eight week.
Hoping to highlight the flip side of horror’s stereotype as a genre that objectifies women and subjects them to violence, fourthyear Hasti Soltani has programmed a series meant to bring attention to works that provoke questions of female roles and tropes in horror. Thursday evening’s first screenings, programmed by Ursula Wagner, are a series of raging revenge fantasies—with a feminist focus. Aside from recent hits such as Maleficent (ninth week) and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (sixth week), this series also features Tarantino’s 1997 Jackie Brown (third week) and The Match Factory Girl (fourth week) about a girl who snaps out of her monotonous factory life. Ms. 45 is a classic rape-revenge exemplar, and the series ends with 9 to 5 (10th week), about three women’s revenge on a “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” of a boss. Series II— Ginger Snaps Back: A Feminist Take on Horror
Courtesy of Doc Films Suspiria is a neon-colored cult classic from 1977.
The neon-colored 1977 cult classic Suspiria (third week) tracks a ballet student’s journey to unravel a murder mystery; Gin-
ger Snaps (fourth week), one of Hasti’s favorites of the series, tells a coming-of-age tale of a girl going through a supernatural transformation. The series also spotlights Julia’s Eyes (eighth week), which chronicles a woman’s investigation of her blindness and her blind sister’s suicide. Death Becomes Her (10th week) is a piece of campy horror with over the top, flamboyant humor. Fridays Marriage on the Verge of Collapse Programmed by third-year Antonia Glaser, this series showcases the raw emotions behind crumbling marriages. Glaser’s personal favorite of the series is Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (fifth week), a classic but atypical Hollywood piece adapted from a Tennessee Williams play. Its masterful dialogue paints a picture of a decadent, gothic South. The series also features Antonioni’s La Notte (eighth week), which explores the interplay of lust and repulsion, pairing perfectly with L’Eclisse as cinema’s best expressions of existential melancholy. Saturdays New Releases This quarter, the new releases lineup brings familiar names such as Mother! (third week), My Neighbor Totoro (fourth week), and Lady Bird (fifth week) to Doc. The series also features On the Beach at Night Alone (eighth week) from Korean filmmaker Hong Sang-soo and Lucky (seventh week), the directorial debut by Shutter Island’s John Carroll Lynch, who tells a gentle and understated story about a man who refuses to die or quit the things that should kill him. Sundays Phantom Rides: Trains & Cinema Programmed by graduate student TienTien Jong from Cinema and Media Studies, this series is a collection of films centered on trains. “Like the cinema, trains are creatures of rhythm and drive,” Jong writes in her series essay. “[They] embody an irony of simultaneous action and confinement, suspense and sleepy contemplation.” The series features Wong Kar-Wai’s 2046 (third week), an epic about the pleasures of heartbreak, and Jim Jarmusch’s Mystery Train (fourth week), which chronicles two Japanese teenagers’ odyssey in America. Doc Films screens every night in Max Palevsky Cinema in Ida Noyes Hall. Single tickets are $5 and a quarter pass is $30.
Courtesy of Doc Films Eight Hours of Terror is one of Suzuki’s best early thrillers.
Courtesy of Doc Films Saoirse Ronan stars in Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird.
THE CHICAGO MAROON - JANUARY 12, 2018
Look to Start New Year Strong SWIMMING AND DIVING
BY MIKE BENINATI SPORTS STAFF
Both the men and women’s swimming and diving team have not competed since November 19. Yet, for both, that last competition was a compelling first-place finish in the Phoenix Fall Classic consisting of 12 and 13 schools respectively. The men outpaced second place by 455 points while the women won by 383 points—both performances were dominant and resulted in five school records. After those record-breaking performancs, it comes as no surprise that the Maroons were awarded with some honors. Second-years Taye Baldinazzo and Byrne Litschgi for the men’s team and first-year Gillian Gagnard earned CollegeSwimming.com National Swimmer of the Week
awards. Lewis enters the competition with a 5–6 record and having dropped their last three meets. However, Lewis University is a Division II school that competes against some strong competition. The Maroons will likely be tested by standout first-years Adam Tapia who is coming off a win in the 500-yard freestyle in Lewis’s trip to Denmark for the Indian River Winter Invitational. Olivet Nazarene will also prove to be a sufficient foe. The team competes against several large, Division I schools such as Notre Dame and Xavier. Olivet Nazarene’s strongest female swimmer is Andrea Vega who has just been named National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics swimmer of the month in December. Vega holds top five finishes in the 50 freestyle, 100
freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke, 200 IM, and 400 IM. Another strong competitor for the women will be first-year Jordan Enders of the Tigers who was awarded College Swimming’s Swimmer of the Week at the start of December. Although the Maroons have not competed in over a month, they feel more than confident that they will not lose their stride. First-year Tiffany Wu says, “We’re coming off a week of intense training in Florida and feel ready to jump back into things.” Adding to that was second-year Audrey Mason, “This season has been full of ups and downs just like any other, but the team has been training really hard for the past few months. We’re getting ready for UAAs in February, so this meet is in the middle of many tough practices, but
still expect everyone to swim well.” The men’s team holds the same confidence and excitement—Taye Baldinazzo says: “We are ready to show up at the meet this week. We have put in a lot of good training and effort going into this, and I’m confident that it’ll come out this weekend. I’m particularly excited to watch some of our swimmers who are swimming in ‘off’ events and have recently undergone extreme technique changes. I can guarantee it will be a very good meet for everyone attending.” The message is consistent: The Maroons are back in action and displaying all the hard work they have been putting in as of late.
Maroons Edge Out Wheaton WRESTLING
BY KEVIN JOHNSTON SPORTS STAFF
The Maroons managed to scrape by with a win against the No. 25 Wheaton Thunder. Wednesday’s dual meet was billed as a close encounter, with the Maroons coming in with a No. 23 ranking. Those predicting a close showdown were not disappointed. While the Maroons were able to jump out to an early lead, the Thunder managed to continually chip away at it throughout the night. The meet began with a forfeit by the Maroons at 125 pounds, giving the Thunder a quick 6 – 0 lead. That would be as much as the T hunder would lead by for the rest of the night, as the Maroons proceeded to triumph in
the following five matches, effectively turning the tide of the match. Thirdyear Louis Demarco and second-years Kahlan Lee-Lermer and Steve Bonsall all won major decisions contributing to the UChicago comeback. First-years Alec Gleason and Chaise Hauck also won decisions adding to the comeback. Those victories were enough to give UChicago a commanding lead of 18 – 6, giving the Thunder little hope of winning. While lesser teams may have given up, Wheaton wasn’t finished just yet. Instead of capitulating, they proceeded to make a ferocious comeback against the Maroons, somehow getting victories at the next two weight classes, picking up a win by decision and win by pin. Were the Maroons about
to let a huge comeback happen? With ing that the result was well-deserved. the Thunder knocking on the door, the “We came in expecting to win and we Maroons turned to third-year Jason were not disappointed,” said Jayne. Lynch at 197 pounds to close out the “We had a couple unlucky losses during match and terminate any remaining the dual, but overall I felt that we vestiges of hope that the Thunder had dominated. Our impeccable front head of winning. technique gives us an edge that the With the result of the dual meet on other teams can’t handle.” the line, Lynch came through for his Next up for Maroons wrestling is squad, as he won in a close battle by a the Elmhurst Invitational this Satur5–3 decision. Even though the Thunder day, where the Maroons will look to were able to win the final matchup in continue their winning ways. Jayne is a 3 –2 decision, it was not enough to looking forward to the occasion, as he complete the comeback. Lynch’s victory feels that the team has a good chance had ensured that even a Maroon loss to perform well and really showcase in the final weight class of the night what the Maroons can do: “ I think would not be enough for the Thunder to we’ll ride the wave of positivity from win, despite their valiant effort. our last few meets into the Elmhurst Although the final score was close, Invitational and give a good showing.” third-year John Jayne came away feel-
Gears Up for Phoenix Invitational Continued from page 8
2018 track and field season, and the Maroons are excited for what is to come. Second-year sprinter Mary Martin shared her excitement. “The meet is our season opener so it’s going to be a gauge of how winter training went. It will give us the first real insight into how our team is looking this year.” Second-year polevaulter Michelle Biesman echoes her teammate’s sentiments. “We are all really excited for this weekend as we’ve been training since the summer. Each season brings its challenges and successes, and our coaches are careful to make sure we improve in all aspects.” The
meet will be a great starting point for the Maroons, as they will use it to determine what they still need to work on as they continue the season. Although it’s the first meet, the Maroons are prepared and determined to perform well. “I liked this meet last year because even though it is the first meet and people don’t really expect much as they blow off the cobwebs and get back into the swing of things, there still tend to be some amazing performances,” Martin continued. This weekend Martin will be participating in the 60m and 4x400m relay. The Maroons are constantly focused
UPCOMING GAMES SPORT
Swim/Dive Women’s Basketball Men’s Basketball Men’s Basketball
Friday Friday Friday Friday
Opponent Lewis NYU Wash U Wash U
on improving, both as individuals and as a team. “We are a goal-oriented team with a great dynamic,” added Biesman. “Despite having individual events, track and field is a team-oriented sport as we push one another in workouts and are cheerleaders for eachother.” Looking ahead, the Maroons have set clear goals for the season. Improving from last year is a must for the Maroons, and every day is a chance to improve. “I think the main aim of this year is to win conference, especially on the women’s side. Our conference rival, Washington University in St. Louis, graduated some of their best athletes last year, which really should
open up the competition,” said Martin. “With our team’s skills, we will be successful and hopefully win UAA’s, the conference meet, as well as send a large group to the NCAA’s, the national meet,” continued Biesman. “Up to this point, we have trained really hard, and we are ready to compete, achieve our goals, and reach new heights as a team.” This weekend will be the team’s chance to prove themselves. The meet will take place in Henry Crown Fieldhouse at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.
TIME 6 p.m. 6 p.m. 8 p.m. 8 p.m.
SPORT Wrestling Men’s Basketball Women’s Basketball
SCORE BOARD W/L W L W
Opponent Wheaton Wash U Wash U
Score 21–18 78-79 82-76
THE CHICAGO MAROON - JANUARY 12, 2018
SPORTS Maroons Seek to Avenge Crushing Loss MEN’S BASKETBALL
BY ALYSSA RUDIN
cago is 4–2 at home and 0–6 on the road. Regarding their strengths, second–year point guard Jordan Baum said, “I think we are moving the ball really well. No one is playing selfish basketball and it has been allowing us to find the open man almost every time down the court. We are improving in transition and rebounding, which will both be vital this weekend.” Experience could bode well for the Maroons this weekend. NYU and Brandeis are two of the younger and more inexperienced teams in the UAA. NYU’s roster lists only one senior and four juniors, while the Judges’ roster includes two seniors and one junior. Hopefully the Maroons experience and depth will help them fend off two young, upstart teams. Baum
The Chicago Maroons return home this weekend to face off against NYU and Brandeis University. Following a heart-breaking loss last weekend against UAA foe, Washington University in St. Louis, the Maroons look to get back on track in UAA play. Balanced scoring among four of the five Maroon starters kept them in control for the majority of the contest. Wash U snatched the lead and the win with only six seconds left by nailing two free throws. Looking ahead to this weekend’s play, The Maroons have had a distinct home court advantage. Overall this season, Chi-
commented on this weekend’s matchups saying, “We are really going to have to focus on rebounding this weekend as NYU is a big team that aggressively crashes the offensive boards. I think our whole team is confident that we can continue the level of play that we displayed against Wash U last weekend. If we keep playing at that level, we will be able to play with any team in the UAA.” Last weekend in St. Louis, fourth–year shooting guard Jake Fenlon became the career leader in three pointers made with 207 and will look to add on to that. Fenlon passes Jesse Meyer (A.B. ’07), who made 205 triples for this career mark. Fenlon commented on the career achievement by saying, “It means a lot to me to be the ca-
reer leader in three pointers made. There have been so many incredible players to come before me and to be even thought of in the same breath as some of these guys is incredible. I would like to thank my friends, my coaches, my parents, and my teammates for making this possible. I hope the record lasts for a while, or at least a year until [third-year] Noah [Karras] breaks it.“ The Maroons tip off against NYU on Friday at 8 p.m. and play the second leg of round robin play on Sunday versus Brandeis at 11 a.m.
South Siders Look to Ride Momentum WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
BY ALYSSA RUDIN SPORTS STAFF
The women’s basketball schedule heats up with the start of University Athletic Association play. The No. 25-ranked Maroons are fresh off of a big upset against the No. 22-ranked Wash U. The Maroons are on an eight-game win streak heading into this weekend in which they face off against conference foes NYU and Brandeis University. Chicago has been boosted by consistently big performances from multiple team members. Just against the Bears, three different players, second-years Miranda Burt, Taylor Lake, and Mia Farrell, reached double-digits in points, and
three more, fourth-year Elizabeth Nye, third-year Jamie Kockenmeister, and first-year Meaghan O’Hara, contributed five points each. Third-year Olariche Obi earned a team and game high of 17 rebounds despite only being in for 17 minutes of play because of foul issues. Lake also contributed five steals and Burt added three. Overall, the Maroons made ten three-pointers in the game compared to just three by the Bears. Obi was very happy with her team’s performance on the weekend. “Last weekend was amazing. It was the first time since I have been a Maroon that we won on their home court. We had so many people step up! I’m not surprised in how my teammates played because I know they’re
capable, but it was a nice reminder that we have a squad that can hang with and defeat the best of the conference.” With the updated d3hoops.com rankings, Chicago becomes the second-highest ranked UAA team in the nation, behind only Rochester. Neither NYU or Brandeis are nationally ranked and their records (8–4 and 8–3, respectively) are not as impressive as the Maroon’s 10–2 mark. NYU defeated Brandeis handily last weekend, so the Maroons should have some level of confidence heading into the weekend. However, Obi emphasizes that the team cannot be too confident. “Previous to playing Wash U last weekend we had set the goal for ourselves about midway through pre-conference play (when we were 5-2)
that we wanted to go 9-2 before conference play. After we did accomplish that, we wanted to have a goal moving forward into conference play. We said that we can’t necessarily overreach in terms of what we want to do moving forward. We obviously want to win conference and go from there but we remind ourselves that we have to win the weekend and that’s what we did at Wash U. It was great, and we plan to do the same this weekend with NYU and Brandeis. We’re looking at every weekend as [a] further step to our goal.” The Maroons have done nothing but accomplish their goals so far this year, and it seems as though they will continue to do so.
Maroons Ready for Season TRACK AND FIELD
The Maroon’s weekly podcast goes live Monday. Zoe Kaiser
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Second-year Isabel Garon executes a pole vault.
BY ANNA ROSE SPORTS STAFF
The men and women’s track and field teams are ready to kick off the indoor season this weekend. The Maroons will be hosting the Phoenix Invitational on Saturday, January 13. At last year’s invi-
tational, the men and women’s teams had a clean sweep, both placing first among six teams. Continuing the legacy and winning the gold again is the goal for the Maroons as they head into the weekend’s meet. The meet will mark the start of the Continued on page 8
Published on Jan 12, 2018